Open Post

March 2022 Open Post and Lentil Recipe

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.)

Still, I can’t resist inserting a bit of news relevant to the focus of this blog. Last week Bloomberg was incautious enough to post an op-ed piece by economist Teresa Ghilarducci titled “Inflation Stings Most If You Earn Less Than $300K.  Here’s How To Deal.”  The antics of economists have been a subject for well-earned hilarity on this blog, and Ghilarducci did her level best to rise to the challenge, suggesting that anyone who makes less than $289,000 a year (iirc, that’s 98.9% of the US population) ought to eat lentils instead of meat, neglect vet visits for your pets, and take public transit. Oh, and you shouldn’t buy in bulk, because somehow getting things more cheaply that way doesn’t help.

Ghilarduccil and Bloomberg got duly savaged online, but it seems to me that we have an opportunity here, because lentils (and other, ahem, bulk products) are worth including in your larder whether or not times are rough. With that in mind, my wife Sara came up with the following, which she modestly suggests should be titled “Lentils Bloomberg.”

 *  *  *  *

Lentils Bloomberg

In the interest of helping people who make less than $289,000 a year and are feeling the pinch of inflation, we offer the following versatile, tasty, and cheap recipe. The basic recipe feeds four people who make less than $289,000 a year.  With additional protein, especially meat, the recipe will feed 6 to 8 people who make less than $289,000 a year.

Ingredients

1 lb ordinary brown lentils

1 medium yellow onion

3 carrots

3 stalks of celery

About 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking fat of some kind (butter, margarine, olive oil, etc)

About 6 to 8 cups water or stock, divided

1 medium can (14 to 16 oz) diced tomatoes

additional protein if desired (see variations, below)

seasoning as desired (see variations, below)

Method

Peel and dice onion.  Wash, peel, trim, and penny-slice carrots.  Wash, trim, and dice celery.  Put a couple of tablespoons of cooking fat into the bottom of a heavy pan, and saute the vegetables in this until they begin to soften and the onion begins to brown.

Meanwhile, rinse lentils and pick over to remove any stones, clods of dirt, etc.  Add the lentils to the vegetables, and pour in enough water or stock to cover them to a depth of one inch.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until lentils have begun to break up (probably one to two hours, depending on how dry the lentils were).  Add small amounts of water or stock during the cooking, as needed to prevent the mixture sticking and burning.  When the lentils and vegetables are almost done, add the diced tomatoes, either with or without the juice from the can.  Continue cooking until desired degree of doneness and thickness are reached.  (Anything consistency from a soup to a thick paste works well.)

Season to taste.  Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta, or with a side of cornbread, biscuits, pita bread, tortillas, bread and butter, or buttered toast.

Variations

This can be cooked in a crockpot, in which case you may need less liquid and won’t have to stir the mixture as it cooks.

The basic recipe is vegan.  For additional protein, if you consume animal products, you can add any of the following:

4 hard-boiled eggs, cut up (stir in at serving time)

2 cups grated cheese (stir in at serving time)

2 cups cut-up cooked meat (ham, bacon, chicken, turkey, and pork work really well) (cook with the lentils and vegetables)

2 cups browned ground meat (turkey and pork are excellent here) (cook with the lentils and vegetables)

Seasoning options include:

Salt and pepper

Soy sauce, minced garlic, and minced ginger

Curry powder

Chili powder

Chili powder and cumin

Cumin and cayenne pepper

Turmeric and cayenne pepper

If you don’t like tomatoes, leave them out.  You can also switch up the vegetables to match your taste and what you have available.

Enjoy!

 *  *  *  *

With that said, and a pot of tasty lentils on the stove, have at it!

459 Comments

  1. A data point… A few days ago, a Francis Fukuyama column in the Spectator tentatively predicted a Russian defeat: “I’ll stick my neck out and say that Russia may be heading for an outright defeat in Ukraine.” (I’m not sure how much one actually sticks their neck out by saying an event “may” happen, but I digress.) Between Fukuyama’s past track record and the astrological conditions you discussed on one of the recent podcasts, one side in particular would seem to have the wind at their backs, so to speak.

  2. Ha, what a synchronicity! I have my favorite and most delicious soup on the menu for tonight, lentil soup with butternut squash and kale! With homemade chicken stock of course because that makes an ordinary soup extraordinary. As if eating lentils is some sort of sacrifice…

  3. A dash of cream and some red wine vinegar can also be very good with lentils.

    Eggplants are generally underrated as well. I’ve been making some basic ratatouille (just vegetables sauteed until they are vaguely stew-like) lately, and with some good old bread and butter (or just bread if its good enough bread) you got a good meal that’s also appropriate to the few people here who earn under $289,000 😉

  4. Here’s another fantastic lentil recipe:

    One Pot Mediterranean Lentil and Rice Recipe |

    This recipe is inspired by Mujadara and a combination of few Mediterranean recipes (however, I have added Ginger because of it’s various health benefits especially with digestion).

    —————–

    ▶️ RECIPE INGREDIENTS: (4 to 5 servings)

    1 Cup / 200g BROWN LENTILS ONLY (washed and soaked in water for at least 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) until the lentils are very tender)
    (NOTE: Some brown lentils are more dry than the others and therefore need more soaking time. How to know if the lentils are soaked well? You should be able to cut a lentil piece with your nails, effortlessly. If not, then soak it longer)

    1 Cup /200g BASMATI Rice (thoroughly washed/soaked in water for 20 minutes)
    3 Cup / 400g Chopped Onions – 2 medium size onions (430g with skin on)
    1 Tablespoon ginger (very finely chopped)
    1 Tablespoon garlic (very finely chopped)
    3/4 Cup Strained Tomatoes / Passata
    1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
    1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
    1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper OR to taste (Optional)
    Salt to taste (I added total 1+1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt)
    2 Cups / 475ml Water

    Garnish:
    3/4 cup / 70g Parsley (finely chopped)
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste (I added 1/2 teaspoon)
    Lemon or Lime juice to taste (I added 1+1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, I like it a bit sour)
    Extra Virgin Olive oil (I added 2 tablespoons of organic cold-pressed olive oil)

    ▶️ METHOD:

    Wash and soak the brown lentils for at least 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) until the lentils are very tender.
    [PLEASE NOTE: Some brown lentils are more dry than the others and there need more soaking time. How to know if the lentils are soaked well? You could should be able to cut a lentil piece with your nails, effortlessly. If not, soak it longer]

    Thoroughly wash the rice until the water runs clear to get rid of any impurities/gunk (it’s an important step so do not skip it). Soak for 20 minutes.

    Heat a pan, add cooking oil, onion and 1/2 tsp salt. Adding salt to the onions will help release water and help it cook faster. Fry the onion on medium-high heat until it starts to caramelize. Once caramelized, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low heat (depending on the heat of your stove) and add finely chopped ginger and garlic. Fry until onions are nicely browned (be careful not to burn the onion).

    Once the onion is caramelized, add the strained tomatoes/passata and spices. Give it a good mix. Add the soaked lentil and rice, along with salt and water. Cover and bring to a vigorous boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes.

    [PLEASE NOTE: Every stove is different, so ADJUST THE COOKING TIME as per the heat of your stove to prevent the rice from getting mushy]

    Uncover and check to see if the rice and lentils are cooked (it should be cooked by now, if its not, cover and cook it for a bit longer). Now continue to cook UNCOVER for another 1 to 2 minutes on low heat to get rid of any excess moisture. Turn off the heat.

    Add parsley, lemon juice, black pepper and drizzle of olive oil. Mix gently, rice is delicate at this point and we don’t want to break it. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving (for flavors to blend)

    Stores well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. It’s perfect for meal planning.

    IMPORTANT TIPS:

    – Soak lentils until they are very tender. The soaking time depends on the quality of the lentils. Some brown lentils are more dry than the others and therefore needs more soaking time.

    – How to know if the lentils are soaked well? You should be able to cut a lentil piece with your nails, effortlessly. If not, then soak longer.

    – It’s really important that the lentils soak well. Reason is to match the cooking time of lentil with the rice. This will prevent the rice from getting mushy

    – Drain the soaked rice and lentil really well, to get rid of any excess water

    – Caramelize the onion well, this adds a lot of flavor to this dish

    – Every stove is different, so ADJUST THE COOKING TIME as per the heat of your stove to prevent the rice from getting mushy

  5. I hope it is ok if I again offer my services as a horary astrologer; this is one of the few avenues I’ve found for finding people interested in astrological prognostication, surprisingly. So, if any of my fellow JMG aficionados have a query to be examined using traditional astrology, please feel free to email me at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com. Practicing the art is one of the best ways to get better, and speaking personally, I want to serve the muse Urania in the most beneficent manner possible.

  6. I see our call to revolution now: “Let them eat lentils!”

    I recently left a well paying job in higher education and will soon be (temporarily, I hope) homeless while I look for work. I don’t think I could have picked a better time to parachute out of the PMC.

  7. Hello, JMG and everyone. Watching these guys make upbeat music and have a lot of fun doing it lifted my spirits often this past winter. Maybe it’ll be the same for you? Here’s a link to “Ya Bassa” by Clanadonia.

  8. Brilliant, will try the recipe out. And please thank Sara.
    (Sadly, due to poor personal lifestyle choices, I do come into the sub six zillion dollar bracket.)

  9. @JMG, what do you suggest to an American who is reliant upon a car to get to work to make rent? I thankfully am not in this situation, but a lot of people in the US are. I knew someone in the US who delayed getting necessary dental work done because of car maintenance, and the dental problem ended up getting worse and more expensive. There’s lots of examples like that, people skipping out on necessary, non-luxury things in order to keep that car running.

    In my view, a society based on cars needs to fly out into the Ring Pass Not, and I’m not getting in its way! But that’s a cold comfort to the people in a tight-strapped situation.

  10. re Ghilarducci & inflation

    Read some of the Bloomberg comments and laughed. This lady obviously never had to support herself on less than 300K a year and many made it clear they thought the same thing. Of course, I’m retired and on a fixed income but somehow I manage just well and eat meat nearly every day without it making too deep a dent in my wallet. I do without cable or cell phone service but that’s by choice, not by necessity. I’ll admit I do have some advantages. I live in a small town so it’s a relatively short ride to the box stores disgracing the edge of our town and if I only need a few things there are a number of stores within walking range for me.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten a lentil (that I know of) but may try the recipe. I have my own recipe for chicken soup which allows me to stretch the meat budget and make use of left over veggies before they wilt. I haven’t bought a can of Campbell chicken flavored soup in years.

  11. I saw a very sarcastic commentary on Gilarducci’s article that was a little hyperbolic. From the title I thought she meant ‘let the pets starve’ when it turned out she meant ‘don’t get $10,000 chemotherapy for your pet’. Which is a lot less unreasonable.

    I am a little disturbed by how high she set the income bar. If people getting nearly $300,000 are supposed to eat lentils, what am I (more like $15,000) going to be eating? Water and the products of my garden? I don’t grow enough stuff for that…

    On the plus side, I like lentils. Have a recipe from yesterday:

    Chickeny lentil soup:
    -1 tbsp chicken stock mix
    -1/3 cup red split lentils
    -1 cake of ramen noodles
    -1 onion
    -half a saucepan of water
    -ginger or black pepper to taste

    Wash lentils.

    Dump everything except the ginger in the pot and cook until the onion is semitransparent and soft. Add ginger or pepper. Serve.

    Super quick and easy to make, and easy on an upset stomach. Can put with bread or salad.

    Here’s another lentil recipe I’m fond of: Lentil Masala with Rice

    -split red lentils
    -1 onion
    -2 carrots
    -2-3 celery stalks
    -1 potato
    -kale stalks, string beans or other random seasonal veggie if available and desired
    -2 tbsp garam masala spices (unless yours are decently powerful, my grocery stores’ are pretty feeble)
    -1 tbsp flour
    -1tbsp chicken or veggie stock mix or a pinch of salt. Your choice, but do one or the other.

    Wash lentils. Cut veggies and potato into smallish pieces and dump all hard veggies in pot.

    Bring to boil, then simmer until veggies soften. Lentils will turn to much.

    Add stock mix or salt to pot.

    Make mix of water, flour and masala spices, and get the lumps out. Add to pot.

    Add kale leaves, beans, or other easily overcooked veggies. Stir regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

    Serve with rice or naan bread, and chutney if you like that.

    Notes: I find brown rice takes slightly longer to cook than the masala. White rice takes slightly less. The lentils take less time than the veggies. Tinned chickpeas also go really well in place of lentils.

  12. Jmg,

    Can you give a handful of your favorite music genres? Are there any occult connections with them?

  13. Loved the Lentil recipe. The good news is I can grow nearly all of the ingredients here.

    I’m becoming a peasant!

  14. Ah, an excellent of piece of socialist false flag propaganda designed to throw off the shackles of evil American capitalism! Hats off to our deep cover agent Teresa Ghilarducci for sparking a workers revolution… oh wait, she’s an economics professor.

  15. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for the recipe. I earn roughly a gross 50kUSD a year, I’m sure I can use this one. Ooooooh, wait! I already eat lentils on a regular basis! And pasta! And risotto with mushrooms and what have you that are staple food here in countryside France and Italy.

    Even if I know how much the PMC is delusional, such articles never misses to get me startled. I’m waiting for the next one about which wine to serve for those poor sobs who earn less than 800kUSD a year… (spoiler alert! craft your own beer)

    Speaking of that and because I like wine and open posts altogether, are there many independant winegrowers/winemakers in the US who sell locally at fair prices or, as I’m tempted to think, vineyards are big corporate winemills to make wine a luxury for the affluent ones? Here, in France, we have mainly kept independant producers and this makes wine a quite affordable product.

  16. At this point it’s safe to say that the West is well past just the early stages of its decline.

    In the past you’ve given some practical advice about navigating the more advanced stages of the decline. Have you considered writing a book in a more “how-to” type of vein? An antifragile guide to surviving a post-Western world for Westerners? I bet there’s a market for that.

  17. Good afternoon!

    I’ve been slowly reading through the Cosmic Doctrine and a couple of points struck me. These aren’t vital by any means and could be based on a fundamental misunderstanding of my own (especially the “these images are not literal” part), so feel free to ignore this, but curiosity and a desire to test my understanding call that I ask:

    1) Since stars are the physical manifestation of a Solar Logos, how would this apply in multiple-star systems- especially regarding odd cases like cataclysmic binaries and collisions/mergers? As I understand it, this would imply two Logoi with a very complicated set of interactions- which would be appropriate.

    2) Since the ultimate result of any Cosmos seems to be complexity and integration, do you believe that most exosolar star systems will develop material life at some point?

    3) Would most “dead” worlds, including those in our own solar system, host subtle ecologies (akin to etheric fae or astral spirits) native to those worlds? If so, do you have any experience or knowledge of these beings?

  18. JMG, congratulations on your excellent entry in the new short story anthology out from Founders House Publishing, Silence in the City. It truly is a highlight of the collection, and I make a point of calling it out in my review: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2022-03-10/review-of-silence-in-the-city-a-short-story-collection-edited-by-shaun-kilgore/. I can’t wait to see what’s next in the Greer deindustrial fiction oeuvre. (Also, I know what I’m having for dinner tonight–for which many thanks as well!)

  19. Yes, lentils. One of the best dishes I ever had was a lentil soupe. And one of the *worst* dishes I ever tried to eat, was actually also a lentil soup!

    Sure hope the first version survives inflation… 😉

  20. I would like to say Bravo to Sara

    Now my question this month. Is there anyway to tell if a used book has paper that will last a long time, acid free I think? When I am at thrift stores or used books stores I would like to pick up books for my long haul library. So I would like to have an idea which ones will last a long time

    Thanks everyone
    Will O

  21. “Lentils Bloomberg” — Gotta love it!

    Just like Psaki’s prior “martinis” comment, every time they open their mouths they reveal how entirely out-of-touch (and condescending) they are to a greater portion of the general public.

  22. I’ve been experimenting with split peas in a slow cooker, but I can’t get them to soften properly. I soaked them for 14 hours, then cooked them for about 10, on high for the first couple of hours, then on low. Any suggestions?

    I’m new to slowcooker use, and so far I’m not really getting the results I want on anything I’ve tried. But I can’t get split peas to soften on the stove either.

  23. Right at this very moment, I am feasting on a large bowl of lentil soup – while earning less than $289,000/yr. Take that, Boomberg!!

  24. Hello JMG,

    Glad to be able to ask a question today.

    There is a historian in France called Philippe Fabry, who has been observing patterns between nations in history.

    historionomie.net . He is on youtube as well where he details his views of what he sees happening now and in the future.

    He sees a high probability of a hot war between Russia and NATO starting by the end of this year. The justification for the Ukraine will be the same as for the invasion of the Baltic states. Harsh economic sanctions make the need for further war more necessary from Russia’s current point of view.

    At minima there will be another cold war that NATO will win. China will get involved in Asia.
    He sees the same pattern as when Napoleon’s France invaded Europe, and when Germany invaded it again last century.

    The war will not be nuclear because the new military positions is that Russia can conventional attacks on non-nuclear states such as Poland and Germany without the USA or France doing a nuclear attack because their territory is not touched directly. There could be a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India though.

    The war will remain conventional warfare. The civilian population will not be involved directly, other than having to pay high taxes for it. For the first two or three years, Russia and China will score important victories, then NATO will reverse the trend with tremendous difficulty, thanks to submarines and bombing of Russia’s army in Europe. Eventually the US military will use technology that is currently under development (he mentions examples of laser weapons and rail guns), to destroy Russia’s and China’s nuclear’s arsenals without retaliation.

    Fabry observed that a world war like this typicall lasts five to ten years.
    I am researching if other credible historians or geopoliticians see the same scenario.

    This is a pretty dark scenario, and I am praying for a cold war or another outcome.

    What are your thoughts on his views?

    Merci!

  25. For those like me who have trouble digesting lentils, I recommend about three square inches of kelp, often sold in the Asian food sections of supermarkets as kombu, after the reduction to a simmer. It will completely dissolve, will have only a slight effect on the flavor, and will help a great deal with reactions such as extreme flatulence and the runs.

  26. Following on from the discussion of burnout, I have a complex relationship with productivity and the work ethic. On one hand I know exactly how they serve capitalism and the effect they have on people. On the other hand, I am primarily an efficiency expert and I’m very good at it. As well as knowing how to do it at industrial scale, I will perfect systems for shaving, cutting my nails, and using the paraffin heater in the greenhouse. This knowledge has been a great liberation for me.

    One thing I’ve found helpful is to switch from the idea of work ethic to work capacity. This term comes from the physical training world and is itself debated: https://www.strongfirst.com/work-capacity-part-i/ and https://www.strongfirst.com/what-is-work-capacity-part-ii/. The point is this change takes the morality and obligation out of it. It’s an ability you possess to deploy as you see fit. No one can demand it from you.

    Another concept I like is the Italian Renaissance’s ‘sprezzatura’ or ‘effortless accomplishment’. The proponents of this belief were polymaths who were seriously trying to live the Renaissance Man ideal – to be brilliant at everything, while making it look easy. It’s not a perfect ideology – it had distinct undercurrents of aristocratic disdain. It also escalated to ridiculous levels, like trying to dance and swordfight without breaking a sweat. It still seems a far healthier attitude than presenteeism, busyness, exhaustion and stress as status symbols.

  27. I am glad to announce that the 5th Annual (sort-of) Midsummer Ecosphia Potluck will be held at our house this June 25, 2022. Once again, whomever is coming from the furthest away is welcome to stay in our guest room. In order to ensure a maximum of diversty and inclusion of food groups, please sign up at the Google form (a href=”https://forms.gle/6ysBfaYT8MGv4cxL6″>here. In the words of the Great Helmsman (slightly adapted): “Let a thousand Lentils Bloomberg!”

  28. This might be a big bite of a question, but unless somebody asked this same question last month, how do you see the Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with its international implications, resolving by the end of this year?

  29. Follow up to discussion on the South. It seems to me that after the war the USA government took for its economic and political model that of the defeated minority elite of the old South. So our economy or political economy became mercantilistic and patriarchal. The old feudal side was killed as a scapegoat and impediment allowing the big biz model of king cotton to become paradigmatic for the new Empire. Therea a lot more to the south than plantations to my mind the least interesting most goofy and most tainted part. But that’s what the Fed kept. Celadon

  30. Correction, my income’s actually lower than that in US dollars. Not that it really matters for the point I’m making anyway. I messed up the exchange rate…

  31. I recently began following along with your series on The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic (starting at the beginning) and, of course, I bought a set of tarot cards. I have the Wirth deck with the yellow orange backs. According to some online tarot sites, the major arcana cards are based on Wirth’s originals but the minors are not. Aesthetically I can get past the difference in style, particularly as I have no other personal references, tarot being utterly new to me. I have been doing a celtic cross spread every morning and have found genuinely helpful insights literally every time. Learning this symbolic language is clearly going to take some time and I wonder if you recommend sticking with a single deck of cards until a certain level of familiarity is achieved? Also, is there any significance to every spread having a far greater number of major arcana cards than the laws of probability would suggest likely?

  32. “Oh, and you shouldn’t buy in bulk, because somehow getting things more cheaply that way doesn’t help.” What the article actually said, translated out of the weasel words, was along the lines of, “Don’t buy in bulk because, if you’re like most people, you’re too stupid and lacking in self-discipline to keep from being manipulated by the big discount stores into buying stuff you don’t need.” Which in turn assumes that we will go to the big discount stores because we are too ignorant to know about bulk shopping online.

  33. I use lentils in my beef stews, peas disintegrate too easily. Being an alumnus of the University of Idaho, I know about the Idaho Pea and Lentil Commission, they grow quite a lot of peas and lentils on the Palouse. If you look that up you get a link to more recipes.

    https://pulses.org/us/pulse-recipes/

    I have to admit that the clueless reporter who thought the poverty line starts at $289,000 gave me much merriment in a bad sort of way. When the revolution comes she will likely be standing in solidarity alongside Sirius Cybernetics and have no idea what she did wrong.

  34. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never tried using both chili powder and curry powder in the same dish – will give it a whirl.

    Thanks also for all the work you did in preparing us for moments like the current one. Even something like, having a solar oven that I’ve used a fair bit is seeming like it’s moving from the eccentric category (which I’m well stocked up on) and into the practical one. Even if we don’t expressly need it just yet, at least we have it as a back up in case the lights go out for several days, which certainly seems “on the table” so far as I can tell.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  35. Hi JMG,

    In Occult literature, for example that of P.B. Randolph, there are often hints that certain Spiritual practices can extend a human lifespan to a radical length (over several centuries). I began musing on this topic recently, thinking of what such an existence would entail, on a practical level. It would be a nomadic, rootless existence, as the passage of time forced one to become distant from spouses, children, and friends, who all age at a normal rate. It would necessitate the regular assumption of new names, identities, homelands, and vocations–ever concealing from the world the abnormal nature of one’s long life. Given that, I’m not sure I would choose such a life, were it attainable.

    Have you ever considered this notion? If you don’t mind sharing, what would be your feelings to such a hypothetical choice?

  36. I will have to try this recipe. Though I have the problem that I’m the only one in my household who has given up meat for Lent, so I’ll have to eat it over a few days… I want to get used to eating peasant food before I am forced to do so.

  37. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I hesitate to ask this because I assume you will field several similar questions but I can’t help myself. I would like to once again hear your thoughts on inflation.

    In the past when I asked about it you made the argument that we will mostly likely experience bad stagflation but not hyper inflation because the latter was a choice. A government had to choose to light up the printing presses to create that kind of inflation.

    The argument seems reasonable but it leads me to wonder where do you draw the line between stagflation and hyperinflation. Obviously a wheel barrel of marks to buy a loaf of bread is hyperinflation, whereas America in the 1970s is stagflation. Do you consider something like Argentinian’s 50 percent annual inflation to be hyperinflation?

    While we are on the subject, considering how clueless the economic elites are do you think there is a chance they could subconsciously choose hyperinflation? I increasingly think they might try sending everyone checks each month and assume they won’t create inflation because inflation only comes from evil corporations trying to price gauge, or something like that. I’ve certainly been hearing versions of that argument with increasing frequency.

  38. Seed oils are bad. And they are a prime suspect in the obesity crisis. Butter is your best choice, lard is OK but if the pig was raised on seed oils, it’ll pass a fraction of those right on through. Of the seed oils, olive oil is probably the one that’s OK. Not great but OK. Margarine? Are you nuts? Avoid.

    Other than that, the rest of the recipe is alright. Cook away.

  39. Hi JMG,

    I realize I misread the way you were listing ingredients! At least I spared myself a chili/curry abomination =)

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  40. This is a continuation of the discussion JMG and I had, as to why young men are flocking to serious religious disciplines.

    To recap, I have had, in my Orthodox parish, an influx of young local Kiwi’s (i.e., no “old country” ties) coming into our church and being Baptized. Six of them are young men, and only one is a young woman.

    Our discussion was around the reason for this unique gender disparity. JMG made the following observations:

    Michael, this doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve been encountering a steady stream of young men who are utterly unsatisfied with what modern industrial culture has to offer; they want meaning and purpose in their lives and they’re willing to take up disciplines and work hard to achieve these things. You might be interested to find how many young men have taken up cold showers in the last few years!

    As to the reasons, he said:

    Young men these days, unless they belong to the prosperous classes, have nothing to hope for and nothing to gain from society as it currently exists. They’ve been assigned the permanent role of Bad People, and the only place they’re offered in society is that of permanent punching bags … . So it’s hardly a surprise that they’re open to other options, such as serious involvement in religion or occultism.

    The sociological reason is certainly a compelling one. However, I think there are some deeper reasons, which I want to discuss.

    In 1919 (just after the Great War), Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” in which he contrasted “the gods of the marketplace” (i.e., the intellectual fads and ideologies du jour) with “The Gods of the Copybook Headings (i.e., the timeless truths and eternal verities). There is a stanza in that poem I remember very well:

    On the first Feminian Sandstones, we were promised the Fuller Life,
    (Which started by loving our neighbour, and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children, and the men lost reason and faith.
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said, “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    What Kipling is pointing out, is that when the spiritual atmosphere of a society darkens, the resulting pollution (“astral crud” as some here call it), affects men and women differently. Women suffer on a physical and psychosomatic level (“no more children”), whereas the men suffer mentally and spiritually (“los[ing] reason and faith”). As we discussed way back in the “Metaphysics of Sex” post, men need transcendent meaning and value as a compass or a lodestar, to successfully navigate through life. The various initiations and “vision quests” of different cultures exist to provide that need. Without that, men feel contingent, useless and lost.

    Contemporary WEIRD(*) Western society, by contrast, insists upon a materialistic philosophy, in which objective, transcendent meaning is, in principle, excluded, and people are defined as no more than 70 kg of bloody clay, activated only by electrical impulses. In other words, Nihilism.

    This has an effect on things like suicide rates. Female suicides get all the media attention, because they fit The Narrative that all the problems of the world are caused by the “Evilly Evil” Male Patriarchy, which is then duly, ritually denounced with the requisite thundering Weltschmerz and Wagnerian abandon. Forgotten in all the noise and fustian, is that men of all ages kill themselves at three times the rate of women, a fact that public health authorities around the world have documented to death. Again, this indicates that a lack of meaning and values, while harmful for women, is absolutely fatal and deadly for men.

    I believe that many young men sense this, and are looking to well-established traditions to help pull their souls out of the drink, so to speak. In my parish, the most popular contemporary Orthodox book among our young converts is NIHILISM: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age by the late Hieromonk Seraphim Rose. These young men “get it!”

    (*NOTE: WEIRD = Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic)

  41. Seems Teresa Ghilarducci wants people to read her clueless oblivious article. I did. It is so typical of a member of the PMC. Especially one who is an “economics professor” Still more proof our Ruling Class is totally senile.
    Last week’s post got a lot of comments that based future plans of energy production on the current population. I don’t remember seeing one based on the massive drop in population predicted as we decline. A drop that wont even need famine, or world war, and likely take 100-500 years. Another thing I found lacking is the hundreds of years when wind and water actually drove machinery in the mills. There are still a number operational with their wooden innards intact. No need to generate electricity, at all. Then there are all the different uses of solar energy, which, again, don’t involve electricity.
    I remember talking with farmers in rural Va and Md decades ago where they all said “We always leave the corners of the fields, and a few rows of the crop along the fences for the critters. And rotate the crops”
    Posted this to my feed on Faceplant: Just pointing out that it hasnt been 0 degrees Aires on the Spring Equinox in about 4,320 years. It’s more of less 0 Aquarius on the Spring Equinox now So adjust every thing 60 degrees, or 2 signs. BTW Scorpio is almost gone from the Zodiac, replaced by Ophiuchus.
    Then this in response to someone saying “What, I’m a Scorpio!” not really, you need to go 2 signs counter clockwise to find what sign the Sun was really in when you were born. And yes Scorpio is almost gone. Moving out. I have a Moon program which shows the current state of the zodiac, with the 13 signs that are actually there.”
    Ive done my horoscopes with the adjustment, and the Olde Way. Adjusting for precession, which is what ancient astrologers did, seems to have more hits. Imagine if the Magi had not adjusted, and been months, or years late for “The Jesus Incident” Though it does often come down to it’s a tool, and how you, personally, use it.

  42. In the last open post there was talk of printers, and I want to put in a plug for an old hobby that is inexpensive and definitely green. Paper Modeling can be childishly easy or devilishly difficult. It is easy to find free models online. Then simply print them out on card stock and do some scoring for bends, and then cut and paste.

    Subjects are pretty much anything. Architecture, castles, birds, beasts, cartoon figures, etc. My absolute favorites are “Pellerin Epinal” from late 1800s France. The old cards are fairly common and nice people scan them and put them online for free download. Patricia, surf: pilllpat (agence eureka), has shared many. A modern Dutch artist, Johann Scheft, makes wonderful bird models that sell for about $7 each, with some free loss leaders. My web friend Walther has a site where he shares hundreds of free models of every kind, https://papermau.blogspot.com/ (Leave a tip if you can.)

    The hobby grows and fades in the US, but has had a steady international following. Try a little cut and paste with small scissors, X-acto, and Elmers. A Green meditation while those lentils are cooking. And well within the $289,000 price range. –JD

  43. Don’t you just love how the upper class looks down on the Plebs? “Let them Eat Cake”, no scratch that, “Let Them Eat Lentils” and let them take public transportation. At least they didn’t reference and pay homage to “our rich billionaire friends” because we KNOW how much our rich billionaire friends think of the downtrodden.

  44. JMG,
    I always assume any MSM article is either testing the waters for a new propaganda approach, trying to brainwash people or simply trying to sell a product. I can see all three here:
    – Tiny steps to convince people to “own nothing an be happy”. Giving up meat and cars is part of the plan.
    – Brainwash people “we’re all in this together” – see, even the PMC types have to eat lentils and take public transit!
    – Panic but don’t buy in bulk. In fact why not buy preprocessed ready-to-serve overpriced junk that we sell? I can name here some famouse prepper companies that sell expensive meals. The sales pitch is that “they last 10 years” when in fact plenty of bulk foods can last just as long at 1/10th (1/100th?) of the price.

    Thank you

  45. Anyone want to bet that Mme Ghilarducci went out and rewarded herself with a nice steak dinner for that stunning bit of journalism? Perhaps on the way home from Cosco, before picking her toy poodle up from the vet…

  46. John–

    Just freakin’ amazing. The cluelessness of our clueless elite seems to surpass the most unimaginable levels of cluelessness ever conceived.

    Touching on last week’s topic, have any modern writers attempted to reunify poli sci and economics back into “political economy”?

    Also, while I know you have an impressive queue of writing projects lined up, I (for one) would be very interested in a revision of your Atlantis book if/when you get to that one.

  47. JMG et al.,
    about the senility of the elites.

    I am always wary of feeling superior. I see calling the elites senile as a mistake that I make too sometimes.

    In reality, the elites seem very much in control. Just think about the amount of power they have that allows them to behave like complete morons or evil psychopaths in plain sight (they even brag about it) and yet there is barely any opposition at all.

    Comparing them to the USSR party leadership is useful. USSR had a senile elite and that showed best in the incompetent propaganda. For some reason the communists were never very good at propaganda and brainwashing, so they were forced to provide some benefits to people (free education and healthcare, guaranteed jobs and place to live in).

    I would consider western elites as the best at what they do – propaganda and brainwashing on such a scale that they turned hundred of million of people into controllable meat robots. Just read the dreamwidth coflu threads – people that were scared to meet friends for 2 years are suddenly not scared anymore because the government changed focus on something else. Can you imagine the hold they have on most people?

  48. I think we saw some minor ” Twilights Last Gleaming” moments last week in Ukraine. Up until now military contractors, Cia handlers etc had been able to operate in places like Iraq and Afghanistan in relative safety back from the front lines or holed up in Bunker like embassies. But this week the Russians used high precision missiles to wipe out three Nato backed training ( and weapons transfer) bases far in the Western part of the country away from the front lines, it was reported the many western mercenaries including Blackwater types were killed. Then in a demonstration that stunned many in the West the Russians used a new hypersonic missile to wipe out a weapons cache hidden deep in a subway tunnel ( there are rumors that it might have even been some kind of CIA bunker). I don’t want to glorify the carnage or lives lost in these events but it is a real wake up call to those in the “regime change” business to find out that War is dangerous. I think these events plus the foot shooting effects of all the sanctions will drop the empire down another big notch in the long road to catabolic collapse.

  49. I made an mistake in my post on the Potluck: the sign up link is here. Fingers crossed that it comes through correctly this time…

  50. Hi JMG,

    The anger about the lentils comment is interesting, it kind of (but not exactly) slots next to all the outrage I saw about the IEA’s 10 points for reducing energy consumption. To me, most of it sounded like a utopia. It would be amazing to me if any of the steps they offered were taken up, but if they were, they’d be some of the very few intelligent responses I’ve ever seen to the world as it is (maybe just minus the electric vehicle talk)….

    Also, apparently Putin has made exports payable only in roubles, and has forbidden use of currencies of hostile countries as payment. The 2020’s keep on giving.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  51. @Chris in VT
    Clanadonia is fabulous. First saw them busking on Buchanan Street (Glasgow, that is), and no one — absolutely no one — could keep still. Bought their CD right there. Quite a few years later, the were invited to hold a drumming workshop at our local primary school, and you can bet the children loved every minute. They look very fierce, but they were wonderful with the wains.

    @All Find an ancient copy of the More With Less Cookbook. It’s all there, right down to how to make soap. Given to me when first married way back in the day; very dog-eared now!

  52. Violet, and so now we’re facing a Muppet shortage? Run for the hills! 😉

    Florida, when I read that Fukuyama had said that, I immediately reassessed the Russo-Ukrainian war and decided that Russia’s chances of winning had gone up sharply. Fukuyama’s wrong so often, he ought to be an economist!

    Kwo, would you mind posting the recipe? That sounds really tasty.

    Andrew, I like to use the thin Japanese eggplants with tofu, zucchini, and rice, but the principle’s the same, and yes, they’re really good.

    Genieboy, thanks for this! It looks very tasty indeed.

    Dbtazzer, I’ll let her know.

    Andrewskeen, it’s fine; in fact, thank you for this.

    Cat, that’s occurred to quite a few people, and not inappropriately.

    Chris, thanks for this.

    Raymond and Jay, glad to hear it.

    CS2, I don’t know. I’ve never owned a car or had a driver’s license, and as a result I’ve always taken transportation issues into account when choosing a place to live (and, before I became self-employed, a job to apply to). Anyone else?

    Jeanne, well, I don’t make $300K either, and somehow my wife and I do just fine! Yes, the comments were really funny.

    Pygmycory, thank you for the recipe! Back in the early 1970s, I think it was, Nelson Rockefeller made a fool of himself in a speech by starting a sentence, “Take an ordinary working man who makes $100,000 a year…” (At that time, of course, the average working man made less than $10K a year.) Ghiarducci, who has a prestigious and very well-paid job at the New School for Social Research in NYC, probably has no clue that her pampered lifestyle isn’t something most Americans can dream of sharing.

  53. Are you all taking that Bloomberg lentils article seriously? I read it as satire! (signed) Your clueless Grey Badger.

  54. Reply to #39 from Balowulf; I have thought upon occasion in years past what it would be like to live a life that embraced several centuries and came to the same conclusion as you regarding what that life would be like. Recently I have thought about what it is or would be like to be re-incarnated. The end result is very much like you have described for living for centuries, it necessitates the assumptions of new names, languages, homelands, vocations, spouses and friends. Perhaps the two situations are more similar that previously imagined. I think that re-incarnation is a better approach however because everything from the previous life would be thankfully erased and the new life would be embraced with a naive enthusiasm and joy of first experience.

  55. Y’all don’t get it, do you?

    Families making under 30K shall eat lentils because they cannot afford meat.
    Families making between 90K and 300K shall eat lentils because they must be *seen* eating vegan and being woke and in general embracing the cultural norms of their betters in order to keep climbing (or at least not falling of) the corporate latter.

    Now if you make anywhere between 30K and 90K, get in line and eat your lentils, or we will make you! Bwahahahahaha

    I, for my part, love lentils. But as soon as Lent is over I’ll go and roast me a nice juicy cut of red meat. Just because I am that kind of guy and my bloated teacher salary let me afford it.

  56. Thanks very much for the recipe, sounds tasty!

    For either JMG or any of the commentariat with thoughts: I asked a question about “retrovation” on the political economy post earlier this month, but I thought I might ask a more targeted question under the same umbrella: can anyone recommend any works on low-tech methods of organizing, storing, or transmitting information? Examples of the kind of thing I mean: Bruno’s Art of Memory, the Dewey Decimal system, alphabetical filing, indices in books, small press pamphlets, commonplace books, Zettelkasten/Slipbox note-taking, Babbage’s Analytical Engine, and telegraphs. If this is hopelessly broad, I’m most interested in the organizing/storing side of things beyond the obvious (books in alphabetical order of author or such).

    Thanks in advance to anyone with thoughts to share!

  57. @ JMG – ‘Lentils Bloomberg”. Nice. My wife and I were talking about that opinion piece last night. Her comments went straight to “gee, 280k a year puts you below the poverty line? Must be nice” Given that she grew up below the actual poverty line, she found the whole thing pretty laughable too.

  58. JMG, what do you think about the current state of psychology and psychotherapy?

    Also, my favorite lentil dal is made thus:

    Soak red lentils 8 hrs or so, rinsing as needed

    Heat cooking fat in pan

    Add whole mustard seed, whole fennel seed, whole cumin seed, whole coriander and toast a bit in the oil, stirring—don’t burn (good, whole spices really do make a difference in the quality, I find)

    Add diced onion and tomatoes (careful so hot oil doesn’t spit at you), cook until translucent/stewed soft

    Add carrots, butternut squash, and/or sweet potatoes (you can add other veg as well, but I find the sweet orange ones go best in this) and cook a bit

    Add broth and soaked, drained lentils, cook until done

    Salt, add some acid for flavor (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc)

    Great as-is or over rice or with bread

  59. That was dumbfounding. Even by current standards.

    I know the elites are out of touch, but we just had a professor of economics helpfully tell us that “inflation stings more” if you’re among the poorest almost-99% of the US population. You don’t say? The richest 1% suffers less impact from high prices than do the poorest 99%? You must have a PhD in economics!

    (One can only wonder how rising prices might affect those in not just the US, but the global poorest 99%….)

    It really is impossible to do satire any more, isn’t it?

    BTW – the comments on that piece are hilarious. If you haven’t read them I suggest doing so before they get taken down.

    Thanks for Lentils Bloomberg. As one of the poors, I already eat lentils. But next time I’ll try some of the suggested seasoning variations for a change of pace.

  60. “Can’t afford a gym membership? Here’s how many calories you can burn pushing a guillotine into the town square”

  61. @Pygmycory:

    Sometimes lentils and split peas that are long past their use by date refuse to soften, although they look perfectly ok in their uncooked state. I’ve Had this experience a few times with lentils that had been lurking at the back of a cupboard – I’ve pulled them out and dropped them into the pot without checking the date on the packet. It seems odd to suggest trying ‘fresh’ dried peas but it might be the cause. I suppose it’s possible that an unscrupulous supplier might be passing off old stock too.

  62. Hi JMG, If Russia ends up losing this war would that make you re evaluate your previous thoughts about the future of Europe? Ie Russia and satellite states one end and the rest islamic.

  63. Will O
    Re paper
    Don’t know how old you are, but most books printed on acid free paper will live longer than the average human. Even cheap paperbacks will live at least 50 years even though the paper has turned brown.
    If you want to do some firsthand research go to a second hand bookstore and compare paper condition to copyright date. You’ll quickly get a feel for what sorts of books last.
    Some other hints, check the front of the book. Some will say, printed on acid free paper or printed on archival paper, or something to that effect.
    University presses imagine themselves as printing important stuff and will be more likely to use good paper.
    Finally, if a book has information that seems worth preserving, buy it, regardless of paper quality. As I mentioned up front, most books are likely to outlive you.
    Finally, books on paper will outlive any digitally stored data developed to date. It is not the storage media that are fragile, but the playback machinery thats short lived.
    Paper and pen

  64. To Will O #24 about book longevity.

    One quick test is visual. To practice, go to a library’s fiction section and find a mass-market paperback book that is at least 10-15 years old or older. Look at the edges of the book; they likely will not be white or newsprint colored. They will be yellowed or various shades of tan, from light-colored to almost rust-colored. Any newer book, meaning those printed in the past few decades with discolored pages, will likely be acidic. I understand that it is caused by Sulphur in the manufacturing of the paper process. Sulphur in this form is acidic. There are expensive solutions that book restorers use, and you can research how to de-acidify books. In the long run, the paper of those books will get brittle and fall apart. If I want to buy a book that looks yellowed, fragile, or smells moldy, I sequester it from the rest of my books by putting it in a Ziploc bag, with all the air squeezed out. Sometimes, if the book’s contents are important, I will double bag it.

    Another test is the book’s smell. The acid or Sulphur in books will smell faintly like gunpowder in firecrackers, or sometimes, even an almost sweet odor reminiscent of dryer sheets.

    In the good old days, paper was made out of cotton, linen, or similar long fibers, not wood pulp. I have books from the 1880s that are in better shape than ones I bought a twenty years ago. Popular books are often printed on inferior paper now, textbooks or professional publications are sometimes still printed on good paper.

    The above comments also apply to almost anything printed on paper or cardboard, such as posters, art prints, maps, vinyl album covers, game boxes.

  65. Please thank Sara for the Lentils Bloomberg recipe. It is ON the menu! I was struck that I once was the 1%, without knowing it. Believe it or not, it still felt like peanuts next to the real players’ salary. At some point though I did realise I was in a gilded cage, and left race and standings, out of a hunger for … lentils. “Collapse Now, and Avoid the Rush” made sense too. As I had suspected, the humble simplicity of lentils turned out to be far more nourishing to me than the steak tartare I would barely taste at a breakfast meeting in some hotel, somewhere.

  66. My mother recently died at the age of 86. She was a serious occultist and taught classes on the Tarot, astrology, dreams, etc and wrote several books as well. Before she died we agreed that once she arrived beyond the veil she would let me know in no uncertain terms. In fact I said “don’t be subtle about it. I want a clear sign it’s you.” She passed almost a month ago now and I still haven’t received any sign or message, even in my dreams. I’m wondering if you could share any insight you might have as to the process of crossing over, and why you might think I haven’t heard from her.

  67. Ecosophians should take Andrew Skeen up on his offer to do horary readings. His readings helped me to make a good business decision which just may save my livelihood.

    I just skimmed Ghilarducci’s op-ed and yeah, it’s more evidence that the PMC will not stop until their heads land on pikes courtesy of the disenfranchised middle class. That said, I can see what she was driving at about not opting to get chemotherapy for pets: personally, I wouldn’t opt for chemotherapy for myself if I was the victim of cancer, so obviously I would not subject my pets to it. Her article was otherwise clueless. There is no way a rich person can advise a poor person about how to be poor and not come off as a total asshat. She was doomed from the first sentence. I often wonder what the Ghilarduccis of the world will do if they legitimately end up on the poorer side of the tracks. I don’t think she would be able to laugh it off when the Insufficient Funds notices roll in regularly from the bank and when replacing the tires on a ten year old car means not eating dinner outside the home for half a year. Will she figure out that you don’t need an eye doctor to get prescription glasses (I am planning a Poor People Life Hack List for my blog at Dreamwidth at some point) or will she freak out about the expense and drink an entire bottle of wine and pass out on the couch every time the going gets rough?

    Great lentil soup recipe, BTW. I have often made something very similar around Thanksgiving time. I thicken lentil soup with about 1 – 1.5 cup flour and cook in the pot until gloppy — chickpea flour AKA besan can be used for the gluten free — and then spread mashed potatoes on top to make shepherd’s pie. Put the pie in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes to firm it up.

  68. Thanks to your guidance I found an excellent election for my friend to found a spiritual organization for the Jupiter Neptune conjunction. The synchronicity of his intentions with the story the planets tell on that day are striking. What action should my friend take during that time? Registering with the government, holding first meeting, launch a website?

    Also is there anything I should watch out for in his chart? Based on his mom’s best guess for his birth time Jupiter is sextile his sun about six hours before the election, but it’s also opposite his vertex about a week before.

    We very much appreciate your assistance in this matter as he is trying to preserve the last threads of an older tradition before they disappear forever. Even though it’s from another culture your occult teachings allowed me to get a better understanding of what I was dealing with here.

  69. I would make said recipe** – except with the following revisions:

    Use only the most rottenest of tomatoes – hornedworms included.. substituting water hemlock for the celery. For extra protein (besides the worms of course) throw in one wrinkled, twisted Ghilarducci, a whole pecking order of spent and wilted bloombergs … and, lastly .. replace copious amounts of private jet fuel for the water.. combine into ones’ favorite Russian cauldron, light kinzhal afterburner .. and RUN waaaaay the heck back! – glad in knowing you didn’t partake such retched gruel – unlike many of those clueless, grifting pmc idiots.

    ** no precious lentils were used in this recipe, thank the Gods!

  70. One of my favorites:
    Zucchini & rice
    3 Zucchinis, an onion, and a bell pepper cut up as you will
    Simmer in a pan with a splash of marsala and stir fry seasoning until vegetables are soft.
    On the side also prepare a cup of rice.
    I like to add kielbasa sausage as a protein.
    Serve mixed with rice

  71. For a serious consideration of low-cost eating, check out the “Efficiency is Everything” web site,featuring the $24*/week cookbook. Use it for a year, and if you’re one of those poor souls bringing home just $289,000 a year, you’ll have ~$288,000 left to spend on your Bloomberg subscription (and JMG’s tip jar).

    BTW: The cookbook is a free download. And it’s not just a collection of recipes, but a four week plan with something different every night. Lentil soup is week 4, Sunday supper.

    * The site says $21, but the preface to the cookbook says $24. The way inflation is going, we’ll need to start putting a date stamp on all prices, so the appropriate inflation-correction can be applied at the cash register.

    https://efficiencyiseverything.com/free-cookbook/

  72. I think NOW would be a good time to buy lentils (and perhaps other items) in bulk (especially in bulk!) for those who able to do so. I have a feeling that the price of staples are going to increase more than that what inflation and weather, etc., can account for – Ghilarducci’s article in Bloomberg is probably a signal to investors to punish the proles even more for daring to eat, to even exist.

