Open Post

May 2024 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly 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, no endless rehashes of questions I’ve already answered) but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic — with two exceptions.

First, there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the ongoing virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.

Second, I’ve had various people try to launch discussions about AIs — that is to say, large language models (LLMs) and the chatbots they power — on this and my other forums. The initial statements and their followup comments always end up reading as though they were written by LLMs — that is, long strings of words superficially resembling meaningful sentences but not actually communicating anything. That’s neither useful nor entertaining.  Thus I’ve decided to ban further discussion of this latest wet dream of the lumpen-internetariat here.

With that said, have at it!

446 Comments

  1. Hi Brother Greer! I have a question about the Ogham. I’m fairly new to Ogham, so I’ve been reading your books (Druidry Handbook and Druid Magic Handbook namely) and seems you’ve swapped Nuin and Fearn. This causes a conflict with an Ogham oracle deck that I also bought, so I’d like to resolve this.

    Is this only a rearrangement on purpose to spell BLNVS in the first aicme? Is there some more reading on the subject you can recommend?

    Appreciate your time! Thank you 🙂

  2. A philosophical/historical question I’d love to read an exploration of is how the occult notion of humans as being here to evolve into something higher corresponds or contrasts with Whig theories of history and progress.

  3. Hi John Michael,

    This is early! 🙂 It’s late here.

    Has anyone ever suggested an Ecosophian oriented book club? With technology nowadays, it maybe something possible to do over a big distance? I’d be certain that there are more than a few bookworms in your audience, outing myself as one such.

    My, but we live in some interesting times!

    Nothing much to report from down here, except that the winter is fast approaching. How’s things up in your part of the world?

    Cheers

    Chris

  4. Hi everybody,

    An ongoing offer/request from me: I perform formal blessings each Wednesday for everybody who signs up in each current week. Today‘s blessings are already done, but you can sign up for next week here:

    https://thehiddenthings.com/weekly-blessings-21

    (and for consecutive weeks in the corresponding posts, accessible via the „Blessings“ entry in the top menu).

    I use these blessings to further my blessing skills – in particular my ability to comfortably handle these energies for larger groups of people. Obviously, this means I need larger groups of people to practice on… 😉

    If you‘d like to receive a blessing next week, or even if you just wouldn‘t mind being blessed, I am grateful to everybody who signs up.

    You‘re very welcome to tell other people about this offer. I also don‘t mind blessing your pets, plants, gardens, etc, or other beings/things within your care.

    Thanks,

    Milkyway

  5. Hi John,

    I’m really enjoying The Book of Nathan, which I got last week and started this week, I’m about halfway through. I’m not the fastest reader, but it is a quick page turner. One of the things I like about it is that I feel like I am getting a second tour through little elements of Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie. Nice! I also love a good treasure hunt and this certainly fits the bill. And on top of that my copy of the new edition of The Shoggoth Concerto arrived. Looking forward to reading the tangential tentacle novels of the Haliverse, as so far I only read the main sequence.

    I also have a question for you: what do you do to prepare for your podcast and radio appearances? I have done interviews on the radio before -including you, which I fondly remember!- but I was always on the other end of it, asking the questions. My nerves were always acute in those situations, as they are with public speaking, which I have forced myself to do. Do you have any personal tips or things you do to prepare?

    Thanks for your guidance.

  6. Apocalypse Not department: anyone notice the civilization-ending effects of the near-Carrington* level geomagnetic storm in early May? Me either. (Frankly, I was expecting at least a brief power outage, but didn’t even see that. And here near Philadelphia we had cloud cover the whole time, so I missed the Aurora Borealis as well.)

    * The 2024 storm was -412 nT; the Carrington event is estimated between -800 and -1750 nT.

  7. Hi JMG,
    You mentioned in last mont’s open post that Western Europe faces a severe crisis and one should get out of there if possible. What’s your take on Eastern European countries such as Hungary or Serbia and probably Slovakia if PM Fico could make it? I noticed they are anti-Brussel and anti-US and are very warm to rising Eastern powers. There are several large investments in energy with Russia and the Belt & Road initiative with China. I recalled when the Western Roman Empire collapsed, the Eastern Empire carried on for another five centuries. Could this scenario replay here or the future hardship would apply for the entire European subcontinent ?
    Kind Regards,

  8. @jmg and all, what are your thoughts on magnetic pole shift theory? been listening to @spaceweatherman — if true, could this accelerate deindustrialization in your view?

    We had aurora’s here in Chicago a few weeks ago, which is a combo of high sun activity and lower magnetic fields.

    thx!

    Jerry

  9. Hi John, long time reader first time poster. What are your thoughts about a cyclically recurring catastrophe of sorts that consistently “refreshes” the biosphere and thereby sharpens what’s left of humanity to a razors edge. Theres a lot of evidence to suggest such an event occurs every 6 and 12 thousand year respectively. The recent (and visually amazing) auroral display a few weeks ago that was caused by a relatively small coronal mass ejection from our Sun is a stark example of how the earth’s magnetic field is in collapse. If you extrapolate this trend into the future humanity and modern industrial society won’t have to collapse under its own weight, (see carrington event) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrington_Event.

    Thank you for any insights you can share/add. You have an incredibly prolific and interesting mind and your ability to communicate original ideas is invaluable.

  10. With regards to the real estate discussion over on your other blog… I saw this today on Naked Capitalism:

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2024/05/housing-not-handcuffs.html

    I hadn’t known there was a Supreme Court case, “Grants Pass v. Johnson, which will decide whether criminalizing homelessness is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. In going through best estimates of housing insecurity, the story includes the near homeless, as in those who are camping out with friends or relatives. Keep in mind those unstable arrangements often fall through and a couch surfer may suddenly be on the street. That might be for only one night but under the planned anti-poor new normal, even a one-night vagrant could be arrested.”

    Yves says, ” the US homelessness crisis is a housing crisis, as in a housing cost crisis. Cities and even itty bitty communities use to have single room occupancy hotels or boarding rooms, where low wage workers could rent a small room and have bathroom access. Boarding rooms often provided meals for an upcharge. Those have long ago been gobbled up by gentrification.”

    When I first moved on to the street we are on now there was a multifamily dwelling with “rooms to let” and people coming and going through there all the time. And I remember a lot of stories about a place called the Oakley Hotel, now torn down, that was a boarding house where a lot of alcoholics lived right next to wear my dad worked as a welder, working on huge industrial equipment. My AA sponsor when I was in Highschool had lived in the Oakley Hotel and he had his own stories. Several of my dad’s coworkers would go over to the bar they had on the first floor on their lunch breaks. Now what was once there are expensive condos and a huge plaza.

    I think after the real estate bubble pops, some people might be able to bring these back in an affordable way for people…

  11. About entryism, Neo-Pagans, and Diane Paxon,
    I was reading the Monday Magic posting about these topics. You did say a post about entryism would appear soon at a blog near me.

    I was pondering why people think that what happened to Paxon was a product of entryism. Don’t organizations if they are to survive, oust the founders, since the founders’ vision is usually limited. The next generation builds on that vision which hampers the founders as time went on.

    Entryism in Neo-Paganism seems to be along the lines of Woke ideology. Is that true. What I have noted is that once organizations go that route, they lose members. ADF has lost two major Groves in the past two years. I know that people write of increased attendance at the various festivals. However, the festivals seem to be few and far in-between. They also seem more costly for the average Neo-Pagan. Is Neo-Paganism becoming a niche religion like UFO religions, etc?

    In my experience of people taking over groups, it is usually for power and money. Not politics. They prey on the niceness of people, not to speak up.

    I have been lurking for various reasons – social media detox, son having mental illness, and trying to get him on SSI.DI.

  12. Question for JMG:
    It seems to me that the seething hatred many (not all) Christians have for paganism is precisely mirrored in the seething hatred many (not all) Liberals have for Christianity; what drew this parallel for me was your observation that the habit of demonizing the primary sources from which an ideology borrows is a common occurrence. My question is: is this rather odd habit peculiar to the Faustian West, or are there other examples on which one could meditate?

    A hesitant observation to share for all:
    A significant number of people, especially but not only in America, who made “being on the Left” part of their self image went functionally insane (defined as a progressive and escalating degeneration of the ability to distinguish between the map and the territory, between fact and fiction, between reality and narrative) over Donald Trump. Many have yet to recover.
    In a curious symmetry, it now appears to me that a significant number of people, especially but not only in America, who made “being on the Right” part of their self image are going functionally insane – over Israel. Time will tell how far this goes. I wouldn’t describe any of this as a good thing; but in both cases, I wonder if something like this had to happen eventually…
    JMG and commentariat, feel free to poke holes in this theoretical construct; I am genuinely curious to hear what observations others may have…

  13. Hello JMG and kommentariat…Maybe it sounds a trite topic, but what do you think about the UN 2030 Agenda and conspiracy theories around it? What part of them are true and what are mere hysteria?

  14. Hi John,

    A few questions for this month:

    1) Can you provide a very short summary on karma, reincarnation and the key things to do and avoid doing to ensure my karma is the best after I die (and get reincarnated into the next life?).

    2) Do you have any update on your outlook and if we are tracking the LTG BAU model?

    3) I’m looking at potentially getting a golden visa in one of the English speaking Caribbean islands like St Lucia or St Kitts. Do you think this is a viable option should we need to leave Europe in the coming decades? And do you have any further insights on when and where Europe might blow up into war and civil unrest?

  15. Hi JMG,

    I’d like to follow-up on a post of yours from 2020 (The Arc of our Future):

    “So what does the future look like? In some ways, it’s a far less dismal prospect over the short term than I expected not so long ago. Watching the consequences of neoliberal economic policies in the US, I was seriously worried about the rise of a domestic insurgency or outright civil war—that’s why my novels Star’s Reach (2014) and Retrotopia (2016) both presupposed a Second Civil War sometime in the first half of the 21st century. I think we may have dodged that bullet, since Trump’s election showed a great many desperate people that the ballot box was still a viable alternative to war. Even if he loses this November, so long as the election isn’t obviously fraudulent, there’s reason to hope that the lesson has been learned.”

    Unfortunately, I’m guessing you would now probably revise that assessment of “less dismal prospect”? I would point out that, in the minds of the losing side of the 2020 election, the results were absolutely fraudulent. Does that side still believe that the ballot bot is a viable means of changing course? Perhaps they are still holding out hope for a different result this November?

  16. “Weather-dependent generation sources are…weather dependent: Last year, despite adding 6.2 GW of new capacity, U.S. wind production dropped by 2.1%.”

    https://robertbryce.substack.com/p/build-it-and-the-wind-wont-come

    In related news there are some interesting pictures of the remains of the wind farm that was hit by a large tornado in Iowa yesterday. There is a video where you can see the turbine blades falling out of the sky. The town of Greenfield was messily bisected as well with fatalities.

    There is good news though, “Produced water that returns to the surface as wastewater after oil and gas hydraulic fracturing processes in parts of Appalachia can be a source of lithium”

    https://netl.doe.gov/node/13692#:~:text=Produced%20water%20that%20returns%20to,important%20new%20report%20from%20NETL.

    It must be one of those silver lining situations. 😉

  17. Good Morning JMG,

    In the coming resource scarcities in the long descent, one of the likely categories of shortages is in medical equipment or medicines. Y’know, in addition to the general hollowing out of our medical establishment by fraud, lawyers, and general lenocracy.

    Are there any currently-cureable diseases or conditions whose cures are likely to become out of reach of the average person 50-100 years from now?

    For my purposes, it’d be best if the disease or condition is terminal and affects primarily children or teens.
    If any other commenters here have ideas, I’d love to hear them, too. Medical stuff is not my specialty!

    Thanks!
    John B

    (JMG, you may be amused to learn that when I posted this comic [https://tapas.io/episode/3119409] to the general public, the one astute commenter who noticed the magic was real received a flurry of offended responses that magic isn’t real and it definitely wasn’t in the comic. At least, I found it entertaining.)

  18. I will take this opportunity to remind all that the 7th Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held June 22, 2024 at our house, behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion in Providence, RI. Only 31 days to go! Sign up here. I look forward to your presence, and once again, whomever comes from furthest is welcome to stay in our guest room.

  19. What are your thoughts on the federal debt? This should be the biggest story in all news media. Why is it ignored? It’s rising insanely at $1T every 100 days with a yearly GDP of only $27T. Because the market is aware of what’s going on, inflation tracked treasury notes (TIPS) don’t track gold any more.

  20. Benjamin, there’s some evidence that the order was originally BLNVS, to spell the name Belenos, and that it was changed when Ireland became Christian to remove the name of the pagan deity in question. I understand that this idea is now dismissed by current scholarship, which means it will probably be the orthodoxy again in another fifty years.

    Alex, bring it up next time there’s a fifth Wednesday and I call for votes! That one’s worth an entire post, and difficult to address in less space than that.

    Chris, it’s supposed to hit 84°F today here in Providence, which is decidedly on the warm side by local standards. As for a book club, I think it’s a great idea, but somebody other than me will have to organize it.

    Justin, delighted to hear it — The Shoggoth Concerto is my favorite of all my novels, the one that I think succeeded best in conveying the emotional tone and ideas that I wanted to weave into it. As for preparing for podcasts, I don’t. I just pick up the phone and talk as though I was having an ordinary conversation.

    Roldy, I was disappointed by the cloud cover, too. Didn’t see any other effects either.

    Foxhands, if eastern Europe can keep its western neighbors from bleeding it dry in an attempt to prop up their own failing economies and societies, they might make it — but I’d recommend the mountainous regions. The plains have always been battlegrounds, and I expect that to happen again.

    Jerry, nobody knows. Seriously, nobody knows. We know that human beings have been through multiple magnetic pole reversals already in the history of our species, but the data’s not finegrained enough to tell what it will do to our technology. One suggestion if you’re worried, though — get a ham radio license and then invest in an old vacuum tube transmitter and receiver. Vacuum tubes are basically invulnerable to electromagnetic pulses, unlike integrated circuits.

    Glacier, er, yes, that’s the latest apocalypse du jour. Every few years someone comes up with a new theory insisting that we’re all (or most of us are) going to die sometime soon; in the runup to the 2012 non-event, I spent an entire year posting failed apocalyptic claims every week. (I called it “The End of the World of the Week Club.”) Thus I don’t recommend holding your breath. Btw, if you get angry at my comments, as a lot of people do when I don’t agree with their pet apocalypse. I’d encourage you to stop and ask yourself why. If you’re right, after all, nearly everybody you know is going to die horribly, and your chances of making it aren’t that good. Isn’t that an odd thing to wish for?

    Justin, yes, I’ve been following that. It fascinates me that so many middle class people are so passionate about punishing the poor for being poor.

    Neptunesdolphins, I assumed that it’s woke entryism because when I’ve seen the same thing happen in other organizations, that’s what it’s been. As for Neopaganism turning into a niche religion, why, yes; I suggested that very thing a while back —

    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-flight-to-the-fringes-and-what-waits-there/

    Raab, it’s not just a western thing. Witchcraft persecutions are still a regular occurrence in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, and not just the Christianized parts. As far as the business about Israel, both sides are losing their marbles over that small and not very interesting country, but it’s a familiar craziness — “The atrocities my side commits are justified because of the atrocities the other side commits!” An eye for an eye, as the saying goes, makes the whole world blind.

    Chuaquin, I’ll have to look into it. I don’t always keep up with the latest fashions in conspiracy culture.

    Forecasting, (1) Yes, and here it is. (2) Last I checked it’s still pretty much on target. (3) I have no idea how useful that will be — I’ve never looked into that. As for the timing, nobody knows. Seriously, nobody knows. By 1900 it was clear that Europe was going to blow sky high someday soon, but it wasn’t yet certain who was going to be allied with whom, and the spark that set the whole thing alight was as close to pure randomess as anything human can be.

    Balowulf, if the 2024 election is obviously fraudulent all bets are off. I’ll consider leaving the country if that happens, because four more years of business as usual will have so many people so desperate that a domestic insurgency or a civil war are likely outcomes, and the only safe place to be if that happens is somewhere else. If we get a relatively straightforward election with no more than the usual amount of fraud, on the other hand, I think things could settle down, but only if the current crop of failed economic policies get reversed.

    Dashui, thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, there are also some messy images doing the rounds of solar PV farms that were hit by hailstones the size of golf balls in the recent storms. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

    Sirustalcelion, quite a few of them. Type 1 diabetes is the most obvious; in the absence of insulin that’s a death sentence. I’d also recommend looking into bacterial pneumonia and bacterial wound infections, which killed a lot of people before antibiotics and will kill many more once the bacteria finish becoming antibiotic-resistant. (I’m sorry to say I could only read 2/3 of the comic because the “subscribe, dammit!” screen wouldn’t go away from the right hand third. Still, what I got seemed funny.)

    Great Khan, thanks for this. Shall I post it to my Dreamwidth as well?

    Bradley, it’s being ignored because it’s the biggest single sign that the US is in a death spiral, and nobody in the corporate media or the elite classes whose toes the media bathes with their tongues is willing to recognize that. That kind of runaway deficit spending can only end with hyperinflation, a debt default, or both, and in either case the US economy will be slammed face first repeatedly into the concrete floor of national bankruptcy. Nor at this point is there any way out but through. Hang on tight!

  21. I’m interested in your opinion on the role of art in American society. What is it and what should it be?

    Should art be valued economically? If not, what constitutes success for art, and how can success transfer into a means of it being made? What about art that has value that is not appreciated in the lifetime of the artist? I think that when artists attempt entrepreneurship, it often makes the continued creation of quality artwork difficult or impossible. Do you agree? Why or why not? If so, what to do about this?

    You mentioned in an earlier post that self-expression should not be the goal of art because artists are not necessarily any more interesting than anyone else. I would counter that, even if the artist is not more interesting, the artist may be capable of expressing important and more broadly felt things which others are unable to express. What do you think about that?

    Lastly, what do you think should be the relationship between art and magic?

  22. @Raab #12: “Being on the Left” is an abstraction, as is “Being on the Right,” which means they were already steeped in “the map” as opposed to “the territory.” Otherwise, they’d have stuck with specific things they advocated regardless of who was preaching them. I know: I’ve seen it happen among friends, even closest friends, and certainly among family, and have been following the change with dismay.

  23. I hope everyone here is doing well, especially our host. Last year I picked up a book in an airport, called “The Courage to be Disliked”. (I’m not advertising it, btw). Apparently there is a hype around the book on Instagram and other places (my wife tells me), but at the time I knew nothing about the book. I read the first page and found the tone and style refreshing, so I bought the book. After reading the first few chapters, I learnt that the book is about the philosophy of a man named Alfred Adler, and that this man was a colleague of Sigmund Freud before he parted ways from Freud and Jung to build his own system of psychology. His system is based on free will and dismisses the theories of trauma and childhood conditioning. One of the points he makes left an impression on me, so I’d like to discuss it here. Adler refuses to accept that anger is something we cannot control. He holds this for all emotions. He says that we choose to become angry, and can just as easily choose not to become angry. As an example, the book gives us the example of a mother scolding her daughter wrathfully when she receives a phone call. Her tone is immediately calm as she takes the call and speaks on it, but once she is done then she turns and continues the howlfest with her daughter. This, the authors hold, is proof that anger can be summoned and banished on demand. I cannot entirely accept this proposal – perhaps it holds true for a trained mind, surely the average person is not so sovereign over their emotions? And yet, when I adopted Adler’s paradigm in my life, I came to realize that the mere act of accepting his theory of emotions gave me a lot more control over my mind. So what do you think, is Adler right, is he on to something but exaggerating, or is he completely incorrect?

  24. There has been some talk here about wether or not organizers of many of the campus protests were paid by ” shadowy outside entities.” The thing that always bothered me about this was that it seemed like the people backing official academia and Israel were from the same group politically. So paying protestors seemed at odds with logic.
    A few days ago Dmetri Orlov floated something that I had not thought of before on Nima’s Podcast. He proposed that the people at the top of the deep state ( establishment, blob, etc.) had decided that Israel had become more trouble than it was worth. It had outlived it’s purpose as the ” forward operating base of the US Empire” ( in Noam Chomsky’s words). It was no longer useful in pacifying the Middle East, controlling oil, or insuring free flow of cargo in the Red Sea and Mediterranean as was its real purpose ( to those in power). So they seeded the campus protests to start a political sequence that would slowly diminish the money and resources spent keeping Israel going and use them somewhere else more important to the real elites.
    Not sure I believe this yet, but it is one of the few things that. make sense if Soros and the gang are really behind the campus protests.

  25. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for your recent discussion of ways to disengage from our toxic and doomed culture, and in particular for your mentioning monasticism in your discussion. I do not think you will, as a general rule, be working on Catholic materials. This makes your favourable mention of monasticism all the more notable. Perhaps you will at some point derive some support and solace from a short clip by the Carmelites at Fairfield, Pennsylvania, uploaded to YouTube as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROoMlHZ8Jj4 (and also retrievable from the YouTube search engine under the term ((TERM))fairfield carmelites refectory((/TERM)) )? Here there is next to no explicit theology, but only a happy, brief, practical discussion of the nuns’ new refectory: stone construction throughout (the nuns eschew rebar, commissioning masonry that will last for centuries rather than for decades); no electricity; refrigeration achieved in what is surely the environmentally preferred way, by keeping perishables well below the grade level, in cool cellarage. This video makes one think of secular 19th-century Thoreau, or of secular 20th-century Helen and Scott Nearing. Thoreau is universally known, and the work of the so-practical Nearings has long had its USA devotees. I myself am passionately attached to the Nearings, and am glad to now hear an echo of their voice within the Church

    Hastily,
    Toomas (in Estonian countryside, at dark-sky campus of Tartu Observatory, in Tõravere village)

  26. @ neptunesdolphins (#11)

    I’m confused. You said “In my experience of people taking over groups, it is usually for power and money. Not politics.” But in my experience, people taking over groups for power and money is what politics is all about.

  27. JMG: Years and years ago, you wrote an entire essay on how the medical authorities of various periods were pinning psychiatric labels on those whose problems were due to the society they lived in. Here’s an example of how it’s happening today. I read it because my daughter made a major study of OCD (and claims my fussiness about things is OCD rather than AS, to which I privately say, B.S.)
    And it’s a big one.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/i-was-the-poster-girl-for-ocd-then-i-began-to-question-everything-i-d-been-told-about-mental-illness?utm_source=pocket-newtab-en-us

  28. Thanks for the response John. I am not at all upset that you disagree with me. I’m not even sure myself if such a scenario is entirely plausible. I am surprised though that you glossed over the Carrington event. As a CME from the sun which occurs almost on a daily basis could in fact render the modern electrical grid completely unuseable if such an event were to happen today. I feel like this sort of a situation complements your theories of catabolic collapse as it would be a fast track to the end result of your thesis. Thank you.

  29. @Chris #3: Book Club:
    If we have an Ecospohian book club, I’m afraid my “to read” pile will grow even faster than it already has. I’m still in favor, sine I’m sure books recommended here are more likely to find favor with me. I have found that I will hate any book heavily promoted on NPR (“Public” Radio), so I generally follow JMG’s advice, and read books published before I was born (JMG excepted).
    Our weather in Southern New England just jumped from early spring to mid summer (high of 10 degrees F. below “normal” on Sunday, 15 above predicted for today).

    @ Justin # 10 RE: Rooming Houses.
    Part of the imposition of zoning regulations in the Progressive era was restrictions on Rooming houses. In many cases, they were made illegal, or restricted to which zones they were allowed to be in. I suspect the excuse was that Rooming Houses were the cause of alcoholism or low wages, not a response. Existing ones were generally grandfathered in, but changes in building codes as well as zoning made it too difficult to justify building new or remodeling older buildings. For instance, the city I live in does not define a rooming house as such, so they are considered as hotels, with restrictions to what zone they can be in (no residential zones).

  30. JMG,
    For the 2010 Jupiter-Uranus Conjunction, Neptune is a key part of the configuration as it is a part of the Finger of God and the T-Square. I also noticed that Neptune is retrograde. Retrogrades always seem important, however, in your analysis, you did not really say anything about this aspect. How does retrograde Neptune affect the event if at all?
    Thank you. BTW, I appreciate all of your astrological analyses and always look forward to reading them. They sure came fast and furious for a couple weeks there.
    Will1000

  31. John, I would like to 2nd Alex’s question about the “evolution of human consciousness” and whether or not it relates to Whig history, utopian ideas, or the myth of progress. I realize there are some esoteric groups that take a “pansophic” view of history. I have been conflicted on this for quite some time now. While I believe the Hermetic view that the human being is a microcosm of the universe, and therefore it would follow that each individual has the potential to realize the divine nature within themselves, I struggle with the notion that all of humanity is progressively spiraling upward in some grand arc of “spiritual evolution”. I guess I think that individuals have the opportunity to participate in that evolution, but it has to be by free choice. When I look at the rise and fall of human civilizations, I just see collective masses of people making the same dumb mistakes over and over again. Any thoughts?

  32. It’s rare that I dream about known real people, but last night I found myself in an apple orchard where there was a shrine set up to the memory of your late wife, featuring a rune-poem on the nature of grief. It was autumn, and all the apples were ready for harvest. It’s even more rare that I am overcome with sorrow in a dream, but I was this time.

    I don’t often share dreams, but this one seems relevant at least to an open thread.

  33. >I’ll consider leaving the country

    To paraphrase Guns N Roses – where would you go? Where would you go now? Where would you go?

  34. I have a kind of meditation on what some folks might term psychic abilities. To wit, my own. I realized a week or so ago that all the books screaming “Develop your Psychic Powers” were just plain silly. Why? Not that some of them might not work to some degree (and laying aside the question of appropriateness), but before you can do anything along those lines, you need to take a personal inventory of what’s going on with you in that department. And that’s when I discovered something. I’ve always been highly psychic. I didn’t quite twig to that. As an autistic person, I never knew just what that meant. I always thought fireworks and thought-reading, premonitions of the future and aura-viewing. I knew a couple of acknowledged psychics and that’s what they manifested.

    My own gifts are nothing like so dramatic. I feel things about places. Houses, neighborhoods, regions, countries. Pretty much anything geographic. Mostly unclear feelings usually understood after the fact. I also feel things. I mean about things, objects. Whether they are clothes or jewelry or household objects. Doesn’t matter. Back when I was in high school I got a summer job with a moving company. I felt the “stuff” and mood of every household we moved. It didn’t stop me doing my job, but it was always there, a powerful odor if you will. Usually more sad or less sad. So I can’t happily go into a thrift store without becoming somewhat saddened from the vibes of the things left behind. Maybe that comes from my having formed an attachment to my stuffed animals as a child. I certainly didn’t have actual humans to interact with as freely. Then, finally, I do get feelings from people. Not clear, usually, in the moment. Clear enough in hindsight when my own hopes and fears have been scraped or rubbed off of the situation. Oh, and stars. In the right circumstances, I feel them too. Alive, sharp intelligences.

    These psychometries, if you will (for that’s what most of them are) never leave me, so I never noticed them. They are part of the world I live in, like air, light, sunshine and the like. So I never thought anything of them. But it finally (after over 70 years) came to me that these are psychic phenomena, in their way every bit as dramatic as my friend the laboratory psychic of yesteryear. And it may be that people sense those gifts in some way, scenting them, if you will, so that coupled with my autistic responses to them, I’m even more than usually avoided except in cases of necessity.

    When I communicate with my higher powers, they say about these things: keep doing what you’re already doing. But it’s funny to discover this about myself rather late in life, and so markedly.

    I’d be interested in hearing from the commentariat and JMG about what their sense of this stuff is. I know the godmother of the magical revival has to say about them (Dion Fortune in various books), that one tends to experience the negative effects of psychic gifts that go undeveloped. I’ve even seen this in a couple of ex-nuns who would be horrified at the idea of deliberately developing their scary gifts. But my situation has accompanied me in my spiritual and magical journeys over time and doesn’t seem to be having an ill effect. Has anyone else been surprised to observe that they aren’t the “dead heads” they thought they were?

    Thanks for any commentary forthcoming.

  35. >What are your thoughts on the federal debt? This should be the biggest story in all news media. Why is it ignored?

    Why? The only entities that even cared about it were the Republicans, and even then they only complained about it, they never did anything about it. The furthest those clowns ever got was some laws to mandate a balanced budget (just make the debt stop growing), which have all failed (look up Gramm-Rudman-Hollings and facepalm). And I remember 2016, the Republicans trotted out their tired old “This is a problem, we need to fix it” and people collectively said “You always say that and you never do anything about it, SHUT UP”. So they did. More or less.

    So, there never were any brakes on this train, only a warning light, which has now burned out. Enjoy the ride, especially now that we’re past the linear part of the Taylor Series and into the higher order terms of exponential growth. That’s where you get the doubling and the doubling and the doubling. Bigger numbers are better numbers…

  36. Lenocracy in action:

    Recently I had the problem, the current postman doesnt ring nor put any notice in my mailbox, which means I don’t receive packages and dont know where they are. I complained a lot, until they assured me theyll talk to him. Others around had the same complaint.
    The old postman, he was a friendly, even cordial guy, a great man. He went to his well deserved retirement, as his health was very compromised, many operations.

    And this is just a prelude to the lenocratic story to tell here:

    A friend is officially unemployed, so theyd want to send him to be a postman. The post agency, a public private partnership, a stock company as such, officially lied to the office of labor. They promised pay of 1700 euro per months full time.

    But it is more like 1300, for FIFTY hours a week, let that sink in.

    The labor office promised consequences for the mail service stock company for that.

    I asked my friend, what are they doing, and he said: well, they are a stock company, the shareholders want their “value”.
    So they try to squeeze their personell…

    Vienna also has a shortage of bus drivers. According to newspapers, among other things they often have gap time where they have to wait for their next route, somewhere with nothing to do, UNPAID!

  37. Sirustalcelion, rabies comes to mind. There was one report from Virginia, I think, of a person being attacked by a rabid beaver. Beavers are far too useful to be allowed to be exterminated although the rabid ones should be shot as much to protect the rest of beaverdom as for us. AIDS of course, treatment of which I understand requires a lot of chemical intervention. Don’t forget the likelihood of babies being born with AIDS, especially in circumstances of extreme disorder.

    Forecasting Intelligence et.al., it distresses me to see that Europeans don’t think their homelands are worth defending. IMHO, anyone wanting to make a new life in the USA needs to be willing to put in their time doing the grungy jobs, just like I and our host and many other Americans have done. There is trash everywhere you look in the NYC subways. Why does not Mayor Adams put the recently bused in “migrants” to work there?

  38. @cirustalcelian,
    there are already significant pharmaceutical shortages in Canada. I have personally had medications I use be unavailable for 5 months at a time. I make certain that I have a significant stockpile of anything I can, and with the one I can’t, that I’m prepared to do without if I have to.

    So people dying for lack of drugs in developed countries is a lot closer than you may be thinking. I can think of a bunch of possibilities.
    -anything only produced in one factory on the other side of the world, especially China or other not very friendly countries
    -any drug so expensive that an impoverished healthcare system refuses to cover it and you can’t afford it. Already a thing, though it mostly happens with new drugs for relatively rare conditions rather than drugs that have been available for years. It will quite likely become more common for more medications for more conditions. Yes, the drug is still being made… but its not available to you.
    -difficulty finding a doctor who will see you so you can get into the system, or in accessing tests to diagnose illnesses. No diagnosis = don’t get correct treatment. This can easily result in not getting treatment in time to do any good.
    – antibiotic and antiviral resistance. Yes, you can still get x medication, but it won’t work on that infection…
    -people with chronic illnesses are really vulnerable to interruptions in the supply of their medications. Think insulin-dependent diabetics for a model. Though at least there are multiple types of insulin available from multiple different sources. That isn’t true for all chronic diseases. Dialysis seems like another one that might be harder and harder to get. While not potentially fatal, trans people on sex hormones could lose access to them, which will throw a pretty spectacular spanner in some gender issues.

    Don’t forget that euthanasia may be pushed as an alternative to treating people with poor prognoses who are considered ‘too expensive’ or ‘not valuable enough’. This is most dangerous to elderly, chronically ill, and disabled people who are poor and have few social supports, judging from Canada’s experience.

    For more ideas take a look at what people in developed countries deal with. There’s a lot of people not getting drugs because they can’t afford them, or access medical care. Our future likely looks a lot like their present.

  39. Hello JMG,
    I recently read “God is Red” by Vine Deloria. I think I heard you on a podcast mention that you too had read some of his books? I also read “A World Full of Gods” which together with “God is Red” sparked this question for me. I was very interested in Deloria’s writings because I am from a culture similar to his which suffered a similar fate at the hands of Christian colonizers. When I picked it up, because of the subtitle “A Native View of Religion”, I thought I’d learn something about his spiritual traditions. I must say I was not prepared for this book. I did not grow up with Christianity since my family denounced it so I had only passing knowledge about The Bible and Christianity’s roots. By necessity I since did some additional reading on especially Christianity and Islam.
    What I got from Deloria’s book is basically that three world religions, which in reality are branches of one religion based on the same original religious accounts, went into religious hysteria during the course of five centuries. The political influence of these three faiths on the world can hardly be overstated which becomes a bit unsettling since the original religious texts which all the three world religions are founded upon refer to a divine being which by any reasonable account is far from benevolent. Judging by the accounts as presented in these texts, we are dealing with a divine megalomanic psychopath.
    It is also quite ironic that two religions founded upon end times cults have both been waiting for the imminent return of the same deceased cult leader, some two thousand years after the fact. They then proceed to violently and viciously fight between themselves over the details of that return. It really seems like a cruel cosmic joke that one of those religions, inspired by a message of the imminent divine destruction of the world, went on and conquered the world in a very violent and brutal fashion. Even though they both have had their periods of expansion and brutal subjugation of other people, it seems one of them took this carnage further than any other religion we know of.
    It seems to me as though some malevolent spirit or divine being latched on to this religious eschatological fervor of the Middle East two thousand years ago and has since then projected its will and power unto the world through it’s devout followers. Judging by history, it is bizarre that this religion is often described by its followers as one of kindness and compassion. The irony only continues considering that the original cult members were colonized by and in opposition to the Roman empire, only to then a few centuries later establish their religious capitol in Rome. This spiritual entity, it seems, has had a grand feast of blood sacrifice ever since. This looks like the logical conclusion if we are to give any credence to divine influence and power through the exercise of religion and religious activities. I would guess that many people active on this forum think of divinity and divine influence as a real and substantial force in the world.
    I doubt that this has not been observed by anyone else before me and would be interested to further look into this. I read Deloria’s book as research for a coming book but did not expect what he wrote about and now I would like to follow this train of thought and see where it leads. So, has anyone to your knowledge been brave, or stupid, enough to write something coherent on this topic? From what little I know about them some of the Gnostics famously made this observation and got burned at the stake for it.

    /Fredrik

  40. Report back on an experiment re blessing and cursing:

    A video on structured water had a section where three glasses of rice in water were shown. The control looked like rice in water. The blessed glass showed clear water with bubbles because the rice was undergoing healthy fermentation. The cursed glass showed rotting rice covered in a black ugly growth. The narrator said this experiment had been repeated thousands of times, always with the same result.

    I decided to repeat the experiment with sprouting lentils. Note I have been growing and eating lentil sprouts for some years.

    In each of three identical containers I placed a teaspoon of brown lentils and covered with the same amount of water. I soaked them for a day. That night I poured the water off and rinsed the lentils. Next morning, evening, and the following morning I rinsed the lentils. At each stage I was non-committal with the controls, praised the blessed ones and caressed their container, and told the cursed ones they were ugly and a damned nuisance and treated them roughly.

    Result: No visible difference was observed. See photo.
    https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53739281858_901b60e03b_c.jpg

    The lentils were then combined and mashed up with olive oil, salt, garlic, herbs, and nuts, and the resulting paste eaten. No difference with previous similar pestos was observed.

    Discussion:
    1. Maybe I am a bad blesser and curser. (Aside: in South Africa, “blesser” has the same meaning as “sugar daddy”)
    2. Maybe the experiment should have continued for longer.
    3. Maybe the lentils were immune. They were imported from Canada. Possibly they had their senses dulled with agrochemicals.

    Conclusion:
    It appears that the blessing and cursing effect is negligible. More research is needed.

  41. Joe, this does seem to be a week where people are asking questions that can only be answered at book length. In this case I have one advantage, which is that I expressed some of my ideas about art most of a decade ago in this post:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2016/08/the-emperors-new-art-parable.html

    With regard to your first question, whether or not art should be valued economically is an irrelevant question. Some of it will be and some of it won’t be, and nothing you or I or anyone else can do will change that. What makes an artwork successful depends on how you define success, and here again, you can legislate for yourself but the world will do what it wants to do. As for the relationship between art and magic, yet again, there will be many such relationships and neither you nor I get to decide what they are. (Generally speaking, questions that focus around the word “should” are wasted breath, since that word normally functions as a way to take a personal value judgment and dress it up as some kind of universal claim.) Finally, regarding this notion that artists can express things that others are unable to express, maybe so, but if they don’t do it in a way that communicates to the rest of us, who cares?

    Rajarshi, Adler was definitely on to something. I don’t think he had the whole truth, but he had a very important part of it.

    Clay, it’s also possible — and in fact likely — that the elite classes are divided among themselves, and the faction represented by Soros is anti-Israel while other factions are pro-Israel.

    Toomas, I don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate Catholic monasticism — and of course I also appreciate Buddhist monasticism and the Shaker movement, though I’m neither a Buddhist nor a Shaker. Thank you for this!

    Patricia M, thank you for this! I’ve bookmarked it and will be studying it closely.

    Glacier, imagine for a moment that you are standing in the middle of a football stadium. You are blindfolded and have a laser pointer. Somebody spins you around, and then it’s your job to point the laser pointer in some direction or other and push the on switch. In the stadium there is one person sitting. What are the odds that you will hit him in one eye? That’s roughly the odds that any given large coronal mass ejection will hit the earth. The earth is very small, it’s 93 milion miles away from the sun, and CMEs can emerge anywhere on the sun’s surface and go in any direction. It’s really quite astonishing, all things considered, that one of them of Carrington event size hit during recorded history.

    Will1000, retrogradation has been given exaggerated importance in modern astrology. In the more traditional art, it’s simply one detriment, and not an especially important one; since Neptune is still in his rulership in Pisces, that detriment weakens him a little but not enough to really matter.

    Great Khan of Potlucks, will do.

    Sirustalcelion, thank you. That’s seriously funny — and yes, there’s real magic there.

    Ashlar, here again, please bring this up when there are next five Wednesdays in a month. It’s a subject difficult to discuss at any less length than a post. I will say that spiritual evolution is for individuals, not collectivities, and as some souls rise above the human level others are entering that level from below — which is why the general intelligence and wisdom of humanity remains pretty much what it ever was.

    Leo, good heavens. Thank you for telling me about this.

    Other Owen, anywhere that isn’t going to be in the middle of a civil war. I really don’t think most people grasp how catastrophic that would be in a brittle, bankrupt, hideously vulnerable nation like this one.

    Clarke, excellent! Most people have at least some talent for psychometry; when I talk about the “vibe” of a place, nearly everybody knows what I mean. I tend to think, in fact, that psychism is a normal phenomenon in human beings — it’s just that in Western societies children are bullied out of noticing their own perceptions.

    Curt, thanks for the data point!

    Fredrik, there have been a lot of books written along these lines over the last few centuries; it’s not a new idea by any means. From my standpoint as an occultist, I’d point out that the religions in question all either emerged or took their modern forms during the Piscean age (roughly 273 BC-1887 AD), and the Piscean energy is very much one of contradiction and internal conflict — thus it’s no surprise that a Piscean religion based on love and compassion would also be guilty of unspeakable atrocities. Other ages had their own besetting sins; the ancient Druids were slaughtered by Pagan Romans, after all, in a display of colonialist vengefulness that will rival anything you might have in mind. To my mind, the crucial thing in making sense of any of the legacies of the Piscean age is to realize that it’s not either-or but both-and — that the religion of Francis of Assisi was also that of Tomas de Torquemada, that organized Christianity was equally responsible for the concept of universal human rights and for many of history’s ugliest violations of that concept, and that these wildly divergent phenomena really do flow naturally from the same source.

    Martin, a real blessing is motivated by love, a real curse is motivated by hate. Going through the motions out of experimental curiosity won’t do much in either case.

  42. Greeting JMG,

    Something different happened this morning when I was performing the SOP with the two dragons from Dolmen Arch Grade 4. I’ve been practicing this for about a month.

    As I brought the currents up the first time, instead of the currents flowing around the outside of the neck they tried to go from the heart center straight up the throat. My throat reacted and closed down some, now things feel a little swollen in my throat. The next two times bringing the currents up I was sure to imagine them going to the outside of my neck which went fine.

    Any suggestion to settle things down? At least this is a reminder that TSWs – er, maybe not works in this case, but TS does things. 😉

    Thanks!
    Matt

  43. @JMG

    I searched your archive and notice that you have in the past made mention of an 18th-century spiritualist figure named Emanuel Swedenborg.

    Why do I mention it? Because Swedenborg appears to be a favourite teacher of this fellow and his co-writers:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=64uyYw2jywA

    https://www.amazon.ca/Amazing-Journey-Into-Psychotic-Mind/dp/1716919541

    He is a retired psychologist whose thesis is that schizophrenia is literally caused by demons; he argues that the only reason modern psychiatrists can’t see this is because they are trapped in an intellectual paradigm where it “can’t” be true.

    IMHO the video and book are compelling and worth entertaining. It’s all frankly easier to believe in the wake of COVID where now everybody knows there is something seriously wrong with the way that modern medicine decides what is authoritative.

    @The Other Owen #37

    I expect everyone will want to know the answer to this. I only comment because it is a never-ending source of amusement to me that so many Canadians with a conservative bent are perennially talking about “moving to the USA” – and meanwhile I read lots of forums where the USians are like “get me out of here, this place is gonna blow”.

  44. JMG,
    Thank you for your answer. No, I certainly guessed that this observation has been made many times before. The Piscean energy is definitely something I considered, but a lot of religious and other human activity took place in the world at large during that time period without going to such extremes as the Abrahamic religions did. Are there any books you are aware of that would be worth reading on the subject?

    /Fredrik

  45. >In a curious symmetry, it now appears to me that a significant number of people, especially but not only in America, who made “being on the Right” part of their self image are going functionally insane – over [That Which Shall Not Be Named]

    Whoa thar cowboy. You might want to look at the recent re-election of Rep Thomas Massie, who came out as being less than rah-rah about Those-Who-Can’t-Be-Talked-About-In-This-Country-Or-Else. 75% of the people voted for him, despite Them throwing $400k at his opponents to git him, because he wasn’t sufficiently deferential to Their wishes.

    But no, I get you, there are some Boomers (it’s mostly Boomers) who are Supporting Them No Matter What. Tend to go to church, really really go to church, that crowd. But the world is not monolithic and not everyone is on board.

    While we’re jogging through this particular minefield, my take on What’s Going On Over There, what Mike Ehrmantraut said pretty much sums up my response.

    https://farside.link/invidious/watch?v=e-okHmYJZK4

  46. Hi Mary,

    I am merely following Johns own advice to Europeans, start thinking about getting out.

  47. Do you have advice for how to make a successful blog? I’m hoping to make a career as a writer, and as part of this, I have set up a substack and will launch it on June 12. I plan to use it to build an audience, and use that as a starting point for a career as a writer. I asked on some recent Magic Mondays about spiritual ways to get a boost, but I’d also like to know if you have any other advice you can share at this point.

