Open Post

September 2022 Open Post

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

In other news, I’m delighted to report that another anthology project spawned by this blog is in print, and this one’s a wowser. The Flesh Of Your Future Sticks Between My Teeth: Stories from the Gristle Cli-Fi Parody Contest had its origins a year and a half ago, when Grist Magazine launched a cli-fi (i.e., climate change fiction) contest heavily laced with fashionable pseudoprogressive rhetoric. (The winning story in that contest had humanity saved from a dire fate by learning to use new pronouns. No, I”m not making this up.)  I discussed the Grist contest on this blog here, that led to a conversation and then a contest, and here we are: an anthology of twelve stories making merry mock of the pretensions and posturings of those who’ve turned the realities of climate change into yet another excuse to dance the Wokey Pokey as though that really is what it’s all about.

The Flesh of your Future Sticks Between My Teeth is published by Looseleaf Publishing, the firm behind the fine deindustrial SF magazine New Maps.  Interested? You can order copies here.

With that said, have at it!

495 Comments

  1. So who do you think is responsible for the clearly deliberate sabotage of two Nordstream natural gas pipelines in the North Sea? (I realize that this is kind of like asking, “What color is the sky during the day when it’s not cloudy?” But I think somebody should start whatever discussion there is to have about this.)

  2. Hello dear commentariat,

    I’m looking for a Canadian editor to help me with my book project.

    My book is divided into two parts: the current challenges and crises Canada is facing are covered in Section 1, including overshoot, involuntary degrowth, affordability crisis, and other issues. My main recommendation in Section 2 includes democratising the economy, and each chapter is divided by policy type (foreign affairs, health, energy, etc.). My hope is to influence Canadians to adjust to overshoot and its challenges as Canadians enter the long decline.

    I currently have a book outline prepared, complete with some chapter summaries. The majority of the research materials have been done. I need assistance with line and possibly developmental editing; provide detailed notes and suggestions for improvement, including rephrasing where necessary.

    If my project interests you, feel free to let me know. You can also get in touch with me to learn more: lviger at protonmail.com.

  3. Given that there are ancient traditions of cataclysms, and given that we would know “we” will survive, albeit through bottlenecks of whatever varying proportions, what are the odds that the electric universe and the risk of the sun going nova, prove to be a very real dimension of overall climatic change? This would be ala the Harrington Event. There are dim memories of thunderbolts of the gods, evidence of planetary changes in orbits (the ancients knew Saturn had rings), epicycles of alternating destruction of Fire or Ice, etc., etc. It would be ironic, if there were a basis for this, because it would be Gradual plus Apocalyptic, but really nothing we don’t handle on a regular basis as a species. Thoughts on “the electric Universe” theory of cataclysms, which is kind of the mother of all conspiracies, but in such a way as to negate/obviate worrying about any of the rest of them!

  4. You’ve mentioned in the past that you decided to start studying astrology at middle age. I’m doing so myself, and was curious how you started to wrap your head around this vast field of study, and if you read any books in particular that were especially helpful for the beginning astrologer?

  5. Hi John,

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/09/the-us-is-winning-its-war-on-europes-industries-and-people.html#more

    What’s your take on this. A Zeihenesque piece really on how the de-industrialising of German industry is benefiting the American heartland where energy is cheaper.

    My take on America is a nuanced one. Short to medium term (certainly the next 5 years or so), I think America is a relative winner in terms of the crises rolling the world. Longer term, I think you are right that America is doomed to lose its dollar reserve and with it much of the prestige and wealth that came with it.

    The UK gilt crisis is quite interesting. Apparently the Bank of England intervened otherwise our pensions would have blown up. Just shows how fragile the pension industry is and how easily the whole house of cards will unravel.

    As always, governments and central banks will bailout and monetise whatever needs to be saved, until we face hyperinflation at some point in the future.

  6. Hi everybody,

    Two offers today: Something for everybody, and something just for the Germans… 😉

    ….

    1. For everybody:

    I’d love to improve my divination skills with the Sacred Geometry Oracle and would appreciate your help.

    If any of you folks have any queries and would like to get a divination, please send them to me at

    sacredgeometry@gmx.net

    Note that, besides divination, the Geometry Oracle is also great at shedding light on hidden structures. So if you have a situation in your life where the roles of different persons/things and their relations aren’t clear, the Oracle might be of help.

    I.e. if you send me an email, feel free to include some details or background information besides your question, and I (or rather: the Oracle) might be able to give you some additional clarity. (Needless to say that I will keep all private info to myself!)

    JMG, I hope you don’t mind the Oracle being put to use in this way!

    …..

    2. German Ecosophia potluck

    We’re having a German ecosophia potluck on Saturday, October 15th – and yep, I’m very excited about it! 🙂

    We’re meeting in the German South-West, close to Karlsruhe. If you are interested, get in touch through the email address above (sacredgeometry@gmx.net) or via my dreamwidth account (milkyway1) and I’ll send you more information.

    Also, we are building up a small circle of German/Austrian/close-by ecosophia readers who want to connect with like-minded people.

    We’ve already got folks living in different parts of Germany and Austria, so even if you can’t make it to the potluck, you’re very welcome to send me a note – I’d be happy to get you in touch with the group.

    Milkyway

  7. Dear JMG, would you mind if I make a short comment to offer free Ogham readings by email for the commentariat? I’d only do this on the next few open posts. No worries if not, just trying to sharpen my Ogham divination skills. Thanks either way!

  8. Hello JMG, do you have an opinion of Analytic Idealism (a new expression of idealism specifically tailored to combating materialism)?

  9. Hello,

    As many of you might know, regular commenter Jen Richardson is due to have a baby in a few weeks. I would like to invite you all to celebrate her and her family at an Ecosophia Community Virtual Asynchronous Baby Shower and Blessing.

    Jen has an open post/Guest Book on her dreamwidth where you can leave your good wishes and advice. https://jenrichardson.dreamwidth.org/4192.html

    If anyone wants to send a gift (pre-loved items and books very welcome), I am coordinating that via this post: https://prayergardens.dreamwidth.org/9000.html

    Thank you and best wishes to Jen!

  10. ADJMG, Hope all is well.
    I was wondering about how you write fiction.
    Do you have in mind a story arc when you write, or do you just write and are surprised what comes out?

  11. Bill and I went to the Wyoming (Delaware) Peach festival on Saturday, 6 August 2022.

    We didn’t know what to expect but I saw something I’ve not seen at craft show/peach festivals before.

    It was loaded with local politicians. What was interesting was that NONE of them told you their party affiliation on their signage or T-shirts. My mother actually complained about this.

    Even more interesting was a local (I can’t remember their name) “bring back Federalism, limited government, do things on the local level” group had bought a double vendor space (30 feet by 10) and was collecting signatures. I spoke to a volunteer and he (older white man although the volunteers were a mixed bag) was adamant that things had to change before they fell apart completely.

    Some background: the Wyoming Peach festival is all-volunteer, they host all kinds of activities, vendors range from multi-level distributers like Lula Roe to people like us, peach dessert judging, Marine recruiters (next to us) and so on. They’ve been doing this for years and are a fairly large regional festival. It’s big logistics to run a show of this size, especially since a booth space was $50.

    The crowd was HUGE; several thousand people walked by us. They were highly diverse in all the approved ways except one. I would bet based on what I saw and overheard and who I spoke to as I talked books that they were all middle-class or working class and tended, despite the tats and piercings, to sway conservative and wary of what they were being told to believe.

    This was NOT a PMC crowd. I’ve seen them at other craft shows and they … don’t look, dress, or act the same.

    The Peach Festival surprised us in how many books we sold; more than in Carlisle’s Harvest of the Arts ($130 for a booth) which is infinitely more upscale than Wyoming Delaware AND we were kitty corner from Dickinson Law School which was conducting some sort of morning graduation ceremony! But those people didn’t buy books.

  12. Your comments on last week’s post about pulling money out of stocks and other investments reminded me of your previous recommendation of The Great Crash by Galbraith.

    My sense is that the recent rally in risk assets based on speculation that the Fed will soon pivot and begin cutting rates and doing QE again is the modern equivalent of the rumors of “organized support” for the market during the 1929 meltdown. There was much further to fall at the “organized support” point back then.

    Does this parallel seem appropriate to you, or are you basing your “get out of the market” warnings on something else?

  13. Hi Ecosophia Community,

    I would like to say clearly that I am not looking for medical advice. I am looking for ideas and any experience you all have had leaving the US health insurance system.

    Our family is looking to make the leap away from health insurance. We are happy to go self-pay and have minor medical needs. We typically do run a high deductible employer offer plan simply to backstop for catastrophic and emergency needs. However, it has gotten to the point where high deductible plans are simply too expensive. We anticipate a rate hike of 10-20% on our already unaffordable plan during the next open enrollment. We have looked at our state exchange, and the options there are not affordable either so it looks like it’s time for us to take the leap and do something different.

    We are considering going with one of the christian health sharing ministries which essentially serves as a self-pay model for small things and then emergency/catastrophic coverage. I wonder if anyone here has experience with any of these they can share? In particular, we are thinking of going with Christian Health Ministries.

    Also, if anyone has any other ideas on how to make this transition, we would appreciate it.

    Thank you.

  14. JMG,

    I have been thinking about something that you have been saying since the peak of Covid. That people are no longer willing to do mindless jobs, while being treated badly with inadequate pay. I had thought about that as a warning to employers to clean up their act but now I believe it is something much more significant. Since about 1980 when the US began its transition away from being an industrial economy the nature of jobs changed. Much of what has been created in our economy since then have been companies that are built around cheap, interchangeable, unskilled labor. Chain restaurants, big box stores, amazon style home delivery and much more have been built around the idea that any number of employees could be had at a low cost and quickly trained. I think back to when I was in high school in the 1970’s and there were many fewer of these types of jobs and they were usually done by high school kids. The drugstore counter was manned by the owner, or the hardware store or the pizza parlor. Grocery store checkout clerks were well paid and in a union because they had to be skilled to punch in prices quickly without errors. Gas stations were open limited hours because they were staffed by the owner or relatives. Mowing lawns, picking berries, and selling popcorn at the movies was done by high school kids. This new feature of the economy may speed Walmart, Amazon and Applebees on their way to the dustbin of history long before we would predict that they would be done in by fuel prices. An important thing to think about when choosing a career or trying to invest your money.

  15. Open questions to anyone as well as JMG (Thank you as always).

    I’m particularly interested in how system simplification is going to play out in the coming years due to resource constraints. I’m sure this will be country and region specific depending on what is locally available. Any broad thoughts on what we can expect to see and how this will play out are welcome.

    What specific (non-energy) resources are we running out of in the near term and how will this manifest in affecting existing systems?

    I’m conscious of the possibility that a cascading collapse of local energy infrastructure could create an extremely uncomfortable living situation rather rapidly.

    How much energy does the Water and Sewerage system use? If energy supplies are interrupted then maintaining basic sanitation could prove troublesome.
    Do you anticipate such difficulties in the early future?

    Low-tech renewables, will clearly not run an industrial economy but are surely rather suitable for performing specific functions like pumping water.
    Can these be readily retrofitted to existing systems?

    Any thoughts on the timescales and likelihood of these types of difficulties playing out in this winter by those affected by power cuts?

    This has been a bit babbly but questions pertinent enough.

    Many thanks

    Chris (South Devon UK)

  16. Nordstream 1 and 2 breaks. Given the explosive aspect and the fact it wasn’t just one, it really does seem like intentional action on someone’s part. What’s the evidence we have as to the culprit, and what are the short, mid, and long-term impacts likely to be? How bad is the damage, and is it likely to be fixable and in what timeframe?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/damage-nord-stream-pipelines-unprecedented-may-have-been-sabotaged

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-blew-russian-gas-pipelines-nord-stream-1-2-says-former-polish-defense-minister

    It sure isn’t going to make this winter any easier in Europe. It is looking more and more like Europe is about to have a winter rougher than any they’ve had in over half a century. And they sure don’t seem prepared. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are overturned governments and major civil unrest by spring.

    That’s not even talking about the war in Ukraine, and what happens if it spreads beyond.

  17. I have been enjoying your recent posts on current events. We are going through truly historic times, and as much as I think I understand what is going on I always have trouble visualizing what’s to come. So many of the things this society values will be lost.

  18. John–

    I had an interesting encounter on my lunch break. As I often do, after I finished eating, I walked down the hill from our office to the lakeshore to get in fifteen or so minutes of meditation/reflection. As I sat (under my usual tree), I noticed a grasshopper make its way toward me. It stopped and sat maybe a hands-breadth in front of me and we just looked at each other for a while. Then it climbed up on my trouser leg and we looked at each other for a while longer. After an oddly-extended period of time, it calmly climbed back off (not hopping away, but climbing off) and then moved on to other parts of the grass nearby.

    That there may be potential augury involved here immediately suggested itself. Grasshoppers appear to be tied to intuition and luck, among other things.

    Something else that occurred to me as well: considering the encounter from the grasshopper’s perspective, I wondered if some of our encounters with the beings we call gods aren’t of a similar nature. I’m out doing my thing in my little world and come across this otherworldly object (a trouser leg) which is outside all of my experience. After a brief time, the otherworldly thing goes away and I spend my time trying to understand the meaning of it all. From the god’s standpoint, I was a small creature momentarily perching on his clothes.