    All the lentil recipes sound wonderful.

    @ pygmycory #26 – re: cooking split peas – I tried a bit of baking soda with mine (I used just a pinch for ½ cup uncooked). That seems to help. The amount to use depends on the quantity and age/hardness of the split peas, and perhaps elevation.

    @ CS2 #12 – Reliance upon cars has been forced on some people who have not had an option to move.
    I remember being forced out of neighborhood that was within easy walking distance of everything – that neighborhood was being gentrified. And there was no public transportation then. Gentrification seems to be happening more frequently, sadly. Years later, I relocated to a larger city which does have some public transportation; however, the system needs to be greatly expanded to make it a feasible option for me and many others. I hear that the commuter train which serves this area has seen a big increase in ridership. For people who need to drive, there are various strategies to reduce on fuel use: cutting back on driving by planning ahead so as to combine errands, avoid taking unnecessary trips, driving as reasonably slowly as safely and legally possible* on the freeway, ride-sharing, etc.
    *Long-Term Effects of Repealing the National Maximum Speed Limit in the United States – PMC (nih.gov) I think by making the National Maximum Speed Limit mandatory (“how dare the government trample on my right to drive a gas-guzzler!”) instead of an advisory/educational initiative, a big opportunity was lost. A few years after the law was repealed, I recall getting strange looks when shopping for a fuel efficient car – like I was crazy for even thinking such a thing.

  73. My very simplified lentil addition – if you have rice cooker, you can do one cup of rice and one of lentils, treat it as if doing two cups of rice, and you have a simple starch and protein combination to build on. It doesn’t have the full taste richness, so you will want to either sautee it up with other items like onions or throw your preferred flavorings on top of it. I tend to then use the leftover portion to make fried rice.

  74. And now, it is Springtime, time of renovation, time of a rebirth of Nature (at least in the temperate zones and upwards, but that’s another story). And to continue with the novel tradition I wish to share with you this Wednesday a song about just that.

    The name of the song is “Dos Árbolitos”, Two Little Trees, and speaks to me of a life lived in harmony (and awe) of Nature. My favorite interpretation is in the voice of one of the greatest in the second half of 20th century Mexican Music: Aida Cuevas. (Though many others, before and after, recorded their own versions)

    As for the lyrics:

    TWO LITTLE TREES

    Two little trees have been born on my ranch
    Two little trees that look like twins
    And from my house I see them all alone
    Under the holy aegis and light of heavens

    They are never separated, one form the other
    Because that is how God wanted’em both to be born
    And each with its branches caresses the other
    As if they were sweethearts deeply in love.

    When I go to my crops and to the maize fields
    in the middle of the furrows I pour down my tears
    for friends I have none but my animals
    to whom always I wistfully sing.

    The cows, the steers and the calves,
    know I need someone to love me back.
    My overo horse, and even my dog,
    have changed and look at me in a different way.

    Little tree, little tree I feel alone
    I want you to accompany me until I die

  75. Chili is a standard addition to Indian curries, so I wouldn’t be afraid of using chili and curry powder in the same dish. If you like chili, and you like curry spices, the chances are pretty high that you’ll enjoy them together. 😉

  76. In a previous open post, I shared my struggle to keep up with the monthly study of The Doctrine of High Magic and also the Octagon Society lessons. I have decided to push through and complete both assignments. It is not good to repeatedly commit to participate in an activity and not follow through. I believe I need to activate my will and work on what is causing me to drag my feet. I don’t think this is solely due to anything within the studies I’ve been delaying, as I can see this problem occurring through out my life. “Oh, I should do XYZ; I wish I wasn’t such a procrastinator!” The goal is to change that statement to “I commit to XYZ, and will to carry it out to the finish.” Perhaps as I continue with the lessons, insights will pop up on what influenced me and how I developed such a habit, or what I am trying to avoid by putting things off to a future date that sometimes never comes.

    Any advice or words of encouragement from the commentariat are welcome.

    Joy Marie

  77. I’ll note that recipe down and slip it in the back of Brecken’s book. Thank you! And Sara as well of course.

    I wonder if anyone would be interested in two beans recipes. One, which I don’t know if is a thing outside Mexico is refried black (or pinto, but black is tastier) beans. It is not as greasy as it sounds. Basically you take all your leftover beans or new ones, mash them up with other spices and cook them in a pan with a little oil, you put a salty cheese on top and you can eat them as a side, like mashed potatoes along with red tomato rice and meat or mostly anything (to me at least! I eat them y themselves sometimes). The other one is Costa Rican and is called “Gallo pinto” or “speckled rooster” roughly, I don’t happen to know why. It is basically rice and beans but with a touch to make it a little more tasty with chili, cilantro and onion and optional coconut milk, egg or garlic.

  78. Longtime reader, first-time poster. Trying to be concise, so hope I don’t come across as insensitive.

    I’ve been thinking about some stuff in your writing, and I was wondering: how do druids choose their gods? Druidry seems like a very location-based religion, with deities representing certain places and elements. Being a religion originally from Europe, how do American druids know the gods of given places? Are there gods of given places? Is the god of the Potomac the same as the goddess of the Boyne?

    Asking since I’ve been in a bit of spiritual upheaval. Like many people my age, I’ve been coming out of a dalliance with atheism and am currently torn on paths. On the one hand, Catholicism is appealing for reasons of heritage and family, but I’ve found some non-Christian gods rather compelling and a bit more meaningful in many ways, and it’s been a whole mess.

    Looking forward to what April brings. Thanks for all your great work.

  79. @Owen – lots of seed oils hear, both for frying and for salad. No obesity, though. But we’re only using unrefined organic oils where you can still taste which seed they have been made of. At least in terms of taste, that’s a huge difference to most seed oils you can purchase, in Germany at least. Margarine though – I don’t know who came up with that shit 😉 Why make seed oils bad by producing a weak surrogate of butter if you can have a high quality seed oil and good butter?

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  80. A thought on CS2s query. From an immigrant from a third world country.

    In third world countries, motorbikes are probably the most commonly employed modality of gasoline-powered transportation; second only to public transportation. On any typical street, they typically easily outnumber cars. They are much cheaper to buy (a new 50cc motorbike can be bought for around a $1000 or less). And they consume a fraction of the gasoline (a 125cc motorbike will get one more than a 100 miles per gallon).
    I myself have encountered a significant mental block amongst my American friends who lost their cars for one reason or the other (repossessed etc) when I suggested for them to buy a motorbike for purposes of commuting to work. Through discussions with these friends, I gathered that somehow for a typical American, owning a car is in fact tied to a sense of self-worth/identity. They would even rather use a bicycle to commute (even on rainy days) instead if they weren’t able to afford a car. In my opinion, a motorbike appears to be a very under-appreciated tool here in the USA; and mass utilization could prove very helpful as our post-peak-oil transition phase pick up steam here.

    I would love to hear JMGs take on the pros and cons of this mode of transportation as well.

    m

  81. Gas prices are dropping rapidly here in Kittenville, and my political-animal uncle has happily informed me that the New York Times conceded the truth of the Biden Jr laptop scandal. It seems like the Democratic party has decided Biden will spend more time with his family. But wouldn’t that make Kamala president? Is stupid worse than senile? I fear so. We got through 8 years of Reagan, after all.

  82. Andy,
    given my yellow split peas were really old, I thought that might be the problem so I bought some new green split peas, and cooked half of each in the slow cooker. There was no difference, so I don’t think it was that. As it stands, I think I may avoid split peas. I’m going to try black beans and see if I can get those to behave.

    And at least my red lentils are still as good as ever.

  83. PatriciaT, thanks for the suggestion, I’ll have to try baking soda when I try cooking the last of the peas. Maybe that will work. That would be great if it does. Does this work for other legumes, too?

  84. I’m curious if you still have the same opinion about the (un)likeliness of nuclear weapons being used as you’ve expressed previously? I agree with your general idea that it’s in no country’s interest to use them, even for dictators with no concern for human rights. but that assumes a certain degree of rationality. Considering the consistent increases in the craziness going on in the last few years I’m wondering if you’re opinion has changed at all?

  85. Previously, I’d mentioned noticing some interesting changes in the political attitudes of my intelligent but not university educated co-workers. I’m inclined to take the humor and creativity in the face of another outrage from the PMC as an additional data point indicating pre-revolutionary conditions are building in the US. Many thanks to everyone who laughed and proved lentils are not the same as cake! And here’s a lentil-free but cheap and tasty dish that I’m sure will trigger the PMC’s aversion to down-market good eats if they even get past raging at the source.
    Rhydlyd

    Cowpoke Chili from Famous Chili Recipes from Marlboro Country (Phillip Morris Inc., 1979)
    1 lb. slab bacon
    2 lb. dry pinto or navy beans
    1 large onion sliced
    4 cloves garlic sliced
    2 ancho peppers or 1 T chili powder
    3 Q water
    2 ½ t salt
    1 16 oz can tomatoes
    12 canned serrano or tiny green hot pickled peppers seeded and chopped
    1 t coriander seed crushed
    Remove the rind from the bacon and cut into ½ inch squares.
    Cut bacon into small pieces.
    Place rind, beans, onions garlic and ancho peppers into kettle.
    Add water and bring to a boil.
    Cover, lower heat, cook gently for 90 minutes.
    Remove lid, add salt, cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
    In a fry pan, fry bacon until slightly crisp.
    Add remaining ingredients to bacon. Cook at medium heat for 10 mins.
    Skim excess fat. Add to beans, cook uncovered at low heat for 60 minutes.
    Makes 3 quarts.

  86. Dmekel, I’m very fond of German opera, classic late ’60s and early ’70s rock, Baroque instrumental music, and certain kinds of trad Celtic folk. There’s some occult influence on classic rock, of course, and Mozart was up to his eyeballs in Freemasonry back before it turned into a men’s social club.

    Helix, I think that’s the natural endpoint of “collapse now and avoid the rush”!

    Tidlösa, nope. If the world calms down a little I hope to get back to posting the rest of the story here first.

    Jo, funny.

    Sébastien, there are a fair number of independent wine producers here, though the US is more a beer country than a wine country — you can tell that a lot of our cultural heredity came from beer-swilling Britain and Germany, and much less from the wine-drinking parts of Europe — and small breweries turning out craft beer are far more common than small wineries turning out craft wine.

    Positive, the difficulty there is that I like to write books based on my own experience and skill set, and you know, this is the first collapse of a civilization I’ve lived through in this incarnation!

    Jess, (1) that’s a fascinating question I’ve never seen discussed in occult literature. Yes, it would seem to imply very strange relationships among Logoi. (2) Material life is only one of the many ways that complexity and integration can happen, so it’s anyone’s guess. (3) It would certainly make sense that the worlds that don’t have biological life on them would have other kinds of conscious beings, so that the planetary spirits of those worlds can evolve in the same way the planetary spirit of Earth evolves through the living things on her. I haven’t tried to make contact, though.

    Frank, thank you for this! That story came out of my attempt to think through how things would play out if the Great Reset or something like it were to be attempted — of course it would fail miserably, but the unraveling process makes an interesting setting for stories. As for deindustrial fiction, well, I don’t know if you’ve seen my latest announcement

    Tidlösa, this doesn’t surprise me. Lentils cooked badly taste like mud.

    Will O, I don’t happen to know that. Anyone else?

    TJ, clueless is as clueless does!

    Pygmycory, hmm! I wonder if your slow cooker is defective, or seriously underpowered. Mine makes split peas soft in 6 to 8 hours on low.

    Steve, glad to hear it.

    Tony, that scenario seems extremely improbable to me. The sanctions currently being brandished around by NATO are hopelessly ineffective because nobody but NATO and its east Asian allies are paying any attention to them — India has ramped up its purchases of Russian oil to four times the normal volume, for example — and the raw materials produced and exported by Russia are far more desperately needed by the West than anything the West has is needed by the Russians. Nor does it seem likely that the West will gain a technological edge over a Russo-Chinese alliance: the US and its allies haven’t yet been able to field an effective hypersonic missile, for example, while Russia and China both have them in service right now. It seems to me, rather, that the most likely outcome of the current mess is a new cold war with fortified borders across Europe, no Russian gas or oil for sale to NATO countries, the collapse of the dollar as a reserve currency, and the rise of a new Asia-centered global economic system in which India and China vie for top-dog slot, Russia and Iran sell both major powers all the oil and gas they want, and a bitter economic depression settles over the Atlantic world.

    Joan, thanks for this. It also helps, with lentils and all other legumes, to put in a chopped onion at the very beginning of the cooking process — the allicin breaks down some of the indigestible bean compounds.

    Yorkshire, I think a lot of what’s happened is that the work ethic was hijacked by corporate management types and turned into an enslavement ethic. It’s one thing to work hard when you’ll benefit from that, and quite another when all the benefits will be taken by others and you’ll simply be expected to work even harder tomorrow.

    Peter, glad to hear it! Er, neither of the two links seem to be working for me.

    Mister N, I don’t see it resolving by the end of this year. I see it becoming an enduring source of trouble for many years to come.

    Celadon, er, no. The Southern model was based on being a source of raw materials for English and (to a lesser extent) French industry — in effect, a more lucrative form of banana republic — with no tariffs, free-trade legislation, and minimal government investment in infrastructure. The northern model was based on independent industry, high tariffs, piracy of European industrial property — US publishers ignored British copyrights until well into the 20th century — and massive government investments in infrastructure. The North won, and Northern policies stayed fixed in place until the beginning of the 1970s as a result.

    Pygmycory, so noted!

    Ken, it’s usually a very good idea to get comfortable with one deck before you start working with another. As for probability and the major arcana, I’m not sufficiently up on the fine details of probability to be sure.

    Joan, we,, there’s that!

    Siliconguy, nah, she’ll just get to find out what it’s like to live on lentils.

    Johnny, you’re most welcome.

    Balowulf, I’ve encountered that claim, of course. It strikes me as a very bad idea. The whole point of death and reincarnation is that it keeps you from getting stuck in one set of bad habits and cognitive limitations. I’m in no hurry to check out of this incarnation — I still have things I want to get done — but I decided a long time ago not to try to prolong it beyond the usual, because I’m acutely aware of my own habits and limits, and would rather trade up to a new body with (I hope) a less fried nervous system.

    Alice, it should keep for a week or so in the fridge, so you can alternate it with other meals.

    Stephen, we’re a lot closer to hyperinflation than I expected. This graph of the US money supply tells the story:

    That’s the kind of runaway money-printing that can lead to hyperinflation in short order, and the politicians who are insisting on even more free money being dumped on the market to deal with the current economic mess are pouring gasoline on a roaring fire. We are certainly going to get severe stagflation, much worse than in the 1970s, but it’s possible that things could tip over into what I suppose would have to be called hyperstagflation — runaway money printing combined with a sharp decline in the real economy.

    Owen, everybody has their food taboos these days. If seed oils is one of yours, by all means replace them for something else.

    Chuaquin, you’re most welcome.

    Johnny, I’ve seen recipes that combine curry and chili powder! If it’s an abomination, well, it’s probably one that the Tcho-Tchos would eat with great enthusiasm.

    Michael, thanks for this. I’ll want to reflect on it, but at first glance it makes a lot of sense.

    Mark, thanks for this. That’s a very good point.

    Marlena, er, the signs are not the constellations. Seriously, the signs are not the constellations. In tropical astrology — the mainstream in the West for the last 3000 years or so — the sign Aries has nothing to do with what stars are off dozens of light years in that direction; it’s a 30° wedge of the ecliptic beginning at the point of the vernal equinox, and is thus defined by the relative movements of Sun and Earth. I know that’s an unpopular bit of traditional lore in some circles, but it works.

    John, thanks for this! It’s been a while but I used to build paper castles produced by a German firm called Modellbaubogen — I still have a couple of them. Many thanks for the links!

    Rod, it’s entertaining.

    NomadicBeer, I ain’t arguing…

    Dusk Shine, that was my guess.

    David BTL, I don’t know of one but I mostly read books by dead people. As for the Atlantis book, I’ve got a publisher eager for it, but I’m going to have to put a lot of time into research first.

    NomadicBeer, the fact that the machinery works doesn’t mean that the people in charge of it have a clue.

    Clay, it’s worse than that. The facility hit by the hypersonic missile was a Soviet-era underground base meant to be hardened against nuclear blasts. Unfortunately it wasn’t hardened against a precisely guided missile screaming in at Mach 10. I don’t think it’s accidental that after that happened, the Ukraine government started talking in more conciliatory terms.

    Johnny, I got to see a lot of the same thing back in the peak oil movement. Plenty of people wanted to talk about using less energy in the abstract, but the gods help you if you tried to get them to use less themselves. As for Putin’s latest, well, yes. The dollar as reserve currency may be gasping its last.

  87. Now we know why there are so few successful Tcho-Tcho cuisine restaurants.

  88. Mark L
    You hit the nail on the head. I read your reference, which posits “take a moment to contemplate and appreciate all of the energy flows that weave around and through us. Consider which ones are truly of deep value, and which ones could be jettisoned or diminished if we truly understood energy as the precious gift that it is.”

    I am working hard on developing a new energy paradigm from the hardware side, which has led me to live in China the last few months. (some of you have bought my book and I thank you)
    As a result I am no longer despondent or afraid of the new dark ages, which primarily pertain to the US empire, and not the majority of people on the planet. Imagine a world wherein the future is brighter and MORE energy is used efficiently than before by people who are leaving poverty behind. Most of the people in my city of 12 million people drive around on 3 hp electric vehicles (about half are 3 wheeled). Because they are going only 20 miles an hour (many delivering food orders or express delivery services) many if not most use their cell phones while driving and it is very quiet. Diesel trucks are banned from the city (they have to transfer goods to small electric vehicles at the city periphery) and the large city buses are electric. I was startled by diesel fumes from a garbage truck the other day, but generally it is possible to continue life at lower energy consumption. The parks are filled with neighborhood ad hoc dance clubs and old men playing board games or simply talking in groups. very low energy consumption The dark ages are primarily a reversion to lower energy usage but the life style changes can be positive. China, which learned the lessons of top down socialism, is a hyper free market capitalistic country and is creating phenomenal amounts of wealth as a result, and is blazing a low energy usage trail that is being ignored by the handwringing Americans who are starting a war to take their minds off of their collapsing oil energy empire.

    Things are not that bad and actually getting better outside the American controlled regions.

  89. JMG, thanks so much for pointing me to your post from earlier this afternoon announcing The Flesh Of Your Future Sticks Between My Teeth. I had not seen it until just now. Talk about synchronicity!

  90. One of the things dragging down the empire in addition to the senility of the elites and the cluelessness of the PMC is the desire of the wealth holding classes to protect their wealth to the detriment of all else. I recently leased a new shop space within walking distance of our new house. It had been about 12 years since I had to get a basic company insurance policy since I had been in shared spaces for the last decade. Prior to that I had multiple policies at different shop locations and getting them was quick and simple. This time was different. It is now difficult to insure a small machine shop because they are afraid you might make bad parts and get sued . A couple of companies turned me down because I make a few parts for the semiconductor industry. My new shop sits between 2 big Intel fabs and is surrounded by companies that make chip equipment so not making semiconductor parts is like being in Detroit in 1955 and not making auto parts. I then realized that this type of behavior is a big reason for the chip shortage and other supply chain issues. I finally found some insurance but not before having my view of gradual collapse cranked up a few notches.

  91. Funny enough, I was about to order bulk legumes and pulses for my pantry. And what’s even funnier is that I was considering whether to add lentils to the order – for years, we used to make dahl that was basically the recipe you’ve provided here and Icm kinda missing it. I consider my question answered now, thank you very much!

  92. Joan @ 36

    And stay away from buying in bulk — you usually don’t save any money by buying more. Do notice the complete lack of any supporting evidence or even logic to back up this assertion.

    Where does one begin with this? In addition to your translation, there is more here, I think.

    First, (Oops, we need the proles to keep on spending as prices go up). Then, maybe it is my inveterate cynicism showing, but I also sense a threat here. If you fools think you can get ahead of the game, i.e., stay alive, by stockpiling, wait until our goons show up to relieve you of it.

    One also has to love the inflation is just the way things are, a veritable Act of God, tone of the article. Don’t expect an economist like her to be able to explain why inflation now? Or what decisions, made by whom, caused this?

  93. Patricia M, unintentional satire, maybe.

    CR, I knew “y’all” was the second person plural south of the Mason-Dixon line, but I didn’t know it was also in use south of the Rio Grande as well!

    Jeff, there’s an extensive literature on the art of memory. The Art of Memory by Frances Yates and the Book of Memory by Mary Carruthers are good introductions. Beyond that, I’ll be interested to see what others come up with.

    Ben, Sara and I have lived below the actual poverty line — starving writers and all that — and we also found it hilarious.

    Jen, I haven’t kept up with it so don’t really have an opinion. Thanks for the recipe!

    El, thanks for the hint about the comments. I hadn’t done that, and some of them are marvelous. (Others are impressively stupid, but that’s also educational.)

    Reggie, hah! I could see it.

    Devonlad, it depends on the details of the outcome.

    Brazzart, I’ll do that. Welcome back to the real world.

    Joshua, first, please accept my condolences; that’s got to be hard for you, first losing a parent and then having to wait for a message! The major factor I would see here is that the astral atmosphere of the earth is a hot steaming mess right now — worse than it’s been at any point I can remember, and I turn 60 this year. In effect, there’s a world-class storm of static in the way of communications of all kinds, and you may have to wait until things calm down before anything can get through at all. If you’re familiar with using prayer or ritual to elevate your own consciousness, you might see if you can get above as much of the mess as possible and see what you can perceive. Otherwise, it may be a while.

  94. @ pygmycory #92 – re: baking soda to tenderize split peas. Yes, you can use baking soda to tenderize other legumes I first heard about baking soda for tenderizing beans. The article below talks about that. It mentions that not only age, but hard water (a problem where I live) can affect how well beans (and other legumes) cook. It also mentions the downside of using baking soda – it affects the nutritional quality. Sigh. I also mentioned an alternative mentions an alternative method using freezing. I wonder if using filtered water would help. Good luck!

    https://www.livestrong.com/article/541459-can-baking-soda-tenderize-dry-beans/?msclkid=b5426293ab0211ecb394db6b81def72b

  95. Hi JMG,

    I think I was picturing the spice mixes for making chili (Tex-Mex style), but maybe it’s worth trying that in combination with curry too!

    I guess when I picture collapse, my concern is more like I spend the rest of my days in a prison camp digging ditches at gun point. Eating lentils and taking the bus are an absolute dream in comparison – especially since I already do both voluntarily.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  96. @pygmycory If your peas and lentils are fresh, (as someone else mentioned the supplier may not be rotating stock) then 2 things come to mind. 1. never let the peas actually boil. You want them to be barely simmering throughout the cooking process. That’s why slow cookers are such a great way to go. But they vary quite a bit; your appliance may be too hot. Try it on low next time. 2. Never, ever, add the salt until the pulses are cooked soft. If this still doesn’t work try dumping the soaking water and freezing the drained peas overnight. This is what is recommended for beans like garbanzos that require longer cooking times.

  97. Joshua, my condolences to you.

    I would agree with our host that conditions in the astral right now are … hmmm…. unusual.

    It occurs to me that perhaps you have received a sign, yet perhaps did not recognize it as such. I believe this happened to me when my father passed, that he did send me a sign, a very clear and elegant one, however I did not recognize it as such at the time, only later.

    Sophy Burnham has an essay about this that you might find of interest. https://sophywisdom.com/2020/11/07/afraid-to-die/

  98. Thank you for your reply JMG,

    I want to ask you for a close examination due to the importance of the matter.

    Fabri did predict the invasion of Ukraine by Russia back in 2019, with details that are close to what happened, by observing the forces and patterns of history.

    I shared the views that you described until recently. Now it seems there may be a bias with Western thinkers, and me too, who have been critiquing the West for a long time and discounted the remaining strengths of the usa, Europe and its allies. Russia and China have significant weaknesses too.

    May I ask you for a second review of this?

  99. Re: hyperinflation and economic trajectories

    My understanding may be pretty simplistic but since I seldom see it described in these terms I’ll throw this out there for discussion.

    Long term, the amount of money in circulation must be in equilibrium with the value of real goods in the economy. In general, increasing the amount of money in circulation without increasing the total amount of goods will lead to price increases (inflation) as the system seeks equilibrium.

    When I see that chart showing that the money supply in the US has tripled since 2008, I note that prices have most certainly not tripled. To me this says that we are in an unstable period, and the factor preventing an immediate hyperinflationary correction is the fact that total spending has not increased in proportion to the money supply. Which is to say that folks whose $300k homes are now worth $1 million, or who have seen similar gains in the stock market or crypto investments, have by and large not yet tried to cash in their gains in the real economy, preferring instead to swap them among speculative investments while increasing their consumption of real goods only modestly.

    Global inputs like petrodollar collapse notwithstanding, I see possible corrections as existing along a spectrum with a major economic crash at one end and hyperinflation at the other. In the crash correction, the majority of speculative wealth simply ceases to exist, bringing the money supply back into equilibrium with the real economy without an increase in prices. In the hyperinflationary solution, speculative wealth chases after real goods with the effect that prices increase proportional to the increase in the money supply (e.g. threefold and counting, with the possibility of going vertical if the response to hyperinflation is to print more money).

    I imagine that what will actually happen will be somewhere in between: part hyperinflation, part crash. I should note that while inflation may be 10% on average, building materials have largely increased in price by 100% or more over the last 18 months. I take this to mean that construction is a favored means of converting stagnant speculative gains into real goods. If the wealthy decide to start stockpiling stable foodstuffs, we could see a similar or greater spike in food prices, and an inflation wheel-of-fortune moving around to different sectors of the economy. On the other hand it seems like we’re overdue for a collapse of investor confidence leading to a 1929-style destruction of speculative wealth.

  100. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks! Mate, I’ve lived through two years of experts telling me what I can and can’t do, and I every day I loathe them that little bit more. I’ve long been a fan of lentils, and my favourite is French Lentils. We soak the lentils overnight, but I did notice Sara recommended the super awesome bit of kitchen kit: The Crock Pot. I do rather hope that your model sports the deliciously 1970’s shade of burnt orange or maybe the very unusual and hard to describe shade of green. To avoid argument, I’ll simply describe the hue as: ‘Exorcist green’ – if you know, you know! 😉

    Brent Crude looks like it is at $122 barrel as I type this.

    The Great Resignation continues apace. I am noticing an awful side effect to this. If you still have your shingle out proffering services to the public, you’re getting smashed with work volumes. I’m hearing around the traps that staff are really hard to get and then retain. Mate, we’re getting smashed too, and I let a client go recently because without going into any details, the arrangements were such that they never allowed me to have two weeks off, and I hadn’t had an uninterrupted break in years. Concern it should be noted is a two way street, and I found myself giving them back what they gave me. And I was just tired. Me ol’ mate Sun Tzu suggested to never wear the troops out on stupid stuff. He’s right too you know. 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  101. JMG (or anyone)

    JMG thanks for the Bloomberg lentil recipe. It’s right up our alley so we’re going to do it

    Here’s one easy-as-can-be for homemade falafel. You can find a variety of these online:

    Soak dried chickpeas in a lot of water for 24 hrs, after 24 hrs, drain well (if you hear clicking or popping noises during the soaking don’t worry, it’s the chickpeas, it’s not your house about to collapse)

    Mince some parsley, mix minced parsley and rehydrated chickpeas with cumin, coriander, salt to taste

    Grind above mixture in meatgrinder or food processor

    Make ground-up mixture into golfball sized patties

    Fry or bake patties in 325F oven on greased baking sheet for about 30 mins – we always use the oven as deep frying looks to me like a kitchen fire waiting to happen

    Goes with pita, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, hummus or tahini

    Or you can just buy a box of falafel mix for a few bucks in the middle east section of the grocery store and follow the directions.

  102. JMG and Joshua,

    First, so sorry, Joshua.

    Second, my father died six years ago, and lately we’ve been smelling coffee off and on. He drank coffee, we don’t. We have not responded in any way as we don’t want to encourage an evil spirit who may be impersonating him. But if it IS him, that may be an indication of how long it takes to get through all the crud.

  103. Hi JMG,

    Thanks to your wife for the recipe! I’m going to give it a try. In other news, I’m finally getting around to reading Hall’s ‘The Secret Teachings of All Ages’, concurrently with Zukav’s ‘The Dancing Wu Li Masters’. It’s quite an experience. Anyway, I was introduced to ‘The Secret Teachings of All Ages’ by a post you wrote ages ago, mentioning briefly the book’s section on cryptography. You mentioned that you had hidden a message in the post that could be decoded using one of the techniques from the book. I cannot remember the title of post itself, so I was wondering if you’ve hidden any other messages in other posts?

    Cheers,
    JZ

  104. Jeff Russell,

    I read a while back that, in the early days of telephone, people would buy telephone kits, attach their telephone wire to barbed wire fences that used to separate farm properties and when they wanted to talk to someone, they would crank up the phone and everyone’s phone would ring who was attached to the network. The caller would shout the name of whoever he wanted to talk to and everyone else was honour bound to hang up. Kind of like an early party line.

  105. I have to wonder if western leaders aren’t incresingly feeling Zelensky’s constant calls for help as a thorn in their sides. The more he asks for help by appealing to the values western countries claim to hold, the more obvious it becomes to the whole world that they have done and are willing to do next to nothing to help, whether out of impotence or a lack of commitment to their stated values or both.

    Also, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US (maybe others too) are all apparently running low on anti-tank weapons (and possibly other weapons) after sending pretty much everything they could spare to Ukraine and are now scrambling to secure more supplies. I’m sure Russia and China are both very happy to hear this.

  106. Given the impressive inventory of idiocies perpetrated by America’s ‘educated’ class since WW2, would it astonish, or even cause the slightest flicker of surprise, were we to learn that indeed Ukrainians were running bioweapons labs in cahoots with the US?

    After all we have the debacle at the Wuhan virology institute as the precedent, over which the American and Chinese ruling elites closed ranks (for a while), denying in unison that anything ever happened, heaven forfend anything untoward, sparing no effort in censoring and suppressing any such notion. Viral gain of function research? Accidental release? Something worse? Nope, ixnay. Not real. Fake news.

    Yet the pattern of evidence sez otherwise, reputable biologists telling us that the bug was engineered, that such an organism couldn’t have evolved naturally. And so, no matter the strenuous denials, and regardless of the crafted narratives to exculpate and distract, the facts are the facts, and they all point in an uncomfortable direction.

    Uncomfortable? To say the least. But so what. Nobody will ever be harassed over this monumental mess and imbecility, not by any regulatory body, nor by any investigative agency, especially the latter.

    Why? Easy, too many Important People involved in this ludicrous cock-up. You know, The Science, can’t make The Science look bad, can we? As for those Ukrainian labs, what we saw before we’ll see again, in tech platforms and the msm and governmental bureaucracies shutting the story down.

    Will the economy stagger forward, this unworkable, undead dispensation, nonetheless touted as the creation of la creme de la creme of thinkers, the best of the best of the best, giants of the financial world, basking in the glories of globalization at the end of history? You know the answer isn’t ‘probably’ not, there’s no ‘probably’ about it, the answer is as unequivocal as can be because once again way too many facts point one way.

    And so which way do they point? Look around, see for yourself, and then take history as your guide. Reset? You bet, there for sure will be a Reset, in fact we’re seeing a kinetic version play out over yonder, but that’s just one scene in a much larger, longer running story. And at the end of it, many things will be different. Schwab tells us we’ll have nothing. Maybe that’s his plan, but maybe Schwab himself will have nothing, the institutions that he and his ilk depend on which now run large parts of the globe, if they’re still around, resembling the Sixth Century Roman Senate, merely going through the motions, replaced by economic and political arrangements that actually have a hope in hell, because the ones that we have right now surely don’t, not even remotely.

  107. Ilovemusictheory, the thing that baffles me is that so many rich people who’ve never been poor seem to think they can advise poor people on how to do something that poor people have been doing all their lives. Thank you for the recipe — yum.

    Snuffy, he should certainly register it with the government — that’s the official launch date of any organization — and if he can launch the website within the same window that would also be good. Sending out the announcement that the organization exists and inviting people to the first meeting during that same election would be an additional boost. Don’t worry about his chart — the organization has its own life, and that’s the chart that needs to be watched.

    Polecat, funny.

    Piper, thanks for this.

    Lathechuck, get it now, before it costs a wheelbarrow of Reichsmarks!

    PatriciaT, those who don’t already have a stock of bulk foods should certainly get one pronto.

    Drew, you can certainly do that with cooked lentils. Are you suggesting doing it with raw lentils? I wouldn’t expect them to cook in that little time.

    CR, thanks for this.

    Joy Marie, it’s a common problem, and something that many of us have had to overcome. Have you considered doing some journaling to try to get closer to the roots of it? That was the thing that worked best for me.

    Augusto, I have it on good authority that shoggoths love that lentil recipe. 😉 Thank you for the other contributions — I get the impression that this week’s comments thread is basically going to turn into a cookbook. 😉

    Ezra, I’ve never visited the Boyne so I can’t tell you about its goddess. I know that most of the old Pagan peoples believed that each river had its own divine presence, and that’s been my experience as well. One of the reasons why many Druids practice spiritual exercises and cultivate inner perceptions is precisely that relying on books and stories isn’t enough — you have to learn to perceive the gods and spirits where you are, and figure out how to relate to them.

    Mobi, I expect to see motorbikes become commonplace in the years ahead, but it’ll take prolonged poverty and fuel shortages to do it. I’ve never owned a car or had a driver’s license, but yeah, most Americans can’t imagine doing without a car, and it’s not just having a motor vehicle. The car shuts you away from the outside world; it’s a coccoon as well as a mode of transport, and it turns the world around you into something you can look at on what amounts to a glass screen, as though you were watching your own commute on television. To swap out a car for a motorbike is to leave the coccoon behind and be right out there in the middle of the world with nothing between you and everything, and for many Americans that’s terrifying.

    Your Kittenship, funny, I was thinking of that too. It looks as though a decision has been made to force Biden out — but gods help us with a genuine babbling idiot in the White House.

    Kashtan, nope. My opinion remains what it has been.

    Rhydlyd, thanks for this!

  108. Hello JMG,

    If it’s okay, may I make plug for my sister and brother-in-law’s new book on traditional Maine maritime ballads and work songs? They spent a decade or so gathering, researching and “mending” songs that were collected in the early 20th century but aren’t as well-known as the songs archived from the southern Appalachian tradition.

    For those interested, on their website, you can listen to many of the songs, no need to buy the book. Maybe it’s time to bring back the tradition of the work song for the long decline!

    Ellen

    https://castlebay.net/

  109. Mobi,
    that’s a really good point about the possibilities of motorbikes. Motorbikes and mopeds might work better with the severely car-centric infrastructure many American places have than bicycles, or if you are going further than you can comfortably go on a bike. How well do motorbikes handle ice, puddles, and snow, I wonder?

    There’s also limited speed motorcycles and bikes with an electric assist. In BC Canada, bikes with an electric assist do not require a license to drive, which drops the price to run them over a motorbike and especially a car. Motorbikes require a license, although it’s a different class than cars, and cheaper than insuring a car. The rules vary between provinces and presumably between countries too, so the exact cost-benefit ratio between different types of vehicle varies from place to place.

  110. Coincidentally, I read the main post while eating lentil soup. I don’t have an actual recipe for it, though. I soaked fistfuls of lentils and other dried beans overnight, tossed them with kale and potatoes into boiling water, followed by a bunch of chicken bouillon cubes. It worked well enough for me. I should have enough for the week. My personal favorite lentil dish is mujaddara: sauteed onions over rice and lentils. Simple, filling, and good.

    I’d also like to toss in a question (or two). When Russia invaded Ukraine, I noticed a bunch of pro-nuclear internet rants to the effect that this only happened because the western world cluelessly turned away from clean, safe energy at the scoldings of a Swedish teenager. Do you think the U.S. will try to keep it all propped up with nuclear reactors? If so, how far do you think they’ll get?

    I sometimes wonder what our descendants will say about us, living in the world we’ve left them. I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be, living in the world we’ve left them, and also next to a bunch of rapidly built and poorly decommissioned nuclear reactors.

  111. @ Violet

    Your muppet observations are accurate. However, there is a deeper meaning that you, and even as astute an observer of modern affairs as JMG, have missed. Allow me to briefly recount.

    One of the main problems the illuminati have always had with democratic politics is how to find candidates whose personality resonates with the general public. With the election of Reagan in the early 80s, the idea of installing actors and celebrities into office occurred to various high level illuminati. However, the directive to “install a puppet” was taken literally when passed down the chain of command.

    As the most popular puppets at that time, the muppets were an obvious target for illuminati operatives. After a little extra training in political speech making and combined with advances in plastic surgery to make them look like real humans, the muppets were duly parachuted into the highest levels of party politics.

    So, you see, the muppets haven’t disappeared. They are now governing the country. Every president from Clinton onwards has really been a muppet as can be seen in the quality of the decision making in that time. This also explains the strange gait of president Biden who is clearly being moved about on puppets strings while Kamala Harris’ behaviour marks her out as being one of the martian muppets – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTc3PsW5ghQ&ab_channel=SesameStreet

    With the success in the US, the strategy was replicated to other countries so that the West is now entirely governed by muppets.

  112. @JMG #102 – Thanks very much for these, I’ve only read some very basic intros to memory pegs, palaces, and a few associational systems used by memory competitors, and never tried much more than palaces. I also look forward to seeing what others bring up!

    @Roger #113 – Hah! I hadn’t heard of that. Way to get your money’s worth for the current and the equipment. Thanks very much for sharing.

  113. Hi John,

    Lentils Bloomberg – ha! Sounds delicious.

    I appreciate your take on matters of spirituality and ecology. To that end, I want to use this open post to ask about something that has been on my mind more and more as the years pass. There seems to me a direct correlation between increasing geological instability (and volatility) and a growing discontent among the populace. I’m not sure which one came first, but I am increasingly convinced that there is a cause and effect relationship.

    I live in the US where the political discord is as palpable as it is nauseating at this point. I’m learning from blogs like yours that the working class is effectively in a cold civil war with the managerial classes. Coincidentally, the entire Western half of the U.S. is in a historic drought and there appear to be 100-year floods, and other geological instabilities, occurring with regular intervals in other parts of the country.

    Internationally some places fare better while others see a similar situation. China, for instance, is systematically cleansing itself of its Uighur “problem” and yet, coincidentally, saw record-breaking flooding in its Henan province last year. There are videos online of people trapped underground in subways with flood waters rising all around them!

    I can’t help but think of Vine Deloria Jr’s sentiment in God is Red that he doesn’t look forward to the penalties that Mother Earth must now levy in order for her survive. He was referring to the exploitation of the Earth, but the larger concept that the Earth is sentient and will react accordingly depending on the nature of our collective human behavior is what sticks with me.

    I’m curious what your take is here. Could this type of relationship be possible, or am I simply in the process of losing my marbles?

  114. Diesel is set to get rationed soon in Europe*, and I’d expect such to follow in the US, as we were importing nearly 5% of our liquid fossil fuels from Russia. As it turns out, our Russian imports were largely either refined diesel, or heavier grades of crude that get refined into diesel. It also turns out that the other major sources of the heavy crude grades are Venezuela and Iran. But Russia largely owns the Venezuelan oil-extraction and refining industries. Regarding Iran, along with Russia and Venezuela, it is also still under US sanctions, and the Russians demand their own right to purchase Iran’s enriched uranium (objected to strenuously by the US), in order to conclude the renegotiation of the JCPOA treaty, and lift the sanctions on Iran’s heavy crude. So no matter what, the US needs Russia’s permission to import any non-domestic diesel or heavy crude.

    BTW, in case you think 5% is a negligible market share, consider that 1973/4 Arab oil represented only 5% of the US market share during the Arab oil embargo, and that led to outright rationing (I remember it vividly, what-with odd-even days to purchase depending on your license plate number, no Sunday purchases, no topping off, long gas station lines, gasoline theft…). A 5% shortfall of petroleum weighted towards heavier grades translates to around a 10% shortfall in diesel.

    Needless to say, the ramifications a 10% diesel shortage alone are breathtaking to contemplate. I’ll wager our ruling elite did not anticipate this foreseeable conundrum when plotting their Russia strategy.

    Here’s another tidbit: 90-95% of all diesel in the US is used for agriculture, commercial trucking or railroad. 95% of gasoline is used for personal vehicles. So if you own a personal diesel vehicle, I’ll wager that when diesel rationing arrives, you won’t get a drop.

    *https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10607899/Experts-warn-diesel-sales-restricted-early-MONTH-amid-fears-fuel-shortage.html

    —Lunar Apprentice

  115. Regarding that “don’t buy in bulk” bit from the Ghilarducci article, as the kids these days say, smh…

    I have a slightly different take on it though compared to the rest of the commentariat. I don’t think there’s any hidden agenda or subliminal message for that bit of advice, just a bunch of psychological projection. In my experience, my more affluent friends and acquaintances are the ones who waste their money on bulk purchases. The simple fact is they have more money and are way more mindless in spending it; they see a big pack of whatever and think “oh it’s cheaper if I buy in bulk”, and then in the next grocery run buy even more large packs of everything even though their last purchase can still last them another six months or so. They end up filling their entire house of unopened junk and even end up throwing away a lot of stuff just because they couldn’t use it.

    Whereas the less well-off people I know, if they can afford a bulk purchase they totally would – and use up whatever they bought completely. Often they even (gasp) split the cost with someone else to be able to better take advantage, what a genius move that only an economist can possibly think of! 😉

  116. Jeff Russell #63

    I know a bit about early telegraph, telephone and radio systems if I may contribute. A great introduction, if sadly out of print is called ‘Morse, Marconi and You’ by Irwin Math. It details the construction of a telegraph, telephone, photophone and transmitting and receiving radio equipment. Not bad for a book written for middle schoolers. For the militant Do-It-Yourselfer the books ‘The Voice of the Crystal’ and ‘Instruments of Amplification’ by H.P. Friderichs tell readers how to build crystal radios and associated electronic components (from coils and variable condensers to vacuum tubes to transistors) from scratch, by hand. In a similar if less extreme vein, ‘From Crystal Sets to Sideband’ by Frank Harris details constructing an entire radio transmitting and receiving station from components with just enough theory to get one started. It’s available as a free PDF.

    Also, any of the old Alfred P. Morgan books are worth your perusal. His work covers a vast span of time, from the 1900’s to the 1960’s, but all are about building simple electronics at home by the hobbyist. Particularly interesting are his discussions on homemade batteries. Project Gutenberg has a number of his books, as does the World Radio History website.
    P.G.: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=Alfred+P.+Morgan&submit_search=Go%21
    W.R.H.: https://worldradiohistory.com/BOOKSHELF-ARH/Bookshelf_Hobbyist.htm

    For reference texts and theory, I’ll recommend ‘Elements of Radio’ by Marcus and Marcus. It’s a great discussion of radio circuit design, elementary electromagnetic theory and practice and a lot more. I have the fourth edition from the mid 1950’s. I’ll also mention ‘Drake’s Radio Cyclopedia’ if you can manage to find a copy. The book is about a century old though so information on transistors is nonexistent, but even so I find old radio texts useful because parts were expensive commodities, so circuits had to be cleverly designed to make the most of a limited parts selection. A good modern theory book, though not specifically about information transmission is ‘The Art of Electronics’ by Horowitz and Hill. It’s a college textbook so you can probably find an older edition pretty cheaply.

    I’ll also recommend an older edition of the ARRL handbook for general radio reference. These can be found for a lot less money that the above reference texts, but are not really for absolute beginners; You can’t really teach yourself from one, at least I couldn’t. Anything edition from the 80’s or earlier should do you well. After the 80’s the ham scene got really into buying high performance factory made transceivers and simpler, homebrew stuff fell out of vogue so the modern handbooks don’t have as much information on constructing circuits.

    Anyway, hope this helps,
    JZ

  117. Your Kittenship, pay a visit to Arkham, MA sometime and sample the cuisine at Café Yian — you’ll be glad you did. 😉

    Frank, just one of the services I offer!

    Clay, thanks for the data point. That’s worth knowing.

    Ganesh, you’re most welcome. Enjoy your dal!

    Johnny, I don’t see that as likely here in North America, though of course I don’t know where you are. Eating lentils and walking a lot? Almost guaranteed.

    Tony, ask me again when the current war is over. Until then a second review would be a waste of time, as I would be revisiting the same points I just considered.

    Mark, that seems quite reasonable.

    Chris, fascinating. I’m grateful that I don’t provide services directly to the public!

    Roger, thanks for this!

    John, if I had, would I tell you? I’ll unbend far enough to note that it was this post in which I used one of Hall’s simpler methods.

    Valenzuela, it’s occurred to me that the Russian Army may be waiting for the Ukrainians to use up all of NATO’s spare weapons systems, after which they can steamroller what’s left of the opposition and know that NATO’s forces don’t have the firepower left for a prolonged fight.

    Roger, any time I think the facts only point in one direction, I stop, slap myself, and wake up. The universe is not that simplistic; neither is international politics, and neither is the decline and fall of American global hegemony.

    Ellen, many thanks for this! I’m delighted to hear that this sort of work is being done.

    Joshua, many of the best cooks I know don’t use recipes, so you’re in good company. As for nuclear power, no doubt the attempt will be made — that’s why my deindustrial novel Star’s Reach has defunct nuclear power plants scattered all over the landscape, many of them never finished or used — but the unpalatable fact remains that nuclear power doesn’t pay for itself. No nation anywhere has been able to have a nuclear power industry without huge and ongoing government subsidies, because it can’t pay its own bills. There’s also the effect of the huge “energy subsidy” that nuclear power, like nearly all other energy resources, gets from fossil fuels — the mines that dig up uranium ore and the machines that process it into fuel rods, aren’t powered by nuclear energy, but by much cheaper petroleum and other fossil fuels, making nuclear power look much more viable than it is.

    Jeff, have fun!

    Aaron, what you’re suggesting has been a standard way of thinking in traditional societies since the beginning of recorded history. Human behavior that’s balanced and harmonious yields good weather and stable environmental conditions; human behavior that’s unbalanced and destructive yields bad weather and disrupted environmental conditions. Of course it also works the other way around — bad weather and environmental disruption lead to turmoil in society — so you always have the risk of feedback loops. We seem to be in one of those right now.

    Apprentice, yes, I’ve been watching that. If anyone thinks supply chain issues are bad now, think about what they’ll be like when the trucking industry is short on diesel…

    Carlos, fair enough!

  118. “t seems to me, rather, that the most likely outcome of the current mess is a new cold war with fortified borders across Europe, no Russian gas or oil for sale to NATO countries, the collapse of the dollar as a reserve currency, and the rise of a new Asia-centered global economic system in which India and China vie for top-dog slot, Russia and Iran sell both major powers all the oil and gas they want, and a bitter economic depression settles over the Atlantic world.”

    JMG, I am always amazed at the depth of your thinking. In this short paragraph you describe a probable future with clarity.
    I would like to see a post on this (or even a sci-fi novel!) but right now I am thinking of the alternative possibility.