  48. Hi JMG,
    Thank you for all the great content! I wonder if the meditation methods you have described in your series on the ritual of high magic could be applied to I Ching– or if you have any thoughts on the I Ching im general.

    Thanks again!

  49. JMG,
    It occurred to me that another of the many ways to judge if and empire ( or society) is on the way up or on the way down is to see how it treats its education system. When the US was on the way up ( 1940’s to 1950’s) it had practical ( at least better than now) k-12 school system and an excellent public university system that was nearly free to qualifying students. Since it has turned the corner and is on its way down the k-12 schools have become over administrated indoctrination centers without any focus on important subjects and no rigor whatsoever. The universities have become nothing but a financial racket to funnel money to a certain class, and create debt slaves.
    In constrast I was reading a report by a Swiss journalist who had the opportunity to visit the newly “liberated” Russian speaking territories in the Ukraine. In particular Mariupol and the new schools the Russians were building there. The journalist described the ” special schools” being built to develop the science and technology leaders of the future in Russia. These public schools were equipped with the latest technology and the students attending them would be going there 12 hours a day with rigorous studies in math, science, philosophy etc in the first half of the day, and instruction in music, dance, sports, and marksmanship in the second half of the day. These schools are in in the hinterlands of Russia and not for the elites of Moscow or St Petersburg. It would be like we put our finest new schools ( assuming we even did such a thing) in Kentucky or Puerto Rico.
    Russia seems to be valuing their children as an important resource for the future to be developed while the US is at the stage where school kids are just another resource to be strip-mined for money or propaganda.

  50. @JMG, I‘ve got it on good authority that Germany is rather nice… 😉

    And while we‘re probably in for a lot of trouble over here, a civil war doesn‘t seem to be in the cards for the foreseeable future, thankfully. Small mercies and all that.

    Milkyway

  51. Clarke, JMG, anyone else, (RE psychometry)

    My dog had to get her tail removed because she wouldn’t stop chewing it and cones weren’t working. When she came back from surgery, I could overtly feel the energy of her pain in my hands when touching her. Not just a little bit, but a lot. This lasted in strong fashion for a couple weeks, and now that she’s better, I only feel a little of something. I’m not sure if that is pain anymore. She seems pretty happy now. Just thought I’d share since it’s on the topic of psychometry.

  52. We have a date for an Ecosophian Convention in Glastonbury, UK – 6-8 June 2025. JMG will be there and others to be announced. There is a loose plan to use the Friday to explore the sites, eg, the Tor etc and then the weekend will be talks and discussions. Tickets will be roughly £50-£60 although day tickets will be available too. If you want to register your interest email me at ecosophianconvention at gmail.

  53. I certainly chuckled when the first handful of comments were about an apocalypse du jour because it was kind of on my mind after having seen The Ethical Skeptic’s recent posts on signs of water inundation of the Egyptian pyramids and the conclusion that that led him to when he put together a Dzhanibekov oscillation and the earth’s core being cattywumpus. Hint: not a pole shift but an actual rotational shift. Though you dislike videos, there are one or two on youtube that show what a Dzhanibekov oscillation is, better than I can describe (think: something with one long axis, and one cattywumpus second “half” axis that causes a rotating-around-long-axis object in space (sans gravity) to suddenly flip that short axis 180 degrees).

    https://theethicalskeptic.com/2024/05/12/exothermic-core-mantle-decoupling-dzhanibekov-oscillation-ecdo-theory/ (on some topics, what he says makes sense, though I can’t help but wonder if he’s a limited hangout… )

    I don’t know – it certainly is heebie-jeebie inducing to think of the possibility (and Herodotus and others don’t help for mentioning the sun alternating its rising/setting locations). Well, if we’re in for it in the next few years, it was nice knowing you all from here in California’s bathtub which will do very well for some high-rollicking ocean displacement. glub glub).

    Maybe this is the kind of thing that destroyed Atlantis and Lemuria? Ugh, I guess I do still fancy the thrill of a horror-story-catastrophe? (Sigh. I’m a-gonna try to NOT go there. I mostly just want to think about sheep and fodder trees and synergy… and and eeman biocircuits… so, back to focusing on those, unless you want to take a look at the abovementioned site and glance over his argument…).

  54. Hello JMG, last week you mentioned monastic life as a way to get rid of lenocracy and this brought to my mind the following question, I would be happy if you answer; I think Ars Notoria should be saved and I think it will be important for the future of monastic life and education, I think of it as a chain of wisdom passed down in a chain like the Bene Gesserit Sisters… this comment mixed thought and question, anyway take care JMG!! !

  55. Where to be if civil war breaks out? If you know of such a place, it’s probably a good idea not to advertise it.

  56. Seeking comfort and such lifting-up as can be done in a community like this: my almost 90 y/o mother went to hospital Sunday night with (yet another) gastric blockage, and by Monday morning had developed aspirant pneumonia and was sent to Intensive Care. Pneumonia is being treated but the gastric blockage hasn’t shifted. She’s no candidate for surgery. They’ve been giving IV nutrition but have trouble maintaining a vein. I know her time is short; I would be grateful for best wishes for her to get out of hospital and pass peacefully at home in her own time. Thanks, friends.

  57. I would like to have my natal chart done and hoped the commentariat ( or you, JMG) could recommend someone. I would also like any recommendations on a good basic book on natal astrology,

    Thanks to all.

  58. One of the things that I, and others around me have noticed, is that Boomer humor tends to have a vicious edge to it. This isn’t a recent thing either; a lot of popular Boomer comedians and entertainers, such as Dave Letterman or Howard Stern, have this very confrontational, snarky edge to them. Any insights into why Boomer humor is this way?

  59. @Chris: re: Book Club. I think it would be possible and fun to do a book / pen pal club. Combine it with old technology and letter writing and get someone to run the book club in the style of an APA -Amateur Press Association (a short outline of how to do that was in my Cheap Thrills column for New Maps Fall 2023 issue). It might be more fun to do it in this retro way, to give everyone practice for when this stuff doesn’t work so well. Of course, for those who want to hang out on the net, someone could start an Ecosophian IRC or Slack channel even. A book club could be done as an old fashioned listserv too. I always enjoyed a good listserv. But, I still think an Ecosophian / Deindustrial fiction APA would be good for this community over the longer term. H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Howard had a lot of experience with those APA’s back in the day…

    @Peter the Khan of Potlucks: Yeah, I can see that would be one of the factors that led to the demise of these kinds of places. And I think alcoholism / addiction is of a response and symptom. I can see that going both ways, depending on the circumstances and situation. That said there are plenty of rich addicts and alcoholics, crack heads for instance, who will get forever shielded from the consequences of their behavior. I think doctors and lawyers have some of the highest instances of addiction as related to profession. There probably aren’t as many of them living in those kind of places.

  60. @Justin Patrick Moore re: homelessness and housing-first policies
    I highly, highly recommend reading Quinones’ book “The Least of Us” about the current situation with drugs, particularly fentanyl and P2P meth. He explains, in stark detail, why ‘housing first’ doesn’t work anymore (it used to– there were some successful programs), and why yes, we actually do need to be able to arrest vagrants and charge them with something more than misdemeanors.

    He goes into a lot of detail on it, but the short version is: cheap synthetic drugs change everything. Most of the sleeping-on-the-street homeless these days are meth addicts (we’re not talking about sleeping in their car, or in a relative’s garage here). The P2P meth imported in vast quantities from Mexico over the last ten years (unlike the previous ephedrine based version) quickly causes symptoms of neuro damage and paranoid schizophrenia, with a couple other fun things thrown in like hoarding, dental rot, and muscle twitching– once on P2P meth, these people typically *become* homeless within a year, and then the drugs make it OK to be living rough. Throw in fentanyl, and the problem is, they’re on the fast-track to OD, and you can’t get them into voluntary rehab before the drugs kill them. They won’t go, and the drugs are too cheap, too potent, and too easy to get. If you give them housing first, they have all their addict friends over and they rip the walls out, break the fixtures, and sell the wiring to buy more meth. It doesn’t work, and no amount of money thrown at the problem can afford to keep rebuilding the housing. It’s been tried and it doesn’t work. So far, the only thing that does work (and it’s expensive and intensive) is to arrest them first, and then offer them the choice of jail or court-mandated residential rehab (jail, but in a drug-treatment ward). That’s the only way to get them into treatment *and* house them. Success rate is still pretty grim, but it’s not zero and you don’t have to completely rebuild the apartment after every tenant.

  61. @Sirustalcelion, #18

    I will second JMG’s suggestion on diabetes type I, even more so due to the facts surrounding the epigenetics of obesity. It’s been some time since I look into it but, IIRC, people who has lived their formative years while consuming an industrial diet (high simple carbs, unsaturated “vegetable” oils, etc) will produce gametes with slightly altered RNA, which in turn will cause their offspring to manifest in their phenotype some genes that had been present but dormant in earlier (healthier) generations, and which would mess up the mechanisms that regulate assimilation of nutrients, pancreatic hormones first and foremost amongst them.

    Another suggestion is kidney disease. This is already happening in all the Americas, and my home state of Jalisco, Mexico is one of the worst hit. Mexico is pretty bad already (not as bad in deaths, because we have resources that Central American countries do not; but we lead the continent in years lived with disability: https://www.paho.org/en/enlace/burden-kidney-diseases). Jalisco is one of the focal areas where the prevalence is much worse and the average patient is much younger. While this is officially of “unknown cause” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31397272/), there’s a public debate locally regarding water contamination as a very likely culprit. This of course will never be accepted officially, but anecdotal evidence shows that the epidemic is worse in the rural municipalities that follow the Lerma-Santiago basin.

    Then, of course, there’s the whole organ transplant issue. Something that I have noticed for a long time is that all the organ harvesting business depends on there being a very large funnel of otherwise healthy, young people, who die violently in a way that kills the brain but leave the target organs mostly unmolested. We have this in today world, mostly thanks to the high risk of ubiquitous (and mostly privately operated) motorized vehicles.

    I have come to believe this last is a thinly disguised form of human sacrifice our secular religion offers to Mighty God Progress. To what lengths would a privileged subculture, and one who is utterly afraid of their own mortality, go to preserve these technologies while they are still materially viable but which no longer receives the influx of terminal car-crash patients? How future societies, more inline with the realities of life and death, would judge the actions of their forefathers? I wish I had what it takes to explore these questions in a compelling story.

    You may contact me directly at Dreamwidth if you want to bounce some ideas. I have devoted some time to ponder this thoughts and will be glad to help.

  62. Dear JMG (@#45), in your reply to Fredrik you give specific dates for the beginning and end of the Piscean Age. Which method of calculation do you use?

  63. Does anyone know if there are any spiritual reasons not to use what I believe are memories of a past life as the structure of a historical novel?

  64. Hey JMG

    Have you been reading anything about the riots in New Caledonia that started when clueless France tried to allow French nationals who had lived for at least 10 years in the island to vote?

  65. At this link is the full list of all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at ecosophia.net and ecosophia.dreamwidth.org, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

    If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below or at the prayer list page.

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

    May Erika, who recently lost her partner James and has been dealing with major knee problems (and who senses a connection between the two), be healed in both broken heart and broken knee, and be able to dance in the sun once more.
    May Doug Y of Geauga County, Ohio be supported and healed as he makes his way through the diagnosis and treatment process for prostate cancer.

    May Ms. Krieger’s hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut recover quickly and fully from the gasoline tanker fire that destroyed an overpass and shut down interstate 95 on May 2. May the anger and fire that has made driving in the area so fraught cool down in a way that benefits all beings. May all people, animals, and other beings around the highway, the adjacent river and the harbor be protected and blessed, and may the natural environment improve to the benefit of all. (update)

    May Christina, who passed away on 5/8, experience a peaceful repose; may the minor child she leaves behind be cared for, and the needs of all affected me met; and may her family be comforted in this difficult time.

    May Frank Rudolf Hartman of Altadena California (picture), who is receiving chemotherapy, be completely cured of the lymphoma that is afflicting him, and may he return to full health.

    Jay (SDI) and his family are in the process of moving. May they settle quickly and easily into their new town, and may their old house find its way to whoever is best to care for it next.

    Tyler A’s wife Monika’s pregnancy is high risk; may Mother and child be blessed with good health and a smooth delivery, and be soothed and healed from their recent pains and discomfort in a manner that supports a positive outcome to the pregnancy.

    May Deathcap’s friend Mike, who has begun a 5 week course of radiation treatment after a nearly fatal surgery for a malignant tumor on his leg, be healed of his cancer and return to full health quickly and as completely as possible.

    May new mother Molly M recover quickly and completely from her recent stroke and the lingering loss of vision and slurred speech that ensued, and may newborn Lela and husband Austin be comforted and strengthened through this difficult time.

    May Just Another Green Rage Monster‘s father, who is dealing with Stage 4 Lymphoma, and mother, who is primary caregiver, be blessed, protected and healed.

    May Kyle’s friend Amanda, who though in her early thirties is undergoing various difficult treatments for brain cancer, make a full recovery; and may her body and spirit heal with grace.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.

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

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

  66. Hey Princess Cutekitten,

    In the most recent Magic Monday you wrote:

    Can you put me back on the list? The previous mortgage servicer pulled a number of fast ones. The lawyer scared them off. Now the new servicer is doing the same thing:

    While we’re at it, let’s pray for mortgage servicers to be outlawed and we can all go back to paying the bank. This whole expensive mess started when the Chase Bank was hurting for money and sold a bunch of mortgages.

    And let’s pray for lenocracy to go away. I’d be willing to try capitalism.

    I wasn’t able to check it again in time to reply to you there, and I find myself a bit unsure what you actually wish me to set down as a prayer request for you– what you are seriously asking for a prayer for, versus what might simply be wry humor. I apologize if I’m being boneheaded, but would you help me read through the lines here and formulate the specific phrasing for a prayer request for me to add?

    Regarding praying for the end of lenocracy (though you were likely simply being humorous), I’m not sure I could add such a thing in good conscience. It could be like praying for parasites to not exist; should such a thing actually come to pass, the ecosystem would be devastated, as Mao Zedong’s war on sparrows to protect rice crops showed dramatically when it resulted in millions of people starving to death.

  67. JMG:
    Been pondering some of your recent posts on mundane political astrology (particularly the April post on the Mars – Saturn conjunction) in light of current events and wondering if you could provide some clarification on the 9th House – that of the judiciary and organized religion. Is judiciary being used here to signify the judicial institutions of the federal government specifically or the legal system, generally.
    The reason I ask is – while there is definitely trouble within the federal judiciary under the leadership of the Biden admin (see, every single case being brought against Trump), there also seems to be a major vibe shift within the broader culture of American lawyers; a recognition, however faint, that The Law is something more than a bunch of arbitrary procedural shenanigans and case holdings created by lawyers. Not that I expect them to do anything useful with this late in the hour revelation but noticeable all the same.
    Cheers
    Chris

  68. I will repost something i did last night on the last post. There is an interesting post by B on the honest sorcerer. com called the end of science as a useful tool. It seems to go along very well with a lot that we have been discussing here.
    Stephen

  69. Glacier Fed, and JMG – Re: Solar effects. As an electrical engineer and ham radio operator, I’ve been paying attention to the sun, and to the potential impact of a big CME, for years. The recent event was “category 5”, on a scale of 1 to 5, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be stronger. And it’s NOT like the hurricane scale, where Cat-5 just blows everything down, so there’s no point in having a higher category. We really don’t know how big a solar flare could be, or how often a dangerous event will come along. We’ve only had large-scale electrical systems for a little over 100 years, so “1 in a 100 year” events might be catastrophic, or might not be. I’ve just seen an estimate that the Carrington Event was about 3x as strong as the event about two weeks ago. AFAIK we took no damage from the recent storm, but there are thresholds for damage that may or may not have been approached.

    Here’s what I know: ground-induced currents have damaged long-distance power transformers, but the direct damage is limited to those transformers. Such equipment is protected by circuit breakers, because terrestrial storms can also cause electrical faults which could damage transformers. As long as nobody is reckless about re-closing the circuit breakers before the geomagnetic storm has passed (i.e., no pennies in the fuse-box), my take on the “worst-case scenario” is a few days without grid power. It might take a few more days to restore service, assuming nothing gets damaged. A heavily-loaded transformer is more vulnerable than a lightly-loaded one, so a utility can take steps to protect its equipment by shedding some users, without shutting everything down.
    The Space Weather Prediction Center (swpc.noaa.gov) has real-time updates on the space weather conditions, for the curious. “Curiously”, a lot of their data reporting was suspended during the most recent storm! When there is a CME, their animated map of the inner solar system shows shock waves across the interplanetary medium, helping us guess to what extent it will impact the earth. (Rather than a laser-pointer in a stadium, I’d say it’s more like a nauseous guest at the dinner table: the effects are more-or-less just depend on which side of the table you’re sitting.)
    An interesting side effect: self-driving cars that relied on GPS to know where they were made some mistakes during the storm, trying to match the high speed of a nearby parallel highway, when on a low-speed feeder, and vice-versa.

  70. Martin Beck- In addition to JMG’s response to your blessing experiment, I want to point out that if there is some particular part of your garden to which you apply a blessing, you are probably more likely to get out and care for it, remembering that you have blessed it, than if you simple put seeds or plants into the ground and wait for the harvest. This is obviously not a scientific experiment, because you know which plants you blessed. But an outside observer might notice that your consciousness of the plants’ needs has been enhanced by the act of blessing, and you may get better results for having done so.

    This is somewhat like saying “I’d rather have a safe and effective placebo than a marginally effective clinically tested medicine (with uncertain side-effects).”

  71. Hello Mr Greer,

    According to the teachings on reincarnation, do rebirths of an individual soul follow the arrow of time, or can there be some shuffling around? For example, would a person who dies in 23rd century necessarily be reborn after the date of their demise, or could their next reincarnation possibly occur in Middle Ages? Thank you.

  72. @Clarke/Gwydion re: autism/psychism

    Welcome to the club 😉 I think you’ve described it pretty well. I’ve spent a lot of time musing on the nature of both, and one tentative conclusion is… that autism isn’t just one thing. It’s a bunch of different things with similar outward expressions (symptoms observed by people not you). But when you read about, and talk to, other people on the spectrum, what you find is a huge range of internal experiences. Not everybody with that dx (self or official) has the ‘psychic’ part, just like not all of us have hyperacute hearing, or can’t tell when we’re hungry. But I think in those who do have some degree of psychism, it may be causative. Like, we missed out on social signalling because we were already reading things on some other level, and short-circuited the normal social learning process. Much of the more recent literature on ASDs acknowledges nearly-universal abnormalities in sensory gating/filtering/regulation. We are under- or over- sensitive to various stimuli, and we don’t filter sensory information normally. That’s just the stuff they can measure in a lab, but my working theory is that it extends far beyond that. We have abnormal gating on the astral, etheric, spiritual, and whatever other levels too, and it’s highly variable between us. You read objects. I can occasionally get a buzz off an object– smartphones and tablet devices have a really malign energy– but mostly thrift store stuff is just stuff. I read people and places… but lacking normal body language and facial expressions, I struggle to be able to convey to anyone else, the information I get that way. Like you, I was puzzled by this for a long time: I wonder now if the shortcut to people-reading is *why* I am now so bad at reading facial expressions, social signals, and body language. A bit like if you learned math with a calculator from the start, so you never had to learn your times tables or how to do long division. Missed that step because it wasn’t initially necessary for basic survival or something. I always knew which people were safe, and which weren’t, so maybe I skipped the process of learning to read that from physical, verbal, and behavioral signs, and only felt the lack when it was too late. I didn’t learn to read it the normal way, so I can’t signal it back in the normal way.

    I don’t know any of that for sure. It’s just a theory. I wish there were a handy field guide for it. We all seem to be muddling along trying to figure it out on our own, because it’s not the sort of thing you can bring up in polite company 😉

  73. Greetings one and all!

    Anyone know where to get an affordable used violin/fiddle? My son is turning 13 next week and is expressing sustained interest. He has self taught piano experience but no other string experience.

    Thanks!
    Matt

  74. Hello, all. Last open post I discussed parapsychology and psychical stuff. I thought I might share a slightly odd experience I had as a result of all that. I’ll try to keep this short.

    For a start, my brother and I tried in the past to try to test telepathy using playing cards. We were successful in a couple sessions (we only did this four or five times), but we didn’t take any records down and in hindsight the results were pretty ambiguous.

    Anyway lately I decided to try this again, testing both with the two of us and guessing cards on my own. The latter I didn’t really expect to work. Mostly we didn’t get any results. But there were a couple times I got correct guesses that also coincided with oddly specific patterns in the cards. One time I guesses an 8 of clubs correctly and it was followed by two more eights. (The 8 of clubs was my very first guess after shuffling the cards, first thing in the morning, so this didn’t happen after a long slog of wrong guesses.) So that was a little odd, but I didn’t see much reason to get excited about it. I didn’t get 4 eights, which would have been really cool, and the number 888 doesn’t mean anything to me. Then while doing guesses with my brother I predicted (sort of as a joke) that I would get a good hand (we guess in sets of five before shuffling) and I drew three Kings in a row. Again, kind of neat, but not too impressive, and disappointing that I didn’t get four.

    But the next day I tried guessing by myself again. In the first set of five I guessed “7 of spades or clubs” for one card, and it was the seven of spades. A sort-of hit, though I cheated by guessing two cards. The next set of five I guessed one right. The next set I guessed one right again, and after four cards I realized the cards in this set were coming out in order- 7,8,9,10. My intuition at this point was the next card should be a 6, since that would break the pattern (as the other two times it broke) but would still be a good hand. Sure enough it was a 6.

    I told my brother about this, saying that I got 3 hits out of 15 and that I had then had the cards come out as a straight. But then it occurred to me that I had sort of lied- I hadn’t really gotten 3 hits, since the first hit wasn’t a proper hit. I decided to try one more guess, for some reason feeling sure it bring me up to three hits. I cut the deck to a random place, closed my eyes and I saw the 7 of spades. Sure enough, the card I had cut to was a 7 of spades.

    So that’s my experience. As far as paranormal experiences go its pretty lame- no haunting or alien abduction. Still, for a (mild) skeptic it was kind of crazy. Wonder if anyone here sees any meaning in it.

  75. I don’t know if she explains it further in the book, or maybe in another book, but I’m having a hard time squaring the circle of Dion Fortune considering herself Christian after getting to Chapter 5 of The Cosmic Doctrine.

    If I’m understanding things correctly, the Christian God is just one of an infinitude of Great Organisms, which seems to be at odds with my understanding of how most Christians view God. It seems to me like the Unmanifest with its infinite potentiality is a closer correlary to the omniscient omnipresent God that I always thought was central to Christian teaching. But maybe I am just misunderstanding the views of the religion.

  76. About insects: I am now seeing some humble bumbles, but not nearly so many as in former years. Until today, when the temp went up to about 87 degrees, there have been no mosquitoes, which means no dragonflies, who prey on skeeters. I saw a few today. I rather suspect there has been wholesale, and unannounced, spraying in anticipation of the expected cicada swarms.

  77. JMG, regarding your comment that you would potentially leave the US if domestic insurgency/civil war looked imminent: If one can’t realistically leave which region in the US would likely suck the least?

  78. Re: Moving abroad and fleeing civil strife

    I moved from the United States to New Zealand in 1999, and am now a dual-citizen of both countries. I moved here, because I saw the writing on the wall in the Clinton administration. To sum it up, 9/11 did not surprise me, and neither did Donald Trump. I was “out of Dodge” long before either event happened.

    Based upon my experience, the time for Americans to flee to other countries was about 25 years ago. I got out while “the getting was still good.” Since 9/11, New Zealand has rewritten its immigration law, from a blank sheet of paper TWICE (2002 and 2009, respectively). Many other countries have doubtless done the same.

    Keep in mind that settling in and being accepted by the locals takes a good, long time. New Zealand is an Anglo-based culture like that of the U.S., so that helped me a great deal. Nonetheless, it took me at least five years to get established here. You don’t just parachute into a new country and immediately start living like you did back home. Things take time.

    In the same way that the time to get out of a speculative mania is while prices are still booming, the time to flee civil strife is long before it happens. If you wait until the “proverbial” hits the impeller, it is way, way too late. You will be only one of squintillions of people trying to do the same thing, and “lotsa luck” finding any country that will take you in.

    If you have family or relatives abroad, or if you are famous like Einstein, Rachmaninoff or Thomas Mann, that might help. Otherwise, no soap!

    If the U.S. goes the way of “Yugoslavia times 1000” then “bugging in” with like minded people is the only realistic choice I see.

    Sorry to be a “downer” here, but I am just being realistic.

  79. @Methylethyl: Quinone’s new book is on my list. His previous one, Dreamland, was written very close to home, just upriver…

    I have close experience with someone who descended into meth psychosis. Luckily he got off drugs, been sober over a year, but he still exhibits signs of schizophrenia. He found religion and found some solace in that, but the voices and stuff are all there still. His brother is homeless out in SF, and he already had a major drug problem before he went to CA. It’s sad, because these were some of my closest friends and family (both) growing up. I agree that the hard drugs make it easier for someone to stay in a rough way of living.

    I think we need multi-pronged approaches to these multi-pronged problems. Treatment, law enforcement, housing reform, all have their part to play.

    I think a lot of the hopelessness among people and lack of meaningful work outside of the lenocracy drives many to these drugs.

  80. Matt, hmm! That’s a new one. You might see about getting some therapeutic massage to your neck; other than that, just making sure the energy goes the right way hereafter is the only thing I know of.

    Bofur, yes, I’ve heard about the revival of interest in demons. That happens every few decades — Felicitas Goodman’s book How About Demons?, originally published in 1988, is an earlier contribution to the genre. That said, anything that attracts interest to Swedenborg is a good thing in my book.

    Fredrik, all the books I can think of are very biased one way or another. Some of my other readers may have suggestions of their own.

    Taylor, why, yes, though I have no idea if this will work for you the way it did for me. First, post something substantial once a week, preferably on a fixed day of the week, so people will know when to show up and read you. Second, talk about things that nobody else is talking about — preferably, things that nobody in their right mind would talk about. Third, moderate comments ruthlessly, screening out trolls and bullies. Finally, expect to do this for six months to a year before anybody notices. Again, your mileage may vary, but it worked for me.

    Chris, I’ve divined with the Changes and gotten good results. Can discursive meditation be used with it? That’s a fine question, which can only be answered by experiment. Give it a try!

    Clay, that seems like a good metric to me. We’ll know that the US has passed rock bottom and started to recover when its schools actually teach something again.

    Milkyway, so noted!

    Bridge, thank you for this! Sign me up. 😉 Glastonbury is one of my favorite places on the planet and I’m looking forward to being there again; circumstances permitting, I’ll arrange to be there for more than just those three days.

    Temporaryreality, I’ll put it on my list of apocalypses to read when I’ve got the spare time.

    Yigit, what was the question?

    Phutatorius, you’ll notice that I haven’t specified.

    Michelle, positive energy on its way.

    Pam, I don’t have an astrologer to recommend, but Parker’s Astrology by Derek and Julia Parker seems to be the book most people suggest.

    Waffles, good question. I wonder if it’s that by and large, my generation was spoiled in childhood, and that often leads to nastiness.

    Robert, a great many occultists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries argued that the Aquarian Age began in late 1887. I think they’re right, because so many things that correspond to Uranus, the ruling planet of Aquarius, shifted into overdrive right around that time. Consider the redefinition of same-sex behaviors as identities — to begin with, Uranus is the planet of alternative sexualities (gay men used to be called Uranians!), but subcultures and fringe groups are also ruled by Uranus. Since an astrological age is c.2160 years long, the beginning point was a simple matter of subtraction.

    Ken, it’s been done repeatedly. One of the trashiest fantasy trilogies out there, Peter Valentine Timlett’s The Seedbearers trilogy, is based entirely on past life memoried Timlett collected as the librarian of a magical order! I know of no reason why you couldn’t do the same thing.

    J.L.Mc12, I’d heard about them but hadn’t really followed up.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Christopher, the astrological houses are alway very broad categories and so it’s not always, or often, possible to tell exactly what they refer to. “Something judicial or religious” is about as far as you can get. Watch that sense of the importance of law, though — the extreme abuse of the legal system by some political interests may be producing a blowback.

    Lathechuck, when you’re 93 million miles from the other side of the table, it makes a difference!

    Soko, people keep asking this. All I can tell you, or anyone, is that all my incarnations have followed a strict time order. That said, hang around a bit and a new Middle Ages is likely to show up!

    Matt, if you’d asked this four months ago I would have given you Sara’s; it found another home. Find a local luthier (violin maker and repairer) and ask their advice.

    Warren, you might read some of J.B. Rhine’s books on parapsychology.

    Sub, er, I hate to break it to you, but all Christians don’t believe exactly the same thing. There’s actually a lot of variation within the Christian movement, though of course every sect insists that its beliefs are the true ones and everyone else’s are distortions! Fortune came from one of the more eccentric ends of the Christian scene — you might have a look at Mormon theology sometime, which is surprisingly close to hers.

    Mary, remind me where you are.

    Croatoan, that’s impossible to tell until it becomes clear where the excreta are going to hit the impeller first.

    Michael, I don’t have as many fans as Thomas Mann but most of my books are now with an overseas publisher, and I’m in print in quite a few languages. I’m fairly sure I can manage something if I have to. I’ve also looked into the details and found several options that are well within reach.

    A, to be quite frank, why would you want to do something that stupid?

  81. Well, then in a year we can see how it went!

    On a different, darker note, I am currently making plans to be able to leave Canada in a hurry if the US gets another election similar to the one in 2020. Similar to how the English Civil War evolved into the War of the Three Kingdoms by dragging Scotland and Ireland into it, I suspect that any American civil war will end up involving Canada; and would much rather not be here for it.

    I really, truly hope it does not come to it, but I would much rather make plans I don’t need than be horribly surprised here.

  82. Why was Fagin hanged? The reason must have been so obvious to Dickens’s contemporary readers that he saw no need to explain. Me, I’m as baffled as I am about why Eleanor and Theo are terrified by the ghostly picnic in the woods (with—my God, the horror—a PUPPY!)

    —Princess Cutekitten

  83. @JMG: “Michael, I don’t have as many fans as Thomas Mann but most of my books are now with an overseas publisher, and I’m in print in quite a few languages. I’m fairly sure I can manage something if I have to.”

    Well, that puts you way ahead of the pack right there.

    Still, if you think you might have to jump ship, it would be a good idea to pick a country, then start whatever legal process you need to, to establish some sort of residency rights in advance. Again, the main thing is to act BEFORE trouble hits. To revert to the speculative mania analogy, don’t wait until the bubble pops, before you sell!

  84. Oh, and by the way, if I say “No discussion of AI is allowed here,” and you post something trying to start a discussion about AIs, it’s going to go straight into the trash. No, I won’t even bother to read it; as soon as it’s clear that you’re trying to break the house rules, the garbage disposal whirs to life and your post goes into it. Just thought I’d mention…

  85. /Fredrick, that is the darkest possible take on the matter, and like the best possible take is essentially equivalent to a lie. 2-5,000 years of history worldwide is an immensely complicated subject no human could ever hope to contemplate, but even drilling down into the details of any specific event you have a special interest in would illuminate all the others. To me, the very first problem is: none of the people they claim to be religious actually were. Or they wouldn’t have had holy wars to begin with. This flippant comment becomes clearer when you realize the “Popes” for various centuries included literal bloodthirsty mafia like the Borgias, nor was that unique to them: Martin Luther had some interesting personal habits as well, such that just wanting to fight da man! For his own personal reasons (and profit) appear to be far more credible than actual religious reasonings as we know them.

    At the same time, Pagan religions, even “Red” ones were astonishingly bloodthirsty, leaving Europe in the shade. The Aztecs are well known, but hardly unique, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, African Empires, China on a tear and obviously Japan make Christianity look downright…Christian. In Native America, for instance, not only was slaving common, and human sacrifice (as perhaps in Europe as well) but cannibalism and unique, special torture for no good reason except you were the other tribe. Like lighting you on fire while pulling your guts out and wrapping them around the maypole was popular. DeLoria’s tribes were one of these, I believe, and may have been popular kidnappers and slavers, although I’m not an expert in his area.

    Mainly, you have the problem of urbanization. Tribes would walk 1,000 miles round-trip to knock the “Other” guys with a stone hatchet and call it great sport – that is, for literally no good reason – but that would amount to 20 casualties a year. We civilized people kill no one a year, then store it all up and kill 100x that in ONE year we’re at war every 20 years, see? Depends how you like it. Rural populations, as Northern America was, never fielded many so wars were “light”, although per capita a lot higher than billed. Urban populations wither in Leipzig or Mexico City had 10,000 people hanging around to kill all at once. Is that higher per capita? Worse? Better? Now that you see this, perhaps the reality of the numbers and what questions to best ask will become clear. But, please ask them. Please look into whatever area and event in very great detail and find out about war happening with the church, without the church, against the church, for the church, and whether anyone in the church was actually religious in the slightest as it was a great dumping ground for second sons.

    But the important thing to do is to ASK. Then read the actual people: Augustine, Augustus, Aquitaine, and see how they saw it.

    How about this: there were good and bad people in various places. Good and bad in various times. There were good and bad pagans and Natives. And good and bad both within, and outside of the church. Maybe a better question: since you can be either in any situation or tradition, which will YOU be?

  86. Re: solar storms

    As viewed from Earth the Sun rotates in 26 days. Sunspots form relatively near the equator, not at the poles, so most sunspots are capable of hitting Earth with a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). From what I’ve seen Earth is squarely in the “strike zone” for a particular sunspot for about four days, and can still be affected for another three days or so on either side of that. CMEs are pretty big – more like floodlights than lasers and they expand as they travel – so the odds aren’t that small.

    This last collection of CMEs wasn’t that big, from a historical perspective, and none of the flares that launched them are even in the top 20 of the last 50 years. Several combined into one which amplified the effects, but one of the larger questions is how this managed to create auroras in Puerto Rico and Namibia, which probably says more about the state of Earth’s magnetic field than the Sun.

  87. Converting a good-sized house into a rooming house used to be a thing a woman could do if she found herself widowed and in possession of the house but with little or no other income. Funny coincidence that the decline and fall of the rooming house came during the Great Secretary Shortage of the 1960s, when corporations were expanding so fast that the supply of clerical labor (previously limited to young single women and occasional twinks) was a significant constraint on growth. Or am I just being paranoid?

  88. Waffles #64 One of the pressures that many boomers here in the U. S. A. suffered growing up was the pressure to be upbeat and positive in all social interactions. It was a patriotic duty, confirming our claim to be the Greatest Country in the World. (It was also a reaction against our parents, who had grown up during the Great Depression and were damaged by it to the point of not being able to trust the unprecedented economic boom in which they were raising their kids. Being upbeat and positive was an act of rebellion.) Snarky and confrontational humor was popular because it gave us a release valve for our forbidden thoughts and feelings. It’s like the way I-hate-my-wife comedy used to be universal and is now performed mainly for audiences of social conservatives. It’s people who are committed to death-do-us-part marriage who long to hear someone express their forbidden dissatisfactions for them.

  89. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about karma lately, since I’ve been wondering if I’m having some karmic culmination right now. (I’m the one who posted on Monday about my Dad getting cancer 4 days after my girlfriend left me.)
    Aside from the fact that nothing in the universe is obliged to be so simple that human beings can understand it, it occurs to me that some of what makes karma so difficult to understand is the way that it affects so many people.
    Take my situation as an example. Obviously, one could definitely come to the conclusion that I’m burning off some nasty karma by going through all of this (I’d say these have been the worst few days of my entire 26 years of life, and I have had some hardships before.)
    But, of course, even though this could be karma affecting me, it’s really not all about me. My ex-girlfriend is obviously going through things as well, and it goes without saying that my Dad is having a rough go at the moment. Then of course there’s the way that the situation is affecting friends, family, and acquaintances.
    I think this is part of what makes karma so difficult for us to wrap our heads around, as really good, or bad events *very* rarely, if ever affect only one person. There’s also, of course, group karma of various kinds.
    I have a lot of things to go through, of course, and quite a lot on my mind, but I’m wondering if JMG, or anyone else here has any books to reccomend that discuss karma in depth.
    For my part, I’m just trying not to spread my pain around. Everyone really has been incredibly kind to me. Maybe I’m burning off some karma, but either way, I don’t want to perpetuate any more suffering just because I am suffering.
    (Also using my real name this time, I only think I’ve posted on this site once.)

  90. JMG, I live in Utica, NY, in a frost pocket along the Mohawk River. That river and the Barge Canal, used to be Erie Canal before it was enlarged and renamed in the early 20thC, are both quite close, not to mention the swamp across RR tracks, so there ought to be lots of mosquitoes.

  91. Hi Quin,

    Please ask everyone to pray that the mortgage servicer will accept my money so I can return to making the normal house payment. Is that better? Sorry. I did not mean to be vague.

    —Princess Cutekitten

  92. Waffles,
    My own guess is that the edge in boomer generation humor is because we came of age in The Sixties when there was much (naive) hope in the air and things have been downhill ever since. I wonder if the edge isn’t also connected to those are in a position to want to deny the decline. There certainly is a lot of encouragement to blame individuals instead of looking at the broader society.
    Just my take.

  93. “An interesting side effect: self-driving cars that relied on GPS to know where they were made some mistakes during the storm, ”

    Self driving tractors got confused as well and shut down. Precision Agriculture is not resilient.

    As to a CME and the electrical grid, there is plenty of warning time to disconnect the transformers. A day or two with no power is probably worst case. The large scale “black start” of the grid might be interesting though. Locally the hydroelectric dams have one small generator they can start with manual valves, once that is running you can get the other turbines up and start reenergizing the grid in stages.

  94. “How would one go about convincingly cursing food you intended to eat?”
    Perhaps one needs a food that one already hates for some reason. Some months back, some could have run your experiment using Bud Light vs. a beer you barely know vs. your favorite beer. The only problem would be how to tell if the cursing did anything to the Bud Light, which is not exactly wedding feast at Cana quality to start with. 🙂

  95. JMG,
    I know this is a big question that you have addressed in different ways over the last couple years, but I wonder if you might may more about where you see this Russian-US conflict going.

    The reason I ask is that the US/NATO seem to still be escalating and not stopping. Do they want a full on war with Russia? What happens if that happens? Do you see US/NATO backing down anytime soon?

    2)Do you think the increasing alliance between Russia and China would make US/NATO less inclined to continue poking the Russian bear?

    Thanks,
    Jacques

  96. in regards to cursing food, the person wrote that in response to the commenter that wrote saying had an experiment where had lentils, one left alone, one bowl blessed, and the other cursed . ANd of course that is true you cant realy be cusing or wishing bad thoughts that you dont realy feel, and if you realy felt it and meant it, you would not eat it after

  97. @TemporaryReality
    I read that TES post! What a wild theory. But as there’s nothing to be done about it, if true… eh. No reason to worry. On the other hand, if God tells me to build a boat…

  98. Greetings JMG,

    I’ve got a savings account with about $90,000 in it (about 2 years’ take-home pay). what’s your advice on how to manage it, given the looming economic trouble? I’m in the US, and work in the trades.

    Thanks.

  99. Michael, I think you’ve missed my point. This isn’t something I want to do. This is something I’ll do if I have to, if it becomes clear to me that the US is an incipient war zone. Yes, I know this may mean that I may have to do some fancy footwork at the time; I’ve looked into the details and it’s doable, especially since I won’t be trying to get into a close US ally like New Zealand (which is harder to relocate to than most other countries, btw). I’ve already identified several countries where my royalty income will be more than enough to get me in, where there’s a substantial expat community, and where the local government and communities have a good rep among expats; I can choose one of them, settle down until the fighting’s over, and then come home. Yes, I’ll be coming home; unfashionable though it may be, I have a patriotic streak and this really is my country, you know.

    Mark, sunspots form relatively near the equator but move poleward from there, and they don’t have to move very far on the surface on the sun’s oblate spheroid before the angle of divergence of CMEs from the plane of the ecliptic is such that we get a grazing blow or no blow at all. That said, you’re almost certainly right about the cause of the auroras; the collapse of the earth’s magnetic field has accelerated recently, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fall to zero during my lifetime. How long it remains there and what that will do to electronic devices is of course an interesting question.

    Duncan, thanks for this. Karma is complex; I’ve posted something on it here, in case you missed that. Yes, it’s quite common for the same event to allow a number of people the chance to work off various karmic burdens, and the fact that their experiences differ shows that the karma differs; your experience is not the same, for example, as your father’s or your ex-girlfriend’s!

    Mary, duly noted and thank you for this.

    Jacques, the US and NATO elite are in full, shrill meltdown mode. It never occurred to them that they could lose. As far as I can tell, they were serenely convinced that their handling of the Ukraine business would cause Russia to suffer a humiliating defeat, after which they could do as they’ve been fantasizing for decades and dismember it into a collection of weak successor states that could be snapped up by the EU and squeezed dry of their wealth and resources. Instead, NATO’s Ukrainian proxy forces have taken a beating and Russia is moving slowly and precisely to finish the job, upping the pressure a little at a time while keeping most of itsforces ready to counter a NATO assault. So you’ve got some Western leaders ranting and pounding their fists and threatening, while others try to calm them down, knowing that at this point there is no way a war between Russia and the West could end in a Western victory. (Mutually assured destruction, sure, but that’s not a victory.) What will NATO do? Impossible to say. As for the alliance between Russia and China, well, the US has been doing its level best to make that happen for decades, in one of the most stunning examples of geopolitical stupidity in human history. I wrote about that a while back:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2015/06/an-affirming-flame.html

    Unfortunately for the US and NATO, no, that alliance won’t cause a sudden burst of basic common sense to show up in Western capitals. The inmates of those capitals still can’t grasp the possibility that they could lose — and that their defeat will mean the relegation of the US and its close allies to the same condition they meant to leave Russia, with partition into weak successor states a real possibility.

    Alexander, I have no idea. I’m not a financial counselor, just an occultist and astrologer.

  100. Just an idea for those who own their homes. Maybe host affordable weddings. Sidestep the lenocrats by keeping it mostly word-of-mouth and cash under the table. Maybe offer some basic perks, such as an officiant or BYOB and casual snacks. Back when I got married 24 years ago, there weren’t any options to have a small, affordable wedding other than the VA hall. Nothing against the VA hall — it’s just that it would have been nice to have other options.

  101. I though many folks here might appreciate this. With Greta Thunberg recently going through the repetitive ritual of being detained by police for the cameras, and as it was at my local library, I have been going through her book ‘The Climate book’. It is funny that it has her name only on the cover as something like 80% of it isn’t even written by her. But that is marketing for you! It is written by about 50 different contributors, one for each chapter. I get the point of having ‘scientific consensus’ but my gosh does it work against them. Because there are so many authors, I never seen a more schizophrenic book than this. This is a group project with no direction.

    So the 1.5 degree temperature increase is the big bad boogie man to be avoided at all costs, for reasons not clearly explained, and it is something that we can and should avoid… or not at all as it is too late and the measures proposed are not enough. Political action is needed but it is useless. Technology will save us but don’t count on it. Don’t worry about you own actions and consumption but we need to use less ourselves and help others to do the same. It keeps going on like this flip flopping all over the place – again and again on all manner of topics through out.

