Open Post

July 2022 Open Post

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

With that said, have at it!

*****

In other news, I’m delighted to report that one of my projects has found a pair of wings and has begun to soar. Regular readers of my Dreamwidth journal will recall the series of posts there last year setting out the teachings and exercises of the Order of Spiritual Alchemy, one of the orders in which I was initiated by my late teacher John Gilbert. Spiritual alchemy? It’s a process of reflection and journaling meant to help you unpack difficult experiences from your past, release their burdens, learn their lessons, and go on. The OSA was originally founded in 1878, and went dormant a decade or so before Gilbert’s death last year.

That sequence of posts drew a lot of interest — enough that a group of students and I were able to reactivate the OSA. It now has a website at http://octagonsociety.org/ , offering the preliminary lessons and the eight ranks of the Octagon Society (the first level of the OSA) free of charge. Have a look and see if it interests you.

392 Comments

  1. I noticed with amusement that over the weekend a couple of high profile NYT columnists had pieces that amounted to Mea Culpas. Bret Stephens essentially admitted he was wrong about Trump supporters and the Steele Dossier. And economist Paul Krugman admitted he was wrong when he projected that inflation would never become a problem. They must sense which way the wind is blowing and are trying to get out ahead of the curve before the rope and lamppost crowd comes for them in the near future. or perhaps they are polishing up their resumes for posts in the Tulsi Gabbard administration.

  2. JMG – As the owner if an impressively-sized beard I wonder if you can recommend any Druidly or at least Druid-friendly beard-care methods? Particular oils or something to that effect? I’m growing mine out and I don’t particularly like these “manly mannish gentlemanly gentleman” branded products, which seem to be all that’s available.

  3. I hear a lot of discussion lately about Recession. “Are we in one?” “Will we go into one?” “What IS a recession, anyway?” Some say that “two quarters of negative GDP growth” define a recession. (“Negative growth” is the way they phrase it; couldn’t say “decline”, could they?). But, no, the White House assures us. We cannot be in a recession when unemployment is as low as it is, regardless of the GDP statistic.

    I wish to point out that the same people who are trying to be very particular about defining “recession” are also the ones who define “unemployment” (as in “must be not working at all, and actively searching for a job”. There’s another statistic to look at: what fraction of the population is, you know, like, “working”? That’s captured in the Labor Force Participation ratio.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CIVPART

    What THAT shows is that the fraction of people working has been in decline since about 1998, and while somewhat recovering from the covid lockdown shock, is still about 1.2% below the level of Jan 2020. It’s a chart worth contemplating.

    There’s a recent cartoon re: the captain of the Titanic arguing about the proper definition of “iceberg”. Are we going to argue about the abstraction labeled “Recession”? I’d rather just go out and pick my tomatoes.

  4. Hello JMG,

    Just read James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis passed away today. I wanted to ask what you thought of the Gaia hypothesis, as James seems to be informed by what used to be a common line of thought in the past (and other cultures) that the univese itself is alive (a la Aristotles). Whats your take on Lovelock’s contribution in disarming the grip of the scientific atheism that came with the “enlightment” ?

  5. Hello All,

    Anyone read this on Peter Thiel’s thoughts on limits to growth. He seems open to there being real resource constraints and if true then we need to discuss the implications. This even mentions the Club which shall not be named. He also seems to think a cultural malaise may be behind our lack of progress with the decline of Christianity’s expansive power. It was odd reading in that it sounded like Rod Dreher and our friendly Archdruid host jointly co-wrote it. Strange days indeed.

    https://unherd.com/2022/07/peter-thiel-on-the-dangers-of-progress/

  6. Scott Alexander recently had a very long post discussing the AI alignment problem (i.e., how to create an intelligent AI without creating Skynet/the Matrix/etc.). What struck me was how much the AI sounds just like a demon. We’d be dealing with a being potentially more capable than us whose inner thinking/goals we can’t truly understand, and we’d be trying to somehow get it to accomplish what we want. Deliberate malice doesn’t even seem to be the biggest risk — it sounds like it’s far more likely it will just do something completely weird that we don’t anticipate and don’t want.

    The basic problem is that we want to teach it to accomplish a particular goal (e.g., “guard a diamond from potential thieves”) but we’re really training it to “get warm fuzzies / avoid cold pricklies from the human trainers” instead. If the easiest way is to collude with a would-be thief to trick the trainers into thinking the diamond is still there, that may be what we get. We can’t go through and exhaustively check for all the ways it could try to trick us because the point is to have it think of things we wouldn’t think of, things we might not understand even if we saw exactly what the AI does (other than observing that its actions seemed to achieve the goal).

    The post is at https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/elk-and-the-problem-of-truthful-ai for those who are interested, but like many of his posts it’s quite long.

  7. Greetings JMG, I hope the summer is going well for you.

    In the capitalist system, there has been a regular timing for crisis every 7 or 8 years for a long time:
    1973, 1980, 1987, 1993, 2001, 2008, and then they insisted on printing lots of money to avoid too much pain after 2008 so I think we skipped one, and now we are getting two to catch up: 2020 with covid and 2022 with a recession.

    If this model holds, we’ll go through the recession and get another one in 2027-2029 if they don’t game the normal cycle again.

    Do you think this model is still valid, albeit with bigger crisis than in the 80’s and the 2000’s ?

  8. Hello! Great to see the Order of Spirtual Alchemy website is up. I did the work up through the 8/8 but I never had it checked by the members of the OSA to see if I could proceed. I had some questions about that. I really like the work, but prefer in general, a solitary path. I don’t mind being a member, but if I did pass the exam, what would being a member entail?

    I’d like to continue the work but I’m not sure about the group aspect of being a member. How much interaction with others does it involve?

    If I decide to proceed, can I still take the exam even though it’s been almost 6 months or since I finished the 8/8 portion?

    Thanks,

    Alabaster Mumbling Cyclops

  9. If anyone here would care to help me become a better horary astrologer, please send me your query at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com and I’ll attempt to answer it. A good query is anything in which we have some personal stake: a potential relocation, or a workplace issue, or some relationship matter, that sort of thing.

    Also, I just read Retrotopia; it was positively delightful, the part with the atheists had me laughing out loud. The depiction of the Lakelanders’ many apprenticeship programs and plentiful work really struck a cord. Probably none of us will get to live in that society, but maybe in a generation or two…

  10. Hey JMG,

    I have questions about two different things. First, do you mind if I ask what your reading and writings habits are like? How many books do you read on average per month or week? You seem extremely well read & very industrious as a writer.
    Second, I am a 23 year old male with aspergers, and I’ve noticed you have mentioned before (either here or on a podcast, I don’t remember where) that you have aspergers as well. Do you mind if I ask how it’s affected you in your life & career? I am also interested in writing myself, if you couldn’t tell by my first question, and I am just curious in general. I don’t know if I’m being too forward so you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. Thank you.

  11. It recently ocured to me that capitalism may be even worse than I thought. Marxism lets capitalists off in one sense – even if they wanted to treat their workers well, a competitor would just drive down their own workers’ wages, drop prices, and put the good-hearted one out of business. So their options are constrained by the nature of the system. But once a capitalist declares some of the money a profit and part of their take-home pay, they’ve said the business doesn’t need it anymore. It’s their dicretionary income and can do whatever they like with it.

    So they certainly can be judged on what they choose to do with it. If they choose the superyacht over building something nice for the town – which even Victorian industrialists did all the time – then they’ve made their choice. And that’s especially the case when they’ve made so much money there’s an overaccumulation crisis going on and they can’t even find anything to do with a lot of it. Which is why those billionaire residential towers in New York are half empty – because the owners didn’t even want a big apartment right on Central Park, they just wanted somewhere to ‘put their money’.

  12. A few things you may find interesting.

    My sister’s son’s getting married. As they and the bride and her family are all PMC, the rehearsal dinner’s at the Dupont Country Club.

    Very ritzy! I was impressed (I got to go along when my sister made the arrangements).

    Here’s what’s odd: The event coordinator told my sister that if she paid cash, she’d get a 2% discount. I wouldn’t have believed that people at that level would care about 2%.

    The Hagley Museum is nearby (the wedding’s at the Soda House). It’s a 236 acre walking museum celebrating the Dupont family’s gunpowder factory. Over 200 explosions in about 100 years. The factory was closed down in the 1920’s and the mansion abandoned. It’s within 5 miles of the shooting galleries in Wilmington.

    Today, most of the factory’s disappeared into the woods. Walking around you see hints of what used to be there, shrouded in forest. It’s astonishing, especially as very few of the trees date back before 1920. You can tell by the size of the trunk.

    E.I Dupont’s mansion (built in 1804) is open for tours. The docent *LIED* to us when I asked about Mrs. Dupont’s use of servants. We were assured that she, a fine French lady, did her own housework along with her daughters. She had no servants of any kind.

    According to the Dupont biography, she’s on record as buying slaves. Delaware was a slave state.

    The docent also told us that E.I. Dupont was “poor” when he arrived in the new world, along with a shipload of expensive household furnishings and art. Not according to the biography! He may have been “poor” by the King of England’s standards but not by anyone else’s.

    If you — or anyone else — is near Wilmington, DE, the Hagley museum is absolutely worth a visit. It’s astonishing seeing how what was a huge factory complex is almost completely gone, swallowed by the forest and time.

  13. Could you tell me what you believe happens to us when we die? Does bad karma affect your next reincarnation or is it purged somehow on another plane before the reincarnation takes place? One of the downsides of a belief in reincarnation is that some people believe that the disabled ,say, must have done something bad in a past life and therefore deserve their fate.

  14. We either have the most incompetent bunch of world leaders in the history of mankind or they are maliciously evil. In the following video posted by Chris Martenson over on his website (1-2 strikes away from a permanent ban on YT) shows the cluelessness of world leaders.

    https://peakprosperity.com/using-climate-fear-to-wage-war-on-farmers-and-you/

    They are systematically trying to shutdown key parts of world food production by trying to put farmers out of business all for the purpose of climate change. Meanwhile the UN and other organizations around the world are issuing dire warnings of global food shortages and famine, thanks in part to locking down the global economy for Covid.

    Here’s where it gets interesting, the Media along with the WEF and Governments are beginning to condition the “Plebs” on eating insects.

    If that wasn’t bad enough because we know full well that won’t apply to the upper 1 percent because in the video those that are championing Climate Change, you have a young pup from the Jenner Clan flying in a private jet for 17 minutes instead of taking a car. You see, it’s “Rules For Thee And Not For Me”.

    Here’s where it gets “really scary”. In that video by Chris Martenson, now they are trying to condition the Plebs that “Cannibalism” either is not a bad idea or might be necessary. Talk about trying to reduce the world’s population, perhaps Bill Gates should look into this venture.

    Does anyone remember the 1973 Charlton Heston Movie, “Soylent Green”? I do, I went to the theatre to see it in 1973. Here’s a bit of irony, the movie was set in 2022. 🤪

  15. Dear JMG,

    A while back you mentioned that the Chinese could become the world hegemon…after a dynasty change. While I would disagree that the current CCP seems destined for world hegemony (their problems with management and technocracy mirror our own in the US), the dynasty change is interesting and seems to be plausible at first blush. What, in your opinion, would be involved in a dynasty change from the CCP dynasty? Wouldn’t another civil war or equivalent disaster knock them out for at least another half century?

    If all that is too much, what would you hope to reasonably see out of such a change?

  16. Good morning sir. I lurk here but don’t comment much. Sorry if this has been asked before. In an earlier version of your monsters book, the Rose Cross ritual uses different shapes besides circles for the two shapes drawn. What is the reason for this? Also when completing the ritual you use the word yay ho wah shah. What does that mean? Thanks.

  17. John Michael. I have a question about French. You have said before that English is a sloppy mess not really good for clear thinking and Latin is very good for clear thinking with its precision and order. What about French is it good for thinking and expression. What do you think of French.

    Thanks John

  18. Which of the “new age” or “pop cultural” ideas do you take the least seriously? Are there any that make you laugh just thinking about? I don’t expect there’s enough time in a day for an exhaustive list.

  19. I sure miss the days when you could go in to a big university or big city public library and browse through the hundreds of newspapers from around the world with recent editions stored on long wooden spools hanging in wooden racks. I would love to have that now as a way to gage the nature of what seems to be a huge inflection in the curve of the empire. Specifically I am speaking of Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov’s world tour of Africa and some of the Middle East. In western media the few articles you can find show a dour Lavrov sitting alone slumped in a chair with headlines like “Russia’s desperate attempt to win support from dictators.” While the rare “zone b” media you can find on the internet ( usually links in comment sections) depict Lavrov’s whirlwind tour as a victory lap. with him being greeted in every African country by its highest leader and throngs of dignitaries, with pictures to support it. Even if you could not read the language of the hard copy of main paper in Uganda the pictures would certainly tell the story. And even the CIA did not have the resources back in the day to reprint copies of every world newspaper to fit their narrative and have it delivered to universities and libraries. If Lavrov’s reception though out Africa is as it is being depicted by non-western media than an huge decline in American influence. is at hand.

  20. JMG,

    It seems Alchemists use names of chemical elements such as mercury and sulfur as metaphors, unlike the way modern chemists may think of such elements. Was there a time when a chemist and an alchemist could agree on what is “mercury”? If so, how did the divergence happen?

  21. @JMG,

    My husband found an anime of cute girls camping together, and it reminded me of a commenter some months ago who found a video game where you can chop wood at Walden Pond. At first I balked at this (Just go camping!) but I bet there really are people who’ve never done it and maybe the show will convince them to give it a try.

    By the way, everyone keeps talking about how gas prices are high, but I still don’t see an increase in people walking around. I’m often the only one!

  22. Twin Cities, MN Ecosophia gathering this Sunday the 31st in south Minneapolis.

    Email me for details.

    PJ

    williammcgillis

    at

    gmail

  23. Curiosity prompts me to ask whether anyone shares my inability to see anything very useful in Occam’s Razor. I get the principle that one shouldn’t multiply or complicate hypotheses needlessly, but without consensus on what’s likely to be true, I see no way to achieve consensus on what constitutes unnecessary complication.

    The problem in my view connects with the great divide between the religious mind-set which sees the qualitative aspect of reality as transcendent, and the non-religious mind-set which sees it as merely emergent. As a religious chap I would regard the view that quality is real, as the simpler one; an opponent might say I’m complicating things and why don’t I just accept matter-in-motion as sufficient to explain it all.

    It all reminds me of another uselessly question-begging principle, that of “subsidiarity”, beloved of ex-Prime Minister John Major when he was trying to sell the Maastricht Treaty to unwilling eurosceptics. Subsidiarity was supposed to mean dealing with everything at the appropriate level, not referring things further up the institutional hierarchy than is appropriate. How on earth can one expect agreement between eurozealots and eurosceptics on what is the appropriate level…

  24. Dear JMG,

    First of all congratulations on relaunching the Order of Spiritual Alchemy! That is such good news. While I have not done that work, I do really love journaling through my problems and have found the process transformational.

    In a recent Magic Monday you wrote that there are two goods ways of spending an incarnation — improving karma and raising one’s consciousness [link: https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/191245.html?thread=32563469#cmt32563469%5D. I’m very curious on what level you think that intensive journaling works. It seems to me to quite obviously improve karma, but it also seems to me to raise one’s consciousness — I like to think of intensive journaling as transforming suffering into wisdom. Basically I imagine sustained self-reflection of this sort to raise consciousness by working off karma. That said, I’m obviously an enthusiast and perhaps a bit overly enthusiastic and so I wonder what your thoughts are on the benefits of intensive journaling; from your perspective, does it work off karma, raise consciousness, or do some of both?

  25. Hi JMG, hope you’re well!

    I note one or two people on here have alluded already to the Dutch agriculturalist protests and ongoing food shortages. One thing I’ve noticed here in the UK (only a short hop across the North Sea from the Netherlands) is an almost complete media blackout on the matter (in contrast to blanket media coverage of BLM demonstrations an ocean away in America). Do you think this dearth of (mainstream) news coverage of the protests is the result of an active effort to cover the protests up?

    Also, do you think there is any truth to allegations that shadowy elites (WEF for example) are actively seeking to cause food shortages by, for example, forcing farmers to stop using fertiliser or reduce farm production capacity to a point where they will go out of business?

  26. @Rod (#15) and others:

    I do indeed remember “Soylent Green,” and vividly–tbough I had forgotten it was sewt in 2022. At the time I thought it likely was prophetic of humanity’s future, if our specie’s growth continued unchecked; now I am even more certain. And on that note …

    @Michael Tanner (#4):

    Some coincidences are more than mere coincidence, I think. James Lovelock’s death was timely, and perhaps a mercy for him.

    I am not a materialist, but a mystic and mage. So the cosmos has always seemed to me to be a sentient being, and to extend well beyond the severely limited realm of time and space, of matter and energy. Recently I have begun to wonder whether that tiny part of it that we call Gaia has deliberately chosen to curb our species’ exponential growth by exponentially increasing powerful causes of death for humans. “Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

  27. @ Florida Druid re AI

    Well, if the recent chess tournament in Russia where a seven-year old got his finger broken by a chess playing robot is any indication, AI is one of those things like fusion which will always be just in the near future but never quite happening. Some might see demonic potential in this, but when after 60 plus years of computer development, you have a machine incapable of distinguishing between a plastic chess piece and a child’s soft finger, you’ve got something so sublimely dumb no demon could ever manifest itself through it except in a blind haphazard way.

  28. IVN: i’m growing my hair out and read books on this (no lie!) so i use on my scalp and ends, a hand-mixed castor oil base possibly diluted with a little liquid coconut oil or almond oil if too thick, with drops of rosemary and peppermint for stimulating the skin.

  29. Thought I’d share a nice 3 part piece on the breakdown of consensus reality. The first 2 are free and I think the 3rd will become free after a period of time.

    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/reality-is-just-a-game-now

    I see the breakdown of media-dictated consensus as both another flare from the Aquarian age transition, and as healthy in the longterm. What the writer calls alternate reality games, ARGs, can of course be applied to a consensus reality too. Maps of a territory.

    What we are seeing is one worldview shattering into many diverse ones. That strikes me as healthy from an evolutionary standpoint. A single narrative might be safe and stable, but when it encounters insoluble problems it’s catastrophic, and can lead to an “extinction” of a sort.

    Many ways of looking at the world can make things confused and violent on a local scale, but at least some of them will be adaptable to any given crisis, and those crises will determine which were capable models of the world.

    The circus of conspiracy theories, misinformation, and people talking across one another seem like the opening stages of that consensus breakdown. I see no reason why we can’t “agree to disagree” on a number of things, except for the monotheistic habit of a forced consensus. While it’s unpleasant, maybe it heralds the possibility in the near future of new ways of thinking about our world that make more sense. We just need to let the unfit ones do their evolutionary duty of exiting, stage left.

  30. I recently acquired a 1995 set of Collier’s Encyclopedia. A library dumped it years ago and now it has made its way to me. My first lookup was regarding the slave trade in Dahomey/Benin because I’d heard there’s been some revisionism on that subject happening in recent years. Then I checked Wikipedia. Wikipedia tells much the same tale as the 1995 Collier’s but adds that a certain percentage of enslaved war captives in Dahomey were beheaded instead of being sold to white traders. That must’ve cut into profits!

  31. Will O #18: as I’ve been studying Catholic philosophy, I’ve come to appreciate the usefulness, if not the beauty, of medieval Latin. All jokes about angels dancing on the head of a pin, Scholastics were striving toward exactness in very difficult questions. Those questions seem meaningless and trivial to those who don’t understand the issues, but Differential Calculus makes most eyes glaze over too.

    Speaking of exactness: I note with some grim amusement that I now expect to see at least one big part of the crash in my lifetime. Within the next ten years, the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams will no longer be able to generate hydropower. If the 25 ft annual drop we saw from 2020/21 continues or gets worse, we will see it in four. They have already retrofitted the Hoover generators to work at a 950ft minimum from 1050ft, and even now they are working at 25-33% reduced power due to lower water pressure.

    The Hoover and Glen Canyon megawatts are used for the water treatment plants and irrigation pumps that are using the Colorado River’s dwindling water supply. They are also used for a “black start” coming out of a widespread blackout. We will lose the power to pump water for irrigation well before the dams hit dead pool.

    Within a few years after this I expect most of the Phoenix/Tucson megalopolis to be abandoned as water and power costs rise dramatically. I also expect yet another spike in food prices as irrigated farmland goes back to desert, and within my daughter’s lifetime I expect to see most of those suburbs return to desert as well.

    To date I’ve seen a few news stories about the ongoing southwestern drought. I’ve seen no serious plans for dealing with it. And I expect anybody who buys Southwestern real estate in the near future, or who is living in a Phoenix/Tucson suburb now, is going to be left holding a very dry and sandy bag.

  32. An observation on The Twilight of Pluto, and popular fantasy literature and its fans. In Pluto’s TWILIGHT time, not his heyday.

    because .. I have suddenly, a few nights ago, had a flashback from the complete story arc of one of the most Plutonian fantasy series to ever hit the that genre – a massively popular, interminable series set in the usual pseudo-medieval world (~Wars of the Roses era, I think). Whose greatest gimmick was to smoosh together every single freaking blood feud, atrocity, massacre, betrayal, and really bad decision ever made by anybody in our own timeline’s 1000- years-plus Middle Ages, including bits from echoes of the reign of Caligula, and of Nero’s dreadful mother. From the heyday of Attila the Hun, clear on up to what felt like early Renaissance. Possibly some from the 17th century’sThirty Year’s War.

    The worst of all that real-world history, all smooshed together into seven (7!) years in the life (and death) of the author’s world. In the face of Fimbulwinter on its way, ending in a mass battle which was such a close approximation of Ragnarok, my mind kept inserting a soundtrack from Wagner’s Gotterdammerung.

    The entire series was – still is – one massive carnival of sex, death, blood, betrayal, and the dumbest decisions ever made in any civilization ever known to history, and the public was eating it up and asking for more, more, more. It still is. Its creator is the richest s/f writer in the Southwest, possibly even in the entire field of fantasy/sf. He’s rolling in dough.

    And the ending of that story, once the dust settled and the bodies were counted? An anticlimax that left the throne in the hands of a young boy, the least competent possible hands since Henry VI of England, whom he greatly resembled. How more Plutonian can one get? And the money keeps rolling in. And yes, my friends and I would gather in a friend’s living room to gobble it down, along with her suppers, in evening-length segments, month after month.

    You tell me. (Shakes head.)

  33. John (and everyone!),

    Some interesting lessons of late. I’ll attempt not to be too long-winded here.

    Two paths, possibly converging (but are they in a wood?!): the first dealing with my on-going quest to figure out what “developing my soul” entails and the second a recent revelation with respect to my lessons here in this incarnation regarding concrete versus abstract things.

    First, what is meant by “soul development”? Trying to get my arms around what this might mean, I took a look at the Tree of Life and saw that one can (and others have) assigned Mind, Soul, and Spirit to the three triangles of sephirot: Netzach-Hod-Yesod, Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth, and Kether-Chokmah,-Binah, respectively. Would it be plausible, therefore, to conclude that a focus on developing the principles and characteristics of the middle set (Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth) would be, at the very least, a subset of this thing called “soul development”?

    Second, a recent conversation with my supervisor at work highlighted something for me that I hadn’t considered before. We were discussing my works tasks and he suggested that I begin including more business-oriented awareness (“if you want to take that next step” into a manager position). I realized that this represented a shift from my habitual abstract approach (statistical analyses, long-term power supply studies) to more concrete business (daily and monthly P&L, for example). The thought “one of things you are here to learn is the concrete rather than the abstract” popped in my mind, which meshes with some other indications I’ve had re my path and past incarnations.

    Is it possible to develop one’s soul in a concrete (versus abstract) manner? If so, what might that look like?

  34. JMG
    I have just started reading through the preliminary lessons for the Octagon society and the “Law of Blame” section reminded me of a story I related some time ago and another thing that just happened Monday.

    First:
    Several years ago I was waiting at a red light and after it turned green I waited a couple extra seconds for no reason I recall. As I was about to proceed a cement truck ran through the intersection at full speed.

    Now:
    Around the corner from my house, there is an intersection with 4-way stop signs. It seems there are a couple accidents there every month. Last Monday I drove up to this intersection with my wife in the passenger seat and looked both ways after the stop. There were no cars in sight. As I entered the intersection I looked right one more time and saw a car approaching at full speed with no obvious intention of slowing down. I hit the breaks and hoped for the best. They swerved at the last second and managed to miss us while taking out the stop sign on the opposite side of the road. We looped back around to see if they were OK and found them on the phone telling someone that they had to swerve to avoid someone who had run a stop sign. Apparently they had assumed that the other driver had left the scene. They left shortly afterward without seeking any information.

    To have any control in your life you must look at how your own actions precipitate the events around you. I am thankful for the guardian that has protected me from thoughtless drivers at least twice. But I am also aware of accidents arising by my own fault.

    Well, I look forward to exploring spiritual alchemy.

  35. Clay, they said what???!!!

    (surfaces groggily after a few minutes)
    Seriously? That’s the equivalent of waving a white flag. The situation must be even worse than it looks.

    Ivn, the best care for a beard is to keep it clean, brush it a couple of times a day with a natural-bristle brush, and leave out the fancy high-priced gunk. If you tend toward dry beard hair, try a drop of a simple make-it-yourself beard oil once every few days, rubbed between your hands and then rubbed all over your beard, might be useful — there are good instructions for making that here. Other than that, leave it alone; like the rest of your body, beards thrive when they’re clean, decently nourished, and not fussed over.

    Lathechuck, they’ve got to pick nits. Otherwise Biden gets to be the first president since Jimmy Carter to preside over high inflation and a recession at the same time, and that’s not exactly helpful for the financial hopes of the coterie of political parasites who prop him up in his current office.

    Michael, I’m sorry to hear this! I think Lovelock’s thesis was a step in the right direction, though only a baby step. He could get away — just! — with suggesting that the biosphere functions as an organism. Imagine the hullaballoo that would have been raised if he’d discussed the possibility that it’s conscious…

    Daniel, I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve bookmarked it. Interesting.

    Florida Druid, you’d think they might consider the possibility that the whole thing is a bad idea…

    Tony, interesting. As with most cyclical phenomena, the only way to find out is to see what happens.

    Cyclops, so far, what it amounts to is that you get access to the further lessons and can work with a mentor if you want one. The OSA is still very small as yet, and I don’t know if it will ever get to the point of having local groups or anything like that.

    Guts, I find visual media boring and irritating, and reading has been my favorite entertainment since childhood, so yes, I read a lot. On an average day I read for 2-3 hours; in an average month I go through 20 or 30 books, depending on length. My writing time varies but these days it’s usually around an 8 hour day at the keyboard. As for Aspergers, yes, I have it — the technical term is (or used to be) adult residual Aspergers, which means my brain’s had time to do some workarounds and I’ve also learned some tricks for managing social situations! Aspergers syndrome, for all its annoying features, is a huge advantage if you want to be a writer; research is the easiest thing in the world — just get interested in the subject and do the usual Aspie thing, i.e., read everything ever published on the subject — and the obsessive focus on getting the writing done is easy enough if you tend that way anyway. My writing career has always been a matter of finding obscure niche markets and writing the book that nobody else thought of writing — again, that comes naturally if you’ve got Aspergers.

    Yorkshire, capitalism allows individuals to do the kind of absurd wasteful behavior that socialism hands over to governments. Human beings being what they are, somebody’s going to build a pyramid or something…

    Teresa, fascinating. Thanks for this.

    Robert, that’s a complicated matter; fortunately, I’ve posted on it at some length — here’s one such post. As for the misunderstanding you describe, we’ve all done lots of bad things in our previous lives; it’s purely a matter of how much of that we’re dealing with this time around.

    Hans, let’s see how far they get before the inevitable problems overwhelm the project.

    Rod, I also watched Soylent Green in its original theater run. Keep in mind that what we’re dealing with is a ruling class that, thanks to technology, is more detached from reality than any previous example in history. That doesn’t bode well for their survival even over the middle term.

    Sirustalcelion, depends on the details. A change of dynasty could involve anything from a sudden coup to a decade of civil war. Right now China’s basically heading into its Great Depression — it had its Roaring Twenties period, so the inevitable economic blowback is hitting — so much will depend on how far that destabilizes the government and how efficiently the rising dynasts take advantage of the crisis.

    Hyperborean, er, the Rose Cross ritual always uses the cross and circle in the six directions; you can find another version here, which might help. The two names used, Yeheshuah and Yehovashah, are two variations on the Cabalistic name of Jesus; I recommend meditating on the difference — it has a lot to teach.

    Will O, French is a thousand years of fossilized slang. It’s the most richly historical language I’ve ever studied — you can’t speak a sentence without tripping over most of the history of Western Europe in one way or another. In terms of its logical force, it’s about halfway between Latin and English; those complex verb tenses are good training for your mind.

    Jay, the New Age notion I find silliest is the notion that all limits are bad. The people who say this have apparently never thought about their own sphincters.

    Chuaquin, I think he’s quite wrong. One of the things the Russo-Ukraine war is showing is that the elite classes of the NATO nations massively underestimated what Russia is capable of doing. The Russians are currently deploying an antimissile system (the S-550) that’s intended to knock ICBMs out of the air, and they’ve also fielded long range nuclear torpedoes that can send a 100-foot tsunami of radioactive water onto any coastal city in the planet. I’m pretty sure the frantic handwaving from the NATO capitals is a function of stark terror that if it comes to nuclear war, the US and its allies could lose.

    Clay, you can always go to African media sources —
    https://www.africanews.com/
    https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/
    http://www.panapress.com/
    — are among the ones I find most useful.

    Bakbook, the language of alchemy is encoded. That’s deliberate, and explained in detail in the old texts; every word in them is a coded message, which has to be deciphered. Words such as “mercury” are part of the code, and apparently always have been.

    CS2, I doubt it; they’ll just play the game and think that that counts. As for gas prices, they haven’t been high long enough. People won’t admit that they’re poor (walking is a way of admitting that you’re poor) until they really have no other choice.

    John, yeah, that crossed my mind too.

    Robert, you’ll get no argument from me. Alongside the points you’ve raised, which are valid, there’s also the mere fact that in the world we actually inhabit, the most parsimonious explanation has only a coinflip’s chance at best of being correct.

    Violet, I see intensive journaling as being primarily a way of raising your level of consciousness. Its goal is to teach you to reflect on your experiences instead of simply reliving them or, worse, being affected by them unconsciously. It can help release karma, too, but to my mind that’s almost a secondary function.

    Sam, I suspect that governments across Europe are wet-their-pants frightened that the Dutch protests and their equivalents in other countries will snowball into a mass rising against the EU regime and its collaborators in the subject countries. (To my mind, this is a rational fear on their part.) As for the attempts to force farmers out of business, I’m pretty sure the goal is to replace them with vast corporate farms that can be more easily redirected into the bug-growing business.

  36. Just a note on beard oil. On these hot summer days, a big beard can have some chapping when the skin stays wet with sweat. Use just a little oil (JMG’s advice is good) and comb it in. The sweat will bead and drip away from the skin. Old Testament trick – I didn’t invent it.

  37. @JMG,

    I have heard from experts that the quality of command has been steadily declining in the US military, compared to the year 2000 or 2010 .

    A good part of the equipment still seems to be very good, i.e. with submarines, stealth bombers etc.

    Do you think that is true and in a major non-nuclear conflict with Russia or China, they would not be able to win – allies or not?

  38. JMG #39, thank you for your answer. Ha ha, I think JHK is very fond of weekly apocalyptic disasters usually…If NATO would attack Russia directly, it would be really a suicide according the Russian war capacities.

  39. @JMG @here

    It looks like Italy might elect a right-wing coalition after globalist Draghi stepped down. Of course, the media is painting this as the return of Mussolini himself. How do you see these type of parties (Orban, etc.) in Europe? From my point of view, enforcing existing immigration policy, encouraging family formation, seems perfectly reasonable and not fascist. Western Europe just as much right to remain European as East Asia does to remain Asian. I understand national identity is different in a society like ours, but why is this so fraught and controversial in the Old World?

  40. “If this model holds, we’ll go through the recession and get another one in 2027-2029 if they don’t game the normal cycle again.”

    George Friedman thinks the time frame is very important as well. The 2028 election will be the critical one to set the tone for what happens next. The winner of ’24 is basically a throwaway as there will be no right answers for that President.

    Three single term Presidents in Row? Harding – Coolidge – Hoover repeats?

  41. CS2, don’t forget that our cities and towns are deliberately engineered for autos; we can thank General Motors for that. I walk everywhere, or take a bus, but being retired, don’t have to keep to someone else’s schedule. I am seeing a slight uptick in use of bikes to get around.

  42. WRT Artificial Intelligence.

    It does sound demonic!

    Younger Son, programmer, and I were driving home from the library a few years ago and saw the kind of A.I. problem that computers can’t handle. In over 40 years of driving, I have *NEVER* seen anything like this before.

    The bridge from the library was completely covered with a flock of starlings. They had no intention of moving. They moved out of the way, grudgingly, as we crept forward. All these hand-sized chunks of black feathers fluttering around the car, coming back down to pick up whatever was on the road.

    Younger Son was of the opinion that A.I. and self-driving cars couldn’t be programmed to cope with something like this.

  43. Oh dear, that was # 23, not 27.

    Hans, where, exactly, in the mirrored line, is the army of Southeast Asian indentured servants, oh, excuuse me, guest workers, going to be housed? Tent cities outside the walls?

  44. Artificial Intelligence doing what it wants and writers.

    The Verge had an amazing piece about writers using A.I. programs to write their genre fiction more quickly and how the A.I. would often do what it wanted instead of what the writer being interviewed wanted.

    Besides the A.I. aspects, the essay has lots of bits buried in it about burnout, writing to market, writing on a treadmill, and spending more and more $$ to keep sales at the same level.

    It’s absolutely worth a read: https://www.theverge.com/c/23194235/ai-fiction-writing-amazon-kindle-sudowrite-jasper

  45. JMG, mention of the possibility of the biosphere being conscious reminds me of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his concept of the noosphere. Are you familiar with his work; if so, what do you think of the noosphere?

    I remember grappling with the idea as a young man and thinking it was interesting but a bit beyond my ability to grasp.

  46. Just out of curiosity, and since the majority of the commenters here are American: What do you make of Meghan Markle’s political aspirations? And her husband Prince Harry weighing in on your Constitution at the UN (and elsewhere)?

  47. What would effective social governance and policy-making look like and how would it differ from the sprawling bureaucratic make-work nonsense we bear witness to today?

    If, for example, the chief executive we (in the U.S.) elect in ’24 came in with an overwhelming mandate to “fix” things, what might he or she do? What departments/bureaus/commissions might be put forth to Congress for elimination? What programs might be shut down at the federal level? Eliminating the Department of Education would be one things I’d offer up, as education policy is a state–and not federal–responsibility. But what others?

  48. @ Miow #51

    Re the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their thoughts on the US Constitution

    They are allowed their opinions, of course, but as they’re not US citizens, our Constitution really isn’t any of their d— business one way or the other 😉

  49. Re my last post

    Actually the Duchess retains her US citizenship, doesn’t she? In which case her comments are valid. Her husband, not so much.

  50. Kyle, thanks for this. My one quibble is that we never actually had a consensus — we just had an official version that was yelled at most people through the megaphone of the media, while those of us who saw reality differently just rolled our eyes and went our own way. There were a lot of us, too, spread out among many different realities. The issue now is that the official reality has become so dysfunctional that even the most clueless are beginning to notice that something’s wrong.

    Phutatorius, you’d have to go much further back than 1995 to get past that sort of revisionism!