    Since we know that without Russia and China Europe will swiftly become a continent of 3rd world countries, I can imagine an alternative future where Asia+Russia form the first world and the US is quickly declining. As this happen Europe will very likely descend into internecine war (typical, as you mentioned before).

    Do you think your cold war hypothesis is more probable than this? What signs should we watch for to predict one or the other scenario?

    Thank you

  119. Mobi, JMG, and pygmycory re. motorbikes:

    A big problem with motorbikes in America is that the typical American has totally ridiculous ideas about them. I’ve seen arguments online that go something like “How is a motorbike going to save money, when a Toyota Corolla is actually more efficient?” Indeed, if your idea of a “small bike” is a 250cc motocross dirtbike, then your average compact car is indeed more efficient. In America, a motorbike is usually thought of as some weekend toy, as opposed to an actual practical form of moving around.

    In my part of the world (Southeast Asia), motorbikes outsell cars somewhere between 6:1 to 10:1, it’s totally no contest. And they’re all 150-175cc or below. Also, we are currently living the future of electric personal transport – maybe every 10th or 20th vehicle is now electric. No, not Teslas (I’ve literally seen one in my streets) but small motorbikes and rickshaws.

    No, not even the first-world are never going to go 100% electric in 2030, 2035, 2040, or ever. To fully electrify Britain alone will take the entire world’s annual supply of lithium. The carmakers are already getting the short end of the stick with the chip shortage; what makes anyone think they’d be prioritized when we start having a battery supply crunch?

  120. I came across a couple of fascinating tidbits about US steam locomotives. Several years ago, Union Pacific (UP) decided to re-introduce one of the it’s old steam engines, the Big Boy 4041, to service. UP purchased the locomotive from a museum, and spent several years restoring it to service condition. It was converted from burning coal to bunker fuel (which is what ships burn. Bunker fuel is the heaviest fuel-grade distillate of petroleum).

    Here UP’s web entry on Big Boy 4041:

    https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/4014/ You can also find a good wiki entry.

    Here is a wonderful video on it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX26XzZVQus

    There’s more: Steam locomotives were retired from US service by 1959, except one: The Union Pacific 844. It was never retired, and has operated continuously (save for 5-year and 3-year long renovations) since 1960 as part of UP’s “Heritage Fleet”, a fleet of one until the addition of a second steam engine, the 3985 from 1981 to 2010, then the recent addition of the Big Boy 4041. See-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844

    and

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_3985

    I had no idea these remnant relics were kept running. What unexpected good news. I guess someone must have thought it would be wise to preserve a seed of living human skills and old technology, just in case…

    It made my day.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  121. Hello Mr Greer!

    I was wondering what you think the Russians will do regarding Ukraine west of the Dnieper assuming Ukraine sues for peace? If they don’t then I figure Russia has no choice but to push further west. At the moment the Russian strategy seems mostly to be distraction at Kiev while solidifying their grasp on Donbas and encircling the main Ukrainian force. If Ukraine capitulates do you think they’ll accept? The west has few cards beside outright war and they’ve already lost the media war, so they may go for broke and bank on pro-EU Ukranians refugeeing and assimilating while hoping the more pro-Russian and agnostic sides stay content in a new Russian controlled west. Russia cleaning up the military and militia factions. I doubt they’d give it the full carpet bombing treatment since there is a chance of assimilation and solidarity in Ukraine, but they may be willing to go there if pushed. Theyre already in this deep in an isolating and economically destructive existential war. Or do you think they would play conservative and allow for a western Ukraine to exist against them?

    I also was wondering if you have anything to say on the US governments recent gaslighting campaign regarding the potential of US bioweapons sites in the Ukraine. My money is that they are there, but maybe it’s a boy who cried wolf situation with the State Department. Do you think there is a potential for a false flag from either side?

    On a morbidly funny note, the US embassies have been releasing statements that the US has no history of chemical or biological weapons use, claiming that Russia does. One of the countries where this was released was Vietnam, where we have used chemical and biological weapons in recent memory. You can imagine how that went over on Vietnamese Facebook.

  122. In the spirit of this open post, I’d like to share something completely random that I just came across.

    From a piece of corporate training material on “Sustainability and Technology” that I’m currently going through now.

    Q: “How can the geographic location of data centers be beneficial to a company that is concerned about sustainability?”

    One of the choices: “by locating datacenters in countries with less restrictive regulations for emissions”

    (man, I never thought that whoever put this together was actually honest enough to put in the _correct_ correct answer.)

  123. I showed Sara’s recipe to my wife and she pointed out that it was the same recipe we had for dinner tonight. Only difference was my wife used a bean mix with lentils instead of lentils alone. She added ham and it was deliciously hearty. I’ll count that as a synchronicity!

  124. Mr. Greer,

    What would you make of say, a Llama.. or Burro powered .. er .. rickshaw?? – in true Murican style (the back of which may be adorned with rubber (REAL rubber) camelid as opposed to bull cajones dangling thusly, as per the yuuuuge phallic 4-wheeled adolescent buckboards of old ..we’re talkin mid-late 20th century here.. ‘;] ) I can see a time, perhaps not too far down the pike, where even a motorbike becomes a rather treasured heirloom, off limits to anyone but the future’s version of upper crust society – e.i. those who can even afford the fuel to power such a machine…

  125. @Roger #115
    The biolabs are a conversation topic being widely discussed in veterans circles right now, usually starting with the common abbreviation WTH/WTF? Only our supposed elite ivy leaguers would be so stupid as to think this was a good idea. Given that both sides of the aisle (sons of Romney/Biden) have enriched themselves with kickbacks from Kiev, its safe to assume the worst. It also appears to have been high on Putin’s priority list given the invasion routes. There’s an overlay map floating around the internet.

    NCScout below puts most of our feeling into words. What if we’re the baddies?… indeed.

    https://www.americanpartisan.org/radio-contra/ Look for the pocast #141

    @Natchgurke #87 Wasn’t it developed as an axle grease orginally?

    @JMG In your opinion, what’s the next shoe to drop? Any guess when this step of decline stabilizes? The stairs down are looking awfully steep.

  126. @John Zybourne #125 – Wow, thanks very much for the extensive response! I’ve never built any of my own electronics, but this sounds like plenty to get going on, and I especially appreciate the insight about older works emphasizing careful design over cheaper, easier parts – I imagine there will be a lot of fields where rediscovering that sort of thing could save a lot of pain.

  127. @pygmycory – In addition to what Patricia T said, I’ve heard stories from my friends who live with well water that is very alkaline/mineral rich that beans will never soften if cooked in their well water. I usually cook with distilled water from our well and our beans usually soften.

    @Joan, I’m excited to try kelp: soft or not, beans *for me* are always the magical fruit.

    @JMG, have you ever tried garlic or onion infused oil instead of adding the chopped vegetable and noticed whether it has the same effect on digestibility? For some in my household, both alliums are a reliable source of dietary distress in their vegetable or aqueous extract forms so I usually leave them out. I wonder if the allicin is oil soluble.

  128. @Mots

    Thanks for sharing that perspective. I’ve been intrigued by your posts here for some time, and I’ll be picking up that book soon…

  129. @JMG, #102

    Nah, I just picked it up from Texan coworkers. Mexicans who learn English back at home usually are exposed to “neutral” English through school and California’s Valley-speak through cinema/TV shows. Migrants learn whatever dialect used at their destination, more often than not California, but there are large Mexican-American communities in practically every state but Hawaii and Alaska. I learned first from my mother and later on visiting with relatives in Indiana.

    And, so to give a bit of substance to this reply. May I suggest you try your lentil recipe with plantain? Cut it in 1 inch slices and add it to the mix. If you have a sweet tooth, it gives a nice texture and a bit of extra fast calories to the dish. Also, instead of putting boiled eggs in it, you may want to add the eggs raw when the soup is the hottest, but you have just taken it out of the fire. This way the egg boils inside the soup and… mingles? with the lentils and finely chopped veggies.

  130. On the topic of riding motorbikes…. .Another key point about motor bikes is that you have to be in decent health to ride them. If you’re 200lbs overweight, the bike will protest where a car might simply list to one side.

    One thing I’ve found in recent years is that your kitchen eventually shows its face in your closet, via the clothes you can’t wear because they’re no too small.

  131. CS2 @12: Regarding cars: One issue that makes car ownership so costly is the maintenance and repair of modern vehicles. Last October, I blew a (figurative) gasket when I learned that I had to bring in my 2009 Chevy HHR to a full service garage just to change a bulb in the headlamp! This experience happened concurrent with the news of semiconductor shortages that had emerged in the wake of the covid shutdowns, and other issues affecting the semiconductor supply chain, which I concluded bids fair to be a long term issue. That led me into a mediation on the extraordinary levels of technology present in modern cars, what-with all the sensors, computers, connectivity and such. I’m old enough to remember when the only electronics in a car were in the radio, and of course the diodes in the voltage regulator. I grew up learning how to change and adjust points, and diagnose and fix problems under the hood. Old cars are very simple. So simple in fact that even if you can’t do your own repairs, the parts and labor are still much less than for modern cars.

    So when I had to take my Chevy into the garage to change a light-bulb, I had this over-the-top visceral reaction to never be over a barrel like that again. I decided to get a 1979, or earlier, truck. That’s the last model year trucks did not have catalytic converters, and the associated electronic ignition and other advanced technology that is so expensive to repair. For cars, I think pre-1976 is safe. So I got a 1978 Ford F-150 pick-up. I just had it mechanically restored, now it needs minor body work and paint. If you don’t go for show-room quality, and are judicious in selection of your vehicle, mechanic and body shop, you can restore an older vehicle for a reasonable amount of money. Make sure the body and sheet metal are sound before you buy; that’s key. I strongly recommend finding an independent mechanic in a demographically “red” zone who serves a rural or lower-income clientel. I did that and scored bigly! My mechanic did a comprehensive restoration involving a rebuilt engine, replaced the transmission and clutch, braking system, rear-end and other sub-systems for only $5K! He found a wrecked donor truck to source parts from. Avoid V8 engines. To maximize fuel economy for a full-size Ford truck, you’ll want the 6-cylinder in-line 300 cubic inch (4.9L) engine*. For a smaller Ford car, you’ll want the 6-cylinder in-line 240 cubic inch engine (if not a 4-cyl). You’d want a one-barrel carburator. Ford carb’s, at least, tolerate ethanol-laced gas just fine. The only thing you should splurge on is a high-performance transmission, especially for a manual transmission on a Ford truck.

    Japanese cars of the 1970’s were mechanically excellent (I had several), but they were prone to rust, which is why you hardly ever see them. Old VW’s and Volvo’s are good. I don’t know about other makes, though you see enough old GM’s and Chrysler’s around that I’d expect they’d be fine.

    *Here is a link on the wonderfulness of the Ford inline 6-cylinder engine:
    https://jalopnik.com/heres-why-the-ford-300-inline-six-is-one-of-the-greates-1795351528

    Sadly, you can’t get a loan to restore a car. That’s a huge barrier for those of limited means, and I wish I had suggestions for people in that category. I myself have been unemployed for the last 7 months, and really shouldn’t have tapped my limited savings to buy and restore a truck. But I’ll sell the 2009 Chevy soon, and I’m optimistic to be working again, self-employed, by May (I’m a physician, looking for a new clinic space).

    —Lunar Apprentice

  132. I have purchased and read your wonderful book on Pluto, but it’s left me with a perplexing question. You’ve noted that various features of human civilisations only came into effect once the five original planets were discovered, or, perhaps more correctly, the planets showed up once civilisation developed various features, but this has left me wondering about previous civilisations. You have discussed on here and on your social media account about previous civilisations, for instance, the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantian phases, which, may have left some traces of evidence of their existence – for instance, the origin of the portolan charts.

    My question is this, is it possible for a previous civilisation to have developed without discovering/invoking the planets, and if so, how would this occur (other astrological influences?). It strikes me as odd that there may have been previous advanced civilisations but with no astrology, or no planetary influences.

    Or, is it possible to lose astrological knowledge, which means that humans regress in terms of this, even though the planets were there all along?

    Maybe it is civilisational cycles that the planets influence, and whilst the planets remain there, human attention to them isn’t guaranteed?

  133. JMG, regarding nuclear power: Sometime ago, in response to comments regarding thorium reactors, you mentioned that they were as yet vaporware. I heard a pod-cast from Karl Denninger, on 3-16-2022 in his market-ticker blog, where he commented that in fact a thorium reactor had been built and operated in the 1960’s at Oak Ridge. I found on wikipedia that at Oak Ridge, there had indeed been a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) based on the thorium fuel cycle. Thorium was bred to produce uranium 233 (in a different reactor I infer), and then the U-233 in turn was used as fuel for the LFTR, which ran successfully for a number of years on one charge of U-233. It reportedly had no safety issues, and as I recall from Karl’s talk, it was shut-down nightly, when the operating staff went home.

    Now China is building a thorium power plant that had been slated to open in September, 2021. Here is an article about it from July, 2021

    https://www.livescience.com/china-creates-new-thorium-reactor.html

    Here is a quote from the article: “The molten-salt nuclear reactor, which runs on liquid [? – LA] thorium rather than uranium, is expected to be safer than traditional reactors because the molten salt cools and solidifies quickly when exposed to the air, insulating the thorium, so that any potential leak would spill much less radiation into the surrounding environment compared with leaks from traditional reactors. ”

    I haven’t found any updates, and haven’t found anything else about the scheduled opening.

    So it’s looking like we’re at least past the vaporware and even lab-bench phases. I hope this pans out. Your thoughts JMG?

    —Lunar Apprentice

  134. John Zybourne
    thank you very much for your comments about radio. I am reviewing the references you provided and had wondered why my old 1980 ARRL handbook seemed so much better than recent years.
    Everything it seems has been corporatized at the expense of skills. I would like to correspond about skills in this area because I am building an American radio museum at my beachside resort and need someone like you, and also want to discuss teaching related skills such as building out local energy systems to young people, if you or others are interested to discuss this please contact me through my home site yugeshima.com or my energy DIY site diygrid.net

  135. I make a pesto from lentil sprouts and garden herbs. I mostly use it to add flavor to cheese and tomato sandwiches, my usual lunch.

    Sprouting lentils: In the morning, place three teaspoons of lentils in a jar. Add water and allow to soak. That evening pour off the water and rinse. Rinse the following am and pm. On the third morning they should be ready, with roots about the length of the lentil.

    Method: In a pestle and mortar mash three Brazil nuts (for selenium. Or any nut) and fresh garlic to taste with a dash of olive oil. Gather herbs in season from the garden (mint, curry leaf, basil, and rosemary ATM), chop finely and add. Add the lentils, olive oil, and salt. Mash the mixture to a paste. Refrigerate and use within a couple of days.

  136. I have to put in my recommendation for the modern pressure cooker. I was reluctant to buy one and then an Indian friend of mine said they work miracles in the kitchen. I took her word for it… it is true. Between the rice cooker and the pressure cooker, I can make any kind of bean soup from hard beans in three hours or less. Lentils? That’s maybe an hour. Even though I have a large rice cooker, if I cook brown rice, it goes into the pressure cooker because the time is cut in half. Modern pressure cookers are much safer than the older models and less easy to screw up.

  137. @ JMG – I reread my post and want to clarify that we live nowhere near the 280k per year. By Bloomberg’s estimate, we fall somewhere around 1/5 the “let them eat lentils” line…

  138. In other news, Russia announced that it would only accept rubles from “hostile states” as payment for its natural gas!

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/russia-demand-hostile-states-pay-rubles-gas

    Among other things, that implies SWIFT would not be used for the transactions, but rather the Russian alternative to SWIFT. There will be a period of a week or so for buyers to rearrange their payment systems. Dedollarization is now in first gear…

    Observers have noted that they anticipate Russia will expand the categories of goods that must be paid for in rubles, such as petroleum, liquid fuels, fertilizer, agricultural products, metals, lumber, weapons… and that this will eventually be extended to all buyers. Of course China, Iran, India have already made, or will soon make, such/similar arrangements.

    In light of the sanctions, one way to obtain ruble reserves, reportedly, is for countries to deposit gold in Russian vaults in exchange. I suppose accepting rubles as payment for exports to Russia would help, if we’d allow exports to them… Perhaps the Russians might deign to allow the conversion of their recently “frozen” (by the US) foreign reserves to rubles…

    Perhaps we have already seen the last of cheap imports, and note the US doesn’t even manufacture its own underwear.

    I suspect the US leadership was completely blindsided by the Russian announcement, and that Wall Street will need some time to assimilate it and process the ramifications. I get the feeling this ruble news is a very big deal that will affect all of us. Life is about to get more interesting, and less easy, I’m afraid.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  139. Regarding the senility of the elites, I’m reading a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev by William Taubman, and was struck by the following sentence: “As KGB chief since 1967, Andropov was better informed than anyone else about Brezhnev’s deterioration, and was particularly sensitive when Arbatov [senior politician and advisor] (like Gorbachev in Stavropol) dared to warn that too many leaders were too old, and too many younger ones mediocre.”

    Hmmmm… who does that make me think of? I wondered.

  140. Joshua and Mr. Greer: Oh thank you for bringing this up Joshua and Mr. Greer your response. I too lost my beloved husband late 2020 to stage 4 cancer….I prayed for a significant sign that he was still here for me and our son..It took a long time maybe months before I had him show up in a vivid dream of him returning and we both knowing he had passed but was still alive in my dream…The only “sign” I have received. It is so comforting that the “astral mess” is at least somewhat to explain for the current seemingly non-communication. Brings comforting tears to me that in time this too shall pass.

  141. @JoyMarie In terms of not doing what you said you were going to do, it might be helpful to look at where else that shows up for you. How we do one thing is how we do everything.

    Perfectionism, procrastination, being late to appointments, being unreliable in general….all these kinds of things show up in multiple ways in one’s life. I’m not saying this is you, these area all common socially acceptable behaviors in modern life.

    I started the OSA work in August, got to the 3rd preliminary lesson, got confronted by it, and told myself “I need to think about this so I can do it in the best way possible.” Of course I didn’t come up with a perfect way to finish that lesson! But I learned something about myself then, that I will push off doing something for myself unless I can do it to this level of accomplishment that is completely inhuman to expect from someone. Like, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do what I expect myself to do. Maybe you, or someone reading this can relate. So my “messing up” the OSA was actually part of the process of doing it for me and a real gift, now that I allowed myself to see it that way.

    I picked it back up in February when my constant anger of the vax mandates was something I just could not handle any longer. I’m now on the 6th lesson and just yesterday had yet another encounter with vax mandates. I found myself cranky at first, then later I sat with my anger, journaled it, and could see that what I was feeling (raging indignation) is my habitual reaction to feeling belittled and treated unfairly and seen as not mattering. I felt it, really felt it, then released it, and worked to feel love towards the morons doing it. OK, so I’m not perfect on the feeling love part, but at least my instinct is no longer to dream of renting a bulldozer and visiting their workplace.

    I’m focusing on praying for justice and those that impose these mandates to be dealt what they deserve for forcing what they did on people.I would love a way to publicly push back and mock these people, but I don’t know if that is kosher in the world of karma. But at least now the anger isn’t eating at me and controlling my life and poisoning every relationship I have in the process. I was very good at enrolling people into what I was angry about and getting them to agree with me. While this is incredibly emotionally satisfying on some level (not gonna lie), it also isn’t good for me and others either.

    The tl;dr version would be, just pick it up and do the work as instructed and see what happens for you.

  142. Do you know any good blogger talking about the general “long descent” theme when it comes to Europe? Or do you reckon that daily life won’t change in Europe as much as in other places like the US’ metropolitan areas?

  143. “modern humans are uniquely ungrateful for the energy inputs in our lives.”

    When it makes your life a nihilstic living hell, where the energy is the tool of centralized oppression, there is no wonder we are not grateful.

    Motorbikes have identical or higher costs in America than cars. Costing the same as cars, they have the same insurance. Similar overhead and reliability. In comparison the gas is not a high cost per year. Now if you’re going far, a motorbike is dangerous, the weather in America is terrible, oppressively hot with no A/C, as well as completely frozen and snow-covered half the year. Zero ability to motor and will still need to own a car. You need 3 layers of clothes and still come into the office wet and disheveled. It rains suddenly and regularly all over. You can’t carry anything or do errands. You carry that ladder or paint for the deck? How about the week’s groceries? A small toaster oven? Too bad. Transporting two kids to soccer? You’ll lose child custody.

    When can you use them? Mild, Mediterranean, urban areas, of which we have almost none, but the rest of world has all over. Oh and other drivers won’t hesitate to kill you and run you off the road in a nation with no health care. All to save $200 on gas I can more than make with an extra shift at work. Why do Americans drive them? To be outside the cocoon and unsafe, alive. Happy motoring!

  144. Hmm. Was the wordplay in the post title deliberate on your part, or something else? I’ve been pondering how post and lintel construction might be applicable to the ideas here, but I’m not sure I’ve gotten much so far.

  145. Hi John Michael,

    It is interesting. Can I ask you a dumb question? If confidence (or animal spirits or whatever) are so highly prized in our culture, why are politicians so dead keen on undermining that energy? It seems utterly bonkers to me. Certainty support for it appears to have been tossed out the window, especially given the craziness of the past two years. Makes no sense to me what with everything else going on.

    How’s them oil prices? 🙂 Far out!

    Cheers

    Chris

  146. JMG and Commentariat,

    Are there any books or other resources you would recommend for a total beginner who wants to start growing food in a small backyard garden and/or indoors?

    I’m a total newbie to this stuff, and although I tried to grow some microgreens indoors last year, they failed miserably and greatly discouraged me. I feel like I’m missing the fundamentals of gardening and want to properly orient myself lest I suffer another such failure. Binging on YouTube videos and prepper articles has only confused me with information overload; all I want is the old-fashioned basics so I can grow some dang food! Surely there’s a way to do that without becoming an expert on soil pH levels and spending a small fortune on fancy fertilizers like these internet gurus?

  147. @JMG on lentils in the rice steamer

    “Fresh” out of the bag cook up fine in the same time as the rice is cooked. They will be blander than all the other delicious recipes describe here, but as something to start in the morning and then forget about until lunch when you then put your desired seasonings on them, they work well. I believe lentils are the only pulse for which that is possible.

  148. Greetings JMG and Commentariat!

    My thanks to Sara for the inspiration: I prepared my version of Lentils à la Bloomberg thus: my aromatics (the classic “kitchen trinity” of 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery) were sautéed in the bottom of a cast iron Dutch oven with a blend of farm fresh butter (made from unpasteurized milk) and bacon fat (collected each Sunday). To this I added a pint of dried lentils, two fat cloves garlic, minced, a pint of homemade tomato sauce, 1/2 cup white wine and 6 cups water. Once it began boiling into a 300* F. oven it went. I checked on it after an hour or so, adding more water as needed and finished it with some leftover hard boiled eggs and roast chicken. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, a dash of raz al hanouit (middle eastern spice blend) and a liberal dose of a Cajun spice blend. It was delicious!

    On a more serious note, I wonder if I could ask for prayers and good intentions from anyone inclined to offer them?
    I have a chronic vascular/ circulatory problem with my left leg and some wound/rashes that just won’t be fully healed.
    Prayers to help me find my way towards appropriate healers and methods of healing would be most welcome as well.

    Blessings be to all.
    Courtney

  149. @JMG – on a motorbike there’s nothing between you and the wind and the rain and the snow. And semis and buses bearing down on you within a few feet. and the gods help you if you have balance issues, though there are tricycles to be had. And bikes of all kinds are a lot easier to steal. Sez I, who was riding my bicycle for a while on Albuquerque streets until my hip froze up; and whose bus stop was very close to a campus-area motorbike and scooter shop-and-rental place. And campus and the area around it attracted thieves the way a pile of sugar attracts ants.

    That said, if where I live now had any sheltered places to stash a tricycle, I’d certainly buy one. But would never be stupid enough to try to ride on on the street that runs by the place I live. Zoom…zoom..zoom….crash, bang, boom.

    However – yes, motorbikes and scooters are actually a pretty good deal. Just pointing out the downsides, which always seem to find me somehow.

  150. @Andrew001 #4 I highly recommend Eggplant Caponata. Big staple in my house in summer time. Dolloped on top of some crusty Italian bread.

    @Sébastien & @JMG “there are a fair number of independent wine producers here, though the US is more a beer country than a wine country”
    The US currently has 11,000 wineries and 8,500 breweries. That brewery number is double what it was 8 years ago. The beer industry in the US is finally getting out from the damage that Prohibition and consolidation caused in the last century. Even though the US is more of a beer drinking country the laws in the country are much more swayed in wines favor. This might be because wine began its Post Prohibition renaissance earlier then beer. But I also feel like class based attitudes play into this.

    In my state for example craft breweries are restricted on the number of events they host in a year (quiz game nights, karaoke nights etc) whereas wineries are not. My state requires breweries give a tour of the facility to all patrons before drinks can be served; no such restriction exists for wineries. Wineries in my state have been able to sell at farmers markets for over a decade whereas craft brewers just got the ability last year.

  151. JMG 2018 – “…if they bothered to work at occultism the way they worked to make a living, they might actually achieve something.”

    True and guilty, and pretty much explains the majority of the problem with spiritualism in the West. When my focus was on practice the results were were more than tangible. When my focus became career, the former faded in direct proportion to the advancement of the latter. There are worse trades. The speed that time passes reveals the error of lack of balance. You think you can just jump right back in anytime but you’ve lost a period of superior personal energy while creating more complexity and responsibilities in your life. Not to mention deeper grooves of habits to counter. Some less helpful than others.

    We have a unique opportunity afforded by most of us having our lower order of needs met in a safe and prosperous society with access to myriads of spiritual teachings to choose from. We shouldn’t waste time and we must always be constantly watching our motivation.

  152. re:motorbikes
    @JMG,
    Of course it’s terrifying not to be cocooned on our roads! First of all, your tender scrap of flesh and bone fluttering is out in the breeze, moving rather too fast.(As fast as the fastest men can sprint, for a bicycle or e-bike; faster than evolution ever equipped our species to go, if you’re on a motorbike.) That, by itself, is scary. Then, hurtling past you at even higher speeds are your oblivious road-mates, cocooned in 2 tonnes of steel, merrily texting away. You find yourself acutely aware that some of them wouldn’t look up from their phones at the ‘bump’ if they ran you over. If that doesn’t frighten you, at least a little bit in abstract, then I wonder for your survival instinct…

    It’s really amazing how not-stressful, how absolutely joyful, balancing on 2 wheels can be away from automobiles. Around automobiles? I only do it because I’m fatalistically ready for my next incarnation.

    @pygmycory,
    There’s a fellow in my town who regularly keeps up with the snowmobiles zipping across the lake when it freezes for winter, so I’d say a motorbike can handle ice, snow, and puddles just fine if properly equipped. Personal experience with a non-motorized bicycle suggests the same, but that you’d best stick to slow speeds if you haven’t a death wish.

  153. JMG: thanks for the lentil discussion, and a tip of the hat to Joan #29 for the kombu suggestion! I love mujjhadara, but avoid it as it leaves me violating several international conventions on gas warfare.

    #28 Tony C: I note that this victory projection involves new weapons that have not yet been deployed. Laser weapons and rail guns both require tremendous power surges. That means enormous, heavy capacitors and power banks that will limit their mobility and likely make them sitting ducks for a drone carrying a tactical nuke or even a good-sized conventional device.

    #54 Nomadic Beer: From my vantage point, our political and diplomatic classes are behaving very much like frightened mediocrities who have never faced a major crisis and are now facing several at once. They might be frightfully clever people behaving like complete idiots to throw us off their scent, but I’d bet on the “frightened mediocrity” explanation.

  154. @Valenzuela re: #114

    This has been on my mind for a while as well. We’re sending all this matériel into Ukraine from where it used to be, i.e. one of our own bases. Even if Ukraine wins, some of that matériel is going to be damaged or destroyed in the fighting, and who’s to say that Ukraine is necessarily going to want to give it back once the fighting’s done? If Ukraine doesn’t win, that means that matériel is now either destroyed or Russian, and Russia’s hardly going to give it back…

  155. Augusto, thank you for the trip down memory lane… (Yo me crié en Costa Rica, desde los cuatro años).

    The Gallo Pinto is leftover rice and beans refried together (usually with some onion, garlic and cilantro, for minimum). But, if you stopped at any basic (not fancy) restaurant, the full plate you would ask for would be a “Casado” (which I think translates to “stuff that’s been hunted” – but also not sure why). Your casado plate would feature a scoop or two of Gallo Pinto, plus some fried Yuca, some fried Plátanos, a fried egg, possibly a small portion of meat or fish, all the Tortillas you could eat, and a salad. Now that always felt to me like a satisfying meal!

  156. @Mark #108 The economic consequences are very interesting and comples indeed. Your take makes sense to me. A few additions (I’m not sure how to tie this all together :-))

    – The way money is created is quite stunning: the banks are creating it. If I go to the bank for a mortgage, they just put in the number in the computer and the money is created. Most people think that the bank already had the money and lent it to them, but that is a fallacy. The banks are allowed to create money like this as long as there is collateral. Same happens when the government ‘sells’ Treasury-bonds to the banks. Since WOII there has been continuous rolling over where at the moment the government needs to pay back the original sum of the bond, they just issue a new T-bond for the same amount plus the owed interest. Of course every insider knows that sooner or later this ponzi-scheme will fail and it looks like that moment is not far away. An interesting book in this respect is the book from two economists from Harvard who wrote “This time is different”. They built a dataset going back till 1200 and looked at collapses of the monetary system. It showed that there is a cycle to it and it lasts on average 70 years. Our last crisis was in the 1930’s so our imminent crisis is overdue. The 70 years is interesting: it is about one human lifespan so every time the leadership in charge will be oblivious to the past and think that they will not make the same mistakes as their predecessors. That’s where the title of the book came from 🙂

    – besides the amount of money in circulation, the speed of circulation (velocity) is also critical. This is seldom talked about in economics, but I’d say it is crucial. If the money supply doubles but the velocity halves, the price will stay the same. The velocity depends on confidence. So if the mood is optimistic, there will be spending and investing, while if the mood is pessimistic, people will be inclined to hoard. The runaway inflation will in the short term be an exception as people will try to convert their paper wealth in physical wealth which leads to extra inflation in the selected fields like real estate as you pointed out. Germany by the way came out of their hyperinflation in the 1930’s by issuing money backed by real estate.

    – if we get an energy and supply crunch, it will also lead to less domestic production as the plants need energy and supplies to run. This will lead to a significant rise in unemployment. This will further drive down consumption and velocity of money.

    – for anyone invested in financial assets, counterparty risk will be a big issue imo. The value of your stocks, bonds, insurance etc are depending on the counterparty not going bankrupt and bitcoin is dependent on a functional electricity network and government allowing you to convert BTC into money (ask the Canadians who were blocked from converting).

    I cannot oversee where this will all go, but as the Chinese say, we’ll be living in interesting times…

    Boccaccio

  157. “How well do motorbikes handle ice, puddles, and snow, I wonder?”

    Puddles are no problem, thin tires with rounded profiles push water right out of the way, with much of it hitting your shins. Ice and wet snow are a problem but if it’s that cold you won’t want to be on a bike anyway. I found 40 F to be the lower limit for comfortable motorcycling. You can lookup wind chill at 40 F and 60 mph to see why.

    On the other hand people snowmobile at much colder temperatures, so it’s possible to operate colder. Modern bikes are all water cooled now for emissions reasons, so they do better in cold weather than the air cooled ones of the past.

    A company called zero makes an electric motorcycle. They are pretty expensive, but for a warm weather commuter it could work out.

    https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/

    I rode a motorcycle to work when weather allowed for years. A 28 mile run, 22 of it at highway speeds. Work started at 7:30, so the morning ride was often pretty cold.

  158. > There’s also the effect of the huge “energy subsidy” that nuclear power, like nearly all other energy resources, gets from fossil fuels — the mines that dig up uranium ore and the machines that process it into fuel rods, aren’t powered by nuclear energy, but by much cheaper petroleum and other fossil fuels, making nuclear power look much more viable than it is.

    The issue I have with the concept of energy subsidies is that energy is fungible to a degree. You can substitute energy from one source for another.

    For example, we probably won’t be fueling mining equipment with batteries or hydrogen for a while. But you replaced all the cars on the road with electric cars (and/or simply priced people out of owning cars while encouraging public transportation, which is probably what is going to actually happen).

    If the electricity for the cars comes from nuclear power, then you can simply put the oil that would have gone into cars into the mining equipment for nuclear.

    How long we can do this depends on EROI, which is a separate discussion. But the endgame would be to keep playing that game until oil from the ground takes up such a small proportion of the economy that we have centuries worth of reserves.

    By the way, I don’t know where the hell you found the concept of EROI because it’s brilliant. I feel like no one has heard of it even though it seems so important. I was reading a book on Norman Borlaug and William Vogt the other day and they didn’t even mention EROI once!

    I’ve ended up disagreeing (maybe a bit too passionately) with a lot of your ideas but I have to give you credit for EROI and being able to fit these ecological concepts into the broader sweep of human history

  159. @JMG @here

    The past two years flipped some kind of socio-political switch in me. I used to be an individualistic social liberal type (bodily autonomy wink wink), with vaguely libertarian economic ideals. But the violence, decadence, and decay on display recently produced a visceral negative reaction in me. Now, I want my kids to grow up in a world with intact traditional families, morality, honor, law and order, and so on. Standards. Borders. No more relativism and word games. In this vein, I find myself nostalgic for the corny but forthright America of the 1980s. I find myself researching the traditional Catholic mass. I even find myself looking at immigration requirements for countries that embody traditional values. Prior to this war, I was thinking can I learn Hungarian? Crazy, right?

    So what to do with this impulse? Since I have no power over the tide of history, or even my corrupt local city council, how to direct this impulse in a positive manner?

  160. @Greer

    By any chance, you wouldn’t happen to know a person named Charles Hall? I think he was the person who came up with the concept of EROI.

  161. @Mark L #46 — Re “I’ve been thinking recently that modern humans are uniquely ungrateful for the energy inputs in our lives.”

    That’s because energy has been cheap and ubiquitous up ’til now. People are screaming because gas is $4.15 at the pump right now, but here’s the real value of a gallon of gas: Put a gallon of gas in your car and drive it until it stops. Then hire however many strong men you need to push your car back home. That’s the real value of a gallon of gas.

    A good experiment for a high school science class would be to mount a bicycle in a stand and hook it up to a generator that drives, say, three 100-watt light bulbs, and then ask students to light them up. Most will be unable to bring the lights up to normal illumination. Even the top jocks are going to be working hard to keep the lights on. I always thought it would take something like this to drive home the extraordinary power that we take for granted every day. But I have yet to see this experiment conducted in any class. Wasted opportunities for meaningful education…

  162. Peter Wilson #142 It is absolutely possible for a civilization to lose astrological knowledge. It’s a pretty safe bet that Neolithic civilizations knew star navigation. We have at least one proven example of a Neolithic culture, the Polynesians, sailing all over the Pacific using the stars. And if they navigated by the fixed stars they almost certainly noticed the wandering ones. We know that a good deal of Polynesian mythology involved the stars: Maui’s fishhook is what contemporary astronomers call the stinger of Scorpio. But, sadly, a great deal of that mythology is lost.

    In most civilizations, astrology and divination were skilled professions practiced by educated specialists. (There was certainly a “folk astrology” alongside this that was vital and interesting, and a fair amount of that information gets passed down as stories or old wives’ tales). To use a phrase that is common in these parts, astrologers are part of the professional/managerial class. And as a civilization declines, the PMC usually holds on for a while but ultimately finds itself obsolete. And obsolete material that can’t be used for palimpests generally gets used for kindling.

  163. Well, comrade Greer, I have to say you called the shape of things to come pretty darn accurately. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we’d be seeing 26 % PPI inflation in Germany in 2022; and people routinely dismissed me as a “doomer” and a ridiculous pessimist up until fairly recently. Right now those quips seem to have entirely dried up; people seem to be mostly in shock at just how quickly our economies and the political world order they rely on are falling apart before their eyes.

    Two points. One, I’ve seen more and more people referring to your ideas lately, and I suspect we might see some sort of springtime for “John Michael Greer Thought” among certain segments of younger Americans before long. I imagine that probably fills you with decidedly mixed feelings, but maybe you’ll get the chance to parody Marx’s famous quip about how “If these people are marxists, then I myself am definitely not one!”.

    Two, it really looks like your hunch about “scarcity industrialism” is taking shape before our very eyes right now. I’ve seen more than one person make the case that Russia is by far the most “futuristic” nation around right now, because they have – by chance and by circumstance – been forced into rebuilding their economy to deal with permanent levels of scarcity. Sure, the scarcity has been mostly political owing to sanctions, but the end result is the same: Russia now has a far less fragile economy than us here in the west, whose elites are foolishly trying to throw economic punches without realizing we’re all sporting the mother of all glass jaws ourselves.

  164. Greetings all!

    Nomadic Beer said: “JMG, I am always amazed at the depth of your thinking. In this short paragraph you describe a probable future with clarity. I would like to see a post on this.”

    I second this! What is happening in Ukraine is really a geopolitical turning point for the 21st century.

    Your insight would interest many persons…

  165. Lunar Apprentice #129: there are something like a hundred operational steam locomotives in the United States today. Most of them are smaller switching or branch line units at tourist railroads and museums of various stripes, but I can immediately name off ten operational mainline locomotives that would be fully capable of hauling a passenger train at 90mph. That said, a steam locomotive is not very efficient and requires oodles of maintenance, so they’re probably not the future of railroading.

  166. And as many others have said, the synchronicity continues — I just made a big pot of an Ethiopian lentil dish yesterday! Spiced with berbere powder, LOTS of well-sauteed onions, garlic and ginger, and particularly with a fair amount of home-ground ajowan seeds, which are an incredible flavoring common to the cuisines of both Ethiopia and India, and which greatly alleviate if not eliminate the ‘gaseous’ problems that many people have after eating legumes.

    For those who have had or are having problems with their dried lentils, peas or other legumes not softening sufficiently or properly, I have found two tricks to help in this regard: 1) use only water, NOT any form of salted broth, to soak and cook them, and do NOT add salt until the legumes are softened to your satisfaction (salt will only inhibit their rehydration and dissolution), and/or 2) add a small amount (1-3 Tbps.) of a souring agent, such as lemon juice or vinegar, or alternately some tomatoes at the start of cooking, as acidity will enhance the dissolution of cooked dried legumes.

  167. @Lunar Apprentice #143
    Is this the reactor you’re talking about, or is this something else China has been working on?

    @JMG A Tweet on Venezuela now joining up with China and Russia in corporate/consumer credit.
    On a not-unrelated note, I’ve heard many African countries already have their own electronic currencies over their cell phone networks. If these also link up with the e-CNY, the whole predatory loans mechanism may disappear before anybody realizes it’s dead.

  168. @JMG, sure I would be happy to. Here is the basic recipe, and it is very flexible so substitute in and out whatever you would like!

    Lentil Soup with butternut squash and greens

    Ingredients:
    3 large leeks or 1 large yellow onion (or a combination), diced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    3 carrots, diced
    1 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 cups) peeled and cubed
    8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, can substitute part water if needed
    1 ½ cups green lentils
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 bunch kale or any other green (collards, chard, spinach), roughly chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Lemon juice to taste

    Instructions:
    Cook the onion or leek in oil over medium heat until softened, then add in the carrots and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer. Add in squash, stock, lentils, thyme, oregano, some salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until lentils are soft and squash is tender, roughly 20-30 minutes, although this can vary a lot depending on the brand of lentils I’ve found. A few minutes before the soup is ready, add in the kale so it can soften and add flavor to the soup. Taste for salt and pepper, and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Serve with salad and bread, and enjoy!

  169. @Nachtgurke #87
    “Margarine though – I don’t know who came up with that shale”

    You can blame Napoleon III, who wanted a butter substitute for the army and the poor, so he ran a competition. The winner was an emulsion of beef fat (also sometimes made from whale oil) developed by a chemist and patented in 1869.. The name comes from margaric acid, believed at the time to be one of the essential fatty acids. Later under cost pressure and animal fat shortages it became made from hydrogenated vegetable oil.

  170. A few thoughts:..

    1. Russia can’t lose. It would be akin to US allowing USSR to keeping their missiles in Cuba. The “Russia is Losing” meme is pure propaganda. [I also think sending arms to Ukraine is a convenient means of shoveling money to the MIC.]

    2. Hyperinflation is certainly on the table since the Fed simply reaching their target FFR of 2% would put US debt interest payments above defense spending on the federal budget.

    3. Thorium isn’t yet viable otherwise they’d be building them already.

    4. Widespread EVs are and will always remain a pipe dream. It takes digging up 500,000 pounds of earth just to get the minerals necessary for one (1) EV battery!

  171. @Scotlyn #166

    Actually, Casado means Married. The beans and the rice are mixed all together, thus married to each other. In Mexico we literally have a dish called “Huevos divorciados”: a pair of eggs, each cooked with a different salsa and served at opposite sides of the plate (sometimes with a spoonfull of beans in between). It is restaurant fare, unless you have a big family and cannot fit the whole breakfast in a single pan anyways.

    The word you were thinking about was CaZado, with Z. In Spain they sound different, but that feature of the language was lost in most of Latin America and you have to tell them apart from pure context.

  172. @JustTestedPositive #20 – Re “Have you considered writing a book in a more “how-to” type of vein? An antifragile guide to surviving a post-Western world for Westerners? I bet there’s a market for that.”

    The FoxFire series is an excellent resource for that. You can find downloadable versions online. You can also usually find old copies for sale, but their price has been going up. You can mix-and-match volumes from different sellers and save a bit of money, or you can get the complete set in good condition for $200 – $300.

    Mother Earth News has gone glossy but still sometimes has good beginner-level articles. And subscriptions are dirt cheap.

  173. Well, if the thread is turning into a cookbook…

    To my taste, the thing that makes Gallo Pinto taste right is Salsa Lizano–I can occasionally find it at the local Hispanic grocery. Gallo Pinto and a soft fried egg and coffee–and now I’m hungry.

    My contribution to the recipes is “Wedding Lentils”; I first made these by the “put stuff I have together” method the morning of my wedding, upon realizing that we had no suitable food for gluten-avoiding guests. I figured out the recipe later, and they are one of the few dishes I make regularly by following a recipe.

    2 cups red lentils
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    One-inch piece ginger, chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp tumeric
    1/2 tsp cayenne

    Cover generously with water and cook until soft. Add:

    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/8 tsp ground cloves

    Before serving heat and add:
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 can coconut cream/milk (unsweetened, like Chaokoh or Savoy)
    Handful chopped cilantro if you have it
    More salt to taste

  174. Regarding the idea of motorbikes as a substitute for cars, one point that I find that is frequently if not invariably overlooked by their advocates, who are again almost invariably from the tropical third-world countries where their use prevails, is the fact that their prevalence of use does in fact coincide with tropical countries for a good reason: because those countries are HOT!

    It probably goes without consideration by anyone using a motorbike in a hot and steamy climate that one is significantly cooled down by the moving air one passing around the person who is riding the motorbike. But while this may be either unobvious or advantageous in a hot climate, it is a serious drawback in a much cooler climate. Where I live (Alaska), one sees motorcyclists routinely bundled-up in the summer, even on warm days, as they are subject to the extreme cooling effect of having 60 or 70 mph air blowing on them as they ride (and don’t forget, 50% of the maximum possible wind-chill effect happens in the first 10 mph of wind speed).

    Moreover, any form of two-wheeled transportation is impractical and outright dangerous for the full half of the year here that has ice and snow on the ground, including on the roadways. So even if motorbikes were practical in more northerly climates in the summer, one would still have to have an alternate means of transportation during the colder and icy months. And that is not even taking into account the very common periods of wet and rainy weather, which would make riding a motorbike even that much more unpleasant and impractical.

  175. Hi John- I love reading your blog. It’s really fun reading your blog especially now as the current geopolitical and economic order is rapidly changing. I’m enjoying the long descent while eating my lentils Bloomberg like the rest of us peasants who earn less than $300k per year. Oh, and another spice suggestion: stick in a bay leaf or two and also fresh or dried time while it’s cooking, they go great with lentils.

  176. @Oliver #137 – aha! That explains it! Back in Albuquerque, I tried cooking pinto beans over and over again in my crockpot, and they all came out as hard as rocks, even when using a new beg fresh from the supermarket. Puzzling, since pinto beans are such a major part of the local cuisine.

  177. @Sambo, @JMG

    I’m in a similar position although in my case this is my third year of trying.

    Year 1 was a couple of open bags of compost with some tomato plants. We moved just before the first lockdowns for the virus that shall not be named hit. Most of my time was spent working as part of a team desperately trying to cope with the fallout. There wasn’t much left over for getting a veg garden established.

    Last year there was time. We got some raised beds in and I planted quite a lot of cabbage in the hope of raising my sauerkraut game. My big discovery was that pigeons will quite happily eat young cabbages if there’s no netting (yes, I really am completely clueless in this area). In the end I decided that they may as well have the few spindly remains but I reserve the right to go hunting for squab one day. There are still a few hopeful birds that have been hanging around ever since. The tomatoes, onions, and courgettes were a success but the garlic was pretty poor.

    This year has started with unseasonably warm weather (which has been rather nice actually) and I am planning netting, a variety of plants including perhaps castor beans as I’m keen to experiment with home oil extraction. See discussions last week (do I roast them first or what?) and I’ve found a cheap hand operated oil press. I must say I’m a bit worried about the toxicity so the press will probably be a castor bean only device.

    There may be kimchi as well as sauerkraut.

    Charles Dowding and his ‘no dig’ approach has been an inspiration:

    https://youtu.be/0LH6-w57Slw

    As has the advice and commentary from everyone round here. JMG suggested I should listen to the nature of the area. I don’t think I have much in the way of talent and there’s a definite tin ear for the music of nature but I’m hoping that sheer bloody minded persistence and a willingness to learn will make up for that. I have noticed that it plays at just a few beats per year, so instant success is clearly not on the cards,

    Andy

  178. @Sambo #156 – The first thing to know about gardening is — there’s a learning curve. I can think of three cardinal rules when starting:

    1) Start small.

    2) Plant only what you like to eat.

    3) Tend your garden regularly.

    All the pH stuff, companion planting, crop rotation, compost, etc. will come in good time. That’s the learning curve. The main thing is to just get started.

    To do that, all you really need is decent, well-prepared soil, sunlight, and water. Mix in a little compost if the soil is hard-packed. Plant easy keepers to get started. Depending on where you live, tomatoes, onions, bush beans, potatoes, and spinach are all easy to grow and will give you very satisfying yields if you give them regular attention. Tomatoes do well in containers and you get a lot less weeds that way.

    Broccoli is easy to grow but you have to watch out for pests. Yellow moths should prompt action.

    Butternut squash and cucumbers are easy and productive, but you need a trellis for them if your space is limited. Squash in particular takes up a lot of space. Butternut squash will store for many months. and requires no processing.

    Sweet corn is easy, but you need a decent sized patch of it — say four 8′ rows minimum — in order for the kernels to get fertilized and fill out. Plus caterpillars love corn. There are organic methods to control them, but it does require a bit of diligence. On the plus side, corn is easy to process and freeze for the winter.

    Once again, start small and grow only foods that you like. Hope this helps!