    When the right author fundamentally gets the predicament of our times, it is actually a very decent thing. There is some great stuff in it, it is just encrusted in the usual eco nonsense that is all the fashion nowadays. But the next chapter then advises the complete opposite point of view. Carbon capture is good and necessary, but it cannot be done etc. It is such a counter productive thing. A highlight is that it is good to see some of Greta’s more recent writings and see that she at least seems to be (very) slowly leaning more towards the JMG side of the argument rather than the Al Gore one. But there is still a long while to go and needs to stop with the cheap attention grabs.

    The most charitable take I can make of this is that this book is some sort of Zen koan where it is designed so that you are left paralysed from contradictions. If this is the messaging being received, it would explain why so many environmentalists have been so ineffective in action and just keep shouting for more of the same.

    It is a shame. If I was to make an abridged consistent version, it could be pretty good and only about one forth the length but it might be considered “too negative” and “too optimistic”. Such is life.

    @Jerry Magnetic pole shift

    From what I have read, if there is a pole flip, it is a fairly slow process. It would potentially swap over the course of a few thousand years. On geologic time that is an instant but in a lifetime of even civilisations, it isn’t a sudden change to manage. Could industrial society last long enough to experience the blow back of this shift? By the time this process would get moving, poles splitting in a chaotic fashion, I am not so sure we would have anything resembling the complex technology stack of today.

    While it would make for a more difficult time navigating via compass, we have done it before using the stars and waves. I do wonder that due to the long time scale of change how the animals would react. They rely on the magnetic poles and could they adjust this over a long period? I suspect so but it would only be a guess and I will not be around to get an answer to that one.

    This article does a nice little summary of the whole thing and how the change may work. But as JMG said, the records are very limited and these are but assumptions.

    https://www.inverse.com/science/earth-magnetic-field-flip-chaos

    @JMG “when I talk about the “vibe” of a place, nearly everybody knows what I mean.”

    Stephen Harrod Bruhner always used to point this out. His initial example is that you and a friend walk into a restaurant and both immediately pick up on that vibe both leave straight away without saying a word. It is real and it is just something that most folks ignore.

  102. @Mark L. re: #94 –

    Yeah. For all the apocalyptic hullabaloo, the largest flare that launched a CME our way during that storm was an X5 (there was the X8 as it rotated away, yes, but that wasn’t what caused all the auroras). The Carrington event was reportedly an X45 with a DST-index more than double what was reached.

    And there were impacts, just not the full-blown grid-down apocalyptic kind. Solar storms are… complicated.

  103. @Matt
    We found ours, serendipitously, at a thrift shop for $37. It’s not a good violin, but it’s functional, came with a bow and a case, and even holds its pitch reasonably well. It’s plenty good enough to learn on. If we ever get to playing carnegie hall, we’ll spend real money and upgrade 😉 Put your request out there on the wind, and then go trawl your local junk shops and see what turns up. Works surprisingly well for us.

  104. Alexander @ 106, if I may, not a financial planner either, but common sense does suggest a few things.

    First of which is don’t be talking about your wealth. At all. To anyone. Also avoid flashing cash. One credit or ATM card, on a local bank, not linked to other accounts, balance (if credit) pd. in full every month, is far less noticeable. Cash at the grocery store is fine for now, but maybe use the card for large purchases.

    Be on good terms with local police and sheriffs. Donate moderately to their benevolent funds and attend their barbecues.

    Make sure ownership of property and all other assets is thoroughly documented and the documents kept in a safety deposit box or similar. Have on hand the name of a good attorney whom you can trust. Ask around just as you would for a physician. Check out Lehto’s Law on You tube for descriptions of the crazy frauds and simple seizures of property that are happening to people.

    I think the best strategy for a poor person is to buy good tools whenever possible. For someone at your level, I would think, be a contributing member of a community of virtuous persons. Support the church or lodge or whatever. Again, rather than throw money around, provide practical help. Be the guy with the truck and the equipment when things need doing.

  105. Dear Mr. Greer – I’ve been thinking a lot about your concept of the Lenocracy. It’s a great idea, and might there be a book in the offing?

    I’ve been thinking about how I identify Lenocrats. A mental field guide, if you will. There are a few ideas I have come up with. 1.) Lenocrats are always very concerned with titles. The less the title tells outsiders about the “job,” the better. 2.) Lenocrats always keep a few minions around, to throw under the bus should anything go wrong. 3.) If a minion, or a worker in the trenches, comes up with a good idea, denigrate it. Then sit on it for awhile, implement it, and claim it as your own. If it doesn’t go well, see number 2. 4.) The further a Lenocrate can distance themselves from the public (the great unwashed), the more status they accrue. That’s as far as I’ve got, so far.

    I picked up a copy of Graeber’s “Bull **** Jobs,” today, from our library. Yup, they’re actually spelling out the title, these days. It’s been mentioned so many times, here, that I thought it well worth a read. I’m sure my cultural literacy will rise by quit a few points. :-). Lew

  106. Methylethyl, if God tells you to build a boat, will you let me know? 😉

  107. @JMG “I’ve looked into the details and it’s doable, especially since I won’t be trying to get into a close US ally like New Zealand (which is harder to relocate to than most other countries, btw)”

    Absolutely. NZ and Australia only want three kinds of people coming in. Those with loads of cash, those with skills to make loads of cash, and those that can service the first two groups. There is a reason why there is a 10 story tall Chinese embassy in Wellington.

    Having been to NZ, it is a nice enough place, but it has its own issues that mostly stems from Australia putting an economic leash on the nation. Almost all fossil fuels in the region go through us and marked up accordingly.

    As an aside It was also wild seeing in an NZ super market – NZ cheese packaged in Australia. In total that cheese probably had a 6,000KM round trip from a farm only a few hundred KM away at most.

  108. @Chris #3
    I would like that and can provide some suggestions of platforms if that would be helpful. I am reading more, well, not more, just more organized so I would welcome it.

  109. Is that all there is to the Aquarian Age? Didn’t the Romans also have plenty of strange sexualities? What’s special this time around?

  110. @Matt #80
    Regarding getting a violin for your son, I’d recommend both of you read this book: Making Music for the Joy of it: Enhancing Creativity, Skills, and Musical Confidence
    Author Stephanie Judy.

    Then, find a musical instrument shop that sells violins. Avoid commercial looking corporate places and find somebody there who is not a jerk, preferably over age 40. Tell them exactly what you are trying to do and how much you have to spend.

  111. Just hours before the surprise announcement of the general election, the UK government launched a website and campaign called Prepare.
    https://prepare.campaign.gov.uk/
    This asked each household to stock up with at least three day’s supply of food that does not need cooking, 3 or preferably 10 litres of water per person per day for three days and various other essentials of the sort often associated with the US prepper movement. Well, guns & ammo excepted of course!
    This sort of thing is anathema to most people in the UK and even after Covid the MSM generally views people promoting such ideas with a mixture of suspicion and patronising humour. I’m sure there was no connection between this and the election announcement – it seems even members of the cabinet only had a few hours notice – and it may now be ignored, but it’s quite interesting at this point in time.

  112. Hey JMG

    The New Caledonia Riots are getting a lot of attention in Australia on account of some Australian tourists who have unfortunately found themselves stuck there amid all the fighting, food shortages and barricades made of cars with bombs in them. The odd thing is that apparently the French Government is claiming some Azerbaijan terrorist group is somehow involved.
    I shall leave a link to an article for anyone interested.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/15/why-riots-new-caledonia-france-voting

    Anyway, for my second question, I was curious if you had ever been interested in chess? I have been recently reading an amazing history of chess and its cultural significance titled “The immortal game” by David Shenk. It is a brilliant book which has made me consider revisiting the game I used to occasionally play with my half-sisters using a lovely oriental-style chess set that my family considers an heirloom. These days the only boardgame I usually play is 9 men’s Morris on my ancient iPad mini.

  113. @ JMG #45
    “the crucial thing in making sense of any of the legacies of the Piscean age is to realize that it’s not either-or but both-and — that the religion of Francis of Assisi was also that of Tomas de Torquemada, that organized Christianity was equally responsible for the concept of universal human rights and for many of history’s ugliest violations of that concept, and that these wildly divergent phenomena really do flow naturally from the same source.”

    This seems to sum up the personal dilemma and contradiction lying at the heart (and I do mean “the heart”) of the so-intriguing work of Ivan Illich…. estranged and thoughtful Catholic priest, who loved the Church, and her contradictions, most passionately.

  114. @Clarke aka Gwydion Re: psychism #38
    CC: methylethyl, Luke

    Yup! That’s oddly similar to my experience. I definitely have some sort of divergence that shares some things mainly with adhd, a little with asperger’s. Whether is neurological, psychical or what, I don’t know and care little, but one thing I grew up with is having that same feeling of being somewhat dense or unnoticing in some things. In particular interpersonal things, so I just thought I was odd and dumb by taking things too literally and some other things going way above my head –well, they still do, now I’ve just memorized some patterns of behavior and can recognize them.

    It was not until I started doing magic and tarot readings that I noticed that some distinctly mental form of psychism was clearly there, and as you, it was just in a form that I didn’t recognize as psychism. It was not even me that noticed; it was other people that started telling me and it checked out when I asked them about their experience.

    Psychometry is one I am good at I think, at least it is more generally available to me, and I get the same thing of feeling the emotions attached to objects, places and stories, sometimes mental images, words or sounds. (When my crazy ex-girlfriend was close to bursting due to her dramas, but kept it inside, I would hear a distant scream inside my head in her voice, for example. This saved me more than once!). I don’t know if this is helpful, but I have noticed that I can develop a form of “passerby” attitude if I want to close myself down, since I tend to grab very strongly to the things that come into my senses out of a habit of curiosity. “Ooh, what’s that!” What I noticed I didn’t have, was an attitude of “I don’t care about that”, everything was in my perception, so it came all at once. I had to just mentally ignore, sometimes push or even be rude to the things I didn’t want to connect to, sort of like a mental slap to a pesky mosquito. It’s attention that does the trick, and at least for me, if I am feeling uncomfortable in a place, I stop “being present there” and start thinking about the next thing I am going to do or the next place I will be or just disconnect myself from it. Just like when you stop being in a conversation with someone, you are there, but not engaged at all so there is not rapport.

    Nice you found out about it! I also see that many people are much more psychic than they care to recognize.

  115. Blessing Walks Turning into a Dialogue

    Dear JMG and all,

    I would like to write a short report of what has been happening on my blessing walks recently. I started doing them more than half a year ago, but only recently I have noticed I have been getting immersed more and more deeply into blessing dialogues.
    First thing I noticed several weeks ago was that the blessings started to be reciprocal – some beings, the first were certain rocks and a nearby river, called to me when I was tired, more sleepwalking than walking. They “woke me up” and later, as this kept happening, I realized those were usually places I blessed on my previous walks and when they called to me, I felt better for a while, so I think they actually blessed me back…
    And I am also very happy about the second observation – or perhaps, a developing sensitivity/skill, which emersed several days ago. I love trees – always have loved them, but could not communicate with them, nor feel their personalities well. I think this skill and mutual trust will still take a long time to develop more fully; but… A few days ago, I blessed a tree and noticed its branches started moving in otherwise windless, still environment. Several moments later, I felt another, a younger tree requested my blessings – but was not sure, whether I was not just making things up. But this younger tree also started moving its branches! I have noticed that only when my blessings are requested or welcome, the branches will start moving, if not, they keep still.
    I am delighted about these gradually developing dialogues and, perhaps, in longer term, more intimate relationships with the local countryside and its inhabitants.

    Have a nice day!

    With regards,
    Markéta

  116. @methylethyl

    “can’t tell when we are hungry” !!! I have that! What? I didn’t even bother to connect it with neurodivergence. That’s… interesting. You left me thinking.

    Hmm, gating, filtering, regulation. Maybe I should care a little bit more about what cluster I am closer to. Since there is nothing to do about it, I’ve tended to just ignore it, but some of this stuff seems helpful just to learn what other’s experience and how they deal or think about it.

    I like how you put is as by-passing. I tended to describe it as just a shape, a border here, and edge there so it was kinda muted and hence the name. Now it’s much more vivid, so muted certainly not. Bypassing seems more accurate, sometimes I just want the person to stop talking and repeating what I already know!

    Why not bring it in polite company? Are you telling me doing or saying random stuff out of the blue in social situations is not normal? 😄

  117. Morning John,
    No question from me today, just a comment to say what an enjoyable read the latest novel, The Book of Haatan was; a fine read. The series has really got underway with this story, I really like the approach, the plot and the way the characters are developing, and it has queued the characters up nicely for further tales. I really like the way you have incorporated explanation and practical application of magical principles, which reminds me a little of what Dion Fortune did in her novels. I look forward to the next novel and hopefully many more to follow.
    Kind regards Averagejoe

  118. Wer here
    Interesting discusions and topics picked up here.
    But JMG I have a question. What are your thoughts on a possible assassination of Trump or another populist politician like say for example Farage. I’ve heard rumors buzzing around that the powers that be are so afraid of the outcome of UE Parliment elections and US preidential ones that they are considering removing physically the opposition.
    Take Fico for eample (Fico is neutral in the conflict in Ukraine, was agains vaxxing and is highly sceptical of the UE policies and was vocal about it) and some rando person managed to waltz up to him and just empty an magazine to him belly.
    But if I have to be completely honest I don’t belive Trump will win (just like there was no red wave in 2022) people in the US state dept will do anything and I mean anything to stop Trumps election. (falsifing the results and trying to send him to prison on some minor offences is just the top of the iceberg)
    But the reaction of us citizens who are watching this unfold will be interesting (hard to preach about “athoritarianism” and “democracy under threat” when you are no better or even worse)
    Stay safe Wer

  119. I note that Japan has been bullied by the globalist crowd into opening up to immigrants, and so far so good as far as I can tell, though the Vietnamese seem to have overtaken the Chinese in crimes like infrastructure theft. Immigration seems mostly to be predicated on a willingness to work at a job where there exists a need that is not filled by Japan’s dwindling younger generations. They have recognized Ukrainian refugees as such, but in the past have been very slow to grant refugee status. Still, it might be worth looking into possibilities.
    The biggest obstacle for long-term ex-pats has always been that you will always be an outsider. You come to recognize that this is true for the natives as well, if they try moving back to their hometowns, for example. This is how they run their society. Culture shock can be pretty impressive to say the least, but if you are not dealing with a lot of your own personal baggage, it is also easy to see that they are very nice, morally upstanding people and if you do your best, you’ll find a place.

  120. To Jasper,

    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your perspectives as much as anyone else’s, but I was not trying to start a measuring contest on which group has the worst atrocities on its score board. That is not the point. Your answer is one that is commonly presented when Christianity is criticized. However gruesome acts were committed by Gengis Khan, they were not part of a holy religious war, nor did they try to justify their actions through the lens of their religion. So, it is not a competition of who has the best moral score board, people are people. It is also often claimed that Christians who committed atrocities in the name of Christianity weren’t Christians. It is a bit construed, but understandable, defense for something that is such an overwhelmingly large part of Western society and history. This defense is actually one of Deloria’s main points in “God is Red”. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it, you might actually like it. I do, of course, understand that it might not be the easiest of reads if you are an American of settler-heritage. I am not American but I was born and raised in the old world in a very similar culture to Deloria’s who suffered a similar fate, so his point are easily taken for me.
    I have no deep knowledge of Deloria’s culture but my own people have a very peaceful history with no wars or mayor atrocities on record, it is actually what we are known for by outsiders. But even if we had such atrocities on our collective conscious it would not excuse the wide spread persecution and killing of my people as was conducted by our colonizers. That kind of argumentation would seem to apply that only the pure and morally superior are entitled to self governance and to be spared from abuse. As if our malevolent deeds nullifies the colonizers score board, its a logical fallacy.

  121. Does anyone have any tips on pushing through utter malaise at life? How does one find a point to it, or meaning in all of this? I’m not depressed (I have been before so I know it’s not that, this is more of a personality thing – autistic with a high IQ surrounded by people who want to talk about gossip). I just feel like this whole thing is a purposeless slog since it all ends in death anyway and nobody seems to see it.

  122. Hi Peter and Justin,

    It’s not a bad idea is it? And Justin, did you just suggest an old school slow-book-club concept? I like the sound of that as I savour books.

    I’ve never been a member of a book club, have you dudes got any ideas or suggestions as to how this could all work?

    Cheers

    Chris

  123. Thank you, JMG.
    I had actually forgotten about that essay, so thank you for refreshing my memory. Much to think about there. I was already going through a lot of things in my head as to why my relationship ended, (as I think is natural, and something most people do in these circumstances.) Your essay has given me another angle from which to approach that, which is much appreciated. Again, thank you.
    I think that, karmically speaking, my Dad is definitely handling his illness well. He doesn’t believe in karma, per se, (he’s an Anglican, though not a very devout one.) But he’s definitely taking the whole thing very positively, and in good humour, rather than wallowing in a “Why me???” sense.
    I really appreciate everything you do, as well as this space. This, and your other blog are really the only websites that I visit regularly.
    Again, thank you. I’ll be giving this a lot of thought.

  124. John–

    A couple of things. First, with re to the conference I attended last week about which I commented previously, that Singularity reference came toward the end of the presentation in question (on industry trends and the future) and was a side-reference by the speaker to a conference he had attended whereat a “senior DOE official” had stated that “we will see the Singularity in our lifetime.” (It was at this point that I scribbled a note to my coworker sitting next to me: “This hurts my brain.”) What I found of further interest, however, was that the speaker was a more senior manager at the corporate vendor whose conference this was–when I got to the afternoon breakout sessions and was dealing with operational-level people from that company, they were largely of the same mind I was with regard to that particular presentation.

    Second, at your recommendation, I have been reading The Nobility of Failure. A friend of mine and I have a weekly book-club discussion and I brought this text in as my most recent pick. It has been rather fascinating to observe the cultural differences that are so starkly presented; I do, however, still have a difficult time understanding how a culture can “worship failure” and denigrate success in this way. I recall you suggested that this is the kind of heroism that emerges in the shadow times. Perhaps I am too much a creature of my own cultural patterning to properly grasp the meaning.

  125. >So far, the only thing that does work (and it’s expensive and intensive) is to arrest them first, and then offer them the choice of jail or court-mandated residential rehab (jail, but in a drug-treatment ward)

    Or you can do what the Communist Chinese did to solve their opium problem – take the addicts out back and shoot them.

  126. @JMG
    Fair enough regarding the different beliefs of Christians, I guess I have just been following my Cosmic Doctrine listening with medieval history lectures too often, which focus on Catholic teachings when it comes up for obvious reasons. I guess when you get down to it, the only base level belief needed to be Christian is a belief in Christ, not necessarily that God is supreme to all things.

    Thank you for the suggestion on Mormon theology. Even though I live pretty close to what will probably one day be the state of Deseret, I don’t have much knowledge of Mormonism. Until today I had no idea that the LDS believes humans can achieve some form of godhood through Jesus.

  127. >These schools are in in the hinterlands of Russia and not for the elites of Moscow or St Petersburg. It would be like we put our finest new schools ( assuming we even did such a thing) in Kentucky or Puerto Rico.

    These days, I ask what places on this planet are actually family friendly? Not lip service either but where the whole system is telling you “Hey, start a family here, we want you, we want your kids, we have your back”. I’ve come to the conclusion that most places in Murica are family hostile, with California being ground zero for “Don’t you dare start a family here”, probably followed close by New York.

    But where are the family friendly places?

  128. >what’s your advice on how to manage it, given the looming economic trouble?

    You really really REALLY shouldn’t take advice from internet strangers on an internet forum. Although I suspect the advice you’d get here would be better than if you sauntered over to, say, r/WallStreetBets and asked them there. Although for giggles, you might want to try that and see what responses you get.

    Yeah, I think I’ll follow JMG and not give any real advice either. I’ll suggest that you read a historical account of a past hyperinflation and then come up with your own ideas. I think there’s several books chronicling the Weimar period? When Money Dies, comes to mind?

  129. @Duncan, on a serious note, I find Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance theory and his accompanying works an excellent, Western scientific-but-not-materialist description of everything one can describe about Karma without touching on reincarnation. I highly recommend them especially if, like most of us, you were raised in a Western Scientific context and find that kind of writing more accessible than the alternatives.

    On a less serious note, I have a personal anecdote that I’ve drawn a lot of meaning from over the years. Back when I was in high school, one of my classmates had the misfortune to trap a bee in his undershorts while changing for a sporting event. Amid the mature words of commiseration one can expect from a group of teenage boys witnessing such an incident, someone speculated what heinous act he must have committed in a former life for the universe to deliver him a bee with such malicious accuracy. Then someone else asked, ‘What if it was the bee’s karma to end up in that situation, and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time?’

    If I understood the answer to that question I think I’d understand Karma. It makes me think of that Mark Knopfler song, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug”. The best I can currently articulate it is that karma works because the Universe is a massive superorganism where nothing is isolated or wasted. But depending on the scale you think on that makes it feel either very random or very impersonal. It’s like you’re a musician in a truly vast orchestra. Most of the time you’re focused on your own instrument and the musicians near you, and you can see pretty clearly how you affect them and they affect you. Then every once in a while the background hum of the louder, distant parts comes to the fore, you hear the full performance and recognize that even your locally disharmonious parts have a purpose in the grand song. That’s an amazing feeling… but it’s very hard to focus on hearing the music of the spheres and playing your own instrument at the same time. Some rare people do that most of the time, but for most of us, we shift between practicing our instrument locally where things are personal but discordant, then we practice listening to the grand design where things are harmonious but impersonal, and by moving between the two we develop an inner balance where we can eventually have a foot in both worlds.

  130. @Rajarshi #24, I think your reaction, appreciation with reservations, is appropriate. Practicing dispassion can bring great benefits, and people can learn and improve control over their own emotions with a variety of techniques and some effort, as it seems you have done. But not all will be able to do so, or be able to improve much in less than a significant fraction of a lifetime, or will necessarily find any particular advice or teaching method helpful.

    Telling people to just “choose” not to feel their emotions is going to be ineffective advice a lot of the time. It’s like saying anyone can lose weight if they just choose to eat less. It’s technically true, but exaggerated in the sense that most people most of the time find it difficult to put that “solution” into effect with any consistency.

  131. Wind turbine blade failures are in the news,

    “Big wind-tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ers’ war­ranty pro­vi­sions accoun­ted for an aver­age 5.4 per cent of rev­en­ues in 2023, accord­ing to ana­lysis by Wood Mack­en­zie. That com­pares with 2.8 per cent in 2018, although it is slightly down on a high of 5.7 per cent in 2022. The fig­ure cov­ers Chinese com­pan­ies Gold­wind and Mingy­ang and European com­pan­ies Ves­tas and Nor­dex.

    It does not include Siemens Gamesa, whose par­ent com­pany Siemens Energy set aside nearly €2bn last year in pro­vi­sions for war­ranties and oner­ous con­tracts mostly con­nec­ted to prob­lems with two of Gamesa’s onshore tur­bine plat­forms. The fig­ure amounts to 22 per cent of Siemens Gamesa’s annual rev­en­ues or 6.3 per cent of Siemens Energy’s rev­en­ues.”

    https://ft.pressreader.com/v99c/20240520/281659670151026

  132. Neptunesdolphins, I assumed that it’s woke entryism because when I’ve seen the same thing happen in other organizations, that’s what it’s been. As for Neopaganism turning into a niche religion, why, yes; I suggested that very thing a while back — JMG

    Me: I always thought that entryism has to do with Marxism. I supposed that wokeness is an offshoot of that.

    About Neopaganism: They seem to see themselves as the coming religious preference of people. I have seen Atheist Pagans (oxymoron anyone?) classify “Nones” as “Atheists.” Other Pagans classify “Nones” as Pagan. I just thought that “Nones” in religious surveys was a catch-all term where all other people are placed. Much like in government accounting with statistical discrepancy.

  133. Od Steve says: @ neptunesdolphins (#11)
    I’m confused. You said “In my experience of people taking over groups, it is usually for power and money. Not politics.” But in my experience, people taking over groups for power and money is what politics is all about.

    The first case was a Toastmasters Club, where the guy who married the founder wanted to run the club. He wanted a group of willing people to keep him in friends. He was a manipulative so-and-so.

    The second case was a Pagan group that two people who were friends of the leaders wanted a platform to launch their festival and have a monetary base for their business.

    In both cases, they were thwarted by aware people. I don’t see either as political.

  134. This discussion of the potential of internal war in the United States got me thinking. The problem the elites in DC always had is that they had an armed forces more loyal to the heartland ( and especially the south) than to the establishment in DC and NYC. This was the result of the volunteer military primarily coming from the traditional areas of the south and midwest. So the question on the minds of the elites ( at least who could still think) is could we use the army against the Texas militia or would they turn on us.
    Then like a lightbulb turning on it came to me. Perhaps that is what DEI, Wokeism was all about. Come up with a way to make the military demographically represent the progressives on either coast. Drive out the ” good old boys” and replace them with rainbow flag toting LGBtQ folks and other oppressed urban types. Then they might happily bomb Birmingham or Tulsa seeing those folks as Trumpers and other hated enemies.
    Of course this is a terrible idea if you plan on fighting the Russians or Chinese. But if what you are really planning on is a technological war of fighters, tanks and rockets vs militia-men in pickup trucks then perhaps it makes some sense ( to that type of sociopath). Of course this involves a lot of stupid misconceptions about war if you figure your legions of drag queens in f-35’s will really win in the long run. But misconceptions about war seem to be the stock in trade of todays Washington Elites.

  135. Hi,

    A few analysts and metrics I follow suggest the danger point is at some point after 2035 or so.

    That certainly fits my gut instinct.

    So far despite plenty of talk very few European countries are actually spending more on defence.

    Realistically speaking you are looking at a minimum of 10 years before the European powers are ready to wage war outside Russia, Turkey and Poland.

    As for Muslim migrations/internal populations, I’m not seeing any grave danger until closer to the 2040s.

  136. Hello again! Have you cast a chart for the U. S. presidential inauguration next January? I remember you saying last time that the guy getting the job in 2020 was inheriting a dog’s breakfast. Would this be another good time to hope that my desired candidate DOESN’T get the job? (If that info is reserved for paying customers that’s fine too.)

  137. Clay jogged my memory about the Lardbucket.

    “But TR-3 is overdue due to problems with its software and delays in the production of key parts. Test officials told the government watchdog that TR-3′s software remains “unstable,” almost a year after deliveries were supposed to start.

    Since July 2023, the Pentagon has refused to accept delivery of the newest F-35s that will be enabled with TR-3. Most F-35s are built at Lockheed’s factory in Fort Worth, Texas. When a new jet rolls off the company’s production lines, they are stored at that facility until the permanent hardware kits for TR-3 and its software is ready.

    GAO did not publish the number of mostly finished F-35s awaiting delivery in its report, at the Pentagon’s request.

    But on Wednesday, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, told reporters that within months more than 100 jets could be “stacked up on the tarmac — unacceptable.”

    https://www.defensenews.com/air/2024/05/16/lockheed-running-out-of-parking-space-amid-f-35-delays-says-watchdog/

  138. Michael Martin,

    I kinda wrote off OZ & NZ when they went first banned guns and then went super-authoritarian over Covid. What’s your on-the-ground take?

  139. @Bridge,

    For the talks and discussions at the Glastonbury convention, are you thinking about peak oil-related topics, or about occult-related topics, or about both?

    Milkyway

  140. Michael, I’ve seen books like that, though fortunately I’ve avoided that one. The publishers doubtless know they can sell a lot of copies to people who will just look at the cover, and then leave it someplace visible to guests as yet another exercise in virtue signaling. As for “vibes,” exactly — Buhner was no slouch, and was willing to talk about the things that You Don’t Talk About.

    Lew, I don’t have a book in mind on that subject just now, but we’ll see. My concept of lenocracy is a little different from what you’re suggesting here, though — to begin with, it’s a kind of system, not a kind of person. I see it as a serious mistake to define these things as problems with people when what’s actually going on is inherent in the structure of society as presently constituted.

    Yigit, nobody knows what will or won’t be useful to the far future. Thus the question to ask is a different one: are you willing to put in the time and effort to help see to it that it will be saved? If so, do it.

    Michael, thanks for this. That’s very much the impression I got. Meanwhile there are dozens of pleasant, small to midsized countries where a foreigner who brings his own income and simply wants to live quietly, shopping at the local stores and paying the local taxes, is seen as a welcome asset and can get a renewable 1 to 3 year residency visa fairly easily. Since my income travels with me, the thought of learning another language doesn’t bother me in the least, and I get along well with most cuisines, I’ve got a very wide range of choices.

    Rafael, of course there’s more to it than that. I simply presented that as one example of many.

    Robert, good gods. So they really do plan on trying to provoke a war with Russia! And here I thought our government in the US had reached the nadir of stupidity…

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this. As for chess, not really; I don’t find games interesting, by and large. I did some research into it so I could make the chess playing scenes in my novel The Nyogtha Variations believable, but that’s about it.

    Warburton, thanks for this.

    Scotlyn, that makes a great deal of sense, doesn’t it?

    Markéta, hmm! This is fascinating; thank you for sharing it.

    Averagejoe, thank you! Dion Fortune’s novels are part of the inspiration for this series, for what it’s worth — I wanted to write some novels about real magic, rather than the Bertie Scrubb — er, Harry Potter crap that gets marketed so heavily in fiction these days.

    Wer, it’s a question on many minds these days. Given the pervasive nature of organized crime in today’s America, though, it’s quite possible that Trump has guaranteed his own survival by going to the mob (which he’ll have dealt with as a New York real estate magnate) and taken out contracts on half a dozen leading Democrats, so that if he dies, so do they. It’s a rough world out there.

    Patricia, Japan’s on the list of places I’d consider, not least because there’s rather less culture shock involved in my case, since I grew up with an Issei stepmother. As far as being an outsider, why, I’m an outsider wherever I live — Aspergers syndrome guarantees that — and would be tolerably comfortable as one more henna gaijin on the fringes of the expat scene. That said, it’s only one option of many.

    Sam, why should death make life meaningless? If you read a book, you’re going to get to the last page sooner or later; that doesn’t make the book any less worth reading. You might consider doing some journaling to figure out if there’s some unrecognized issues at work behind the malaise.

    Duncan, you’re most welcome. It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, for obvious reasons.

    David BTL, that doesn’t surprise me — the people who actually do the work realize that the whole Singularity thing is drivel; it’s the administrators, who are comfortably insulated from the real world, who fall into that delusion. As for The Nobility of Failure — good. You recognize that it doesn’t make sense to you. Sit with that, and see what the incomprehension teaches you.

    Sub, exactly. I’ve recently been studying material from another occult teacher, a contemporary of Fortune’s, who believed that Jesus was the final incarnation of the same Sun Spirit who had previously incarnated as Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, Lao Tsu, the Buddha, and half a dozen others. He was a Christian, even though his understanding of Christianity was completely different from just about anyone else’s!

    Siliconguy, yep.

    The bigger a machine, the more failure points it has and the more destructive the failure. Little wind turbines, of the sort that used to pump water and charge batteries all over the farm belt, broke down now and again, too, but they could be repaired easily with tools from the barn.

    Neptunesdolphins, the woke business is simply the latest rehash of Marxism, filtered through the lens of the post-1960s New Left. Same shale, different day.

    Clay, especially when you reflect on just how well the US military has performed against insurgents over the last fifty years or so…

    Forecasting, duly noted. Now we’ll see what happens.

    Roldy, I haven’t cast that yet, but it’s on the get-to list.

    Siliconguy, I keep on wondering if the Air Force would be better off with these…

    It could probably shoot down an F-35, for that matter!

  141. @Augusto:
    “Are you telling me doing or saying random stuff out of the blue in social situations is not normal? 😄”

    I see you have been there 😀

    Nothing like asking someone if they, too, can see the floor moving, or telling someone to make the note they’re playing “more orange: that F is too brown, it should be more orange” or better yet “no I can’t touch your smartphone, it’s full of bad intent” (I feel like that kid at the end of *Time Bandits*: “Don’t touch it, it’s evil!”) … disclosing psychic and psychedelic phenomena could be a whole chapter in “How to Lose friends and Alienate People”. On the other hand, sometimes the risk pays off, and you ping a fellow-traveller who can compare notes.

    Hunger etc.: it’s part of the package deal. AFAICT a lot of the… problem? thing? phenomenon?… is simply that we are constantly flooded with too much information, it overwhelms our processing capacity. Where most people have volume knobs or dimmer switches, we just have “ON” and “OFF”, so maybe what happens is when we have too much incoming data, some modalities get shut down to compensate. Awareness of internal body states such as hunger, pain, thirst, temperature, where we are located in space (proprioception) tends to be first on the chopping block– insensitivity to those things is common in ASD.

    On the flipside, one reason I think ASD is more than one thing with similar outward manifestations, is that I’ve talked to enough other people with that dx who *don’t* seem to have the information-flooding problem… there has to be more going on. In my own case, the info-overwhelm seems pretty close to a root cause, but I’m married to a fellow AS person, who has no such trouble– and still has similar social and macro-motor difficulties. (shrugs).

    At any rate, if it’s of interest, I’ve mused at tedious length on the subject in a few posts here:
    https://methylethyl.dreamwidth.org/28217.html
    https://methylethyl.dreamwidth.org/30532.html
    https://methylethyl.dreamwidth.org/32375.html

    …but suspect there is no uniform experience of the thing, only some possibly overlapping tendencies. I feel like there should be some shorthand term for whatever that is– the awkward combination of ASD-type social difficulties and perception that ranges outside the usual boundaries.

  142. JMG, and Silicon Guy,
    The amazing thing is that the F35 project started in 1995 so it has been 24 years and we still don’t have a useful fighter with the bugs worked out of it. It shows you how far down the curve we have fallen when the entire Apollo program took only 7 years to put a man on the moon. Especially stunning is the lunar lander, which was also designed and built ( 13 of them I think) in the same 7 years. Engineered, and built without the aid of computers the LEM had to operate perfectly the first time. It could not be tested in actual conditions. There was no way to test it in lunar gravity, atmosphere, or ground conditions. It had such strict weight constraints that they had to leave out the seats. Yet it had to work perfectly the first time. The tiniest glitch would have left 3 astronauts to die on the surface of the moon while the whole world watched. And it worked every time it was used, never having a hiccup, in fact it was used as a life raft on Apollo 13.
    Today we can’t make a passenger jet, or fighter aircraft that doesn’t have innumerable glitches, even though we have been making those for 70 years, and working on the latest one for 23 years. Imperial decline indeed.

  143. Afternoon John,
    Just read this from your comment above:
    “ I’ve recently been studying material from another occult teacher, a contemporary of Fortune’s, who believed that Jesus was the final incarnation of the same Sun Spirit who had previously incarnated as Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, Lao Tsu, the Buddha, and half a dozen others.”
    Good heavens, that sounds very interesting indeed. What is the source?
    Kind regards Averagejoe

  144. @Chris at Fernglade: Howdy! Yes, I am suggesting a low-tech long-distance book club in the form of a letter exchange. How this would work is there would need to be a Central Mailer. This person would receive mimeographed (or photocopied or letter press printed, or just ink jet printed) letters from each member. The number of members in the group determines how many copies of each individual members letter needs to be printed and sent to the Central Mailer. The Central Mailer then collates one copy of each members letter and puts it into a bundle. These bundles are then sent back to each member of the club. How frequently bundles are sent out would be up to the individual club. This might be fun to do with the Green Wizardry book, where everyone could go through the lessons together and share their homework as it were. This is one example of the coming alternet: an an analog network based on the alternative communication networks put together by a motley assortment of people, some of who were occultists, other scifi freaks and geeks, and others punk rockers and mail art nerds. That’s my idea. Does anyone want to volunteer for the role of Central Mailer? Oh, one other thing. Such a club usually has a small membership fee per year to cover the costs of the Central Mailer sending out bundles. International mail does make this more expensive.

  145. Hello JMG, thanks for your comment at #150 regarding my observation at #120, I’m well spooked now! The launch of that Prepare campaign was fairly low-key and would probably have been missed by most people even without the general election being announced that same afternoon. The website makes no mention of war but the various natural and other hazards listed are pretty small-scale in the UK by global standards, affecting just dozens or occasionally a few hundred people such that emergency services can make sure everyone is safe and fed in a matter of several hours rather than days. It had really not occurred to me that a confrontation with Russia was what it was most likely about, but it would make sense as what is suggested is otherwise over the top except for a few people in remote rural communities. One can imagine – the Ukrainian front line starts to crumble rapidly, British missiles are used to destroy targets within Russia then a few keys parts of the UK power grid get blown up by missiles or are made to fail by other means.
    Anyway, it will be interesting to see if any more attention is brought to this campaign either by this government or the next and it will be time to really worry if it is. I’ve stored 2-3 weeks of food and non-grid means to cook it for some years now, but perhaps my wife will make fewer jokey comments about what she calls my apocalypse store!

  146. Here in Britain the recent announcement of a General Election date in July has reminded me of a question I’ve been inclined for some time to put to the open post, and which I hope you won’t think too naive: can anyone tell me of any serious academic psychological studies of political partisanship? I don’t of course mean political principle, or voting allegiance; I refer merely to the rather deranged-seeming pretence that one side is right above everything and the other side wrong about everything. I don’t suppose, when otherwise reasonable people are expressing this yah-boo attitude, that they really mean it seriously; but that in itself is a point worthy of study, I reckon.

  147. P.S. in #151 I wrote “right above everything” instead of “right about everything”; a typo which maybe can do duty as a fruitful Freudian slip.

  148. Is the F-35 the one that couldn’t be used in the rain? DOD bought so many big expensive toys they all started running together after 20 years or so. I probably wouldn’t have seen any F-35 contracts, or modifications of same, anyway—most likely they were all classified . What we saw a lot of were service contracts.. all the things privates, seamen, or airmen used to do on bases—cutting grass, planting and weeding flowers, plunging clogs, that sort of thing—were transferred to contractors by the Reaganistas.
    If an eclectically well-read group like this one can’t tell me why Fagin was hanged, the knowledge must be lost to history. If I happen to see Charles Dickens on Judgement Day, I’ll ask him. I have a bunch of oddball questions I have wondered about for years—more often than not someone here knows the answer, so I like to put up one of my oddball questions on fifth Wednesdays.

  149. Clay, exactly. Once toxic amounts of lenocracy build up in an economy, it becomes unable to accomplish anything productive, because so much wealth is being siphoned off by the lenocrats.

    LeGrand, hmm! Or trying to get out in front of changes in public opinion?

    Averagejoe, it’s from the correspondence course of the Societas Rosicruciana in America (www.sria.org), written a century ago by George Winslow Plummer. Plummer also covers some of his Christology in his book Rosicrucian Fundamentals, which is long out of copyright and therefore available for free download. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of SRIA.)

    Robert M, yeah, that’s basically what I was thinking. Aurelien, who comments here sometimes and whose blog I read regularly, has a good post on just how little NATO can actually accomplish, but I think he makes the mistake of assuming that the people who are running the EU and the US are rational actors. Their behavior regarding the Russo-Ukrainian war, to my mind, makes that implausible; they’ve been shielded from the consequences of their own actions so long and so sedulously that it has never occurred to them that not getting what they want isn’t the worst thing that can happen to them. Mind you, I think he’s right that the Western powers have no credible way to affect the outcome of the war, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be stupid enough to try.

    Robert G, I wish I did! Anyone else?

    Your Kittenship, I must have missed the question about Fagin. It has a very simple answer: in Britain in the early 19th century, theft of a value higher than 12 pence was a death-penalty offense, if you were poor. The British legal system in those days was fantastically unjust — it didn’t even try to pretend that it was anything but a mechanism to preserve the privileges of the rich against the poor. 220 different offenses, including pickpocketing, begging without a license, and writing a threatening letter, had the death penalty under what was called the Bloody Code.

  150. One more comment about the coming British election: far be it from me to be an alarmist with regard to omens, but if you count 8 September 2022 as Day Zero, then the 5th of July 2024 – the day after polling, when we learn our fate – will be Day 666 of the King’s reign. (I suggest “Hmmm…” as a response.)

  151. Like I said on the Dreamwidth, I’m very happy to see the Glastonbury gathering is going ahead! Huge thanks to both Bridge and JMG for making this possible, and I’m excited to be there in a year.

    I’ll also take this chance to say I recently read The Book of Haatan and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was nice to see more of Dr. Moravec this time around, and I really liked his old explorer friend. Ariel is very likeable as a protagonist without being perfect. And as a long-since lapsed Harry Potter fan, all the digs at “Bertie Scrubb” make me smile every time too.

    Re. emigrating from Europe and emigration in general (@Forecasting Intelligence and others)

    I know I’ve banged this particular drum before, but if you’re a EU/Schengen citizen who’s willing to move to a small island in a warm climate, I still think the Azores, Madeira or the Canary Islands make more sense than some tiny speck of rock in the Caribbean. Less bureaucracy and culture shock, and they’re at least large enough to be a tad more self-sufficient even if they have their issues. Also not quite as vulnerable to sea level rise. I need to do more thinking and maybe some scouting, but the Canaries are still my backup plan. Of course, they might turn out to be a tempting prize for some North African warlord with time.

    As for New Zealand, when I briefly looked into it I got the sense it’s easier to get into than Australia, at least in some ways. For example, they’re not as strict when it comes to the age cut-off for skilled visas. In general I get the sense it’s about equally hard to move between the three “spheres” of the industrial world, ie. North America, Europe and Oceania. That is, extremely hard unless you’re in one of the three groups mentioned by Michael Grey. I don’t get the logic that it should be trivial to move from, say, France to Finland, but just about impossible to go from the US to Italy or Australia to Ireland, but apparently that’s how TPTB have decided to arrange it.

    (And since this is open post week, apropos Michael Grey’s cheese anecdote: I feel the same when I see Australian onions in the supermarket here in Norway, about an hour’s drive from one of the prime agricultural parts of the country. That’s madness, plain and simple.)

    Re. wind turbines

    A few years before I moved to this part of rural Norway in 2020, the local politicians in their infinite wisdom decided to approve a series of ghastly turbines that deface the otherwise very pleasant hills here. They went up on cue in 2021-22 in spite of much local protest. This year, though, they’ve had to shut down half the turbines due to “production faults” with some of the parts. There’s also been a related incident with one of the blades straight-up falling off the thing. So they’ve barely built them and they’re already coming apart at the seams. Have to admit it’s been hard not to indulge in a little schadenfreude there. Well, more than a little. 🙂

    Sometimes I wonder if they’ll be scrapped, or if they’ll remain here as jagged spikes on the landscape through the deindustrial era. I’m in my late thirties, so I have some optimism that I might one day get to see the hills without them again if I end up staying here and am lucky enough to live out my full lifespan.

    Re. child-friendly countries (@The Other Owen #137)

    Scandinavia might be about the best you’re going to get in the overdeveloped world. Here in Norway, there’s a lot of very generous subsidies for families, including long parental leaves for both genders and so on. The overwork culture isn’t quite as toxic as in many other rich countries either, and that plus the general high level of affluence (for now, at least) could leave some breathing room for family life. Our politicians are practically begging people to have more kids, but I guess they all are in Western countries, to keep the Ponzi scheme going.

    Anyway, there are two rather large flies in the ointment here which I suspect you’re not going to like, though: there’s a very strong cultural expectations that all women should be in full-time work and kids in kindergarten, the earlier the better. (Muslim immigrants tend to take advantage of the fact that kindergarten is technically not mandatory, just culturally and economically mandatory for most, which leads to a lot of frustration for the immigration-friendly left.) And second, while homeschooling is legal, it’s very much looked down on as something those oh-so-deplorable Christians and right-wingers do.