  19. Hello. Does anyone know of something published in Britain that has a similar theme to New Maps?
    A second question if I may: I’ve read a few of your books and essays, and listened to Michael Dowd reading a few more and I was wondering whether a more streamlined approach to repeating the same message might be useful? This might be a myth but apparently there is a pub in the west of Scotland where the landlord got tired of hearing the same conversations, so he put up a sign showing each oft-repeated subject (sheep, weather, politics, etc) and their oft-repeated replies (bad, worse, awful) with numbers for each one. This way, valuable drinking time was saved because the locals could could just say “22” and reply “6”, between sips of whiskey.
    Maybe you could just post a message like “refer to post 6” because the fools, liars, charlatans and snake-oil peddlars are chanting the same memes you decisively hit out of the park in the past, and it could save you valuable whiskey-drinking time? Saying that I would miss your ascerbic wit so please don’t read this. Thanks.

  20. Hey JMG,

    What’s your advice for writing a book? For years, I have wanted to write my own “sci/cli-fi” fiction but always found it difficult to actually write. I finally decided to write every day for 20 minutes on whatever topic I wanted, just to make writing a habit. That’s been a great success, but still a far cry from writing a book. So what are your thoughts on how to expand that habit into writing an actual book? When you sit down to write a book, do you make an outline before? Or do you figure it out as you go?

    Also, what good things do you think humans can look forward to as we transition out of the industrial age? There has been heaps of “doomerism” going around on certain corners of the internet lately, and it seems that people fail to consider the silver linings of the future ahead of us. I’m inclined to think they’ll be a lot to live for — perhaps far more than anything we have now in our hamster-wheel society.

    Thanks!

    Jack

  21. JMG and commentariat,

    I’d like to ask opinions about the prospect of entering the electrician’s trade at this time.

    Vaccine mandates are forcing me out of my PMC career and offering an unexpected chance to learn to do something more useful. My goal is to learn a hard skill set that will eventually allow me to provide well for my family again, and that will be helpful to people in the times we’re living through. Ideally I’d eventually position myself to be self-employed, or at least to not rely on a government or big corporation for my living again. I might be too late, but I aim to get at least somewhat better positioned for what’s bearing down on us now, and gain some skills and experience that can give me a chance to adapt as circumstances continue to change.

    Among the trades, electrical work is what appeals most and what I think I have an aptitude for. I’m trying to reconcile that with the fact of a future that sooner or later will have a lot less electricity. I realize it will be a very long while before electricians aren’t needed at all, but energy has already gotten expensive and uncertain and supply chains for parts and materials are breaking down. I’m having trouble getting past the thought that electrical in particular might be an obviously bad bet–a bet on complexity at a time when complex systems are disintegrating faster than we probably even realize. Both practically and spiritually, it’s important for me to be working in accord with the big changes underway in the world.

    All that to say, I’d be happy to hear anyone’s experience or thoughts about what considerations I might want to make as I take steps to get into the electrician’s trade.

    Coincidentally to the essay a few weeks ago, the other practical skill set I’m motivated to learn would be retrofitting for home energy conservation. That seems viable moving forward, and there are lots of old, cheap-oil-era homes in my area. But the pathway to gaining that skill and experience is much less clear to me. I do need an income again in fairly short order. Any thoughts on that are welcome too.

    Thanks.

  22. Hi JMG, I’m reading The Shoggoth Concerto right now and am wondering if you have any recommendations on good primer or intro books on Music Theory?

  23. Congrats, JMG on the new anthology. The title reminds me of something Harlan Ellison would write.

    As someone who used to love SF and our space-faring future, I wonder if there have ever been times in our past when we’ve connected with other civilizations on other planets. Not via space ships, but through telepathy or the astral or mental plane. We talk a lot about how the unseen world is inhabited, but I haven’t seen much conversation about other worlds on the physical plane. When I’m more advanced, I’m going to give scrying a try.

  24. Druidovic,
    when you finish and publish that book, I’d like to read it. I hope everything goes well for you.

  25. I have 6 or so issues of “New Maps” as advertised on the sidebar of this blog. If anybody is interested in reading them, email your mailing address to me @ gmx.us and I will send them to you at no charge. My eeemail preefixxx is “j fisher” without a space.

  26. JMG,

    I’d like to thank you again for publishing the material of the Order of Spiritual Alchemy in your Dreamwidth. I have added a new tool for my alchemical work – I finally ditched my cheap plastic ball points and bought a fountain pen. What a difference. I feel my writing is more deliberate, and am starting to realize a lifetime of poor penmanship may be due to bad habits I picked up using ball points. And needless to say, it is much better for the environment.

    I also found that even before switching to the fountain pen, something about the practice made my handwriting become much more pleasing to the eye, even within a single sitting.

    Have a happy Jewish new year, even though I know you are not Jewish. This work actually goes very well with the coming weeks, which we call the terrible days – we believe God opens the gates of haven right now, and listens to us. It is time to look inside and make an honest assessment of ourselves. I find it interesting that Halloween, which is also celebrated around this time by a seemingly unrelated culture (I mean the celts who invented the original festival), also has a similar theme of a temporary bridging of two worlds. I am curious if you have an occult take on the metaphysics that may be involved?

  27. Dear JMG,

    With Hurricane Ian now sucking the water of the Tampa Bay out to sea and when I last checked 2 mph short of being a full-fledged Category 5 hurricane, I wonder what your thoughts are on the ethics of praying or doing magic in relation to weather and natural disasters, especially ones that are far away from where you live? Personally, I basically always avoid doing so based on an inarticulate feeling of discomfort with the idea, but I wonder what your take is on working spiritually to effect the weather.

  28. I want to call the general attention to a very interesting website I recently found. Its creator is a lady who gives serious thought to questions of life, the universe and everything:

    cosmic-core.org

    She starts with sacred geometry and the Platonic solids and moves on from there to science, mathematics, philosophy, the arts and, as I mentioned, just about everything. It’s a pretty comprehensive philosophical system she’s building.

    Among other things, she questions the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, opting instead for a Dynamic Steady State Universe. The cosmology she favors describes the universe as formed by galactic clusters that are like membranes on the surfaces of intergalactic voids in the shapes of polyhedra. The cosmos is a bubbleverse! I just love it.

  29. Anyone who might be interested to (loosely) locate themselves relative to other ecosophia readers can do so here: https://sites.google.com/site/adara9/jmg-folk/map-with-pins?authuser=0 (I’m still hopeful that I’ll someday discover a neighbor here).

    Also, JMG, this might be something to pass along to your publishing contact who’s looking into the appropriate tech texts. It’s brief, but maybe combinable with something else? In light of our recent conversations on energy and efficient use in home heating and cooking (hayboxes, etc.), here’s a pamphlet on solar dryer design: https://archive.org/details/How_to_Build_a_Solar_Food_Dryer/page/n7/mode/2up
    I also found this Peace Corps publication called Solar and Energy Conserving Food Technologies: A Training Manual – but only a small portion looks useful for regular (non-development) people: https://archive.org/details/ERIC_ED307484/page/n17/mode/2up. Still, I provide it for those who might be interested in its solar dryer (haybox section is too slim)

    I’ve been coming across insulated cookers in the wider world (in niche milieus, but not necessarily where you’d think people were interested in such things).

    Now that I’m a grange member, I’m thinking to gradually/eventually suggest a project to promote weatherization/energy-efficientizing of homes to the organization. I understand, but consider it slightly misguided, the National Grange’s endeavor to get internet to all of rural America, but think a program to improve the efficiency of all members’ homes would be a better thing to do. Anyway, I don’t want to waltz in like I have some grand idea of how and what should be done, but I think I’ll put this forward at some point…

  30. @MaryBennett, #27
    The book you want is Sharpening Made Easy by Steve Bottorff. Short and extremely informative. Goes over sharpening theory, and then an overview of different sharpening equipment and how to apply it to different blades.
    Most of the info can also be found on the author’s website.
    https://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/

  31. Rod, the reference to a deceased person is indeed indicative, but not of what you might think. I doubt any president since LBJ, who made his career on personal contacts and horse trading, has known the IDs of all congresspersons. What it does show is wretched staffing–and one wonders about hiring practices in the WH. Death of important govt. officials, as well as foreign leaders, ought to be included in the president’s morning briefing along with a brief note as to flowers sent, condolence call and by whom that was made etc.

  32. For those of you in the St. Louis, MO area, our group of Ecosophians will get together to discuss anything of interest in any of our gracious host’s books on Saturday, October 22nd starting at 9am. We’ll meet at Living Room Coffee and Kitchen, 2808 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, at an outside table if weather permits, inside if otherwise. We cordially invite you to join us. I’ll put two foam pieces on the table, one a mule, one a piece of coal, so you can identify us. No, I didn’t buy either, but they do come in handy, especially the fake piece of coal, which adds an ironic touch to a gathering like this.

  33. Related to my previous comment, I am considering starting a small business sharpening blades. Other than the obvious kitchen knives, I’m curious what blades people would be willing to pay a pro to sharpen for them. How highly would you value this service? How often would you use it? I’m imagining a pop-up market stall once or twice a week where you can either wait, or drop off to pick up next week. I’d be interested in any tips the commentariat would like to offer on this idea.

  34. 1. For those who like audiobooks there is an audio version The Secret History of America by Manly P. Hall available… (I got mine streaming via access to a collection from my library). This is a collection of Hall’s works on the subject of America, and I have found it singularly uplifting. Some of these I believe were included in The Secret Destiny of America, which I had previously read, but it’s always worth it to revisit any good book, and Hall, perhaps more-so. This collection was edited and put together by Mitch Horowitz who also narrates it to fine effect. Depending on your library system and their “eresources” you may be able to check it out for free. It’s certainly made my hours on the day job more illuminating.

    2. I’m considering purchasing an ebike for my commute. Does anyone have any experience with these? Recommendations? For background, I used to work downtown in the heart of the city where bus access was easy and frequent. In late 2019 they moved my dpt and a few others to a satellite location in the run down industrial district. This is actually closer to where I live. I can walk to work in an hour, and a regular bike takes me about a half an hour or so to get to work. I’m only a casual cyclist though and the way to work is also frequented by a lot of semi-trucks and I don’t really like to ride in the road with them. There is a bike lane some of the way. The rest of the way it is usually so deserted of pedestrians I ride on the sidewalk (hardcore cyclists may sneer… but…) The bus goes to my work location, and I’ll be using it some, but it is not as dependable of a route. It only comes once an hour. If I miss it, I’m late for work or late coming home. I’d probably use the bike a little more for other errands too. Between work and home it is all flat, but Cincinnati is a hilly town if I use it otherwise. Does anyone have any insight? If an ebike can get me there and back again in under thirty minutes, that’s what I’m looking for… (trying to maximize my time in the morning for meditation and such, and in the evening for household chores & writing.) Thanks!

  35. Belated reply to d_mekel on Monday’s thread. A close reading of Melville suggests he had at least a passing knowledge of Cabala. Consider, for instance, “The Gold Dubloon” chapter which I once close read for a college paper. The main mast can be read as the Tree of Life… “The Try Works” also lends itself well to esoteric interpretations, along with many other moments in the text. So. See also the *very curious* chapter, “His Mark”-which unfolds in a number of surprising ways… -Berserker

  36. Mister Nobody,

    I’m surprised that this isn’t all over the news because it is obviously relevant. An underwater drone rigged with explosives was removed from Nord Stream in 2015. The identity of the operators was never revealed.

    https://www.pipeline-journal.net/news/explosive-laden-drone-found-near-nord-stream-pipeline

    And the US navy just finished using drones in an excercise to clear mines in the Baltic Sea off the coast of..

    Wait for it..

    Wait for it..

    Bornholm Island!

    What a remarkable coincidence. If only they had stuck around another week they would have caught the sabotuers red handed.

    An overlay of their activities and the leaks from the pipelines is, let’s say, a little curious.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/09/whodunnit-facts-related-to-the-sabotage-attack-on-the-nord-stream-pipelines.html

    And if some blogger can put this together in 24 hours then the German intelligence people will too. The question is how will they react.

  37. Regarding the electrical trade – many electricians simply follow the codebook without understanding the principles behind it. Those ones will be out of work as new construction slows. But a tinkerer electrician who stretches the limits of what electricity can actually be made to do with limited resources, those will be extremely valuable.

  38. @Svea re:sharpening

    We have a sharpening vendor at our local outdoor market. I’m not sure how well he does financially but he’s been there for over a decade.

    As for what I would want sharpened, I find kitchen knives and mower blades easy enough, but could use professional assistance with pruners/loppers, scissors, chainsaw chains and hand saws, and serrated knives.

  39. Oilman2, you’re welcome. 😉

    Mister N, this reminds me of one of those country house mysteries where literally everyone present, including the butler and the maid, have means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime. Practically everybody but Germany has something to gain from this.

    Celadon, er, you might as well worry about our planet being devoured by a giant space walrus with photon flippers. Of course there were ancient catastrophes of various kinds, which are well explained by known phenomena such as meteor impacts and sudden climate change. Of course the ancients knew that Saturn had rings — there’s quite a bit of evidence that they had simple telescopes with quartz crystal lenses. (Robert Temple’s book The Crystal Sun is a good source for this.) As for the rest, I’ve seen no meaningful evidence that suggests that such a catastrophe is possible, much less likely.

    Joshua, I found Parkers’ Astrology by Derek and Julia Parker a good starting point, and the writings of Alan Leo, Llewellyn George, and Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson very well suited to proceed from there.

    Forecasting, I read that; it’s an interesting speculation, though I’m going to remain agnostic about who actually was responsible, since there are so many potential suspects. As for the US, I think what you’re seeing right now is various frantic attempts to prop up the dollar; it’ll be worth watching how those go, though you may be right that it takes a few years before the bottom falls out. Pensions? Probably toast one way or another, but we’ll see.