  179. Thank you to Mobi, JMG, PatriciaT, Lunar Apprentice, and others for your responses regarding cars and motorbikes!

    @Ezra, the Danubian god surely guided me onto the path. Since moving into its floodplain, I’ve “gone spiritual,” found magic and started up a daily practice, found a pantheon, and completed three years of sorting through the muck and crud of my hangups and life lessons. Good luck in turning inward and finding your path.

  180. Tinkzorg, and JMG, about scarcity industrialism, I read a while ago the part in “The Ecotechnic Future” about scarcity industrialism, and it struck me, how prescient these ideas were. I myself have a hunch abot this coming epoch, which has vaguely to do with a more steely, more militaristic outlook on things, with Caesarist governments replacing corporations as the most powerful entities and with a certain flavor kf right-wingish populism.

  181. I’m in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) which is both my greatest accomplishment, the most interesting thing about me, and my greatest occasional shame. Not that I feel shame very much.

    Lately people are complaining that today’s SCA is not the same as the SCA of the past. We can be as weird as we like as long as we don’t seem dangerous. This is terribly awkward, because so little evidence of danger is presented. Call it the Subcult of Safety.

    When I first joined in 2007, at the age of 28, I thought that nobody was ever kicked out of the SCA. There are a bunch of really awkward sods in the SCA, and they sat around talking about the best ways to dispose of a body in modern times. I think I was in a couple of years before I was disabused of this notion. There was some girl who “couldn’t tell fantasy from reality” she might actually stab somebody at an SCA event. Always felt sorry for her (never met her) because who else would understand? Her life was a tragedy and we were her last hope before doom really set in.

    I wrote off a lot of how the SCA used to be as “we walked twenty miles uphill in the snow both ways!”

    Then it got political. Not denying reality to conform to the party line became “dangerous.” Throwing Molotov cocktails in the name of civil rights was okay, it was dangerous when we couldn’t say it was dangerous. The paradox embraced by most!

    I promptly and somewhat unwillingly found myself siding with the underdog. Rooting for the Bad Guys, really. I still wonder what possessed me. Usually I have a better sense of self-preservation.

    Has it really blown over? I still feel a bit like a werewolf in the group. Not hunted by everyone, but dangerous, and dangerous to know. It’s dangerous to read past the headlines. Everyone turns on their phones and we don’t talk like we used to, which is the worst thing of all.

    The SCA isn’t supposed to bear up to scrutiny. It’s a Dream. The world’s just not sleeping well lately.

  182. Hi JMG –

    Are you familiar with Evolutionary Astrology, and if so, do you have a take on it? I just had a Transits & Progressions reading with an evolutionary astrologer and it seemed kind of vague and cheerleader-ish. One thing that sent up a flag was that he called Pluto a planet of healing, which, based on the discussions on your blogs, sounded a little off.

    Thank you.

  183. John, everyone–

    Fascinating federal goings-on. Apparently, FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) got its hand slapped recently and revised two recently-issued natural gas policy statements as “draft” and set new comment periods for further input. From a summary of the 3/24 FERC open meeting (my emphasis in bold):

    As explained above, FERC backtracked on its two recent Gas Policy Statements issued just last month. The first policy statement addressed FERC’s general policy for granting certificates under the NGA, while the second (interim) policy statement explained how the Commission proposed to assess the impacts of natural gas infrastructure projects on climate change in its reviews under the NGA and NEPA. FERC announced that both documents will be designated as draft policy statements on which the Commission is seeking further public comment. The Gas Policy Statements, once finalized, will only apply to subsequently-filed pipeline and LNG certificate applications. Comments on the Gas Policy Statements are due by April 25, 2022 with reply comments due May 25, 2022. FERC issued a press release.

    FERC’s action comes after significant concerns were raised about the Gas Policy Statements by the natural gas industry and by some state and federal policymakers. Among those voicing objections was Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. All five FERC commissioners were summoned to a contentious hearing before that committee on March 3, 2022, to discuss the policy statements. Two aspects of the Gas Policy Statements that had prompted particular outcry were: (1) FERC’s proposal to apply the Gas Policy Statements to already-filed gas certificate applications; and (2) the suggestion that FERC would encourage natural gas companies to mitigate “downstream” greenhouse gas emissions related to natural gas infrastructure, such as the emissions from gas-fired electric generating plants served by new pipeline facilities.

    Not often one finds an entire federal commission hauled before a congressional committee to answer questions.

    Link for the hearing:
    https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/commissioners-discuss-new-gas-project-policies-senate-hearing

  184. JGM, the Open Thread CookBook? I can see one(or more) with an appendix of references to other good options, books and sites.

    Kermit for President! @Violet, I have so had to share that save the Muppets campaign, warping friends as always, especially those who keep trying to get me on their cause of the day.

    @Peter both links had the viable links in them for those of us who know how to use it, just copying it into the address bar does the trick. Your second one had a trailing quote that messes it up if not removed.
    https://forms.gle/6ysBfaYT8MGv4cxL6
    or my attempt at a proper link

    @Jeff Russell read up about the Mentats of Frank Herbert’s Dune series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizations_of_the_Dune_universe#Mentats
    Mentats are specially trained to mimic the cognitive and analytical ability of computers, and the stories often touch on their disciplines and habits of memory and thought. Clearly some notable research went into them, and I suspect there is a community of fans working to become real Mentats that might be worth tapping into.

    @Mots your diygrid site keeps pushing to unsecured http: rather than the secured https: This means your site will get factored very poorly in the search engines, and many browsers give those “you better not go here” warnings. As for the security risk this represents they are trying to guard people from… Man-in-the-middle attacks can allow anyone on the same network as the browser to inject malware (spyware, randsomware, etc…) Think schools and coffee shops with many unknown persons on the network. While SSL/TLS isn’t a 100% block, it raises the effort needed that stops many from trying.

    @RusTheRook’s comments EROI has been around a bit. The Wikipedia page for it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_return_on_investment lists the history, becoming generally known about 1984

  185. I am thinking things, but the things that I am thinking seem to be working at crossed purposes to others. I’m kinda sorta thinking about the sound advice given up at Bloomberg. This little bit has caused quite a stir in the oddball edges of the internet that I frequent. If the poors that post in these nether regions had pearls to clutch, they most certainly would be doing so.

    Look, the advice is sound. End of discussion.

    I am actually impressed that she came out and told the truth in a Bloomberg publication (let’s be honest here, that is a relatively infrequent occurrence).

    A lot of folks need to stand back a little bit from their high dudgeon for a moment and look at this from another point of view. Our host here in this little cul de sac of the internet has been saying just what she has laid out in no uncertain terms almost since I started reading him in 2008.

    Here we have a card-carrying member of the professional managerial class who is basically telling the rest of her cohort that they are in for some rude surprises in the not-too-distant future.

    I have no doubt that she realizes that us poors here in the wasteland have the know-how to live poor down pretty good. I think that her little tutorial is directed toward the PMC who are in the 100k-250k range. Tell you the truth, when you look at the demographics of Bloomberg readers, that is what these types of publications are selling to. I am guessing that the editorial board at Bloomberg allowed this little gem to be published as a way of telling the PMC that they produce the least and have the most fat to trim.

    I am guessing that this is like the times back in my salad days when we were casting around for middle managers to toss off the feed trough, we gave some broad hints to at least get them thinking about finding a new gig.

    The PMC is expensive and pretty useless. The majority of them don’t earn their paycheck in true economic terms. I have a sneaking hunch that they won’t enjoy the next little while. But, they might like lentils after they try them.

  186. BTW, for all those who’ve thanked Sara for her recipe, she says you’re most welcome, thank you for the praise, and she hopes you enjoy every bite.

    NomadicBeer, the entire basis for economic globalization was the commitment on the part of all parties not to let politics interfere with economic relations. Now that the NATO powers have deep-sixed that and turned the global economy into a military asset, every nation that doesn’t want to be subjugated by them has a huge incentive to abandon the economic institutions of globalization and reestablish regional and national economic arrangements in their place. That leads to guarded frontiers, economic nationalism, and a very steep drop in the standard of living for those nations that have been living beyond their means on the profits of global resource and money flows. Could that send Europe spinning into depression and internecine war? You bet. My prediction was for the relatively near term; what happens further on, as the EU discovers the hard way that Europe really isn’t the center of the universe any more, is another matter.

    Carlos, I was assuming we were all talking about little motor-scooters, not roaring dirt bikes or the like. Granted, most Americans don’t think in those terms.

    Lunar, fascinating. I wonder why they brought it back into service.

    Jackson, I don’t have any more access to the thinking of the Russian government than you do, you know, so what they are or aren’t planning in Ukraine is not something I can claim any knowledge of. (I’m tempted to quote Sherlock Holmes: “I never guess. It is a frightful habit, destructive to the logical faculties.”) As for US gaslighting, I really get the impression that the current US elite no longer realizes that reality isn’t whatever they say it is. Did you see Jen Psaki the other day insisting with a straight face that increasing federal government spending reduces the national debt?

    Carlos, good heavens. They actually admitted it!

    Jon, yum!

    Polecat, I suppose so, though my guess is that shoe leather will be the most important transportation investment of the next three centuries or so.

    BobinOK, to make a joke that shows my age, I think we’re in Imelda Marcos’s shoe closet, and which one’s going to drop next is almost a moot point. Now that Russia’s de-dollarizing its fossil fuel sales, we’ve entered a space in which the smallest shifts could cause unexpected change in a hurry.

    Kerry, I’m not sure if I’d call it treason, or stark gibbering drool-spattered insanity.

    Oliver, I haven’t tried that, but it would be worth experimenting.

    CR, I’ll consider it, but plantain’s an exotic crop up here in Rhode Island and not available very often in the stores within easy walking distance.

    Peter, that’s an interesting question and, I think, an important one. If the planets are discovered when it’s time for them to be discovered, then it would follow that they would be forgotten when it’s time for them to be forgotten. Most people in today’s industrial nations couldn’t identify the planets in the night sky, and so it’s quite conceivable that at the bottom of a long arc of decline, when nearly all the traditions and teachings of the former civilizations have been lost, there might be no remaining knowledge of the planets — just the sun and moon, which are hard to miss, and a dim sense that there are lots of things up there in the sky and sometimes they change. I suspect that’s the normal condition in the ages that pass between each cycle of civilizations. If occult sources are to be trusted, most forms of scientific and spiritual knowledge in the cycle prior to ours — the one we label “Atlantean” for want of a better label — were the exclusive secrets of priesthoods and other elite bodies, and so the loss of knowledge could have been very, very steep. With any luck it won’t be as bad next time — but we probably have some thousands of years to go before that comes, and conditions then may not be any more conducive to the survival of knowledge than they were when the oceans rose and “Atlantis” (meaning all the land area below today’s sea level) went full fathom five.

    Apprentice, sure, you can build a thorium fission reactor, just as you can build a uranium or plutonium fission reactor. It just won’t pay for itself. That’s the thing that the pro-nuclear brigade can never get through its collective yard-thick skull: technical feasibility does not matter. Your reactor has to provide electricity at a cost that people can afford to pay, or it’s yet another glow-in-the-dark white elephant. Thorium reactors have been in development since the 1950s; if they were cost-effective, they’d be all over the world now. The fact that they’re not shows, better than anything else, that the whole point of nuclear fission power is the manufacture of raw materials for bombs: thorium reactors don’t do that and so they don’t get the gargantuan subsidies that keep uranium and plutonium reactors clinging to an undead semblance of life.

    Martin, yum. Thanks for this.

    Kimberly, so noted and thank you.

    Ben, duly noted!

    Apprentice, yep. The petrodollar is dying, and your standard of living, along with mine and that of everyone else who lives in the US, will be taking a very sharp drop as a result.

    Martin, gosh, I’m sure I don’t know. 😉 I’m reminded of one of the classic Radio Yerevan jokes from the latter days of the Soviet Union. Q: Is it true that saying that Brezhnev is an idiot will get you ten years in prison? A: Yes, it’s true, because that’s a state secret.

    Kristin, first, please accept my condolences! I know that’s a harsh thing to live through. I’m glad to hear that your husband was able to get a message through the astral crud! It may be a while before things clear up enough to permit more contacts, but hang in there.

    Jean-Vivien, not offhand. I mostly read books by dead people, remember. Anyone else?

    Reese, it was a fortunate accident. I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out.

    Chris, I figure it’s because they’re terrified that if people are confident, they’ll notice just how little benefit they get from the current crop of politicians, and toss them out.

    Sambo, there are indeed. I highly recommend Mel Bartholomew’s book Square Foot Gardening, which is designed for the complete beginner and will walk you through the process; it’s got a website backup at https://squarefootgardening.org/ which is also worth your while. Once you’ve gotten some familiarity with that, John Jeavons’ How To Grow More Vegetables is another good volume. If you can find them, The Postage Stamp Garden Book and The Apartment Gardener by Duane Holcomb are also excellent, and aimed at beginners.

    May I insert a parenthetical comment? If I had a lot more money than I do, I’d found a publishing firm and, if necessary, hire some private investigators to track down the current rights holders for the classic small gardening and appropriate tech books of the 1970s and get those puppies back into print. Right now, with the industrial nations in economic cardiac arrest, they’d be more than worth their weight in gold, and yet most of them are long out of print and hard to find.

    Patricia M, huzzah! Common sense begins to prevail at last.

    Drew, interesting. I’ll give it a try sometime.

    Court, yum! Positive energy en route for your leg.

    Patricia M, of course. Those are among the reasons why I expect them not to be popular here until cars are too expensive to own or fuel.

    GP, okay, that shows that (a) I didn’t grow up in wine country and (b) I did grow up in Seattle, which became one of the hotbeds of the microbrew revolution. Thanks for this.

    DenG, I ain’t arguing.

    Dusk Shine, again, those are among the reasons why I expect them not to be popular here until cars are too expensive to own or fuel.

    Kenaz, hah!

    Rus, of course energy is fungible, but the costs of different energy sources differ. That’s exactly the point. If you have to replace cheap diesel with some more expensive energy source, the price of everything made or shipped or extracted using the diesel goes up to account for the more expensive energy source. That’s what allows cheap diesel to provide a stealth subsidy for something like nuclear power, which looks more affordable than it is while cheap diesel is picking up some of the energy costs. As for net energy, I’d have to go digging to find the origins of the concept — it certainly wasn’t my invention.

    Brian, start by finding other people who share your values, and networking with them. There are a growing number of you these days, you know, and you may be able to work out something collectively that’s beyond the reach of any individual. The glorification of the isolated individual, after all, is one of the core elements of the cultural ideology you’ve rejected…

    Rus, I haven’t met him but of course I’m familiar with his writings.

    Comrade Malcom, thanks for this! Yeah, I was a little startled at the speed with which my predictions started turning into headlines. I’m pleased to hear that my ideas are getting some traction, though I hope that people who read my stuff have the common sense to go further and read William Catton, E.F. Schumacher, and some of the other thinkers whose ideas I’m basically channeling. As for scarcity industrialism, yep — I based my predictions on what happened to industrial nations during the big wars of the 20th century, and since we’re returning to those conditions now, hang on for the toboggan ride — it’s a long way down to the base of the hill, and Europe and North America both face some good-sized boulders en route.

    Karim, I’ll certainly consider it.

  187. @Andy Konecny #198 – Thanks much for this! The Mentat have been a favorite of mine since I first read Dune in junior high! I don’t think it’s been updated in years, but Ron Hale Evans created the “Mentat Wiki” with resources on the kinds of skills that might allow one to become a “real-life mentat” (or as close as we can get without the Juice of Sapho, anyway): https://www.ludism.org/mentat/

    He’s developed the thoughts there a bit further in two books: Mind Performance Hacks and Mindhacker. I’ve read and gotten much out of the first, and I own the second but haven’t read it yet.

    You can also find links to pdfs of the “Mentat Handbook” and “Bene Gesserit Handbook” below, which appear to be fanmade attempts to put together a suite of real-life skills to imitate those orders. I’ve glanced through both, but I have no idea how actually practical they are (for example, the Bene Gesserit handbook appears to use ninjitsu as its martial art, and what I’ve heard, things taught as “ninjitsu” are highly variable in quality and effectiveness).

    https://www.reddit.com/r/dune/comments/4icr0r/the_bene_gesserit_manual_and_the_mentat_handbook/

    Hope you enjoy!

  188. Lunar Apprentice #148
    Just today I saw a livestream by Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean-American historian and commentator currently residing in Kharkov, who discussed this topic and came to the conclusion that the ruble will possibly become the next world reserve currency, given its backing by the large and varied basket of commodities Russia controls or exports. It’s a fascinating talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVbVwFPgSk4
    I’ve just stumbled upon the dude, and so far I like the way he sees things.
    Overall I tend to agree to his analysis, although I must admit that my sense of schadenfreude makes me kinda root for the Russians, which may cloud my judgment.

    And with respect to last month’s request for informed input on the reciprocal roof frame, there’s some news: An engineering student is making my hut the topic of his master thesis. I’m very excited and will keep you folks posted!

  189. Thinking of inexpensive non-lentil foods that will keep you going: home-made bread. Flour is very inexpensive, and even if the price doubles, it’s still going to be a bargain compared to a lot of foods. You can pair it with many different types of meals, or eat it topped with spreads, or even just as is. Even brown flour keeps for months, and it takes up a lot less space than finished bread.

    I’ve recently started baking my own bread, and I can recommend it to anyone wanting to drop their food bill while eating well, so long as you have an oven, time, and either hands that work well enough to knead without problems or have fridge space and time at home for no knead recipes. If less time, fridge space and don’t want to knead, quickbreads are your friend.

    Here’s a quickbread recipe I like as a change from no-knead brown yeast bread:

    Brown Butter Soda Bread makes 2 small loaves

    milk 1 1/3 cups
    lemon or lime juice 1 3/4 tbsp
    oats (old-fashioned or quick) 1/2 cup
    wholewheat flour 1 cup
    all purpose flour 2 1/2 cups
    sugar 1tbsp
    rosemary (optional) 1 tsp
    black pepper 1/2tsp
    baking powder 2 tsp
    baking soda 1 tsp
    salt 1 tsp
    butter (margarine will do if that’s what you have)1/4 cup
    egg white (part of 1 Can do without, but it makes it look nicer and easier to tell when it’s done)

    1) stir lemon juice into milk. Oven to 375F.
    2) combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder, rosemary and black pepper and stir thoroughly.
    3) melt butter in sm. pot on med. heat. Cook till butter turns golden brown. Turn off heat.
    4) Add milk/lemon and butter to dry ingredients.
    5) Turn out on well-floured surface, knead 5-10 turns.
    6) Divide in two, shape into two round loaves.
    7) Place on baking sheet. Brush egg white over top. Cut X into top.
    8) Bake 45min in oven.
    9) Remove from oven and let cool.

    The ingredients are a bit more expensive than your standard brown yeast bread, but I love the oaty taste, and there are several useful aspects to this recipe.

    I like the fact it uses a similar temperature to a fair number of things I cook in the oven. So I can make pizza, crumble, tarts, banana bread, roast vegetables, squash, not-actually-lasagna casserole, cookies or curried potato rounds at the same time without any of the others being at the wrong temperature. I also like the fact I can decide to bake bread and actually get the finished bread within an hour and a half of starting prep. Because of the size of the loaf, I suspect you might be able to make this in a toaster oven, if you don’t have a proper oven. Though you wouldn’t be able to cook anything else at the same time.

  190. Re: gardening (@Sambo)

    Growing vegetables successfully depends on a solid understanding of your local climate, so I would recommend choosing a reference specific to your area. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest USA, Oregon State University extension service has a handy little booklet called Grow Your Own that is a great start, and for more in depth knowledge most gardeners own a copy of Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon.

    Re: being grateful for energy.

    In part the problem is attitude/entitlement/belief in Progress but it is also the complete decoupling of modern energy flows from any knowledge or understanding of their creation. A local hot springs retreat in the mountains is located on a cascading river and has its own hydroelectric generator. Their power is still relatively cheap and abundant but everyone knows to give thanks to the river.

    Re: vehicles

    We’re suffering from a failure of imagination which is reinforced by legal constraints that require everything to fit into the categories of “car”, “motorcycle”, or “bicycle.”

    If we instead start with basic needs and energy constraints and design from there we can get different solutions. I’m envisioning, for example, a three-wheeled enclosed vehicle that weighs about 300 lbs, has a cargo capacity of ~700 lbs, can carry a driver and two passengers or plenty of groceries, has a top speed of 25-30 mph, and has a simple gearbox with a universal input shaft like a tractor PTO that can be powered by anything capable of generating rotational motion: electric motor with batteries or small generator, small gas engine, pedal power, etc.

    That would fulfill most local transportation needs using far less energy and resources than today’s vehicles, and longer distance travel will be by mass transit, presumably rail.

  191. @ Lunar Apprentice RE: cars…

    Early 1980’s cars are STILL much more efficient than today’s cars due to power to weight ratio. They are mostly carbureted, so easy to work on. Examples are 1980-82 VW diesel truck average MPG approaching 50; !980-85 Honda Accord avg MPG 39 for automatic and 45 for manual tranny. Those are just 2 I have owned. They are getting hard to find, but a fully restored 1980ish VW pickup can be had for $7-9000 USD.

    The early hybrids like the Prius are a good deal, provided you get one that has already had the battery pack replaced….

    We are currently debating getting a 150cc trike or else a battery trike, simply do do the around town stuff. The debate is over the 90 mile trek to our farm, which the batteries will not do. Also interesting to me are kits made as bolt-on bike electrification – seems like a good idea to me…

  192. Degringolade, you make a valid point about the audience, and it’s also true that the only actively bad piece of advice for people on a budget is not to buy in bulk. Now if she’d said ‘don’t buy more of anything at once than you will use before it goes off’, that would have been good advice.

    I think it was the way it was couched that was the problem. For me, it brought the question ‘just how much inflation is this economist expecting this year, that she thinks people making 6 figure incomes need to take the kind of steps people living below the median income take as a matter of course?’ Because if $289,000 is the new lower middle class, what happens to the people currently living on $29,000? Or $12,000? Does she expect them to be starving on the street and hasn’t bothered to say so because they aren’t real to her? That won’t end well… and it isn’t like no lower income people ever read bloomberg.

  193. @ Andy RE: castor beans

    You don’t need to roast them – just de-husk the beans and squeeze them while green. You can eat castor oil in small amounts – when I was a kid in the 1960’s, my gran used to give it to us as a laxative. Better things around now, but castor oil certainly evacuates! Just clean the press the same way you would for any oil – good degreasing detergent on the nozzle, screw and housing – you will be just fine.

    If you read what I wrote, then DON’T waste good garden plot growing a castor bean. First, the small ones get 8-12 ft wide and their leaves are big which shades a lot. Secondly, they really are similar to weeds, in that poor soil is fine with them. I don’t know yet, but we mulched two root balls before winter – waiting to see if they sprout or not. That would alloy possibly 2 crops in TX, where we are.

    Do some Yandexing about castor oil as fuel. My son tried it on Google and the articles he wanted were 4-6 pages back in the results. Ricin and the way Google sends you what it wants to rather than what you type is the likely culprit.

  194. Patricia M: dumb phones are available from Consumer Cellular, Live!y, and whatever other providers specialize in old folks. I had to upgrade because my hearing aids are bluetooth and controlled by an app, but my roomie still has her flip phone!

  195. @JMG & Peter re: the forgetting of the planets –

    I suspect, also, that the planets would be forgotten in the reverse order of their discovery.

    Uranus and Neptune would undoubtedly be the first to go, and very well might go even if we don’t get as total a collapse as “Atlantis” – you can’t see them without telescopes and you won’t know where to look without understanding gravity or consulting an ephemeris, both of which would require education that would be in short supply in a collapsed world. Sure, schooled parents could teach their kids about their very educated mother who just served them nine pizzas (and what extravagance – nine pizzas!), but under the circumstances there would probably be more important things to worry about.

    Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be seen without any technological enhancements, so they might stick around… but the thing is, if you don’t believe in astrology, the planets aren’t a particularly practical bit of information (unlike the stars and constellations themselves, which would regain their utility for navigation with GPS no longer a thing). It would come back – the celestial pantheons would reestablish themselves – but it may take another several centuries or millennia before the knowledge is regained.

    Venus, bright, easily noticed, and prone to flip from morning sky to evening sky, would probably be the last to be forgotten and likely wouldn’t be completely forgotten; she’d just be separated into her morning and evening star personas.

  196. I got excited over some events yesterday and forgot to do a Mercury charity. I apologized and did it at the hour of Mercury that evening. Is that enough? Is there some other way I can make up for my mistake? Thanks.

  197. Patricia+Matthews @ 185

    Now we know why Ol’ Dana is saying Trump is or was Puton’s puppet or clone or something:

    https://www.rt.com/news/552656-trump-lawsuit-democrats-elections/

    Trump is suing Hillary, Herself, along with a laundry list of the Great and the Good of the Democratic Party, not to mention British agent of influence Mr. Steele. Let us hope a. Trump has a competent legal team, and b. can manage to get a judge who does not impose a gag order. I can’t wait to see what comes out.

    Degringolade @ 200: Discussion is over when people stop discussing. Please explain why “don’t buy in bulk” is sound advice. For one thing, having extra to share can literally save your life in some contexts.

  198. I didnt learn to cook lentils this year and im honestly disappointed that i basically never got them or cooked with them before. They’re versatile. Just gonna keep my mouth shut about the economist because I genuinely dont have anything nice to say about that. But I will say that bulking up on dry goods and caring for my,ugh,ok…fur baby, takes more priority over someone’s opinion of how I should economize myself and they alleviated a ton of stress.

    Came by to say I got approved into AODA, and I just wanted to say thank you for being there and inspiring to get out of the spiritual and mental pickle I put myself in that made it possible to muster that strength to break free of someone else’s grasp. Your thoughts and ideas mean a lot, truely.

    Also is spiritual spontaneous combustion a thing when you walk into a situation you’ve no clue about but otherwise get a good feeling from?

  199. Jeffrey, here we go. Oh, and Russia and Iran are busy coordinating their interbank payment services to replace SWIFT, so another pillar of the global economy is cracking right down to the base. It’ll be interesting to see which other countries join in.

    Keo, thanks for this! That looks really tasty.

    TJ, I ain’t arguing.

    Denis, thanks for this! Following up on the link, I also found this victory garden handbook by none other than George Washington Carver, also free for the downloading.

    Patricia M, well, given that it’s Blankenhorn, it’s off topic to reality!

    SamChevre, yum.

    Sean, enjoy your lentils. It’s going to be a wild ride.

    Andy, there’s definitely a learning curve. I had the advantage of learning from people who had plenty of experience, and I still made lots of dumb moves early on.

    Booklover, that’s certainly what Spengler predicted.

    Pesci, now there’s a blast from the past! I was involved peripherally in the SCA as a teenager in the late 1970s, back when An Tir was still a principality. I’m not surprised, though, to hear that it’s gone through the same idiocies as so many American cultural phenomena.

    Dave, I’m not familiar with it. As a rule, when somebody labels anything esoteric or spiritual “Evolutionary,” I assume they’re peddling codswallop, and I haven’t been wrong yet.

    David BTL, hmm! Fascinating. I suspect that virtue signaling just had a face-first collision with reality.

    Andy, it’s not impossible — I’ve already published one cookbook already, after all. Thanks for the note about fallout — that’s certainly one concern.

    Degringolade, it’s not the advice that made me make fun of the Bloomberg piece. It’s the cluelessness with which it was presented. But yes, it’s doubtless a step in the right direction.

    Eike, delighted to hear it!

    Pygmycory, if Sara didn’t have serious gluten problems, we’d be eating a lot of homebaked bread — I used to make it weekly. As it is, corn bread is good. 😉

    Mark L. that’s an excellent point about vehicles.

    Brendhelm, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Oops, if you did it in the Mercury hour you’re fine: right day, right hour, no need to worry. It doesn’t have to be the same Mercury hour every week.

    Copper, it can be!

  200. @Martin Back – Thank you very much, that’s fascinating. One has to admit that butter is some kind of luxury product. We started to purchase our milk raw from the local farmer a few months ago and are slowly switching from purchasing dairy products to producing them by our own. Some things, like yogurt, are very easy to make and have a high yield. One liter milk gives one liter yogurt. Butter, of course, is a different thing in this regard.

    Which will in turn mean that once we start making our own butter, we’re going to consume much less butter than we do now – unless we own the cows which is rather unlikely, at least in the near- and mid-term future.

    More generally, I found this to be a general rule for many things – once you start producing someting by yourself, you use less of it, or at least you use it much more consciously. This applies to firewood and meat alike. Regarding meat – if you start producing your own food – at least in the on average rather cool climate where I live – you’re going to eat less meat. But you’re not going to eat no meat, either.

    So the butter surrogate for the poor makes some sense, of course – and well, maybe the margarine of Napoleons time tasted better than what you can buy in our supermarkets?

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  201. MY household has eaten lentils regularly for 20+ years, and I included them in a 2004 casserole I called “Rice Condoeezza With Mushroom Cloud Sauce.”

  202. At Lunar Apprentice #141:

    Check out https://prewarcars.com which has over 100 makes available. All this stuff was made between the 1890s and 1940, well before software, computer chips, catalytic converters and other such garbage created the complexity that makes repairs such a nightmare, if indeed, at all possible. By the way, all these cars are for sale, frequently at quite reasonable prices.

    Antoinetta III

  203. It occurs to me that what you said to NomadicBear about globalization could apply to America’s corporate capitalist culture in general. The promise was that companies would sell to people equally without discrimination and any of them were glad to take your buck. What we’ve seen the last six years is there is actually a whole host of reasons corporations feel more than happy to use to exclude people from buying or using their products. I remember my grandfather using the phrase “my money is as good as anyone else’s.” Well that’s not true anymore and the Chardonnay sippers in their leisure wear seek to keep all they can to themselves. Home delivery preferred of course.

  204. I wonder if we’ll reach a point where Stirling engines are economical. They’re not nearly as convenient as a modern gas engine, but the flexibility on what fuel it’ll burn may be a huge benefit eventually.

  205. Made banana bread for the first time yesterday. What a wonderful way to use bananas that are a bit past it. This is going to get me to buy bananas more often, isn’t it… even though they’re far from local. Oh well.

    Why are bananas so cheap compared to other fruit? Apples have gone up in price by leaps and bounds, but bananas have just stayed the same as other fruit have gone up. Does anyone know?

  206. @JMG Your chart of the M2 money supply was startling, so the geek in me double-checked. The definition of M2 changed in May 2020; that the vertical line you see in 2020 — the new definition being implemented. The rate of increase changed after that, perhaps because of the new definitions?
    In any case, the level is very high, but the change in definition makes it difficult to compare pre-2020 with post-2020.

  207. Agree on cornbread being delicious. It is a lot more expensive than wheat here, and you can’t buy huge bags of it, but it’s delicious and if I had problems with gluten I can see doing that. Big bags of wheat flour is cheaper than anything else here, including rice lb for lb. Maybe because Canada grows lots of wheat, but not a lot of corn, and I don’t even know if we can grow rice (except wild rice).

    Large bags of potatoes are also a great bargain, and you can use them in so many things. Soups, stews, frittatas, baked, mashed, culcannon, fry ups, potato salad (though that one’s not my thing), roasted with spices…

    For some reason loose potatoes are quite expensive, though. The 10 lb bag works out much more cost-effective, so long as you eat enough potatoes to justify it. They start sprouting and get wizened after a while.

  208. @JMG: If you care to discuss it a little bit, what are the important differences between Toynbee’s and Spengler’s views of history?

  209. @CR Patino: when I was taking Spanish, we took care to distinguish “Casado” (married) from “Cansado” (tired) although the similarity was a source of humor.

  210. @Jess,

    As you pondered the Cosmic Doctrine and our solar system, have you considered the fact the our Sun is a ‘second generation’ star and it (and the planets) are composed are elements formed in stars that went supernova?

    I had not considered Logoi in multiple-star systems. I will give that some more thought.

    In general, though, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Divine has Logoi (or will have Logoi) in every possible permutation and iteration… sort of an ‘as above, so below’ take on ‘to be all things, to know all things, and to suffer all things’.

    Thank you for the fun meditation themes.

  211. In a similar vein as Dmekel’s query, I was just thinking today about different types of musical instruments, what elements they correspond to. I settled on brass with fire, string and reed with air, keys with water, and percussion with earth. How does that sound? Other ideas?

    JustTestedPositive and everyone else more generally,

    I think a vehicle that would sell really well, better than most of the “innovators” drunk on gizmocentric Progress might think, is a small lightweight pickup with a low horsepower, high torque, diesel engine, no computers, no frills, manual everything, gets 60-70 mpg or so. I would buy one. Now who will make this vehicle for us?

    Grover

  212. I’ll second Kimberly’s endorsement of pressure cookers. I’ve had mine for 40 years, rely on it, and the original seal is still intact! It’s the old fashioned kind with the wobbly weight pressure regulator. For long-cooking beans, e.g. garbanzo beans, I can cook those up in under an hour, even unsoaked. I’ve long ago developed a 6th sense for when the beans are done, and every batch is perfect. Pressure is also a good way to tenderize tough (low cost) meats quickly.

    If you’re not familiar with using them, there are pressure cooker cookbooks out there, e.g. ‘Cooking Under Pressure’ and ‘Pressure Cooking for Everyone’. ‘Romancing the Bean’ thoroughly covers how to cook beans, with excellent coverage of pressure cooking.

    Be sure not to salt the beans until after they are cooked, as the salt interferes with water absorption, but things like cooking wine, oil, herbs and spices do nicely. While the beans are cooking, I’ll often sautee up a batch of veggies in oil just as Sara does, then stir the sautee into the beans at the end. A pot of brown rice or whole grain pasta often graces the burner next door, which gets done before the beans. A salad and a side of cheese makes for a complete meal. Recipe-wise, I use whatever is at hand, though I almost immortalized one batch after a guest begged me for the ‘recipe’ (since lost).

    As regards beans’ reputation for gassiness, the substance that causes the gassiness is a water-soluble molecule (oligosaccharides) that coats the surface of the beans. Just rinse thoroughly before soaking or cooking, and the gassiness will not be an issue.

    — Lunar Apprentice

  213. There are reports that Saudi Arabia and China are hammering out an agreement that would price Saudi oil exports in yuan instead of dollars. That would be a huge and possibly fatal blow to the current US dominated global economic system.

    https://muslimcommunityreport.com/2022/03/16/saudi-arabia-to-price-oil-sales-in-yuan-instead-of-dollars/

    https://www.helleniscope.com/2022/03/15/disaster-saudi-arabia-to-accept-yuan-for-its-oil/

    And here is more evidence that “The Blob” (US foreign policy establishment) hasn’t learned a damned thing.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/03/22/biden-mbs-oil-saudi-arabia-russia-ukraine/

    The Saudis (like most of Asia, Africa and Latin America) have conspicuously declined to support the American PMC’s Orwellian Two Minutes Hate and Cancel Culture economic war against Russia, while they and the Chinese are gearing up to replace the Petro-Dollar with the Petro-Yuan. So what does The Blob want to do? Lets sanction Saudi Arabia! That’ll do the trick! Mein Gott, these people are stupid!

    These idiots are literally destroying the very system that makes their privileged lifestyles possible. That old Greek proverb about how the gods first make mad those they intend to destroy comes to mind. I imagine there is a good chance we will see the tumbrils start rolling in the not-so-distant future.

  214. Hi John Michael,

    Yes, I do believe that is the crux of the problem. Also it is very possible that the Bloomberg author (and I appreciate the laughs) was projecting her own fear. Last I tasted, there’s nothing to be fearful about lentils. And south east Asia is full of scooters – that’s a primary form of transport for individuals. I wouldn’t recommend that you ride one, but like me, you don’t mind the bus.

    Speaking of such matters, I noticed yesterday that mince beef had risen in price from $16/kg to $17/kg (2.2 pounds to the kg) and a bag of apples rose from $6 to $7. Prices come and go so quickly here! 😉

    Hey, once the new international arrangements are firmly in place and tested, I’d watch for a major selling off of err, your currency. That’s probably the next move I’m guessing. My gut feeling suggests that your leaders will attempt to buy it, but with what is the question? They do so dislike plunges, and that being widely known is a weakness. That’s all speculation, but it seems like an obvious risk to me. I’ve long since believed that this outcome is what the mess over in Europe is all about. One of our brightest ex-politicians, the former Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has been quoted in the media as suggesting that there is a simple path to put an end to the mess over there, and I tend to agree.

    Cheers

    Chris

  215. Another week and a new guest blog post over on Green Wizards. Pygmycory posts on a hot topic this time of year, “Growing Plants from Seed: What are Your Options?” Beginner or expert, you can always learn something new. Check it out.

    We continue over on the forum with a hearty discussion on the use of editing software, and even editors themselves in last week’s post, “Anyone Using Grammarly”.

    This week we look back at the mystery of “Why was Roman Concrete Forgotten during the Middle Ages?”. Could people in the Long Descent lose important knowledge and technology, as they did during the last Dark Age?

    One problem that has been ongoing for several decades, and only got worse during the Pandemic was the abandonment of rural America by the health care industry. “Emergency Rooms Are Losing Doctors” looks at why soon, it may be deadly to live in rural locations.

    And finally, food shortages caused by the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine are already causing food price inflation. The fertilizer shortage may lead to even further upward pressures as the year goes on. Join the discussion on what this will mean in “Is The Wheat Shortage Being Oversold?”

    As always, reading the posts and comments on Green Wizards is open to all but posting a comment of your own requires a free account at the site. Contact me via email (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com) or via Facebook Messenger.

  216. Re: buying in bulk. As with a lot of things, depends on circumstances. Barbara Ehrenreich’s book “Nickeled and Dimed” shows a life so precarious that even vegetable soup in a crockpot is unreachable. If you’re couch-surfing, your possessions are down to what you can haul around and stash somewhere. Likewise, if you’re in a tiny apartment and live alone, you buy what you have space for and what won’t go bad before you can use it all up. In which case you’re probably better off making Pirate Stew. Also known to a friend of mine (Jean in K. Falls, OR) as “Cream of refrigerator scrapings.” See also Weird of Hali: Innsmouth for how those five students were eating.

    As for growing plants in said tiny apartment, it has one window. Which faces one direction. Which gets direct sunlight according to the season and time of day. If you remember to move the plant with the angle of the sunlight. If you’re home to do it. If the sun is shining.

    Remember – one size does not fit all.

  217. Cheese-Chives Culcannon (1 generous serving)

    2 potatoes
    pile of kale/cabbage
    handful of fresh chives
    small pile of cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup milk
    pinch black pepper

    1) chop potatoes, and boil them in a small amount of water
    2) chop kale, grate cheese, chop chives, set aside
    3) mash potatoes and add milk
    4) add kale and cheese almost all of the cheese, turn off heat
    5) add almost all of chives and black pepper, mix in and let sit for a minute or so.
    6) serve, and top with remaining cheese and chives.

    The kale and chives are produced by my garden with enthusiasm this time of year, I buy potatoes by the 10lb bag (I want to grow more of my own this year) so this ends up really cheap for me. And it’s pretty easy, and really filling and tasty.

  218. @LunarApprentice
    Canada produces heavy crude from the tar sands, much of which gets mixed with diluent and send to the USA.

  219. Archdruid,

    Watching the current situation in Ukraine, I’m increasingly entering an era where victory in most conflicts is going to be a Pyrrhic victory. If Russia wins the cost of victory is going to be massive, no matter what they’ll be decades recovering from the war. If the Ukraine-NATO wins, the cost of that victory is going to be immense. China invading Taiwan? Same thing.

    Not sure what this entails, but the cost to benefit ration on these things is looking mighty ugly at the moment.

    Regards,

    Varun

  220. JMG please add my thanks to Sara for the recipe. Thanks to you for getting the ball rolling and thanks to everyone else who contributed. I counted 9 (had to skip on the bread as I’m gluten intolerant).
    I had a similar response to the clueless Bloomberg thing as Degringolade (after I finished laughing). People who earn less than 30K a year don’t need to be told to buy lentils but people who earn less than 300K a year might need this kind of advice.
    @Sambo your local garden groups can be a great source of information. Is there a seed-savers group near you? Walk around your neighbourhood and look for big veggie gardens; strike up a conversation; cultivate a friendship. Gardeners love to talk about their gardens and someone who has been gardening in your neck of the woods for a few decades can be an invaluable resource. Best of luck with this year’s efforts.

  221. Hey jmg

    I want to alert you to an interesting development in renewable energy that has attracted abit of attention recently, which is rain power.

    Apparently some researchers invented a capacitor like device that can harvest electrostatic charge from raindrops moving across it, and generate enough power to light 10 LED lights. Two you tubers called Robert Murray smith and Cayrex have successfully replicated the device and have been experimenting with them. I intend to write more on green wizards.

  222. @JMG, Of course plantains don’t grow up there…. fool of me.

    Anyway, do not know what to say, so I’ll leave it at: Thanks for all of your guidance through the years.

  223. @Sambo,
    I just wrote an article for greenwizards on growing food plants from seed, aimed at beginners. https://greenwizards.com/node/1777 There are links to more detailed sources. Don’t know if you’ll find it helpful, but I stick to the basics and don’t talk about soil pH once. It’s basically an overview of methods of starting seeds and the pros and cons of each.

    Greenwizards is a good place to ask food growing questions, though you may get somewhat overly enthusiastic answers as a lot of the people on there grow food.

    Figured I’d mention it since it was top of mind for me right now.

    Good luck with your gardening, and don’t let a crop failure get you down. It happens to all of us. I lost most of my first sowing of peas due to a late killer frost this year. I planted a second lot, which are popping up nicely now, and have planted a third, which aren’t up yet. I will have plenty of snap peas to eat this spring.

  224. Mr. Greer,

    Shoeleather. Humm.. yeah, that .. and an impromptu wayward pelvic thrust, high white suit collar, and a guitar .. plus the indubitable straight man!

    Who wouldn’t luv a passing crop of wandering Elbuses, right? .. riding ancient Honda 90s..

  225. “Ilovemusictheory, the thing that baffles me is that so many rich people who’ve never been poor seem to think they can advise poor people on how to do something that poor people have been doing all their lives.”

    Isn’t this just another example of the managerial class thinking of itself as the smart people?

  226. Dan, funny! Were you going to post the recipe?

    Denis, that’s a valuable point. I wonder if it’s occurred to those who are doing this that they’re just guaranteeing the rise of an alternative economy that they can’t control and won’t profit from.

    Lothar, depends entirely on whether they can be made and maintained inexpensively enough to be economically viable.

    Tom, fascinating. Do you have a link for that change that I can cite?

    Phutatorius, that’s a good subject for a book. The very short form is that they’re telling different versions of the same story. There are some differences — Spengler was interested in prediction, which Toynbee shied away from; Toynbee was interested in trying to talk the British elites into not falling into the usual stupidities of an empire on the way down, and Spengler didn’t have the kind of upper-crust connections Toynbee did and so didn’t worry about that — but the two writers complement each other very well.

    Grover, that seems reasonable enough.

    Sardaukar, I really wonder what the slack-jawed Epsilon sub-morons in Washington DC think they’re going to accomplish by all this, other than a good old-fashioned economic depression and an electoral defeat for the ages.

    Chris, trust me, I’m aware of that. The end of the petrodollar and the end of the dollar as a reserve currency in half the world will flood the currency markets with dollars nobody wants. There are two possible results — hyperinflation or a US default on its foreign debt — and we can get one, the other, or both. Fun times!

    David, many thanks for this!

    Varun, I’m withholding judgment until the fog of war clears. Right now all sides are churning out extreme propaganda and you and I have precisely no way of knowing what’s actually happening on the ground.

    Elaine, so noted and thank you!

    J.L.Mc12, simple gimmicks for harvesting small amounts of power may well be an important part of the mix for getting through the mess ahead, so thank you for this.

    CR, you’re most welcome.

    Polecat, yep. Start walking and you’ll get to Memfis one of these days… 😉

    Anonymous, oh, granted.

  227. Your comment to Peter about the loss of knowledge of the planets made me think of something else: what if there’s a recurring cycle to it all? What if, then, you have a standard mode for the rise and fall of civilizations over these thousands of years: first, the planets visible to the naked eye; then Uranus, then Neptune; then Pluto to mark the Nadir. Then Pluto is downgraded; then sometime after that Uranus and Neptune are lost; then the classical planets are forgotten as well.

    This cycle could’ve unfolded many, many, many times before, and we’d have no way to know….

  228. @Joshua,
    One thing that seems to happen to me reliably when someone important to me dies is I lose my ability to perceive the spirit world temporarily. Shinto asks people going through grief over the loss of someone close to them is to stay away from shrines and holy places for 50 days as they are carrying the stain of death. (According to the mythology behind that, we try to follow out loved ones into “Yomi no Kuni” when we are not meant to be there, and it is a very negative experience for us.) Instead, the priests go out to meet them and perform a range of ceremonies. After my father passed away, I had zero sense of the spirit world, no New Year’s dream, for more than a month. Then an important spirit contacted me to offer protection during a spiritual task I was required to perform. It wasn’t until later that I felt a sense of my father again.
    Death can be very disorienting, and I think even the concept we have of time may not apply there. When someone dies, I ask the divine spirits to guide them safely. Perhaps you could do that and see if they can help you reconnect when the time is right. What JMG says about the general state of the spirit world on Earth right now is also relevant.

  229. 1) I’ve been running into claims about the WEF recently – that it wants the US to no longer be a superpower, that it wants depopulation, that it wants to retool society so people will comply with hard economic limits, and so on and so forth.

    It’s upsetting, because these things are very close to what I want. I can’t tell if this is just conspiratorial BS, though. I thought the WEF was gung-ho about 5G and the circular economy and nuclear power and the Internet of Things.

    Are people just using the WEF as a scapegoat for all of their looming fears about a difficult future? I don’t want to be labelled as a stooge of Klaus Schwab’s every time I bring up oil scarcity.

    2) Do you have any advice for reading Plato’s Republic? Besides not taking it literally.

    I’m slowly reading through it, and I’m at the part where Socrates and Adeimantus are talking about what poets should and should not be allowed to say. Socrates keeps laying out these rather flabbergasting statements about the nature of God and gods and men, as though these things were all clear cut and perfectly logical, and Adeimantus accepts it as though everything was perfectly black and white.

    Did Plato intend for the reader to say, “Yes, this all makes perfect sense,” or was he trying to provoke a different, more skeptical reaction?

  230. When I lived in Honolulu a few years ago I rode my moped almost exclusively.It was great for getting around and you could always park it somewhere, unlike a car which was almost impossible to park. It was also fun to ride.The traffic was so bad that I felt much safer on the moped than on my bike because I could keep up with the traffic except in the country. One couldn’t ride on the freeway, nor would one want to.They were limited to under 50cc, which gave a top speed of 35 or 40 mph. The 110 – 150 cc motorbikes that are ubiquitous here in Mexico and elsewhere have a top speed of 60 mph or more, which makes them even more versatile. I think it would be quite easy to make an enclosed 3 wheeler in that engine size and speed range.
    I think especially in N. AM & Australia motorbikes of this size for daily transport are discouraged through price, license requirements, etc. The market seems geared to much more expensive, high end motorcycles as a niche recreational market. I believe we will have to be a fair bit further along on the downslope before small, practical motorbikes are not discouraged in those countries.