    Patricia M, interesting. If you mean George RR Martin’s doorstop collection, btw, I’ve never read a word of it — I liked some of his early writing but I lost interest in what he was doing a couple of decades ago.

    David BTL, the development of your soul involves filling in whatever capacities you haven’t developed yet, so if you’ve got a shortage of experience with concrete realities — or for that matter, with Tiphareth et al — why, yes, those can be involved.

    Piper, exactly. Some things are your doing, some things are other peoples’, some are a bit of both, and some just happen. In every case, getting hung up on blame doesn’t help.

    Tony, some of our equipment is good but much of it is very poorly maintained — check out the fraction of our naval fighters that are grounded right now, just for starters — and some of our equipment is very poor, having been manufactured by a hopelessly corrupt arms industry with no concern for combat effectiveness. We are also falling behind technologically — Russia and China both have hypersonic missiles deployed, we don’t even have a system that works reliably. I’m pretty sure that between the declining quality of command, the rock-bottom (and dropping) morale of the troops, the highly mixed quality of our weapons systems, and the huge shortfalls we’d face in supplying more armaments in a hurry in the face of a full-on war with a major power, we’d be running a very high risk of military defeat.

    Chuaquin, that’s one of Jim’s few limitations as a thinker — he tends too often to default to the apocalyptic. Other than that, he’s hugely perceptive — remember when the mainstream media mocked him for predicting a return of piracy on the high seas? Oops…

    Brian, the major result of the EU’s insistence that anyone opposed to it must be a fascist will doubtless be the rehabilitation of fascism. I don’t think Italy’s facing a March on Rome quite yet, but it’ll happen — precisely because the corporate-bureaucratic power system can’t tolerate reasonable views like yours.

    Teresa, funny. Fritz Leiber many years ago wrote a novel titled The Silver Eggheads in which writers handed over the hard work of writing their books to computers. It was a fine satire; pity Leiber isn’t still around to chortle as it comes true.

    Martin, I read his The Phenomenon of Man many years ago and found it riddled with the kind of dubious logic and cheap rhetorical tricks that make the word “Jesuitical” the opposite of a compliment. When I read that several researchers have argued that he was instrumental in faking Piltdown Man, I wasn’t a bit surprised. That said, the basic concept of the noosphere is worth considering; if minds are not simply epiphenomena of brains but part of a reality on their own plane, then the sum total of minds on or around a planet form a noosphere just as the sum total of gases on or around it form an atmosphere.

    Booklover, I’ve never really gotten into researching that, so I don’t have a book to recommend. Anyone else?

    Miow, rich idiots gonna rich idiot.

    David BTL, er, how long of a book were you expecting?

  51. Oh Man! .. think of All those pro-biotics encumbered within a human male’s* (*There! I said it!!) ‘beard’… I mean, Really .. is this not the equivalent of a baleen whale’s** filteration apparatus?? .

    If things get too hinky .. then well, here’s back to the big .. uhh .. blue sea, for those of us facing one of Evolution’s bottlenecks.

    Chiton n bone, my friends . tis what ultamately matters.

    Seems that the purple GOPe-Democratii – of whatever western-country ‘club’ … appear to lack!

  52. Greetings to you and your wife.
    Sometimes I see the slogan” zero carbon 2030”, or “2050”. Could this be a knowing or unknowing promotion of your “Collapse now, before the rush”? You memed it into reality?

  53. The more I interact with the people in my town, the more thankful I am for you and your community!

    The Right thinks we have all the fossil fuel we’ll ever need, if only the “libruhls” would get out of the way (and die while you’re at it, you commies); and the Left thinks we can run an industrial economy on unicorn farts, if we could just outlaw fossil fuels. (And while we’re at, life would be so much better if we could off those hillbillies on the Right.) It feels like the rumblings of a civil war sometimes…

    I really don’t have a tribe outside of these halls.

    Sad but grateful.
    Grover

  54. @ JMG – I hope you will permit a message to be posted here to Nathaniel Bonnell of New Maps. (as advertised in the side bar).

    @ Nathaniel Bonnell
    Please, Nathaniel, if you are reading this, would you conduct a review of messages received by the email address – orders AT new-maps DOT com? You should have received messages on April 30th, May 12th, and May 28th, from scotlyn AT protonmail DOT com, concerning an order paid for and not received.

    It would be lovely to receive a reply on the matter. Very, much appreciated! xx

  55. There is an interesting project to start a new religion here (https://www.secretorum.life/p/why-i-am-starting-a-religion-and). Times of chaos and decline seem to be the ideal times in history for new religion to emerge and gather struggling people together to achieve new economy of scales.

    If I had to design the ideal new religion for this time in history, I would aim for something that functions like a slime mold. The idea would be to develop customs and habits that allow otherwise isolated individuals to come together in small groups for a fixed period of time to achieve a single practical goal (with associated functions of filtering out undesirable people/behaviors, and providing a temporary sense of belonging to a group). Individual instances of coming together could record their successes and failures, and carry that information forward to make the process more effective over time.

  56. “Phutatorius, you’d have to go much further back than 1995 to get past that sort of revisionism!”
    Do you mean back to Karl Polanyi? His book on the subject is very pricey now, if you can find a copy at all. Or did you have another source in mind — that I could access?

  57. @ Miow #51 and Megan Markle

    If she was serious:

    She should run for city council first and find out what it’s like to talk to actual citizens.
    She should also start attending those city council meetings and learn how hard it is to get anything done, how hard everyone works (many of them unpaid), and how perfectly reasonable people can hold diametrically opposed opinions.

    Otherwise, she’s just hogging the spotlight and is talking big and wasting everyone’s time.

  58. JMG, if I recall correctly, you previously wrote that you didn’t think that intentional communities can successfully work. I think maybe it was in a previous post here on ecosophia.net. If I also remember correctly (and I might not), I think in that same post you also mentioned that you had written elsewhere about exactly *why* you felt that they didn’t work. And I remember trying to find where you may have written about your reasoning for this but I was never able to find it. I’ve recently found myself again wondering what your reasons might be. Could you kindly paste the link here or just let us know where, exactly, you had previously written about the reasons that intentional communities don’t work? (Or if anyone else here can point me in the right direction I’d also be grateful!)

  59. I’d love to hear your thoughts on democracy in general, and what the media calls “our democracy” right now. I realized over the past two years that I’m very uncomfortable with 51% of the voting population (which is something like 40% of eligible adults in the U.S.) feeling empowered to make decisions for me with no alternatives.

    Is idea of representative democracy over?

  60. @CS2

    “My husband found an anime of cute girls camping together…”

    Too funny. At first I thought this was a new collective noun (ex: murder of crows, mob of kangaroos, shiver of sharks, etc) fresh off some unmoderated forum. It actually kind of works.

  61. Eating bugs only makes energetic sense when a massive natural build up happens that can be harvested. An example of this was the annual Bogong Moth feast that the Australian Aboriginal people of the mountains had before colonisation. It was a bounty that was easy to collect and natural systems did all the work of creating it.

    Farming insects intensely would be a massive input and labour sink. It is like many modern factory farming methods, in that you have to provide the feedstock. You would also have to carefully collect the insects, and then need a huge process to get them to edible form. You would have to manage predators and parasites at a scale so small that we have little experience with.

    This has always been the advantage of animals on natural pasture/nomadic herding/small scale farming in that natural systems provide the feedstock for no input or labour. Even better is hunting, as there is no labour besides killing and butchering an animal. Labour and inputs always require energy in some form and another, and the work of Howard Odum and others have shown just how stupidly unsustainable modern agriculture is (we are basically converting oil into food, take away the oil and the food goes too).

    Obviously we can’t go back to the hunting days with current population densities, but any sort of energy intensive factory farming, whether it be large ruminants, fish, or insects, is far from the solution in an energy constrained world. It seems to me to all about controlling the food source, as the actual solutions that may help is concentrating on local small scale production but on a huge geographic scale, with all that lawn and ornamental garden spaces switching to food production. But this benefits people, not corporations.

  62. Data point on decline of North American manufacturing capabilities: we had an important piece of cast iron break on our large green farm machine. Rust patterns in the break suggest defect in the casting process. Just off warranty, of course. Ordered the (expensive) replacement part, it arrives a week later, numbers match, as far as anyone can tell it should be the correct part. It has the wrong size hole drilled in it for the pins on our loader arms. From the factory, made in the USA, they literally made it wrong. The dealership tore one out of a machine in their yard for us, no idea if they were able to get a proper replacement from the manufacturer.

  63. Hi John Michael,

    Hope your summer weather is pleasant.

    Hey, is it just me, or have you noticed that every single article (or at least the ones I’ve read) regarding the subject of inflation (and they’re thick on the ground right now) has failed to mention the ever expanding money supply, otherwise known as hitting the printing presses – hard? At least they’ve begun to mention energy costs, but again, here they miss the key point, the stuff is finite and getting more expensive to extract. I dunno about you, but if core reasons as to why problems are occurring are not discussable, it kind of suggests to me that we’ll probably fall off an economic cliff through sheer stupidity. I can kind of hear echo’s from the future: “Who knew that expanding the money supply was going to be such a big problem?”

    There’s kind of an absurd quality to the economic woes. There’s a reluctance to increase taxes. There’s a reluctance for government and banks to get smaller. And there is this awful desire to support the prices of financial instruments (sadly houses have been roped into that fray) at any cost. It won’t end well, you know. We have to as a society get back to work, but perhaps I expect too much.

    Incidentally, outside of the west, this – and the other weaknesses, are known – and they’re being hit hard. It astounds me that as a civilisation, we’re not backing away from this mess of policies whilst trying to retain some value in the things that matter. But then I guess we can’t seem to have a discussion in the wider sphere about such things. It’s utterly bonkers.

    What’s your take on the pervasive fear of discussing these important matters? It is good to be out on the fringe where at least such things aren’t verboten.

    Cheers

    Chris

  64. Hans,

    Thanks for the link to “The Line.” It looks identical to an L-5 colony, except it isn’t round. All the hoopla is the same though.

  65. I remember you saying that you have a salt lamp and have noticed the benefits of having one. Then I came across this, “Salt lamps and Himalayan salt are highly toxic. They contain extreme levels of mercury, lead, aluminum, and cadmium, just to name a few. If you heat that up in a salt lamp, you are inhaling the off-gassing of these toxic metals but also dispensing those metals into every porous surface in your home environment.”

    It’s hard to know what to believe. I have one and thought they were healthy…

  66. I had two question about Ukraine/EU which I was wondering whether you or the commentariate could help answer.

    Firstly, one overlooked feature of the covid pandemic was France seizing italy/spains PPE https://www.france24.com/en/20200403-solidarity-when-it-comes-to-masks-it-s-every-nation-for-itself. This shows Frances willingness to betray its EU partners for short term gain. One notices that France has primarily Nuclear electricity generation which presumably won’t be affected by Russian sanctions, at the same time they will presumably need more of their Nuclear energy for themselves due to Sanctions. One would expect that France will, if possible reserve its own energy production for domestic use if their are shortfalls. Is their an analysis of the EU energy situation which takes into account not just lack of Russian energy, but also restricted access to energy from other EU member states. I believe Germany is importing energy from France, and Scandinavian countries etc. France and Scandinavia are probably going to have energy difficulties themselves, and will likely not want to export as much, if any electricity. Thus the actual energy scarcity in Germany will likely be a lot worse than it would appear by just subtracting Russian energy inputs. Is the EU electric grid set up in such a way that France can cut Germany off? Is what I am suggesting as a problem reasonable?

    Secondly, in an alternate timeline the Ukrainian armed forces destroy the Russian invading army and then manage to drive all the way to Moscow. In this timeline are Eurocrats dumb enough to dictate austerity etc towards a Ukrainian state which probably has the most formidable army in Europe, and is one coup away from being run by the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine?

  67. John Michael Greer,

    I have just followed the link you posted to your Dreamwidth page, and have found your account of the COVID-19 pandemic fascinating. Your account certainly differs drastically from the articles published by the mass media (incidentally, where I get the vast majority of my information). Thank you for offering an alternate medium to discuss the pandemic. The problem I have found with pandemic skepticism is that it is entangled in so many absurd theories that it is impossible to take seriously, and your Dreamwidth page, thankfully, removes that particular issue.

    PR

  68. I’m having amazing experiences with an orgone blanket I made. It has so far significantly reduced the pain from severe arthritis for my mother in law, and also assisting someone one with leg swelling from blood clots. So thank you for sharing your knowledge on Wilhelm Reich’s works, it has significantly enhanced the quality of life for my family and friends.

    Of course, Reich is just a pseudoscientist quack, and nothing I’ve said above can be proven, and isn’t medical advice 😉

  69. @Tony #41,

    I served from 90 to 99 and the decline in leadership was evident every year. It was a long drop from the hardened steel spined cold warriors to the politically favored classes/butt kissers. I can’t imagine how bad it is now since we’ve had almost twenty plus years of very active social engineering by the various administrations (Bush 2, Obama and Biden). Merit is definitely not what gets you promoted. I doubt we could win the first gulf war now.

    As JMG points out, alot of equipment is poorly maintained, the navy especially but the other services as well. Maintenance in the military is frequently busy work, done between operations. Alot of marines used to spend about half their career with paint brushes on aircraft carriers I’m told. If the troops aren’t motivated, daily maintenance just doesn’t get done and things fall apart. Troops would much rather sleep, or do something else. Contrast that to the truly fanatical maintenance that was done during the cold war where everything was spit polished all the time.

    Defense profiteering plays into it as well, Jack Welch’s legacy might well be the lack of critical spare parts and industrial capacity that loses us the next war …badly. Rumsfeld played a huge part in this as well since he wanted to implement lean 6 sigma principles in DOD. In war, you can’t postpone operations until spare parts arrive.

  70. What do you make of Meghan Markle’s political aspirations? And her husband Prince Harry weighing in on your Constitution at the UN (and elsewhere)?

    Who the hell cares? If you were to sit down and try to explain to me the difference between Meghan Markle and a loaf of sliced bread, I would immediately slip into a boredom coma.

    And as for Harry, one of the few benefits of being American is that I never have to care, not even a little, what English royalty have to say.

  71. “a competitor would just drive down their own workers’ wages, drop prices, and put the good-hearted one out of business.” It’s like the seen and the unseen. Workers are also capitalists. They would drive UP the wages and refuse to work for the bad one. Workers are just tiny subcontractors: they can make whatever contracts they want to, and should. Their bosses, who are also just workers, tell them this all the time but they don’t. The nature of the system is that workers should ask for raises, then leave. They don’t. Good workers are harder to find than bad managers, so why don’t they?

    “But once a capitalist declares some of the money a profit” The Capitalist isn’t king: he has all kinds of people also directing him. Partners. Boards. Shareholders. Banks. Lawyers. Wives. The “Profit” only means he didn’t LOSE money outright. And tomorrow the machines will wear out, his competitor will launch a new ad he’ll need to match, and there’ll be a recession where sales slump and he’s carrying employees for nothing. So what do you mean “profit”? Surely the company needs more than $1 in the bank account for unexpected events and planning.

    So this person – somehow running the company with no oversight – takes a paycheck home for risking the collapse of the company, having $5 million on the line, and keeping the mortgages and houses paid for 50 employees. Should he not be paid for that? Or paid minimum wage for working much more, with more responsibility and pressure? But certainly, when he does that, he IS saying “I feel the business is safe for the moment” although the next moment he’ll take his personal money and put it BACK in the company. If he wastes that money, than yes, we can and do judge him. And certainly the bank will, the employees will, the partners will, the competitors will. They’ll say “He’s doing well so we should steal his territory, it seems to be lucrative.” So he’s judged harder than you are for taking money home.

    The empty towers are simple malinvestments from flooding the system with fake money, inflation, as authorized and encouraged by government. Then the first holders get the money and a bubble begins in their geographic location (Wall St. and D.C., and pet investments in Silicon Valley). As Inflation, the money is TAKEN from the people furthest away: e.g. Indiana. Their houses are now anti-bubble, worthless, and collapsing, population drops, too many houses, and they have no pay. Two ends of the same stick: if Wall St, gets money for NOT doing work, then somebody (Indiana) does NOT get any money FOR doing hard work. Speaking of the “Peter Principle”: if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on lobbyists and election contributions of Paul.

    I also wonder what spiritual advancement is, and why you wouldn’t rather regress instead. Seems like everybody knows the answer to this when they got the instruction manual I didn’t get.

  72. Hi JMG, I have been looking lately at settling down in Vermont, and have gotten interested in a house in the Northeast Kingdom, as it’s called, that is right down the road from an Amish settlement. Yup, some of them have migrated there, somewhat recently. They stop by this house from time to time to use the phone, so I would certainly get to know them. It strikes me that it might be dandy to have neighbors who are already living the way people might be living in the future, given the way things are going. In other words, “collapse now and avoid the rush” doesn’t apply to them, because they are already existing in a deindustrialized context. I know you have taken some informative dives into some often-overlooked subcultures, American and otherwise, from time to time. What’s your take on the Amish?

  73. I know. And why are people eating up George R.R. Martin’s magnum opus like candy?

  74. @Tony, JMG, everyone:

    I went to the U.S. Air Force Academy straight out of HS, and heard no end of how easy it was in 1991, how little and light the hazing was versus, say, 1961. (Full disclosure: it still sucked out loud.) Fast forward 30 more years, and the plebes probably can’t even be looked at sideways for fear of a lawsuit from Mommy.

    And these are the young men and women we’re counting on to fight…the RUSSIANS??

    Couple that with glamour gizmo projects like the F-35 (never mind the rusty stuff), and we might as well just go ahead and give our blessings to a new petro-currency…and all that that entails.

    Grover

  75. It looks like the government is going to try again with a fast breeder reactor, or at least a sodium cooled one. Fast reactors can run on natural (unenriched) uranium.

    https://www.kxly.com/i/energy-department-selects-idaho-for-nuclear-test-reactor/

    The previous one that actually worked very well was EBR-II

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_Breeder_Reactor_II

    They had converted that into a test for fully recycling the fuel, or at least the fissionable fraction. The reprocessing resulted in relatively short lived fission fragments going one way, while anything fissionable ended up in the other fraction, and with too many mixed isotopes and too radioactive to be used for weapons.

    Whether it would scale up I don’t know. But maybe it doesn’t have too, small reactors are in vogue. They are certainly easier to control and build.

  76. Theresa from Hershey #46, reminds me of a story I read, I believe, in IEEE Spectrum. Seems the Army wanted an AI to distinguish our soldiers from terrorists. They duly took a bunch of pictures of soldiers, then had the soldiers dress as terrorists and took another bunch of pictures. They used these to train the AI. All appeared well until one of the engineers showed the AI pictures of his kid’s birthday party…and the AI flagged all the children as terrorists. It turned out after all the shouting was over that all the “soldier” pictures had been taken in the morning and the “terrorist” pictures after lunch. The AI was using shadow length to tell the groups apart.

    That’s my fear of AI and tech in general – not that it’s going to create an empire of perfect control, but that it’s going to be wrong and no one will question it.

  77. @Teresa, #12

    Funy. Discounts for cash payments seem to be the gateway drug to “con factura o sin factura?”. (lit. Invoce or not? Mexican dog whistle for: “would you commit tax fraud with me?”)

    @Rod, #15

    The #1 rule for cannibalism should be “whoever brings about the subject and/or advocates for the issue, volunteers as tonight diner”. If your injured/frail friend tells you “I would not mind if you use my flesh after I am gone”, then sure; otherwise don’t think of mentioning it.

    @Miow, #51

    Not an American but, given how representative democracy works and how hereditary monarchy works… Would voting for Meghan constitute consensus for “taking in” King George by double-proxy?

  78. I just want to thank everyone who recommended The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I bought a copy and just finished it a few days ago.

    I can’t help but see it as an allegory of our modern civilization on a smaller scale. People were moved (literally) by their faith in Progress. It seemed to be working at first, so people borrowed from the future to get rich now. Even the banks became speculators. Then the bounty of natural resources… stopped. The consequences were severe, and many died or had to move away to somewhere that still had a functioning ecosystem.

    It was a bit of a tough read in places. But if there’s any silver lining, it’s that people who stayed looked out for each other and helped each other as much as they could. I like to think that this was a reflection of human nature and not just a reflection of their time and place. I like to think when the chips are down, we won’t be at each others throats, but coming together as a community to make the best of a bad situation.

    I guess we’ll see.

  79. I’m on Oahu and it seems like every time I do a SGO divination about things going beyond a few months that involve supply chains and a functional government I keep getting Disruption.

  80. Archdruid,

    During the rise of Christianity vast sums of Greek pagan theology was lost. Modern practioners are slowly reconstructing their traditions by working with old fragments, but how much of the fragments of Apollonian theology is accurate? I ask because the Christian expansion in India is very busy warp interpretations and stories in the Hindu tradition in order to cast them in the worst possible light. Do you think something similar happened to the fragments of Apollonian theology?

    Regards,

    Varun

  81. @Brian, the reason I consider Poland and Hungary dangerously near to losing constitutional government is because their governments have taken steps to pack their Supreme Courts or else to reduce the power and independence of judges, and to curtail the press. FDR threatened similar actions (and got himself re-elected more than had been the unwritten norm), so these steps alone don’t constitute fascism, but they go uncomfortably near “Gleichschaltung”.

    Trying to stem immigration is neither here nor there. Several members of the Danish government, some years ago, had opinions on immigration from the “hot countries” not too different from Orban’s, if I recall correctly. However, they did not threaten constitutional government and lost re-election.

  82. @Mary Bennett,

    Hello to a fellow pedestrian! My first thought was maybe we like-minded people should band together and sue General Motors, haha. The American solution for everything. That’s good that you’re seeing an uptick in people cycling! I’d honestly be too scared to bike here. At least as a pedestrian I’m a slow-moving target and during summer with high visibility people tend to see me.

  83. @JMG #39: I am surprised by your expression “the EU regime and its collaborators in the subject countries”. To my mind, all the recent presidents of the European Commission, maybe all of them since Jacques Delors, were puppets of certain national governments, especially of Angela Merkel in the last years, and hostage to their demands. So what I see is rather an indirect hegemony of certain governments, who had a lot of democratic legitimacy in their own countries, over smaller or poorer member countries.

    The remedy against such an indirect hegemony seems, to me, to be a strengthening of the European Parliament.

  84. Hi JMG,

    There are two structural problems I see with the US economy, and by extension with other Western economies:

    1*The average salary of a US worker is about $50,000 before all the additional taxes and expenses. By comparison, salaries in Mexico/Colombia and in lots of Asian countries is about $10,000 – as a rough estimate. It is just not doable for even mid-size businesses to hire Western workers for jobs and pay them five times more, unless the need is really local
    or if paying more is justified by the value created.

    Even with the huge advantage of having the US $ at the center of the empire, I see the the need to adjust currency rates, or the cost of living. I think it will happen in the decades to come.

    2*Because most of the world money is in the US and Europe (with the addition of China, Japan and a few other locations), companies seek to sell to clients there. Rich customers may feel great about the offering, but it turns people into mindless and useless beings who are just enjoying the products and services. Of course lots of people in the West are not like that, and are producing great things and are very intelligent.

    Still by comparison, I see people in Asia and in Mexico are more focused and intelligent and rational because they need to be producers to make money. They need to think and be creative.

    I don’t think this second imbalance is sustainable either.

    Any comments on those two points?

  85. Thanks for your dedication to this service. I read not too long ago about phenomenal and numenal(sp?) life, ie elemental and human, I think perhaps in your book, “Paths to Wisdom”. The phenomenal, being the created of the created, in this theory and not immortal has existence for one “Day of the Gods”. There are of course other ideas and frankly I hope I misunderstand this. There is also the idea that the phenomenal can be made numenal if a numenal being raises its vibration level. For instance a cat might be a phenomenal being, but through love a person can raise it up. Perhaps the raised level will never be as high as the spirit? I am unclear. If you have an opinion you’d like to share, I’d like to hear it.

  86. Denis #65, if I may: Karl Jaspers wrote about the different sources of legitimacy and expressed the same doubt about the legitimacy of majority rule that you do here. If I recall correctly, he concludes that no form of government can claim legitimacy on an a priori basis, but that, on the other hand, legitimacy is indispensable for a functioning state. I suppose legitimacy originally arises from the practical success of a certain government and then stays on.

  87. I’ve just started reading Karl Spiesberger’s “Runenpraxis der Eingeweihten” – a ‘practical’ guide to Runic Yoga (he has a second book going into the theory and basis more). I just thought to share that the foreword to the sixth edition (1980s – 1st edition was 1957) has a long discussion on Wilhelm Reich’s orgon research and relates it to the benefits of using the imagination in working with Runic Yoga to channel energy through the body, which he also relates to the use of mantras and to traditional Indian yoga as equivalent ways of utilising the powers of orgon. His discussion of Reich meshes very well with your own discussion on your dreamwidth blog.

  88. DaShui, I wish. Imagine the shrieking tantrums if they were to get their wish…

    Grover, I know. I wish basic common sense was a little less scarce just now.

    Zeroinput, invented religions never get far. Real religions aren’t born out of somebody’s well-meaning ideas, but out of the shock, terror, and exaltation of direct experience of the divine — and that happens when the gods choose, not when we choose.

    Justin, so you’re saying that the Saudi government is at the end of the line. I could see that.

    Phutatorius, I didn’t have a specific source in mind.

    Popmythology, I’ve talked about that at great length in various posts of mine. Here are two examples:
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2007/04/where-are-lifeboat-communities.html
    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-end-of-the-dream-2/

    Denis, we don’t live in a democracy, we live in a republic. A democracy is government by 51%. A republic is government subject to laws, in which the opinions of the 51% matter, but don’t overrule everything else. A lot of people miss that point.

    Pumpkinscone, of course. This is one more way in which you can tell that the people who are having these brain farts literally don’t know which end is up.

    Svea, that sounds about right. As things accelerate it’ll be worth your while to get parts made by locals who can fake them adequately.

    Chris, yes, I’ve noticed the same thing. “My head hurts!” “Why?” “Well, it certainly isn’t because I’m whacking it with a hammer.” I’m not sure what drives it, but it’s fascinating to watch.

    Bridge, salt lamps generate negative ions, and thus compete with the pharmaceutical industry. That means there’ll be all sorts of negative publicity being generated around them…

    Dagnarus, those are good questions. I don’t know the answer to the first one. To the second — why, yes, the EU leadership is that dumb. They’ve proven it repeatedly.

    Paul, you’re most welcome.

    Peter, fascinating. Where did you find the plans for the orgone blanket?

    Wolinda, by all accounts they tend to be good neighbors, and if you treat them fairly, they’ll treat you fairly.

    Patricia M, I have no idea. Most recent fantasy fiction, to me, seems about as interesting as watching paint dry.

    Grover, well, there’s that!

    Siliconguy, now let’s see if they can produce power at an affordable price. My guess is no.

    Shaka, somehow that doesn’t surprise me!

    Varun, that’s very possible. That being the case, the best thing to do is invoke the god himself and ask him for inspiration and guidance.

    Aldarion, fair enough. I’m not in the EU, of course.

    Tony, you’ve just sketched out the downside of empire very neatly. The US empire has had a lavish tribute economy, but that’s caused soaring imbalances in the global economy that make US labor unaffordable and US consumers embarrassingly spoiled; as the empire comes unraveled, as it’s doing, expect that to change suddenly, with maximum economic trauma for those affected.

    Ben, the creations of the created — the beings you’re calling “phenomenal” — are in classic occult philosophy a specific category of beings, mostly the elementals. Cats, like you and I, are fully noumenal; every incarnate being has a soul which is in the process of evolution over vast ages of time.

    Kerry, fascinating! I”m glad to hear this.

  89. JMG,

    I am wondering if you have studied or have any opinions about EMF effects/pollution, both physical and etheric. I am starting to look into it as I feel better when I’m around less electronics and wireless routers.

    It seems the mainstream view is that all this electric technology is progress and must be fine. I wonder if there’s some downsides to our digital age that haven’t been looked at sufficiently.

    Thanks,

    Jacques

  90. JMG, in response to your question of where I found the plans for the orgone blanket, there’s a chap by the name of Mirko Kulig who has a Youtube channel devoted to the topic. It is here, I’m sure he won’t mind it being posted:

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

    I made it in a couple of hours with about $NZ80 of materials (stuff is expensive at the bottom of the world).

    I may look to make a collapsible/foldable version of the classic orgone accumulator next, adjusted to deal with the claustrophobia issue.

  91. Paul Robertson #73: There are a couple of reasons why you find the COVID-19 counternarrative is filled with stories of nanobots, marks of the beast, sinister depopulation schemes, etc. One of them is that the big social media providers have ruthlessly shut down anybody who disputed the COVID narrative. This means all your COVID dissidents have been forced into “free speech” zones where much of the speech is free — and worth every penny.

    The second is that the government’s handling of COVID has been so bad, and their civil rights power grabs so blatant, that it attracts the attention of the conspiratorially minded. As JMG has pointed out a few times, conspiracy movements take off because they seem reasonable in light of the facts on the ground. (For example, the Jeffrey Epstein saga reinforces the QAnon “Satanic Pedophlles/Pizzagate” and “LGBT Groomer Gangs” narratives — or suggests that there are at least some kernels of truth buried in the dungheaps of Qtardation).

    I also suspect that there is a good bit of American dezinformatsiya going on here. The idea of Russian disinformation is not so much to make you love Fearless Leader, but to make sure that your people trust nobody else. If you’re making money off COVID, you’d much rather see people talking about Covid being caused by 5G or by aliens than discussing vax complications.

    With the bot networks on Twitter and other social media networks, it’s pretty easy to manufacture online consensus and build a critical mass of believers who will trumpet just about any message if they think it will improve their online social standing.

  92. A nice example of well intended but poorly thought out bureaucratic decision making (this came to mind while reading your previous post, where you referred to that nice saying on theory and practice…)

    I live in Queensland, Australia, where new smoke alarm laws came into effect recently requiring the installation of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms – so if one goes off, they all go off. The law requires one per bedroom, and also one in the hallway. This requirement is now in place for all rental properties, and will eventually extend to all homes.

    We recently moved and are renting a house, which had said smoke alarms installed. Within weeks of this happening, they started going off randomly, including at night, at very regular intervals (like every 2 days). The smoke alarm company representative that came to replace them informed me that this is a very regular occurrence, and because the alarms are under warranty, they get replaced free of charge. He also informed me that the alarms getting installed just about everywhere are cheap models that are not built for the Australian climate, and hence the reason why they go off so often. He did recommend we request more expensive ones that are properly made (in Ireland from memory), something we will be doing as the replacements – surprise, surprise – are again going on at random hours of the day and night. However, given the landlord has no financial incentive to pay more for replacements given he can get the same cheap models again as covered by warranty, we are not sure how our request will go.

    Of course, we got around this by taking the smoke alarms off and sticking them in a metal box so they don’t trigger the two we have left out (and even those remaining two have gone off) – this of course undermines the reason the law was put in place in the first instance, and I wonder how many people are doing the same (I have seen quite a few complaining on local social media pages of the same issues). The theory was great…

  93. Nice to be here in the West at the plateau of modern industrial society. Born into a badass science fiction movie but the second part of the movie sucks. The average homeless person has more food available than most throughout human history. Not normal. A can is approaching the end of the flat and hollow earth. What to do. Stay alive until you can’t? Physics gonna do what it do. Then angry mobs and eugenicists gonna do what it do.

    Imagine every woman, man or child alive in 2022. Old, young or middle aged. Roughly 99.6329 percent of them don’t know that they all will, within a decade in my estimation, be living in the early 90’s video game ‘Duke Nukem”.

  94. JMG – You’ve written in various places about the turn away from green thinking circa the 1980’s, which I find fascinating. The “poof! it’s gone” quality is so striking. Before 1980, we had constant substantial environmental laws, all the good eco-movies were being made, fantasy and sci-fi writers were at it– George R. R. Martin writing Tuf Voyaging– and so on. After 1980, we have Captain Planet. And Captain Planet sucked.

    Did anyone ever publish an analysis of that, or a post-mortem? A “why-didn’t-it-work?” It seems like fertile ground for an historian.

    As a millennial, I’m inclined to see this as a vast, disgusting betrayal, although I suppose in a hundred years my generation will be lumped in with them. Oh well.

    Rod #15 – I have a hard time seeing them as consciously evil. Maybe this qualifies as “most incompetent”, but I see them as very smart people under pressure to solve a problem when all solutions are unthinkable. They hysterically push the least-unthinkable option, and “moderately inconvenience fellow elites” is not it.

    OMG, I forgot Soylent Green was set this year. Hahaha…

  95. Bob in OK, Grover & Tony C, I could tell you some very funny stories about US army basic training in 1958 or British about the same time, but I can’t even begin to think of acceptable words to translate them into. I wouldn’t be surprised if the recruits would sue the drill sergeants for some of it now.

  96. JMG et al,
    I am back in CA for a couple of months before returning to Mexico in the fall. It is interesting how both customers and employees have gotten used to the shortages. I went into a drug store today and the shelves were not even half full with no attempt to spread the remaining stuff around. I asked for the Riccola cough drops I was after and the woman goes ” oh, they would be over there if we have them” They didn’t. No one does that I have seen. Its just a small thing, but they were ubiquitous. There are very few cars in the lots and ordering anything , especially electronic.can take months.Prices are certainly higher, but less so on food than i had feared. Mostly people just seem to have accepted the new reality. I suspect some think it will go back to the old normal, but not anyone I have encountered, not that I go around asking. I don’t think many are giving much thought to how much worse it may get. I do see a bit of the “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we sup with Hades”, but not as much as I might have expected. I have read a lot about and had elders who went through life in Europe in WWII. It is interesting how we adapt when we realize we have no choice.
    Stephen

  97. To continue with our exploration of the Mexican music heritage, I considered: what can I bring you for July? The answer became obvious once I considered this time of year is Leo. The bright sun, the proud lion. There is one song that sums up both the good and the bad in this zodiac sign, but the majesty and the gall.

    Without further ado I gift you with El Rey, in the voice of its author Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Mr Jimenez is arguably the greatest poet in ranchero music, and a true bard.

    Next the lyrics (my translation).

    EL REY (The King)

    I’m aware I’m in the outside
    but on the day I die
    I know you will have to cry.

    You will say you never loved me
    but you will be very sad
    and sad you will remain.

    With money and with no money
    I always do as I please
    and my word is law.
    I have not throne and no queen,
    and no body who understands me,
    but [nonetheless] I am still the king.

    A rock in the road
    taught me that my destiny
    was to go round and round.
    Later a muleteer told me
    there’s no need to arrive the first
    but you gotta make it there.

    With money and with no money…
    I have no throne and no queen…

  98. Svear
    A lovely thing in Mexico: they cannibalize and adapt parts for everything, electronic parts from different items,whatever, or they just make parts. Years ago the clutch went out on a friend’s Citroen. They had never seen one before but they just made one.

  99. Miow #51

    I was a Princess Diana fan from the first newspaper article. I am a William and Harry fan. I am a Meghan Markle fan. Kate is pretty cool. I am obsessed with the lot of them.

    On the other hand, Charles and his caramel Camillus§ are doodly-squat. (Don’t ask me what I REALLY think of the two of them — none of it is good.) § the two Cs.

    Harry and Meghan say they want to be left alone.

    So why did they move to, of all places, southern California, the likeliest place in America where they would be harassed? Los Angeles is the Harassment Capitol of the World. Why not move to a place, for argument’s sake, like northern Ontario (Canada), a far less likely place to invite harassment, and where they might, just might, be able to make loyal friends rather than their current airhead-friends? I lived in southern California for five years. I know what awful places Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties are — everyone walks around with undisclosed-chronic-sunstroke.