    Milkyway, I don’t mind at all. Quite the contrary!

    Jbucks, by all means go ahead and do so; several other people use this venue to offer free readings.

    Dinlo, I’m not familiar with analytic idealism. Can you point me to a couple of good sources?

    PrayerGardens, many thanks for this! Positive energy en route.

    DaShui, I may have to do a post about writing one of these days, since a lot of people have asked questions like this. I usually start with an interesting character in an initial situation, and some sense of where the character is headed, but I don’t plan things out in detail; half the fun is seeing how things unfold as I write.

    Teresa, fascinating. Many thanks for the data points.

    Another Steve, my take is that things are being artificially propped up until after the midterm election and that we may be in for a very sharp downturn in the markets after that. I also expect a housing crash, btw. Galbraith’s book certainly informs my opinion but this is a more complex situation than the one he was talking about.

    Curious, I’ll be interested to see what responses you get.

    David BTL, of course! Notice also that Reich’s insisting that the reason things are going wrong isthat some bad person is doing bad things; it can’t possibly be the inept policies pushed by the Biden regime. (BTW, when I follow that link it downloads an unreadable file. I managed to get there by pruning out everything but the Yahoo link.)

    Clay, that’s an important point. I suspect a lot of big box businesses are on their way out in a hurry, and that’s one of the reasons.

    BE, if you have no previous background, Learning Ritual Magic is a good choice.

    Chris, this is a big enough set of questions for a whole series of posts! The very short form is that it depends utterly on local conditions; some systems use more energy and some use less, some systems can be retrofitted and some can’t, and so on. I doubt you’ll see large-scale infrastructure collapse this winter, but over the next decade or so, I could very easily see things degrading to the point that unless you’re in a town, you may have to provide your own water and take care of your own sewage.

    Rod, a senile president for a senile society…

    Pygmycory, it’s definitely upped the ante. Were you aware that the Russians are also talking about shutting down the last pipeline that supplies central and western Europe, the one that goes through Ukraine?

    Phutatorius, it wasn’t me. I swear it wasn’t me.

    Trustycanteen, you might consider picking up a couple of books on the Great Depression and on what happened to Europe before, during, and after the Second World War. That may help clarify things.

    Degringolade, your second link apparently vanished before it got to me. By all means give it another try, and just leave the link as text.

    David BTL, very possibly so. Druids generally take such things as a vote of confidence from nature, too.

    Your Kittenship, did you try a different browser?

    Benn, ah, but how could I possibly resist the temptation to make fun of the endlessly repeated idiocy of true believers in the official party line? It’s all the more reason to sip whiskey. 😉

    Jack, you’re most of the way there. Kick it up to 30 minutes a day, and make each day’s writing a scene — that is to say, a character or a group of characters dealing with a situation. Don’t worry about where the scene fits in the story, just write it. Get used to producing a scene every day. Then choose a main character that interests you, put the character into a situation that interests you, and start writing scenes that make up a story — you don’t have to write them in order, though sometimes you’ll want to do that. Just keep at it and you’ll be there sooner than you think. As for things to look forward to, hoo boy — that would be a long list. The points that come to my mind are, first, you’ll be able to keep a much larger share of the value of your own labor once you’re no longer forced to help prop up a grotesquely overcomplicated industrial society, and second, you’ll have an easier time thinking your own thoughts without mass media yelling at you from all sides.

    Jonathan, that strikes me as a very smart move. Electricity isn’t going away any time soon — I think it’s quite possible, in fact, that some electrical technologies will remain in place straight through the deindustrial dark ages ahead — and any practical skill will be a good option in the near to middle future. Once you get your feet under you as an electrician, you can pick up energy conservation skills and add that as a second set of services — as an energy professional, you’d be a plausible person to ask about conservation, after all.

    Youngelephant, I’ll pass that on to the more musically inclined members of the commentariat. Anybody?

    Jon, it’s been tried, with very equivocal results, but by all means give it a try if it interests you.

    Four Sided, glad to hear this, and thank you for the good wishes! The seasonal cycles are a reality, and there does seem to be something about the middle of the autumn season that forms certain connections with the spiritual realm.

    Violet, as a Druid I tend to think that Nature knows what she’s doing, and has more important things in mind than the preferences of individual members of one rather egotistical species. Thus my response to weather is always to accept it and deal with it, and I don’t recommend weather magic at all. The appropriate action for mages in western Florida this week was to get to higher ground and wait it out.

    Kevin, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Temporaryreality, thanks for this. I hope you can get some traction for your project with the Grange!

  40. >I’m just wondering when other things that are important economically that run underwater will be attacked by unknown persons.

    I think if there’s one thing to take away from the pipeline sabotage, it’s that the era of free energy trade is over. Basically, everyone is eventually going to have to run on the energy they have domestically. That’s going to be bad for most people but it’s going to be particularly horrific for Europe. Outside of coal deposits, what other forms of concentrated energy does Europe have?

    I’m not sure what you do if you live in Europe right now, getting out is too late, I think.

  41. >All that to say, I’d be happy to hear anyone’s experience or thoughts about what considerations I might want to make as I take steps to get into the electrician’s trade.

    You can start with tinkering with your own home. Get one of those ground detector plugs at your local hardware store and check to see if all your outlets are grounded. One of them isn’t? Fix it. Maybe the power outlets need upgrading or fixing. Maybe there’s a backward light switch that needs rewiring. Maybe there’s some extra shop lights that need wiring in. Maybe your garage needs an extra 220V outlet so you can charge your electric car or power your air compressor. Installing an extra 220 outlet will teach you a lot about how residential electrics work.

    Just be careful around 220V, 110 can hurt you but 220 can kill.

  42. On the stock market, I am of several minds – or rather there are a number of connected issues I haven’t been able to resolve to a clear model of how things work and therefore what to do with my savings.

    1) the stock market is a place for those with excess money to put some of it; the main other legal option seems to be real estate. To the extent wealth gets more concentrated, the rich will put more in the stock market, driving up prices – so price rises above what seem like reasonable levels may reflect inequality, not a bubble per se. The rise in housing prices is consistent with this hypothesis.
    2) notionally, the stock market relates to the growth and return of individual firms, and (in index funds etc) to the growth of the economy. This is often a tenuous link, due to hype, manias, fraud, etc, and the basically fraudulent concept of GDP which counts e.g. rebuilding a burned down building as a net positive
    3) growth (or decline) in the business world does not necessarily correlate to growth or decline in real world wealth (food, shelter, health, leisure, etc.)
    4) inflation makes the yardstick change – if stocks are up 10% and inflation is 20%, then really they are down
    5) cash is more certain to keep its value but inflation eats it away
    6) index funds make a certain amount of sense (low costs and they don’t try to time the market) but have gotten big enough that instead of just tracking the market they shape it
    7) Keynes’ dictum that the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent means that even an intelligent strategy may fail
    8) the stock market is probably less of a scam than crypto, but I still don’t trust that the big fish aren’t rigging at least part of it
    9) there is always, and increasingly, the specter of the loss of the dollar’s reserve currency status

    Assuming one has cash left after addressing resilience (insulation, gardens, etc.) and a rainy day fund, how do you make sense of what to do with your excess fiat currency?

  43. Dear Ecosophians, if you have a question on which you would like to have some insight, I’d be happy to try and answer it with the help of the Ogham. I’ve been doing Ogham readings for myself for a few years now, and I’d like to continue to learn by doing them for other people. I’ll be using the Celtic Cross type of spread to answer your query. No charge, you’re helping me by giving me practice.

    Send me an email with your query at:
    jbucks-ogham-readings AT proton DOT me

    (Thanks JMG!)

  44. For Chris at #18:

    I can offer a partial reply to your questions about water supply, based on limited personal knowledge of a very small local water utility.

    “What specific (non-energy) resources are we running out of in the near term and how will this manifest in affecting existing systems?”

    Chlorine and other treatment chemicals have gone through periods of short supply the past few years. Hydrants, pipe, pumps and other spare parts have also been increasing in price and intermittently unavailable, depending on the type and manufacturer. What this looks like on the ground is that equipment isn’t fixed or replaced as timely as it once was, rates for water and service increase, and chlorine levels fluctuate, sometimes dropping low enough to require “boil advisory” notices. Faulty hydrants are covered, and fire departments need to send extra trucks and hoses to pump water from the nearest working hydrants.

    “How much energy does the Water and Sewerage system use? If energy supplies are interrupted then maintaining basic sanitation could prove troublesome.
    Do you anticipate such difficulties in the early future?”

    Water systems use more electricity than houses, but much less than large industrial plants of the type that are in the news shutting down all over Europe. Large pumps using 2 or 3-phase power are pushing huge volumes of water through long, leaky pipes (some utilities routinely lose 30% to 50% or more of all pumped water to leakage) to all the taps in the city or district. Most facilities around here run on mains electricity with natural gas backup generators to power the pumps and other systems during outages. This became an issue during a recent fire when both power and gas were cut due to shock / fire / explosion risk, and fire fighters were left without water to put the fires out, so more buildings burned and the fire spread.

    “Low-tech renewables, will clearly not run an industrial economy but are surely rather suitable for performing specific functions like pumping water.
    Can these be readily retrofitted to existing systems?”

    I doubt it. Just as we can’t run the kind of energy infrastructure we’re accustomed to on renewable power like wind and PV, we can’t run the kind of water infrastructure we’re accustomed to on wind or other intermittent energy sources for pressurized, chemical treated water on demand on a large scale. Sustainable water systems are likely to look more Roman than American – gravity-fed with some storage, untreated water gathered higher in the watershed if possible (to be cleaner), and boiled or fermented to make it safer to drink. The sprawling network of underground pipes and pumping stations will probably be scavenged for parts and scrap to support much more modest systems at some point, but there’s unlikely to be much plug-and-play replacement.

    “Any thoughts on the timescales and likelihood of these types of difficulties playing out in this winter by those affected by power cuts?”

    I don’t know much about the situation in the UK, but I expect these systems to be prioritized very highly by all involved. While I think the future of the US and its client states looks more like the less-industrialized global South, there’s more fat to trim before we get there with water and sanitation. That said, it never hurts to have a water filter, some bottles, and a bucket with some sawdust sitting in the garage for short-term outages. Those are becoming more frequent and bigger in scale, as recent news has shown here.

  45. @Justin Patrick Moore re: e-bikes. I have one, and doing so allowed me to switch to a car-share and not need a car. It’s not just the increase in potential speed (which isn’t greater than a very light bike), but the decrease in effort if there are hills in the way, especially, and if you are going to be carrying weight. Being able to still wear nice clothes to meetings and just hop on and off the same way you do with a car, or not have to worry about being exhausted by the time you get there, is extremely helpful.

    The downside is that they are heavier, so I find I end up turning on the e-assist more than I would if it was a regular bike and I was on that terrain. Look for AFTER MARKET batteries and systems if you can – though they’ve gotten hard to find, mine is now obsolete, for example, and if it dies I can’t get another like it. The ones with the battery integrated means that when that battery dies, or something in the wiring goes and can’t be fixed (highly likely for most bike shops are not technicians for all models), the entire bike is now junk. If you simply convert a regular bike, you can just convert it back when the battery goes, or electricity stops going to your area, whatever comes first. 😉

    If you can’t find the after market conversion systems anymore, then the second best thing is to find an integrated one sold by a shop that sell the brands that started in asia or africa. I talked to the woman who runs this business once when she was just starting out, and she was focusing on trying to get unusual bikes – cargos, step-throughs, trikes and the cheapest ones. The key is that that meant she got them shipped to her in pieces, and had to learn to put together herself. The ones that get shipped in one piece, the shop might not know how to fix, but with the cheapo’s the dealer had to learn how to build it herself, and so she also can repair them, and definitely has spare parts. They’re also designed for people who use them as primary vehicles, and not just recreationally, like the european and american brands are more likely to focus on with higher end bikes.

  46. To answer Mr Nobody (#2) I vote for the CIA. The Navy has submarines fitted out for just this sort of work, and the reasons are in posting #6, to kill the EU for reasons given by our host, a dying empire will try to extend its life by taking down any potential rival while it still can.

    The Russians have no reason to do it as they can just turn off the compressors and close the valves at their end.

    The wild card is the Poles, a new pipeline from Norway to Poland just opened, so the Norwegians can now ship gas to Poland and the Poles can sell it on where ever their pipelines go.

    https://www.baltic-pipe.eu/energinet-baltic-pipe-can-be-put-into-full-operation-one-month-ahead-of-planned/

  47. Did you see that the Oswald Spengler society is doing? Their conference topic for 2022 is: “Myth, Fate and Duty. Oswald Spengler and Jordan Peterson as Moral Philosophers.” And… they are awarding the “Oswald Spengler Prize” to Prof. Dr. Jordan Peterson. Because of a friend’s interest, I’ve been dragged to a couple of his talks, and read 12 rules, so I am familiar with him, but I’m not sure I would have ever used Spengler and Peterson is the same sentence. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also the Peterson I’ve been exposed to did not seem to be that remarkable. Can anyone explain the great attraction some people have for him while other people seem really riled up?

  48. @ Druidovik #3

    Developmental editors (which if you know what you’re writing and where you’re going you may not need) normally help fiction writers construct a coherent plot that uses the genre tropes appropriately. After the developmental editor is done with you (GET REFERENCES AND DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING THEY SAY AS GOSPEL), you’ll rewrite your manuscript as needed.

