Open Post

June 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!

493 Comments

  1. My mom (94) passed away over 2 weeks ago, and starting on that day my desktop computer I rarely use has turned on all by itself 11-12 times. I would appreciate any insights you have about this.

  2. John, et alia–

    A couple of things. Firstly, it seems that your theory of catabolic collapse is being incorporated into domestic policy even as we speak, John, since “defund the roads” appears to be all the rage just now with the proposed gas-tax holiday.

    Secondly, John, I recall that you mentioned (where, I can’t say exactly) that there were a few ways one works off karma, one of which was suffering. What were the others? (My vague recollection was that you had named three.)

    Thirdly, just for fun, I stumbled across a group who covers modern songs in old languages. Here’s one that I thought was exceptionally cool:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvAEMz64O9c

    “House of the Rising Sun” sung in Old French.

    Fourthly, trouble in academia, as researchers are having a hard time finding postdocs willing to work long hours for crappy pay in order to find a (no-longer) coveted spot within the famed Ivory Tower:

    https://www.science.org/content/article/professors-struggle-recruit-postdocs-calls-structural-change-academia-intensify

    And finally, just a random expression of appreciation to Violet and her Dreamwidth posts, particularly those on herbal magic and Jungian themes. I comment only periodically, but read regularly and wanted to say “thank you” for the work put into those essays.

  3. Happy Cancer ingress to everyone! I’d like to invite those interested in a horary divination on any topic to drop me a line at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com, and I’ll perform an traditional astrological analysis of it. This is the best way to improve and has been exceptionally fruitful so far.

    It’s difficult for me to overstate the degree to which the astrological tradition is indebted to people like Chris Warnock, Dr. Ben Dykes, and of course our illustrious host. The knowledge and techniques which survive the knife of time several centuries from now will be due to their efforts and diligence, an incalculably valuable gift to the future of the species.

  4. Hi JMG,

    A bit of a strange offering for your open post, but thought you might want to hear the story.

    About a week ago, at maybe 1 or 2 in the afternoon I was in our back garden when my neighbour called out to me asking what I thought something was as it was floating, I thought, by a nearby tree. I must confess I have no idea what it was, the best guess I could make was a series of metallic balloons, that had maybe gotten loose from a car dealership or a birthday party somewhere and were now just ascending into the sky, catching the sunlight occasionally, resulting in very bright glints of light. In general it was sort of like a Portuguese man-of-war (the jellyfish), and seemed to be a chain of variously sized, oddly shaped forms connected possibly by a string or cable of some sort, but as it moved it seemed to change its irregular shapes over time. The longer we watched it the more clear it became that it wasn’t just “catching the light”, the main shape was alternating between a lit state (of about 1 second) and another unlit state (also about a second).

    As it floated higher, two other shapes appeared and became more pronounced, both following the same pattern, and the initial shapes became smaller and eventually disappeared from view. These new things were grey and vaguely circular, although again, the forms were odd and not something either of us could place, kind of crooked an asymmetrical. In their “unlit” second they got harder to see, and I had the distinct impression that there was a hazy circular shape that obscured them, making their form seem both smaller and less visible. We continued to watch them for a couple minutes as they rose up, eventually one in the upper part of some clouds and the other next to it. It was surprising to me that they could still shine a light so strongly in the middle of the day that it was still visible from the ground, so perhaps they were somehow reflecting sunlight in a controlled way. They were so high up at that point that it seemed that they were much larger than we had initially thought and so much further away, even when I first saw them.

    I don’t have any attachment to UFOs particularly, and think your assessment of the phenomenon seems very plausible, and satisfied to a large degree my curiosity about the subject, but I have no idea what it was we looked at. If it is new military (or otherwise) technology then it is very unlike anything I’ve seen before (which would make sense, admittedly!) and seems to be based on some new entirely different thinking, but none of it (save the very last 30 seconds when they were so high up it was hard to see them clearly) mapped well to what I have heard described of spacecrafts either. Very weird anyway!

    I tried to ask around to see if anyone else saw it (it feels like somebody must have!), but quickly realized how difficult it is to talk about without seeming a bit nuts. I’m in Southern Ontario if it’s a useful data point.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  5. Wanted to drop another thanks here, JMG, for your efforts to help sentient beings, myself included, in these changing times. Been reading your blog and books since the mid-2000s, and you’re one of the reasons I’ve gotten into many of the activities and practices that have helped me get saner and healthier in that timeframe.

    Jump cut to death, Card XIII, the Nameless One in my deck, has been of particular relevance during its period of study – interestingly, I just today heard of a new trend among Chinese young adults in the PRC, looking at their vanished prospects of the promised PMC lifestyle: “bai lan,” “let it rot.” The compost lover in me, as well as the student of Chuangzi, sees a bit of sense in that response, for that generation, though I hope that they will eventually flourish into a (re)generation. (That’s for my own kid’s sake, as much as for the abstract “world’s,” because it seems my kid, most kids, are rotting in a digital flocculation tank rather than in any sort of composter at the moment.)

    Sorry for tortured writing. Me used to smashing but now hard to smash keyboard.

  6. Hello JMG and kommentariat:
    EU bosses have said that Ukraine and Moldovia will be the next new EU members, as soon as possible. What do you think about it?
    I think personally that they’ve smoked their pants…

  7. Hi JMG, thanks for doing these open posts. I’m a fiction writer interested in the ways magick can be worked into stories. I know you did this in your own fiction, but am studiously catching up on your nonfiction and haven’t made it to those books yet.

    Could you please recommend some additional resources for studying the use of magick in fiction–historically or theoretically? I have read some of your thoughts on magic á la Harry Potter versus actual magick, and understand there’s a big difference. I’m not referring to the former.

    Ultimately, I would like to use story to bring people into an understanding of what magick can do and broaden their view of the universe a little. That’s my long term goal. Do you have any advice for someone looking down that path?

  8. One of the amusements of my declining years is teasing my progressive friends by pointing out various disproofs of their conviction that things are better than they were. It’s easy enough to do, but I’m starting to feel the need for a neologism to denote those who rush to the defence of Modernity whenever they feel it’s being slighted. “Neophiliac” is one possibility which has already been coined, but I’d like a word that conveys more of a sense of movement, as in the sudden rush to man the ramparts of Helm’s Deep against the orcs of reaction… Any ideas, anyone?

  9. I have been reading about Biden’s plan to suspend the federal fuel tax. This is estimated to reduce the price by ~.18/ gallon.

    I am perplexed by this since an encouragement to drive ~15 to 20 MPH slower would amount to an equivalent savings of ~$2.00/ gallon.

    Why are we foolishly trying to enable the wasteful American entitlement of driving massive vehicles at ~75 to 85 MPH or the nonsense of electric vehicles with their massive weight and embedded energy as some kind of “green” solution when smaller vehicles, driven slower would make a huge difference in consumption and associated carbon emissions with little impact on personal travel?

    Were Jimmy Carter’s incredibly astute “cardigan sweater” / 55 MPH speed limit efficiency directories really that offensive?

  10. Dear JMG and Ecosophians,

    What are your research and writing habits: times of day, hours or words per day, etc.? I find tackling new material easier in the evenings and consolidation and synthesis better mid dad. Writing easier early AM. Appreciate any and all responses. Thanks!

  11. I am posting the following comment because I didn’t see it last week, and maybe it isn’t too long — compared to some comments of last week.

  12. The subject of 1930s’ “shadow” came up in weeks prior, where shadow represented however the author intended: negativity or positivity depending on how the writer defined it. Commenters mentioned “anger.” Some commenters skirted around the subject of karma. “What goes around, comes around.”

    Thanks for your reply to my “Start with one’s intention. If one wants to “help the world,” breathe in the bad and breathe out the good.”

    You wrote “I know people whose lives went down the crapper when they did this…”

    Here is my opinion. As with you, I will narrow down “people” “arsehole” (&tc.) to Americans, because them I know. Being an arsehole means the wanton hurting others, others being animal, plant, mineral, whatever.

    One goes through life being the typical arsehole, piling up bad karma. Karma has a way of getting delayed or delaying itself. The “comes around” doesn’t happen right away. I suspect one can delay karma coming back by several lifetimes. When one “breathes in the bad,” I believe two things happen:

    (1) It indicates (if not a promise), “I am sick of being an arsehole. I want to stop hurting others.” I think it opens the flood gates where bad karma comes to fruition: the “coming around” starts happening in earnest. If one has been an arsehole long enough, I can see how negative things would happen to one, one after another, as you say, where one’s life went down the crapper. Logical. Payback time.

    (2) At least in my case “breathing in the bad” makes me more aware of my “bad” side. Each of us has a bad side, having the ability be angry, to feed anger, to fan the flames of anger in oneself and others, &tc. I would guess that each of us has had the the experience of, when I hang around ABC person, (s)he brings out my bad side, and then do uncharacteristically bad things.

    Speaking for myself, I become more aware of my bad side (it goes by different names, like negativity) over time. If shadow = bad, I am increasing my shadow thereby becoming conscious of it.

    I am more apt to recognize my bad side when it comes out. Because I recognize my capacity for bad, I can choose what to do with it when it comes out: let it fade or make it grow. For example, people say I am kind. Ahhh-ha, they haven’t witnessed my Archie Bunker side‼️When my inner Archie Bunker comes to the fore, I ‘see’ (as in seer) what I am doing: I see that I am being a jerk. My Archie Bunker explodes for five minutes and then it is over. I don’t increase it.

    Or I have the choice to feed my Archie Bunker. If I were to go to the extreme of feeding my Archie Bunker for, let’s say, a year, it means I have made a commitment to be an Archie Bunker type, where I would become known for being despicable. People would be disinclined to access me “as kind.”

    (As an aside, I need my now-and-then Archie Bunker to emerge, so I feel alive. Anger has its place as a motivator.)

    What goes around, comes around.

    THE COMING AROUND PHASE

    My hypothesis in “breathing in the bad” is that it opens one up to having one’s bad karma start “the ‘coming around’ phase.” If one has a sh_tload of bad karma AND one has given permission for it to come around (payback time), yes, one’s life could be very difficult for an indefinite amount of time, even for the rest of that lifetime, as you say “down the crapper.”

    THE GOING AROUND PHASE

    And makes one aware of his/her bad side so one is not caught unawares, and has a better chance of NOT doing MORE damage that hurts others (animal, plant, mineral).

    For myself, “breathing in the bad” off and on for fifty years, I feel the above is true for me. When I promised that my intention was to stop injuring others (“breathing in the bad”), I got zapped big-time with payback. Bad things happened. Also good things happened. From age 0-20, I damaged others. I made the promise around age 20. From age 20 onwards, it has been payback time. I literally invited ‘the change’ in.

    Karma works underground. Much of karma is not the least bit obvious to others. One soul cannot decide for others at which point one decides to stop hurting others.

    “Breathing in bad, breathing out good” is a meditative practice where one makes a fairly important decision within’s oneself and/or to the universe (deity of one’s choice). Like I mentioned, this practice is not for the weak — it has consequences that don’t feel good.

    DECLINE OF MANY COLORS

    I do wonder how individual karmas relate to collective karma. This may be a misguided apprehension of what karma is, but it seems that many, many people’s bad karma is “coming around” right now, whether they/we like it or not.

    One commenter said that during this decline-of-many-colors we are in currently, he is worried he will be affected by others’ bad karma coming around. That is an f___ing valid concern‼️I am worried about that too, but at age 70, I will have died by the time the worst times ‘come around.’ I am worried for the young’uns💚. But then again, I believe in reincarnation so I feel it likely to be reborn into, to say the least, “trying times.”

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Wisconsin, USA

  13. Hi JMG,

    You have mentioned in the past that feudalism has been misrepresented, could you recommend any good, balanced historical analyses of feudal societies?

    Thanks!

  14. Hi JMG,

    Not sure if you remember me, I came here with a rather elaborate story about synchronicity a few months back asking for advice. I wish to provide an update: your advice was very helpful to me, and I found I was able to provide help to the person in question on their path to growth in a way that was essentially anonymous and not overly intrusive, and I have learned much from them as well. If it wasn’t obvious, since I don’t think I actually clarified this last time, this person is not you. Still, I wanted to extend my sincere thanks for listening to me at a time when I was extremely confused and overwhelmed.

    I did have some additional questions, this time regarding magic. I was only introduced to the possibility that magic is a real thing last fall. I’ve been reading various occult books in the meantime and in the last two weeks, it is finally something I’ve come to fully “accept”, not only as a reality in our world, but something I have experienced in my own life in various forms. For additional context, I was raised agnostic.

    I have three questions, as a total beginner to this world and it’s implications:

    1. How much mixing of different schools of thought is advisable for a beginner mage? I vaguely recall seeing on this blog that mixing different ritual systems is a bad idea, but my studies so far have been strictly academic. I found studying both Druid and Chaos magic has helped me to better understand the philosophical choices each have made by contrasting them with each other, but if I were to pick a single system to stick with long term, Druidry seems to be better structured and the value system overall aligns more deeply with how I view the world. That is to say, hypothetically, if I were to decide to take magical study seriously, should I go all in on Druidry and ignore Chaos material entirely, or is it okay to read the philosophy as long as I keep my ritual workings consistent?

    2. When, hypothetically, would it be safe to try workings from other schools of thought, as to my understanding you have done before? Is it not that important as long as you only work in one framework at a time?

    3. I’m not sure if this is a stupid question or not, but I read in some material about invocation that all that is necessary to invoke a spirit is to mentally set the intention of working with said spirit. I have also seen warnings against working with certain types of demons that can be really dangerous (I’m particularly thinking of the Goetic spirits). My problem is, my brain seems to respond to learning the name of a dangerous demon spirit rather the same way an 8 year old responds to learning a bad word he is not supposed to say. That is, I think about it because I’m trying not to think about it, and this has me worried I will see negative consequences in my life as a result. Quite frankly it’s kept me up at night at least a couple of times. Am I just a newbie overblowing the risk here? If not, is there another solution besides “stop worrying so much”?

    I just learned about the regular Magic Mondays you hold and thus just missed the last one, so I hope this forum is an acceptable substitute for these questions. Thank you for any guidance you are able to provide.

  15. 1). Climate change is happening, but I’m wondering if there’s some sort of pull to attribute it as the cause of some of the infrastructure failings, demographic-related matters, or other issues pertaining to collapse, and exaggerating its role in these. Example: the BART derailing being blamed on the heat warping the metal.. Temperatures of 95 degrees are not unprecedented in the San Francisco area. It’s true that this is near record highs, and that San Francisco’s “summer” usually holds off until September/October due to local climatic particulars, but it’s not unprecedented, and thermal expansion doesn’t care what time of the year it is – only what temperature it is. (Likewise, there seems to be a perception that the heat wave in my area is somehow unprecedented. 100 degrees in the southern plains in June is above normal, sure, but it’s not abnormal.)

    I am wondering if this is essentially the pivot the media is trying to turn to now that the virus and Ukraine narratives are faltering (and wouldn’t really have explained something like a derailment anyway).

    2). On last week’s Covid post, towards the end of the cycle, I noticed a hypothesis that the response was, indeed, liable to bring us “back to normal” – back, that is, to the historical normal, where most people lived on subsistence, rather than the 2019 “normal” obviously intended by the touters. This is kind of a synchronicity for me, because I had recently observed that “when you grow up in the abnormal, you think that’s normal, and then when the normal actually shows up, you think it’s wrong and try to hold onto the abnormal as long as possible. Could this be more or less what’s happening in the world? After all, “normal” for Gaia is a hothouse climate without permanent ice at the poles…

    3). Which leads me into a further supposition. I’d done some meditation yesterday on the question of “Why the industrial revolution?” – why, from a metaphysical standpoint, was it “allowed” to happen? What goals was it supposed to accomplish? Some possibilities (I’m curious to know your thoughts):

    – Allow for world travel over a comparatively short amount of one’s lifespan and with comparatively danger, so that souls that need to experience cultural differences as part of their path can more easily do so. (Being reincarnated into a different culture doesn’t really accomplish this, since you generally can’t recall prior incarnations!)

    – Allow for many souls at once to experience luxury / raising children in luxury, something that wouldn’t be possible under normal historical conditions.

    – Allow (as JMG has suggested) for many souls at once to experience a taste of sapience/humanity and begin to develop mental sheaths. Many of these may not be reincarnated as humans next time around, but some might.

    – Be able to gather knowledge/wisdom from and/or disseminate knowledge/wisdom to a large and diverse quantity of people through means (public libraries with widespread literacy, the Internet, etc.) that would not have been possible in any other era.

    – Witness and understand how a civilzation ends, for those souls who need to.

    – Create, with a wide palette of tools available to you and with relatively few physical, financial, or artistic barriers to one’s ability to create.

    – Allow for the more effective realization of the Aquarian age, in part by having exposure to so many sources of wisdom, creation, etc. / produce a social framework where the religions of the Piscean age can seem outmoded and no longer as necessary as they were in the past.

    – Be tempted by, and potentially succumb to, the demonic and the Ring-Pass-Not.

    – Delay or even forestall the next ice age,

    Bring about the next mass extinction, if that happens to in fact be the goal of Gaia or the Solar Logos etc.

  16. I’ve always been frustrated that there hasn’t been a proper werewolf movie out there. Parodies like “Curse of the Were-Rabbit” seem to get closer to that dark, gothic and spooky sense of great and terrible powers lurking within old woods, stone cathedrals and hushed villages.
    I remember you’ve said on several podcasts that you were an expert on werewolf trivia as a youngster. Is there any really good werewolf fiction? I assume most modern werewolf fiction will be woke, urban, modern (or set in the middle ages with a “oh how horrible it was before Progress(tm)” sermon every chapter) and just generally crummy.

  17. Hi JMG, this is probably off topic, but what is your opinion on Enochian Magic. I was working through Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick but got stuck with the Opening of the Watchtower Ritual. I asked around on reddit and got a mixed discussion about how the Golden Dawn’s version of Enochian magic is wrong or neo-enochian. Since you edited the giant Golden Dawn book, I wondered if you had any experience with Enochian or what your feeling in generally are regarding that magical path.

    Lastly, are you still positing info on the order of the rose? I haven’t seen any more info on its teachings.

    Thanks, Alex

  18. Hello JMG,
    When America’s power projection capability – or maybe the illusion of it – wanes further, do you think Taiwan will go the way of Israel and disappear as an independent state? In contrast to Israel I guess a simple takeover by China might not have too much of an impact on ordinary people, but a major war over it would have much more global consequence.

  19. Looking at siblings, one usually finds that the elder or eldest is generally considerably more responsible than the second born. Perhaps that is just as well, since the first born of a royal family usually become monarch. Just imagine if Princess Margaret had become Queen, rather than Elizabeth (now Elizabeth II). It doesn’t always work out that way, of course: Edward VIII was the playboy who had to abdicate, while his younger brother George VI was the staid and responsible one.

    Given your belief in reincarnation, JMG, how would this work out? Would certain personalities tend to get reborn as the first child and others as the second child? And who or what decides this? How about you, JMG? You are, I understand, an adoptee, but where do you fit in age-wise with your step-siblings?

  20. JMG, I would deeply value any suggestion you might have:
    My husband has epilepsy, and has been on anti-seizure medication for about six years now. Since we have both been looking ahead to what might occur in the near future, one of the most concerning things for us is to have continued access to his medication. Like most, it comes from China. His first seizure, before medication, was dramatic and alarming. So were another two he had when it became obvious that he needed to be on a different medication. He has asked his doctors if there is any way he could order more of his medication now, to have as a backup if there are supply chain problems (and of course the possible problems could go well beyond the supply chain.). They have refused to do so. I suppose it would be illegal for them to do that as they are concerned about people ordering extra medication to use for drug addiction. (However, my husband has zero interest in that; he wishes he could get along with less meds!) I do not know of any holistic/herbal/homeopathic etc, etc medicines or life-style changes that could be used as an alternative that would really work. Many, many people must be in similar situations. What can be done?

  21. This is another call for US-based readers interested in obtaining a copy of Joe Jenkins’s The Humanure Handbook for cost plus shipping/tax. This brings the price down from ~$25 to $10 plus whatever it costs to ship it to you from my home. A case consists of 32 books and we currently have people interested in 21 of them. Please contact me at my username’s gmail account if you’d like to join this group effort to get good information more widely distributed!

  22. Konstantin Kisin, co-host of the free speech YouTube show and podcast TRIGGERnometry, has a saying I love. He says that in today’s world, politics is the one area where you’re not allowed to be non-binary. It’s so true—and so in line with one of the core themes of this blog.

  23. I encourage everyone to take andrewskeen up on his offer. Not only is the price right, he’s very good at what he does.

    Hi, Andrew, your predictions of improvement are coming to pass! 👋

  24. Condolences, LEP.

    We smell coffee in the vicinity of Sonkitten ‘s computer every so often. Neither of us drinks coffee and we never remember to keep it on hand for visitors—end up offering them tea and apologies. 😊. My dad DID drink coffee. JMG thought this was probably Dad dropping by to say Hi to Sonkitten; your situation may be similar.

  25. @LEP (#1): First of all, please accept my condolences for the loss of your Mom. She must have really seen alot at that age.

    When my mom passed away unexpectedly, there were a number of weird computer / tech related synchronicities that happened to my dad, and my cousin (my mom’s niece whom she was close to) in addition to my own dreams of her.

    For my dad the printer came on and started printing materials he hadn’t selected to print that related to her work as a hospice nurse. This happened a few times.

    For my cousin a radio turned on and played a song they both liked.

    Myself, I had a lot of dream visitations, and some other things… but these all slowed down as the days and years passed. 14 years later now, I’ll still have an occasional dream of her, but they don’t as often feel as they did sooner after her death, which were visitations and communications.

    When I was going through a bit of a rough time a few years ago, I did have a dream visit with her again, that correlated with synchronicities in waking life.

    I’m not sure how it works with the electronic stuff, but I’d take it as some attempt to communicate.

    –for all those who’ve lost their moms:

    Here is a song that was also synchronistic that came to me around the time of her death, beautiful neo-classical ambience from the Stars of the Lid:

  26. @Lydia The way to get a second prescription is to get a second doctor and pretend as if you are switching doctors. Don’t actually switch. Just do appointments at both as needed. People do this all the time.

    When the craziness started in 2020 I called my doctor to ask for a second prescription so I could keep a couple months supply. They had no problem honoring that request. I use the same pharmacy for both and have not had an issue with our HSA to reimburse me for them or the insurance company.

    You could also order from out of the country – Mexico, Canada, India, etc.

    The system is broken and unreliable. Good luck!

  27. JMG – Is the USG about to triple down on their hideous Ukraine policy and push us to WW3? I’ve not paid much attention to Ukraine mostly out of opposition to anything that is The Current Thing. Everything I think “the Biden regime can not be that stupid” they exceed my expectations!

  28. What do you think of the Machine God Hypothesis that someone posted about on the Covid post? It is disturbing to me just how many otherwise odd things make sense in light of that hypothesis….

  29. @JMG

    A couple of comments:

    1) In last week’s post, you mentioned that the revolution in warfare, which has come out with the Ukraine war, has not only rendered the blitzkrieg obsolete, but has shifted things in reverse, which is why what’s happening in Ukraine is 21st century-style WW1. Here, I have a question – could the situation be similar in the domain of naval warfare too? I mean, could 21st century naval warfare be defined by cruisers, destroyers, missile boats and submarines? If yes, wouldn’t investing in having a large fleet of midget submarines be a good idea?

    2) Even among paranormal phenomena, this seems to be very unusual. Reference: https://www.hinduismtoday.com/magazine/november-1995/1995-11-it-s-a-miracle-rejoice-millions-as-lord-ganesha-receives-milk/

    Skeptics maintain that it was due to capillary action, but I think they’re talking BS. Firstly, if it was indeed capillary action, why did this never happen before or after? Secondly, anybody who has seen a Ganesha idol, particularly those made of metal, will agree that the hole in the trunk of the idol leads to a very short cavity, beyond which it is solid metal. Given the volume of milk which the idols took, the milk should have started dripping out of the trunk very soon, but that didn’t happen. I wonder why…

  30. I think this answer differs from person to person. Are you a morning person or an evening person? Do you have kids and a full time job? Does the nature of your work require a lot of social interaction that happens during business hours? That can all influence your writing schedule.

    I work with writers and I do find it more common that people like their creative work to happen right away in the morning before they get bogged down by emails and tedious work. After a whole day of being “turned on” mentally, one gets pretty burned out by dinner time and creativity suffers. Though, some people also find their creativity most alive in the quiet hours of the night.

    If you’ve already honed in on doing creative work in the AM and task work in the PM, then that is likely what is best for you.

  31. @Lydia #22 — Similar concerns on this end. Some suggestions I know of are to minimize alcohol consumption, ensure enough quality sleep, and eat a keto-like, fat-focused diet.

  32. Greetings JMG and commentariat,

    This is my first comment here so allow me to offer a brief introduction. I’m a late-comer to Ecosophia, following since the 2021 “A Prayer for the Unbelievers” post (thanks for that re-introduction to John Denver), finding you by way of “The Next 10 Billion Years” republished on resilience.org. Thank you for sharing your vision and voice with us over so many years — you offer great clarity amidst so much noise.

    By day I work as one of the PMC, but by night I’m an avid permaculturalist and Earth-lover, having received a powerful wake up call in 2019, and am now working to shift how I and my family live as fast as possible so that we may be live in balance with the land and be better prepared for the oncoming decline.

    I have a question and a few comments. First the question: I would be interested in your reflections on the higher education industry in the United States. My day job is within higher education, where I’m gently trying to illustrate to my colleagues that we’re part of the problem: that business as usual, including the pursuit of “non-profits” at all costs is driving inequality, Tomorrowland fantasies, separation mindsets, and generally as a civilizational optimization function we’re leading the charge over the cliff. As you can imagine, this line of critique tends to be met with blank stares. As surplus energy declines, discretionary spending on expensive graduate degrees implodes, and “skills training” shifts from digital nonsense to what is often discussed here as useful skills, but offered for free by keepers of wisdom and know-how, I expect the industry to shrink to what it was in the mid-1800s or perhaps even 1700s, however it will be fully saddled with the institutional dysfunction built up over the last 300+ years and heavily infused with denialism.

    But what is your take? I think I recall in a past post you mentioned higher education having a certain amount of potential if only it would reorganize (I’m muddling the words here). What might a future “useful” version of higher ed look like 10, 20 years down the road?

    As to my comments, I’d be interested in thoughts/reflections from the commentariat:
    – I’ve seen many commenters noting their preparation has included planting fruit trees, which is great. I would also add to that a recommendation to plant nuts, grains, starches, sugars, and oilseeds as much as possible, as a fruitarian diet only goes so far :). On the perennial side there are hazelnuts for getting nut harvests relatively early (5 years vs 15-20 for nut trees), tubers such as apios americana and sunchokes, sunflowers for oilseed etc. As I’ve been tackling the question “how might I actually feed my family from my own land, without depending on a grocery store”, it’s those little things — salt, pepper, spices, cooking oil, nutritious snacks — that I take for granted but that go into almost everything, that have me rethinking my garden plot.

    – A collapsologist who’s name I can’t remember pointed out that “those who better-managed their resources will be overwhelmed shortly by those who didn’t”. How are people thinking about defense of their better managed resources, to the extent that is even possible?

    – How do others approach talking to one’s family members about collapse, particularly when those family members are not tuned in to some of the challenges before us. My spouse doesn’t want to hear my “doom and gloom”, but I feel the need to orient them toward, among other things, not investing in household systems that require driving 15+ miles everywhere for essentials. For my child, I’m thinking that suggesting the future will be more like Little House on the Prairie and less like Star Trek will actually go over quite well.

    With gratitude for any thoughts.

  33. Hi JMG,

    One of the bizarre features of collapse in the west seems to be the totalitarian wokeism kicking around now – all the fancy new genders that people identify with, for example. How long do you think it will survive in the collapse? Is it a symbol of extreme decadence that will kick the bucket as soon as people are having to make real sacrifices to survive, or will it form the basis of the new civilisation that comes after?

  34. @ shastatodd (#9)

    “Were Jimmy Carter’s incredibly astute “cardigan sweater” / 55 MPH speed limit efficiency directories really that offensive?”

    Yes, they were – and then some. Do the math.

    Here’s what I found when I actually tried this recently in my 2010 Honda Fit. Slowing down from 110km/h to 70km/h saves me 2.5L of fuel on my 210km (round trip) daily commute, but it makes the trip take 90 minutes longer. At its current price of about $2.10/L, I could therefore save $5.25/day – but use up an hour and a half of my time to do so. Yes, it’s like earning money, but at a labor rate of $3.50/hr – about 1/4 of the current minimum wage, making it slave labor. Back in the 1970’s when the 55mph speed limit was introduced, those numbers were all a lot smaller but the math was the same. And most drivers figured it out real quick. That’s why to this very day very few drivers respect those assinine speed laws.

    It’s an interesting exercise to research what were the results of implementing and enforcing that policy – how little fuel actually got saved vs. how great the cost was to save it. It’s egregious.

  35. This is a fairly morbid question, but what kind of factors in a mundane chart, or series of mundane charts, would indicate to you a wave of mass death?

  36. @Robert Gibson. It’s important to distinguish between the obsession for the latest thing, which is social faddishness, and shows a lack of discrimination and intellectual self-confidence on the one hand, and actual rooted political beliefs which suggest that history is moving only in one direction on the other. The main story over the last forty years in the West has been the hollowing-out of government, the blurring of lines between public and private, the financialisation of everything and the wholesale embrace of globalisation and just-in-time global manufacturing. There were those I remembered from the 1980s who really, really, believed all this was a good idea, and that the whole world was slowly advancing towards market-based perfection. They still do. But there were plenty of others who only went along with these ideas because they unthinkingly embrace whatever is the current faddish notion, and inevitably these people are now starting to change their minds. It’s the same in every area and with every political tendency. Oddly enough, the British journalist Christopher Booker coined the term “Neophiliacs” to describe this in a book he wrote fifty years ago, that made a splash at the time. What you’re describing in this case is a vulgarised version of what’s sometimes called the Whig Interpretation of History, or more generally, classical liberalism, which holds that reason will always move the world in one direction forever. I covered this in a recent Substack post
    https://aurelien2022.substack.com/p/its-not-fair

  37. Hi everybody,

    A note to German readers: If you’re interested in getting in touch with other German readers of ecosophia, you can send me a note via my dreamwidth account:

    https://milkyway1.dreamwidth.org

    (You’ll need a dreamwidth account, too)

    Send me your email address if you want, and I’ll include you in a group email. Please note that everybody else in that group will see your email, too – that way, people can communicate among each other without going through me all the time.

    Also, I tend to be a bit slow with emails and messages at the moment – apologies in advance.

    ….

    @shastatodd #9:

    Putting on my cynical hat for a sec:

    They aren’t doing this to help the people who drive a car, but to push more money to the big companies.

    The German government did something similar: lowered some taxes on fuel for a limited time. But as far as I can tell, when the taxes were lowered a few weeks ago, the prices didn’t change on iota – i.e. the fuel companies ate that up as gain for themselves.

    Wanna bet what will happen to the fuel prices when the taxes are raised again after that period? 😉

    Milkyway

  38. Rereading Star’s Reach, I finally noticed Trey’s birth date. He’s a Virgo, ruled by Mercury. That is so like him, I wonder; was that deliberate?

    Which leads me to ask, in light of Twilight of Pluto, is anybody doing astronomy in Trey’s time? If so, who? And is anybody doing astrology? Have Uranus and Neptune, which can’t be seen with the naked eye, retreated into oblivion for the duration?

    Finally, when reaching the point where Congress would be canceled because President Sharen was too sick to attend, the parallel with the British Royal family as of today really struck home – and explained why Her Majesty announced that Camilla could be Queen Consort. Same reason she deroyaled Harry and Meghan and Randy Andy – to leave the succession as clear and uncluttered as possible. Especially with all the talk that had been going around for decades about William skipping over Charles for one reason or another, none it complimentary to Charles. “The Queen is dead; long line the King.” Because, of course, that’s exactly what Sheren was, in fact, and one of those long-reigning ones who lent considerable stability to the realm.

  39. I’d also like to recommend Andrew’s horary astrology readings. I recently got a very helpful reading from him.

  40. JMG,
    After many years of greatly enjoying your books, I’ve come to the place where I’d like to reach out and join flesh-n-blood community (not just virtual community, valuable though it is). But how do I find the real deal (and avoid “witchcrap” etc.)? I’m looking for Dr. Miriam Akeley of Arkham U, The Starry Wisdom Church, fellow musicians like Brecken Kendall, and others who acknowledge the Great Old Ones. Obviously these are all fictional, but where (literally, and with whom) do I begin? I live in the Los Angeles area, so I would imagine there would be enough similarly minded people to form community, but scour the web though I have, I can’t seem to find just what I’m looking for. Help?

  41. LEP, talk to your mom. She may be dead but that doesn’t mean she’s gone, and she’s apparently trying to get your attention. Sit down by the computer that keeps turning itself on, talk to her as though she’s there, and then listen mentally to see if you get a response.

    David BTL, (1) no surprises there. Catabolic collapse can’t be avoided once commitments outrun resources. (2) Karma by definition has to be worked out by suffering; the difference is the plane on which you do the suffering. You can deal with karma by suffering negative circumstances in your outward life; you can deal with it by suffering emotional pain in your inward life; or you can deal with it by suffering cognitive pain — by realizing just exactly what mistake you made, and rebuilding your way of thinking about the world so you don’t make it again. That last way hurts most. (3) Funny! Thank you. (4) Gosh — well, knock me over with a feather. 😉

    Andrew, thanks for this!

    Johnny, people see weird things in the sky tolerably often. You’ve just become one of them. I’ve long thought there might be something to the now-unfashionable theory that there are living things in the atmosphere we don’t know about; that strikes me as one of many possible explanations for what you saw.

    Monster, you’re most welcome. Bai lan! That’s a new one for me, but it strikes me as a good general principle.

    Chuaquin, doesn’t surprise me at all. The EU leadership very clearly see themselves as the nucleus of a global government, and given their complete inability to cope with circumstances that don’t suit their plans, it’s typical that they would be trying to expand in the face of an existential threat.

    Nicole, everything I’ve seen in print discussing magic in fiction treats it from the typically arrogant modern viewpoint that of course it’s all nonsense, but it’s fun to use it for fictional effect, so make it up. There are capable works of fiction that include competent magic, from Bulwer-Lytton (“The Haunters and the Haunted” is a must-read) to Dion Fortune, but you basically have to go to actual works of fiction and see how it’s done. BTW, in the near future I’m going to be launching a contest for an anthology of occult-themed fiction, so stay tuned…

    Robert, what fun! I can’t think of anything just at the moment, but I’ll see what I can come up with, and in the meantime I encourage the commentariat to have at it.

    Shastatodd, it’s essential to the modern American mindset that restrictions can’t be allowed under any circumstances. (Restrictions are the only things it’s okay to restrict!) Of course the cardigan and the rest of it were smarter moves, but the flight from sustainability in the 1980s made all that radioactive in political terms — nobody who was around then wants to be reminded that we had a chance to make a better future and cashed it in on a few decades of wretched excess.

    Daniel, I don’t have a specific schedule. I start writing after breakfast unless I have errands to run, fit in various other things over the course of the day and evening, and usually wind things up around midnight. 1000-2000 words a day is a fairly common rate for me.

    Northwind, so noted, but I still know people whose lives have come completely unglued, and not in a good way, when they took up that practice. I also know serious students of Buddhism who are horrified that that practice is being taught to anybody who’s not already a serious practitioner with the necessary skills to deal with the consequences. That being the case, I don’t recommend it to anybody. You have every right to disagree with that, of course, but my opinion remains what it was.

    Luke, to get any kind of balanced view of a past era you have to go past the modern summaries into the original sources. Look up records of the terms of feudal tenure, all the way down the social pyramid to the peasants in the fields. Find out how many days off working people had in the Middle Ages and what share of the product of their labor they got to keep — not in general, but in as many specific cases as you can find. Read old law codes, chronicles, and the like. Then you can turn to the scholarly literature and get something out of it. That is to say, I don’t have a specific book to recommend; I got seriously interested in the Middle Ages many years ago and spent quite a while reading as many primary sources as I could find.

    ConfusedChild, glad to hear that my advice was useful to you. With regard to your questions: (1) You can read whatever you like, in as many systems of magic as you like, but choose one system of practice and stick to that until you’ve mastered it. (2) I recommend getting good at one system before trying another. In most cases that takes 3-5 years of sustained work. After that, sure, try other things — that’s worth doing to broaden your understanding of magic. (3) Don’t worry about it. It takes much, much more than that to evoke a spirit. If it helps, learn the name of some powerful positive being, such as a god or an archangel, and when your mind starts playing with the name you want to avoid, repeat the name of the positive being over and over again mentally. (4) I’ll look forward to fielding your questions at future Magic Mondays!

    Brendhelm, (1) of course. Climate change makes a great way to avoid talking about malign neglect and misappropriation of funds. (2) Yes, it could be. (3) My suspicion for years now has been that the Earth discovered that she had stashed too much carbon in her rock strata, and didn’t want to have to put up with another ten million years of ice age conditions, so she evolved a bunch of monkeys who are good at digging to excavate some of it and get it back into the atmosphere…

    BoulderChum, my problem with modern werewolf fiction is that all of it that I’ve read assumes that there’s a physical metamorphosis of a human being into a wolf. As we’ll be discussing in an upcoming book club post — Eliphas Lévi talks about werewolves at length — this isn’t what’s going on. I get crabby at fiction that makes a garbled mess of magic — it’s the equivalent of those hairy-eared engineers who used to write critiques of science fiction stories and send them to the letters page of Analog — so it’s been a long, long time since I’ve read any werewolf fiction at all. That said, a series of novels I’ve got in process right now will have a werewolf as a continuing character, so there’s hope!

    Ben, by performing two rituals and having a good celebratory meal.

    Alex, this is an open post so nothing is off topic! (1) I’m in the minority here; I worked with the Golden Dawn’s Enochian system and found it effective and powerful. The Opening by Watchtower in particular is a valuable practice; see if you can find Israel Regardie’s book Ceremonial Magic, which discusses how to practice it as a potent method of self-initiation. Serious work with the Enochian tablets, pyramids, Calls, and so on is advanced stuff, and should be left until you’ve mastered the rest of the things in the Golden Dawn system, but it’s a valid approach to magic. (2) It’s still coming out, a few papers every Thursday. You may want to bookmark my Dreamwidth journal and check there regularly. here’s a link to the entries posted so far, and you can also download a PDF of the first three grades here.

    Robert, there’ll almost certainly be a major war. China’s belligerent behavior toward its neighbors has driven the rise of an alliance among Japan, Australia, and India, and though the US is in decline India is in the ascendant. Taiwan is the obvious flashpoint for a struggle over whether China or the alliance will dominate the western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean.

    Batstrel, er, I’m not an adoptee; I have a stepmother, but my biological father is still Dad, and I don’t have any stepsiblings, just an older (full) sister. As for the sequence of siblings, my take is that every soul needs to have the experience of being the responsible one, and so gets born at least once as a first child so that the pressures and possibilities of being a first child can be experienced and processed.

    John, thank you! I’d been meaning to get over there for a while, and this is a good excuse.

    Lydia, please remember that I’m not a doctor. I’d encourage you to talk to licensed health care practitioners who work with alternative medicine and see if they can point you to any possibilities.

    Frank, ha! That’s absolutely brilliant — and of course Kisin is spot on.

    Denis, I don’t think so. I’m fairly sure that Biden’s handlers didn’t come up with the latest idiocy involving Lithuania and Kaliningrad — that kind of bureaucratic pettiness reeks of the EU to me. Right now the self-proclaimed masters of the universe are doing a full-on Kermit the Frog flailfest, because their grand plan has come completely unglued — the sanctions that were supposed to wreck the Russian economy are destroying the EU’s economies and driving a worldwide recession, and the Russians have responded with the one kind of warfare the US and its allies have no way to counter: the slow, patient meatgrinder approach of pre-Blitzkrieg warfare. Will Biden do more stupid things before this is over? Sure, but I don’t expect nukes to fly, for reasons I’ve discussed at length already.

    Liam, I don’t think it’s a god, or anything like one. I think it may well be a demon, or an artificial elemental of relatively high intelligence. Beyond that, it’s worth exploring.

    Viduraawakened, (1) well, kind of. I don’t think cruisers or destroyers will be viable in a world armed with hypersonic antiship missiles. Missile-equipped corvettes of the sort that Russia’s gotten so good at using, and submarines of any size that are capable of evading detection, are much more likely to dominate the 21st century oceans. (2) Gods do things like that, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  42. @ Boulder him

    Re werewolf movies

    I always thought “Dog Soldiers” did a decent job. Certainly not urban!

  43. Dear JMG,

    What are your thoughts on synthetic gemstones?

    I am thinking of proposing to my girlfriend soon, synthetic gemstones seem much cheaper than natural ones, and possibly more ethical. I don’t want to get a diamond, IIRC you mentioned that it’s a stone of Mars, I am thinking of emerald (Venus) or sapphire (Jupiter).

    Do you think they would be suitable for astrological talismans?

    Thanks

  44. Thanks, JMG! Just as an aside, if you were ever inclined to write an article or book challenging some of the modern assumptions about medieval society, then I for one would be fascinated to read it.

  45. @Old Steve, Jimmy Carter was just way ahead of his time. The economic calculus you used with regards to saving gas is relevant if we assume the modern ” fossil fuel boosted” value of human labor. But if we look at the actual value of gas in terms of human labor then slowing down to 55 is a good bargain. According to a common estimate it takes 472 hours of human labor ( muscle energy, not thinking) to equal the energy inherent in one gallon of gas. So if on your trip slowing down saved you 2.5L of fuel ( .66 gal of gas) it actually conserved enough fuel to save some peasant in the fossil fuel starved future from having to do 318 hours of back breaking work. Jimmies policy was not good politics given the (fossil fuel era )thinking of most voters, but if we take in to account the grand sweep of history from the beginning of the fossil fuel era to a time just a few decades in the future when most mobile energy will be provided by hardworking humans and draft animals , it made lots of sense. I imagine my grandchildren would think it a grand bargain for you to slow down a bit so they could avoid 318 hours of labor grinding millet or hand pumping water.

  46. Perhaps I’m being more charitable than I should, but is there any way the transhumanism agenda is good? It certainly looks like an evolutionary cul-de-sac we will regret, but perhaps this is the freeing ourselves from the limits of physical reality that begins our assent up the planes? That uploading into the computer is the first step to completely shedding the physical body? I know I’m grasping as straws but I’m trying to steelman this. It’s fresh on my mind as I am rereading The Cosmic Doctrine and your commentary.

  47. Re: #31: That is interesting, and I vaguely recall hearing that in the news when it happened. I found this part of the article interesting:

    “Hinduism has its own science to apply to this miracle, that of the interpretation of portents-unusual or supernatural events. Portents are the specific domain of astrologers to interpret, and coincidentally most of this issue of Hinduism Today is devoted to astrology. The ‘milk miracle,’ under this analysis, is not the end in itself, but rather signals a future event of great import.

    Sri K.N. Rao, one of India’s most noted astrologers [see interview, page 10], explained that the involvement of Ganesha means that harm will come to the “commanders of armies.” The acceptance of milk, however, is an auspicious sign. Therefore the final result will be a greater good. The portent will take effect in eight months, just about the time of an eclipse in April, 1996.”

    Anyone know what, if any, event of great import happened around April, 1996, that the milk miracle was the omen of?

  48. Two Questions-
    What karma is one supposed to learn by having clinical depression? And would you know what the karma would be for someone who is depressed to take antidepressants?
    Thanks!

  49. @Johnny (#4):

    About twenty-five years ago my wife and I, and also several friends, watched something very like what you describe, very high in the skies over Providence one late afternoon for the better part of an hour. There were three individual creatures(?) that looked very much like gigantic grey or pale white tenuous jellyfish together, slowly circling one another, moving now nearer to one another, now farther apart. They way they moved together reminded me and my wife very strongly of the sort of aerial courtship “dances” larger birds like eagles sometimes do, far up in the sky, but slower.