  231. This is not ready for an official announcement but the Order of Spiritual Alchemy has a domain and a website now. The members only and administrative sections are not ready yet but the instructions you’ve provided for the outer order with minor editing to suit a document are now available at The O.S.A website Recommendations welcome!

  232. JMG and other occultists here – any thoughts on this?

    Ukrainian witches will hold a ritual on March 31 to remove Putin from power

    https://www-unian-net.translate.goog/society/ukrainskie-vedmy-provedut-31-marta-ritual-na-otstranenie-ot-vlasti-putina-novosti-ukrainy-11756578.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

    also https://www.rt.com/russia/552655-ukrainian-witches-putin-coven/

    —Google translate—

    “On March 31, on the 29th lunar day, the day of corruption and curses, we, the witches of Ukraine, in collaboration with foreign colleagues, will perform a ritual of punishing the enemy of the Ukrainian people – Vladimir Putin,” the message says.

    The ritual will consist of 3 parts. The first will take place on one of the mountains in Ukraine.

    “A circle of 13 witches has already been assembled, altar knives are already being spoken to make sacrifices to the Higher Powers,” the message says.

    The second part of the ritual is scheduled for April, in a Slavic country with the involvement of foreign colleagues. While the former is expected to have relatively little impact on Putin, the latter is expected to have a significant impact. Also among the goals of the ceremony is to support the Ukrainian army.

    “For the victory of our great people, for good luck, success and opening of roads! And may all the gods of war – Odin, Thor, Perun – accompany us!”, the organizers say.

    The third part is a stone bag for the enemy – isolation, removal from power, loss of support from the inner circle. Redemption with black icons from mass deaths and the punishment of those who are guilty of them.

    Ukrainian magicians called on their foreign colleagues to support the initiative and join the events.

  233. @ JMG: A similar joke to your Brezhnev story, from the Gorbachev biography by Taubman.

    Background: When Gorbachev became General Secretary in 1985, alcohol abuse (2.8 gals per capita, counting children) and alcohol-related crime like rape and robbery was rife in the USSR. One of his first moves was a drastic clampdown on alcohol consumption, something which was widely resented at the time, and ultimately an economic disaster.

    The story goes that two friends are queuing at the liquor store. The one says, “Look at the length of this queue! I can’t stand it any more. I’m going to the Kremlin and I’m going to kill Gorbachev.”

    An hour or so later he’s back. His friend asks him how it went. “Oh, the queue to kill Gorbachev was even longer,” was the reply.

  234. Hi Mr.Greer and the Commenteriat. I am once again taking the oppurtunity of this open post to request you to check out and join the ongoing SaveSoil campaign.
    We all know the deteriorating condition of agricultural soils across the world and the UN predicts we could have worldwide food shortages within 30 to 40 years. At this point the only real solution is for raising a ruckus on a global level, through coordinated campaigns and social media, so that worldwide politicians and policy makers take notice and make policies to raise soil organic matter to a minimum 3-6%
    These 100 days, from March to the end of June, raise your voice, talk share and participate to whatever extent you can, even 10 minutes in a day so that this has a chance of succeeding.
    The details of the ongoing campaign, events and soil data are available on SaveSoil.org
    Sign up to become an Earth Buddy! (the name for those volunteering to spread the word. There are already roughly 1 million of us)
    There is even a catchy song and dance routine in it, called the Soil Song (https://youtu.be/OiY80W2hC3E)

    As with the sustainability movement of the 80’s, if we change direction now, we may see considerable change in 10 to 20 years time, otherwise it will be next to impossible to do later on.

    My Body, Your Body, Every Body, is Soil Body

  235. A related question for JMG
    In the context of the Long Descent, do you think any collective action is worth it at this point? I always got the impression from your work that once the 80’s sustainabliity movement failed, and the follies of climate change activism later on, we should stick to collapsing locally.

  236. @CR Patiño – I have found a link on the Casado dish. with recipes… for anyone interested… https://www.travelexcellence.com/blog/costa-rica-food-the-traditional-casado-best-typical-dishes-recipes/

    “This typical dish has a very particular name in our cultural context, the word casado means “married man” or, it can also signify “hunted man”; sometimes, people can easily make jokes about the name of this dish talking about marriage.” Lol!

    You are right, in Costa Rica, we seldom bother distinguishing “s” from “z”.

  237. I was interested to note my split peas and lentils are from Canada, and my brown rice from Uruguay, i.e. 9,400 and 4,500 miles respectively from South Africa. I wonder what percentage of the price is the cost of fuel?

  238. There has been a bit written in alternative media about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s inability to define what a woman is. Is this whole issue not being to define something seeming basic a classic example of the barbarism of reflection or is it something else?

  239. Not gonna lie, its funny in a dark humor sort of way, to watch colleagues who consider themselves part of the upper crust of society tell of their vacation plans all involving overseas flights while at the same time panicked about covid and Ukraine. The idea that there might not be fuel for the plane, or the airline might suddenly increase their fare after they bought it (who sticks to agreements and contracts anymore) or that they might not be able to afford to do anything on their blessed vacation doesn’t occur to them. They deserve to be able to travel again and see the world and by gosh they are going to do it. When they ask me my travel plans, I say I’m tending my garden and hanging out with my friends at the farmer’s market, I have no desire to go anywhere. They look at me like I have three heads and I just chuckle.

    I never enjoyed watching the 3 Stooges as a kid, but the world feels very much like that now. Go to sit on a chair, and some unseen person pulls it out from under you. Walk through a doorway, and get smashed in the face with a bat. Pies in faces! But not for the PMC, they have insulated themselves from it.

    I’m trying to figure out what percent of the population will be wandering around demanding that things return to normal, meaning 2019 levels of consumption, travel, and consumer prices. I figure everyone of retirement age now who is just used to a certain lifestyle. Is that 30% of the population? We have a ton of people who don’t work and live off pension dollars (work 25 years for the government or military or public schools and can “retire” with full salary and benefits). And then there is the PMC class who demands their goodies which is maybe 10% of the population although they act like they are 50% or more.

    Anyway, I think the powers that be are going to try to great reset the dollar after they destroy it by issuing a digital dollar. It will go as well as the Obama care roll out I’m sure. I’m trying to use our current dollars to do as much here as I can but I feel like I’m in a race against a clock with hands that spin at varying rates.

  240. @ CS2, re: #12

    Several thoughts
    1. Don’t be afraid to talk to the car dependant like a Dutch Uncle. Sometimes people need to be shaken out of their customary mode of operation. People with a 20 mile (one way) commute to work are living a fragile lifestyle. Nothing wrong with pointing that out.

    2. Be aware that for many, probably most, there are not a lot of options. It took us a century to build our car-centric living arrangements and we aren’t going to be able to change overnight even with the desire to do so. Of course the desire to change really isn’t there with most people.

    3. Bicycles. Lots of variables and personal preferences involved but I’d say people within 5 miles of work could very reasonably substitute bicycles for cars. But lack of bike lanes, cold weather and speed limits have to be factored in.

    4. car sharing schemes. Easier to immagine than to accomplish. As I near retirement I’m considering approaching my daughter -who lives w/in walking distance of me- about sharing the cost of a single car for the two households. Right now she’s single and works from home so the availability of the car isn’t much of an issue, but that could change. It’s harder for people who have to juggle work schedules. It’s probably harder if you’re not related to the people in the car sharing scheme.

    5. Delivery. One thing Covid has taught us is that most anything can be delivered right to your door. Of course one doesn’t need to tip the UPS or Amazon drivers. If you get your groceries delivered you need to tip- but a lifetiime of generous tips still won’t cost as much as a new transmission.

    6. When the choice comes down to dental work or car repair on can either change the mode of transport, or buy a blender and live on smoothies. Not sarcasim, just cold hard reality.

  241. Oh wow I can’t believe this headline “How Big U.S. Companies Are Creating a Brand New Abortion Benefit” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-24/u-s-employers-add-abortion-travel-benefits-as-states-limit-access It looks like reading the article all the globocorps with offices in various states are doing it. So it sounds like they know they are losing the fight to control to state legislatures through their propaganda. But at the same time it feels a lot like blatant child sacrifice is expected to work for these corporations.

    The best part about the Trump years and now the covid years is the dropping of any pretense by the PMC class on what they are about. The metaphorical mask dropped at the same time physical masks went on. These people want you to give not just your body and soul to their profiteering, but also your children’s bodies and souls. Too harsh an assessment? Maybe. But my gods, they are still trying to force inject everyone down to infants with barely tested products on a never-ending basis and they demand you clap for them while they do it.

  242. >Early 1980’s cars are STILL much more efficient than today’s cars due to power to weight ratio.

    Oh mid-90s compacts and subcompacts were hitting 40mpg highway. Not all, but it was very possible back then. And it was the 00s that started all the onerous mandates for safety safety safety safety.

    If this were an adult society, people would realize you have to give up something to get something else. If you want good fuel economy, some safety is going to have to go.

    But as it stands, nah, they’ll never back down on all the armored car mandates. Not willingly, not voluntarily.

  243. >they’re just guaranteeing the rise of an alternative economy that they can’t control and won’t profit from

    The past two years, they taught people how to live without a job.

    They’re now in the process of teaching a good chunk of the world how to get things done without using any dollars at all.

  244. Hi John,

    https://zeihan.com/russias-pipeline-gambit/

    Zeihan has a very pessimistic view about the future of Russian crude oil. He thinks around 4 million will be permanently removed from the market due to the inability of the Russians to shift it, mainly due to legacy pipelines that are geared towards Europe (dating from the Soviet era).

    Do you have an alterative take on that? Zeihan also predicts that the loss of Russian crude oil – once they shut it down it takes a long time to get it back apparently – that will send oil prices soaring to 200 dollars or above.

    Such sky high oil prices will be a disaster for the Democrats. Biden does have a policy option – ban US crude exports to the rest of the world – and that would plunge the majority of the world into a global depression, with the East Asian consumers paying 250 dollars or more for crude by 2023.

    I have also have a wider point to discuss. My long-standing view, which seems to be matching perfectly with what is happening in the real world, is that we are tracking the LTG BAU model of a peak and decline across the globe.

    https://forecastingintelligence.org/2022/03/02/a-requiem-to-an-old-world/

    I have explored this many times in my blog posts above.

    We will hopefully be having a child this year and I’ve been reflecting on how to best prepare the next generation to what is coming. Life will be getting tougher in this new era of scarcity, shortages and deglobalisation.

    I wonder if you have any thoughts on that? Mental health issues are soaring among the young and that disconnect with the secular and consumer world they live in and the reality of a worsening global crisis seems to be a factor in the worsening anomie of the developed world youth today.

  245. Lothar #219

    I‘ve heard of Sterling engines being used to turn excess heat from greenhouses into electricity.
    No idea about the details of the process, but it’s one example of technology that becomes practical once super cheap, concentrated fuels aren’t an option any more.

    With regards to transportation, I‘d wager a guess that individual transport giving way to mass transport or simply less transport overall (or at least de-motorization) will be a more common outcome of fuel scarcity than a change in modes of power generation.

  246. Joshua @ 119, if I may regarding nuclear energy. Don’t tell anyone, but just over half of the world’s uranium exports come from Kazakhstan, an ally of Russia. If Kazakhstan ever starts expecting payment in roubles, like Russia now ponders with regards to gas, nuclear power may well stop being a thing the West does… 😉

  247. JMG and fellow Ecosophians,

    Hope everyone is doing well. I’m trying to get into learning how to grow food and plants from scratch, I live in a suburban house in the eastern province of KSA, weather is usually sunny and sometimes humid. I’m planning to have three basins to grow three types of plants or food, I already decided on cherry tomatoes and sunflowers, still not sure about the third option, what do you suggest? You might help because it’s my first time doing it. Also, if you have any suggestions in general at this point or how to deal with fertilizers it’s most welcome.

    I just want my hands to get used into it and to be familiar with this lifestyle as much as possible through the coming years, in preparation of moving into my family’s farm in the north.

    Cheers.

  248. @Mark L – whereabouts in Oregon are you at? I’ve been collecting data points from Klamath Falls, OR.

  249. Hi John,

    Eurointelligence recently reported that the risks of a Le Pen victory in the French presidential elections (2nd round on 24th April) are higher then received wisdom assumes.

    She is currently around 18% in the 1st round result and is likely to face Macron in the 2nd round.

    Polls suggest that she should get between 40 to 45% of the result versus Macron on around 55%.

    Political experts and the betting markets have completely written off her chances (she has currently a 1 in 20 chance of winning according to the oddsmakers).

    But, as eurointelligence notes, she is only 6% away from becoming president. Her ratings are rising, her core issue, that she has been focused about for months before the war, is the rising cost of living crisis for working class French people.

    And that issue has risen to the top of French voter concerns according to the polls. She has a few weeks to make her case and peal away a fraction of the electorate who are planning to vote for Macron.

    Likely, probably not. But not impossible.

    Should Le Pen win, say with 51% of the vote, it will be a political earthquake for the EU. Le Pen will want to remove the sanctions against Russia as soon as possible and will be a hostile force within the EU.

    Macron could be the first major Western leader to be undone by the blowback caused by the war and the Western sanctions imposed on Russia. Watch this space.

  250. @greer

    So Greer, if you like Baroque classical music, what do you think about the Catholic Traditional Latin Mass?

  251. CELL PHONE SERVICE QUESTION:

    James and i have flip phones and he sees that in Europe you can get old style nokia flip phones with minimal service but we cannot find anything like that in the states as verizon is making our 3G flip phones obsolete.

    we don’t want magic phones with data plans. anyone know of anything basic in the states? verizon will take 4G flip phones but apparently they’re horrid and break and batteries die. they’re trying to shunt us all into magic phone worlds.

    so if you know of anything else, please let me know!

    erika

  252. Scarcity industrialism and a personal paradox. I tend to run the things I like into the ground, such as wearing out my favorite clothes until they’re too threadbare to be functional. (Capricorn. Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Virgo.) A lot of the things I brought with me from home are on their last legs, though they weren’t at the time. Not to mention the shoes I bought when I came here, in a state of pedal edema now cured, and many of which wore out rapidly. Which means I have a shopping list a mile long – for things I expect to last most of the rest of my life, however long that may be. In the face of scarcity industrialism. And with little or no access to thrift or consignment stores, (caveat: most of the latter being filled with the latest fashions, and ill-suited to a more timeless body.)

    Hence, am about to sit down at this devil’s instrument and go online to replace the lot. That is, to meet the world-wide economic crisis by spending money, which at least I still have. Well, today’s world never did make a lick of sense, which, according to my daughter, I never have had either. Let the wild rumpus begin. Shakes head – decidedly not my style.

    P.S. to the author of our favorite tentacular series – you do realize that when your two low-income heroines had a chance to buy their one dressy dress from the department store bargain bins, those dresses stood a 99% chance of being polyester – this from hard experience.

  253. Archdruid,

    No question there, the propaganda around this mess is more intense than anything I’ve seen in my life time. You’ve probably seen similar though back during the cold war.

    Regards,

    Varun

  254. In regard to car sharing schemes, the mining operation I used to work for in the 1990s ran a van pool. It was 50 miles from town to the mine. We’d meet up at a parking lot at quarter to six and pile into the vans. 14 passenger vans greatly cut down on the traffic on the road and the parking needed at the mine.

    As to motorcycles, Washington has the same registration fees for a 550 lb motorcycle as for a 3500 lb car. So they are not encouraging more efficient transportation.

    One last note. The silicon refinery I used to work at was just sold to Hanwha. The Norwegians gave up on it.

    https://solarindustrymag.com/with-rec-silicon-investment-hanwha-builds-toward-american-solar-supply-chain

  255. Another very helpful transportation option, which could be easily implemented physically, though not legally: insurance , licensing, etc, is minivans on flexible routes. These again are very common in third world countries.
    I see the western establishment not going down without a tantrum on that one either.
    I worked on Ben Caytano’s mayoral campaign in Honolulu (2014?). He wanted to up grade the bus system and add feeder lines. He was massively out spent and lost to Caldwell, who backed the huge over engineered and hideously expensive rail system, which still isn’t finished, and is billions over budget. Parts of the bus system could have been up and running within months. The train would fit very well within the domed city model.
    As you say: utopia or apocalypse seem to be the only chosen options of the modern imagination.

  256. @JMG

    Imelsa Marcos eh? I was afraid you’d say something like that…I’m a decade behind you but still remember the coverage. Thats alot of shoes to drop, so any guess as to the timeframe before they start dropping too fast to count?

    @Lunar Apprentice #141
    Great choice in vehicles and motors! 70’s Ford trucks are very well built and the 300-6 is one of the best motors Ford ever made. The issue I’ve always had with Ford is their desire to change things for marginal improvements that make getting the right parts a nightmare. I prefer to work on my own stuff if possible. I think they started this in the 80s though. GM trucks are much easier to deal with on the repair side since almost everything from mid 60s to 1995 is interchangeable unless you’re rebuilding the guts of the motor. To me, you’d still want the basic electronic ignition since its alot more reliable than points and the plugs last alot longer. Whole distributors are available fairly cheap from aftermarket sources since the electronics are just basic Hall effect sensors depending on the type of advance used. Even electronic advance is a simple and cheap module, very easy to replace and keep spares for.

    @All Regarding motorbikes. Old of bikes from the early 80s to mid 90s can be bought and maintained relatively cheaply with the hardware store and aftermarket/ebay being your best friend. I just finished building a ’95 electra glide with half the motor coming from ebay and Ace Hardware. Its specifically built to be a commuter but an old gold wing or cruiser would work just as well for that purpose. If its a carburetor, the ignition system can be cobbled together with parts from a wide variety of sources no matter what make if you are willing to roll up your sleeves. I’m partial to air cooled-single carburetor designs which is how I ended up with Harleys “90+ years of tradition uninterrupted by progress” as we used to say. Stay away from the new ones after 99, unless you build it from scratch and ditch the EFI and integrated electronics.

    For the future of transportation, take a good look at lawntractors/riding mowers and gocarts. Most of these could be pressed into service for short trips (under 15 miles) and the parts for them are everywhere with the motors resembling the Model Ts and being easily maintable and buildable with an 1890s machine shop. Although I agree with JMG that shoe leather and horses will eventually be the choice, slow motion Mad Max with lawn mower engines is a realistic possibility in most of our lifetimes.

  257. Lunar Apprentice and Kim Steele,

    The only complaint I have with the pressure cooker is that it tends to destroy the nutritional value of vegetables and lentils. India has been discovering this the hard way where pressure cookers, due to their speed, are a fixture in every kitchen. What we’ve been discovering though is that the food that comes out of them are less nutritious than older styles of cooking, which were low heat long duration. People are trying to get the older systems back into circulation, but it’s a really tough sell because the techniques aren’t considered “modern.”

    I remember there was a hotbox idea that was floated by the green wizards some years back. Essentially and insulated box where you would put a preheated pot of whatever, then let it cook on its own heat. I’m going to give that a go to see if I can reduce the energy it takes me to cook something.

    Regards,

    Varun

  258. @forecastingintelligence:
    You’d better hope your child doesn’t have autism, or epilepsy, or down’s, or something that proper management of requires modern medical care, and all the modern conveniences: your autistic kid is going to want processed food and/or meat, your epileptic kid is going to need air conditioning and car rides because they can’t handle temperature extremes, etc. And you may say well I won’t let them have certain things but I can assure you as a parent of a child with two of these you won’t have a say and your child will starve, or seize, or what-have-you, before they’ll eat your lentils and ride motorbikes and live without aircon. We watched our autistic child literally starve himself for a week and a half as a toddler so don’t @ me about this.
    Autism, epilepsy, and down’s are SO MUCH MORE prevalent in children then when we were kids… having children is really a roll of the dice, and don’t recommend anyone have children now days without understanding that there is a very good chance their child could have something like this, even though it might not manifest until school age, and you think you are fine until then.

  259. Anonymous, that would certainly follow from the principles of occult teaching.

    Cliff, (1) hmm! That’s fascinating. Can you link me to some of those claims so I can follow up on them? My sense is that they’re probably from people who are looking for someone to blame for the future that’s barrelling toward us right now. (2) Plato is always trying to make people think. In his best work he’s constantly throwing things into his dialogues that are there to rattle his readers and rile them up, and I suspect that — like Socrates — the last thing he wanted was for people to nod and take it all as gospel, as so many have done. (Later on, like a lot of old men, he got more dogmatic.) Assume that Socrates is being a shale-stirrer, as he so often was, and poor Adeimantus is standing in for all those Athenians who got led into logical embarrassment by the crafty old codger, and take every claim as an opportunity to do your own thinking and come to your own conclusions.

    Jeffrey, yes, I heard about that. It’s really very sweet of them to tell their opponents all the details of their planned activities, so that counterspells and magical monkeywrenching can be deployed to render the whole thing an exercise in pointless virtue signaling — and one wonders whether the Russians will spare a drone with a few rockets to make the ritual more interesting than intended…

    Augusto, delighted to see this! So far, it looks very good — I note that you’re optimizing it for phones, which is probably a good plan.

    Mark, yep. See my remarks to Jeffrey above.

    Martin, funny! Thanks for this.

    Mohsin, thanks for this also. As far as collective action, it depends utterly on what you intend to do. If you expect to stop the decline and fall of the industrial age, it’s been too late for decades. If you intend to cushion the decline so that it’s less brutal for those who have to face it, and valuable knowledge and skills get through, collective action can have an immense effect. I’ve been trying, with limited success, to get that going all through my blogging career.

    Martin, that would be an interesting research project.

    Reloaded, yep. See my remarks to Jeffrey above. As for the blowback, it depends on the details of the ritual — unless, that is, the Russians decide to exercise some instant karma with a drone or two…

    John, it’s a classic example of the barbarism of reflection. That stage in the historical cycle is defined by reason divorced from reality, an endless spinning of cognitive fictions in the void, when everything becomes whatever you want it to be — well, until the material world intervenes.

    Jed, many thanks for the link. Even if you remove the vertical portion of the curve, however, M2 is rising at an accelerating pace — there’s a positive feedback loop at work, clearly enough, and those always end up bringing about unsustainable conditions and a disruptive transition to some other arrangement.

    Denis, funny. Oh, it’s bleak humor, but still very funny.

    Owen, exactly. It’s really kind of them to arrange for their own irrelevance, don’t you think? 😉

    Forecasting, “permanent” is a long time. China, India, Pakistan, and several other Asian countries have both the demand for those 4 mbd and the steel industries necessary to build pipelines to get it. Zeihan is certainly right that for the time being, a bunch of oil will be shut in due to transport issues, and $200/bbl seems like a very reasonable, even modest, figure for where the approaching oil price spike is going to leave us. As for US oil exports, er, the US is still a net importer of crude oil — it only counts as a net exporter if you include all the products that are made from imported crude and then shipped out to other countries, mostly in this hemisphere. So slapping a ban on US crude exports won’t accomplish much other than irritating our few remaining allies.

    As for your broader question, as you know, I also consider the LTG basic run to be the most accurate model for where we’re heading. I have zero experience with children, however, so I’ll hand that side of the conversation over to those who might know what they’re talking about.

    Aziz, delighted to hear this. As for what to plant, why, what do you like to eat? Since you’re doing container gardening, anything that can handle full sun and your local conditions of heat and humidity ought to be viable, and the best way to make gardening fun is to grow things you enjoy eating.

    Forecastingintelligence, I don’t expect her to win this time, but I could definitely be wrong, depending on just how bad conditions get for ordinary French people. One way or another, though, France will go populist-right at some point in the not too distant future, and the EU is probably toast when that happens, if it lasts until then.

    Rus, musically? Depends on the composer, of course. Magically, it’s an extremely effective ritual of theurgic magic with very beneficial effects on the people who attend it and the place where it’s performed — unlike the Novus Ordo mass, which was clumsily revised by clueless Modernists and has roughly the same magical power as a middle school pep rally.

    Pixelated, I’m sorry to hear this. There are plenty of people who think I don’t know Jack Schitt, but they’re quite mistaken. 😉

    Patricia M, of course Brecken’s lovely red dress with a gold sunburst in beads was polyester. She grew up poor, so that’s what she was used to wearing — and she also knew not to dryclean the dress. (Many plastic beads melt in dry cleaning fluid.). I wore a lot of polyester and cheap poly-cotton myself in my starving-in-a-garret period — and I based the clothes that Brecken wore (and Jenny also, before she went to visit the Chaudronniers) on the women’s clothes I saw for sale in the cheap off-brand stores where I generally shop.

    Varun, even in the part of the cold war I remember, it wasn’t this extreme!

    Siliconguy, thanks for the data points.

    Stephen, oh, granted. Keep in mind that the main point of big public work projects is the opportunity for graft on a colossal scale, which a nice efficent bus system doesn’t really provide.

    BobinOK, impossible to predict at this point. It depends on which butterfly flaps its wings at what angle…

  260. >and one wonders whether the Russians will spare a drone with a few rockets to make the ritual more interesting than intended

    There have been rumors that people have taken selfies and then shortly their barracks got shelled for some strange reason, almost as if the Russians are smart enough to figure out location from what information they can glean from the photo and motivated to translate that into artillery data.

    JMG, what do you make of the reports of people in the Ukraine being duct taped and spray painted? If this is war it certainly is taking on rather – odd – characteristics compared with the past. And spray painting faces isn’t the strangest stuff going on either. There was a video of some man with a sex toy in his hand, beating a group of women with it.

  261. @Varun

    The problem with a hotbox is it’s bulky. If you have a small kitchen there’s no place to store it.

    I do occasionally use a primitive hotbox to cook African-style cornmeal porridge. In a cast iron pot (to retain heat) gradually add cornmeal to boiling salted water and stir till desired stiff dryish consistency. Put lid on and place pot on a sheet of styrofoam, cover with newspaper interleaved with aluminum foil, and jam a bucket over to hold everything together. After 25 minutes the porridge is still piping hot, and hasn’t stuck to the sides of the pot like it used to before I used a hotbox.

  262. FREE – will mail. At least in the U.S.A. Am clearing off shelf space.

    Camelot and the Vision of Albion, Geoffrey Ashe. Hardback, no dust cover, some pencil underlining; paper seems to be acid-free. Size 5 1/2″x 8 34/” x 1″

    Several issues of Into the Ruins. Print on Demand Size 7x10x1/4

    Seven Viking Romances, Penguin Classics, Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards, translators
    Early Irish Myths & Sagas, Jeffrey Gantz, translator
    Anglo-Saxon Poetry (FAT paperback), very comprehensive. Everyman Library, S.A.J. Bradley, translator, 1982, reprint 1991.

    All of these 5″x8″

    Anglo-Saxon Poetry, small (roughly 4 3/4″ x 7 1/4″, British) hardback with plastic-protected dust cover, 1926, reprinted 1964, paper probably acid-free. R. K. Gordon, translator.

    Patricia Mathews, mathews55 at msn dot com

  263. On hotboxes:

    The pot handles are a problem. My pot (see above) has small handles and the plastic bucket I put over distorts to accommodate them.

    Commercial hotboxes seem to come in two types: the rigid haybox and the beanbag. The haybox has openings for the pot with recesses for the handles, and a thick insulated lid to put over. Some come with fitted pots. The beanbag is soft and filled with styrofoam chips and sometimes with a drawstring so the pot can be nestled in and the bag closed over. The handles are not a problem. Both are bulky, however.

    I first saw one of the latter type years ago in the kitchen of my two maiden aunts (they lost out on the marriage market due to the shortage of men after WW2). It was a biggish cardboard carton with two beanbags inside, for top and bottom. My aunt explained they used to accompany Lady Oppenheimer, the wife of South Africa’s richest man, to the townships and distribute the hotboxes, and explain how they made cooking SO much more economical. Given that in these areas you got entire families living in one room I wondered where they found the space to put the thing. Perhaps an early example of the clueless PMC telling the poor what was good for them.

  264. JMG #116: “Have you considered doing some journaling to try to get closer to the roots of it?”

    I’ve thought about it…and put it off! I now think I will start journaling right after I work on an Octagon Society lesson. Maybe some insights will be revealed after the deep examination required in the lessons. I also think I need a regular schedule set up, not just one day say “I’ll do it tomorrow right after I get up and shower” and later say “Oops, I forgot to study/journal after my shower, so I guess I’ll try to do it before work” and then “Awe, I didn’t get my study done! But now I’m comfy in bed, so I’ll just remind myself to do it tomorrow….”

    The more I think about it, there are times in my life that I’ve done much better at completing tasks and self-chosen assignments. I seem to cycle. I suppose I am influenced by other things going on in my life? And with the topic of astral crud cropping up, I wonder if that affects me also? I have noticed this round of procrastination being worse over the past year. Maybe it’s actually “Covid crud”!

    Joy Marie

  265. Denis #151: “In terms of not doing what you said you were going to do, it might be helpful to look at where else that shows up for you. How we do one thing is how we do everything.

    Perfectionism, procrastination, being late to appointments, being unreliable in general….all these kinds of things show up in multiple ways in one’s life. I’m not saying this is you, these area all common socially acceptable behaviors in modern life.”

    Perfectionism and procrastination are my problems. I hate being late to appointments and unreliable though. I think when it comes to other people, if I commit to something I do everything I can to follow through, even if I’m rushing to do it at the last minute. I just have to be careful, as there have been times in my life that I over committed and ended up stressed, worn out, and resentful. The more I think about this, I realize that I may have a commitment problem when it’s just me involved, as in my own personal projects or habits. It’s there I have trouble continuing to the finish line. Hmmm, maybe I respect and am more thoughtful to others than myself? Now there’s an idea that could use some journaling!

    Denis (continued): “The tl;dr version would be, just pick it up and do the work as instructed and see what happens for you.”

    Exactly. Just do it. (I hope a certain sneaker company doesn’t sue me for saying that!)

    Joy Marie

  266. @Christopher L. Hope:

    Thank you for your several thoughts! Especially for making me chuckle about the Dutch Uncle. I do not live in the US, but it certainly seems to me that a lot of Americans are in quite the conundrum. Of course every place has its problems–I don’t live in a paradise–but thankfully transit is not one of them. I live in a city with trams and wide sidewalks, etc.

  267. Dear Mr. Greer

    This comment is about your last post about the failure of imagination and the Ukraine. I realize you are waiting for the fog of war to clear before you comment but I would like to address a couple of your regular posters comments.

    Do you think a failure of imagination can result in a failure to realize there are different realities? For example, Varun was citing the costly invasion from a Russian perspective. If you are a Russian and believe a nuclear armed Ukraine as a member of NATO is existential to your existence, then the war is not costly as opposed to the alternates.

    Similarly, Neo-conservatives like Peter Zeihan can not imagine a world not dominated by the United States, which taints his analysis.

    Personally I feel the Ukraine War a brother war. If Russia goes with Poland it is a cousin war where the gloves will come off. If Russia gets into it with France and UK then look out. Given Bloomberg is talking today about Europe having 40 days of diesel, it looks like Russia can use their 4 million stranded barrels to wage a tank war in every country in Europe. Twice. Or three times. Or maybe Peter Zeihen thinks the EU tanks will be running on solar? I’m sure the new Telsa tank, the Vaporware, will have the best and latest armor available.

    As I am one who would like to see a settlement in Ukraine ASAP I was happy this AM to see Naked Capitalism had lots of links about Germany and Europe freaking out about the energy and financial. While NC has been good about Ukraine they also run links about how to garden with your N95 and face shield because the latest variant is about to decimate California and it is transmitted in both the air and earth blah blah blah.

    BTW as a fan of fiction I admire writers like yourself that can image up all kinds of fascinating scenarios.

  268. JMG,

    No doubt!

    I think Mark L. had some good ideas regarding the overall trend (ignoring that vertical spike).

    The very wealthy are very nervous and don’t have much interest in putting their capital to work in the real economy, so park it in savings accounts and wait seems to be the plan.

    Adding savings may account for the change in slope after the vertical, once you consider the change in attitudes of the wealthy.

    FWIW, I’d agree that hyperinflation is a genuine concern and expect that will be the mechanism rather than outright default. Can’t say default is out of the question of course, but inflating away our debts just seems more in line with how the powers that be here in the 🇺🇸 like to handle their fusterclucks.

  269. Here’s another:

    In other words, the digitalized control grid now being erected in the wake of the covid event, and which will increasingly be framed in relation to climate change, is their long emergency plan for peak oil. The reduction of consumption by intrusive surveillance and centralized scrutiny over any and all transactions are the building blocks of the new permanent austerity in the embryonic post-modern neofeudalism where your (increasingly rare) children and grandchildren will grow up.

    https://shadowrunners.substack.com/p/on-the-economic-roots-of-the-covid?s=r

    I quite like the Shadow Runners substack, and most of what he writes seems solid to me. I think that’s what got me wondering if the WEF really is gearing for a world of resource scarcity and population contraction, just with a coat of 5G and VR splashed on.

  270. And this page links Klaus Schwab to John Kenneth Galbraith and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. Also it links him to Henry Kissinger, but yeah, of course he’s linked to Kissinger, what self-respecting Bond villain wouldn’t be:

    In 1972, the Club of Rome’s founder Aurelio Peccei had published his controversial book “The Limits to Growth”, a book that had been commissioned by the Club of Rome and which took a Malthusian approach to overpopulation. The book would call into question the sustainability of global economic growth and Peccei would be invited by Schwab to make the keynote speech at the 1973 World Economic Forum. This risqué public relations strategy paid dividends for Schwab and his organisation. From that point on, the forum would grow in size, scale and power. But it all began with a CIA-funded course run by Henry Kissinger at Harvard.

    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/03/investigative-reports/dr-klaus-schwab-or-how-the-cfr-taught-me-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb/

    I haven’t read this site very closely. Someone linked to it over at the Ecosophia Dreamwidth, and I only noted in passing the possible connection between the WEF and the Club of Rome.

  271. @Augusto #237 – The site looks great so far! Two minor suggestions:

    1) Having the material as pdfs for easy printing is nice (see point 2), but might it also be beneficial to have the text as html as well (with maybe a “Download as PDF” or “Printer Friendly” link on each page)? I’m not a UX person or anything, so maybe that’s not best practice. Where I especially noticed it was the lack of any explanatory text on the home page – might some of the material from the introduction be good to have there on the off chance someone finds the site without knowing what they were looking for?

    2) Also related to the pdfs, it might also be convenient to have all of the material through the end of the 0/8 grade available as a single pdf, to function more like an ebook for anyone who wants one.

  272. @Joy Marie #288 The part I left out in what I posted previously is my whining to JMG on a Magic Monday post that I kept getting the repeated feeling that I just wasn’t good enough to finish the lessons in Learning Ritual Magic. His response? In bold letters, was to keep picking it up and doing the work. So if you need some bold letter thrown your way, I’m sure he oblige for you too 😉 You are in good company and not blaming others for being stalled gets you a good deal of the way to the finish line.

  273. Greer, I looked at your link: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/oil-and-petroleum-products/imports-and-exports.php

    I’m sure it’s designed to spin everything to be as rosey as possible, but it seems to have succeeded in fooling me :). I think my sharp math brain is rusty as I’m down with a cold.

    The slight of hand seems to have to do with the fact that “petroleum” includes crude (what comes out of a well) and refined products (that come out of a refinery) and “gas liquids” (LNG?).

    I went to: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=32&t=6
    >In 2021, U.S. crude oil production equaled about 11.19 million barrels per day (b/d), crude oil imports equaled 6.11 million b/d, and crude oil exports equaled 2.98 million b/d, with net crude oil imports equaling 3.13 million b/d.

    So we produced 11 mb/d, imported 6 and exported 3. Ergo, we consumed/stored 14, 3 of which was imported (~20%). That’s a significant dependence!

    But if we are taking that 3mb/d of crude, turning it into refined products and exporting it, we’d only have consumed 11mb/d and thus with closed borders (and ignoring internal transportation costs) we would be roughly self-sufficient in crude & refined products, right?

    Since we net imported 3mb/d of crude in 2020 and exported 1.42 of refined, our dependence would seem to be on the order of 1.6mb/d, right?

    Sorry for the noob ADR question 😀
    A friend brought this up and I didn’t have a way to explain the math magic here. Hoping you can set me straight.

  274. @Martin Black #284

    Well, given how hard it is to gather fuel, I bet they found a way to keep the hay boxes, I know if it meant that i “only” had to spend 1 hour gathering sticks instead of 4, I would find a way. Likely I would just leave it outside in the dry season, and in the rainy season, I would hoist it up above my head with a rope in the corner as it is so light weight.

    For me right now, I tend to leave my solar oven out on the deck for about half the year, thru the dry season, as it also is so big. But, it saves on cooking fuel so much.

  275. On the subject of elite cluelessness, someone at Applebee’s decided that rising gas prices made a good excuse to hire new workers at lower wages because workers would be desperate for more hours to keep up their standard of living. One of the managers showed the email around, and a bunch of people quit in disgust, resulting in the store being unable to open the next day. It’s since reopened, and the higher-ups are doing damage control

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/i-was-stunned-and-disgusted-kansas-applebees-forced-close-workers-revolt-over-wage-cut

    Just… wow.

  276. I have posted this before but the mention of lentils and of economic strife – it fits.

    One day Diogenese was eating a frugal dish of lentils, he was challenged by the philosopher Aristippus, who, for his part, led a golden life as he was one of the king’s courtiers.

    Aristippus scornfully told him, –

    -“See, if you learned to crawl before the king, you wouldn’t have to settle for rubbish like this vulgar dish of lentils!”

    Diogenes glanced at the lightning bolt and replied:
    “If you’d learned to make do with lentils, you wouldn’t have to crawl before the king!”

    The last while or so, since inflation has come to most peoples attention – I have been ruminating on the stories of Diogenes and the few letters of Epicurus.

    Live lean, follow in the ways of nature and do it in good company.

  277. Re: the WEF

    I feel like most folks are giving this group way too much power to determine the future. It’s a conference/association of the rich, famous, politically connected, and wealthy. So naturally most actions undertaken by any CEO or global leader are going to be “linked” to the WEF.

    Understandably there is groupthink involved, a general commitment to globalism, and a desire among global leaders to be “part of the club”, which leads to leaders following similar lines of thought and courses of action. But unless I’m missing something Schwab and company don’t have any actual capacity to enforce their agenda. If Trudeau or Putin or Biden stop following the script, they can’t have them assassinated and replaced, nor do they control the electoral machinery to get their preferred candidates elected by any means other than the usual tactics of propaganda and spending lots of cash.

    I certainly don’t think that everyone who ever participated in a WEF program is “tainted” (e.g. Tulsi Gabbard), and I would expect that as globalism falls apart the influence and relevance of the WEF to geopolitics will wane rapidly, with formerly globalist leaders and corporations pursuing divergent and contradictory visions.

  278. Hi John Michael,

    From our conversations over the years I’d guessed that you knew of the impending move, but I don’t recall you explicitly stating that – although memory is a tricky beast. As the days go on it’s looking like that is where things are heading. I’m genuinely surprised at the bluster from western Europe as they’re now being asked to pay for their energy in rubles. I really don’t know why they expected not to face consequences for printing heaps of mad cash, it really did seem like a foolish policy to me. Over the years I’ve seen arguments suggesting that size does matter, but you’ve addressed that argument so many times in the past and I agree. Sooner or later the people taking those mad cash IOU’s are going to come up with alternative arrangements with more creditworthy nations.

    I came across the concept of peak oil way back in about 2004 or maybe 2005 when it was widely reported upon that conventional oil extraction had peaked. It’s not like it was some great secret. It’s just that most peoples response to the information went along the lines of: No it’s not. I guess it all came down to comfort and wealth in the end. I reckon after the massive crisis to come and socks sulking off in the corner response, most people will settle into the new lower energy groove – we’re a very adaptable species. Do you reckon that’s a possibility?

    Cheers

    Chris

  279. Tidlösa (no. 289) Yes–shame on you pagans for turning to the Dark Side, and sacrificing household pets! After looking up Burchill’s religion on Wikipedia, I see that she was raised by Communists, converted to Lutheranism as a forty-year-old, and then almost converted to Judaism out of pro-Zionist enthusiasm, but quarreled with her pro-Palestinian, lesbian rabbi. She later wrote a book on her philo-Semitism which Jewish reviewers thought cringe-worthy. The rest of her personal life is unedifying, and her career equally checkered. In her writing she often lashes out at various people and groups–the Muslims, the Irish, transgender people–as she does in this article. (Over the years she’s been pro-Thatcher, pro-David Beckham, pro-Iraq War, and pro-Likud.) You could say that she’s been doing click-bait, since before there were clicks.

  280. @Grover

    Hey mate, good to see you posting a bit more lately.

    RE the vehicle requirements you listed. I had very similar requirements and my research led me to purchase a Daihatsu HiJet. It meets most of what you listed except for the diesel bit. There’s many variants, I got the “agricultural” one which has zero electronic frills and is manual everything. The vehicle has eaten up everything we’ve thrown at it on our farm. It’s a very well designed & made and simple machine.

    Jez

  281. Hi Mr. Greer. I’m curious what you make of the increasingly climbing rates of people identifying as transgender in the West? I know many dissidents of our current culture argue it’s overwhelmingly a cultural phenomenon, due to young people being exposed to pornography and “gender ideology”, but I wasn’t sure what your take was. More specifically, what’s its cause, and is it harmful?

  282. about car sharing. Well, mostly it didnt take as well as we hoped, ZIPCAR came to my area around 2007, they had to go down to only one location, at the University, it does VERY well at the university and also in San Francisco they are ALL OVER. Maybe it will expand again if people need it, or a poor persons version. Maybe the University subsidizes a teeny bit for students, not sure, but for everyone else it is $11/hour for a zip car, with a daily rate. But, that covers everything including gas and insurance. SO, for Large city dwellers, like San Francisco, the price of parking, insurance and the fact that cars are targets for theft/vandalism, and the huge amount of a variety of mass transit options being able to get a car for a day trip down the coast or a trip across the bay to IKEA ( ZIPCAR has vans too) to pick up bulky shopping makes it popular there. FOr students, they have a tough time as most regular rental car companies dont rent to them

    https://www.zipcar.com/cities

    I also remember carpools and Vanshare ride sharing programs 35 years ago in California, silicon valley, and maybe they still exist. Basically, we took incentive of carpooling away by allowing single occupant cars in the carpool lanes if they were hybrid or electric ! I did a casual one for a few years with a technician at the office, she dropped off kids to daycare a few blocks from where I lived. Besides saving us both money on the commute, it was great for me to leave work on time ! Oh, sorry, but I need to go and catch my carpool….. I got to work early with her, techs did a 7:30am to 4pm scheduale with a half hour lunch so I did that too during that time. It was great for making calls to facilities on the otherside of the pacific in any case.

    SO, if we wanted to, we certainly could make ride sharing arrangements. But, people have to be flexible, and employers too. Alot of people who are not PMC do not have flexibility, it is worse now than it ever was. Many do not even have a set scheduale I have heard from week to week. Well, maybe if things get that bad those employers will need to be better and we can go back to set scheduales. But, I think what would have to happen in conjunction with that is that alot of resteraunts/coffee shops/shopping will fold. We will have less of them.

    I dont know what those poor working stiffs who live out in bedroom communities with long commutes will do. I mean, they could do other arrangements between themselves in those areas, ignore zoning and operate out pf garages for small storefronts and services, except that the mortgages they hold w I think would be untenable with the new “opportunities “

  283. Owen, the cases I’ve heard of are ethnic Ukrainians beating up on ethnic Russians by tying or taping them to telephone poles and painting their faces green. The excuse is that ethnic Ukrainians call ethnic Russians “orcs” and so they’re painting their faces to suit. Stupid? Sure, but that’s all too typical for eastern European interethnic rivalries.

    Joy Marie, it may simply be stress — a lot of people who have procrastination issues find that those get worse in stressful times. That said, “do it now!” is a good strategy.

    Tidlösa, clearly the author asked a Wiccan on a date and got told “Get lost.” She seems far more obsessed with sex than any Pagan I’ve ever met.

    Cliff, thanks for these! I’ve linked to them and will assess them as time permits.

    Anon123, that’s a valid point.

    Jed, it would be interesting to see if someone out there has continued to calculate M2 the old way, and check on how it’s doing.

    Alex, as I understand it — and I’ll accept correction from anyone who knows the petroleum market better than I do — the whole business is complicated because different grades of petroleum aren’t interchangeable. What we get from fracking is very light, lacking the long hydrocarbon chains you need for bunker oil, diesel, and industrial uses, while most of what we import is very heavy and provides those long chains. So the numbers don’t show the whole picture. Yes, in theory, if we stopped all exports and kept on getting that 6 mbd from overseas we’d be self-sufficient in terms of simple volume, but those 6 mbd may not be forthcoming if we don’t keep up our exports — and there’s the question of whether we’d have enough of the grades we need to keep, say, the nation’s trucks running.

    Pygmycory, I’m not in the least surprised. It still hasn’t occurred to a lot of corporate flacks that their employees are human beings. (I’m reminded of the famous dog sign. “This dog is vicious: if you beat him, he will bite.”

    Michael, it’s a great story! Do you recall Chuang Tsu’s story along the same lines?

    “Once, when Chuang Tsu was fishing in the river, the king of Chu sent two officials to go and announce to him: “I would like to trouble you with the administration of my realm.”

    “Chuang Tsu held on to the fishing pole and, without turning his head, said, “I have heard that there is a sacred tortoise in Chu that has been dead for three thousand years. The king keeps it wrapped in cloth and boxed, and stores it in the ancestral temple. Now would this tortoise rather be dead and have its bones left behind and honored? Or would it rather be alive and dragging its tail in the mud?”

    “‘It would rather be alive and dragging its tail in the mud,’ said the two officials.

    “Chuang Tsu said, ‘Go away! I’ll drag my tail in the mud.'”

    Mark, that’s certainly true. I think a lot of less conspiratorially minded people treat the WEF as a bellwether of elite thinking, rather than a power in its own right. That’s certainly my take.

    Chris, sure, most people will get by, and discover that they can actually thrive just fine on less energy. It’s the ones whose wealth and influence depend on energy-intensive habits who will be doing most of the squalling.

    K, I think it’s got many causes and many effects. Gender dysphoria is a real thing, but so is autogynephilia, the sexual kink that gets some men turned on by imagining that they’re women, and it’s also very tempting for a variety of people to claim to belong to the other gender to get various things — there have been several cases of male rapists, for example, who were convicted, suddenly announced that they were trans, got put in women’s prisons, and proceeded to rape their fellow inmates. As long as current leftist ideology insists that your gender is whatever you want it to be, the confusion is unlikely to recede, and people who actually have gender dysphoria are going to end up taking the blame for problems they didn’t cause and don’t have anything to do with.

  284. Anon123 #292

    No I get that people often live in their own conscious realities, but I look at like this. For the West cost is the price they THINK they’ll pay, for the Russian’s there’s the price they’re WILLING to pay, and for everyone there is the price they ACTUALLY pay and the consequences thereof. The latter is what I was referring to when I said cost of conflict. Reality takes a chunk out of our hides no matter what reality we live in.

    Regards,

    Varun

  285. I want to ask the community for some business suggestions. I’m starting a business selling stationery items I’ve made by hand, from staple bound notebooks to hardback ones. Eventually I want to make print items, principally of my own design, such as cards and digital images (including paper models to be built by the purchaser, as mentioned earlier here). With agonizing slowness I’m building an Etsy store to market these wares, and may try one or two other online venues as well.