    Line editors (or copy editors) need a finished manuscript. Their purpose is ensure you’re grammatically correct.

    Proofreaders don’t really exist anymore. Their function was to ensure the printed book matched the galley, the last chance to make corrections but only of the most minor sort.

    First Reader is traditionally Writer’s longsuffering spouse but it doesn’t have to be. First Reader reads your finished manuscript — before you spend precious $$ on a developmental editor — and notes egregious errors and plot holes. First Reader is free.

    Beta Readers are an outgrowth of indie writing. They are readers in your genre who agree to read your manuscript (before or after developmental editor if you use one) and note anything connected to ABCD. They look for: is it Awesome, is it Boring, is it Confusing, is it Dumb. A good beta reader will notice plot holes and continuity errors. A bad beta reader will not understand your genre tropes, dislike everything you write OR adore everything you write which won’t help you improve. Beta readers are normally free but I reward mine with a copy of the book, some swag, and their name in the acknowledgements. A beta reader is not a developmental editor although if you have several who are good, you won’t need one. Beta readers are like real readers and will forgive things a developmental editor never would because the story zips along and that’s all they care about.

    Before you pay anyone to do any kind of edits, do as much of the work yourself as possible. Don’t pay an editor to run spellcheck or grammarcheck. You can do that yourself.

    Book packagers (AKA book doulas or book midwives) will charge you to do work you can do yourself. If you’re capable of writing, you’re capable of doing the first pass at self-editing.

    What all these outside eyes do is find mistakes you can’t see anymore because you’re too close to the manuscript.

  49. I have a bit of a fun question for JMG or the rest of the forum to lighten the mood a bit. I’ve recently been delving into the works of Iamblichus and he wrote a considerable amount but most of it didn’t survive to the modern era which is a shame.

    So my question is this: which book or set of writings that’s known to have existed but has been lost to time would you most like to see discovered in a cave or hidden compartment in a monastery somewhere?

  50. @ curious commenter #14

    I don’t know about those plans but you should be doing as much as you can, with the full cooperation of your family, to stay healthy.

    It’s all the usual things. Eat right, exercise every day, don’t smoke, don’t drink or use drugs, don’t indulge in high-risk activities, be part of a strong family and community, maintain a healthy weight for your height, sleep enough, and take care of your teeth (rinse, floss, rinse, brush after EVERY meal and before you go to bed).

    Supposedly as much as half of health issues are lifestyle related. Fix your lifestyle and you make many health issues go away. No health issues and you won’t need as much medical care.

    This won’t save you from getting hit by a truck or having one of your kids fall out of a tree but every little bit helps.

  51. A Plan for Collapse

    Aikido is one of the slightly spookier martial arts to look at, not least because during practice people hit the ground at high speed and somehow effortlessly stand up again. Forward or backward doesn’t seem to matter. Rolling out of throws is one of the first things to be learned and the techniques are practiced at every session. It’s a useful metaphor for collapse, individuals and small groups have a good chance of managing the transition comfortably – but only with a lot of practice. Collapsing early today to avoid the rush implies lots of planning and practice yesterday.

    I’ve been practicing collapse on a practical basis for three growing seasons now so I’m a novice. I’m following in the footsteps of some masters though so I hope that by the time I really have to do it, I’ll be able to survive the transition. I’m not so naive as to think I will be comfortable either but I hope to have something like a normal lifespan under increasingly difficult circumstances. That’s going to need some forethought.

    My practice is divided into three areas: shelter, energy, and food. I’m nowhere near finished in any of these but there has been progress compared with my starting point. Also, I’ve had a great deal of luck. So far in any case.

    I got a mortgage and bought a small post-war house a few miles from the south coast of the UK in a region bordering a slightly depressed seaside town. To my north are chalk downs mostly given over to grassland with grazing cows and sheep although there is some surprisingly good agricultural land in the valleys. To the south, the town and then the sea. The house came with some extremely overgrown land that now supports the beginnings of a vegetable garden. Inevitably there’s a debt, backed by an asset. Like many people in my position inflation is not entirely a bad thing since it reduces the value of the repayment and the interest rates are fixed for a few years into the future.

    As far as energy goes, the house is heated entirely conventionally with gas and electricity. It was built in an era when fireplaces were not in vogue and although I’ve done my best to get a masonry or multifuel stove in place I have not yet succeeded. New regulations were bought in that makes them much more expensive to install and run and in any case finding an accredited installer at the moment is like finding a diamond lying on the pavement. As a substitute I’ve got some kerosene stoves along with the necessary kerosene for short term emergencies (powercuts in winter). I’ve also got some cheap hurricane lamps that are fired from the same fuel source. Plans for some castor bean plants and a hand cranked oil extraction tool went nowhere this year but there’s always next year and in any case I’m on the track of a lighting system that can be run off of ordinary vegetable oil – there may be some heating possibilities there too. Castor oil would become far more significant under those circumstances. I’ve sadly concluded that conventional solar is simply not going to pay back the investment and the startlingly clever DC system that Motts (occasional commentator here) invented is going to need more battery power than I can easily make or supply. So that’s on the back burner at the moment.

    The food situation is perhaps the most interesting because now that I’ve come to pay attention to it I’ve realised that given that there are times of the year when food is abundant – I can solve a lot of the year round problem if I could actually preserve food effectively without a constant energy input. So fridges and freezers are off the menu. Home canning is not really a thing here and the equipment is hard to source but I’ve had some success with hot and cold smoking, dehydration techniques, and home fermented pickled fruit and vegetables. It’s taken me several more years to stumble on the blindingly obvious point that milk can be preserved in the long term by turning it into cheese, and grain by turning it into beer. At the moment my maturing cheese is kept in a wine fridge. It needs to be stored at about 12 degrees, the standard temperature of a hole in the ground so at some point there may be a “cheese cave”, even though it is simply a hole in the ground. I give a lot of this away as you always seem to get more cheese than you need.

    The big food project at the moment is learning to sea fish off a small boat. I’ve noticed that fishing from the shore is simply inefficient and the shore fishers regularly come away with nothing. Boats go to where the fish are lurking and even novices like myself can manage a few mackerel at a pinch. You generally have to eat it fresh but cod in particular can be wind dried and preserved. The sea in this area is really overfished by large commercial trawlers but as the energy crisis deepens they are going to find it uneconomic and the chances are good that the fisheries will revive as we move into the 21st century.

    As far as war or invasion is concerned, there’s nothing I can do about any of it so beyond planning a retreat into the north, and developing skills that work in less temperate climates (like inshore fishing) I’m ignoring it. As far as developing skills are concerned I’m going to give a major shoutout to the absolutely incredible educational resource that is YouTube. Tutorials on growing and preserving veg, making cheese, sea fishing, and I think virtually every other skill useful or otherwise can be found there. The other point is that the ideas I’ve gone over here are pretty much constrained by my environment that can provide me with a garden, abundant milk, and the sea. Your mileage may vary.

  52. WRT Nordstream Pipeline break: sabotage by a malicious party is very likely; take your pick of the possible suspects. However, an alternative explanation may be put forward if there is need to cover the tracks of the culprit.

    Putting my Quaternary geologist hat back on, it was part of my bag of tricks in a 40 year career as a geologist, the Baltic Sea region is still undergoing glacial rebound and this can lead to minor earthquakes. These earthquakes can trigger debris flows, essentially underwater avalanches that are known to cause damage to things that we lay on the seafloor such as communication cables and possibly pipelines.

    The pipeline breaks occured downslope of Bornholm Island and seismic events were recorded in Sweden and Denmark. The current interpretation of the seismic events is that they were explosions. If someone re-interprets the data as earthquakes followed by debris flows and if some expert is brought forward to interpret subsea photos as evidence of turbidite deposits around the location of the pipeline bread, be suspicious. I am not saying that a natural explanation is impossible, just that it could be very convenient.

  53. I think everything you need to know about the Nordstream pipeline sabotage can be summed with a comment made by someone in the blogosphere yesterday ( I can’t remember who).” The US has become the Tonya Harding of Geopolitics.”

  54. Just a thanks to you, John, for all you’ve written, and the work you do to see and re-syntesize things. I recently discovered your writings here (and subsequently in several of your books).

    Akin to your description of how ‘nobohy converts to druidry,’ I’ve found so much resonance with what you say that it’s quite reassuring, especially those things where you (years ago) diagnosed and named things I’d only dimly perceived, or couldn’t fully get arms around.

    So, a genuine thank you from a new reader.

  55. Regarding those western nations looking to increase their armed forces, I recommend this substack article by Aurelian – https://aurelien2022.substack.com/p/everything-old-in-war-is-new-again – which looks at what it would take to do so and also looks at historical examples of attempts to do so. The conclusion:

    “Which is to say that, even under conditions of national emergency [the lead-up to WWII], at far lower levels of technology and with an industrial base infinitely stronger than that of today, European countries still took the better part of a decade to rebuild a decent military capability. To imagine that we can rapidly rebuild western military capability today just by throwing money at it is a complete delusion.”

  56. Mr. Greer, I have a question for you this week: what are your thoughts on out-of-body and near-death experiences? I’ve recently become intrigued by them after reading a book that had a chapter dedicated to them. I was raised a scientific rationalist, so I initially had a hard time taking the concept seriously, but after looking through a few accounts of them — most notably, an OBE that had a clumsy “debunking” attempt attached based off of incomplete data — I’m finding it harder to keep up my disbelief. I’d be interested to hear what you, or any other Ecosophians, think of the phenomenon.

    trustycanteen (comment #22), you might be interested in one of Greer’s older Archdruid Report posts on technological triage. I remember that he touched on how much of our current knowledge is at risk of being lost, and some techniques used by civilizations in the past to preserve the things they valued.

  57. I don’t think it would be Russia that blew up Nordstream – they have the means and opportunity but not the motive. Nordstream is their main bargaining chip with Europe and there will be immense pressure on European governments by European peoples to ease the sanctions and get the gas flowing again. If Putin wants to shut off the gas for the foreseeable future he can just shut a few valves and no gas will flow.

    Why would he blow up his main source of leverage over Europe?

    I think it was someone not reliant on Nordstream who wanted to ensure that there would be no means to supply gas via Nordstream for a while so European governments would have no motive to ease sanctions on Russia. The obvious culprits in this case would be Ukraine or America. Does anyone have any idea where the USS Jimmy Carter is presently?

  58. John, et alia–

    OK, so fair warning, volatile topic ahead, but I feel the need to express an opinion:

    https://news.yahoo.com/judge-indiana-cant-enforce-abortion-160645760.html

    I have a *real* hard time with this ruling (and with the suit, for that matter). To be clear, as a rather staunch civil libertarian, I fully support limited abortion rights. A woman does not and should not lose control of her body at the moment of fertilization. On the other hand, I witnessed my daughter’s birth nearly a quarter-century ago and that event stands as one of the most transformative moments of my life: no power in this cosmos (or any other) will ever convince me that she was a non-person in the hours, days, and weeks leading up to her birth.

    My personal view is that there should be an early window (say 12-15 weeks) where elective abortion is permitted, followed by a second window (say 6-12 weeks) where a higher bar of medical necessity is required, followed by a final window of equal duration to the first (12-15 weeks) where the fetus is granted full personhood.

    I see no inherent conflict between allowing a woman the right to elective abortion on the one hand and requiring the remains to be treated with some basic human dignity on the other. This ruling, which is based on the principle of religious freedom to treat aborted remains as nonhuman, is highly problematic. Can I say that my religion permits me to consider you a nonperson and that my religious practice (really, non-practice, in this case) trumps your right to basic respect?

    Apologies for any conflagrations this comment may cause in this week’s thread. I implore everyone to remember the house rules of civility.

  59. Hi John Michael,
    you have mentioned Rudolf Steiner several times in your posts but I do not recall you ever doing a complete piece on him. So I am wondering what you see as his strengths and what as his weaknesses.

    Having worked in an anthroposophic home for handicapped children for a while in my younger years I developed a dislike for some of his followers without ever really engaging with his ideas. Your spider quote got me interested and I have started to look into some of his writings. I got pointed towards his talk “How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome?” where he talks about the necessity of developing the consciousness soul which requires getting rid of dogmas and developing one’s individual religious thought. This sounds right to me but that was not what I got from his followers.

    Would you perhaps in some future post elaborate on Steiner’s strengths and weaknesses? Or for now just point out some of his writings that represent his strengths?

  60. The techno-future is dead, long live the future!

    Every constituent in federal Green MP Elizabeth May got her newsletter this week that discusses the cost of living issues. Her proposed solution?

    “We need to go back to something like the lifestyles of the 1960s and 1970s. It is not going back to the Stone Age. It a very high quality of life compared to any generation from the dawn of civilization to that point. But we need to reduce the size of personal family homes, reduce the expectation for luxury vacations and personal jets and yachts.”

    Note: Her riding has the airport , several yacht manufacturers, large yacht marinas and the place where the royals stay when they come to BC.

    Lovelock”s “sustainable retreat” is mentioned.

    She still eventually uses the phrase “renewable energy security” but it feels half-hearted, considering she also discusses at length this article from The Tyee, an NDP soapbox widely read by the Left Coast urbanite: https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2022/06/02/What-People-Do-Not-Get-Inflation-Spike/
    (I regret to say that while the author does say “the system is eating itself” he does not reference a certain author).
    The second part he also departs from the usual solution and states that renewable energy will not work.