    Southern California is the absolute worst place to try to make lifelong friendship. If Harry and Meghan want to build a life, they should buy into a frigid 0º F. place, like, say, northern Ontario.

    Harry and Meghan have shown what their true intentions are: to be harassers. They have not left the Queen, papa Charles, or the other three of the Queen’s “kids” (and descendants) alone for one minute, much less how they alienate other parties — Harry and Meghan keep gnashing away at how unhappy “others make the two of them.” If Harry dislikes that he has to pay his own way when in Britain, he just fracking doesn’t have to go there — just say “NO!”

    Harry should get a real job, like become a menial labourer for a company that makes and situates tiny homes — start at the bottom and work his way up for ten years — no freebies. He has much too much time on his hands, sitting around with Meghan all the time. After years of grunt work, he starts his own such company making and situating tiny homes, spending the rest of his life doing the good he says he wants to do but says “others won’t let him.” He blocks his own way.

    If the two of them REALLY want to be left to live their lives in peace, they need to leave the Queen and hers “be.” Harry has yet to cut the cord. He still hangs on their every word. And they need to sell out and get the hell out of poisonous California.

    As for Meghan, I give her the benefit of the doubt as to her sincerity thus far. If she wants to be taken seriously from this time forward (based on the age of their kids), she needs to ditch the designer-overalls, get real overalls and start digging ditches in the garden she intends to make, on the real farm that they really buy in the middle of nowhere. Otherwise, she is fluff. Fluff vanishes, and no-one will remember Harry and Meghan in ten years. Their kids will turn into fluff and go to pot. Harry, Meghan and kids will go the way of (abdicated) King Edward VIII (to the family, David) and Wallis Simpson — noting how irrelevant and pathetic David and Wallis became, living in France and partying. Within five years of David’s and Wallis’ marriage, they knew they had made a mistake, regretted their mistake, never said a word about their mistake or regrets, and smiled their fake smiles all the way to their deathbeds. When physical passion departed with age, David and Wallis were left with staring at each other, in other words, looking at a vast hot desert.

    What was the question? Oh, Meghan’s political aspirations. To my knowledge, she has never mentioned political aspirations, nor have I read about any such thing. She would be a crappy politician. She has the ability to save her husband and her kids but no-one else — she has absolutely no talent other than looking good, the same as Princess Kate has no talent other than looking good.

    Now, Princess Di was more than a pretty face — she was a force of nature. She got hollowed out by the two Cs, then built herself up inch-by-agonizing-inch from the ground up. RIP.🙏

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  100. Varun, was there a “pagan theology”? There was pagan practice, but theology? Not, I think, until Roman times. We don’t have details of what went on in the various mysteries because they never were written down.

  101. John Michael,

    I sent a comment a little while ago, which generated an error message. Did the message get through?

    Northwind

  102. When I was first getting to know this space and the commentariat, I was starting an application for the USDA Climate-Smart Commodities grant which long run aims to improve quantification of sequestration value per practice so that the farming sector can score another revenue stream from fossil fuel capital which needs to buy credits to offset its burning. Meanwhile in the short run the grant can help me gather up some capital to invest in regionally situated ag systems which could lessen supply chain disjunctions. @oilman2 and @chrisatferndale, thanks for encouragement at the time. still waiting to hear on the grant, but meantime, i was introduced to a grain storage complex, shuttered relatively recently due to aging owner and no transition plan. Needs work but bargain price, hustling to buy it and get it back in operation for this harvest season. 350,000 bu capacity and rail, in my Ohio river valley homeland which JMG favors for finest future warlord territory. Good team, lots of progress in short time, but we need another investor to improve our case with lender, avoid slow-moving federal loan guarantee programs. Someone who would be a good fit for our team. Kickstart us anyone? I will be happy to fill you in on the challenge and opportunity. I hope this request is not beyond the scope of open post, I wouldn’t ask, but there’s a lot of play in this webspace linking the media and the astral plane work, the magical chains to the material and this is awesomely material but also linked to this chain here… Alice
    At moonshinetrail
    Dotcom

  103. In a professional capacity, I recently encountered some proposals from prominent professors at major universities for innovative solutions to feeding a growing human population (assuming 10 billion by 2050). Most of them basically said “we will use big data and artificial intelligence and whatever other popular buzzwords we can think of to design a robotic, genetically engineered, nanotech something or other if you just give us the grant money.” I have never seen so much pie in the sky in my whole life. Prominent throughout all of them was a sublime faith that if we just analyze this or that, we will be able to understand it and control it and everything will go according to plan.

    I’m not a prominent academic, but I would have been embarrassed to put my name on any of the proposals. It sort of confirmed what I had already noticed: not much of anything interesting is coming out of academia these days.

  104. Miow,
    US Constitution, Article I Section 9, last paragraph:
    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

    (https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/ The US Constitution is short: you can read it in less time than the open post comments here.)

    Looks to me like they’d have to get permission for their titles from Congress to even attempt to run for office. Well, that would be funny to watch!

    I don’t think any more of that couple than any other tv celebrities, which is to say, not at all. That group is just as out of touch with reality as anyone can be. Tabloid fodder, for those who enjoy that flavor of escapism, nothing more or less.

  105. @JMG #39 re: Dutch farmers

    “As for the attempts to force farmers out of business, I’m pretty sure the goal is to replace them with vast corporate farms that can be more easily redirected into the bug-growing business.”

    Could be, but most farms here are already run like factories, with enormous amounts of lifestock in a small area. Most farmers are also up to their necks in debt, so if the banks tell them to move to bugs, they don’t have much choice, I think.

    There’s also the thing that we apparently need to build more houses here and buying out farmers at a really low price means there’s more profit to be made in that.

    –fuzzy gnome

  106. Thank you to those who answered my Prince Harry and his wife question. I just find it odd how Americans (well the leftwards parts) fawn over this pair of grifters. Even while they cling on to their “royal” titles for dear life despite denouncing the institution as racist on Oprah.
    @Tony C #90 your first point is only viable as long as 1) the international payment system remains favourable to the US. Current alternatives being developed may just put paid to that. 2) it remains cheap and easy to ship the products back from the sweatshops where they are produced. Rising energy costs and supply chain issues are already putting a spanner in that set of works.

  107. Wer here
    Well i have to say things are getting really woozy here. I said repeatedly how the EU had been treating folks living here in a small town in Poland really badly and they’ve are really close to reaping what they sow
    Local farmers had been watching what is hapening with the Dutch farmers and taking notes…
    This is not a joke, recently some bozo in the local State? (Wojewódźtwo) declared that he was concerned about the stability of EU and concerned about “Putin’s fifth columnn” (We are at the point when talking badly about the EU and Davos enviromentalism is tantamount to being called a Russian agent – lunacy)
    I know a lot of local farmers who had been prospering for years untill Brussels started to run our lives for us, let me tell you this I think this whole War hysteria is not about opposing Russia but about distracting the public about the horriffic mess we live right now in Poland (that is my take take it as you will ).
    But another problem is surfacing some folks now belive that if we just get out like Brittain things will be fine, that apparently we have a hundret year supply of coal (taken into account increasing extraction rate) but I don’t know how was this possible, before Polish mines were being shut down we had to subsidy coal extraction
    (The reason is simple rich antracite is not anymore close to the surface in Poland an average black coal mine in Poland is about a kilometer deep it costs a lot of money to dig that deep and let’s not even think about gas explosions etc.) So I don’t thing that free market people who are now lobbing for leaving the EU and ditching regulations all of them are aware that it will provide some coal but not longer abundant and cheap.

  108. JMG, you consider yourself a mage but not a shaman. How would you define the difference between a mage and a shaman?

  109. I didn’t expect that response about us being a republic. There are memes of boomers shouting “It’s a Republic!” as some horrid thing occurs to them imposed by the government. I don’t feel we’ve been a Republic since maybe 1840 at the latest. Collapse would bring us back there but I don’t know of a way to do it since people aren’t interested in government based on principles on paper.

    In other news, Balaji Srinivasan came out with his book The Network State about starting (virtual) countries and now there are about 20 of them out there. They are making their own money and governance. I haven’t read the book yet, but I have read about the Amish’s legal battles with the federal government. It seems that the only way the Amish win is they have a concept of a world that doesn’t map to one the American legal system uses. The courts then leave them alone by paying fines, but its ongoing. I didn’t realize the Amish are constantly being sued by the feds and state. Probably a good revenue stream for the government. Here’s the book https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2565908-the-amish-and-the-state

    I guess its something that the government hasn’t Waco’ed an Amish community. They did used to arrest them by the dozens in Pennsylvania for not sending their kids to school back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The men would just quietly go and the papers made a big splash about it. Eventually the state backed off or there were legal battles, not sure. But it was decades of passive resistance they had to do.

  110. As for beards, I’m not a fan of them, but nobody is forcing me to like them. Funnily enough, yesterday I saw two 30-something gay men holding hands – still an unusual sight in public. They both had beards, which made them look almost identical. I thought, “Gosh! They must be beardosexuals”.

    Didn’t some Russian tsar impose a tax on beards? Nowadays, I think that we’re only going to be able to afford to avoid a collapse of civilisation by taxing the bearded. There are plenty of them these days. I’m going to start the ball rolling by asking JMG to send me a postal order for two red cents. That will cover his tax for this financial year. Next I will contact Dana International. 😉

  111. JMG, nevertheless thanks for the answer! Have you heard or read about Prometheism? One of its proponents is Jason Reza Jorjani. It contains a declaration of war against what he calls fatalism, i. e. the decline of Western civilization, which he presumably regard as a mere false perception. It contains the usual subjects like zero-point energy, the technical singularity, and so on. The task that he advocates is to “face the prospect of the end of humanity, the end of history, and the end of reality beyond the event horizon of the technological Singularity.” “Prometheism,” a contraction of Prometheus and Theism, accordning to him, offers a new metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, and politics to those with the vision and will to spearhead an evolutionary revolution into a new Promethean age that supersedes modernity. Probably there is nothing really new in Prometheism, but I mention it because it may be relevant to your current series of posts about the end of Western dominance.

  112. @Florida Druid #6

    The good news is that you ignore everything Alexander writes about “AI alignment”. Debating “AI safety” is like debating warp drive safety or how many flux capacitors you safely put in your time-traveling car. Intellectuals have this weird flaw where because they can imagine something they assume it can exist.

    More generally, I don’t know if there is a term for “arguing about the properties of imaginary entities” but there should be.

  113. @Booklover

    So far as I know, the only book that has done an in-depth analysis of Coligny and ancient Druidic astrology is Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages by M.G. Boutet. From the excerpts I’ve seen, it looks fascinating, and has been on my ‘to-buy’ list for some time.

  114. Hello again, JMG and kommentariat.
    I have two questions.
    First, the fog of war: according NATO-MSM, Ukrainian Army has begun a full scale offensive over Kherson zone. they could have blown bridge with new and marvellous USA missiles, and then isolating the Russian vanguard. A friend of mine that is very pro-Rusian says Ukros are desperate launching their remaining forces to slayghter. Where would be the reasonable truth? Do you have news about this offesnive or do you think is propaganda?
    Second, the gas fear: EU has ordered saving 15% gas consumption in every EU member, except (I think) Italy and Spain, which must save only(?) 8% of gas consumption, because Southern Europe doesn’t use almost no Russian gas. I think with malevolence that this winter, if Germany runs out of natural gas, could borrow huge amounts of Algerian gas, which would be Italian or Spanish “excedent”. Do you think this would be possible or maybe is too doom and gloom?

  115. Ahoj John Maestro Greer,

    Got a book rec for wild edible plant foraging in the Northeastern US?

    Muchas gracias!

  116. Hello Mr. Greer and commentariat,

    I have a close, applying square between Venus (Aquarius, 6th house) and Uranus (Sagittarius, 3rd house) in my natal chart. Any suggestions about what it means? How it might manifest in my life? What I might do to remedy this, or at least “make progress?” I know this may be asking for a lot, so even a few helpful comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

  117. Bit random but mbti 8 cognitive functions. Thoughts?

    Like intuition, sensation, thinking, feeling
    And an introverted and Extraverted version of each of the 4

    Are the 16 types valid?

  118. Hi JMG,
    Concerning your reply to Zeroinput,
    “Zeroinput, invented religions never get far. Real religions aren’t born out of somebody’s well-meaning ideas, but out of the shock, terror, and exaltation of direct experience of the divine — and that happens when the gods choose, not when we choose.”

    There is an argument put forth by the controversial philosopher Jasan Reza Jorjani. He indicates one of our world Religions, Islam, was generated by Occultists interested in innoculating the middle East against the incoming wave of Christianity at the time, and preserving the old religion associated with Mithras.

    I find he is kind of a wild philosopher; lost his university post. Although I am hesitant to swallow this particular theory whole hog, I find this concept makes a little bit of sense. Not in regards to the truth of Islam’s origin, more towards the sense that powerful and organized Occultists might be capable of something on this scale.

    The conversation where he talks about this is in link below.
    What is your view on this possibility?

    https://poddtoppen.se/podcast/1435178031/new-thinking-allowed-audio-podcast/salman-the-persian-and-the-origin-of-islam-with-jason-reza-jorjani

  119. @ silicone guy – I’d agree with the assessment that we’re headed for three one term Presidents. What will happen in 2028? Another election cycle? Civil war? Peaceful dissolution of the union? A return to federalism?

    @Tony C – I’ve got a friend, who’s an academic economist. He thinks, based on a number of indicators including money supply and labor market participation, that we actually had a ‘ghost recession’ in 2015-16, and he expects another recession, tied to the K shaped ‘recovery from the COVID recession, any day now. He’s reluctant to say we are 100% in one just now, mostly because it’s ongoing. That said, he thinks all the indicators point to us being in one since the spring. He’s also expecting a serious recession at the end of the decade, based on the 8-year cycle.

    @ Chuaquin – I pretty much stopped reading Kunstler a few years ago. I got tired of the ‘apocalypse of the month’ flavor his blog took on. It’s too bad, because picking up ‘The Long Emergency’ from a library end cap and spending a two weeks reading it cover to cover at least three times, lead me to completely re-examine all my assumptions about the future.

    @ JMG – where do you see the Peak Oil scene, such as it is, going from here? Does this current round of energy price shocks offer a shot at revival?

  120. On Recession: Lathechuck, Tony, commenters…
    It is telling that even with redefining “unemployment, recession, GDP, & inflation” they still can’t make the numbers positive.

    Q3 is going to be interesting. Will they pour money on the fire or just tell us everything is fine?

  121. Data point. I had been drinking cold water in the morning, per my brief attempt at the Order of the Essenes routine. One of the “on health” publications I take, or maybe a newspaper column, noted that a cup of hot water first thing in the morning settled whatever mucus and crud builds up over the night. I have been hacking up thick colorless mucus for a long time, and considered a it part of my pulmonary hypertension problem, thanks to something I read at the cardiologist’s. Well, the hot water is working a treat (but, friends, NOT straight from the teakettle! As I found out the hard way.) It’s cut the mucus quite a bit! So, I’m passing on this tip for anybody interested.

  122. @Florida Druid Your comment gave me something to meditate on more on AI and intelligence in general.

    I work on the field, and think that @Jeanne is correct in her comment: AI (at least of the skynet variety) will be forever in the future. What we’ll have are a few niche specialist roles for AI (and, at least as far as the lights stay on, the key to successful usage will be in humans designing those niches.) AI is like a human idiot-savant: brilliant in its clearly defined world, clueless when it takes one step outside that world.

    What is so special about our intelligence though? Oddly enough it made me think of JMG’s thoughts on nature spirits. We’re used to thinking of our intelligence as just that lump of gray matter between our ears, in the same way we’re used to thinking of a tree as just the woody material we see in front of or under us.

    Our intelligence is so much more. Our brain is one of the many current iterations of a billion year evolutionary process. You can’t remove that process when considering the brains/minds we ended up with. The comparable process in AI has only been taking place for a few decades.

    This gives another view to the modern cliche of humans as “hi tech software running on antiquated hardware.” Our modern society views the universe as dead, so of course we can take the hi tech software our minds are and ignore the meatbags our minds are linked to.

  123. GROVER: I feel your pain – over the last few years I have let relationships fade due to the inability to have a meaningful conversation. Thankfully that has made room for a couple of friends with whom sharing opinions doesn’t lead to silence and weird looks. And the upside? I actually learn stuff from them.

    We’re out there – hopefully you’ll get your “tribe” happening too!

  124. Hi JMG,

    Thank you very much, as always for hosting sites and maintaining moderated forums. I don’t believe how much work you accomplish.

    If I think back about 20 years ago, I was certainly not in tune with how the world really works, though I did understand the basics of overshoot. Your background and experience, on the other hand, leading up to 2002 seems to have made you one of the most knowledgeable people in understanding the events and trends in the pipeline related to economics, peak oil, politics, the occult, magic, etc. The Long Descent was underway but not yet very noticeable. But there are always surprises in life.

    What have been the one or two most unexpected events or trends that you have observed in the last 20 years or so?

  125. About fantasy literature these days.

    One of my things is to supply books each week at the local book corner at our local supermarket. It is an outside nook with chairs and benches, and books protected by the elements. I read books and then donate them. I started to arrange the books to better aid fellow readers. As a result, I am now the “Book Lady.”

    Most of the books that people donate are current mysteries – actually the kind that features serial killers, gruesome deaths, etc. Very few donate anything else, just dark mysteries. Me – I have been donating Pagan books, general non-fiction and historical romances, and historical mysteries (non-gruesome). My books get snatched up right away each week, the others linger, and linger, and linger.

    There is a hunger for things that are not dark. My Christian historical romances and the romances like “The Bobby Girls” and “The Railway Girls” are in demand. I also discovered that people like the fantasy mysteries set in the past like Dan Willis’ Arcane Casebook” series about a 1930s detective who is a Runewright in a world of magic and realism or Vaughn Entwistle’s “The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” featuring Oscar Wilde. So that seems to be the fantasy that people want.

    The fantasy that the major publishing houses are pushing is dystopian with various pronouns for people or diversity until it chokes on the reader.

    Meanwhile, I have found that a great many authors (such as the two I mentioned) are self-publishing. They appear to put out a quality product that satisfies the reader. I think that this sector of writers is growing outside the traditional publishers.

  126. @ Florida Druid #6: RE: the AI problem. I remember an SF story, (Maybe in one of the Dangerous Vision anthologies?) on the same problem. A robot was programmed to ensure its survival, and it eventually became the Killer Thing to ensure survival.

    @ Hans #14: The Saudi linear city. This looks like bin Salman has been reading a little too much of Paolo Soleri. He had a similar idea calledLean Linear City. I was a Soleri acolyte in my youth, but I’ve outgrown his plans to save the world. Soleri was of the opinion that his ideas were a development of the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin, and that the structure of a city could influence the development of the noosphere.

  127. @ Dagnarus #72: About half of France’s nuclear power plants are currently offline, many due to problems with corrosion of the cooling water pipes. They are currently producing about 47% of rated capacity, and are intermittently importing power from other countries, as opposed to being a reliable exporter of electricity.

  128. @Mr. White,
    Very cool article, Mr. White!! Having lived in the Great Lakes area most of my life, I find this really exciting. Thanks for posting.
    Lydia

  129. @Jeff P (#35)

    Well that was an eye-opening twitter thread.

    I was especially surprised to see the author tweet that minus all the “services” the UK provides to the world it scores so poorly.

    Quote from Twitter thread author:

    “Just LMAO at British economy. Must be propped up wholly by money laundering.”

    Also was surprised he showed Mexico’s real economy is equal to Japan’s real economy(!!!) and both of those are only very slightly ahead of Iran’s! By real economy measures that means Japan has slid down into “developing world” status.

    I am so surprised to see such a poor showing for the UK’s real economy. No wonder Brexit passed. And really surprised that Mexico’s real economy surpasses the UK. The nasty hang-over effects for the U.S. almost certainly in my opinion probably just as bad, if not worse than the UK’s.

    Dang…being an imperial power has long term ugly day-after hangover effects. Xi Jinping’s dream of being the world’s next superpower is going to come with a nasty, long term cost to the Chinese people.

  130. In comment number 6, Florida Druid posted a link to a discussion of how predicting what kind of rules AI would produce and utilize is effectively impossible, because it could end up creating almost any kind of rule imaginable, including ones which fit the training data, but are totally and completely absurd outside of it, or become absurd if the inputs change. It’s occurred to me that this could explain an oddity of current society, if paired with the rise of bots online and the way the media uses the internet to gauge public opinion.

    If, as seems likely to me, a large fraction of internet comments are created by bots, then in order to know what exactly they’d do we’d need to know what rules they interpreted and internalized, and one possibility suggests itself from the nature of the fact that the companies and organizations with the resources to create botnets lean left, as does the average internet user. In other words, the bots would be fed data which leans somewhat left, and likely told to try to move political and cultural issues to the left. One possible rule would be something like “Compare Fox (right), CNN (middle), and MSNBC (left), identify the left-right spectrum on this issue, and post comments expressing opinions slightly to the left of MSNBC.”

    If this rule was created by one of the major botnets sometime in the early 2010s, this would have had an immediate effect of making the average internet user look much further left-leaning than before, and prompting the news media to react: if they looked at public opinion lurching left, they too would feel an immediate need to lurch towards the left as well. The problem though, is that the algorithm used would now identify these new positions, move the comments it creates further left, and thus create a positive feedback loop.

    Since the media dictates the acceptable views for the privileged classes, very quickly you’d end up in a situation in which the media is convinced people have a burning desire for things like late term abortions, while in reality most people are looking at this with disgust, the media is shredding its credibility outside the comfortable classes convinced they are covering what the people want, but no matter how far left they go people seem to go further; and the established political, cultural, and social order, who have a firm belief that they need to stick within the bounds the media dictates, are acting in ways which seem totally insane, because they think to do otherwise would be political or economic suicide.

  131. JMG,

    Would it be correct to say that according to the meta-physics you have introduced here, the reason there is no general “progression” of humanity’s consciousness as a whole is that once an individual consciousness has reached a sufficient level of complexity and balance, they move on to other planes and stop incarnating? Therefore those that are left are those that have not reached that stage?

    Moreover, the reason we have power-hungry, greedy, narcissist, etc. tendencies in individuals (and catastrophic elite failures these days) is actually because we all have to learn the consequences of free will to eventually use it properly?

    So according to that perspective, civilizations will keep rising and falling as long as there is a supply of souls that needs to learn the lessons of free will?

    And now, if I may go meta, does occult philosophy also recognizes this perspective as one among many partial explanations for “the Unmanifest”, with potentially other explanations equally viable?

    What I like about this particular perspective is not that it is objectively verifiable, but that it brings to me a level of acceptance that frees my mind to actually engage on my own learning process, and project less of all sorts of emotions on the rest of the world. It also shifts my focus from trying to change others to creating better learning conditions for everyone. It also helps me accepting that others that may not see things the same way I do may have their own reasons and process to go through.

  132. @Ian Duncombe
    Oh my gosh, I’m reading the Iranian Leviathan right now! What a wild book! The guy has a surprising grasp of the subtleties of Iranian prehistory, but wow, some of the nationalistic stuff really goes buck wild and is pretty unsupportable IMO. I think the truth here is that Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and Iranian culture had way, way more influence on Islam than is usually admitted, perhaps even more than Judaism and Christianity in some ways. Zoroastrian/Iranian jurisprudence, science, and religious practice were all highly developed and were all instrumental in inspiring Islam itself, but also its culture as separate from the formal tenets of the religion. I don’t have a source for this, but I strongly suspect that the Islamic scholar’s deconstruction of Arabic as a part of their religious tradition was only possible because of the earlier Zoroastrian philological work with the ancient (1000s bce) Avestan language in the course of writing down their scriptures. Sufism was founded by people whos fathers and grandfathers were Zoroastrian priests, and most of the great Islamic intellectuals were Persianate or Central Asian Iranian. (Kwarazmian, Sogdian, Bactrian/Tokharistani, Khorasani in general.)

    As for the occult element, certainly the political power and the venerable Iranian traditions of the Seven Great Clans of Parthia could have given them both the means and opportunity to do something like that in order to overthrow the Sasanian/Second Persian dynasty. I would not be terribly surprised if Islam was influenced by such occult schemings, though as a counterpoint to it being ALL a plot, Muhammad’s birth and life do also seem to be correlated with a major series of astrological aspects (thanks JMG for recommending Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas.)

    Also, there was a person commenting earlier called @Satana, that is the name of an ancient Iranian goddess according to Jason Reza’s book! Quite the odd synchronicity!

    @Jacques: Me and my dad both have medium level EMF sensitivity/allergies. It sucks, and I feel extremely bad (headache, anxiety, depression, mild pain everywhere, dizzy) when I am around any reasonable amount of cell phones, wifi, or dirty electricity for any amount of time. I would try to turn the power off in your room while you are sleeping to see how you feel, as well as disabling all routers, cell phones, and other source of EMFs as much as you can. Hopefully your sensitivity is very mild; there are far worse cases than mine, but my life has been significantly impacted, I would almost say half-ruined, by this infernal, frustrating affliction.

  133. Wer here
    Well when it comes to the MSM I really don’t watch them anymore someone asked about the fog of war and I don’t know about that. But let me tell you this the same people who claimed that COVID lockdowns are temporaly and the same people who claimed that vaccines are safe and that we will have abundant cheap coal in the winter ( we have 3 milion ton shortage and prices are 3 time per ton). The same people had been claiming that Russia will collapse by April 15 (that chess guy Kasparov i think) are now pounding news about some rockets. Some blogers here in Poland are saying that there is nothing exceptional about thoose rockets and that the Russian army has Many MRLS system that perform the same ( and they have a lot more of them)
    Some people are openly now saying that NATO doesn’t have resorces for a war that will last several months. And that Polish ammo depots are depleted right now because It will take time to manufacture thoose munitions and deliver tham here. We once had our own munitions factories but they were Soviet legacy so we scarpped them, ehm, great idea going to war without ammo and tanks and airforce and everything.
    And one more thing The Ukrainian war proved that a large offensive will be bogged down because it is immpossible to hide the army (satelites etc) and the Russian will immediately bombard the place of the army concetration, not to mention artylery and rockets and everything. JMG was right some people openly said that trench warfare has returned to play, blitzkrieh attacks are no longer possible. And we don’t have the means tocarry it out… The Ukrainian war is basically the Russian force going from town to town and clearing the defenders out no epic Hollywood charges or anything.

  134. Hi JMG,

    I wondered if you thought it likely you would do your yearly predictions this year.

    Also, I watched an interesting documentary on 4chan a couple weeks ago called “TFW no GF” that reminded me in places of things you discussed in The King in Orange. The director has a new film out on Alex Jones and did an interview with Matt Taibbi that I thought you might interest you:

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/im-just-going-to-go-to-the-heart

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  135. The Forward Party just appeared on my radar. It’s distinct from the usual run of small time third parties in that a few big names, such as Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman, have attached themselves to it. Do you think this is a cynical positioning effort to create the illusion of a third option that will give dissatisfied voters an outlet for their rage while posing no threat to the Establishment or do you think something might actually come of it?

  136. Peter Van Erp #139:
    You’re right, in fact, Spain is using its gas electric plants intermittenly to export electricity to the “self-sufficient” France.
    Wer #146:
    Yeah; I was the guy who said things about the fog of war. Thank you for posting again. We’ll see how much time the UAF can pretend that “it’s winning” the war…The Russians have been defeated in the fantasy of NATOstan too many times yet.

  137. (1) stephen pearson
    >Ricola cough drops
    Amazon has them.

    ——-
    (2) Regarding artificial intelligence, in the early 1980s, my husband took some computer science college courses on artificial intelligence (“AI”), thinking he might focus on artificial intelligence. After the course, artificial intelligence didn’t sit well with him. He said “Artificial intelligence is either frippery or has to capacity to royally ruin things and people, or both.” He turned his back on artificial intelligence. His opinion is that artificial intelligence has no legitimate reason to exist.

    ——-
    (3) Mr White #127

    Canada’s and USA’s Great Lakes

    Anyone contemplating having the Great Lakes play a bigger role in commerce needs to read:

    “The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan, 2017.

    I use the word “very” rarely, so when I say “very,” I mean something special by it. The Great Lakes are a VERY fragile ecosystem. They need CARE. Since the 1950s, the lakes have already had a heck of a lot of problems caused by bonehead-humans, particularly from ships “coming from ‘NOT Canada or the USA’ (aka abroad).”

    Canada and the US states bordering the Great Lakes, generally, will say “No‼️” to anymore idiotic (polluting) interference regarding what they rightly feel are “their” waters. Those bordering are stewards of the waters. In other words, expect people from Canada and US’s bordering-lake states to forcefully and clearheadedly come to the fore in defense of the well-being of “their” lakes.

    I grew up in New York State (near Lake Ontario). My father (b 1924) was merchant mariner on the Great Lakes. If I were to perceive the Great Lakes under additional-pollution threat due to arseholes, I personally would go all out to protect the lakes. I am near a different great-lake now (Lake Michigan) than in my younger days; nonetheless I will do just about anything to protect the lakes, including chaining myself to the waves instead of trees. The Great Lakes are one thing I would die for.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  138. @Northwind Grandma, #111

    I get those messages from time to time, usually the error is in the browser and your message never leaves the computer.

    What has helped me get rid of those problems is to refresh the page immediatelly before submitting the comment. If your comment is a long one, you may want to write it in a text editor and only copy & paste it right before submitting it.

  139. Jeff P., thank you for this! That seems a lot more reasonable — and since the “service economy” mostly consists of ornate games with unpayable IOUs, removing it from the calculations seems sensible.

    Jacques, I haven’t looked into it, but I have several readers who have serious EMF sensitivities; maybe one or more of them can point you to some resources. It’s definitely a real issue.

    Peter, fascinating. Let us all know how it goes.

    Gustavo, I’m sorry to say I’m not literate in Spanish.

    Down Under, thank you for this! I may just cite this in an upcoming post, if you’re willing.

    Santana, I never played Duke Nukem, but to judge by what I find online — well, do you really think we’re all going to be blasting away at Rigellian aliens, evil techbots, and mutant swine? If so, er, whatever you’re smoking might be better used as a cash crop.

    Joshua, I’ve written about it at some length —
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2011/04/alternatives-to-nihilism-part-one-dog.html
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2011/04/alternatives-to-nihilism-part-two-lead.html
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2011/04/alternatives-to-nihilism-part-three.html
    I don’t know of any other attempts to discuss it, however. People are profoundly unwilling to look at the way that our society sold its ideals down the river for temporary prosperity.

    Kenaz, I think we ought to offer a counterproposal: that people who splash around ideas like this have to fill Lake Mead by carrying water, on foot, from the Mississippi — in a sieve.

    Stephen, that’s just it. Whether we cut back because we choose to, or we cut back because we have to, we’re going to cut back. Might as well do it deliberately, while we’ve got time to learn how…

    CR, thanks for this!

    Northwind, if it’s up, yes; if not, please repost.

    Alice, I wish you the best with that!

    Weilong, of course! They know perfectly well that it’s not possible, but they also know that their careers depend on their ability to haul in as much grant money as possible to their institutions. Much of what passes for “science” these days is that kind of money-grubbing makework.

    Gnome, interesting. So noted.

    Wer, the same thing is happening over much of the world. Things could get interesting in the months and years immediately ahead.

    Batstrel, you’ll find the definitions in any reasonably complete dictionary.

    Denis, as long as we have a Supreme Court that doesn’t have to follow the wishes of the majority, and a constitution that keeps 51% from being able to run roughshod over 49% whenever they want to, we’re still a republic. Thanks for the book recommendation.

  140. Matt Taibbi has an interesting couple of posts up, about documentaries that touch on forbidden subjects, like the despair of young people:

    They’re not expected to do meaningful work, contribute, or procreate. No one needs them to defend their country, unless they want to volunteer to use their video game skills to drone the Arab versions of themselves. They’re not building any bridge, dam, or highway their kids will use, because the infrastructure story is going backward, not forward, in the desolate, graffiti-covered, twisted-metal hellscapes of dying small town America where these guys all seem to spend their time (“F****** dystopian movie,” mutters Kyle. “F****** Blade Runner”). Some see the endgame early enough that they stop giving a s*** in junior high or before, accelerating washout curves. Planning for the future in the short term ends up pared to questions like Should I get out of bed? (“If you go outside,” says Kyle, “at least you’re doing something”), while the nagging longer-term question becomes, Why shouldn’t I just kill myself?

    This is why the post-2016 media meltdown over the apparently illegitimate use of the term “economic anxiety” to explain Trump supporters and other malcontents was so off-base. “Anxiety” describes a minor mental disruption. The guys in TFW No GF exist on a plane of total, crushing psychic defeat, a world of utter hopelessness far beyond politics. In one scene, Viddy’s roommate Charels muses with a dissociative shrug that maybe letting pre-teen kids spend years on end looking at the most extreme “gore and hardcore pornography” might not be a good idea, but it’s observation, not therapy. Later we see the two of them firing a huge arsenal of rifle and pistol ammo into the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/im-just-going-to-go-to-the-heart
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/hate-but-dont-look-reporting-on-the

    The first is an interview with the filmmakeer. The second one is paywalled.

    (And “TFW No GF” is shorthand for “That Face When No Girlfriend.”)

  141. I am, right now, having a rare transit aspect; transiting Pluto exactly conjunct my natal Neptune. It has sucked horribly. Does anyone with a background in natal astrology have any advice on how to navigate this transit, or advice on what it could entail? JMG’s theory of Pluto being an anti-cosmic force has so far lined up strongly with my experience of this transit, however the theory of it being weaker has not been my experience, possibly because of both Pluto and Neptune being strong in my birth chart. I feel grimmer, more nihilistic, angrier, bitterer, more vengeful, depressed, and more cut off from spiritual practice than any time in the last six or seven years, possibly longer. I stared in the mirror late at night, and saw my eyes reflect back at me in some sort of ferocious, dark intensity that I couldn’t quite place; they almost seemed to gleam with feral anger. I’m having to repeat the affirmation “I leave all justice and punishment to the gods and the lords of Karma” in order to try and get away from vicious and hateful fantasies of violence and anger. Really would appreciate a bit of insight, this is quite alarming and alienating. Is there anything I can do to mitigate the intensity of this experience, or should I just ride through and hope to transform myself as is supposed to be the Pluto classic? I know this is more of a Magic Monday question usually, apologies to JMG if it isn’t appropriate here.

  142. JMG,

    I know it’s a big topic that could cover a whole post, but I’m wondering what you think of Jacques Vallee’s ideas about ufo’s/anomalous phenomenon (in particular, his Passport to Magonia).

    Thanks,

    Guy

  143. Dear JMG,
    for various reasons I’m reading a book on the strategy Byzanz used to stay an empire – and read about Justinian hit by the (then new) bug Yersinia pestis – I don’t know why, but somehow the name circles in my head, and with MM two weeks ago or so discussing intuition I wonder if my subconscious wants me to research that – my question being: then it was fleas who transmitted the disease; assuming Lakeland got an outbreak of that, what would you think would be the main transferer there? Same, or also an added animal/ something else due to tier-system?

  144. Greetings JMG!

    I have a salmagundi question – Do you cook it in a crock pot with the hard boiled eggs mixed in or sitting on top of the big stew mixture? Or add the hard boiled eggs to bowls at serving time?

    (I’m hosting this month’s philosophy night with friends. We have been reading and discussing Manly P Hall’s monthly letters one at a time. Thanks for the suggestion!)

    Thanks!