    As we were all talking over what we were watching, and wondering what it might be, one of my friends remarked that he and a few other scientist friends of his, had seen the same three creatures doing much the same thing the previous afternoon.

    None of us had any idea what they might be. For myself, at the tiime I thought (like our host says) that they were most likely some sort of very rare living creatures which spend their lives extremely high up in the atmosphere.

    I still think that’s the most likely explanation. Even in the part of the biosphere closest to the surface of the earth, new living species are being discovered all the time. The depths of the oceans seem to harbor many more weird unknown species. So why should not the upper atmosphere have some weird creatures as well?

  50. Thank you – the EU mucking things up makes sense. I can’t imagine working for the state department these days. Well anywhere in the USG really.

    I listened to the Weird of Hali Innsmouth and the narrator did a great job! I wish the others in the series were out on audiobook too. Love Owen and Laura and now a fan of Team Tentacles. Ordering them all for some (finally) fun reading.

    How realistic is the magic? I was loving the targeted weapon that transmitted fear.

  51. @Fidra, I’ve thought about the “being overwhelmed” thing quite a bit. It would seem unfair that those who live more within their means will have to suffer alongside the rest, but then, life isn’t fair. When it comes to collapse scenarios, I think a lot of what we conjecture about them is just that…conjecture. My family came from an impoverished area of the Med only a few decades ago (my father didn’t have shoes until he was nine, for example), so they lived relatively simple lives, and it didn’t take much. My sense is that we may overthink these things, trying to peer too far ahead in the surf. We will surf the wave as it arrives, and crash or not, depending on the will of the gods. Until then, my thinking is: live simpler, throw away that which is not useful, slow down, and, as Nonna used to say, “impara l’arte e mette da parte” (learn a useful skill, and put it to the side)…you never know when you may need it. And get yourself as right with the gods as the see fit. I mean, if our (not-so-distant) ancestors could manage, well then…

    Axé…

  52. Something I’ve noticed regerding people who are all too eager to claim that Russia is losing in Ukraine is that all the reasons they give for why Russia is losing apply just as much, if not tenfold, to Ukraine. Corrupt leaders? Check. Heavy losses in personnel and equipment? Check. Crumbling economy? Check. Mass conscriptions of poorly-trained troops? Check. Poor morale? Maybe not at first, but now certainly another check. It’s funny, as in a sense they’re right that the country which is worst off in these areas is the one that’s losing the war; they’re just misidentifying that country as Russia when it’s actually Ukraine. Goes to show how much projection is going on.

  53. A final reminder that the 5th Annual (sort-of) Midsummer Ecosophia Potluck will be held at our house this Saturday, June 25, 2022. This is your opportunity to meet the physical people whom we have come to know through these forums. In order to ensure a maximum of diversity and inclusion of food groups, please sign up at the Google form here.
    That evening, there will be a WaterFire downtown, about a 15 minute walk from our house. I recommend it if you have yet to see one.

  54. Hello JMG,

    My husband sends his gratitude for your ramen recipe from WoH: Arkham. It has quickly become one of our house’s go-to comfort foods.

    When I make it, I add a sheet of sushi nori (seaweed), torn into strips, when the water starts boiling, and then poach a couple of eggs in the broth while the vegetables & noodles are cooking.

    When he makes it, we call it bougie ramen, because he swaps out the hot dog for bacon & the frozen vegetables for frozen mixed berries (he keeps the sushi nori from mine but ditches the eggs). Sometimes he’ll use a can of tuna as the meat instead.

    Amusingly, he considers the addition of bougie ramen to his repertoire as one of the many small benefits we’ve gotten from my spiritual practice with CGD. 🙂

    Thanks from both of us,
    Heather / adara

  55. I would love your opinion on the recently-published book The End of the World is Just the Beginning by Peter Zeihan, if you have time and interest enough to read it. He sees global civilization decline as the result of an aging population.

  56. As a Russian-born British comedian and commentator, Kisin comes at things from a fascinating perspective. He also has a Substack page, which is headlined “Politically Non-Binary Opinions on Culture, Politics and Comedy” (https://konstantinkisin.substack.com/).

  57. Johnny’s experience encouraged me to share my own recent experience: I met a nature spirit during a wedding at a rural venue.

    I took a break from the party to wander around the grounds, and while walking past one patch of plants felt a “pulling” sensation in my head that compelled me to check it out. After inspecting it for a bit I noticed the plants formed a vaguely human form, of a man relaxing on his back. We “conversed” non-verbally for a bit (for lack of a better description he had “laid-back surfer” vibes… but somehow not as cliched as that sounds!)

    I felt overwhelmed with gratitude towards this being (it was a similar feeling I’ve felt in particularly gorgeous and unique spots in nature… just a “thank you for existing” sort of feeling.)

    And in case I thought I imagined the whole interaction, when I returned and told my partner where I wandered off to and why I’m in such a good mood, a butterfly decided to land on my shoulder.

    Thank you JMG for the community you’ve created here, that’s opened me up in such a way to experience this!

  58. JMG said:
    “Karma by definition has to be worked out by suffering; … You can deal with karma by suffering negative circumstances in your outward life; you can deal with it by suffering emotional pain in your inward life; or you can deal with it by suffering cognitive pain — by realizing just exactly what mistake you made, and rebuilding your way of thinking about the world so you don’t make it again. That last way hurts most.”

    I am wondering what Karma I am dealing with. I tend to be very afraid of change and sometimes (used to) get panic attacks just thinking about dealing with an pleasant situation or person. That is one of the reasons I was so eager to embrace doomerism of the fast collapse – counterintuitively, if I thought everyone will die tomorrow I was able to deal slightly better with today.

    Now I am slowly working through the realization that first, yes, I am a coward (at least emotionally) and second, I can train myself to be better.

    What kind of Karmic load will cause this kind of phobia? Other than dealing with panic everytime it arises (which works, slowly), what can I do to prepare myself and open up to new ways of thinking and living?

    Thanks!

  59. A few weeks ago, one commenter made the following observation:
    I’m in the northeast and I hear talk about women revolting if Roe versus Wade is overturned.

    Tim Cast IRL also did a recent article on the percentage of people under 45 who support assassinating politicians, to get us out of the situation we are in and it’s a shockingly high number. (The boomers were the only group with a less than double digit number and event then at least 15% under all the other brackets.)

    My ear to the ground among the men folk here in New England, is that the opinion is that women need to be stuck back where they were circa 1970…. like if men can be discharged from the military from having an affair, women need to be held to the same standard.

    Honestly I see women’s rights being rolled back over the next few decades, I feel like the trans movement is a Trojan horse that’s doing it.

    JMG thoughts?

    FWIW, I think that modern feminism has a limited shelf life for the following reasons:

    (1) Much of “womens’ liberation” is an artifact of modernity, and will not survive its passing. The main reason women can use men like wallets and sperm banks, then discard them when they are through with them, is that such women are actually “married” to the State, via modern welfare systems. When modern welfare states go away, so will the above life strategy.

    (2) Radical feminist women (and Wokesters in general) are not having children at replacement rates. The only people who are reproducing at or above replacement levels, are more traditional (and usually deeply religious) groups of people. Since “the future belongs to those who show up for it,” I expect that more traditional sex roles will be re-established for that reason alone, if no other.

    In the end, Reality always asserts itself, like it or not.

  60. Shastatodd, the only commandment that still applies in D. C. any more—“Thou shalt not admit Jimmy Carter was right.”

  61. @Shastatodd #9 – Hey! I often say the same thing. We’ll know that America is taking limits of fossil fuels seriously when we begin seeing things like a hard 55MPH speed limit. That raises labor rights issues for truckers who get paid by the mile and are unpaid for things like having to wait four hours for their cargo to get unloaded and other things. Still I feel the point stands. As it is now America is like the householder complaining about how expensive the electricity bill is with every light on in the house and the AC full blast. hehe.

    JMG, thanks for this ‘(2) Karma by definition has to be worked out by suffering; the difference is the plane on which you do the suffering. You can deal with karma by suffering negative circumstances in your outward life; you can deal with it by suffering emotional pain in your inward life; or you can deal with it by suffering cognitive pain — by realizing just exactly what mistake you made, and rebuilding your way of thinking about the world so you don’t make it again.’ – ouch. all 3 speaks to me. I may have once shared some vivid-memories that seemed to me to be past lives that went horribly awry so it all fits. I just had not heard it put that way. 🙂 To the last on changing and rebuilding thinking – one of the realizations I made sometime back to this end is that I rarely had regrets about what I did not say, but some regrets about things that I did say – so I made a change to say less in general. meditation has been a great for tool for breaking free habitual patterns of thought and states mind, just as a byproduct of practice. ditching television about a decade and a half ago took care of a lot of the clutter and crap that infects a mind from watching commercial programming.

  62. What do you think Agrippa’s work would look like if he were alive today and writing for a contemporary audience?

    Jonathan

  63. Hi JMG,

    Yes, I’m in the camp now! A living thing is something that hadn’t occurred to me, but is a quite interesting explanation.

    I’m mostly just planning on filing this experience away, and will see if any future information lines up with it ever, either on the UFO side (aliens and living creatures would both go in that category), or the technology side. I saw this story, for instance, which was interesting to me although I don’t think explains what we saw:

    https://financialpost.com/entrepreneur/up-up-and-way-space-industry-startup-is-using-balloons-to-launch-rockets

    In garden news it’s just gotten warm enough for the bees to come out again, after a month or so of them being notably absent, which is a relief as I was wondering if we had collectively managed to create another catastrophic crisis for the medley, by finally killing them all. The seedlings are still moving steadily from the sidewalk, which I replace as soon as they are taken (maybe a couple a day), and a neighbour whose given me the cold shoulder for about 9 years or so said hi to me yesterday morning.

    @ Robert Mathiesen (#52)

    Thanks so much for the story! I’ve enjoyed your posts in the comments here for a long time now. That sounds like an amazing experience. I like being in this club =)

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  64. I’m not going to get into the Pros and Cons of Drag Queen Story Hour, but I do wonder—what the heck were the preschool teachers who told that guy “Yes, your costume’s fine” thinking? When I was little it would have scared me shaleless!

  65. @Kimberly Steele,
    I’m currently looking into the possibility of teaching recorder for money in the city where I live. There is a shortage of people able to teach this instrument locally. Do you have any suggestions on getting started for a potential music teacher who doesn’t have a degree in music or teaching?

    What I’m doing at the moment is teaching a friend on a nonmonetary basis, working on improving my recorder playing skills so I’ll be able to teach more than beginners, and making sure I get rid of bad habits so I won’t pass them on. I’m also now running the music at my local church, though that’s an independent thing and I’m mostly playing harp for it.

  66. Hi jack (#61),

    Thanks for sharing that story, jack! I experienced something a few years ago sitting in my backyard watching my son playing. We had been out there maybe 45 minutes or so, it was a cloudy day in February as I remember it, one of those breaks in the weather where the snow is mostly melted and it’s reasonably nice out, and had a thought about what I might teach him if he asked me if I believed in God. I thought, “Well, I certainly believe there are beings beyond humans” and instantly (literally the second after I thought this) the clouds parted, sunlight poured into the area, and the temperature noticeably warmed up. Certainly this could have been pure coincidence, I wouldn’t insist on other interpretations to people (or expect them to believe the one I felt to be true), but it was a very meaningful experience, personally.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  67. Thanks, JMG. I worked at a used bookstore for almost a decade and constantly scoured for any info on writing magic into fiction. I don’t believe I’d ever found any. I spent even more than a decade neck-deep in weird fantasy, also looking for connections. Still didn’t find much.

    Along the way, I read a little book called “Apocalypse Not” that helped me immensely as I grew up in an End Times family.

    I don’t think I understand magic enough right now to say whether or not I saw links within deep fantasy fiction. I’m working on that, but am also aware the answer is likely not, as you expressed.

    I collected myself some interesting titles. Including one called “The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic” translated by… hey that’s that same guy. I should look him up.

    And so, I’ve been hanging around your blog for a few months now, enjoying this backlog of knowledge. Evident by the way you threw out two writers names and simply looking them up led me to find the categorizations of “esoteric fiction” and “occult fiction.” I didn’t even know those existed.

    Do you find writing fiction within the real confines of real magic is limiting? I have a small worry about that. However, I imagine the more you know about magic the less limiting your fictional rules would be.

  68. Fidra, get out if you can. The higher education industry in the US has backed itself into a corner in three ways at once. It’s turned itself into a corrupt marketing scheme to push predatory loans on vulnerable people, and a great many potential students are figuring this out; it’s raised prices so high and debased the quality of what it offers so far that a university degree is no longer worth the paper it’s printed on, and a great many students are figuring this out, too; and it’s bought body and soul into the extremist “woke” ideology, which is only supported by around 8% of the US population, and as the blowback against that ideology gathers force you can expect the higher education industry to be among the easy targets. Friends of mine in higher education have suggested that by the end of this decade half of US colleges and universities will have closed their doors forever, and that’s just the first wave. I’d encourage you to find something else to do for a living sooner rather than later so you’re not caught scrambling for a job along with hundreds of thousands of other unemployed professors and educational bureaucrats. As for your other comments, I’ll leave those to the commentariat, because other people are piling up…

    Sam, I don’t expect it to survive more than a short time into the collapse. There will be, as there always have been, a certain number of people who feel uncomfortable with the standard gender labels, but as the process of decline picks up speed I suspect nearly everyone will have more pressing things to worry about.

    Concerned, depends on the cause of death. In the case of medicine-related mortality, look for malefics in or ruling the 1st, 6th and 7th houses, and an afflicted Moon.

    David BTL, thanks for this.

    Patricia, nobody’s doing observational astronomy in Trey’s time, other than a little casual stargazing; once the big observatories and orbital telescopes shut down, there was nothing that earth-based observers with small telescopes could discover that was of pressing interest. As for Presden Sheren, exactly — one of the things I did to give a certain degree of verisimilitude to the setting was to take our titles (President, General, Colonel) and rework them in exactly the same way that Latin dux became “duke” and comes became “count.”

    Ecodreamer, you’re far from the first person to ask this and I wish I had a meaningful answer. I don’t have a Starry Wisdom church to attend, if that tells you anything. If enough of us lived in the same area, that’d be one thing, but no such luck.

  69. I don’t really have a question, but a belated thought regarding last week’s post that I’d like to share.

    Perhaps one of the most important, if not THE most important form of wealth, that the USA has been pumping into the imperial center in the most recent decades comes in the form of so-called “human resources”.

    When I was growing up, one of the buzzwords I kept hearing is “brain drain”. It’s a major challenge to develop your country if all of your best and brightest – everything from skilled laborers to professionals with all sorts of esoteric specialties – are moving abroad for more money and prestige.

    It’s not a coincidence that so many tech executives are of Indian or Chinese descent. Or that if you end up in a hospital break room, all the nurses are Filipino. And so on…

    It seems to me that while Americans in the political spectrum vary on the immigration question, everyone from the immigration hawks who nevertheless uphold the “model minority” myth to the open borders radicals who are all-in on the “rescue game” approve of THIS particular wealth pump in some form.

  70. @Fidra #34,

    About the spices, check out this post here:

    https://gallowaywildfoods.com/wild-spices-of-the-uk

    It’s about “wild” spices (i.e. from wild/naturally occuring plants). The post is written by a Scot, so the plant selection is geared towards the UK. But I’m sure you can get some inspiration from it. 😉

    I can vouch for hogweed (Heracleum) and wild carrot (Daucus carota) seeds, they taste awesome. Very interesting and “exotic”. As far as spices go, these two are definitely worth a try.

    And for everybody interested in wild plant-based foodstuffs, Mark’s website in general is a goldmine.

    Milkyway

  71. Adding to Michael Martin’s thoughts, most political “isms”, such as Socialism and Capitalism, are also artefacts of the Industrial Revolution and will likely disappear along with it.

  72. I’ve been wondering about the fate of large hydroelectric dams over the longer term and am wondering if anyone here has knowledge that can help me fill in the gaps in my thinking?

    I imagine that as other power sources become scarce, existing dams will gain more and more focus as a precious resource. Whether there will be many more built will depend a lot on politics and economics as well as how many good sites there are left and will likely happen in some areas and not others.

    It’s been mentioned before in comments here that large dams may end up being targets in future wars. Destroying a dam could cause more damage from a smaller bomb than just about any other target, except possibly a nuclear plant if you include longer term impacts. Such a scenario could end the era of building large dams even if countries still have the resources to do so.

    The scenario I’m most curious about but don’t have the technical knowledge to know much about is, what would be the fate of large dams that get neglected over time? If society collapses to the point that it can no longer maintain the dams consistently, are we looking at dam failures leading to massive floods? If so, how long would it take for neglect to lead to such a scenario? It would probably depend on the environment I imagine, areas with more geologic instability would be in more danger. Also I’m sure some dams are better constructed than others. I’m wondering if some dams would prove sturdy enough that they’d hold for many centuries or even millennia, slowly filling in with silt until eventually there would be a large marsh where there used to be a reservoir?

    Any thoughts?

  73. Hello JMG
    I am mainly having a conversation with myself but would appreciate your input.
    I have followed current events closely now for a year and a half and in my mind “the west” is getting closer to failure. I am wildly curious about how this will shake out, I am distressed by it also, but feel I can’t do anything about it. It makes me crazy . Last month I was going through my old trunks of drawings and prints from before I was married and had kids. I became very excited about doing that again since all of our kids are grown and are on their own. I have prepared our household with a deep pantry, improved my understanding what what health and immunity mean now at a deeper level, garden just about every inch of our narrow urban lot and collect rainwater for gardening and for future drinking (filtered and treated), have alternative means of heating our home and cooking, and have given away what money I can to our kids to use before it goes to zero.

    In short I feel I have done just about everything I can to roll with the punches and insults of what is coming if events don’t get out of control totalitarian. The hypnotized people around me are very distressing though I seldom challenge them. I must develop the skills to engage them.
    I want to throw myself into drawing and design and printmaking. Escape and enjoy myself. This causes me to forget about the institutional corruption and failure all around me. It relaxes me and engages my tendency to re-design and interpret everything I see.

    I also know I need to keep myself available to assist my friends and neighbors. Is it wise to divert my attention now knowing that my situation may get too intense to indulge this passion in the near future? I have skills that people seek out and pay for but I rarely ask for money. I must and will keep a balance between my internal and social external forces. Eliphas Levi’s book has been a great help.
    DGBD

  74. Hi JMG

    About the texas thing, I was trying to get it in before the deadline due to time diffrences etc.
    Three things about it inspired me to post.

    1)The person who shared the link originally to me was : It’s harrowing and basically having kittens about it and pasted a number of sections which reminded me of

    2)Twilight’s Last Gleaming and states going for the convention – since the authors of the link were mentioning about fed taxes, what the fed could/couldn’t do etc.

    One thing in particular stood out to me – the item on currency protecting all sorts of things that can be used as such – including bullion (thinking about when the fed confiscated gold in the past as has been mentioned here now and then) and how texas was going to give that a big nope if tried again i guess.

    3)The first person had lived in texas for 10 years but wasn’t a native and is no longer there, but another mate who I showed the link to – a born and bred texan I believe – essentially snorted and said it was nonsense and hot air – something something about refusing to pay fed taxes and just look at the state of the grid and what happened and the state was always going on about independence. So basically a completely opposite reaction.

    I expect the truth of the matter to be somewhere in the middle of the two reactions, but as my knowledge is limited, figured I’d see if you or others of the commentariat had any thoughts on the matter: ie is it blustering rubbish or something to keep an eye on or both/neither.

    -Parion

  75. Alvin, I haven’t worked with them but I know people who have, and say that they’re not as good as the natural kind for magical purposes but they’ll do the job if that’s what you can get.

    Luke, I’ll consider it.

    Jon, nope. C.S. Lewis did a very good job of explaining why not in That Hideous Strength.

    Waffles, based on what I recall from previous lives, serious depression isn’t a matter of a lesson to learn — it’s part of the process of working off karma from really grubby past lives. As for what antidepressants will do, those haven’t been around long enough for anyone incarnate to be sure.

    Denis, delighted to hear it! The magic’s a free mix of real magic and stuff out of Lovecraft. The transmission of fear is realistic — there are ways in which that can be done.

    Matt, delighted to hear this too. Please pass on my congratulations.

    Valenzuela, well, yes, there’s that! A good many of them also apply equally well to the United States. Corrupt leaders? Check. Crumbling economy? Check. Poor morale? Ahem…

    Heather, good heavens. I didn’t exactly intend that recipe to have that effect, but hey, if it works… 😉

    Gavin, I haven’t read it. I’ll see if time permits at some point. Generally speaking I haven’t been impressed by Zeihan’s analyses, but who knows? Even a blind mouse can find a broken clock, or what have you.

    Jack, excellent. Delighted to hear this.

    NomadicBeer, I’ve known people who had similar experiences; most of them went through serious trauma in their last life. It seems to be almost a sort of reincarnational PTSD.

    Martin, to my mind it’s a mistake to treat things as this kind of either/or binary. There wasn’t just one set of traditional sex roles — check out the history of women’s legal status sometime, and you’ll find (for example) that the Protestant Reformation saw a dramatic decline in women’s legal status, with women being deprived of legal rights they’d had for centuries. When the welfare state implodes, no question, things will change — but that doesn’t necessarily amount to a lurch straight back to Victorian attitudes, you know.

    Jastin, delighted to hear it. Ditching the TV really is a transformative practice!

    Jonathan, I’m going to turn this right back on you. Why don’t you take a chapter of Agrippa and rewrite it in contemporary language and concepts, and see what you get?

    Nicole, I don’t find it limiting at all — quite the contrary. Imagine that the only way of writing romantic fiction you’d ever encountered was the one you find in Harlequin romances, and then you picked up your first Jane Austen novel. All of a sudden you’re in a wider, richer, and far more realistic world! Modern faux-magic is the Harlequin romance; real magic is Jane Austen. It’s vastly more interesting and offers far more possibilities for the writer.

    Carlos, that’s an important point. I doubt many people here in the US have any notion just how drastically things will shift when we can no longer import “human resources” (I hate that phrase)…

    Kashtan, that’s a fascinating question to which I don’t know the answer. Anyone else?

    Daniel, I’d say go ahead and distract yourself. You’ve made your preparations; now do something to keep your stress down while things unfold.

    Parion, thanks for this. It’s fascinating reading — the Texas GOP is setting out, in clear and relatively well thought-out terms, a program for dismantling the centralized government we now have and returning a great deal of power to the states. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

  76. @Paul:

    “Adding to Michael Martin’s thoughts, most political “isms”, such as Socialism and Capitalism, are also artifacts of the Industrial Revolution and will likely disappear along with it.”

    Amen to that!

  77. The political bad magic of today has a precedent In WWII, of the sort that, Dion Fortune, if she were an American, would have clapped her hand to her forehead and groaned “Oy, vey!” Courtesy of History By Mail, from a document declassified in 2002, I give you Operation Cornflake, an attempt to undermine the morale of German civilians by such ploys as – fake death notices sent to families of German soldiers claiming the deceased soldiers’ possessions had been stolen by Nazi officials. Another ploy was imitations of genuine Nazi propaganda leaflets. The imitations (supposedly from the German high command) ordered German soldiers to shoot officers who attempted to surrender or retreat and ordered soldiers to evacuate civilian population in the hope that they’d clog the supply lines.

    https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/operation-cornflakes

  78. andrewskeen (no. 3), what makes a good question for horary astrology?

    Chuaquin (no. 6) “EU bosses have said that Ukraine and Moldovia will be the next new EU members, as soon as possible.”

    What is being discussed (recommended by the EU Commission, but there has to be unanimity among the member states) is granting Ukraine and Moldova (and Georgia) EU *candidate* status, without preconditions. Accession to the EU, however, would come with lots and lots of conditions, which will be a real struggle to fulfill. Note that Turkey is also (still) an official EU candidate, even though few observers expect it to join anytime soon. (Not only have they not made any progress–rather the opposite–on the various still-open chapters, but several EU countries seem likely to blackball their membership.)

    Nicole (no. 7), as a comics fan, I have noticed that a typical problem with magic is that it can seem to lack rules or limits–a character that can do virtually anything is hard to write for, or relate to. The best writers are able to work around this by establishing rules or limits. For example, one magic character (Nico from “Runaways”) could do virtually anything through magic–but only once, and then she could never use the same spell again. Also, she had to draw her own blood first. A number of pop-culture franchises (e.g. “Full Metal Alchemist”) emphasize that magic always carries a cost.

    This is for magic *powers.* The magic *world* is another kind of magic trope (think Tolkien or the Oz books, but also “spiritual search” books like Carlos Casteneda’s, or “The Lost Horizon”), and typically involves some kind of POV character, perhaps a “fish out of water.”

    BoulderChum (no. 16), Whitley Strieber’s “Wolfen” (1978, movie 1981) is about intelligent wolves, not werewolves per se. Nowadays he thinks it was subconsciously inspired by his alien experiences, of course.

  79. So here’s what I’m wondering. With all this blog’s talk of decline (and I’ve been following ADR since 2010) I’ve been stuck with not seeing it in my immediate life. Maybe the way to phrase that is “not directly impacted”. I live in Boston and have been working in software engineering. Should I quit and start a handyman service?

    I’ve been pondering that for a while as I like tinkering & repairing things; it’s more congruent to what I care about & more resilient and better for the environment. But I was hoping for more of a tail wind I guess. It’s too tempting/easy to stay in software. Could Boston be a liberal enclave that retains software engineering positions in the next few decades… and thus it would make sense (at least, financial) to keep that job & continue tinkering on the side? Or am I just being fooled by glamour of “having money” and the security I think it will buy me?

    I could try to do 20hrs of software and 20hrs of repairs every week, but that seems schizophrenic, no? I feel like I should be whole-hog on one thing and so struggle with the idea of “when is the time to jump from horse I’m on (the old economy) to the new horse”. JMG & commenters, any insights or journaling topics to suggest here?

  80. So, I have an idea but have no skills whatsoever to make it a reality.

    Many people here and at the other blog speak of yearning to make connections with Ecosophians who are local to them. But there is no way to figure out where everyone is located.

    In the past I have seen these interactive maps, where you can put a little ‘pin’ marking where you are. (You don’t have to put it on your exact address, just in your general area.) Then if another person hovers their mouse over the pin, they can see the username that goes to that pin. From there it is up to folks to reach out to each other.

    Does this sound like an interesting idea? Does anyone have the skills to make it happen?

  81. Re: the third way of working out karma…might the work outlined in the Octagon Society be an example of this? A second thought…what would be good practice to develop the spiritual body? I can come up with a few for the first four…

  82. Robert Morgan (no. 19) ” I guess a simple takeover [of Taiwan] by China might not have too much of an impact on ordinary people…”

    You’ll find me in the hills, fighting with the “Nixon / Carter Brigade.” Watch for our Hello Kitty battle flag!

    ——————

    Princess Cutekitten (no. 26) “Neither of us drinks coffee…”

    Me neither. I tell Mormons I’m a “jack gentile.”

    (Explanation: In Mormonese, a “gentile” is a non-Mormon. A “Jack Mormon” is a Mormon who drinks coffee, and perhaps indulges in other sins–the idea being that just as a jackrabbit is not really a rabbit, so is a Jack Mormon not really a Mormon.)

    ———————

    viduraawakened (no. 31), a number of commentators expect a revolution in military technology that might, for example, make aircraft carriers not so decisive anymore.

    ———————

    Fidra (no. 34) “on the higher education industry in the United States”

    Haven’t lived there for two decades, but it’s very diverse–everything from little Bible colleges to military schools to Great Books colleges to that one college in California that’s held on a ranch. Plus nowadays one can learn all sorts of things for free, or very cheaply, through the internet. (Me: Armenian language and Tibetan Buddhist stuff.)

    ———————

    JMG (no. 44) “I also know serious students of Buddhism who are horrified that that practice [gtong len, “giving and taking”] is being taught to anybody who’s not already a serious practitioner with the necessary skills to deal with the consequences.”

    Thubten Yeshe (“Lama Yeshe,” the FPMT founder) taught it as a general practice. It is not unusual to find some practice being restricted by one lineage, but broadcast openly by others.

    Does Buddhist meditation cause people to go crazy? There are many suggestive anecdotes, but the causation is unclear–it may well be that meditation attracts crazy people! In general, Tibetan Buddhist groups and teachers agree that there are numerous potentially helpful teachings and practices, and emphasize that Buddhist practice (of whatever type) ought to be grounded in bodhicitta, and guided by one’s lama.

    ———————–

    Brenainn Griffudd (no. 50), the most significant military event that month would have to be Israel’s ill-fated invasion of Lebanon.

    ———————–

    Robert Mathiesen (no. 52), Johnny (no 4), you guys are giving me flashbacks to Philip K. Dick, who at one point thought that humans lived in symbiosis with some sort of beings that live in the atmosphere. (He had one eye on the Pauline epistles.)

    If I saw such things, then what are the possibilities, other than the obvious (balloons, drones, space aliens)? The odd structure (shape-shifting behavior?) could suggest an hyper-dimensional object. Another possibility (bear with me) is hallucination. Since two of you saw it, we would have to imagine certain brain centers being activated by…something, possibly a natural process. Of course I’m spit-balling here.

  83. Parion (no 79) “About the texas thing…”

    Uh, what is “the Texas thing”? I grew up there, and now you’ve got me worried that maybe I caught it!

    If you mean Texas independence or something, well, lots of people talk tough on surveys, but then get all offended if you invite them to step on the US flag or something–those same people will end up chanting “USA! USA!” It is probably relevant that during the ten years Texas actually *was* independent, its currency was…well, suffice it to say that this was a major reason for supporting annexation!

  84. Hi JMG,

    did you by any chance find the time to read Toulmin’s Cosmopolis? I am not particularly invested in his explanatory model of how the modern world view “happened”, but I would like to hear your opinion on his general characterization of Renaissance vs. “modern” thinking.

  85. Hey jmg and commentariat

    Just letting you know that Tom Murphy has published a new article on “do the math”

    https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2022/06/shedding-our-fossil-fuel-suit/#more-2248

    Also, since there has been a lot of talk about A.I. Recently, it just so happens that David brin’s latest post is about that subject. If the next blogpost on this site is going to be on the occult dimensions of A.I. Who dares to invite brin to it so we can watch his reaction?

  86. Denis @ 29, Biden’s handlers have never heard of Kaliningrad, or Konigsberg; they might possibly have heard of Immanuel Kant, but since they paid other people to write their college papers…; suffice it to say that say these are folks who think singlemindedness is a virtue and that big picture guys and gals don’t do geography. For what it might be worth, I notice that no great power has ever been able to conquer or control Scandinavia, and I doubt Russia will either. I suspect that a benign neutrality is the best Putin and his successors can hope for in that part of the world.

    Luke Dodson @ 13, if I may, I suggest the place to start is with Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society, that is the name of the English translation. An American couple, Frances and Joseph Gies wrote a series of what might be called monographs for literate readers, Life in a Medieval Village, Life in a Medieval Town, etc. What makes these interesting is that the Gieses were reporting their research into surviving records of a specific village, town, etc.

  87. Hello Bei Dawei!

    I knew what a jack Mormon was—used to work with people from Utah—but never knew the etymology of the phrase. Thanks!

    A while back, we had a discussion on the dangers of vipassana meditation for people who jump from little or no meditation to 12 hours a day of same.

  88. Patricia M, “Cornflake” is a good moniker for it — as in, seriously flaky. Sheesh.

    Waffles, that’s a very good description of the way I experienced it, certainly.

    Bob, I don’t recommend the whole-hog thing. Quite the contrary, keep your software job and start doing handyman projects for friends and neighbors on your own time. Ease into it, and begin decreasing your software activities as the handyman gig begins to bring in more money. We all have to have a foot in both worlds these days anyway, so why not make the most of it?

    Mother B., hmm! I don’t have the skills either, but it’s an interesting idea.

    KMB, good! Yes, that’s exactly what the Octagon Society work is there for. As for a spiritual body, you don’t have one of those yet, nor will for many ages to come. Right now human beings have three bodies — a material body, an etheric body, and an astral body — and we’re in the process of evolving a mental body. Once the mental sheath (the rudimentary mental body) becomes a fully developed mental body, we shed the physical body permanently; then, after the equivalent of many more lifetimes of learning and development, we will develop a spiritual sheath and then a spiritual body, shedding the etheric body. Eventually — and here we’re talking geologic time spans — each of us will have causal, spiritual, and mental bodies, though we’ll be able to take on temporary astral, etheric, and material bodies when we choose.

    Bei, “Buddhist meditation” is a vast vague label. Some practices that fall under that label do indeed have a bad habit of causing people to have nervous breakdowns; others don’t. As for the “Texas thing,” it’s this.

    Aldarion, yes, I read it. It was a mixed bag, not least because he paid insufficient attention to the diversity of thought in the Renaissance, but the basic concepts are certainly defensible.

    Nicole, thank you. Enjoy!

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this. No, the next post isn’t on AI — I consider AI to be right up there with perpetual motion, the Fountain of Youth, and commercial fusion power on the list of things that won’t happen — and the few times Brin has been on here he’s been an arrogant, foul-mouthed troll. Pity; he used to write some decent science fiction.

  89. @ Kastan #77

    I’m not an expert on dam safety, but here’s some things to think about.

    I don’t think most dams need a whole lot of maintenance (turbines for generating power are a different story). If it’s an earthen dam, as many are, the biggest problem will probably be trees growing up on it and then falling over and taken some of the earth with it, and burrowing animals. I suppose you could go a long way to ameliorating those issues with a thick layer of rock.

    The spillway is also a source of failure for all dams (as we saw recently with the dam for Lake Oroville). If the spillway is cracked or damaged, whether by time or geologic instability (including earthquakes), the dam will probably fail the next time the spillway is needed. How long does a cement spillway last? We’ve still got some Roman aqueducts, but I gather we don’t make concrete/cement the same way anymore.

    And a lot depends on how much sediment is produced in the watershed. My understanding is Hoover Dam/Lake Mead would already be full of sediment if Glen Canyon/Lake Powell and all the other dams upstream hadn’t been built. They didn’t name it the Colorado River for nothing, and reservoirs built on it will certainly not be lasting millennia, although with all the dams in the world I’d be surprised if some dam, somewhere, didn’t make it that long.

  90. Ben – I celebrate the Solstices with contributions to the Tip Jar of this blog. Every six months seems like a good schedule of minimizing transaction activity (vs. say, monthly), and the Solstices are a big enough event that I Get It Done.

  91. @ LEP
    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I obviously don’t know anything about your mom, but I would venture a guess that she might be trying to communicate with you that she’s OK wherever she is.

    I am really into NDEs (that stands for ‘Near Death Experiences’ if you’re not familiar with the term). I’m quite fascinated by them and I love to listen to interviews of NDE experiencers. There are plenty of them on YouTube, if you don’t mind video.

    Coincidentally (synchronistically?), your comment reminded me of one I just listened to the other day. It’s an interview with Nancy Rynes. If you want to check it out the link is below.
    At around 37 min : 05 sec she starts telling a story about a close friend of hers who passed away one morning. Before she found out that it had happened, she was in her house alone and noticed a light switch moving up and down on its own. Shortly after that she got a phone call informing her that her friend had passed. As she tells it, she calmly asked aloud (“put it out to the universe,” if you will) if her friend was present. Then the switch began to flip again. Your story and JMG’s response reminded me of this.

    Link:
    The near death experience of Nancy Rynes | Anthony Chene Production
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F-rp6bqfJWQ&t=951s&pp=2AG3B5ACAQ%3D%3D

  92. @ Bei Dawei #82

    Hey, thanks for responding. I’m not quite as big into comics as fantasy fiction, but there are some brilliant ones out there for sure. Any thoughts on The Invisibles by Grant Morrison? I never finished the series but found it amazing. He wrote it in the mid-90s and was upset when The Matrix movie came out because he said they stole his idea. Then he did mushrooms during his first watch and decided it was okay lol.

    One thing he said, that is reflected in the imagery of his work, is that the grotesque opens the mind. Not something I would have said on my own but I can see how it works for him. Morrison does say his work is derived from magic, so, I guess I should go finish that series, as I sit here online complaining I can’t find anyone…

    Brandon Sanderson put some of his lectures online and, in the one about fantastical magic systems, he talks about powers always having a cost or consequence–which is necessary creating tension and forward plot momentum in story. Your story’s going to be pretty flat if everything is easy. Being able to use a spell only once sounds fun, like it would force a character/writer to get more creative at every turn. I’ve seen some of Full Metal Alchemist too. Interesting how unrelated people land on an idea like that and it eventually becomes law.

    My issue is more than I’m looking for the correct rules that would make a work a real potential in the realm of real magic. I’m not even sure if I’m asking the right questions here, but I don’t feel like there’s a proven bridge from magic to fantasy and I think there should be. Such as with Morrison’s work, perhaps. I’ve just ordered the first installment of Greer’s fiction so I expect to find some pretty good stuff in there.

    I suspect the main reason I haven’t found said bridge is because I don’t have a deep enough understanding of magic… but I’ll get there. Thanks again for your thoughts. Nice to hear from you!

  93. @ Michael Martin –

    It’s interesting when a couple makes a real attempt to live sustainably ‘off the grid’ (to a greater or lesser degree) they tend to go back to what some would term traditional gender roles. As you say, once you take away the safety net, and also machine labour, it is pretty simple that men are better/capable at some things and women are better at others, and thats where things tend to fall. Either sex has authority in their domain, and the other one helps out in ways they can.

    What industrial society has done is to denigrate traditional womens ‘work’ and raised mens work to be overly important, so that a woman can only be ‘successful’ if she competes with men in the traditionally masculine fields. This is more to the benefit of the industrial system than individual women (or men).

    Historically, mens task were actually less important day to day than womens. Mens tasks are traditionally high impact but only occur/succeed every now and then, like hunting, building the home, or defending the family.

    Womens tasks were the care, maintenance and functioning of the family and without them the whole thing collapses.

    Of course, these are generalisations and not locked binaries, and everyone has elements of male/female within them to a greater or lesser degree.

    It would be interesting to follow up same sex couples living this way to see if the same thing happens depending on personal preference.

  94. @ Mother Balance #86

    I love this idea! I don’t have the skills, but a map of all the readers would be fascinating. Of course, I’m a geographer at heart and can look at maps for hours. And it’s a great point about not needing to put the pin on your house. I would put mine squarely in the middle of Humboldt Bay, which narrows me down to one of about 100,000 people, but would be close enough to see if there was anyone nearby.

  95. @Lydia,
    I usually comment under another name, but am using “Epileptic” to get your attention — because I get it. I hope I have it worse than your husband. I was having multiple daily seizures that cost me my job and chunks of my memory.

    Oh, not at first. I had 15 years of myoclonic seizures before my brain decided to blow up to blow up. It got bad– compression fractures of my own spine bad. You can’t leave this untreated. Damage can be cumulative. Medication withdrawal can make seizures more likely and worse. Scary stuff! A backup plan is a very, very good idea.

    I cannot tell you what that backup plan might be, but I can tell you how I haven’t died. See, I’m one of that sizable fraction of epileptics who don’t respond to the available medications, so I had to get creative. Fortunately, there are two treatments that are working for me, right now. Working as in, seizure-free, even though my sleep this week has been compromised by a heatwave and the solstice.

    One was CBD oil. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to get this easily or not. In the future, you will be able to grow your own CBD-rich cannabis. (Even if it’s banned where you are now, eventually they’ll run out of ) I use it as a ‘spot treatment’: when I feel a seizure coming on, I take some oil under my tongue. It holds it at bay… for a while. It was enough to let me live again, until I found the more important treatment.

    The big one is the ketogenic diet. In olden days, before all the drugs, there were two options for epileptics: keto, or brain surgery. The old journals say keto worked about 80% of the time, IIRC. It’s still used in children but modern neurologists won’t recommend it for adults, at least the ones I talked to. Avoiding sugar helps calm the brain all on its own, but when metabolism shifts into ketosis, pure fat burning, it does something to the brain that really, really pumps the seizure threshold in the right direction.

    I’ve only been in on it for a month now, but so far, so good. If I have warning signs, I hit the CBD or take a nap– but I don’t have seizures. Gods willing, that will be the pattern.

    It sucks, don’t get me wrong. The restricted diet sucks. It’s rather expensive, and has a huge environmental footprint, compared to rice-and-beans. (Both rice AND beans have too much carbohydrate for the ketogenic diet, where your calories come from fats.) CBD oil tastes gross, and you can’t use just any weed– it HAS to be CBD-rich. (Most cannabis has been bred to have oodles of THC and next to no CBD. Too much THC can make things worse.)

    tl;dr: I treat my epilepsy at home using CBD and the ketogenic diet. I am not a doctor and cannot recommend your husband do the same, but it has saved my life. (Quite possibly literally.)

  96. JMG (no. 95) Oh, *that* Texas thing. (skims text) Well, this ought to be entertaining.

    There is a bit of a disconnect between what we call “meditation” (note the Latinate term), and the various Buddhist practices that get called that. What seems to have happened is that 19th century Westerners latched onto aspects of Buddhism that seemed to contrast with Christianity–atheism instead of theism, reincarnation instead of heaven, reason instead of faith, and meditation instead of prayer–and this reading has been adopted wholesale by Buddhist modernism (whose representatives are by no means always Westerners–think Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama, for example). One researcher was surprised to find that the Tibetan monks she did fieldwork on didn’t seem to do much “meditation”–they mainly had rituals with chanted liturgies. Lamrim texts and the like include “meditation” in the sense of topics for contemplation, such as the horrors of hell, a practice well known to Catholic religious. Among Gelugpas, seated meditation would not really be emphasized until after many years of study–five years of logic and debate, another five devoted to the Abhisamayalankara text, and so forth. Lama Yeshe broke with this tradition, when Westerners kept pestering him to teach them meditation.

    Certain aspects of Tibetan Buddhism (like its emphasis on deities and the supernatural) do seem hazardous for people who are prone to delusion, or whose grasp of reality is tenuous. The intensive nature of certain Tibetan practices (retreats and such) may also be difficult for some to cope with. On the other hand, you find people freaking out in all kinds of religious and non-religious contexts, so causality is hard to establish. Sociologists would probably point out that religious converts (who are not doing it for marriage or something) are often marginal people in search of a group they might fit into.

    Mary Bennett (no, 93), Middle Eastern specialist Juan Cole once spoke highly of Biden’s knowledge about the Middle East, so I assume he would know about stuff like the history of Kaliningrad. (He was three when it changed hands.) Trump is probably familiar with it because of his well-known interest in Kantian philosophy.

  97. @johnny that sounds beautiful, and I think it highlights what’s difficult about explaining spiritual experiences to other people. Sometimes things are just meaningful on a personal level, and the person experiencing it is the only one who can make sense with it. The challenge is learning to recognize these experiences for what they are.

  98. Re: The 55 MPH speed limit (#9)

    To Start: Imagine that you’re a trucker of ten years experience, and you’ve grown used to driving 70-75 MPH under watchful eyes (and, let’s not forget, knowing where those watchful eyes tend to congregate). Rules are, of course, for fools; and while you don’t freely flout them you bend them where needed or – on occasion, with careful consideration – when desired. Either way, you’re making a good living while seeing the nation one concrete ribbon at a time.

    Then, suddenly, the nationwide 55 MPH speed limit is passed, and suddenly there’s plenty of money for nationwide enforcement on the expressways – not just where you’ve seen them concentrate them, but ALL OVER THE NATION, and on those roads you’re herded onto by law.

    Translated to your pocketbook: You’ve just been handed a 22% wage cut (based on your legal top speed being reduced by that amount), and chances are the de facto wage cut is 30-40% as all those cops are not just watching over your speed but also over all the rules in the trucking regulation books. The fees for “noncompliance” have also shot up, and both the states and the feds are looking VERY HARD for cases of noncompliance (to fund those cops whose job is to make you comply with the rules, of course).

    You now have two, maybe three books you’re doing – one is the real book for your personal records, the other(s) are for governmental consumption. You’ve also heard of rumors of deregulation – and while you’re not a Union Man (The Mobbed-up Teamsters “Union” can stuff it) you appreciate the rules and regulations that make your job lucrative and worth doing…and those things are about to prove more fragile than anyone thinks.