    I particularly liked his terms “eco-savant” (derisive) and “the poverty of two narratives” (he proposes a third way…)

    He also references Bruno Bettelheim’s book The Informed Heart: A Study of the Psychological Consequences of Living Under Extreme Fear and Terror ; a Bruno we probably should talk about.

  61. A few people here in the last open post had questions on best practices for heating in the winter in the face of energy constraints. I have built rocket stoves and can attest to their ease of construction from widely available scavenged material, and ease of use.

    Rocket stoves can be used in urban areas. 1) They are almost smokefree due to the burn efficiency. 2) They require small fuel size eliminating chainsaws and the need for log transport, and the fire can be maintained by children and elderly 3) they dont require a conspicuous smokestack or chimney and the fire can be extinguished very quickly.

  62. #30 jack my youngest daughter is almost journeyman level red seal electrician. Commercial work and is looking at HVAC controls as she loves complex trouble shooting. I advanced funds for the 2 1\2 months first year and she makes enough since then to cover all training costs. The college has offered her a teaching position when she’s older as a option.
    John – discovered a excellent meditation memory assist by sketching each tarot card in a dedicated journal along with keywords suggestions in several “little white books”. This whole daily discipline of seeing scenes that I then sketch is changing me. Spend an hour concentrated focus pen and pencil capturing a landscape/seascape or a sleeping golden retriever. Washing my mind clean of all the anger of the last 2 1\2 years as a unfoxed canuk.

  63. Not sure if you saw, but the USA, Poland, Estonia, Romania, and Bulgaria urge their citizen to leave Russia asap. Also, ASB Miliarty news on telegram is reporting that the pipelines were made of steel reinforced concrete and able to withstand the impact from an aircraft carrier anchor. They would have had to been taken out with an underwater drone and only the UsA, Russia or China have such drones. If a drone was used, they’ll be fragments of the drone on the sea floor. Also that US Navy warships and submarines were active in those exact areas.a few days ago.russia announces the results from the referendum on Oct. 2nd.
    Buckle up, things may get more interesting after

  64. Curious @ 14

    I cannot speak for these in general, but in my area, from which I have direct experience. The most prevalent health sharing program in my area paid doctors so poorly, that few would participate (meaning, accept the very low and late payments offered as full payment). For MD visits, you may do as well by calling ahead, and asking if they would consider a discount for cash payment at the time. This tends to work better with small or moderate sized practices. In addition, when there, ask about less expensive options, and ask how it was treated before super-expensive-treatment-A became the norm. And how the risk and expected outcome differs. By calling ahead, you may be able to avoid the private equity owned practices which are more likely to take you to the cleaners. Of course, eating well and moderate exercise make sense too.

    I have a savvy friend who uses one for his family. He found that some hospital chains accept it, so it gives real protection from more catastrophic expenses. Also, when checking into a center, read the fine print and strike out offensive phrasing. Should they balk, ask what kind of payment they want that day – as most of the worst practices are for long delayed payments, many of which are sent to creditors or come from private equity folks who may lack any scruples at all.

  65. >I’m just wondering when other things that are important economically that run underwater will be attacked by unknown persons.

    For several countries international internet access is via undersea cable …

  66. Avea @ 42, I would love to have my garden tools professionally sharpened. If you could add winter conditioning, as in oil the blades and handles, tighten fastenings, etc., all the better. Charles Hugh Smith, oftwominds.com blogger, made exactly that point in a post a while back. As a carpenter, he needs sharp tools, and sure he could do it himself, but he would rather have a professional do it for him. Maybe you could get contracts with institutional or cafe kitchens eventually.

  67. Isaac, use it to get training in useful skills. That’s far more valuable than any other investment can be.

    Degringolade, thanks for this.

    Bradley, hmm! That seems like an unlikely comparison to me, too, but if it gets Peterson fans to read Spengler I’m all for it.

    D.H., what I want above all else are Books II and III of The Refutation of All Heresies by Hippolytus, which gave the complete text of the Eleusinian mysteries and the mysteries of Cybele. The rest of Hippolytus’ work survives but not those two sections. If you happen to have a chance to talk to whatever spirit governs the rediscovery of old texts, ask for those and I’ll be happy!

    Andy, this seems quite sensible. I’m surprised, though, that you can’t find canning equipment — Kilner’s a British firm, and they sell canning jars and equipment via the internet at https://www.kilnerjar.co.uk/

    Raymond, interesting. Well, we’ll see.

    Ash, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Kerry, thanks for this.

    Ethan, out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences are quite real; I recommend reading up on both of them. If you’re interested, there are books on how to have an out-of-body experience — here as so often, nothing beats personal experience if you want to find out if something is real. Of course both these demonstrate very clearly that the soul is a reality and materialism is hopelessly incomplete, but that’s why pseudoskeptics insist they can’t happen…

    Sam, Russia’s very clearly decided that it’s a waste of time bargaining any further with the NATO powers, thus the plebiscites, the mobilization, and the announcement from Russia that they’ll be shutting off gas flows via Ukraine. Blowing up the pipes and then insisting that someone else did it would be a typical Putin move — notice how often he clings to any available scrap of legality. Mind you, that doesn’t prove the Russians did it — again, lots of other countries had means, motive, and opportunity — but it seems naive to me to exclude Russia from the list of potential suspects.

    David BTL, so noted.

    Uwe, I’ll definitely consider that. I’m sorry to say that Steiner is very poorly served by his current followers, many of whom are dogmatists swept up in a fundamentalist cult of personality. Despite his flaws, Steiner deserved better than that.

    Pixelated, as my grandmother used to say, great heavenly days! I’m astounded to find anyone in politics, especially a Green Party official, recommending something that sensible.

    Longsword, that strikes me as a very good way to build on the work.

    Karl, an underwater drone? No, anybody with depth charges or torpedoes could have done it. It’s not that difficult to drop an explosive charge close enough to a pipeline to blow it up.

  68. Re: e-bikes

    Bottom bracket drives (motor turns the pedal crank) are much nicer to ride as you can change gears to make use of maximum motor power. They really burn through chains and chainrings though especially in gritty conditions. If you can get one with heavier duty drive components that is the way to go.

    Hub drives are more common but I don’t like them. They don’t have much power on steep hills and they max out at a slower top speed than I would prefer. Front hub drives are especially bothersome as there is not as much weight on the front wheel and they spin out easily especially on steep hills.

  69. @ Svea: seamstresses, hairdressers and quilters require very, very sharp scissors. We also get attached to good tools, so if you get skilled at oiling and sharpening scissors you may be able to develop a loyal clientele. Carpenters also require sharp saws.

  70. Wer here
    Things are going insane here in Poland. Last Friday there was an official announcement that blackouts and brownouts are being planned.
    https://energia.rp.pl/elektroenergetyka/art37108481-ogloszono-stan-zagrozenia-w-systemie-energetycznym-brakuje-mocy
    Power plants in Poland are shutting down recently, coal is going missing and everything is getting in short supply, recently there was an outrage regarding Baltic Pipe pipeline. People were hyping up this as a solution for the energy crisis and some things came up, the polish goverment did not place an order for the gas supply and we have shortages in some places already. Baltic Pipe is nowhere near capacity of Nord Stream and Norway’s gas is much more expensive than Russian gas and Poland will have to compete for whatever it has with 4 other nations, so we don’t have energy security at all. This is the truth I am not a fan of POlish “konfederacja ” party but they hit the nail on this one
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIm5gkOZtvA
    German “buisnessmen” had been stea… sorry taking Polish firewood and leaving nothing here.
    https://superbiz.se.pl/wiadomosci/niemcy-wykupuja-polskie-drewno-podbijaja-jego-cene-a-polacy-stoja-w-kolejkach-o-pozwolenie-na-zbieranie-chrustu-aa-KCG7-vEug-wLF1.html
    But the madness came together to an epicenter today Polish former defense minister and NATO blowhard (Radosław Sikorski) spoke on twitter and said “thank you USA” regarding Nord stream explosions.
    God allmighty what a mess. We are not energy independent at all West Europe has been doing everything to make our existence miserable people are hitting the bottles now in Poland.
    I want to make a statement to JMg and the comentariat here. The Poland you might see in the MSM in your country is an adverb I does not reflect reality especially here in rural Poland for years we had been under attack from the larger pro EU cities in Poland and had their costs and problems landed on us and people are furious. Auntie Ursula is busy now doing everything in her power to destroy the recently elected Italian Prime Minister, Scholz in Germay is making teritory demands from Poland…. “The next Europan War” post comes to mind.
    https://www.rp.pl/polityka/art37006161-scholz-o-reparacjach-kwestia-ta-zostala-ostatecznie-rozstrzygnieta
    Russia is mobilizing right now like crazy and building up defenses and Ukraine is trying desperately to acquire one city in Donbass but the Russians there are not running away, reinforcements are coming and Putin is about to officialy anex the teritory and probably declare that Ukrainians are occuping that land… and we gave up our weapons and electricity just went down in another day in a row in my town.
    I really need that calming tea right now.
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  71. I can’t believe that as little ago as 2016 or so, I was complaining that “nothing ever happens” in the world.

    @JMG:

    “does seem to be something about the middle of the autumn season that forms certain connections with the spiritual realm.”

    Yeahhhhh thanks for saying this, I’ve had this discussion on other sites before, mostly Christian ones, which is why i bring it up here, interested in other perspectives, it’s my very favourite time of year for this reason – the veil between the worlds is thinnest at this time of year. But I don’t really know why that is so.

    In fact, I don’t mind saying that although it’s my favourite season, it seems that every year I look forward to it with expectation, and then I’m too busy to properly enjoy whatever spiritual aspects we are meant to enjoy about it.

    I echo Four Sided’s question and would be interested to hear anyone’s take on why this is a spiritual time of year and how to properly appreciate it.

  72. For writing, If you want a good story, start with a good story. That isn’t everybody’s type of writing, but it works for me. If someone was telling you a story, what kind of story would you be most spellbound to hear?

    Electrician, sure you can do well by it. You can also be brutalized hard. Especially for the weather. By bosses with too few (good) employees and too little oversight. Everyone hates residential with a passion. Money is in the biggest sites you can find, industrial, union, etc. But that may mean there’s a strong arbitrage in residential as everyone dumps off their (small) jobs to you. Don’t worry about change, nobody’s going to stop using electric ever. Pump water by hand and take it upstairs to the bathtub by lantern without setting the house on fire and you’ll find out why. Even if you had only two wires and they were both 6 volts, you’d use them.

    You need strong boundaries, good planning, and great organizational skills. You’ll live in your truck, so take that as a caution. If it’s not for you, maybe there are jobs nearby, like electric retrofit of mid-era appliances. 1949 Frigidaires, 1969 Maytags.

    Svea, I met scissor sharpeners in the fabric store. But the more common is for saw blades, planer blades and other woodworking. These are in categories (for instance hand saw vs carbide 80-teeth 12” circular saws) and are ideal in needing a VERY nice, strong, stiff equipment but makes your life easy and you only buy once. Local hardware stores collect the tools from owners, you pick up and return in moderate turnaround.

    Any bike can be electrified with a kit, consider a bike that also folds like the Montague. That can be more useful. Although may be torque for hub motors, a 700c rim with large tire is far superior for nice easy roll. Somehow the batteries will be dead and you want to pedal without issue. You can do whole internal gears, commuter style guards, etc, but I’ve never gotten any value out of disk brakes.

  73. @Bradley #57 re: What’s the appeal of Jordan Peterson?

    In the past I have found Peterson very helpful, and I continue to find him sometimes helpful, but I’ve cooled a bit on him more recently.

    *What’s the appeal?*
    I think the biggest reason he appeals to a lot of people is that he offers something very much like spiritual teaching and discipline in a package that is acceptable from a materialist viewpoint. For me personally, he also was an excellent gateway into better understanding Jung, Nietzsche, and a handful of other thinkers, and his explanations of what the “there” there is in classic literature got me to finally enjoy a lot of stuff I wrote off in the past, like Dostoevsky. Likewise, speaking personally, as I have gotten deeper into more explicitly spiritual studies and practices, I’ve found much of his stuff less helpful or interesting.

    *Why he’s somewhat opaque to new folks*
    I think the most frequent reason folks who try to dip their toes in go “huh, what’s the big deal here?” and/or “what the hell is he talking about?” is that he talks about a lot of wide-ranging stuff that he sees as linked and references back to other stuff. If you listen to enough of his podcasts/talks, for each major “chunk” of his argument, he explains it in great detail from the ground up somewhere, at least once. The rest of the time, though, he just references it and assumes you know how it fits in with the thing he’s talking about this time. This makes a great many of his lectures/podcasts confusing and/or non-obvious without diving in pretty deep. For what it’s worth, I think “Maps of Meaning” is a much harder read than “12 Rules for Life”, but also does a better job of explaining what underlies a lot of his thinking in his talks and books. I haven’t read “12 More Rules” yet, so I can’t comment.

    *Why He Pisses Folks Off So Much*
    This one strikes me as much simpler: he’s extremely anti-SJW/Woke/Radical Left/Identity Politics/etc, and he expresses it in a confident, irascible way. I think this is made even worse by the fact that he sometimes sounds/gets a bit preachy. Folks more sympathetic to social justice/diversity/equity/inclusion/progressivism/etc see him as a mean, close-minded old man who picks weird hills to die on over obscure ideals rather than just having some compassion for marginalized folks. Most people who form that impression of him either don’t engage with his material enough to realize that most of it’s pretty tame (“take some responsibility and try to do what you think is right, even if it’s hard”), or else see that and go “what does the straightforward self-help advice have to do with hot-button political issues?”