  145. It’s going to be a long, cold winter in Europe.

    https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Gas-Levy-Could-Triple-Household-Heating-Bills-In-Germany.html

    With skyrocketing energy prices, the likelihood of major fuel shortages, and the Italian government and economy careening towards collapse, things are going to get a lot worse on the side of the pond. I think the farmer’s protests in the Netherlands are only the beginning of the social unrest that is coming. We will be very lucky if Germany and other European countries can avoid a repeat of post World War I Italy and Weimar Germany…

  146. My copy of _De Magia_ from Black Letter Press arrived today. It is a wonderfully-made book!

  147. Hello Matt (@ #161) and JMG!

    I hope neither of you minds if I “pipe up” here: I am just a food history geek!… a salmagundi in culinary terms is usually an artfully arranged cold platter, usually a salad.

    I think you might be referring to a salmigondis, which according to Larousse Gastronomiqie is “a ragoût of several kinds of meat reheated.”

    But to answer your question, by all means add some cooked (and peeled) eggs to your crock pot dish. An old Cajun coworker once taught me to add hard boiled eggs to my gumbo and Ethiopian cuisine often adds whole cooked eggs to dishes. The eggs have a wonderful capacity to absorb the spices and flavors of the dish.

    As I like to say: bony appetite to you and your guests.
    Cheers,
    Courtney

  148. Booklover, no, that variation on the theme of overinflated collective egotism hadn’t come my way yet. Thank you; I’ll glance at it as time permits and see if it’s any sillier than the other versions, thus better suited for discussion when I’m in a comic mood.

    Chuaquin, I have no idea what’s happening on the southern front in the Ukraine just now — as usual, the fog of war is at pea-soup intensity. As for the gas situation, I expect the nations of Europe to turn on each other in a no-holds-barred struggle for energy resources; we’ll see whether the EU survives, even in name.

    Ryanon, no — anyone else?

    Mr. White, the BBC is as usual behind the times. Ports all along the “north coast,” as Great Lakers sometimes call their shorelines, are already booming; so are ports all through the southeast and deep South. It’s a good sign!

    Ray, I’m not a natal astrologer, so I’ll leave that to members of the commentariat who study that end of astrology.

    Helen, if it works for you, use it. I’ve never looked into it — I prefer my symbolic systems to be well aged, as in centuries old — but any symbolic system, without exception, can be made to produce useful results with a little ingenuity.

    Ian, um, Jorjani clearly doesn’t know much about Roman Mithraism, or the history of the mystery traditions, or classical occultism. The Mithraic mysteries didn’t attract occultists — there were mysteries that did, but it drew its clientele from bureaucrats and soldiers — and it went out of existence long before Islam was born. All the postclassical religions drew on astrological symbolism — Christianity took the fish and the virgin for its early symbols in reference to the signs Pisces and Virgo moving to the equinoxes, Islam made Friday its holy day and green its holy color as a reference to Venus the morning star, etc. — but that’s because every educated person knew that symbolic language in those days. So I don’t buy it. (If you can point me to a print discussion of Jorjani’s claims, btw I’ll consider discussing them in detail in a future post, but I’ll pass on the podcast.)

    Ben, I wish. Even though the price of oil is at sky-high levels and the Saudis have admitted they don’t have any spare capacity, most of the people who were talking about peak oil back in the day are scuffing their feet and finding other things to talk about.

    Patricia M, thanks for this. Turns out there was a lot of debate back in the day about whether your glass of water first thing in the morning should be hot, lukewarm, or cold. Different people seem to have different needs!

    Drhooves, the most unexpected event? The way that so many people who just a few years ago were loudly insisting that corporate medicine is corrupt and natural remedies are best, abandoned all that at the drop of a hat, lined up to get inadequately tested Covid vaccines, and vilified in the most hateful terms anyone who said the same things they themselves had been saying a year or less previously. It was astounding — as though somebody had flipped a switch. I honestly think that if CNN and MSNBC had started shrieking about the “Jewish Peril” instead of Covid, these same people would just has readily have ratted out their Jewish neighbors to be sent to concentration camps. I don’t consider myself to have an excessively positive view of human nature, all things considered, but it was a shock to realize how many people were just mouthing sound bites fed them by the corporate media.

    Neptunesdolphins, thanks for this. I’ll keep that in mind as I work on the next round of fiction projects!

    Viking, that’s correct. Our lives in this material world are an inescapable stage in spiritual evolution; it’s necessary for us to go through these experiences, wrestle with our own capacities for stupidity and cruelty, and learn compassion and wisdom in that process. As some souls graduate from this world and go on to other, more complex and interesting experiences, other souls enter it from earlier stages in the same process. As for your “meta” view, that’s essential to keep in mind — we are as yet very limited creatures, and long ages of spiritual evolution will pass before we get our first real clue about what’s really going on.

    Johnny, we’re still in the thick of things and events are changing too fast for me to predict. Thanks for the heads up about the interview.

    Joan, it’s too early to say. Most third parties fizzle pretty quickly; a few thrive. We’ll just have to see.

    Temporaryreality, that would be Decent Exposures — https://decentexposures.com/ is their website.

    Erika, ta da indeed! Thanks for this.

    Cliff, many thanks for this.

    Waffles, I have no idea, and it’s an excellent question — excellent enough that I’ve just made a post on my Dreamwidth journal asking for people to offer their suggestions, serious or otherwise.

    Derpherder, hmm! I’ll have to leave it to the natal astrologers here, but it sounds like it sucks.

    Guy, it’s a huge issue, and probably one I should discuss in a post sometime. The short form is that I was a big fan of Vallee and John Keel in my teens, and I still think they had a better grasp of what was going on than anybody in the “hardware hypothesis” end of the Ufological scene.

    Emily, er, it’s not just any fleas. It’s specifically Xenopsylla cheopis, the Asian rat flea, which infests the common rat as well as several other rodent species, such as prairie dogs. Without a rodent that can be infected, and the specific kind of flea that bites both rodents and human beings, you don’t get a plague pandemic. By all means look into it, but if the Lakeland Republic had to deal with a plague outbreak they could do it very efficiently with Tier Five technology.

    Matt, add the hardboiled eggs to the salmagundi when it’s about fifteen minutes from serving, so they’re hot through but don’t get overcooked. Arrrrr! 😉

    Sardaukar, yep. It’ll be interesting to see if the government survives.

    David BTL, delighted to hear it.

    Court, the term “salmagundi” was also used in the 16th and 17th century among Caribbean pirates for a stew made by throwing just about every available foodstuff into a big cauldron and cooking it until it’s done. (In all probability the world “slumgullion” is a corruption of this use.) I’m pretty sure Matt is asking about pirate salmagundi, which features in my novel A Voyage to Hyperborea and also in The Weird of Hali Cookbook.

  149. RPC, Theresa,

    I‘ve seen a similar story about an AI that told dogs and wolves apart by the fact that wolf pictures had snow in the background.
    The AI crowd is betting on a horse that isn‘t even a horse, methinks.

  150. Waffles, they want the peasantry living mostly on bugs so there’s more chicken, beef, etc for them.

    There’s nothing wrong with bugs per se. My aunt used to look forward to chowing down on giant waterbugs whenever she went home to Thailand to visit. (They’re sold from street carts, like hot dogs are in the U.S.). Andrew Zimmerman built an entire TV show out of eating bugs. What I object to is aiming ham-handed propaganda at me to get me to eat something.

  151. I just heard of “That Feeling with No Girlfriend” (TFWNG) here, via JMG. Why is this a thing?

    Hmm, as a 70-year old woman, I have an opinion. I have lived past when half the people my age have died. How did I get this old? Read on.

    I came from a destructive secular family. I should not have made it past age 20. Odds were definitely against me.

    age 1.5 years
    My mentally-ill mother threw me around. It was terror-infanticized. No-one around to stop her from battering me. By 14, I told her where she could stick it.

    What saved me?

    age 20 and 30:
    Father dead.
    I have no special talents, nor was I good-looking.
    I started from nothin’.
    Never more humdrum person than me.
    I hated alcohol. Still do.
    I hated tobacco. Still do.
    I liked weed and hallucinogens for two years, on limited basis. Hallucinogens were a blessing.
    Tried cocaine twice; loved it; knew I could never take it again and live.
    Stopped all drugs cold-turkey at 20.
    At 19, started meditating twice a day. For ten years (my 20s), got a lifetime of insights. Learned to focus. Learned early that staring into the abyss is a learned skill; I rather liked it. The trick is the in-and-out. A pendulum. Silence. Comforting, never threatening. It was what I made it. Created my own reality. Maybe my mother throwing me around made me a shaman. Do or die.
    Learned the abyss (aka the bottom; depression) is a place to rest and heal. I don’t avoid it.
    Celibacy is a goal. Wanted no encumbrances. People were a drag. Wanted no hangers-on, men or women. Obsessed in developing my own drumbeat. Looked for caves where no-one would follow.
    Went to five colleges until I graduated at 34.
    Worked hard.
    Never went looking for a boyfriend. I just lived life without fear. Boys came to me, not me to them. Still that way. I see ‘a person,’ not a sex. I see ‘an animal,’ not a thing.
    Learned to listen. For every ten talkers, there is one listener. Listeners are in high demand.
    Learned kindness to all beings.

    age 30:
    Divorced my mother. For last 25 years of mother’s life, never spoke to her again. Lonely but necessary.

    age 50 to now:
    Learned patience.
    Stare into the abyss on a regular basis.

    So, young men, take the bull by the horns. Become intimate with silence. You are getting stuck in the blackness. I call it ‘bardo zone.’
    💧

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  152. @Helen#129 – I have certainly found the MBTI helpful. I’m a classic INFP, and several of the traits thereof are considered bad, bad, BAD by the current 5-factor OCEAN typing fad. Interversion, BAD, frex. Said 5-factor system being geared to What Makes A Good Flunky In Your Office.

    MBTI is not only non-judgmental, but allows for a very wide variety of personalities and a good handle on where we do best. And realizes that our traits change over the years as our lesser functions slowly come on line, and that has surely been the case with me. I’m even turning into a part-time social animal, plus working around the daydreaming ADD that seems to be prevalent in my type. so, yes, it’s a rich and inclusive system I highly recommend.

  153. @Northwind Grandma re: Diana

    You observation is interesting. During Diana’s lifetime, I had no particular regard for her. I considered her an air-headed, narcissistic twit who was “famous for being famous.” Since her death, I have come to slowly respect her more and more. I still think she was a troubled soul with Shakespearean or Greek-tragic “fatal flaws,” but I have come to believe that she at least tried to do what was right, as she saw it.

  154. @Ben. Silicone and Silicon are not interchangeable. 🙂

    But to the point, Friedman thanks the country will hold together, but with a much bigger dose of Federalism. I think the Supreme Court is trying to move that way. Too much power has moved to DC (aka Mordor on the Potomac) and this trend has to be reversed.

    I’m not so confident. The PMC is not going to give up without a fight, and socialism is gaining in popularity especially in the cities as people expect FPM (Free Public Money) without thinking of what they might have to give up.

    A peaceful breakup would not surprise me at all. As our host pointed out in a book, a Constitutional Convention created the United States, another one can dissolve it. The “Blue Hives” to use the pejorative term are starting to wonder if it is worth their time and money to re-educate the deplorables, and the rural residents see the “citiots” as unqualified to give any advice out how to live at all.

    Figuring out how to draw the borders would be a problem. In Washington it’s easy, but what of Colorado, where Blue Denver is surrounded by Red counties? In Wisconsin Milwaukie and Madison and that corner of the State could also split off leaving the rest of the State alone, but what of Minneapolis? Or Atlanta in Georgia? Or for that matter back in WA, how does the East Side get its grain to market when it has to go through West Side ports?

    To change subjects to the various plans to move Mississippi River water to CA, it’s odd that they aren’t considering a pipeline from the Columbia. It’s a lot closer, and the elevation change from above John Day Dam to Goose Lake on the OR-CA border is no worse. From Goose Lake it’s all downhill (literally) to the existing water canal system. I suspect it’s a case of asset stripping “flyover country” again instead of imposing on fellow Left Coasters.

  155. Derpherder #158

    Sounds familiar.

    My acupuncturist said that since COVID hit, people have been walking through her door feeling grim, nihilistic, angry, bitter, vengeful, depressed, cut off from spirit, just as you say. Fearful. Anxious. Rageful (is that a word?) She said, “It is a thing. It is going around. It is not just one person or small group. It is a heck of a lot of people.” She pretty much said, “everyone,” to the degree that in 2020, one of her longtime (little old lady) clients physically attacked her.

    It is not just you. It is in the atmosphere.

    She also said that almost no-one in America has been trained (like in high school) to know that the above group of attributes is the flip-side of sadness and grieving. So, feel sad and grieve. There is a lot to feel sad about. We are in a period of loss — great loss—, so grieving is appropriate. If you have a vehicle, get in it, close the windows, and scream your rage out. Then cry.

    Each person is eating a mountain of dirt, and either die from it or come out the other end a changed person. It takes time, lots of it. No hurry. It is a shamanic endeavor.

    A good book is Frank MacEowen’s “The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers, and Seekers,” 2002. That is Frank’s pen-name. I met him at a workshop he was giving around 2006, and he is the real deal. I admire him immensely. He has retired from writing, becoming a web-designer. To me, he is more than an acquaintance but less than a friend. He is one of those people who is a blessing to the world.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  156. Luke Dodson wrote
    “I’d be interested to hear what Irish readers make of this: https://www.catholicarena.com/latest/2022/7/27/ireland-to-introduce-anti-prayer-zones

    Like their US counterparts, the mainstream Irish left is only interested in identity politics, censorship and hunting heretics, they have no real interest in the concerns of real working class people. Identity politics is useful theatre to distract from the worsening cost of living crisis. The modern secular mullahs that replaced the catholic hegemony are just as humourless, condescending, censorious, intolerant, pompous and self assured as the Catholic Bishops who once ruled the roost here. The same might be said of the Protestant Ascendancy that proceeded them. Extreme intolerance of dissenting views, whether secular or religious, by those in power has a long history in Ireland.

    And that’s not to mention our long traditions of cultural and institutional bigotry, censorship, tribalism, winner takes all politics, divide and conquer politics, insider politics, violent secret societies, factionalism, shoneenism (always backing the powerful) etc, etc. In many ways it’s nothing new here, we Irish have been continually engaged in identity politics and cancel culture of one sort or another since 1169.

  157. Archdruid,

    I keep forgetting that we can go straight back to the source!

    Mary Bennett #110, Theology is the closest description I could think of. What I was referring to was the often salacious/gossipy nature of Greek stories. The gods of ancient Greece always come off as petty, self-serving, perverts. Weird thing is I’m noticing a desperate attempt by Christian churches, using their pet communist scholars, to pull off a similar reinterpretation with Hinduism. It just got me wondering if maybe there wasn’t a considerable chunk of those old Greek myths that were just destroyed, and only the ones that cast the gods in the worst light were preserved. I wonder if they tried to do similar things with the Norse traditions?

    Regards,

    Varun

  158. @Derpherder this sounds intense.

    I have studied astrology charts as a tool for spiritual growth.

    What I heard is that to be able to deal effectively with the outer planets like neptune and pluto, one needs to have good contact with the inner planets of the solar system first: one’s sun sign, mercury, venus, mars, Jupiter. Then the keystone planet is Saturn. It represents discipline and masculine/father energy. It can be accessed after the inner planets.

    One way to go about it would be to become more aware of those planets first as they apply in your chart. They may help to deal with the intensity of neptune and pluto.

    Does that take you in a helpful direction?

  159. Someone up above asked about best foraging books for the Northeast. Sam Thayer actually is more wisconsin-ish I believe, but most of the same plants in his books can be found in that same northern tier (not all, alas, here in Texas). The Forager’s Harvest was first, followed by Nature’s Garden. Unlike so many foraging books, written by clueless authors (if a foraging book has an entry saying “it is said that x is edible” throw it away) Thayer goes into great detail about how and when to harvest a plant, how to prepare it, how to cook it. He eats what he writes about. He dedicates many pages to each plant, so has fewer in his book than the typical foraging book. But his books will actually have you eating meals, not just nibbling a green leaf here and there.

  160. Northwind Grandma
    Thanks for the amazon suggestion. i will look at a couple more places here just out of curiosity, then go that route.
    Whoever was mentioning the size of the Mexican economy: a huge portion of it is informal and probably never gets counted. A lot of it is even barter or exchange of favors, and a great deal of the rest cash.
    Ben, JMG, et al
    There is a very good and lively discussion of peak oil at peakoilbarrel.com. most of the participants are in the field and know their stuff. Most agree we got there in 2018. The resident “optimist” thinks it will be within this decade. Another good source is Mike Shellman’s “oilystuff.com”

  161. Archdruid,

    Okay, I’m all but convinced that we will see a Russian victory. I was on the fence, but as the US is now digging into its strategic reserves for the second (third?) time this year, and as severe austerity measures are implemented across Europe, while they’re suffering from a massive drought no less, I’m pretty sure the Russians have this in the bag. It’s going to be an expensive victory for them in any case.

    Meanwhile the only thing amiss in India is the increasingly polarized conflict between the Hindus and…I guess everyone else?

    Regards,

    Varun

  162. @derpherder @Satana

    Synchronicity indeed! Yes Jorjani’s take in the origins of Islam immediately came into my mind after i randomly scrolled through the recent posts here and stopped to read @zeroinput.

    @derpherder
    Persian/Iranian history is fascinating; The history of Darius and ‘the greatest lie’ is IMO an event that is has been repeatedly re enacted by the political classes to concentrate power to this day. Thank you for your fantastic insights and speculation on Jorjani’s work. It is unfortunate his nationalistic sentiment has turned him into a punching bag. I think some of his more fantastic claims are partly meant to generate a wider audience for his work via shock and awe value.
    I will be honest that your reply has me somewhat conscious of a Lacking on my part of knowledge associated with pre Islamic History; Zoroastrian philological work with the ancient (1000s bce) Avestan language” in particular I think I could benefit with some personal research.

    Before I go off to look for a text based Version of Jorjani’s interview, I might offer you some simple methods to help clear your mind of vicious thoughts.

    The Imaginary scissor;

    Use your imagination to Create a bubble, Perhaps attached to your mind that you fill with these dastardly thoughts and visions. Imagine them now separate from inside your mind swirling around The bubble. Then take a pair of Imaginary scissors ✂️ (I found my pair lying in the grass) and snip the bubble from your mind and imagine it floating far away and getting lost in the sky, perhaps taken away by the wind or the breath of God. And take a few deep breaths and Imagine your mind at peace.

    Discursive meditation;

    Potentually take up discursive meditation as described in JMG’s books. Use the ‘backtracking of distracting thoughts’ technique and trace the origin of these thoughts to the starting point as deacribed in the texts and treat the unconscious habit.

    I wonder too if you might use a banishing ritual with focus on banishing inappropriate thoughts as is done in the SOP, perhaps holding a banishing implement, like a crescent blade in the waning moon position when banishing the thoughts.

    I hope I am not pretentious in offering suggestions for tools you likely already have read about many times as I see you browse Magic Mondays. I also hope I am not seen as making a cheap attempt at converting you to Druidry or magic practise for that matter! I am only an Apprentice; SOP and discursive meditation is basic practice I think.

  163. @Ian Dunholme and others regarding Islam/Mithras.

    If you can, grab a copy of Spengler’s Decline of the West. The second volume has a a few chapters that delve very deep into Magian culture and its formation through the late Roman Empire and onwards to Islam. It is very interesting and detailed. Particularly the bits about the late Roman Empire being the first Caliphate.

    This sort of frustrates me with Spengler as everyone knows Decline of the West and the predictions he made but not many have actually read the full unabridged version that delves deep into the lifecycle and world views of other cultures/civilsations of the past. He was a historian first and foremost.

  164. Jacques again about EMF pollution.

    My local electric company recently sent me a postcard that said that in two months all households would be converted to a “smartmeter” that would automaticallly measure your energy use. A cursory look online tells me a good chunk of other folks have concerns about the effects of this wireless device.

    If you opt out, you have to pay $15 month extra. I think this is shale, that I would have to pay $180 a year just to opt out of a technology that may harm me and my family.

    I am wondering if anyone in the commentariat has any knowledge/thoughts about these smartmeters and ideas about challenging this policy. I’m in a metro area of 3 million people in the US so am not especially hopeful about fighting this policy successfully.

    Thanks,

    Jacques

  165. On the subject of the Great Reset and opposition to it, this is a link to a group of Albertans interested in opposing it, and also in albertan independence. I think some of their ideas of the likely outcome of their policies over-optimistic, since they don’t appear to have noticed biophysical limits, and I find some of their political ideas naive, but some of their proposed actions are good and I thought I’d stick it up here for people to take a look at if they want:

    https://albertaprosperityproject.com/you-can-help-us-stop-the-great-reset/

  166. Hi Ryanon (#126),

    Some Northeast foraging authors I have learned from are, in no particular order, Leda Meredith, Arthur Haines, Samuel Thayer, Liz Neves (for NE medicinal plants). There are probably others out there. I’ve found all of them at my local library. Good luck!

    I also just finished Dolly Freed’s “Possum Living” that was mentioned on the other blog. Quite entertaining but does anyone know of a similar book with more updated information?

    Ellen

  167. @neptunesdolphins #137, re: politics and speculative fiction

    I think you’re definitely right about the disconnect between what publishers are pushing and what audiences actually want. I’m not the first person to notice that in the last few years, if it wins a Hugo or Nebula award, it probably sucks. If the blurb on the book is about what a diverse perspective the author brings, it probably sucks. Even if the book itself is not explicitly political, if a book gets published for checking political/identity boxes rather than for being a good story, that doesn’t exactly select for quality. The dark/dystopian/cynical edge to things is harder to pick out without reading the book, but I suppose certain keywords in the reviews and synopsis can tip you off.

    For a contemporary fantasy series that I have enjoyed for having good, pulp-style plots that move quickly, while also having a non-cynical worldview that (gasp) takes religion seriously as a motivating force that can do a lot of good, but can also have some some bad sides, Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Maradaine series has some interesting stuff going on (even if the magic is bascially D&D-style magic-as-technology).

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  168. Hi JMG,

    I could not find transcript of interview. However Jorjani’s book, Iranian Leviathan, that @derpherder referenced is available at zlibrary here;

    [pirate ebook site deleted]

    I chose to click the blue downward facing arrow beside the download button and picked to download the pdf version.

    The portion in question is chapter “7.1 Salman the Persian and the Hyrcanian Origin of islam”

  169. Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Varun, war is always a chancy thing and we’ll have to see what happens, but so far Russia’s played the game very smart and Ukraine and its NATO allies have not.

    Ian, thanks for this. I’ll certainly consider reading it.

  170. @Lathechuck,

    I just started reading the comments so I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but you should check out

    shadowstats.com

    It’s an excellent resource. The government changed how it calculates inflation back in the 80s and again in the 90s, (because if beef is expensive people can just buy chicken, oh and that expensive new car has more valuable features than older models so that should count as added value or something, and other financial quackery).

    So this guy (John Williams I think is his name) just did the math usimg the old calculations and shows real inflation, and real GDP growth using hos real inflation numbers. He has hos own method of calculating unemployment that takes the labor force participation rate and accounts for things like aging population demographics.

    I recommend the site to everyone who wants to have a real discussion about the state of the economy.

    Check out the alternate data page, it has 5 or 6 charts on it, then read his reports. A lot of them are free to the public. I would subscribe if I could afford it, but even his free reorts are very informative.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  171. Scotlyn, I’ve sent you an email — I didn’t get any of your previous ones, but happened to see this note. If you don’t receive the email, please try writing me at the editor address. I hope there’s not something screwy going on in the email system between us. Sorry for the delay in getting your copies!

  172. The Saudi Arabian “skyscraper on its side” called The Line (personally I would have voted for the Great Wall of Islamic Technofascism, but nobody asked) looks like a recipe for disaster. For those not in the know, The Line is a 72 mile long glass building that seeks to be its own self-sustaining community in the desert. It is not yet built; it’s in the planning stage.

    Skyscrapers made of glass are already mostly empty in large cities like Chicago. Most of the people who are stupid or unlucky enough to still live in that city live in shorter condo buildings or regular houses. Plus skyscrapers are a climate-control disaster: very difficult to heat and cool. Imagine that much glass in the desert! They’ll fry like ants under a magnifying glass if they go near one of the giant windows, and how do they plan on getting fresh water? The Line, like most technotriumphalist claptrap, has no basis in actual science. It’s Biodome 3.0 meets Chinese ghost city. Let’s hope it never happens.

  173. Thank you and also: you once asked your conmentariat for suggestions for a hand-held reading device, I think from other comments of yours that you have decided on one. Would it be too personal to ask what you chose?

  174. Hey jmg and commentariat

    I have been learning logic lately from “The art of logical thinking” by William W. Atkinson, a very good introductory text, and recalled a book by the late Martin Gardner called “Logic machines and diagrams” which would interest you.

    It’s all about symbols and analog devices used to explain and solve logic. Apart from a chapter on Ramon Lull it also mentions other similar things, including something that Martin himself invented, a system of punched-cards that can solve simple logic problems

    https://archive.org/details/logicmachinesdia00mart/page/28/mode/2up

  175. Thanks for hosting a chat about the bugs. Here’s the pods https://www.neom.com/en-us

    They are building a 100km long mirrored walled building (looks narrow – maybe 100 yards wide?) in the desert in Saudi Arabia which is going to be run on 100% renewables. All kinds of promo videos going out on social media.

    It looks like a prison that you can’t leave because the mirrored walls would either blind you or fry you. And it’s in the middle of nowhere. You’re just supposed to live in it and look outside.

    The promo also has places in what looks like alpine mountains. Again, this self-contained eco thing.

  176. The theme for the last few weeks here has been future decline and what that will look like. Today I watched this short video from the BBC in 2009 about a typical family’s diet in post-collapse Cuba.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaJ4KkjluZQ&t=0s

    For those who don’t watch video:
    Breakfast – Black coffee
    Lunch – rice, beans, fried potato.
    Dinner – rice, beans, one tomato (shared among four people), fried eggs (from backyard chickens) and fried bananas (from the backyard banana trees).

    This is what this family eats every single day.

    This is, of course, a typical day’s food for much of the population of the world, and contains more protein than many are able to get their hands on. Our industrialised-world diet is propped up by fossil fuels in every way, from fertiliser to feed lots to food miles. Our grandchildren’s diets may look a lot more like Cuba’s diet than our own diet. Actually, our diets over the next few years may look very much like the Cuba diet as food prices spiral upwards.

    My contribution to collapsing now is cooking a lot of rice and beans and growing lots of veg in the backyard with less and less outside input. Right now it is an excellent challenge, but in the future I’ll have a lot of useful skills to share. In fact, my young adult daughter paid me a lovely compliment tonight – she said she always asks me about gardening rather than googling, because I have been at it so long and know what works for our climate, whereas the internet has a huge array of conflicting advice. And then it occurred to me how often people casually ask me for gardening advice in the course of conversation. I thought I didn’t have many practical skills, but I can definitely grow food! So I believe there is very much a role for elders with local lived experience as the decline starts to bite.

  177. JMG, re the Octagon Society lessons, I am three quarters of the way through the course, and I have found it so valuable. For the past few years my main spiritual goal has been self-knowledge, and while I have come along some of the way, this course has sent that journey into warp speed. Its structured nature, and the way it combs through so much past history makes it very, very efficient, if painful. I also appreciate the way the course covers the same ground from a lot of different angles, which catches a lot of attitudes, habitual patterns and problematic beliefs. Even with meditation and journaling, general self-reflection has been a much less focused approach. I am seeing so much progress with the course, and realising how much there is to go. I feel like an onion, with layer after layer being peeled back, although I am hoping that, unlike an onion, there is a solid kernel of self in the middle there somewhere, and that I am not just concentric layers of conditioned thinking and unconscious reflexes. Although that would also be useful information, I guess.
    Anyway, however it turns out, I very much appreciate you putting this work out into the world, and to the late Dr John Gilbert for writing it. I can hear his unique voice in the work, and I especially enjoy his side lectures and calm, practical advice. My favourite parts are where he notes all the ways one can fail at getting the work ‘right’ and then goes on to say that this is completely normal. It is very reassuring.
    And thanks to everyone who has put in the work on the new website. Appreciated!

  178. Hi JMG and all

    I would like to share and article recently publcished in the BMJ (British Medical Journal, March 2022), with the title:
    “The illusion of evidence based medicine”, which I encourage everyone to read, because it explains very well what happens, for example with a recent treatment called “safe and efffective”…

    https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o702

    Well in fact considering the deployment of the “safe and effective” injections, I will call all this process as “The evidence of illusion-based medicine”.

    The old Spengler must be smiling in his grave because he fully anticipated this (mess) situation more than a century ago, in the absolute reign of Money there is not such a thing of Functional Democracy, Science, Universty, Education, Medicine, Healthcare, Art, etc…it will damage all the social institutions and drive them to the complete loss of legitimacy, decadence and finally destruction.

    I will highlight some paragraphs of the BMJ article:

    “Medicine is largely dominated by a small number of very large pharmaceutical companies that compete for market share, but are effectively united in their efforts to expanding that market”

    “Scientific progress is thwarted by the ownership of data and knowledge because industry suppresses negative trial results, fails to report adverse events, and does not share raw data with the academic research community. Patients die because of the adverse impact of commercial interests on the research agenda, universities, and regulators.”

    “Although universities have always been elite institutions prone to influence through endowments, they have long laid claim to being guardians of truth and the moral conscience of society. But in the face of inadequate government funding, they have adopted a neo-liberal market approach, actively seeking pharmaceutical funding on commercial terms. As a result, university departments become instruments of industry: through company control of the research agenda and ghostwriting of medical journal articles and continuing medical education, academics become agents for the promotion of commercial products.”

    “The corporate university also compromises the concept of academic leadership. Deans who reached their leadership positions by virtue of distinguished contributions to their disciplines have in places been replaced with fundraisers and academic managers, who are forced to demonstrate their profitability or show how they can attract corporate sponsors.”

    “Instead of acting as independent, disinterested scientists and critically evaluating a drug’s performance, they become what marketing executives refer to as “product champions.””

    “While universities fail to correct misrepresentations of the science from such collaborations, critics of industry face rejections from journals, legal threats, and the potential destruction of their careers. ” (see what happens with the critics of the “safe and effectives”).

    “Regulators receive funding from industry and use industry funded and performed trials to approve drugs, without in most cases seeing the raw data. What confidence do we have in a system in which drug companies are permitted to “mark their own homework” rather than having their products tested by independent experts as part of a public regulatory system?” (approval by press release)

    There is a good video made by the Dr. John Campbell about this article, where he explains with detail and with some examples the main points, I recommend everyone to see it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZlZIXHT0yA

    Cheers
    David

  179. Hi John Michael,

    I note that the subject of rats and tier five technology came up. Well turns out over many years I’ve had to deal with rats. Mark my words, they’re clever creatures and can test every weakness.

    Many years ago I set about creating a rat proof chicken enclosure and attached all weather run. Well, you know how hubris works out. A few months ago I set about modifying the enclosure and learning from the rats how they managed to out-fox me. After fifteen separate bouts of modifications, I’m now winning the war, for now anyway.

    And one of my dogs enthusiastically has taken up the rat challenge, and her count is 16 to my 2, but then we do work together as a tag team. Rats can be dealt with if a person puts their mind and effort to the problem. Too often people are lazy and they simply bait them, but the poison gets out into the environment, and a lot of owls live here.

    If I had to pick which would be the longer term species – human or rat, my money would be on the rats.

    Cheers

    Chris

  180. Grover @58

    Nice to see another of us monsters around here. Agree 100% with your sentiment.

    One positive thing to come of the relative social isolation (and political homelessness) is that I’ve gotten quite good at communing with the variety of bees in my gardens.

  181. @lathechuck

    I do wonder how much of that “fewer people employed” number is disability, aging population moving into retirement, and just plain unemployed, and how much of it is accounted for by people opting out of traditional forms of employment– either paid employment entirely (like me, I raise kids and homeschool, right now– may rejoin the workforce at some point, but right now my labor is worth more in the “unpaid” sector), or just formal employment where you fill out paperwork and pay taxes. The only reason people bother with banks, and the IRS, to do business is that it allows them to grow their business, and makes things more convenient and efficient. If regulation plus the economy are making it so that cutting out those middlemen is more profitable because the business is never going to grow past a certain size… then more people are going to do that.

    I’ve heard more chatter this past year from people trying to work out the logistics of setting up a garage-with-a-lift in the backyard, modify the home kitchen so they can turn their occasional bread or fancy cakes into something more like a fulltime outfit, how much to charge for the “side gigs” they’re working on weekends…. this didn’t used to be a thing, among people I know, and I doubt much of it is showing up in any official paperwork. But now it’s constant. Maybe it’s just my age cohort? Like, maybe 30-45 is the age where people are finally experienced enough to be confident in the value of their labor, tired of just having “a job” and stuff. Btu I think the economy also has something to do with it. It’s harder to make “just a job” pay the bills, and we’re becoming more like my third-world friends, where everybody’s got one, two, five side hustles going on. Maybe there is no job and it’s all side-hustles. I dunno. But it’s definitely something that’s changed recently.

  182. @Jeff Russel re: #188 –

    Also worthwhile, I think, is to lower your “star standards” for reviews somewhat (and/or read the reviews for context). If an angry identitarian leaves a poor review because of the “lack of diversity” or something along those lines, it’s an invalid review that has nothing to do with the book’s quality itself.

  183. @lathechuck

    I missed the main point in my previous reply: simply that no matter how you define “recession”, conditions in the formal economy have clearly gotten bad enough that large numbers of people have chosen to leave, or been forced out of, the formal economy. I’d be completely fascinated to see the numbers on what exactly all those dropouts have been doing with their time… as well as what percentage of the still-employed population is *also* participating in the informal economy. But of course, there’s no good way to capture this in the statistics. If I’m running a cash-only side business, I’m certainly not going to be telling survey-takers about it 😉

  184. John–

    It occurred to me yesterday that being impatient about the pace of my spiritual development is rather like a preschooler getting upset about the state of his retirement savings.

    Perspective.

  185. @Jacques #185:

    If you’re in a metro area I can assure you that you’re already bathed by orders of magnitude higher levels of radiation in the same general wavelength (frequency) as the smart meters from countless other sources on a constant basis. The smart meter won’t even be a drop in the bucket compared to the radiation you’re already experiencing – it’s very low power, intermittent, and usually you aren’t sleeping with your head on the meter for a pillow, so you’re far enough away from it for the field it radiates to be inconsequential by comparison to very large fields you’re getting by multi-kilowatt transceivers in your area, cell towers, the very power lines in your home, etc. If you or anyone around you uses a cellphone, you’re already getting orders of magnitude more radiation from it, even when it’s not being used for phone calls, than you’ll get from the smart meter.

    Not to say there is no effect, but you’re already surrounded by other causes of that very effect which are much more significant. If you were in an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere in an EMI-free zone (perhaps near an astronomical radio observatory) and they wanted to add this to your meter, you might take (some very, very little) concern. But in your case? I can’t see the point at all in worrying about it. Not to mention your neighbours are certainly going to go for the option, and it’s not like their meter’s radiation stops at your property line.

    In other words: if you’re seriously concerned about EMI, get thee out of the city; stop fretting about smart meters.

  186. The vagaries of wind, well non-politician generated wind.

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

    The annual summer heat wave has arrived, and the green line shows the output from all those wind farms. On a windy day they can put out 3000 MW. The cobalt line (the nuclear plant) and the brown line (carbon combustion) are holding steady.

    Solar panels would work right now, but they are not economic because of winter overcast and those 15 hour nights.

  187. A note on smart meters, they do not broadcast continuously. They either send out a packet on a schedule, or they listen for a command ping from base, then send a data packet back.

    We have water meters that work the same way. They wait for an electronic Marco, then Polo back.