    But I don’t want to depend entirely on the internet. I don’t trust it. I want to try other ways of marketing by mail order. I’ll also consider retail outlets if any will have me, but I prefer to operate as much as possible independently. Back in the day mail order marketing used to be done by advertising in print periodicals. I have no idea how that would work now; how many people are reading them these days? What kind of periodical would carry ads for such products? Is this even a viable marketing approach for them? I’d appreciate any constructive feedback on the topic.

  286. Speaking of clueless western commentators, the media has been making a lot of noise about Russia “scaling back its goals” in Ukraine because, rather than affirming the media narrative that they’re out to seize all of Ukraine and impose a puppet government, they have once again reaffirmed the exact same, much more modest goals which they announced at the start of the invasion and which they have consistently stuck to since then: demilitarization, denazification, neutralization, and the security+recognition of the Donbass republics.

    Because obviously the Russians couldn’t possibly have been telling the truth. 🙄

  287. Thinking about food and government. They actually do all these calculations and recipes for what is the least expensive diet plans, this is how they justify what the food assistance plans pay. So, out of curiousity, this is what they think me, an over 60yo woman ( they seem to know the definition and use gendered categories….) should buy, and eat, on a thrifty budget (ie., this is what the foodstamp budget is based on, they run these charts, then for a household of 2 kids/man/woman they add that up, divide by 4 for an average persons money needed a month) they also have other budget categories for more extravagent spending, but I am not sure why:

    So, they say spend $44.42 a week and buy healthy whole foods and cook, I am going to approximate, this is for an over 60yo woman, 2000 calories a day with all nutrients ( looks like extra calcium for this category)

    .6# leafy greens
    2# orange- carrots/red bell pepper /sweet potato/wintersquash
    2# potato/starchy
    1.5# whatever you want ( celery, parsley, zuchini more of above)
    5.5# whole fruit
    1 cup fruit juice
    2.5# grains, mostly whole grain staples ( rice, wheat, pasta, bread, tortillas)
    a gallon of milk
    a quart of yogurt
    .25# cheese
    6 eggs
    .5# nuts ( whole nuts or 1/2 container of peanut butter)
    1 cube butter
    1/2 cup oil
    1.5# dried beans
    .5# meat
    .5# seafood
    1.5# poultry
    .87 on tea/coffee, so black/green/herbal teas
    2.50 on misc extras, so $10/month for any sugar, condiments, store bought treats

    if food prices double, they will adjust the amounts given out for the food stamps ( SNAP)

  288. Regarding the Ukrainian witches: you have a bunch of “witches” who don’t believe in magic or gods and who are performing a ritual for dramatic effect and attention. Many Orthodox Christians who sincerely believe in witches, demons, and black magic are praying for Putin, and calling regularly on Jesus, Mary, St. Michael the Archangel, and a whole bunch of warrior saints, exorcists, and departed holy men to protect Putin from evil. I don’t expect this spell to go much of anywhere, but wouldn’t be surprised to see participants see a streak of bad luck that drives them into a convent.

  289. @K re: transgender identification

    I certainly don’t think it’s attributable to pornography. I’m also pretty confident that autogynephilia and rapists identifying as trans to be placed in women’s prisons – while real phenomena – represent a minuscule fraction of those identifying as transgender.

    JMG has suggested in the past that an increase in gender dysphoria may be due to decreased time spent between lives, such that souls are still accustomed to their previous gender. That makes some sense to me.

    Mostly though I think it is a social phenomenon with a number of factors feeding into it. For one, it is a socially-acceptable way of changing one’s identity completely, taking a different name and (according to PC language etiquette) eliminating all references to the previous name and identity (i.e. “deadnaming”). In any number of emotional/mental health crises taking on a new identity can feel like a good option, and changing one’s gender now provides an approved way to do that that comes with support networks and (in certain circles) special status as an oppressed/marginalized identity.

    For misfit youth, it is a currently popular way of being edgy. In some social groups, being “cis” and straight is rather uncool, and one easy way out of that is to identify as gender-nonbinary or trans.

    While I certainly want to be supportive of trans people, I also know that there was a time in my youth when I wanted to be a girl (boys were bullies, girls were kinder to me, puberty created confusion, etc.). Had I been in a modern urban school that encouraged kids to “affirm their gender identity” by taking hormones etc., I could well have gone that route, and it would have been a very bad choice for me. I think a lot of current trans kids are going to realize at some point in their young adulthood that they made a poor choice, and they are going to be angry that their adolescent angst and self-hatred manifesting as gender dysphoria ( rather than e.g. body dysmorphia or anorexia) was not regarded as a condition to be treated with acceptance therapy but was rather regarded as a valid basis for permanent life-altering decisions like surgery and hormone therapy.

    In a sense transgender ideology is one among many expressions of the postmodernist idea that reality is what we want it to be – the alternative of course being the old-fashioned idea that some things just are the way they are and we are better off if we can accept them. Although gender dysphoria is real, I find the conception of transition as a recipe for self-acceptance problematic – and from what I can tell it often doesn’t provide the hoped-for happiness. I think it would be a lot healthier to focus on self-acceptance first, and only once a person is able to accept themself as they are should they be supported in undergoing transition if they feel that is the right path for them.

  290. BobinOk @279: I do have the electronic ignition and the distributor to go with it of course. I asked my mechanic about points, and he said he could easily convert me to a points system. The problem he said, is that points manufacturing was was exported to China, and those have a longevity of only 1000 miles. 5000 miles was the norm for the cars I once had, which were Datsuns. So points are a non-starter (pardon the pun).

    I stuck with the electronic ignition, as the ignition module is built into a heavy aluminum heatsink, and I understand it wears like iron. I plan on purchasing several spare modules; they’re cheap, around $40-50.

    Good to know about the older GM trucks. Recent GM products are seemingly designed to be hard and expensive to repair, and I didn’t know how far back that practice went (and the 2 1960’s GM cars my dad had were real lemons). I was sorely tempted by a 6-cyl 1965 GMC with a perfect body, zero rust and excellent paint job. At the time I thought it was pricey, and I wasn’t inclined to do my homework on GM trucks. My 1978 F-150 restoration will exceed it in cost, though not by much.

    And I just got a locking gas cap for it. That won’t stop a drill though…’sigh’…

    —Lunar Apprentice

  291. Varun @280: Good heavens, I didn’t know that! Ouch! Given that baking or frying/sauteeing involve rather high temperatures, that surprises me because the pressure cooker only raises the boiling point of water to 240-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Still, my main use for the pressure cooker is beans; lentils are quick-enough cooking that I never pressure cook them. That and tough meats. I’ll adapt my stews to cook the vegetables separately.

    Maybe I should say ‘hi’ to my slow cooker.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  292. @John Michael Greer

    “Assume that Socrates is being a shale-stirrer, as he so often was, and poor Adeimantus is standing in for all those Athenians who got led into logical embarrassment by the crafty old codger, and take every claim as an opportunity to do your own thinking and come to your own conclusions.”

    Being a Hoplite back in the day as well:
    https://donaldrobertson.name/2017/01/03/socrates-the-soldier/

    As a fusion of Scholar and Warrior. I admire him. I think he placed as much importance on the Body as the Mind.

    As for shale-stirrers. I remember reading a story about Diogenes punking Plato who described Man as a “featherless biped” by holding a shaved chicken above his head in front of his students saying: “BEHOLD, PLATO’s MAN!!!”.

    I think he would fit right in to 4chan culture.

  293. @Mark L

    “Understandably there is groupthink involved, a general commitment to globalism, and a desire among global leaders to be “part of the club”, which leads to leaders following similar lines of thought and courses of action. But unless I’m missing something Schwab and company don’t have any actual capacity to enforce their agenda. ”

    What you are missing is Blackmail. As Epstein and Maxwell has proved. For the powers that be to trust you. You must do “unspecified evil act” taped on camera.

    But in doing so you will remain obedient. Otherwise you won’t be able to walk the streets.

  294. I hesitate adding to the list of things for you to read, but here I am doing it anyway. I’ve been following Balaji Srinivasan for years now. I believe his assessment of what’s wrong is spot on (“The choice is between decentralization and digital totalitarianism. When they can hit a key to zero you out, it doesn’t matter whether it’s done by the Chinese state or a group of American corporations.” – tweet March 21st) and he’s been consistent over the years. His solutions though, being a tech founder, is always more tech will solve the problem.

    One of his beliefs is that we don’t live in a democracy and haven’t for some time now. And that was OK when the distribution of goodies was enough to look like fairness and people could navigate the corruption. But now things are so far gone – untouchable power centers that feel no need to comply with the law or meet the demands of common people – that the system needs replaced. Of course since we no longer have a working democracy and the people truly ruling are not in elected positions (we can’t vote them out), we need a new way to run society.

    So he’s coming out with a book in the fall called The Network State on how to start a new country using technology. It looks like a how-to manual to build an alternative financial and governance structure. It hit #2 in new releases and #4 worldwide, so the idea of “throw the bums out” is popular. Or maybe its now “work around the bums”.

    I’m not in the “more tech means a better world” but its incredibly encouraging to see someone at the head of tech advocating for decentralization and parallel economies. If he was poorer, he probably see that it is already thriving now. He’s also an immigrant and I think he gets more what America means that people who grew up here. We truly are the place where freedom for people can die if we allow ourselves to be rolled over by the idiots in charge.

  295. Lately we talked about the question of EU sanctions against Russia and their impact – I was alarmed to hear they wanted to sanction 100% of energy resources and raw materials from Russia. Then, less of a surprise, many EU states backed off and admitted that such an arrangement is not possible at the moment.

    As far as I know, the gas contracts with Russia still hold, but depending on the level of escalation, even the guaranteed delivery may be turned off.

    You can read the several headlines posted on Gail Tverberg’s Blog or on bachheimer.com for the German speaking crowd.

    “Biggest aluminium producer in Germany wants to half production”-
    “Hope for recovery, but if not, this may `severly´ damage the German economy and in the long term”

    The media are catching up now on a phenomenon that cannot be concealed anymore: price explosion for everything, for food, wood, gas, diesel, and all the composite parts and raw materials for globalized production.

    I will not present any links or articles at this point because I don’t think we need additional numbers to understand the implications here.

    While the politicians talk about alternatives, the industry seems to contradict them, at least what I gather from business media. It really appears so that politicians and functionary are not playing a perfectly calculated game here, rather they are truly and genuinely blind to what is actually incoming. Pitch forks and torches, if you ask me!

    In my immediate environment, people are starting to notice the trend. However prevailing is the assumption that “it will not hit us as hard as other countries” and “we are complaining on a high level”.
    As well as, you may have guessed, “fusion power!!!”.

    Yup Mister Greers analysis of the religion of progress is manifestingly real!

    As I sat in a long term friend’s house this February, before the war, he talked about the material shortages affecting the window construction company he works for. “This will all be resolved once corona is over!” he says, as I watch his two year old daughter playing. I dare not reply anything counterwise.

    As I enter my office, I meet one of the old cleaning women. “People are leaving Bosnia. The prices are like here (in Austria), but people earn nothing! Even whole families are fleeing. What will we do when there is no electricity? We cannot even survive one day without!”
    She says, gloomily. I am pressed already and now not to reply anything reassuring, unfortunately.
    What should I say? I cannot start talking about a spiritual world view and the fate of the material journey of the soul at this point, which is the point where I would otherwise.

    These working class people who have seen times worse (like a war in Bosnia, eg), they tend to be less unwilling to draw conclusions.

    My company, btw as it was a topic recently, is a bit a happier office situation than most. With ~200 people and all the shares in the hands of those actually and physically working there, the atmosphere is way better than in other office settings. People are generally happy about it and there is a good social environment.

    I’d be surprised though if I should have this job one year from now. After all, the company earns money by handling banking transactions. It is super chaotic already.

    I’ve seen these contractor functionaries last autumn, as they fantasized ybout the growing market of housing credit and the glorious growth of the future. “How do they know that” – I ask my department manager innocently.
    “In ten to fifteen years, there will be 3D printers printing houses and it will be cheap!” – is his reply. I choose not to comment.

    This is the one thing other commenters have certainly experienced too: bringing bad news to people who hold on tight to their accustomed high energy lifestyles, who have families and something to lose, will just make them hate the messenger.

    Relatable to a degree; after all, constant worrying makes us humans sick, humans are natural optimists.
    But blinding one’s self to such future implications maybe isn’t the best idea either?

    A colleague of one IT worker has allegedly decided to become a physio therapist at 28, after having studied informatics. (Some time ago)

    I wonder if the incoming wreckage will still allow me to resettle for a medical massage certificate training? At least that isn’t too energy intensive…and at least I have a little knowledge and skill already, I wouldn’t start from zero.

    “What do you want to do in the future” people keep asking me well meaningly, thinking of the PMC options of the past two decades, not ever considering these tracks may be blocked in the future.

    A friend said I should go out more to meet with broader society and maybe start watching series or TV shows, because I am separating myself from broader society, as I have no electronic and pop cultural interest at all.

    It’s true I think, for most who are not married and inclined like our host is, retreating too much is unhealthy. On the other hand, many people seem to be entirely unwilling to consider what is so obviously coming towards us here in Central Europe.

    Being social is important for most humans, prioritizing leasure in our high-energy intensive sense on the other hand is doubtful. And I can see that: people do NOT anticipate an end to leisurely aviation and all the other stuff they’re used to.

    So today I shall go out and drink beer and mix with strangers – after all my Euro Bills are on their way to become worth less than their paper value, and “saving” money at this point is more loss then spending it. Prepping is good, though for the average person, a limited option.

  296. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for the reply. Yup makes sense, they’ll be fine, after a little bit of adjustment to the new circumstances which may possibly be coming soon. I have wondered whether the lentil article you referred to was some sort of weird cry for help along the lines of: Now if you lot just make a little bit more room for your betters, and here’s how to do it.

    There is a weird sort of humour and irony to the article. I’ll bet Carl Jung would have something to say about them?

    I’m very uncomfortable at the instructional tone in the news media these days. They don’t even pretend to dress it up in more polite terms. The article headlines often now state: Here’s what you need to know. It leaves me wondering about the other things of interest, that aren’t being written or spoken about. At the very least, it comes across as a very arrogant approach. Hmm.

    The unfolding current events seem surreal to me in that there are less confrontational approaches where all is not put at stake.

    Cheers

    Chris

  297. @ Grover RE: vehicle…

    See my post earlier above. VW made the exact vehicle you are describing in response to the Arab Oil Embargo – their 4 cyl diesel pickup truck 1979-82.

    @ Mark L RE: simple vehicles

    You are correct – governments have their hand in everything regarding transportation by way of “safety” for all. I have long thought that government regulations regarding “safety” are beyond ridiculous and compensate for those who qualify for Darwin awards in many cases. You ever ride in a TukTuk??

    @ JMG RE: Your wife & Gluten…

    My daughter had the same issue. After some thinking and much reading ( I had no idea about wheat farming in N. America), she tried some South American wheat which was NOT dried using glyphosate. She tolerated that just fine, and started getting Russian wheat. Now, Russian may not be the easiest any longer, but have you guys even tried this option? And if so, just disregard, as my daughter is glyphosate sensitive most certainly.

    @ Pygmycory RE: tar sands…

    There you go hating on Biden. He was only looking out for the Earth by cashiering the Keystone VL pipeline, eh? /s

    @ JMG RE: refinery feedstock

    You’re mostly correct. Refineries are barely profitable compared to other operations, and expensive, so they are not built often. Consequently, most of those in the USA are over 50 years old, and initially designed for heavier crude than the current oil shale produces. In order to use it as feedstock in operations NOT designed for light crude, it has to be mixed with heavy crude, (ex: tar sands oil via Keystone XL or Venezuelan heavy) just to accomodate ‘ye olden pipes’ that exist.

    TBH, current shale oils can be burned similar to kerosene with almost no refining, but we are stuck with onerous rules and regs WRT what is legal or not. When I was a kid, we used to burn condensate called “casing head drip” at the time of the Arab Embargo. This is super light distillate that condenses in a well via leakage, and it is clear. It has no lubricant within it, so we added diesel to it. The octane was also unpredictable, so you got a lot of valve clatter. But it was considered waste back then, and we literally burned it in a couple classics like the Plymouth Volare and a Ford Maverick…good times!!

    This seems to illustrate why using imagination is all-important, and also that people will find a way if you just ignore the government or it cannot enforce…..

  298. #12 CS2 RE: Commuting by car
    While we will likely all need to find a way to live where we work, there is a method of casual carpooling in Washington DC called “slugging” that might be an interim option:
    It began at the time of the 1974 Oil Embargo, partly driven by the drivers’ desire to qualify for the HOV lane, which speeds the commute to work, and partly by desire for the passengers to get a free ride to work–
    Typically there is a commuter parking lot in the suburbs. Drivers call out their destination or put up a sign, like “L’Enfant Circle.” Strangers get into the car, confirming the destination as they enter.
    Going the other way, you call out your destination commuter lot.

    Here’s a link with more details. It’s been going on for nearly 50 years in Washington DC, and likely to get more popular soon–

    http://www.slug-lines.com/slugging/about_slugging.asp

  299. When I was growing up I remember the newspaper psychics (Jeanne Dixon was probably the most famous) who regularly made wild predictions that didn’t come true, only to repeat them next year.

    After seeing the end of his “End of History,” Francis Fukuyama is back to explain why a Russian defeat is inevitable and how Ukraine’s triumph will mark the beginning of a new era of freedom and diplomacy.

    https://www.americanpurpose.com/articles/preparing-for-defeat/

  300. Hi JMG,

    I was reading through the archives of the dreamwidth blog and found the story about the mother and her son journeying to fantasy-Greece with a Faun that you wrote as a guide to novel writing. Are there any plans to write that story in full and publish it? It was really good.

  301. @Oilman2

    What is the difference between heavy crude and light? It has to do with its weight but not its energy density?

    What potential do you think does US oil production have, weighed against Iran for example.
    As I gather, much of world oil production still comes from a few giant oil fields, that are prob more than half depleted already?
    With the “best” quality of oil still available.

    And the US still has some old fields too afaik, that still produce a little though not too much? In Texas or elsewhere? Plus Alaska, a newer field in that regard.

    regards,
    Curt

  302. Vienna’s public transit company has decreased intervals – shortage of conductors.
    I would not want to do that job. Shift work and you just sit, guiding a joystick looking out of the window.
    Also the official explanation for these half corona measure regime Austria has currently is: now the ordinary
    tracts in hospitals or undercapacitated, not the ICU.
    Shortage of personel capacity seems a good candidate for the reason.

    Medical personal running away from their state mandated jobs with impossible regulations and no guarantee
    for nothing, that seems plausible. There’s still enough people with money who need care!
    Who don’t bugger you, but are happy you are there!
    As I have mentioned before: giant construction operations are in the central city of Vienna for a new underground train line.
    The mythical U5 – there only was U1 to U6 until now. Used to be a joke, now it manifests itself.

    But the endeavour for this giant project may end up a joke too. If we really experience diesel shortages plus
    everything next winter, it will be hard to justify at some point.
    Theres giant drilling machines in operation, its crane many storeys high.
    And a giant renovation project for a road planted between the danube and a steep hill, a giant of steel and concrete from the 1970s.
    To my personal delight, I see the signs of many smaller constructions failing already. In places where they
    wanted to destroy some old trees and a quaint building – again – its quite a long time nothing happening against
    how it used to be.
    Construction activity in Austria had exploded starting with 2020, changed preference of people but probably
    an emergency measure to keep people employed and sales made too.

    Let’s build giants! But the galopping increase in prices and shortage of material lifted off last year. Do I hear crickets at last from that noisy sector of our economy?

  303. JMG,

    Several interesting threads of discussion in this week’s post.

    First, my bit on the lentils. This is probably the simplest lentils recipe. Cook the rice and lentils separately (the latter to mushy consistency), add some salt and ghee, lightly mash and mix. Eat while it’s still warm. That’s all.
    (For the non-vegans here: ghee is a good way to preserve butter for up to 3 months without using energy for keeping it frozen. It’s very easy to make at home.)

    I have a Honda scooter. It costs about 75,000 Indian rupees (about a thousand dollars. I found similar Honda scooters selling in USA for $3000). You can ride it for speeds up to 40 miles/hour. It gives a mileage of atleast 90 mpg. You can easily carry 50 kilos (about 110 pounds) of stuff. The price of gas (we call it petrol) here has hovered around the equivalent of $5 per gallon for more than a decade. So we don’t really have the luxury of driving pickup trucks. Mind you, this is not a Harley or a dirtbike. This has automatic transmission and a low centre of gravity. Anyone who knows how to ride a bicycle can easily learn it within a day. With a good set of jacket, boots, gloves and a helmet, you can ride it in even cold weather as low as 50 F (as long as there is no rain, snow or tornados, of course).

    About the fuel prices and possible shortages in USA, another relevant factor that is unique to your country is that the entire thing is left to the market. Even setting aside the fact that the USA doesn’t produce enough heavy grades of crude (to make diesel, bunker oil etc), the unwillingness of the government to intervene in the market is making things worse. A government that has the political will and legal power can do the following: 1. Announce a price control on gas prices at, say $3 a gallon, 2. Put an export control on all fossil fuels (only strategically important exports, like shipping will be allowed), 3. Direct that the diesel supply be prioritised to only essential uses: farm equipment, backup generators for hospitals and such, hauling food and medicines only (electronic gadgets can wait). I am sure the legal power exists, but the political will is missing.

    I was comparing the Ukraine situation with how you portrayed the American people losing confidence in their government. In TLG, a military defeat was inconceivable for the Americans, so they turned on their rulers. In the current situation, (even through the fog of war) Russian people seem to be okay with the loss of lives and military setbacks. The war is still going on, and anything can happen. But right now the west seems to have miscalculated that military losses (even if tactical) will make Putin unpopular among Russians, but that doesn’t seem like happening.

  304. Question for the group, re absolutely nothing aforementioned

    Between having some rather frank (and, for this Gen Xer, educational) conversations with my gay daughter and the spate of romance novels I’ve been reading (totally for research, of course), I find myself wondering at the asymmetry in the to cultural views–or at least, Western culture–of sexuality. “It’s different for girls,” is a true statement on a number of fronts. Casual affection between women significantly overlaps same-sex romance in a way that it simply doesn’t for men. Likewise, bisexuality is acceptable in women in a way that it isn’t for men. And I keep trying to understand why that might be: historically, anthropologically, sociologically, psychologically.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  305. I had mentioned last open post that my medically fragile father was slowly dying by inches.
    He finally passed away (age 87) Thursday morning.

    Thank you to everyone who said prayers and sent kind thoughts.

  306. Dear JMG,

    Hmm, so far I’ve thought of growing pinto beans and chickpeas (I’m obsessed with hummus and one bowl of it could fill my stomach for a day). Though I’m still anxious about dealing with soil, I’ll make sure to read at least one of the resources you mentioned in the food part of your Green Wizardry book. Can’t thank you enough for the inspiration and help you gave me at these difficult and strange times.

    Have a good day!

  307. Kevin, I’m going to pass on this one. I’m a very poor businessman — that’s why I don’t self-publish!

    Valenzuela, I figure the NATO elites knew from day 1 that Russia would get what it wanted, and insisted that Russia was really out to conquer Ukraine so that when the war was over, they could claim victory.

    Kenaz, that’s certainly one possibility. I’m concerned that this kind of noxious magic in the hands of the Magic Resistance has had some long-term negative effects far beyond that level, but we’ll see.

    Info, the Diogenes story has always made me want to cheer for Diogenes, precisely because fussing about abstract definitions so often produces a plucked chicken in place of a man!

    Denis, so noted and I’ll consider it.

    Curt, thanks for the data points. I’m sorry to say that it looks to me like Europe is in for a very, very hard time.

    Chris, hmm! Yes, I could see that. “Please eat lentils, you peasants, so I can keep my absurd lifestyle!”

    Oilman2, it doesn’t seem to be glyphosate in Sara’s case, as she’s fine with oats and those are typically grown with glyphosate. But thanks for the suggestion! As for crude oil, thanks for this. It’ll be interesting to see how many of those regulations stay in place as we continue on the downslope.

    Kenaz, funny! Me, I’d compare him to The Amazing Criswell

    Golden Rose, I haven’t felt any stirrings there for a while, but we’ll see.

    Curt, that strikes me as very good news, too.

    Ramaraj, thank you for all three of these. The lentil recipe sounds perfectly tasty — and yes, I’ve used ghee in cooking. 50°F doesn’t count as cold here in the US, where it routinely gets down to 0°F in much of the northern half of the country in wintertime! As for the US and Russia, exactly. Russia has been invaded in living memory, and many people alive today went through the humiliating period after the fall of the Soviet Union when Western plutocrats treated Russia as a conquered province; they’re prepared to accept some trouble in order to keep the country safe, as they see it. The US? If war was to come to American soil I’m quite sure millions of people would have complete nervous breakdowns — it’s so central to the current American imagination that the whole universe is supposed to cater to our collective sense of entitlement.

    David BTL, I have no clue. Anyone else?

    Teresa, please accept my condolences.

  308. @David btl #330

    I tend to think evolutionarily with regard to these things. I somewhat hesitantly recommend “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century” by Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying as an approach to the modern world through an evolutionary lens. I recommend it because an evolutionary lens is helpful, but I hesitate because it can also go too far and effectively become a thoughtstopper precluding other equally valid explanations.

    Anyway, I suspect that the differences you are noticing are nearly universal across human societies, and that they arise in part from male and female mating strategies. Women, in general, are looking for reliable co-parents and partners who can provide for them during the vulnerable times of pregnancy and young childhood. Men, in general from an evolutionary perspective, just need to have sex and pass on their genes, and it’s a bonus if they can get another man to invest the labor of raising their child.

    Of course this is an overgeneralization and can be overridden by cultural and religious values, etc. But I think that the general need for women to build a strong emotional connection prior to intimacy leads to a common trajectory among lesbian relationships of being good friends first, whereas the general desire among men to have sex early and often leads to more casual hookups among gay and bisexual men.

    As for the greater acceptance of female vs. male bisexuality in society, I tend to see that as more cultural, a carry-over of a greater historical stigma against men having sex with other men with a basis in the Bible (Sodomites etc.) and Western religious history. If there are evolutionary psychology influences, it would be along the lines of taboos that have developed against male promiscuity (or any male sexuality outside of a committed heterosexual relationship) as a check against selfish male mating strategies that are evolutionary beneficial for an individual man but not for the population as a whole.

  309. @ david BTL #320. I have noticed that phenomenon. At the place I live when I am in CA, a sort of intentional community, it is quite common for the young women there to go between gay and straight relationships. If there is a great deal of soul searching involved, I don’t see it. The community also provides a safe space for exploring gender identity, gender roles, etc. I don’t see personally there or anywhere the same level of comfort amongst men with gender identities.
    I think at least part of this goes back to women being kept as virtual male possessions, while men have had pretty much free reign to go out and mess about at will. I am 82 now, but remember in my youth being raised in this double standard, which took some effort for me to break free of, i.e it was Ok for me to mess about, but not for women to. Thus the concept of good girls and bad girls.One can see this extreme in muslim cultures where women are Virtually kept as slaves.
    In this context, where women were objectified and used and ignored if amongst other women, any emotional or meaningful sexual connection they had was apt to be with other women. Things are obviously better now, at least in the west, but I feel that women’s acceptance of intimacy with other women has been influenced by that. I think we men have a ways to go in that field.
    I am not suggesting this as a definitive answer, and would be interested to hear other people’s opinions.

  310. @David BTL, #330, Not sure if it answers your question, but there has been some research on this. See for example Lisa Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire.. She’s writing more about individual experience and not so much about the cultural views that you asked about, but it might contribute towards an answer.

  311. “The facility hit by the hypersonic missile was a Soviet-era underground base meant to be hardened against nuclear blasts.”

    Can you provide me with a link confirming this? Thanks.

  312. Thanks for the recipes, all posting on this page, I look forward to trying them in the future!

    I have a new job starting soon that will be paying me more than I need to support my basic needs. As such, I’d like to portion more of my income towards charitable donations, but I’m wondering if anyone here, JMG or otherwise, has recommendations on whom I should direct my donations to. I’ve considered GiveWell before and it seems like a good organization, but I also know there may be ways I can help my local community too with what I have.

    Also, JMG and others frequently mention making their charitable donations based on the planets. I’m curious about this, where I can find more information on planetary charity?

  313. >We will hopefully be having a child this year and I’ve been reflecting on how to best prepare the next generation to what is coming. Life will be getting tougher in this new era of scarcity, shortages and deglobalisation.

    >I wonder if you have any thoughts on that?

    Isolate them from the system. Keep them away from the TV, the radio, the schools and if you don’t do anything else, keep them away from those accursed phones! Kids are resilient, as long as their mistakes don’t kill them, let them figure it out on their own.

  314. @Aziz. No need to feel anxious about soil.

    First, look at the soil. What’s growing there now? If it’s getting sunlight and water, there should be robust growth. If you see that, the soil is basically OK.

    Next, feel the soil. Do not skip this step. The soil will tell you what it needs. Good soil is a living medium and you can feel its quality. After all, you come from a lineage that has hundreds of millions of years of intimate contact with the soil and the life forms it supports. You instinctively know what good soil feels like, even if modern life has striven mightily to disconnect you from that instinct. If the soil feels rich and soft and with just a bit of heft to it, you’re good to go. If it feels like dead dirt, it needs organic matter. Add compost. If it feels sandy, ditto. Organic matter will improve its water retention capacity and provide a medium for fungal growth — essential for making soil nutrients available to plant roots. If it feels hard-packed like clay, ditto again. Compost will create air passages and allow drainage. The bottom line is, unless you’re in a peat bog, you can’t lose by adding compost.

    Next, smell the soil. It should smell rich and earthy. If it smells “thin”, yep, add compost. If it has a chemical smell or a foul odor, that could spell trouble. You may want to think about raised beds and bringing in quality soil.

    If you have a soil testing lab available, it’s good to send them some soil made up by mixing soil samples taken from several well-spaced spots in your growing area. Tell them what you plan to grow and be sure they check for trace minerals, which are crucial to long-term soil health. But you don’t need to get the results back to get started. Just add compost and dig in.

    Pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings while you’re studying your soil, especially any images that come through. Your soil will talk to you, but it speaks in whispers.

  315. @David by the Lake –
    It could have something to do with the denigration of femininity – have you ever noticed that it is okay for a woman to be masculine (these days they are actively encouraged be so as this helps the capital machine – the motherhood or homemaker role has been destroyed, women are actively encouraged to join traditionally masculine occupations such as construction and so on) but not for a man to be feminine. Feminine men are labelled as sissy’s, emotions are still seen as weakness etc.

    Traditionally women were viewed as too emotional, too irrational, they were riddled with hysteria (wandering uterus disease) etc. and I think these roots are still under our culture. Men who reject the rational masculine role for a more feminine one (dating a man, and being penetrated is a feminine role) are thus less rational than other men.

    My brother likes men and my mum always struggled to accept it – but said she would be okay with a lesbian daughter, never made much sense to me.

  316. @Kevin #311 – I am not a marketer, and I’m no stationery expert, so take all this with a grain of salt, but I do have an MBA and teach at a business school, so I’ve picked up a few things. Here’s a few thoughts to take or leave as seems right to you:

    1) I know you asked about mail-order, but before digging into that, I wanted to draw your attention to another option. You might consider a “pop up” store for getting started with local business. This could take the form of temporarily renting some space or even just of setting up a booth at a local fair or farmer’s market. Getting to talk to folks in person will help you better understand what your customers are looking for and what they do and don’t like about your offerings. If travel is feasible, you could even do this in multiple locations. With or without travel, these folks can also become the core of your mailing list (see below).

    2) As for advertising in periodicals, I’m not sure how much this has persisted in the internet age, but you’re right that it used to be a very big deal. My rough impression (not verified, though) is that the more niche something is, the more likely the folks that like it still have a paper magazine for it, and I might guess that the kind of folks who want to buy handmade notebooks and other paper products might be the kind that would still prefer a paper magazine. When Tim Ferriss wrote “The 4 Hour Workweek” in the early aughts, magazine advertising was still pretty relevant, and he has a pretty good discussion of what process to follow and what it cost (at least back then).

    3) What I suspect is going to be your best non-internet bet, though, is direct mail marketing. This means you send your marketing material directly to the person you hope will buy your product. Most junk mail is a form of direct mail marketing, but your stuff doesn’t have to be junk. Just like with email, your best bet is to send stuff to folks who purposely, knowingly opt-in. Maybe you send a monthly (or quarterly, or annual) catalog. Maybe you send a little newsletter on topics likely to interest potential customers and include a discreet ad in the back. Building a list of folks who are genuinely interested in you and your products can take a while, but once you do, your materials will have a much higher “conversion rate” (of the total people who receive it, how many buy something). Any interaction you have with a customer who isn’t already on your list (your booth, sending an order to them, your card, an advertisement, your website, et cetera), you should give them a non-obnoxious, non-pushy option to sign up for your mailing list (I don’t recommend an “opt out” approach where they get added automatically unless they ask to be removed, as that strikes me as skeezy).

    4) Consider providing multiple ways to order. Some folks are more comfortable filling out a form and mailing it in, others on the phone, and so forth. I listened to an interview with an advertising executive from Ogilvy & Mather where he talked about a campaign where they tested ads that had a phone number, ads that had a mail in, and ads that had both. The one with both way out-performed the other two (to be fair, this was in the 90s, so “online” wasn’t an option. Not sure what the results would look like when that’s the default for most folks).

    5) Lastly, a technique to help you refine your approach: A/B testing. Most discussion of A/B testing today assumes an online application, but it was actually invented by Victorian newspaper advertisers, and it is essentially a specialized application of the scientific method. Here’s how it works: prepare an advertisement, and then prepare an “A” variation and a “B” variation. Ideally, you should be a good scientist and hold everything about the two variants constant except the one variable you want to test (simple example: same image in both variations, different tagline under the image). Then, come up with a way to track which is more effective. The way the Victorian admen did it was to include a coupon in the ad that had a code that revealed whether it came from an A or B ad. After the campaign ended, they counted up how many “A” coupons got used and how many “B” coupons.

    My apologies, this got a bit long! If you’d like to discuss more, feel free to send me an email at jeff DOT powell DOT russell AT gmail DOT com .

  317. @David BTL #330 – Not exactly a popular opinion in certain quarters, but evolutionary psychology suggests that more fluid sexuality may be more common in women cross-culturally, whereas men tend to go one way or the other, but have roughly the same preferences (youth, physical attractiveness) whether those preferences are pointed at men or women.

    Dr. David Buss is one of the leading figures of the field, and his book “The Evolution of Desire” is a pretty standard text. Not sure how much it discusses this particular issue. That being said, here’s an article written by a bisexual woman who cites a bunch of EvPsych research which I found by searching for “David Buss ‘bisexual'”, some of which touches on studies about gay women as well, who mentions in the comments that Buss provides a pretty good grounding: https://putanumonit.com/2020/01/20/bisexual-womans-guide/

    Hope this helps point you in some helpful directions!

  318. @jmg: I thought it was you who knew Jack; it’s just that “John” is such a common name, I couldn’t be sure (my uncle, for example, was once insulted by women with protest signs outside the hotel where he lived. The signs said “Johns Go Home!” and he said, “I am home! But I’m a Randy John, does that count?” He figured it was a case of mistaken identity, and didn’t take it personally.)

    Anyway, I was also close to Jack’s sister, Ima.

  319. @ Curt RE US oilfields
    @ JMG same fwiw…

    We are currently shut down in the largest O&G arena due to Biden – offshore Gulf of Mexico. We have a lot of undrilled deep stuff there. We also have deeper horizons on land, and NOW prices are high enough for those to make money (they don’t at $50/bbl). The shale drillers are NOT moving in response to higher prices as before for two reasons: A) they were overextended last time and lost their asses, and B) banks and investors are either leaning towards this ESG crap or else just gun shy after they lost out last time. So, all-n-all, we are doing nothing domestically due to Biden and other ‘progressive’ policies.

    Heavy and medium and light are based on specific gravity, essentially density.

    Curt, the “best quality” was used decades ago. Saudi is heavy and lots of it sulfurous; Venezuela has a lot of heavy, but they are ‘evil’ and sanctioned; the UAE is mixed grades; Africa has both, but witness Nigeria, where 90% of some pipelines are pirated and sold black market; Brazil has good crude, but they use it domestically and sell more to SE Asia. Mexico is good stuff, but depleting fast and their state oilco Pemex is totally corrupt, taking sometimes a decade to pay their bills.

    From here on out, it will be a sellers market I believe…

    Even with Biden hosing up things, we are still #1 or #2 in oil production. But we are also #1 in consumption by 9m bbl/day over China. Out largest “eater of oil” is our military, using 400,000 bbl/day – so oil price math means that the Pentagram will be asking for “moar oil please” really soon.

    Yes – we could reduce imports a lot if it weren’t for government constantly being in the way – intentionally.

    @ David BTL RE: overlap…

    I think several cultures feature this – several in Asia/Pacific. It is reflected in their literature.

    I posed your question to my grown daughters and they agreed there was more overlap and sometimes hard for girls to know if they are being groomed when teens. One of mine left the Girl Scouts for that reason, but this kind of thing happens in sports all the time to begin with – at least my wife (a coach) encounters it regularly.

  320. Does anyone else get the impression that our moral and intellectual betters WANT World War III to start? I can’t figure out what they think they’d have to gain from it. Surely even they understand that fallout travels on the wind, and that no sunlight means no, or very little, food means no peasantry means no one to serve them.

    I’d been fortunate enough not to have heard of Julie Burchill so I looked her up. Seems like a right-wing version of Keith Olbermann. Yuck. May her son find peace.

  321. JMG, Russel and all,

    Thanks! This is functioning as a temporary landing page with the Octagon Society material available. WordPress makes it easy for that but the actual site won’t use WordPress as a backend so it will load a little faster and it will be a little more reliable in terms of uptime. It will also resize to mobile devices nonetheless, given that most of internet users use it through a mobile device.

    The site will host several formats for the lessons including html, pdf and mobi/epub but that requires for me to run a component that is not ready yet so I only uploaded de PDF’s so as to not clutter too much the Coming Soon page with every filetype.

    (Now all of them are available as well as all of them as a single pdf file with a table of contents). Once I finish the members section, depending on your level with a forum and the file converter it will be good to go, but as a home for the lessons it is functional now.

    Indeed some of the material in the introduction could go in the about page, as well as the order’s email in the contact page, which will be added soon.

    JMG, is the color of the logo okay? I noticed while finishing the PDF’s that the purple I used is a little less neon.

  322. Robert, I saw the claim made on several news sites the day after the strike, but I didn’t keep any of the links. You ought to be able to hunt it up on DuckDuckGo or some other less censored search engine.

    Saltpeter, I recommend looking into specific charitable organizations rather than relying on one of the big networks — that way you can make sure your money is going where you want it, and not into administrative overhead (aka somebody’s pocket). As for planetary charity, here’s a good article.

    Pixelated, I’m pretty sure a lot of people who post here know Jack, so it’s good to hear. As for your uncle, I sympathize; I get a lot of “Dear John” letters, too. Oh, and I wanted to ask: did you know Jack’s cousin Eura?

    Your Kittenship, I’m getting to the point that not even the most exorbitant sort of drool-spattered idiocy from our self-anointed lords and masters surprises me.

    Augusto, that seems very sensible. The purple is fine — I have no idea what the original shade was.

  323. I got to thinking about when it was that I noticed the first stirrings of what we today call the PMC, people who think so differently from everyone else that they might as well be Martians. Maybe it was one day in the early ‘80’s when I was reading Mike Royko and it occurred to me that if he were applying to the Chicago Tribune that day, he most likely wouldn’t be hired. Maybe it was a few years later when I was reading the overrated Western novel, Lonesome Dove. Lonesome Dove fans, put away your six-guns. It wasn’t a bad book, just not Pullet Surprise material. The cattle drive was an old reliable plot line by then, and what suddenly hit me was that there was a whole new class of people who were so different from the rest of us that to them the cattle drive was new and fresh.

    And now the Martians are so powerful that a Supreme Court nominee has to dodge “What’s a woman?” because to Martians it’s a gotcha question. We got problems, folks.

  324. Oilman, a guy named Barack Obama, who knows Biden quite well, was quoted as saying “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to [unDruidly word] things up.” A pity our rulers did not heed Mr. Obama’s warning.

  325. JMG, you neglected Jack’s Aunt Fulla And Uncle Horace.

    A question—what are the chances of success if we all start praying/magic-ing the Martians away from their current behavior towards more constructive activities? I’d feel more sanguine if the Church hadn’t disarmed itself as an institution, but the laity must still have some power.

  326. @Lunar Apprentice #316
    My dad had several 70s trucks that he converted to electronic ignition and the conversions lasted several hundred thousand miles if I remember right…big engine compartments keep things pretty cool. Wears like iron indeed. That 6 cylinder in the 65 you mention was a motor JMG would love, it can be torn down and rebuilt completely with only 4 sizes of wrenches and sockets, simplicity at its finest. I had a later version in my first pickup back in 88, first motor I ever built. 🙂 But on a 65, the steering and brakes are downright primitive so you would have had to upgrade them completely just to be able to get normal parts. I wouldn’t touch anything that didn’t have disk brakes up front or power steering/brakes. For all the brilliance in GMs truck line with interchangeably and long lived parts(even now), you couldn’t give me one of their cars today..exact opposite. Last decent car they made IMHO was the old square body Impala/Caprice line in the 80s. My dad had one those as well and the 305 V8 would get 21mpg despite the size of the car. It would be quite economical as a car pool vehicle since you could fit 6 people and their stuff easily. Toyota also seems to follow this “one part for all” on their most popular stuff like the Camrys and 4 runners. My old commuter was a Lexus es350 that had the Camry drivetrain. I usually buy cars at the 100k mark so someone else can take the gut punch and any issues/design flaws are well known by then. At about 200k, I start thinking of getting rid of them.

    GM cars follow Fords development model of lets design a new part for only “this year of this car” that we can charge a fortune for when it leaves em stranded on Christmas Eve 500 miles from home. Caution engineers at work!!! I can say that because I am one…lol. Too many of us love to reinvent the wheel even though it well established that KISS is the best design principle.

  327. @Oilman2

    Thanks for your advice re: Castor plants.

    As it happens, my vegetable patch is on a narrow piece of land that slopes sharply upwards to the west and the long south boundary spends much of its time in shade. There are a few inches of top soil on a chalk substrate. The vegetables are on the other side in raised beds.

    If the beans can grow on the south side and I can extract even a small amount of useful oil from them, I’d regard it as a very successful experiment.

  328. (Possibly submitted twice; technical difficulties again. Sorry about that; I’m not sure _what’s_ going on with that.)

    @erika lopez #272:
    I too fairly recently had to switch out my otherwise perfectly fine 3G flip phone for a 4G phone, but fortunately my carrier, TracFone, still had a _few_ flip phones on offer. Fortunately, the LG L125DL I got has been working well for me so far. Its durability I don’t know about for sure; I’ve not had any problems, but I’m not a particularly hard user of it, either. Likewise with the battery — but battery replacement for this phone doesn’t even require so much as a common screwdriver, let alone the tools needed for smartphone work; it’s simple, quick, and doable entirely with one’s hands.

    It does still have more features than I know what to do with, but nothing like a “smart”phone.

    Good luck!

    @K #307 and JMG #309 re climbing transgender rates:
    I’ve heard conflicting information on whether autogynephilia actually does exist or not, or autoandrophylia for the female version, but this is unfortunately one of those areas where both sides seem sufficiently politicized to me at present that I have limited trust in either side and am left saying “I don’t know and I don’t know if anyone else actually does either”. It’s annoying.

    For my own thoughts on the climbing rates, in addition to what JMG listed for potential mistaken or fake gender dysphoria, I tend to give credence to a hypothesis I recall him stating elsewhere, that it has to do with what one might call the current “soul shortage” produced by the current size and recent growth rate of the human population: so many bodies needing personalities to fill them that individualities are rushed through the interincarnation state and in a fair number of cases don’t fully shed the genders of their previous incarnations. I would not be surprise if this interlocks with a material-plane cause of industrial pollution.

    I also think that some of it is part of our civilization’s unravelling, as both a cause and an effect. Conceptions of gender have taken _many_ forms over the scope of humanity in space and time, just in known history. Even within our own civilization, there have been significant changes over time; to list a simple and low-impact but still drastic one, pink was a _masculine_ color in Western culture not that long ago. As people increasingly notice that the standard ways of life our civilization provides are failing, why should alternative conceptions of gender not be one of the alternatives explored?

    It’s also possible that this is another way this the need to reduce the population is being expressed that’s much more favorable than massive die-offs. While there _are_ things like some transwomen having sperm frozen before HRT or surgery render them infertile, on the whole trans people are, as far as I’m aware, much less likely to reproduce than cis people for a variety of reasons. I doubt that’s the whole or perhaps even a major cause, but the universe, in my understanding of it, does seem to love interlocking parts into the grand whole.
    (As a digression, I _think_ I recall reading that C.S. Lewis in _The Screwtape Letters_ (which is one of the many books I’ve not actually gotten around to reading firsthand, admittedly; there are so _many_) at one point had one demon advise another to _keep humans away_ from studying science too much, because of the risk that noticing too much of the wonder of the universe of science might lead them towards _other_ aspects of the wonder of the universe. And I remember looking up at the starts one summer night, and contemplating how, even if the materialist physics I was taught in college, the strength of electromagnetic and gravitational fields only dropped to _zero_ at infinity. Every single one of those stars I could see, and every planet and asteroid and invisible mote of dust was, even if only infinitesimally, connected to everything else up there, and down here. One vast, immensely complicated whole, almost entirely unknown to humanity, when science itself, if not Scientism, said that the negative could not be proven, merely the positive disproven. And there was a _lot_ of room in that black, among those stars, for undisproven positives. And all of that about the universe, without even stepping outside the materialist worldview, before even beginning to talk about whole realms ignored by that worldview? Christianity is not my faith, but I do indeed believe I have some understanding of what Lewis was talking about.)

    Then there’s the political and economic angle, forming captive constituencies and medical markets, people to march in the streets to support your packaged goals, which include some crumbs for them, and stand before you as human shields. I’ve about as much trust in, for instance, the American Democratic Party to actually pursue what we might call transgender harmony as I do in them to pursue racial harmony: why on Earth would they those groups diffuse into the general population, where they might start having more opinions dangerous to the status quo in general and Democratic power in particular? Moral reasons, and concern for the common good? From our current lot? Hah!