    So yeah, I totally get how Truckers became the first converts to the radical Republicanism that gave us the PATCO firings, Rush Limburger, Gore v Bush and Donald Trump.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Also consider this:
    I remember the speedometers in cars in the ’70s. Until 1972 (and probably 1973, though I’m not going to swear by that) they went up to 120 MPH. Starting with 1974, you saw speedometers measuring MAYBE 100 MPH tops, with many limiting themselves to 80 MPH. Also, seemingly coincidently, car build quality declined – since cars no longer have to go up to 80 MPH regularly (thanks to the now vigorously enforced 55 MPH speed limit), you need not build with THAT possibility in mind. Naturally, the big 4 car companies ran away with this inspiration as suddenly window cranks and dashboard decorations started falling apart along with rust protection and engine build.

    Any wonder people glommed onto Toyota, Honda and Datsun in the mid-seventies? Those cars may have been small, but they were built to last.

  99. @JMG re: Star’s Reach: yes,I saw right away that the generals were the higher nobility and the colonels the lower nobility, and that the structure was straight out of the Holy Roman Empire. I guess the magic surrounding the term President and the idea that she was elected (or that the electors had to vote on it) clouded my vision for a while. I’ve been deep enough in the Arthurian stuff to know his title would have been Dux Bellorum, and if he ever wore a crown, it would have been as Imperator, just like Magnus Maximus before him – who made a try for the Imperium, at any rate.

    Shaking my head that the Merigan dark ages were dark enough to drop even the simplest astronomy, but, of course, that culture had far different priorities – shaking off the Faustian pseudomorphosis as thoroughly as possible, heading the list. But of course, as you pointed out, that’s being as deep into the old world as ever.

  100. I’m observing ways in which corporatization, speculation, and reliance on technology is now causing a deterioration, not an improvement, in day-to-day life. In many cases, these examples are the result of certain business interests trying to maximize profits, in other cases, they either illustrate the downside of industry disruptions or the law of unintended consequences.

    Here is one example. I plan to contribute more to this open post:

    I’ve been with my (large corporate) bank for over a quarter of a century. Back in the mid-nineties banking technology was changing: ATMs were everywhere, but they didn’t automatically credit your account with payments. You’d have to wait, sometimes for days, for a human to verify the deposit.

    Bank by phone was a great way to check balances, whether a check had posted, and to transfer funds between accounts. The absence of smartphones meant, however, that you would still have to make deposits in person at a branch or via ATM.

    My local branch was a large, bustling place. There were rows of desks in the center of the building where the personal bankers sat (the bigwigs/corporate bankers likely had their own offices upstairs). There was a huge rotunda of tellers, plus more teller stalls along the walls. There was also a drive through and a bank of lobby tellers. If you needed to make a transaction with a teller or speak to a banker, you’d just show up, wait in line (normally not terribly long) and conduct your business.

    The only time that the lines got really long were on Friday afternoons: The bank automatically made payroll funds available as long as you deposited your check with a teller before 6pm. Otherwise, you’d have to wait until after the weekend for your money. Still, you could manage your business with the bank efficiently, even if you spent 20 minutes or so in line.

    Fast-forward to 2017 or so: I had three bank branches that I could walk to from where I live. ATMs made deposits (or a portion thereof) available immediately I need cash. I could deposit checks via mobile app. Bank branches were shrinking, but there were almost never any real lines and a banker was always available if I needed help. I was happy with the balance between human banking and banking technology. One noticeable difference: The bank would no longer count change for non-business customers. They’d give the customer a tray and cardboard sleeves for coins, but no machine counting for you!

    Take another leap to 2022: One branch has closed entirely. Another branch is open by appointment only, and only to meet with a banker. Standard teller services aren’t available. You can use the ATMs in the foyer, but that’s about it.

    The one branch that is open is packed. All the time. They are down to two tellers, two ATMs, and two “virtual tellers” in the bank that are essentially fancy ATMs. This is in a neighborhood filled with recent immigrants who often (and quite understandably) prefer to interact with tellers and bankers. People who come into the bank are approached by a worker who asks them what they need to do. Those who need to see a banker are told that these meetings are only by appointment and that the next appointments available are a week or more out.

    Those who need to see a teller (purchasing a money order or cashier’s check) wait in line. Long lines. I regularly wait 20 minutes or more to see a teller, no matter the day or time. The poor tellers, who are also managing the drive through patrons, are apologetic. They waive fees and are so very kind, but I can tell it is wearing on them.

    Not so long ago, banking technology worked well for customers because it truly did make banking tasks and money management convenient. Now the convenience and ease is being chipped away slowly as banks remove services, limit staff, and punish those who need in-person banking with long lines and long waits. These are clearly cost-cutting moves for the bank, and damn the rest of us who were so eager to embrace technology while forgetting that banks are in the money-making business.

  101. Re: Tonglen (#12)

    In line with Northwind Grandma’s observations, there’s also the Catholic practice of asking to suffer for one’s sins while still in this life instead of waiting for Purgatory to deal with the remaining stains of sin. And while it leads to severe suffering and a shortened lifespan, reportedly people who seriously do this prayer report making it directly into heaven.

    Needless to say, few Catholics actually do this.

  102. @Old Steve I drive 55 – 60 mph on the interstate highways for two reasons. First to save gas, you see I’m retired and am in no rush to get places. I can understand though that most people with jobs and children to shuttle might not want to drive slower speeds. Second I don’t feel safe driving 70 to 75 especially in a sub-compact car.

  103. @Nicole #72: (If I may) I practice magic and my characters do too; I self publish romance with magical realism (because magic is real, hehe). I write about the same magic that I do, the quiet, subtle practices you’d find in books like the Druid Magic Handbook. Aside from not name-dropping disembodied beings without their permission, and always being respectful of course, I’d say jump in and give it a whirl.

    @JMG & commentariat: Have you seen an increase in pedestrianism with these high gas prices? If everything is so expensive, then come on everybody, come out and take a walk with me!

  104. @ Boulder him

    A very tenuous link to werewolves perhaps, but your question reminded me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magic_Goes_Away , which is definitly on-topic for this forum.

    Essentially the story device is that magic (in the ‘Harry Potter’ sense) is a limited local resource for any physical place. If you as a magic-worker manage to come up with a egregious method for wasting it until it was all gone, then what then for the magical creatures (werewolves, unicorns, knowlege workers)?

    (I don’t know of free way of accessing it free online I’m afraid – I read it decades ago as a teenager in my Niven phase, harrumphed, and thought “no-one would ever be that stupid”, hah).

    I also recommend the film “Dog Soldiers” as some good old fashioned storytelling, with werewolves.

  105. JMG and Carlos M –
    RE: “brain drain”/“human resources”

    I’ve often wondered if, as collapse proceeds, if that part of the wealth pump will start to run in reverse. I could imagine how talented people with marketable skills might see the writing on the wall, so to speak, and decide to jump ship from this declining empire and onto an ascending one, such as India, Russia, or even China or Iran. I’ve encountered bits here and there suggestive of the possibility, but so far I haven’t seen any evidence of it yet.

  106. @Fidra – Higher education

    It is a shame what higher education has become. There was a point where it really was about education and not just a machine to turn out bodys for various corporations or to be a breeding ground for odd ball politics.

    Some day we might get back to something a bit more sane but nowadays I consider the only true university to be like our ideal true monastery. It only exsists in our heads – for now.

    However a monastery, you can make in your home. In the same guise, maybe the next big step in education will start in the home as well and ripple outwards. Start it without oversight from authorities and make moves from there, in the same way we are seeing small church’s popping up in homes around the world.

  107. “I consider AI to be right up there with perpetual motion, the Fountain of Youth, and commercial fusion power on the list of things that won’t happen”

    Jaron Lanier has been working on AI systems for the last 45 years. While he sees some of the most idealistic visions of what is possible, it is the area I disagree with him the most, I also like that he has a brutally honest take on the whole thing as well.

    He said “AI is merely the latest term we use to get venture capital money”. In the same way VR, AR, Blockchain, Web 2.0 etc were all means of getting loads of cash via hype rather than actual products.

    Because it is the same field of computer technology – I will quote a tech billionaire to drive home your point. “Real artists ship” – Steve Jobs.

    Until I see it, I’m not that interested in it. Well, outside of seeing how the true believers react to this things – it is the closest you get to talking to full on cult members without having to disown your family to see them! This is why every few months I see how the Elon Musk fans are going as they hype themselves into oblivion.

  108. Bei, I’m quite aware of the difference. My Japanese-American stepfamily are Shingon Buddhists and I’ve read both the Vairocanasambodhi Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, the two core documents of that school. I’d point out that some of the practices currently called “Buddhist meditation” have a much higher rate of psychiatric casualties than others — the secularized version of vipassana marketed as “mindfulness meditation” seems to be much more likely to cause people psychiatric problems than many other Buddhist spiritual practices. Unless you can show that for some reason people with preexisting conditions are more attracted to mindfulness meditation than, say, to Ajikan meditation, it’s probably the practice.

    Lainie, thanks for the data points! I wonder if that’s a regional thing, or a matter of large vs. small bank. The banks I use here in East Providence — branches of conservatively run small-to-middling banks — have few if any lines, and 2-4 tellers working the windows all the time.

    Godozo, it’s entirely reasonable for people who are trying to achieve sanctity to practice such things. My concern is that people are being told to do it without any thought of the potential blowback.

    CS2, I wish! So far, in my walks around the neighborhood, I haven’t seen any more people on the sidewalks than usual.

    Michael, oh, granted, and anything that helps creative people soak the clueless rich is okay by me. I just wish people would let go of this notion that we can manufacture God.

  109. Coinicidentally, Ray Dalio, billionaire investor, has been on a huge kick on civilizational life cycles and warning that we’re in the thick of the collapse of the American empire on Youtube. He seems to have spent quite a lot of money advertising his videos too, as the first time I ran into this two weeks ago was from a 40 minute long Youtube ad giving very detailed theory on the economic rise and collapse of empires, covering a lot of topics found in the Archdruid Report. Some almost feel like direct quotes, such as “Inevitably, the cost of maintaining and defending the empire becomes greater than the revenue it brings in. So having an empire becomes unprofitable.” He narrates all of these himself and they’re quite well animated and accessible, so I recommend using them to introduce people to the ideas of civilizational cycles.

  110. Hi John,

    I’ll take this opportunity to return to the idea of “wealth” versus “illth” that you had introduced in an earlier post.

    The first thing that occurred to me is that one person’s wealth could be another’s illth. This can be trivially true in the case of someone who, say, loves the taste of apples versus someone who gags at the thought of them. Hopefully, a society offers a wide enough variety to accommodate differences in taste. A more serious issue arises from self-destructive behavior; e.g., a person may consider heroin to be “wealth;” perhaps as the only available means of escaping the other forms of illth tormenting her. A far more serious issue still is the existence of psychopaths for whom human suffering and subjugation are ends in themselves and not merely a means.

    A proposed working definition: Wealth is that which enables human flourishing, and illth is that which hinders it, under the assumption that “human flourishing” can have an objective meaning in spite of the many different ways we may experience it. Each of us can spend a few pleasant moments imagining our particular circumstances in a society where human flourishing is the rule rather than the exception.

    But now back to our world. The good news: if we could eliminate most of the illth around us, the resource scarcities plaguing us would be less serious; how much less is at this stage the sixty-dollar question. The bad news: Really difficult to do so. For example, we’ve been in the habit of substituting energy for empathy. It’s easier to commute (50 miles one way) than for all concerned to live in harmony closer in, although it’s not so easy now with the $6+ gas. We can multiply examples of other forms of social efficiency endlessly. (An aside: what would be the EREOI of oil if we not only had to count the energy of extraction, transport and refining, but also the oil expended by the military in order to secure the oil in the first place?)

    Depending on the nature of the collapse, some of us may experience a greater reduction of illth than a reduction of wealth, for a net benefit…as some of us who are participating in the Great Resignation may already have discovered.

  111. Nicole #72 June 22, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Speaking of incorporating magic in fiction: Mercedes Lackey writes a LOT of fiction which is very relatable to many folks. This summer has been my “read Mercedes’ books” summer, just as last summer was my “read JMG’s WOH series several times in a row” summer. Ms. Lackey has a tendency to overexplain why things are so awful in the cultures she writes about or for a particular character (usually heroines), which may be necessary for many readers, but ultimately I’d have to say she evidences an awful lot of research for what on the surface appear to be fluffy almost-romance novels (mostly that) mostly set in fantasy worlds or in the near past (i.e. Victorian times). The thing is, she incorporates MANY principles of magic into her works, from many points of view. As nearly as I can tell, she either continually researches magic before she writes…or she’s a practitioner. The latter is my vote. I’ve read well over 20 of her more than 50 novels, and I think I can speak with confidence about that. I don’t know why I’m compelled to read so much of her stuff: it’s probably one of those Aspberger’s things I go through from time to time. Anyhow, if you want a magic soufflé rather than a thick magic stew a-la Dion Fortune, you would do worse than investigate her works. Some might be put off by her evident feminism, but I think that simply reflects how she lives rather than a set of abstract principles, so I am able to surf with the wave, as it were.

  112. @ CS2 #110

    Yes, you sure may. I’m super interested in this topic, so, happy to hear your thoughts.

    A magical romance sounds charming. And I like that you used the word “quiet” there. Some variety of paranormal romance are indeed quite “loud,” and this certainly isn’t universal, but I can see how a character’s more subdued practice could play an intimate part in the tale of two people coming together.

    Good for you on getting your work out there. And for making the connection to Magical Realism. There might be a research paper in there somewhere.

  113. @ Kashtan #77 RE large dams. I have often thought that the Hoover dam will end up as a point of argument between the archeologists of the intelligent species which follows ours. It is a massive compression structure, built in a monolithic pour over months. If any dam is going to last hundreds of millennia, it’s the one.
    At the current rate of sedimentation, it is expected to fill in about a thousand years. The river will have long been flowing through the spillway on the east side, so I doubt it will overtop the dam itself when the lake fills up. The estimated age of the Grand Canyon is 4.4 to 6 million years, carving about a mile into the earth. The Hoover Dam is about a sixth of a mile high, so I guess a million years to erode to the current canyon bottom below the dam. As the spillway erodes along the eastern edge, the dam itself will erode from east to west.
    That will leave enough of the catenary curve left for argumentation amongst the descendants of todays crows, between those who claim that the curve supports the old tales of the bipedal intelligent race, and others who will insist that they are the apogee of progress, and none others could have possibly achieved the current level of knowledge.

  114. I have a rather strong Pluto, and so in the process of exploring my natal chart have turned to looking at the Plutonian influence in the world to get a sense of how it played out and to try to make sense of it. One thing I’ve noticed over and over again are irony and farce running through it, with both making sense: irony is a division between the expected and reality, and farce is what happens when there’s a division between how serious something is, and how serious it is taken. I noticed another thing which appears to fit both.

    Over on your Magic Monday, I noted that there’s a case that the reaction against the Plutonian tended itself to be highly Plutonian, because Pluto is about rejecting the cosmic order, and attempts to reject the Plutonian were attempts to reject a part of the cosmic order. I gave it some thought, and realized that in fact, it’s worse than that: strongly Plutonian people are arguably more likely to end up resisting the normative Plutonian mass influences than embracing them!

    Pluto naturally rules division, so the mere existence of the fault line is Plutonian, and people with strong Pluto influences can likely be found on both sides of any kind of disputes; in fact, one hallmark of the Plutonian is pointless, absurd, and destructive fighting.

    Pluto also, however, also rules rebellion and rejecting the normative, and during its reign as a planet, the Plutonian was the normative; and so rebellion, the Plutonian impulse, went against the Plutonian. Further, given the way that Pluto puffed itself up to appear more important, many more things to rebel against would be Plutonian than for other planets, and there is also the fact that people with strong Pluto influences would tend to end up dragged into Plutonian dynamics anyway.

    No wonder nearly every counterculture during the 20th Century was a royal class mess….

  115. Good Evening,

    Thank you for hosting this forum, JMG.

    I am happy to see a bit of discussion about Epilepsy. I was diagnosed with it about 1.5 years ago. Had a total of two grand mal seizures, about 2.5 years apart. The first one was a real doozy.

    Long story short, I am also nervous about shortages of my medication. I do not like having to take the meds, but they are required to maintain my license and I really do not want to have any more seizures. Fortunately, my insurance allows me to get a 3 month supply with each fill-up.

    I guess we will have to do what we have to do.

    That may mean I will drop alcohol and sugar. I would like to keep eating beans. Is it possible to continue eating beans on a Keto diet?

    In other news, and rather belatedly, I would like to announce that we had a succesful Pacific Northwestern Ecosophian meetup, back in May. It was a delightful day of sharing food, seeds, and other items. Most of our discussion revolved around getting to know one-another as well as some discussion as to what we might expect; here in Oregon and southwest Washington.

    If anyone else would like to join the Pacific NW Ecosophian group; message me my email alias: b i l l q u a n s o n a t p m d o t m e

    I also setup a Dreamwidth account for our group.

    We are also considering setting up a mailing list with a semi-regular newsletter/message post for our group.

    Regards,
    Tom aka Solarfed

  116. Kashtan
    Must major dam sites have already been built on. Also a large dam requires a huge amount of energy and material. I have been to Hoover dam and seen the exhibit. I can’t remember the exact figures, but the amounts were staggering.That was built during the depression by the WPA with abundant American energy and a huge unemployed labor force. I doubt it could be repeated. It is also in the process of drying up, and is almost to the second intake pipe.
    The only major dams I know of being built or proposed are in the Tibetan headwaters of the Mekong and Brahmaputra by the Chinese. To put it mildly their downstream neighbors are not pleased.
    A few years ago the Oroville dam in CA almost failed in a very wet year, causing 100,000 people below it to be evacuated. They patched it up, but how well it would hold up to those conditions again is anybody’s guess.
    Everybody’s dams were targeted during the cold war; probably still are.
    There was a famous 50s or 60s movie called The Dam Busters about a RAF raid on a German dam.

  117. Regarding werewolf movies, I found The Northman’s depiction of a berserker ritual quite striking: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_JmoUZbQU No men turning into literal wolves, but using group ritual to adopt a frenzy state before going on a raid.

    The whole movie is the classic Hamlet tale but set in the “original” Viking context.

  118. @Brenainn Griffudd

    Thank you for your reply. As for your question – I’m inclined to think that this milk miracle could be indicative of the birth of a great future leader like that of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji. It is said that prior to Shivaji’s birth, there were good omens too. Maybe this is something similar? An interesting question, IMO.

    @JMG

    Thank you for your reply. I agree with your view – submarines are to modern naval warfare what aircraft carriers were to the Pacific War. I just hope our brass hats keep this point in mind while deciding to allocate funds for defence acquisition.

    @Bei Dawei

    Thank you for your reply. From what I’ve seen, the Chinese navy has invested heavily in submarines, although, to be fair, they’ve also put in funds into relatively less useful tech like aircraft carriers. I can only hope that the Indian Navy invests more in submarines, especially midget submarines – the prospect of a Sino-Indian war is a given, and the question is not if it’ll happen, but rather when it’ll happen.

  119. John,

    You’re one of the few voices out there today worth listening to. Your perspective on history, collapse, and economics is ahead of the rest.. I think you would find ‘the price of time’ on substack quite interesting. . .or at least original.

  120. Lydia #22 – before the drugs (i.e. before WWI) the common way of treating epilepsy was dietary, specifically variants of ketogenic diets. There are a number of articles around on the web discussing this which should be easy to find.

  121. Kashtan: Regarding large hydroelectric dams. I worked for the better part of a decade in planning at the Bonneville Power Administration, which sells the hydroelectruc output of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). First, the sites suitable for large projects, in the Pacific Northwest, and more broadly North America, are largely developed. Looking at an elevation diagram of the Columbia system shows how nearly all the available head (elevation) has been captured, with the pool of the downstream dam pooling right to the tailrace (bottom) of the dam above it. Large dams are called projects for a reason, they are constantly being repaired and overhauled. There are always generating units out at any given project, usually 15-20% are down for maintenance or repair at any given time. The FCRPS is now old enough that full overhauls of the turbines is necessary. Thing is, we don’t have foundries capable of producing new runners and other huge parts for these turbines anymore, we have sent all that heavy industry offshore. I remember multiple year lead times, coming from foundries in eastern Europe. The situation is similar for the huge transformers and other switchyard equipment. Worries about burst dams from neglect are real, spillway gates can be left open fairly readily, but cleaning debris that jams up in front of them is routine task. If nobody was manning the trash rake, that could easily become an issue! If the dam survived the inevitable overtopping and other effects of neglect, silting will eventually fill in the forebay of these projects.

  122. How do you speed up the process of turning the mental sheath into a mental body? I feel like in this life I have been doing a lot of that sort of work. More often than not, I feel like it’s just a matter of going back to what is already “known” and then moving the forward, discovering people haven’t thought a lot of matters through as much as they thought they did.

    Ultimately, I’m terrified that death is a nothingness that is forever or that there is no more experience after this life. My only comfort is the thought, ok I ended up in this human body once… what are the odds of that happening again? What’s the next moment after this life? Nature abhors a vacuum…. Maybe consciousness does to? Consciousness abhorring a vacuum would mean we have to go somewhere.

    I have had spiritual experiences in my life that I cannot explain. This modern notion that death is the end that there is no afterlife… is utterly the most terrifying thought that could ever be conjured. It could be that is how the universe works. We’re here then we are not. Then how did the Universe get here in the first place?

    When we die are we somehow folded into the entropy of the universe? Like energy that cannot ever be made useful again? The thing is entropy would have to be reversible for a universe to exist at all…

    Nothing can exist is a statement humans can fathom. But maybe nothing cannot exist… and “Nothing cannot exist is a more profound statement than everything will eventually be reduced to nothing. idk

  123. @Kashtan #77 re: dams

    Vulnerability to attack depends on the type of dam. Buttress dams and arch dams rely on structural integrity to transfer forces and could fail catastrophically if hit hard enough. Gravity dams – including some of the largest like Grand Coulee – rely on the weight of the material to hold back water. Short of the sort of nuke capable of obliterating thousands of tons of concrete they should be relatively immune to catastrophic failure.

    With regard to their ultimate fate, all dam reservoirs can be drained, and most will be if they are failing and cannot be repaired. There will almost certainly be some serious failures with loss of life, but these will be due to flood events or to deferred maintenance, with dams remaining in operation despite known deficiencies or deterioration. It will only take one or two high profile dam failures to trigger the draining of a great many structurally deficient dams.

    Personally I expect many large dams to persist and to be maintained far into the future, as one of the cheapest sources of electricity to power railroads and whatever industry remains.

  124. Learned Sir,

    I notice a huge difference in my energy levels between the summer and winter solstice. Today I’m just buzzing, but like clockwork the winter solstice will come back around and I’ll feel, etherically speaking, like I’m in hibernation. Living at 47 degrees north makes for some dreary December days. Any tips on how one might balance things out over the year. I bet I can start with the sun salutations given in Paths of Wisdom….

    thanks,

    Lothar van Hakelheber

  125. @Epileptic Doomer #102

    I’ve been living with a Keto diet for well over a year at this point and initially I did find it monotonous. One resource that has helped in this regard is the ‘Serious Keto’ channel on YouTube which fairly regularly produces recipes that have made a difference for me. The crackers in particular, get made regularly here.

    It certainly is more expensive than a standard diet but this can be improved by making everything from scratch rather than buying heavily marketed ‘Keto products’. For example I’ve seen Keto bread – I’m not touching it. I don’t eat bread or any vaguely bread like substitutes. At the moment it’s simply not part of my life, otherwise I think I’d quickly slip down the slope of ‘just a little bit will not hurt’ etc. The Keto crackers come out once a week usually for cheese (which I’ve started making myself too).

    I also noticed that overall I was eating fewer meals; a good high protein breakfast means that a cup of coffee at lunchtime is usually enough.

    The environmental impact does worry me, but I’m also well aware that there is a significant movement that pushes the idea of plant based diets and I suspect that some commentators are not above cherry picking data to suit their narrative. The figures could certainly bear some scrutiny – not that I have just yet. It is on the list of future projects though.

  126. Blue Sun: “I’ve often wondered if, as collapse proceeds, if that part of the wealth pump will start to run in reverse. I could imagine how talented people with marketable skills might see the writing on the wall, so to speak, and decide to jump ship from this declining empire and onto an ascending one, such as India, Russia, or even China or Iran.”

    Where that would probably show up first is folks from those countries who go to university in the West and would in the past have stayed, but who now go back to their home country. I have read of much of that going on with Chinese students.
    Or Westerners who in the past would have gone to one of those countries for a year or two, but start staying longer.

  127. @Aurelien re #38 – thanks for your neatly expressed comments, which I enjoyed reading. As regards purely constitutional developments c. 1688 – 1829, I’m more or less Whiggish myself, but when one gets to the 1832 Great Reform Act I start to have doubts… it’s strange but true that in Preston fewer people could vote after the Act was passed than before! I’d have preferred a more organic approach… I guess I’m teasing again now. Partly.

  128. Re: Tonglen

    I started my exploration of this stuff many years ago with Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Guide to Living and Dying, where, amongst a lot of other things, he discusses the tonglen practices. I found out much later, he was essentially excommunicated, in so far as you can be in Buddhism, for sexual abuse. I’ve often wondered about that, and that karmic backlash for introducing practices to westerners who weren’t able to undertake them. It’s a cautionary tale.

    Needless to say, I was delighted when I discovered that what I think is the beating heart of the Tibetan tradition – the Dzogchen teachings – had western equivalents as well.

  129. Tonglen
    During my 10 years or so as a Tibetan Buddhist (Karma Kagyu school), we only did Tonglen once or twice. The lama was against anything that he saw as too likely to promote piety. We also didn’t do Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara; compassion deity; Kwanyin in China; Kannon in Japan) meditation for the same reason.

    The question of the danger of Tonglen did come up and he said that most folks weren’t actually capable of either pulling in the bad or sending out the good, that the meditation mostly functioned as a way to try to break the habit of seeking/avoiding.
    On the other hand, my understanding from broader wanderings in Tibetan Buddhism was that this meditation was not meant to be done taking the black that one pulled in literally. Either one saw through the illusion of the evil and was therefore immune from it – so one was not pulling in evil but rather pulling an illusion away from others who did not see its illusory nature. Or one was doing the meditation in the form of a deity, who could handle things. Or one was meditating that one had the power to transmute the evil into good. Just hoovering up a bunch of evil and swallowing it whole would be considered, unwise at best.
    Even within Buddhism, there are two very different understandings of karma. One is that even if you become enlightened, you still have to sort through every last little bit of karma. The other holds that karma is part of the dream/illusion of being only an isolated self and that once you wake up from that dream, the karma disappears with the rest of the illusion.

    Mindfulness meditation
    My best guess would be that the problem is not the technique itself, but two other factors. One is that the technique is so accessible that it would be easier for someone in more distress and desperation to go overboard. Most of the seemingly more powerful techniques are hard to learn without passing through some hurdles and harder to push into high speed, so to speak, without serious skill.
    The other thing is that unlike most other forms of meditation, mindfulness has been commodified and made part of the package of cultural practices for getting ahead in the corporate world or at least getting along in the broader corporate-dominated society. Even if people are not being forced to do mindfulness meditation as part of some HR trip or other, one might well be pulled into it in a way that wasn’t really voluntary. That cannot be helpful.

    My lama thought that a certain degree of psychological health was necessary for any meditation. For folks who did not have that, he recommended mantras. Those were safe.

  130. @Johnny (#67):

    You’re very welcome, and thanks for your compliment.

    @Bei Dawei (#88):

    Actually it was about 8 of us who saw the creatures doing their thing in the upper atmosphere over the course of maybe 30-60 minutes, and another several people, friends of a late-comer to the group, who had seen them the day before. So the “shared hallucination” theory has some pretty hard hoops to jump through if it’s going to be viable.

    I’ve never been able to get through anyting by Philip K. Dick that I tried to read, for whatever that might be worth. We probaby don’t live in the same mental universe.

  131. Dear JMG and commentariat
    I would like to inform everyone that the official #SaveSoil campaign has come to an end. Sadhguru completed his 30,000 km ride through Europe, Middle East and India and landed at the Isha Yoga Centre on 21 June.
    Some acheivements of the movements are as follows

    -Over 3 billion people reached through various media and social events. (Not independently confirmed)
    – Over 74 Nations have signed Memoranda of Understanding to regenerate soil .
    -Conscious Planet/ Savesoil provided policy guidebooks to various nations and political parties
    -UAE and Saudi Arabia have responded with enthusiasm with their Environment ministries making public statements for policy changes.
    -Indian Prime Minister Modi, and Chief ministers of several prominent Indian states have publicly committed to implement target of 3%+ organic matter in farm soils.

    So, all done and dusted?
    Of course not. The entirety of the world’s electorate is yet to be reached with the SaveSoil message. And we need continuous presence of soil regeneration in public conversations, only then governments and institutions will be motivated to make actual policies.

    So my request to everyone is, talk about soil, write about soil, spread awareness of it any way you can until clear policy changes are seen. Just 10 – 20 minutes a day committed to save soil in anyway will help. Learn more at SaveSoil.org
    For those on social media, you can follow @cpsavesoil, @sadhguruJV and me, Mohsin, @lordyburd on twitter. On instagram the handle is @consciousplanet and @sadhguru
    Facebook- Conscious Planet

    Thank you

  132. @JMG, PumpkinScone, et al.

    I agree that sex roles are not a straitjacket. I worship and serve in a Serbian Orthodox parish, and I see highly nuanced dynamics.

    There is a famous scene in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” which illustrates this quite well. In it, the mother is explaining to her daughter that “The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the neck! The neck! – which turns the head!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fJoPI-xytM&ab_channel=SuzyBrown

    I always get a belly laugh out of that scene. I have heard so many conversations like that in my parish!

    ———————————————————
    @Bob #85

    I agree with JMG’s advice on career shifts, and I will add one thing. It is best to have more than one income stream if you can manage. For example, I live in NZ, but am on a US Social Security pension (which I live on). However, I also teach project management courses on the side. First, it is welcome extra income. Second, it is “life insurance” in case SSA goes belly up.

    After all, the U.S. Dollar is no longer backed by gold (since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971), or by the USA’s productive capacity (which was outsourced to 3rd world hell-holes). It is no longer even backed up by the U.S. Military, which is losing its effectiveness in forcing people to accept dollars at gunpoint. The only reason it has any value at all, is that it is still the world’s reserve currency. Once that goes away, I anticipate that the U.S. Dollar will “go Zimbabwe” quite swiftly.

    I want alternatives when and if that happens. For me, being paid in more than one currency is still viable (at least for now). For others, barter may be the way to go.

  133. Dear John,

    Lately I have been attending introductory courses at a local offshoot of Berkley Psychic Institute https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Psychic_Institute . I find the courses helpful.

    I have been trying to find out what the main influences were that informed the teachings of this institute, but was unable to find much. Since a lot of practices involve visualizing roses, I suspect it has roots in other occult organizations that do the same.

    Do you know anything about the origins/lineage of this institute and its founder?

    regards,
    Casper

  134. @ Fidra (#34),

    I talk frankly about collapse with my parents but never discuss it with my inlaws who I don’t think would believe it (and rarely even can discuss current events). For my parents my mom dislikes the topic and sees it as doomer stuff, no matter how I try to present it, so will eventually hint we should change the topic. My Dad thinks it is real, but has convinced himself it will occur long after they are dead. I try to show him how world events tie into this, especially obvious these days, and I think he’s starting to understand what I’m saying, but the result is he fights it more now.

    My parents were wiped out due to an earlier recession (bought a home slightly beyond their means in 1989 and fairly promptly both lost their jobs), so I usually use that as my way to discuss it. “Hypothetically, things could go south”. Doing that with them I’ve been able to convince them to take a few steps that have put them in a better situation, hopefully. I had hoped that it was true, and they wouldn’t have to see massive change, but it doesn’t look like reality is playing along.

    @ Bei Dawei (#88)

    I don’t know what to make of it. I can’t even say if it was the same things that Robert and his wife saw, but certainly that is the closest thing that I’ve heard described. If it was a hallucination in my case it was shared by three people at least (I called my girlfriend over at one point to see them, although at that point it was near the end and more conventional looking far off shapes that blinked on and off).

    @ Jack (#104)

    Thanks, and yes, I agree you can’t easily relate them to others. They are near impossible to explain because the listener doesn’t have the experience so comes at it from a skeptical perspective and “feelings” are all disregarded in that effort. The experiences I’ve had have been internal mostly, to do with feelings and insights. those are even worse as they just can’t be successfully conveyed at all. The only one that people get are personally epiphanies where an understanding strikes you and changes your life. I’m willing to see the one I described as chance, but one that connected some dots for me internally. The other interpretation seems too arrogant somehow, but I don’t want to disregard it.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  135. #107 @Lainie Last Friday a typo on an order for Chinese left me with an unexpected $350 debit that froze my account. After hours on phone hold and in chat, I was finally able to dispute it yesterday. I still have no idea when this will be resolved. This is with one of America’s biggest personal banks and with an account that I’ve had for nearly 30 years. So the decline in banking services is also happening in the northeast.

    In regards to the decline of Wokeness, I think one big factor is how strongly the intersectional movement focuses on images of oppression, weakness, and disempowerment. Catholicism (and many other traditions) have long-standing practices where you contemplate the beauty of the Virgin, the Passion of Our Lord, etc.

    In Wokeness you “own your privilege” the way Catholics confess their sins. These “privileges” are things that give you cultural and financial power — light skin, a high-paying job, an XY chromosome, etc. You then list your “Axes of Oppression,” like so many Pokemon cards. Being neurodivergent, poor, overweight, gender non-conforming, female, etc. are your “places of power.” Except, of course, that these are not generally things that bring you any kind of power outside your fellow Wokesters.

    If you spend all your time thinking of actual power and strength as evil, and treating weaknesses like poverty, illness and oppression as strengths, there is a very good chance you will wind up poor, sick, and oppressed. There is a 100% chance that many of your followers will be people who have nothing to contribute save their complaints. And this is only sustainable in a society with the resources and patience to tolerate it. We are fast running out of both.

  136. @pumpkin scone and michael martin… I read somewhere that men tolerate intense but brief stress much better than women and women tolerate long chronic much better. If this is true the gender roles are simply allowances for our human strengths and weaknesses to let men and women help each other while avoiding destruction through the stress that kills them particularly and swiftly.

  137. Hi John Michael,

    Went into the big smoke today and whiled away a couple of hours in the cinema. I know you don’t do visual media, and fair enough. Anyway, I watched the recent film: Top Gun Maverick, and for the record, I really enjoyed the film. They told an engaging story, plus they intertwined a bit of comedic relief. Definitely no dull bits. However, what interested me about the film was that the fighter jet they were using was the F18 (which we also use down here). And what was really interesting was that there was an overarching theme that the older technology in the right hands was still pretty good and very useful. All of the technology in the film was older too like the motorcycle the lead actor rode, or the truck he drove, or even the older prop plane he was restoring. Are you observing any calls to nostalgia?

    Incidentally, since it was announced that the unlikely Senate candidate got a seat in this state (which I mentioned to you), I’ve noticed some very strange claims in the media. A cynical person might suggest that the claims are well, maybe, possibly, fabrications. I’ve heard that history gets re-written, but this close to recent events seems an extraordinary attempt to make to me. Do you have any feel for whether things will get weirder?

    Cheers

    Chris

  138. Can anyone point me to a good analysis of what is going on in Sri Lanka with their debt and energy crisis? It seems at first glimpse a harbinger of things to come.

  139. JMG, are any of your books about ley lines? I thought “The Secret of the Temple” must be, but having searched the book online the word doesn’t come up. Maybe you call it something else. Also you never mention them here in a serious context, but only make fun of people who believe in orgone tower busters and such. People say you can find maps for ley lines on Google but you can’t, except for the UK. Not with any granularity, anyway.
    I consider ley lines as a rather harmless excuse to go hiking. With all of the GPS technology and even geo-stash games out there I’m surprised that ley lines aren’t all the rage.

  140. Nicole (no. 99) I remember liking The Invisibles. No idea what idea Morrison thought The Matrix stole from it, though. Anyway, the whole series is pastiche.

    You might try Mark Millar’s “The Magic Order” (two miniseries), which is sort of Harry Potter-esque, but with adults. It’s fun. At one point the bad guys take away the powers of everybody in the good-guy group.

    I’m not really a believer in actual magic, although I am susceptible to romantic synchronicities and pareidolias. There was a lama who tried to kill me with black magic once, or so I was informed. I wasn’t much concerned.

    Believing in magic is a lot like believing in the efficacy of prayer. On one hand, several religions encourage belief in it; on the other hand, no sensible person *really* supposes that it works in any measurable or reliable way. Have writers depicted prayer along the lines of magical realism? Oh sure they have:

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

    https://www.vox.com/culture/23033782/frank-peretti-this-present-darkness-piercing-the-darkness-cultural-influence-moral-panic

    In this one, human prayer provides “prayer cover” to angels as they fight demons (the book may have popularized the name and concept of “spiritual warfare”) (one unkind soul compared it to D&D) who are behind a New Age conspiracy to take over a small US college town. And…was this the book where future desktop computers are powered by aborted fetuses, or was that another book? That’s such a wonderfully over-the-top detail that I never forgot it.

  141. JMG has been quoted in advocating investment into crypto by Mark E. Jeftovic in his
    “The Bombthrower: newsletter.

    But when the dominant nation moves into full decline they start eating up their own nation with inflation, taxes, and internal currency controls.

    Jon Michael Greer, who authored “The Long Descent” called it “Catabolic Collapse”. It basically describes how an Empire in decline begins eating itself.

    All this seems to be done with willing compliance from citizens. The assumption that greater dependence and more governmental oversight is necessary.

    While I can see crypto helping holders some getting past this next tumble of The Long Decent, I don’t see crypto having the legs to go further

    @kashtan #77.
    Some of how dams will eventually fail is discussed in ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman
    It depends on the dam. Some will just be bypassed, others will spring a leak and wear away until what is left collapses. Just search for ‘dam failures’ to see some of how they will fail. Others just the seeping through the turbine shafts will become the new route of the river around the dam.

  142. Another re: Tonglen (#12)

    In the mid-90s tonglen was the core practical component the second semester of the religious studies curriculum at the Naropa Institute, usually for students who’d had only one semester’s experience of sitting meditation (ostensibly shamatha and vipashyana).

    It was taught concurrently with the study of core Mahayana scriptures like the Heart Sutra (which was itself something so advanced that it allegedly killed many of the beings to whom the Buddha preached it) and Madhyamaka philosophy, which can easily lend itself to a kind of transcendental nihilism (though it is also making inroads in the biological sciences.)

    I still remember often agonizing conversations about the wisdom of teaching this stuff to a room full of knuckleheads like myself. People having nervous breakdowns about breathing in painful stuff and more or less being told, without any judgment of course (wink wink nudge nudge) of not being “transparent” enough in terms of their “no-selves” to see that it was illusory, etc. In other words, they hadn’t fully mastered the Buddha’s original teachings – or those that are viewed as his earliest by schools that believe he taught other stuff – in 15 weeks. Dummies!

    A quarter century later, now that I see that Naropa has gone full transcendental nihilist, such that I am an alumnx (pro tip: just stop using a gendered language like Latin), I see we were right about the lack of wisdom. Most of us need 15 years or 15 lifetimes of “sit down and shut up” before we dive into the whole “exchanging self for others” jazz.

  143. @ Lainie & JMG re # 107

    I think it’s a function of region and bank size. In the small town I live in, (population about 6000 now) there are currently four banks (all regional) plus one credit union. I can recall back in the 1960s seeing lines (though not long ones) in the savings bank my parents used and where they helped me start off my own accounts. IIRC, it was about the only bank we had in the beginning. Then starting in the eighties there was a frenzy of bank mergers and new banks popping up like mushrooms. It got so wild that when my original savings bank split up, several of my accounts remained with the old bank and the others passed over to the new bank which had hived off from the mother bank. I have no idea why that worked out the way it did. I think it depended on the age of the account. There were also so many name changes on the existing banks due to the mergers that it was easy to get confused. One of my banks went through at least four name changes before settling on the one it has now.

    What we have now are all small branch banks as so much is done online now. There are also ATMs and drive-throughs. But you can still walk into any of the banks and be waited on by polite tellers, usually two or three, much like the banks JMG describes. The waits if any are rarely long and the service is good, though my only complaint is that the receipts they give you are printed out on cash register type paper that fades in no time flat which is an annoyance to me as I am fairly old fashioned and like keeping hard copies of my transactions. I don’t do online banking and have never taken out a loan or have a mortgage so I can’t tell you how services stack up there.

  144. To those interested: I did order and read the Gwyn Jones translation of The Mabinogian. Very readable; but behold, she speaketh forsoothly. Not, I add, a problem for one old enough to have been raised on the King James Bible and the old Book of Common Prayer. Sample from the text: “Faith, said Manawydan, “we cannot live thus. Let us make for Lloegyr and seek some craft whereby we may make our livelihood.”

    One problem with this translation, other than that, is, that she kept all the “and…”s from the original text, where a modern ear wants a full stop. This gets intrusive in the later stories.

    Am thinking of offering my copy – paperback, The Everyman Library, like new – to whoever is interested.

  145. @JMG

    Regarding: the theory about living species in the upper atmosphere being potential UFOs

    Could you point me to a good book on the subject? I had never heard about it, and I’d like to know more about it.

  146. Andy Konecny #150: I am greatly amused to discover that somebody read John Michael Greer, then came to the conclusion “Ya know what we need — digital currencies that require warehouses full of computers and gigawatts of cheap electricity!”

  147. Let me me know if you’re interested in participating in a Twin Cities Minnesota Ecosophian gathering later this summer. If you’ve already let me know you’re interested in months past, no need to email me again.

    PJ

    williammcgillis

    at

    gmail

  148. @ Bei Dewei #149

    Morrison was referring to the idea that this reality is a simulation based in another, deeper reality. Pastiche, indeed, as that notion is probably centuries old. Neal Stephenson recently had a good idea, but I hated his execution of it. Super long and way too literary for its own good. But, the story itself, was that humans found a way to insert themselves into a virtual reality, and cultured it into an actual reality, only to find out the previous reality was also once virtual and that throughout human history we just keep creating new realities and transitioning into them like nesting dolls.

    I read “This Present Darkness” as a young teen, because it was one of the edgiest books I could get my hands on at the time. Though, I don’t remember any fetus-powered computers. If you asked me if I believed in prayer, I would say no. Without saying so, though, I would also think about my grandmother who seems to have a lot of power behind her prayer. Maybe it’s selective reasoning, but she sure seems to get what she prays for. Perhaps because she believes it so thoroughly, I don’t know.

    I’ll have to check out “The Magic Order,” that looks like fun. Thanks for the suggestion!

  149. @ Clarke aka Gwydion #118

    Oh, good tip. Admittedly, I have continuously passed by Mercedes Lackey. Her books didn’t interest me much and I did not at all get an occult vibe from them. But perhaps I was sorely wrong.

    Do you have a favorite you’d recommend as a starting point? She’s written so many.

  150. #88. In general, Tibetan Buddhist groups and teachers agree that there are numerous potentially helpful teachings and practices, and emphasize that Buddhist practice (of whatever type) ought to be grounded in bodhicitta, and guided by one’s lama.

    Fascinating.

    I still agree with JMG about this though as a practice not suitable for most people who don’t have a direct llama or guru. Sadhguru calls them Book Yogis although I guess you could now call many such people Youtube Yogis too. Presumably those llamas who teach tonglen or it’s modified offshoots as a general practice are themselves people who can effortlessly reach up to the more subtle planes and take direct responsibility there for the well-being of the people they’re training. Sadhguru’s video about just a few of the things that have to take place on the subtle planes on the guru’s side of the guru-disciple relationship left me quite dumbfounded and surprised. He said there’s far more to it than just what he was discussing in that one session but the advantages provided by a guru’s work on the subtle planes on behalf of the disciple is one of the reasons many people eventually search for a guru and make greater strides once under a guru’s care. It was a huge eye-opener for me. A llama or guru who can do this is more than a spiritual version of a sports coach which is what I’d formerly thought. You have to be able to reach that high and do actual, capable work on those planes to be a legit guru.