  152. Mr. Greer, I hope you and everyone here has a good week!

    I must apologize for not starting with a proper greeting. Thank you for your response.

    I am still processing the great cyclical nature of human history. In the last three years I had several moments were I received new information which took me months to fully process and accept. Having discovered this blog and related knowledge put me in such a moment, gave me a new perspective on life and on history in general. I’m still a bit in shock that all the great things I see on the internet will be gone in my lifetime. I wish I could read more about how people dealt with the loss of everything in post-collapse civilizations.

  153. @Sam:
    –surrounded by normies who want to smalltalk–
    Why do you think there are so many of us weirdos hanging out here?
    In person socializing is hard. It can be done, but you have to figure out where the weirdos are hanging out IRL near you 😉 Personally, I can recommend Orthodox churches– the convert-friendly ones seem to be attracting scads of intelligent eccentrics lately. But if that’s not your bag, perhaps look into what special-interest groups exist in your area– even if it’s something you’re only mildly interested in. We do have a tendency to narrow, intense, interests, so you’re more than likely to find others of our tribe in groups dedicated to… narrow intense interests. Mycology, gardening, foraging, model trains, chess, board games… worst that can happen is you go to a meetup once and it’s boring and you don’t go back. If you are already suffering malaise, it’s no loss 🙂

  154. >Yet it [Apollo 11 computers] had to work perfectly the first time

    Except it didn’t. What it did do was work well enough. Did you know the computer that was actually flying the Apollo 11 lander was continually crashing? It wasn’t a problem though, because the engineers at MIT designed it to recover from a crash after reboot and keep going. They just assumed the thing was going to crash and designed it like a rubber ball – to bounce back.

    What has changed since then? Perjoratively, Millenials are running the world. And it shows. It’s the difference between Windows 2000 – and Windows 11.

  155. Justin and others talking about book clubs by mail. I don’t know if you’d be interested in the mainly Amish practice of Circle Letters, probably more widespread before telephones. The first person A writes their letter and posts to the next person B. That person includes letter A with their own letter and sends on to C who adds their letter and sends onwards to D. When the bundle gets back to A they take their letter out and write a new one and pass along to B again who does the same. Often used for extended families or interest groups to keep in touch. The advantage is it doesn’t need a central mailer. Downsides include of course that if it gets to someone who doesn’t get their letter done and the bundle posted all the letters might be lost.

  156. Since this is Open Post – Whatever timeline Ariel Moravec et. al. are living in, is surely isn’t ours, unless Adocentyn runs a parallel postal service piggybacking on the U.S. Postal Lack-of-service. To wit:
    A wide spot in the road like Criswell has a post office of its own. From which a local piece of mail can actually be delivered locally within the twinkling of an eye, rather than being routed through the biggest city in the state.

    Gainesville, FL has a population of roughly 150,000 people and had 3 – count then, 3 post offices: One downtown, one in an affluent strip mall, and one down by the University, I think. All local mail is routed through Jacksonville, population roughly 980,000 people – the biggest city in the state. You get your stamps and mail packages at one of the many Mailboxes’R’Us outfits run privately by UPS or FedEx. They also sell stationery, knickknacks, etc, and offer paper shredding services (dump the paper in a locked box and send it off to a shredding mill.)

    How did Adocentyn luck out that way? Or is it magic?

  157. @ TJandTheBear
    NZ has not banned guns. Only automatic weapons and magazines above a certain size are banned. You need a special licence to own a pistol or an assault rifle (automatic function must be disabled). To get an ordinary firearms licence you just need someone to vouch for you, attend a firearms safety course, and have an approved storage facility at your place (ie. you can’t just put them in your wardrobe – you need a proper gun cabinet). In fact, unlike some supposedly gun-favouring jurisdictions, suppressors are unrestricted here (helps limit disturbance to livestock). In rural areas gun ownership is widespread (at one school I know of they have a shotgun club).

    The latest change in government is seeing a significant swing away from wokism. And it will be interesting to see what impact culturally on the civil service the current round of major layoffs will have.

    Regarding immigration – over 20% of the population of the largest city, Auckland, were born overseas. Last year net immigration was about 150,000 – which on a population of 4 million is a lot and both unsustainable and a risk for preserving the traditional culture. It is also a big driver behind the housing bubble here.

  158. re: expatriating
    I think a lot of people don’t realize that for aspies, the dislocation of being in a foreign country can actually be a plus 🙂

    I’ve spent a bit of time outside the US (rather more than most americans), in non-english-speaking countries, and if I had had the wherewithal to move there permanently, I’d’ve done it in a hot minute. Why? Because in the US, everyone expects me to conform to social expectations, but I can’t because of the ASD. I don’t even get any points for trying and good-faith effort. Just a big bucket of fail. But overseas, I can put in the same amount of *try*, and everybody’s cool with that because they can tell *I’m trying* and also I have this built-in excuse for failing at social expectations: *I’m a silly, bumbling foreigner*. So of course I didn’t know about (insert any social convention here) and I’m strange, and funny, and awkward. And almost everybody forgives me for it and extends a bit of grace and is willing to help when I can’t quite bridge the gap. It’s so much nicer to be doing the wrong thing because I’m the gringa/roundeye and nobody expects me to get it right, than to be doing the wrong thing because I’m a loser with social leprosy!

  159. @Other Owen
    “Or you can do what the Communist Chinese did to solve their opium problem”
    Yeah, I don’t think that’s a good solution, but I am deeply afraid that’s where we’ll end up. I am not sure anybody has the will to solve the supply problem, and in the absence of that, we certainly don’t have the resources to put them all through rehab.

    I think there are still a lot of nice middle class bubble people out there who have no idea how bad the problem has gotten. Heard a secondhand story the other day: overheard in a local fast food joint: four guys, debating whose turn it was to be the “designated drinker”. Apparently, that’s a thing now. the DD is the person who drinks only beer and is in charge of administering Narcan, while everybody else gets high.

    That’s the cultural moment we’re in.

  160. Thanks, JMG! Another oddball question answered. We of Ecosophia continue to bat a thousand in the oddball category.

    —Princess Cutekitten

  161. If I were a Jew I’d be getting out of both the US and Israel ASAP because they are the target of the third round of power struggles in the decaying empire.

    The first round began in 2009 with the woke mind virus. The christian conservatives lost, being pushed from the center of the empire to the fringes. The first round wasnt that bad, the Christian Conservatives still have some niches like Florida and Texas and, if wealthy enough, could still sit on the table. But entry-level imperial drones? You better accept that men can be women and that drag queens have an unalienable right to sexualize toddlers or else.

    The second round begun in 2020 and it was about eliminating from the Empire anyone that wasn’t willing to submit, soul and body, to random, arbitrary dictates. It was never about curing and preventing a disease but about playing sadomasoquist social games, opressing and being opressed and liking it. Those that couldn’t take it were purged like Naomi Wolfe.

    Now we are seeing the first rounds of the third game. As the empire breaks down, the wealth runs out while at the same time the money goes asymptotically to +inf, someone has to pay and it has been decided that the jews are the ones that will pay. Those protests in the colleges? Its the entry-level imperialists training how to persecute jews. They will snitch their former friends, deny them employment, based on their Jewish origin.

    And because the covid purge made sure that the remaining imperial goons have no morals, no ethics, no empathy and that they obey like slaves (because they ARE slaves), there will be no mercy.

    Frankly, the jews should get out of Dodge while they can.

  162. Methylethyl, alas, no. And my distance from you would make my offer of elbow grease a bit useless. But I figure, if you make me aware of such instructions, I might be able to cobble a little raft together over here 🙂

  163. I must drive the YouTube algorithm bonkers, this just popped up,

    What You ACTUALLY Need to Make Clothes in an Apocalypse
    By Bernadette Banner.

  164. @TJ: “Michael Martin,

    I kinda wrote off OZ & NZ when they went first banned guns and then went super-authoritarian over Covid. What’s your on-the-ground take?”

    A lot has changed since I came here 25 years ago. Back when I first came here, public schools still actually taught things, and were somewhat better than their American counterparts. Not anymore!

    At this point, all countries of the Western “Faustian” world are ruled by what the late Polish psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski would call a “Pathocracy.” In other words, the ruling classes of all Western countries consist of psychopaths, ideological schizoid fanatics, and other “Cluster B” personality disordered types. New Zealand is no exception.

    Differences? New Zealand is a tiny country of around 5 million people, give or take. Many North American cities are more populated. This makes New Zealand the “biggest small town” you ever saw. Conflicts around here tend to express themselves more as petty personal feuds than as massive clashes between groups of people. Thus, unlike the U.S., I don’t foresee a Yugoslavian-style free-for-all. Street crime and disorder has risen here, as in most of the rest of the Western world. However, I think that these problems will be muddled through, in a sloppy, messy way, rather than escalate to a full scale social conflagration.

    As for the COVID authoritarianism, this last election was a backlash against that. The new government is also rolling back some of the firearms restrictions enacted by the Ardern government as well. More and more people are starting to see the Christchurch shootings as the Deep State psy-op that it was. In general, the last three years have seen a huge loss in “political innocence” on the part of New Zealanders. As painful as it has been, I think it was inevitable, and I hope that future generations of New Zealanders will be more politically mature than in the past. But, we will have to see!

  165. Has anybody else here read the children’s book Momo, by Michael Ende of Neverending Story fame? I tried it out on my daughter, though she didn’t like the cover art, so I am re-reading it on my own.

    The sinister Men in Grey convince people to “save” time, which in fact robs them of their life. The only ones immune to the Men in Grey are the unschooled, homeless orphan Momo, who has the gift of listening, and her friend Beppo, who performs his job of street-sweeping as a kind of meditation and takes hours to respond to any question because he really wants to give the right answer.

    The book was published in 1973, but it feels very appropriate right now. Many of the embedded stories are maybe directed more at adults than at children, such as the story about the bloody dictator Marxentius the Red, who reconstructed (literally) the whole planet Earth, only to find it was the same as the old one.

  166. Robert G, that’s remarkably clever even for 666-ing — that number has attracted some of the most ingenious calculations of all time. I particularly liked the one that points out that if A = 100, B=101, C = 102, and so on, HITLER adds up to 666, or the genius who calculated that if you turn the letters and numbers of BILL GATES into their ASCII values, and then (since Gates is, of course William Gates III) add 3, you get the same sinister figure!

    Kim, delighted to hear it. Theophilus Cray will be around pretty regularly in future Ariel Moravec stories, now that he’s back from Central Asia, and the flogging of Bertie Scrubb will continue until morale improves. I’ll look into the Azores — here in East Providence, RI, something like a third of my neighbors are from the Azores (the Portuguese immigrant community is very location-specific — people from different province settled specific areas) and Portugal is among the countries that welcomes foreigners who bring an income with them.

    Rafael, are you in Europe? If so, you should be able to find out a fair amount about how people in your region handled the collapse of the Roman world and the transition to the early Dark Ages.

    Patricia M, that seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here in East Providence our local post office (five blocks from my apartment) sends mail to be sorted to the Seekonk office two and a half miles away in Seekonk, so it gets to local destinations very quickly; in Cumberland MD, they did all the sorting for local mail right there in the back, since at 35,000 people Cumberland’s the largest city in a five county region. Both post offices gladly sell stamps and buy packages. Little places in the middle of nowhere like Criswell? Again, it varies from place to place, but some places still have ’em, and if a city’s just a modest drive away (as Adocentyn is) turnaround time for mail can be pretty quick.

    Methylethyl, I’ll keep that in mind!

    Luciano, the US has either the largest or the second largest population of Jewish people in the world, with Israel in either second or first place, depending on how you do the counting. (It gets complicated; do you factor in nonreligious people of Jewish descent, for example?) Using the broadest definition, the one Israel uses for immigration, 51% of the world’s Jews are in the US and another 30% are in Israel; every other country on the planet is in the low single digits (3% in France, 2% in the UK, etc.). That amounts to some 20 million Jewish people in those two countries out of roughly 25 million Jews worldwide. That is to say, where on Earth do you expect 20 million people to go?

    Siliconguy, ha!

    Aldarion, no, I haven’t read it, but it sounds interesting.

  167. Hi JMG. Hope you’re well. In the past you’ve mentioned there may be pockets of the world where industrial society continues for some time even when most of the world deindustrializes. Where I might disgree with you is I think there will probably be pockets where technological progress actually continues to increase steadily for centuries. IMO, there’s enough resources for this, and it seems to be fairly similar to what’s currently going on in the world. Do you think this is possible/plausible?

  168. @Aldarion: Momo! Yes!

    I need to re-read that. I read it about 15 years ago, guessing. A friend of mine read it after I did with his daughters and they named the family cat Momo. I just saw him after a long time two weeks ago and he said Momo is old now but doing good. I was able to pick up a hardcover in a nice dust jacket from my favorite bookstore, Dark Star books in Yellow Springs.

    The Neverending Story is high up on my list of favorite novels, probably the book Ive re-read the most. I will add Momo to my summer list.

    It would be a good choice for a book club.

  169. “Clay, exactly. Once toxic amounts of lenocracy build up in an economy, it becomes unable to accomplish anything productive, because so much wealth is being siphoned off by the lenocrats.”
    Your honor, the prosecution submits Exhibit 12: https://idlewords.com/2024/5/the_lunacy_of_artemis.htm
    The facts are sad, at least for those old enough to remember the space program as one heroic (meaning both silly and noble) thing to come out of the cold war. The writing is witheringly funny.
    Mr. Greer, you seem to be emphasizing the point lately that attempting to improve the lot of humanity as a whole in this dimension is unwise and often harmful. I know that you do not watch videos, but if you did, I think you would find the movie Serenity (2005) a well-crafted demonstration of that. I recommend it highly for those who do watch videos, though I am sure that many here have already seen it.
    I parted ways with more orthodox Tibetan Buddhism 20 years ago in the hope that we might be at a stage where some improvement of humanity morally would be possible. After all, there are probably more people with some material maneuvering room in their lives meditating and the like than the entire population of India in Buddha’s day. (And in his day, over 90% of the population had to be dirt poor peasants and much of the rest of the folks were busy one way or another keeping the peasants working.)
    If that moment was ever present, it has passed and we are moving in the direction of less freedom. More than anything, I underestimated the effects of the dark magic project that includes propaganda, advertising, and more insidiously the Spectacle, nowadays at an intensity that even Guy Debord did not foreseee. (Philip K. Dick seems to have. Poor guy.)
    I do take some solace in the notion that even if this dimension will always be a bit of a cluster fork, that everyone who is here now has the innate nature to eventually graduate to a dimension that is not.
    I wonder if there would be any benefit in examining the implications of the notion that on this material dimension, we have humans who are preparing to graduate, humans who just graduated into this dimension (perhaps a bit early thanks to the dearth of animal bodies and excess human bodies at the moment), and also humans who are still on their way downward to rocks or molecules before they start back up again. (Did I get that last part correct?)
    I could easily see folks absolutely running amok classifying people into those three categories and using those classifications as excuses for all manner of bad behavior. It could be religious fanaticism (or wokeness) on steroids.
    But might there nonetheless be some insight into societies worth garnering based on this understanding of longer-term evolution?

  170. I’ve been rereading the Lord of the Rings for the first time since 5th grade, and I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to go back to it. It’s been hard work, but rewarding, to rebuild my own imagery over the imagery of the movies. And I’ve noticed just how much got cut out and distorted in the movies. (I particularly resent how Gimli got turned from a low-key romantic into shoddy comic relief.)

    But also, after meditating my way through the Mabinogion for several years, I’m seeing whole new levels of meaning.

    >The Shire seems to exist in a different plane from Gondor, Rohan and Mordor, with the Misty Mountains marking the boundary. (Consider that Caradhras, ‘Red Horn,’ gets named as one of the premier peaks of the mountain range. A hint that the characters are entering into, and out of, incarnation?)

    >The characters blur together when I apply the logic of the Mabinogion to them. Saruman is clearly a diminutive version of Sauron. (So why do they fight? Because they’re evil, and evil inevitably consumes itself.) Boromir dies, and is functionally replaced by Gollum. The Fellowship itself seems at times to be a single individual divided into several aspects – consider how Frodo’s behavior when he returns to the Shire is an echo of Aragorn coming to Minas Tirith.

    >I was struck by how Aragorn’s main contribution to the Battle of Pelennor Fields wasn’t martial, really – it was healing the wounded, afterwards. Despite the fact that he bears Anduril, we don’t really see him use it in battle in the third book. His virtue as a king and healer seems to be much more prominent.

  171. >I don’t know if you’d be interested in the mainly Amish practice of Circle Letters

    Store-and-forward, at the absolute lowest-tech implementation. Lol. Also see: FIDOnet, USENET

  172. “Balowulf, if the 2024 election is obviously fraudulent all bets are off. I’ll consider leaving the country if that happens, because four more years of business as usual will have so many people so desperate that a domestic insurgency or a civil war are likely outcomes, and the only safe place to be if that happens is somewhere else.”

    Wow, I’m really shocked to hear you say that you’d consider leaving the US. I’m not sure how to respond, but it occurs to me that another potential fifth Wednesday topic would be how would you see a near-term American Civil War playing out, if at all? There’s no obvious Mason Dixon line to fight over this time.

    My guess is it would be rural versus urban, which is how I believe how Mao fought Chiang Kai-shek, and which is also how the American voting map breaks down every presidential election. Anyway, I’ll bring that up at the next five-week month.

  173. I spent a month in Portugal a couple of years back and liked the people. There was something unassuming about them that I think could be up your alley.

  174. Robert Morgan (#120), Robert Gibson (#162): Re: recently announced elections in the UK. According to a summary of an analysis in The Guardian, the thinking was “As bleak as things look for this government now, they’re only going to get worse. If we elect a new Parliament soon, some member of our party may survive, who would not have survived if the election were held later.” Put that together with what we Americans of the East Coast are always urged to do in preparation for hurricane season (freshen stocks of emergency supplies), and it seems like something wicked this way comes.

  175. @Cliff (#182)
    The character whom I think the movie really served poorly was Denethor. In the movie, he is pathetic, but in the book he is noble. Tragic for sure, but he went down fighting the good fight.

  176. JMG – I heard a story on NPR this morning about a new North Korean propaganda video which has gone viral on TikTok. It is said to show throngs of happy citizens celebrating their good fortune at having KJU continuing to lead, at age 40. My first thought was: the TikTok crowd was propagating the propaganda ironically. But, my second thought was, where did the producers learn to mimic the video style of popular K-pop music video? We’re told that they’re isolated, forbidden to sample outside art, yet, here they are, demonstrating some mastery of it. Do you suppose we’ve been misinformed? Even if the Dear Leader calls for a production, who would admit to having the personal exposure to the medium? Something just doesn’t fit together here. (And, somehow, NPR didn’t mention the contradictions.)

  177. Harlan, it’s a common fantasy, buoyed by the blind faith in progress that functions as a substitute religion in much of the world. First of all, we no longer have the resource base — check out what’s been happening to the price of copper recently, or for that matter the last decades’ worth of projections of the world’s lithium supply. Second, our current technological suite requires resources from all over the planet; as the global economy breaks down, and of course it’s already breaking down, getting those will be increasingly difficult. Third, most technologies have already tipped over into decline — most “upgrades” these days have more problems and fewer benefits than what they replace. That’s not accidental, as the law of diminishing returns applies to technological progress just as it does to everything else. Those countries and regions that manage to maintain some kind of industrial society in the centuries ahead, as the world sinks into its first global dark age, will be those that can downshift to a lower and more sustainable technological level — at least for a while.

    Jessica, thanks for this. The souls that are on their way to the starting point, down there among the rocks and waterfalls, aren’t in human bodies — they haven’t yet differentiated into individuals yet — so what we’ve got here among humanity are souls that have just graduated from the animal level and haven’t got the hang of being human yet, souls that have figured out being human but haven’t gotten around to moving beyond the human level, and souls that are heading for the exit doors to bigger and better things. As far as I can tell, most human societies have a pretty fair mix of all three types. Just at the moment, though, the huge but temporary increase in human population means that a lot of souls that would otherwise be in the more complex animal forms are in human bodies, at least for the moment; this may explain why so many of us are so clueless just now.

    Cliff, interesting. Yes, that makes sense.

    Blue Sun, it’ll be rural vs. urban at first, and then heartland vs. the two coasts once the inland cities fall to the populist side. The Chinese model’s not a bad one. Please do bring that up next time we vote on a fifth Wednesday!

    Jessica, I’ve gotten that impression. That said, I have a decent sized list of options.

    Lathechuck, I’ve come to think that just about everything the US media claims about countries our government doesn’t like is complete horseradish. This is a good example…

  178. Today I’ve been thinking about the ideas of reincarnation, and of each lifetime being to work through the issues of a previous one, that sort of thing – it’s not something I’ve studied, so forgive me if I misrepresent it. In my faith of Judaism we admit of it as a possibility but it, along with concepts like heaven and hell, honestly aren’t very well-developed at all.

    I’ve been thinking of that after a recent encounter with a very emotionally-unstable person who had some substance abuse issues, though of course denied it. A very turbulent life. And while I was thinking about this person, I saw a video of some people doing white water rafting. And they were paddling along quite peacefully, then there was a part of the river with a higher bed and more rocks which became turbulent, and they had to switch on and paddle more carefully to avoid being dashed on the rocks, with the aim of course of making it through to the next and more peaceful part of the river.

    Is this a concept in reincarnation?

  179. Alexander (#106) – No one can tell which investment options will be provide the best balance of risk and return over the next 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. The “Efficient Market” hypothesis says that the value of any asset can’t be predicted any better than its current price, that all the information you’d like to have is the information that everyone else already has, and is betting on. Which is to say, if anyone says that THEY have a special insight into how they can use their experience to manage your money, you’re likely to experience your money becoming their money. One consistent rule is to avoid borrowing money, because the person offering you a loan is counting on your repayment of that loan as the best use they could make of their money. If the powers-that-be have the ability to soften the impacts ahead, I think you’ll be safer “in the herd” than on the fringe. Never forget that people who thought owning gold would protect them from the Great Depression simply had their gold “purchased by force” (Executive Order 6102) when the Feds wanted it. Learn to enjoy the skills of frugality.

  180. Sadly I believe JMG is spot on right about risk of civil war. Economic depression and military humiliation are not going to help the strain especially if we get four more years of nihilism and revolution at the behest of the USG. If I could leave temporarily I would too, JMG. Second best is buried somewhere in Arkansas, or somewhere like it, but these are big tectonic shifts. We desperately need a few years of normalcy and sanity, and decompression. I give us fifty fifty odds on avoiding civil turmoil and even insurgencies and then collapse. This is not a drill, sad to say. Too many compromises and bad decisions…chickens are coming home to roost and sky is dark with them. We thought we were on holiday from history.

  181. Mr. Greer…
    For your perusal – a certain U.S. house bill enters the chat.. written as such, whereby ANY bill put forth.. shall be of length .. 4(four) single-spaced pages of text ONLY, thus allowing our vaunted elected imbecels to read.. and hence attempt to comprehend – without benefit of the ‘ interpretation$’ of scurrilous legistlative “aids .. ANY legislation thereof …..

    Now, I ask you … how many of our glorious repre(hensible)$entatives would vote in the affirmative??

    Don’t even ask about what the $enate would proffer…

  182. @Jessica 181: ”
    I could easily see folks absolutely running amok classifying people into those three categories and using those classifications as excuses for all manner of bad behavior. It could be religious fanaticism (or wokeness) on steroids.”

    I keep going back to Max Heindel who was pretty unabashed in writing about a hierarchy of races, such that it would cause much consternation these days, but he also keeps mentioning “16 possibilities for destruction.” To wit: “Therefore occult scientists speak of the sixteen Races, of which the Germano Anglo-Saxon is one, as ‘The sixteen possibilities for destruction.’ May the reader safely pass them all, for their grip is worse than the retardation in the next Revolution.” p231 Franz Boas and S.J. Gould notwithstanding.

  183. Dear Mr. Greer – (# 150) Ah, I think I see the difference. The Lenocracy is systemic, rather than individual. Thank you! Lew

  184. Warburton, well, that’s part of it, but the metaphor doesn’t include the way that how you paddle determines how rough the river will get! I’ve discussed all that here:

    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-law-of-consequences/

    Celadon, as I noted to Michael Martin, it’s not something I want to do, but I’m very clearly aware of what happens to a country that plunges into civil war, especially when its economy produces very little of value any more and its currency won’t be worth squat soon anyway. If I didn’t have the capacity to relocate I’d hunker down and do my best, but it so happens that my circumstances allow a more effective response. If it becomes necessary — and only if it becomes necessary — I’ll pursue that.

    Polecat, if they did, they’d be cutting themselves off from the bribe money that makes being a Congresscritter so lucrative these days. I’d put the figure in round numbers — say, 0.

    Phutatorius (if I may) Heindel is underrated. To his way of thinking, every racial group very quickly becomes a evolutionary blind alley; “as man degenerates by becoming attached to his race,” he notes, “they” (the races) “are called the sixteen paths to destruction.”

    Lew, exactly.

  185. JMG, I loved your response to Harlan on society’s technological fetish so much that I copied it over with a link on a letter I am composing to a government-affiliated environmental NGO in Japan, which will urge them to consider advocating taking a step back from complexity and precariousness of dependency on computer technology. I’ve been crafting my arguments. You express the issue very well.

  186. @LatheChuck on North Korean propaganda,
    The late journalist Andrei Vltchek spent some time in North Korea and took a sympathetic view of them. He counseled their government to consider upgrading their image abroad, and they took him seriously. Some time after that a piece was run abroad featuring photos of cute stylish North Korean ladies. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them continue that.
    I think Japan has a more sympathetic view of NK currently, since young Kim Jong Un took over. He had been tutored by a Japanese scholar, and is said to have contacted his old teacher expressing lack of confidence just before taking the reins. That left a deep impact here.

  187. @ Kim A “I feel the same when I see Australian onions in the supermarket here in Norway”

    Oh dear! I do hope you at least get the good ones because if they are the same as the major supermarkets here, they barely pass as onions. Small, bitter, usually a day away from sprouting.

    @JMG “Meanwhile there are dozens of pleasant, small to midsized countries where a foreigner who brings his own income and simply wants to live quietly, shopping at the local stores and paying the local taxes, is seen as a welcome asset and can get a renewable 1 to 3 year residency visa fairly easily. ”

    Absolutely. One good example of this is commenter here Chad A Haag, who left the US and moved to Uchakkada, Kerala Southern India. He has mentioned about how while the place is considered by various government panels as “being in poverty”, but he lives a more comfortable and happier life there because of all the things that do not count towards monetary gain. I’m not saying move to India but it is one of many options available.

    As for Australia/NZ, I treat it like George Carlin said – Welcome to the freak show, we are am in the front row. Both exploited and benefiting from the imperial wealth pump. I’m not holding on to what others are, just enjoy the dropping sensation like a roller coaster. 🙂

  188. I’ve been bitten by the ham radio bug in the last several months and have been spending much of my time trying to figure out the ins and outs of HF propagation. It is truly amazing how, with an HF radio, I can have conversations with people in Russia, Japan, Chile, and everywhere else around half of the planet on a lightbulb’s worth of power and either a collapsible 17′ antenna plus some metallized cloth, or even just a dipole antenna cobbled together from some wire at the right height!

    That all said, almost the only effect I saw of the latest solar storm was that all the HF bands died and there were some weird fluttery auroral signals on VHF that I couldn’t copy at all. There was a pale pinkish glow on the horizon at my home In central IL, but then clouds moved in and cut off the main show. People living in the country got to see considerably more than I could from a small town of 13,000, but overall it was a bit of a disappointment here.

    Are you on the air much these days, by the way? Hope to catch you down the coax, as they say.

  189. @methylethyl #151

    I yeah, I’ve been there many times. These days close people around me know and I kinda do it on purpose to raise a chuckle.

    My therapists says that some forms of neurodivergence are like having a Ferrari with rubber bicycle brakes… and the engine doesn’t stop until warning lights are blinking.

    I think it has to do with the same thing as when you are too engaged with something. What helps me, immensely, is routine. For so many years I have not had a regular meal hour for example, so hunger? Nah, I can go without food for a day and notice until next morning. But an Earthy routine just doesn’t give me the option. After eating at the same time for a while, my physiology doesn’t let me go without food anymore, and hence my digestion and anxiety issues have come down quite a bit. All those things I relate to Earth help, seasons, habits, patience put my perception (and energy) in context.

    It all comes down to not noticing some things and being super energetic on other fronts!

  190. Bofur, JMG,

    I actually saw people talking about that book on Twitter a few days ago. I guess it has something to do with Astral Codex Ten’s review of this psychotherapy book on psychologists encountering phenomena that seem very much like demons:
    https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/book-review-the-others-within-us

    He is a materialist and a psychologist/psychiatrist himself so he gives it a materialist interpretation at the end, and tbh I find part of it convincing (i.e. therapists have tended to read trending diagnoses into their patients for a long long time), but he doesn’t deny the phenomenon outright.

    I find this gradual percolation of metaphysical ideas into “Rationalist” communities quite interesting, seems to be a precursor to the syncretism of the Second Religiosity IMO.

  191. Mr. Greer, I concur..
    The Lenocratic Vomatoria just can’t say ‘no’.. I guess they will inevitably go the way of Mr. Creosote Man..
    SplatterCons? in a fashion.

  192. Greetings all,
    Bridge said: “We have a date for an Ecosophian Convention in Glastonbury, UK – 6-8 June 2025. JMG will be there and others to be announced”. Best wishes for the convention. I really wish I could attend!
    I would be grateful if the organisers could consider filming parts of the event and placing it on the net.
    Without being too demanding, it is feasible to organise live net events? Against a fee of course?
    Regards

  193. I’ve been reading a translation of the Rule of St Benedict, based on a discussion identifying it as having enabled the continuity of Western civilisation in the aftermath of the fall of Rome. What is it about monasticism that makes this possible, given how anti-family and anti-natal it is? Is that it? Is it a choice between cultural continuity and biological continuity?

  194. @Walt F #140

    I thought about this in astrological terms, since a lot of inner emotional things make sense to me when I use astrological terms to think about them. Once of the things I realised is that the instruction “Control your anger, choose when to awaken it and when not to” places the Solar and Saturnine aspects in a contest. I think anger is a choice, and we do choose to get angry, but I believe that most of the time we make that choice not out of volition but out of habit. Anger is ‘satisfactory’ in an emotional sense, and gives us enough satisfaction to be habit-forming. Consequently, most adults get angry because of a habitual, not-entirely-conscious response to certain cues. Those who are ‘prone to anger’ basically have an addiction to anger.

    So at the end of the day, Adler’s psychology is pitting volition against habit, trying to break the limits of our nature by thrusting the force of will at it. I am not sure if the Sun is always strong enough to be a match for Saturn though, and perhaps a more roundabout approach can help from time to time.

  195. When you say that spiritual evolution is for individuals not collectivities, do you mean that in an absolute sense or in an ‘it’s best to act as if this is true lest waiting for the egregore to evolve tempts us into shirking our portion of the work’ kind of sense?

  196. Matt #80
    I have a violin made by a music teacher in TX. It’s for beginners so nothing grand. It has not been used for a long time and needs to be re-strung but it’s been stored in a safe dry place in its case. It’s yours if you want it.
    You can reach me at the original big “free” email as sher.bowman.

  197. Hey JMG

    I admit I am usually not too into board games myself usually. So I think that is something that we have in common.

    Out of curiosity, are you familiar with David Dickson? I was browsing a secondhand bookstore today, and came across a book by that author titled “alternative technology and the politics of technical change”. It is apparently a book on appropriate technology published in the early seventies which I have never heard of before, which I managed to buy for AUD$2, rather than the $16.50 it was originally priced at.

  198. >Second best is buried somewhere in Arkansas

    Why Arkansas? You like thounderstorms?

  199. @JMG 196: Thank you for that elaboration. The part about, “for their grip is worse than the retardation in the next Revolution” is frightening. I take it he means you could lose your place in the current swarm or become a “straggler” which certainly is a sobering thought.

  200. re: Artemis

    I guarantee you, every experienced engineer inside NASA has taken a look at Artemis and is running away from it as fast as they can. I know I would. I’d be putting as much distance between myself and that project as I could. I’d be telling everybody I cared about to not get involved with it either. I’ve seen “death march” projects and this reeks of it.

    At best, it’ll keep getting delayed and eventually die in a whimper as the budget and project is canceled. At worst, BOOM, with blame assignment.

    I think in the end, it would’ve probably been cheaper just to mail welfare checks to everyone involved and tell them to stay home and smoke pot. But for some reason, people in charge have real problems with that.

  201. >Blue Sun, it’ll be rural vs. urban at first, and then heartland vs. the two coasts once the inland cities fall to the populist side

    I call it NewYorkifornia vs. Texida

  202. Yes, the PMC, the Deep State, the WEF Davos crowd, the Globalists, the Atlanticists, the Democrats, the woke, the progressives, much of the plutocracy, the mainstream media, the university elite the whole Cabal, whatever you want to call this coterie don’t want Trump elected I am afraid at any cost fair, fraudulent or foul so unless it is artfully, secretly done we are headed to unrest. And if Trump does win clearly even desperation and horror of the Cabal still yields unrest. I wonder what the response would be if Trump pulls the plug on NATO support for the Ukraine and insists on a negotiated settlement with 20% of Ukraine remaining in Russian control – at this point the best that can happen I think.

  203. Ukraine is developing a “drowning not waving” problem. It is struggling to say clearly how badly the war is going.
    kraken2trfqodidvlh4aa337cpzfrhdlfldhve5nf7njhumwr7instad onion
    Giving a candid public assessment of how poorly a conflict is going can be an unwise move as it can result in morale and support draining. After Obama boosted troops in Afghanistan, public support declined over the years, in part because of a lack of realism about how the war was going.
    https://kraken17.com
    kraken4.at
    Ukraine’s acutely bad presentation of its troubles is mostly due to the myopia of its allies.

    The lack of understanding in parts of US Congress is breathtaking. A congressman this week suggested Ukraine should name a finite price tag and a specific, simple goal. It’s staggering after two American wars of choice in two decades, costing trillions of dollars, that congressional memories are so short, and comprehension so limited.

    Instead, Kyiv consistently points to past successes and future goals. They have reclaimed about half the territory Russia took last year; they have damaged its Black Sea presence strategically. They have a plan for 2024, Zelensky said, but it is secret.

    Yet in truth, the most useful headline for Kyiv should be how unutterably bleak the frontlines are for them now. In nearly every direction, the news is grim. Russian forces are hiving off parts of the eastern city of Avdiivka, yet another town Moscow seems content to throw thousands of lives at despite its minimal importance. Along the Zaporizhzhia frontline, where the counteroffensive was focused but ultimately slow and unrewarding, Russian units have come back with renewed vigor and the defense is costly for Ukraine. Ukraine has made a plucky (or foolhardy) dash across the Dnipro River, with some small progress into Russian lines. The casualties have been immense, their supply lines are problematic, and their prospects dim.

  204. I remember in 2016 progressive types suddenly advocating states rights, the real meaning of Federalism, and possible secession, stuff they typically abhor because of their preference for a dominant Washington D.C. based central government to keep bad states like Texas in line. If Trump wins and the Republicans gain congressional control we will see a repeat.

  205. In my daily New York Times email teaser ( they think I might subscribe if they give me tiny bits of their drivel each day) is their latest nonsense. They are trying once again to massage the delicate sense of well being of the comfortable class by assuring them that though their hero Joe Biden is consistently down in the polls they have discovered a magic secret that will make it all right. You see Trump is polling mush higher with ” disengaged voters’. These ” low turnout” voters don’t come out to vote as consistently as those good people who get their information from main stream media and vote for the democrats. So things will be just fine as the only people who like Trump are deplorables ,disengaged voters and other riff riff who are lazy and unreliable when it comes to getting to the polls, (as opposed to the Biden voters who can turn out even when they are dead)*. This last line is. my work not the times.
    In an additional article where I was only allowed to read the header, the Times seemed surprised the voters in Portland Oregon threw out their Soros backed ” soft on crime” DA in favor of a ” tough on crime” challenger in the may elections.

  206. The Lardbucket has a new friend,

    “Dubious Eagle: Why Has Pentagon Pumped $756 Million Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly?”

    But like other US hypersonic missile efforts to date, Dark Eagle has become a somewhat “Dubious Eagle” after a string of testing issues. The Congressional Research Office has counted at least five failures to date:
    In October 2021, an LRHW [long range hypersonic weapon] test failed when the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) did not deploy.
    In June 2022, the complete LRHW missile system suffered another test failure.
    A scheduled LRHW test was canceled in October 2022 to “assess the root cause” of the June 2022 failure.
    In March 2023, a scheduled test launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida was scrapped.
    A second planned test at Cape Canaveral was canceled in September 2023, followed by an Army statement that it would not be able to meet the goal of deploying Dark Eagle in the current fiscal year.
    A November 2023 review by Army and Navy acquisition execs blamed the delays on unspecified “problems” with the Lockheed-made launcher, and said the issues would take “months” to iron out.

    https://sputnikglobe.com/20240522/dubious-eagle-why-has-pentagon-pumped-756-mln-into-hypersonic-missile-that-doesnt-fly-1118583903.html

  207. …Lakeland Republic country is pretty nice IMO…

    I got a hexagram that when interpreted by statesmen is about civil war today in my daily reading. Then I see where the conversation here has turned to…

    In a series of three interconnected novellettes I wrote this past year the country has a series of secessions to mitigate against a civil war following the second great depression. I don’t mind sharing it now, because the first drafts are done. It’s not there yet, but I hope to bring them to deindustrial readers down the line a bit further.

  208. Patricia O, I hope they listen. I don’t expect them to do so, but there’s always the hope.

    Michael, I hadn’t looked at India yet, but I’ll give it a glance. The thing about poverty, of course, is that poverty is relative; it’s quite possible to be happy, productive, and comfortable on much less money than a middle class Westerner thinks is barely enough to get by.

    Grebulocities, unfortunately not — I haven’t been on the air much since I left Maryland. Time permitting I may see if I can get active again someday.

    Alvin, interesting indeed. Second Religiosity, here we come!

    Polecat, all in due time.

    Synthase, it’s only if you give up on family and offspring that you have enough free time to spend much of it copying manuscripts and the like. Think of it as a specialization of function — you leave biological continuity to others so you can devote all your time to cultural continuity.

    Christopher, I think it’s literally true. I see no evidence that human morality or intelligence has improved one iota over the five thousand years of recorded history; the same vices and stupidities remain firmly in place, even though we have fancier gadgets to enact them with.

    J.L.Mc12, no, once again you’ve managed to find something unknown to me. You’re good at that!

    Phutatorius, yep. It intrigues me that he saw the issues that clearly.

    BeardTree, the thing that fascinates me is that significant factions in the plutocracy seem to be turning Trump’s way. I suspect some of them have gauged the way things are moving and have decided that being on the side that will eventually win is a smart idea; they may also have cut deals of various kinds with Trump. The raw desperation of the recent attempts at legal gamesmanship against him does not suggest to me that his opponents are confident, or even that they think they have a good chance of making the election go their way.

    DonaldNualf, as I noted in an earlier post here —

    https://www.ecosophia.net/notes-on-stormtrooper-syndrome/

    — the Ukrainian army and their NATO backers gambled that Russia would keep on trying to fight a blitzkrieg-style war even in the face of new tactics that render blitzkrieg ineffective, and were caught with their pants down when the Russian general staff caught on, regrouped, and launched an effective First World War-style war of attrition. The Ukrainians have made that easy for them by trying to hold onto their fortified bases in the western Donbass — Bakhmut, Avdeeva, and now Chasov Yar, with the final struggle for Kramatorsk and Slovyansk coming within sight — rather than moving to a mobile defense. The Russians don’t need to hurry; time is emphatically on their side, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Putin plans on extending a giant middle finger to the Biden administration by trying to time Ukraine’s final collapse so that it happens in October, just in time to humiliate Biden right before the election.

    BeardTree, of course. I hope that the GOP has the great good sense to encourage the move toward a more federal and less centralized system, knowing that it will benefit the red states no end the next time we get a Democratic president.

    Clay, I really think they’re grasping at straws at this point.

    Justin, glad to hear it. I hope we can hold the country together, but serious talk about secession may be one way to shake the political class out of its brainless torpor and get it to start dealing with the nation’s problems.

  209. I hope we can hold it together as well. FWIW my radio club is planning to do some special event stations for the 250th anniversary of the country, which is a topic that has come up before…

    Here is something to share now…

    BOXCAR CLAYTON JONES

    Did you ever hear about the hobo, Boxcar Clayton Jones?
    He lied, cheated, and stole his way across the interzones
    Once he was a stockbroker, or so the old stories say
    he hated life on Wall Street, and threw it all, his shirt and tie away.

    He met his wife while hunting snipes on the streets of Chicago
    they shared a smoke, and a toke, and she strummed her old banjo
    she’d just escaped the psyche ward, she wore a jacket that was straight
    she said “psychiatry is a racket, man. Me, they never will sedate.”

    They hopped a train to the far out west, to live life in the sun
    and since that day, never have strayed, and lived their life as one.
    They made love in the orange groves, and picked Humboldt County weed
    sleeping underneath the burning stars in that far off land of the free.

    One day he went to the pawn shop, to swipe her a ring of silver
    and when he slipped it on her finger, she broke out in goose bump shivers.
    They were wed by a drunken preacher they met on a spellbound train
    who said that he was hellbound, preaching had only caused him pain.

    In Chattanooga they got off the rails to see what fortune had in store
    and there they met the Buddha of the south, in a shack with a dirt floor.
    He was a sadhu from the holler, who’d found enlightenment on moonshine
    and folks now came from all around to seek white lightning at his shrine.

    Boxcar Clayton took a swig when the communion jug was passed around
    and felt the senses of his spirit tug when he heard the whistle sound
    outside the long iron horse was gathering up its coal black steam
    it was time to ditch this two-bit town and see if they could hitch a dream.

    Now Clatyon Jones, he was not a rich man, he left all his money behind
    but he loved his wife and the clack of the track, and despised the daily grind
    so they road along the interzones from Kalamazoo to Poughkeepsie
    from the North to the South, to the West from the East, up and down the Mason Dixie.
    And when their bones got too tired to travel any further, or very far
    they settled themselves down along the Ohio river in a rusted out boxcar.

  210. As a family man myself, that conclusion leads me directly to the suspicion that barbarism is wildly underrated.

  211. Hi,

    Regarding emigrating to the Canaries, Azores or Madeira, I have considered such options but the Canaries is very exposed to illegal migration/future invasions from North Africa. The islands are hard to defend, very vulnerable to the collapse of global tourism (something John Greer has been saying for a while is likely in around 5 years from now) and you could easily become stuck there, facing a army of African invaders keen to take the wealth and slaughter the rich white locals.

    Its probably a good option for the next 10 years or so, but long term, its a no for me.

    Madeira and the Azores are better options but alas, I am not a EU citizen and would have to go through the Portuguese golden visa scheme which is very expensive.

    Also, I currently live in the north-western area of Europe and if I had to leave the wider UK, is Madeira much safer? Who am I fleeing from? European wars (well in that case the Portuguese owned islands don’t strike me as that safe given Portugal is part of Europe and very exposed to invasions from the Muslim North Africa.

    So, for me, North America remains the best option, specifically the English speaking places that have British expat communities and historic connections.

    I also have various family members across America so the long-term plan, if we had to leave Europe, would be to settle in the Caribbean but travel for a few months each year in America (as a tourist) with family.