    I am writing this, by the way, as someone who very recently, though after years of thinking, researching, and conducting experiments on the matter, decided they probably were indeed trans (and I note with some interest that since then, the transgender situation come up _twice_ in Ecosophia comments that I’ve noticed and replied to), currently thinking the side of nonbinary farther from my sex as most likely, though that’s possibly too conservative. I have limited insight into what might be called the trans community, because while I may not be as far towards the fringes in that group as in some others, I’m not exactly in the core, either. Among other things, I am indeed also quite concerned about what the current behavior of many people identifying as trans (and I do tend to trust them when they say they are, even if I quietly worry; there are surely mistakes and fakes out there, because humans are human, but I am not confident in my ability to pick them out, most of the time (I’m not even positive _I’m_ not mistaken about _myself_, or whether alternatively I’ve been far too cautious and would have been better off starting transition years rather than weeks ago — and if I’m that uncertain about myself, who am I to declare what someone else, whose internal experience I have far less access to, is or isn’t?)) will mean in terms of future backlash. To an unfortunate extent, the actual truth of what’s going on, of how much of a problem there actually is or isn’t, behind all the political posturing and give-us-money bluster and look-at-this-instead-of-those-other-problems deflections, doesn’t matter there, because if no one on either side can actually _find_ that truth, well. Another way hard times are ahead, I think.

    @Princess Cutekitten #346:
    “Does anyone else get the impression that our moral and intellectual betters WANT World War III to start? I can’t figure out what they think they’d have to gain from it.”
    Well, there is one unfortunate possibility I thought of a bit ago, though more in the abstract than somewhat worryingly applied to this:
    1: A great many people are gripped by the Progress/Apocalypse false dichotomy, believing that one of those _has_ to be the shape of the future.
    2: There is no way to get Progress; the universe simply won’t cooperate.
    3: We have, however, had the ability to get Apocalypse for _decades_. Fusion power may be perpetually twenty years away, but _plenty_ of fusion _bombs_ are already ready and waiting.
    4: Therefore…

    On the bright side, of course, as I understand it, the mythology says it’s the Bad People who bring the Apocalypse. And _obviously_ those moral and intellectual betters are the Good People — so they can’t just say that since they’re not getting Progress and their own natural deaths are drawing near, they’re taking most of the rest of us with them. They can’t just push the button and raise the champaign as the blast wave closes in, because the Good People doing that _deliberately_ would break the narrative just as the long descent would; even if a few of them tried, they’d just mark themselves as Formerly-Secret Bad People to too many others, and probably too easy to stop.

    But if that _dangerous madman Putin_ is threatening to start throwing nukes around, well, nevermind how we may or may not have threatened him and his country first, obviously we can’t just let that _stand_…

    Just a hypothesis, and I’m still thinking it’s more likely that there will _not_ be a global thermonuclear war. The reasoning seems to make sense to me, though.

    @JMG:
    By the way, I thought you might find interesting some information on the potential situation inside Russia, sent via a perhaps somewhat unusual route:
    https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/980791/good-morning-vietnam
    https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/981509/against-stupidity
    One person’s self-admittedly limited point of view, of course, but it occurred to me potentially useful to add to the compilation here.

  329. @Oilman2

    Thank you very much for the panorama!

    So all in all the globe isn’t technically out of oil as such, for now, but Western politics take surprisingly suicidal turns.

    I think this was probably Trumps originate mission: drill domestically where possible, but also retreat globally where possible, though not as much as to lose Saudi supplier’s support, keep Russia at bay but don’t prod the bear to anger, rebuild basic production in the US where possible.

    As far as I know, the US still has considerable coal deposits, not the best quality but probably still net energy profitable, in West Virginia or elsewhere.

    Do you have any theory why exactly Biden’s political circle both undermines domestic production as well as pushes for global conflict and further imperial expansion, seemingly the most self defeating strategy possible?

    As I said, I start to feel this liberal political strategem is not a perfectly informed master plan, at this point it really seems to be what our host hypothesizes: not a conspiracy of a selected few acting in their own interest, but a mass dynamic of the West’s 20% upper middle class, a bureaucratic class that has lost reality in an unbelievable way, with absurdity ensuing that by now isn’t even a propaganda job, they really mean it and believe it.

    Would you assume the pentagram intends to first damage German industry to its core, before acquiring the remnants? Can factories and whole industrial infrastructures be shipped and transferred, to the US, at this point?

    Maybe also speculating on one last brain drain this time, hoping the German engineers and production managers and all those doing actual work and having actual skills being willing to emigrate to the US?

    At least judging from those ordinary PMC members I meet and their’s opinions, I can attest they are blind, blind blind and really, entirely incapable of considering an end to their known life styles, a genuine crisis like thy only knew from TV.

    Is it possible that these types truly and actually shape the West’s politics of our time, they mean it and they keep pushing their Ideas until reality will sweep over them like a pyroclastic stream from a volcano?

  330. @JMG I’d be interested to know what long-term consequence you expect from the dabbling in black magic within the PMC?

    At least the satanic conspiracy theory site vigilant citizen has been dead on target with its accusations of child abuse of characters like Epstein and prince Andrew, calling them out long before they were convicted.

    In those few instants where I am a guest in some one’s house and there’s a giant TV streaming the latest pop music productions, I have to say that really, it is not only hypnotic but the symbolisms are really disturbing, disgusting and sinister.

    Do you expect long term spiritual fallout in the West, or cornered souls having to pay the price for their qliphotic endeavour in the next life, or also real life events involving mayhem and murder with a sort and quality of cruelity manifesting which cannot be explained anymore by mere resource and demographics driven political conflict?

    For anyone with a good stomach: the music video to “Bad habits” by Ed Sheeran.

    I have rewatched the whole 1990s pop culture recently as well as some into the 2000s. Yes there was Gangsta Rap already with a lot of dirt, but on average 1990s pop culture, esp in Europe, used to be trashy, absurd but often more on the comic side of things and even the “tough guy” artists of the time just seem quaint in retrospective.

    The early 2000s were already a dark and heartless time and ugly enough, but what has lifted of since 2010 increasingly has truly ventured into a much more deeply dark, sinister, abusive and outright appaling direction.

  331. Princess Cutekitten,
    I submit that our betters no longer function as a class and have not since roughly the 1960s. What was once a ruling class shattered into shards then. Each shard operates solely for the good of that shard (or for the good of even smaller sub-units) and there is nothing among our betters that looks out for the benefit of our betters as a whole.
    The folks baying for WW3 are doing so because Ukraine is even better for the media than anti-Trump was. (It is both noticeable and odd that the loudest calls for WW3 are coming from mainstream media and wannabes, not from the military or even the death merchants.)
    Our betters as a whole have also lost the ability to constantly weave both a narrative and a reality that are good enough for the non-betters to be happy to color within the lines (the lines set by our betters for their own advantage). (For those familiar with the term, hegemony in the Gramscian sense.)
    Much else that seems stupid about our betters (Hillary’s losing campaign in 2016 and the unwillingness to change course, deindustrializing to the point that the US created a huge economic rival and made itself dependent on that rival and in the process destroying much of the skill base that would be required to re-industrialize, the entire invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Biden’s apparent attempt to lose the mid-term elections by the largest margin possible, the Iraq invasion in 2003 and managing to make life worse for so many Iraqis even compared to the very low bar of the heavily sanctioned pre-war Iraq, the Versailles treaty style treatment of post-Soviet Russia from the 1990s onward, our predatory health care system and other rentier activity that makes the US an impossible place to locate many industries) is actually one or a few shards doing something that benefits them even at the expense of the betters as a whole (not to mention the rest of us or humanity as a whole).

  332. @JMG

    Thank you also for your assessment of the situation in Europe!

    Just this morning things were a little foreboding as well, as I arrived on the train stations and all the screens supposed to show which train goes when just showed the usual screen, but without any entries.
    An old man comes and asks: “Where is the train to St. Pölten”? I point it out to him because it is the train I am taking and I took it yesterday, also I confirmed it is the right train by looking at what its front sign says.
    “That’s not what’s written here actually! [above the rail track number] What are they doing, are they crazy..?”
    Another younger man also asks me and thanks me cordially for the information.

    Yesterday I have had time to contemplate what a hard time coming means, including my own possible death within the next years. I notice how my body is showing signs of fear and distress. As Marcus Aurelius wrote, the body is its own intelligence and acts in its own naturally given way. My mind however has no problem dealing with my own mortality, I find.

    What’s much more of a problem is the people around me. My mother is starting to panic:” where is the solution if we have no gas in the Winter to heat?” I point out that there is no solution, other than to buy warm clothes and blankets and hope for the best. A tantrum is the result.

    I remember how I used to shock people with my assessment of our future and the limits to growth, many years ago already. Since then I usually don’t speak as much about it because after all, it’s both a burden to me having to deal with their religious progress-rage, as well as seeing their fear.

    What good do I do putting people into fears they cannot handle, when the fearful events haven’t yet arrived?

    But they are to arrive now. If one thing is a real joke, I have always been afraid that when my life stabilizes, everything around me will start to destabilize. This foreboding feeling of mine I had for more than a decade turned out to be entirely true. Nothing happening now is a surprise to me. In fact I have lived with this foresight a long time already, with the pain of being unable to share my thoughts as well.

    How shall I act now? Even fretting for the fate of the people close to one’s self is useless, as the stoics tell us. That’s harder for me than dealing with my own fate, however.

    What should I tell the people? I can only give them either an increasingly obvious and long expected truth they just cannot handle, or just say nothing.

    Also I find I am becoming in a sense reclusive, though at heart I also always was. I am not alone or lonely and I am very busy and rightfully tired in the evening, and I go to sleep early because I despise destroying my next day. I prefer going out to nature recreating myself over social gatherings where everyone drinks long into the night. I just don’t enjoy it. I enjoy talking to people and I do it often, but I just cannot go with the flow of amusement and entertainment anymore.

    Am I wrong to feel that way?

    Whenever I get the chance, I go out to the quietest of places bustling with natural ecosystems, it feels like my personal communion. I just sit there with my friends, the trees, I don’t feel alone, I contemplate how this earth that gave me my bode will reclaim it, how this isn’t unnatural or in any way bad, and I feel liberated.

    Is it just the alienation I am feeling, when everyone keeps partying on deck of the Titanic while I am appaled?

    Given I feel there’s still things I could give to others, a purpose to my life and dying right away feels premature. On the other hand this forum has done enough to inspire those in need, the world doesn’t as such need my contributon probably.

    regards,
    Curt

  333. Hi John and friends,

    Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about Russia, Ukraine, the future and how this could all fit in with Sobornost. Firstly, I do not want to jump into the claim about Ukraine’s amazing victories but evidence on the ground is looking like they have done a lot of damage to the Russian forces and Russia is abandoning any attempts to take Kiev, preferring to secure Donbass and the east.

    Aside from rumours of plots, coups and other mischief, there really is nothing else left to be said expect for one thing: both Ukraine and Russia are pretty much demographically screwed at this point, for obvious reasons. How this plays out in the coming decades remains to be seen.

    But I do know two things: the first is that this is meant to delay Sobornost. I feel that it was going too quickly for what it needs to achieve in the long run (remember it is slated to start in 2150 – not 2022) and another fact we have to remember in all of this is that Europe is still breathing, for now. It is schelduled also for full blown Islamisation at the same time Sobornost is established (also 2150).

    The second is the youth of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. They have no intentions of building Sobornost. For them, as I have repeated before, it is about having a good life, being individuals, working for themselves, travelling the world visa free and yeah, you get the picture. This generation will not, at all, contribute to any building of a new system because they want to profit from the current global order.

    Which brings me to an important topic: America. If Russia’s youth is obsessed about money, it seems Americans are the ones that actually want a new system. 95% of talk I hear about building a new economic order, separating from the UN, achieving true freedom…is coming from the American people.

    I remember being a younger man and all of the interesting political discussions I was having and groups I was apart of all came from Americans. Never Western Europeans, especially the British (who are souls that in my opinion have just come out of cowhood, to quote John. Absolutely nothing revolutionary in British people at all).

    So this gets me thinking and I came to the stark realisation that if there is going to be major changes to the future global order, it is going to come from America and not Russia, at least this century anyway. Trump was just the beginning of this phenomenon and it will continue to grow as time goes on.

    Which leads me to an important question between the two – it seems from a spiritual perspective, America wants a destiny and Russia does not. America wants to change the world and Russia does not. Russia in essence therefore reminds me of Moses who did not desire a destiny but it was forced upon him anyway.

    Which I think is the future of Russia – history will not leave them alone and they will be forced to basically build something whether they like it or not. They will have no choice in the end.

    Now as for the future itself, globalism scares me. All I see coming from it is in the long run, misery. No joy. People will falsely believe they are “individuals” but will remain locked with no hope. Take the latest technology for example – it makes people poorer in the long run and the elite wealthier.

    The electric car is a prime example of this. Sure, they could sell them but with the electric grid being insecure due to renewables and power cuts – who will be able to afford one? The elites of course! Everyone else will be forced to use the bus, pretty much killing of what remains of the middle class that exploded due to cheap fossil fuels.

    A managed decline of faceless people is the future that beholds us unless people get back to independent countries and community based systems. That way a new freedom, a new prosperity can be built. The only way forward.

    Once again, only Americans talk about this. Europeans are quite happily to follow the Great Reset (perhaps not the French…)

    So just my thoughts. Next time I will discuss more spiritual matters.

    P.S – It is amazing at how the media can shore up people’s opinions. Muslim refugees were praised and people were told they were fine people where as Russians are considered evil and backward. I hear stories of a lot of discrimination to Russians in Western Europe, particularly Germany. Bars wont serve Russians, discrimination in the work place with pay cuta, verbal abuse, etc. Even if you are a Russian Jew, you are not exempt! The great irony of the “tolerant” West. I know a lot of people refuse to move to Europe because they hear how bad it is.

    The mainstream media really is evil. It truly is.

  334. @Kevin #311

    If you can tilt your paper models in an educational direction (dinosaurs are always popular) then I know most of the school newsletters I’ve seen (most delivered online now) have space for advertisers. Parents of young primary school children are always looking for good craft projects to do with children in the school holidays to help them practice cutting and colouring skills. I’ve also seen little craft kits for sale in local craft shops aimed at primary kids – a few marker pens, some tubes of glitter and some sort of model to put together. Maybe a little display with some models already put together?

  335. I’d like to get in touch with whoever is curating the future mailing list for the day we go paper here. I’ll be moving probably two or three times in the next five years, so I’d love to keep my mailing address updated. Thanks for that, and for making this a place of so much value!

  336. I think someone upthread mentioned the Mennonite cookbook More-with-Less by Doris Janzen Longacre. I’d like to second that recommendation with enthusiasm. It’s the cookbook I’m sending my children into the world with and I’m on my third copy myself, having utterly worn out my first two. It has a whole section of lentil recipes in the beans chapter. Here’s my favorite:

    For basic lentils, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes:
    1 cup lentils, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1 bay leaf and 1teaspoon salt.

    For Sweet-Sour Lentils, reduce water by 1/2 c. in preparing Basic Cooked Lentils. When lentils are cooked, add 1/4 cup apple or pineapple juice, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 clove garlic (crushed) 1/8 teaspoon cloves and sauteed onions if desired. Heat to bubble and serve over rice.

    There are also variations given on the basic recipe for curried lentils and and easy lentil stew. Yum!

  337. @jmg (and others) — late to this open post — was on spring break. We even hiked here (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recarea/?recid=39726). Highly recommended!

    So, on the ground in Tennessee and Kentucky:
    1) Traffic — was not bad — so I think road traffic is down (gas prices don’t help) compared to earlier trips.
    2) National Parks — less travelled — Mammoth Cave parking lot never filled up (I have been there 2 other times and finding parking was always sketchy).
    3) Restaurants — running at about 1/2 capacity. It caused longer waits — but the food was good and people friendly.
    4) Help wanted signs — EVERYWHERE!
    5) Masks — almost nowhere. On NPS tours we had to wear a mask on a bus (a rule I guess). But touring the cave I saw 2-3 out of 70 people in a mask.
    6) The “war” — nothing changed in the last week :). I saw very little of the Ukraine — some mornings in the hotel there was “war” coverage — but in the real world — the world just went on. No flags or signs.

    anyway — those are data points

    thx

    Jerry

  338. By the way, jumping in on the Truck’s conversation. I’m planning to become an independent contractor soon, does anyone have any thoughts on the Toyota Tundra Gen 1? I really like Toyota’s cars, those things are built to last, but I’ve never owned on of their trucks.

  339. Got to looking into Stirling engines. Seems they are still about, even updated. The Evil South American Rived has a lot of operating kits, that could be used as basis for fiddling. Or you could go to the maker’s site if you don’t want to deal with them. Also, looking at all the still operational wind and water powered places with wooden machinery. We don’t need electricity for everything. Seems a number of people can only see wind, water and solar as making electricity only. Also looks like using Stirling types to run a generator work best at a small scale, such as a single building, or street. I seem to remember Edison recommending local small scale power generation way back in the 19th century. So much interesting stuff available. Such as small cargo sail boats, for rivers and lakes. While few of them exist, the plans do, and there are quite a few ship yards which could build them again. Where I live on the coast there are people talking about resurrecting such things that we used here not that long ago. Then there is the Colonial Williamsburg area here, where 17th and 18th century skills and ways of doing things are used daily as a “living museum” including many Native ways. Seems the PBS show “Jamestown” has really boosted that part. They use local tribal elders to fact check the Native scenes. My feeling is all this is likely just under the surface many places, and while the collapse will be difficult, it’s most difficult part will be deprogramming “Progress and Growth” Which will happen from local first.

  340. @ Jeff Russell – Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll be rereading your post several times and pondering my options.

    @ Tam Hobs – That’s good to hear. As it happens one of the model construction themes I have in mind involves building the regular Platonic solids, which is a math project; geodesics and the Archimedean solids also derive from them, so I think it’s something to be looking into.

  341. “A government that has the political will and legal power can do the following: 1. Announce a price control on gas prices at, say $3 a gallon, ”

    There are 42 gallons in a crude oil barrel. At $3 a gallon that comes to $126 a barrel. That doesn’t account for transportation or refining costs.

    If you lock the price at $3 a gallon and the cost of crude is over ($126 minus transportation or refining costs) then there will be no supply. Unless you subsidize the producers with tax revenue, which raises the actual cost of the gas, but in a hidden way. Now you’ve sent a false price signal through the economy and made a bigger mess. People will use more cheap gas than they would have used expensive gas, and there is no need to improve fuel efficiency because gas prices won’t go up. But they will spend lots of time in lines hoping to get gas, or they complain about the high taxes.

    And this is why price controls are such a bad idea.

  342. Here’s an article:
    https://www.klonovsky.de/2020/12/prognosen-ueber-chinas-zukunft/
    – in German, but Google Translate will do the job.

    A chinese man in switzerland, describing how utterly incapable the new generation of young Chinese is, how the current boom is a product of their forefathers the 1960s gen, who had to solve problems and learn skills despite no good education.

    You don’t need to like the owner of the blog this story is featured in, but I really find it highly interesting;

    A spoiled and totally inept generation. THIS will be quite the problem for China.

    BTW China cannot, for example, build a proper passanger airplane. It lacks the infrastructure plus the experts with the knowledge.

    How many of our most modern contraptions like planes and ofc micro chips are yet still a product of a complex network of specialized industries, many it seems residing in Europe and the US.

    This China cannot copy, neither Russia.

    Yes and complex as it’s being, it’s super fragile.

    Just imagine: break down in many key industries, how much will be lost? the long descent may be long, but some of the most gimmicky gimmicks we’re having may not last as long.

  343. Your Kittenship, don’t forget Horace’s brother Buell! As for prayer and magic, in both cases the thing to do is always to build up what you want, rather than trying to tear down what you don’t want, and pushing people one way or another is generally not a good idea. What do you want the world to be like? Pray for that.

    Pixelated, thanks for this. 😉

    Reese, thanks for these, and also for your thoughtful and nuanced comments about the transgender issue. I only got one copy of your text, for what it’s worth.

    Curt, getting into malefic magic is a reliable route to disaster. There’s a standard trajectory, though it’s not invariable. It typically starts with little things, not even half serious: an affirmation or a minor spell that strays just a little over the line into selfishness or cruelty. Then there’s another, and another. Then problems start popping up — malefic magic brings instant karma — and the person who’s doing it has the chance to realize what’s happening and back away. Sometimes that’s what happens. In other cases, the person responds by getting angry and doubling down. Their magic becomes increasingly egocentric, their emotional state brittle, their response to criticism shrill and vicious. Sooner or later they start dealing with demons. That’s another point where some people realize what they’ve done and back away. Those who don’t become increasingly angry and malicious, lashing out at everyone they identify as the source of their problems, a list that eventually includes the entire human race. They start making bargains with the demons — do this for me and I’ll do that for you — and once they get into that mindset, of course, the demons own them, and will collect on their property in the not too distant future. Total disaster follows in its course. If you want to see this in historical time, track the history of the Nazi leadership from the founding of the German Workers Party in 1919 to the self-inflicted cataclysm that destroyed the Third Reich in 1945; it’s a fine case study. Yes, I expect to see things end just as messily for at least some of our current self-proclaimed lords and masters.

    As for the twilight of Europe, I know the feeling. Yeah, it’s difficult knowing that the people who most need to hear what you have to say are the least likely to listen. You’re not wrong to feel the way you do, or to recognize the sense of liberation that comes from accepting that reality is what it is — but it can get lonely, of course.

  344. Greetings, great Archdruid.
    I’d like to offer my take on what is going on, and of course I’m very involved emotionally.
    You were right when you said that European countries don’t have armies, that was spot on. Only it changes drastically now. The most amazing thing that had happened is that Europe has united and despite it horrible bureaucracy had speeded up the process of providing help to Ukraine and continues to do so. That’s nothing short of the miracle. One of the countries that help us most is England, and I find it fascinating. Even more amazing that Turkey, Japan, Australia are also helping us. It also seems to make Biden more alive, he looks and behaves like a different man.
    The war is going very badly for Russia and they are now saying that their objective was Donbas region. But what is most important for Russia is the war behind the scenes. There’s a great word in Russian закулисье which litereally means behind the scenes and there’s no word in English that I could use. The closest would be cabal, shadow government or deep state. The thing is that sanctions are crippling Russian economy and their main goal is to get rid of them. There are already massive lay-offs, people are buying sugar and grains like crazy. A lot of factories can’t function because they don’t have either needed technologies or materials. And a lot of the most odious figures have disappeared from public view, including Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu who is a literal shaman (even English Wikipedia mentions this). He hasn’t been seen since March 14th. And Russians are very skilled in this shadow war. They pressured Hungary (it’s easy for them to blackmail its government) and we definitely have moles in our government because this story with Abramovich is very bad for us. That was our biggest mistake and hope it can be rectify. Because they desperately need to win this fight they are now targeting civilians. Mariupol is our biggest wound. According to one pastor who is getting people out there the real number of people killed is about 20 thousand. There are graves in front of the houses because people can’t bury their loved one in the cemetery. People are also being taking to Russian filtration camps, supposedly Sahalin. Other cities with similar situation are Chernihin and Kharkiv. All of that will be used in negotiations, and what they want most is getting rid of sanctions.
    When it comes to China there’s no alliance with Russia. Yes, they say all the right words and there’s inside propaganda but when it comes to real help Chinese and nowhere to be found. I’ve been saying for many years that China cares only about itself. If Russia was winning this war, then it could have been different. Right now, though, China is so terrified of sanctions that Russians can’t even open a bank account. And there was this half a billion project that was cancelled. It seems that there’s a third power that pressured Chinese out of helping Russia. Although, Russia sells arms to India and since India and China have their own disputes, Russian can’t be happy about it.
    There was also a thought that when someone tries to cancel Russia it will lead to the Russophilia or something. I see completely different picture and even I find some things a bit excessive. When it comes to culture, it looks like most artists, actors, musicians, writers, comedians are supporting Ukraine. Stephen King, Joan Rowling, Keanu Reeves, Sean Penn, Sting, Metallica, Queen and many others are siding with Ukraine. Russian embassies are doused with red paint or painted with graffiti. And the same is happening even in Russia. I’m not talking about “ordinary” folks who are also heroes. I’m talking about big names in Russian pop-culture – Makarevich, Zemfira, Oxxxymiron, Grebenshchikov and others. A lot of creative people, intelligentsia, politicians had left the country because they can’t stand what their government is doing.
    I also want to talk a little about magic. It’s interesting that there’s a literal graveyard on the Red Square (it’s not only Lenin and Stalin) and there’s a cult of necromancy. Shoigu is a shaman and rumor has it that he had brought Putin to shamanic rituals in Taiga multiple times. But there’s another shaman who had been committed to a psychiatric ward by a regime. His name is Alexander Gabyshev (you can look him on Wikipedia) and he’s the opposite of Shoigu. Again, shamans of Taigu are siding with Gabyshev.
    Here, in Ukraine, it feels like the very nature is fighting alongside our soldiers. Tanks can’t negotiate some fortifications that were build our by our ancestors almost two thousand years ago. Corvette that was hit from something like a rocket launcher which is impossible but happened. A bomb or a rocket that fell on their own forces. There’s this village called Chornobayivka. It was attacked 11 times and enemy forces were destroyed 11 times. Oleksiy Arestovych (president adviser) even thanked witches in his speech. Soldiers say that feel like some power is protecting them. And I myself feel a connection with the land I had never felt before. I’m finding about Chuhaister (Ukrainian tutelary deity of the forests), nyavka (something of a forest mermaid), aridnik (which means evil spirit and I was surprised to find that it was a popular name for companies in English speaking world) and so on.
    I also want to mention Hutsul magic. Molfars (Hutsul magicians) are very close to druids. They work with nature, and they are very good healers. There’s a great novel, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, that you can read if you’re interested in this subject. It feels like they are working their magic too.

  345. @varun

    Mid 90’s to early 2000s Toyotas have an incredible reputation for reliability. I don’t know about the Tundra in particular but what I usually do is look up the engine and transmission separately and see what people have to say about them. It also depends on how well it was maintained.

    I ended up basically DIY restoring a first gen Sienna just because I couldn’t afford anything else and while the project was worth it (I think) the issues you will face in a 20 year old vehicle are exhaustive particularly anything that has rubber or electronics. The rear engine mount was very difficult, and I had to go through 3 different after market steering racks before I finally got one that didn’t leak.

    My friends think I’m crazy but imagine what will happen when all these newer vehicles with their chips-in-everything philosophy start to fall apart and there’s no way to Jerry rig them.

  346. John–

    Data point from daily life. I drove up to Green Bay for the first time in years for an overdue eye exam and new glasses. The LensCrafters in the mall there has done a good job in the past and my wife & I switched back to them after trying more local alternatives for several years. In any event, while I was only in the mall briefly, I could feel the weight of the place-energy, which was very, very tired. I was also surprised to see a consignment store (a high-end consignment store, but a consignment store nonetheless) open in one of the storefronts. I also swung by the Barnes & Noble I used to go to all the time when I lived up that way and felt…nothing. It was strange and a bit unsettling.

    @ everyone who responded to my sexuality question above

    Thank you. It’s just something that’s been puzzling me for a while now. I appreciate the reading suggestions and data points. On the literary front, a well-written romance, with fleshed-out characters and complex motivations, is surprisingly difficult to find. I’d like to try to write one at some point. Hence my “research.”

  347. Ksim, thanks for this. If the occult teaching is correct, the future Russian great culture will begin emerging in the Volga river basin around 2100, so of course young people now in Ukraine and Russia aren’t attuned to it — quite the contrary, they’ll be deep into the last stages of the European/Faustian pseudomorphosis while Europe itself lurches toward collapse. It’s the ones who will be born after 2060 or so who will be sensitive to the first stirrings of the new culture. As for the United States, we’re even further off — the Tamanous civilization isn’t even supposed to start forming until after 2500. What’s coming from America now is partly Caesarism — the shift of loyalties on the part of the masses away from plutocratic oligarchy toward charismatic populist autocracy — and partly the accelerating rejection of the Faustian pseudomorphosis here, which will be followed by a second pseudomorphosis, source not yet determined. (If I had to guess, I’d place slight odds on India, but we’ll see.)

    Squirrellyjen, that’s being handled through New Maps magazine. If you’re on their subscription list, and keep your address updated, you’ll be in the loop if the internet goes down. Thanks for the recipe!

    Jerry, fascinating. Many thanks for the data points.

    Curt, that’s about what I’d expect. China’s following the curve of the US about a century later, so its young people right now are equivalent to the flapper generation of the 1920s, who were by and large just as useless. It took the Great Depression and the Second World War to knock some sense into them; doubtless history has a similar mess en route for China.

    Kyivan, thanks for the data points. I know precisely nothing about the Hutsul, much less their magicians; can you point me toward an English- or French-language resource?

    David BTL, I ended up having to go to our local mall in downtown Providence the other day — it’s one of the few places locally you can get shoes. The feeling was much the same: depressed, hollowed out, tired, waiting for the end. I wonder how widespread that is.

  348. Hi Curt,

    Your commentary on feeling very lonely in a dying Europe struck me hard.

    I have known about LTG for around 20 years, or in fact my entire adult life. I quickly learned to stop talking about it as nobody wanted to know.

    https://forecastingintelligence.org/

    My blog is my way of dealing with my thoughts, I put it out there and get it out of my system. Maybe you should consider the same.

    I live a “normal life” with friends and family and as a rule NEVER talk about the big picture issues, although I do occasionally throw out the odd comment or so.

    The last 5 years or so have been interesting, with the masses lurching from one hysterical response to crisis after crisis, Brexit, Trump, Covid, vaccines and now Ukraine.

    I am now totally detached, emotionally speaking, from it all. I observe, track and follow it all from a distance a bit like a historian watching the downfall of my own civilisation, but in real time and on my blog.

    It works for me but I am a highly analytical individual and I realise most people don’t think like me. Denial, complacency, fear and panic seem to be the way most people are handling things…

  349. Since this is open post…

    I just found out someone tried to burn down my church. There are scorch marks. It looks like the fire didn’t catch, and they haven’t tried again.

    I am awfully glad that when all this started last summer, I went round the church praying, and asking God to protect this church and its people. I can’t prove that helped, but…

    I am glad we still have a house of worship. And upset that this happened. Also upset that the people running the church didn’t tell the congregation. We pray over lots of things all the time; you’d think that we could at least admit what happened to each other and ask God for help and protection! I shouldn’t have had to find this out from an overheard comment two months later.

    My church seems determined to pretend even to itself that this is not happening, and I don’t understand why.

  350. Saltpeter,

    Won’t get you a tax deduction, and it’s logistically more difficult than cutting a check, but I’ve been increasingly inclined to help out competent and diligent people with good ideas directly. I’m in the regenerative ranching business, and there are lots of aspiring small organic farmers, market gardeners, orchardists, ranchers, etc. in my circle, as well as people wanting to build small natural homes for themselves. I like to help out with tools, start-up capital, temporary housing, meals, etc. when possible, in an informal way mostly. I get to know the ones with a clue, preferably some experience, who are decent, not too hobbled by a chip on the shoulder, and do what I can to help out. It also tends to net me help on projects! I also provide physical help working alongside them (my husband even more so, he’s handy at many things) and am mostly poor-ish (less so lately, hurrah!) so these folks appreciate and make good use of my resources. If I appeared excessively bougie and not in the same boat as them it might not go as well. I imagine there are folks in similar circumstances in all fields of endeavor, not just agriculture—if you could provide seed money, a work space, tools/equipment/supplies, advertising, training, anything like that for deserving people doing constructive work in your community, that could be really valuable. Times are hard out there right now with housing (and everything else) costs, it can be hard to find the breathing space to get things off the ground, but there’s certainly plenty that needs to be done!

  351. Denis #320
    One problem is that many people who might otherwise want to contribute to constructive change are near their expiration date. Or fairly near. Take me: I’m way past the “diet and exercise to make yourself healthy” age. There are whole days when I find it immensely difficult to remain fully conscious for the majority of my waking hours, and then find it difficult to sleep to restore my mental acuity.

    And I’m doing everything I can to keep healthy in terms of diet, meditation and exercise but it’s not likely to be enough. I have many years of deep study and even some noteworthy meditative things under my belt. I’ve met great sages. My friends accuse me of being a great scholar (to which I reply: I’ve met great scholars, and I know I’m not one). My big contribution to the small groups I participate in is my fourteen-line “proems” in which I’m meditating on simple themes according to my understanding. Oddly, they seem to be well received. Don’t think we’ll be starting a new nation or society on their basis, though. But perhaps the butterfly-wingbeat effect might follow.

    I believe you’re looking for a generous and even strenuous level of restorative action from a substantial number of Americans to bring about a future we might want to participate in. Maybe in my next incarnation, or in between incarnations, I’ll be able to contribute substantially in that way to making things better. I’d like to think so. But I know I have very little agency in the present moment. A lot of us older boomers are in the same state. My personal mental event horizon is timed down to years, months, days.

    One thing I do firmly believe. Big-picture systems-based and high-politics solutions are for big-picture systems-based societies with lots of energy resources. We aren’t that and are unlikely to be that again. Waste of time to even put mental energy into them. Please look deeply into fractal type local-level situations that can be grown into and replicated. What was once considered potentially criminal may become the way forward, with some more able tribes (gangs) replacing less skillful ones. My future incarnation will appreciate that. Just sayin’.

  352. @Jeff #202 Your welcome and Thank You. The Mentat Wiki and Handbook are saved for further reading.
    for the Bene Gesserit book I also found another view for online reading at
    https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/4133460/the-bene-gesserit-training-manual-daniel-fletcher
    To me, a 404 just means I have to practice some googlefu 😉
    in that search I came across another form of control that I think is relevant here https://breakingmuscle.com/strongman-profile-maxick-teaches-us-the-lost-art-of-muscle-control/

    about a big shift of the reserve currency away from the dollar, that might just be an Extinction Level Event for some regimes
    https://axisofeasy.com/oftwominds/autocracys-fatal-weakness/

    @Migrant Worker Kazakhstan mostly produces uranium for export, only produces about 32% of world supply with Canada and Australia combined supplying over 22%, and Australia has 31% of the known reserves. The West will still be using U238 Fission for a while yet, sigh.

    As for sites being optimized for mobile, it is needed for the modern search engines. If a site can’t be well viewed on phones and tablets, it gets a strong negative on the search results. So it is a very good thing that the OSA site starts out being well done for Mobile, but we get that for being done with a standard WordPress setup. Something I have to keep being aware of on my manual created web pages that I care to be found.

    @Kevin in #311 in addition to Jeff’s comments. Since you have a base in Etsy, grow from there. Make sure you have a website & domain that is yours to control, and still treat it all like a boot strap until the Internet really starts fading, with pointers that you do good old mailorder too. Such a site would also be a great spot to collect your thoughts about the use and even creation of your products that will give you some of a feed from searches. You will have many who still insist on the Internet way while it is still working, but you will see some conversion to the more traditional in person and mailorder and that will give you a sense of that shift as it happens. What is your Etsy shop name?

  353. I have just been watching a Joe Rogan interview of Sadhguru here. Sadhguru is on a tour talking about his efforts to support soil regeneration.
    As usual, the talk went on for 3 hours or so, and they spoke of many things. He explained that he began studying yoga for the wrong reasons: when he was 12 he wanted to learn the strength to match a man in his 70s. “Even if you do things for the wrong reasons, if you do the right things, right things will happen to you”. His reminded me of JMG’s exhortation in our monthly book study: do the meditation whether you think you’re doing it right or wrong: what is important is to do the work.

    By coincidence or synchronicity or the will of the Gods, we’ve been eating lentil and split pea soups over the past days.

    @ JMG: a good place to get shoes is at the Wheeler School annual sale. Wheeler is an expensive prep school, so the shoes there are high end, and they can be resoled. I got $250 Italian loafers for $10, if I remember correctly. The sale will be Friday and Saturday, April 8 & 9.

  354. Yota,

    Thanks for the advice, I kinda figured that the Tundra would be a project truck. I’m generally okay with that since I really like fixing things.

    David and Archdruid,

    I got to go to the malls to do occasional service work at my last job. Exact same energy at both the Malls in our city. The malls head of Maintenance (both malls are owned by the same company) let us in on the fact that the owners are going to declare bankruptcy soon and begin redeveloping the properties into mixed used housing and retail in a few years. The sooner the better, those places are basically wasted space in our city.

    Regards,

    Varun

  355. Regardless how the current schittshow ( might that be the name of Jack’s group?) in the Ukraine plays out, it sure is providing an interesting preview of resource shortages and the long descent. I would recommend everyone taking a look at Kurt Cobb’s latest post on resilience.org about the various countries banning agricultural exports.
    @JMG. You were so prescient in Twilights Last Gleaming. I thought when I read it that you were 10 or 15 years early, but Bingo. Of course we don’t know yet how it will all play out, but, with the trouncing I expect the Democrats to get in the US elections in Nov, there are apt to be some popcorn munching moments coming up there.
    @David BTL . You might enjoy any books by Manda Scott. She is a gay author, many of whose characters are gay, but the stories are not about them being gay. That is just who they are. She has done a wonderful four volume series about Boudicea, the British queen who almost defeated the Romans, and a great cop/spy story set present/ WWII French resistance called”A Treachery Of Spies” She is very popular with my lesbian friends as well.

  356. DBTL,

    Perhaps secondary to birth control pills; hormones, etc. Gators are growing smaller penises. Stuff happens, pills go in, pee comes out, into sewage, into ground water, into drinking water.

    Dennis L.

  357. I’ll admit that lentilgate bothered me for two reasons: 1) I spent two hours I will never get back trying to figure out why buying in bulk is ever a bad idea, rich or poor. 2) I hate lentils despite generally enjoying legumes. The number of lentils I want to eat in my remaining years is zero.

    Add one onion (chopped), 2 cups brown rice, 1 cup sorted dry black beans, 4 cups water or broth, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder or other spices to taste. Top with a 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes and if possible, cilantro. In that order, in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes (instant pot) or the corresponding setting (not instant pot). After the 22 minutes is up, open the vent. If the results are a little crunchy, 20 minutes with the vent closed and the power off will fix it, alternatively, if things are soupy, 20 minutes with the lid removed and the heat on low will fix it.

  358. I have tried to mostly avoid coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war. However, today I stumbled on an explanation on why so many maps of the conflict are similar and omit important information (such as the position of the Ukrainian forces). It seems many publications (such as Die Zeit, the Guardian, WaPo and El Pais) use the same map furnished by the so-called “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). ISW is led by Kimberly Kagan. She and Victorian Nuland of Maidan fame married brothers. ISW favored the Iraq surge and arming “moderate” Syrian rebels. ISW is financed by companies like Raytheon, and ISW and AEI have collaborated on plans for invading Iran. It is hard to think of a more impartial source of information on how the current war is going /sarcasm off.

  359. @ Curt RE: USA politix…

    You should use both Occam’s Razor and Hanlon’s Razor whenever you are trying to read events, IMO.

    If you use those, much of what is going on is a concatenation of PMC trying to wish their preferred reality into existence, the PMC trying to steal all they can, the PMC spouting words and phrases to be seen by their fellows (virtue signaling), plain old ignorance and some very serious stupidity.

    The current sanctions mess is typical of the PMC – sanctions haven’t worked, but have driven the Russians to seek the only other large ally, the Chinese. Rather than taking this into account and trying something different, our illustrious PMC does as it always has – it doubles down on things that have been proven ineffective and even harmful to self.

    I don’t think I am wrong in suggesting this is a humongous failure of their imagination…and we the plebes will bear the brunt of their stupidity.

    The Pentagram is not going to get any tech from Germany we do not have, and moving a business that consists of robotics and NC machining equipment is a waste of money when that is already in the USA. Some PMC types might opt for the remnants, but the Pentagram cannot manage their way out of a cul-de-sac, which is why both China and Russia are more worried about senile Biden and assorted crazy neocons within the Pentagram structure.

    Curt, remember that the US has 350m people. As you can see reading here, not everyone is brainwashed nor do they believe all of the constant propaganda put out by western media. When Russia sews up their Ukraine operation, I expect many more people to wake up from their defunct world view in the west. Once I thought the Afghan withdrawal would be enough – now? I think it will require several fat, black swans for my country to remove their beer goggles…

  360. @ Varun RE: Toyota trucks…

    I own a 2007 FJ Cruiser, which currently has 400,000+ miles on it with original engine and transmission.

    The Tundra has a V8, and gets even worse gas mileage…LOL But the Toyota drivetrains are all over-engineered for the most part. I would go with them over any USA brand.

    If you can get a Toyota diesel where you live, that is the best of all… IMHO!!

  361. @Varun #367

    The gen 1 Tundra is probably a very good truck but the issue that I see is that its a unique design (mid size) that was Toyota’s 1st attempt and doesn’t share many components with the full size version or the Tacoma. Unless you need a full size, a Tacoma paired with decent sized a utility trailer will do most of what you’d ask a truck to do. I’ve given up moving heavy stuff with just a pickup…lol. Tacoma spare parts and components go back to the 80s and 90s. Just something to be aware of if you’re buying a g1 Tundra. The g2 and later are good pickups, my stepson swears by them.

  362. Owen (#261: “Oh mid-90s compacts and subcompacts were hitting 40mpg highway. Not all, but it was very possible back then. And it was the 00s that started all the onerous mandates for safety safety safety safety.
    If this were an adult society, people would realize you have to give up something to get something else. If you want good fuel economy, some safety is going to have to go.”

    People do not realize how improving mileage on cars is dependent on plastic. Parts that used to be metal are now plastic. Even non-metal parts, like the hoses in your engine (which are actually synthetic plastic) are being replaced with light, plastic tubing*. Basically we are hurtling ourselves down high-speed interstates in big plastic bottles. No wonder the average car now has six or more airbags in them!

    *And by the way, think about the poor assembly line workers. Hoses keep their form pretty well, and can be laid into a fixture for assembly fairly easily for when you trigger the palm buttons to push it onto whatever plastic connector, elbow, etc. you are putting it on. Plastic tubes can get warped when boxed up, and they will not cooperate with lining up with the fixture’s sensors. The solution? Tubes have to be hand clamped into place. So instead of simply hitting the palm buttons to assemble the part, the assembler has to use a lot of hand and wrist movement repeatedly to clamp and unclamp tubes from the fixture. I know because I used to do that. Try it for eight hours a day. Since I wanted to preserve the use of my hands/wrists for old age, I transferred to a different work area as quickly as possible.

    Joy Marie

  363. On the subject of transgenderism: I recently viewed a video interview of a gay man who, for a while, was drawn to the idea he was a transwoman. He later realized that did not fit, and was able to transition back fairly easily since fortunately he did not have surgery.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8a1c4IxPf0

    I think Reese (#357) hit on an idea that I have also thought of: …”Then there’s the political and economic angle, forming captive constituencies and medical markets, people to march in the streets to support your packaged goals, which include some crumbs for them, and stand before you as human shields.” I had wondered if the medical establishment, led by Big Pharma and Big Tech, was less into aiding actual Trans people and more into growing their market shares by advertising to expand their clientele and profits.

    I don’t personally know any trans people, but if someone asked me for advice, I’d say be very, very, VERY sure this is what you really are. Especially be doubly, no, triply sure before any surgical procedures are performed.

    Joy Marie

  364. Another recipe for The Weird of Hali Cookbook, Vol. 2 This is not a lentil based recipe, but goes really well with lentil soup. We had it with split pea soup tonight. Farinata is an Italian peasant dish: “chickpea savory pancakes” is the shortest description.
    Farinata

    Heat oven to 450, put your cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up

    Ingredients

    1 cup chickpea flour
    1 Tsp salt
    1 Tsp pepper
    Olive oil
    1 ½ cups water
    ½ half large onion
    2 Tsp rosemary

    Mix the dry ingredients together, then slowly add add the water whisking to eliminate lumps, then stir in 2 Tbs olive oil. Let sit while oven heats, or up to 12 hours

    Chop ½ half large onion into thin pieces.
    Grind or chop 2 Tsp rosemary

    Once oven is hot, add ~2 TBS olive to the pan, swirl and add the onion. Stir the onion, and cook in the oven 6-8 minutes, until browned.
    Remove pan from oven, add the rosemary, stir into the onions, and add to the chickpea mix. Stir well. Add another ~2 Tbs oil to the pan. Swirl, and add half the chickpea mixture. I always add the chickpea when its on the oven rack, or I end up spilling it all over the oven door on the trip from the counter to the oven rack.
    Bake for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Brush olive oil on top, then broil for ~5 minutes until nicely browned.
    Repeat with the other half.

  365. @Apprentice
    My take on nuclear reactors is slightly different. I think they can be cost effective, but it is a bit like the old saying, ‘Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick two’.

    In the case of nuclear reactors, it is ‘Safe, Cheap, Can’t build nuclear weapons with the fuel or spent fuel. Pick two’.
    Sure you can build a Safe and Cheap nuclear reactor but you’d be getting bomb grade plutonium out of the reactor when you go to pull the spent fuel rods.
    …or you can build a Safe reactor that you’d never be able to get bomb grade material out of, but the cost, the cost is going to be astronomical to run and built.
    The last option, well nobody wants a dangerous, but cheap nuclear reactor even if it can’t be used to produce nuclear weapons.

    There is also the problem of reprocessing the spent fuel, which has to be done if you want more then a hundred years worth of fuel. No way to do that without producing radioactive tritium which has to be discharged into the water ways. Makes for nice but slightly radioactive beaches in France (and anywhere with an ocean).

    Fundamentally, for Safe and Cheap nuclear to be a wide scale option the world would have to A OKAY with nearly every country having access to the raw materials for nuclear weapons. If a nuclear power alternative that had all three existed and was technically possible (or easy/straightforward) then we’d all likely have 80-100% of our electricity coming from nuclear like France (France’s nuclear program specifically was used to produce nuclear weapons grade material).

  366. Pygmycory, good gods. I’m very sorry to hear this — and glad that the church is intact.

    Andy (if I may), if you want more material on Maxick — and his muscle control material is absolutely first-rate — you might try this:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20071016143307fw_/http://maxalding.co.uk/Strength%20and%20Development%20Course/strength%20and%20dev%20index.htm

    And this:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20080418150616fw_/http://www.maxalding.co.uk/exercises/exercises.htm

    (These are scans of the original Maxalding correspondence courses, as sent to thousands of students back in the day…)

    Peter, thanks for both of these! I may just make time to go to the sale this year.

    Stephen, I keep telling people that I meant that as a novel, not an instruction manual! 😉

    Justin, hey, not everyone has to like any one thing. I loathe peanut butter, for example, while for most people it’s a great cheap protein source.

    Aldarion, the French Ministry of the Army has been publishing its own maps — here’s the latest:

    https://www.defense.gouv.fr/ukraine-point-situation

    You’ll notice that it’s a rather more troubling picture.

    Joy Marie, thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this. If you ever have the chance to read Systems Philosophy by Ervin Laszlo, he makes the case that all systems display evolutionary and learning behavior…

    Peter, yum! Thanks for this.

  367. Me too. I’ve now emailed the pastors asking them why we weren’t told about what happened, and why we didn’t pray together as a church over the issue. If nothing else, we really need to formally thank God that we still have a building.

    A few hours after learning what happened, I went out and walked round the church and prayed at all four corners and at the damaged place, and touched them, and thanked God for the church still being standing, and asked Him to keep protecting it. I also said that I hoped that the person who did this repented their actions and would think twice before doing anything like this again, and asked for help in coming to terms with this and not letting it enrage and embitter me or move me to do things He wouldn’t approve of.