    Also, my understanding is that Bodhicitta is more than just a generalized good-will/loving-kindness orientation toward all living things – which is what I’d formerly thought when I started out. Although that’s a great place to start. Certainly better than being ticked off or stressing out or depressed much of the time.

    Anyway, Sadhguru says Bodhicitta is the result of when the Bliss Body is finally active throughout a disciple’s life. Bodhi – [here’s a link to various ways Bodhi translates into english https://www.learnsanskrit.cc/translate?search=Bodhi&dir=au ]

    I like to think about what that is saying about the state one has finally developed one’s subtle-sheath’s organs and chakras if Bodhicitta finally comes online. 😀 Bliss Body itself is not a sheath but because nobody can find a limit to it (it’s literally Maha) they just throw up their hands, laugh and call it the ‘Bliss Body’ since it’s in keeping with the yogic schema used for teaching disciples. Bliss Body is why saints and mystics can do Tonglen as a charitable service for the world. That service has vast power backing it up. Real power.

    FYI – If those llamas are teaching noobs how to do Tonglen or its off-shoots (plus taking responsibility for them on the subtle planes) that tells me those llamas are conscripting those disciples for future lives of exactly that kind of charitable service work for decades at a time. Quite possibly for multiple lifetimes. I wonder how many noobs realize they’ve been drafted for future lives of that being their day job? lol 😛

    Like I said a few years ago: on every continent the seeds are being sown for more wondrous future ages for muggles via building armies of disciples from many religions and many lineages. Disciples who in future lives will be the ‘conscripts’ providing genuine charitable aid getting rid of ginormous amounts of Astral Plane crud. Often by getting rid of physical plane crud too. Seeds are being sown right now everywhere for future ‘miniature Satya Yugas’ and it sounds like those llamas are part of the admiralty that’s building it. 😀

    One example of how Sadhguru is helping to build the army. Someone who does Shakti Chalana Kriya correctly will eventually experience a change in the quality of their breath (among other benefits). If even 100 people in a region do this Kriya correctly it will be detectable on modern scientific instruments because air pollution will go way down and scientists will be tearing their hair out trying to figure out why air quality is inexplicably getting better in their metro! He says that’s why he knows there are not even 100 people on the planet doing it correctly because if they were Science would know about it by now and be dumbfounded as to the cause of improvement in air quality in many cities with awful air pollution.

    Citta – Superconsciousness or in Cosmic Doctrine terms – Objective Consciousness.

    Someone with a fully-activated Bliss Body doesn’t worry about things like lives filled with suffering (karmic past-induced or otherwise) or depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc like what I’ve been seeing queried about in this week’s comments section.

  151. A few people here have been discussing comic writers and magic which brings to mind the writer Alan Moore, who at least here in the UK is arguably the ‘public face of magic’ and the occult, and has often written about it in his comics such as ‘From Hell’ and ‘Promethea’.
    It’s not really a subject I know much about (beyond what I’ve read by yourself and Moore) but do you have any opinions about Moore’s advocacy of magic either as a media personality or (if you’ve read them) the comics themselves? Is he taken seriously within occult circles?

  152. Last week people were discussing how libraries acquire books. At the university where I work, the process is a bit opaque, and by and large they’ve been getting rid of books-about 500,000 of them by my count. In related news, I now have Toynbee’s History, Gurdjieff, Blavatsky, and about a 1,000 other books to read…. The librarians who had to do the weeding were not happy about this, but weren’t about to quit either. I helped with much of the process, even though I am an archivist. One of the ways the librarians framed it positively was to “think of the new books we can order in the future.” So I took them at their word and we now have the Weird of Hali series. In the stacks it’s right next to a historical fiction by our university president LOL… -Berserker

  153. “And what was really interesting was that there was an overarching theme that the older technology in the right hands was still pretty good and very useful. All of the technology in the film was older too like the motorcycle the lead actor rode, or the truck he drove, or even the older prop plane he was restoring. Are you observing any calls to nostalgia?”

    There are several channels on YouTube about resurrecting old technology. Junkyard Digs is about old cars and occasionally other equipment. Adrian’s Digital Basement is old computers, as in Apple II and Commodore 64 and such. If you want to go back further Townsends has colonial cooking including how to build a dome oven.

    So yes, there is nostalgia for understandable technology. It also makes it plain that diminishing returns has set in, modern technology isn’t that much better than 20 years ago with a few exceptions like video editing. The second fastest computer in my house is from 2010. The price for that level of performance has come down quite a lot, but a 3.3 GHz PC is still a decent machine. Apple’s brand new M2 chip runs at 3.5 GHz. Ooh, aah.

    Apple’s big boost to performance was to move the memory, storage, and graphics all onto one chip. This improves efficiency and speed, but nothing is replaceable. If one of those 20 billion transistors fails and that failure is in a critical spot, the chip is dead.

    We’ll see how many M2 chips are still running in 12 years.
    By the way, I have a 2002 Mac that still runs. An Apple 2e is my oldest working computer.

  154. Viduraawakened @127, why is a Sino-Indian war a given? I am genuinely curious. What would either country hope to gain or accomplish with such a war?

    Do you believe that Chinese activities in Pakistan and Burma are, in reality, directed against India?

    What is your opinion of the Belt and Road initiative? To me, it seems like a good idea about 30 years too late. I read a lot of praise of the new infrastructure on the internet, but I have yet to read any testimony by citizens of the other nations involved that the B&R has been a good thing for their countries.

  155. About banking glitches, may I respectfully suggest: Miss Mary Bennet’s rule for life No. 1, which is take care of business in person and in cash whenever possible. For bank glitches, I go directly, myself, to a branch, with all relevant documents, and the bank person, usually not the teller but next up from that, can resolve the matter on the spot. That, in turn, helps the bank person look occupied and important.

    Mail a check, and you are at the mercy of whomever opens mail. Pay online and God only knows how many people and entities get a view into your financial records. Utilities payments made at the company office or paystation, in cash, of course, get posted immediately. If the apartment complex demands payments by check, I used to demand the receipt on the spot and wouldn’t leave until I got it. In general, I avoid doing any kind of business with anyone who won’t take cash.

  156. Hi JMG and all

    It seems the Polish government is recommending its citizens to gather firewood; if true they are preparing the population for a kind Dr, Zhivago’s winter:

    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/energy/coal/poland-tells-citizens-to-gather-firewood-as-energy-prices-increase/35531

    What about to ask the population if they want to freeze, lose their jobs, having no money for gasoline, probably big problems with food, etc… in order to sustain the unsustainable sanctions to Russia?

    JMG,

    What do you think about this initiative by the GOP in Texas? it is merely a scheme to wear down the democratic party (Biden) or you think there are more deep reasons for it?:

    https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/world/news/the-texas-gop-is-pushing-for-a-referendum-to-decide-if-the-state-will-secede-from-the-us/articleshow/92354486.cms

    Could be that the states/regions plenty of resources want to keep them in a period of general resources scarcity?

    Cheers
    David

  157. They are definitely making up weird unscientific excuses for Climate change: I remember hearing how all the electric in Britain would fail, the power lines would sag, the roads would melt into the sea at a temperature of 100 whole degrees! …Totally ignoring of course that it’s 140f for months in other places that have roads and power like Australia. Then they blamed climate change for 10,000 sudden cattle deaths in Kansas. Again, because it was 90f in Kansas, in the summer. Like every year for 500 years. As long as they can lie, they’re happy. Then they don’t have to fix, and don’t have to admit they botched everything by embezzling the money to their brother-in-law. BTW a month before, EvilCorp released GMO cattle that was resistant to “Climate Change”, that is: heat stress. How pleasant that news story of heat death appeared at the same time as their opening day sales.

    Dams actually silt up relatively quickly (decades but long before end of life for concrete) and need to be removed and flow periodically. That’s why some small or even large useable dams have been being destroyed throughout the country. That may be bad short-term, but de-silting may help put the dam back for small scale use later. The silt is valuable and I’m surprised they don’t remove and sell it.

    From last week:

    “Greenpeace announced that Miller will travel to the North Pole in early April to plant a “flag for the future” — a capsule containing a petition with nearly three million signatures to protect the Arctic.”

    How many barrels of oil did that take? Who neglected to make real changes because they were distracted with useless signaling? Clearly Greenpeace is anti-green if they humor such behaviour.

    America is certainly expressing native impulses, the thing the Puritans feared most. Today we have loose marriage, group children, tattoos, bones in their nose, no church, and a rootless, homeless culture that just wanders from hut to hut for gig work. Is that good or bad? Take it as you will, but if Cotton Mather appeared today, he would say the people are 2/3rds there, that is, to being wild savages.

    “are Biden and his administration driven by some old cold war era grudges in their behavior?”

    Biden and the dinosaurs haven’t realized the Soviet Union fell. 30 years, aka, a lifetime ago. What did that physicist say, “Progress happens one funeral at a time”? Gen X is now 50 years old. If only we could get kids in Congress even that age.

    The dinosaurs also think it’s 1950 on the industrial front and we can pull tanks and artillery out of the attic. All the shells we have would last one week at the rate of Ukraine, and they are thinking of fighting China at the same time. It reminds me of Rhett Butler talking about the South rebelling without having a cannon factory. So we spend $1 trillion on the defense budget now but don’t have a weeks’ worth of ammunition? Explain, please?

    Was I wrong in hearing that Scottish independence only meant they would join the undemocratic, nation-erasing EU? I wouldn’t vote to leave in that direction either.

    For Texas, we are going State’s Rights, but only because the center is broke, discredited, collapsing, and cannot project power any longer. That is a good thing as Texas can do what they want with guns and environment and health, and so can Connecticut.

  158. @Mary Bennett

    Thank you for your reply. Now, to answer your question as to why I think a Sino-Indian war is a given – I’ll list the reasons below:

    1) The Chinese leadership considers India an obstacle to their goal of being the dominant power at least in Asia, if not the world, as India is one of the only, if not the only, Asian country, which is comparable to China in size (population-wise, at least) and power.
    2) Both countries are competing for natural resources. China had a head-start, but we are catching up.
    3) The Dalai Lama, who is hated by the Chinese leadership (I don’t know what the average Chinese thinks about him tbh), has lived in India since 1959, along with a large number of Tibetans. Some Tibetans have come over the years as refugees.
    4) Some of South Asia’s major rivers, like the Indus and Brahmaputra, originate in Tibet. China is building dams on them to use them as a weapon to ‘punish’ India and other countries in the future.
    5) China claims territory, and frequently trespasses into, our territory in the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Ladakh (formerly part of Jammu and Kashmir), as well as the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls ‘South Tibet’. They have been nibbling away territory at our border for many years now.

    Of course, common sense given that both nations are focused on economic development, it seems unlikely that they will go to war against each other, especially at a time when Sino-Indian trade is booming. But people thought the same and yet the Russo-Ukrainian war broke out. History teaches us that there are times when money is of secondary importance, and the harsh power of raw violence trumps over that of money whenever the two go against each other.

    It is true that the Chinese activities in Burma and Pakistan are directed against India, but that is only part of the story. The remaining part is very simple – the volume of production of industrial goods in China is so high that they are compelled them to seek markets elsewhere.

    As for the Belt and Road initiative, yes, it may have given good infrastructure to many countries, but that has come at a steep price. Sri Lanka is one of the victims of predatory Chinese loans, and we can see what is going on there. Now, it may come as a surprise to you, but India is also quietly doing its own developmental initiative, in the form of dozens of developmental projects in Africa, for instance. Yet, how many times did you hear concerns about predatory Indian loans. I’m sure the answer is ZERO, because they aren’t any. If you do videos, I’d recommend watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gqChkl-Pl8

    (I suspect our domestic infrastructure is crap because of pathetic local legislators, massive corruption and bureaucratic red tape – yet another example of the futility of adopting universal adult franchise for a largely undisciplined and uneducated population.)

    Also, if you want to get a hang of Sino-Indian relations in the modern era and the corresponding history, I’d recommend reading Claude Arpi: claudearpi.blogspot.com.

    Also, I’d recommend reading the book Himalayan Blunder: The angry truth about India’s most crushing military defeat by Brigadier (retd.) John P. Dalvi.

    Brig. Dalvi was the commander of the ill-fated 7th Infantry Brigade, which was wiped out by the PLA in the Sino-Indian war of 1962, and was taken prisoner by the Chinese. After he was repatriated to India, he wrote this book, which was extremely controversial, as it exposed the then Indian Government and showed them to be the spineless and incompetent rascals that they arguably were.

  159. Re: Translations of the Mabinogion

    The Jones & Jones translation isn’t for everyone, of course. For my part, I rather like it, although I wasn’t so keen back in the day.

    I should also note in passing that Gwyn Jones was most definitely a bloke, and quite a physically imposing one at that. He used to live up the road from my garret in Aberystwyth in the mid-90s – over the way from Rachel Bromwich (of Trioedd Ynys Prydain renown), as it happens.

  160. @Siliconguy,
    I love Townsends historical cooking videos on youtube. They’re fascinating, and a fount of information both useful and not. His enthusiasm for the subject is also a lot of fun.

  161. Dennis, fascinating.

    Gregsimay, this is helpful, but I think you’re missing something. Every economic activity that produces wealth also produces illth. If you’re a hunter-gatherer and go gathering plants, you also generate illth in the form of tired muscles and a lack of forageable food in the area where you harvested! Of course the more complex an economic activity is, the more wealth it generates, and the more illth. Thus you can’t just get rid of illth; you have to concern yourself with the whole process of its production, distribution, and consumption, and on the imbalances between who gets wealth and who gets illth.

    Polecat, not at present. I’ve made beer and mead.

    Jeff, thank you! Glad to see this.

    Liam, exactly! Making world-class messes is what Pluto does best.

    Alvin, thanks for this! Delighted to see someone paying attention to the old magical realities behind the werewolf legend.

    Viduraawakened, here’s hoping.

    Robert, I’ve considered it, but I’m currently quite comfortable financially and there’s only so many hours in a day for my writing. If things change, I’ll keep Substack in mind.

    Austin, meditation is the essential practice for developing the mental body, though anything that exercises the mind while focusing consciousness on mental activities will help. As for your fear of annihilation, it’s common, of course, but wholly misplaced. Mystics around the world and across the ages have discovered, even at the first stages of enlightenment, that death is a transition and not an end.

    “Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
    Never was time it was not; end and beginning are dreams.
    Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever;
    Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.”

    Lothar, in case you somehow didn’t notice this, every living thing in the temperate zones responds to the seasons in the same way you do, and for good reason. Instead of trying to force yourself to experience the world as though that wasn’t the case, why not explore it and see what lessons it has to teach you?

    Jessica, your lama seems like a sensible person. One of the reasons that I teach discursive meditation on texts and symbols is that that’s extremely safe and thus can be practiced by almost anybody. The one Western system I’ve studied that teaches mantra meditation doesn’t confer them until the second grade of initiation, after the work of the first grade has caused the unserious students to wash out.

    Mohsin, thanks for the update! I’m glad to hear this.

    Michael, funny. Yeah, that’s a great turn of phrase.

    Casper, good heavens — I didn’t know any of those were still around. I encountered the Seattle branch of that back in the 1970s. I don’t happen to know anything about its origins, however — anyone else?

    Chris, I’ve been so far from the mainstream media these days that CNN could be encouraging people to move back into caves and I’d miss it. As for weirder — oh, my, yes. Remember that it’s an essential part of the mythology of progress that it’s impossible to “go backwards” (meaning, of course, going in any direction other than the ones that our corporate lords and masters want us to go). Since almost everything is “going backwards” at this point, and picking up speed as momentum builds, I expect to see high strangeness going into overdrive as we proceed (or recede)…

    Isaac, I’ll second the request. I’ve just seen what’s in various news media.

    Pesci, I haven’t written on the subject. You might see if you can find a copy of Alfred Watkins’ The Old Straight Track, the classic book on leys, a very sensible and thoughtful presentation of the realities under all that handwaving.

    Andy, hmm! Funny. I don’t think he really gets the point of my writings, however.

    Jeanne, many thanks for the data points.

    Viduraawakened, the classic text is They Live in the Sky by Trevor James. You can read selections from it here.

  162. @JMG re: Forests as Moisture Pumps for Inland

    Good afternoon and thank you for hosting this space!

    First to share for the commentariat: for any parents of young children out there, I’ve been working through “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Engelmann, and almost halfway through (lesson 42 was last night), it seems to be working rather well for my daughter. It’s basically a remarkably systematic and careful phonics approach, with a few tweaks (like using a ligature between “sh” and “th” at first, so they look like one letter, or making letters that aren’t pronounced smaller than the others, and then gradually introducing normal spelling). It does take a lot of patience, especially if you start very young, but it contains literal scripts for how to do each exercise, so no teaching expertise required.

    As for a question: When I read “The Hidden Life of Trees” a few years back, Wohlleben talked about how forests closer to the coasts can extend the range that moisture from the oceans can travel inland to create wetter climes. If this theory is true, have you given any thought to what effects it might have on the likely approaching desertification of much of the Western US? Is it anything that planting trees in (future) coastal areas might be able to affect? If you haven’t given much thought to it, do you know of any sources to look into it more?

    Thanks very much,
    Jeff

  163. Hi JMG,

    It isn’t my typical genre, but I have read several military thrillers lately and I thought you might be interested in a couple of observations. The books I read were _One Second After_ (2009) by William Forstchen, _Ghost Fleet_ (2015) by PW Singer, and _2034_ (2021) by Elliot Ackerman. I finished the first one, but lost interest and couldn’t finish the last two.

    All three of the books explore the vulnerability of the US and the US military due to its over-reliance on fancy technology. In all three, the US suffers a modern-day Pearl Harbor surprise attack by the bad guys (China/Russia/Iran) which cripples the military capabilities of the US. Sometimes it is an EMP attack, sometimes a cyber hacking attack, sometimes exploiting a built-in vulnerability snuck in by foreign tech suppliers.

    The US then has to roll up its sleeves and go back to an older, outdated, analog military technology. Eventually the US regains its #1 position through old fashioned grit and determination and American ingenuity.

    The interesting thing to me is that the obsolescence of the high-tech military gadgets seems to be fairly well accepted by military types. The 2034 group goes into quite a bit of detail on the impotence of the US Navy carrier battle groups. I have met folks who deny this, but the literature speaks for itself.

    The other note I made was the nostalgic, backward-looking perspective on “solutions” to this problem. Rather than an interesting new mashup of old and new tactics (trench warfare with drones, or small patrol boats with hypersonic missiles), all of these novels try to turn the clock back to the WW2 era in various ways. On the one hand I applaud the instinct to go back to simpler ways that have proven to work, on the other it strikes me as a profound lack of imagination.

  164. Circling back to your latest climate change post: One topic you alluded to was the generally misconceived notion most folks have of “invasive species”. I have long suspected that human beings are in fact an invasive species by most definitions.

    Can you suggest any good books or articles with a more balanced view of species migrations? No doubt some invasive species are very destructive and disruptive, but I have had a tough time finding anything written about the potential upsides and inevitability of invasive species.

  165. @J.L.mc12:

    Who dares to invite brin to it so we can watch his reaction?

    You can always come up with your own Brin impersonation. It’d be sort of like Mad Libs. Myself, I don’t want to get too deep into that mindset.

  166. Well then Mr. Greer, you’ll be set when you find out a new war-lord/band leader has just made an announcement to ALL, to defer to his/her/they/whatever’s beneficience.. ‘;]

    One always hopes to have the necessary and sufficient accoutrements needed thereof .. to curry favour .. in case ‘court scribing’ and such, is not on the Whilst Do list. May come sooner then you/me/all us realize.

    Cheers “clink”

  167. I was being partly jestful. Who knows though.. In my little speck of the world, the gut-busting laughter of the Fates in all likelyhood would have me writing nervously to produce 5000× word diatribes (let’s call it said Beneficience’s ‘suggested Ad Copy, if you will…) to be delivered to All the Realm – Yikes!

  168. DFC, I wonder if it’s occurred to them that the fuel they burn this winter won’t be there next winter. It’s a common delusion among those who place blind faith in progress that any problem has to be temporary; as that becomes less and less true, I expect to see a lot of nations and individual left twisting in the wind. As for Texas, that needs to be read in the context of the rest of the Texas GOP platform. They’re calling for a complete restructuring of relations between the states and the federal government, bringing that relationship back to what our constitution specifies; if that doesn’t happen, they’ve got another option — it’s a little-known fact of US history that the treaty that united Texas with the US gives Texas the right to secede.

    Jasper, well, of course. If you’ve already made a fool of yourself by insisting that climate change can only be apocalyptic, you’re pretty much stuck pretending that it’s going to be apocalyptic.

    Jeff, interesting. As for trees, yes, that’s true, but as with most things in nature, it’s a complex web of relationships rather than an “add component A, get result B” sort of thing. One of the things that drives the catastrophic desertification of western North America during warm periods is precisely that the tree-pump shuts down. You can’t restart it by planting trees unless you have plenty of water to keep the trees thriving, and, er, a lack of water is exactly the problem.

    Samurai, fascinating. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a longing for the Second World War would be strong just now, since the cultural myth that’s grown up around that war — a time when the US was supposedly united, hard-working, generous, and overwhelmingly powerful in the world — is so different from the nation we actually inhabit today. As for invasive species, I think very highly of Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience by David I Theodoropoulos.

    Polecat, not at all. Feudal kings and barons also have court astrologers, you know, and since I’ve encouraged other people to take up brewing, it makes sense that I would prepare to offer a different service myself!

  169. Regarding Karma, the Buddha said that it is unhelpful to try and look at karma. I think only spiritual masters are able to see it clearly for one self and maybe for others, as it is very complicated and it takes a very very calm and clear mind. The Dalai Lama said the same.

    I think it is more helpful to find a practice or help for whatever problem seems to be karmic.
    Just a thought 🙂

  170. About speed limits: I think the direct savings when driving at lower speed exist, but are in fact the least important aspect of fuel conservation. If people drive 50 or 100 or more km on each leg of a commute, every day, they will emit a lot more fuel than desirable, whatever speed they are driving. Car commutes need to be steadily reduced and eliminated. This will happen automatically when the gas price rises enough, as it most certainly will, and the process will be extremely painful. Lower speeds themselves would in principle induce people to drive less, but are difficult to enforce, so useless in that aspect.

    The discussion should be how the transition can be made less painful. Hidden benefits to commuters should be reduced gradually so that people can plan ahead and adjust, e.g. by renting or buying smaller living arrangements nearer work. Such hidden benefits include infrastructure subsidies to new suburbs (sewage, electricity, paved roads etc.) and tax reductions for commute expenses.

    Ideally, the money saved on subsidies should be used to reduce taxes for everybody or rather for the people in lower income brackets in general. Even if this is not going to happen, a gradual reduction in subsidies beats a unprepared jump in gas prices.

  171. Kashtan
    The more I thought about the evacuation during the near failure of the Oroville dam, the more I can’t remember if they actually did evacuate or just issued an alert to be ready to evacuate on very short notice

  172. JMG and Lothar,
    about seasonal energy:

    When I moved to the cloudy west coast I had the same issue – and still do.
    I agree with JMG that dealing with the symptoms is not that helpful but here is what I did:
    – spend time outside even if it’s rainy or cold
    – replace all your lights in the house with 100W eq full spectrum LEDs that mimic sunlight
    – travel to a sunny place from time to time (in my case, the sunny desert is an hour away by car)

    Like I said, all those deal with the symptoms. The real solution is to live according to the seasons. Unfortunately if you work for “the man” you don’t have that choice. But you can try to make sure you sleep enough (no electronics at night), and don’t drink coffee.

    Related, I remember reading some 1800 westerners’ description of life in Russia in the winter: the whole family stuck in the hut, sleeping, drinking vodka and/or tea and only leaving the house to dig a tunnel in the snow to the wood pile for the fire and to the animal shed to give them water and some hay.

    Of course that’s an extreme example but look at northern Europe traditions for the winter: butchering animals, eating and partying, sleeping a lot, a lot of religious holidays etc.

  173. The only thing I watch on Spotify is Joe Rogan. I suspect they can look over my shoulder at what I’m browsing on my computer. I just got an Email from Spotify: “Spend quality time with yourself. Explore genres like: Meditation; Yoga… Wellness custom-made to your taste.”
    uh, no thanks

  174. “,,, since I’ve encouraged other people to take up brewing …”

    As an old ex-homebrewer, I’ve always gotten a chuckle over the years when you recommended people take up brewing as a possible livelihood as things unwind. I had visions of so many people taking your advice, that… who will buy your beer if they brew their own! Sort of like the apocryphal town in Italy where everybody made their living taking in each others’ laundry 🙂

  175. MICHEAL MARTIN-

    re: ‘Much of “womens’ liberation” is an artifact of modernity, and will not survive its passing. The main reason women can use men like wallets and sperm banks, then discard them when they are through with them, is that such women are actually “married” to the State, via modern welfare systems. When modern welfare states go away, so will the above life strategy.’

    i was doing a book tour in scandinavia and was in norway for a few weeks or so, and while i was there we visited a woman’s friend in the country with her man. they’d just had a baby and he was an organic farmer. he was proud and loved feeding her meat. they ate meat and cheese and had a hearty table.

    they seemed super chill and i joked that they looked like Castro revolutionaries in their army drab wear. she loved being a mother and said, “now i know what i was born for.” she was the type of woman who would never have said that a few years earlier as our generation was about “other things.” (WHAT OTHER THINGS???)

    not long after i left, i heard that she left him and went to oslo. she was just bored. BORED? she didn’t need to stay with her guy when the state would support her. it was like no big deal to leave the father and that was among the handful of examples where i realized scandinavia wasn’t so PERFECT after all.

    i’d write more but James needs his computer back again. (giggle)

    just saying YOU’RE RIGHT. feminism messed me up, too. when i lost everything i thought i was and was to be/become, i DIED… but then i realized “what was I BORN and ALIVE FOR???”

    success? fame? ew. talk about swimming in snot.

    and then being bisexual (not anymore) i was figured to be the “butch.” no! i always wanted to BE THE GIRL. still do!

    i can do a lot but i cannot pee over the hood of a car.
    gotta go/James yelling for his computer.

    (he said, “i’m not YELLING.”)

    x

    erika

  176. @Nicole, #7, and others
    I have been inspired by JMG and others in this community (shoutout to Theresa from Hershey) to write and independently publish mysteries with a magic user as the main character. I have published book 1 of “The Ms. O Mystery” series, and book 2 comes out next week. I try very hard to ensure that the magic Ms. O uses is realistic, defined as changing consciousness in accordance with will. There are some cheats, such as convenient dreams for solving a mystery, but for the most part my sleuth’s magical practice involves meditation, divination and sphere of protection. Like for a lot of us, those three things will take her far. There is no nose-wiggling or fake latin!
    I have doubts about what I’m writing, I suspect it is not magical enough for readers of cozy mysteries with cute witches on the cover wearing stripy thigh-high stockings and pointy hats. I also think it might be too magical for people who think Tarot is the work of the devil, and a psychic raven is a cheat. I hope to find my audience.
    If you’re interested in a free sample, a short story, I can be emailed at susan at ess harelson dot com
    and I will put you on my newsletter list. If you don’t like newsletters, you can always unsubscribe after you get the story.
    The books are only in ebook form right now, and only on the giant South American river. As I write and publish more, I hope to expand into paperbacks.
    JMG- I’m excited about the future short story contest- I’ve got so many ideas!

  177. Jeff’s comment about tree planting reminds me, we have 2 mature ash trees which shade our house and make our lives immeasurably better. One has symptoms of emerald ash borer. I suspect it is a matter of time before we lose both. Has anyone had experience with treating ash trees? I’d rather not spray poison, which I think would just be a temporary fix anyway.
    Tree experts of the commentariat, what replacements would you recommend? We already have a beautiful burr oak, and a mature apple, and various shrubs. We live on the front range of Colorado, so relatively dry, relatively cold in winter. I’d appreciate any help you can give as I prepare to say goodbye to my trees.

  178. @ boulderchum #16.

    Werewolf fiction. Entire forests have been cut down and entire server farms devoted to werewolf fiction. Most of it, however, is romance with hot, sexy, shapeshifting werewolves. Or bears. Dragons. Tigers. The list of shapeshifter romance is endless.

    Plenty of it is NOT woke in the least. The variations within the theme are astonishing.

    Or do you want to exclude sexy werewolves?

  179. I may make a few more contributions to this open post later, but for now, a simple question for the forum, after everyone shared their lentil recipes last month. I have cabbage and chard transplants ready for harvest now, but I’ve never cooked with those two leafy greens before. Anyone have suggestions? Much appreciated!

  180. Dear JMG,

    thank you so much for your great blog!

    Here’s my question: In “The Twilight of Pluto” you explain how even hypothesized heavenly bodies that later turned out not to be there at all, like Vulcan, can have astrological significance. Now, in recent years there has been a lot of speculation among astrophysicist about a ninth planet, supposed to be way beyond Neptune, with an orbital period of several thousand years, and large enough to definitely count as a planet by current standards. The jury still seems to be out on this theory, though, and I for one am not competent to judge. Do you see any astrological meaning this might have?

    Best wishes

    Robert

  181. Bei Dawei, Biden himself would have passed through HS and college in the 50s and 60s, which is about when American public education began its’ long decline. The apparatchiks around him are much younger, unlike the geriatrics who dominate in congress, and their insolence and willful ignorance know no bounds.

    viduraawakened, Thank you for that very detailed response. How do you think such a conflict might turn out? What steps is the Indian govt. taking to counter this threat, if it is a threat? Where do you think such a war will be fought? In the mountains or in the Indian Ocean, or somewhere else. Is the South Sea buildup intended to prevent countries like Japan, Australia and the USA sending aid to India?

    B&R has its’ cheerleaders in North America, but I have yet to read anything from a citizen of one of the affected countries. I have read about wealthy folks from India buying farmland in Africa and elsewhere, but I am not aware that Indians establish gated, Indians only compounds. A decade or so ago, a governor of Idaho floated the idea of permitting a Chinese only city to be built in Idaho. It didn’t happen, probably because every last cubic inch of water in any western state is already spoken for.

  182. Hello JMG,

    I have in interest in your thoughts on Peter Zeihan. I actually think his basic analysis in terms of Demography and Geography is pretty good – Im just astounded at the conclusions he then draws from his analysis – which to me makes no sense.

    His big blindspot seems to be his belief that the US can remain self sufficient in fossil energy and raw materials. He also seems to be overly optimistic on the ability of tech to replace or mitigate the need for raw materials. He must be aware but seems to refuse to acknowledge that the US consumes by proportion a substantial percentage of global resources. He also seems to think the shale revolution is a new golden age which will go on for some time.

    I actually think he is aware that yes the US has enough resources but only at a much reduced level of consumption, hes just not be prepared to be so open about it. I think he is overly optimistic that the US will maintain its current organizational integrity once the downshift kicks in.

    I think he then infuses far to much cultural bias into his conclusions about non-US country’s and blocs and seems to have level of arrogance which means hes unaware of his blind spots….

    Ive even heard him say he think my home country of NZ has a bright future….I think we have the potential to but over the long run (100-200yrs) this will be at a much reduced population level to what we have now and a much more simplified way of life….

    Zeihan thinks that a western alliance will share out key resources….which I think could become logistically impossible even if their was the actual good will to share said resources….

    But at the basic level I do like his analysis…..

  183. @ JMG #80

    Apologies for the phrase. I find it cringy as well which is why I always put it in scare quotes.

    Many of my friends and relatives have gone on to get permanent residencies and/or citizenships in Western countries, mostly the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK. I actually had a chance to move to Texas about a decade back but decided to stay to get my masters degree and get married. So now, I live within a 3 km radius of the neighborhood I spent a good few years growing up in; I even got married in the same church where I had my first communion and all my kids got baptized there too.

    The funny thing is I am not some sort of hardcore localist, I’m just not the ambitious go-getter type of person who finds the “American Dream” (Filipino Edition) appealing. As it turns out, here are a few things that ended up being benefits of staying:

    – Crime rates have gone down significantly. No worries about getting mugged or carjacked anymore.
    – The electricity is a bit pricey but at least it’s there.
    – I can actually drink the water from the tap!
    – My internet connection is relatively cheap and fast ($30 for 150 Mbps)
    – The local shops are still fully stocked with milk formula (the kids were breastfeed anyway, but it’s still nice to see)
    – The covid seems to have gone away or subsided, despite (because?) of the fact that we (mostly) used more conventional vaccines like AstraZeneca and Sinovac instead of the hi-tech mRNA stuff.
    – etc.

    when I was younger, the power was always out, the water wasn’t so much flowing as it was slow dripping (that is, when it was available, and it’s stinky poison water), and crime was rampant and unchecked. At least the store shelves were reasonably stocked (I remember high inflation in the 90’s, but I don’t recall actual goods shortages). Anyone who had any kind of ambition dreamt of going to the States or some other rich Western country, and anyone who came back after having settled were generally considered to be not talented enough to cut it, or just insane/stupid.

    Just ten years ago if I came up with a list of reasons for staying it’d sound like sour grapes, honestly. Now, I am counting my blessings.

    @ blue sun #112,

    So far the colonial/imperial mentality is still strong; it’s still the Asian Tiger Mom’s dream to send their kids to some prestigious Ivy League school. A big part of this is that East Asian societies are extremely cutthroat; in China a single exam (the gaokao) determines your life’s destiny. Ironically, some parents/kids actually consider studying in the USA to be a way of not just getting the highest prestige but also bypassing the most competitive elements of higher education in their own countries.

    Here in the Philippines it’s not nearly that bad, but probably next to South Korea we are the most Americanized country in Asia. Many of the elites (and their upper middle class hangers-on) are still enamored with America and American culture (and the West in general). Judging by the way the last two presidential elections went, it looks like a large part of the elite class is nevertheless starting to wise up. Many of the more recent (some of which are actually half-competent, surprisingly) technocrats in government were educated in Western universities and have come back to the country fill those positions.

    The incoming president Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. himself is Oxford educated; many of the most pro-American elites who oppose him spent a good amount of time nitpicking how his “Special Diploma” isn’t a real college degree. That it just ended up massively backfiring by increasing his populist appeal is one of the most amusingly epic political propaganda fails that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

  184. Hello Mr. Greer. I remember saying in a previous post that you believe that we will start going into an ice age about 1,000 years from now. How exactly do you imagine it will all play out?

  185. Hi John Michael,

    Oh! Well, I guess it is something to look forward to (he says with no sense of enjoyment).

    Speaking of which, at the cinema yesterday the toilets had been err, rebranded. The previously male toilets now had the door thrown wide open and were labelled as “Gender neutral toilet with urinal”. The previously female toilets had been rebranded as “Gender neutral toilet”.

    I had not encountered such a thing before, it was candidly a bit confronting. After some cogitation and discussion with my wife, we’re of the opinion that women would generally not use the toilet with the urinal, and tellingly those same toilets did not contain bins for female sanitary products, whereas the “Gender neutral toilets” did. But here’s the thing, it was a quiet day at the cinema and there was nobody around, so we were able to observe that some of the toilet seats in the “Gender neutral toilets” were left in the raised position. Now I’m assuming that this means that males have been using these toilets.

    The inescapable conclusion was that under this rebranding, males now have access to more toilets than before, and thus women theoretically also have access to more toilets, but practically speaking this is not probably not the case.

    I read a book years ago describing in detail the life and social arrangements in a small Italian town back in the maybe 1980’s, and the author made the astute observation that where resources are limited, any one persons gain, is someone else’s loss. And I tend to believe this situation will become increasingly common over the next few years as decline bites harder.

    I dunno mate, it seemed like an unusual and unnecessary change to me.

    Cheers

    Chris

  186. @Jasper #167
    I can confirm it’s top of the list for the Scottish National Party: as soon as Scotland obtains independence from the UK it promises to have Scotland rejoin the EU. “Freedom” My English undruidly anatomical part! *eyeroll*

  187. Oops, I see I forgot to specify contact info for the map pin thing. Dreamwidth users can message me there (as adara9), and anyone may email me at adara9 at gmail.

  188. Hi JMG and Commentariat,

    During the craziness leading up to and beyond the housing bubble in 2008, husband and I bought a small bag of junk silver: Used up old quarters that are still legal tender, but so worn that they were in the process of being pulled from circulation. And, as they were old, they were indeed largely silver. Unlike today.

    Fast forward to today, I wonder if it would be smart to buy a bit more. My reasoning is that the silver itself may hold value reasonably well but, more to the point, it may be a desirable thing to have to buy smallish stuff/pay people under the table in the future.

    The guy who cuts our hair has already agreed to consider coming to our house in case of another lockdown. He did well during the last lockdown by doing this for other clients provided they were not sick (before we knew him). It would, of course, be cash.

    I didn’t mention junk silver, but hey, it’s a thought! Who knows where we’re headed.

    Thanks in advance for insights/suggestions.

    OtterGirl

  189. Dear Jasper,

    Quick note about Australia and 140C heat. The roads DO melt, the power supply system DOES goes down because most houses need air conditioners to cool them and the power system, mostly be run by private companies now, can’t always supply the power. Also note most of Australia where it typically that hot is a desert. Yes the temperature and climate are changing. Australia it is getting hotter (fires) and, in some places, wetter (floods).

    As it warms, if you are less used to spending time in the sun remember “Slip Slop Slap!” Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat, Slip, Slop, Slap! Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. The sun is not your friend if you have fair skin.

  190. @Casper (#142):

    The founder was one Lewis S. Bostwick. I have found claims online that he began as a Scientologist and a Rosicrucian (probably AMORC, since he’s from Berkeley), and later founded his own organization based on what he learned in those movements. I don’t know anything that would either confirm or refute those claims. He appears to have become a player in the Berkeley occult scene a good number years after I had left Berkeley for Rhode Island. The Institute’s website uses New Age Christian rhetoric.

  191. JMG,

    The recent unionization of many service industry workers has been fascinating to watch. While organizations like Starbucks, Chipotle, and Amazon, just to mention perhaps the biggest names, certainly have made the money to pay their employees more, I’m caught realizing that they mostly provide services, which a great many are needed for our current lifestyle, but that’s the catch. I’m glad people are wanting to stick it to “the man” but I can’t help feeling this not going to work out for anyones betterment. What is your take on the situation?

  192. @viduraawakened, @Mary Bennett
    If there is war between India and China, it will most likely be about water. India barely has enough now and if the climate change forecasts are correct, things will become much worse. Meanwhile, for China, it makes sense to grab water for its own uses before it leaves Tibet.
    Similarly, I expect Ethiopia and Egypt to eventually have a war. I wish this were not the case.

  193. I’ve been wondering about gas prices recently, asking my self
    “how high are they really?”. The closest station regular is $5 a gallon. Higher than its ever been to be sure, but then I factor for Covid, and how it seems the value of the dollar itself has weakened so much, and I start to wonder is it that expensive compared to the 2008 price peak which briefly danced with $4 in the same region. But $4 back then was a lot more money that $5 is today.

    I seen a bunch of my blue collar buddies talking about not buying gas on the 3rd-5th to try to make the price go down. Which is actually a valid base idea packaged inside a cargo cult execution.

    I’d love to see lower speeds in America, bunch of maniacs out there. Lowering speed wouldn’t just make fuel go further, it might even limit how much they can blight the world around them. Then again lowering prices and defunding the roads is good too. I can bike between pot holes that would steal the drivers oil pan, and if you let the roads get textured enough that will limit the supply of vehicals that aren’t too busted to drive, and also have the benefit of making people look for different life arrangements.

  194. Mr. Greer,
    As I am continuing to research to write the book The Philosophy of John Michael Greer, I am very curious if you could tell me which text(s) by Jung were most influential in your own interpretation of him, as expressed especially in your blog posts?
    Also, would you agree that Jung is, above all, someone who applies the ecological interpretation of parts and wholes beyond the realm of physical Nature to the spiritual realm, in that many psychological problems actually stem from a failure to reconcile oneself with some alienated part of one’s own self which are actually part of the same whole (for example, the failure for a man to be reconciled with his own feminine side, the failure for one to be reconciled to one’s own disavowed traits that are then projected into a hated “shadow self” etc.) Would you agree that what sets Jung apart from Freud is that he is more explicitly ecological in his thought process?
    Thank you for your time,
    Chad Haag

  195. “On the one hand I applaud the instinct to go back to simpler ways that have proven to work, on the other it strikes me as a profound lack of imagination.”

    It’s not a lack of imagination when you have a schedule to keep. Revert to last known good is standard practice when an intended improvement doesn’t work out. If you are pushing continuous improvement like you should be then some number of experiments are not going to work out. So you back up to get the operation back putting out acceptable product again, and rethink your failed improvement.

    Been there, done that multiple times in two different industries.

    In fact I had to back out a Linux kernel a couple months ago. The revision broke my PC. I rebooted using the boot manager and selected the old kernel and all was well.

  196. @JMG

    Are there any plans to release your Cosmic Doctrine essays into book and ebook forms? If so, when? I sure would like to get both a hard copy and ebook copies for my personal library.

  197. Sorry to ask but, my previous post seem to have been lost. Is there a chance it’s sitting somewhere? Shall a resend it instead?
    Thanks a lot

  198. Sgage, I assume — based on ample experience — that of 100 people who hear me say that, five will take it seriously enough to dabble in it, and one might make it a regular practice. That leaves the other 99 to buy the beer.

    Katsmama, delighted to hear this! Get working on a good occult mystery short story or novella — the contest will be announced soon.

    Robert, something is clearly trying to come into manifestation. We’ll see if it actually gets there.

    Gary, that’s exactly my critique of Zeihan. He has a weird blind spot to any issue that threatens his notion that the US will remain top dog indefinitely. That’s all the stranger as US hegemony is visibly collapsing around us right now.

    Carlos, that doesn’t surprise me at all. As the US and Europe lose the capacity to drain wealth out of the rest of the world, the rest of the world is seeing conditions improve. That’ll accelerate as things go on — at least until a new global hegemon fires up the wealth pump.

    Heather, thanks for this.

    Rodger, it’ll be more than a millennium from now unless current guesses are dead wrong. When it happens, it’ll be a slow process: gradual cooling at the poles, ice sheets expanding a little at a time, sea level dropping a fraction of an inch a year, and so on. Ten thousand years later the changes will be striking.

    Chris, “unusual and unnecessary” is kinder than I’d put it.

    Ottergirl, well, what skills do you have that the barber might value? That strikes me as more useful than junk metal.

    Prizm, it’s a normal event when the labor markets tilt in the workers’ favor. My guess is that it won’t last, precisely because most of those services won’t be viable in the near future, but we’ll see.

    Ray, hmm! It would be interesting to take gas prices and factor in the real (not official) rate of inflation, and see whether they’ve actually risen in anything but notional terms.

    Chad, the works by Jung that were most influential on me were Symbols of Transformation, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky, and the essay “Wotan.” Your interpretation of Jung’s psychology as an ecology of mind is fascinating and, I think, quite valid.

    Panda, it’s already in the publishing process and should be out, iirc, sometime next year.

    CR, I haven’t seen it — it must have gotten lost at some point before it hit my inbox.

  199. Bei (offlist), er, I hate to break it to you, but the point of this open post is not to give you a forum to lecture everyone else on how wrong they are. If you want to do that, please start your own blog and attract your own commentariat.

  200. Otter Girl, where do you buy junk silver? My father collected coins but he didn’t have any.

    JMG, are you talking about the occult detective characters like John Silence?

  201. Hi Pygmycory,

    When I started teaching, I traveled to student’s homes in my car. I only taught piano at that time. I dislike driving and always have disliked it, so my willingness to get in a car was predicated on truly wanting to teach for a living. Later, I got hired at several music teaching studios/music stores and divided my week between them. That slowly turned into having my own commercial space. Now I have recently given up having a commercial space after 13 years to collapse my studio into my own house. I also teach out of my parents’ house two days a week.