    The water level on the storage tank works on a schedule, every five minutes it sends one data packet to the pump master controller. The tank transmitter is powered by a small solar panel and a 14 amp-hr motorcycle battery. It would run down quickly if it transmitted continuously especially in the winter.

    So you would be looking at a pulse of radio waves a few hundred milliseconds long every once in a while, not a continuous broadcast. And you are already in a sea of AM, FM, police band, and cell phone signals. I doubt you will notice an occasional blip.

    Oh, I left off the TV broadcasts, I forget about them since there is no broadcast TV in this area.

  188. About Megan and Harry and why certain people listen to them.

    I remember the meme that went around when Obama was re-elected “We survived 8 years of Bush, you can survive 8 years of Obama.” That went out the window when Trump was elected. That meme was “We must resist. Lives are at stake!” When questioned, the response was that homosexual, gay, etc lives were at stake. I asked how. I was told that even questioning that line of thought was harmful.

    As have been pointed out here, there are people who believe that thinking certain thoughts will kill people. Therefore, why not listen to people who do nothing but talk? After all, in my experience, if you question a statement of “homosexual lives are more in danger,” you are told by merely asking the question, you have harmed all those people. Circle thinking, anyone?

    So, it would seem that people want to live lives and think thoughts that have no one else can contradict for lives are at stake if you do. Emotional blackmail, anyone?

    Meanwhile, I have been receiving requests from the Liz Chaney re-elect committee to give her money. Her campaign has overused emotional blackmail to such a degree that I place her in the same category as Harry and Megan. Self-involved people speaking to other self-involved people about how great they are in saving humanity.

  189. @ silicon guy – IF a hefty does of Federalism sticks, then I agree with you and Friedman; the USA might just make it through the next two decades without an ugly divorce.

    OTOH, so many black swans are flapping around out there, it might be more appropriate to call them gray swans. We know at least one or two will show up in our backyard, we just don’t know which one(s). And when a black swan shows up, pecking at the back door, who knows what the impacts will be. For instance, while the 08 financial crash was predictable in hindsight, I think one of the biggest impacts was forcing everyone to reckon with just how corrupt our political process has become, and how rigged the economy is. I know it isn’t popular to say amongst this commentariat, but IMO, a big reason why ‘socialism’ is such a popular term now, especially with the under 40 crowd, is they look around and think, accurately or not; “capitalism is such a failure, how could socialism be worse”.

    I don’t want to get into parsing each of those ‘isms’ or delve too deep into who is wrong or right about the direction of the economy. The point I’m trying to make is the loss of legitimacy really matters, more than the people in power think. To use an example from Russian history, you don’t get to 1917 without going through 1905 first, and I do wonder if the 08 crash has been our economic equivalent of the Russo-Japanese War?

  190. Hey how are you doing JMG? I think flights getting cancelled and being unreliable is a good wakeup call for many. Collapse seems to be underway. What do you think will be the next system to fail after airlines?

  191. @ JMG – well, shale. I kinda thought people might start re-examining the issue. http://peakoilbarrel.com still posts some worthwhile analysis and charts. Of course there’s plenty of peak oil-adjacent sites, homesteading blogs, that kind of stuff, still out there. Do you think the reluctance to revisit the issue comes from being wrong about a fast crash, or is PO just being broomed under the rug?

  192. I was wondering if anyone had advice on choosing a system of magical practice for a Christian, in particular, choosing between a Christian form of Druidry or the Golden Dawn system (though I would, of course, be happy to hear about others). Obviously, which is best can’t be said without knowing me, so any pointers on what to consider would be greatly helpful!

  193. What an interesting morning;

    “The Germany city of Hanover has become the first big city in Europe to ban hot water and central heating in public buildings in response to Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of gas supplies. The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives. In a sign of things to come, Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony in the north west of the country, will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms. Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums. The city’s mayor, Belit Onay, spoke of an ‘imminent gas shortage’ that meant they had to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 15 per cent.

    The plans call for shutting off heating within public buildings between April and September each year, and thermostats set at just 20C (68F) for the rest of the year, although there will be some exemptions. There will also be a ban on portable air conditioners, heaters and radiators among the general populace as the average German begins to pay a price for standing up to the Russian dictator.”

    68F in the winter isn’t much of an imposition, I already do that. And right now I have the AC set to 81F. It hit 105 yesterday, so I do enjoy running the heat pump in cool mode.

  194. I realized what I was trying to say in my previous post on Harry, Megan, and Liz Chaney.

    I was irritated once more by “The Washington Post” which since the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, and other things have had their daily “people are going to die articles because of what the Supreme Court did on fill in the blank.” I have decided that tree-tops activism is alive and afoot. Tree tops activism is when the media and related people decide on a particular view that the rest of us must subscribe to.

    Like redefining ‘recession’ so that Biden doesn’t look bad.

    I realized that the Jan. 6 hearings were tree-tops activism. They wanted people to believe in a certain story, with certain characters, etc. I kept hearing the news commentators describe how close we came to losing democracy, etc. I have been to Congressional Hearings. They are long, boring, messy affairs in stuffy rooms devoid of oxygen and full of lawyers. These fake hearings were simply a TV show put on to convince people of certain things.

    I am irritated by this relentless push to subscribing to one and only point of view that make people like Harry, etc, sleep well at night.

  195. I have been noticing just how many people, especially women, around me are really into true crime these days. I know the mystery genre has always been popular, but generally as fiction, and maybe this is same old, same old?. I find this daily contemplation of the most sick and twisted extremes of human behavior to be a bit, uhh disturbing. Your maxim of “you imitate what you contemplate” returns to my mind again and again. To paraphrase Nietzsche “when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back” also rings in my mind when contemplating the popularity of this content. Do you have any thoughts about the genesis of, popularity of, and potential ramifications of this dark, dark entertainment?

  196. Put my two weeks notice in at my job a few days ago, as the place down the street is paying a little more. Went for an interview with a bio-tech company to put my biology major to work….. the biotech place is paying less than JC Penny…. freaking boomers and companies have no clue min wage is $15 in Massachusetts. And the stinking bachelors degree is only getting a dollar more. Welcome to communism we all make the same.

  197. @Rod (#15), JMG and others: funny, I’ve had Soylent Green running through my mind ever since it was announced in late June that a massive cricket factory ‘farm’ in London Ontario (that is, the middle of Ontario’s agricultural heartland – what could possibly go wrong? Nothing small ever escapes from modern facilities, right?) will soon be up and running, thanks to an $8.5 million grant from the Government of Canada. I doubt that I have even once thought of the film within the past 20 years – and now I can’t get it out of my mind.

    Another throw-back to the mid-1970s that has possessed my mind lately is the iconic album cover (and music) to the Supertramp album “Crisis? What Crisis?” (depicting an Englishman sunning himself in front of a bright yellow parasol set upon a black slag heap with a grim forest of industrial smokestacks in the background). Those who are not familiar with the album cover may want to google it: in a way, I find it captures the spirit of our times quite well (on top of the existential-angst-ridden-yet-sometimes-hopeful songs in the album).

  198. @ Citrine Concupiscent Muffin 208,

    Thanks for offering your helpful, considered perspective on emf pollution and smartmeters,

    Jacques

  199. I learned last night that my request to join a certain long-established fraternal organisation has been approved. I’d been aware of them, and interested, for probably two decades, but it was our host’s accounts of them which motivated me to send in my application. So, many thanks for that, JMG!

  200. Emily, I’m still exploring the options. I got a free Kindle as a test, and will be trying something else out in the near future — I want something that’ll handle old PDFs well.

    J.L.Mc12, hmm! Thank you very much for this.

    Denis, “The Line” is definitely getting a lot of attention! It strikes me as astoundingly silly, but then that’s pretty reliably what happens to people who end up with too much money.

    Blueday Jo, two excellent points. First, you’re right that now’s the best time to get used to eating rice, beans, and other cheap eats, as the economy is making gurgling noises on the way down the drain. Second, knowledge of skills is the most important capital there is, and if you’ve got it, you have an advantage that no amount of money can buy. I’m delighted that you’re finding the Octagon Society work useful!

    DFC, the BMJ has been hitting it out of the park for the last few years, and this is a great example. Thank you.

    Chris, oh, no question, rats will be around long after we go extinct. Megafauna like you and me are always more vulnerable.

    David BTL, since you’ve begun serious practice, you’re out of preschool and into elementary school — an important step! That said, yes, basically.

    Siliconguy, yep. Wind looks really good on paper…

    Trusty, I’m doing very well just now, thanks. As for which system’s next to go, that’s a heck of a question, since there are so many candidates. I’d watch other transport systems, also electrical power in areas facing extreme heat stress, also rural internet. But it could as well be something else.

    Ben, I know. I think that people bailed into the fast-crash fantasy precisely because it’s a fantasy — a favorite dumping ground for daydreams in our society — and went onto the next thing once that didn’t happen. Now that peak oil is here and the consequences are tightening their grip, next to nobody wants to talk about it because it’s not a fantasy any more, it’s real.

    A.P., the book I’ve recommended most often to Christians interested in magic is Gareth Knight’s Experience of the Inner Worlds, which is an explicitly Christian intro to Cabalistic magic. (Knight was a lifelong Anglican Christian.) Beyond that, I think I’ll ask my Christian readers to make suggestions!

    Siliconguy, I keep my thermostat at 69 in the winter, and don’t use a/c, so I’m not much more sympathetic than you…

    Matthew, good gracious heavenly days, as my grandmother used to say. Somebody must have fired up the Orbital Mind Control Lasers or something… 😉

    Selkirk, that’s fascinating and troubling, but I don’t have any particular sense why it should be so popular. I generally find true crime nauseating at best.

    Steam, no, it’s not communism, it’s the law of supply and demand. We’ve got too many people with biology degrees for the shrinking number of jobs in a declining economy, and not enough people who know how to do practical things like repair appliances and fix plumbing.

    Ron, it’s a good image!

    Bogatyr, delighted to hear it! I wish you a fine experience with it.

  201. Offer – “The Tain” translated by Thomas Kinsella, “from the Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge” brish drawings (that look like inkblots) by Louis le Brocquy. Oxford paperbacks, 1970, reprinted 1972, 1974, looks like acid-free paper. Quite readable.

    Also, Penguin Classics, Egil’s Saga, translated by Hermann Pallson and Paul Edwards, 1974. Plain old paper but in very good condition. And The Vinland Sagas, Penguin Classics, translated by Keneva Kunz, 1997. Excellent condition. The Penguins are 8″x5″; the Tain is 8″x5 1/4″.

    If interested, email me at mathews55 at msn. dot com.

  202. A.P @215:
    July 29, 2022 at 11:35 am

    There are active Martinist groups out there. I’m sure someone has mentioned it by now. And the works of Mouni Sadhu (e.g., “Theurgy,” etc.) are the works of a serious Martinist. Those guys are pretty heavy-duty Christian, as far as I can tell.

  203. @ JMG

    Do you think the Biden regime could start a war against China or Russia or Iran to “unite” the nation under the “Command in Chief” against an enemy of the “Free World”?, because it seems that the lower the popularity of Biden, the more provocations they make to other countries (rivals).

    May be your TLG is approaching…

    Cheers
    David

  204. I have encountered ONE and mean one idea that modifies but does not change only postpones peak oil thesis. https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=183373. Nevertheless it is probably a moot point. If we wont rebuild rail or maintain bridges and if cultural capital goes we can go this route. Russia will however. Which means they will be the great nation for the next millennium. It’s still barely possible here. I dont know enough science and the angle is a new and different one. It avoids nonexistent tech and deals with the current energy reality and basic equation. I’d be interested to hear the green wizards or arch green wizards take. My take was, it’s a good thing we wont or cant. Otherwise wed waste another 1000 years on illusions and no one after us would be able to have a brief boost for much more limited goals and noble ideals. Celadon as mocha addlepated lemur

  205. @jaques #185

    We got that kind of notice in this part of California many years ago. Same type of deal.

    I opted out. There is also no cell phone coverage where my house is, so I do not have exposure to this as others do.

    At that time the “extra” charge was $10/month, I think, the reason given that it costs more to have the manual meter reader. After 5 years or so, the extra charge went away, they were not allowed to keep it up forever. They were only allowed to do it for a set time, something like 5 years. So, I still do not have a smart meter.

    Smart meters are not the only tech with strings attached, the new solar hardware has to have the ability for the power company to control it, if you want to get the subsidy for the new heat pump water heaters, you can only get the ones with the ability for them to be remotely controlled.

    Personally, I dont think it will ever get to that point as we are going to lose the ability to do so, maybe not in the big cities for a bit, but in my semi-rural location.

    The work arounds for ALL of that is to not take their money. Put in what makes sense for you to put in and dont apply for the money with strings attached. You can even put in solar and as long as you do not sell to the power grid, you dont need to follow their diktats. YOu can still buy from the grid, the same as any other appliance in your home ( if you do not sell to the grid, your inverter is like an appliance, like an electric stove or such, as long as it is UL listed as safe, you can connect it… look at the online retailers like Arizona Sun and Wind and go to the “off grid” menu, you will see that these also are able to connect to the grid, for example to “buy” from the grid, but they do not have to, they can work disconnected too). If you want a heat pump, buy one without the subsidy, then you are not required to have the communications set up.

    Back to the smart meter. It is realy the same thing. If you give them control, they subsidize ( not charging for the increased costs of manually reading can be seen as a subsidy). Dont take their subsidy in exchange for the control. Pay the fee.

  206. Just another Green Rage Monster,

    Thanks for the solidarity. I miss life on Sesame Street…
    My real/user name works pretty well with my budding druidry, though, I must admit.
    I’m with you about communing with the natural world – we’re developing quite the relationship these days.
    🙂

    SecretDi,

    I’ve lost more friends than I care to admit since reality started seeping in 13 years ago. Not sure if that’s more of an indictment of my shortcomings, or their faith in Progress? I’m sure I’m at least partly to blame. But it sure is nice to have good people to talk to now and then…thanks for being one of them.

    Stephen Pearson,

    You’re obviously a little older than I am…but I think I understand..
    My plebe year at the academy was hard. Really hard. But at least it wasn’t 30 years earlier!
    These days? I have zero faith that these millennials and Gen Z kids could even fake it.

  207. Hey All!

    Soylent Green can be watched for free on webarchive.org 😀

    What an interesting, stimulating and FUN salon our gracious host presides over every week. Thank you JMG and everyone.

  208. @selkirk #219

    I think I may have a different angle on that issue, when I’ve asked the people I know who are into these true crime shows, it often appeals to them as a way to “know the signs” of danger from these aforementioned serial killers and murderers.

    In the same way that many young men (who may have never been in a fight, or ever train in any sort of martial art or combat sport) might recreationally watch fight and self defense videos on YouTube, I think women often listen to these “true stories” so much in large part because they want to avoid getting murdered. Although it is also a grim sort of entertainment.

    I hope the true crime stories are more useful to the (many but not only) women who listen to them than the often silly and unrealistic self defense YouTube videos are for the (many but not only) men who never attempt to train or test the techniques.

    -WindMan

  209. Varun,

    Agreed that Russian will “win”. Russia can no more lose a war in Ukraine than we could lose one in Canada; there’s simply too much at stake for them. They’d go nuclear before they’d give up their own backyard.

    JMG,

    “The Line” seems to me just the latest example of the “Skyscraper Theory” only this one’s on it’s side. 😉

  210. “We’ve got too many people with biology degrees for the shrinking number of jobs in a declining economy, and not enough people who know how to do practical things like repair appliances and fix plumbing.”

    Totally agree that for many, going to college can be a way to get into debt as it has become much like the healthcare industry, bloated and expensive. Charles Hugh Smith who runs his own website has talked about this on several occasions. No longer is having a bachelors degree to higher pay. Why? Because more have been baited into the college debt pool all seeking the shrinking job pie. So that necessitated requiring a masters or PHD jumps to jump the college pool of graduates. How many college grads are now working at Taco Bell earning $13 per hr with loads of debt to pay back? My guess a lot more than we think. Back in my NY days, there was such a thing as High Schools that were vocational schools who taught a free trade, such as electronics, electrical, wood work, architect and so on, all for free. The vocational school I graduated from even provided job placement. Now if you want that, you have to pay dearly, in the tens of thousands.

    Our economy is built on stupidity and a house of cards. Teens are better off making stupid and childish Tik-Toc videos and posting them on YouTube where you can potentially earn hundreds of thousands or millions per year. All without a college degree.

    I come from an era where we repaired TV’s down to component level. That is what I majored in my HS Vocation. We also fixed toasters, refrigerators. We serviced computers, radios, two way walkie talkies down to components. Now it has all been thrown aside as the economy is now built on replace and purchase. You say that your fridge needs a new compressor? Well if you are lucky to find the part, it will probably cost about 95% of the purchase price of a new fridge. While that’s what we would call wasteful, it is now mandatory as it creates and maintains jobs and the false economy. All the while, global landfills keep piling up the garbage as we continue to strip mine the planet of its resources.

  211. Hi Selkirk,

    Most true crime readers are female, which is why the genre leans so heavily towards man-murders-wife-or-girlfriend. I suspect its popularity is because it’s about as close as a modern American woman can come to the white-knight fantasy. The knights, that is, the cops and the prosecutor, may not be able to save the princess, but they do avenge her against incredible odds (Miranda! Discovery rules! Mendacious defense attorneys!) and always get the right man.

    The early true-crime books, like Helter Skelter, leaned more towards serious non-fiction, then as publishers began to get a firm fix on the demographics, the field morphed into what you have today. Many of the early ones are worth reading. Today, not so much—they’ve run out of murders that fit the field’s requirements, for one thing. The murderer needs to appear to be a good husband in the beginning; the victim needs to be PMC; the knights need to be absolutely squeaky clean, the kind of people who’ll work on their own time to clear someone wrongfully convicted.

    I liked a lot of the early true-crime books, the ones with really weird looks at America, e.g. Jack Olsen’s Doc, about a doctor who raped a bunch of his Mormon patients by telling them he was doing a pelvic exam for about an hour or two down there. The women were not well-informed about sex, oddly enough; you’d think if anybody knew about sex, it’d be Mormons! But Doctor Pervert got away this for years. Reading about how the women got the legal system to take them seriously, and how Doctor Pervert was finally put away, was genuinely interesting. But then the t-c field fell into formula and wasn’t interesting.

  212. @ Luke Dodson #227
    Kyle Dunnigan is hilarious and he’s outdone himself with his latest video of the Fresh Prez of DC. I’ve been chuckling over “Sniff Sleepy” all week. Wonder if Eminem saw this outstanding tribute heheh.

  213. I have been reading the various retrospective posts concerning the missed opportunity of the 1970’s. My own perspective was (and is) quite different.

    I grew up in South Central Texas, which is a completely different culture than the Pacific NW. I was just hitting puberty during the violence of the late 1960’s, and my memories of the 1970’s were not very fond. To me, the 1970’s were the time of persistent high stagflation and the failure of Keynesian economics. From my part of the U.S., I always saw the “Boomer rebellion” of the ’60’s and ’70’s as just a bunch of cheap moral posturing and unbridled licentiousness by spoiled, self-entitled brats.

    As for the “environmental movement,” I saw that as nothing but a transparent scam by the Overclass to push the cost of their lifestyles on other people. First, the big scare was “Snowball Earth” and how we were heading into another Ice Age. Then, it was “global warming.” However, “freeze or fry,” the narrative was always about what someone else, somewhere else, had to do so that the Overclass could preserve their privileged lifestyles and feel good about themselves. So, I thought environmentalism was a big hoax.

    Consequently, I voted for Reagan in 1980, a vote which I later came to regret. From 1984 to the time I moved overseas, I voted “third party” to express my frustration with the system as it stood.

    My own big awakening came in 1991-1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the time, there was big talk about a “peace dividend,” which I think could realistically have been done. At that time, we could have slashed the military budget in half, and still have been the most powerful military in history. I had hoped that NATO would be wound up, and a multi-polar world established, with America sticking to the Monroe Doctrine and keeping to the Western Hemisphere as its strategic back yard.

    Those hopes were dashed when George Bush peré decided to stage Desert Storm to boost his domestic poll ratings and get people to stop calling him a “wimp.” For JMG, the abandonment of environmentalism was the Big Betrayal of his lifetime. For me, it was Desert Storm and the aftermath. George Carlin expressed my own disgust and sense of betrayal very well in this comedy show:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoqcDPiVxJ8&ab_channel=JCVdude

    That was the point I started waking up, admittedly later than JMG.

  214. A.P. #215

    I have never heard of a Christian form of Druidry. If there is, Christians would not consider that group to be Christian, but would see them as a “heretic sect.” Yes, many Christians feel heresy is alive and well, and do feel that heretics can walk among them, and it is their job to root them out.

    The following is what I have gathered over time. I am likely to be, let’s say, 10% wrong.

    I grew up Unitarian Universalist, so had learned absolutely nothing about Christianity. They like not teaching it.

    I started out studying Druidry (10 years), then because I knew nothing about the so-called dominant religion of the USA, I studied Christianity on my own (> 6 years). I wanted to know what all the hubbub about Christianity was about. I did lots of reading and studying for a good part of a decade. I technically still study Christianity. I find Christian history and saints fascinating.

    Druids (“pagans”) don’t mind Christians joining their ranks. On the other hand, Christians *DO* definitely mind Druids (or anyone else trying to do two things/faiths at the same time) joining their ranks — they don’t allow it. Druids add; Christians subtract. Christians wouldn’t be Christians if they included everyone. Christians self-select themselves as the in-crowd. Everyone else is in the out-crowd and, of course, they are “better.”

    Almost no Americans know that one can be Christian and pagan at the same time, pagan defined as one who likes being out in the countryside (country folk; nature).

    Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant denominations (including Quakers), independent churches, are EXclusive. Christian communities/churches insist anyone thinking of joining them renounce any other faith, beliefs, or practices.

    Unity (unity.org) is one church that doesn’t mind what else a person does. They are INclusive, but they are odd because they have a problem: they are airy-fairy-fluff. I call them the “love-and-light-crap” church. They don’t include negativity. They pretend that negativity doesn’t exist, so when I am around such people, it feels they are falling off the deep end: unbalanced, one-sided, unhealthy. I don’t like being around Unity people because they are just so, well, positive. One can’t have positivity without negativity, and they negate the negative, and it drives me nuts. Imagine day without night. Negativity gets no respect. Heaven forbid someone says something “negative.” There is usually one such church in every medium-size city. It is worth checking out a local church, if there is one. I experience their over-positivity as grating.

    Unitarian Universalists (UU), too, are okay, but you would be hard-put to find anyone who knows a thing about, or interest in, Christianity. Christianity is what they are trying to get away from. Plus, UUs are not the least bit religious — however, one certainly would see them on a street corner protesting for some odd cause.

    I was roughly 65, and as part of my “Christian self-education,” I joined the local Episcopal church. Episcopal is one of the most liberal church sects around. Three-quarters of this particular church was 75 or older — old school farmers. Everyone there accepted me as long as I was a “trainee” (beginner, not up to speed) because beginners know nothing, so the members expected little of me. I specifically studied for a year as an acolyte. I got myself baptized (it’s the old “if there isn’t a God, it’s a waste of energy, but if there is a God, I want to be in the club”). I really do think of baptism as joining an exclusive club. I can do absolutely nothing else, and I can never not be in the club, just because of a vow one has to take along with the sprinkling of water (or dunking, as may be the case).

    Prior to baptism, I hadn’t kept it a secret that I meditated. After baptism, because meditation is so much of who I am, I made a show of that I meditated. When I went to Sunday services, I got there half an hour early, picked a seat off to the side, closed the eyes, and meditated. After awhile, it got weird. I started to feel ‘squeezed’ — people made strange suggestions and insinuations that I couldn’t figure out where was coming from. I started to feel uncomfortable, but just stayed open, taking in information and neutrally observing. After all, I had committed two years of my life with them. Finally, after a couple months, it dawned on me their meaning.

    The farthest I have been able to make sense, members felt that closing the eyes means I was consorting with the devil — that I was conjuring up evil. I think they saw closing the eyes in terms of literal day and night. During daylight, it is hard to hide transgressions, but at night (no artificial lighting), that is when evil abounds. Members could not trust anyone who, in their opinion, invited night into their bodies. Even after they had gotten to know me for two years weekly, they felt that whenever they saw me with eyes closed, I was up to no good. Mind you, this is a 65-year old woman sitting on a church pew, hands in lap, quietly doing nothing, with eyes closed, watching my breathe. Apparently, some members silently freaked out, and they couldn’t stop saying snide, underhanded, unintelligible remarks.

    After a few months of this, I knew it was either I give up being a member of this church, or meditation had to go. Meditation was foreign to them, but it was my lifeblood. Anyone who dared to close the eyes, in public even, was automatically a bad person, without them investigating what meditation was. Meditation was a part of me; I could never in a million years quit meditation. I said ‘Hasta la vista’ to the church. They had ousted me little by little, passive-aggressively, where they became less congenial over time.

    The whole thing was definitely worth the experience. Now I have a distinct feeling what edge Christians will, and will not, tolerate. The lot of them are just plain intolerant. Even if they give lip service saying they are “tolerant,” they are not. I will even go so far as saying:

    ALL CHRISTIANS ARE INTOLERANT.

    I am not, nor ever could be, a Christian. They have rules, and I refuse to abide by those rules. I will never give up meditation. Had I not been well-seated in practicing decades of meditation, they may have convinced me that meditation was bad. But I knew otherwise. But I am glad I know lots and lots about Christians and Christianity. I know what they are about. It is not that I am against them. It is just that I want them to keep to their own ‘conspiratorial corner.’ It is their loss that they could not include a meditator amongst their crowd.

    A word about Quakers

    Don’t let Quakers fool you — they are as Christian as they come. I took an online course at Earlham College, Indiana: there are two main denominations of Quakers. One, or the other, denomination might fit what you are looking for. Quakers do understand “eyes closed,” since that is the foremost way they listen to the Holy Ghost. Actually, you might fit in well among Quakers, although when push comes to shove, even Quakers would probably not accept an active member being something like Druidry or magic. They would ask, “What is the attraction?” They would probably initially listen non-judgmentally.

    The problem with Quakers is that it is hard to find a group. One really can’t be a Quaker by oneself. It depends on where you live whether or not you can find a group to become part of. If you find you really want to be Quaker, check out the exact ‘meeting’ (aka local group) you propose to join. You may have to move to near the group that you then join. Quaker groups are few and far between.

    A word about Orthodox

    Eastern Orthodox know about closed eyes and meditation (as long as the focus is on Jesus, or Christ, or the like), having been located closer to “the East” (Hinduism; Buddlism) the whole time. When the East (Orthodox) broke with the West (Roman Catholicism) around 1000AD, the Western church lost its connection with the good that happens when one closes the eyes. I get the impression that the Eastern churches never lost knowing what happens when one closes the eyes. Eastern Orthodox churches feel a lot more balanced to me than Roman Catholic. Orthodox churches know that closing of eyes is an okay thing, but would not understand Druidry or magic, and I am sure they would try to convince a Druidy-type to stop doing whatever Druids do. With them, again, it is either-or, but at least, they are not as judgmental as other Christians.

    If you are considering an Orthodox church, get an appointment with a priest of a particular church, and honestly ask him (there are no ‘her’ priests) if he is okay with Druidry, paganism, magic, or however you term what you want to retain if you join up with them. He will likely ask what Druidry is, because no-one knows what Druidry is. They may think “Stonehenge.” Ask him if he thinks magic is heresy.

    All Orthodox churches are independent, so a priest in one church may have different specifications. In other words, all Orthodox priests are not created equal. At least, this is what I gather, but I could be wrong. One church may reject you, but another may welcome you. If anyone here knows differently, please let me know. Am I giving Orthodoxy more credit than it deserves? Do I have it wrong?

    Every medium-sized city in the USA and Canada usually has at least one Eastern Orthodox church. They are typically named Albanian, Antiochian, Armenian, Greek, Russian, Serbian, Syrian, Ukrainian. Occasionally, they just go by plain “Orthodox.” There are even Oriental Orthodox churches in southeastern India, part of the Syrian sect.

    One thing utterly verboten in Christian churches is magic (any kind, for example, JMG mentions here), other than kids’ magic show type thing. Magic is a way to get kicked out real fast.

    As I say, Christians are EXclusive: one must believe in Jesus or Christ or Jesus Christ (in one way or another) and must renounce all other spiritualities. If one is a part of a Christian group, don’t think of hiding Druidry or magic or whatever — they are on the lookout for such things. I have not found one Christian denomination that would accept anything akin to Druidry or magic as a concurrent practice or sideline. You may have to choose between Druidry and Christianity.

    Maybe JMG knows more than I about Christian-Druid relations. I know nothing about Golden Dawn.

    Good luck in your search,

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  215. @Neptunesdolphins

    (scribbling down notes on book recommendations: I’m out of reading for workouts, and that’s the only thing that makes exercise tolerable!)

    I have noticed similar things about the self-published sector, and have read quite a few very enjoyable books of that type this year. It’s all about niche markets: I found an author who’s a gigantic economic history buff (of all things) and writes light SF novels to explore the intricacies of Hanseatic League trade systems, by walking through them with a likable character who’s just living his fairly ordinary life. Not a whole lot of plot or excitement, but… I find I don’t need them, because it’s fun without those. It’s kind of neat how electronic insta-publishing has made room for… well, all sorts of terrible writing, but also a whole palette of delightfully quirky things that appeal to geeks like me, but maybe would never have generated enough interest in the general public to interest a publisher.

  216. DFC, I think the Biden administration could blunder into a war against the Chinese, or almost anyone else, right now; I doubt they’d do it on purpose, but starting a war — why, it’s as easy as falling off a bicycle.

    Celadon, oh, that again. Ahem. Figure out the energy inputs necessary to extract the traces of thorium from the coal and refine it into usable condition; figure out the energy inputs needed to restore the coal to usable condition; figure out the energy inputs needed to build, maintain, and operate the hundreds or thousands of thorium reactors that would be needed — and subtract all this from the energy output of the system. That’s the figure that matters, not the abstract amount of energy theoretically in there, if only you could get it out without any energy cost.

    Sardaukar, I’m watching this very carefully.

    TJ, I think of it as a skyscraper that suffers from erectile dysfunction.

    Rod, exactly. Sustainable? Not even in the short term.

    Chris, I have indeed. Not sure what’s going on there.

    Michael, thanks for this. I appreciate the very different perspective.

    Sardaukar, hmm! Much appreciated; I find news from Africa refreshingly free from the usual biases. (They’ve got biases of their own, but they’re not the ones our media suffers from.)

    SLClaire, dear gods. I’m very sorry to hear this.

    Northwind (if I may), there have been Christian Druids around for more than three hundred years. Most of them these days are either Episcopalians or belong to one of the independent sacramental churches. Remember that many of the older Druid traditions do not consider themselves “pagan” — it’s purely the Neopagan-influenced end of the movement that accepts that label.

  217. Just a note for last week’s discussion on kites. There’s a nice old book called Kitecraft and Kite Tournaments on the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/kitecraftkitetou1919mill with instructions for building several types of kites. Dates from 1919, so materials and tools should be available post-collapse. Wood, bamboo, paper, string mostly, aluminum tubing for some of the airplane models.

  218. JMG thanks. Well I give them A for effort. I had already decided it literally doesnt matter anyway but at least it’s more plausible than the usual fare. Thank you for the courteous and thoughtful reply I get the drift. It really does appear that people are hitching wagons to stars that aren’t there every time the subject arises. I’ve also decided I’d prefer to do without the geegaws on a civilizational level. They haven’t done us any good it would seem, as organized. If it wasnt for your work id be at denial stage still. I have appreciated the explosion of books however and acid free paper. That will be hard to replace. And toilet paper. There will be compensations however. At the rate we are going we will arrive in 5 to 10 years at total collapse not the 50 to 100 I calculated five years ago. Fun times ahead. I plod on in faith. God is vast. Polka dot tottering bat

  219. As a comment on Christianity and Druids it’s one of those weird matches that never happened but seemed meant to. Since we are rewriting history literally in our lives, perhaps some few can redeem that particular miswrite in the first edition. Celadon

  220. Northwind—um, meditating while reciting the rosary goes back at least to the 15th century. We Christians have been closing our eyes while praying for much longer than that. That church you attended sounds eccentric.

  221. A.P. #215

    Oh, I forgot about the two creeds (generically, “oaths”) (“promises”) Episcopalians and other Christian sects agree to during every Sunday worship service. Plus, when I was baptized, I agreed to both of the two creeds. These creeds were foundational to Western civilization. I respect the creeds for their historical value. I try to understand why, or how, they made sense to people for 2000 years. Or maybe they never made sense. I see them as mind-bending curiosities:

    (1) Apostles’ Creed (early 100s AD)
    (2) Nicene Creed (325 AD)

    The creeds are “complex” — mouthfuls. The more I studied Christianity, the more complicated Christianity got, not simpler. I am convinced that Christianity was always meant to be “hard.” The higher-ups of “The Church” kept piling on complexity because that gave them POWER OVER.

    Christianity kept men off the streets. If males were occupied trying to figure out the labyrinth of their religion, they were not out and about, making trouble. So there is something good to say about Christanity being perplexing.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  222. Thank you all for your kind words. I am feeling much better today.

    @Ian Duncombe, Northwind, I actually do the Judson whatchamacallit, the SOP, Ogham divinations, a simple prayer to a deity, a positive affirmation, and discursive meditation semi-daily, and am working on being more consistent. One of the things that concerned me and prompted me to reach out was the sheer, total ineffectiveness of what are usually good practices. Thank you both for your wisdom and helpfulness, the scizzor exercise sounds interesting, will try. Northwind, I checked today when this transit first began and it was either on the DAY, or the night before I had to stop doing things because of Covid in 2020. During the first year, I was actually doing REALLY well; I wrote the rough draft of a novel, I read hundreds and hundreds of books, and I doubled and tripled down on astrology and spiritual practice. This last year, on the other hand, has been a time of total collapse for me, culminating in the awfulness I describe. I think you are absolutely right about the energies in the air, and perhaps this transit is my personal interaction with it, after I’ve been worn down by the ambient muck. I think perhaps that I needed to be alive during Covid for some reason, which is not a pleasant thought, but it is a steadying one. The screaming or crying is also excellent advice, much as I shirk from it due to my aversion to strong emotion.

    @Ian Duncombe;
    Thank you for the compliment! I have spent much of this hellish Covid time reading about Pre-Islamic pan-Iranian history. If you ever want to chat about it, HMU somehow. Its a massive passion of mine. Not knowing about it is no shame, because researching it is kind of a pain in the ass because of how little attention the subject has gotten in the west. It really, really pisses me off, because it is absolutely CRUCIAL in fully understanding Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Chinese Buddhism, and much more, so it isn’t even like they are doing it because the subject has no relevance. Academics love to pretend how objective they are, but my time researching in college with them showed me clearly what little fashion-loving, grant-seeking worms they could be. If you know Russian, there is more there about the Steppe Iranians (Scythian, Sarmatian, Alan) in old Soviet archaeological works, apparently.

    @Tony C: Thank you for your advice! I look at my birth chart fairly often; I actually did some discursive meditation about it last year. I do think you are on to something with the Chronocrators and coming to grips with the outer planets, will try working on the qualities associated with them.

    @Pumpkin Scone: Another synchronicity; just a couple of days ago I started Spengler for real rather than just meaning to for the millionth time. So far, he is electric and impressive, if a bit overwritten. I hope his view of the Magian Civ is useful despite the fact that middle eastern archaeology advanced to an extreme degree in the years after he wrote the book. The knowledge about Iran was particularly overhauled, and Zoroaster’s life was, for most scholars, pushed back by near a thousand years. Considering that the word Magian itself refers to Zoroastrian/Iranian priests, (the word magic is Iranian in origin, from Magu or Magush, priest) that might change things a bit.