    My very rudimentary assumption, based on LTG BAU and other models I have read around the years, is a Greater Depression is coming, with outright economic contraction in growing parts of the world from 2026 onwards, accelerating around 2029/2030 as the global economy falls apart.

    The 2030s will be worse than the 1930s, and probably the war clouds will be very apparent by the mid 2030s onwards.

    Whilst wars are likely to start first in the Balkans and eastern Europe (well, its already started in Ukraine), it will spread like a wildfire across central and western Europe.

    The timeframe for Europeans to have their legal get out of Europe plans is probably 10 years from now, although the risk is the continent blows up sooner, as soon as 2030 or so.

  212. Hi John,

    I have a Canadian friend and he wishes to know whether he should consider leaving Canada and whether the country is at risk of economic collapse or even worse, insurgency and/or civil war?

  213. My friend Frederick is starting this and wanted me to share… This would also be a feasible way of starting an Ecosophia book club… an electronic-APA

    The Radio Enthusiast e-APA

    Who: you & other folks who love radio

    What: A collection and e-mailing of your letters, articles, zines, essays, thoughts, meander-ngs, loggings, and anything you’d like to express that is radio related. Examples of topics:

    shortwave, medium wave, longwave, FM listening and broadcasting; radio technology, satellite radio, amateur radio, Part 15 radio, pirate radio, old-time radio (OTR), community radio, internet radio, radio publications, loggings, cool radio finds, radio shows, classical stations, LPFM, HD Radio, Crystal radios, non-commercial radio, NPR, CBC, BBC, etc. college radio, radio and media podcasts, radio recordings, radio blogs and websites, books, music, life, the universe and everything. This is not meant to be an inclusive list!

    A print edition will also be available. Details to be developed.

    Audio files (mp3) are also welcomed for a possible audio program which may be distributed via YouTube and other online platforms. Updates will be shared with APA members.

    When: three times a year—Spring, Summer and Autumn starting Summer 2024.
    Send submissions to: RadioThriftShopNH [at] gmail [dot] com

    How: Send anywhere from 1 to 10 pages per mailing by email (Word docs please!)

    Why: For fun, to connect with other radio enthusiasts , to share information & creativity.

  214. Synthase @ 205 I do not understand why you would characterize monasticism as “anti-family and anti-natal.” Do you mean all monasticism or only the Benedictine variety?

    Choosing a monastic life for oneself does not imply that one opposes family life for others. Not everyone is temperamentally suited for marriage or for raising children.

    I would argue that we have duties of fidelity and caring once married, but I don’t accept that there is an absolute duty of marriage for everyone. Would you require widows and widowers to remarry after loss of a beloved partner?

  215. I know its a little bit late, but I wish to send my condolences. I only read the post about your wife’s passing just recently, and it was honest, beautiful and precise. You have a much bigger heart than even I, and even though there are disagreements here and there, the love the both of you shared is truly undeniable. You are in my prayers always.

    Novid.

  216. Silicon Guy,
    I went to Mechanical Engineering School in the very early 80’s. Back then we had a couple of required courses in Material Science. All of our textbooks on the behavior of materials at high temperatures were Xeroxed and translated copies of Soviet Text Books that were crudely bound up. Most of our professors at that time were crusty Veterans of the Apollo Program and were more practical than ideological at that time. When asked they explained that the Soviets were far ahead of the West in the developement and use of high temperature alloys so that is what we studied.
    For some reason this lesson was lost on the current leaders of the military industrial complex as high temp materials are crucial for hypersonic missiles for two reasons. One is to stand up to the high skin temperatures during flight. The second is to stand up to the high temperatures inside a Scram jet needed to power a hypersonic missile during its final guided stage of its flight. We have been abysmal failures at making scram jets because of our material failures and are still trying to make hypersonic missiles work with solid fueled engines, which are fine for the boost phase but poor if you want to do a powered , guided ( as opposed to ballistic) final attack phase.

  217. Synthase #205: “I’ve been reading a translation of the Rule of St Benedict, based on a discussion identifying it as having enabled the continuity of Western civilisation in the aftermath of the fall of Rome. What is it about monasticism that makes this possible, given how anti-family and anti-natal it is? Is that it? Is it a choice between cultural continuity and biological continuity?”

    A partial answer is that The Rule of St. Benedict contains some sensible and humane advice about dealing with other people in a community, and a lot of the advice can be applied to families: https://www.teachingcatholickids.com/rule-benedict-families/. This passage is an example of good advice for dealing with people in a lot of situations: “The abbot must adapt and fit himself to all…one to be encouraged, another to be rebuked, another persuaded, each according to his own nature…He must show the tough attitude of the master, and also the loving affection of a father.”

    If people could adapt the Rule of St. Benedict to everyday and secular life, that could very well help to ensure some sort of civilizational continuity.

  218. Hi John,

    The Financial Times has an article today saying that it looks like the EU has started contracting population.

    “This year could mark a turning point in EU history, with the population of 448mn beginning a decline that is expected to persist, marking an unprecedented shrinkage in peacetime, according to UN projections.”

    The UK and US are a bit better but they aren’t far behind.

    Economic contraction is looming for much of the developed now…

  219. JMG,

    You know a lenocracy is very much the open display of “politics is for power” in that right/good decisions, strategies, analysis, etc… just do not supercede “might is the right”.

    And in a way it’s much easier to see what the lenocracy likes and is willing to use, just think “might is the right”. Keep in mind “might is the right” is not the same as “who benefits”, the lenocracy will often pursue things of no benefit/reward whatsoever as long as it retains the ability to just “decide what happens next.”

  220. JMG,

    You have made mention on several occasions of future advanced civilizations (technics, I believe you call them) that will arise in the millennia ahead after the post industrial dark ages. Do you believe any of these technics will achieve a population equal or perhaps exceeding our own of 8 billion? Or will our own industrial civilization be the one to support the most humans, with the technics of the Millennia and tens of Millennia ahead supporting only a fraction?

    Long time lurker, first time poster, hope you have a good weekend.

  221. @Jessica #187:

    I was struck by the difference in the portrayals of Denethor too. In the movie, he’s just an absolute s***heel. In the book, he’s clearly a noble, proud, brittle man who gets broken by Boromir’s death, and who can’t handle Sauron’s psychological warfare.

  222. @Robert Gibson #158 re: Political Partisanship

    I’m not sure if this is exactly what you’re looking for, but the first thing that came to mind in response to your question is Jonathan Haidt’s research into people’s moral intuitions and how those play out in their political beliefs and understanding of “the other side.” That work is collected in The Righteous Mind, but if you have access to academic papers, you might be able to dig into them more granularly by searching for his name.

    The super short version is that Haidt proposes that there are multiple moral/ethical “taste buds” that different people are sensitive to in different degrees. Some people feel the need to be compassionate more strongly than the need that people get what they deserve, and others the other way around, and so forth. He proposes that one of the sources of the sides of modern American politics talking right past each other and seeing the other side as obviously and grievously wrong is that they emphasize these “taste buds” very differently – roughly, the Left prioritizes compassion above all other moral concerns, and the Right is a grab bag of the remaining moral intuitions, though usually the Right has some amount of respect for tradition, and for the past few decades, it has leaned heavily into Fairness, Personal Responsibility, and Patriotism.

    Anyhow, hope this gives you some avenues to explore.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  223. Mary Bennett, if you were to choose the life described in the Rule of St. Benedict it would be a breaking of the bonds of kinship, along with a renunciation of the possibility of forming a family, in favour of the artificial substitute of the cenobite community. The monastery is anti-natal and anti-family for itself, but for the wider community it is just as much of a Nick Land-esque IQ shredder [an entity that attracts the best and brightest and effectively sterilises them] as being big gay apartment dwellers with big gay 996 jobs in a big gay metropolis, with the only real difference being scale.

    Yavanna, that hope is what inspired me to read it.

  224. Greetings JMG and all readers
    @ #24 Rajarshi and @ #28 Patricia on related but not the same topic I have some experience with:
    Yes, I agree with JMG, ‘Adler was on to something’, but could anyone actually be able to put the whole picture together, when we are talking about using our human mind/heart to make sense of our heart and mind? There are so many pieces in this puzzle and so many ways to come at it!! I read and enjoyed the link shared by Patricia, and I (full disclosure) am and have been working within child and youth mental health for at least the past 30 years, I am not a doctor, but a master’s level counsellor here on the west coast of canada. Although I am embedded in the system known as the medical model approach to mental health, I operate as an agent of attachment, that is from a paradigm that see everything through a lens of development and attachment (relationship / caring).
    This model has best been presented by Gordon Neufeld https://neufeldinstitute.org/ , one of our local heroes here, another being Gabor Mate, and together they wrote a book ‘Hold onto Your Kids’ which gives a kind of introduction to the whole developmental attachment paradigm. In a very short manner, it is not an instinct to survive that all of us mammals have, it is actually an instinct to be connected, in relationship, and through this we survive. Emotions and feeling are not the same thing, but our language blurs this and does not make it clear. Our depression is not the illness, it is a defense against that with which we may not be able to cope, it is there for a reason and likewise with anger or anxiety. The presence of these intense emotions are messages that something is not ‘right’, the system (body-mind-heart) is out of homeostasis. And they give rise to feelings, which are the feedback to the system. apologies i can go on and on with this, but will stop here.
    blessings and gratitude to all,

  225. @JMG

    I just remembered something I’ve wanted to ask for a long time but never got around to. Back in the ADR days, you sometimes talked about a future of Japanese refugees following ocean currents to western North America to escape overcrowding and decline. Fair enough, but why would they go all the way over there, to an already inhabited region, when they have two much better options right next door? First, there’s the uninhabited vastness of eastern Siberia, which the Russians probably can’t hold in a deindustrial setting. And second, they have the island of Hokkaido, which is already Japanese, very sparsely populated and should be able to absorb a lot of surplus population. Especially if it (like Siberia) gets more hospitable as the climate warms. Apologies if you addressed this back in the day and I forgot. (On a side note, thanks for making me aware of the Kuroshio current. The idea of pre-Columbian Japanese ending up in North America accidentally is very tantalizing, even if it’ll probably never be proven archaeologically.)

    @Forecasting Intelligence #223

    First off, I’ll admit I assumed you had an EU citizenship. If you don’t, and if you can get to North America, I agree that’s probably a better option overall. Especially when you have family there. As for your drawbacks with the Canaries: in one sense an archipelago obviously has some natural protection, but you’re also right it could potentially be a target. Northwest Africa doesn’t seem to be quite as much of a basket case as the Middle East, and I’m not sure how much interest or ability anyone there would have to invade. As for migration, yes, it’s close to Africa, but I still think it’s a better position than mainland Europe, where people can walk in on foot if borders break down. Defending against an army is one thing, but stopping migrants in boats is easier if you’re an island. Plus, most of the immediately adjacent African mainland is uninhabited desert, while the actual populated parts are closer to continental Europe.

    The tourism thing honestly doesn’t phase me that much personally. That’s just the local symptom of the unsustainable abundance industrialist economy, which is going away everywhere. The shift will just be a little quicker there, and force the region to, ahem, collapse ahead of the rush, which might be a plus in one sense. Or: if you’re envisioning a massive 1930s-style economic crisis across the board, every Western country will be in a situation like this anyway. Not downplaying how miserable it’s going to be for a lot of people on an individual level, but again, on a macro level it’s an unavoidable and necessary reversion to sustainability. When all the tourists leave, there’ll also be more breathing room for ecosystems to recover and less pressure on water resources.

    Which brings me to what I consider the biggest weakness there: water. As I gather they’re already using it unsustainably, relying on high-energy desalination, which obviously isn’t great. Rainfall is set to decrease over the century too, if models can be trusted. Between that and the warlords, you might be right it’s a rough deal.

    If you (and JMG) are right about potential wars in mainland Europe, being at a physical remove from the frontline down in Macaronesia has some obvious value. Especially if you’re not eligible for a draft. Yes, these islands won’t be completely unaffected like NA or Australia, but at least you’re not getting shot at or bombed directly.

    To me, the biggest pluses are: relative isolation, good climate if you can beat the drought and dodging most of the effects of a Gulf Stream shutdown, which seems increasingly likely. To be honest I’m more worried about that than war(s).

    Maybe it’s just because I’m sick of the northern winters, but I’m getting more and more convinced it’s easier to live a low-energy life in a place where you don’t have to expend so much energy on heating, and don’t have to be able to store half a year’s worth of food and firewood every season to survive. Still, the grass is ever greener. (As for Canaries vs Madeira, the latter might be a better bet, but I personally much prefer Spain and the Spanish language to Portuguese, which matters if I’m potentially trying to integrate there)

  226. Justin, thank you for this! Is the ballad your creation?

    Synthase, you and Robert E. Howard both. 😉

    Forecasting, a golden visa is only one of the options for any Portugese location. If you have a source of passive income outside the country that makes you more than quite a modest sum, currently €820 a month, you can get a D7 passive income visa — it’s meant to attract retirees. If you make €3,280 a month from active income, that’s enough to get you a D8 “digital nomad” visa. Still, judge it on your own needs. As for your Canadian friend, that’s very hard to say right now. I suspect Canada’s going to be hit very hard when the global real estate bubble bursts, but how exactly that will play out is not something I’m willing to predict.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Novid, and thank you very much for this.

    Forecasting, are they talking contraction even with current immigration levels? If so, that’s dramatic — and yes, it’s going to be a wild ride down the slope.

    GlassHammer, I think it’s a little subtler than that, but as a first approximation, that will certainly do.

    David, no, I don’t expect technic civilizations in the future to reach our level of population, as that was only possible due to vast amounts of cheap abundant fossil fuel energy, and — er, we burnt it all. So you’re living in what will almost certainly be the all-time peak of human population. Doesn’t that make you feel special? 😉

    Kim, it will take a lot of climatic improvement to make far eastern Siberia and Hokkaido sufficiently fertile to support much more of a population than they have now! That said, when I made those predictions, neither I nor anybody else was expecting the Japanese birth rate to plunge the way it has. At this point I don’t expect Japanese refugees in the Pacific Northwest; it’s not impossible that a mostly empty Japanese archipelago will be repopulated over the next few centuries by Russians…

  227. @ JMG – I’ve been thinking about the de-industrial dark age, and the possibility of feudalism arising in it. Unless I grossly misunderstand what constitutes feudalism, I just don’t see its emergence as particularly likely, assuming the structure looks like an overwhelmingly rural, agrarian society made up of a large peasantry ruled by a small warrior caste and a religious order justifying their rule.

    I think my biggest hang up comes from tht latter bit aka the warrior caste. If black powder weapons are even moderately available, then it seems that any village would have the tools to defend itself against the raiding and/or marauding groups that eventually form the feudal aristocracy. I suppose a small group with access to artillery could set itself up as a ruling class, but that seems more like a Prussian-style proto-state rather than a real feudal society. Am I missing something from this equation?

  228. Re the convention next year, the topics have yet to be decided but it won’t be about how feminist the Barbie movie is, put it that way. They’ll be something more JMGesque. It won’t be livestreamed but if the speakers are willing some of it will be recorded and published later on.

    Andrew Bridgen (the only MP who told the truth about the covid vaccines) has just said that the UK is at war with Russia, only the electorate hasn’t been told yet. That’s why Sunak called at election sooner than expected as he knows it won’t be popular when the public finds out. See the clip below. Labour are warmongers too so it won’t get better when they get elected. There is no popular appetite for war with Russia and all the Ukrainian flags have been taken down by people silly enough to put them up. I suppose I should stockpile water as I already have plenty of food. I despair at the stupidity of this.

    https://x.com/robinmonotti/status/1793568491456668057

  229. @Synthase #235

    Sure, monasteries might be “anti-family” in one sense, but on the other hand: IIRC many historical monasteries had a habit of raising orphans no one else wanted, so it’s not quite as clear-cut. Or the related phenomenon of taking on young apprentices, either permanently or for a time, so there can definitely be a sense adopted family dynamic there even if they’re not related to the monastics by blood.

    I also want to quibble with your “best and brightest” bit. Being suited to intellectual pursuits and spiritual contemplation isn’t the same as being “the best” at the kind of work that needs to be done to build the material basis of an agricultural society. If anything, sending these kids to a monastery might be a relief both for the prospective monk/nun and their families back home. You’re also discounting the possibility that either the intellectual or material wealth created at the monastery can benefit the wider community, but I think that has been the case at least sometimes historically. And like our host said, it’s an elegant division of roles: in a dark age, the monastery preserves the intellectual heritage of the civilization, while everyone else gets on with life and keeps it going as an ethnic group and living culture.

    Besides, it’s not like there’s ever been a shortage of humans or people willing to reproduce on this planet. Even today, with all the complaints about populations shrinking, we’re starting from a very overinflated and unsustainable base. If a few oddballs here and there decide they’d rather go to a monastery than get married, I don’t think that has any impact on a community’s survival in the grand scheme of things. You’ll always get a few bachelors and spinsters in every generation anyway, or people who can’t or don’t want to reproduce for whatever reason.

  230. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks! And I read Justin’s reply and am cogitating upon it. Thanks Justin! 🙂 Postage is expensive down here, and getting more so all the time, and arriving less often. Sigh. Decline strikes again.

    Speaking of which, the lovely young local lady who cuts my hair is shutting down the business. I’m guessing the lease is at an end, and err, possibly there are issues with the shortage of staff to do the work. Sorry for bringing this up, especially with the loss which has occurred in your life, but the carefully nurtured local networks I’d built up over the last eighteen years are rapidly disappearing.

    If the people I know aren’t falling off their perch, they’re retiring, and some are just dropping out. It’s eerily like what you wrote about a couple of months ago: They want to work. There are people who want to buy the products and services. It’s just that the equation to do so makes, less and less sense as time goes on. There are benefits to running a small business, but the costs are piling up, and they’re not necessarily economic costs – population pressure is a very real thing. Interacting with the hordes of leaf change tourists flocking to this rural area is no joke, and everyone around here pays the costs for that. The rubbish just casually dropped along the roadsides is a disgrace.

    The last time the network of people I know was rocked this badly, was in 2008 when after many years of pumping house prices (not to mention other err, assets), the realities of economics scattered everyone I knew to different corners of the city. I tend to believe that this is a sign that drastic change is coming, although I could be wrong, and things may get worse. Dunno. Are you noticing these sorts of things happening in your part of the world?

    Cheers

    Chris

  231. Kerala seems to be distinct from most of the rest of India. It ranks high on social indices (female literacy, infant mortality, that kind of thing) but lags slightly on per capita income and depends on remittances from the many Keralans who work in the Gulf or the like.
    The folks I have met from there even felt different. Mellower.
    Perhaps being all the way down at the southern tip of the sub-continent, it was out of the way of much of the rougher history.

  232. Dear Justin Patrick Moore:

    Do you have advice on buying a shortwave radio kit? I like to use my hands, and new skills are a good idea. I see a number of kits out there, over a varying but not too steep price range. I’m interested in the programs you mention. Or should I just take the plunge, buy something and have a go at it?

    Thanks,

    Cugel (who knows how to solder (heat the parts, not the solder))

  233. “https://mishtalk.com/economics/us-weapons-accuracy-drops-to-10-percent-in-ukraine-due-to-jamming/”

    The primary sources are paywalled, but the plot seems oddly familiar 😉

  234. I read an interesting article by a well respected writer, Joe Klein, titled, Is neoliberalism over?

    In this article Joe sez, ‘Democracy without an educated electorate descends into mob rule.’

    Ok, yes, maybe, sometimes, but likewise and almost inevitably when you don’t have an educated elite, which I would argue no longer exist in the US and every other formerly advanced and formerly prosperous western country, that is, judging by results.

    The nice diplomas from ludicrously expensive schools that alleged elites bandy about no longer don’t count them as ‘educated’, at least, not in any way that helps. Hence, the multiple disasters that so-called elites routinely inflict and then ignore or minimize.

    Sez Joe, ‘free trade, the diminution of tariffs, recognized a new reality: the globalization of the economy. The theory, largely true, was that lower prices on imported goods helped create prosperity. Hence Walmart.’

    Say what?

    They use the word ‘globalization’ as a smokescreen to obscure decades of offshoring industry to China and Mexico for the sake of low labor costs and corporate profits which ruined the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of the working class all over the US and the western world.

    Hence Trump, who saw a political opening, condemned as extremist and racist and a threat to, um, ‘our democracy’, who spoke up for the interests of these tens of millions, derided by Joe as ‘uneducated’ and by Hillary as ‘deplorable’. And not only Trump who spoke up but a lot of other people in other countries, likewise condemned.

    I’ve belabored this stuff too much and I don’t want to test the patience of our esteemed host. But what passes for well-considered and incisive and enlightened policy and thinking and writing by our idiot elite is nothing of the sort, marbled as it is by the most astounding absurdities. Honorius and his pet rooster would fit nicely among them.

  235. Ben, as I’ve said in rather more than one post here, it’s going to be a different kind of feudalism precisely because of firearms. The social distinctions won’t be as sharp, for example. Religious orders are by no means an inevitable part of feudalism — the post-Mycenean feudalism in archaic Greece had only a very weak religious presence, for example. It’s important to realize that not all feudalisms look like medieval France!

    Justin, please do.

    Bridge, maybe we can leave some time on one day for me to confer the Apprentice Essene attunement for anyone who wants it. An hour and a half to two hours would be quite adequate for that.

    Chris, I’m not surprised. A lot of economic activity in many industrial countries has been hanging on by a thread, and as the pressures get more intense, more of that is going to do away. I’m not seeing much of it here, but then I never really had the chance to build up an extensive network of connections here, so I might easily miss it.

    Siliconguy, I’m pretty sure I could sing it in my sleep. 😉

    Smith, I think Incitatus, the horse that Caligula put in the Roman Senate, could probably do at least as good a job!

  236. JMG, and @forecastingintelligence and all others interested in migration…consider Uruguay. Very nice place. Great food, nice climate, safe cities, low cost of living. I procured a permanent resident visa there just in case, very easy process.
    Recommend with enthusiasm.

  237. Hi JMG,
    Have you read any works of a guy named John Carter? No, not the warlord of Mars. He has an article titled The Reenchantment. I’ll post the link if you like. I saw him and wondered if Norma Cenva is influencing you, him, or both.

  238. @ JMG – at what point does the social order stop being feudalism, and look more like something else?

    I focused on firearms, but other innovations that might survive the decline and fall of industrial civilization almost certainly includes the printing press, radio, and quite possibly, germ theory. To say nothing of mechanical engineering skills. All these factors combined might make the social order which emerges from the dark age something different from feudalism.

    And this is not unprecedented in history. I would think the Byzantine Empire and a couple of the Chinese dynastic cycles pretty much skipped feudalism in the climb back up out of their respective dark age.

    Of course one size doesn’t fit all, but might it be just as likely that, for instance, post-dark age Lakeland give rise to merchant city states trading with each other, and the wider world when possible? Or for that matter, they could emerge for the other side of the ravine as a set of theocracies? Or proto-states like Brandenburg or Muscovy – quasi-feudal but more like armies with states attached?

    Or most likely, a mostly collection of all three, plus other options I didn’t even mention?

    I know you don’t like the phrase “this time is different” but what if this decline and fall is different, and humanity has enough of a floor under our collective behinds, that the post dark age world might look quite different from the post dark ages we’ve seen over the last 6,000 years?

  239. Marketa #125
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with talking to the spirits of the land, trees, and rivers. My sensitivity to land spirits, trees, houses, and even individual objects has grown. I don’t do the Essene Order stuff but I have done the Druid routine of discursive meditation, daily divination, and daily banishing rituals for about seven years. I talk to all sorts of non-embodied entities, including dead people. Unseen beings can and will talk to us. The trouble is that most of us have become blind to the enchantment of the world. The world was never disenchanted; it was us humans who lost the ability to perceive enchantment.

  240. @ Patricial # 28 I just read the article you linked here, thank you for this. I have endured Pure OCD myself, although I figured out ways to combat it and it is now under control. Every once in a while it rages a storm of emotions and “hypothetical scenarios” inside my head, but I manage to leash it in within a few hours at most these days.

    There is an easy, empirical method by which we can determine whether psychiatric syndromes are tied to external factors, and that is to see if people are likelier to display symptoms of psychiatric illness during bad economic, socio-cultural, and political periods. I think they absolutely are. I have read an essay from a Russian about how the people at the close of the Bolshevik revolution were acting as though they were “possessed by demons”, and how there was a mass outbreak of mental illness right before the collapse of Tsarist Russia when the going had gotten really tough. It is telling that these illnesses became so virulent in the USA right after 2008 when the economy collapsed from the burden of unsustainable decisions.

    A lot of people in the scientism squad insist that a virulent growth has not occurred in mental illnesses these years and that it only appears that way because for the first time psychiatric help is widely available and the stigma associated with these disorders has finally weakened, so more and more ill people are coming out of their closets. But they have no proof to substantiate this. I think they are wrong, that minds react to external conditions to form personalities, and that broken external realities lead to broken personalities. When society begins to tear at the seams, more and more minds of the people constituting that society tear at the seams as well.

    That can also explain how some of the most vivid visions of prophetic figures through history have come at the nick of time when epic overtures were unsettling their cultures. The visions may have simply been intrusive thoughts. Certainly, people who had these visions treated them as a source of agony, except in cultures where they were regularly taught to endure the visions and treat them as gifts from the Divine. Daniel, for instance, is raked by fear when he sees his “angels”. But these visions told people things they knew deep down within, but could not acknowledge because something in their conscious ego-self prevented them from ever acknowledging them. Just as the author of the article realizes that her mother’s situation was tied to the financial realities surrounding her upbringing, prophetic people throughout history ended up connecting the dots through their shamanic visions, which came more often when society was in peril, and which are morphologically quite similar to the experiences of people with these mental ailments.

  241. @ hankshaw # 236

    True, using the mind and heart to fix the heart and mind is not a useful measure. But this reminds me of a caveat our host introduced in the first essay of “Dancers at the End of Time” (circa October 2019), where he included “Erotic Thinking” alongside “Mythic” and “Pragmatic” modes of thought. What if we complete the picture and introduce the Belly alongside the Heart and the Mind?

    To set the metaphor by which we name the organs, the Heart sets our sense of meaning and purpose, the Mind determines the best method to accomplish the goals, and the Belly distracts us from the goal by giving us occasional sensual desires and sensory fears, such as good food and physical pain. The Belly plays the same role in our emotional life as mutation does in evolution – it prevents our heart from entering a bad stasis, from being too fixated on a set of goals that are ultimately not desirable. If the heart keeps pursuing something stupid, the belly intervenes and reminds us that the desired goal is stupid, by showing us the pain and suffering the pursuit causes.

    Adler pointed out that the problems of a person’s life are all associated with other people. We decide something to be worthwhile or worthless depending on how society sees it. This is probably true – the fascination that so many gen-y people have with science probably has to do with how we grew up seeing scientists being praised since Neil Armstrong’s small step was still in living memory when we were little. Likewise, gen-z has a prudish insistence on social justice because they saw social justice being touted by the wise and the grown-up as they grew up. So the Heart, which loves the beats of repetition, finds the echo-chamber of society to be a good teacher and abides by it.

    So I think it makes sense to pursue attachment, to form firm connections with those around us, but it pushes us deeper into the dominion of the Heart. That is why older cultures had monastic life – some people did find solace in society and attachment, so for them the road to peace and tranquillity, and also to their purpose and its realization, lay in detachment instead. At least, that is what I think.

  242. Hi John,

    My understanding is yes regarding European demographics.

    “What is becoming clear is that the EU’s long-predicted demographic inversion appears to be coming sooner than many experts predicted. While in the past few decades immigration has helped prop up population numbers, and the increased participation of immigrants and women in the labour force has compensated for the accelerating fall in the EU’s working-age population, soon these factors will not be enough.,”

  243. Hey JMG

    That is definitely one of the services I offer. Speaking of which, I have decided to mention to everyone that I have opened my own Substack, which so far is very sparse but is gradually gaining articles, my most recent being a book review of “Spiritwalker” by Hank Wesselman, which I learned about on this website a few years ago. Soon I shall publish an observation I made on a joke I found in one of Borges’ stories.

  244. Kim A. Bear in mind that the Benedictine form of the monastic system has been a clear success story for over 1500 years and I am assessing it as such. It clearly is doing something right. I’m just exploring what we can learn from it to help us with our current predicament. Some of it is very helpful. Some of it I believe to be some of the seeds of destruction present from the very beginning of the present incarnation of the West. Much of it just is not applicable outside of a Christian context. All of it is very interesting.

  245. Some of it is also quite funny. The bit in particular where St Benedict makes clear that he disapproves of monks drinking alcohol but reluctantly accepts that he is incapable of convincing any other monk of this matter stood out to me for this. [XL. On the measure of drink]

  246. I would like to ask for people’s knowledge and thoughts on Kundalini awakening.
    I am curious as to it’s biological effects, which can be measured through medical or scientific methods.

    Also, I began reading Ivor Cummins & Jeffery Gerber’s book on ketogenic based diets, called Eat rich, Live long.
    Does anyone have personal experience with a low-carb keto, or other keto like diets?

  247. Hi John Michael,

    Building social networks, then having them fail, can be good experience in and of, itself. And yet again, I’m rebuilding – it’s been something of a repeat experience in my life, but you’ve moved around a bit, so may have dodged the deeper implications of that story.

    You’ve managed to shock many of your readers with loose talk of leaving to fairer shores, or at least less troubled shores. May I point out that change, can sometimes beget change? And things which weren’t possible before, may become an option afterwards? Here you have history as a guide. But you also have the gift of languages at your hand. I have no such gift, unless it is the gift of the language of machines and tools. Not sure why that’s important for me, but it seems to be the case.

    During you-know-what, or otherwise known as that-which-shall-dare-not-be-named, we considered leaving as well. Things were worse here than pretty much anywhere else. An impressive achievement really for such an out of the way part of the world. It is wisdom to know when to walk, when to run, and when to fall in place. 😉

    Cheers

    Chris

  248. To pass the time, I like to look at what the international media writes about certain events. And also to see how topics are interpreted in different countries and regions. Now I finally had time again (and was able to streamline the whole process a bit) to see what the international media thinks about Blinken’s guitar performance in Kiev. Well, it seems to have raised eyebrows everywhere. Here I have put together a selection of media comments:

    https://globalviewdigest.substack.com/p/global-reactions-antony-blinkens

    What was also interesting in this context was who didn’t write about it. I found almost nothing about this in Africa and East Asia, except copy and paste articles.

  249. A lot of comments about moving to safer areas to avoid the coming wars and tribulations. My two cents is that if you want to move, consider relocating not to a different country, but to a mountainous region in your own nation. Living in the mountains has the advantage that it’s easier to defend from raiders and easier to stay hidden. Preferably move into an already established community instead of by yourself. It’s something I’ve been thinking for myself.

    It’s quieter too.

  250. @synthase, try Kristin Lavransdottir for a really pro-natal book. She has eight sons, after all, and does her best to be set them up in life! When they have all gone their ways, she enters a convent.

    While monks and nuns over 60 could only do some kind of work, I have seen the ruins of a Cistercian monastery in the Harz mountains. The Cistercians were famous for clearing woods where nobody had settled before, benefitting the rest of the human population.

  251. #235 & #243 Synthase & Kim A. and others commenting on monastic life’s effect on the general population

    Some have expressed a sentiment, doubtless imho subtly influenced by a profound anti-religious bias in the general population, often without their being aware of it, that an abundance of classic Christian-style monastic situations could negatively influence the gene pool.

    I don’t know how many of you have actual practical experience with farmers (I have, since childhood and I’m 75 now) but they are NOT intellectually deficient in any way. If anything, if they’re any good at farming, they’re “smarter than your average bear”. This is true for both industrial and subsistence farmers. It takes a lot of old-timey computing and a lot of observation power to be successful at it. Not just mere brawn.

    There need be no fear that monasteries absorb the “best and brightest” and negatively impact the gene pool. Farmers’ focus may not be on some of the “high” things that are valued perhaps overmuch by some here, but they are incredibly apt. Perhaps some farm workers need not be especially active, intellectually, but that’s the case in monasteries also. Except that monasteries retained the arts of reading (for the most part, some monks did not need it), monasteries reflected the general population in all but focus.

    Oh, and have any of you actually met actual monks? I have. They’re wonderful people, but as in the general population, some are very smart, some are simply able to follow the rules of their order and do their assigned tasks with more or less enthusiasm. Mentoring happens, however, as it likely did outside monasteries. What monks have an abundance of is an ability to comply with rules and necessities or they don’t stay monks (for the most part). I put it to you that in a post-modern world, those unable to comply with rules and necessities (and there will be plenty of these, instituted perhaps, locally) might find surviving to be significantly less possible. Reversion to the mean is what happens in a crash of almost any kind. Whew! I had to get all that off my chest.

  252. John,
    Do you think that two souls could be bonded across multiple lifetimes? It could just wishful thinking, but I feel like my wife is my other half that I will always need to be whole, and I know that my last thoughts will be of her. I know that if absolutely anything of me survives my death, it will try to get to her.

  253. Recently, I went through the archive of posts here, and encountered all sorts of mind-blowing stuff! The nature of reincarnation; the guiding lights of Tamanous (finding your own spiritual path) and Sobernost (organic community), and how these are already awakening (the specifically American concept of a Personal Jesus comes to mind here); the future center of civilization in the Great Lakes; the nature of Luciferian vs Ahrimanic evil (all spirit or all body, instead of a union), and how computers/internet are imbued with Ahriman, and the prophesy thereof; ancient technology; and how the Fall of Man is really an echo of the time when the Lemurians (of what is now sunken Indonesia) used their advanced magic to forge a connection between us and demons (souls that got left back and stayed behind, like an evil Billy Madison), and all the troubles that entailed, from the civilization-cycle before Atlantis to now.

    The above is just a summary of some of my favorite pieces, which I’ll link to here:
    https://www.ecosophia.net/a-few-notes-on-reincarnation/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-cosmic-doctrine-the-law-of-the-seven-deaths/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/america-and-russia-tamanous-and-sobornost/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-end-of-the-dream-2/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/the-subnatural-realm-a-speculation/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/whispers-from-antiquity/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/notes-on-the-lemurian-deviation/

    For those who arrived here more recently, like myself, I encourage you to get caught up! Hopefully JMG doesn’t mind me doing this digest, I just wanted to comment on all that I’ve taken in. Not to flatter you, but I’m interested in your content, and being into archiving, I took it upon myself to save this stuff to archive.is. Some of it was there already, other pages needed the commentariat filled out, still others were not covered. But now it’s all caught up, except the most recent stuff, which I’ll get to in intervals.

    As for more recent discussion, I read up on the Shakers not to long ago, and was interested to see that topic come up. Yes, monastery life is proven to work, although as you said, there needs to be a bridge between the sacred and profane, so that they don’t dwindle towards extinction, as is happening to the Shakers (after an admittedly impressive run from Colonial times to the present).

    Other than that, regarding birth-rates, we’re certainly due for contraction, which among other things will crash the debt-driven, inflating, lenocratic, castle-in-the-sky economies we’re used to in the modern West. However, there’s a common misconception here — rates can change, they don’t have to stay the same! Just because birth-rates are unsustainably low now, doesn’t mean they won’t rebound after significant contraction, especially as society around us changes in response. So no, the Japanese will not go extinct, especially not if they pivot to BRICS in the future (as I expect). The Koreans won’t either, although I expect South Korea to be conquered by the North as Cold War II heats up.

    I’ve covered plenty of ground here, so I’ll leave it at that.

  254. Hold on, No one needs to worry, Paul Krugman, pet economist of the NYT, says that.”The economy isn’t actually bad — in fact, it’s in remarkably good shape. ” We are just having a Vibesession , which is that things are actually very good but people wrongly perceive them as bad.
    So Joe Biden and the establishment are actually doing a really good job, and it is just us clueless plebs that think something is wrong. I guess maybe he polled his pals on the upper east side ( Lenocrats one and all) and since they were raking it in things must be good.
    I guess if the elites are delusional, we can label Krugman as the delusion maker in chief.

  255. Bruno, it’s already on my list. But thank you!

    Bird, I know of a couple of writers that use that handle. Please go ahead and post a link.

    Ben, no, China has gone through a feudal phase in each of its dark ages and the Byzantine empire relied on a feudal system all through its Anatolian and Balkan holdings. Seriously, you need to do some more historical research and get a sense of the breadth of possibilities within feudalism; it might also help if you had a good sense of what feudalism actually means. (The short form: it’s a system of political economy based entirely on personal relationships mediated by customary rules.) Did you by any chance read my novel Star’s Reach? Meriga circa 2475 is a feudal society; the jennels and cunnels (I modeled those names on the fact that “duke” and “count” are rounded-off versions of Roman military titles) are the feudal aristocracy, even though their soldiers carry guns and radio is a known technology.

    Forecasting, thanks for this. No wonder the NGOs are so frantically trying to smuggle immigrants in.

    J.L.Mc12, please post a link!

    False Eruption, you might want to look up Hiroshi Motoyama’s books on the subject — he did, as far as I know, more scientific research into kundalini than anyone else. Theories of the Chakras is a good place to start into his work.

    Chris, one of the things that I’ve discovered in my various relocations is that different places vary drastically in how easy it is to build social networks. That’s one of the factors I’m keeping in mind.

    Random, no, it’s something even more toxic. It amounts to “We’re right even when what we say is completely illogical, unsupported by evidence, and absurd, because expecting statements to conform to logic, evidence, and coherence is racist.” It’s the usual demand of the dogmatist to have arguments accepted as true because the dogmatist says so. That is to say, it’s not bizarre enough to be petunia logic: it’s simply bullying.

    Bergente, I suspect people in Africa and East Asia are so used to American diplomats acting like morons that it doesn’t even make the news any more.

    Rafael, sure, and that’s why insurgencies usually get started and establish their base areas in mountainous regions. If you’re worried about an insurgency, and I already said I am, moving to a mountainous region is leaping from the frying pan straight into the fire.

    Clarke, if I may add something to your point, I’ve suspected for a long time that monasteries and nunneries were among other things where the Middle Ages put people on the autism spectrum. Silence, simplicity, minimal social interaction, explicit rules to follow, and good opportunities for the kind of obsessive attention to detail that autists do well — what’s not to like? Thus monasteries and nunneries served an important social role by providing sheltered workshop and living space for people who would have had miserable lives out in the world, but who were able to contribute quite a bit to the survival of civilization. “Sister Guendolena? Oh, she’s in the scriptorium as usual. Don’t bother her; she won’t be able to think of anything else until she finishes copying Aristotle’s Logic, and you know what perfect copies she makes, praise God.”

    Enjoyer, yes. Usually that’s a function of shared karma; if the two of you have had a complicated relationship in previous lives, you’ll work out the karmic consequences of those lives together, though you may be in almost any imaginable relationship to one another (husband and wife, brother and sister, parent and child, you name it) until the karma’s entirely worked out — and that can take many lives.

    Xaclibur/djs, glad you enjoyed it. I try to keep things entertaining here.

    Clay, I wonder if they really think they can accomplish anything by gaslighting the electorate. On the other hand, they may just be gaslighting themselves.

  256. Random, JMG,

    One thing I’ve noticed a lot is that the “anti-racists” seem to be determined to recreate the racism that once existed. They are already reviving the idea of miscegenation, they have taken to arguing affirmative action is needed because minorities are less capable, and this idea of polylogism looks to me like the first step toward reviving the old justifications for keeping minorities from practicing intellectual pursuits (such as the law or receiving education): it was well known, after all, that those people just could not think…..

  257. @Cugel: Kit building is something I havent gotten into yet. Id say just take the plunge, pick the one that appeals to you or your pocketbook the most. I’d like to deepen my practical knowledge of electronics, but havent given that side of things much time. People who like it seem to really like it and building these devices becomes an almost zen time for them. Go for it!

    @JMG: I worked on a new one last night and this morning. Ive been on and off the habit of writing poems in scraps of downtime. Need to keep at it.

    To all: Edward KaSpel just put up this album, A Carrington Event:

    https://edwardka-spel.bandcamp.com/album/a-carrington-event

    (This relates to something else in my cauldron.)

    Hope everyone in USA has a nice Memorial Day weekend, and if you are out visiting graves, I hope the weather is nice:

  258. Chris a Fernglade #261. Hello Chris! I have been reading JMG since 2009 or 10 and don’t comment very often, but I do read all the comments. “It is wisdom to know when to walk, when to run, and when to fall in place.”. Thank you for this, it’s very apropos to my situation right now. I’m going to be thinking that one over for awhile.
    Thank you, Heather

  259. Now you’ve got me worried for my friends who are trans and my relatives who are university professors. As collapse proceeds, is there anywhere on Earth that they’ll be safe? I’m not talking here about shortages of hormone treatments once Big Pharma collapses. I’m just concerned about those two categories of people being so hated on account of their identification with the aforementioned ruling classes that they’ll be murdered for it and their only hope of survival will be to put their heads down and pretend to be something they’re not. Some of the trans people in particular are very out and are or have been trans rights activists. It’s not like they could disappear into crowds.

  260. re: monasteries as gene-pool IQ shredders.
    I hear this tired argument from my atheist FIL regularly.
    At its heart, it seems to be an earnest belief that high IQ is the only thing worth selecting for, genetically (and implicitly, that people should be bred like cattle for desirable traits). Or at least, that it’s inevitably, unquestionably, the highest-priority thing. Above health, above strength and athleticism, above social ability, above risk-taking, even above fertility. It represents a profound distrust of the natural-selection Darwinism espoused *by the same atheists* generally. How does one believe in natural selection, and yet not trust it to select for the right things? It seems like an assumption that Nature has selected for our survival *up till now* but that it is necessary for Very Smart People who know better, to now take charge of that process if it is to keep working. Why?

    Very often, very smart people are not the best parents (and I say that as a smart person, and a parent, from a family of very smart people, with no small degree of pain and shame). Smart genes aren’t the only thing that matters, in the survival of individuals and the survival of tribes, cultures, and civilizations… and I’d wager they’re not even in the top 3 most important. I think there are good reasons why high IQ is a genetic outlier in Nature. Any time Nature does something like that, it’s because it’s important not to *lose* that trait because it’s really important *some* of the time, but it’s also not adaptive to advance it at the expense of all other traits.

    A plausible argument can be made (and has been) that (gay) bachelor uncles and spinster aunties are a net gain to the survival of their genes even if they don’t reproduce, because they contribute resources to the survival of their siblings’ children . Why would the same thing not be true of monasteries? The monastery is a net benefit to the community and the culture– and it advances the genetic interests of the surrounding non-monastics… who are generally relatives.

  261. Rajarshi,
    re mental health help being more available now than formerly – here in Canada, anyway, it appears to me on a personal level to be harder to get any help other than medications than it used to be 15-20 years ago, not easier. Obviously this is anecdotal, but I’m also hearing things on the provincial news that suggest the same: that it’s harder to get mental health help than it used to be. This is probably related to the increasingly overburdened and misfiring healthcare system.

  262. JMG,

    Do you know of any tricks to break the cycle of someone projecting their Shadow onto you?

    I’ve mentioned before that we have become embroiled in a nasty series of lawsuits and hostile interactions with my cousin. We have (and I say this after considerable self-reflection on my own role in the situation) done our best to be generous, just, and forbearing in our interactions with him, and he invariably responds with slavering hostility and paranoid fantasies about what we are up to.