    Recorder is the ultimate portable instrument — you can teach it anywhere! Maybe ask the church if they’d let you rent a room to give harp and recorder lessons. You might try signing up with Lessons.com and make a profile there advertising what you do and what makes you special. Once you sign up, Lessons.com will ping you whenever someone is looking for recorder lessons in your area. If you’re interested, you can send them a pitch for a small fee. For me, it’s 2-3 dollars a pop, but you only pay if the student ends up taking lessons with you. Finally, Facebook may be a dumpster fire but I have gotten lots of students from it. I have a business page for my studio. You ought to make one, plus an Instagram if you can stand it, and also a personal website with a .com or .net address. My website kimberlysteelemusic.net was designed from a free Weebly template. In the past I have used WordPress. Either one is fine. Make sure you add a “contact me” sign up form like this one on your site that sends prospective student messages to your email address: https://kimberlysteelemusic.net/contact.html

    I have always found that offering a free, no obligation interview lesson of 20-30 minutes sets me apart from teachers and music schools who aren’t willing to do that. Lessons are potentially a long relationship (I’ve had some students for 12 years) and it is my opinion that any professional teacher worth her salt will offer one. Of course if it’s you traveling to them, you might want to charge a travel fee.

    Teaching music is a noble profession. Unfortunately the great teachers are very rare — there are lots of hacks who see it as a money thing or a second or third choice career. Use that to your advantage by being different! If you treat your students and their parents as far more valuable than any paycheck, you won’t be a high roller, but you’ll always have a respected and cherished place in the community wherever you land.

  202. I just remembered-Peter S. Beagle had a decent werewolf story; it was published in the same volume with The Last Unicorn and the werewolf’s girlfriend was “an acid head from Vancouver”…

  203. To jack:

    Thank you for sharing. That sounds very similar to experiences I have had with nature spirits as well as house and yard spirits. They’re the opposite of scary. Furthermore, they really want to talk with those of us who are open and willing.

  204. Seems to some trouble with Firefox, re-sending a brief version from a different browser.

    This month, in line with Father’s Day, and in line with Summer’s Solstice. I wish to share one more song with you. It is a father and son duet: Vicente and Alejandro Fernandez. I have not overthought things this time and just submit the song based on the vocal qualities (that sounds very powerful and very yang to me, in line with the summer spirit).

    The song name is Amor de los Dos (Love of Us Both). You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsAUOjgwJXs

    And now my translation:

    LOVE OF US BOTH

    To live in the World
    with an illusion
    is an insane hope;
    the hearth suffers.

    My life is your life,
    love of us both.
    You make me suffer
    and will pay in due time.
    You’re being inexcusable.

    Forgive me
    if I have offended you.
    Forgive me
    have some compassion.

    My life is your life…

    Forgive me…

    My life is your life…

  205. Hi JMG,

    Please don’t answer if this is too personal of a question. Do you and Sara have an air conditioner in use or do you choose to rough it and go without?

    Also, does anyone else (JMG or the commentariat) like hiyayakko a.k.a. cold tofu? It’s my favorite this time of year.

  206. JMG,
    I believe it was in the last open post that you mentioned you were reading the works of Dorothy Sayers as research for writing your own occult-based mystery novel. I love the Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels, and I imagine you culled them from Sara’s bookshelves:)
    I would like to recommend to you The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, published in 1868, if you haven’t already read it. Collins is widely believed to be the grandfather of the modern detective novel, and The Moonstone is the first novel that sets up that classic structure – a crime in an English country house with a small set of suspects, and a celebrated detective brought in to solve the crime. It is very well done, I think, with some wonderful Dickensian characters (Collins was a friend of Dickens), and also, particularly germane for you, it contains an occult element, which is treated with a great deal of respect by both the characters and the author.
    I just recently read it and enjoyed it very much.
    Best wishes for your novel. I am also currently writing a murder mystery with an occult theme, somewhat along the lines of the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Must be something in the air!

  207. @Brendhelm

    I have pondered as well what you are describing, recently:

    Why the industrial revolution and this era for our souls? I have to admit to myself despite the very little love I have always held for this technological climax society I live in, in a most prominent position of wealth even among the people in this country, it has granted me an enourmous opportunity to learn.
    To travel, to read, to analyse photos from around the planet of various ecosystems, geologies, cultures….
    When I do think about these possibilities, it is just amazing, that is true, would not have been possible otherwise without this gargantuan and hedonic conversion of biomass and mineral resources.

    I guess the passage of our souls through this world means that experience always comes with a price tag, nothing is for free; Seems now that the bill is due, too bad I was never one to enjoy my life in absurd wealth. But maybe, that wasn’t the purpose, to enjoy myself, but rather to both learn from the use of many resources and thereafter also learn about the consequence.

    “The tree of life is the inverted tree of knowledge, not for no reason”, somebody admonished me some years ago, warning me against overthinking and wanting to analyse everything.
    Dr. Mengele and Dr. Hiro Ishii, performing monstrous experiments of prisoners in WWII – what else was their motivation than utter curiosity..? “What happens if…?”

    I have always found this world a great crime and hated it, and lamented its existence and my place in it. Nowadays though, I cannot think of any other way my soul could have learned many things until here.
    Everything is as fascinating as it is horrible, and what a time to be alive, and what a spot for me to watch this great theater from.

    I fear this coming European winter and its implications, yet marvel at the thought of witnessing this great historic event.

    regards, Curt

  208. A small tale that I’d like to share for anyone interested: We had a huge wild rose growing at our barn. As it happens, this part of our property is where my father-in-law has special access and stores firewood, etc. The rose seemed to be in his way so he decided to cut it. After he was done, nothing was left. I was quite angry and upset since the rose was very large, very beautiful and just starting to blossom. Armies of insects fed from the blossoms and leaves in recent years and lots of birds visited it regularly, I guess to feed from the insects and fruits. It was a very lively place.

    How can it be that somebody just cuts it away out of a mood and because it seems to be in his way? There had been plenty of ways to get things done without cutting the rose and in the past I offered my assistance. Then I had a minor revelation: Because he just can’t see what I (or my wife) have seen. He just saw an object that got in his way. There was no perception for the cosmos of life that this rose really was. And so it had to go.

    The thing is, I believe the same is true for our “elites”. To them, the people they claim to be responsible for are just objects, there is little or no perception of the nature of their lives, nor of life in general. Much has been said of people being evil, though my little observation suggests to me that while evil might truly exist, much of what we call evil is just a lack of awareness and conciousness. It reminds me of what has been said on the last MM about ways to resolve Karma – if you realize the harm and destruction you have caused in the past and the flaws in your character this reveals, it can be a very painful experience.

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  209. I just found this article about “reinventing progress” by Charles Eisenstein, and I was wondering if the author has been inspired by the work and writings of our host :

    https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/reinventing-progress

    Anyway, it is nice to see these ideas propagating and discussed in many places. I hope this could contribute to a worldview change and accelerate the demise of the “religion of progress”. Still, I am not holding my breath, as the progress spell and the belief in “the Machine” will probably take decades to slowly fade out.

  210. I saw a comment from Carlos M …

    ‘The covid seems to have gone away or subsided, despite (because?) of the fact that we (mostly) used more conventional vaccines like AstraZeneca and Sinovac instead of the hi-tech mRNA stuff.
    – etc.’

    AZ and J&J are as high-tech. and GM as Pfizer or Moderna, just different. The Sputnik product used similar technology to AZ.

    Pfizer is being sued for fraud in its clinical trial. However, it seems to be arguing that the FDA urged Pfizer to commit the fraud, and so that’s alright then, it doesn’t count as fraud.

    China, also India, used conventional products made from inactivated virus.

    UK sources including the Daily Sceptic and UK Column have reported on this unfolding problem … disaster?? … since about May 2020. Most governments now seem to want online censorship, so I don’t know how long the internet will continue to provide truthful reporting to those who know where to look.

  211. Epileptic Doomer @102 I knew a child, whose seizures did not respond to standard care, and responded well to the keto diet/CBD treatment (overseen by an out of state specialist). The savvy family was instrumental in getting our state laws improved. As medication shortages and our complex system gets more problematic, hopefully more MD’s will be able to use alternatives with less personal risk.

  212. There’s a comedy called “King Ralph” which I enjoyed in my youth in which a blue-collar honky-tonk pianist becomes king of England after everyone ahead of him in the succession dies in a tragic photography accident. In thinking about what I’d do in the titular character’s place I thought about the importance of reinstating some rituals, many of which might have only been known to the people expected to inherit the title. It occurred to me I could do much worse than asking yourself and Patricia McKillip to collaborate on creating ersatz rituals to fill in the gaps.

    Which made me wonder – are you familiar with her work, and do you have an opinion on it?

  213. @JMG and commentariat

    Has anyone ever owned and/or used a wind-up music box? I got fascinated by this video, hence I asked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COty6_oDEkk.

    Seems to me to be a nice combination of retro tech and intermediate tech. This could be modified, IMO, to act as an alternative to a tanpura, which is used as a constant drone in Hindustani Classical Music by students, teachers and performers alike.

    But I think this can go beyond simply being a tanpura; indeed, I believe this can be used to record famous performances of classic compositions. I guess this, along with phonographs, is what an ecotechnic society can use as a ‘home music system’, provided this technology survives into the far future.

  214. @Johnny:

    Well, I believe you about the UFO.

    This isn’t much of a story, partly because it isn’t my story, but a friend of mine whom I trust, as in, not a crazy person, swears he saw a flying saucer on a military base in Ontario, and I believe him.

    @Linda:

    Speaking as a doctor, I don’t think it would be “illegal”, exactly, to prescribe someone (your husband, e.g.) two years’ worth of medicine. The problem is doctors are very, very risk-averse if they can imagine any possible way anything could turn into a civil suit or a complaint to the licensing board, and so the fear would be, if a person ever overdosed, and there was an investigation, and it came out that the doc had prescribed two years’ worth of medicine, the question would be asked, why the heck did you do that…

    @Bob:

    “but that seems schizophrenic, no? I feel like I should be whole-hog on one thing”

    I don’t think so at all. I read a book a number of years ago about the Great Depression, where there was a guy who was part-time dentist, part-time shoemaker. I don’t see anything wrong with this whatsoever.

    @BoulderChum,

    Teen Wolf not good enough, eh?

    @Mother Balance:

    “Does this sound like an interesting idea? Does anyone have the skills to make it happen?”

    That is a GREAT idea! (See kids, this is why you should always share your ideas and not be shy, they’re probably great.)

  215. Hello everyone!

    What are everyone’s thoughts about Thailand? I’m part Thai and as such, I’m eligible for dual US Thai citizenship.

    What do you think, should I go for it?

  216. JMG
    A few weeks ago I listened to the audio book version of Doctrine and Ritual… This has prompted me to start reading through your series on this book and get a hard copy along with a recommended tarot deck. It occurs to me that I did this once before in 2016. I got to the point of acquiring your book and a deck and they found their way onto a shelf and have since been misplaced. I think I do this kind of thing tolerably often with projects that catch my eye. Is there any carrot you can wave at me that might better encourage me along this path?

  217. In other, more collapse related news, I’ve recently been attending this book club full of Catholic monarchists. They all seem to really hate things like democracy and free speech and think this “global elite” are out to get them.

    What I think is striking is how all these conspiracy theories seem to come from the internet. The internet is simply amazing at dissolving the bonds formed by social trust and shared culture.

    I suppose that’s my bit of collapse related info for today. The right in the US seems to really be turning against the values that made this country great. They’re really like the far left in a way, it’s all victim mentality and identity politics essentially.

  218. @Ottergirl, If you want to stash silver as a store of value I would suggest high purity silver solder. It is sold in 36″ long sticks stored in plastic tubes. Only get the good stuff ( over 50%) snd its cost pretty much tracks silver price. You can get it, or order it, from any welding store. The advantage of this form of silver is that it is directly useful because it can be used along with an acetylene torch ( and some skill ) to fix metal objects, build bike frames etc.

  219. A little thought experiment . . .

    Aboriginal culture as it existed before the European settlers arrived in North America is invariably portrayed as being very “environmentally-friendly” (i.e. – The indigenous population lived in a way that was sustainable.) But imagine for a minute what MIGHT have happened if the aboriginals had made technological discoveries that COULD have enabled them to use the land & its resources beyond their carrying capacity. Would their culture have tempered any desires to have a materially higher standard of living, or is it simply human nature to want a way of life that’s more bountiful & convenient, even though we suspect/know it’s not sustainable? I realize it’s not really possible to answer that question without getting into a time machine & transporting modern-day technology & know-how back to an earlier era, but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

  220. JMG – In Circles of Power, on page 87, you mention that angels ending in AL denotes a standing figure wearing a sword, and the ending IAH denote a figure seated on a throne. Can I ask where you found this information? It would make sense that EL is angel of Severity and IAH of Mercy. So curious if this is Golden Dawn or older/Judaic. I am currently working with Shem HaMephorash and am so intrigued by this point you made. Thank you in advance!

  221. This map is giving me an excuse to experiment with my website: I’ve now added a Pin request form on the map page that folks can just fill out. (I still add them manually on the backend, though, so please don’t expect your pin to appear immediately.) I’ll still respond to the other contact methods, but the form makes sense as the new default.

    Hope it’s ok that I added your location, JMG. I figured your author bios make it pretty obvious, but since everyone else gets to opt-in, I feel a little bad not at least explicitly offering you an opt-out.

    Non sequitur: I find the use of “non-Druidly” or “un-druidly” as a fill-in for curse words pretty amusing. Generally, they’re censoring words that refer to body parts, fertility acts, or natural body functions that can then fertilize the earth. I consider all of those fairly Druidy, as opposed to the word “frack” sometimes used to replace them, which seems to me the antithesis of Druidy. (“Shale” as a part of the earth seems inherently druidy, but I always think of shale oil when I see it, which again seems more opposed than the word it is replacing.)

  222. Sir, forgive me if you’ve covered this previously, but what do you suppose Culianu would say about this:

  223. Re: the “Drive 55” in its day – Southwesterners, with their long stretches of desert roads to deal with, one and all hated it and thought it made no sense. “Maybe back East, where it’s so crowded, with one town right on top of the other, but, not here.” Just a data point from the well-remembered past (when I was commuting by bus between ABQ & Santa Fake daily for a temp job.)

  224. @jmg — looks like R v W just got overturned. I know this is controversial. Is this something for a dedicated post? Or do you have an idea how this will play out in the long descent?

    thx

    Jerry

    PS — Lake Mead still going down.

  225. Greetings JMG,

    How likely do you think it is that Russia will invade the Baltic states or Poland within a year?

    The EU and Lithuania are blocking half of the goods to Kaliningrad, and Russia is already threatening
    with a non-diplomatic response.
    Both sides seem to be determined to escalate.

  226. So a few weekends back I took a Sunday off from my usual responsibilities and made my way to achingly trendy Brighton UK, to participate in an equally trendy Wim Hof workshop which was being run out of a sports cafe on the beachfront. I’d signed up in May on what I can really only describe as a whim. I’d recently glanced at a book on breathing and the impact on health physical and mental; I was dimly aware that the Wim Hof ideas about exposure to cold do not contradict anything I’ve read here or on the other blog although they are not the same.

    As a matter of fact I went through a period of exposure to cold showers one summer few years ago, but that fell by the wayside as my personal life suddenly became rather more strenuous than usual. The onboarding instructions told me to resume these in preparation for part of the day which involved sitting in an ice bath.

    The Wim Hof Method rests on three practices, a deliberate and quite robust form of deep breathing, an attitude towards dealing with troubling thoughts, and famously, exposure to cold. Towards the end of the day the dozen or so member of the middle aged group took it in turns to immerse ourselves in a horse trough full of ice and water. Probably the coldest I’ve ever been since I fell into a fjord as a youngster. I went first on the grounds that I didn’t want to hang around in anticipation. I also took a pair of ice tongs and a glass with me because I do like an occasional gin and tonic and it made for a good photo for my bewildered family.

    The actual workshop was certainly very engaging and the sensation of getting out of the trough and warming up was surprisingly pleasant. It turns out that there is a trick to it of course. To quote Lawrence of Arabia “The trick William Potter, is not minding that it hurts”.

    I know people who I suspect could benefit quite a lot from these ideas and they are certainly presented in a way that really does not require anyone to radically change their attitude towards reality. The breathing is supposed to work by physiological changes (this doesn’t actually completely explain some of the things WH has done on film and in labs around the world). The mental stuff I think is largely derived from Eckhart Tolle, and the exposure to cold is largely pushed for its health benefits, giving the body some unusual stress allows it to respond in a positive way. The analogy with picking up weights to build muscle is a good one here. However unless there’s something rather startling in the WH book (it’s on my pile) I think digging into more fundamental ideas is beyond the scope of this school of thought.

    In any case, there has been one lasting effect on me. After the horse trough, cold showers have become – not exactly easy – but well within what I’m prepared to do of a morning. I’ve been taking them at the beginning of the day ever since.

  227. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade does not alter my personal opinion in the slightest. That opinion is, and always has been, that abortion should never have been a federal issue. I would remind anti-feminism ideologues that early feminists by and large opposed legalizing abortion, seeing such legalization as empowering and legitimizing the sexual predation of rich and powerful men upon poor and vulnerable women. CIA agent Steinem was brought in to derail and distract and basically get women spending again. As Freidan pointed out, in the post war economy, woman’s place was the buying of products for the home. Folks who were not yet born in the 50s and 60s likely have no idea of the pervasive influence of mass market consumerism at that time. A person who declined to participate could lose their job, social standing, possibly even their spouse and family.

    In the early 1970s, I was living in a very conservative, very anti-feminist town in the intermountain west. The FIRST ISSUE of MS magazine, edited by Steinem, appeared on newsstands, and in the public library and community college library in that selfsame conservative town. Now, how do you suppose that happens?

    As for my personal life, my stand on such matters, which I have communicated fully and forcefully to daughters and granddaughters–I have no male descendants– can be succinctly stated as follows:
    “There ain’t ever gonna be any babydaddy living at my house. Never. Nohow. No Way.” I will do what I can to help with pregnancies and children, when and if those occur, but to the extent I have anything to say about it, no descendant of mine is gonna be anyone’s mealticket.

  228. Your Kittenship, I am indeed. Occult detective stories are a fine genre that’s been neglected for a while, though it’s picking back up again, and I think it could use a boost; more to the point, I’ve been contacted by a publisher who wants an anthology on the subject. More soon!

    CR, thanks for this.

    Kimberly, we don’t use air conditioning. That’s not a matter of roughing it, however — when I spend any significant amount of time in heavily air conditioned places during hot weather, I tend to come down with bronchitis. When I simply tolerate the heat (with the assistance of homemade popsicles and iced tea), I don’t have that problem. As for cold tofu, yum!

    Jeff, interesting. So noted; I got that piece of information (or misinformation) from Texans I’ve known.

    Blueday Jo, I’ve read it! A really first-rate mystery, and the final reveal of the villain is stunningly well handled. Glad to hear of your forthcoming mystery; I hope you’ll consider contributing a short story to the upcoming occult-detective anthology.

    Nachtgurke, that makes a great deal of sense. Thank you.

    Laurent, interesting. I’ve added it to my get-to list.

  229. JMG:

    Question regarding “Twilight of Pluto” in the chapter that discusses Vulcan. Am I reading your correctly that the proposal of a hypothetical planet that doesn’t exist can affect the flavor of an age from when it is proposed until it is shown not to exist? I am thinking specifically of the hand-off from the romantic figure of the mad scientist under Vulcan to the institutionalized Big Science under Pluto.

  230. JMG, Your Ladyship, and Clay Dennis: Thank you so much!

    JMG, your suggestion caused me to more deeply consider my objective in all of this, which I appreciate. As retired office fauna, my nuts and bolts skills are laughable but, that said, I knit pretty decent dishcloths, and make herbal this ‘n that for my own use (and occasional gift). I’ll give this some more thought. The barber in question is a skilled gardener, baker, cook, etc. But he does have $40K in student loan debt. In this case, I’m pretty sure he’d prefer cash.

    Clay, thanks so much for your suggestion! As mentioned to JMG, as retired office fauna my “how the world works” skills are sorrowful. I will most certainly act on your advice. This will be a fine adventure! Tracks the price of silver AND is actually useful. Wow! Love this.

    Your Ladyship, there’s a coin shop in our city which also caters to the hobby mining crowd. They buy and sell all sorts of gold and silver. I wonder if all coin shops might carry junk silver? Looks like it’s available online but hey, nothing like walking into a shop with lots of odd (to me) stuff going on and making a purchase!

    Best to you all,

    OtterGirl

  231. @ Bofur (#228)

    Thanks! For me I’d be happy to discover there was an explanation for it. I guess when you’ve seen something unusual like this the part of the experience I hadn’t understood from outside was the certainty you have about having seen something. I have had a couple people tell me they believe me in the same way you did which made me realize everyone else was in an “I don’t believe you” camp. Both my neighbour and I are in a group now that nobody else is quite sure what to say about. We are certain about the experience being real, just without a good explanation for it. For everybody else, the most likely solution to the problem is that we made a mistake and were confused about what we were seeing.

    I appreciate hearing about your friend’s story too! They’ve run military training exercises over my city before without much explanation, just one day there are helicopters flying all over and soldiers rappelling off them. If it was military, the technology was very weird and “outside the box”. It certainly could be some strange new thing. I did have the impression that its two states (very bright light and hazy almost invisible) made it difficult to see the objects themselves after the first half minute or so (when there wasn’t a “shield” state yet), so I did wonder if it could be some sort of cloak.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  232. Siliconguy,

    I think you may be missing my point, so let me restate it. As I said, I applaud going back to older, simpler ways that work in a technical sense. As everyone following this blog knows, that is baked into the cake at this point, not just for the US military but for all of us at every level.

    The problem with these novels, as I see it, is that US global military dominance is not software or hardware that can be restored to an earlier release version with fewer bugs in order to maintain the status quo. The authors are trying to take complex system and reduce it to an engineering problem that can be solved in that way. When they write scenes in which mothballed museum-piece type equipment from WW2 or the Vietnam era are refurbished and put into service with all sorts of patriotic pageantry, it just reeks of nostalgia, and bargaining psychology to mentally keep the US as top dog.

    The heavy reliance on Pearl Harbor, complete with the same Admiral Yamamoto quote about waking the sleeping US giant, strikes me as unimaginative, but maybe other readers had a different reaction.

  233. Thanks JMG, just the book on invasive species I have been looking for!

    I live in New England, but I have been following the Burmese Python invasion of the Everglades story for a while now. The biggest one ever, a 214-pounder was just captured:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/23/us/florida-largest-python.html

    There was another interesting chapter a few months ago when it was discovered that bobcats have been preying on the python eggs and their battles were caught on camera:

    https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/bobcat-fights-nesting-burmese-python-in-florida-everglades-14029759

  234. Nachtgurke @ 222, it is very likely your wild rose will grow back. What I would do is clear away weeds around the remnants, keep it well watered, and when new sprouts appear, put a fence around the plant. New sprouts are quite fragile. Come fall or spring, depending on your climate, you could move the plant, roots and all. Or, you could keep it trimmed to a reasonable size, allowing FIL access while making it clear that the rose is important to you.

  235. One of the nice things about retirement is not being trapped in a frigid office all week. Ours was particularly unpleasant because the people who did the seating plan ignored the air flow as designed so lots of people were seated directly under vents, shivering in summer and sweating in winter.

  236. @Lothar, thank you for mentioning your seasonal energy variation. I have the same issue, but have always assumed it was something wrong with me because I don’t notice the humans around me needing to slow down & dial back like I do. In fact, they seem to amp up their activities, with holiday parties & decorations & other activities, at precisely the time I can barely get out of bed. And thanks to JMG & NomadicBeer for the useful replies.

    Re UFOs vs hallucinations: JMG told me a few MMs ago that hallucinations are involuntary seeing of the astral plane (if I’m understanding correctly). I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn there were creatures of the astral plain living in the upper atmosphere, so even though the word “hallucination” has a lot of connotational baggage, in this case I’m wondering if it could be technically accurate. (Frankly, I’m currently trying to work through my personal baggage around the word “hallucination”, since it turns out to apparently describe the strange overlay of light that I’ve seen superimposed on the material world for most of my life.)

  237. John–

    Re something other than the topic on everyone’s mind at the moment (at least in the US)

    It is late to throw out an idea for the 5th Wed,and it’s likely far more involved than a reply comment would permit, but I’d be very interested to hear your take/explication of the Emerald Tablet. It has come up several times in my life recently, which I’m taking as a sign to study it.

    Perhaps in a future post?

  238. Re: antidepressants

    From my experience with them, my guess is that they move the karma around: from the lower astral to the physical (in the form of various somatic side effects), the etheric (sexual side effects or just general loss of vitality), maybe the upper astral (it’s hard to explain, but my guess is that this is what’s happening when they make people suicidal, as they can), or even the mental — if you take advantage of the increased clarity as a chance to change your way of thinking.

  239. samurai_47,

    You do realize that the “mothballed museum-piece” were all designed to be repaired in the field by technicians with subpar skills? Almost everything tech wise is an engineering problem of some sort. Adjusting expectations is the hard part.

    Before the internet and telephone company monopolies, telephones used barbed wire as their “party line” to communicate betwwen farms. My mother grew up with this in 1950s kansas. It was enough of a communication system to save my grandmothers life.

    You’d be amazed at what can be cobbled together on small scales with scrap if there is no alternative. Alot of Americans, especially in the working classes, grew up working with tools and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. Unlike other cultures, we aren’t biased against working with your hands. Take a stroll through your nearest custom car, boat or whatever show, and ask how much was homemade. Knowledge can be scaled up if needed. Tons of YouTube videos on small scale fabrication as well.

    As far as America being on top? Were we ever? Or just legends in our own mind? I think most of us would settle for functional country these days with everything done as local as possible.

    If I remember correctly, One Second After ended with Ashland being a self contained community, and the “USA” was back to being the orginal 13 colonies/states since most of the country went feral and the Chinese occupied California. I read all three books in that series, I certainly didn’t consider the end result being America on top…lol. Slightly optimistic/best case in some matters, but actually practical or worst case in others.

  240. JMG et al.
    I have a question that bothers me for a while.
    The question is: once the war in Ukr started why did Russia NOT cut all economic ties with the west?

    I don’t want to talk about who’s right or who’s wrong or any emotional handwringing.

    US stopped selling oil to Japan even though the 2 countries were not at war.
    Given the information of the last months, it’s obvious that EU and US are suffering because of the so-called “sanctions” while Russia’s economy is getting better.

    So can someone give any logical explanation for this? Yes, I know that Russia needs the money but not that much – if they would stop ALL exports to the west my guess is EU would collapse in days.

    So why not use the economic weapon?

    Somebody asked the saker the same thing in comments today (https://salesforce-internal.slack.com/archives/G02KJKN27NF/p1656086201249969) and the answer was a personal attack and putdown.

    Some months ago, same thing happened in D. Orlov’s blog.

    So I am asking here even though I know it’s not of direct interest to JMG.

    Thank you!

  241. @ Chris Smith #244
    I know that when I read that I thought – that implies if someone moves a planet into that formerly imaginary orbit, the age of mad scientists will return 30 years before then. Bwa-Ha-Ha!

  242. Texas’s supposed right of secession has intrigued me for a while. It seems to me as an outsider to be an element embedded in Texan identity. However, as far as I can tell there’s no actual legal basis to it, and Texas has the same right to secede as any other state — make of that what you will.

    The interesting thing, though, is that Texas may well have a completely different option that no other state does. It was even larger in land area when it first joined the US, and Congress gave it approval in advance to divide into as many as five states at will (though still as states within the US). I haven’t seen anything saying that’s ever been rescinded.

    @JeffInIowa #218, the treaty didn’t make it through ratification, so that specific question is moot. Texas joined via a Congressional joint resolution.

  243. @Kimberly Steele,
    thank you for the sage advice. I have saved it to my computer, and for now, I’ll go take a look at Lessons.com. I’m not quite ready to put out my shingle quite yet because I want to improve my skill level a bit first, I think, but if all goes well in the next 1-3 months, I will be.

  244. Normally I am not imaginative enough to have weird questions for the Open Post but this week it seems that I am overwhelmed with ideas.

    I have become almost a full-time farmer (plus a full-time worker which makes for a lot of exhaustion).

    One thing that I realized is that all those anthropologists trying to describe what makes us human are “smoking their shorts” (thanks JMG).

    Think about it – chimps have politics, coup d’etats, wars etc.

    Agriculture is relatively easy (ants can do it). Domesticating dogs is just a simple redirection of our love for tiny helpless babies.

    The one step that I think is difficult is raising animals for meat. If you have ever had a pet you know what I am talking about.

    Having an animal that you care about, feed and protect and then kill is a jarring experience.
    Pigs are just as smart as dogs and love scratching. And yet after a year or so, we are able to flip a switch in our brains and kill them.

    In a sense, there is a very sociopathic feeling about this – looking at our emotions from outside and working hard to keep a baby animal healthy only to turn around and eat it.

    So the question is: has anybody looked into this? I would love to understand how this works in our brains.

    One more relevant note: most city people cannot do this switch from “parent” to “predator”. I know some people in the city raising animals but they only treat them as pets, only going as far as eating the eggs, never the animals. On the other hand, in the countryside almost everybody can do it. One more piece of evidence that mentally, city vs country, Cain vs Abel is a deep psychological gap that separates us.

    Thanks!

  245. On Planet Nine, it occurs to me that the conditions under which a planet is searched for are relevant to understanding its meaning: both Neptune and Pluto were sought to explain perturbations in Uranus’s orbit, and both placed limits on Uranian hyperindividuality (one in the form of collectivism, the other in the form of dividing the individual). The search for Vulcan, the Mad Scientist planet, was driven by a kind of scientific overenthusiasm, and sputtered out accordingly. (Not sure about Ceres.)

    If that’s the case, then Planet Nine’s influence should reflect the reason for its postulation: explaining the apparent clustering of extreme trans-Neptunian objects. That suggests to me that it’s a kind of re-centering influence, drawing in things from the extreme fringes and returning order and balance to disorder and imbalance. This suggests a kind of redemptive influence, and mythological image that comes to mind is the Harrowing of Hell.

    Obviously I could be totally wrong, but I daresay we could use planet like that right now, perhaps even an imaginary one…

    (Also, would it be inappropriate for me to cheekily suggest the name “Abramelin” for the planet, as IIRC that ritual involves something thematically similar in its final stages?)

  246. @NomadicBeer, #256

    > So why not use the economic weapon?

    TL;DR Because they do not want to be the first ones to push Da Button in a MAD scenario.

    Unlike the Ukrainians, for whom this conflict is an existential threat, both Russia, USA and the EU experience this proxy war as a sort of “diplomacy at gunpoint”. The Russians in particularly, are pursing this war aggressively today so that they don’t have to face an existential threat 5 or 10 years down the line. Their goal is to create a buffer zone between themselves and NATO, and seem quite willing to fight to the last Ukrainian to ensure that none of the former Soviet states take the sucker’s deal Washington/Brussels are offering. It is not much of a stretch that they are motivated mostly by fear (of NATO) with a little bit of greed thrown on the mix (to consolidate their hegemony in the region).

    EU and US, on the other hand are primarily motivated by greed (of the vast Russian resource base). EU in particular is utterly dependent on Russian fossil fuels (which they were getting already, but dislike paying full price), while US’s motives seems more mixed (with ideology). They are the party who has less skin on the game, and therefore may be more easily convinced that their “investment” will probably not pay for itself. Once they come to see it that way, they will cut their losses and their support, and Russia will be able to impose its dominance over her neighbor (without resorting to the messy “last Ukrainian” strategy).

    But if Russia uses its economic super-weapon, the balance of the equation changes. By fully cutting itself out of the Global Economy, Russia would pose an existential threat on EU. Sure, countries like France and Germany will be more willing to negotiate a diplomatic outcome closer to Russian interests, but Poland and other Eastern NATO members will (rightfully, IMHO) wonder if they will be the next ones thrown under the bus when the Big Bad Bear comes back looking for food. If we consider that Americans are not necessarily acting in their own self interest (because of ideology) this can easily backfire and turn the proxy war into an open, hot war between nuclear powers. At first, this will be fought with conventional weapons, but it is anybodies guess what might one of the sides involved do when they foresee their defeat and the hardship resulting from it.

  247. @JMG #243 re: Texas’s “Right to Secede”

    As a Texan, I certainly heard about this growing up, and so at some point in college I looked into it. As far as I can tell (and can remember), this is mostly a folk garbling of the facts that the treaty grants Texas the right to split up into more states (I think 5?), presumably to secure more seats in the senate or allow for more localized government if desired.

    I think it’s also a useful data point that when Texas did try to secede, the federal government didn’t treat all that much different than the rest of the confederacy.

    All that being said, you see a fair number of bumper stickers that are just the Texas flag with the word SECEDE in all caps, so regardless of the “legality” (always tricky when one entity claims not to be subject to another’s laws!), the sentiment is certainly there in some numbers.

  248. One of the commentariat asked about Mercedes Lackey’s novels involving magic. I suggest her Elemental Masters series. One of them, Home From The Sea, includes a lot of Welsh mythology, though only one Druid, and that one, a Selch (think Deep Ones).

  249. Rustproof @ 229

    Twer me, I’d go with it simply as another diversication of ‘options’ to consider as times get hinky, where one might need an out if where you currently are ceases to uh, function in a survivable manner.
    I though about acquiring a passport back in the early teens, when our last economic/geopolitical/’energy’ imbroglio was making itself manifest .. but even back then, I had the feeling that .. being a perceived ‘Dirty American’.. especially a male anglo.. might be at odds with considering that option, unless I chose a supposed ‘western democ.’ – which would NOT be on the list. Maybe at one time Austrlia or New Zealand would’ve fit the bill .. but with their draconian responces re. ‘The PanDEMic’ and all its virtuous B.$. combined with the obvious ‘$$$s for Residency’ schemes – Read ‘illionaire .. wasn’t gonna pan out for moi. So here I stay Stateside, in the Periphery, hoping for the least worst.

  250. RTR @ 229

    SpellHECK WON’T let me type out your moniker for some reason.

    Gonna have to disable that mofo, sooner than later!

    I do hope yer thoroughly rustproof though.. ‘;]

  251. CR Patiño,
    thanks for your reply but I disagree. Economic sanctions are the soft option and if I a proxy war does not lead to a MAD scenario, why would an economic one do that?

    I will go even further and say that I don’t understand why Russia did not sanction Europe and US in 2014. They are selling non-renewable resources for printed dollars that will be worthless in years. They switched to rubles now, why did they not do it years ago?

    The answer to comes closer to being plausible in my mind is magic. Russians, just like the rest of the world, truly believe that an abstraction (money) is better than energy and resources.

    Paul Craig Roberts mentioned at some point that Russia and its allies (China etc) can produce basically everything they need. It’s not the same for EU.

    As for Poland et al, with all due respect: who cares? Did US cared about Syria, Iraq, Lybia etc? Of course not. This is realpolitik not a feel good story with good guys and bad guys.

    US is willing to fight Russia to the last european, so why is Russia so nice? I don’t buy the russophiles’ explanations – I just don’t believe that Putin et al is willing to sacrifice a lot of Russian in the insane belief that at some point the brainwashed europeans will realize their mistake and apologize.

    So other than black magic, are there any other possible explanations for this?

  252. What happened to Mercedes Lackey after she got Cancelled? (She was thrown out of a science-fiction convention, right after they’d given her an award. Seriously.). Will she no longer be able to work in mainstream publishing, or will she be able to sneak back in after a while?

  253. A Mazandarani-Québecois (!) composer and his mother go make music in the forest, and the description includes “Special thanks to the frog who watched my santour performance while sitting on the santour itself, you were my most photogenic muse ever.” :

  254. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions in this matter. I speak with a wide variety of people (in order to avoid bubble land thinking) and encourage people to speak their minds, and I’ve never heard anyone make that particular request for change. Someone is pushing an agenda which my gut feeling suggests is aimed to sow confusion, particularly among the very young. People need to find their own paths in such matters.

    Speaking of bubble land thinking, is it my imagination or has the economic news become worse of late? What is your take on that? It’s odd because I have a hunch that people intuitively understand the meaning of the news, they’re just looking the other way and hoping for the best and that they’re not involved. Dunno, but I have a feeling that we are slipping into recession (or are already there, probably likely) and it’s the flip side of The Great Depression. After all, the expansionary money, resource and energy policies which got us out of that mess, look set to send us into a new mess.Viewed on a long enough time scale (of decades since those days) it looks an awful lot like an inverted bell shaped curve. Dunno, but I guess decline in terms of civilisation follows the same trajectory?

    Cheers

    Chris

  255. Hi John Michael,

    Ah, air conditioning! Summer temperatures in the shade here can get to 45’C / 114’F and that’s pretty hot. But like you, I’ve found it better to adapt, although the house was designed and constructed with such temperatures in mind but even still 29’C / 84’F inside the house on such a day is quite warm and the temperature has to be manually managed. As an interesting contrast, when I was a kid nobody I knew had air conditioning, although I may have been on the wrong side of the tracks! I think you’re right too about the air quality too, such machines reduce the humidity which dries the air out and can make you ill. Many, many years ago I was in Peru and saw the Nazca lines (awesome) and the humidity was so low there that I became similarly ill. It’s no good and you are right to go with your gut feeling and experience. Recently I’ve begun posing the question to people about this topic: What did the people who used to live in your area do during such weather?

    Cheers

    Chris

  256. @Nachtgurke, #222,

    Thank you for sharing that story. I am dealing with a similar grief. My father-in-law told me that they used to have a gigantic and healthy red pine in their front yard, but he had it cut down so he could plant a maple and therefore get sunlight in the winter. The pine was neither old nor sick. I was appalled at hearing this.

    Then I visited my sister-in-law, and she complained that she couldn’t really garden in her backyard because of all the shade, and she wished she had the money to get her tree cut down. I went into the backyard and found an utterly enormous, majestic oak. It shades everything, and surely saves her energy bill in the summer. Furthermore, to get esoteric, it felt like the oak was protecting the whole place. I praised her tree to the high heavens and tried to tell her to just garden in her front yard, which gets plenty of sun. They’re otherwise nice people; they just don’t see the trees in the same light. And lawns are such a waste.

  257. @ NomadicBeer

    You’ve touched on one of my favourite subjects. I grew up on a farm and when I later moved to the city I realised the (in my opinion) neurotic attitude of city people on the subject of killing animals.

    From the earliest time I can remember as a child, we were killing and plucking chickens to eat. I don’t remember ever thinking there was any problem with that. This makes sense because our entire biological heritage as omnivores includes the idea of eating other animals.

    So, I disagree that there’s anything sociopathic involved. Quite the contrary, I think that you feel much more gratitude for the sacrifice of the animal when you kill and butcher it yourself than when you buy it is pre-packaged in plastic film.

    I also think the way you phrased the problem was quite revealing. You said people treat pets as a surrogate for human babies. Then you said people treat farm animals as pets. It follows that people would see killing a farm animal as equivalent to killing a human baby.

  258. All,

    If I can add to the secession discussions. Prior to the CW, most states assured they had this right. If it wasn’t for the hot heads at Ft Sumpter, it would have been argued at the Supreme Court instead of Gettysburg. Its also worth noting that the New England states almost decided to leave when the North’s victory was still in doubt.

  259. I’ve wanted to post this over a couple of open forums, initially around the post on ‘slack’.

    The talk of slack versus efficiency, reminds me of something Klaus Schwab has said, wanting to bring ‘efficiency’ to the world. More top-down efficiency, of course, not improvement by asking the masses. To ‘economists’ that mean taking cost out, of course, fewer companies or fewer workers doing something.

    Here is an article on Schwab (very, very long btw). The last 3 or 4 paragraphs are the best, in that the ‘futurist world’ is a technocratic world envisioned 50 years ago, with no updates. Kinda matches my thought that the desire for self-driving cars, travel to mars, etc., is born from aging baby boomers/gen x-ers that grew up on bad sci-fi comics books, and want to force the world to conform to the dream.

    “Since the late 1960s, Klaus Schwab has been trying to create the world which Herman Kahn predicted. But Kahn’s vision of the future, even though pretty accurate, is over half a century old. Schwab’s technocratic movement depends on the successful development of innovative technologies which will advance us towards a vision largely manufactured in 1967. ”
    “As Schwab reaches the end of his life, he appears to be desperate to push forward a radical futurist agenda with the obvious potential for global disaster.”

    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/03/investigative-reports/dr-klaus-schwab-or-how-the-cfr-taught-me-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb/

    I think elsewhere you’ve talked about what the manifestation of aging boomers will be. As a dominant culture, what dream are they wanting to impose as they age out? It would seem they want to create the late 1960s, the Cold War (hence recycled Russian/China hysteria), robot cars, robot dogs, etc. It is an odd legacy to want to leave, as opposed to, say, housing stock their grandchildren could afford to buy on one person’s income.

    Also, I attended the potluck last year, and enjoyed it. I intended to do so this year, but I have a good friend’s memorial service to perform in tomorrow. Mid forties, died suddenly a month ago.

    -Lakeland Repotluck

  260. Viduraawakened, my late grandmother used to have one. They were once quite common in the US. The thought of reviving the technology as a way to preserve music in a low-tech setting strikes me as very clever indeed.

    Piper, nope. If you want to study magic, even on a purely intellectual basis, it’s up to you to find the will and discipline to do it — that’s one of the tests that teachers of magic traditionally use to sort out serious students from the rest.

    Rus, of course! The extreme left and the extreme right have been locked in a slobbering love affair for a very long time, covertly imitating each other at every turn.

    Walter, au contraire, there’s good evidence that ancient peoples in the North American continent did behave in an environmentally stupid way, and paid the price. Look into prehistory — the Clovis culture overharvested mammoths and other megafauna and this plus climate change apparently did in the species in question, after which a lot of people went hungry. The First Nations were environmentally conscious precisely because their ancestors hadn’t been, and learned the hard way why this is a bad idea.

    Jessica, this is straight out of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn, vol. 4. I don’t happen to know where Mathers and Westcott got it.

    Heather, of course it’s okay. That’s funny, about “un-druidly”!

    Digger, er, I don’t do video. Can you summarize?

    Jerry, I’ll consider a post.

    Tony, I don’t expect that quite so soon, but then I was wrong about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One way or another, things are moving toward a flashpoint in eastern Europe.

    Andy, thanks for this. I’ve heard good things about Hof’s methods generally, for whatever that’s worth.

  261. Chris, if the proposal is generally accepted, yes, it does.

    Ottergirl, fair enough! Washcloths and herbal products are worthwhile items of trade, however.

    Asdf, this is a pretty good intro.

    Samurai, thanks for this! North America is what ecologists call a depauperate biome — it doesn’t have enough species to fill the available niches, and so “invasive” species are helping to restock the ecosystems, The Burmese python’s a great example — Florida’s exactly the sort of tropical ecosystem that needs a big snake, and so the pythons have nobly volunteered their services. 😉 The bobcats, in turn, have stepped up to the plate to help keep the pythons in check, and I’d expect a population boom among bobcats, too, since one python egg will keep a bobcat fed very nicely for a good while!

    David, I’ve added it to the list!

    NomadicBeer, forcing the EU into economic collapse isn’t to Russia’s advantage. They don’t want chaos on their western border! The best possible outcome for Russia, as I see it, would be to have the EU peaceful, stable, forced into a de facto neutrality, and still handing over US$720 million a day for natural gas; so they’re tightening the screws a little at a time, raking in the money and asserting their power step by step. As for the animal-raising, that’s a fascinating point and one I’ve never seen discussed; it makes perfect sense, however. Hmm!

    Slithy, good! Ceres was found because astronomers noted a gap where a planet should have been between Mars and Jupiter, and went looking; it’s not at all inappropriate that the dwarf planet that governs nourishment was discovered because the solar system felt empty in the middle…

    Jeff, interesting! So noted.

    S.T., I like that. Very Druidic.

    Chris, the economic news is indeed getting worse, largely because the wheels are falling off the global economy. With the price of oil still well above US$100 a barrel, no surprises there! My guess is that you’re quite correct, and down we go from here. As for hot weather, that’s a good question. Historically it didn’t get very hot here — New England isn’t exactly noted for its heat waves, and Rhode Island has a maritime climate and so is moderate even by New England standards, so as far as I know, people just opened some windows and drank cold beverages. Since the winters are tolerably cold, it used to be easy for people to make lots of ice in the winter and store it in insulated icehouses straight through the summer, bringing out blocks as needed to keep iceboxes cool.