    *Peterson and Spengler*
    Lastly, yeah, wow, I would not have exactly linked Peterson and Spengler, especially since parts of Peterson’s arguments *do* rest on the continuity of Egypt/Sumeria –> Classical World –> Western Europe. That being said, I think both have a keen appreciation for the cultural/artistic/literary/spiritual factors contributing to big trends in history, and Peterson’s approach to mythology could pretty well be described as “morphological”, so it’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Sorry for getting a bit wordy there, but happy to expand on anything if it’s helpful.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  74. @#42 Svea — I have several pairs of “dressmaker shears” scissors. Solid metal and made for cutting fabric, rather pricy new at around $45. The company that makes them offers a sharpening service — mail to them and they clean up & sharpen. Round trip could take a month, and shipping & tuneup might run $20-25, half the price of a new one. I used them for shearing sheep, lol.

    Personally, I’d be thrilled to find someone local who could do the job. They would get all my knives, too.

  75. curious commenter (no. 14) “We are considering going with one of the christian health sharing ministries which essentially serves as a self-pay model for small things and then emergency/catastrophic coverage. I wonder if anyone here has experience with any of these they can share?”

    The entire insurance industry has experience with this. A century ago, churches and fraternal orders were known for doing this sort of thing, but the system was highly irregular and not on a sound actuarial basis. The “free rider” problem (more people trying to get help than willing to give help) was impossible to avoid. New fraternal orders popped up just to sell insurance, which turned out to be insufficiently funded. This is why the insurance industry is regulated today.

    (This type of arrangement can work for cohesive, multigenerational religious groups like the Amish, but not for affinity groups that take anybody who clicks “yes” on their statement of faith.)

    John Oliver did a send-up of “health-care sharing ministries” which you should watch, if only to see if your group was featured on it:

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

  76. So I have a Magic Monday kind of question, but hoping that asking it here will let the people who know the most about the subject have a chance to see it and weigh in.

    For a while now I’ve been looking for a deity I could have some sort of working relationship with, putting out feelers to see who might tolerate hearing from me. To my surprise, I have ended up with Ganesha. He may have reached out to me in a dream, or I may have had a very weird brain fart but my reaction to it won his attention. I’ve never had anything happen quite like it, the cascading synchronicities around his name or elephant images; three times I requested specific omens to appear in a particular time or place and got just what I asked for. I gave in not long ago and bought a small statue, and am starting to figure out what regular practice should look like. I’ve also since had contact with two other Hindu gods, one I reached out to myself and one a spontaneous event.

    At the same time, I’m trying to pick myself up from a massive face plant and hiatus and get occult training off the ground. I started doing the SoP again, divination says doing it god free will be harder than I need right now, so I was going to go with a pantheon I don’t have a strong connection with but they’re familiar, have worked before. But then I start wondering if I can’t work with the relationship I’m developing instead (which would be my preference). Not the Hindu guardians of the directions SoP arrangement from the WGS (that got a negative outcome), but one I came up with myself sitting in meditation, divination on that says it’s just as workable as the option I was going to go with and has a good long term outcome.

    My partner did a reading for me as well on this and got about the same result. She went a little further on it, says they are willing to work with the Revival Druid system (The Dolmen Arch or JMG’s Druidry books I was going to use as inspiration to get a religious practice going again).

    I am baffled by all of this. I’m a Western Polytheist NeoPagan refugee who knew very little about Hindu gods before the Ganesha dream happened. I was expecting one of the European pantheons like everyone else gets. However many times divination says this blending will work, I’ve been reluctant to act on it.

    My question is, does any of this sound plausible to you? Is that something that could work? Should I start moving forward on this, change the SoP, expand in other directions? Or should I get my head checked, or my oracle deck exorcised?

    As a second question to the Hindu readers. Since whatever else comes of this I do have Ganesha in my home now, can you give me any recommended reading? Any tips? Anything I should avoid doing?

  77. Svea

    Back in the 1980s I was a meatcutter in a grocery store. A few times a year a guy would wander back there and ask us if anyone needed their knifes sharpened. He had a van that he parked out in the parking lot that he had all his equipment in. Usually one or two guys would take him up on his offer. I never did, so I don’t know what he charged.

  78. Mr. Nobody,
    I’m thinking I’m liking the insufficient maintanence theory, specifically due to “Why would Russia even bother to maintain those if they can’t get full profit from them due to sanctions?” I don’t know if Russia’s better at avoiding sunk cost fallacy than the rest of us, but seriously . . . why bother to keep them up if they can make more selling to their east?

    And in Collapse Now and Enjoy the Rush, I am fixing 75 year old windows. Every person I have talked to in the process of getting tools and materials has asked why I don’t replace them with vinyl, whether or not they sell vinyl windows. My answer? “Vinyl is ugly, these are oak and they’re gorgeous.” Turns out that while plenty of folks are prepared to argue that new windows are more efficient, even if they have to be replaced every twenty years, absolutely no one wants to argue that vinyl is more asthetic than oak. Back away slowly from the wood lover and show her to the glazing compound!

    How’s everyone else doing on their weatherization projects?

  79. JMG, I wasn’t aware Russia was talking about that, but it is a pretty obvious thing for them to consider so I’m not surprised.

    I find watching the goings on in Europe and the UK right now don’t make me feel like reaching for the popcorn. More like diving under the table and waiting until the earthquake stops. Also keeping one eye on it lest it throw large chunks of rubble in my direction I need to get out of the way of.

    I wish my Dad and Stepmom didn’t move back to Britain. I tried to warn them the direction the world was going in, but that was in the middle of the 2010s and they didn’t really listen. At least they’ve got more resources than some, and they’re sensible enough to react to the energy price rises by doing things like insulating their windows. They’ve more sense than the British government.

  80. This morning an idea came to me in meditation that you might find useful. If comparing magic and electricity, then ethics would be like the safety ground. Sure you can still blow some stuff up even if you use it, but cutting off that third plug is a great way to accidentally bbq yourself.

    Still working on the phrasing, but wanted to put it out there before I forget.

  81. Bradley (no. 57) “Also the Peterson I’ve been exposed to did not seem to be that remarkable.”

    Peterson got famous in 2016, when he opposed (on free speech grounds) a proposed Canadian human-rights law that would have punished failure to use someone’s preferred pronouns. This predictably enraged the transgender community, which in turn endeared Peterson to the alt-Right (at one point, some students got him to pose with a Pepe the Frog image), even though he’s not really one of them. So that’s how he became this polarizing figure, even though he comes off as more of a “Mister Rogers” type. His book “12 Rules for Life” came out in 2018, and more avuncular than political, but proved very popular with young men. (I read it, and couldn’t imagine why any of this could be controversial until I looked up his history.) His YouTube videos often bring a Jungian spin to issues like, finding meaning in the world. I find little to take issue with, and of course he is a very engaging speaker and personality.

    D.H. (no. 59) “…a fun question for JMG or the rest of the forum to lighten the mood a bit. I’ve recently been delving into the works of Iamblichus…”

    I’m pretty sure that this sequence of words has never been uttered before! But I’ll play:

    * Prometheus Unbound and Prometheus the Fire-Bringer, by Aeschylus
    * Thyestes by Euripides
    * The lost first version of the Book of Mormon
    * Those early verses written by Baha’u’llah, which he cast into the Tigris
    * The original Persian version of Nabil-i-Zarandi’s “The Dawn-Breakers”

  82. Pixelated,
    Andrew Nikiforuk gets it, and has for a while. He’s been writing some very interesting articles for the Tyee, which have also shown up resilience. org.

    That’s interesting about Elizabeth May, though. If she’s getting the memo, that could have a big impact on the canadian green party and the BC green party as well. That would be a good thing all round, I think.

  83. @ svea # 42

    Scissors! All kinds of scissors need sharpening. Also, even harder to find, someone who can sharpen pinking shears. They come in multiple blade styles and cuts so they’re complicated.

    Sharpen left-handed scissors and pinking shears too.
    Scissors come in sizes so the tiny embroidery scissors would need a different technique than my 10-inch dressmaker shears.

    Also, gardening tools, shop tools of every description, and saw blades.

  84. “Newly minted alt right chaos mages with savagely funny internet memes, rose up to support his (Trumps) candidacy under the guise of an Egyptian frog god”

    “Privilege does not foster habits
    Conducive to maintaining privilege”

    Perhaps you should consider competitive free style rap battling as a lucrative side career?

    Just finished ‘King In Orange’
    Instant classic.

    Worthy of a few rereadings.

    Thanks again

  85. Greetings all. First-time commenter and recent new reader here. I’ve greatly benefitted from the writings and conversations thus far. Thank you, JMG and fellow readers.

    Replying to curious commenter:

    Here’s my (positive) experience with Christian health sharing. My family and I have used Medi-Share since 2015. During that time we’ve added kids #3 and #4 to our brood (VBACs in the hospital + epidurals = expensive). Only other major medical need has been an endoscopy (which showed up clear, thankfully). Other that that we are quite healthy and avoid doctors as much as possible. We use walk-in clinics for the occasional odd event (stitches, swimmer’s ear…). Our switch to Medi-Share was financially driven.

    I’m not as familiar with Christian Healthcare Ministry, but can readily compare Samaritan Ministries and Medi-Share. I believe those 3 are the main players in the Christian health-sharing world. I think Samaritan works out to be the lowest-cost option, especially if you choose their Basic plan. With Samaritan you do all the legwork of dealing directly with the provider as a cash-pay customer. It’s amazing how much lower the cash-pay prices are than if insurance is involved. When you have a need greater than the threshold amount ($400?) you submit it to the main office. They coordinate with the other participants to see that submitted/shareable needs are covered, etc. I have several close friends who are happy clients of Samaritan.

    Medi-Share functions much more like traditional insurance. They have a large provider network with pre-arranged rates. You present your Medi-Share card to the provider just like you would an insurance card. The provider bills Medi-Share, and Medi-Share pays provider out of the monthly “premiums” that participants submit. There are various deductible/premium options to suit a variety of tastes. We currently pay ~$500/mo for our family of 6. Our family deductible is $6000/yr. If/when we meet that deductible, subsequent shareable needs are covered. Since we joined in 2015, we’ve had a total of ~$42,000 in medical expenses shared after deductibles.

    Misc. things to note. I believe any of these options will require you to sign a pledge of Christian lifestyle: minimal tobacco use, alcohol in moderation, etc. You won’t be able to include your monthly premiums in your healthcare expenses if you seek to itemize deductions. You won’t be able to have a Health Savings Account (HSA). In sum, these programs can work and work well, if you understand the way they differ from traditional insurance and are willing to make the trade-offs. Sorry for the length but I hope this is helpful.

  86. @ Bradley #57. That made me laugh. Spengler didn’t have many nice things to say about psychologists. I’m guessing he would have laughed at Peterson, and pointed out all the western cultural assumptions that lie under his thinking.

    He probably would have laughed at Peterson’s hero Jung too. Jung’s ‘Answer to Job’ is ripe for Spenglerian criticism, as it encapsulates the ability of one culture to completely misunderstanding a myth from another, and to write their own world feeling over the top of it.

  87. The one thing a modern American president must do is exercise actual and visible leadership during a major disaster. Trump’s presidency, sorry all you Orange Julius fans, was over when, under his watch, the US Navy took over a month get a hospital ship from Norfolk to Puerto Rico after Cat 5 Maria flattened every human-built structure on the island. Rich Puerto Ricans, such as, famously, Jennifer Lopez, were chartering private flights to transport the injured stateside. Now, another major hurricane is drowning Fl. as we read, and Sleepy Joe is all but MIA. I think his second term just floated away into Tampa Bay.

    Avea, thank you for the reference.

    About becoming an electrician: if you could add small engine repair to your skill set, I do believe there is a demand. I love the old electronic appliances, but their cords are dangerous, and I don’t want to try to replace those fiber bound wirings.

  88. Can anyone point me to books on low energy manufacturing? We have a Shaker village nearby with some fascinating belt driven systems (powered by a waterwheel IIRC) but I would love to see a book that shows all the ingenious mechanical solutions the Victorians et al came up with. This seems like the sort of practical knowledge that could easily be lost (if it hasn’t already been lost) but that could prove useful in the near future.

  89. @curious commenter at September 28, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Since moving to our new town (a smaller college town of 25,000), we joined the local Christian direct primary care group. I am thrilled with it. The owner left a big hospital due to his religious beliefs (not supporting sex change operations) and my doctor lost his job for not pushing vaccines at another large medical center. They are lovely people, answer the phone, don’t rush you in and out, and it’s really personal care that ends up costing us much LESS for routine care, labs, etc than what we paid with insurance. I mean less money in the hundreds, just for labs. We also have catastrophic care insurance – and the doctors at our practice will assist with in hospital treatment. I can highly recommend alternative medical care of this type.

  90. I know you love Jung and he had a big thing about synchronicity, so it’ll probably tickle your funny bone to know that the day after you posted “Before Winter Comes” I got a flyer from the city in my mailbox with tips on how to winterize, information on programs to help insulate, and how to cut energy use. Seriously, it covers much the same topics, albeit in very short form, that you covered in your post.

    Bruce

  91. Wer, ouch. Many thanks for the data points; enjoy that tea, and make sure you have a way to boil water and make more when the gas runs out.

    Bofur, well, the Druid approach is to schedule a holy day in the middle of it where the whole point is to focus attention on the interaction between the worlds. It may not be your approach but it works for me.