    What makes me think it’s projection is that all his unfounded accusations against us are about behaviors he regularly engages in. He accuses us of arcane forms of secret vandalism, but we’ve vandalized nothing, whereas he’s openly destroyed and sabotaged various important and expensive pieces of property. He accuses us of lying and breaking nonexistent or utterly misrepresented verbal agreements and takes us to court to try to enforce them, but he refuses to honor actual signed and notarized contracts with us. He accuses us of trying to sneak things past him in contracts when he’s the one constantly trying to fool us, and so on ad nauseum.

    No interaction is possible without him attributing some low-down nefarious intention to us while he schemes to ruin our lives. If we could break the projection, I doubt we’d be on each other’s Christmas lists again, but maybe we could have relatively civil interactions. No matter how calm and reasonable we try to be, however, it has no positive effect, nor does any gesture of goodwill on our parts. If you have any suggestions we would be very grateful!

  263. > Martin, a real blessing is motivated by love, a real curse is motivated by hate. Going through the motions out of experimental curiosity won’t do much in either case.

    A salutary reminder from JMG that proper blessing and cursing are serious undertakings involving elemental forces. I never expected much from my puny efforts with lentils documented in #44, but gave it a try because just maybe there would be some result of interest..

    As someone mentioned upthread, it’s probably not a good idea to curse the food you plan to eat.

    I try to be appreciative of my plants. As an unskilled “plant it and see if it grows” gardener I have been quite surprised at my success. But success brings its own problems, namely, plants that grow too big. How do you be nice to a plant you have to prune? Saying, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” seems so false. I normally grit my teeth and cut, then go away for a few days and hope to be forgiven.

  264. Princess Cutekitten,

    I apologize for the slow response.

    I don’t think I should accept a prayer phrased in that way for this prayer list, as it’s an attempt to compel behavior using prayer from parties who have not agreed to such an arrangement and thus goes against the rules for the list. On the other hand, a divination I did just now for how the situation is likely to work out for your Kittenship if we were to go with a phrasing similar to what you originally requested with the bank, “may justice be done, with harm to none” doesn’t seem to have a very promising result. Perhaps it’s that the mortgage servicer isn’t actually breaking any laws and thus justice is already being preserved; perhaps it’s that prayer is the wrong tool for the job.

    JMG, as this is an open post and anything goes: do you have any suggestions for a useful prayer for her Kittenship here?

  265. Have you been following the media freak out over Microsoft Recall? I’m of two minds with this: one, it’s deeply troubling and will lead to all sorts of bad outcomes; but unless I’m missing something, it’s not nearly as new as everyone seems to think it is.

  266. Hello all, hope the beginning of the summer is going well. Since last year’s high strangeness (UFO incident in Las Vegas, entities in Peru, etc.) I have been wondering if “the veil” is diminishing. Just as certain times of the day or year are seen as liminal, could certain times in history be the same? Are we entering a historical or cosmological space where the barrier between our world and other hidden dimensions is thinning? I have recently found that some in the middle east are saying this? Anybody have any thoughts or know where to find more about this concept?

  267. Taylor, I’ve been convinced for some time that a good many of today’s anti-racists are going to go through sudden nervous breakdowns — the sort of thing that Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman described in their book Snapping — and reinvent themselves as bona fide Nazis, swastika armbands and all. No, I don’t mean that as a metaphor or a joke! What you contemplate, you imitate, and these folks have been contemplating German National Socialism so obsessively, and are now sounding so much like Nazis, that I think we’re going to see quite a few of them leap across the narrow gap between the extreme left and the extreme right. My guess is it’ll happen as it sinks in that most people of color in the US don’t support the woke agenda and don’t want privileged middle class “anti-racists” speaking for them.

    Forecasting, I’ll take a look. Myself, I don’t claim to have a good sense of when things will actually snap, but we’re certainly heading for a world-class economic crisis. The rapid decline of a global hegemon and the breakup of the economic system that undergirds its power normally has that effect (cough, cough, 1929, cough, cough).

    Joan, they’re in trouble. If they’ve been very public in defense of a system and an ideology that most people in America distrust and despise, that’s going to lead to a high risk of blowback once power slips from the hands of the current managerial class. Leaving the country and settling as quietly as possible somewhere else might not be a bad idea. Since decline proceeds at different speeds in different areas, they might be able to get by fairly well outside the US or the more vulnerable parts of western Europe.

    Jason, I’m not even sure what a “grounding mat” is. Any suggestions?

    Jen, unfortunately, none of us have power over the psychoses of others. Your best bet is to break off all contact with the other person and hope that he finds someone else to obsess about.

    Martin, let the plants know exactly what the issue is, and tell them that you’re going to have to prune them. Most plants are used to having their above-ground parts eaten now and again by herbivores, so it’s not as much of a trauma as you might think.

    Bird, thanks for this. I’ve bookmarked it.

    Anonymous, not only have I not been following it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this — Billy Bluescreen’s latest e-scam, I assume. Can you point me to a quick summary?

    Maurice, people suggest this at intervals. My studies of the history of anomalies suggest that it’s not that the veil is thinning, it’s that it’s never been very thick to begin with; our culture and the mass media pretends that nothing like (insert latest anomaly here) ever happened before, where a look back at (say) the writings of Charles Fort or John Keel will make it very clear that selective inattention is the only reason we don’t realize that we’re surrounded by weirdness everywhere and at all times. (You might try Fort’s The Book of the Damned or John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies as an intro to all this…)

  268. Since North Korea was mentioned here quite a few comments ago, and since JMG wrote a while ago that totalitarism is expensive, I’ll share the following article, which is quite interesting: https://www.dailynk.com/english/a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-surveillance-technology-in-north-korea/. On a more personal note, I have lately had my share of experiences with the decline of Western civilization. I arranged for a DSL connection for my main computer, and it took three visits from an engineer of the Telekom and the help of a neighbor and another technician whom we know privately to finally and successfully establish a physical connection. But now it works well. And, as quite a few cafés and shops over the year, another traditional café has gone bankrupt in the city where I live.

  269. JMG,

    I was afraid of that. Hopefully once all the lawsuits wrap up I’ll be able to almost entirely avoid him. I have noticed that on occasions where I feel compelled to respond to him, it makes it worse. Not being baited into engaging is harder than I expected, especially when he lies about us to others, but I am getting better at it.

  270. Jen #279 On “breaking” negative projections

    On the one hand, there is no actual interaction material, magical or spiritual with the projector (in this example your cousin) that I know of that will help. Let’s start there. Even entirely “material” intentions on the part of your persecutor have spiritual and magical effects which you can deal with, however. These are my simple suggestions:

    There are several strategies I have engaged that don’t involve active rejection of or confrontation with the individual which may be of interest to you. First of all, have you read Dion Fortune’s “Psychic Self Defense”? She has strategies there which may pertain to your situation. Plus, it’s at the very least entertaining to read.

    Before I ever read that work, I did several things (the next one based on teachings of Gandhi). I didn’t affirm the projector. I just assumed the posture of their being wind and me being a screen door. I visualized this whenever I grew distressed. Their negativity I saw as blowing through and past me. It seemed to work at least some of the time. It at least calmed me down. Of course, if the person in question is truly an intimate, that’s much more difficult to accomplish.

    One can surround oneself with protection, as in the Sphere of Protection so often mentioned on these pages. Go to the other Ecosophia blog at https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/ and look it, and you will find directions for doing that.

    I recommend also doing a banishing of some sort. Even something as simple as reciting the first three verses of Psalm 68 (preferably in an older version or from the Anglican or similar prayer books) at least once a day. It is the same basic sentiment that’s expressed in Exodus in Moses’ song just as he set foot on the far side of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds for those interested in accurate translations). As often as it occurs to you, but at least once a day.

    Invoking the protection and guidance of the Archangelic presences (Raphael to the East–where you’re in principle facing, Michael to the South-your right , Gabriel to the West–you back, and Auriel to the North–the left of you) twice a day (sunrise and sunset) can assist you. Should you wish more bells and whistles, you can study the colors, properties and iconography of these fine beings and apply that in visualization. Or just start with their names and positions.

    These are all things that can strengthen you and your household and your auras if you accept the possibilities of such a thing. None of them directly oppose such as your cousin. But should you be properly protected in this way, he might find it more difficult to even think about doing you ill. Heck, even if it only makes you FEEL better, it’s worth doing some of these things. There’s more, but I think I’ve maybe said too much already! With your permission I’ll pray for you in the situation.

  271. @Bird #281
    Apparently John Carter is familiar with JMG. Carter seems to be a fan of space colonization. When I commented I agreed with JMG’s view on the implausibility of space colonization and listed several of JMG’s books that give JMG’s vision of the future Carter said that was possibly his one point of disagreement with JMG.
    You can find our discussion here. A more recent post than the one you linked.
    https://barsoom.substack.com/p/imperial-space-catholicism
    I said that JMG’s view was my “probable future coming over the next 100 years B” my A probable future is the return of Jesus looking at what I see happening in the light of the Bible.

  272. And a saying of mine “Funny thing about the long term future – it’s hard to tell what it is going to be because it hasn’t happened yet” If you had told a German, Russian and a Japanese in 1913 what would happen with their countries over the next 30 years or so they would have called you a mad false prophet.

  273. >I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this — Billy Bluescreen’s latest e-scam, I assume. Can you point me to a quick summary?

    The relevant part of it is they want to log everything you do on Windows every few seconds and send that to Redmond (where the shadows lie). Blah blah blah, we’ll protect your data, we’ll be good, trust us, it’s only for your own good, blah blah blah. They’ve been turning Windows into spyware for a while now, some say it goes all the way back to Windows 98 and NSA backdoors, but let’s say they’ve gotten rather – blatant – about it recently. Then again, maybe it’s better they say the quiet parts out loud.

    Last I checked, you still have to pay to run Windows, and like I said before – never do business with someone that doesn’t respect you, if you have a choice.

    It never ends well.

  274. Jason@#276
    I think while they may be effective; when you use the ones that plug into PowerPoints, you are connecting yourself into the mains power system in your house. Which is part of the thing you are trying to counteract the effects of. I think Dr Jack Kruse reccomends if you are going to do this install a kill switch for the power so you de-energize the system while you sleep. Otherwise just walk out side barefoot, sit outside with minimal to no clothes- costs nothing works better.

    Mr Kemble

  275. @JMG,

    Thank you for the explanation.

    @Taylor,

    I don’t disagree with JMG’s response to you, but I wonder if the people who push intersectionality stuff are deliberately trying to get genders, races, etc., to fight amongst each other, rather than unite against a common enemy.

  276. In my area, the county has just decided to stop funding meals on wheels, the senior program for meals. That would have been $400,000 for the year. In my own way of looking into why or how this could have happened, I have been trying to figure out our counties way to evaluate and fund, which they call CORE

    ” … . Importantly, convening partners to
    identify goals and results to serve as a “North
    Star” for different agencies and sectors has
    supported Santa Cruz County with advancing,
    centering, and operationalizing equity.
    An important byproduct of developing tools and
    building capacity to measure outcomes and
    implement Evidence Based Practices with multiple
    partners has been an expansion of CORE
    Investments beyond a funding model to a broader movement to achieve equitable health and
    well-being. This spurs greater alignment that amplifies individual agency efforts, examines and
    addresses the systems and structures that perpetuate inequitable opportunities and outcomes,
    and engages a broader community of partners in this collective work..”

    Anyway, thought I would share as this reminds me of the shogoth concerto and the methodology for teaching music students.

    When I try to find definitions of equity cant realy nail anything down, but did come across terminology like historically deprived, historically under represented, and believe me, it would have to be historical because otherwise they couldnt use it as an excuse as present time is certainly a different picture. Still cant figure out what meals on wheels did or maybe didnt do to be disfunded.

  277. Mr. Greer,
    What do you make of Blinken de Tarded + the hornless Rhinos + that Hato imbecile – aka Jens Stoltenberg .. imploring that Zelenski & his neo-nazi larping pals acquire longer-range hymar, or other such missiles … with which to hurl into the Russian countryside, while simultaneously shrugging their collective shoulders, saying ‘it ain’t us doing the lobbing’?
    I am totally gobsmacked!
    They appear to really want a nuclear confrontation with a foe who doesn’t bluff .. all so that the current Sauron-in-Chief (really the NeoCON scum that run the whole show..) receives no comeuppance.

  278. Quin, my apologies — I didn’t notice your question to me at the end of your response to Her Kittenship. I’d encourage her to pray for the best possible outcome to the situation, and leave it at that.

    Booklover, thanks for the article and the data point.

    Rafael, I’ve considered it from time to time. I’ll put it in the hopper again.

    Jen, I’ve been in situations like this where any response at all feeds the problem — and the other person is willing to do just about anything to get a response. Yes, it takes hard work and practice to go dead silent and walk away, but it’s remarkably effective.

    Anonymous, oh, there’s no possibility that that could go wrong… /sarc

    BeardTree, that’s one of the reasons why I stick to my guns when it comes to future predictions. I’ve already had the wryly amusing experience of being told that I’m wrongety-wrong-wrong-wrong by lots of people, and then frantically ignored when it turns out I was right…

    Other Owen, thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, and thanks for this as well.

    Atmospheric, you know, that really does sound like the pseudoeducational doubletalk I invented (based on many real world models) for The Shoggoth Concerto. Life imitates tentacles, and all that. What’s behind the word salad is probably that the $400,000 is being redirected into bribes, kickbacks, and inflated administrative salaries — that’s usually what lies behind clouds of squid ink like that.

    Polecat, the European elite is in a state of total meltdown. For decades now their grand strategy has focused on destabilizing and breaking up Russia, so the EU could gobble up the resulting weak, vulnerable successor states and prop up its failing economies on Russia’s natural resource wealth. The Ukraine war was supposed to be the hinge on which that whole project would turn; it’s turned out instead to be a disastrous failure for the EU on economic and military fronts. That’s why the EU and British governments are frantically trying to find some way to drag the US into a shooting war with Russia; using Ukrainian missile attacks against Russian civilians as a way to get Russia to overreact is how they seem to be trying to do it.

    Meanwhile the US is nervously backing away, and Russia is moving slowly and patiently, ignoring provocations and messing with France in particular in Africa and the Pacific. If the European leadership were rational they’d recognize that they’ve lost and back down, but I don’t think they’re rational. I think they’ve staked the entire grand fantasy of Europe as center of the world and nucleus of a future world government on this scheme of theirs, and they can’t bear to let it go. It would not surprise me to see them, a few months from now, being idiotic enough to send their own troops into Ukraine in one last slackjawed, drooling attempt to make the world behave according to their overinflated sense of entitlement — and I can’t see any way that such a venture will end well for them.

  279. #296 Could it be that someone with some maximal intersection of protected characteristics can be presented as an oracle who should be listened to on any topic whatever their actual level of expertise is – and they could be someone’s paid shill? Or a few certain such people can get elite jobs in a vicarious sense, so that the mass of whatever disadvantaged community doesn’t have to have actual equality.

    #297 That sounds like someone had asked ChatGPT to speak in corporate buzzword salad.

    For those of you who do watch Youtube, there is this from the astronomer and Youtuber Prof David Kipping: NASA’s in Trouble which discusses the current cuts to NASA’s astrophysics budget, and the threat that the Chandra X-ray observatory may have to be shut down for financial reasons, and how the JWST’s budget ballooning to $10 billion has affected funding for other things, but that this amount of money is still not massive compared to military spending.

  280. “Joan, they’re in trouble. If they’ve been very public in defense of a system and an ideology that most people in America distrust and despise, that’s going to lead to a high risk of blowback once power slips from the hands of the current managerial class. Leaving the country and settling as quietly as possible somewhere else might not be a bad idea. Since decline proceeds at different speeds in different areas, they might be able to get by fairly well outside the US or the more vulnerable parts of western Europe.”
    Joan, thank you for bringing this up.
    Neither I nor any trans person that I know had any role in selecting those who have “been very public in defense of a system and an ideology that most people in America distrust and despise”. Those folks have been selected for attention by the woke lenocrats, who will hang the whole lot of us out to dry the moment that is convenient for them, and by anti-wokists, who use those very public spokefolks as easy targets for punching down and who will hang the lot of us the first chance they get. This is simply classic scapegoating. (What would make it other than scapegoating is if transfolks actually had any real power in the decisions with which left and right leadership (and more importantly, their funders and string-pullers) have cooperated in pillaging the nation for the past decades.)
    On top of the normal scapegoating patterns, trans folks have the additional problem that most of the trans folks who are emotionally healthiest and simply good folks, the folks who are accepted and valued by those around them are invisible as trans. They cross the river, leave the boat behind, and walk off into life on the other shore.
    When I first went to a counselor about transitioning, I asked her if she could tell who would and who would not transition. She said that she could not and that that was not her job (good counselor), but that what she did wish for me was that I either do it or not do it, but to not get stuck on the fence for years trying to decide.
    This reality will remain little known. Those banging the loudest drums in the woke parade and the anti-woke parade both have strong interest in avoiding any nuance. But I do want to express it here because this is a forum with an unusually high amount of intelligent writing and reading (and listening and taking in). For myself, I have already done test runs in multiple locations where conditions work fine for me. I hope that the current tensions in the US can be wound down and necessary changes made peacefully. But changes do have to be made.

  281. Very interesting, John. I never thought of Karma that way before. I always thought of it in an atomized individual sense, not in the sense of human communities and friendships.

    An another note, are you aware of the work of Patrick Harpur? He is a thinker who reminds me of you in many ways and I think a lot of his work would dovetail with yours very well.

  282. Clarke aka Gwydion,

    Thank you! I would very much appreciate prayers. I am nursing our baby, so not doing ritual magic such as the Sphere of Protection right now, but I am praying a lot, using affirmations, meditating, and trying to use the situation as an opportunity to improve my character. Prayers that I have the strength of character to act with honesty, integrity, and prudence even when my cousin does not would also be welcome.

  283. RandomActsofKarma: “I don’t disagree with JMG’s response to you, but I wonder if the people who push intersectionality stuff are deliberately trying to get genders, races, etc., to fight amongst each other, rather than unite against a common enemy.”
    RAK, kind of hard to tell the cunning manipulators from their useful idiots, but if “intersectionality” led to ordinary folks coming together to fight back against the oligarchs and other elites, that word would have disappeared from the language long ago.
    By the way, I would disagree that wokism is in any way the inheritor of the 60s left or of Marxism. It has been promoted (lots of foundation money from the get go and ever since) precisely to wipe out anything that could pose a challenge to the current power structure and the folks who sit at the top of it (Shelob-like).
    (Come to think of it, ”Sword of Samwise” would be a good handle for posting.)

  284. JMG,
    I don’t think that EU leadership is nearly as far-sighted and broad-visioned (in their delusory dreams) as you give them credit for. I think they are motivated more by the threat of their own personal downfall and disgrace.
    Perhaps some vague sense of wanting to take advantage of prostrate post-communist Russia works in the background to nudge their plots one way rather than another. But it seems just as likely to me that they simply attack whoever seems vulnerable. Make Iceland pay for EU banks’ stupidity, then turn on the Irish. Then Greece, oh look let’s kick Russia. That’ll make me look important.
    To be honest, I just can’t wrap my head around the notion that anyone who wants to make the EU a big global player could be stupid enough to play their hand so badly.
    I come back to the notion that in the shift from economies driven by capital/infrastructure to economies driven by knowledge/technology, the existing ruling classes shattered and have since been zombies capable only of holding on to power, but not of doing anything useful with it (even for themselves).
    In other words, I don’t think the ruling classes in the US or the EU are coherent enough to organize around the kind of broad (if evil) visions often attributed to them.

  285. @JMG
    “I’ve already had the wryly amusing experience of being told that I’m wrongety-wrong-wrong-wrong by lots of people, ”

    I may be mistaken, but didn’t that come with a side of wrong sauce? 😉

  286. Clay’s comment about Krugman is mirrored by another coastal member of the elite.

    “I went to a local BBQ/Car Show this weekend, and I got dragged into a conversation about “how lousy the economy is.”

    Rather than inundating people with data (see below), I asked some questions: Where did you guys go on your last vacation? (It ranged from Disney to the Greek islands to Bali) How is your business? (uniformly Booming). How many people have you hired since the pandemic ended? (5-50). What car did you drive here? (Porsche, Ferrari, Vette, vintage 1950s, Viper, not a junker in the crowd). What is your Daily Driver? (Benz, Lexus, BMW, Range Rover). How much more is primary residence worth today than a decade ago? (anywhere from +$1m to + $5m) How many homes do you own? (between 1 and 5). How many cars do you own? (2 to 400) Tell me about your boat (28-foot sailboat local to a 75-footer in Palm Beach).”

    https://ritholtz.com/2024/05/actions-not-words/

    Marie Antoinette was more in touch. And like the French aristocracy, they are completely oblivious.

  287. Polecat #298 & JMG:
    Patrick Lancaster recently reported from Belgorad, in pre 2014 Russia, of a missile strike on an apartment building. The missile was apparently made in the Czech Republic. It seems the Brits and the French have got the same message as the US, and they’re making sure someone else even further down the food chain takes the blame.

  288. re: windows recall: Where the heck are they going to find the storage for everything everybody ever does on everybody’s devices? Surely they’re not going to power all that with solar!

  289. Ariadne (if I may), unfortunately the trans people you’re describing as the sane ones don’t seem to be willing to engage in public criticism of the extremists, except now and again in fringe venues like this one. Robust public criticism might do some good; if the majority can see that there are trans people who publicly reject the extreme agenda and will push back against it, I suspect many of the majority would come to the conclusion that, as you say, it’s just a few blowhards. The problem is that because that doesn’t happen, it looks instead like the kind of good cop/bad cop routine that activists have been playing on the masses since time out of mind — you have the extremists yelling and the seemingly reasonable ones saying nice things, but both are over on the same side of the question and are working together to shift the window. I’ve seen outright accusations of this become increasingly common on some of the places I lurk from time to time; the phrase I’ve seen used for it is “trans taqiyya” — taqiyya being the habit, approved in some branches of Islam, of pretending not to be as devoutly Muslim as you are, in order to lure infidels into trusting you.

    Enjoyer, I find Harpur’s books reliably stimulating and thought-provoking — very solid stuff.

    Jessica (if I may), now look into how much of the New Left sold out to corporate interests in the 1970s. That’s why so much of the New Left abruptly stopped talking about class issues and started obsessing about race and gender instead. Woke is what you get when you add corporate money to New Left ideology.

    Jessica, I think you underestimate them. High-end think tanks funded by the elite have been talking explicitly about carving up Russia for many years now. Here’s one of the more popular schemes:

    As for why they’ve played their hand so badly, that’s a common problem with elite classes that get too detached from what’s going on at street level. The bankers and financiers that run Europe these days are brutally vulnerable to that, since they exist in a cloud of abstract figures and their lifestyle and class culture shelters them from any exposure to unwelcome realities.

    Sgage, and a tall glass of Wronga-Cola!

    Siliconguy, yep. “I don’t know what the damn peasants keep whining about,” says one aristocrat to another at Versailles in 1797. “I’m doing just fine!”

    Great Khan, thanks for the data point.

  290. JMG,
    > If the European leadership were rational they’d recognize that they’ve lost and back down, but I don’t think they’re rational. I think they’ve staked the entire grand fantasy of Europe as center of the world and nucleus of a future world government on this scheme of theirs, and they can’t bear to let it go.

    I’m one to wonder why the west (US included) is not acting rationally, and attachment to their grand scheme is certainly one aspect. But watching the war play out has given me the distinct impression that the west has never taken it very seriously (until perhaps, now). Drip feeding weapons, arms length ‘assistance’ and weird little side quest stunts that have little or no military value. It’s all a bit like the west has been playing video games with horrendously lethal results. But this is life and death for the empire, so why do they then treat it like a video game?

    I realised this morning that the belief held by western elites is not so much that they cannot lose; it is simply that they believe they have already won. The end of history and a glorious liberal future of progress, etc, etc. Which (to me at least) neatly explains the video game nature of things. There is a pre-determined plot, the best player is the one who completes the levels with the least resources (and/or the largest bag of goodies at the end).. And there is the attraction of side quests for bonus points for the self-assessed clever people :-(.

    Which implies that to accurately assess the situation requires not recognising the potential to lose (that could come later), but fundamentally relinquishing belief in the previously banked (and spent) ‘win’ from the fall of the soviet union. Before they can lose, they would have to ‘un-win’ if you will; thus the only outcome possible for the west is an unwinning war. Unfortunately I don’t think our leaders will ever recognise that.

  291. Hey Commentariat

    I just want to thank everyone who has recently read and subscribed to my Substack. Don’t be afraid to offer any constructive criticism in the comments.

  292. Hello JMG,
    I expect many readers have already read of last night’s plan by Rishi Sunak here in the UK, to reintroduce a form of National Service, albeit a conscription-lite, almost hobbyist version where helping out – or more likely getting in the way – at hospitals, police stations, etc, at weekends is an alternative to joining the military. The reactions from people I know are a mixture of disbelief and hilarity, partly because Sunak does not have any serious hope of being reelected and Labour have no intention of copying this policy, at least at the moment. I presume it is primarily an electoral gimmick rather than a serious response to perceived threat and it shows hallmarks of being a hurried and ill-considered plan, but what do you and the readership think?

  293. Re: Clarke aka Gwydion #266:
    Farmers are indeed among the smartest people I’ve met. The same with carpenters: very smart people that are often underestimated by office-dwellers.

    Re: Martin Back #280:
    I’m the same kind of gardener and I’ve learned that plants ‘like’ being pruned. Like is the wrong word here, but they are used to it and need it to grow. What I have in my garden are all cultivated plants that thrive only when pruned now and then. I tried leaving them alone, but it’s as if they don’t know how to handle that.

    Re: Anonymous #283:
    Microsoft has been spying on their users for decades and nobody seems to care. Once in a while there is some outcry about it, but that quickly dies down and then is back to business as usual.

    bk.

  294. JMG #310

    If I’m not mistaken, historically taqiyya was practiced by members of minority Shia sects pretending to be Sunni in Sunni-majority territories, so as to avoid getting slaughtered. That was not an unreasonable fear, nor was it an unreasonable response. From my online reading and interactions with them, I get the sense that many trans people in the West also live in fear of their neighbours, and while that fear may be exaggerated (hard to tell from here in Russia, where it sadly would not be exaggerated as of now), it seems there have been too many incidents (“hate crimes”) to call it altogether groundless. If so, taqiyya in the original sense seems like a valid and time-tested response. I’d add that it seems like something many people would have use for in the future, if they end up belonging to an unpopular minority without adequate or any protection from the law.

    I understand, though, that many people in the West now see taqiyya – whether Muslim or trans – as something different and more akin to entryism. Unfortunately, it seems like not everyone would bother telling the difference between people who are lying out of fear (fair or not; but often, I feel the need to emphasise, fair) and people who are lying to get some kind of advantage in an ideological war. I don’t think most people are really likely to engage in the latter, but the ones that do and get caught cause a lot of harm for others.

  295. #237 Kim A. “uninhabited vastness of eastern Siberia, which the Russians probably can’t hold in a deindustrial setting”

    I often see this idea in English-speaking circles online. It seems odd, since of course we took it all over and held on to it in the preindustrial era. There is no reason why we COULDN’T hold on to it in principle. If anything, it would be easier, since while large parts of Siberia are indeed very sparsely populated, there are large clusters of majority-Russian population around several major cities throughout the region. Old-fashioned river-based communications worked for us in the 17th century, so they may work in the 23rd as well. That’s not to say we will definitely hold on to it, just that I don’t see why it is impossible. Perhaps a wave of migrations from the south will throw us out, but then again perhaps not.

    The real issue would be that Russia might not exist in any recognisable way a couple of centuries from now. I do think we are somewhat more cohesive than Americans, but even now there are significant differences in regional identities that exist under the surface. The Internet, I think, helps bring same-language communities together regardless of geographical barriers. If/when that goes, regionalism might grow again. Even now, outside of the Caucasus, the biggest separatist tendencies in the RF are among ethnic Russians – here in the Urals and in the Far East (not more serious than Texan separatism in America, but not less serious either, and not less likely to develop into something stronger under the right circumstances).

    So perhaps the future will see many distinct “Russian” nations throughout Eastern Europe, Siberia and the Far East, blended or coexisting with various other ethnicities of course. It would not be the first time. Apropos of the current argument as to whether Ukrainians are Russians or not, one might recall that in the 18th and 19th centuries Rusyns, White Russians, Little Russians and Great Russians were widely considered to be different Russian ethnicities speaking different Russian languages – including by some prominent Little Russian/Ukrainian intellectuals. It was only later that the name “Russian” became more or less firmly attached to what was previously known as “Great Russians” and “Russians” in the old sense started to be referred to as “East Slavs”. And earlier still it was common for each of the four East Slavic ethnicities to regard itself as truly Russian and the others as something else. Some of that remains today in nationalist circles. Given sustained political fragmentation, ethnocultural fragmentation will likely follow.

  296. re #234 Jeff Russell – thanks for the tip about Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind; that does indeed seem like the sort of thing I’m looking for concerning the psych-angle on partisanship.

  297. @Jessica,
    re: Sword of Samwise, love it!
    Perhaps Sword of Samwise for the cunning manipulators, and Frying Pan of Samwise for the useful idiots?

  298. Hi John,

    I don’t have a strong conviction, more based on various analysts who track markets and who have a very good track record, the consensus seems to be some type of peak in the markets next years, a very choppy few years before a 1929 style collapse around 2028/29.

    It certainly matches the LTG BAU model of accelerating collapse in the global economy from 2023 onwards… at some point that is reflected in the financial markets, even if you get central bank manipulations and interventions that keep the balls up and going for a few years or so.

  299. @Robert Morgan #313: I have no idea if such a service would be feasible or a good idea for the UK right now, but it was how things used to work in Germany. I did such a community service instead of military service.

  300. Sam #131

    > Does anyone have any tips on pushing through utter malaise at life?

    ✨Flower essences.✨

    Check out Flower Essence Services fesflowers.com. I started using flower essences around 1995, still do. Saved my life several times.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨💧✨
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  301. Daniel, exactly. They think, to quote Karl Rove, that they and they alone are history’s actors and that everyone else has no choice but to toddle meekly through the routines that the Important People have assigned them. They got their first shock in 2016 when the Brexit vote and the US presidential vote both went the wrong way (from their perspective), but they apparently convinced themselves that those were just flukes. The Russo-Ukrainian war is a much louder wakeup call, but until the Ukrainian offensive failed last summer they could ignore it, and even afterwards they convinced themselves that it was another fluke and Ukraine could surely be put on the road to victory someday soon. Now it’s slowly sinking in that this isn’t happening. The world is refusing to follow what you’ve very reasonably described as their video game script, and it may even be starting to sink in that some of the people to whom they’ve assigned the roles of NPCs are actually players with minds and wills and goals of their own. If that ever really sinks in, you’re going to see people like Ursula von der Leyen carried away in straitjackets to padded cells — I really don’t think their mental balance will survive that discovery.

    Robert M, it’s certainly a hurried and ill-considered plan, and it makes sense that Sunak would bring it out in this hurried and ill-considered election. It still looks to me, however, as though the British government is edging toward war; it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes after Keir Starmer lands in No 10 Downing Street before he regretfully announces some kind of conscription scheme — an unfortunate necessity, no doubt, because of the threat posed by Russia, blah blah blah.

    Daniil, I certainly don’t think the people who coined the phrase “trans taqiyya” had any particularly good background in Islamic history. I simply noted that this was the term I’d seen, and explained it for those who aren’t fluent in Arabic. I think you’re missing the point, though. The good cop/bad cop routine I’ve discussed isn’t theoretical; it’s been used over and over again by the political left in the US and elsewhere for most of a century now. You have the extremist radicals playing the bad cop and the supposed moderates playing the good cop, and they doubleteam the public to shift the window of discussion as far as they can to the left, relying on the fact that most people will fall into the trap of sympathizing with the moderates in order to oppose the radicals. Look into every leftward movement for social change in the US from the 1930s to today and you’ll find that specific gimmick endlessly repeated. The right, by contrast, is only just now figuring out how to do the same thing; what happens when they get up to speed will be interesting to watch.

    David BTL, I wonder if the “tilt” light was visible in her eyes. 😉

    Forecasting, so noted! I certainly agree that we’re in for a world-class mess; it’s one of the reasons that the majority of my books are now published outside the United States. (When the dollar tanks I’ll still be in fairly good shape.) That timing wouldn’t surprise me utterly, though a great deal depends on the vagaries of war — as I noted in my novel Twilight’s Last Gleaming, one of the things that could crash the dollar good and hard is a US defeat in an important proxy war…

  302. The Other Owen #137

    > where are the family friendly places?

    If USA, Wisconsin. Madison in particular. If I had it to do over again, I would consider Superior, Wisconsin, across the river from Duluth, Minnesota. Wisconsin is superior (sic) to Minnesota. Midwest’s farthest (nearly) north and still be in USA. Lake Superior good vibes.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨⛵️🐄👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👴🏼👵🏼
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  303. Robert Morgan or other citizen of GB, could you please do a brief British politics for American dummies post to help us understand what is going on in your country (or countries, I am not sure which is correct these days)? Why is a general election necessary right now? What are the main issues likely to be? Do you think the Tories can keep their majority?

    About monasticism: I count about 7 or maybe 8 major religions in the world today. Monasticism, that is communities of adult men and women living consecrated lives in community, is an established tradition in Buddhism, two or possibly three branches of Christianity, and Taoism. I don’t include Hinduism because I know very little about its traditions. Such establishments live on their own resources–ora et labora–supplemented by support from the wider community of believers. Support which would not have been forthcoming if the religious communities had not been thought worthwhile members of society. Atheists can prate about “superstition” all they want, but Europe in the Middle Ages was not a wealthy place. In the estimation of one historian, I have forgotten the name, the poor of England were left with no health care for about 200 years after the Reformation and suppression of monasteries. Parish priests had among their responsibilities the recruitment of exceptionally bright young men for careers in the Church; I think more than one such became Popes. Consider how much trouble a bright but bored young man can cause in a small community where he has no prospects for advancement nor are families likely to regard him as a desirable son-in-law.

  304. JMG #150

    > So they really do plan on trying to provoke a war with Russia! And here I thought our government in the US had reached the nadir of stupidity

    Would a full-out USA war with Russia distract Muricans from rebelling against what is happening at home, where progressive goobermints continue to force the working class into destitution?

    The song “Rich Men North of Richmond” (UTub) continues to reverberate around my skull💀.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🏚️🍳
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  305. @Mary Bennet: re: monasticism:
    By my count, there are at least seven branches of Christianity that still have monasteries: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic, Anglican/Episcopalian, and, surprisingly enough, Lutheran.

  306. @ Anonymous #283

    At times like these, I sure am glad to be a Linux user. I highly recommend switching to a Linux distro like Fedora or Pop!_OS. There’s a learning curve, but it’s not too steep.

    It doesn’t cost a buck, you can do everything you can on a Windows machine(although using different methods and softwares), there is a free software store, there is no need for antivirus, and you get to choose when you wish to install updates. And if it is spying on you, there is an entire community of experts who specialise in finding out and taking action. They regularly check popular distros for spyware. The last time a Linux vendor tried to put spyware in their system, it blew up on their faces.

  307. JMG, thanks! Sometimes what ought to be the most obvious solution can be easy to forget.

    Princess Cutekitten, what do you think? “Regarding Princess Cutekitten’s recently renewed problems with mortgage servicers causing her difficulties, may the situation resolve in the best way possible.” If you approve, I’ll add it to the list.

  308. @Mary Bennet #325

    …citizen of GB, could you please do a brief British politics for American dummies post to help us understand what is going on in your country (or countries, I am not sure which is correct these days)? Why is a general election necessary right now?

    The only people who know for certain are those in the cabinet meetings Rishi Sunak held on the day it was announced. There are several possibilities though:

    1. Some moderately good econonomic news on inflation had been announced. It seemed a reasonable bet that this would have been followed up by interest rate cuts during the election period. However in a show of impartiality this is now unlikely to happen so that the Bank of England is not seen to be helping one side or the other.
    2. Alternatively, the MP Andrew Bridgen’s comment that UK troops are already on the ground and taking an active role in the Ukraine war may be true. It may also be equally true that Sunak want’s no part of it or the subsequent fallout.
    3. An election must be held by late January 2025. The Conservative have been 20 points behind in the polls for months; it may be that Sunak judged that by the end of the year this gap may have widened further so now is the least worst time.
    4. An election now will give his children some time to settle into their new home in California before the school year starts.

    Do you think the Tories can keep their majority?

    No.

    Sunak came to power after a period of extremely dirty politics that forced out Boris Johnson and then Liz Truss. What was done was entirely consitutional but it looked very bad. This managed to annoy many of the people who would normally vote Conservative and they will either stay at home on election day or even vote for an alternative including Labour or the Reform party which is somewhat to the right.

    It’s early days in the election process but so far the Conservatives have not missed an opportunity to demonstrate their general ineptitude. The announcement was made by Sunak standing outside in the pouring rain, no umbrella, and with his words largely inaudible because of the protests at the end of Downing St. He went back inside looking like someone had tipped a bucket of water over him. Totally unnecessarily as there is a brand new press center inside the building itself where he would have been dry and everyone could hear him.

    This was followed by him going to Wales and asking if they were looking forward to the Euro’s (a football contest – who knew?). Apparently they’d been knocked out some time before. I didn’t know or care either but I’m not begging for votes by trying to pass myself off as a man of the people.

    A number of well known Conservatives have resigned including Cabinet members. One such was announced late Friday afternoonand I joked as I was going to bed that we should check if any more had gone. I woke to find out that indeed, another one had gone.

    Yesterday he announced that he would reintroduce national service for 18 year olds. E.g. join the army of give up a weekend a month for community service. Very few from 18 to 25 year olds would have voted for him before. Now it’s zero. However he’s also managed to worry any parents and grandparents of the children who might be eligble for this honour in the future, especially in the light of 2 above.

    I’ve no doubt that the new Labour government will be completely unable to rise to the challenges of the next few years either, but from a policy point of view there’s very little difference between the Conservatives of Labour anyway so everyone is shrugging their shoulders and letting the chips fall where they may.

  309. All – Re: current US politics. I heard on the news this morning (NPR) that the Democratic Party has begun to notice that many of their traditionally-reliable voters have begun to notice that “we keep voting for you, but nothing ever changes!”! And so, their response has been swift and sure: “We’ve open over a hundred campaign offices in these counties, and where are the Republicans?”. Ummm… Maybe the Republicans know that the people they appeal to will not appreciate being shouted at from the Democratic activists in the new campaign offices, maybe?

    What, exactly, does a local campaign office do? Apart from “ballot harvesting” and ballot-box stuffing, that is. The 18″x36″ campaign signs popping up along the highways like so many giant mushrooms have never influenced my vote, and I don’t think either Biden or Trump is lacking the “name recognition” factor that a randomly-placed sign can enhance. As soon as the election is over, though, I gather up some of these signs and use the stiff wire frames for various purposes in my garden. (When I gathered more than I could use, just to clean up the neighborhood, I took the extra metal to a scrap yard for recycling.)

  310. JMG – Re: “grounding” for health? Here’s a plausible looking academic reference.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/ “Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity. A summary has been published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.”

    In a nutshell, the claim is that an ungrounded human body accumulates positive charge, that this is bad, and that regularly discharging it (i.e., accepting electrons from the Earth) is beneficial. Of course, just because it’s in print in a Scientific Journal doesn’t mean that it’s useful and true, but if so, it’s a cheap and easy thing to try. Just sit, or stand, out on the ground with bare feet! Or, buy special shoes with grounding elements built in, or a special mattress pad or blanket that plugs into a grounded outlet, etc.

    But then, there’s this:
    Disclosure
    G Chevalier and JL Oschman are independent contractors for EarthFx Inc., the company sponsoring earthing research, and own a small percentage of shares in the company. Richard Brown is an independent contractor for EarthFx Inc., the company sponsoring earthing research. The authors report no other conflicts of interest.

    It looks as though “EarthFX” was the original name of a company that sells grounding products, but a geotechnical services company claimed prior use of the name.

    Those of us with ham radio stations probably have good ground connections literally at our fingertips.

  311. Re: trans people and ideology

    The good/cop bad cop dynamic JMG has been describing is exactly what I see going on. When I ran in radical Left circles in my college days, those taking more moderate stances in public were actually specifically admonished not to betray the extremists, but to engage in apologetics for them instead. Being a reformer or incrementalist was seen as suspect and only valid as a way to manage public opinion, legitimize the agenda of the extremists, and create a base of support for them.

    Those involved in direct-action affinity groups using black bloc tactics and talking about opsec explicitly saw the rest of the continuum of Leftists all the way down to (dirty word in activist circles) liberals as their shield and cultural outreach arm to shift the narrative such that activists could get away with what they were doing (plus to provide funding, legal support, etc).

    They also explicitly encouraged entryism into all other spheres, particularly education and social work (although I never heard anyone use the word “entryism”).

    The shift in focus to transgender ideology among Leftists during the early 2000s was explicitly framed as a rejection of the existing society, a way of uprooting the system and deligitimizing its conceptual foundations. If the movement didn’t center trans people (at the time this meant the angriest subset of MTF trans women, as they were called then, since there basically weren’t any FTMs around), then it would inevitably be assimilated, because only trans ideology as it was being formulated challenged the very roots of the system.

    What I think is missed even by many trans people now (especially older ones) is that when we talk about the trans movement, we’re no longer talking about a a movement centered around a very small number of people who are excluded from power and rejected by society. Those are merely the people who were used at the advent of the current transgender movement to get buy-in from the broader Left, back when the quintessential image of a trans person was the bloody body of a trans woman on the streets of New York City and the dearest desire of most trans people was to pass.

    Now, identifying as trans has become a politically- and socially-driven phenomenon rather than a driving compulsion to live as the opposite sex experienced by a tiny minority of mostly natal males starting in childhood. It is not “a few blowhards,” unfortunately; the majority of the younger cohorts now identifying as trans are of this ideologically-driven activist type, and are demographically and psychologically distinct from previous cohorts.

    This movement is actively recruiting and using the institutions to indoctrinate and subject others to their agenda, because they are Leftist ideologues (or their patsies) far more so than they are actually trans people as trans people were formerly understood. This is why many trans people of the more traditional type do not see the current movement as representative of themselves. Unfortunately they are irrelevant and outnumbered in the eyes of both the public and the trans movement itself.

    The willful refusal to notice or talk about all this and to instead endorse whatever insane policy is put forth in the name of transgender rights is being used by the radical Left as a compliance test and a spearhead for their social and political agendas. Plenty of trans people are more interested in keeping their heads down than in furthering that agenda, but unfortunately that doesn’t keep them from being used to do so.

  312. Thanks for the reminder about your publisher. Have just ordered Shoggoth Concerto and Nyogtha Variations, which completes the tentacle set; can’t wait for the next Ariel Moravec mysteries.
    Re; Ariel: matching up the school year to to 18th birthday, I see her as a Gemini. Confirmed, in my view, by her affinity with shewstones “Crystal balls”, and of course her name and the play that led her to embrace rather than resent it. She’s definitely Air. Any comments, anyone?

  313. What do the Libertarians have against Donald Trump? Kennedy spoke at their convention. He received comments like nice guy, good speech, I’m not voting for him. Trump they wouldn’t even let speak. Shows what I know, I would have thought libertarians might have been a friendly audience for Trump. What I thought was that Libertarians are against any and all restrictions on business, Trump was a business friendly president, naturally they would like him. What am I missing here? Can anyone help me understand this? I doubt the libertarians have been corrupted by leftist money or propaganda.