    Hackenschmidt, thanks for this.

    BobinOK, if the South had been a little less hotheaded the whole thing would likely to have been settled in Congress. Imagine a scene in 1860, with Senator Jefferson Davis rising to propose a bill to allow the peaceful secession of the South in order to prevent conflict. My guess is that he could have gotten it passed. The problem was that too many Southern politicians insisted that they had the right of secession, by gum, and they weren’t about to go hat in hand to Congress to ask for what was their God-given right? Of such obstinacies are historical tragedies made.

    Lakeland, that’s fascinating, and in its own way, very sad. It doesn’t surprise me at all, though. Sorry to hear about your friend! Please accept my condolences.

  262. @Curt re: #221 –

    Indeed. For every good, there is an evil, and for every evil, there is a good. Day is meaningless without night, and likewise night without day; summer is meaningless without winter, and likewise winter without summer.

    @JMG re: your reply to Walter –

    I’m now wondering whether Faustian Europe would have gone the same way much sooner had it not had the escape valve and exploitable resources of the American continents available to it. My gut instinct is that it would probably end up attriting itself into fragmentation in a rough World War I-equivalent, with decent chunks of it being taken by the Ottomans once they find the Arabian oil, but who knows? (Unless it’s possible to scry alternative histories…)

  263. Lakeland,
    Firstly, whew. After growing up believing I was a baby boomer I found out that I am just a bit too old. Not that anyone went on and on about generations back then. Too busy creating a life they could enjoy after a depression and a war spoiling their young lives so thoroughly.
    Interesting that you mention affordable housing as that would be one of my hobby horses if I could ride. Suitable, durable and affordable housing seems like a really worthwhile legacy to leave our descendants. Instead we have expensive, flash and frankly a bit tawdry.
    Never mind, at least the cheap and tawdry will fall down under its own steam. Seems a pity to throw our last bits of easy energy in such an unworthwhile direction though.

  264. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I have a long question and a short one. First, the long one. I have been thinking a great deal lately about how people groups take time to figure out how to restrain themselves. As you have previously pointed out, eastern cultures such as China and India have thousands of years of history preventing them from over draining their colonies. Conversely, western empires lacked this experience and are suffering because of their immaturity.

    This seems to create two possible visions for the future. One is quite positive. Eventually every area of the earth is inhabited by peoples with long histories. Humanity might never become fully peaceful, but imagine a world where empires all played their cards the way the Ottomans or the Japanese have instead of the Spanish or the U.S. Presumably imperial collapses would be replaced with periods of decline, and the whole human project would be much more stable and less painful as cultures reach a state of balance.

    Conversely, things could just keep doing what they have been. If a group like the Native Americans figure out that they need to treat the land well then things go great… until someone wipes them out and restarts the social learning clock all over again. This continues on for the remaining lifespan of our species as conditions don’t really change much. Some empires become wise for a period of time only to get wiped off the map and replaced by younger, more immature ones that repeat the same set of mistakes all over again.

    So my question is, do you think humanity is capable of reaching the first possibility? Could we live on a planet where all the people groups have enough history to avoid the really stupid self destructive stuff? Or is this bunch of nearly hairless monkeys just too dumb for that?

    My second question is much shorter. On July 29th I will be defending my dissertation. The defense is going on via zoom, and I mention you quite often throughout the text. I am allowed to submit observers to the defense who will be able to log in and watch, but unable to speak in the chat. Would you like to watch the defense? If so I will submit your email to the committee. If not I totally understand. I’m sure you are very busy, but I thought I would ask.

  265. Simon S about raising and butchering animals,

    I did not express myself clearly. I don’t think it’s wrong to eat animals and I think people that eat meat but don’t want to raise their own animals are hypocritical.
    Like you, I appreciate the feeling of providing animals with a good life (not tortured in a factory farm).

    But my point was that there is a certain emotional complexity involved (at least for me): I almost cry when we have a chick dying. It’s not a big material loss but we are getting attached to them. And yet later we have to shift mental gears and butcher the chicken.

    It’s not about morality as much as it is about the ability to do second order thinking which could have helped early humans.

  266. JMG about Russia,
    your answer makes sense. Maybe I am just jaded by the long series of wars US was involved in that left behind failed states. It’s hard to imagine the possibility that a wise leader might care about the future.

    What I think might happen though is that US gets partly what it wants (a long grinding war that will destroy Europe anyway). I wonder if a short collapse might be better.

    I remember the discussion about the plagues – they killed a lot of people but they were over so fast that no knowledge was lost and the society got rebuilt fast. Compare that to the slow grinding collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

    Thanks

  267. JMG,

    Agree whole heartedly. Fanatics on both sides created that mess when it certainly could have gone another way. Ironically, on the right side of things anyway, the desire to avoid the unintended consequences of such rash decisions are most likely why your predictions of a domestic insurgency haven’t yet come to pass. I have seen the anger first hand and experienced some of it myself. All those who consider the right to be a demoralized and spent force certainly aren’t paying close attention. Community organizers aren’t just from Chicago…lol. This week in the court showed that reform is still possible but if the current elites double down on their stupidity and control efforts….god help us all because if/when the this goes, its going to make Yugoslavia look like a Sunday picnic.

    Thank you for all that you do to guide us to a saner future.
    Bob

  268. For weatherizing my house, I have installed heavy curtains. Weather stripped my olders windows and door, added a doorsweep. Insulated my hot waterpipes. At the moment I’m adding the 3m window film to my older windows as a cheap double glaze. Does the commentariat have any advise with regard to the plastic film vs other possibly more permanent solutions. At the moment my selling point on this is that it costs about a 50th of getting another pain of glass installed, but I’m not certain how long it will last. I was also wondering what are the other low hanging fruits of weatherizing I may have missed. I alrwady have insulation above and below the house, not in the walls.

    Thanks in advance.

  269. Aljay #220

    http://getethermap.org/m/ecosophia

    That was easy! The map opens on Woolloomooloo, which made me go ‘huh?’ So I hit the zoom out button- oh, I’m in Sydney Australia. Is it possible to set the map so it opens with more showing?

    I zoomed out 11 times until I could see the US, zoomed back in on my area, clicked on Add marker, clicked on the map to add my pin, and an editor opened to let me put the name in. Took me less than 30 seconds.

    And clicking on my pin opens an option to delete it, a nice feature to have for people if they change their screenname.

    I played around with the zoom and the best I could do was west Australia in the lower right corner, and the east US in the upper left corner, with the map centered over Lake Chad in Africa. No clue how to make it open like that, though!

  270. @Lydia #22 @Epileptic Doomer #162 —
    What to do about medicines is an enormous problem generally.
    Where I am in Canada, we are currently experiencing rolling nationwide shortages in various types of prescription drugs, and the shortages seem to be getting worse. I think mostly it is due to interruptions or breakdowns in the fragile, global just-in-time supply scheme that has largely eliminated the warehouses that used to smooth over supply gaps. We had all better think about how to get by with only medications that can be locally made, and the fewer the better.

    I think other posters have done a great job of giving you ideas about how to address epilepsy.

    For all of us, I think the general strategy should be something like this:

    1) If there is a medication you must have, find a way to stockpile 6 to 12 months of a drug that maintains your health, and use the oldest stock first, replacing it while you are able. This gives you a cushion of time to experiment with alternate meds and treatments, hopefully with the help of your healthcare team.

    2) Can you find a way to do without the meds?

    The keto diet strategy has already been mentioned for epilepsy– possibly it may work for you, or there may be some other strategy.
    Other people with other conditions, like those who regularly take Xanax, Ativan or other anti-anxiety medications may want to wean off of them gradually. There are strategies to do this, and your health care team can help you. Less is better. None at all is best.

    3) Is there a naturally-sourced medication or substance that can treat your condition?

    As was pointed out, CBD oils can be used to treat some types of seizures (not all) that are resistant to prescription drugs. Here in Canada, it is possible to legally purchase CBD oils with known proportions of CBD and THC. There may be a potted plant (so to speak) that could provide you with the right proportion without refining.

    4) Are there other prescription products that could be used to treat your condition which are easier to manufacture?

    Barbiturates like phenobarbital, for example, were used for many years to treat seizures (and still are widely used to treat seizures in veterinary medicine). They are a lot easier to make than many of the other prescription drugs now used for epilepsy, and could be manufactured locally by older pharmacists who were trained how to do this sort of thing.
    On the down side, they can be addictive, make you sleepy, and are more dangerous. You and your health care providers might want to find out if drugs like those can handle the seizures on a test basis, in case circumstances change and the newer drugs become unavailable. It is possible that, in case of severe supply disruptions, substances like these could still be locally manufactured.

    Try to arrange to test out different anti-seizure medications so that you develop a list of things that work for you, even if many of them work badly. That way, if your stockpile gets exhausted you will have a good idea of the best drug to use next from among your available options.

    5) If you are a healthcare provider, develop your knowledge of locally available, natural products that can treat a wide variety of illnesses. Pharmacists, get into compounding medications, and learn how to manufacture medications. While it is not currently legal to make barbiturates, distill and purify alcohol, brew antibiotics etc without extensive licensure, and test their purity, it is well worthwhile to find out how to do such things and accumulate the specialized equipment that would be needed to manufacture and purify medications.

    It is possible to use such equipment to make things that are perfectly legal, such as hobby brewing and winemaking, the distillation of essential oils and perfumes, and other such operations. Build your skills with innocuous products and stock your labware while it is easy to get the materials.
    We owe it to our communities to hold the knowledge of such things and to be able to use them skillfully in times of crisis.

  271. As a transwoman, two comments.
    One is that there is a tendency in all groups for the most radical (and often the most crazy) to come to the fore. For example, when a people try to form themselves into a nation, how they deal with the most radical edge can be crucial for success or failure.
    However, I think that for trans folks, this pattern is intensified. The trans folks for whom being trans works well, those who transition then create a happy life on the other side of the river tend to disappear into the woodwork. That happily married gay couple down the block whose simple existence works to dispel misconceptions and fears? The equivalent trans person, single or in a couple, is often invisible as a trans person.
    The active organized part of trans folks disproportionately includes those for whom transitioning is one way or another difficult.
    That is not to even talk about the willingness of many, most of them not trans, to try to use trans issues as a way to coerce their opponents into submission. When the backlash comes, it won’t be them in the cross hairs.
    Second, I think that for trans folks (and many other groups too), to take the stance “it’s a trans thing. You (not being trans) could never understand” is unwise. As a trans woman, I am much better off if non-trans folks can relate to my experiences by recognizing something similar in their own life. Immigrating or being the children of immigrants is often similar to a gender transition in the challenges it poses. Even moving from the heartland of the US to the coasts can be similar. Entering or leaving a demanding religion. Or someone from a poor or working class background going to an elite university, even a flagship state university. I imagine that when folks on the spectrum are confronted with rules designed for folks who aren’t, their experience has some similarities with mine.
    If I read someone denying that there is any actual content to being trans, someone claiming that it is just some sort of mental problem in “biological males”, the feeling of being ignored or of someone trying to deny my right to exist is hardly unique. For example, I have read many conservatives complaining of something quite similar when they face liberal media and institutions. The claim that everyone who supports Trump could only being doing so from white supremacist racism, that there could not possibly be any other reason for it, is that not the same kind of denial that trans folks can run into?
    I am grateful that here on Ecosophia, we are able to discuss these things as though we are all human beings, each with our own wisdom. That is rare in the world now.

  272. JMG, The Moonstone was a good read. I appreciated the effect that the curse of the desecrated idol had on the characters, and especially loved old Gabriel and the bibliomancy he practised on his copy of Robinson Crusoe.
    I have another recommendation, this time for Sara. I am wondering if she has read the novels of Elizabeth Goudge? She wrote from the 1930s through 1960s, and I would describe her maybe as a High Anglican mystic. Her stories are full of mystical visions and magic, but they are also wonderful stories in their own right. Goudge was a very popular British author in her day, and I have found all of her books either secondhand or in my library here in Australia. Not sure whether her work ever made it to the USA though. Anyway, I’ve been thinking for some time that Sara might appreciate them, on the basis that I am a fan of all the authors that you have previously mentioned as snaffling from her bookcases, and clearly we have some literary tastes in common.
    Thanks for the heads up re the occult mystery contest.

  273. 12:26 25.06.2022

    Recently I went out with a friend, to some spot where one bar neighbours another and people go out to drink for the weekends to. We were both in a chemically altered state. Along came an old acquaintance, a Gambian asylum seeker. He has been here for near a decade, leading more or less a party life. He has caught a bad chemical habit on weekends unfortunately. Says without it he cannot party and enjoy himself anymore.
    I understand him; me and my friend after all shared his commitment to chemicals this evening. It stabilized, gives euphoria, takes away the pain. Not a good thing to get addicted to; An irregular expedition for me and my friend, out for the gain of understanding and getting in contact with this outside world. The african man on his behalf is very unhappy.
    He says that last summer I promised him to take him to the forest. I offer him to do it and he says he wants to, but after his partying weekend he forgets about it. Most people, when they go out I have found, do not remember much what they did or talked about during their inebriation. This is maybe really the spirit of this whole affair of bar hopping and ordinary partying. I sense a general frustration among the people.
    I talk to two muslim guys. One lectures me on the use of chemical helpers. To smoke or drink is okay he says (doing the same), but these chemicals are not what a god-fearing man should ever employ. “Do you want cocaine?” his also muslim companion asks me. I decline. The first of the two continues to lecture me on the unique position of islam among all religion. I know better than to question some things there. However, the man understands when I tell him about the long descent and the end of progress. That is actually an interesting point; He tells me of his travels to India, spending time in a village where people live without electricity.
    The farmers understand me, people like this guy understand me, but my 20% of our population peers by and large absolutely do not. Also I talk about my relationship to god to this muslim man. That also is something I could not be frank about in my IT company or elsewhere in an academical office fauna setting.

    My friend meanwhile is in between the party folks. A woman who turned 30 years old that day approaches him. She says she is looking for a man, but he declines. He has a girlfriend at home since many years, and even though his aura and attraction towards women is absolutely fascinating, he has never chosen to betray the woman, who on her behalf is not the prettiest (no offence), a soul with a good heart but entirely invested in the PMC world view unlike my friend, who often contradicts her views but accepts this disparity in his relationship.
    Aynways this woman turned thirty chats with him and says if he does not want her, he should help her find a man. She is dissatisfied with every other man there my friend suggests.

    My friend tells me about this woman’s ideas of how she deserves the “perfect” man, and how more and more women of the Western secular society think they are entitled for somebody absolutely special, as a consequence staying single. Their demands only grow *greater* when they are above thirty.
    I have friends who can tell stories about their dates like that. I am speaking of self confident men in their thirties who never had any problem finding a girlfriend and a relationship, with a job, good leaks, clean and no alcoholism, smoking or drug taking. However now in their mid thirties, they start to become highly irritated with the demands of the women they date. Money they want, usually, absolute commitment, abandoning meeting friends…playing games endlessly it seems-

    In this night out with my friend, I notice much suffering and frustration among the people. To be fair, it has been like this for years, but I guess there was always both, some people simply enjoying themselves, others trying to drown their frustration. In the inner city where I am from, where the narcisstic wealthy society dwells,
    I can tell people are so much more competitive, conceited and most of all deluded about the predicament of our western consumer society than either the rural people or these migrant outsiders I meet here and there.
    One of the two muslims tells me he is depressed and thinks about suicide very often. The other whom I share a deeper connection with understands when I say we’re in for “hard times”.

    Me and my friend enjoyed this night out, because we went without premise and were content just being there. Many people approached us by their behalf. It has to be said my friend not only has a strong attraction for many women, he is also an absolutely caring, friendly live and let live person. He cares not what people around think when sad, mentally ill or drug addicted people approach him and tell him their woes, and he gives them his courtesy, all the same being a calm and confident man himself.
    He shares with me the deep connection to the country side and its people since childhood. Recently attending the small and intimate wedding of one long time friend of his in the country who earns his living as construction worker, a very wild man in his youth as I hear.

    Our friendship may be karmic, because in kindergarden where it was very bad for me, he was almost the only one who was always friendly and open to me there. I searched for him after kindergarden but did not have his contact. Only at 20, I met him again over a mutual acquaintance of ours, a student from Salzburg which is relatively unlikely a thing. Since then, we are friends again; it was not always an easy friendship, but a friendship that has weathered conflict and sometimes going apart yet persists
    is no little thing.

    I feel I need to walk out the emergency exit of this party society now all the same. I am single and need to see people from time to time, but what I really see out there, in the night, it shocks me and I have a dark feeling about this. Most casual party goers between 20-38 years old seem to be purely hedonistic in their life goals.
    I feel this night running impedes my ongoing spiritual development.

    @JMG should my texts here be too long, please inform me. I don’t want to spam ecosophia, it’s just that I never get to write down anything, only when I take time off to write here I get inspired and do write. These impressions I get, especially in this heat of a historical moment, there are so many it is incredible.

    By chance, if you have an adress of a Odd fellows club or lodge in Rhode Island, I might do an old fashioned thing and send a picture book of photos I took in Austria, together with a little descriptive text. If somebody appreciates this – I might find time to give it as a memoria of (North Eastern) Austria, a bit of its history.

    kind regards,
    Curt

  274. @jessica

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time at donauinsel 🙂

    Wonder what time was it when you were there?

    It is still a marvellous place, a boon on our city’s populace.

    During high school years, I went there very often with a friend riding our bikes. We were not sportive
    adolescents, but this was our time off from the loud inner city

    I hope you have a good time and wish you well!

    regards,
    Curt

  275. To add a happier story after my description of Vienna’s inner city night life: the yoga teacher I have visited since 2020 has returned from Latin America. A 43 year old woman who does and teaches Yoga since she was 31. At that time, she stopped smoking cigarettes and hemp and everything else,devoting herself to the practice, giving great dedication to meditation and goodwill, a saintly person. Last year I did not know she would return from Latin America. In autumn she collected donations for her ecological project there, being a biologist herself.
    I went to her last lesson before her departure, and gave her a little paper cover. It contained about 10x of what people would donate on average, and since I knew she would decline that, I made sure to give it to her in a way that she would open it when I’m gone.

    I also did not expect praise; after years of strenuous and unhappy spiritual and physical learning with very difficult teachers and characters, this practice and her teaching give me great liberation. I never mention my past years and learning to her.

    It’s different for many of us, hermetic practice did not sufficiently give me what I need at this moment, breathing, stretching and meditating on my body help me best for now. Unfortunately, my nicotine intensive lifestyle until here is not entirely healthy and I suspect much fuelled by the social environment I prowl in.

    Interestingly, I have quit smoking during my office work entirely, not feeling an urge to do so anymore when I am there.

    So I am visiting the yoga teacher again since a few weeks, since she has returned. last week there was a day when I had a “congested liver”, translated freely from german Traditional Chinese Medicine language. Rage and Anger boiled under my skin, has always been my main problem. I knew I would visit my yoga teacher that evening and that it would heal me. Which it did as always; this woman has a way with people…after the other students and everyone is gone in the yoga spot, we usually chat with each other one to one.

    She sense my gratitude, I presume. It is always very cordial.
    I have been practicing yogic exercises increasingly these past months now, almost every day. Last weekend after an intoxicated party night experience and then hiking and swimming, I was almost collapsing physically when I came home, my lungs burning, my body aching. I started to do yoga exercises, first slowly and tenderly, increasing the level of exercises in sync with my breathing and overall health. It did a good job of recovering my health. In this coming summer I aim to not treat my loyal body too badly. When I enter the Yoga studio, people who don’t know me react fearful, irritated or distrusting to me. It’s the same as with many people the first day of my office job. It’s not only my clothing style, that is for sure; it’s probably my dark and spiritually unclean past that sometimes shadows through I guess.
    However to my relief, usually when people get to know me they relax and give me kindness or at least courtesy.
    Maybe I am not the worst kind of man; in any case a man who sincerely strives to be better.
    I need an exit door from this hedonistic party society. It feels very draining, maybe it’s not just me but the spirits of today are in a dark phase.
    Not sure what to think of it all, really…

  276. John of Red Hook #21: Thanks for the link to the The Consciousness of Sheep blog!

    “All the requirements of pre-scientific men were met out of the solar energy of their own times.”

    That is a very interesting way to put it. It provides an alternative explanation for the sentence “solar energy is the future”.

  277. Has it occured to many people that perhaps judging people after deep self reflection and a refusal to project a wide array of issues onto a wide number if people isnt a sign of an innate personality disorder but a moderation of them? June is considered pride month and im seeing an increasing amount of exaperated drag queens, transexuals (aka truescum in mir derogatory colloquial terms. which are people who believe being trans is a medical issue starting with horomone levels and/or VERY rare genetic defects in utero that becomes an identity/spiritual issue), LGB individuals, and a sky rocketing number of detransitioners (mostly FTMTF) getting increasingly concerned by the intrusive and narcissistic pushes to “educate” children about LGBT issues and embrace ideas that are ok on the surface but in practice are detrimental. Im feeling a general unease and a growing resentment from people who feel as if they have to walk around eggshells around those who categorize themselves as being LGBT due to events in the last four years growing more explicit and getting slamned with the typical list of phobias both internal and external without giving a second thought of their own internalized shame and guilt. Its worse today and there have been studies outside if certain organizations that have indicated that LGBT acceptance is at its all time lo as opposed to how it was ten years ago. Im concerned about this because I used to be totally neutral or against certain forms of LGBT expression but have come to have more an appreciation of things associated with LGB culture that makes me question just how much what is being taught today is actually true or woke nonsense that subverts the actual impact of LGB advances economically and socially. I personally do not want to go back to that former self but Im slowly feeling myself thinking that I have no other choice but to advocate for a total overhaul and scale back for the sake of preserving the innocence of my future children, to preserve my own standing in life and my safety and to preserve those close to me who happen to be transexual or LGB that ultimately feel that the comminity they were once familiar with is becoming nothing more than a trend, a cult, a joke,and only used for political gain. For clarification I was in highschool at the height of the gay marriage debate. The ultra woke and crazy stuff was mostly secluded to places like Tumblr and certain academic circles and the arguments made back then for supporting LGB people and their partners is now considered right wing and transphobic. With Clarance Thomas rattling his sabre at gay marriage, it seems like the pendulum is swinging back with a vengence only predicted by the more moderate and conservative voices of the day and even today who said that the dictates by executive action wont stick for very long if things continued the way they did. I cant say im suprised, but I’m very much disappointed its taking this much to stiffly tell a bunch of people to more or less take a seat after giving a twelve hour screed and caning a bunch of people to reputational death. What are your thoughts?

  278. @Chris – in New Mexico, we used swamp coolers extensively. Those help humidify the house in that hot, dry climate, and given electricity, work very well there.

    @Princess Cutekitten – Lackey has been going downhill lately in many respects. On her Quora website, she lashed out at a fanfic-writing friend of mine who got into a dustup with Marion Zimmer Bradley in which Bradley threatened to sue; Lackey claimed the friend threatened to sue Bradley and was quite nasty about her. Since my friend backed down long ago, this was reviving a dead horse to beat it once again, as well as having her facts wrong. And as a writer, her latest American-based Elemental Masters novels read like they’ve been phoned in, with heavy dialect laid on with a trowel and not always accurate. Something had been going on with her publishers before that, I’ve forgotten the details (change of management?) but they suddenly started seriously undercutting her, and therefore her income.

    She earned the Grand Master status from previous works back in the day, but many a person has been accorded honors for past work after they’ve turned into, pardon the harsh image, babbling wrecks.

  279. John–

    Re synchronicity, divination, and the topic on everyone’s mind in the US

    Most weekday mornings, I cast a geomantic figure for the day to meditate on. Yesterday’s was Rubeus.

  280. Hi John and friends,

    These days I have been deeply thinking about the Long Descent. It seems that we are on the path and there is no real way of changing it.

    That said, the big question is WHY the Long Descent is happening. What is driving it along? We can blame bad economics and resource shortages all we like but I think I have figured out the real reason.

    We are simply not producing any new and mindbreaking technology to really conserve the current civilisation that has been built and progress to future levels. We have simply reached our peak.

    I recently watched the TV series “For all Mankind”. To keep a story short, its about the Soviets reaching the moon first and both countries heavily investing even into more technology to carry on the race.

    The USSR is in a stronger position by the 1980s then historically and both sides are actively working on Moon and Mars bases with even more tech coming out then now.

    Yet it hit me like a thunder bolt. We simply cannot advance anymore. The great Moon and Mars base cannot be accomplished. This itself then answers the question why politics is the way it is today.

    If the technology had kept advancing the stars were in reach, both the US and USSR would be in stronger positions then today. There would be no Biden era politics, no military adventures, a way around bad economics, etc.

    The world is in its present state because it has peaked. There was nothing left to advance too. It is why identity politics is preached. It is like a cult trying to keep peoples’ attention from the decay around them.

    I predict that in 30 years, we may have a few new gadgets to play around with but the world is going to look much more darker then now. A worse version of the 2020s as the 2020s is to 2000s and 2000s to the 1980s.

    It will be common for parents to tell their grandkids they had it better then how it was with our grandparents saying they had it worse.

    Yet there could be a very soft landing into a long stagnation due to a globalised society on a world wide scale and low birth rates.

    However that society does not grow. It never does anything, it never achieves anything and this is the key. I would say in essence Western societies have already achieved this successfully.

  281. Just Another Green Rage Monster says:
    #151 June 23, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I hope this comment isn’t too personal, JMG. If it is, feel free to delete it.

    Hello fellow Naropa-ex. I was a graduate student there in the late 1980’s, and the sanity of the Buddhist component was perhaps a little more evident then than when you were there…or perhaps not. I do remember people who had “enjoyed” nervous breakdowns apparently as a result of studying directly with The Man himself (Trungpa, Rinpoche). So the harsh attitudes of some of his students began at the top, it’s fair to believe. I was fortunate, having already studied and meditated a fair amount before beginning study there. My teachers were kinder than not, also. And my own Aspbergian social isolation and funny idealism may have protected me a bit. Still, I did find tong-len challenging.

    A couple of years later a former student of Trungpa Rinpoche (former, as in he had long since died), in Nepal, accused me of being a child molester (sadly, perhaps, I wasn’t even a grownups molester) and this shut down a whole program of study for a few years there with that teacher. This, on the basis of a five minute conversation where I inquired about what gay people in Nepal did. I never understood where she got the idea about children, except for her perhaps having a raging case of vilely misinformed homophobia. She was a very charismatic personality, as so many of Trungpa’s students are still.

    As the implications of just about everyone assuming the truth of her accusation sunk in to me, I left the communities that believed that, and studied for a while with some wilder Tibetans, both Nyingma and Sakya, who were not on the reservation. Then I moved on. It was never the only game in town for me, and while I have benefitted since then from the intellectual foundations of what I learned, and actually even from the meditations and empowerments, I don’t identify as anything at all, certainly not as a Buddhist.

    I wrote the whole episode down to karma, and hope as a result I’ll not make similar unfounded accusations to the detriment of anybody else.

    So it seems from what you say and I saw that the application of the inner meaning of the bodhisattva path was, at Naropa at least, more aspirational than actual, and the wicked put-downs of legitimate concerns of students were not at all uncommon. I like what you had to say about Madhyamika nihilism. I’ve encountered it everywhere. And NU seems to have adopted it. To make use WF Buckley’s term, it is equivalent to “immanentizing the eschaton” for Christians. A common enough temptation, and one I encountered before Naropa with “literary” Buddhists who didn’t believe in actually practicing anything but reading.

  282. @JMG and commentariat

    A few comments:

    1) A nice example of a company making intermediate technology in the domain of refrigeration: https://newleafdynamic.com/

    2) I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before on this blog’s comment sections, but here goes – the popular website sci-hub.ee is useful not only for downloading papers published in paywalled journals, but you can also use it for downloading most books published by Springer. The procedure is as follows:

    a) Open the Springer webpage of the book you want to download and copy the page URL.
    b) Open a new tab, type sci-hub.ee, and hit Enter.
    c) Paste the copied URL in the search bar of Sci-Hub, and hit Enter, you’ll get the book in PDF format.

    Note: This doesn’t work for all books, and even among those which can be downloaded this way, you will occasionally find that the PDF you get from Sci-Hub is only a single chapter, or the book preface, etc. That said, the vast majority of books can be downloaded in their entirety, and the download quality is excellent; indeed, this helps save a LOT of money, given how expensive these books are.

    Also, preferably do this downloading while keeping your browser in Incognito mode.

    @Mary Bennett

    Sorry for this rather late reply.

    I don’t want to hazard a guess as to what the outcome of a future Sino-Indian war would be, not because I’m sure of an Indian defeat, but because both countries have changed a lot since 1962 – sure, the Chinese have changed a lot, but so have we. It is true that the Chinese have a clear advantage in weaponry and logistics, but on the flip side, they lack actual combat experience, which the Indian Army has no lack of. Moreover, we no longer subscribe to the ‘Hindi-Cheeni bhai bhai’ (Indians and Chinese are brothers) trope, as a result of which the Indian government deploys a large number of troops along the entirety of the Line of Actual Control (official name of the Indo-China border). Moreover, the Indian Army has shown that it is willing to take a tough stand, as evidenced by the Doklam standoff, the Galwan clash, and other incidents.

    What many people, including Indians, do not know, is that India has experience in defeating China in battle, although the said battle was on a much smaller scale than the 1962 war. I’m referring to the 1967 conflict, in which the Indian Army routed the PLA comprehensively. Although it was much more localised than the 1962 war, it was sufficient to teach China a lesson and deter future military adventures. There is even a Bollywood movie called ‘Paltan’ on the 1967 clash, if you’re into movies.

    I do think that the Sino-Indian war to come will be fought both in land (Himalayan border) as well as on sea. I do agree with your analysis about the South Sea buildup – preventing the US, Australia and Japan from helping India could be part of the reason. I also think the war will likely involve Pakistan – the Chinese will definitely use their client state to keep part of our troops busy.

    Whatever actually happens, it’s going to be an ugly picture. As our host as pointed out, 21st century industrial warfare is basically WW1 with 21st century technology. I can only imagine the nightmarish scenario of such a war breaking out here.

  283. Hot Weather Heat. I do not have air conditioning. It is often 85′ F in the house. 85′ F is fine. Upstairs is hotter. Sometimes it is hotter downstairs, if so, then take action like a fan or get your hair wet or put a wet cloth on the back of your neck with a fan… Evaporative cooling is the best, so that bandana on the back of your neck could be refreshed with water when it drys and will help immensly.

    I need to figure out how to get shading on the living room skylights ( south). I made a huge tactical error a few years ago, my old 1970’s era smoked (tinted) plastic dome skylights were worn, so I replaced them with low E double pane, assured by the shop owner that it would be just as good. Not true. There is also one window left on the west side that is still single pane that needs more help.

    I have a metal roof with Low E coating “cool roof” on the main part of the house. I have no attic ( vaulted ceiling) so no way to add radient barrier in an attic. If you have an attic, install a radient barrier on the roof rafters, it is a DIY job with scissors and a staple gun. It does not need to be the “bubble wrap” one to work, just a radient barrier, get it with reflective on both sides if you install on bottom of rafters as it will then also help hold in house heat. Most house heat transfer thru bottom and top of a house is via radient heat transfer.

    I am right now insulating a storage room off the main house. It has an unvented ceiling also, so I put in rigid foam boards, and foamed the edges. Get the great stuff pro gun, what a difference to the cans, even if it doesnt save money, it saves your sanity. So, I had an infrared thermometer gun here, the batteries just gave out, but when that insulation was in progress, I read a 50′ F temperature difference of the inside, the underside, of the roof plywood, between a bay I had just done and the one over uninsulated yet. I could just hold my hand under and feel the temperature difference too, no need to measurement equipment, feel that heat coming off. The roofing there ( garage basically) is asphalt roll roofing, white granuals, but not the “cool roof” roll roofing which has white “tar”, that was too expensive. At some point when that roofing starts to show wear, I will not replace but coat with the roll on white coating that both extends the roof life and also makes a radient barrier on the roof from heat ( this is like what is done for trailers)

    I do have vines I planted on the south side of the house, so seasonally shade the sliding door/deck there in summer. I have operable skylights upstairs on the north roof to vent the house on summer nights when it cools down some ( not every night does, but most of them it is cooler to various degrees)

    I got rid of 3 window air conditioning units when I bought this place over 20 years ago, I decided to deal with the heat in a more power down way. Yes, it is hotter than an air conditioned house.

  284. Nicole #158 :
    June 23, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    “Burning Water” is a place to start, with a contemporary lead character, Diana Tregarde, who runs a kind of magical detective agency. A nice mix of fantasy and actual high magic. Gets Potter-ish at times, but is engrossing enough.

  285. Regarding Planet Nine:

    The conditions under which a planet is searched for seems to have applied to the naked-eye ones as well. The Sun and Moon are so blatantly obvious you can’t miss them. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn became relevant when someone noticed that these were “special” stars that moved around when the other ones didn’t, and therefore represent “special” qualities. Mercury, because of its proximity to the Sun, requires careful observation and discernment to make out…and it rules what, again?

    Consider also this: A lot of people believe there should be nine planets in the solar system – it was what they were taught in school, and they feel betrayed by the 2006 demotion of Pluto. Finding out that there really are would be a kind of redemption, wouldn’t it? Their faith in a nine-planet solar system would be vindicated and rewarded.

    However, because we would at the same time be reverting the Solar System to its “previous” state of nine planets, it could also be associated with the end of progress and regressing to prior states… hmm. The interesting thing here is that speculation regarding it began almost as soon as Sedna’s orbit was worked out in 2004, which means that one converse Saturn return from that would have been 1975, and it would remain in effect (even if phantom effect) until disproof + Saturn cycle or forgetting + Saturn cycle.

  286. Speaking of occult detective fiction, a few years ago I read a fantasy novel published in paperback in 2017. The story has an interesting setting, an alternate present-day world in which the events of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft really happened in the past, but have since been misinterpreted and covered up over the intervening years. The plot centers on Innsmouth, with additional action taking place at Mistatonic University. It features an important woman character surnamed Marsh, and explores the premise that the entities and races Lovecraft depicted as monstrous are actually the protagonists fighting back against systematic oppression. It seemed pretty likely to me that the many depictions of rituals and occult practices featured in the story were extrapolated from the author’s lived experience.

    JMG, you last mentioned that book (Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys) in a post in 2019. At the time you hadn’t read it because you didn’t want it to influence the then-ongoing writing of the Weird of Hali series. Did you ever read it? If so, what did you think of it, especially as an example in the genre of occult detective fiction?

  287. Now, my own two cents about the current cultural situation in Germany. Oftentimes now, when I go out on Saturdays, I get the impression that there has begun an epidemic of virtue signalling: there are demonstrations against meat eating, against factory-like meat production or against the Russo-Ukrainian war, and the university campus and some other places where young people tend to hang out are full of placards and stickers with woke contents, that is, things to do with feminism, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, Rojava, protesting against climate change, against fossil fuels and so on. But the mood isn’t particularly aggressive or inimical. Rather, it is feeling like going full-hog into virtue signalling as a coping mechanism, considering that the challenges facing Western civilization are at least as transormative as the cultural challenges Europe faced in the First World War. This particular kind of revitalization movement is also a big influence on the documenta 15, which now takes place in the central German city of Kassel: https://ruruhaus.de and https://documenta-fifteen.de.

    Curt, from what limited exposure I have to the partying culture of young people, I have made somewhat similar obervations as you: there seem to be a breakdown of capabilities among younger people; a friend, who works with a psychiatrist has told me that many young people have become unable to organize their own lives. It has become more difficult to communicate with young people, that may, at least partly be due to age differences between them and us (me and acquaintances).

    About the mood in Germany generally, in the city where I live, the summer with its mostly warm weather has brought out people on the streets, but the mood is rather subdued compared to before the pandemic; at least some parties aren’t what they once were.

  288. @Dagnarus, the 3M heat-shrink film is effective but a bit fragile. The most frequent reasons for it needing replacement (on a window you never plan to open), in my experience, are tears in the plastic caused by something like a wayward elbow making contact with it from the inside, or the adhesive tape working loose around the edges. The latter can happen if the paint under the tape is loose or dirty when the tape is applied, or if wind pressure repeatedly flexes the film. If you see the film bulging in or out when the wind blows outside, it means the rest of the window isn’t sealed or weather-stripped well enough. The film will reduce the losses in that case, but it won’t last as long. Also, the air exchange will let more dust and moisture into the enclosed space and the film will eventually get fogged or dirty on the inaccessible interior side. (The near surface of the film can be cleaned with any glass cleaning formula, very carefully.)

    Expect some damage to the paint on the window frame from the adhesive tape, when it’s removed.

  289. Brendhelm, that’s quite probable, and it would also make a fine setting for an alternative-history novel.

    Stephen, I don’t think our species will ever achieve that, because historical continuity has its limits. There will always be collapses severe enough, invasions brutal enough, and disasters extreme enough to break the thread of historical memory and force people to learn the same lessons over again — certainly that’s what history shows us already, over and over again. As for your dissertation defense, thank you! I’m sorry to say I have another commitment that day, but I certainly wish you a thumping success.

    NomadicBeer, no question, a slow collapse is much harsher. Europe at this point has three unappealing choices: it can remain a province of the US empire for as long as that lasts, and get stripped of its resources; it can become a province of the revived Russian empire, and get stripped of its resources; or it can undergo demographic collapse and be resettled by migrants from the Middle East and Africa, who will impose their own languages cultures in place of yours and take most of Europe’s resources for their own use. Take your pick.

    BobinOK, as long as the current elites keep doubling down on failed policies, I’m actually quite hopeful that we may be able to avoid civil war. The drumbeat of populist victories in local and state races shows that the right, far from being a spent force, has done the smart thing and focused on building its power at the grassroots level. We’ll see what happens in November; if the GOP takes both houses of Congress, an outcome I consider very possible, change within the system will become a much more likely prospect.

    Dagnarus, vile as the plastic film is, it does the job. Make sure you have backup film in case supply chain issues make it hard to get. Have you put insulating gaskets in your electrical sockets in the walls? If not, those can leak quite a bit of heat.

    Ariadne, many thanks for a thoughtful response to a very challenging issue! I appreciate this.

    Blueday Jo, hmm! Elizabeth Goudge sounds worth reading, and I note that my local public library system has 36 of her titles. I’ll mention her to Sara, and I may also take a look myself. Thank you.

  290. Hi Patricia,

    I read the other day that James Patterson, a very prolific writer, thinks up the plots and then has ghost writers do the actual writing. Maybe other prolific writers do that too, which would explain variations in voice and quality. I suspect Stephen King has been doing it since he was hit by the van. His post-accident stuff just never sounded like him—not enough unDruidly language, for one thing.

    If there are any native Mainers reading this—do you guys really swear as much as King makes it sound like you do? 😳

  291. it’s not at all inappropriate that the dwarf planet that governs nourishment was discovered because the solar system felt empty in the middle…

    Oh, that’s delightful!

    I have to say, though, I have thought of an alternate myth that involves someone gathering together small things at the fringes: the Pied Piper. And considering that so much of the mess we’re in is because of a refusal to “pay the Piper,” as it were…

    On the other hand, genuine redemption is a hard process, so perhaps both ideas apply simultaneously.

  292. Question here – rereading The Long Descent – it seems the process of anacyclosis was short-circuited after the 2020 election. Trump came in as Orange Julius and out like a 2-year-old in a tantrum, and how many of his gains remain now? Since the hottest contender for his seat is the governor of the state I live in, this is of keen interest. Though not as keen as the issues of pythons in the Everglades and algae in our springs.

  293. @Jill N #284 – when were you born? All the management manual demographers are married to a definition of Boomers ( and later) that does not fit the facts on the ground. The Strauss & Howe ones are more realistic, because they jibe with my own observations of who has conscious memories of when major event in the day. To them, Boomers are 1943-60; to me, people with no conscious memories of the tail end of WWII. Likewise, Xers have no conscious memories of the Kennedy presidency, the event being his assassination. And so on.

    Pat, a “Pluto-in-Leo” Silent (1939) whose outlook on life differed from my ex-husband’s (1937) as if we were 18 years apart instead of 18 months. But that’s an illusion, as the real Boomers proved when they went for more over-the-top than I could grasp or wanted to (dared to) try.

  294. On the Planet Nine topic:

    Thanks for your answers, JMG and Slithy Toves! Here’s another idea, just a speculation into the blue, but anyways.

    Planet Nine is supposed to have an orbital period of around 10,000 years, give or take a few thousand – much, much longer than any of the known planets. Perhaps it’s related to the topic of deep history / deep time? Think of the current climate change and compare it to the end of the last ice age roughly 11,500 years ago, and the last glacial maximum, about twice as long ago.

    Concerning culture, there are some interesting data points as well. The new “Dune” movie made a much bigger splash with the general public than the novel or Lynch’s adaptation had done; not only is it set in the far future, in contrast to most mainstream science fiction which is set at most a few hundred years away, we also see two 10,000-year cycles in the internal time line: from now to the foundation of the Space Guild, and from then to the main plot.

    Then there’s the stellar rise of the concept of “sustainability” in general culture. Now, I am the first to admit that in most cases it’s just a meaningless buzzword. Still, this (a) does not substract from its cultural influence, and (b) it seems that more and more people do realize that our current system is inherently self-destructive, so it’s worthwile to look for something that might be more stable – a perspective shift that goes hand in hand with looking at the distant past and the distant future. Also, more and more thoughtful people are opting out of the “progress” narrative, which has obscured the longer cycles of ups and downs.

    Lastly, there is the philosophy of “longtermism”, an offshoot of transhumanism that is just as dreadful as its parent – but we see the same topics, in a twisted way.

  295. In the vein of older ways of doing things

    Just in a small way. I test for my orange belt in Taekwondo tomorrow and one of the requirements is a short essay on my experience so far. I decided to go old-school and handwrite it, double-spaced and all that jazz, just like back in middle school. It was rather fun, actually, and quite satisfying.

  296. Archdruid and company,

    I realize it’s pretty late in the cycle, but I wanted to contribute an observation about the process of catabolic collapse.

    I’ve been working for a local property management company, and have had first hand exposure of how royally screwed industrial society is from a resource requirement perspective.

    Lets start with some basic terminology. I’ve divided everything I work with into two general categories – active systems and passive systems.

    Active systems are all those systems that require either constant power, have moving parts, or both. They’re active because they require regular human intervention every three months to one year, to continue working at their factory advised optimal capacity, and over their factory indicated life-span. Did you know for example that you should tighten and lube your door hinges and locks every 6 months to 1 year? Or that you should be getting your air-ducts cleaned every three years if you have a forced air heating system?

    Passive systems are basically those systems that require intervention every 5-10 years. A door, without hinges or locks, doesn’t need to be pulled off and refinished every year. Similarly a well built wall doesn’t need to be patched every year, and the same is true for water and drain pipes.

    Now it should be noted that there is a vast range of items that fall between active and passive, due to user abuse and “acts of god,” as the insurance agents like to call them.

    The company I work for has a lot of low income and student housing properties. We also have too few trained maintenance techs, there’s only one on the portfolio I work in, and we’re all under paid. As you can imagine, we’re constantly scrambling get things fixed, which means preventative maintenance doesn’t get done.

    We have forced air HVAC systems in one newish building that hadn’t had their filters changed in a FULL YEAR. The filers are supposed to be changed every three months, so each unit basically had their furnaces working over time to pull clean air in. The furnaces are guaranteed to fail well before their half-life because of how poorly maintained they are. The same is true of nearly every active system in every building this company owns.

    Now add to that the labor problem. We all have to train on the job so a lot of what we do is pure improvisation. Poor installs, adhoc maintenance, second rate aftermarket parts, and a verity of other problems plague the work we do.

    I’ve noticed that this problem isn’t limited to our company. Every maintenance company, city engineering project, and construction project is being plagued by the same issues. Things simply aren’t being done the way factors specifications indicate, so we simply aren’t getting the most out of the material we use, the parts, or the systems we have currently in place.

    Our built environments aren’t going to last nearly as long as people think, and the more moving parts a system has the more likely it is to wear out well before its half-life. Very, very few systems will see out their full life-spans, let alone be kept going past those life-spans.