    @Jacques: While the other person is right scientifically about the effects of smart meters, my dad had significant relief from taking ours down despite the fact that it shouldn’t have really done anything. Go figure, the world doesn’t make sense sometimes. It could have been psychosomatic, but then, also it could not have been. I would try and go somewhere with one for a couple hours/days, and see how you feel. I would stress the odd and unpredictable properties of electric and magnetic fields; my dad tests the fields with various devices all the time for his own sanity, and sometimes there are odd interactions between gadgets placed in certain places that intensify the effects dramatically, then when you move them like ten feet away there is no interaction, and no problem, at all.

  223. Northwind,
    What a strange experience you have had. If I saw someone in a Christian church with closed eyes I would assume they were praying, or I wouldn’t really notice them. I simply don’t take that much notice of what others are doing. We all have our own way of approaching God, or not, and I suspect he is a lot less fussy than we are. After all he has a reputation for hanging out with the undesirables.

  224. At least one restaurant CEO has come to his senses regarding robots in restaurants.

    “There’s a lot of interest around what you can do from an automation standpoint,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday. “We’ve spent a lot of money, effort, looking at this. There is not going to be a silver bullet that goes and addresses this for the industry.”

    Robotics, he said, are good at “garnering headlines,” but “it’s not practical in the vast majority of restaurants.”

    “The economics don’t pencil out,” he said.

    [https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/mcdonalds-ceo-chris-kempczinski-technology-no-silver-bullet-labor]

    If any restaurant chain could make automation work, it would be McDonald’s.

  225. I met a genuine “aussteiger”, a drop out of urban society in the highland countryside of Austria.
    He’s about 60 or something. He originated from the north eastern countryside of Vienna. From 21 to 33 he was a night time taxi driver in Vienna, then pool supervisor in the public baths for 2 years.

    At age 35 he followed a woman to the highlands countryside, had a child with her and then started working for a farm that produced a greater variety of products. Since then he has been farm worker, works as tree cutter too for a company (tending rich people’s trees, an expensive affair). In the rest of his time he plants gardens himself and rides horses.

    It was interesting as I told him of failed attempts of rural living from my university colleagues.
    He said they didn’t fail because it is too hard, but because of their “inner attitude” or something similar…
    I was reminded of JMGs dictum in magic, you have to give something before you can get something.
    Urban comfort – if yet there is – in exchange for a degree of relative freedom and inner peace.
    “I knew nothing either about these things – I learned everything step by step. About 10 years to become good I took”

    His appearance is a bit reminiscent of the “Highlander” Christoph Lambert character, though a bit more scrawny, crooked and funny.
    He has bought old cars cheaply and since he has learned welding and spray painting too as it seems, he managed to repair his cars so that they still get licensed for the road, a procedure that demands higher and higher standards to fulfill legally in these years, the typical mandate of complex society to use more and more for everything.

    This man’s recount was a great inspiration; proving many points about the will and possibility of dropping out of corporate life. I met him at the old hippie’s place in the highlands spot, who is my neighbour to my cabin, a ~35 min walk to his house. Also the old hippie, who at 60 still does heavy labor and is very resilient, is a remarkable personality. He has worked rather dangerous jobs in the still industry in his youth, spent a lot of time in india also and for years lived a celibate meditation monk life, though still living in the industrial city.

    He has many valuable and amazing skills:
    gardening, welding, construction jobs like masonry, osteopathy, making alchemical ailments from herbs, food conservation, astrology…
    I’ve spent a week in the countryside with a friend and we visited him. I helped him with chores around his house and the steep hill gardens around he owns, rather hidden places.
    After all he is old and is happy when we helped him digging and carrying gravel up to slope, or carrying twigs and timber.

    This makes me think of ecosophia forum poster TamHobs, who remarked whether “helping out the famers during one summer is really comparable with being a full time peasant”
    – No one’s a real full time peasant right now.
    Helping the hippie out was a happy task for me, also sweaty and heavy but serene. Made me think of, I think Jordan Peterson said it, “the redemptive quality of physical labor”.

    I’d rather stay all the time and learn what he learned from him, but for now, I will have a corporate job in the city, and prepare for this winter as I can, sit by and see what happens…

  226. @JMG

    A question about Marxism –

    Could the reason behind the Utopian fantasies so cherished by Marxists be the fact that Marxism is actually not as materialist as both its supporters and critics think it is? I mean, the Marxist view of history completely blanks out the influence of environmental factors on human history (I don’t think this is deliberate; I’m quite sure this has never really occurred to Marxist historians). That a school of historiography inspired by an ideology that leaves out literally the most physical of all sources of influence on human history, and views the natural world as a blank slate on which humans write their own Utopian story, can get to be called an ultra-materialist one, is somewhat odd, to say the least. If Marxists had taken into account the logic behind environmental history, maybe, just maybe, they would have been less likely to indulge in Utopian fantasies. We might have gotten an ideology which brought with it some of the (actual)positives of socialism, but grounded in reality. I guess we’re still in the early stages of the succession cycle…

    There has been a lot of criticism of Spengler and Toynbee by scholars, both Marxist as well as non-Marxist, about their cyclical theory of history, with arguments like ‘history is too complex and messy to draw clear patterns from’. Interestingly, if we look at what environmental history tells us, it basically vindicates Spengler and Toynbee said; ironically, in the case of Spengler (I haven’t finished reading Toynbee yet, so can’t comment about him), his analysis of history itself is clearly Faustian (as you pointed out some months ago) as it leaves out the influence of the natural environment on human history, but it is environmental history which actually vindicates him. Sure, history is messy and complex, and there could be multiple patterns in it (not all applicable at once), but once you take into account the influence of the natural environment on human history, the only clearly discernible pattern is cycles, nothing else.

  227. re: the true crime fetish – I see this as women’s need to convince themselves they are victims – were before and could be again – even through they are not currently. There’s a lot of rage in suburban white women despite living in luxury wearing athleisure driving out to the local Starbucks in the giant SUV. They live in a fantasy world of victimhood. True crime podcasts are the most listened to.

    My Hispanic friends don’t read true crime at all and it really seems to be a white suburban women thing.

  228. @DFC #201

    The BMJ article you cited was very good. Thanks for sharing it. Corruption is a cancer that spreads to all parts of the body. The Romans wrote about corruption in terms that are perfectly contemporary. For this reason I gave up thinking that history “rhymes” and have come to think that it simply repeats more or less exactly.

    @JMG

    Do you think we will soon see a new food package label that says “Bug Free”? It could go right next to “Organic” and “Non-GMO”. I hope so because I have no desire to Eat ze Bugs. I expect we won’t since the government will make that label illegal under some obscure FDA rule. Still, it isn’t too soon to push back against Big Insect.

  229. A small data point.
    A European corporation gave out a “cost of living” wage adjustment to only the bottom 20% of the workers. The pay raise was in low single digits, the equivalent of 1200 US dollars a year. It will barely make up for the higher prices of electricity for an average family.
    Now it’s quarterly earnings time. Turns out that the company has made huge profits because of the interest rate hikes. What does it do with the profits? The executives reward themselves fat bonuses, and hands over the rest to shareholders as dividends and share buybacks. This in the middle of the financial year, and a looming economic slowdown.
    Now let me tell you, the profit is so high that they could use a mere tenth of that profit to pay a 2500 US dollar (equivalent) pay rise to all employees, not just the bottom 20%. Most workers are furious. They are having trouble ends meet right now, and they know they will end up starving, or on the street in the winter.
    So they start to vent on the internal social network (Faceplant has made a version for corporations). The company saw this and within hours, tweaked the algorithms to shadowban these kinds of posts and comments.
    The irony is that the management hopped on the woke/DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) bandwagon and paraded (literally) around their virtue for the past couple of years, and now the workers are asking, “Pardon me, where is the equity and inclusion when it comes to paying workers”?
    What am I doing here? Well, I am in a subsidiary of this company in another country. I am not in as much trouble as the people in the home country. I have a foot in both worlds – using this job to earn some decent cash while I keep working on my personal collapse. I have been reading you since 2007, so I have no illusions about where this is going. I can clearly see that the elites are busy grabbing whatever they can before the whole thing goes underwater.

  230. Northwind Grandma, you believe that, I quote, “pagan defined as one who likes being out in the countryside (country folk; nature)”.

    That would be about half of all Americans. Most of us love the outdoors. This is a country where sports franchises are named after animals. (In Oregon, the two major teams are known as The Beavers and The Ducks. Sportswriters have a lot of fun with those.) Pace Mr. Kunstler, we took to suburban living, not because we imagined ourselves English gentry, but because you could go outside once in a while. I think, if I am not mistaken, we invented the institution of national parks. The fundamental reason why so much of our land is public, not “government”, public, is because the citizens want it that way. We don’t think you should have to be friends with a millionaire to be able to go fishing.

  231. I checked out the website for the Saudi Arabian project The Line, and there is some spiel about renewable energy, green hydrogen, zero carbon etc. My first thought was that this is a product of an autocrat’s grandiose delusions. But the Saudis have made some shrewd moves in the global politics recently. Perhaps this is an elaborate con being played to milk investment money out of the ESG-obsessed investmentariat?

  232. About books.
    I am glad I was able to provide some suggestions for readers.

    How I found out about how authors are doing self-publishing was when I was looking for historical mysteries of the cozy kind. Frankly, I am sick of all of the British centric books there seems to be. I found an author who decided to write mysteries of Medieval Poland. She wrote about how she found no novels that focused on Central Europe and how publishers expected sex scenes in their books.

    P.K. Adams, Midnight Fire (A Jagiellon Mystery Book 2) is one of her books. Jagiellon refers to the dynasty of Poland-Lithuania. She also wrote two novels on Hildegard of Bingen.

    From there, I just followed bread crumbs to other writers.

    Besides True Crime, there are the Dark Mafia books. Most of these are self-published with a large following of women. They feature an alpha male of the Mafia, a feisty heroine, and lots of sex – both consensual and non. And of course, a happy ever after ending after the heroine suffers great tribulations. Some of them are very dark, some not so. But the ending is the same, the couple get married.

    Of course, there is Chuck Tingle who self-publishes through Amazon.

  233. Michael Martin at 240:

    I remember the “peace dividend.” I remember when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union broke up. I remember the relief and amazement I felt when I thought “the Cold War got solved!” (not ‘won’, but ‘solved’) and the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon fell to near zero. I never thought that would happen in my lifetime (I was in my late teens). It felt like a whole new world had opened. No more absurd military spending, no more sacrifices for the sake of fighting communism. I never got over the feelings of betrayal that the opportunity got flushed so that defense contractors could keep raking in the bucks and the constant search for a new threat so that our leaders could continue to use fear to stay in power.

    I was simply amazed how easily everyone around me bought into the idea that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was an existential threat to the US when the PTB were ramping up that war.

    JMG:

    Which takes me to what you said above about liberals and lefties overnight went from “corporate medicine is poison” to excoriating people who were suspicious of the COVID vaccines for being “anti-science.”. I swear I got a minor case of whiplash when that happened. I am still unclear how that happened – that many people reversing their positions all at once.

    I think I must be very naive in my very roots.

  234. There’s an interesting essay here: https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2022/07/27/green-technocracys-dirty-secret/ which points out that part of the cost of a wind turbine is the cost of plastic for the blades, which is derived from natural gas, which has become so expensive that some wind turbine manufacturing plants have shut down. Just when I thought that expensive gas would make wind MORE competitive, the cost of wind power also rises. (The author also touches on complacent elites who exempt THEIR jets from fossil-fuel taxes, and enjoy steaks while advising the rest of us to eat bugs.)

  235. John–

    Walking downtown, I came up on a Ford Lightning (EV) with it’s dealership pricing information still in the window: $67k base MSRP plus another $10k of options.

    Also, re calling that Twain once commented that while history doesn’t necessarily repeat, it can rhyme very well, it has occurred to me that a century ago, we began a certain decade with a global pandemic, followed by some economic gyrations before a phenomenal stock market boom that led to an equally phenomenal bust. If we have a strong bull market take off in the next couple of years, I’m going to be rather concerned…

  236. Let’s see if we can get some traction with a simple message to the White House (Resident Biden, and whoever makes decisions there): “Ground Air Force One”. If they want us to believe that we’re facing a “Climate Emergency”, ending Executive travel by air should be a simple, highly-symbolic, action. (Well, I guess it’s really an inaction, when they’re not doing it.)

    What can a politician do with travel that they can’t do via electronic communication? (Aside from making private deals at public expense…)

    Ground Air Force One (and all the associated air travel that surrounds movement of the Commander in Chief)!

  237. “and sometimes there are odd interactions between gadgets placed in certain places that intensify the effects dramatically, then when you move them like ten feet away there is no interaction,”

    Constructive interference is a real thing when the waves/fields add up. Destructive interference is also a real thing when the waves/fields cancel each other out. And heterodyning is a real thing where two different frequencies interact to produce a strong third frequency. The latter was the basis for a popular AM radio design, often called a Superheterodyne radio.

    So although I’m not bothered by electromagnetic noise, I don’t doubt some people are bothered. I am also immune to MSG, nor can I taste it, although my daughter is bothered and can taste it. And I can’t water-witch either, nor do my joints inform me of approaching storms. I’m apparently a bit impervious, or electrically speaking I have low permittivity. 😉

  238. Greetings! A friend claimed that the dark ages were global and I thought that it was more likely they were local or at least different depending on location. Was that something you discussed in Dark Age America?

    Thank you!

  239. Another aside…its too bad Episcopals have plunged over cliff…anglicanism is a good refuge or could be for occultist. The ACNA or conservative anglicans are too small and will be reactionary for a long time. More moderate conservative Burkeianism in our episcopalians please. They are also the logical choice for a national church of reconciliation if they hadn’t decided that everything traditional is evil. There has to be some difference between the Church and Zeitgeist or the salt has no reason to be salt. The way its shaping up its Oligarchy versus Patriarchy/Matriarchy which go together like Sky and Earth.

  240. Dear JMG:

    Each time I think the Powers That Be, the Elites, or similar can’t come up with something stupider than their last escapade, they go one better!

    Australia had decided to obtain nuclear powered submarines in a major step up in their capability, apparently because the USA was looking to beef up overall capabilities against China. Australia signed a contract with a French firm to build them. Then, under British and UK pressure (they wanted to build them and get the money, they broke the contract and infuriated the French. Now, Australia has just paid a lot of money to the French firm to settle the breach of contract, and the Americans and British can’t build the submarines.

    Now:

    “Australia almost no chance to buy any submarine from current US building program, experts say

    “Latest report to US Congress reveals the superpower will struggle to meet its own submarine-building targets for decades”

    “hopes fade of getting a new submarine under the Aukus deal before 2040”

    From the Guardian, for heaven’s sake, so this all may even be optimistic!

    I guess the plan is to incapacitate Chinese leadership with hysterics?

    The Littoral Combat Ship fiasco … the F-35 … the USS Bon Homme Richard fire and now this! Does anybody up there think??

    I think you may have painted too optimistic a picture in Twilight’s Last Gleaming. At this rate, can Nancy Pelosi even find Taiwan??

    Cugel (the Absolutely Astounded)

  241. Hi JMG!

    Have you read The Failure of Technology by Friederich Georg Jünger?

    I’m half way thru, and it amazes me how Jünger foresaw 80 years ago the damage to human society the spread of Technology would cause, and the ultimate collapse of the Technological project.

  242. It appears the periphery is beginning to slide into collapse. Argentina’s economy has once again collapsed. Now 60% of its population is unemployed. The government is trying to fill the gaps with other peoples money aka socialism. How long before the population gets, fed up, restless and begins protests and civil unrest?

  243. I just donated The Worst Hard Time to the little free library that I walk by on the way to the store. It will be interesting to see if/how long it takes to get picked up.

    It got me thinking about putting some more, slightly subversive books there. I think I have Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma around here somewhere. Also thinking about re-reading Twilight’s Last Gleaming and donating that. Maybe a few other JMG books I’m willing to give to the greater good.

  244. Celadon, fortunately paper can be made in nonindustrial times — it was invented in China by an official named Cai Lun in 105 AD, and was widely used for book manufacture by the third century. (It was first used to wrap delicate objects.) Hemp paper is easy to make and very durable — that’s what the Declaration of Independence is written on — and simple printing presses are easy to make and use, so I expect the coming dark age to be less brutal than the last one the West went through — more like the corresponding dark ages in East Asia, where they had paper and printing to keep knowledge intact.

    Jeff, delighted to hear this. If McDonald’s is backing away from the robot fad, that’s a very good sign.

    Curt, wonderful! I hope you can learn as much as possible from him.

    Viduraawakened, good! Yes, in fact Marxism is best described as a Christian heresy. Every detail in the Christian narrative has an exact equivalent in the Marxist one: primitive communism is the Garden of Eden, the invention of private property is the Fall, and so on up to the glorious proletarian revolution as the Second Coming, to be followed by the Millennium of socialism and then the final descent of the New Jerusalem of true communism. It’s mythic, not materialistic, and the only reason it’s hostile to religion is that the god of dialectical materialism, like Jehovah, demands that his followers forsake all other gods.

    Starfish, I’m in favor of it. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if somebody came up with stickers saying “100% Bug Free” to stick on products…

    Anonymous, that’s utterly typical — and of course it never occurred to the executives that maybe their employees would resent this.

    Collapsenik, you know, that makes sense!

    Chris, I don’t think of myself as naive, but it gave me whiplash, too. I think something very weird happened.

    Lathechuck, Consciousness of Sheep is a great blog. Thanks for this — and of course he’s quite correct: since the corporate end of green energy is all hopelessly dependent on stealth subsidies from fossil fuels, the faster the price of fossil fuels rise, the less affordable that kind of green energy becomes. Homescale DIY stuff is quite another matter, of course, but you won’t hear the media mention that!

    David, that’s certainly something to worry about. I’ve had the oddest feeling, though, that what’s happening is that we’ve somehow shifted into reverse: we had the boomtimes, and then the pandemic, and now a big war in Europe that’s redefining world politics and is being fought in trenches. If a huge and supposedly unsinkable ocean liner sinks a couple of years after the Russo-Ukraine war ends, I’ll be seriously weirded out…

    Lathechuck, I like this. Splash it around!

    Matt, I didn’t discuss it at length. The answer is that, no, the dark ages weren’t global. When Europe and China were both in their dark ages, the Muslim world was at its zenith, and so was ancient Mexico.

    Celadon, I know. An old-fashioned Broad Church Episcopalianism would, I think, be very popular now.

    Cugel, seriously? Ha! That’s really, really funny.

    Jose, no, I haven’t read it! I’ll see if the local library system can get it for me.

    Rod, ouch. Hang on, it could get seriously hairy from here on in.

  245. Matt #268: If by “Dark Ages” you mean the 500 year period between the fall of Rome (476) and the 10th century, that darkness was regional. That same period saw a golden age in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Buddhism was introduced in Japan around the same time Rome fell, and it sparked a major cultural expansion. And while the former Western Roman Empire sunk into chaos, Byzantium continued to be a cultural center through the Dark Ages.

  246. Dear JMG,

    Touching on the theme of reincarnation that some of the earlier posters here mentioned, I have a couple of basic questions to which I was hoping you could provide at least some answers. I know that this is probably “Reincarnation 101” stuff, so I apologize if I’m making you rehash elementary info here.

    1) If the ‘point’ of reincarnation is to provide additional learning and/or growth experiences for the soul, how does or how can one learn such lessons, when the memories of prior lives are mostly it not completely wiped out after death? Wouldn’t this cause each soul to have to “start from scratch”, so to speak, with each new life?

    2) Why are memories of prior lives generally, or almost completely, but apparently sometimes NOT completely, wiped away? How do those sometimes-remembered memories manage to filter through to next lives?

    I ask the second question because, although I was raised in a Christian church (Catholic, but not Roman Catholic), I have had several experiences, mostly early in my childhood, that strongly hinted of memories of another, past life. These were very intense experiences, some of the very strongest feelings I have ever felt, and most of them were related to a very particular Native culture, in a then-faraway and unvisited (by me) part of North America, to which I had absolutely no exposure as a child, other than seeing a few images while young of artifacts or artwork from that culture, which each time immediately caused a profound sensation of recognition, of belonging, and of “home”.

  247. Hi John,

    Three times in my life I have had dreams where I was another person in another era. In one dream I was a soldier at Fort Quebec in the 1600s. In another dream I was a Jewish immigrant married to an Irish woman in late 19th century New York City and in the final dream I was a high ranking Nazi officer during WWII. Do these dreams mean anything or did I watch too many movies when I was young? Have you ever had similar type dreams?

  248. @ Stephen Pearson #180 “Whoever was mentioning the size of the Mexican economy: a huge portion of it is informal and probably never gets counted. A lot of it is even barter or exchange of favors, and a great deal of the rest cash.”

    I think we will very soon see the real advantage that people who have EVERYTHING (except money) have held on to, vis-a-vis people who have NOTHING (except money).

  249. #142 Happy Panda, #154 JMG
    Here’s another (long!) Twitter thread from earlier this year, with Youtube from a French economist.
    Takeaways:
    * China + Russia = 35% of global economy using Purchasing Power Parity metrics
    * Real argument that US + EU is 25% of global economy by PPP
    Buried in the thread is this little gem, showing just how GDP underweights manufacturing/physical production and exalts “knowledge workers”. It goes some way in explaining why the PMC sees the working class as it does.

    And speaking of the UK’s economy…
    Dmitry Orlov mentioned something called the Moscow World Standard as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association. On his boosty account version he says that the BRICS, allied Asian Countries, and Africa total 57% of global gold production, so they could “starve out” London if it gains traction.

  250. @ Nathaniel #194 – Thanks a million! All settled and sorted! Best for all the good work you are doing!

  251. Okay, this is more of a entertaining story than a question, but I thought you should know this.

    I did my dissertation defense yesterday. It was going great. I was thinking to myself, “wow, I might graduate with highest honors”. Then my fourth examiner came up to the plate and he had serious issues with my biggest source. Mr. Greer, I’m sorry to say that if you had any inclination towards publishing in peer reviewed philosophy before then you need to let that go 🙂

    Apparently quoting a man who publishes on occultism, secret societies, and (adopt really triggered high pitched super whiny nerd rage voice now) a blogger!!!!!!!!!! is unacceptable. I got grilled for longer than I I actually got to present by one long list of complaints, the most significant one being my decision to quote guys like you instead of more accepted European scholars. So yeah… I was knocked down to just passing.

    Long story short the academia doesn’t want to touch you with a ten foot pole. But heh, the dissertation will wind up on the Universidad Francisco Marroquin’s website in the coming weeks, so you will still officially have a presence in peer reviewed literature and maybe, just maybe, a double digit number of people will read it. I might now be black listed though so if you want to be mentioned in more publications you’ll have to go to tenured professors, but that’s okay, I think I’ll stick with my super secure factory job for the foreseeable future.

  252. Wer here
    It is really crazy, I want to tell the people in the commentariat one thing , do yourself a favor and stop watching MSM. It is a waste of time, they will lie to you repeatedly and show you that they consider you to be idiots, same in the media on You Tube. Don’t have a lot of time nowadays but Is it just me or majority of people on YT are astroturfers? The same claims about liberal supremacy (WE can’t go back), Russian swift collapse (apparently acording to this Kasparov chess guy was supposed to happen by April 15) Imminent EU/Ukrainian victory and let’s not forget how ” renewable energy not only will make us rich but also defeat Russia.
    JMG I know that you don’t like people who are predicting things but allow me to put a date on the EU final collapse. When everything in the EU stopped making sense complettely and people had became openly hostile to this idea (it is the year of 2020 when covid happened- the moment when a lot of folks realized that thoose “concerned elites” openly don’t care about them and treat them as dirt) I often hear that it is not about a large economic crisis but about a crisis of legitimacy and that is the year when a lot of people went from “We don’t like the EU and it’s bureacracy and laws but we will tolarate it for the sake of opposing rising powers to “thoose people don’t care about us and will poison/bankrupt us) Right now the MSM is still bombarding us about Ukraine (Dutch farmers protest and Sri Lanka are mere footnotes) but for the farming folks in our area Dutch farmers are far more important that Ukraine. I am getting concerned people are talking that if Dutch farmers “win” and force the EU regulations to stop then we should do the same a lot of thoose talks sounds like planning a insurection. They ARE TALKING IN PRIVATE FOR A GOOD REASON NO ONE WANTS TO TWEET STUFF THAT WILL GET YOU ARRESTED At this rate it might happen faster than most people realize, With Poland being short on firewood and coal in the Winter and printing money like crazy fuel is almost 200% up
    https://businessinsider.com.pl/wiadomosci/zabraknie-wegla-bedzie-nauka-zdalna-nowa-decyzja-rzadu/prjbjjs
    Sri Lanka also forced Study at home in May two mounths before the president was forced out of the palace by an angry mob, and a lot of folks here are sharpening the pitchforks Greta Thunbergs of the world beware.
    I am a simple man my familly and daughter are the world for me and It is getting bad here, the MSM are casually disregarding the plight of ordinary people here, they show collorful adverts of Poland carefully editing stuff they don’t want people to see. It is like watching Soviet propaganda about a EU bureacrats uops sorry workers paradise.
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  253. About The Line, looking at what the Chinese have pulled off on the Loess Plateau, or Geoff Lawton‘s work in Jordan, and similar projects, I‘m pretty sure the Saudis would be better off if they took the money for that stupid project and directed it towards improving their land.

    It‘s strange how the astonishing successes of regenerative agriculture, permaculture, and similar movements never seem to hit the radar screen of people with serious money.

    Must be that it’s too low-tech. Nothing sexy about mulch.

  254. Given that I first learned about Auguste Mouchot from this blog, it might be of interest to our host and other readers to know that the French writer Miguel Bonnefoy just published “L’inventeur”, a novel romanticizing the life of this solar energy pioneer:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61227560-l-inventeur

    The timing of the energy crisis in Europe could not be better chosen to bring that historical figure back into the spotlight.

  255. @DFC – thank you for the BMJ and other citations on “evidence-based medicine” (aka EBM). I have had many thoughts on this topic over the years. In no particular order:

    1) The raising of the “Random Controlled Double Blind Trial” (aka RCDBT) to the pole position on the hierarchy of evidence amounts to an amazing, but completely unacknowledged discovery! That both doctors AND patients are hugely influential in the processes that constitute what we call healing – SO influential that they must be “blinded” (and removed entirely from consideration) in order to be able to detect and/or measure the truly tiny differences between one product and another product, or between one product and an inert, but similar appearing, substance. Still, those tiny differences ARE what gets touted in the marketplaces where medical treatments are bought and sold in accordance with the success (or not) of their claims to “work”.

    2) If you “blind” (and thus remove from consideration) the influences of both patient and doctor, what are you left with? Only the medical treatment – be it drug, device, procedure. And it so happens that the drug, device, procedure IS what the pharmaceutical company is in the business of selling. For people to compare one DOCTOR to another DOCTOR adds nothing to their balance sheets. For people to compare one PATIENT (and their whole approach to their own illness) and another PATIENT, might give people quite the wrong idea about how much influence they themselves can exert in the matter of their own health and illnesses.

    3) EBM is a dream come true for bureaucrats, whether they do actuarial tasks in an insurance setting, or set public health policy. If it were true that EBM told you everything you need to know about every medical case, then medicine could be entrusted entirely to AI’s. EBM is a sort of trojan horse that has landed a hostile middleman into the middle of every doctor/patient consultation. I do not think doctors have yet woken up to the professional precipice that has opened up under their own feet in this regard. Almost all of them operate digital patient record systems, and succumb to guidance from “standard of care” guidelines which already diminish their professional judgments and make their professional training and clinical experience redundant. Also, such systems could potentially be using their labour to train the AI’s that will replace them at some opportune moment.

    4) Certainly there is much corruption (as we all know and acknowledge). Still, it remains the case that even the best and most honestly conducted RCDBT cannot tell ANY doctor what must be done for THIS patient who is sitting in front of them with THIS presenting condition, under THESE circumstances, at THIS time. Only clinical experience, together with a thorough familiarity of the patient mapping tools, and medical treatment tools, typical of their specific style of medicine, can find the right treatment to apply to THIS person at THIS time… with willingness to watch the results and adjust the treatment accordingly.

    I have many other thoughts on this matter, but this is probably enough to be going on with. I am delighted to see some critical thought being applied to the subject in the BMJ. Perhaps that precipice is beginning to loom large through the mist…

  256. Good day JMG,

    What do you think of IQ tests as a measure of intelligence?

    It seems to have validity for a good number of fields, for memory, logic, language yet it does not measure anything for artistic intelligence, creativity, probably not for the ability to adapt, spiritual intelligence, athletic abilities, morality, crafts people abilities, common sense etc. etc.

    What is a healthy way to use IQ without overusing it?

  257. And now this Headline from ZeroHedge: “China Launches Live-Fire Drills Off Taiwan With US Carrier Group Nearby, As Pelosi’s Plane En Route To Asia”.

    If I didn’t know any better and I were an Alien dropped from the Mothership; it’s almost as if TPTB want War and will stop at nothing until we get a world war that in their crazed minds would nuclear.

  258. JMG,
    Thanks for helping expand my knowledge about food, history, and food history. 😁
    I am very grateful to you for all the effort you put into helping others like myself learn, grow, and most importantly: muddle through the predicament of our times.

    A thousand Blessings to you and Sara.

    With a grateful heart,
    Court

  259. Biden, who has (supposedly) been Fully Vaccinated, has “rebound Covid.” The interesting thing is I heard this on the TV news. Maybe the PMCers are afraid he’ll blurt out that he still has it before they can stop him? Or maybe they figure the jig is up on using Covid to frighten people into submission?

  260. JMG, on your recommendation I have started reading Gareth Knight’s Experience of the Inner Worlds. I must say so far I find it a bit long on his idiosyncratic views of history and a bit short on practice – there are very few details on how to go about to produce a Sphere of Light, for example! But I will follow Knight’s recommendation to read it once from beginning to end and then decide if I want to delve further in.

  261. Hi Cugel,

    It may be that down under, we don’t ever own those nuke things, it is possible that either the US or the UK will demand that we end up leasing them.The French I believe were intent on supplying a diesel electric machine, and those things have – range anxiety. The land of stuff is probably particularly concerned about the nuke things because we could simply sit at a considerable distance from them and take out oil tankers in the Straits of Malacca. You don’t have to be Einstein to see why they responded with the forward base in the Solomon Islands – right on our doorstep.

    Simple things may indeed be more complicated than they seem.

    Cheers

    Chris

  262. Hi John Michael,

    I’m coming around to your view with renewable energy technologies in that they are suitable for small scale applications. They work fine here. However, I have had to accommodate their quirky generation potentials and not demand too much. The problem as I see it, is that the mains electricity grid is just so good, that people have over inflated expectations as to future performance. And they’re wrong to do so.

    In some respects it is not lost on me that the powers that be chose to add an additional million people to the the big smoke in about a decade, and failed to commensurately increase say the hospital infrastructure. The people working in that industry – and it is an industry – are constantly whining about how over worked they are. What did they expect – there’s a million extra people in the city.

    Anyway, I still can’t get my head around why the Modern Monetary Theorists keep saying that it somehow doesn’t matter. Me thinks it matters.

    Cheers

    Chris

  263. Alan, the kind of learning that takes place in the process of reincarnation isn’t conscious. It might better be described as the shaping of character. Each life is a chance for you to encounter the world afresh, to take the character that is the product of your previous lives and expose it to new challenges and possibilities, and grow further. If you remembered your previous lives you’d be stuck in the rut of your former personality — the personality, after all, is just a collection of habits of thought and action. Instead, you get a fresh start each time, so that you can ripen and enrich your character. Eventually, when you’ve reached the stage of reflective self-knowledge, you start to remember scraps of those previous lives, and that’s a sign that you’re nearly finished with material incarnation and are ready to leave the elementary school of the soul and go on to something more interesting.

    Peter, I haven’t had dreams like that, though I know people who have. My past life memories tend to come through in sudden glimpses while I’m awake. As for whether your dreams mean anything, can you connect the personalities you had in those dreams, and the things you experienced in them, with the personality and the experiences you have now? If so, they may be more than just movie scraps.

    Jeff, thanks for this. That makes a great deal of sense.

    Stephen, I’m delighted to hear that you passed. I was a little worried about you citing me at all, but you seemed confident and I didn’t think it was my place to argue. I’ve been cited now and again already in peer reviewed literature, but there’s always pushback, because I’m not part of the academic industry and so my existence threatens the notion that only people with advanced degrees have the right to think about anything. Once the dissertation is up, please announce it on my next open post and you may well get into double digit readership! 😉

    Wer, thanks for this. We’ll just have to see what actually happens, won’t we?

    Viking, thanks for this! That’s good news.

    Tony, nobody has yet come up with a functional definition of intelligence. Thus IQ tests determine no more than how well you do on IQ tests. I have a very high IQ rating, which shows absolutely nothing worth knowing about the complex pattern of strengths and weaknesses I have in dealing with thinking et al. Thus my suggestion about what to do with IQ involves a shredder and a good hot compost pile.

    Rod, it’s definitely something to watch. Preferably with popcorn.

    Court, I didn’t know that the term “salmagundi” was used for cold dishes at all until I started looking up recipes for one of my tentacle novels — I’d only ever encountered it in discussions of piracy!

    Your Kittenship, death rates from Covid are climbing among the heavily vaccinated, and iirc it’s the people who are getting hit by Covid over and over again who are at highest risk. We’ll see whether Biden becomes one of those statistics.

    Aldarion, so noted!

    Chris, I’m pretty sure that the secret to using renewable energy technologies is to leave out electricity. If you’re satisfied with heat from the sun and mechanical motion from wind and water, you can do quite a bit — but that won’t keep a civilization like ours going.

  264. Hi JMG,

    Which method for calculating the timing of the cross-quarter days of the wheel of the year do you use? Apparently, some people use the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes as determined by counting the number of degrees along the ecliptic rather than the days in between them. This leads to differences in the timing of up to a week or more, which would be significant for magical and religious ceremonies because the windows of the seasonal energies are three or four days at most. The solstice and equinox times sometimes vary from the traditional dates using this method as well, but not by so much.

    Patrick

  265. “Thus my suggestion about what to do with IQ involves a shredder and a good hot compost pile.”

    Okay. Actually, I read Charles Murray’s book recently despite all the negative reviews that sought to bury it as deeply as possible. I found his scholarship to be sound and his conclusions to be reasonable. It even changed my thinking somewhat. Looking about at what America has become, and is becoming, I think we’ve turned into a nation of “stupids.” Just reading what passes for “copy” on a typical internet article makes me wonder: Who wrote this crap? Who edited it? Why have our standards dropped so low?

  266. Hi John Michael,

    Yes, exactly. There is no chance at all that the technology can do what people want it to do. I can’t be any clearer about the future than that. Still, people hang onto their beliefs well beyond their use by date.

    And hey, I use solar thermal here too – why not use every option, one of them has to work! – in a greenhouse, solar hot water and for firewood. Those systems use very little ongoing energy, and they just work and have been well tested over time.

    Cheers

    Chris

  267. I was thinking about China the other day, as one does while removing the failed science experiments from the fridge, and was comforted by the thought that China cannot go to war with the U.S. Both sides need each other too badly. I hope this cheers everyone up.

    If you’re in North America, don’t forget about the Perseids! 💫

  268. Pindlespace, and most of that change is in the last fifty years — I recall the garish colors of the Sixties and Seventies…

    …and things have gotten very bland since then.