  314. Hi Mary Bennet #325,
    Well I hope our host does not mind me writing what may be a quite long comment in reply to your request for a summary of British politics. First, I’ll try to answer your three specific questions.
    Why is a general election necessary right now? Well, it wasn’t! It had to called within 5 years of the last election, so the announcement could have been delayed until early December and the election held as late as January 2025. Until a few days ago the consensus was that it would be held in the autumn, most likely November. There has been much debate in the UK media about why Sunak called it at this time, apparently giving his senior ministers only a few hours notice and others none at all. He may have thought that inflation would rise again later in the year, more small boats would cross the Channel with illegal immigrants during the summer, our National Health Service would fall deeper into crisis, or that if the polls stayed as bad as they have been recently, his own party might try to replace him.

    What are the main issues likely to be? This may seem like a strange answer, but I don’t think this election is even going to be fought on issues, if by that you mean differences in policy! At the moment the election was called, the policies of the Labour Party – who will virtually certainly form the next government – were with a few exceptions either unstated, utterly vague, or almost indistinguishable from those of the Tory government. By the way, the proper name of the Tory Party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. The main issues in terms of problems in the UK are either so deep-seated they will be extremely difficult to cure, or are more in the nature of predicaments in that little can be done about them. Just a few of these are: national debt is almost 100% of GDP and sooner or later the international money markets are going to pull the plug; productivity growth is near zero; GDP growth has been feeble or non-existent in spite of net immigration running at nearly 1% of the population per year, that is, GDP per head is static or falling; our free-at-point-of-use National Health Service is widely held to be in a state of collapse with 8 million people on waiting lists for treatment, yet it consumes ever larger amounts of taxpayer’s money; taxes are at the highest level for about 70 years, yet most public services seem shambolic; all our armed forces are well below strength and ill-equipped such that we clearly need to spend a larger share of GDP on defence, yet like in America defence procurement is a shambles. Mainly what Labour promise is more competent management. Certainly, since the departure of Boris Johnson there has been chaos in the Tory Party – you can read elsewhere about how was succeeded by Liz Truss then Rishi Sunak.

    Do you think the Tories can keep their majority? No. At the moment polls put Labour 20+ points ahead and while the governing party often gains some votes as the actual election approaches, it’s just as likely the Tories will implode as the situation seems so hopeless. Certainly, the first three days of their campaign have been disastrous. As the UK’s leading pollster John Curtice said, the Tories have no friends in parliament so even in the extremely unlikely event of a hung parliament – where no party has an overall majority – no one except a handful of MPs from Northern Ireland would do a deal to help them form a government, so that Labour would form a minority government with support from smaller parties. The political atmosphere is the UK, is that the great majority of people are utterly fed up with the Tory government for all sorts of reasons, perceiving it as a complete failure and shambles and many want to punish the Tory Party with as near to complete destruction as they can manage. What comes after, I suspect many plan to worry about when the time comes and I personally expect there to be great disappointment and dissatisfaction with the Labour government within 2-3 years even if we don’t get a major economic crisis landing on the country within that timeframe.

    This is a very brief summary of the parties, excepting the very small ones and those in Northern Ireland – don’t ask me about Northern Ireland politics! – starting with those lowest in the polls:
    Green Party – Mostly now obsessed with climate change and trans issues, relatively popular with young people and a few older who see Labour as now too centrist and not really concerned about these issues. Run at about 5-6% in the polls which is double what they were in 2019. They may get 2-3 MPs out of 650 compared to the current one.

    In Wales only, there is Plaid Cymru who want more powers for the Welsh Assembly – now called the Senedd – and who on most issues place themselves to the left of where Labour now appears to be. Will probably get 3-4MPs.

    In Scotland only, are the SNP. They grew to a position of dominance in Scottish politics in the 2010’s, both in the devolved Scottish government and their representation in the London government. They have had a disastrous couple of years with their former leader embroiled in corruption and embezzlement scandals, followed by another who adopted highly unpopular far-left policies and had to resign. Their poll rating has gone into freefall and Labour, who used to dominate Scottish politics, are expected to take over half the seats formerly held by the SNP.

    The Liberal-Democrats – commonly abbreviated to Lib-Dems – have traditionally been a centrist party but now often adopt policies on social issues well to the left of Labour. Traditionally they have been a party of university-educated people, mainly in southern England but in the last 25 years or so, Labour have actually taken many such voters! Only at about 10% in the polls but have concentrations of support in key seats held by the Tories where Labour is weak and hope to gain many of these via tactical voting by non-Tories. May get 25-40 seats.

    ReformUK are the successor to UKIP, who under the leadership of Nigel Farage essentially forced the then Tory PM David Cameron to hold the fateful Brexit referendum in 2016. The party imploded into internal argument shortly after and while Farage is Hon President of ReformUK, it is led by Richard Tice who lack’s Farage’s charisma and connection with the ordinary public. Their policies are strongly populist, anti-immigration, favouring cutting taxes and public expenditure, and completely getting rid of net-zero policies espoused by both Labour and Tories Running at 10-12% in most polls and strongest in working-class seats which turned Tory in 2019. They threaten to take enough votes from the Tories in many of these to let Labour through to win them, with the result that many in the Tory Party and its 2019 supporters, want to see it shift well to the right by adopting key Reform policies. With the UK’s first-past-the-post system for electing MPs, Reform may not get any MPs at all but could reduce the number of Tory MPs by several dozen.

    Tory/Conservative Party. I could write 10,000 words on the factional strife that has kept the UK media preoccupied for the last three years or so in particular, but suffice to say that most of the public will be glad to see it not just voted out of power but hammered into the ground. In fact some of its traditional supporters see its recent policy failures as so egregious that they would be happy to see the parliamentary party at least, razed to the ground so it could be rebuilt from the foundations with policies much further to the right. Many of these, it is presumed, will instead vote for ReformUK, vote Labour simply to defeat the Tory candidate, or not vote at all. Currently at about 22-25% in the polls. The number of seats they are likely to get in the election is difficult to say and will depend on tactical voting and whether their campaign improves or, as may well happen, implodes. 140-200 seats seems most likely but there is said to be serious betting money going on them getting less than 100, which would be their worst result in well over a century!

    The Labour Party is led by Keir Starmer, a person little known to most people five years ago. What he really stands for in politics, is still little-known! He seems to have no overarching personal political project and appears to see being the head of a Labour government as an end in itself. I have mentioned Labour’s policies and their plan for the election campaign seems to be to say as little as possible that is definite and just hang on to their huge poll lead. They may well get well over 400 MPs which would give them a majority of 150-200, maybe more. Then I expect, we will see a slow-motion train-crash.

  315. Northwind, I don’t think the US government wants a war with Russia. It’s primarily European politicians who are pushing that way, and trying to drag the US after them. The US military has been exceedingly careful in recent years to avoid any confrontation that would show the world just how weak we actually are, and going mano a mano with Russia would do that in spades.

    Lathechuck, of course. The one thing that might help — changing their policies to give working class people and the poor a break — is the one thing they can’t imagine doing. Opening offices? Again, they’re stuck thinking of voters as vending machines who will surely cough up the prize they want if only they jiggle it the right way. Thanks for the info on grounding, btw — I just touched the big cast iron radiator a foot from my chair, so I should be fine. 😉

    Jen, thanks for this. Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

    Patricia M, yes. Sun in Gemini, Moon in Virgo, Capricorn rising — I haven’t worked out the rest of her horoscope, but those cover the basics. I’m closing in on the end of the fourth volume now.

  316. Andy, thank you for that explanation. Someone needs to explain to Mr. Sunak that his kids will not get good educations in CA. I raised two kids in that state, and one of the two biggest regrets of my life was that I was not able to homeschool my girls.

    methylethyl, thank for this correction and information. Christian monasteries are being maintained in the midst of Moslem populations? About 30 or so years ago I read an article about how young Thai men, at that time, were expected to do a stint in a Buddhist monastery as part of their education, and that young Thai women were reluctant to marry any who had not done so.

  317. @JMG

    Thank you for mentioning Theories of the Chakras, I will give it a read over.

    I am trying to figure out what the medical trait ‘Voluntary Generated Piloerection’ (creating goose-bumps) is exactly, and if Kundalini awakening is associated with it, or is the same thing.

    VGP uses a muscle on the back on the neck to generate a cold electric feeling going down the body’s nervous system.
    James Heather has a decent medical article on VGP:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071615/

  318. Ah! That accounts for her seriously retro tastes (Capricorn here!) and her comfort with virginity – it only hurt her pride, as a measure of her lack of popularity. – and her ability to notice minute clues and general neatness. Am looking forward to more, you betcha. Thanks!

    “I admit I am powerless over the printed word…..”

  319. Regarding Linux: What’s a “distro”? My experiences with trying to load Linux on former Win laptops have not been positive. Crashes, and video conflicts were the main issues. I’d be willing to continue trying, however, if I knew a little more about it. Nobody likes Microsoft.

  320. Hey Jmg

    I have some other news to share, this time about Australia. Some odd things are happening.

    Firstly, there’s been talk of banning social media for anyone under 16 years old. I would think this is all talk, but they have already banned mobile phones in schools in some states, so maybe something will come of it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/article/2024/may/21/australia-social-media-ban-children-state-government-nsw-qld-sa-vic

    Secondly, my city Brisbane has trialled a flat fare for all public transport for 6 months to combat traffic congestion and cost of living.

    https://amp.abc.net.au/article/103894398

    Thirdly, the Australian defence force has lowered the standards for enlistment to boost the amount of personnel, such as allowing people with mental health issues to enlist on a case by case basis.

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/australian-defence-force-losing-more-people-than-it-is-recruiting/news-story/4a2147fdb519ff27bea5f79f5a386216?amp&nk=82cecdbe9ca43a18e2c1f7b7c614291e-1716757423

  321. Mary Bennet #325:

    UK citizen here (not Robert Morgan), though no longer resident there, so this is based on what I hear and on observations on occasional visits back, the most recent only last week.

    The Tories are toast, and have been toast for at least 3-4 years. It would appear that they have given up at this point and are mostly going through the motions; a lot of their MPs had already announced their intention of standing down, and more rats have been leaving the sinking ship since the election was called. The issues are legion, but the big ones are the large and expanding gap between the rich and everyone else, the collapse of public services in general, the hopeless ineptitude (and smug complacency) of pretty much every government minister, widespread corruption and worse, with a big steaming side-order of resentment from the mishandling – to put it no more strongly – of the pandemic.

    However, their likely replacements don’t look much better. It’s been hard to discern any Labour policies other than not being the Tories and trying not to frighten the horses; they will win because most people reason that at least they can’t be any worse than the current crew. I am not convinced, however, that they will be much better. What may happen when that penny drops – which may not take long – I don’t pretend to know, but I doubt it will be pretty.

    Of course Labour will play the usual card of “Well, the previous lot left things in a terrible mess” (the Tories were still wheeling this one out over a decade after coming in), and it will be true, but I wouldn’t bet on their doing much to fix even those things that are fixable at this point. That’s a depressing prospect, but it’s how it looks from here.

    The UK feels like a very tense and troubled place at the moment. Prices are going up, incomes aren’t; it is notoriously impossible to find affordable accommodation, or at least not in a place where there might be paying work. We like to think we don’t go in for political violence (when Europe was in a revolutionary ferment in 1848, we had the Chartists’ Picnic) but there are a lot of desperate people around and no shortage of wannabe Caesars. A lot of repressive legislation has gone onto the statue books lately.

    Where I live in northern Spain, there was a demonstration today with an estimated 20,000 people protesting the proposal to build a highly polluting cellulose processing plant. It wouldn’t have happened in the UK, partly because it would have been illegal, but also because people would assume that their voice would be ignored. You can ignore people only for so long, and whoever is governing the UK is likely to find that out the hard way quite soon.

    The disintegration of the increasingly inappropriately named “United Kingdom” may well start in my lifetime (and I’m the same age as our esteemed host). Brexit has pretty much ensured Irish reunification, the Scots are already half-way out of the door, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Welsh and Cornish followed suit. Nor would I blame them.

    Then again, take all the above with a pinch of salt – after all, if I’d thought things were rosy, I wouldn’t have left.

  322. JMG #161

    > Once toxic amounts of lenocracy build up in an economy, it becomes unable to accomplish anything productive, because so much wealth is being siphoned off by the lenocrats.

    A POEM ABOUT 91 GO-WITHOUT-ERS

    100 people.
    9 do-er’s (do-er plural) (9 producing tangibles.)
    91 do-for-me’s (me plural). (91×2 hands-out, others serve me. see? I am a weakling.)
    91 gimme’s.
    91 go-withouts. (once the 9 people finish doing, they go home, what is left are 91 beggars.)
    91 ineffectuals. they get nothing.
    One heck of a major mess.
    Be a do-er👆🏼, or be a without-er👇🏼.
    Which is it?
    One chooses.
    One is responsible.
    One is not a victim.
    One does or dies.
    The difference is an “o” or an “i.”
    Be an o-er or an i-er.
    Not producing? one dies.
    Not hard to fathom.
    If one is alive, one can do something.
    Spread good cheer📢.
    Don’t be a drag.
    Figure it out.
    the end

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👆🏼👇🏼📢
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  323. False Eruption, kundalini is considerably more robust than that! Still, I don’t happen to know if it might be a symptom.

    Patricia M, exactly: air, but with a significant earth presence as well.

    J.L.Mc12, curious. Thank you for the data points.

    Kirsten, that link gave me an “access denied” error message — if you can post it to Imgur or Dreamwidth, I can see it. As for Moon in Virgo, here’s what Alan Leo has to say about it:

    “The native has excellent mental powers and is capable of following some intellectual pursuit ; he has a good memory, learns easily, and is suited for a great variety of occupations : such as servant, manager, agent, or subordinate in any capacity ; any occupation connected with grain or food-stuffs, such as farmer, miller, grocer, maltster, confectioner ; or with drugs or medicine, such as chemist, druggist, herbalist, analyst, doctor, dispenser, etc. He makes a trustworthy and fortunate servant and is himself fortunate through servants or those under him. This position, taken alone, tends to a quiet and easy-going, somewhat irresolute, unambitious and unpretentious life. Many friends, especially female friends, are shown. There is likelihood of many short journeys and work as secretary, messenger, clerk, traveller, schoolmaster, etc., also of belonging to some company, firm, society, or association.”

    (“Native,” btw, is the old way of saying “the person whose horoscope we’re discussing.”)

  324. Hi John Michael,

    That’s an excellent thing to keep in mind when relocating. Being in a rural area with long established families, you hear it expressed with the whole ‘Johnny come lately’ story. I’ve heard some things said over the years, oh yeah. The old timers have remarked upon new people’s resilience to last out two winters. 🙂 Some areas would be easier to establish oneself in than others, that’s for sure. I’ve known of some people over the years who’ve moved into new areas and been welcomed in by the community. What I’ve observed of those folks is, that they don’t know their good luck, and then they often take a dump on the community by moving on again, expecting the same outcome. The community in turn becomes reluctant to invest time in new comers.

    Hey, I’ve been thinking about your political astrology and how it keeps mentioning public health issues. Wouldn’t it be ironic if instead of the source of the dramas being the health subject which dares not be named, but it was the diet druggies du jour? It’s been remarked upon elsewhere that where there are benefits, there are often costs.

    Cheers

    Chris

  325. “Northwind, I don’t think the US government wants a war with Russia. It’s primarily European politicians who are pushing that way, and trying to drag the US after them.”
    I think that the US government is somewhat split on this. The military knows what would happen to it in a war against Russia, but the civilian leadership seems more willing. Folks like Victoria “Family blog the EU” Nuland and Anthony “Jimi Hendrix II” Blinken. The Biden folks are also probably aware that video of helicopter evacuations from Kiev as the city falls would most likely doom his candidacy. Even undeniable further Ukrainian retreat will him him. So they will at least do whatever they can to postpone the inevitable until after the election.

  326. Follow-up on my comment about Ukraine, the US, and the EU
    Whatever the current state of things, the creation of the Banderist government in Kiev in 2014 was mostly a US project.

  327. Daniil Adamov,
    Could you elaborate more on regionalism in Russia?
    I travelled across Russia in early 1999 with a (western) Buddhist lama on the trans-Siberian, stopping in many cities along the way. Very impressive culture but also many lessons about what collapse is like. The level of distrust of the government was amazing. I wasn’t sure how much that was a cause of the collapse or the result. It did make me suspect that Russians had a fundamentally different relationship with their government, a different set of expectations, not just now, but for centuries.
    I spoke just enough Russian to serve as interpreter for many of the others (in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed woman is queen), but not nearly enough to pick up the subtleties of regional differences. I did notice that the Moscow folks and St. Petersburg folks I met did not think so highly of folks from the rest of Russia. Not sure, but since I met mostly Russian Buddhists (converts, except in Ulan Ude), I figured that most all of the folks I met were well-educated middle-class types.
    Anyway, I have only heard about the idea of Russia breaking up from Western propagandists, I would love to hear more of your honest take on regionalism in Russia.

  328. JMG: I don’t know if you choose to post this. It is fine if you would rather not. I understand. I won’t couch my words to please liberal opinion holders.

    ——-
    Joan #275

    > trans… As collapse proceeds, is there anywhere on Earth that they’ll be safe

    The following is my opinion. While I am not a scholar on the subject of LGBT, I have read a lot of independent thinkers on the subject, not just the typical “party line” drivel. There *IS* a LGBT “party line,” which I happen not to espouse — I have conservative views. So, take or leave what I say here:

    There will be no place on Earth where trans (transexual; transvestite; transgender; cross-dresser, by whatever name) (for that matter, all categories of LGBT) will be safe — if they continue to “out” themselves. For their own well-being, they will have to return to the closet.

    Ten years ago, on a scholarly level, I was surprised to learn that, in Africa for example, LGBTs are few and far between. There, if they out themselves, or are outed by others, they put their lives at stake, mainly due to Muslim neighbors — they sleep with one eye open.

    LGBT is something that blossoms only in affluence, among people who have little sense of right and wrong, and in countries that are mainly of northern European heritage. In de-industrial decline, affluence declines.

    I am speaking from experience here, but in 1970 in America, LGBT had absolutely zilch followers. They were a non-entity. Here and there, there were individuals, with the occasional gay bar, but that was the extent of it. LGBT was, and is, a fad — it is recent — it does not have longevity — it is not permanent. LGBT “appeared,” lived its life, and, appropriately, will “disappear.”

    Before 1970, a person was either male or female — the third choice was “shut the f—- up” and a punch in the face. The situation will return to these three things. LGBT was never anything but a ghost. Part of its fading away is that LGBT individuals have not made themselves societally-useful (in the name of LGBT) for the 55 years they have been “out.” The vast majority of the world’s societies and cultures view LGBTs as aberrations, and/or indecent or immoral, and/or people who spread physical or psychic decay, and/or, at best, as troublemakers. LGBTs have pushed their luck, and in societal decline, their luck will have run out. If individuals can fade away without bloodshed, (s)he should consider himself/herself lucky. LGBT has expired, and each should take advantage of the lull by returning quietly to the woodwork.

    There will be no police force willing and able to protect LGBTs. And that’s the way it is.

    One opinion among many. Read the runes.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👛
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  329. @Phutatorius #341:

    I have used Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition for the last 15 years, and have been very happy with it.

    https://linuxmint.com/

    When you install it, it will detect if you have Windows, and it will ask if you want to keep it and establish a “dual boot” system. That is what I do.

    Linux has a program called WINE which will allow you to run most (not all!) Windows applications under Linux. I keep Win 10 around for the few applications which cannot run under Linux at all.

    Try that, and see how you like it. Install the .ISO on a USB memory stick, and boot from the stick. in this way, you can “try before you buy” so to speak.

  330. @Mary Bennet: re: monasteries: Yes, there are monasteries even in majority-muslim places. It’s not always the safest place to be, but they are courageous people. I have met one of the nuns from this convent:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/nuns-trapped-in-christian-town-captured-by-syrian-forces/

    And, you know, St. Catherine’s on Mt. Sinai in Egypt has been going since the 6th century, in spite of desert raiders, changes of government, etc– they procured a letter of protection from Mohammed himself, apparently:
    https://www.sinaimonastery.com/index.php/en/history/mohammed

  331. @ JMG – I think our difference of viewpoints stems from the definition of the word. When I read feudalism, like in your recent post about the subject, I read something inherently European and post-Roman empire. That’s literally from whence the term derives.

    As for viewing it broadly, I don’t think “political economy based on personal relationships mediated by customary rules” suffices to describe a feudalistic system both because it ignores the cultural aspect of a feudal system, and it’s sufficiently vague that, if you squint hard enough, it could describe English common law.

    Most post-dark age societies go through a period of warlord dominated politics. That’s personal relationships, but it isn’t necessarily feudalism.

    As for your novel, I wrote a novella for the Morgan Tales anthology. Believe me, I’ve read Stars Reach once or twice.

  332. Re Linux.

    A distro, short for distribution is one of the versions. These include SuSe, Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Redhat, Arch, Mandriva, Slackware, Zorin, and Gentoo to name a few. The underlying operating system is basically the same in all of them. Where they differ is the details of the user interface and the degree of up front preselection of features. Gentoo is for uttermost experts, Slackware is professional server level, Ubuntu was originally for beginners but has gotten somewhat more complicated (and prettier). I use Mint.

    Inside of the distributions are flavors. For instance Mint has Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, and LDME. LDME is based directly off of Debian, and old, conservative as in its very reliable distribution. Cinnamon is a desktop package that will look quite familiar to Windows 7. Mate is a slightly different version that looks much the same but uses fewer graphics resources. Xfce uses even less and the user interface is quite spartan, but it is also highly customizable.

    Which one to use depends on how much memory you have, and how good the graphics card is. I have Mint Xfce on a 2009 Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM and a low end graphics card, (Nvidia 9400) and it runs quite well. I wouldn’t call it quick, but it works. Mint Mate runs very well on a 2014 Mac mini with Intel built in graphics and 8 GB RAM. I have Cinnamon on a 2019 desktop with a Ryzen 4600G (with built in graphics) with 16 GB RAM and that flies. It is not enough for heavy gaming though, but I don’t play computer games, or if I do it’s playing with old and new operating systems.

    The bigger issue with Linux is laptops. Laptop hardware is very customized compared to the desktop PCs. Some of the customized hardware does not have good linux support and that can be a problem. The more common laptops are well supported, (like Dells). The less common ones are not. This is a case for Ask Google. Do a search for [your model laptop] and Linux, or Best Linux for [your model laptop] and see what comes up.

    There is one more big Linux divide, the KDE vs Gnome debate, but just ignore it for now, . It’s like Ford vs GM. It’s personal preference as to how you want the desktop to look, nothing more. When you are an old Linux hand you can explore the dark side (which is the side you did not choose first) at your convenience.

  333. @JMG ” I see no evidence that human morality or intelligence has improved one iota over the five thousand years of recorded history; the same vices and stupidities remain firmly in place, even though we have fancier gadgets to enact them with.”

    I find it fascinating how there are some smaller groups that have the ability to have enough self contemplation to avoid at least some of the worst issues. I am thinking of groups like the Jainists. A part of it feels like by being completely honest about themselves and the potential darker side of their being, thus allows them to be aware of when that side shows up. I’m sure Carl Jung would have somethings to say about that. 😉

    We haven’t evolved one bit in a sense but through a lot of trial and error at least now have the mental tools to come to terms with our reality. The address the monkey in the man. To be angry, petty and jealous, to know that is perfectly fine but also realize that poor choices can be made in those states as well. But few actually use these or are even interested in using them. To be that one in ten to can focus on this.

    People have been trying to iron these things out for millennia and we have arrived exactly were we are so I’m not sure it has been the most fruitful endeavor. Maybe you need that counter narrative to be there even if it is never the domineering narrative.

    @JMG, ” I’ve suspected for a long time that monasteries and nunneries were among other things where the Middle Ages put people on the autism spectrum.”

    Absolutely! It is near perfect conditions to just be with oneself and do what can be done in that situation.

    Very vaguely related. I recall a Theravada Buddhism once telling me about a student the dealt with in a Thai monastery during his training years. It is not uncommon in Thailand that when they come across someone that is not that engaged by school work or they just consider stupid to eventually be put into a monastic situation as it is usually the only place they can focus or be of use to others. There was this one student who was maybe no more than 10 years old, many didn’t consider him that bright and thus ended up being brought in to be a monk. When they started to try teaching him the scripture, the student couldn’t even read but he almost immediately responded “Oh this, I remember all this from my previous life as a monk.” and just started reciting huge volumes of Buddhist scripture without hesitation.

    Make of that what you will. But the fella telling this to me had never steered us wrong intentionally. As it goes to be a Buddhist before you speak, it must pass through three windows. It is true, is it useful, is it kind?

  334. JMG,

    You‘ve mentioned repeatedly that you moving a sizeable chunk of your books to a non-US publisher is also a safety net for if/when the dollar tanks.

    Since Aeon is located in the UK, I assume they do their bookkeeping and payouts in British Pounds. Do you expect the pound in particular to be potentially more stable as the dollar? Or does historical experience show that the currencies of an empire‘s satellite states are more robust at first in a downfall than the main empire‘s currency?

    (Or is it simply a matter of diverging currencies and locations, however reasonably possible, and Aeon as the best non-US option happened to be located in the UK and not in Russia, so you went with pounds instead of rubles? 😉 )

    Milkyway

  335. JMG and Jen, thank you for your sincere responses.
    Jen, what you wrote bridges between my own personal experience and what I have read JMG say. I would be one of those trans women who transitioned long enough ago and in an apolitical context and those are the trans women I have known. I have not run into the movement you describe. Until JMG brought it up, I have only heard about it from folks who were clearly anti-trans in any shape or form. Living in a world with so much ill-intended mental and psychological manipulation, one of the rules I try to follow to protect myself is to not take seriously what someone’s dedicated enemies say about them without hearing what folks have to say for themselves. This works both ways. I don’t take what the mainstream media says about Trump at face value either.
    Can either of you point me at somewhere I could see what the radical trans folks say for themselves? Unfortunately, I have no doubt that what the two of you are saying is true. But I should see it with my own eyes, so to speak.

  336. Today’s newspaper had a headline on the frontpage warning about “RUSSIAN SABOTAGE!” in the Netherlands. The reasoning was completely unhinged and went something like this: someone planted some explosives in Germany, and while we do not know who it was, everybody knows that Russians are evil, so it must have been a Russian plot. Hence the Netherlands are under credible threat from the Russians because we are not far from Germany. Which proves that the Russians are evil.

    The Netherlands are, of course, traditionally anti-Russian, so the propaganda is not surprising. The British and the Polish are rabidly anti-Russian, too. But the French used to be tepidly pro-Russian, yet they are upgrading their hopelessly obsolete nuclear weapons (it will cost them 13% of GDP and nobody seems to find this outrageous). Macron is visiting Germany, and I wonder what he is going to tell Olaf.

    Germany itself used to be quite pro-Russian, but they lost the war so their opinion does not count.

    The Italians (who love Russian men’s money and Russian women’s breasts) keep denying that they will send troops to the Ukraine which, given Italy’s track record in wars, probably means that they will. There are talks of re-introducing the draft in the UK and Italy, too.

    Someone just bombed a Russian nuclear warning station, and while we can assume that the Ukrainians did it, they have not yet claimed the attack. Which leaves the possibility open that someone else was behind it.

    I am starting to worry that it is not just hot air and posturing, but that we will actually send troops to the Ukraine in the foreseeable future. Which seems incredibly stupid: it has backfired or failed spectacularly every single time since the Crimean War in the 1850s.

    On the other hand, the shortages are really starting to bite into everything from the electrical grid, housing construction and industrial production. If we do not find a new colony to exploit soon, in 10 years time Europe will be an open-air museum. Crazy as it sounds, more than a few people in power must be thinking that the only way out is to attack Russia.

    I am still in draft age: if push comes to shove, I will go. I just hope that, in a few years, my teenage children will not have to.

  337. Re: Phutatorius #341
    “Regarding Linux: What’s a “distro”?”

    Distro is short for Distribution. We’re talking about Free / Open Source software here, which has a license that let’s you distribute copies of it. Anybody can collect a bunch of software they think is useful, give the collection a name and distribute it.

    As you can imagine there are tons of them, from mainstream to incredibly nerdy. Some have only the basics, some include everything most people need: a web browser, email client, word processor, etc.

    If you’re new to Linux I always advice people to try Ubuntu. They really try to make it userfriendly and simple for people who are not really computer-savvy and it has very good hardware support.

    Yes, there are alternatives, but if you’re new to Linux the differences don’t mean a thing to you.

    Also, if your hardware is not supported by Ubuntu, it will most probably not be supported by any other distro either. In my experience, most hardware is very well supported and has been for years, but there’s always exceptions. These are mostly the very new stuff and the crappy, cheap stuff.

    bk.

  338. By the way, Archdruid, did you find the time to get a glimpse at the book on the Nyaya philosophy that I shared earlier? The logic system from pre-classical and classical India which incorporates commonplaces?

  339. Re Grounding

    The rationale for the benefits of grounding seems to be based on a few observations and a lot of speculation regarding the possible mechanism of action. One would want to see comparative studies where groups of matched patients were treated, some with grounding and some without, to see if there was any difference in outcomes. Given that the benefits are somewhat vague, you would need several hundred patients, thus it would be expensive, thus it will probably never get done.

    Having said that, I personally make sure I walk barefoot on grass several times week, just in case, although I mainly do it because I enjoy walking barefoot on grass.

    There is one other possible mechanism of action not discussed in the linked paper. A Midwestern Doctor on his Substack has fingered the zeta potential as a possible mechanism for vaccine damage. Zeta potential refers to the negative charge on red blood cells (erythrocytes) which causes them to repel each other so they stay suspended. If the negative charge disappears they tend to clump together rather like a pile of coins to create a fibrous mass, which forms part of the natural clotting mechanism. The spike protein made by the Covid vaccine has a strong surface positive charge which might be instrumental in destroying the RBC negative charge and account for the alleged clotting side-effects of the vaccine.

    If the Earth acts as an electron donor it could counter this effect and help the blood flow more freely. (Note there are other causes of RBC clumping, it’s not just the vaccine.)

    My personal experience of electron donation is touching the electric fence by mistake a couple of times. To be honest, I didn’t notice any improvement in my general health at the time. /J

  340. “High-end think tanks funded by the elite have been talking explicitly about carving up Russia for many years now. Here’s one of the more popular schemes:”
    Your right. There are these think tank proposals and I am sure there are many other such in desk drawers where we don’t get to see them. Occam’s Razor would say that one part of the elite made the plans, another part carried out actions that fit the plan. Therefore, they must be following the plan. (And if so, they have been working according to plan for quite a while.)
    Nonetheless, I would like to propose an alternative model that also fits the data. I am borrowing here from Aurelien and hopefully not misrepresenting his ideas. Yes, there is a part of the elite making plans to carve up Russia. They do this mostly because they are paid to produce such wet dreams. If the chance to carve up Russia ever arose, the PowerPoint slides would be pulled off someone’s computer. But no one is working based on them.
    Another part of the elite (call it the von der Leyen faction) hopped on board the US-sponsored provocation against Russia because they saw it as helping them gain more power – for themselves, not necessarily for the elite as a whole – and because much of their power within Europe comes from their role as functionaries for the US and the US wanted the war.
    The one advantage of this more complicated model is that it can explain behavior that seems incredibly stupid, stupid even assuming typical late-empire elite arrogance and isolation. After it had successfully invaded Iraq, the US did not throw away its carefully worked out plans for the occupation because US leadership was that stupid. It did so because those making the decisions were not looking out for the ruling class as a whole. They were looking out for their particular bit of it.
    So too, the von der Leyen faction was willing to destroy German industry (the core of the EU economy) because that works fine for them.
    Of course, there are always factions within the ruling class. The barons vs. the king. The nobles vs. Ivan the Terrible. The emperor of China vs. regional aristocrats. East coast banks vs. Nevada silver mining interests. What I am claiming is that such divisions are now at a quantitatively different degree. The overarching function giving the ruling class as a whole direction is mostly gone. The various bits of the ruling class shamble along like a horde of zombies muttering “Power” instead of “brains”.
    My understanding of Aurelien is that he is saying that the folks running the EU (for example) are no longer capable of coherent action based on well-thought out plans. The notion that the reason for this is that ruling classes in the West have fragmented so drastically is mine as far as I know.
    I am not sure how one would prove this one way or the other. Both models do fit the data. I would welcome any evidence either way.

  341. Hi JMG,

    First of all I wanted to say thanks for all your work and time here, and that I always read your posts and comments, but only comment myself once in a while these days.

    Second, a quick update on our garden (since you seemed to be interested in the past – if not I can stop!). In years past I have worried a little about the bee population early on because typically we wouldn’t see them until July or so. Last year I noticed them on the flowers of some kale that survived the winter and bolted in the spring. I planted more of them about in the fall using seedings that came up on their own from that bolted one, and most of them survived, along with some collards and cabbage plants. So the whole lot of them bolted, and maybe a dozen or so plants were in bloom and we have loads of bees, mostly carpenter bees and small ones, and even had a butterfly. They are quite pleasant to look at too, the flowers, so our neighbours seem to like them also and we’ve had a lot of nice compliments about the garden generally. I planted a clematis in the front yard too and it turns out the bees can use that pollen too.

    This is the first year that our bearded irises have flowered also. They were all gifted to us by neighbours but have taken their sweet time getting settled in, perhaps as many as 4 years now, but they now (along with these bolting brassicas and the clematis), bridge the gap we had in our perennials, so something is flowering right from the earliest daffodils all the way through to the end of the year. Only some of these are useful in the terms of attracting pollinators, but they help to make our garden appealing to people which I think (hope) keeps everyone on our side as it transitions into our dense vertical gardening that quite exceeds the normal front yard vibe.

    The first of the cherry tomato seedlings are coming up on their own, along with kale and swiss chard, and I’ve been transplanting them around, along with some seedlings I bought. My sons each have a little garden of their own now too, and planted things they like to eat, so we’ll see how that goes for them. They seem attached to them (more so than they have been for things they just planted elsewhere) and are interested in watering them and checking in on how they are doing.

    It’s been unseasonably hot here and things are growing fast, so I am working on my bamboo frames when I’m out there, stripping the dried grass off them and binding them together. Soon I need to start assembling it in places because my beans are basically out of room to grow (either because of the heat, or because they are all from beans that grew in our garden and they just do better. Seems like it will be a good year, so I’ll report back.

    Thanks again for everything, and hope you have been well!
    Johnny

  342. @Daniil Adamov #316

    Thank you for the corrections and extra nuance. You know that part of the world much better than me, and you make good points about how the Russian state held it even before the industrial revolution. Still, that was in a time of rising population and resource consumption rather than declining, wasn’t it? And I to put it a bit glibly, I suppose it also comes down to how badly China wants Siberia.

    @Phutatorius #341

    I’ll answer your question in a little detail just because I’m a Linux enthusiast and enjoy talking about these things, but if you’d rather have the practical summary, skip to the last paragraph.

    “Distro” is short for “distribution”, and these are basically pre-packaged, customized versions of Linux people can download and install for free. One of the strengths of Linux is that it’s very flexible and modular, unlike Microsoft’s one size fits all approach. So if you’re a computer nerd and you want to change something about the existing Linux variants, you can create your own and release it to the world.

    Without getting too technical (and to be honest, I’m not a programmer and don’t know much of the technical stuff myself), every Linux distro shares some metaphorical DNA with the core Linux kernel, and on top of that there are a few main “branches” that then fork out into ever smaller branchlets, like a tree. These “stem branches” are Ubuntu, Debian and Arch (plus a few other oddballs), while the tips are the individual distros.

    Or to use another metaphor that amuses me in the way it’d no doubt annoy our host by dragging computers into his favorite subjects, the way this works is surprisingly similar to Western occultism as I understand it. Ie., you can have different magical systems based on the “main branches” of Golden Dawn, the Sphere of Protection/Universal Gnostic Church, Wicca, etc. Like how JMG started with the trad GD system to make the Celtic GD, which is distinct but still uses the underlying GD “magical technology” (for lack of a better term). In the same sense, the Manjaro distro was created from Arch Linux and shares much of the underlying architecture, but it’s also a distinct branch with its own quirks.

    Most distros also come with a choice of desktop environments (DEs). These are mainly cosmetic and let you decide how you want the interface to look and feel, similar to the Windows desktops. Some of them are deliberately modeled on Windows and some can be quite different. Trying different variants is something of a pastime with many Linux users, known as “distro hopping” in the community. There’s even a central hub for keeping track of all of them at the DistroWatch website.

    Anyway: I was also a bit intimidated by Linux, but switched ten years ago and have mostly found it fine, and I like not having MS in my life. What I did was start with Linux Mint, which is an Ubuntu variant. This one is deliberately set up to be beginner-friendly and visually similar to Windows, and since Ubuntu is the most widespread variant, it’s easy to find help and resources. Also, some laptops are deliberately engineered to be less friendly to Windows alternatives. Lenovo laptops are known for working well with Linux, and that’s what I’ve got.

  343. >Regarding Linux: What’s a “distro”?

    Sigh. That goes all the way back to the beginning of it. Linux only provided the kernel and nothing else. What’s a kernel you ask? If it’s a pizza, it’s the raw dough. You can’t do much with raw dough, especially if you’re nontechnical. You want a baked pizza with all the sauce and toppings? You have to go to someone else.

    And the someone elses came out of the woodwork and started slapping together what would quickly be called “distributions” or in short, distros. So if Linux is kinda like pizza, you can’t just say pizza, you have to say what kind of pizza – is it New York or Chicago or Detroit? What kind of toppings? How big a pizza do you want? And hoomans being hoomans, everybody’s got a slightly different idea about what they like on a pizza. Same with Linux, everybody and his brother has a slightly different idea about what to bundle with Linus’ kernel. But like with pizza there are popular types. The two biggies are RedHat and all the different Debian clones, the biggest of those would be Ubuntu.

    That would be the equivalent of sausage and pepperoni pizzas. Which one’s better? Well, which one do you like? It really comes down to personal taste and maybe some quality control (some of these distro maintainers are better at fixing bugs than others). There are countless other “distros” out there though. Some people like to focus on limited hardware, some people took the kernel and built a firewall/router appliance out of it. If there’s any sufficiently complex hardware out there, right after asking “Does it run Doom”, they always ask “Does it run linux”?

    Me personally? I’m actually not that big of a fan of linux, you inevitably have to drop down to the command line like it’s 1979 to get something done. But at least the people behind it don’t openly disrespect you, the way they do inside M******ft and A**le. You do get a certain amount of respect. Although if you have a problem, it’s pretty much on you to fix it. And I’ve been shocked at how bad each new iteration of Windows is getting. I don’t know how people put up with Windows anymore, it looks pretty but it’s soooo slooooooooooooooooooooow. I don’t have much exposure to the A**le side of things, whether MacOS is also getting bloated and buggy and slow. I know I don’t trust them any more than I trust Billy Bluescreen.

  344. @Jason,
    I can say from personal experience of moderate electrosensitivity that grounding mats are one of the most effective countermeasures to harmful electromagnetic fields, even more effective than shielding. The last time I stayed at a US hotel, I was able to tolerate the Wi-Fi by sleeping on the floor and using a gounding mat because the electrical outlet was properly grounded.
    I felt very sick due to a smart meter and nearby cell tower in a friend’s house, where I needed to go to attend Zoom meetings, but when I put my bare feet on a properly grounded grounding mat I was able to tolerate that situation. It was a refreshing feeling, like I get in a forest.
    When seated too close to a Wi-Fi router in a restaurant in Indonesia years ago, I was able to recover by finding a pothole full of sea water not too far away and putting my hands in it for several minutes. Here at the computer I’m using, I set up a grounding wire and attached it to a grounding ankle bracelet, and felt wonderful for about 15 minutes, but the line by necessity had to pass by the room where my brother-in-law keeps his smartphone, which for some reason I cannot ascertain puts out insane spikes of radiation every 15 minutes. Then I felt like I was having a heart attack, so I cannot use grounding here.
    I do get some relief by wearing an analog, battery-powered watch with a second hand, which mimics grounding. I have also gotten relief through a low-oxalate diet., with oxalates perhaps having been a precipitating factor for me.
    Since I have a terrible time motivating myself to make progress on any major creative project while seated here, under these circumstances, I will be going off from Tuesday for a week to the Fujikyo meeting hall in a forest with waterfalls, where hopefully I can make some progress.
    I will be grateful to anyone putting forward a prayer for me this week, that my isolation will give me the energy and motivation to make real progress on an important creative project. I’ll post my request over on Quin’s blog as well.

  345. Hello John. In your #310 you’ve posted a picture showing the possible Russia breakup in some fancy countries…Ahem, I see a UN symbol in the drawing. I’m getting a bit paranoid this latest days, Is the UN in this s**t??

  346. It appears the British Conservative Party wants to lose the election.

    “UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to re-introduce mandatory national service if the Conservative Party remains in power after the general election, set for July, British media reported on Sunday. Under the scheme, which is expected to cost around £2.5 billion ($3.19 billion) per year, all 18-year-olds would be required to either join the military full-time or volunteer one weekend per month, with community organizations such as the police or National Health Service (NHS).”

    I take it from this and what was mentioned above that the situation is FUBAR and the party in charge is just walking away from the mess. But for whatever reason they don’t want to dissolve the party and just leave.

    PS. The acronym is Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition, or at least that’s the polite version.

  347. “The good cop/bad cop routine I’ve discussed isn’t theoretical; it’s been used over and over again by the political left in the US and elsewhere for most of a century now. You have the extremist radicals playing the bad cop and the supposed moderates playing the good cop, and they doubleteam the public to shift the window of discussion as far as they can to the left, relying on the fact that most people will fall into the trap of sympathizing with the moderates in order to oppose the radicals. Look into every leftward movement for social change in the US from the 1930s to today and you’ll find that specific gimmick endlessly repeated. The right, by contrast, is only just now figuring out how to do the same thing; what happens when they get up to speed will be interesting to watch.”

    This is an interesting observation, and I do not doubt that it revolves around a kernel of truth. Still, I have often also seen it said, with an equal kernel of truth, that the left has always much more prone to splintering, and ideological orthodoxy, to turning its nearest lefty neighbour that is a shade slightly more or less radical than it into the PRIME enemy, whereas the right is more prone to building common ground, and alliance, among people of varying perspectives.

  348. >I can say from personal experience of moderate electrosensitivity that grounding mats are one of the most effective countermeasures to harmful electromagnetic fields

    Y’know, that would make for a good science experiment – get some random people, put half of them on grounding mats, the other half on ordinary carpet and blast them with typical smartphone radiation. I’m not holding my breath that anyone will do it, or if they do do it, expect it to be goalseeked. When you can’t trust science, this is how it dies.

    For various reasons, I don’t like smartphones and I don’t respect people who are glued to the things either. Deeply disrespect them. But here’s Reason #8 why I don’t like them. I remember one day, in a cow orker’s cube, helping with something that doesn’t matter now, I heard a buzzing in my head that sounded definitely digital. After a while you just know what digital data sounds like. And then his cellphone started to ring. And then the digital buzzing kept going. You know what? It quit just as soon as he ended the call.

    Ever since then, I’ve done my best to minimize my exposure to the things. Not good for you. Not even close.

  349. Thank you again to the folks who explained British politics. My head, I am a dumb American, is reeling from how complicated it all is. What about Alba in Scotland? Has that party gone belly-up?

    Methylethyl, most fascinating about Middle East nunneries. The nuns I have met have all been most formidable people.