    Regards,

    Varun

  297. JMG,

    Now I’m confused. Is there any magic/occult level to the Lord Peter Wimsey stories?

    If so, I’ve totally missed it, despite reading them more than once.

    ….

    And on another note, about the Sacred Geometry Oracle:

    There is one card which feels a bit different from the rest, and that is the Ellipse.

    While the rest are static, for lack of a better word, the ellipse is moving. Yes, I know: the extending line has some form of motion, as does moving around a circle, etc etc. But still: While the others are static, mathematical forms, the ellipse is physics and movement in a way the others aren’t (“energy in motion”, I think, the booklet rightfully calls it). It’s just got some different vibes to it – sorry, can’t put it into better words.

    It also stands out in the way it’s constructed, and since none of the other forms pick it up in some way, or expand on it.

    So that got me wondering: Has the ellipse always been part of the sacred geometry patterns, or was it added later on?

    And are there any buildings or other constructions from earlier times which rely on elliptical forms? I can’t recall ever seeing elliptical patterns in an old church, for example, but maybe I’ve just missed them so far.

    ….

    pygmycore #266:

    To get started, definitely tell everybody and their dogs (and cats. and rabbits.) you’re giving lessons and do still have open positions for students. People talk to each other, and especially parents exchange such information or ask around for recommendations.

    ….

    Stephen D #285:

    Now I’m curious, so if you don’t mind me asking: What is the topic of your dissertation?

    Good luck with your defense!

    Milkyway

  298. @ NomadicBeer

    You’re having to face death on a regular basis and it’s natural to have emotions associated with that. All I can say is that it’s a good problem to have as I think a lot of the issues with western culture these days are tied up with an inability to grieve. If you haven’t already read it, I recommend Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise – https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22716546-die-wise

  299. A different question for the commentariat: I’m looking to shift my career from environmental science to teaching. Simply put, in my mid-20’s, my wetland and wildlife biology career feels now like a dead-end, both in terms of where my career would progress and in a Long Descent scenario, but it’s where all my education has occurred within. A mix of real-life advice, experiences, and esoteric sources have indicated that teaching is a field I could best serve other people in, and there will certainly always be a need for good teachers. My parents suggest I seek teacher certification, and that would probably be worth it, even if I go towards private teaching, but would require the investment and education for professional certification. I wanted to ask other people here if they have suggestions, from experience or from others they know, on moving into teaching as a profession?

    Thanks to everyone as always! I’m glad we have the community we have here!

  300. viduraawakened – I followed the link to the “New Leaf” off-grid refrigeration system. The page looks slick, but the two places where more detail appeared to be available just linked back to the same page. That seems a little sketchy to me. The idea of powering refrigeration from “biomass” is a new one for me, but I imagine that it’s a slight variation on the propane-fired ammonia refrigeration systems that have been used for decades. “Biomass” can mean different things to different people. Those advocating it suggest that it’s wood scraps and farm byproducts (e.g. straw) that would otherwise be discarded, but in practice it can mean clear-cutting tree plantations and burning material (e.g. straw) that should be returned to the soil as mulch or compost.

    I understand that refrigeration is crucial to food preservation and that biomass may be better than fossil fuels. Still, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

  301. Kashtan et al, re: large dams

    This has been a very fascinating exchange, and another example of the collective brain power of this commentariat.

    I don’t know much about dams, but a documentary series (I believe „Rivers and life“) gave me the impression that the benefits of the technology come at immense costs to many aspects to the whole river system downstream and the wider ecology. Some meditation on the topic made me think that large hydroelectric dams might be the single most impactful, and the sturdiest kind of infrastructure industrial societies use to interfere in natural flows, and therefore, nature’s ways of disposing of them or integrating them may be similarly spectacular.

    They will have to go if the impacted river system wants to recover, and it will want to do that.

    It’s hard to put my impressions into words, but there’s a certain „clash of titans“ vibe to the idea of something like a river wanting to get rid of something like a dam.

    These structures are probably the only point where human activity touches on the dimension of geology (besides mountaintop removal), and that means to me that the re-integration process will be of similar magnitude.

    There are certainly more areas in which the consequences of human activity clearly surpass our own understanding (the millions of tons of sea-borne plastic providing a testing ground for microbes, some of which will sooner or later develop the appropriate enzymes to take the stuff apart, ultimately rendering all plastics biodegradable and thus useless for us, being another one).
    This whole topic has a very inspiring, exciting effect on my imagination, it’s a gateway to musings on the interface of us mere mortals and the larger, living world, on the point where two distinct planes meet, and I‘d like to thank you for opening that particular door. Thanks, Kashtan!

  302. The Lord’s of Humanity.
    I’ve noticed that a particular subculture is functioning exactly as would be predictable for our stage of evolution.
    There use to be a joke book called ‘everything men know about women’ and all the pages are blank. Well that isn’t true anymore.
    The disastrous state of relationships and marriage, combined with the internet, is allowing for people to decode men and women’s default behavior…. I like to think about it like a BIOS on a computer, needed to boot the system up and once running runs an operating system and other programs, but is always running in the background. Especially in the West, the materialism and advertising has stripped away the Sophisticated cultural programming, allowing the basic functionality to be examined and recorded (what I’d expect the Lord’s of Humanity to be doing).
    The ‘Manosphere’ is where I’ve been learning quite a bit about the subject of women (and men). There are a number of books but I’d start with The Rational Male series of books for those that are interested in books on the subject. For those with a traditional understanding of men and women, it will be quite a shocker and will likely provoke a hostile response and will likely require quite a bit of thought to mentally digest.
    There are endless video lectures about related subjects on YouTube for those video inclined.

  303. Hi Nomadicbeer,

    I have had people say that dog-baby story to my face, and it doesn’t ring true. Whenever someone is bold enough to tell me of their own inner thoughts and motivations in this regard, they are provided with a rapid demonstration of the reality here. The dogs attentions are captured, then I command them: “Out”, and they go outside.

    Dude, the human-canine relationship can be as you suggest, and I don’t recommend that. It is healthier for the dogs personalities for a human to be the alpha of the pack because that matches their needs, not the human needs which is what your words allude to. A lot of people have funny ideas about what being the alpha of the pack means, and it includes love, but you know, if you’re not the alpha of the pack, the strongest willed of the dogs will attempt a coup. It is different again with a one on one relationship between a person and a single dog, and that is hard on the dog.

    I’m on a farm too, and the dogs here get to relax and lead a comfortable life, but each of the dogs also has different work to do here based on their skills. There is balance in their lives, and they seem happy enough.

    As to killing other animals, after a few chickens, it becomes just a thing. And sometimes it is a mercy. The use of the word ‘sociopathy’ suggests some sort of pleasure or even an obsessive response to me, and that may be your experience, but it is not mine. Despite the act being ‘just a thing’ that does not imply that there is no emotional content to the work. I have a hunch that in this case, it is the scale and industrialisation of the process these days which is the problem (thus the avoidance), but you’d know now, that is a self correcting problem.

    Cheers

    Chris

  304. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for confirming my thoughts in this regard. You’ve said before that the opposite of one bad idea, is another bad idea. And in this case, we might get to find out. Still recessions and depressions are easier than a war, and lessons may be learned.

    Ah, that ice story would never have occurred to me (it’s not that cold here). I recall visiting an ice factory in a very rural area with my grandfather when I was a young bloke. I doubt it’s there now.

    I really don’t quite understand at what point will the economic ructions will send us all tumbling downwards to a new and lower equilibrium. Every time I think to myself, well this has got to hurt, a band aid gets slapped on. Yet that brings more costs and its own problems. I guess we’ll find out in due course.

    Cheers

    Chris

  305. Sir and Mister Greer;

    I’m still laughing about the ‘elwuses.’

    Tim Morgan’s SEEDS model presents a redefinition of the economy as energy system – he has yet to explore the full long-term socio-political consequences of his theory. Two recent reads (besides Retrotopia) pursued that in some detail, these being Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots and Dave Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs (both highly recommended, btw), but without so much as a nod to energy issues.

    The point being that some sort of neo-feudalism appears baked in the cake, despite the potential of interesting alternatives as per Retrotopia. What’s your take on that? Or are their thoughts just more ‘failure of the imagination’?

  306. Seems like even the most Progressive cities are being forced to deal with what they have wrought. The people of Portland, Oregon have had it with the growing homeless population. The mayor wants more state and federal funding for resources to deal with housing, detox facilities and mental health care options. City residents, as liberal and progressive as can be, are struggling to redefine their views with the reality around them. Their neighborhoods are growing unsafe, with not enough police to respond when called (how’s that Defund the Police Program working now, eh?), with tents and RV encampments popping up around businesses, industrial areas, on city streets and along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Trash, drug paraphernalia and human waste abound among the settlements.

    “This used to be the most beautiful, amazing city — now people’s houses and cars are getting broken into, and you can call 911, but no one is going to come,” said TJ Browning, who chairs the public safety committee for the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Assn.

    “We’re a progressive city, I’m a progressive, but the worst part is I can feel the compassion leaving,” she said. “I recognize people are self-medicating mental illness with drugs, but so many people like me just don’t care anymore. We want the criminal element out, even if it means taking people to jail.”

    “I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I find myself wondering if we need to elect Republicans,” Stockton said. “We’ve been Democratic-led for so long in this state, and it’s not getting us anywhere.”

    Browning, in Laurelhurst, described a similar transformation: “I look in the mirror and I see a hippie — but a hippie wouldn’t be advocating for more police.”

    “I wonder, what the hell happened to me?”

    https://currently.att.yahoo.com/news/not-safe-anymore-portland-confronts-120039087.html

    Joy Marie

  307. For those interested in a 10th planet, there is also the possibility that the mysterious object, far out in space is not a planet, but a star. It could be a red dwarf. And our sun could actually be part of a binary system along with this star. Binary systems are much more common than single star systems.

    The Binary Research Institute speculates that we really don’t have a precession of the equinoxes, but rather, we are in a binary orbit with another star. The result of this 26,000 year orbit would look like precession.

    https://binaryresearchinstitute.org/bri/

  308. Hey JMG

    Since languages are a common discussion in the comments, I might as well share what I’ve learned so far studying vietnamese.
    Though it is not as easy a language to learn as Esperanto or Indonesian, most due to its tones and pronoun system which is a lot more sensitive to age and family than English, it is a remarkably simple and logical language in terms of grammar. For example;

    -none of its verbs or nouns change form at all, tense and plurality are expressed through prefixes. In other words no ran-running-run or goose-geese.
    -unlike (standard) English it has a plural you, and inclusive-exclusive versions of we.
    -as odd as its diacritic filled spelling looks, it is nonetheless phonetic and consistent
    -it has an extensive system of “noun classifiers” put before the noun when counting or talking about a specific noun which are very helpful for beginners since if you don’t know the word the classifier can give you a clue as to its meaning.
    -it is SVO like English, but adverbs and adjectives come after the verb or noun they describe, not before. When a vietnamese sentence is transliterated it sounds exactly like a stereotypical Asian immigrant speaking somewhat broken English, which could be jokingly rephrased as speaking speaking English words perfectly but using vietnamese grammar.
    As an example, in a phrasebook I have the vietnamese “translation” of “do you want to play” literally says “you have/is want play no?” (The vietnamese usually ask questions by adding “khong” which means no/not/negation at the end of a statement, then reply by repeating the verb in the statement for yes, or khong+verb for no.)

    One odd feature of the language that I find interesting is that they have 2 words for “be”, one for good or neutral things and another specifically for bad things like sickness.

  309. viduraawakened, you apparently anticipate and even expect a Chinese military invasion by land and sea in the, what, near future? Or maybe within the next decade? Australia could, conceivably supply India by sailing south of Java; we could as well, with some difficulty. What would Beijing hope to gain? Surely this is not being contemplated merely because the Chinese leadership hates the Dalai Lama. In view of what you have said, and I suppose others share your apprehensions, it is not surprising that the diaspora from India in the USA is anxious to have one of their own in the White House.

    Edward Luttwak, writer on military and strategic subjects, has published some highly critical articles recently about China.

  310. Patricia Matthews
    Funny: you just reminded me of this; I was born in 1940 in NYC, and one of my earlier memories is of the end of WWII victory parade going past our penthouse and my throwing confetti until that ran out and then throwing dirt because I was having so much fun throwing.
    I also remember our hosting Cunard captains at our country place, whose ships had been requisitioned as troop ships. Our friend Jack Nevanis was captain of either the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth. I can’t remember which. They did the maiden run from the UK to NY empty and the run back with 20,000 troops, unescorted as I remember because they were faster than any of the destroyers. My dad said that voyage aged Jack 10 years.
    One adventure story with a supernatural element that i really enjoyed was Sepulchre by Kate Mosse, going back and forth between 1890s and modern Carcassone and Cathar country in southern France, and hinging around a specific tarot deck.

  311. After looking more into the Ray Dalio stuff, the owner of the world’s largest hedge fund who is suddenly pushing theories of civilizational cycles, gradual followed by sudden collapse, and the decline of the American empire, I’m tempted to think that this is part of the movement by more Trump-like individuals to take power in a time when the current elite, our managerial aristocracy, is collapsing.

    He also wrote a book on the same topic in November, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail, and likens empires to individuals and puts forth an idea that, just like you can extend your lifespan by monitoring and improving your own vital signs, so too can empires, and he has own set of vital signs to monitor like trade deficits, rule of law, unity, etc. He tries to boil it down to “Earn more than we spend” and “Be nice to each other” to extend the length of the American empire.

    I remember you guessing that the next round of American elites would be entrepreneurs, and it will be interesting if more of them take up these ideas which are so counterintuitive to the religion of progress and use them to try to achieve societal or political influence. His video has 15 million views in just a few months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the thoughts on this blog become much more mainstream and openly discussed within the next half decade or so. I hope they do. Accepting the inevitably of decline is probably the first step toward ameliorating the worst of it. Exciting times.

  312. @Lathechuck

    Thank you for your reply. I didn’t really explore the site much – I came across the company by way of a YouTube video focused on their low-tech refrigeration system. IIRC, the video said that the biomass involved could be cow dung cakes or the like, thus making it pretty eco-friendly. Certainly better than leaving the dung as it is, also it brings an additional source of income to the farmer.

    But I completely agree with you about the ‘no free lunches’ part. That said, this still seems worth exploring, as the Long Descent picks up speed.

  313. Patricia Matthews #320,
    I was born in 1945 and thought boomers were the first crop after WWII ended. Now I understand they were from 1946. I do not have any conscious memory of the end of WWII as I was only a few weeks old. My memory does go back a surprisingly long way but not that far. There were kids all over the streets in my childhood.

  314. Nachtgurke @ 222-If that’s an old wild rose with a well-established root system, then it will be back and screaming for vengeance. In about three or four years, you’ll never know it was cut back at all….

  315. @Aldarion

    “The discussion should be how the transition can be made less painful. Hidden benefits to commuters should be reduced gradually so that people can plan ahead and adjust, e.g. by renting or buying smaller living arrangements nearer work. Such hidden benefits include infrastructure subsidies to new suburbs (sewage, electricity, paved roads etc.) and tax reductions for commute expenses.”

    I think transition to movements via horse, trains and bicycles should be made. But last but not least start building Canals to replace highways.

  316. @ Eike #328 re: dams

    A dam is ecologically no different than a waterfall of the same height. Which is to say that dammed rivers can certainly evolve over time to have a healthy ecology; it will just be different from the pre-dam river.

    My own perspective is that Earth consciousness regards at least some dams as a reasonable level of manipulation: a change that evolution can work with as opposed to a destruction or a poisoning. This is admittedly informed by my clairvoyant mother’s interaction with the spirit of the Columbia River.

    But we shall see. There need not be one answer. Some river spirits might accept their dams as supportive of thriving human communities, while other wilder ones might hate their dams and destroy them in spectacular fashion.

  317. @Anonymous CT #298

    I feel your pain – I really do.

    When I was a boy and a young man, I was broadly sympathetic to the plight of LGB people in society. On the one hand, I have always regarded homosexuality as an aberration and a dead-end lifestyle. However, having been ruthlessly bullied in my childhood because of my Asperger’s, I had absolutely no urge to “pick on” gay people, nor did I feel threatened by them in any way. My strong civil-libertarian tendencies were, that people’s private proclivities were (and are) none of my business, and I was never curious about them.

    Thus, I had assumed that, when gay people won the legal right to same-sex marriage, that this would be the end of the matter, and that they would live their lives and let everyone else live theirs. But no! They have publicly stated that the sheer existence of normal people constitutes an existential threat to them. They literally cannot stand the fact that the rest of us have the sheer effrontery to exist! They want us all dead, and many of them have publicly stated as much.

    It is not possible to live in the same polity with an organized group of people who want you dead. That is what the Jews found out, to their sorrow, in 1930’s Germany.

    I am reminded of two things Edmund Burke said in a letter to a member of the revolutionary French Assembly:

    There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief. …

    “There are cases in which a man would be ashamed not to have been imposed on. There is a confidence necessary to human intercourse, and without which men are often more injured by their own suspicions than they would be by the perfidy of others. But when men whom we know to be wicked impose upon us, we are something worse than dupes. When we know them, their fair pretences become new motives for distrust. There is one case indeed, in which it would be madness not to give the fullest credit to the most deceitful of men, that is, when they make declarations of hostility against us.

    Further down, there is this rather famous quote:

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity – in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

    As the late Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski said in his book Political Ponerology:

    “Democracy can develop properly under three conditions: when the nation has a sufficiently established tradition of self-governance that predates democratic times; when respect for moral values and honesty in political affairs is sufficiently widespread; and when the destructive faction is sufficiently small. If these conditions are not met, democracy degenerates into various forms of rule by special interest groups, with hidden ideologies and even totalitarian characteristics. This danger is an inherent feature of the ideology of democracy.”

    In other words, the anarcho-libertarian’s dream of a Stoner’s Paradise, where everyone gets to “do their own thing” and where (as Jim Kunstler would say) “anything goes and nothing matters” is a fantasy. There is no such reality. Every society restrains the conduct of its members in some way. Free societies do this by morality, custom and individual conscience. Take these away, and you are left with only the billy club, the jackboot, the thumbscrew and the rack.

    The latter is where we seem to be headed. I don’t like it any better than you do, but I can’t see how we avoid it.

  318. About the only things that will survive several thousand years into the future of our civilization are the embankments and cuttings of the road and rail systems.

  319. …Plus under each wind turbine is a huge blob of concrete to anchor it. In the future, people will cross the eroded plains and see the symmetrical mounds, and wonder — were they to propitiate the gods, or predict the seasons, or mark a territory?

  320. John, everyone —

    I’m curious as to everyone’s thoughts on this push for cross-party primary voting. I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about getting Democrats to register as Republicans so as to vote in the upcoming primary elections. What are the consequences of something like that on a larger scale? It is tactical, but not strategic. And to the extent that the point is to promote more extreme and “unelectable” candidates, I’m concerned that the effort may backfire and we end up with more extreme legislatures. (For the record, I’m not a registered anything but WI has open primaries.)

  321. @saltpeter #326: I’m not a teacher myself, but I looked into teaching options toward the end of my engineering degree in 2003. Back then, there were a number of school districts around the country desperate enough for math & science teachers that they would recruit folks with math / science degrees & then help them get their certifications while teaching on a temporary cert. So you may want to look around the area you’d like to live and see if there are any opportunities like that available.

    There’s also Teach for America, which seems less picky about degree & is nationwide. Here’s their webpage for career-changers: https://www.teachforamerica.org/how-to-join/career-changers

  322. @ David #346
    I live in Virginia, which also has open primaries and like you I have no party affiliation. I always vote and have voted in the past for candidates in the primary that I thought would help that party lose the election. I am not sure that means that we will get more extreme candidates. I think who is going to win the major elections is pretty much decided in advance by the major corporations and voters have nothing to do with it. Major elections are all fixed in the USA and have been for a long time.
    In the last Presidential primary I voted for Bernie Sanders (so, I played democrat for the day) because I figured he was unelectable. The candidate choices in the last election were completely ridiculous. I mean, out of all the people in the USA, we had to choose between Trump, Biden and the rest of the democrat clowns? WTF? I was so mad about the election choices we were given that I made sure, in that primary election to tell the people standing outside the polling place handing out democrat party affiliated sample ballots who I voted for and why. One guy representing the democrats came close to punching me. Since he was a man, over 6 feet tall, and I am a little old woman barely getting to 5 foot 2 inches, it would have been epic!
    Different case, but perhaps related example, in 1992, I voted for Ross Perot for President. I did it because I couldn’t vote for H.W. Bush or for Bill Clinton; they were both equally evil, albeit in different ways, but deeply, disturbingly, and profoundly evil. Ross Perot was the least evil of the three and I at least agreed with what he put on his PowerPoint charts. My younger self hoped that his capturing 19% of the popular vote would at least wake up the powers that be. I was pretty naïve. Obviously it made zero difference. Now I think of it, 1992 was when I lost all faith in the USA election system. I vote now for local elections because maybe it matters and for national elections only for the entertainment value.

  323. @JillN (#284, #341), Patricia Mathews (#320):

    I was born in 1942, and I do have a handful of memories from the WW2 years, but none of them are about the War itself–what does a very young child know of wars? My father was not overseas, but working as a lead engineer on the Norden Bombsight project, so our family life was not greatly disrupted by the ongoing war.

    My understanding has always been that the term “Baby Boom” is far older than any modern theory of successive generations in history. It simply referred to the sharp rise in birth numbers nine months after the soldiers returned from the war to their wives. So the Baby Boom began to happen, on that understanding of the term, only in 1946.

    And, of course, the “Baby Boomers” are those same post-war babies, all grown up now and starting to exit the stage of history.

  324. Dear Archdruid, I’d like to share a few things if I may.
    I would agree that there are different opinions about Russia’s war against Ukraine but I also believe that there are no two sides to it. To me this war is absolutely black and white and I could think of few examples in history when it also was the case. The fact that they can’t still come up with a reason why they have started this war shows that the war was absolutely unprovoked. Their narrative constantly changes. The first one was a spurious document produced in Kremlin. I don’t even want to talk about since it is already forgotten by those who had written it. There were denazification, demilitarization, oppression of Russian language and so on. There was an interesting demand that about NATO. It is an interesting one because that demand was formulated in such a way that there was no way to ever to act on that and Putin knew that perfectly. His demand was for NATO to roll back to where it had been before 1996 or something. Of course that is impossible and what Putin thought what would happen is negotiations. He was wrong. Now, the last thing they came up with is that this war is all American fault. Yep, those pesky Americans didn’t give Putin what he wanted so he had no choice but to start a war. I’m not sure if anyone watches Russian TV news here but they used to say that there are NATO trained battle geese in Ukraine and today they said that Kyiv is going to raise the dead from the graves and try Odessa with plague. I’m joshing you not.
    Now, I would like to say a few words about Putin and how he came to power. When he was in KGB school, and by the way he had never worked in intelligence, his nickname was Okurok (cigarette butt) and had been given this moniker because cigarette butts are absolutely useless. You can put manure to good use for example, but not a cigarette butt. His other nickname was White Moth. He never amounted to anything in KGB and was a guy who was carrying somebody else’s bag. So how then he came to power? Well, he was picked up by Yeltsin as his successor only there was a minor problem. Putin’s approval rating was about 2%. So how did Putin solve that problem? By organizing terrorist attacks aka false flag operations and then running on platform of fighting terrorism. There’s a book called Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within that goes deeper into that. But, if you can understand Russian, I would recommend YouTube Channel by Yuri Shvets (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb2oej0JtxlnywlqoSiHHVQ) He is a former Soviet intelligence officer, was a resident spy in Washington, D.C and was studying at KGB school with Putin. By the way, he shares one interesting fact. I believe that a lot of people heard a story about a crazy guy in Kremlin that he is so insane that could press that proverbial red button and it is better to appease that guy because no-one knows what would happen if we don’t give what he wants or if he loses face. The thing is that this a tale the KGB was spinning during Soviet times and now FSB is using the same good oldie. For the life of me I can’t understand why some people fall for Putin’s lies hook, line and sinker. I mean, there were two Chechen wars, invasion of Georgia, Beslan, Nord-Ost, Aleppo, Kursk, Smolensk air disaster, The Wagner Group (private military company)committing atrocities all over the world, invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022 and that’s not a exhaustive list.
    Now this comment is getting very long but I’d like to say a few words about the current states of events regarding Russia’s war. Of course it is from perspective. I’d like to point out that Moscow hadn’t withdrawn they troops from Kyiv, sorry that is not what happened. They were decimated and were running from Kyiv like Billy-be-damned. The most important battle took place in Hostomel Airport. The most elite Russian forces were sent there but stayed there forever. Does anyone remember that 40 mile long convoy headed for Kyiv? It was destroyed as well. Even the most stalwart supporters of Kremlin didn’t buy the narrative that Moscow achieved its objective in Kyiv. Nobody could explain what those objectives were. Now, Russia is recruiting Syrian fighters and eliminated age restriction for joining Army. You don’t do that if you are victorious. But something else happened and for some reason the flow of weapons to Ukraine slowed to a trickle. Why is that?
    Here’s my take. There are two groups that just for convenience I would call the elite (also called Schwaboids in Russian) and humans. The former represented by Macron, Draghi and Scholz (not by people in their countries). These three individuals are very fond of asking our President to give Putin what he wants. Give him even a verisimilitude of some victory. It will end the war and suffering, they say. The latter is represented by the US, Britain, Japan, Poland and some other countries. And out biggest ally, at least in my opinion, is Boris Johnson and the British “deep state” that rules behind the scene. When those three individuals arrived in Kyiv I wasn’t surprised that Boris had also paid a visit. Every time someone tries to convince Zelenskyy that he should do something stupid like save Putin’s face, then Boris is in Kyiv. But it goes even deeper. There was an offer to create an alliance with Britain, Poland, Ukraine and some other countries hope that offer still stands and that we should act on it. This is a rare chance. It seems to me that Britain is rising again and that leaving EU was a right choice. This rise happened after prince Phillip died. Remember when Boris Johnson was caught breaking his own COVID restrictions? Well, they were celebrating the death of that individual. I might be wrong but it seems that Turkey is becoming the leader of Muslim world and Britain is leading Europe again. Ukraine is very lucky to have such an ally. So what about weapons? The thing is that the West wants to use Russian goodies (oil and gas) a sudden Russian collapse will stand in the way of that. If Russia is divided into several warring states than it will make things extremely difficult for getting oil and gas. So now the West is saving Russia. Nobody expected that “second army in the world” would suffer such heavy losses (and I don’t believe that they are incompetent by the way) and Ukrainian victories would lead to unpredictable consequences. So no heavy armament for Ukraine at least not for now. That is also why they are saying that this war will take years.
    Updated: I wrote this yesterday (and it was much longer) and was not sure if I should post it but I was awakened today by explosions (second time for the last two weeks) and decided that yeah I should. The reason why these bombings had taken place is because Putin wants to show that he still has power and of course he wants to give his defenders at G7 give something. Russia is causing a lot of pain and suffering in order to use it as leverage and to force Ukrainian government to start negotiations.

  325. @David, by the lake (#348):

    My understanding is that the primary elections, though administered by the states, are wholly (and legally!) controlled by the political parties whose primaries they are. So any sort of cross-party primary voting could only come about by an agreement between the verious parties. I don’t see any such agreement as even a theoretical possibility in the present climate of inter-party acrimony.

  326. @ Michael Martin, Anonymous CT

    Re LGBT and rights

    One of the issues, problematic with both the major sides of the debate, is the characterization of the extreme elements of the opposition as being applicable to the whole of the opposition. My daughter is gay and I can assure you she doesn’t see heterosexuals as an existential threat. She simply wants to be able to live her life and enjoy the same basic civil liberties as everyone else. As her father, I want the same. Are there Christian Nationalists who wish to impose a moral dogma on the whole nation? Yes, these people exist. Are there radical LGBTQ+whatevers who scream for “exclusive spaces” and special treatment? Yes, these people exist. Are either of these groups representative of the body politic at large? I’d argue no. But they are loud and therefore get a large degree of attention. What we need in this country is a revival of our host’s anti-Poke-Noses and a return to a general sense of minding our own business and taking responsibility for our own actions, in which case there’d be a lot less drama. But, unfortunately, life is high school writ large, with all the foolishness thereof.

  327. #63 said:

    “(1) Much of “womens’ liberation” is an artifact of modernity, and will not survive its passing. The main reason women can use men like wallets and sperm banks, then discard them when they are through with them, is that such women are actually “married” to the State, via modern welfare systems. When modern welfare states go away, so will the above life strategy.”

    Without women’s liberation and their participation in the workforce — if women are forced to stay at home — that will make them again dependent on men’s wallets. As it is now, women can earn their own money and aren’t forced to depend on men economically. Which means they can marry for love and not out of fear of destitution. Personally, I’d rather have a spouse who wanted me for me, and not because they were afraid of starving or being homeless.

    “(2) Radical feminist women (and Wokesters in general) are not having children at replacement rates.”

    This is probably the only thing radfems and Wokesters have in common. These groups tend to hate each other, as the Woke are firm believers in gender ideology and radfems believe that women are adult human females.

  328. @Mary Bennett

    I expect this war either in the late 2030s or so, but I could of course be wrong. It won’t be just China vs India, but rather China+Pak vs India. Plus, we have internal factors like the Naxalites in Central India, as well as the not insignificant number of jihadi elements among our 200 million-plus Muslim population. This is why the Indian military has for long been preparing, and will continue to prepare, for what we call a ‘two and a half front war’ – a war where the Indian military will be fighting China and Pakistan, as well as internal traitors, who will no doubt attempt to sabotage the war effort.

    As for what the Chinese hope to gain from such a war, well, I have seen Indian media articles quoting Chinese think-tank experts who want to ‘dismember’ India. That, to me, seems to be Beijing’s ultimate goal – a dismembered India will not be able to stand up to China, thus allowing China what it wants to do in Asia.

    As for the US, while I appreciate the concerns of ordinary Americans, I don’t think that the US/Australia will do anything more than send supplies to us, in the event of such a war, and that too, is assuming a best case scenario. The only country which might help us militarily is Japan, but there too, the chance of them doing so is very small.

    Regarding the Indian diaspora in the US, I’m afraid that their assumption that an Indian as POTUS or Vice President will help India is quite simply wrong, assuming that the diaspora actually thinks so. This can be clearly seen from the behaviour of Kamala Harris, who is half-Indian in terms of ethnic origin, but is no friend of India. For that matter, the only major Democrat politician who is not anti-India seems to me to be Tulsi Gabbard, even though she has no Indian ancestors. While I’m no fan of the Republican party, the Trump administration was actually pro-India (which is why I hope he becomes President again in 2024), and they actually made significant moves towards building a strong relationship with India. ‘Howdy Modi’ and ‘Namaste Trump’ were of course examples of good optics, but it wasn’t just all show and no substance – Trump’s tough line on China, and support for India’s foreign policy choices were indeed proof that Indo-US relations were strong under Trump. Unfortunately, Biden seems to be throwing it all away…

    P.S.: Speaking of the Republican party, I want to narrate one funny incident that I read on Twitter some years ago (Trump was President then). Basically, there was some local election in Texas, and the Republican party, in an attempt to reach out to the Hindu American community, put up election posters showing a cartoon of Lord Ganesha (the elephant-headed portly Hindu god), saying, “Would you worship a donkey or an elephant?”, thus encouraging Hindus to vote for the Republicans. Now, this generated a bit of a minor media storm, but I’m dead sure the intention behind making the poster wasn’t to poke fun at Ganesha, but a clumsy attempt to get the Hindu vote. I still automatically smile when I remember it.

  329. @jmg saw your comment on the octagon society and higher planes to @kmb. Fascinating!

    This may need to be a more fleshed out MM post, but I wonder why our bodies across the planes seem to be in groups of three…

  330. #144 said:
    “If you spend all your time thinking of actual power and strength as evil, and treating weaknesses like poverty, illness and oppression as strengths, there is a very good chance you will wind up poor, sick, and oppressed. There is a 100% chance that many of your followers will be people who have nothing to contribute save their complaints.”

    Rhyd Wildermuth posted about this recently on his substack account, in his “Mirror in the Abyss” article. In the eyes of the Woke, victimhood makes you virtuous.

  331. Curt, fascinating. Thank you for the data points.

    Anonymous, I’d like to see the pendulum stabilize somewhere in the middle ground where people do what works for them without pushing it on others, and mind their own business. I know that’s probably unrealistic at this point, but there it is.

    Patricia M, thank you for both of these.

    David BTL, ha! No surprises there.

    Ksim, the difficulty with the long-stagnation scenario is that anything approaching current technology requires unsustainable drawdown of nonrenewable resources. We could have had the soft landing if we’d begun that process in the 1970s, but the forty-year orgy of consumption that followed the Reagan-Thatcher counterrevolution burned through the resources that would have made that possible. Now? It’s a long rough road down.

    Viduraawakened, thanks for this!

    Brendhelm, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Pygmycory, yes, I saw that. It’s likely to be an increasingly common scene as things proceed.

    Jerry, it’s always a bleak experience, watching something that used to be grand in its inglorious final days.

    Walt, thanks for the reminder! I hadn’t gotten around to it, so I’ll put Winter Tide on the get-to list.

    Booklover, that seems like a reasonable analysis to me. Understanding virtue signaling as a revitalization movement also makes a lot of sense of the US version of same.

    Merle, sure. You need a small glass jar with a lid, and an object link — a photo, a signature, or some other thing that has a connection to the person you want out of your life. Put that in the jar. Go to a river or other watercourse flowing in a direction away from your home, throw the jar into the river, and say goodbye to the person, explaining in detail why you’re letting go of the connection. Then leave and return home by a different route.

    Slithy, I can see that!

    Patricia, anacyclosis can be complex. Think of how many dictators and revolutions Rome went through before it settled into a stable state under Augustus!

    Robert, interesting — but no, the new movie didn’t make as much of a splash as the novel. Were you around when the novel was published? It made a colossal splash, and not only in science fiction.

    David BTL, congrats, and may the test go well!

    Varun, many thanks for this. That’s catabolic collapse in a nutshell — as resources dwindle, the maintenance costs of existing capital can no longer be met, and so capital is transformed into waste.

    Milkyway, no, there’s no occultism in Sayers’ fiction — Sayers was a fairly devout Anglican Christian. As for the SGO, what about The Spiral or Gnomonic Expansion?

    Saltpeter, I’ll have to pass that to the commentariat as it’s not something I know anything about.

    David, hmm! The thing is, that joke book was always a (woman-centered) joke, since men have generally known quite a bit about women, and of course vice versa.

    Chris, I can’t tell you when things are going to shift down where you are, but up here it’s already happening. It’s rare to see a fully stocked grocery store in the US now, and inflation is putting what used to be an ordinary lifestyle out of reach for more and more people.

    Karalan, I’d be delighted if the people who talk about neofeudalism would take the time to learn something about actual feudalism. What’s taking shape right now is a transitional economy of the standard late imperial type, when a handful of people with privileged access to power claim excessive amounts of wealth. That leaves the ordinary people of the society with no reason to support the status quo, and they stop doing so, resulting in cascading disruptions and, usually, those privileged few dangling from meathooks or the like. Factor in energy issues — which are absolutely crucial at this point — and those cascading disruptions become all the more inevitable.

    Joy Marie, fascinating. I didn’t think that reality would ever get a word in edgewise in the Portlandian consciousness, but apparently I was wrong.

    Jon, not exactly; they’re claiming a different cause for precession, and that’s a hypothesis worth considering.

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this! It sounds like a very interesting language indeed.

    Dennis, well, at least it’s starting to sink in. I wonder if he’s factored in just how big of an econominc wrench “earn more than we spend” would be.

    Martin, don’t forget the ruins of large concrete dams!

    David BTL, it’s interesting to watch. They clearly didn’t learn anything from Trump’s election…

    Heliconia, yes, I saw that! A good solid analysis.

    Kyivan, er, I quite understand that it looks absolutely black and white from your perspective. I note that it looks just as black and white from a Russian perspective, though the other way around! From my outside perspective — well, we don’t have to get into that.

    Jack, according to the teaching I follow, that’s something specific to our swarm of souls — the fourth such swarm to come down the planes into manifestation in this solar system. The first swarm, now the Lords of Flame, have no bodies at all. The second, the Lords of Form, are capable of having one body at a time; the third, the Lords of Mind, have two. The final, as yet unnamed swarm, which will go through its evolutionary process immense ages from now, will be able to have all six bodies around the Divine Spark.

  332. @David, by the lake (#348): Regarding cross-party primary voting, I live in a large city where the Democratic primary for a long time was effectively the general election: a Republican had virtually no chance of winning a citywide office. Republicans, entirely reasonably, sometimes voted in the Democratic primary as the best way of having a voice in government. (Robert Mathiesen, #354, must live in a state where you must officially join a party to vote in its primaries. Here, you choose between ballots when you arrive at the polling place.)

    Of course, those crossover voters didn’t vote for the most extreme liberal candidate, but for the most moderate/historical conservative candidate, the one that they would find least obnoxious (e.g., the mayoral candidate endorsed by the white supremacist-friendly police union). Voting for “unelectable extremists” would have been really poor strategy, since if nominated, they’d likely be elected anyway.

    The same behavior would be very rational and appropriate for Democrats who have been drawn into guaranteed Republican districts. If there is a QAnon nutbar and a sane Republican on the primary ballot, they ought to cross-party vote for the sane guy. It is their only chance to have a voice. Voting for the nutbar would be exceedingly stupid since, these days, he would then win the general election.

  333. JMG said:
    “Europe at this point has three unappealing choices: it can remain a province of the US empire for as long as that lasts, and get stripped of its resources; it can become a province of the revived Russian empire, and get stripped of its resources; or it can undergo demographic collapse and be resettled by migrants from the Middle East and Africa, who will impose their own languages cultures in place of yours and take most of Europe’s resources for their own use. Take your pick.”

    JMG,
    you did not mention the most important aspect of this: timing.
    If the EU continues to be a US colony, the collapse will come fast, followed by migrations and wars.

    If, by some miracle, the europeans wake up and replace the US puppets with nationalists, they could continue for many years as relatively peaceful allies of Russia or China (or even relatively independent). They could never be as rich as they were 20 years ago but they could be peaceful and happy – for a while. Inevitably, a new hegemon would start the empire pump again.

    I don’t believe the miracle will happen and I know most people in EU will keep flying woke flags, dreaming about the US coming to rescue them while they starve and freeze in the dark. But it is nice to imagine alternatives…

  334. to Saltpeter 326

    > wetland and wildlife biology

    to Saltpeter 326

    > wetland and wildlife biology

    As for switch in career, how about wildlife gardening? It would include native plants of your state/region. Or ‘arboring’? Just thinkin’.

    I mention this because it is on my mind.

    WILDLIFE AND NATIVE GARDENER

    Where I am, I have been looking for a full-time wildlife and native gardener since April to change lawn to garden, and no-one has come forth as interested. I am flummoxed.

    It is a job but not a shabby one. Dirty but not shabby. I furnish all the tools, except BYOG (bring your own gloves). I pay really well (to a sole-proprietor or LLC-type thing). The project would take a year for one person, and would extent part-time forever. One would think becoming a gardener would be a career people would like to transition to during civilizational decline: outdoors, work when it is nice weather, don’t work during rain or snow, not 9-to-5, don’t have to interact with people (for the most part), work with mineral-plant-animal to help plants and animals, putter around, get exercise, no stress, takes planning. However, no greenhouse on site. The person does need to know more that me about the subject. Learning on-the-job would be okay as long as (s)he has a high commitment to gardening as a vocation. I don’t see a downside.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Wisconsin, USA

  335. Simon, thanks for the link – I added it to my reading list.
    I agree that life on a farm does bring us closer to a more stoic understanding of life and death.

    Chris,
    I was trying to explain to myself how humans developed two seemingly contradictory approaches: one is treating animals as part of the family (just like dogs treats us as leaders of the pack) and another which is treating them as food.
    Since I am new at farming, I am learning a lot not only about animals and agriculture but also about myself. Just like you said, after butchering some animals, you can get used to it – it becomes just a thing to do. It does feel like I am relearning human nature – we are omnivores after all.

  336. Vala @ 359, I don’t think it is quite that simple. Mind, I have no use for wokeness, which, in addition to other idiocies, is highly selective in its’ choices of victim du jour. It looks to me like power and success tend to make people dumb and unobservant, while weakness tends to make the survivors smart, or at least, cunning and agile.

  337. Hi JMG

    I was thiking about the change in the kind of war from blietzkrieg to WWI style artillery onslaught and I am wondering if there are other explanations to this change in doctrine apart to avoid big losses.

    If the purpose of the SMO by Russia is to “de-militarize” and “de-nazify”, may be a kind of blietzkrieg vitory is not the best way to achieve this….

    As you know the blietzkrieg victories leave intact a good part of the lives and properties of the defeated nation, and the main part of the soldiers caught up in the big “kessels” even did not notice the worst part of the war, so they are in fact “half vitories” and a good part of the surrendered soldiers consider they were “stabbed in the back” by some powerful traitors or by the bad management from the higher echelons of the army or a mix; but anyway they do not feel, in fact, defeated, and are ready to fight again as partisans (as in Yugoslavia in WWII) or in the army of other countries, or renew the war shortly after a peace treaty is signed.
    So may be the “grinding machine” à la Verdun or Somme that the Russians are using in the Donbass has the purpose to eliminate the extremists and what they perceive as the more hostile elements in the ukrainian society, and also to show the price to maintain an hostile position against the RF in what they consider an “existential threat” as is the possibility of an Ukraine in the NATO.

    It sounds cruel or even sociopathic but the “reasons of state” are, in fact, paranoid, sociopathic and crazy in essence. The states are quite dangerous entities.

    Because before the war, the mandate to include Ukraine in the NATO was written in the Ukrainian constitution and the main institutions of the state are oblied to pursuit this goal.

    https://verfassungsblog.de/would-ukraine-breach-its-own-constitution-if-it-dropped-its-nato-bid/

    What USA would do if an independent Texas should write in its constitution that one of the main priorities of the Texan state is to belong to a chinese military alliance to be protected from the aggressive northern neighbor that want to erase their recent achieved independence?.

    May be contrary to Ukraine, an independent Texas state would retain their nuclear weapons (if they have)

    Cheers
    David

  338. @Saltpeter, #326,

    I have a friend in the US who has a math bachelor’s but after graduation became a stay-at-home mother for fifteen years. Her childrens’ charter school was eager to hire her to teach multipile levels of math, and some of the parents hired her to tutor their children at home for $80/hr. She has no teaching certification. You might consider doing something like that before you sign up for student loan debt. That way you know ahead of time whether you’ll burn out fast and need to do something else instead. In her case she burned out during covid and quit. She thinks she can find a better job, since she has a STEM degree, but that hasn’t materialized yet. Good luck to you!

  339. I present two headlines from Austrian internet:
    “G7 summit people make jokes about Vladimir Putin”
    Yeah, that will win the war.
    “Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig made video conference with a fake Vitali Klitchko double and didn’t notice- Mayor’s office declares it will take measures against such incidents in the future”
    That trumps pure satire.
    Also our govenrment considers reactivating a coal plant in Styria, but there’s the question of where the coal is supposed to come from.Of course nothing against german foreign minister hamelbeck (If i remember name and status correctly) traveling to qatar for gas, returningtalking triumphantly of his visit while qatar’s Sheik says: Germany doesn’t have the infrastructure needed and we’re bound by contractuntil 2026 to other customers.

    I wonder if the US government and services intentionally installed clowns over here.And back to fake Vitali Klitchko: the papers also say that hungary, Germany and other countries were affected by fake Klitchko calls via diplomatic channels.A deep fake experiment allegedly. “Outdoor Chiemgau!” a southern German outdoor&survival enthusiast, claims that cyber attacks have installed viruses in the govt networks of California, and it would take years to cleanse all systems from the ever spawning, dispersed virus embedded.
    I’m not an expert in such a field as IT security, but Cyber attacks are a frequent topic in the news and maybe, that can do some hard damage too.

    It’s a wondrous world!