    Patrick, I simply use the standard calendar dates — February 2, May 1, August 1, and November 1. The cross quarter days in the Druid teachings I follow are earth festivals and thus less dependent on exact dates. The solstice and equinoxes are sky festivals, by contrast, and should be done within 48 hours of the actual moment of solstice or equinox.

    Phutatorius, I recommend a read of Stephen Jay Gould’s fine book The Mismeasure of Man, which may help give some context to my comments.

    Chris, exactly. If you use what works, hey, it might just work. 😉

  269. A.P. #215 and others

    Roughly, I observed and studied the closed-eyes-meditation-traditional-classic-apostolic-succession-Christianity-phenomenon, asking, “is there an edge past which Christians will not go?” Or rather, the edge Christians feel they must stay within. What is beyond the pale? Where do they draw the line? I am speaking of traditional Christianity — the rigid, most conservative kind — the Christianities where members feel that there are active heresies afoot, infiltrating their congregations, and, when individuals are found out, they are expelled (in olden days, murdered by burning, stake through the heart, stoning, you know, fun stuff). And yes, there are enough of these kinds of Christianities/Christians to be worth mentioning.

    The edge Christians stay within is whether what the person thinks about, with closed eyes, has something blatantly to do with one God, or Jesus, or Christ, or something thus far unnamed but somehow Christian-themed.

    The line across which Christians will not step (where they go nuts; becoming accusatory, paranoid, and/or judgmental) is when, drumroll, a person thinks about one of two things (after closing the eyes): (1) something blatantly non-one God, blatantly non-Jesus, blatantly non-Christ, or blatantly non-Christian-themed; or (2) nothing.

    I don’t mean “anti.” I don’t mean anti-Christian; I mean “non-Christian,” “non-Jesus,” “non-Christ.” There is a BIG difference between anti- and non-. I mean some subject not having anything to do with one God, or Jesus, or Christ, or something else obviously Christian-themed.

    Take an example of meditating on a lime. One closes one’s eyes, and mulls over the subject of a fruit commonly known as a “lime,” the citrus-y green thing that grows on trees. In what I view as above-mentioned classical Christianity, closing one’s eyes + thinking about the fruit that we call “lime” would be judged as ILLEGITIMATE — where one knowingly invites the devil/evil into one’s psyche. No kidding. All because a lime is blatantly not God, not Jesus, not Christ, or nothing blatantly Christian.

    Christians have no concept that the second step of meditating on the subject of the fruit called “lime” could lead to God, but in a roundabout way. God made limes, so God is awesome, maybe I’ll meditate on God instead of a lime. Switcheroo — presto chango. All of a sudden, legitimate. So what’s different?

    Christians are petrified by things they don’t understand, and they don’t understand how meditating on a lime could possibly NOT be evil. Christians get invective. And this is only number (1) referred to above.

    Number (2) above, if a person REALLY wants to rile a Christian, say you want to consider “nothing” or “nothingness,” or “watch your breath.” Oh boy, watch out. “Nothing” is assumed to be the devil through and through — even closing eyes and watching one’s breathing means one is inviting the devil into one’s bed. When Christians witness a person with eyes closed declaring, “I will be thinking about ‘nothing,’” they see you walking towards them on the sidewalk and they cross to the other side of the road. Yeah, really. Thinking ‘about nothing’ is a threat to Christians’ existence and way of being. Talk about mind-control. They have some ’splainin’ (explaining) to do‼️

    There is very much a dividing line over which traditional-classic-apostolic-succession-Christians will not allow a person they include in ‘their in-crowd’ to think about when eyes are closed. For some strange reason, closing the eyes — when not asleep — is suspect. Ask a random Christian, “would you mind if I close the eyes and contemplate the subject of a fruit called a lime?” Or “what would you think if I close my eyes and reflect on ‘nothing’?” See what opinions and tones of voice you get.

    Oh, and by the way, if you want to tease a rigid Christian, mention the word ‘mindful’ and watch him/her fume.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  270. Wer here
    Recently people in the media are showing sighns of real degradation. People in the media apparently forgot what the dreaded R word means overnight (must be Putin or Covid hehehehe) This is insane, people are losing jobs. And everybody is screaming everything is fine back to printing money.
    But the detachment from reality has reached new lows in a factory nearby. There is the glassworks Ujście near a quarry, and one of the managers asked can you continue producing glass without natural gas for a few days. The workers there were so stunned that they could not belive what they heard- close cycle glass furnance is a structure containing there 300 cubic meters of molten glass (it is incredibly energy intensive as you can imagine to heat up all of this stuff to 1600 Celcius) any disruptions in gas supply could cause inbalance and damage pernamently the furnance. My mother worked there for a long time in the accounting department. She said it never happened there thank God ( the furnance going bad could even cause an explosion.
    The manager there acted like the furnance is a perpetual motion machine that will work without all of the Russian gas I cannot describe all of the epitets the people there were using that manager ( alot of undruidly words). JMG you said once that even the most entrenched orthodoxy in politics can fail right now a lot of people are just hopping to be free of all of this nonsense here It is really not healthy.
    Stay safe Wer
    But there is good news a lot of apples are here time to start preparing applesauce and maybe some calvados
    local tradition here people in a village here are making moonshine with apples and mint that has reached fame across local populace, some people say that the Police chief himself is the main brewer HA.
    I regret that I haven’t learn this practice from my grandfather before his passing.

  271. Phutatorius, which Murray book?

    I recommend An Immense World by Ed Yong. I never paid much attention to him, because he works for The Atlantic and they have him on the ain’t-it-awful beat. On his own, he’s wonderful. An Immense World is about how critters other than people perceive the world. It’s fascinating.

  272. John, I have recently heard of a writer by the name of James LaFond.
    Have you read any of his fiction, and if so, what were your thoughts?

  273. Hi JMG, long time lurker here. I’ve been enjoying your blog for a few months now and have just finished reading Retrotopia which was great.

    On the topic of your previous reply to Princess Cutekitten about Biden’s covid rebound, I have the following question that I’m sure you have been asked a lot:

    In the confusion and panic of 2020, I unfortunately got double vaxxed, though later refused boosters.

    I am now recovering from my third bout of Covid which is possibly worse than the last two. Though I am in my twenties and healthy, I’m concerned about each subsequent infection eventually doing some damage. Do you have any advise or am I just screwed?

    Cheers,
    Kieran

  274. John–

    More shades of _TLG_:

    https://news.yahoo.com/republicans-next-big-play-scare-105500001.html

    Of course, the lengthy article frames it as a Conservative takeover attempt (more like “conservative” with a small-c) and only mentions the 3/4ths ratification requirement at the end of the piece.

    Personally, I think a convention proposing amendments to rein in the power of the federal government is our best bet of retaining the republic as the empire comes apart.

    One can only hope the movement gains momentum.

  275. Chris @ 293, thanks for the clarification/correction! If the Australian Navy ever gets the nukes (yes, a very big question), w/o any nuclear industry of their own, how would they operate and maintain them?

    Also, thanks for reminding me about China and the Solomon Islands. Did the PLA(N) High Command look at the same maps as the Japanese in 1942?

    One thought occurred to me; the Solomon Islands are a long way from China. I would assume they thought about how to supply them in a war. This would argue a big Chinese Charm Offensive in the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, etc.

    Cugel

  276. @scotlyn: Agreed on the relative importance of pharmaceutical agent vs. doctor and patient. Still, overpriced and hyped treatments have been around for decades – they predate the rise of the double-blind trial. Properly understood, the value of a well-designed trial is that a provider (or patient) can refuse to pay for a new and more expensive treatment because the trial showed that it isn’t any better (or even worse) than an old one (or than simple saline). I think that is an important, though modest function. Rarely, a trial may convince doctors of the value of a heterodox application of a known agent, such as low-dose ASS for prevention.

    I agree with you that the financial valuation of a thorough clinical interview and physical examination is much too low compared to those treatments the effects of which (even if small) can be better quantified. I do think that the problem here is remuneration per act. Remuneration per patient per month (as in a lodge system), combined with an ample supply of professionals allowed and qualified to examine and prescribe, might help bring things into proportion.

  277. Hi JMG

    As has been mentioned by you up-thread, the way in which the ‘Rona + Vixxen narrative was sucked up wholesale by so many in so short a space of time and with so little reflection was, to me , utterly jaw dropping.

    Of course it didn’t help that virtually ALL of the politicians, mass media, academia and all the other usual suspects across the ‘civilized’ world, immediately began to bleat the same lines from the same script, ad nauseum….

    I can only ever remember this happening once before on such a scale, as Cugel pointed out above, when Dubbya declared a ‘War on Terra’ (Latin pun intended?)… and every society immediately thereby became preoccupied with the threat of ‘terra-ism’ from afar, in their own backyards, and indeed under their very beds.

    I also see many similarities in the “mass formation” exhibited during these two events.
    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Regards to all

  278. Tony C #287,

    Regarding IQ tests: a book by Howard Gardner entitled “Multiple Intelligences” (summary here: https://www.simplypsychology.org/multiple-intelligences.html) talks about how there are different kinds of intelligence that aren’t measured by standard IQ tests. For example, dancers and athletes often have excellent kinetic intelligence (they can remember complex dance steps and football plays) but wouldn’t always score well on a standard IQ test.

    The theory resonated with me because I score well on IQ tests but when I’ve taken dance classes, I was very slow to learn sequences of dance steps, and was frustrated to find that I couldn’t learn them faster just by thinking harder about them!

  279. @Princess Cutekitten: I was referring to Murray’s most frequently vilified book, discussing IQ and social problems. I read it despite all its negative press so I could make up my own mind. Now I plan to read Stephen Jay Gould’s book, which also has its detractors, based on our host’s recommendation.

  280. “It is really crazy, I want to tell the people in the commentariat one thing , do yourself a favor and stop watching MSM. ”

    In 2004 the skies went dark as the long range analog TV was shut down and replaced with short range digital TV. The various stations promised that once the conversion was complete they would build new translator stations out into the hinterlands.

    They never did. It has been a great favor.

  281. Matt @ 310

    I’ll go so far as to suggest one … well, actually three books: the “MaddAddam” series by Margaret Atwood. In light of events of the past few years, it almost comes off as a primer for the kinds of corporate skullduggery and malfeasance run amok that we ants are witnessing in real time!
    Good for spell on the foamy sands of time. ‘;]

  282. @DFC, #228

    I thought about making a snarky remark about Biden starting simultaneous wars with Russia, and China, and Iran. Funny as it was, it was a punch below the belt, so I refrained from it.

    Five minutes later, Sardaukar (#231), reports of the diplomatic disaster in Taiwan. It is not funny when reality beats to you to the punch line!!! Well, at least we are merely 2 out of 3 (as of today).

  283. Tony_A: Yes, I remember when Dubya (or whoever was pulling *his* strings) decided it was time to crank up the ‘War on Terra’. I used to listen to public radio a lot in those days, and it was amazing how fast they immediately started cranking out story after story supporting the view that we needed to go in and make it right. It was like the change in tone of a pipe organ when all the stops are pulled out at once. Creepy. Then they normed out for a while until TDS hit in 2016. Their cov-19 narrative is similarly one-sided, but just seems to be part all the package of all things on their agenda to be pushing now. I consider them, even above most MSM, to be practically unlistenable.

  284. I think it’s funny that people are so upset about the idea of eating bugs. They’ve been eating bugs their whole life whether they know it or not. If you have ever tried cleaning and processing grains or, for that matter garden produce, it’s impossible to do without some bug parts slipping through in the process. The USDA has percentages of insect parts that are supposedly not to be exceeded in different foods, but enforcing that through inspection has always been financially infeasible unless the percentage is so high that it is visible to the naked eye.

  285. The one youtube video every hopeful self reliant young man must see is that one scene from the (original) Karate Kid movie.

    – Daniel San, must talk.

    – Walk on a road. Walk right side, safe; walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, pweehck; get squished, just like a grape.

    – Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do yes, or karate do not. You karate do guess so, pweehck. Just like grape. Understand?

    – Yeah, I understand.

    – Now, ready?

    – Yeah, I am ready.

    Unfortunately I was not able to find a clip that preserves the whole scene, because this ends with Mr. Miyagi puting the sponge in Daniel’s hand; immediately before the wax on, wax off scene (and the subsequent floor sanding, fence and house painting, etc).

  286. @Matt #310. A bit tongue in cheek but On the beach might be worth reading now.

  287. Dear Mr. Druid

    For those readers who enjoy Naked Capitalism there is an interview with Yves Smith and Gonzalo Lira, and can be found on the NC links page.

    The interview is quite good and is an excellent example of people having dialogue even though they have some areas of disagreement. For example Lira and Smith are on different planets for Covid and they manage to get by this without name calling.

    The interesting take away is the third person, journalist Izabella Kaminska thinks the upcoming energy crisis will in Europe will bring out the best and some good leadership will emerge. Lira and Smith are more negative as they feel the leadership in Europe is at an all time low. Kaminska makes an interesting point about the Russian economy is undercounted and the Chinese/American Economy are overcounted sue to financialization. Might I recommend your Peter Zeihan followers take a look at some reality based analysis for something different.

    Do you have a take on the above?

    And I think you and Chuaquin are mis-reading JHK. My reading is JHK thinks sending NATO troops into Ukraine is such a bad idea if it happens it is malevolence because our leadership can not be that stupid. So the three of you are not really that far off.

  288. Northwind Grandma, #244

    With all due respect, 6 years of self study makes you about as qualified to talk about Christianity as I am qualified to talk about the Greek pantheon (which I am not). I’d invite you to rethink some of your opinions, but only if you find the Christian worldview valuable. I guess you will be fine if you just decide to “karate do not” on this one.

    Just a little remark. You expecting to be received with open arms while being a Christian-pagan is about as reasonable as you be received by the relevant community as a 9-to-5-vegan. Of course you are going to get push back! You cannot worship other Gods, it is like rule #1 in the manual! But some of us have resolved the dilemma by calling ourselves henotheists: it is not as if we reject the existence of other gods, but we develop a exclusive relationship with the Lord. Denying the existence of the pagan gods would be about as stupid as denying the existence of women/men other than your wife/husband. The reason some Christians get away with it is because we cannot perceive spiritual beings with our flesh eyes, and the gods not going out of their ways to manifest explicitly to people that are not interested in talking to them.

    As for the point of all Christians being intolerant. If anything, I say we are not intolerant enough. To tolerate someone is not the same as to gladly embrace, but to politely disagree with. Today, it seems Christianity is the blue-collar, heterosexual, middle aged, white male of the world’s religions. Everyone feels entitled to trash talk us, and gets offended if we do not gracefully receive their “constructive criticism” to “improve” (aka. stop being us and turn into mediocre copies of them).

  289. @Scotlyn #286

    Totally agree with your comment, the Science Based Medicine is a way to give the control of the healthcare to the Big Pharma, to have standardized protocols in a mechanistic machine-like approach to the health. It does not work well, or better, it works well only for the profits of the Big Pharma, the academics (“product champions” of drugs) and the “regulators” (à la Fauci) that also have patents and some revolving doors waiting for them in the industry.

    The BMJ article is good in the sense than even inside this paradigm of the SBM, we see the system does not works, they (academics, regulators, pharma) are cheating all the time, and producing, at the end, an immense amount of damage to the population.

    The role of modern medicine in the decrease in mortality is largely a myth spread by the Big Pharma, the reality is that simple measures such as better nutrition and hygiene were much more important than the vaccines or any other medical intervention in the decrease of mortality rates.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/impact-vaccines-mortality-decline-since-1900-according-published-science/5788028

    And now we are clearly inside the era of diminishing return of the Industrial Medica Complex and the iatrogenesis will be soon, if not now, the first cause of decease.

    Cheers
    David

  290. Hey, JMG

    Are there any plans for a Weird of Hali omnibus edition? Would be neat to have them all in one volume, and it’s a bit of a pain to have seven-plus separate volumes shipped (there’s no way for me to buy them locally in my country, sadly). I suppose the chances are slim, but I wanted to check to be sure.

    Thanks for all you do!

  291. I happend to walk by the Little Free Library this morning around 8. Since I don’t think many people visit the LFL at night, I’m thinking “The Worst Hard Time” was on the shelf for less than ten hours. Somebody else is reading out there! I don’t know, I found this very encouraging. I’m going to put some more books up there. Subversive books like JMG books. Who knows? Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, or maybe I can bring someone into the fold.

  292. @pindiespace #296 – I’ve noticed the trend to gray-everything. I first noticed it in New Mexico, where the tradition earth-tones in some buildings were actually, to my disgust, being painted gray.

    @JMG – the actual moment of solstice and equinox varies with how far you are from the edge of the time zone. My newspaper gives us the times of sunrise and sunset to the minute, and local sunset here is a few days off from the official one. For what that’s worth.

  293. With today’s newspaper’s huge long article about urban heat islands and deaths from heat in an ever-hotter climate, I found myself wondering how Retropia’s Lakeland republic dealt with Midwestern heat. And what would have happened if Peter Carr had been sent there six months earlier, or later, than when he did. I lived in Indianapolis as a child and remember very hot summers, but that was the norm then, as were coal-fired furnaces.

  294. “there are different kinds of intelligence that aren’t measured by standard IQ tests.”

    Yes there are. IQ tests measure abstract and symbolic reasoning, they are written after all. The longer a culture has been making heavy use of abstract and symbolic reasoning the longer the reinforcement of those skills has been going on. So you might expect Chinese, Indian, and Egyptian cultures, and those related to them (like the Japanese and the Greeks) to have a leg up on IQ tests compared to cultures where written language has only been in use a few hundred years.

    This circles back to the head-scratcher of a question, Wakanda is what should have happened. Why didn’t it? Jared Diamond took a swing at it, not entirely successfully. It’s still a valid question right up with why did the Industrial Revolution not start in China about 1200 AD.

  295. @Chris at Fernglade Farm, JMG and everybody else:

    Do you have any book recommendations for „low-tech“ tech solutions?

    I like the posts on the low-tech/no-tech websites – and maybe we could start a collection of useful resources/books for „no-techy“ tech solutions here in the open posts, to benefit everybody…

    @Wer

    Same here in Germany – what the MSM report and what people actually say on the ground is like living in two different worlds – and this is from people who are still watching/reading the MSM and are still partially hypnotised by the approved message. As soon as you catch them even slightly outside this message, they are very, very unhappy campers.

    Interesting times ahead… Take care!!

    @Eike with an „i“ #284

    „ Nothing sexy about mulch.“

    My resident blackbirds seem to disagree – boy, do they love the mulched beds!!

    Milkyway

  296. Hi Cugel,

    So many questions. But underneath them all, you’ve made the assumption that the land of stuff has a blue water navy. I would posit the theory that they don’t, and their energy supplies are a bit wonky and subject to disruption from a safe distance. Unfortunately the policies of the west appear to be shoring up their energy supplies – so weird and so blind to do so.

    The US sees threats everywhere and acts like a wombat taking a dump and marking out its territory. The land of stuff looks to me more like the Japanese just prior to WWII. A huge manufacturing base and know-how, lots of warm bodies, a precarious economy and a serious shortage of energy, not to mention other resources.

    Cheers

    Chris

  297. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 Years ago you mentioned that an important word was to ‘try’. Sounds simple enough, and is a path I follow. What interests me about the strategy is that you have to sort of learn where to stop trying, accept the lessons learned, cogitate upon ways to improve, or do something else. I don’t believe the wider society has gotten that memo yet.

    I’m comfortable with the concept of failure, and always accept it as a possible outcome. But I’m not entirely certain that the wider society has considered or allowed for that outcome. I’m not entirely sure of your perspective in this subject, but have you ever specifically written about it?

    Cheers

    Chris

  298. WER @303

    Good grief; just when they can’t say anything stupider!

    How does he think the glass stays molten? And he’s a manager; you would think he would know something about the process. That is just crazy! Even I know a gas interruption would be extremely bad for the process, furnace, etc.

    The USA has also dropped the previous definitions of a recession too. If I get in a conversation with someone who is buying the MSM junk, I have decided to say:

    “Well since it isn’t a recession, this must be a depression, right.”

    Take care, and thanks for the news from Poland and Eastern Europe. Needless to say the MSM either doesn’t say anything, or has a very different take.

    Cugel

  299. Hi JMG,

    Yikes Zlibrary is a pirate site! Will delete my copy I downloaded then. My mistake. As far as I can search then it seems text based copies of Jorjani’s works are not available without paying for them.

  300. @Siliconguy –

    “68F in the winter isn’t much of an imposition, I already do that”

    Bahaha, I’ll say – 20 C (68 F) is the *warmest* I like it to be in winter, anything above this puts me to sleep! Jeepers creepers, wake me up when the government guideline is max 15 C (59 F), then I’ll think the energy issues are really biting.

    @Scotlyn –

    ” I do not think doctors have yet woken up to the professional precipice that has opened up under their own feet in this regard.”

    Ohhhhhh I agree with you that there’s a lot that most doctors haven’t woken up to. I have been leaving any number of such comments on JMG’s dreamwidth site.

    In fact I left one recently, that afterwards had me thinking, that I hoped it hadn’t come across as dismissive or hurtful, because of course that wasn’t the intent. But I cannot possibly express the importance of what I was saying over there. I’ve been baffled, flabbergasted, dumbfounded, over the past two years, to see people who apparently think that modern doctors are in the habit of reading the latest medical journals in order to sift evidence. Big nope. They’d rather be golfing, or whatever they like to do – I don’t golf myself – so they outsource their evidence-weighing.

    Here’s how it works today:

    You (generic “you”) go to your doctor, get an opinion, and say to yourself, “Well, I guess my doctor has good reason to recommend XYZ, I should probably follow it.”

    Meanwhile your doctor says, “Well, the provincial guidelines and the College guidelines and my medical software that I pay for say XYZ, I guess that’s what I should recommend.”

    Meanwhile whomever is writing those guidelines says, “Well, Health Canada says XYZ, they even referenced Study 1 and Study 2, so I guess that’s what we should put into our guidelines.”

    And the lackeys at Health Canada say, “Well, the WHO told us ABC, so that’s what we’ll say.”

    And who decides what advice the WHO dispenses, well, you tell me…

    Anyway the important thing is to see that it’s turtles all the way up. All you have to do to capture doctors’ recommendations is to capture a relative handful of committees. I might be being a bit cynical but not by much.

    I’ll close by saying, if modern medicine collapses, I think it will be due to general economic factors, catabolic decline, energy costs in the vein of the usual Ecosophian forecast, etc. I think that the AI-algorithm threat is overblown, like many other things we could think of it’s always “really close”. There is of course a lot more that I could say but I’ve made myself a resolution to spend less time on the internet.

  301. @PumpkinScone

    Thank your for the suggestion to read Spengler’s “Decline of the West.” Much appreciated, I will follow up on this.
    Similarly I found the unabridged version of “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” I read in library to contain fascinating information that readers wouldnt have access to if they went for the condensed publication. I could not find the incredible story of the death of Alps Arslan (a wild pre-islamic tale to rival any action plot out there) in the condensed copy I bought.

  302. @Northwind Grandma

    Thanks for your compelling account of yourself and comment!
    It was a great short read.

  303. Wer, thanks for the update!

    Barry, I’m not familiar with him. What sort of thing does he write?

    Kieran, nobody knows. That’s just it — nobody knows.. The vaccines were tested for a very short time and then dumped on the market. The long term effects are unknown. What might help or hurt people who’ve taken the vaccines is just as unknown. You might be fine, you might be doomed, you might be anywhere in between, and the only way we’ll find out is to wait ten years or so and see what happens to you.

    David BTL, I think it’s inevitable. The grotesque overexpansion of the federal government was a product of our age of empire and has to be eliminated as soon as possible as that age ends. A constitutional convention would be a good way to do an end run around Congress and force Washington to disgorge some of the power it’s arrogated from the states and the people.

    Matt, any of mine, of course!

    Tony, yeah, that example has occurred to me as well, but that time there were still plenty of people on the left who stayed skeptical when the mass media didn’t. This time? Not so much.

    A1, thanks for this.

    European, thanks for this also.

    Kim A., I don’t think so, but the new edition will be published in England — is that any closer to your country?

    Patricia M, sure, but the difference is always within half an hour, so if you schedule your ritual within 23 hours of the official moment you’ll be fine. Alternatively, you can always calculate the exact moment for your location — it’s not that hard. As for the Lakeland Republic, their cities generate a lot less heat than ours and, as you may have noticed, have a lot of trees — those decrease the heat island effect through evapotranspiration. Other than that, people lived through hot times in the past, you know, and got by just fine.

    Milkyway, there are hundreds of old books from the appropriate tech movement of the 1970s that are still available; I discuss some of them in my book Green Wizardry.

    Chris, I haven’t written about it yet. Hmm. That may be worth a post one of these days.

    Ian, thanks for this, and also for the donation.

  304. I was thinking of what makes India, especially the Hindus, decide their foreign policies.

    Indians live very stratified, small tribe way of life. How those related to me live is very often different from my close friends even in the same area. So it is like the blind ones describing the elephant.

    1. India is a highly spiritual (mystic/religious?? not sure the term) land. Many have some experience of the supernatural and don’t deny it.

    2. There was this ever-lasting belief in reincarnation, at least by the time of Ramayana. Village pagans, Hindus, Jains and Buddhists knew nothing else, except some were atheists.

    3. So the Muslim invasion and the very idea of “One test this life then eternal Hell” theology was quite shocking.

    4. What is Afghan / Pakistan / Bangladesh today is “lost”; not in the political sense but in the cultural sense. Those days, monks / ascetics from Saigon can go all the way to Kandahar and feel at home everywhere.

    5. Now that we know the whole world, we know these non-reincarnation theology is everywhere except in the east and south of Asia.

    6. Of the eternal hell religions,
    a. Indonesia, a land steeped in magical traditions (both good and bad) never seem to have accepted Islam fully. Their outlook is very similar to India.
    b. The Orthodox never went call us devils and Russia had a tolerance for various cultures and religions within its borders.
    c. Iran also behaves very similar to Russia. The Shias just don’t have the “conviction” to spread violently.
    d. The Jews, for the centuries they stayed in Kochin, were peaceful.

    While I don’t know what the Indian government might actually do, I assume the following tendencies:
    A. Try being amiable to East and South-East Asia (except to Manila).
    B. Avoid drastically weakening China.
    C. There will always be a spiritual pull between India, Iran, Indonesia and Russia.
    D. India will never be an economic superpower or even great power as long as the land is too spiritual.

  305. Not saying Indians are nice and moral. We have our share of scoundrels, charlatans and perverts. Or maybe more than our share.

  306. Jmg

    Talking of the late Martin Gardner, have you ever read any of his books or articles on recreational mathematics before?

  307. JMG,
    Are you still following the Saker? Very few websites with the Russian vkewpoint.

    Did you notice evil/genius Putin has messed up both the Ukraine uber alles & Rah Rah Russia wins in a month gang?

    I have a feeling naughty Putin is going to find excuse to drag it to two European winters. I also don’t think the Russian gas/oil will ever be exported at the same level as in the past, even to China.

    As long as there are huge number of people in Russia (and India) who feel inferior to the west, colour revolution is always possible.

    From where I stand, I support what is coming but I realise lots of people among the golden billion might suffer. That is one reason I stopped commenting in Kunstler’s blog after the Afghan retreat.

  308. Mary Bennet #47 re. lowly workers in The Line. I suspect that the construction, if it ever happens, will resemble that of a cruise ship with crew relegated to lower or inner levels, smaller rooms, fewer amenities, etc. As in a Victorian mansion or a large department store, or Disney properties there would be separate elevators, passageways, and trains for the lower-level workers to travel on. If you are a high-class dweller you will never see those areas; clerks, janitors and so forth will just magically be where they are needed and disappear at the end of their shifts. I imagine that even during non-working hours the classes would be physically separated for shopping and recreation. Hmmmm. I seem to be describing the Titanic.

    JMG – #165 re swift change in attitude of alternative medicine types with COVID. I have been a patient at the same homeopathic clinic for almost 40 years. At the beginning of the pandemic the clinic put out a suggested protocol of supplements, a homeopathic remedy to be used once a month and dietary suggestions. When vaccines became available, my practitioner advised me to avoid the vaccine if possible but to use Johnson and Johnson if necessary. A few months later I was informed that I would not be seen at the clinic unless vaccinated. I went ahead and did J&J, but have not boostered. Now I followed the protocol for two years then checked to see if it had changed. It had, and no new one was in place. I was a bit annoyed that there was no follow-up–either to contact me to reschedule an appointment that had been canceled in Spring of 2020 or to notify of the change in the protocol. What happened to the personal touch from people I had been working with for so long?

    On another note, my wife and I had signed up for a new Pagan conference to be held in August. As the date drew near, we checked the COVID protocol. They are requiring full vaccination, including the latest booster (and the Pfizer or Moderna booster for those with J&J vaccination). We cancelled. I think that it was notable that there were no allowances made for a religious exemption and medical exemptions sound as though they will not accommodate alternative medical philosophies. Way to demonstrate the depth of your beliefs people.

    Rita

  309. Just came across this thingy. Not the most eloquent piece, but it will have to do.

    Years ago, when JMG described the dynamics of the Rescue Game, he predicted the endgame would be the Circular Firing Squad: a situation when most so-called Perpetrators have gone out of their way to NOT play the game, so that the Rescuers turn against each other in order to protect an ever narrowing class of Victims. In this game, women have been drawing the short stick. Feminist should really have foreseen this, as the group they represent is the only collective in the woke coalition that is not a minority, but I digress.

    The video linked above talks about the latest iteration of this process. In the past, it was all passive aggressive attacks on the womanhood identity from the trans community. Nowadays, BLM types are moving on the offensive and claiming that white women expressing distress are “weaponizing their emotions” in order to cause harm to racial minorities.

    The sweet irony about this is that they are not speaking untruth. But as ever, the very best lies are the ones where the explicit statements are true but there’s a treacherous kernel of spin that will lead the listener to form false conclusions out of the information. Of course there are Karens weaponizing their emotions, the whole Woke playbook is built upon that cornerstone. But, to state the obvious, it is not just white women doing it and not just black people on the receiving end of it…

    Dark Age America, here we come!

  310. Enthusiastically I can report, I have shaved myself with a straight razor for the first time.
    The razor plus oil and stropping belt cost me 210€, plus 12€ or so for that brush. I used ordinary soap as hair softener, foamed with that brush.

    This may not be the most exciting message for everyone, but for all those men who don’t grow a proper beard but enough so that it is a nuisance I can say:
    it’s a liberating feeling to ditch those insufferable plastic throw-away pieces of trash most of us are using.

    The procedure for shaving and more importantly the rules of care for that razor blade are intimadating at first, but as others have written on the net: it’s pretty easy going really, once you’ve tried.

    Heeding the advice for care and maintenance of the blade however is very important (for example: don’t wipe it with water at all, just wipe it with a dry towel)

    One step further to the past that is our future!

    Also I bought a whet stone – whetting is an art in itself, but I am willing to try it out on ordinary kitchen knife. Getting to amateur level is usually no big deal.

  311. Once again I ask myself whether the upcoming crisis is just an LSD dream of mine –

    step father says the markets are all normal, and assumes the powers that be have already settled matters behind closed curtians, and that this war isn’t a real war because, why do both sides refrain from using devastating weaponry in that conflict, why the long hassle?

    He thinks that war is just a sport to test weapons.
    Also he thinks that Russia and Europe will necessarily come to terms after that war and sanctions will fall/Russia will deliver again.

    “Announced crises do never arrive” – so many are saying.

    I am not so sure about all this – after all, the industry is suffering already. A guy I know had his electricty bill up from 120€/month to 430€ a month. That’s no little deal.

    Meanwhile I have acquisited and stored tools of all kinds, camping gear, survival gear and first aid kits and several varieties of grains and grain products that cook easily (eg oats, buckwheat, ground maize…).
    Also some cooking oil.

    Also invested in some physical carriers of value.

    Am I crazy for doing this…? After all, things don’t get any cheaper last time I looked. I kind of can’t lose with this arrangement.

    This autumn and winter still look ominous to me, with baleful prospect- am I over-exaggerating the danger in my mind?

    Judging from comments like those of “Wer” – manager in the glass factory asks workers to continue production without the fuel – I am not sure upper management is really that aware of it all.

  312. Peter Wilson @98,
    Thanks for sharing the orgone blanket video by Milko Kulig. In it he recommends using Melton (cotton) but a quick search indicates that Melton fabric is wool, not cotton. I am wondering if you used cotton or wool in your blanket and do you think them interchangeable for the orgone blanket?

    Kind regards,
    Courtney

  313. @DFC –

    Taking a break from my resolution of more-books-less-internet – it’s an interesting perspective, the notion of Big Pharma as the big winner of Evidence-Based Medicine and the primacy of “guidelines”. Of course this isn’t how doctors conceive of it. To the extent that doctors “like” EBM it’s because they feel, justifiably in many or most cases, that “I was following the accepted standard of care” is a defense in cases of medicolegal liability. So they like it when there IS a standard.

    In other words, Big Pharma may or may not have been the originator and winner of EBM, but I would say that equally, doctors have gone along with it because they’re shepherded that way by the legal system. I find many people are unaware how terrified doctors are, it’s like the air they breathe, of being held liable for anything. I assure you that every single decision that occurs in every single hospital in the USA and Canada is made (at least partially) with “is this legally defensible” in mind.

  314. On energy-geopolitical crisis in Europe, two notes:

    1-Spanish government has approved a plan for lowing energy dependance, accordind the EU diktat. The “good” news are that the country ‘only’ has to save 7% per year this 2022. The bad ones are that private consumers won’t be compelled, only will be suggested for saving energy…

    https://murciatoday.com/spain_announces_public_energy_saving_restrictions_to_reduce_consumption_1808675-a.html

    2-First grain boat has left the Odessa port. First of hundreds of boats sailing the Black Sea?, or is a mere “good will” scene?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2022/8/1/ukraine-russia-live-first-grain-shipment-to-depart-odesa-port

  315. @Aldarion – #311 – Thank you for your reply!

    I happen to agree with you about the “modest” benefits which (in theory) could be obtained from RCDBT’s. In theory, they could be very useful to inform budgetary decisions for large payers who provide healthcare to large numbers of people (these are almost always either public health systems or private insurers). In such a scenario, large, statistical studies would be useful to guide purchasing decisions, presuming the provider actually aims to optimise the amount of patient care that can be delivered, given a fixed or constrained budget.

    In practice, of course, RCDBT’s are:
    1) exceedingly expensive to run
    2) relatively trivial to game

    This combination means that those most capable of running such a trial, are the selfsame people who stand most to gain from gaming one. And, it seems, these are the same people who persuaded both providers, and the administrative arms of professional medical associations and medical publications that “evidence-based medicine” trumps professional training and clinical experience.

    The potential benefit to large scale health care providers would be, as you point out “modest” – in comparison to the quite extravagant benefits to be had by those who are in the business of marketing their newer and more expensive, and patented, treatment, while being vestedly interested in squeezing out the market for the older, off-patent, less expensive, treatment.

  316. Hello everyone,

    I instantly searched the word “Saudi” here to see if anyone commented on the recent Biden visit to my country, but unsurprisingly found the comments on that Neom project, it’s something I’ve brought up earlier in one of my comments and I definitely agree with you guys that it’s a delusional project that if taken into action will cause serious economic problems, I’m really baffled by how my government act sometimes. Sadly, the “extremely patriotic” types would cheer for anything, especially since the majority of them are from the comfortable classes, and naturally there’s a lot of them here. It’s funny because they resemble the extreme faction of Trump supporters, only that they’re bourgeoise haha.