    Jasper, too often that results in people repeating their favorite clichés. In my experience, at least, it works better to get the deep levels of the mind involved, and let them lead the way.

    Clever Name, Ganesha seems to be very active these days; I know a bunch of people who aren’t Hindu by any stretch of the imagination who have established devotions to him. I’d say, in terms of the broader question, give it a try and see what happens.

    Pygmycory, no question, it takes a certain amount of ice-cold nerve to watch the current mess and keep munching popcorn. We could be on the brink of a major global crisis.

  92. Svea- My son recently rented a chainsaw from a major Home improvement chain, and found that the chain was too dull to cut. He called me, I filed it sharp(er), and finished the job. Maybe you can get a gig as the “outsourced chain sharpener” for one or more rental shops in your area.

    Hand saws get dull, too. There are machines which automatically step and grind teeth, but you can start out sharpening them by hand (I have, with great success). Can you charge enough to cover expenses, without making new saws cheaper? I don’t know. Those new saws depend on long supply chains. Can you hand sharpen enough saws to cover expenses, without getting a repetitive-motion injury? That’s something else to keep in mind. Manual labor is not just the will to work, not just time, but can damage joints, etc.

  93. Celadon (and anyone else curious about the potential for damage from solar flares): the prime example is the “Carrington Event” (not “Harrington Event”) of 1859, during which the northern lights were visible to the Caribbean, bright enough to read a newspaper in Baltimore, and induced currents allowed telegraph stations to work without batteries. Telegraph wires were the only long, grounded, wires we had back then. Now, we have electrical grids spanning most of the continent. Electrical engineers are aware of the risk, and have protective measures in place. But protective measures don’t always protect, and the worst-case scenario requires about five years to restore electrical service to the US, during which Business As Usual would be impossible.

  94. Isaac – If you’ve invested in yourself, and your health, as much as possible, and you still have cash left over, look at I-series US Savings Bonds (if you’re a US citizen). Their value is adjusted according to the current CPI inflation rate. You can only buy from the Treasury, and redeem to the Treasury (no private trading), so no commissions go to “financial advisors” and they rarely make news. The CPI may under-estimate inflation, but even so, 9% interest with essentially zero risk of default is pretty good. (Terms and conditions apply.)

    One aspect of investing that really irritates me is that our passive earnings are taxed, even if they don’t even keep up with inflation. The higher inflation goes, the more tax we will pay on the interest we earn, so the less purchasing power we’re left with. (Still, taxed gains are better than no gains at all.)

  95. My 2 cents on an approach to writing fiction, with the big disclaimer that there is no eternally correct way to do it and this is just what works for me.

    I always start with a story idea: a young man and woman meet and fall instantly in love but their families intervene.

    Starting from that premise, I work out the entire plot at a high level so that I know exactly what will happen in act 1, 2 and 3. I know, for example, that the protagonists are going to commit suicide at the end, so it’s a tragedy not a comedy.

    Knowing the plot and the story type, I then describe the characters in detail i.e. physical appearance, psychological traits, personal history as well as the social setting. I do this all before writing a single word of the story.

    When I finally get around to writing a scene, I already broadly know what needs to happen in the scene in order to fulfil the direction of the plot. I find this really helps as it places constraints on what can happen in any given scene and, counterintuitively for our culture, constraints tend to stimulate creativity.

    For this “plot-based” approach I recommend picking up a textbook that goes into detail on 3 Act story structure all the way down to beat level. Screenwriting textbooks are really good for this.

    Again, this is just what works for me.

  96. The nice thing about the news is that I can’t remember what I was concerned about last week. This week, Italy’s prime minister elect was quoting GK Chesterton, so I have refilled my reading list.

  97. To the person who asked about books on music theory:

    The music theory books used in the music theory courses I took at our community college back in 1992 and 1993 were Music in Theory and Practice, 5th edition, Volumes 1 and 2, by Bruce Benward and Gary White. Since this was back in the dark ages of the early 1990s, each volume came with a cassette tape that had the samples of music referred to in the books. Since these are college textbooks, they include homework assignments and are pitched to what music majors need to know about music.

    A shorter and friendlier book on music theory is Edly’s Music Theory for Practical People by Ed Roseman (Musical Edventures, edly.com). Its title indicates who it’s pitched to. I have the first edition; the website shows the revised and expanded third edition. If you don’t need a college-level education in music theory but want to know how to write and read music and to understand the basic structure that underlies music so you can improve your playing, this is the book I recommend

  98. Isaac. Check out The Survivor Library. It has an amazing selection of downloadable books on low tech, well pretty much everything.

  99. Aloysius, it’s a useful metaphor.

    Travis, thank you! I’ll pass on the competitive freestyle rap battles, though — it takes me hours of solitude to put those phrases together.

    Mary, it’s a little early yet to pass judgment on the response to the hurricane when it’s still blowing!

    Isaac, I’ll have to pass that onto the commentariat. Anyone?

    R, a fine synchronicity!

  100. Youngelephant, if you are OK with using a music theory app, there’s a couple of free, competing ones for iPhone and Android devices I recommend. One is called Ear Trainer (Android) and the other is Earpeggio (iPhone). Use the “piano” or “voice” parts of either app to train yourself to hear musical intervals. This is the sort of training I went through in my first years of musical college — tons of repetitive tones being played until it forced us students to instantly identify them. You can seriously get for free the kind of aural training that used to cost 10K a year and now costs 25k per year in a musical college.

    Once you can hear an interval really well (personally, I can notate doorbell rings, clock chimes, and my cat’s meows at this point) then you can dictate an entire melody. Once you’ve gotten that skill, then you can start identifying chord functions such as tonic, dominant, and leading tone and eventually do harmonic dictation.

    Message me at my blog or at ksteele studio/gmail if you have any music theory questions. I used to be the music theory chairman for the local chapter of the national teacher’s association. Coincidentally, I’m starting free streaming lessons tomorrow via my Youtube channel for basic piano and voice at 5:30pm CST.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcBMG1DZJN2v7gjqVI89pg

  101. @curious #14

    I was a member of Christian Health Ministries for a while with a very high deductable and my brothers keeper add on, for catastrophic purposes. I cannot tell you more, other than I also researched it all and thought it a good idea, because I never had reason to make a claim !

    The various Christian Health Ministries are now the only way to get “limited” health insurance! Because they are an “exception” to regular insurance regulations that require coverage for many thing the Christian Health ministries do not cover ( gender reassignment, drug overdoses to name just 2) It seems that most Christian Health Ministries require no drug taking and various other things. Many require certain health conditions to take action to improve in oder to have coverage ( lose weight to take diabetes risk down, quit smoking, etc…).

  102. Just on que yesterday they announced the maiden flight of a nine passenger battery plane made by a company called Eviation ( or something like that).Just the thing to get the Tesla Fan Boys and techno- cornucopias dreaming of carbon-free flights to Cabo. But if you read between the lines of the Rah, Rah press release and crunch a few numbers you can see it won’t be carrying anyone further than a flight from Providence to Newport. They reported that the plane used 220 Tesla type battery cells which would make its battery about 4 times the size of the one in a Tesla. Since a Tesla battery ( yes they vary in size) weighs 1000 lbs plus the battery in this plan weighs between 4000-5000 lbs. I looked up the specs for a similar size twin engine ICE-Plane ( Beechcraft King Air) and find that it has a total payload capacity ( including fuel and pilot) of 5000 Lb. The new battery planes inaugural flight was 6 minutes. So assuming they were conservative with battery capacity they probably could have gone for 20 minutes. So here we have an electric plane that can carry no passengers or luggage and only fly long enough to get from Seattle to Tacoma. I wonder who invested in that one.

  103. Svea the Sharpener #42

    Let me tell you a little story.

    Once upon a time, there was a big, famous sewing machine maker called Singer. Singer sometimes did things that the people found inscrutable, but there was usually a reason. One of these things they did, was to make some home sewing machines that used industrial-type bobbins and needles.

    The people said, ‘They did that so you could only get bobbins and needles from them’. But that wasn’t it at all. It was just that these particular models were made at a Singer factory that normally made industrial machines, not domestic ones. So those needles and bobbins are what they had handy. Only four of the home models were ever made at that factory.

    Time went by. The home sewing market went into decline. The factory that made those four odd models closed down. Over time, the world’s sewing machine models came to agree about what needle to use on home machines. It was a different needle than the one used by those four models.

    There was less and less demand for that type of sewing machine needle. So less and less needle makers made them, until only one or two makers were left. Sewing machine needles come in seven or eight sizes, but there was so little demand for the odd style that the makers quit making all but two medium sizes.

    Today, if you want to sew silk or chiffon on a vintage Singer model 319, which uses the now-rare 206×13 style needle, you have a problem. You should use a size 9 needle… but they only make size 12 and 14 now.

    If only there were a professional sharpener, who could resharpen *sewing machine needles*.

  104. Mister Nobody:
    I am not at all sure who sabotaged the Nordstream pipelines, but it certainly appears that whoever did has a vested interest in making the sure that the media’s hyperventilating keeps their identity as plausibly deniable as it possibly can.

    What I do feel pretty sure about is that Russia had been keeping its powder good and dry until just last week. The conscription, referenda, and declaration that all Russian lands (new and old) will be defended to the utmost have seriously rattled and triggered self-regarding Western rulers into questioning the magical power of their inviolable safe spaces (like, say, the former Ukraine.) Whether one of the epic tantrums emanating from the Western capitals was what blew holes in those pipelines, or whether Russia deployed a bit more of its dry powder to blow those holes itself, it’s obvious that the greater West was taken completely unaware by Russia’s recent moves in the great game.

    Turns out that screeching that only you get to be history’s actors, while everyone else is left to react your lead, and expecting everyone else to play by your “rules-based order” don’t leave you well prepared to deal with any real-world upsets. How badly will “history’s actors” deal with the unwelcome realization that no one in the real world will be handing out any stars for participation?

    “That’s impossible — they’re not allowed to do that!” must be echoing round in all the better echo chambers inside the beltway this week. Who could ever have guessed that all their endless color revolutions, sanctions, false flags, proxy wars, and psy-ops would inevitably come back to haunt them by methodically strengthening their opponents? Well, anybody paying any attention to karma or history could have told them that!

    The reeling disorientation of our dumbstruck leaders almost makes me want to pity their coddled ignorance. Almost.

  105. @Dusk Shine:
    If you read this, is the email address I have for you still good? You’ve not replied to that thing you requested for a while, so I thought I’d check.

    @John Michael Greer #48:
    “Practically everybody but Germany has something to gain from this.”
    And I wouldn’t rule out Germany, either, just because they’d have nothing to gain from it, given some of the other things their government’s done recently. Suppose, for instance, the government believed that there wasn’t actually a gas supply problem, but that Russian propaganda might trick people into thinking there was to influence them to force the government to improve German/Russian relations? Destroying the pipelines would prevent Russia from sending gas through them even if it wanted to, which would cause them to back off on their propaganda, which would buy the government time to prove to the people that Germany really _doesn’t_ need Russian gas. I have no idea whether that’s anything like what actually happened, but I could believe it.
    (Thanks, by the way, for pointing out earlier than Russia _also_ has potential gains from this; I don’t know if I’d have realized that eventually on my own or read it somewhere else, but as it happens, you were the first I saw pointing out that this actually _wasn’t_ obviously not done by Russia’s side — and then potential reasons there came fairly readily to mind once I started trying to think of them.)

    @Isaac #101:
    You might find some of the articles on this website, which also has low-energy and physical book versions available, interesting and/or useful:
    https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/

  106. “ Travis, thank you! I’ll pass on the competitive freestyle rap battles, though — it takes me hours of solitude to put those phrases together”

    That’s a shame… freestyle rap… err poetry battles are my most favorite Druidic tradition that I would love to see back in fashion… but I guess you need a lot of Druids before you can find some to fight each other in epic wars of words. I do think you have a generous helping of songspell in you… but that’s a very particular skillset… and even if you were good at it, where would we find another Druid, also skilled, for a poetry battle? 🙁

    I’d love to go out and poetry fight somebody… or maybe steal some cows… ahh born in the wrong time.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  107. I have one question for our host: Is it typical of complex civilizations in decline or facing a dark age to engage in mass poisonings, whether deliberate or inadvertent, as in pollution? I heard about the Romans stupidly poisoning themselves with lead plumbing. Just curious, because there are various outcries about various substances/energy forms being imposed on everyone, willing or not, and the upper echelons of society pointedly ignore and/or suppress any calls to address these issues. My guess is dealing with them would add one more layer of complexity to a system already stressed beyond its maximum, but I am wondering if it is also deliberately engaged in by those struggling to stay atop a capsizing ship of state.

  108. @Clever Name
    Ganesha is a wonderful god, beloved throughout Southeast Asia even outside the Hindu communities. I have a little statue up on my altar (next to my Orthodox icon) that I received after playing a role in a Hindu wedding in my family. My husband bought a small stone statue of him.
    I find Hindus very open to participation by people of different but compatible faiths, so it might be possible for you to ask them how to worship Ganesha properly.

  109. JMG, I see your point on possible Russian culpability for the explosions. I would think that the pipelines would have more value as a bargaining chip if the possibility of turning them on again remained, but if Russia has simply given up on Europe, even just for the time being, that’s another matter. I note that whenever something dramatic happens there are those who immediately react with “See how evil Russia is!” On the other hand, with all of the circumstantial evidence pointing at America, plus a kind of international “silent majority” that has quite a negative impression of the US overall, it might actually be to Russia’s benefit. We might never know.