    The british metal band Carcass sung:

    The threads of global fabric are untied
    The role of the western free world is in decline
    Still free to consume, free to breathe
    Free to exist, free to dream, your life of dreams

    That was in 1996 and I find that remarkable.
    When I complain about the inner city urban hipster and partly woke society, I can relate well to “Aenema” from metal band Tool.
    That was in 1994! About LA in that case, I guess the inception of the phenomena in question.

    On a side note: today, after a week of little sleep and much work in every way, and then too much time spent with energy sucking blind and hungry people,
    I was congestedly angry again. My liver could not process all the caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, ands what not else plus stress hormones any more,
    resulting in heavy depression and deep anger. So I walked across a little but quite steep hill form the suburb to Vienna, about 50 minutes, one passage down extremely
    steep and rarely used by other visitors to this part of Vienna’s forests.

    I sweated, walking a slowly place. Very hot today, most people prefer the water in such a sunday’s time, but I truly love the heat when I am walking steep passages of forest.

    This of course cleansed me.

    I walked with heavy heart. Still many people passing smiled at me or even spontaneously spoke a few words to me. Well, I don’t carry my sadness and anger to the outside these days. Has nothing to do with other people;
    Strange though, that often times when I am sickened, tired or in a certain (peaceful) way woeful, people take interest in me the most.

    Might be because one upside of such a passing depression is the temporary recline of my grown inner city ego, a tool to fend off annoying suckers who want to aggrandize themselves on one’s expense, but also a burden bringing little honesty or sensitivity.

  340. Poetry, by Jean Lamb: Voice of the Supervolcano

    “The Great Old Ones are not water, no matter what HP Lovecraft said.
    The Great Old Ones are fire, ruling deep inside the earth.

    I know, because I am one. The earth stretches and cracks its back, allowing an opening to unleash My fury.

    Sometimes I let a little of My wrath rise up. Sometimes I let a lot.

    When water attempts to conquer My domain, I plot revenge among the yellow stones.

    Just call Me Old Faithful.

  341. @Booklover

    Interesting! I can well imagine, Dr Manfred Spitzer already explored at length what digital life and other modern circumstances do to the physical and mental health of youths. Also a clinical psychiatrist, even lost a million € in research funds because some industries didn’t like his popular book publications.

    I was at that rainbow parade after it settled down, because some character wanted me to accompany. Very young crowd a that spot. Boy were those kids on drugs! Beaming eyes into the distant void, gnawing jaws. Many of them.

    “Coping” seems a good word for this -its a carnival with scantly clothed people, but I felt a coldness or something detached there.

    It’s the first instagram and smartphone gen grown into maturity.

    Im 34 and in my high school, the internet was beginning to be a bit of an amusement, but the “cool” kids did more skateboarding, snowboarding, footballing,
    drinking and all that and much less electronic stuff. That was still a little more a nerd domain then.

    Like a quote in the popular US tv series sopranos of the protagonist wife about her son: “I hope he doesn’t spend his time with those loosers on this internet”.

    Those that compare 19th century warnings against book reading to modern day digital warning may be right in that there may be limits to how bad it is, but digital is just something else; “They used to complain about alcoholism, no they’re all about heroin, these warnings to society are unwarranted”

    Well they’re certainly not; I received enough digital damage in my early 2000s teenage years, others did better but in any case, that already wasn’t harmless,
    all that screen time.

    People I know who you coulod call seasoned in partying in my age also say they notice much more tension and distance between todays party guests young and older at large;

    At the country side where in our teenage years young and old would drink in a spot in the village, the young are virtually invisible outside now.
    Sure, there’s also fewer of them, but still.

    Seems people used to be more spontaneously communicative.

    “They write books about the two simplest things on earth – eating and fucking- and those are bestsellers! What does that tell you about society?” One friend says.

  342. JMG,

    It seems I got carried away there with the SGO – and to think that I looked at exactly those two cards for a while this morning! 😀

    Anyway, I still can’t remember any elliptical forms e.g. in old churches. Does anybody here happen to know any examples? I’d love to see how they were realised in practical terms.

    Milkyway

  343. @Jill N #431 – you’re a core Boomer. Don’t worry about that. Early wave, but still, decidedly a Boomer. I’ll bet you have a lot more in common with people born in the 1950s than with those born in 1939.

  344. Dear JMG,

    thanks for your answer, I stand corrected! I wasn’t around when the book came out, I just assumed it had somehow been a niche interest.

  345. @JMG – thank you for that reminder. Well, the Orange Juice State Augustus is not only waiting in the wings; everybody but the clowns on stage are just waiting for him to step out and take his bow.

    On the religion front, Jerry the Bus Driver, a Pentecostal pastor – a Black Pentecostal pastor – is holding services in the Village Chapel Sunday mornings 10:15-11am. Rejoice, sing praises (his wife was singer/songleader, a soprano. In a key very easy to drop an octave if you’re me;) Biblical characters served God while up in years; you can do likewise by doing whatever you can among your neighbors; and as elders, point out the the young where they’re about to repeat the mistake you made back in 1952; and as grandmothers, teach the grandbabies to cook and do things around the house and to how love their families; go forth and feel spiritually recharged.

    And I did feel spiritually recharged!

    P.S. No hymnals or programs; all oral, though one woman brought her own Bible to check and highlight the references. Most of the Village elders, women who first met me when I came in 3 years ago, were there, and you can bet every last one of them is white. Affluent white. But in an old-fashioned way.
    Understanding Deep Dixie is a voyage in its own right, with something unexpected around every corner.

  346. Dear Archdruid:

    What is your opinion about the posibility of the complete remplace of money in form of cash by electronic money ?

    Thanks.

  347. NomadicBeer, that depends very much on just how weak Russia and China want Europe to be. They could squeeze things very tight if they decide that Europe will be less of a problem for them if it’s bankrupt and hungry.

    DFC, that’s a very real possibility. I noted back in the Archdruid Report that blitzkrieg warfare almost always spawns a serious problem with partisan warfare, precisely because — as you noted — many of the soldiers of the losing side never actually face combat, and so they don’t accept defeat. The question is whether the Russian command has this in mind, or if they’ve simply been backed into the position of pursuing trench warfare because their blitzkrieg failed, or both.

    Curt, thanks for this. Quite a few other European countries are also apparently reactivating their coal plants, so there’ll be plenty of competition for whatever coal can be found.

    Patricia, thanks for this.

    Milkyway, elliptical churches were quite common in the Baroque period — you might look up the Church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale in Rome or All Saints Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, among others. Here’s a scholarly paper on the subject, and the church plan below may give you some ideas:

    That’s the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in Bad Staffelstein, Bavaria.

    Robert, no prob. It was quite a while ago, of course, and I don’t imagine many people who weren’t there at the time know just how much of a splash it made. Within a fairly short time of publication it was being hailed as the greatest science fiction novel ever written — a status I believe it still retains, outside of woke circles.

    Sardaukar, are you surprised?

    Patricia M, I’m certainly wondering when he’s going to make his move. As for the service, glad to hear it.

    Anselmo, if paper money gets officially eliminated some other medium of exchange will replace it. There’s too much economic exchange that has to happen off the books — drug sales, bribery and corruption, and the list goes on.

  348. @Apteryx, et al.,

    For primaries here in New Hampshire, if you are registered Independent, you can register as D or R at the polling place on primary day, and receive the corresponding ballot. After casting your ballot, you can then go right back over to the same desk and register back to Independent, and you’re all good to do the same little dance at the next primary.

    Years ago, I forgot (or more likely, didn’t quite yet understand the system) to re-register as Independent, and so remained a member of one of the parties for a while. I am still hammered by partisan literature to this day – much of it is really vile hate-mongering.

    If you are a already a registered D or R and want to change affiliations for the primary, you must re-register as D or R or I at some time before the primary – can’t remember what the cut-off time is. Kind of a funny system. I’ll bet there’s some history behind it.

  349. You talked about the “wanker vibe” sometime ago. How can I get rid of it? Can I make use of all this energy somehow like Dion Fortune instructs in the problem of purity or should I get rid of the vibe first? It sounds silly but I get aroused real easy and it’s become a problem.

  350. I am not sure a change in attitude or politics of Portlanders will stop the downhill slide of this once wonderfull city. At this point it is probably impossible to rebuild its shrunken and demoralized police department. Last night a roe vs wade protest march got out of hand and caused much damage to windows and business’s in the Hollywood district. But the cops just looked on as they were too short handed due to other shootings, protests and street racing to respond. I expect that things will not become more orderly until a network of neighborhood strongmen and warlords evolve to provide some kind of Favella justice system . I would not have predicted 10 years ago that Portland could become the poster child for Imperial collapse.

  351. Hi all

    I recommend to watch this video of an interview with John Mearsheimer, a Chicago university professor and a proud representative of the “realist” school of International Relations:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4TV4_taLzE&t=227s

    It seems there are few people in the Biden administration that think in these terms, they are all full time imperialists.

    Cheers
    David

  352. Mary Bennett, Berserker – Thanks for encouraging replies! Yes, the wild rose will be back, in fact it already is. Although my father in law contemplates removing the roots… I hope that we can find some arrangement regarding the rose. In fact I thought we had found one already. I wouldn’t even have objected cutting it (at least partly) – he just could have waited a few weeks so it could blossom. But to be fair, there are many positive things that can be said about my father-in-law, even when it comes to plants and trees!

    CS2 – Sorry to hear about the oak. At least it seems that your sister-in-law doesn’t have the money to cut it. In the meantime, maybe she will discover the treasure that’s growing in her garden?

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  353. Patricia Matthews#373,
    Thank you for that. My husband was born in 1938. Should I be worried or is fat too late to worry?
    #370 I am water because it prevails. It will quench fire and erode rock.

  354. @marlena13 # 362

    Thanks a lot! I suppose our gracious host would say “that would be a fine theme for a meditation”, and indeed, it would. Lots to mull over in there, thanks.

    @JMG

    Thanks again. That is one beautiful layout!

    Also, I’d like to apologise for today’s questions: In the last one, I only had older buildings in mind (Romanesque and the like). And the idea that I could actually find information about something like this online somehow didn’t even occur to me… 😉

    Sorry for taking up your time with the not-so-well-thought-out questions today. This is quite decidedly not my most intellectual day.

    Milkyway

  355. @ DFC #367

    I think you have this back to front. Blitzkrieg type operations actually leave the civilian infrastructure shredded. Look at WW2 and Operation Desert Shield and Iraqi Freedom. The basis of the blitzkrieg was to blow away key civilian infrastructure and destroy the national will to fight.

    From my read (and this is not the popular opinion) the Russians are studiously trying to reduce collateral damage as far as practical. I think they gambled in the start to try and obtain a quick relatively bloodless capitulation. When that failed they have gone for a tried and tested meat grinder.

    Climate and seasonality dictated this to a degree. They attacked in Spring thus where constrained to Road networks as cross country maneuver is basically impossible.

    They’ve also concentrated their forces in the donbass where they are doing what they stated they would try to do – demilitarize and de-nazify the ukraine, A large portion of the best Ukr professional Army units where / are in the Donbass as well as the Nationalist units…..where they are basically being destroyed….

    The Ukrainians for their part seem to have little concern about fortifying urban areas in the Donbass which basically means they have to be leveled. The Ukrainians also have little choice – as if they try to fight a war of maneuver they would simply get shredded much more quickly and they no longer have that option now anyway as most of their heavy weapons and trained formations are kaput…..

    I would not be surprised if the war goes thru phases. You initially had the lightly armed / light touch “blitzkrieg”, we know have relatively static artillery attrition, I suspect this phase may soon be ending and summer may see a reversion back to maneuver and “blitzkrieg” – now that cross country mobility is back on the table, the fortified entrenchments of the donbass (built up since 2015) have been captured and the Ukrainian Army basically broken (maybe????)….

    I think people underestimate how fortified the Donbass is. The Ukrainians spent almost 8 years digging in!!!! It could be said the Russians have decided to limit the devastation to the Donbass, let the Ukr’s keep feeding manpower and materials into the region and slowly chew it up. Break the Ukr’s in the Donbass then try the quick “blitzkrieg” to take most of the Country East of Dnieper and the South (incl Odessa and create a landbridge to Transnistra…)

  356. Nga mihi – greetings and thanks, John.
    As I mentioned in your post “The Future at Five AM”, I am new to Ecosophia but not to your writings, which have often been republished on Resilience.org.
    Thank you for your encouraging response to my comment about my first publication on Medium. As a result, the number of my followers doubled from 1 to 2 overnight.
    I have attempted a sequel:
    https://medium.com/@davemcarthur/whats-in-a-word-71ce7046fa5b
    In it I suggest information is physical, there is a universe in a word and our survival is contingent on our careful use of our language.

    I am diplopic and have learned to scan text for key words and phrases – especially words like “energy”, “power”, “fuel fuel” and “climate change”.

    My first question: In “The Fire This Time” you were careful to speak of “… the realities of anthropogenic climate change…” i.e a universe in which human beings can and are impacting the flows and balances of Earth’s climate in perilous ways.
    Q. John, did you observe this phenomenon: many of the comments on your article instead spoke of “Climate Change” i.e. a universe in which human beings have no role in the flows and balances and “Climate Change” is responsible for our problems?

    My second closely related question: In “The Twilight of Empire” you allude to the increasing implosion of the Anglosphere Empire. Since the late 1960’s this empire has been founded in the totally delusional equation “Energy = Fossil Fuels = Power = Electricity = Bulk-generated Electrical Products.”
    The Anglosphere Empire enforces this insane accounting equation by a multitude of means so that it frames and dominates most of global trade this past half century. This is the reason why, for instance, when the price of mineral gas rises, it rises globally and all the other elements of the equation rise in a commensurate way too. As is occurring at the moment.
    Q. John, can you elaborate on this language phenomenon?

  357. A good Pentecostal pastor can get a herd of Congregationalists on their feet, hands in the air, making a joyful noise unto the Lord. He could probably do it with a herd of Thai Buddhists who spoke no English.

  358. Well, I see that once again, you party animals have left the Khans too exhausted to come out from under the bed the next day. So, now that the police have been gone for a while and some of the devastation moved aside, and H.P. has stopped turning in his grave—this wild revelry never went on in Providence in HIS day, not even under a gibbous moon—in short, now that things have quieted down—I ask you, the participants in the wild rumpus: how was the potluck?

  359. Apricot Trees? They grow well in Colorado, are a certain height, and make food.

    Tuscan White bean soup for chard: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/217129/tuscan-chard-and-cannellini-bean-soup/ You can grow the beans too.

    W. White: “Aboriginal culture …. is invariably portrayed as being very “environmentally-friendly”

    Actually, we do know. Europe landed mostly by 1600. They sold pots and guns and everything else to NE Amerindians. So by the time of the Revolution, the Indians had 200 YEARS of “modernization” access to the latest technologies, which everyone forgets weren’t all that “latest” in 1650 or 1750. For example, Scotland and Norway and Ireland were practically on the same level as Salish and Iroquois Longhouses. So when they said they were “Wild” (direct translation: Sauvage, Fr.)” THEY meant it exactly like they meant the Isle of Skye were “wild”: that is, they lived in the wilds, not in cities. And THEY meant the same, like, heck, Yorkshire used to be “Wild” too, but now they have bridges and cities, therefore you will love Progress and build your own London and Edinburgh too. At this great distance, however, we seem to think it’s “Europe” that everyone was like Vienna and Versailles, instead of the reality, that in 1600 nobody was. Have you seen the movie “Lorna Doone”? It shows how primitive and tribal standard European arrangements and buildings were, and that was ENGLAND. It’s barely above “Vikings”. Scotland was much worse, and had Blackhouses – Stone Longhouses – until the 1930s. And you should see the Sami. When WE hear wild, we hear “unruly, bad, primitive.” That’s not what they meant exactly, don’t project your weird 2022 on them.

    Anyway, Euros traded with these scores of tribes for centuries. They * could * have done anything. They could have modernized as fast as Japan. They could have gone as insular as Amazonians. However, they * Mostly * took the colonial life, the good with the bad, just like we did, and modernized in their own way just like we did. So by Sullivan’s March in 1770, the Seneca had the largest standing army in America and probably the largest state. Sullivan hit them in Western New York while they were supporting the Tories and found everything you would see in 1770: Cabins, streets, windows, horses, orchards, 10,000 acre fields of corn, granaries, pots, guns, calico, silver jewelry, roofs…

    However, like Cornplanter in Allegheny, they had kept their own traditions: being matrilinial, part of clans, using the old religions, and following a federalized confederacy where the power was voted by the women…who in turn voted only men as officeholders. This is in contradiction to all the tropes about tipis and having a deerskin stretched out in the forest while eating from a gourd: Leave that to the white frontiersmen. It’s interesting to wonder what would have happened, but technology moved too fast for everyone, white and native alike. Swedes too lost their history. Poles erased. Swedeborgians forgotten, vanished. Then the Spiritualists. Now the Hippies have vanished. And the original natives are still everywhere, just living in apartments like other Americans, alongside people from West Africa and the Western Isles. Should it be another way? Like, should they not have interracial marriage with “Whites”? But if they do, they become more “White” not more “Indian.” Why? Interesting thoughts.

    Now: for ecology? The Iroquois were indeed more environmental, and they did not cut down trees as fast as the Dutch. At the same time, for trade pelts they nearly made beaver extinct. Lo the noble buffalo! extinguished the same a few years later. How dare they? The Iroquois stopped before extinction for beaver, but not for men: they annihilated more tribes than I can name, which all ceased to exist. The Neutral, Erie, Susquahanock, Wenro, and Hatarandack, and as we’ve heard, the Mohican. Lo the American Indian wars from those bad white men! Noting Iroquois were also “Americans” and killed as many tribes as the best of them. At the same time, as these must have been terrible, murdering demons of endless destruction, Ben Franklin noted that it was extremely difficult to get captured “whites” to go back to town and Colonial life. Especially the children. So they were wonderful, loving, nation who eradicated other nations? Rome eradicated the Etruscans, the Angles and Picts and Iceni are gone, so were the Romans and Britons good? Or bad? Or neither? Or both?

    Although not utterly extinct (actually they slaved/adopted the people of conquered tribes in much the same as the Colonists did: “adopting” in Indians so long as they behaved “Colonial”, as did the Brits in Scotland and Romans before them) the Iroquois more or less erased the whole population of Ohio. No, literally: it was essentially vacant when Appleseed and the colonists got there. Generations of war does that. The reason John Chapman’s followers could settle was Revolutionary war then nearly wiped out the Iroquois who had previously wiped out Ohio. Circle of Life.

    So next time you hear about the earth-hugging, peace and love of Native Americans persecuted by the bad and “other”-killing white men, read a longer book first. It’s not to say Indians were not more ecological. In general they were. It’s not to say white people are not ecological: colonists would be 100% pinnacle A-1 Green sustainable in 1800 by every modern standard, they just had a different vision for the land than dark empty forests. Not that Natives didn’t live in bark huts sometimes, but so did Europeans, here and in Europe. Not that Natives didn’t live in high digs, either in the old or the new colonial style: they did. Cornplanter had a big house and a sawmill. He was the Mayor of a town the size of Rhode Island. He had been in the extinction wars for years and was a national war hero or a massacring savage, depending who you asked, same as Gen. Washington. But drawing these tropes like cartoons you miss everything real that was really going on. That is, that there was no “Us” and “Them.” We were all there, influencing each other. No Oppressors and therefore no “The Victim Game” as explained by a certain Archdruid. No Noble past to look back to.

    Do we know what they would have done? Mostly, yes. And we have the documents on tap. But it’s not part of the Correct Narrative of Eternal Progress™ and the Myth of the Noble Savage© right now. WE want and need “them” to live in bark huts and be feather magic green-earth harmony people. But they are just people like we all are, and always were. That we need that, to fabricate that, to make that up despite having all the documents, says everything about Us, and nothing about “them”.

  360. JMG
    Well I knew you would say that. We’ll see where I am in another 6 years. Thanks.

  361. @JillN#384 – If you’re already getting along well with your husband, why should you worry? Relax and enjoy it.

  362. @ Eike #328 & Kastan

    Not all dams are bad (but most are). The closest dam to me is actually one of the good ones. Historically, most of the rivers around here dry up in late summer, which is not good fish habitat at all. But the dam near me supplies a nice supply of COLD water all summer.

    In contrast, the dam on the Trinity River will take geologic time to remedy. Below the dam much of the river was hydraulically mined for gold and left behind huge mine tailings in the riverbed. Flood flows would eventually flush that out, but now with the dam, there are no flood flows.

  363. Gun, start by redirecting as much of the energy as possible, using Fortune’s method if that works for you. (Many guys find that relaxing rather than squeezing the spinal tube in imagination makes for better results.) Once that’s become a habit, cold water baths or showers will help clear away the etheric funk.

    Clay, sorry to hear this, but unsurprised.

    Milkyway, no need to apologize. This is an open post, after all.

    Dave, glad to hear of the 100% increase. 😉 (1) I think you’re putting too much stress on the phrasing. “Climate change” doesn’t specify a cause; anthropogenic climate change and non-anthropogenic climate change are both varieties of climate change. (2) Nope. I’ll let you continue exploring it.

    Your Kittenship, I didn’t stay late, but what I saw of it was quiet, pleasant, and a lot of fun. As for topics, the winner is the relationship between electronics and the subnatural realm, and I’ve already written the post.

    Piper, I know, I’m kind of predictable. 😉

  364. Nachtgurke, if you like the rose, move it. Move it now if there is a chance it might be destroyed. Leaving rose plant roots exposed to air is NOT GOOD. I know nothing about the relationship with FIL, or who is paying for what, or what favors might be owed either direction, but I would respectfully suggest, choose your designated spot according to your (and spouse’s) preference. If FIL is an intemperate, act now and explain later kind of guy, then maybe present him with fiat accompli. Have a hole ready, bigger the better. It is a truism in rose growing that you need to plant into a Big Hole. I like to fill the Big Hole with water and let it drain. If you have a digging fork, loosen the bottom and sides of the Big Hole. Excavate the rose to be moved, usually you want to cut back the plant to about 6-12″, but that might not be necessary for you. Try to get as much of the root ball as possible and plop that plant into a bucket or tub of water you have already waiting on a wheelbarrow or cart of some kind, unless you can snag someone to help carry. Usually, one would put fertilizer in the bottom of the Big Hole, mix well into the muddy bottom, then place the plant into the Big Hole. Shovel soil onto the roots ASAP, Do Not Delay, then dump the water in which the plant was sitting into the Big Hole. You can dribble some liquid fertilizer and a drop or two of superthrive or similar if you have any into the water. Shovel the rest of the excavated soil into the water up to the old soil line. Ideally, you want to be left with a bowl like depression around the plant, so that rain water can accumulate. Personally, I don’t hold with bringing in new soil, but it can help to mix in some compost if you have any of that. Mulch if you live in a dry climate. Roots will be damaged no matter how careful you are, so the plant must be kept moist until new feeder roots grow.

  365. California has adopted a crazy form of Primary elections–“top two”. All candidates are listed on the same ballot, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Peace and Freedom, etc. The top two candidates will go on to the general election. This means that one could have a race for a state senate position between two Democrats or two Republicans. It also means that the “third parties” such as Peace and Freedom, Libertarian, Green, American Independent, have virtually no chance of ever being on the general election ballot.

    I see that the International Swim Association has banned transwomen who have completed male puberty from competing against women and has opened a separate category for trans athletes. Other sports associations are following suit. In the meantime, there is a lawsuit against California for allowing male felons who claim to identify as women to transfer to women’s prisons because of the risk (reality) of sexual assault against the women inmates. Astonishingly the American Civil Liberties Union is opposing the lawsuit. The law doesn’t require a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nor adhering to regime of feminizing hormones, nor gender reassignment surgery, only a declaration of gender identity. As for homosexual hostility to heterosexual persons–it has been around for decades in mild forms such as referring to heterosexuals disdainfully as “breeders.” But it is pretty normal for a group that is subject to discrimination to want to discriminate right back–IMO actual hostility and desire to destroy straight culture is a very extreme and minority position.

    When the Roe v. Wade decision came down, I told my wife that I wished that the feminist movement had spent the last 50 years creating a society in which access to abortion was not essential to women’s freedom, although of course there will always be cases of medical necessity. I’m not entirely sure what such a society would look like, but it would have been a nice goal.

    Rita

  366. @nicole #157 and Bei dewei #149 My experience suggests that prayer (prayer-as-spellwork, or spellwork-as-prayer) absolutely depends on power and belief! I bet your grandmother had all kinds of good effects line up for her. I find intensity of Belief and capacity to focus it to be rare, like usually limited to a few individuals, among any religious group. My Mexican Catholic sister in law, some of the older Japanese ladies in SGI. Also, believing makes you susceptible, so, among mexicans who worry about ‘ojo’, it’s more likely to strike and to have observed effects while clueless post-modern americans can like touch each others babies all familiar and coo and look at them with crazy eyes and its not perceived to be dangerous and isn’t . I’m assuming that voodoo or the lama trying to kill you works the same– like when a coherent culture existed and all the people in an area shared the same basic assumptions about how magic worked, then it worked more smoothly and powerfully for good and bad.

    I found a whole small group of Christians, urban ‘breathren of Christ’ descendents of Mennonites, who all actually believed they could infludence themselves, their community, and others (in that order) a few years ago. our connection was marked by some relevant synchronicity and they also had at that time a small discussion circle which I was hungry for and I started practicing with them. They had a visioning meeting because it was a brand new church, like I had encountered their ‘planter’ in the first months of the project. I told them I was there because they were like witchcraft for Jesus. They didn’t write it on the whiteboard but they understood what I meant and appreciated it coming from me. Here’s to the Great Initiator.

    Before them my best group-center for spiritual practice was with Soka Gakkai International Nichiren Buddhists. They have centers everywhere, so I met them through a powerful woman who had fled Liberia for Philly, picked up their magical chain in houston and looked for them again when I returned home to rural KY. They keep it pretty simple– mantra practice, be consistent, support your fellow members, lay leadership. They have the Great Leader icon pedastel problem, worse than Jesus even because guy is living. They have the self-important “this is the only way” problem, tho I think the original teachings are saying “how do you address the challenges you face? ONLY by chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo” to contrast with using political scheming/means to solve challenges, not to contrast with other practices of focused intention to make good causes, recognizing the impossibility to work out all the myriad effects and so leaving it in the hands of higher powers. And after chanting a lot at times when I really needed it, it is definately the mantra which effortlessly comes to me in both gratitude and desire.

    @#328 and the dam discussion; rivers wanting to remove dams, here’s one actually going away, for the good of the ecosystem, a dam that wasn’t producing power, like many old lowhead dams (my first intro to civilizational descent thinking was Derek Jensen and Civilization:Endgame, talk about collapse now and avoid the lines…)

  367. Remarkably, I’ve woken this morning to see that The Guardian published a piece over the weekend on the likelihood of a US civil war in the near future. The author, Stephen Marche appears to have a book out on the subject and his take is that it’s close.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/26/second-civil-war-us-abortion

    Two quick points:

    He seems to have a lot of faith in ‘technology’, but doesn’t seem to have grasped that despite the appearance of distribution, much of it depends on a few pieces key physical infrastructure run by Amazon.

    An event like this would probably reduce Europe’s three strategies outlined above to two. It’s hard to remain a client state of an empire at war with itself, the question of which US to obey inevitably arises.

    —-

    In his writing elsewhere he mentions that it’s hard to grasp even if you can see it developing in front of you. I can certainly agree with that.

  368. Hello everyone.
    Two things I’ve been thinking about.

    — Would you consider Islam a Western tradition? I think it’s somewhere situated between the Eastern and Western traditions. I’ve come to notice a subtle Vedic influence in Islam and that area in general. Still, the rituals and approach is obviously more similar to other Western traditions.

    — What do you think the future of AI would be like in our catabolic decline? I’m enthusiastic about that field theoretically, but I’m also aware of its possible dangers, I’ve read lots of creepy stuff, I’m even corresponding with a smart scientist who once worked with DARPA but eventually left. He seems to be one of few who has a natural and humanist approach to his science. But the majority are not like that, maybe you’ve heard the news about the ex-Google employee Blake Lemoine talking publicly about sentient AI and even referring to them as persons. What do you think?

  369. Curt, I don’t have much to do with parties myself, but I often see young women clutching their smartphones at all times, or young people (male and female) walking with their smart phones in front of them. No doubt that is a subject that will be relevant to JMG’s forthcoming post about electronics and the subnatural.

    JMG, I forgot to add that the mutual incriminations at the documenta fifteen between the curators and the sponsors about anti-Semitic contents in some artworks woke me up to the fact that the West has a certain degree of obsession about anti-Semitism in general.

  370. Just wondering if you, or other members of the commentariat (such as Oilman2), have any thoughts on whether the price of oil has now peaked?

  371. Hi John Michael,

    Mate, I have no idea either. On the other hand, bad news is stacking up like zombies rising from a graveyard. As a bit of an amusing and entirely humorous side story, someone recently made the suggestion to me that careless serial killers might have a lot of trouble with zombies. 🙂 Have you ever written about the grip zombies have on the western imagination?

    Hey, have you noticed that the Europeans seem to be heading back to coal for their base load electricity generation? A lot of big talk from that part of the world…

    For me, the past dozen years has been a tough slog with renewable energy sources. I really have given it a good go, and my experience suggests that the technology is good, but it isn’t good enough. And talk about hubris turning to nemesis! A few months ago I’d mentioned to you that my attempts to increase the production of electricity from 99% to 100% from renewable sources was almost within my grasp with the most recent adaption and modification. Such loose talk, always a bad idea. 😉 This year the weather Gods have decreed that the best I’ll achieve is 98% here, and it may yet get worse before the year is done. There are diminishing returns to further investment and modifications, and all the while entropy continues its slow consumption of all.

    Does this last?

    Cheers

    Chris

  372. @Varun – I like your model of active vs passive systems, and it prompts a question: can anyone knowledgeable about woodstoves tell me whether you can akshually heat a medium-sized home with one?

    Cuz I’m on a big kick right now of getting rid of anything mechanical that requires periodic maintenance and replacement for wear-and-tear. I have a wood-burning furnace but according to Varun’s model that’s more “active” than I’d like, requiring electricity and a blower and so forth.

    I find a lot of websites lean towards “a woodstove is probably not adequate for an entire home, theyre more for a single room”, but then I also find they’re working with assumptions like: assuming people want a constant temperature, assuming folks need a uniform temperature throughout the house, and so forth, which seem like first-world assumptions to me.

    @Mother Balance- oh dear! Has anyone else seen the problem with this map? (If you haven’t, try scrolling left and right on the map.)

  373. A report on the Annual Midsummer Ecosophia Potluck:
    We had about 20 people, from as far as Bellingham, WA (Lunar Apprentice & Rapanus) and as near as East Providence, (JMG).
    Over the course of 10 hours, we solved all the worlds problems, annointed JMG as court astrologer for the Republic of New England and the Maritimes, and discussed the failings of modern museun design (One of these three statements is absolutely true, the others are relatively true). The foor was excellent, the drinks were excellent, the company was excellent.
    Some years ago, Scotlyn had sent a bottle of Redbreast 15, a fine Irish whisky, to a potluck. This year, we toasted all of you (absent friends and colleagues, from Scotlyn to Wer to Chris in Fernglade) with Redbreast Lustau, andother fne Irish whiskey,
    As Andrew A. put it, it was so comfortable to amongst people where you don’t have to be on your guard over what you say. See you next year here, or wherever our tribe may gather.

  374. Wow, I just read this article from today’s Wall Street Journal. Very, very interesting and disturbing:
    Russian Gas Cuts Threaten World’s Largest Chemicals Hub

  375. There is a most interesting report at RT this morning, Monday, June 27, about the Azov Battalion, which the author does not hesitate to term a “state within a state”. I would be interested to read what other Europeans might know about this movement.

    Rita Rippetoe, I think the CA primary makes sense in a state dominated by one major party, Democrats in this case. The primary arrangement prevents some fringe RWer who represents the views and obsessions of maybe 2% of Californians from being able to use, for example, a Senate campaign to gain national attention. In the most recent, I think I have that right, Senate election, Deep Stater Feinstein was forced to defend herself against an actual Berniecrat, who had managed to get a Medicare for All bill through the CA legislature only to see it vetoed by then Gov. Brown. DiFi was not going to be allowed to lose, of course, but De Leon did win everywhere except the large cities. Ballot stuffing in liberal, good government SF and LA? Perish the thought!

  376. In my question about the oil price which I wrote too quickly, I should have added that I meant in the current cycle. It appeared to be dropping off as the price has seemingly been affected by a drop in overall demand as people react to inflation, and I wondered whether this signalled that the oil price would stabilize or drop as a result. Until the next time the cycle repeats.

    I’m curious whether this means things are headed for deflation as some on the fringe media are now predicting or whether certain products will continue to inflate in price, resulting in stagflation, and I thought that the oil price would determine which scenario plays out. Now it looks like the oil price is heading back upwards, so I guess we’ll see.

  377. I’m sorry you’re busy on the 29th, but thanks for the encouragement!

    One other quick question. Do you have a recommended text for an introduction to ecology?

  378. @Aziz A.

    Just want to give my two cents on the topic of AI, since you brought it up…

    I think AI is already in the domain of at least diminishing returns, if not negative returns. So, I tend to take techies’ praise of AI with more than the proverbial pinch of salt.

    That said, it’s important to note that AI is just a more powerful version of current software, and that software is useless without the hardware needed to run it. I’m sure you remember the 2021 chip shortage? If I’m not mistaken, industry, especially the automobile industry, has still not completely recovered from it.

    I expect more such shocks, followed by periods of partial recovery (based on our host’s Long Descent model) in the coming years.

    Also, it is important to note that manufacturing chips, as well as the raw materials required for the chips, is dependent on a large number of energy-guzzling and fragile supply chains. What ecologists call Liebig’s law of the minimum applies here too.

    So, to sum up, no, I don’t think AI is actually going to create the wonderful/horrific situation cheerleaders/opponents of AI make it out to be.

  379. As you suggested on Dreamwith, I will ask this question here. In a reply above, you wrote:

    “check out the history of women’s legal status sometime, and you’ll find (for example) that the Protestant Reformation saw a dramatic decline in women’s legal status, with women being deprived of legal rights they’d had for centuries.”

    This is not how Dutch history classes present the Reformation, so I was interested in finding out more. However, when I search online, I get broadly sweeping statements instead of historical details.

    What tips can you offer for finding interesting articles about a subject like the changes to women’s legal status during the Protestant Reformation?

  380. JMG, Gary

    Zeihan thinks that America is the top dog for internal reasons and doesn’t really need the world. He thinks America can produce basically everything necessary for industrial civilization and continuing progress within its borders.

    For Zeihan, the thing that really created the modern world was the American ‘Order’, which he thinks is something completely different from the empires that preceded it.

    In Zeihan’s view, Americans, in order to win the Cold War, build a system where for the first time ever all the countries could take full advantage of the industrial technologies and trade, while America took care of the security. That’s what made all post war prosperity possible.

    This idea of the ‘Order’ as something that was created to fight the Cold Was and not as an empire, is pretty essential for Zeihan’s thinking. (in my view that is) He thinks that after the Cold War, Americans have been slowly losing interest in involving themselves with the larger world and are slowly retreating.

    In summary: according to Zeihan, US hegemony is collapsing because Americans are letting it to collapse because they just don’t care anymore. Not because of any weakness on their part. And that, even more than the demographic issues, is behind the global collapse.

    Personally, I (as a European) find his thoughts about the future of the world outside US very interesting and largely believable, at least on the short run. I find the idea of general collapse much more likely than the idea that only West will fall. Catabolic collapse is facing the whole planet, not just the developed world

    His views of both past and the future of US are.. Well rather rosy, if not even silly.

    JAS

  381. Re #279 Lakeland Repotluck: Thanks for the link to Unlimited Hangout. This was very clarifying:

    “With those “stakeholders” on board, Klaus Schwab’s main ideological product, “stakeholder capitalism”, will see the transfer of power away from true democratic processes and onto a system of governance by a small preselected leadership group, who will be trained to continue the agenda set for them by the previous generation, as predicted by Herman Kahn. They will hold all the cards, whilst the common people will be left with just illusory pseudo-democratic processes, poverty, and constant absurd psychological operations to distract us all constantly.”

    Condoleances on the loss of your good friend.

  382. Bufor #405, woodstove heat

    Entire homes have been heated with wood all over the world for a very, very long time.

    That said, how the heat is distributed depends on the layout, if you have a long hallway with turns, the rooms at the end will not get anywhere near as much heat. Some homes have 2 wood stoves, not many around here do that.

    In my area just about everyone uses a wood stove for heat. My house is 1800sq ft. My house is a story and a half, so the upstairs is warm. The downstairs bedroom is noticably colder. I use an undersized woodstove, one rated for less square feet as the upstairs is open to the vaulted ceiling main area. A larger woodstove would not change the fact that some areas in my homes layout will always be hotter or colder than others. SO, yes, that is a thing, the entire home is not all the same uniform temperature. Not a problem. You just adjust to that fact.

  383. In response to an article regarding Empires. It seems the boomerang effect has taken hold. In an effort by the US to alienate and isolate both Russia and China. Two other countries have now decided to join the BRICS nations. They are Iran and Argentina.

  384. @Michael Martin

    One thing to remember is that the media feeds on hatred and negative emotions. Anger and outrage get more eyeballs, clicks and ad revenue than love and empathy do, so the algorithms tend to promote that “bad stuff” more. That sometimes makes it seem like all straight/gay/left/right/rural/urban/etc people are all hate filled extremists because its the extremists outrage and hate that gets promoted.

    I’ve known some gay people IRL who were absolutely horrible people; shallow, petty, sadistic, just evil people. But I have also known gay people IRL who were absolutely awesome kind and caring people. I’m not willing to condemn the latter just because they share the same sexual orientation as the former. But I do think that it’s the thoughts and opinions of the former who get promoted more on social media.

    I honestly think that if the internet did not exist, a huge number of the social problems that we see in this country would be greatly minimized and sometimes even cease to exist.

  385. Am considering a website of my own creation** …

    So, how do I protect my content from the get-go?? – trade mark$ .. patent$ .. and, or copyright($)
    C’mon .. pity a poor ‘ol NON-hyper-progressive soul ..

    **A light bulb just energized..

  386. Hi JMG

    Some thoughts about the reactions of the Pentagon to the last news about China and Russia:

    https://justthenews.com/government/security/us-commander-chinas-no-limits-support-russia-threatens-humanity

    So for the Pentagon the “unlimited” support of China to Russia in Ukraine is a “threat to Humanity”; because the US Empire “is”, of course, the “Humanity” (as it was “civilization” in the Roman Empire times, as they liked to say)

    China will support with their inmense industrial base the SMO of Russia in Ukraine, because China knows perfectly well what will happen to Russia if it is defeated and converted in a serie of western vassal statelets managed by the US Empire, and the next step is the constriction of the flow of resources from the former RF to China to achieve regime chnage and/or another serie of “unequal treaties” like that of the “old good times” (for the western countries) in the XIX century.

    The US project is crystal clear, they call the project “de-colonize” Russia, which is fact, of course, is a kind of new “Lebesraum” or colonization project of Russia by the western (US) financial and military elites:

    https://www.csce.gov/international-impact/events/decolonizing-russia

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/05/russia-putin-colonization-ukraine-chechnya/639428/

    For China the success of the Russian SMO is also an “existential issue”, so forget about the “depletion” of ammo, missiles, planes and tanks of the Russian army, China is the industrial strategic reserve of the Russian Federation right now.
    Putin is not estupid at all, he started the SMO with his back well covered, he knew what the US and its vassal countries will do and how to respond to them. He had the full support of China before start to anything.

    In the 50’s, when chairman Mao decided to start the “Great Leap Forward” the goal was to have the same steel production of UK (when UK had some industry), few years ago, last time a saw the statistics, China produced 8 times more steel than US + UK COMBINED. So who has more industrial base to sustain a prolonged industrial land war? the UE + US or China + Russia?

    The SMO is not Afghanistan in the 80’s, with the USSR in very poor social and economic conditions, with the price of oil sunken by the massives new discoveries of the oil in Alaska, North Sea and Mexico that drive down the price of oil by a factor of 4, now it is the opposite, the price of energy were rising before the start of the SMO and will continue with the depletion of the oil reserves around the world and there are no new oil fields to be open to substitute the inmense Russian reserves of oil, gas and coal. Also China was more a rival than an ally for the USSR in the 80’s, but thanks to the hybris of the american elite, now they are full time allies because they feel equally threatened by the Empire

    Be ready for a sea of “regime change” but not in Russia or China but in Europe and the US.

    I think the USA and many countries in the EU will be “de-colonized” before the RF

    Cheers
    David

  387. Hi John Michael,

    Sorry it’s late in the week’s cycle, but…

    Had a chance conversation with someone recently who’s experience matched my own earlier experience almost exactly. And the path the person chose out of the mess, was the same.

    That was weird, and I’d had a very long time to consider the mess from all sorts of angles and perspectives so as to better comprehend the situation and motivations.

    Now you and I have been discussing the subject of free will for many years now, and building that capability requires effort, persistence, and importantly, deeds.

    With the problem of the mess again in my mind, I kind of mentally zoomed out and away from the details and just looked at the thing. What did it look like from a distance? That’s when the little light bulb went on in the wee hours this morning (interrupting my sleep is never wise).

    Of course, so obvious from hindsight. You can put in the work to develop and exercise free will, or you can break the bonds that links us to the future.

    Master, please tell me it ain’t so.

    Certainly, if it is so, that explains a lot of the strange behaviour I see going on all around me.

    I await your reply.

    Cheers

    Chris

  388. @Bofur #405

    I’ve lived all of my 37 years in four different houses heated entirely or primarily by wood stoves, in Minnesota and Oregon.

    A wood stove can put out far more heat than almost any furnace and I find it wonderful to have a central area in the house that is truly warm while other parts are cool-to-comfortable.

    Modern sprawling single-level houses are not designed for wood stoves, and it is necessary especially on the coldest days to run fans to keep the outer rooms from being uncomfortably cool while the central area songs the stove is excessively warm. That takes electricity of course but lacking it one can always sleep in the warmer rooms. The energy use of the fans is insignificant relative to the energy used in heating.

    Old farmhouses and Victorian era houses in town tend to be square and two or three stories, and this works much better for getting uniform heat from a wood stove in the center of the main level, since warm air always rises.

  389. Peter Van Erp… i LOOOOVE that youse guys do these on a regular basis.
    xxxxxxxxxx
    erika

  390. Great Khan, had you ever been to the Center Of Science And Industry in Columbus, Ohio? Packed with interesting exhibits. They had the original (Mercury?) space capsule, a mock coal mine, a Street of Yesteryear ca. 1850, where you could go into the various shops and offices and examine everything, a transparent beehive that had been carrying on through successive generations since the 1950’s, and on and on and on. The Chamber of Commerce shut it down and replaced it with a big ugly building that had inadequate parking outside. Inside were vast vistas of…nothing. All that empty space was supposed to be used for traveling exhibits that never materialized. All the interesting stuff from the old building was supposedly put into storage in favor of more relevant stuff that also never materialized. No stenographers ever bothered to find out what happened to the bees. I hope they were sold to some beekeeper and carried on with their little lives.

    Down with post-modernity! Ugly, boring, and wasteful.

  391. Jmg, youve written about the deteriorating/crumbling credibility of federal power. The dobbs decision is very much framed as a rollback of federal authority and return to states rights. Thoughts? ;;hy;;

  392. Bofur #405

    I can say with certainty that a woodstove will heat an entire house up to 2500 sq ft quite easily. Of course some home layouts are better than others but if you can put the stove in a basement, its ideal. In Maine, traditional New England split level house, my family and later just my widowed mom heated almost exclusively with wood for over 20 years since the electric heat was expensive and not very good in that house. The weakness is the blower motor but a battery system and solar panel could fix that easily if desired or even a windmill driven blower if you felt creative. Close to the stove will be very hot so the more ventilation the better, hence the basement working best since the upper levels will be very comfortable.

    I had a stove inserted into a fireplace here in Oklahoma as a back up and used to have alot of visitors when the temperature was in single digits and my living room was a comfortable 80+ degrees.