    Those who have differing views and criticism would do that in a low tone as much as possible. Let alone the fact not many are actually looking forward for a realistic and natural alternative to what we are facing, they’re so taken by the recent reformations and our influence on global politics that simple and practical solutions would not impress them, there’s actually deeper causes to what’s going on.

    This might seem trivial to many, but what I found striking to this project is its structure as a whole. In the Qur’an, specifically at the end of surat Al-Kahf, there’s a mention of the enigmatic figure called ‘Thu-l-Qarnain’, which roughly translates to ‘The Two-Horned One’, he’s a wise and powerful man who has an influence over the East and West, and who at one point built a strong metallic shield somewhere in the middle between these two directions, supposedly to prevent Gog and Magog from penetrating it. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the source of inspiration to this project, whether intentionally or not since it’s part of our mythical subconscious. Either way, they definitely didn’t get the essence of that passage of our nation’s holy book.

  317. Siliconguy,
    Any industrial revolution that started in China around 1200 would not have gotten far because of the Mongol invasion.
    My semi-educated guess is that China did not have a free labor force available for wage labor. If I remember correctly, the merchant class aspired to join the landed aristocracy (and often did) so what capitalist class existed would not have been up to the task of a change as big as the industrial revolution.
    So it may be that in addition to the viciousness of the enclosures and the displacement of Irish peasants as reasons why the Industrial Revolution happened first in Britain, the snootiness of the landed aristocracy may have played a role too.
    Another factor may be that even in Southern Sung China with all the science and technology they developed, science may not have become self-sustaining but may have depended on imperial favor. Centuries later, when the famous Treasure Ships, which were at least a century to a century and a half ahead of the west, fell out of imperial favor, not only were they scrapped but the records of how to build them were destroyed. Similarly, the blueprints for building US moon rockets are long lost.
    As to Africa, as far as I know, the most powerful states all used captives for labor. The availability of captives seems to block the use of labor saving technology, including machinery. Once European empires seized most of the Americas and needed vast amounts of labor, the slave trade severely warped development in Africa. The worst form of the resource curse.

    In cultural evolution, a development that is a big enough improvement tends to only happen once. Because everyone immediately copies it. I have read that the domestication of dogs only happened once.
    So many places would have gotten to the industrial revolution eventually, in some cases after a thousand years or more, but the one industrial revolution that did take place pre-empted all the others that could have happened. I think Japan would have reached full industrialization on its own in less than another hundred years had the West not intervened there.

  318. @ David/DFC – thank you.

    @ Bofur – I think, in fact I KNOW, that you are right about how much (or better said, how little) reading doctors actually do between patient schedules stuffed too full with patients to be able to spend much time with each, and everything that “living a life” outside of work entails (I, for one, do not begrudge anyone a game of golf!).

    And so, the system has been re-arranged so that pharmaceuticals make products, their marketing departments run (and sometimes game) RCT’s for the purpose of distilling a suitably rigourous and sciency sounding sales pitch (“97% effective” anyone?), committees of bureaucrats peruse the literature and formalise “standards of care” and transmit those standards through insurance payments and public health policies, and save doctors the trouble of having to read and assimilate all of that information in their scarce free time.

    But… I am sure that you may recall the humble “case study” which USED to fill the pages of medical journals long before this kind of “evidence-based” clinical research took them over. It might be worth remembering that the reason “case studies” were so avidly swapped among doctors is that they were a way of sharing the kind of “learning from your patient” that only actual clinical experience can give. Providing that clinical cases include careful attention to the patient and their condition, to their response to treatment, and to any corresponding adjustments to treatment that are made.

    Which is to say, I do actually believe that good clinicians, who have paid that kind of close and careful attention to their own cases, one by painstaking one, and who have read and taken inspiration from accounts of other physician’s case studies, exist (although they are increasingly under pressure) and are rare treasures to be cherished by any individual who knows one.

    Very likely, if you are here, and you are making the sorts of contributions I know you to make, you are also one of these. And if so, I honour you, and hope you can find more of your kind to band together, once again, and gain some measure of space in which to practice patient care – as it should be. Respect!

  319. @Darkest Yorkshire #11 re: Capitalism
    smaller
    Hi DY & all–
    I find myself wondering if ‘Capitalism’ is mostly an artifact of the few centuries of cheap energy, now running down–

    What will happen to ‘Capitalists’ when there is no longer any practical supply of petroleum? IMHO, businesses would then contract to more reasonable sizes, labour becomes much more important than machinery, and there is not nearly as much potential to skim exhorbitant profits. In effect, Capitalism dies.

    It could also be argued that the term ‘Capitalism’ is a misleading title given to big businesses by Marxists– It really is not an ‘ism’ since Big Business is not driven by religious convictions– As is the case with the Marxism (a Christian Heresy).

    While I suppose that there will still be room for large businesses like the huge pottery concern that made and exported plates and cups in the late Roman Empire, for the most part I expect to see businesses become smaller, more labour-intensive, and more local as they were before coal and oil came into th picture.

  320. Northwind Grandma: I know what you mean. I have Christian coworkers (of multiple denominations) who freak out at the mere mention of meditation, doing yoga, or reading Harry Potter!

    Regarding true crime…some of my female friends are fans of this genre, and each and every one of them has said the same thing – they like it because it can give them tips on how not to be a victim. You know, what to watch out for. Personally, I see too many stories of abuse and murder on the news, so I certainly don’t want anything based on them packaged as “entertainment.”

  321. In light of the current Uranus/Mars/North Node conjunction, maybe visiting Taiwan is a really stupid idea? The last time this happened in the US was “Bleeding Kansas.”

  322. A blessed Lammas or Lughnassad to anyone who celebrates the holiday. I honored the connection with bread by ordering beef stew with a biscuit. A southern biscuit, which is to your usual store-bought biscuit what a lion is to a stuffed cat toy. Here’s to hoping you partook of your own good regional breads today!

    And, JMG, yes. I grew up in Indianapolis in the late 1940s, and remember that summers were hot, but not the degree of suffering prevalent today. And a lot of the people, staff and residents both, around here, do go out in the noonday sun, and are neither mad dogs, nor English. Just plain old shorts-and-sandals-wearing Floridians.

    From USA Today via the Gainesville Sun – the consensus of voters in 2024 is “Not Another Rematch, PLEASE?” Many of whom cite the age of the contestants as a drawback. However, look at the Democratic Party voters’ favorites: Kamala Harris 18%. Bernie Sanders, 82, 18%. Pete Buttkick, 16% – are they kidding? Amy Klobuchar, 11% Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez 10%. Hillary, 8%, tied with California governor Gavin Newsom. Okay… For me? Bernie. Klochubar in second place.

    And Il Papa is looking to retire. Pope Francis, in with a bang, out with a whimper.

    And (brag, brag) a laudatory article in today’s Gainesville Sun on Howard T. Odum for his research on springs and their ecosystems, an issue dear to local hearts. Ending, *without one single squawk of protest!* “Perhaps Odum’s most important contribution to understanding how humans and nature are interconnected was his final book, “A Prosperous Way Down ….(to) predict the decline of energy available from fossil fuels and to outline the choices that society needs to make between a calamitous crash or a more gradual and intentional degrowth*.”

    *And we all know what “degrowth” is a synonym for.

    That’s right. Right there in the bluest newspaper in North Florida, praising a book that says, right up front, what Our Archdruid has also been saying all along, and whose book – coauthored with Elizabeth Odum – is next on my To Buy list.

  323. @Kim A #326 – an omnibus edition? You must have stronger arms that I do, to read a doorstop like that comfortably!
    Pat, looking at the shelf space they take up.

  324. I’m re-reading Twilight’s Last Gleaming again (and loving it!) in preparation for putting it in the Little Free Library in a few days. I notice it has my name on the front page so people I loan it to will know who to give it back to (I used to swap books with friends a lot).

    Should I tear that top corner of the page out, or otherwise obscure my name? Or just leave it? I live in a small town and I’ve lived here for a long time, so it’s not unlikely that someone may recognize me. Not that I’m embarrassed about reading JMG. I think I will leave it. What do you all think?

  325. @scotlyn, I think you may have an overly pessimistic outlook on clinical trials because of the way the health system is set up in several Anglophone countries and especially in the USA (I am not too familiar with the details of the Irish system). For example, the traditionally-produced, inactivated virus vaccine Sinovac was tested in Brazil by the government-run Butantan institute, which has many decades of experience in supplying medicine at low cost to the population (initially anti-snake bite sera). The Butantan scientists were under conflicting pressures. On the one hand, the Chinese patent holders of course wanted them to paint a rosy picture of the vaccine. The state government of Sao Paulo, which finances Butantan, had the same aim. On the other hand, the Brazilian federal government agitated vehemently against any vaccine and especially against “communist” (!) ones.

    In this difficult situation, the Butantan scientists managed to announce and publish in January 2021 that Sinovac was safe, but had only a 51% efficiency against symptomatic Covid. At the time, that sounded much lower than those of the mRNA vaccines, though careful observers at the time were already saying that the difference might be largely due to Pfizer’s presentation of their data. In any case, since Sinovac’s stated efficacy against mortality was much higher, people were eager to take even a 51% efficient vaccine.

    I don’t want to wade into discussions about Covid here, my point is just that government-paid scientists, whose job stability and pay don’t depend on the trial outcomes, can and do design and publish somewhat truthful clinical trials. Without trials, the patent holders would feel even freer to push their products on providers, doctors and patients.

  326. dear JmG,
    I don’t think anyone has recently asked you what you think is going to happen between Taiwan and China in the next 12 hours. Nancy Pelosis team says she’s stopping there on Tuesday night (their time) and spending the night. The White House says she’s not stopping. Taiwan state media says she’s visiting. China a couple days ago said they’d shoot her plane down and hasn’t toned down the rhetoric. both sides are doing military manuvers with live ammo. who’s going to blink first? She seems to think shes living in 1985 when we were the solo super power. popcorn time

  327. My ebike arrived today! Assembled it, charged it, test-rode it, and gave it my highest stamp of approval. Instead of 4 minutes to get to work in my truck, it takes me 6 minutes on the bike…

    And I sure smiled a lot more on the way.

    Wow, that thing’s fun.
    750W of joy.

  328. We have a few commenters here who have had experience with Waldorf schools.

    I would like to ask you: How well do they teach mathematics at the elementary level?

    I guess to quite a large extent it depends on how they implement Waldorf principles

    I still am a long ways from having a child, but I and my girlfriend have been discussing non-mainstream modes of education.

    I am from Singapore. On paper, we have one of the “best” public education systems in the world, but it’s fuelled by a lot of tutoring outside school, a huge emphasis on grades, lots of stress by the kids and the parents.

    I went through it myself and hated it. I performed decently up through secondary school but quit and took the exams as a private candidate outside of school to enter university because I couldn’t stand the pre-university phase. I would rather my kids not go through that, learn that it’s possible to learn outside of school, love learning, and also to realise that university doesn’t have to be the only option for a career.

    I have gone through some previous comments on other open posts, in particular by samurai_47 and Rita Rippetoe, both of whom have/know children who have gone through Waldorf based systems and mentioned some of the downsides of Waldorf.

    I have also read through some comparisons and reviews of the Montessori system.

    There are things I like about both and things I don’t like as much — Waldorf seems quite fixed on not teaching symbols (letters and numbers) before age 7, while Montessori doesn’t have as much emphasis on engaging a child’s imagination it seems.

    I wonder with either one, how much role a parent can also realistically play, and also whether if I can continue to WFH, homeschooling would be a viable option. (I currently work remotely for a venture capital fund, my schedule is very flexible outside of meetings, but I do have work)

    Would the commentariat have anything to share regarding alternative education resources?

    Thanks

  329. Dejar Archdruid:
    Please . What’s tour opinión about the posibility of a demonic involvement with respect to the III Reich ?

    Thanks

  330. Chris @332

    You are right; the Land of Stuff having a Blue Water Navy is a big assumption, and our driving them closer to our other rivals is probably not a good idea.

    Your comparison of China’s current situation to pre WW2 Japan hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s good.

    And you nailed US policy!

    Thanks

    Cugel

  331. Wer here
    Everybody, JMG must be rolling his eyes especially after everything he said about the doomsday/ apocalypse cult. Sadly people here were thinking simillary to what some people said that WW3 will happen the moment the drunken old lady steps into Taiwanesse air space. What did you all expect Joe Biden is sending US strategic reserve oil to China, the meth abuser his son is doing buisness with China. Why would the Chinesse want to shoot down one of their buisness partners ? There had been so many close calls in the last decades that this does not come close. And what would that visit accomplish? Would it lower the cost of living? Would it suddenly lower inflation and conjure up food on empty shelves? People are silly to belive that this is any game changer.
    The Us in order to prevent a Chinesse takeover would have to send a standing army in hundrets of thousands and garrison them there at a steep cost for the taxpayers, after the disaster of Afganistan something says me that they will not do it. Just like people in Poland had been daydreaming about an NATO Rohirrim charge to Ukraine in May or NATO giving us hundrets of Tanks since 2005 or Biden giving the Polish goverment billions of dollars to deal with Ukrainian refugees, nothing came in months. Meanwhile in Poland sugar is missing, coal is nowhere to be seen and desperation is setting in

  332. Hi Karl,

    Pelosi is in Taiwan right now. The Chinese have expressed their umbrage and I think it very likely that’s as far as they’ll go. The U.S. and China are locked in a bad marriage; neither can afford to divorce the other. I am more concerned about the U.S. government insisting on putting NATO on Russia ‘s doorstep; the Russian government can’t, and won’t, tolerate that, and who knows how far it might escalate. The Russians seem to be going about their business and ignoring the Americans, but that could change. The situation is far too volatile for my liking.

  333. @ Emmanuel,

    I find myself wondering if ‘Capitalism’ is mostly an artifact of the few centuries of cheap energy

    You appear to be mis-characterizing ‘Capitalism’ a bit here since it’s existed long before the last few centuries. Perhaps you mean “Global Corporate Crony Capitalism”?

  334. Aldarion #361. I do not disagree with you entirely. But I would add the caveat… “sometimes”.

    Anyway, thank you for your thoughts. Be well.

  335. @Alvin. I have no experience or knowledge about Singapore, but am happy to share my experience in New England.

    When my daughter was 2 years old or so, we began considering options for schooling. I am very fond of home schooling for those who can do it, but we quickly ruled that out; neither of us is remotely qualified. I just don’t know how you begin to teach reading or math, and the consequences of messing it up seemed too great.

    We looked at all options, public and private. My takeaway is that it probably has much more to do with the individual school than the method. For pre-school we looked at Waldorf schools, parochial schools and Montessoris. (There was no public pre-school at the time in our town.) She wound up in a Montessori school, mostly because of the two teachers, who were both wonderful, and we could not have been happier. Had those two teachers been in a Waldorf school or a Catholic school, she would have gone there. This school was pretty much everything I think school should be, but so rarely is.

    We repeated the same search a few years later, and she wound as a day student in a private boarding school. Neither my wife or I had any experience or inclination towards boarding school. In fact, I would say we were somewhat hostile to the concept. We were wrong, and she spent nine great years with a mix of boarders and day students, the boarders coming from all over the world, a valuable experience in itself.

    It was not perfect by any means, but it was very good. She came out well prepared for one of the competitive high schools, also a boarding school though she was a day student for the first two years. She did board for her junior and senior years. Again, this is not something we would ever have planned, but it worked out well. She learned responsibility and independence, and also eased her transition into college. Many kids have a tough time going from home with parents 24/7 to college, with near total independence and responsibility. She made all the dumb mistakes in high school, where adults are still paying attention.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the college visiting process. I understand higher education has many serious issues, a few of which have been raised on this forum. I agree with much of the criticism. That said, there are a lot of great colleges out there, and all colleges have great things to offer. Make of it what you will. She has just now graduated from college, is gainfully employed, and by all I can see is happy and well adjusted.

    Of course, what worked for us may not work for you. Home schooling followed by trade school could be a great path, as could so many others. This particular one worked for us; your mileage may vary.

    One additional point. This was obviously very expensive. We chose to do whatever it takes to make it work, and as far as I am concerned the money was all well spent. I’m not sure what better to spend it on.

    I envy your current position with a young child. So much to see and do, to learn and to teach. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Take our experience for what it is worth, follow it or disregard it all, whatever makes sense for your kid in your situation.

  336. @JMG

    Yes, England is much closer, so might help. Thanks, will keep an eye on the new edition.

    @Patricia Mathews #359

    Fair point. I’ve just ordered the Earthsea collection (which gave me the idea), and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a concern, haha. On the other hand, there’s something about the idea of having a whole series in one big book that’s always appealed to me for some reason. And I figured the Hali books were all relatively slim volumes, which should make it more manageable.

  337. Chola3, interesting. It’s common for nations that become major powers to lose track of their spiritual roots — the US certainly has! — and it’ll be worth watching India to see if it evades that common trap or not.

    J.L.Mc12, nope. Math is one of my weak points, and I don’t find it recreational at all.

    Chola3, of course — I like to read the Saker and then the BBC, to get the two extreme ends of the propaganda curve. As for Putin, he’s playing a very clever game here. He’s only sent in a very small fraction of Russia’s available military force, and is taking ground a little at a time, while mauling the Ukrainian military. He may well plan on stretching it out for the long term, knowing that the US and its allies have no patience and very little capacity for forethought.

    Rita, that’s exactly the sort of thing I’ve been seeing and hearing about all along. It’s bizarre.

    CR, yep. I really wonder when it will dawn in Wokesterdom that they could lose the feminist vote the way they’ve already thrown away the gay and lesbian vote and the Hispanic vote. All the GOP would have to do, to scoop a lot of that vote, is to run a lot of smart, articulate, successful female candidates…oh, wait, they’re already doing that. This November may be a bloodbath for the Dems…

    Curt, delighted to hear it! A fine Retrotopian decision. As for your stepfather, do you know the English turn of phrase “whistling past the graveyard”? A lot of people are loudly insisting that the logical results of the current mess can’t really happen, because the alternative is admitting that they’re screwed.

    Chuaquin, thanks for the data points.

    Aziz, that’s fascinating. I’m familiar with the legends of Dulcarnain, as the name used to be transliterated into English, and you’re right — it’s as though your government is trying to build his wall against Gog and Magog. They’d better be careful about owls nesting in the wind-blown trumpets…

    Jon, no doubt. Is there a stupidity the US government won’t engage in?

    Patricia M, delighted to hear that Odum is getting some attention locally! I’m also pleased about the lack of enthusiasm for a rematch. It might be good for Hillary and Trump both for them to enter the primaries and lose.

    Slink, I have no idea. Anyone else?

    Karl, anyone’s guess what’s going to happen. She’s in Taipei now, of course, and so far the Chinese haven’t acted.

    It occurs to me that if the PRC leadership is imaginative — admittedly not their most noticeable trait — they could respond in a fine unexpected way, by sending a few divisions of military “volunteers,” complete with all their hardware, to help the Russians in Ukraine. From China’s perspective, that would be a win-win all around: it would do a favor for a valued ally, it would give their army a chance to get combat experience (which they haven’t had much of recently); it would make the US and its allies apoplectic with rage; and if the US responded with sanctions, why, that would give the Chinese government the plausible deniability it needs to clean up the economic mess they’re in right now, while blaming the downside on the US. We’ll see if they think of it.

    Anselmo, that’s a huge issue. The very short form is that Hitler, Himmler, Hess, and quite a few of the other early Nazis were personally involved in occultism; the Nazi Party was founded as the political action wing of a magical order, the Thule-Gesellschaft; the whole Nazi phenomenon was prefigured and shaped by a substantial movement of German and Austrian racist occultists, which called itself Ariosophy; and everybody in the occult scene in Europe in the 1930s was convinced that the Nazis were up to their eyeballs in nasty magic. These things being the case, it’s far more likely than not that demonic entities were involved at some level.

    Wer, thanks for this. Well, yes.

  338. Hey jmg

    Fair enough, but I would like to mention that his mathematical recreations where very broad, encompassing geometry, origami and board games as well as more cerebral and esoteric subjects such as logic problems, cellular automata and algebra.

    One last question I have wanted to ask, since I have not seen it asked previously, is what are your thoughts on the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade?

  339. About church going: For many Christians, their church is the last good place left in an increasingly corrupt and immoral society. A refuge, the last place where virtue is honored, and vice condemned. So, some of these folks are very aware of the dangers of entryism. Evangelical Christianity, and conservative Catholicism have been used by a cynical Republican Party ever since 1980 to win elections and provide support for business friendly policies. It is, I think, quite understandable that congregations might be nervous of what they perceive as non-Christian influences. There is, after all, no legal impediment to pagans or anyone else establishing their own worship. As for meditation, sometimes you need to speak to people in language they understand. Call it silent prayer, and say you felt the spirit of God in their humble church. Then, your meditation becomes a compliment, rather than a provocation.

    Here is a thought experiment. I suppose most reading this blog and comments are aware of increasing isolationist sentiment among the American public. Suppose new President De Santis or Abbott, for example, were to address the UN as follows: The USA is closing its overseas bases, on a reasonable schedule; I have sent legislation to Congress making the imposition of economic sanctions on foreign nations illegal although I do reserve the right to deny entrance to certain individuals. But, and, the USA asserts the same rights of sovereignty as any other nation. The southern wall will be completed; I am prepared to deploy regular army to deny entrance to unauthorized persons and the navy to interdict unauthorized shipping of any kind. I have issued an executive order designating all US farmland a critical national resource; there will be no sales or transfers of American farmland without thorough review of all aspects of the contract, including source of funds and investigation of prospective owners. I am asking Congress and the separate state legislatures to prohibit any and all foreign ownership of American real estate. Any ideas how such a statement would be received? Which countries, if any, would be willing to go to war over the USA closing its borders to foreign settlement and foreign capital?

    I suspect that the visit of famously corrupt Mme. Pelosi to Taipei is a private (well, more or less private) matter involving Taiwanese magnates and San Francisco’s Taiwanese community. I think I can say without giving offense, that all three of those persons or groups, have, let us say, a scant regard for the laws which bind us ordinaries. The Chinese know very well that Mme. P. doesn’t make foreign policy, but expect to be cut in on whatever deals are going down.

  340. Just a few articles and headlines:

    Europe’s natural gas crisis “is going from bad to ugly”:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/europes-natural-gas-crisis-is-going-from-bad-to-ugly-according-to-bank-of-america/ar-AA10b0YF

    The Colorado River in the Western USA isn’t the only major river whose water levels are getting dangerously low. As it is, low water levels are threatening to shut down shipping along the Rhine, which would be a huge disruption.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/europe-vital-rhine-river-brink-152343928.html

    Even Pravda on the Potomac gets it. A combination of drought, low water levels and high river temperatures are imperiling not just river shipping and hydroelectric power production, but power generation from nuclear and coal fired plants, which need a nearby river or other large body of water for cooling purposes.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/europes-heat-wave-is-bad-for-energy-prices-but-the-drought-is-worse/2022/07/13/7b2207c4-0269-11ed-8beb-2b4e481b1500_story.html

    Ecnarf, which is normally a major exporter of electricity, is having to import large amounts of electric power from neighboring countries because high river temperatures are causing even more problems for an already troubled nuclear industry.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/warming-rivers-threaten-frances-already-tight-power-supply-2022-07-15/

    Humorous headline of the day from the Wall Street Journal

    Europe’s Energy Crisis Threatens to Slow Green Transition

    Of course as most of here know, the “Green Transition” or “Green New Deal” was always a pipedream by “progressive” PMC’s who have been smoking their own shorts while going long on snake oil futures.

    At this point, Russia would probably be best off pursuing an attrition strategy over the long haul and grinding their enemies down over time, which is an approach that has worked well for them in many past wars. The Ukrainians have basically admitted that whatever they can’t recapture by the end of September is going to be lost to the Russians indefinitely and that if the war drags on into winter, they are screwed. Someone here suggested that the Russians might seek to drag out the energy crisis over a couple of winters in order to cause more damage and that too would be a smart move for them.

    Even if the war ends soon, the Russians have been badly burned enough that they are going to seek out new markets and trading partners, since they know they can’t trust the US and its European satrapies. In the future, most of Russia’s oil and gas exports will be going to the rising powers of Asia, such as China, India, Pakistan and Turkey, and that trend will gain momentum as the new gas pipelines and other infrastructure get built. There is no way Europe can make up for most of the fossil fuel supplies they have been getting from the Russians from elsewhere, so the nations of Europe are going to be in a world of hurt thanks to the bad decisions and delusional thinking of their elites.

  341. @Curt #346: Welcome to the fraternity of the steel! I’ve been shaving with a straight razor for decades (except when on vacation – can’t carry that blade on the plane).

    @ Alvin #364: regarding schooling. Here in Providence, both our children were in a Montessori School through 10 years old. I think it worked well for them. But, it is my impression that Montessori schools differ greatly in how they interpret the system, so different schools have different cultures.

  342. Found this today and could be of interest to the community here https://aras.org/archive-research-archetypal-symbolism

    The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history. The collection probes the universality of archetypal themes and provides a testament to the deep and abiding connections that unite the disparate factions of the human family. ARAS’ mission is to bring awareness of the power of symbolic images and the profound role they play in our lives today. The ARAS archive contains about 18,000 art images each accompanied by a scholarly commentary that explores the archetypal content and cultural context of the image.

    In addition to our image collection, our website offers a rich library of articles on art and symbols and a concordance that allows you to search C.G. Jung’s Collected Works by word or topic.

  343. I’m late to the party! Out for a few days and then trying catch up. The horse latitudes have risen up to meet us, and that means carting lots of water over to the vegetable field and my eyes to clouded with sweat for me to read past about noon.
    I have not heard back from the meteorologists I know. They usually get in touch with me for some request or other once every couple of months. I presume they are busy with stuff that does not require English language.
    As you know, we’ve had a spell of persistent easterlies for a couple of weeks a year during the past three or four years. This year, the Pacific high, normally around 30 degrees north, rose up to nearly 40 degrees north in late June and persisted for about ten days, giving Japan a record-breaking heat wave, then more normal weather (though more severe than normal) asserted itself, but a general easterly regime persisted during that time as well, resulting in drought in our area, but severe flooding not far away. A few days ago we saw a magnificent thundercloud form a mile or so west of us and ran out to the field to get everything in order with nearly continuous thunder crashing and a huge anvil that blotted out the sun and extended as far as Mito 20 km southeast of us, but an hour later there was still continuous thunder, rain from this huge supercell visible off to the west and tornado warnings for the prefecture west of us.
    Yesterday, we had thunderclouds to the north and some rain started falling, so I ran out and chanted “Oh Mighty Thunderer” and the clouds obliged. A torrent, followed by the most huid heat I have ever experienced.
    This change in weather regime is more persistent and extends further north than in the past. The frontal boundary between the northerly air masses and hot southerly ones has been in Hokkaido and is moving a bit south of there now. I don’t know the situation on the continent, but the situation in Japan points to a future possible condition of two Hadley cells that you were hypothesizing.

  344. If Pelosi crossed into Chinese air space by so much as an inch, the Chinese government could have had a lot of fun, and made many friends in America, by sending fighter planes to escort her plane out. 😈. As it is, they seem to have settled for live-fire drills all night, although if she was passed out drunk that might not have kept her awake.

    I always wonder about these really egregiously bad politicians and how they keep getting re-elected for decades. My guess is election fraud.

  345. @Jacques,
    Regarding EMF sensitivity, the book “Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs” by Nick Pineault is a good place to start for information on EMFs. He and Lloyd Burrell have good advice in general, but have gone too commercial for me.
    I recommend looking into Dr. Magda Havas. https://magdahavas.com/ Also have a look at her BRAG Project: https://globalemf.net/ This is an international citizen scientist initiative to monitor EMF levels in cities, and now we are also measuring home environments, cars and microwave ovens. You can get a discount on a high-quality RFR meter, and it may also give you a chance to hook up with others who are concerned about this. We humans suffer from this, but we are lucky in being able to take steps to protect ourselves. The natural world is not so lucky–see Diana Kordas’s paper on species decline on Samos Island, Greece (I can’t find the original right off, but here is a video of an interview with the author https://www.bitchute.com/video/TE4om9u6UVa0/ and an update to the paper: https://safetechinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/5G-causes-massive-insect-declines-on-Samos.pdf). I have been monitoring EMF levels and species prevalence in an area with 5G. Last week there were no birds at all (where I can see signs of birds having been abundant in the recent past) and almost no invertebrates. A few blocks away, outside of the 5G coverage zone, birds and insects start increasing, but swallows are entirely missing from the city.
    Regarding the smartmeter, you’re lucky you have an opt out at all. I know of a man in Japan who has had to live without electricity. I have managed to avoid having our analogue meter replaced.Once a smart meter has been installed, Japanese companies refuse to restore analogue meters. I think some people have sued successfully in the US to get the opt-out fee abolished locally. The electrosensitive population in Japan (estimated at 6% of the population) can be considered to be under attack from the government and there are occasional threats to force smart meters on everyone, a lot like the threats to vaccinate everyone.
    It also helps to have supportive people who understand what you are going through. People trying to be helpful will tell you that it’s just a problem with your imagination. This is the view the media have taken, and it is as nasty a gaslighting as their coverage of vaccine injuries, and based on the same mechanism of generous sponsors controlling what can and cannot be said, and society overall supporting the bottom line of these sponsors, giving them even more power to control not only the narrative, but also governmental oversight.
    My immediate reaction to EMFs (low frequency as well as radiofrequency) is subtle enough that nocebo effects are a problem, and on the other hand, I can use energy therapy techniques to suppress my reaction, and have done that successfully in the past. The problem with that was that later on I would inevitably face health consequences. Thus, I gradually learned that I had to take this seriously. Health issues that I had no idea might be connected to EMFs cleared up. For example, we have pet cats that I adore. I used to have severe allergies to them.
    JMG’s blog here is very nice in allowing us to discuss this issue, within reasonable limits. There are a lot of commenters here, as he said, who know a lot about this issue. We are not talked down to here for any perceived lack of enthusiasm for new technology. But feel free to contact me if you would like more information on this.

  346. Wow, what a ride! I just finished Twilight’s Last Gleaming and liked it even more the second time. I had trouble putting it down. It’s going in the Little Free Library tonight and, again, I’m interested to see how long it stays there.

    I’ve decided to leave my name in. I don’t know if there is a convention or protocol for such things, which was what I was hoping to find out from the readers here, so I’ll just make it up. Maybe I’ll write under my name that I donated the book to the LFL and don’t expect it back.

    JMG, I took the liberty of updating your bio on the last page to mention you have this blog here (instead of the ADR it mentions). I figured you wouldn’t mind.

  347. J.L.Mc12, Roe vs. Wade was a bad ruling, not because of what it did or didn’t do, but because of its legal reasoning. It invented a “constitutional right” that’s not in the US constitution and used it to advance a political agenda — that’s not what the Supreme Court is supposed to do. That kind of legislation by court ruling is one of the ways the US has ended up in its current mess and seeing it repealed gave me some hope that we can pull out of our current power dive.

    Sardaukar, signs of the times!

    Denis, hmm! Fascinating. Thanks for this.

    Chris, blub blub blub!

    Patricia O, many thanks for the data points.

    Your Kittenship, the Chinese government has summoned the US ambassador, and both China’s aircraft carriers have left harbor. We’ll see what happens.

  348. #286 and 336 Most doctors today work for large corporations. Many younger clinicians are neck deep in debt, and have never practiced independently – physician owned practices have different dynamics. A few decades ago, there were many independent, charity and non-profit systems where patient/physician relationships were long term, often multigenerational.

    The laws changed, regulatory capture increased, and care suffered. Now, most doctors average 40-50% of their time on the computer, and are pushed to see/bill more and more per hour. The busier hire scribes to input the often subjective “data”. So garbage in/garbage out input is common, with voluminous “cut and paste” repetitive charts. I read about an admission history and physical that was over 200 pages long, and have seen office note summaries at 7 pages (full notes, 40+).

    Electronic records build on checklist-style billing systems, to meet administrator priorities. They typically offer data-byte choices to users, without space to add analog/free style comments. When patients do not fit into the multiple choice format, which is common, things can get messy. Many insurers/employers require patients to go through essentially useless therapies/medications or waiting times before they will approve a test or treatment. Many of these guidelines are proprietary.

    The excess complexity and odd incentives could easily fill a Spangler volume. Primary care is better, though many work based on proprietary formulas. There are good ones out there, and lots of burn out too. Perhaps understanding the system can help, or at least encourage preventative care. Alternative care tends to have more small independent practices.

  349. JMG, thete’s a nutty liberal site that has, or had, a post category called Nancy Smash—Nancy causing trouble for the non-PMC portion of the world was thought to be a very good thing. Sounds like Nancy may have Smashed U.S.-Chinese relations for a while. 🙄

  350. If you think the legal ruling for Roe was bad (and I agree btw when I read it in college I was truly shocked because it didn’t match the rhetoric at all), wait until you see the ruling the Supreme Court did to allow Social Security. When the act was passed in 1935 it was challenged and the court ruled that it fell under the general welfare clause. It completely ignored any of the claims made and just picked the vaguest phrase in the constitution to okay it.

    The more I read of the history of the 20th century in particular, the more I feel America isn’t a republic (or a democracy) at all, but just some sort of economic zone and plaything of people with money. I don’t think the solution is communism or socialism, but breaking government down into the how it was structured in the 1840’s and earlier. No administrative state, no programs, light regulation for environmental issues (real regulation not the joke we have now where corporations get a pass on everything).

    Or maybe the 20th century craziness is all Pluto’s influence. I feel like I see his fingerprints on everything.

  351. I wonder if the pace of Russian advances in the Ukraine is in part dictated by the pace of rebuilding Russian Civil society behind the front lines. Early in the war, an expressed concern which was used to explain why Shock and Awe style of warfare wasn’t employed was that rebuilding destroyed infrastructure was too expensive, and while the obvious part regarded physical infrastructure, there is also the commercial and civic infrastructure to take into account.

    Commercial infrastructure like telecommunications operators, logistics for food fuel, financial infrastructure of bank branches and electronic payments, insurance. Civic infrastructure such as homologizing tax regimes, ID issuance, licenses, civil registries, homologizing education certificates, etc.

    By this method, the economic output of these integrated regions immediately begins to pay for the costs of the military expenditure expended in taking them, making the war pay for itself. The Russian and Belorusian business climate had been noted as markedly better than the Ukrainian one long before the war, making the switch in economic loyalties a painless process. The shortcomings of the initial blitz stage of the war of handing over civic administration, with the looming threat of Ukranian guerilla insurgency also favors the slow approach, with thorough mop up possible of staybehind units.

  352. Wer #367: If you don’t have any sugar or coal in Poland, in Spain we have ICE CUBES scarcity, they put the guilt in TV to heat wave and HIGH COST ELECTRICITY…We are not so bad as you all, but we will see in the Fall and this Winter.

  353. In case anybody still reads this: Gareth Knight states that the exercises in his “Experiences of the Inner Worlds” are taken from Anthony Duncan’s “The Lord of the Dance”, which can be read here. I found the latter work much more congenial, as it is terse and does not problematize the Christian faith, whereas Knight’s paraphrases are much more verbose and try to bridge an assumed gap between the reader and the Biblical texts using (sometimes dubious) historical context and irony. Knight’s approach may be the right one for other readers.

  354. #373: The Dems have already lost a lot of the feminist vote, given that they’ve thrown half the population (the female half) under the bus for the sake of “being inclusive”. But those women aren’t supporting the Republican party either. As I’ve heard said, the Democrats may not be able to say what a woman is, but they would never make her carry a rapist’s baby, or a pregnancy that’s the product of incest, or a pregnancy that would threaten the life of the mother. And the Dems wouldn’t go after birth control either, unlike some GOP politicians.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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