  368. JMG,

    I’ve just read through the Twilight of Pluto a couple of times – and I have to say that you didn’t disappoint. I’ve been waiting for this book to come out since I first heard you mention it, I think, in a comment on the Well of Galabes in ‘15 or ‘16 or thereabouts. I initially wanted to ask like Peter and others about Atlantean star lore, and found the ensuing discussion very entertaining- and when I went back to read it again I appreciated the nuance of a couple of your “that we know of” qualifiers that had escaped me the first time around. Now I’ll just have to impatiently wait for you to have time to research your Atlantis revision… will it help if I make offerings to Neptune? She does sit on my ascendant.

    I imagine it will be some years before I make it to a proper study of astrology (and the tree of life) but until I do, I will really appreciate your framing of this perspective and history (and having time to let it sink in). Pluto, though is conjunct my mid heaven, so old Hades probably plays a bigger role in my transits and I might have to pay him a little more heed than I have been… I did do a rendition of his abduction of Persephone for my fifth grade gardening students in the fall that they enjoyed pretty well that didn’t portray him as evilly evil – so maybe I’ve garnered a little favor too. Come to think of it that might explain part of why I was obsessed with writing an Indie rock opera about Persephone in my 20’s.

    I’ve also got a new angle for meditating on Pwyll and Bran’s otherworldly journeys…

    Many thanks.
    Oliver

  369. Jez,

    Thanks! Took a look at your Daihatsu – not quite what I’m looking for, but it looks like a little workhorse. Sounds like you are doing some good things on your homestead. Cheers.

    Oilman,

    Thanks for this also! That does seem to be almost exactly what I’m looking for. Now to find one…

    Maybe Chevy could take the powerplant from their diesel Cruze and build a compact pickup around it? Leaving out the computer controls? My youngest brother’s got one and it gets killer mileage. Not sure about torque though.

  370. @ Mohsin Javed “At this point the only real solution is for raising a ruckus on a global level, through coordinated campaigns and social media, so that worldwide politicians and policy makers take notice and make policies to raise soil organic matter to a minimum 3-6%”

    I really don’t get how this works, or how this is even a “solution”. You want people to devote much energy to “raising a ruckus” how? “on social media”… how big? “on a global level”… to do what? “make politicians and policy makers take notice” and then what? “make policies”?

    Where is the working with, loving, feeding and maintaining the soil that will actually heal the soil?

  371. It is kind of late in the week, but I wanted to add the topic of massive insect declines, which have been occurring worldwide. Diane Kordas on the island of Samos, Greece, has just published a paper documenting the loss of insects on that island coinciding with the introduction of 5G there. She, like I in rural Japan, noticed prior to that a major loss of insects with the introduction of 4G, and I noticed a further major loss with smart electric meters, and a further loss with the upgrade of 4G to 4G LTE. Today I performed my monthly monitoring of the Mito Station area north of Tokyo, where 5G service began in November last year. A nice warm spring day with flowers. I saw no insects whatsoever in the hour I was there. I saw two crows flying high near the station. That was it for bird life.

    Kordas says, “Since July 2021, when the 5G network on Samos went live, insects on our land have declined between 80-90% depending on species. All orders of insects are affected. The cause of these insect declines can only be RF radiation from the cell towers. No pesticides are used in this area and nothing else can account for the sudden, severe drop in the number of insects in this place since July 2021. Small mammals, especially rodents, are also declining rapidly.
    “5G frequencies appear to be the main cause of the most recent insect declines, which are
    happening all over the island. The consequences of these declines will be far-reaching: this
    will affect wild plant diversity, agriculture and beekeeping. Worse, they may lead to crop
    failures and mass bee colony collapse respectively. Insect-eating birds will decline
    dramatically and may go extinct.
    “Frequency (i.e., wavelength) appears to be a more important factor than signal strength
    (power) in insect declines. Greece is using the 0.7 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 22.5 GHz bandwidths; the last of which is often classed as millimeter waves. Wherever 5G signals are present, insects have declined, whether these areas are near to or far from cell towers. Samos is rapidly losing most of its insects including its pollinators.”

    To me, this is a problem that dwarfs just about every other problem we are facing now, though they be massive and put a fair percentage of humanity in mortal danger. I do hope that if people do realize that a vital part of nature is going missing that enough will have heard about the possible connection to humanity’s rampant abuse of the electromagnetic spectrum that something can be done to turn off the emissions in enough places to save what remains from extinction. In particular, the global satellite 5G transmissions will need to stop. As Kordas notes, it is not the signal strength, but the mere presence of it that is causing problems on Samos.

    Here is a link to her paper: https://safetechinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/5G-causes-massive-insect-declines-on-Samos.pdf

  372. Hello JMG and Comentariat (spoke this correctly?)
    This is Wer again. What could i say Polish news media had became a… let’s put it lightly cartoon, first someone wanted to send a column of “humanitarian” aid (then the idiots in the news showed a picture of said aid in the news- you could see assault rifles in bags) to Ukraine.
    Even anti Russian groups stared blankly for this proposal.
    In the latest news a Polish general and the member of the “Sobieski Institute” a polish form of “The Heartland Institute” openly said that “6 ukrainian brigades have more tanks, rockets and anti matteriel rifles than the entire polish army- let that sink in.
    I didn’t belive that but Nato ordered a purge of Soviet era equipment in Poland (we had 2 thousand tanks) and replaced that with 200-300 leopards from germany (Abrams tanks were promised in 2005 never delivered)
    The Polish army under Nato control has 6 times less heavy equipment that under Soviet control!
    This is embarasing. We literally don’t have any heavy weapons almost no navy and air force and the scream about going to war with Russia, (Operation Z in Ukraine is a fraction of Russian Federation military force)
    But the best part after saying that the general in question was attacked for being pro Russian, (A right wing man and a decorated Polish soldier was called a Russian agent by news media people) Many people are sick not from Covid or Russia but the news media, with the endless screaming showing heaps of bodies (from Covid and Russia trust us we are from the goverment) endless screaming and showing war, death, destruction 24/7.
    the way things are going inflation will explode we don’t own cars so for now we don’t worry about gasoline, but suprisingly firewood is in short supply despite forests being everywhere, a rich farmer living nearby is selling hay to Saudi Arabia and is panicing and wonders where would he get Yuans.
    Confusion reigns supreme (It’s not fog of war it is a a dammed jelly) My grandmother the one that is still alive says that the same mess was when the Soviet Union collapsed, we are safe for now my family is rethinking a lot of things,
    I am thinking will the response of the “Faustian” civilisation consist of a mass suicide or something concerning this crisis.
    If ethernal economic prosperity, bases on the Moon, woke etc, will no longer be possible will those people literally go insane (or did they already, demanding a nuclear war with Russia) that is my greatest concer that progress worshipers will literally “drink the Kool-aid”
    Cheers Wer

  373. Having known a number of trans people both transmen and transwomen, over the years, Ive been struck by how the ones that transitioned 20, 30 or more years ago mention all the steps, therapy, tests, they had to go through to even begin hormone therapy has been replaced by “self proclaiming” It wasn’t done alone, cause a lot of other things can cause a feeling of being an alien in one’s body. The comments from the video Joy Marie posted the link to, show that. I may have missed it, I didn’t see any mention of going to a therapist, or having an MD recommend one before any treatment. From what I read it’s these “self proclaimed” people that are causing the problems. My trans friends say “they don’t look like, act like, or talk like what they claim to be, and make no effort at all”

  374. @forecastingintelligence

    Thank you for your reply!

    A blog is a sensible action I think also.

    I’ve figured a simple graphical model of our modern economy and it’s implications is interesting, made up of vector graphics that are to be had for free on the nets.

    I am not surprised how people react to many topics. It’s often fear to be rejected from the society around us –
    with an unpopular opinion for example. And naturally we cannot survive alone so…our subconscious guides us to disconsider tabooed ideas easily.

    @Oilman2

    I also really wonder about the social fallout here in the West in the upcoming crisis.

    World’s system of trade and industry remains opaque to me of course, there’s many wild cards what could happen due to this Ukr war.

    A friend suggested in this economic war against russia the West hopes to hold out longer than Russia does. Some analyst said the West is confident having Russia on it’s knees by autumn.

    But Berman and you predicted a supply break in the West and globally by the end of 2022 also, due to underinvestment.

    Germany is said to be wanting to build a harbor for LNG…but elsewhere I hear such projects take years, and are enourmously expensive….

    Let’s see which contestant prevails…

    So you are saying, there isn’t much useful to take from European industries once it’s over, at least not for the US.

  375. @Curt I hope you recording your thoughts and experiences now. Your descriptions of yourself and what you’ve seen had me captivated. People won’t believe what now was like if regular people don’t save it and pass it on to others.

    @Teresa I pray your family finds comfort and that your minds are filled with good memories.

    @JMG The Balaji book comes out July 4th. Of course. They are eager to spark off a new foundational story for America. Aren’t we all.

    Made the Lentils Bloomberg on Sunday in the crockpot. Sautéd the vegetables and used green lentils because that is what I had. Used beef bone broth for the liquid. Also added a tablespoon of honey on a whim. Turned out great! Served over brown rice. My husband said he felt like a peasant. I replied good practice then!

  376. JMG, thank you for the French source! I don’t root for the Russian advance at all, but better a sad map than a bad map…

    The ISW/AEI map really keeps me thinking. Die Zeit, the Guardian, El Pais and WaPo are each newspapers with high reputations in their home countries, and, as far as I can tell, all four have a left-liberal tradition, not given to saber-rattling or jingoism. Now I can see two possibilities. Either each of these newspapers couldn’t find the time to produce maps themselves, and each of them independently ran across the same map produced by one of the most hawkish think tanks in Washington, DC, together with a free-market Republican foundation, and each of them either overlooked that association or happily ignored it. Or else these newspapers in four different countries, along with many other less reputable sources, were somehow convinced or coerced into relying on that map, which is quite frightening.

    By the way, I was immediately “identified” as a Russian troll when I posted the simple fact that Kimberly Kagan and Victoria Nuland married brothers.

  377. JMG,
    At this point, is our culture, on-balance, moving toward more abstraction, or towards more specific, concrete reality?

    Among other things, this guides my (very small) investment strategy. My friends are all crowing about crypto and I’ve been mostly holding my tongue about flight into further abstraction, but…

    I’m sure a few people will get very rich from buying Bitcoin at the right time, but I think perhaps that ship has sailed by now? So many people talking about it. The mob seems to be involved already.

    Best,
    Grover

    P.S. Who was it who said, (something like), “if your theory is found to be in violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, there’s nothing for it but to…” I was explaining why I don’t like EVs to my boss this morning.

  378. Here’s a question for all.

    So my youngest kid and her boyfriend are considering being the family vanguard this summer and making a reconnaissance trip from CA to parts east of the Mississippi to scope out possible relocation options. As of right now, we can afford to fund a trip of this sort and I’m thinking through the idea with the assumption that fuel will be available and that social peace will be maintained to allow it.

    Options include

    a road trip – with a good chunk of the available time/fuel used up on driving through parts of the country not relevant to this endeavor.

    or, possibly less economically and less conveniently, a train trip or a flight in and back. The big stumbling block here is that we’re not really looking at big cities so public transit (even just transit from larger regional airports) will be difficult given that they’re not old enough to rent a car. You have to be at least 25 to do that and neither is quite there.

    They don’t have unlimited time, and a car would allow them to visit a greater area in a shorter amount of time – buses/trains seem less ideal when the purpose is wide-area exploration.

    It’s also likely that, given that we’re in a car-centric locale where things are very spread out and being carless is an inconvenience to getting between towns and cities (let alone between neighborhoods within one town or city) – I might just be too car-focused and they’d do fine without one. But I can’t imagine it’d be easy to explore parts of the midwest, or southeast during this kind of trip.

    So, if a car is non-essential for such a trip, what would you suggest if they wanted to see towns in, say, three states (random number)?

    If a car would be ideal, what would you suggest for the under-25 who can’t rent?

    I have a few ideas, but I’d like to hear if anyone has one I’ve not thought of yet.

  379. Curt
    Thank you for your mention of Chinese young people: ” how utterly incapable the new generation of young Chinese is, how the current boom is a product of their forefathers the 1960s gen, who had to solve problems and learn skills despite no good education.”
    I agree with much of that and notice much of the same thing while working here. Many of the young generation are slackers, although there are still many young people who recently emigrated to the city and are working extremely hard, not unlike my grandparents who emigrated to America 100 years ago. I agree with the overall point, but it seems that China is still a generation behind America and I expect them to grow another 10 years before leveling off.
    Regarding technology, building airplanes and such: I know for a fact that as far as electronics and most other technologies including biology, the Chinese are leading innovation in most areas. Most, but not all. Every chip and chemistry that was invented more than 10 years ago can now be made independently by the Chinese and in most cases they have improved on it. They are still behind in the most advanced 5 micron chips., but in general technology (IoT devices for example) they are leading the way and most of the IoT chips that are being used to connect all the devices in the modern world are designed, made and sold from China, and are so advanced that American engineers have no idea how they work inside but merely follow instructions for how to use them. I know for a fact, from personal experience that most new technology is from China, as I have been patenting for many US and Japanese companies the last 25 years.

    As far as airplanes and fossil fueled motorbikes, they are behind. But I notice that Chinese landed on Mars their first time (without failures: the Europeans could not even do that), the dark side of the moon and have an active space program that is pretty successful. And, according to American tech experts, China is significantly ahead of them in supersonic vehicles such as missiles. I expect that if the dark ages descends upon the American empire as it seems happening now, China will supply at least basic things like energy generation equipment, LED lights, batteries, electric bikes etc. as an exotic supplier of desirable goods from far away. America recently tried to start solar panel factories in a major way and was unable to do that. China is the new hegemon and is lining up the resources of the world for its own benefit, as evidenced by its relationship with Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Africa. Finally, the lord of the plantation has decided that he doesnt want the young people to get spoiled but instead focus on wealth production and has limited social media use by the young people in part to keep them focused on the stem fields. We will see how that works out……

  380. So, is there any significance to the new moon landing on April Fools? Or is that a category error? I know this is probably a total newbie question, but I’m not finding anything useful when I do searches on various combinations of “new moon” and “April 1”.

  381. Whenever the topic comes up of why its seems like large-scale war is being deliberately provoked by The Powers That Be it reminds me of Norman Dodd sending Kathrine Casey to look at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace meeting minutes. After going through 50 years of meeting documents starting in 1908, which would normally be inaccessible, she was so shocked she could not return to her law practice afterward. The meetings trustee’s first big question “Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?” The answer of course is, no.

    I think of this as I see a large scale conflict brewing which seems intentionally provoked. I also view World War I and II through this lens, since this same episode alludes to the 20th century historical narrative being systematically hijacked.

    Its no surprise that knocking down all the pieces of the chessboard allow them to be more easily rearranged, but reading the tax-exempt foundations studying these types of questions formally in secret adds a little extra for me. I know many will invoke the C-word and dismiss these types of things, although some will be surprised at how our understanding of history and to some degree where we stand now has been carefully steered.

    Here is a link to the short tale, its not to long:

    https://yahqob.wordpress.com/foundations/carnegie-foundation-exposed/

  382. Here’s a bombshell, metformin has problems they missed because young people never took it.

    The drug has been in use since the 1950s, but this is the first large study to rigorously analyze any paternally mediated impact on human birth defects. Although metformin’s use skews toward older people, the rise in diabetes means more men in their reproductive years are taking the drug. In the United States, prescriptions to 18- to 49-year-olds with type 2 diabetes grew from fewer than 2200 in 2000 to 768,000 in 2015.

    https://www.science.org/content/article/rare-genital-defects-seen-sons-men-taking-major-diabetes-drug

    type 2 diabetes from 2200 to 768,000 in 15 years? Holy endproduct!

    No wonder the virus tore such a path through the population.

  383. Scotlyn, I agree with your comment about the purpose of making a ruckus. Too often the message is lost in the message. Always fascinating how people are prepared to fight for, demand, shout for, stand up with others etc but not to do the work for whatever it is they want. If you want improved humus content get out there and add it.

  384. Hey jmg

    I know that this may be a silly question since I may have addressed it elsewhere,but I wanted to ask how do you study and gain competence in all the things you know? How much time do you put in, and how do you engage with the material you read?
    I ask since I am trying to get more deep into studying things such as a second language and “Green wizardry.”

  385. @Scotlyn #402
    Thank you Scotlyn for responding. I’ll try and answer in the best way that I can.

    Where is the working with, loving, feeding and maintaining the soil that will actually heal the soil?

    This campaign does not exclude intimately relating to soil. It is the foundation for it. Maybe the misunderstanding comes from conflating individual effort with what needs to happen globally.
    Lots of people are putting their hearts and souls into this: making art, songs, dances, involving children
    (the website has a lot of these efforts on it). Farmer associations (particularly in India) are also involved.
    Hmm…maybe the language makes it sound like dry bureaucratic heartless work, but I ask you, has anyone improved the health of the soil or added organic matter to it without loving, feeding and maintaining it?

    In order to get a large enough population of the world to have a positive relationship with soil (you’d be surprised how many people don’t know where their food comes from) we need to be made aware of its importance. Once that is the case, this support needs to be seen as public support for healthy soil. Because politicians like to get elected, they can’t ignore a large section of the voting public clamoring for a particular issue. There are several cases where global awareness translated into concrete steps. The Ozone layer issue for example, got addressed as awareness of it spread globally (though electoral politics was not involved). Same for unleaded fuel and awareness of pesticide poisoning, not to mention the global drive to eliminate polio.

    In 2017 in India, a major campaign called Cauvery Calling was started to address South India’s drying rivers and dying forest cover by advocating for agroforestry policies by the government. All in all, some 162 million citizens showed their support for the campaign (typically by giving a missed call to a toll free number). Within a couple of months the central government through its agricultural ministry set out agroforestry policy recommendations, 6 Indian states have implemented them already.
    This means that, where as individual efforts would only have been island refuges in a sea of ecological damage, policy action means large scale improvement.

    To answer your questions more directly “raise a ruckus? How?”

    By engaging in any way you can with those around you to get people to talking about this. Social Media is emphasized because it is the most convenient and far reaching method in a short space of time. But, lots of people are engaging through their work, schools. Some are doing marathons. Some are committing their children to write to their political leaders in large numbers.

    “On Social Media, How Big?”
    As big as you can make it actually. 🙂 Soil being the source of our life, ideally all seven billion should know about this. This movement’s preferred target is 3-4 billion people who live in democratic countries, i.e. where top leadership derives its legitimacy ultimately from the will of the people. If Brexit can get done, why not this?

    “Make policies?”
    Yes indeed. For example, the US has a department of Agriculture which implements relevant policies. Our current state of agriculture, with the overuse of chemical inputs, are a direct result of policies which incentivized such things.
    The reverse now needs to happen. 3-6% organic matter is a simple goal post that nations all over the world can implement policies around to suit their own situations. I am sure you know that there are diverse kinds of soil, different levels of degradation, and many kinds of agricultural traditions around the world that needed to be accounted for.

    Could all this come to nothing? Sure. But I am far from convinced it is a waste of time. Even if success is marginal, if only a few localities opt for sane agricultural policies, that is still a lot of people’s future secured.

    Thank You and #SaveSoil 😉

  386. @Peter van Erp
    Hey! that Soil regeneration tour is the SaveSoil movement that I am pushing here! 😉

  387. @JMG

    2 questions (okay, the first one is more of a suggestion, tbh):

    1) Since you have spoken about lentils, I’d like to recommend 2 Indian recipes, which are vegetarian but not vegan, namely – Moong do pyaza and Dal Makhani. I’m sure both you and Mrs. Greer will like them, they’re cheap to make, very filling, tasty and nutritious, and also go great with both steamed white rice/jeera rice/pulao as well as rotis.

    2) As the Long Descent picks up speed and ecological blowbacks from climate change, etc. start taking their toll, would it not be advisable to breed crops the way organic farmers do, and preserve that knowledge? Of course, one can argue back-and-forth about the merits/demerits and the harm caused by GMOs and crops bred by marker-assisted selection (or deny it), but one argument that no one, not even the anti-GMO side seems to have noticed is simply this – the energy and material resource-intensive technostructure that makes GMO crops possible simply won’t last for long. GMO or marker-assisted crop breeding can’t be done in a low-tech manner, but organic breeding can. A century from now, in a best-case scenario, crop breeding will be done by using the tech that organic and biodynamic farmers have been using. However, if traditional plant breeding continues to get squeezed out by the GMO mania, there’s a very real chance that the societies of the far future may have to reinvent plant breeding from scratch, and that too in damaged ecosystems. Given how critical plant breeding has been, and will be, I sincerely hope for low tech rather than no tech.

    That reminds me of one more thing. In the wake of WW2, mathematical knowledge exploded, and found its way into disciplines which were traditionally thought to be non-mathematical. Could the mathematical knowledge of today be used as a tool to complement traditional organic farming crop breeding techniques, thus leading to more optimal results? There are tons of mathematics PhD theses on super-abstract stuff that has almost zero connection to the situation on the ground. Just think of it – if these clever people had instead devoted their PhD thesis topic to, say, building models for breeding new varieties of potatoes or wheat via organic farming methods, they would actually have benefited people. Academic research would actually have been beneficial to society. Nor would the mathematical work involved be trivial – even simple ‘toy models’ in mathematical biology (like the age-structured SIR model) are quite difficult to analyze, and require the use of sophisticated mathematical machinery. Just a thought.

  388. $27 trillion printed in two years and no new hospital capacity, clinics, or trained medical staff. During the 1918 Spanish Flu every state built emergency field hospitals and trained up thousands of women as nurses through the Red Cross. Different level of medical care but at least they tried to physically help people rather than just bully and confuse them with propaganda.

  389. Dear JMG,
    I apologize, but I’m not aware of any English or French language book on Hutsul magic. There’s only that novel I mentioned earlier. I hope to translate articles on the topic out of Ukrainian into English later. Harakterniks (https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/Harakternik) (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharakternik) are also worth mentioning. The “hara” in their name stand for energy center, and they also have this Oseledets hairstyle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseledets) which is also a point of energy. This link (https://spadok.org.ua/ukrayinske-kozatstvo/kozaky-kharakternyky-istoriya-fakty-legendy) is in Ukrainian, but it has a lot of images and the one depicting energy of oseledets is very interesting (there’s sun and the moon and the image of energy spiraling out of the head). And the magic abilities of Harakternics are like something from the last chapters of your book “Circles of Power.”
    Last time I forgot to mention that Russians deliberately destroy Orthodox Churches (already more than 60 building had been destroyed) and targeting Holocaust memorials. According to a police chaplain (who had been captured) they are looking for military chaplains. There are also a lot of intercepted phone calls (it’s very hard to understand them even for native Russian speakers, and the veracity of them had been confirmed by other intelligences as well). So here (https://youtu.be/2b0EzvGx-2U) the guy is surprised to find crosses and icons in every village and home. You can find some calls with English subtitles on that channel. They are very enlightening.
    Cynocephaly also a big part of Ukrainian folklore and legends, they are mentioned in Kyiv Psalter of 1397, there’s a modern horror novel with the same name by Alexander Zavara and there’s a beautiful song with pagan motifs that I want to share:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw2nclcoFNE
    @Bei Dawei, thank you, that looks very promising.

  390. Hi Patriciaormsby,

    I haven’t seen a June bug in at least 10 years. They used to bumble around all summer. They liked to hang out on screens. And there are a lot fewer lightning bugs than there used to be.

  391. Without the least shred of factual evidence, I’d like to suggest that Putin “needed” neo-Nazis in Ukraine, to justify his imperialism, and now just as much needs “witches” in Ukraine to sanctify his imperialism. If they weren’t there to begin with, he’d have had to invent them.

  392. Dear Helix,

    Thank you for this. I’m definitely sensitive enough to be connected with the elements in the way you described, my problem is with the technical side of it. It’s my first experience ever to try and grow plants so far in containers since I live in a suburban area with more concrete than soil and green, it’s even worse here in KSA than it is in suburban areas of the US. Would you suggest buying organic fertilizer as a start and then gradually make my own compost?

    Cheers.

  393. @Joshua; sorry it’s late in the cycle, but your story about not getting a message from your mother yet reminded me of a story (and since it’s 5:55 am on the clock my time, what better time to be an insomniac on the internet).

    A friend of mine lost her fiancé at 26 to leukemia. She spent every day in the hospital with him for a year, but his family felt that “he could do better” and after he died didn’t even tell her when they had the funeral.

    Two months later, she got an email from him which was alarming, but he’d set it to autosend. He’d set up an online dating profIle for her; he said he knew she wouldn’t do herself justice, and he wanted the next person who loved her to see her through his eyes.

    Sure enough, there was a message for her at the website, and she ended up married to that guy.

    It was a very clear sign… but technically he’d sent it before he died.

  394. @ Denis – I’m not sure where you’re referring to, but I know Oklahoma added extra capacity and field hospitals in our state. It was mostly National Guard facilities, and the state-run OSU hospitals, but surge capacity was added here in 2020. And we still ended up with one of the highest rates virus-related deaths per capita.

  395. @Aziz A #428 — If you have enough food and yard waste to make compost, by all means do so. Otherwise, can you buy compost where you are? If you are using containers, store-bought potting or garden soil should be sufficient to get you started. An organic fertilizer might be useful down the line, but don’t overdo it in the beginning. You want soil microbiota to develop around your plant roots and help the plant to get the nutrients it wants from the soil. Overfertilizing can actually short-circuit this symbiotic relationship. If you do get organic fertilizer, check the assay for trace minerals, and get one that dissolves in water so it penetrates down to the roots when you apply it. There are many online web sites that discuss all this. A good concise one is at https://www.planetnatural.com/plant-micronutrients/.

    But don’t get hung up about all this. Just get some good soil for your growing strategy, mix in a little organic fertilizer if you want. Then put in your plants or seeds, and then tend them regularly. There is absolutely no substitute for “dirt time” to come up to speed.

    Good luck!

  396. @Curt, @forecastingintelligence

    Another lonely European here. I am grateful to have some open-minded friends who are largely on the same page as me. Almost all of my good friends are in agreement that scaling back our reliance on tech and living more simply is the way to go, but a lot of them cling to ideas about free-energy that circulate the alternative-living scene which I find… questionable. Until I see a free-energy machine that actually works, I have no particular reason to assume they exist. Still, I don’t think any of them are drastically changing their plans or lifestyle on that basis, so it doesn’t strike me as being a massively problematic issue.

    As I’m sure you both have found, though, one of the biggest issues to get over for most of them is the fact that mass immigration and demographic decline will be the death of our culture. And who can blame them? The only people talking about this are people on the extreme end of the right, who often voice their concerns with rather unsavoury rhetoric, so you have an additional reason to not believe the evidence, alongside being in denial of our impending doom…

  397. @temporaryreality #413

    Many car rental companies will rent to drivers aged 20-24 for an added fee in the range of $15-$30 per day. So fly-and-rent could still be a possibility.

    @viduraawakened #423

    Organic plant breeding is alive and well in the USA, although the organizations involved are facing a conflict with the woke brigade that wants to focus on “decolonization” of seed and preservation of old culturally significant varieties that predate white people messing everything up.

    See:
    Open Source Seed Initiative
    https://osseeds.org/

    Organic Seed Alliance
    https://seedalliance.org/

  398. @temporaryreality, is your family intending to continue being car-dependent in the locations you’re considering moving to? If not, then it might be worth the inconvenience of not having a car during the exploration so they learn first-hand what other options are available and work decently in their intended place of relocation. Just a thought. It’s not something you want to take you by surprise after you move.

  399. viduraawakened,
    where I am there’s a lot of individuals saving seed and perpetuating varieties, including me. There’s also a growing number of micro/small seed businesses, plus one larger regional seed company selling locally-grown and adapted seeds. I have oodles of locally-adapted, open-pollinated varieties to pick from, as well as the hybrids. I don’t think any of them are GMOs.

    I’m actually not as worried about this issue as I used to be, except for those staple grains, oils, soybeans, and the like which are typically grown commercially but not by gardeners. Those, there’s a big problem with.

    If you’re interested in seedsaving and developing your own varieties, I suggest Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashford for the nitty gritty of how to save seed properly for just about every crop you’ve ever heard of, and Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe. The latter is a fascinating read, and a fund of information on how to go from saving seeds to tweaking your seeds properties to make them better for you want.

    Saving a lot of types of seed is not that hard, and legumes are super easy.

  400. Pygmycory, a very sensible response!

    Oliver, glad to hear it. I’m following some other research projects right at the moment — rabbit holes are easy to come by these days! — but the Atlantis book is on the list.

    Patricia O, that’s unsettling. Here in East Providence we’re not yet in insect season — last night’s low temperature was 19°F — but last year, we had a pretty good crop of bees, moths, etc. Still, I doubt we have 5G here, or any prospect of getting it.

    Wer, thanks for this. So the Polish army is another toy military — that’s worth knowing. I’m sorry to say you may be right about the koolaid.

    Denis, glad to hear it. I’ll pass that on to Sara.

    Aldarion, oh, I’m sure it’s quite systematically coordinated. Pravda and Izvestia coordinated their propaganda stories back in the day, too…

    Martin, I was just as delighted!

    Grover, what’s going on now is a divergence, where the cultural mainstream is moving ever deeper into dysfunctional abstraction, while people outside the mainstream are bailing out on that and returning to the concrete. The majority, as far as I can tell, is still part of the first category, but the second is growing rapidly. The quote? That’s Sir Arthur Eddington, one of the great physicists of the turn of the last century: “If your theory is found to be against the second law of theromodynamics, I give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

    Temporaryreality, well, what sort of place are you looking for? East of the Mississippi covers a lot of options…

    Debric, none at all. It does guarantee that no werewolves will play April Fool pranks on you… 😉

    Bob, thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, ouch. Thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, there’s no fixed amount! I start reading, and keep going until I’ve more or less figured out the answers to my questions.

    Viduraawakened, thanks for this. Sara has severe food sensitivities — she can’t eat anything with gluten in it, and she’s also allergic to cow’s milk and anything made from it (butter, ghee, cheese) though goat milk and its products are fine. I’ll have a look at both recipes and see how they rate on those issues; she and I both love Indian food, for what it’s worth. As for the need to breed crops sustainably, absolutely. With regard to mathematics, that’s a fascinating question about which I know precisely nothing — math was always my worst subject at school, though I learned to fake it effectively by learning strategies for guessing on multiple choice tests. It sounds worth exploring, though.

    Denis, it’s all going into the pockets of the already rich. We live in a kleptocracy, remember?

    Kyivan, if you’ve got the time in the next year or so, you might consider writing a book on that subject in English. Now that most people in the English-speaking countries have heard of Ukraine, something like that would find a market, and it might get more people in said countries interested in Ukraine and more willing to support its long-term survival as a nation…

    Lathechuck, hmm. Maybe, but it seems kind of a stretch.

  401. @Kyivan, JMG:

    Here’s a relevant book on Subcarpathian (including Hutsul) magic:

    Pierre Bogatyrev, Actes magiques, rites et croyances en Russie subcarpathique, Travaux publiés par l’Institute des études slaves, XI (Paris, 1929),

    A desultory web search failed to turn up a PDF of it, but I didn’t look for one too thoroughly.

    There seems also to be a Russian translation made about 50 years later, published in a volume of his studies: Petr Grigor’evič Bogatyrev, Voprosy teorii narodnogo iskusstva (Moscow, 1971). This might be easier, Kyivan, for you to find somewhere.

  402. @Ben Fascinating we got zilch here for extra hospitals in PA, in fact due to bankruptcy of a few due to the closures for only Covid in 2020, we lost three in the counties around where I live. Talk of two more closing.

    In fact when “the surge” started in January 2021 (right after they started mass vaccinating) the state DOH complained in every media outlet again that hospital capacity was the fault of not enough people staying home. Our DOH leader at the time, Rachel Levine, told us to wash our hands more. That’s it. Not an extra bed put up anywhere.

    My parents have mentioned for the two decades they’ve lived in Florida that their county sets up an overflow hospital I think in an airport hanger for winter flu season. People come down for the winter, get sick, and they just run out of room every single winter. They only need the beds for 4-6 weeks total and use them for people who just need a few days monitoring and extra fluids due to the age.

    I’m glad to hear that not every state wants their residents dead!

  403. @Ben One of our counties in PA decided to form their own health department. Population of the county is 450,000 and they staffed it with 60 (!!!) bureaucrats. They said the cost is $10 million to start this department, but 60 government staff with full benefits and pensions have got to cost more than that. My school district has 180 teachers and staff and their salary and benefits are $60 million a year.

    The county’s reasoning is that they’ll be better prepared for covid. This is obvious if one relies on the 2020 way to treat disease – spreadsheets, website trackers, and decrees from public health officials.

  404. If I may, thank you for everyone who expressed enthusiasm here regarding my Muppet related joke! I had a good deal of laughs reading people’s thoughts and elaborations on the gag.

  405. I saw that Ursula K. LeGuin was mentioned a couple times this month, especially for Reimagining Political Economy, since she shows an anarcho-syndicalist society in The Dispossessed. I was pleased to learn that she’s openly questioned the myths of progress in some interviews, not entirely calling it a religion but cautioning against the modern idea of it:

    ——
    Q “You once clarified your political stance by saying, “I am not a progressive. I think the idea of progress an invidious and generally harmful mistake. I am interested in change, which is an entirely different matter.” Why is the idea of progress harmful? Surely in the great sweep of time, there has been progress on social issues because people have an idea or even an ideal of it.”

    A I didn’t say progress was harmful, I said the idea of progress was generally harmful. I was thinking more as a Darwinist than in terms of social issues. I was thinking about the idea of evolution as an ascending staircase with amoebas at the bottom and Man at the top or near the top, maybe with some angels above him. And I was thinking of the idea of history as ascending infallibly to the better — which, it seems to me, is how the 19th and 20th centuries tended to use the word “progress.” We leave behind us the Dark Ages of ignorance, the primitive ages without steam engines, without airplanes/nuclear power/computers/whatever is next. Progress discards the old, leads ever to the new, the better, the faster, the bigger, et cetera. You see my problem with it? It just isn’t true.
    ——

    Unfortunately I don’t think many of her readers and other sci-fi fans have paid attention to this one. She also interestingly released a final sci-fi book in 2000 tied to her Hainish Cycle, The Telling, which shows a society rapidly eschewing its old cultural/mystical storytelling practices to pursue Progress, the “March to the Stars.” She based the society partially off Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China. Not her best book like the classics Dispossessed and Left Hand, but still I always like to see science fiction that questions, well, the science part (blind faith in it at least, a la Progress).

  406. Hi Viduraawakened,

    There’s a lot of ideology chucked around in relation to seeds, and you’ve repeated some of that.

    Basically with a bit of care and attention (and I can’t say for sure about GMO varieties as I haven’t come across any, so they might not be as prevalent as your words suggest) even hybrid varieties of vegetable seeds can be returned to open pollinated varieties. Nature is far stronger than the picture which your words paint. However, having just said that, the question becomes whether people will put the couple of seasons of effort required for that outcome into that work. That I don’t know. Most certainly it is possible, and those efforts will produce the locally adapted varieties.

    It seems kind of funny to me that some plants are treated as sacred cows – and here’s looking at you, corn – when in fact the plants today have been highly over bred, even the open pollinated old school varieties. Another good example is the Brassica varieties of vegetables, a few are easy to breed true to type, but plenty aren’t that easy.

    And you mention grains, but most of the plant varieties grown today are suitable for mechanical harvesting and molly-coddling (i.e. excessive watering and feeding). It wasn’t always that way, so the current system has some distinct flaws.

    I dunno, mate, you’ve just got to get out into the garden and do the work. The rest as they say is details.

    Cheers

    Chris

  407. Reading the comment about dumb-phones making a come back amused me. My husband has just decided to buy one from Sunbeam, a Mennonite phone company (very small business) that sells a few different models of dumb-phones. My husband is trying to curb a cell phone addiction, and that’s the core reason these Mennonites started this phone company. I have a so-called smart phone but I’ve never used it that way. I never connect with the internet or use any “aps”. I just use it to call and text. So if hubby likes his, I’m likely to get one too. I like that the various phones are named for flowers: The Dandelion, the Orchid, etc.

  408. Thank you Mark L – I’d just taken it on faith that it wasn’t a possibility and will look more carefully to find details on such options.

    Pygmycory, that is a fantastic point! There’s a strong streak of desire for small-town/semi-rural (typically underserved by public transit) – we’ll have to get good at driving a goat cart, I guess 🙂

    JMG, it is! I wasn’t providing specifics because I wondered if there was a general option I was overlooking. But, to answer your question, we are considering moving closer to family in Michigan, Maryland, or Tennessee, or near good friends in southern Indiana or Connecticut. There are other criteria that are unnecessary for me to list here, but that gives you an idea of the reason for my kind of general nature of my question. It’s uncertain if the kids would go to more than two or three of these regions (nothing is planned, it’s all speculation at this point).

  409. @Kyivian

    “Last time I forgot to mention that Russians deliberately destroy Orthodox Churches (already more than 60 building had been destroyed) and targeting Holocaust memorials. ”

    I don’t think so:
    https://www.jta.org/2022/03/03/global/babyn-yar-wasnt-bombed-but-ukraines-zelensky-finds-a-useful-tool-to-rally-jews-to-his-cause

    “The Russian missile that hit Babyn Yar Tuesday damaged a Jewish cemetery and a Soviet-era sports complex but not a new synagogue or the “field of remembrance,” Natan Sharansky, chairman of the advisory board for the site’s memorial center, said in an interview Wednesday.”

    https://forward.com/fast-forward/483352/most-of-babyn-yar-holocaust-site-unscathed-by-russian-missile/

    As for the destruction of the Orthodox Churches. There is no military value. Aside from their uses by the opposing military that would then necessitate their destruction.

    Why wouldn’t Russians not want to reuse to Orthodox Churches themselves?

    Lots of misinformation in Mainstream News nowadays.

  410. Speaking of over-bred plants reverting to type, I once came across a patch of tomato plants growing in a neglected patch of sidewalk. Presumably they had sprouted from some tomatoes thrown out for being rotten or whatever.

    I thought goody, I don’t have to grow any from seed, here are nice healthy looking young plants for the taking. So I dug up a few and planted them out in pots in my garden.

    What a mistake! The tomatoes were dreadful. They were tiny and full of seeds. Some were red, most were black or green, or black with green stripes or vice versa, but all were inedible. Clearly they had reverted to their wild ancestors.

    It gave me a new respect for plant breeders.

  411. @Chris

    Thank you for your reply. I wasn’t aware that my views were based on reading stuff that was ideologically biased, so thanks for pointing that out. It’s somewhat of a relief to see that the picture may not be as bad as I thought it was. As for getting out into the garden and actually doing stuff, I agree, although I don’t have much hands-on experience with cultivating plants.

    @JMG

    Thank you for your reply. AFAIK, Dal Makhani can be made with any butter, although I’ve eaten it only with butter made from cow or buffalo milk. So I guess you’ll have to check out if Mrs. Greer can take it without serious health issues. As for your love of Indian food, well, what goes by the name of ‘Indian food’ in the US is mostly either Punjabi or Mughlai, both of which are subsets of Indian food. There are some absolutely amazing cuisines in India like Rajasthani cuisine, which are lesser-known abroad, but are absolutely lip-smacking.

    @Mark L

    Thank you for your reply, and the links as well. I guess the woke brigade can stoop to any level of absurdity.

    @pygmycory

    Thank you for your reply. I have Deppe’s book (PDF), but the first one, I had not heard of, so thanks for the recommendation. I’ll see if I can get my hands on a copy.

  412. @Jeff re: #63, sorry, I only just saw your question now while browsing the comments for recipes. Hopefully you see this response.

    I use a Zettelkasten system for my occult notes. If you look online you’ll see of examples of how people set theirs up. Doing what works for you is the key. Here are some of the things I’ve found that work for me: 1) paper, not digital; 2) tag and link the notes to each other; 3) nothing’s carved in stone, so edit, revise, correct as needed, and just re-do a note if it gets messy; 4) let the order unfold organically — most of my cards are just numbered sequentially and I navigate through the links and tags.

    Or, in essence, think a paper Wiki.

  413. @Alex Thank you for the nperf link. clearly it shows where a bunch of ‘wardriving’ has happened so far (notice it along the major roads), but still an excellent way of seeing what is generally out there. It will flesh out in time with the ‘warwalkers’ filling in the other observations, just like it did with WiFi as I watched at https://wigle.net/

    oh mobile devices. As someone who’s fingers aren’t well registered by the ‘smart’phones (derogatorily called Zombie Fingers), I so miss the simple email devices that were BlackBerry with physical keyboards. I build and support email systems so email and text are my main needs of effective communication and I keep running into those who complain I don’t use enough emojis, sigh. If anyone knows of a simple phone with basic email function with direct IMAP and/or POP without needing the extra infrastructure that BlackBerry shut down earlier this year bricking all the old BlackBerries, please share here or directly.

  414. @Martin Back #447

    That’s not reversion to ancestral genetics, which would take hundreds of generations.

    It’s an effect of hybridization. Many modern varieties are hybrids, which means the seeds for sale are produced by crossing two inbred lines, neither of which is much good on its own. There’s a phenomenon called “hybrid vigor” in which plants that have *two different versions* of important genes will tend to be bigger, stronger, more robust, etc. It also has the effect of making seed saving undesirable so folks will buy new seeds every year.

    The first generation will be uniform and delicious, but subsequent generations will be diverse, strange, and generally poor for eating as the hybrid genes reassort themselves into new stable combinations.

    If you plan to save seeds, be sure to buy “open pollinated” (OP in seed industry lingo) varieties and not hybrids.

  415. @info:

    There are two competing Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. There is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which acknowledges the Patriarch of Moscow as its head. And there is the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which now acknowledges the Metropoloitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine as its head, and which was granted autocephalous (roughly, independent) status by the Patriarch of Constantinople in 2014. The Orthodox Church in Ukraine was formed from at least two earlier independent Orthodox Churches, which have histories going back long before 2014. — And then there are also Roman Catholic churches of the Byzantine Rite (so-called Uniate churches) in Ukraine, just to complicate things a little more. They, too, have centuries of history behind them.

    It is the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and the “Uniate” churches, that seem to have been attacked by Russians in this current war, not the Orthodox churches that acknowledge the Patriarch of Moscow as their head.

    Outwardly, that is to a Westerner’s eye, they all look more or less the same: their buildings are similar, their rituals are very very similar, and so forth. So it’s understandable that the Western media haven’t a clue … as usual where the Eastern Orthodox world is concerned!

  416. @Robert Mathiesen

    “It is the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and the “Uniate” churches, that seem to have been attacked by Russians in this current war, not the Orthodox churches that acknowledge the Patriarch of Moscow as their head.”

    Even so it would make more sense to renovate them rather than destroy them. It costs too much to replace compared to renovation.

    Then do the reconsecration.

    Its not like those sites are used for human sacrifice or something like the Aztec Temples.

    Given the Cauldron strategy and the lack of damage to a lot of infrastructure it would be out of character. For them to simply bomb those churches unless they are actually used as military posts and ammo depots or something like that.

  417. #421 – Thank you for your reply! I appreciate the time you took!

    My basic point is that there is no obvious connection between formulating a policy, or even implementing a policy, and obtaining a result. For example ” Within a couple of months the central government through its agricultural ministry set out agroforestry policy recommendations, 6 Indian states have implemented them already.” While this may have happened, you are silent on how these policies and/or implementations have affected the drying rivers and dying forests. Quite often, once a problem becomes subject to “policy” and “implementation” one can be certain it will never be solved, because to solve it will make all of the people employed to make, implement and monitor the policy, instantly redundant.

    “This campaign does not exclude intimately relating to soil.” But it does not INCLUDE it.

    “Maybe the misunderstanding comes from conflating individual effort with what needs to happen globally.”

    I wonder if I may draw your attention to an old essay by Wendell Berry, published by The Atlantic Magazine in 1991. In it he draws a significant distinction between the global and the local (to prevent these being dangerously conflated). Thusly:

    “Properly speaking, global thinking is not possible. Those who have “thought globally” (and among them the most successful have been imperial governments and multinational corporations) have done so by means of simplifications too extreme and oppressive to merit the name of thought. Global thinkers have been, and will be, dangerous people….

    “Global thinking can only be statistical. Its shallowness is exposed by the least intention to do something. Unless one is willing to be destructive on a very large scale, one cannot do something except locally, in a small place. Global thinking can only do to the globe what a space satellite does to it: reduce it, make a bauble of it… If you want to see where you are, you will have to get out of your space vehicle, out of your car, off your horse, and walk over the ground. On foot you will find that the earth is still satisfyingly large, and full of beguiling nooks and crannies…

    “If we want to put local life in proper relation to the globe, we must do so by imagination, charity, and forbearance, and by making local life as independent and self-sufficient as we can—not by the presumptuous abstractions of “global thought.”

    “If we want to keep our thoughts and acts from destroying the globe, then we must see to it that we do not ask too much of the globe or of any part of it. To make sure that we do not ask too much, we must learn to live at home, as independently and self-sufficiently as we can. That is the only way we can keep the land we are using, and its ecological limits, always in sight.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1991/02/out-your-car-your-horse/309159/

    And I agree with him on all points. Especially the first one – that global thinking is not possible, and therefore those who purport to be “global thinkers” are dangerous people.

    Anyway, best wishes for the campaign, but I will relate to my own soil. Here and now, right where I am.

  418. Dear JMG,
    I will think about it, I also found an excellent book on the subject that goes deep into Hutsul culture and its beliefs and practices. There’s one problem – it’s written in some weird mix of Ukrainian, Polish and Hutsul dialect and it’s not easy to understand. There’s an actual book Hutsul magic in modern Ukranian, but there’s no e-book version of it and I have no way of ordering a physical copy for the time being.
    @Robert Mathiesen
    Grigor’evič Bogatyrev, Voprosy teorii narodnogo iskusstva (Вопросы теории народного искусства) is available to read online on Russian sites (you need to register for that) and indeed there is a 130-page chapter dedicated to Carpathian magic, rituals and beliefs. Thank you for pointing me into the direction of that book.
    @info
    “Given the Cauldron strategy and the lack of damage to a lot of infrastructure it would be out of character. For them to simply bomb those churches unless they are actually used as military posts and ammo depots or something like that.”
    I’m sorry, there’s a lot of damage to infrastructure. Some cities don’t exist anymore. I won’t go into the gory details, but just today, one shopping center was bombed in Kyiv. Yesterday, a warehouse containing more than 50,000 tons of deep-frozen food in the town of Brovary was destroyed (that’s near Kyiv). And you can look up what they did to Mariupol (90% of city doesn’t exist anymore) or Chernihiv or Gostomel yourself. Our authorities stopped publishing information of what and where was hit. But now I can hear the difference between anti-aircraft and explosions, and Russians still have a lot of bombs and rockets. What is worse, they don’t have PGM (precision-guided munition) anymore and use unguided bombs and rockets and those can fall anywhere.

  419. JMG, what are your thoughts on this article?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-31/biden-team-weighs-a-massive-release-of-oil-to-combat-inflation

    I remember a post from a while ago where you said that, in a “rare fit of common sense”, the US government wasn’t going to use its strategic oil reserves so its citizens could keep travelling around the world. Apparently, that common sense isn’t so common nowadays, and the US is now exploring the concept of releasing a million barrels a day for several months, to ease the strain on the economy caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  420. Can practicing the principles of Stoic philosophy be an aid to magical practice?