    Lathechuck @ 331, what campaign offices are supposed to do is recruit and support Democratic candidates for local and statewide elections and conduct primaries. And get out the vote. As in, rides to the polling places, door to door voter registration, etc. etc. You may recall one Howard Dean who became Democratic Party chairman in 2006. He introduced and oversaw what he called the 50 State Strategy, that Democrats would be active and involved in all 50 states. You can imagine how well that went over with Beltway loungers.

  350. Northwind, what we used to call gay identification has a long and varied history. Including, I do seem to recall, among pre-industrial peoples.

    I wonder what your attitude is towards folks like me who lean hetero but are basically asexual. Since we seem to be speaking frankly here, I would provisionally define that state as don’t give a ~!@#. Don’t care about fragile male egos or ladies’ poor little hurt feelingses. Or, to put it another way, I prefer a good book to a boring date.

    I have no objections to so-called trad marriages. (I do however reserve the right not to respect people who consider it an intolerable affront to be expected to pronounce three whole syllables.) I note with bitter amusement that some of the folks who promote such Mom at home marriages are of the same faction who are all in for keeping prices high and wages low. The romantic appeal of the trad wife stirring the stewpot underneath a bridge while the kids are trying to catch fish and small crustaceans.

    I do, however, have strong objections to forced marriages, whether by law, custom or social pressure.

    I wish someone would please explain, what is so very wrong with live and let live?

  351. Does anyone use and / or have experience with wind turbines such as mentioned in JMG’s post #150?

    I see a few for sale on the large online retailer but prefer to see if anyone has suggestions. Would be for light use such as lights, laptops, desk fans, etc. One issue to think over would be pros and cons of lithium vs regular batteries. Another is future maintenance and component replacement / repair.

    ” Little wind turbines, of the sort that used to pump water and charge batteries all over the farm belt, broke down now and again, too, but they could be repaired easily with tools from the barn.”

  352. It’s Memorial Day in the USA. We honor our war dead.

    “Hail to our heroes
    Brave they were in battle
    Fallen with their faces to the foe.”

  353. @JMG #323 Thank you for the data point. I don’t find it difficult to believe that such tactics are real. What I wonder about is how commonplace they are… but in a sense, that might be a moot point, since even a small minority using it would be enough to leave an impression. What I’d worry about is both sides becoming ever more paranoid about anyone who expresses a non-extreme opinion being secretly in cahoots with the opposite-extremists. There will be a lot of potential for people to get caught in the crossfire, especially if/when political violence escalates.

    By the way, that Russia map you posted earlier is virtually identical to our current official federal districts (though obviously they omit Kaliningrad – lazy – and pre-2014 Ukrainian territories, and they took the time to come up with some names for us to use). I would’ve thought they’d be a little more creative than that. It’s like if we made a map of a proposed separation of the US that is just a map of the states with some of them renamed. Surely they can put a little more effort into their presentations? 😛 Though I suppose I should be glad that they acknowledge the Urals not being part of Siberia…

    @Jessica #351 Distrust towards the government is a long-standing cultural norm that has received added reinforcement at various points of our history. The late 80s and 90s definitely helped due to a mass release of information, much of it true, about various Soviet-era deceptions. A lot of people suspected something like the truth and were confirmed in their opinions. Others were surprised that the Communists were even more deceptive than they thought. Some actually did believe them, to some degree, and were disillusioned. I don’t think I know anyone who wholeheartedly trusts the government, regardless of political opinion; there are many who support it and believe it gets some good things done right now, but that’s not trust.

    As for regionalism, a big part of it is rooted in the economy. In the Urals especially, there is an exaggerated but not entirely groundless perception that Moscow is sucking out all our resources and spending them on itself, on various grand political projects and on poorer regions (say, in the Caucasus). After all, we are a relatively wealthy and self-sufficient region, and perhaps we could spend our own money better if we had our druthers. (I think this sentiment overlooks the high level of corruption among regional elites.) Some think we should have an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, like what many ethnic minorities enjoy, and like what our regional elites tried to set up in the early 90s. This is sometimes framed in ethnonationalist terms (an ethnic Russian republic in the Urals), though not always. There is also a distinct liberal tradition among more affluent people in Uralic cities, especially in Yekaterinburg, that is at odds with the federal government’s current direction but also not wholly identical with the Moscow and St. Petersburg strains (it’s rougher and more populist I’d say; incidentally, Yeltsin came from here). Finally, and I believe this applies everywhere, many people in Moscow do indeed despise provincials, we are extremely well aware of it, and we respond in kind.

    The Far East I know far less about, but I do know people there have a strong economic interest in cooperation with China, Japan and both Koreas, which can also clash with the government’s line. Smuggling is common, going well with individual self-reliance and a certain maritime orientation. Historically, Far Easterners preferred Japanese cars to the European ones that prevailed elsewhere in the post-Soviet period (although now, the Chinese are edging out both everywhere). When schools in most of the country taught English or German, Far Eastern schools taught Japanese (all on the theory that we should study the language of the likely enemy, of course, though it turned out that there were other uses too). A lot of Asian cultural influences arrived there before they reached the rest of us. The short-lived Civil War-era Far Eastern Republic is still remembered and evoked. Interference in local politics, bad as they often are, from Moscow is roundly disliked (one of the last big pre-SMO political scandals was when the far right nationalist governor of Khabarovsk got arrested for murder, resulting in mass protests due to locals seeing him as “their crook”, more or less). The tyranny of distance and differences in outlook make such meddling especially clumsy when it happens. Ideas about giving the Far East more autonomy are sometimes proposed, but I don’t think they went anywhere.

    There are no serious regional separatist movements worth speaking of right now, and I do think the SMO has mostly dampened rather than exacerbated those regionalist tendencies for now. There are patriotic counter-trends that have been strengthened by common problems and common enemies. Local liberals are even more disenchanted with national unity than before, but they are a vocal minority with limited influence and less real power at the moment. Currently, regional separatism mostly consists of vague sentiments based on local peculiarities and resentments. But they are pretty persistent, and they could grow into something more serious eventually. And of course, those tendencies are not exclusive to the Urals or the Far East, though they have been most pronounced there historically.

    @Kim A. #316 Fair points, of course. I’d point out that declining populations will affect everyone, not just us, and that China seems like it might crash faster and harder than we do (many more mouths to feed, more integrated with the fragile world economy). On the other hand, knowing this may make its leaders more desperate to secure arable land. Frankly, I can’t see them trying to take over most of the Far East or Siberia, with all the logistical difficulties that would involve, in the immediate future; several decades later may be a whole other story, as their need becomes more urgent and Siberia itself becomes a more tempting prize (at least if many predictions I’ve seen are to be trusted). But any attempt to do this will need to outpace their own society’s collapse. I think it could go either way.

  354. @JMG about Ariel Moravec’s horoscope – I’d look at her 7th house, that of partnershis and relationships, because –
    Looking at someone else who had Leo in the 7th House and has always, from early childhood, been fascinated by cats and in love with them. NOT as cootsie wootsie fur babies (Ack, gurk, finger down throat), but as beings in their own right, with their own dignity, given respect, and their companionship welcomed. NOT (again) as one’s Younger Self (mine is a badger, alas), but as yin to our yang or vice versa.* And the apartment has cat imagery all over the place. Okay – Ariel seems to have a similar relationship with wolves. You can take it from there.

  355. P.S. Am rereading Retropia. Two questions: Would a Tier 5 hospital be equipped to do the kind of hip replacement surgery I had? Or that cataract surgery? I had a friend who had cataracts removed long ago, but was legally too blind to drive until laser surgery came in.

  356. Chris, I’ve been watching the whole Ozempic business with a raised eyebrow and considerable worry. I don’t think it’s been adequately tested — and messing with your metabolism is a very good way to end up in deep, deep trouble.

    Jessica, oh, no question anybody in the military who isn’t just a glorified bureaucrat is appalled at the thought of going to war. The question is what will happen if the chickenhawks in charge of the country just now overrule them.

    Kirsten, um, please take a look at the URL you just posted. It doesn’t even go to your Dreamwidth journal. (Try clicking on it.) What you need to do is post it as an entry to your Dreamwidth journal, and then post the link for that entry, which should look more or less like this link for one of mine:

    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/281028.html

    The things to watch for are that the link should have the name of your journal before “.dreamwidth”, and a string of numbers followed by “.html” after the slash.

    Ben, sure, if you’re going to insist on reading my use of the word as though it has a meaning you assign it, there’s going to be a communication problem. If you want to know what I mean by the word, on the other hand, Star’s Reach ought to be a workable guide.

    Michael, sure. In the occult tradition I follow, those groups serve as staging areas for people who are winding up their time at the human level and getting ready to go on. As for the monk, well, that’s a good example of the type — he clearly hadn’t quite achieved enlightenment the last time around, so he arranged to get to a suitable monastery to finish the job!

    Milkyway, yes, I expect the pound sterling to be more stable than the dollar, because London these days is the world capital of money laundering and so the local currency is likely to be propped up by flows of illegal wealth during periods of chaos. It’ll bounce up and down, of course, but I don’t expect it to shed nearly all its value the way the dollar will. Mind you, I have a limited range of options since I write in English!

    Disc_writes, they really do want a war, don’t they? I hope they enjoy it when it shows up.

    Rajarshi, I downloaded it and put it in the get-to pile, but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

    Jessica, when the policies pursued by the governments of the West all appear to be aimed at the goals sketched out by the think tanks, I have to say I don’t think that’s just synchronicity or something.

    Johnny, delighted to hear this! If I end up someplace that has room for a garden I plan on getting a lot of early and late bee plants in the ground, and spending time watching the bees at their work — always something I enjoy. As for me, well, it’s still kind of a day at a time, but getting better.

    Chuaquin, I don’t think so, but I simply went looking for a drawing online and can’t vouch for the source.

    Scotlyn, er, it’s more than a kernel of truth; it’s one of the common strategies of the American left. You’ll know it’s in use when the supposed moderates, instead of treating the radicals as the prime enemy and denouncing them in public, go to middle-of-the-road venues like this one and talk about how the radicals are misguided and we really aren’t all like that, etc.

    Patricia M, to the fallen. (clink.)

    Daniil, of course the map uses existing administrative districts — that’s standard practice when you carve up a country, since it simplifies reorganization afterwards. Consider the way that the border between the Union and the Confederacy in our civil war followed state boundaries.

    Patricia M, I’m not sure why Ariel isn’t a cat person, but she’s not. Wolves are her thing — which will add to some seventh house complexities in the next volume and thereafter! As for Retrotopia, I don’t know enough about the surgeries in question to be able to hazard a guess.

  357. JMG, have you heard of the “Ausländer raus” (Foreigners out in German) phenomenon? It started at a super posh club in Sylt where some youngsters started to sing Ausländer raus/ Deutschland den Deutschen to the tune of a 1990’s house-popsong (L’amour toujours). It is now sung in many bars all over Germany. On Twitter it is trending. I came across a tutorial to play the song on piano, two female French DJ’s made a French version (France aux Francais) and there are many video’s of places where young Germans sing this song. The original song is now the most downloaded song in the German charts. The authorities are shocked and try to hunt down the people who sung this song (in contrast to the thousand muslims who marched through Hamburg last week and chanted for the introduction of the caliphate in Germany). On June 6th there will be elections for the European Parliament and I think it is a safe bet that Europe will make a hard turn to the right, to the surprise of no-one except our current leadership.

    The Netherlands has seen something comparable. Last November we had a national election for parliament and as a nice extra all high school students had a shadow election where they could cast a vote too (they are all minors so they were not allowed to vote for parliament). The high school election result was a shocker: the first 2 largest parties were very right-wing parties and the 3th was the mainstream right wing party. They voted extremely right-wing. The media quickly put it under the carpet and I haven’t seen even 1 analysis of this result. I think the reason is very simple: as immigrants get more children, the relative number of immigrants is the highest under the youngest age groups. Our high schoolers see on a daily basis where our country is headed and they don’t like it: gangs, intimidation and suppression of women are presumably not very popular with our youth. Yet the top 20-30% of the workforce that has the highest education and occupies the key positions in politics, government, business, media etc is just completely tone deaf. I know you know this, you made the point many times, but it just keeps being surprising how so many smart people can be so blind.

  358. Fwiw, among my friends, the trans women are largely pleasant company who seem to feel that it’s possible to have sincere nuanced moderate opinions. The non-binary folks have been the ones that I’ve learned not to speak in front of, as they seem more likely to interpret expressing any nuance as just a dogwhistle for conservative extremism / wrongthink. (I am only acquainted with one trans man, so can’t generalize there.)

  359. @Mary Bennet #374

    You are most welcome. One thing to keep in mind, I think, is that it’s not dumb or stupid to find the politics of another country difficult to follow. I’d like to think I can more or less understand the broad detail in US politics. Fine detail escapes me. Inevitably there are cultural differences that make it more difficult.

    In the case of the current UK situation the usual assumption that the people calling the election are behaving rationally is also beginning to look doubtful. It turns out that many of the districts (we call them constituencies) held by the Prime Minister’s own party did not have candidates ready. Today one Conservative MP recommended that voters vote for her rival in Reform.

    I watched another, Johnny Mercer, Minister for veterans being questioned about this in an interview. He looked more than tired. Even I could see that he looked thoroughly rattled.

    @JMG, in fact, things are looking so odd, I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t some non obvious outside influences in play. Any ideas?

  360. For Lee. On topic of chickens, and teasing your local lenocratics about raising some.
    I present to you the Emotional Support Chicken option you could certainly start with
    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/emotional-support-chickentm
    I’m sure you can find that skill, to make one or more to help nudge some folks thought processes in this direction 😉
    I think that for this group’s general intentions, it would also count as membership in the SD club if used that way.

  361. Moserisn, JustMe, methylethyl,and JMG – thanks very much for your notes! The book is our local library system so I just requested it. I have reached out to a couple local luthiers so if we end up with the instrument offered by JustMe we can have some local professional help <3

    What a blessing to have this space!

  362. “You’ll know it’s in use when the supposed moderates, instead of treating the radicals as the prime enemy and denouncing them in public, go to middle-of-the-road venues like this one and talk about how the radicals are misguided and we really aren’t all like that, etc.”

    Well, that’s fair enough, and like I said, I do know it happens.

    I’m more used to the sight of moderates and the radicals being at each other’s throats, and engaging in quite destructive circular firing squad rounds over matters of “purity” and such, that’s all. Which makes it harder to see evidence of the type of strategic co-ordination that a good cop/bad cop routine would seem to require. 🙂

  363. @JMG #382 That is fair enough, although even in the case you cite there was a notable exception in Virginia. American states seem much more organic than our districts, both then and now, yet they still have plenty of internal divisions (I remember all those plans to partition California or carve out a Greater Idaho). A federal district-based division of Russia would be even more unstable, since those are vast and largely arbitrary divisions that only overlap with regional identities and interests to a very small degree. Still, I can see why actually matching their map to any local aspirations would be low on the planners’ priority list.

    I suppose I was expecting something more like this old treasure: https://brilliantmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/new-middle-east.jpg

    The man who came up with this did not let considerations of administrative continuity restrain him.

  364. Daniil, Thank you.
    Kimberly Steele, thank you for the link to your piece about autism and the subtle planes. It is interesting and gave me a lot of contemplate.

  365. @Patricia Mathews, #380

    For cataract removal surgery, there have been pre-laser versions of the procedure since the late 18th century (though with a much lower success rate). From what I have been able to grasp, there have been good enough techniques since the early 20th century, so you might have a Tier-4 version available to most of the population (even today, medical evacuation of select cases to regional healthcare centers is a reality), and a liquid nitrogen enhanced version for the rich and privileged in Tier-5 cities.

    As for heap replacement… the core issue seems to be the materials from which the prosthetic is made of. I will not venture to say if this would be viable in a Tier 5 hospital, but my opinion is that unless there’s a strategic need to support the production of those materials, the market itself would not bear it. In particular, if there are therapeutic interventions that may help the patient to cope with the problem, instead of the money first, outcome maybe approach that US-centric medicine seems to prefer today.

  366. The Other Owen (#373) – Since you were near a co-worker’s workstation, you may have been hearing the mobile phone radiation (as the call was being establish) being picked up by the workstation speaker wiring. I’ve often noticed this, as well as my ham radio transmissions, leaking into my computer speakers. If the effect was purely in your head, you’d probably have heard it under many other circumstances. However, the power radiated by a phone depends on how far it is from the tower (using more power when necessary), so you can’t assume that test conditions are well-defined unless you have a calibrated receiver and antenna, and even then, the orientation of the phone, and the sensing system are also factors to consider.

  367. Mr. Greer….

    In regards to your response (Comment #310..) to Jessica..
    Thank you for that Hato Greeving Map!

    Where are the Lord Fenrings of the world when we really need them?? .. and no, I’m not referring to the ‘glue-sniffing blueblood fart-bubbled eunuchs’ (hat tip to Dr. D @ TAE for that partial meme..) of Europa!! Will they pay the ‘Iron Price’… or will they pay in USsuK hypothicated finery*??

    *apologies for the Dune/GoT celuloid references.

  368. For anyone wanting to know more about grounding as a remedial measure against artificial EMFs, I just received this article: https://romanshapoval.substack.com/p/grounding?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
    Essentially, the Schumann resonances, with which we evolved, play an important role in our physiological processes. IIRC the major Schumann resonance is at about 8 Hz. My watch pulses (very weakly obviously) at one Hertz, so it is not a great analogue, but it seems to normalize things. It was pointed out in a book by an electrical engineer who found himself electrosensitive and researched ways of improving his condition (and the condition of plants in his house, etc.): Steven Magee, Curing Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.

  369. Hello,
    All this talk of monasteries has got me thinking. The successful ones, those that are still existing are based around religion. Historically, European ones which I know the most about, also had lay people supporting them. So a continuum of people from the most religiously inclined to family groups could co-exist and work together within a common belief system.
    The Amish and others like them also have a religious belief system that holds them together. Of course since they have families they can reproduce in ways that monasteries and nunneries usually can’t.
    Why are there no new movements happening? Why for example, are there no physical communities forming around ecosophia? Or around other modern religious or philosophical society? Are we unable to form communities anymore because we would rather be isolated than compromise?
    Any thoughts?

  370. @The Other Owen,
    Thank you for relaying your experience with cell phones.
    In the early years of mobile telephony, I was able to tell if the person sitting next to me on the train had one or not. I would get a buzzing sensation, similar to what you describe, followed by dizziness and headache. This was just from the phone polling the base stations every three minutes. Over time, I found that ignoring electromagnetic radiation (magnetic, electric and radio), as was only natural, led to ill health in other ways. I became assertive about it.
    I was lucky to discover this before acquiring a cell phone. It looks to me like people wind up addicted pretty quickly.

  371. @JMG #107

    “I can choose one of them, settle down until the fighting’s over, and then come home. Yes, I’ll be coming home; unfashionable though it may be, I have a patriotic streak and this really is my country, you know”

    That is a verrrry interesting comment, and I’m not sure if you realize what you just said or how it comes across.

    Actually this is not really directed towards you, since I understand that you are in a certain phase of life and so forth, perhaps not suited for any kind of physically-grueling scenario.

    But I have seen other comments like this, in places, and every time, I think: the cheek. The gall.

    What I’m saying is, I hope people realize that if they think they’re going to ride out a civil conflict by hiding somewhere else, letting other men do the heavy lifting, and THEN come home afterwards, well… people should realize that they might ain’t exactly gonna be welcome back, do you take what I mean?

    This might come off as an obnoxious comment but I really think people need to factor this into their future plans.

  372. Well – The cat person had Leo – a Great Cat – in the 7th. A wolf person would have … what sigh would be compatible with wolves?

  373. Hey JMG

    Yeah, I thought you would find those intriguing. I am especially concerned about the last one.

    Btw, a bit of a sombre question, but have you noticed that Global Grey eBooks no longer seems to be adding new eBooks? The “Recent” page is gone. I think that maybe the owner, Julie, may be having a break, or calling it quits.

  374. Good news, Steven Keen, one of the handful of economists that predicted the 2008 financial crisis, is putting together a reworking of economics. His substack is here:

    https://profstevekeen.substack.com/

    And includes such gems as using double entry bookkeeping to explain how banks create money and energi as an inelastic factor of production. This quote in particular shows that he gets it and isn’t just another apologist:

    labour without energy is a corpse, while capital without energy is a sculpture. (Keen, Ayres, and Standish 2019, p. 41)

    And just in time for the twilight of western civilization. Still, might be worth preserving for whoever comes next.

  375. Over the past few months, I’ve been running a podcast with my friend Ahnaf Ibn-Qais and a revolving door of special guests. As we’re seeing the end of Zionism in real time, it occurred to me that after Palestinian suffrage one of the last remaining points of contention between the Ummah and Christendom will be over. And, with that, it strikes me that we’re in a great place to begin a new era of cooperation and collaboration between our two worlds.

    It also turns out that both Ahnaf and I (and quite a few Substackers) are all JMG fans. And since we spend a lot of time talking about the fall of the Global American Empire. And so I’d like to offer our esteemed host, Mr. Greer, a guest spot on our humble podcast, “When East Meets West.”

    And as I scan through this comments section (which truly is the best on the Internet), I see several names I recognize from Substack and elsewhere. If anybody else with a blog is interested in appearing in a podcast about geopolitics, scarcity, peak oil, global weirding, late empire shenanigans, or the post-oil world, drop me a line.

    You can find our podcasts at my Substack, http://notesfromtheendofti.me, and I can be reached at kenazfilan -at- gmail dotcom.

  376. Subject: The Toyetic-ness of Harry Potter

    A new word! To me, at least. “Toyetic” is an adjective meaning “suitable to be made into a marketable toy.”

    You don’t do video, but many of your readers do: The Consumerist Dystopia of Harry Potter

    Many kids’ shows were started just to sell toys — e.g., He-Man, Transformers, and My Little Pony. Star Wars started as a film (1977), and Harry Potter as a book (1997). The merchandising machine has been perfected since the popularity of Star Wars caught toy-makers flat-footed. Most of George Lucas’s and J.K. Rowling’s fortunes come from merch.

    The first Harry Potter book had positive reviews, but it didn’t go viral (anachronism) until *three* days after its initial release in the UK. Yes, three days after the release of the first book, Scholastic, of the US of A, bought the rights for $105,000 — an unheard-of sum at the time. Allegedly, JKR was already getting movie offers. Scholastic put a lot of money into publicity and deluxe hard-cover editions.

    The video talks about how visual JKR is in her symbolism and world-building. (Maybe that’s why, recently, the most praised Harry Potter products have been videogames. IMHO, JKR has run out of ideas.) Some clever marketer at Warner Brothers saw how franchise-able Harry Potter was. Probable that Warner Brothers was buddies with Scholastic.

    Warner Brothers, of course, made the movies, and that’s the best publicity of all for merch. Many more movie-watchers than book-readers.

    Sort of a different subject: JKR gave her blessing to Harry Potter fanfiction, as long as credit is given. You’d be amazed at the quality of some of those amateur works. One of my favorites is about Ron’s alcoholism and his eventual divorce from Hermione. Yes, JKR’s fans (or former fans) want to fill in plot holes and make sense of her creation. What became of the child soldiers? Harry needs therapy! (Good stories about that, too.)

    Idea: The couple who write the Bertie Scrubb books take legal action against fanfic writers. Bertie Scrubb fanfic goes underground, passed from hand to hand. Adocentyn becomes a hotbed of samizdat. Wonder if the Heydonian Institution would find that phenomenon at all interesting … hmmm …

  377. Thank you JMG,

    I hope you do get to have a garden again. I find I get a lot of pleasure out of watching them work too, sometimes I’ll rope my youngest into just sitting with me to watch them buzzing about. I get satisfaction seeing how well they seem to do with even the slightest effort in their direction too, it makes me think that for all the talk about how fragile the space they occupy in nature is, that they’ll do just fine when plants in greater number are left just doing the things they always do automatically that we are just working so hard to interfere with. When we stop having the energy to waste on forcing things into another arrangement.

    A lot of why I like stripping the blades of grass from the bamboo is because I can’t do anything else but just watch and listen to things around me while I’m working. I guess that, and it’s an activity that feels positively ancient. There’s no need for a tool really, it’s just about a perfect task for bare human hands, and so I imagine people have been doing in anywhere that had this plant for absolutely ages. Plus it’s easy and pleasant work.

    I’m glad to hear things are getting slowly better for you too, and wish you the best.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  378. Aermotor windmills for pumping water is still in business.

    https://aermotorwindmill.com/collections/windmills

    The old winchargers were widespread, but the company seems to be gone. Very small wind turbines for sailboats are available,
    https://www.silentwindgenerator.com/en/marine/
    https://store.marinebeam.com/marinekinetix-mk4-marine-wind-generator/

    Then there is this,

    https://windexchange.energy.gov/small-wind-guidebook.

    Whether wind is better than solar will depend on location of course. And don’t forget the expense of the tower. It has to be taller than the trees, and here at least it can’t be over 35 ft tall without professional design. It must also not be able to fall outside your property line.

  379. JMG – Magic Monday closed before I got the chance to ask this so will take the opportunity to ask on this open post:

    re natural magic/amulets etc, are there any practical works of reference that you would recommend?

    St John’s Wort – is that using leaf, root, flowers or some combination?

    Thank you

  380. Apologies – one more q: is there a preference for boswellia carteri or sacra?
    Thank you.

  381. Dear JMG,

    It’s a bit late in the comment cycle on this post, but wondering if you or the commentariat have suggestions about the following.

    1) I’m interested in sharpening my logic and critical thinking skills. Are there books (classics or otherwise), courses, or other ways to do this effectively? I’m already fairly familiar with logical fallacies, and my past work experience coding software has indirectly helped (by needing to break down problems into steps and ensuring program logic is sound), but I’m curious about how to take this further.

    2) Your series of posts on lenocracy has me wondering what a ‘non-lenocrat’ would look like; in other words, is there such a thing as an archetypal manager who can work in a larger organization and who can function effectively, for the benefit of all involved? I do know there’s a lot of nuance left out of that question and specific conditions are important.

    I work in such an organization, and to make a long story short, despite my efforts to learn new skills in order to leave, I am going to need to stay there for the time being, and so I should make the best of it and learn what I can.

    Many thanks!

  382. Good Morning,

    What are some good methods/practices of increasing ones focus, specifically paying more attention and thinking deeper? I know you speak highly of discursive meditation, and in practicing it I find it does help (though I have not been at it for too long). Unfortunately I find that I have too many thoughts happening and I can’t focus, in addition to typical everyday distractions. Thank you.

  383. Since this is open post time, I thought I’d repair a mistake in the now-closed Magic Monday post. In replying to a question about the effects of rejuvenation exercises on women, I mis-handled the HTML and dropped the names of the books I was mentioning. This left some gaps in the reply! So here’s the whole thing, book titles and all.

    This is of course a complex question, but there are places to look for ideas on the subject. One is Dion Fortune — her *Sea Priestess* and *Moon Magic* have a cluster of observations about female rejuvenation. Following this up with her *Problem of Purity*, and “Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage*, will give some additional pointers.

    [Many people are quite dissatisfied with her ideas on the subject of sexuality and so on (obsolete!), but one of the complications of the issue is not only that “the past is another country”, but so is the present. Fortune worked in the early days of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Britain. The Medico-Psychological Clinic, where she worked, was aimed at bringing the benefits of psychoanalytic treatment to people who wouldn’t normally have access to it — lower middle class and working class people. The work she did was “psycho-educational”, rather than classically analytic, so it was necessary to speak to people where they were at, to their concerns and values, which were generally not those of the classes that usually were interested in, and had access to, formal psychoanalysis. So she had to speak in terms of the values and anxieties of her audience. This was especially true since she was addressing women, young and middle aged, servants and secretaries and shop-girls.]

    One of the core ideas is that male desire, and energy, wakes up to find itself focused on its object, while female desire and energy has to do with waking up to being the focus of desire. (She also remarks on “modesty” as being the reflexive response to desire for which one is not ready, or which one does not welcome.) So when she describes the effects of occult training on older women, she describes it in terms of gradually becoming aware of once again being an object of attention, as the rejuvenating effects progress. (In contrast to the more common arc of gradually realizing that one has become invisible as one ages.) This has a lot to do with her ideas about counterchanging polarities of subtle bodies, which our host has described several times.

    As for reversing menopause, it might be of interest that some forms of Taoist practice for women include breast massage designed to “reverse the flow of energy”, and that are said to cause amenorrhea. (This is said to be reversible when the exercises are no longer practiced.) The downward and outward flow of female (menstrual) energy is analogized to the downward and outward flow of male (seminal) energy.

    For older European ideas, it might be worth looking at Hildegard of Bingen, and her idea of “viriditas”, which on one level was the lush springtime greenness of human vitality, male or female.

    In all the well-developed meditative, mystical, magical traditions, eastern as well as western, there is a strong overlap with medical lore, which includes astrological lore. While the surface teachings are heavily shaped by culture (a celibate monk or nun is not living in the same context as an emperor), the principles uncovered below the surface are often quite similar.

    For us, in general, living in the ruins of multiple cultures, sorting this out is like some great work of archaeology, in which we sort through layer after layer of material, finally figuring it out, and then running off proudly to report to someone who looks at us with lifted eyebrows and says, “Didn’t you know that already?”

    But it’s the journey that counts.

    LeGrand

  384. Bocaccio, yes, I’ve been watching it. Things are very definitely in motion.

    Adara, interestingly enough, the trans people I know are mostly very cool about all this. Among the people I know, it’s the activists who aren’t trans who mostly throw the tantrums.

    Andy, I wish I did. The political class across the Western world these days is behaving in increasingly irrational ways, and I’m not sure why.

    Scotlyn, duly noted. I wonder if the Irish left hasn’t got the memo yet, or something.

    Daniil, oh, granted! But I think the neoconservatives aren’t sniffing quite so much glue these days.

    Polecat, well, other than the reference to Lord Hasimir Fenring in the book version of Dune, all that went right over my head. A few competent Fenrings could do a lot of good just now, though.

    Sue, we’re not poor enough yet. Monastic traditions thrive in hard times and falter in wealthy ones. Communities founded by comfortable people don’t thrive, because nobody’s willing to put in the grueling hard work that’s required. (Look up the history of the Brook Farm commune sometime.)

    Bofur, excuse me? Getting out of the way of the bombs and bullets is a normal, reasonable precaution for noncombatants in time of war. In 1939 and 1940 the British sent whole shiploads of noncombatants to Canada, you know. Since I’m past sixty and have no skills relevant to war, the best thing I can do for this country if a civil war breaks out is to get out of Dodge, so that the food, fuel, and medical resources that I might otherwise need will be available to combatants and those who can’t leave. If you see that as “cheek” or “gall,” well, all I can say is you’re welcome to your opinion — and I trust you’ll follow your own advice if Canada goes down that same path, as it might.

    Patricia M, there is no wolf constellation. Leo in the 7th, depending on other planets, can direct its fondness elsewhere — I know people with that placement who love dogs, for example.

    J.L.Mc12, I hope she’s okay.

    Team10tim, delighted to hear this.

    Kenaz, good to hear from you. I’ll be in touch — and yes, I have the best commentariat on the internet, full stop, end of sentence.

    Nemo, as it happens, we’ll be meeting the authors of the Bertie Scrubb books in a later Ariel Moravec novel — one of the movies will be filmed in Adocentyn, which will make for some interesting scenes. I’m quite sure the authors are too smart to crack down on fanfic, since a thriving fanfic scene always drives purchases of the original books, movies, etc. As for “toyetic,” thanks for that — a useful term.

    Johnny, thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, and thanks for this!

    Earthworm, I wrote Encyclopedia of Natural Magic because I didn’t think much of the existing reference works on natural magic; it might be worth a look. St. John’s wort flowers are the most potent but any aboveground parts are usable.

    Ennobled, thanks for this.

    Earthworm, every kind of frankincense I’ve ever tried, including B. thurifera aka serrata, worked just fine.

    Jbucks, these are both good questions which I don’t have the resources to answer. No doubt there are courses of study in logic and critical thinking skills, just as there are no doubt books on being a good non-lenocratic manager, but this archdruid hasn’t made a collection of them…

    LeGrand, thanks for this!

  385. I just finished my kippers this morning. I was glad to find I had my taste for tinned fish in common with Dr. Moravec. I eat them several times a week, often at midmorning, alternating between smoked herring and sardines. The vitamin D is good for my mood, esp. in winter, as are all those Omega-3’s. I thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Hataan, which I finished yesterday. I’m looking forward to getting to know more people in town, and those who’ve just come back to town, further. I haven’t read any Edward Lear in a long time. I will have to remedy that.

  386. Todays New York Times says that China is making a very risky. move by backing Russia. According to the times it will only turn out alright for China if on the off-chance Russia wins. But if the free and democratic world unites to back the Ukraine, then Russia will l lose and China will be on the outs with all the “richest” economies in the world.
    Gee I thing Xi is quaking with fear.
    This was in the same edition where the times reported that the Russians were making 4 times as many artillery shells per day as the west and the unit cost of each was 1/4 of the costs of shells being made in the west. The also admitted that Russia was making many times more drones and tanks per day than the west.
    I guess all that it takes to win the war is for the free democratic countries of the world to unite and then they can beat the Russians with Rainbows and Fairy dust.

  387. jbucks, for being a good manager, look for Up the Organization from the late 60s. I think you might find it still useful and relevant. Anywhere I have worked, complaints from the floor mostly revolved around favoritism and job assignments which have nothing to do with a worker’s actual talents and temperament. Such as having shy introverts greeting the public, for one example. One suggestion, the ordinary, come on time do what they are asked workers are far more useful to you, your department and your company than any number of fast talking showboats, who at first may look like super performers. Mr. or Ms. superperson doesn’t remain long, and the morale problems he or she leaves behind can be catastrophic.

    Good managers are now and will be needed.

  388. About what boccaccio wrote in #383:

    This is very interesting indeed, in a weird way. For a while now, I have picked up on currents which I interpreted as „more and more people are fed up with our Betters“. But this is a whole new level.

    I haven‘t watched the recordings myself, so can only rely on descriptions in media. Based on this, a few observations:

    1. Afaik, these people didn‘t sing „Alle Ausländer raus“ (= all foreigners out of Germany), but „Ausländer raus“ (= foreigners out of Germany).

    There is a fine difference here not just in semantics, but also in legal terms – at least to my laywoman‘s legal understanding: The latter is (judicially approved) covered by freedom of speech as a legitimate opinion.

    2. The isle of Sylt, where the whole thing happened, is very glitterati (hope that‘s the right word, I had to look it up! 😀 ). I remember reading that the club where it happened has a 150 Euro fee, although I can‘t remember if that is the entrance fee or a membership fee, with the entrance on top of it.

    I.e. this was not just a young middle class crowd, but a young very-high-middle to, potentially, upper class crowd.

    The fact that a few of these people started singing that slogan is… interesting, to say the least.

    3. Presuming that this was a genuine occurrence, and not provoked by somebody whose „partner“ had the camera ready just to publish the video, point 2. might explain why establishment media, politics, etc are all freaking out now – even among their own basis, the constant effort to brand everything as „right-wing extremist“ which doesn‘t conform to their worldview would seem to backfire.

    Also, young people in general are supposed to be more supportive towards the climate agenda and other policies du jour – and this phenomenon shows that this isn‘t necessarily the case. (There was also a recent study where 22% of the 14 to 29 year olds would vote for the AFD…)

    4. Given the actual circumstances (party in a semi-private club, just a few people singing this alternative „text“, probably no legal implications, etc etc), the whole thing isn‘t even worth mentioning in the news. I think the establishment badly mis-gambled when they thought they could blow this up as another „push against rightwing extremism“ to make people vote the right parties in the upcoming EU elections, and the three upcoming federal elections in Eastern states in autumn.

    This isn’t exactly new, though… 😉 The interesting thing is that they really seem to have reached a point where there is too much „Druck auf dem Kessel“ (= pressure on/in the kettle). People, especially young people, seem to be picking this chance up in droves, and running with it, sometimes in very creative ways, while the establishment is literally going all out in trying to contain it (well, good luck with that!)

    It‘s actually quite funny to watch… 😉

    5. For what it‘s worth, I don‘t see the whole thing as the beginning of the next big purge or genocide in Germany – it doesn‘t have these vibes at all. On the contrary, it feels defiant, trimphant („Hah! We finally found the thing which will rattle you and which you can‘t suppress, not if we do it in masses!“), freeing, uniting and also somewhat playful. Like pressure being let out of the kettle.

    Where it‘ll lead will, to a large extent, depend on the reaction of the establishment – if they are smart, they‘ll realise their mistake and let the thing drop only to ignore it henceforth.

    6. And finally, for everybody‘s entertainment:

    At a recent „street party“ of (Turkish) fans of the Turkish soccer club Galatasaray Istanbul, apparently some of these Turkish fans also started singing that song and proclaiming „Ausländer raus“

    https://www.schwaebische.de/politik/stuttgart-auslaender-raus-parolen-auf-schlossplatz-bei-galatasaray-2561954

    It‘s a weird world… 😀

    Milkyway

  389. JMG, sorry for the second post, the first one was a bit long already… 😉

    @LeGrand #410,

    I read your MM comment only today, i.e. too late to comment there. I just wanted to thank you for it – there was lots of food for thought in there!

    Would you happen to have any keywords under which I could read up on these Taoist practices? I tried an online search, but didn‘t get very far (loads of adult-only advice, though… 😀 ). I‘d be interested to learn more about the energy flows in this.

    Thanks,

    Milkyway

  390. @Nemo #402 re: “Idea: The couple who write the Bertie Scrubb books take legal action against fanfic writers. Bertie Scrubb fanfic goes underground, passed from hand to hand. Adocentyn becomes a hotbed of samizdat. Wonder if the Heydonian Institution would find that phenomenon at all interesting … hmmm …”

    Star Trek fandom’s fanfic – a gateway to writing their own stories in their own worlds later on, for some – was indeed a hotbed of samizdat. Most of the writers were women, and brought their own take to it, from the shocking (“slash fiction, which had the leading characters in bed with each other in every conceivable combination) to the revolutionary (serious tales based on Federation politics or Vulcan culture as seen through various eyes.” Since the Trekworld was, of course, our own Cold War world in space, this had real-world reverberations. Darkover fandom had the same effect.

  391. Late-in-the-week update: my Mother passed late last evening. She was in a hospital bed set up next to my bed, in my home, with me and my children with her. It was very peaceful. There was nothing left undone or unsaid, and there was so much love surrounding all of us. Thank you all who shared your thoughts/prayers/energy this week.

  392. JMG, and Boccaccio, I have registered the whole “Ausländer raus” affair with astonishment about the obsession of the political class about the affair and with attempts at suppressing similar events. Times are really getting crazier and crazier and there are reasons to worry about the future of Europe because Western countries barely even have a functional political opposition. Something other, which has been going on in Germany, is the affair about the AfD-parliamentary representative Maximilian Krah with the alleged Russian/Chinese spies in his office and the subsequent brouhaha around him.

  393. Hi JMG, re an authentic bacon and onion rolypoly pudding, nowhere really sells it any more as suet puddings take so long to cook and if you’re told someone can put one together in less than three hours then it’s not true, you can’t rush a proper rolypoly pudding. However, when you visit the UK next year, me and earthworm could cause one to come to you. We make a fine rolypoly pudding.

  394. JMG (#382): “London these days is the world capital of money laundering”. Where can I learn more about this? I seem to remember you’ve mentioned the British economy being propped up by US money laundering operations in the past, as well.

  395. @JBucks #408 re: Logic, Critical Thinking, and Non-Lenocratic Management

    1) I found Quine’s The Methods of Logic a pretty solid introduction to classic propositional logic. As a programmer, you might find it less helpful, as you likely know Booleans like the back of your hand. For critical thinking, I’m a fan of Shane Parrish’s work over at the Farnam Street blog (https://fs.blog), much of which has been collected into some rather nice books on the “Classic Mental Models,” volume 1 of which is the most general. For reasoning about uncertainty specifically, Nassim Taleb’s works are good precisely for going against the grain of what “standard” thinking about risk and uncertainty will get you. If you only read one of his books, I recommend Antifragile.

    I have to give this one with a grain of salt, but the LessWrong-derived “Rationalist” community has put a lot of thought into cognitive biases, recognizing them, catching them, and trying to be less susceptible to them, and so forth. Of course, I believe they take things too far in thinking that Bayesian inference can solve all problems, but I think there’s some potentially good stuff to learn from them: https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/sequences

    Several folks who came up in that community came to a similar conclusion, without jumping feet-first into the alternatives found in this community and are now sometimes called “Post-Rationalist” or “The Less Wrong Diaspora,” and several of these folks have some interesting thinking. Dave Chapman might be the most directly relevant, as he’s working on a project for “meta-rationality,” but you can find an overview of his writings here: https://meaningness.com/about-my-sites#meta-rationality

    2) Non-crappy management is harder, because the structures you are operating within almost always push in lenocratic directions, or worse. So, much of what I have to recommend below is about recognizing why corporate jobs usually suck, so that you can hopefully push back a little:

    a) The single best article I think I’ve ever read on “management” makes the point that part of the problem is approaching it as “management” rather than “leadership.” No set of techniques will replace actually knowing the work and caring about the people doing it. Strongly, strongly recommend: https://www.thepsmiths.com/p/review-scaling-people-by-claire-hughes

    b) One of those LessWrong diaspora types I mentioned is Zvi Mowshowitz, and he wrote a great series reviewing a book called Moral Mazes that looks at why corporate structure and incentives push bad behavior and reward bad actors: https://thezvi.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/mazes-sequence-roundup-final-thoughts-and-paths-forward/

    c) Another post-rationalist type, Venkatesh Rao wrote up The Gervais Principle to use the sitcom The Office as an illustration of different kinds of people respond to the incentives stacked against them by corporations. Both this and Moral Mazes are perhaps a bit overly cynical if taken as definitive, but they call out some important dynamics: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

    d) In terms of actual practical advice, the one management book I’ve gotten the most good out of is The Managerial Moment of Truth by Bruce Bodaken and Robert Fritz. It emphasizes that most companies are chock full of lies, mostly little ones (“I’ll have it to you by Tuesday” when you really think you could have it done by Monday), but sometimes big ones. It presents a technique (see above for cautions on techniques) for trying to improve the honesty within your own team, which will lead to better results, hopefully becoming contagious in your organization. Having worked on a team where the leadership embraced this versus more “business as usual” teams, the difference is stark.

    e) If you’ve done any software work in the last decade, you’ve almost certainly encountered “Agile” ways of working, and very likely it’s most popular set of techniques, “Scrum.” This is one of those cases where the underlying idea is good, if it’s actually embraced, but when it gets treated as a set of techniques to be applied out of a playbook, it sucks and is annoying. To my mind, the key for Agile/Scrum to work right is for the team, and especially the product owner, to actually have ownership of the work and the major decisions about it. What sucks is when the team is fed a bunch of hogwash about “taking ownership” and “showing initiative” and blahblahblah, but they don’t get to make any real decisions. Those caveats out of the way, Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum: the Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time covers what you need to run a team following the Scrum method. You can skip right to the appendix if you just want the “how to.”

    I know this Open Post is almost at its end, so if you have any follow up questions, you know how to find me by email me or on Dreamwidth – I’ve got lots of thoughts on this kind of stuff!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  396. JMG
    Re#405 and #407

    Thank you – have just ordered a copy of Encyclopedia of Natural Magic.
    Amulet experimen