  110. RE: Sam and JMG did Russia do it?

    I suspect that we will find that Russia did do it. Only 3 of the 4 lines were damaged. When they eventually get around to investigating I suspect that they will find a Russian device that failed to explode on the final line with blueprints of the plan, notarized photos of Putin crafting the plan, and an alternate wording of the plan name “sunk costs.”

  111. I live in South Africa and we are (hopefully) coming out of the worst rolling blackouts (load shedding) we’ve had since they started in 2005.

    Back in June and July we had 3 weeks of pretty bad load shedding – up to 6 hours without power every day, each session lasting about 2 hours.

    This time we went up to up to 8 hours without power, sometimes with sessions lasting 4 hours.

    Our municipality publishes a map with a schedule of when to expect load shedding at every stage, with increasing stages required for greater amounts of power to be shed from the grid as a whole.

    This audience probably doesn’t need tips for how to cope without electricity and I want to focus on the emotional aspect of this experience.

    For context, I’m part of the middle class.

    Load shedding is demoralising, in the same way I experienced the lockdowns as demoralising. The process has some structure (the schedule) but the load shedding period is open ended. No one can say how long it will last for all the reasons well known to readers of this blog – poor maintenance, wokery pokery and plain old corruption.

    Your framework of what constitutes the world shifts. It gets gigawatt shaped holes in it. And that comes with a shift from abundance to scarcity, which in turn evokes an instinctual fear of having too little to survive.

    Of course many people poorer than me constantly live in this state but it’s a new experience for me and it’s draining.

    Businesses are bearing the brunt of the costs at this stage in the form of reduced income or increased fuel bills for private electricity generation.

    Word on the street is that we may be near a complete collapse of the grid and, given its state, there’s no telling when, how, what or who could get it back up again.

    It’s hard to believe, walking around the complex infrastructure, using the internet as I am, that it could suddenly and indefinitely disappear.

    Coming on the back of the coof craziness I don’t have many reserves for coping anymore. Feeling like a sitting duck underneath Hokusai’s wave.

  112. I’ve been following for a while a cognitive scientist that I’ve mentioned to you a couple of times. Recently while browsing his personal blog, I’ve come across a post where he reason why both the 70s and W. Bush era financial crisis happened, he has an interesting approach that I appreciate even when I disagree with him. You might have better understanding of these issues than me, but he’s basically saying that the “science” used in the Black-Scholes economic model has faults in it, he goes at length explaining that. From what I understood, it’s because the model is based on Newtonian continuous logic, while economy actually works in rather illogical ways. He works in different yet connected fields, here though he’s mostly examining the matter from his enterprise engineering perspective.

    You can read the post here, it’s worthwhile:
    http://blog.tedgoranson.com/virtual_ent/black-scholes_as_a_root_.html

  113. For readers in the Calgary, Alberta area interested in reading books by JMG and other authors mentioned on this blog (& the Dreamwidth blog), please contact user ashrountree on yahoo’s dot com email service.

  114. Fun in the UK right now.

    Possible £65 billion needed to be spent by the Bank of England to ensure the £45 billion promised by the chancellor in cut taxes can continue without a pensions and currency collapse. The can kicking down the road is getting mighty expensive, mighty fast.

    Do we have the energy to keep it up?

  115. Hi Pixelated,

    That is encouraging to hear from May. The last time I remember listening to her she was talking about a massive project installing windmills and solar arrays right across Canada like a new railroad.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  116. Hi JMG,
    At #104 you mention a major global crisis is a serious risk. Beyond the mess we are already in here in the Western world, what sort of things do you think are on the cards?

  117. David BTL #69: I didn’t understand from the article you linked what specific religion or religious practices the plaintiff claimed were harmed. As for my emotions on the issue, I am a polytheist who has never been able to stick to any of the Neopagan denomations, and I have atheist friends who are better off than me, but might not be later. One of the few worries that Democrats can still pick at me with is that changes in legal precedents could be used to make life more difficult for us who do not want to join the Christian-centered mainstream, in a way that would be more directly related to religion than to abortion or sexual minorities. I don’t usually follow politics and political media, because it wastes my time and disrupts my emotions. What do you and other commentators think about the probability and significance of this type of concern?

  118. I don’t really spend much time online any more but catching up on stuff from the last few days has been fun. I love that with the Nordstream thing there is an angle from all sides as to who could have done it. Definitely makes me grab the popcorn and watch from far.

    Also seeing the UK stockmarket heart skip/monetary insanity thing is well… you know I have always seen economics as lunatics with the veneer of mathematics to make it look legitimate. But is wild to see such bone headed decisions on many fronts just get done in the open nowadays. I can only eat so much pop corn!

  119. Something different: : Can I ask how you manage to combine writing on your ‘alternate’ spirituality/magic and being taken seriously as an analyst on decline, et cetera? People usually have to stay in their closets to maintain credibility (with the exception being some artists/fiction authors, but that’s a rather different kettle of fish).

    Thanks.

  120. I would just like to briefly comment on the astrological chart for this year’s Election Day in the USA after having given it a quick once-over just now. I’m just an amateur-level astrologer who is hard-pressed to suss out exactly what it means, but even a tyro like me can’t help but look at that chart and go “Wow. Wowwee-wowwee-wowsers!” This is going to be one of the most contentious and momentous midterm elections in the country’s history, isn’t it?

  121. @Teresa #12
    I noticed the same phenomenon. Just the other day I came across a postcard in the mail from a local candidate for a local office. I remarked to my wife that nowhere on the postcard did it say what party he was representing, not even in the fine print! It surprised me. It definitely seemed odd to me.

  122. @JMG: according to many sources, Russia’s sending its newly enrolled troops without any training to the front, just to replace falling soldiers. And the strategic city of Izioum’s apparently in a very dire situation and could fall any day.
    The Russian campaign is really not going well.

    I know it’s still a very remote possibility at this point, but what if the Russian war effort collapses? What military and political fallout would you expect?

  123. Svea #42:
    I would suggest going for the local restaurant market, they have an enormous amount of knives to sharpen, from kitchen knives of various sizes, to dinner knives for restaurant patrons. In the inter-Carolina region I was in, a given restaurant will have two sets of knives, the ones in use that week, and the set being currently sharpened Monday-Thursday, with Friday dedicated for delivey/exchange.

    JMG:
    I am being convinced that current US policy vis Germany is the rehabilitation and implementation of the Morganthau Plan. The aims of this post WW2 plan is to strip mine Germany of all of its industrial assets and leave it utterly dependent on imports, particularly imported food, as the carrying capacity of German agriculture is roughly for 40 million people. Originally, it was the official occupation policy up to 1947, but it was exchanged for the Marshall plan when it was found to be aiding German sympathy for communism. Nowadays you have a “surplus” population of 40 million that will have to either emigrate, starve, or go to war.

  124. Dear JMG,

    Could you recommend some book titles regarding the practices of astral projection and lucid dreaming ? I remember you said that these are standard basic training for a lot of occult groups. However, considering my circumstance, I can’t join them. But I think I have the patience to self-learn from books

  125. @thecroatoan117 – thank you, that looks like a wonderful resource! And perhaps a source of titles for our host’s project of reprinting out-of-copyright books on useful topics.

    @Lathechuck, thanks to you as well! That sounds like a worthwhile option.

  126. I am still interested in hearing thoughts in regard to just how air tight one can make a house before the negatives begin to outweigh the positives.
    JMG posted on sealing windows, etc. yet at some point you have no fresh air, have moisture build-up, hence mold perhaps, etc.
    Any thoughts on a sealing limit?

  127. Has anyone else noticed the price of gas at the pump quietly and gradually creeping downward as we approach the election? Since most Americans assume the price of gas is (more or less) controlled by whoever is president, it makes me wonder. This would help others in the president’s party running this November. Big tech companies have openly done so much to support the Democrat party, could big oil companies be doing the same?

  128. All–

    Please send energy and prayers for those being impacted by Ian.

    As to my previous post, I realize that it was an unhelpful topic and I should have not commented on it. I found my self profoundly disturbed and reacted rather than responding. My (much) better half pointed out that we don’t live in IN and this doesn’t impact me in any direct way. I need to learn to be more careful where I invest my attention and energy. A news fast might be helpful.

    In any event, I appreciate the benign neglect and will endeavor to be more mindful in the future.

  129. To Svea @42 – I would pay to have my pruning shears and lopping pruners sharpened. I would pay to have my goat hoof trimming shears sharpened. My daughter is a hair stylist and I know that stylists pay to have their shears sharpened!

  130. @pixelated: Thanks for the extensive breakdown of your ebike experience.

    “Being able to still wear nice clothes to meetings and just hop on and off the same way you do with a car, or not have to worry about being exhausted by the time you get there, is extremely helpful.”

    This is part of what I was thinking. Being sweaty when I come to work and having to bring a change of clothes is something I prefer to avoid, especially in the dank humid summer of the Ohio river valley. (Winter & Summer of course might be times I take the bus more often.)

    If you don’t mind me asking, which car share do you use? We have a zipcar in Cincinnati, and I had a friend who used it and they liked it quite a bit.

    Great tips about looking for Aftermarket batteries & systems. Also, I may rethink things, as the weight was something I was concerned about. Maybe a lighter regular bike since I will mostly be using it to go back and forth. The mountain bike I got from the thrift store is kind of heavy too, and the old handme down Raleigh three speed I got is nice and classic, but a little rickety.

    A conversion kit & a light frame then may be a way to go. Then, as you say, when power becomes intermittent to non-existent, I can still go where I need to go.

    I also appreciate the Asian & African ebike brands to look at… there are a few stores here that sell. One was the pedego electric bike brand in a swank part of town. What I liked was they can work on them and I could get a warranty, but the starting price point was much higher. And they are on the opposite side of the city, easily a 45 min drive, when their is gas…

    All around great tips, and giving me much further food for thought, other than just reading reviews and learning about the different brands. Thank you very much!

  131. Youngelephant,

    along with the Piston book Jon G recommended I’d also suggest a good course of ear training: making sure you know your intervals (which means learning to recognize them auditorily without hesitation), singing scales in different patterns while dsying the scale degrees and any other exercises you can come up with, then checking out many, many Bach chorales to see what he’s doing – first by reading and analysing them, then by listening. Soon enough if you keeo at it you’ll find you can do a fine analysis totally by ear.

    It isn’t explicitly theory-related, but your understanding of music theory will come alive (and be more fun) if you can recognize the theory in action in its native element, not just dead on paper.

  132. Back to the regular news:

    They’re rioting in Palistine,
    There’s war in Ukraine,
    There’re hurricanes in Florida,
    And Lake Mead needs rain.

    *

    I noticed there are many places in the Southeastern states called Druid Hills. I wonder if there’s a secret history of druids in America, or if these are recent. Does anyone know?

  133. A couple of things I have found useful in staying sane during a time of mass hysteria.

    1) Don’t become emotionally involved in things you can’t control. Your angry social media posts about Zelensky, Putin, Biden, Trump, etc. will have zero impact on their lives, choices, or actions.

    2) Focus your energies on things you can control. While your vote in a national election has about as much impact on the outcome as your lucky team shirt does on the Super Bowl’s outcome, your vote for school boards and other local elections matters a great deal more.

    3) Understand that at present you can only rely on media sources for a general outline of what is going on. We can be reasonably sure there is Russia/Ukraine conflict, but the propaganda being pumped out by all sides makes it very difficult to figure out the specifics of what is going on.

    4) Using those general outlines and a basic knowledge of history, you can figure out possible outcomes more accurately than if you rely on the talking heads.

    For instance, we know that in a few weeks winter will be coming to Ukraine, and arriving in the rest of Europe shortly afterward.

    We know that Russia has largely cut off Europe’s gas supply and nobody else can meet that energy demand.

    We know that the Russian winter wrecked military leaders like Napoleon and Hitler, both of whom for all their flaws were considerably more competent strategists than anybody currently in this fight.

    Given that, I’d say predicting the outcome of the Russia/Ukraine conflict is as easy as predicting the end result of America’s invasion of Afghanistan. Ultimately the US and its allies will pull out of Ukraine the same way they pulled out of Afghanistan, and most likely on a much faster timescale.

    Should they be foolish enough to start a land war in Russia (hey, they were dumb enough to take on the “Graveyard of Empires”), they will get the same chilly reception as every other invader and will be no more able to cope with Russian snow than they were with Afghani mountain ranges.

  134. JMG:

    You had me at “wokey pokey” – order placed! With respect to Ethan’s question about out of body experiences, do you recommend any books on the subject to start?

  135. For #138;

    *ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) is the most respected and authoritative source for interior air quality standards. ASHRAE 62.1 and 2 are the recognized standards for ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ).

    According to the current version of the ASHRAE standard (2013), the calculation for individual homes is as follows:

    Q = 7.5 cfm/occupant + 3 cfm/100 ft² of living area
    =12.75 m³/h per occupant + 5.5 m³/h per 10 m² of living area

    cfm – Cubic Feet per Minute
    Q – The air supply rate

    https://www.ecohome.net/guides/2276/choosing-between-an-hrv-and-an-erv/

    You can overdo the weather sealing. You can overdo anything if you are willing to work at it. See also Aristotle and the Doctrine of the Means.

  136. What the PMC is wearing according to a dress for success article on WSJ.

    THE MILLENNIAL GUY Model Bradley Evans wears: Connor McKnight T-shirt, $125, Ssense.com; Pants, $345, Aspesi.com; Watch, $925, Shinola.com; Shoes, $335, TarvasFootwear.com. On Wyatt the puppy: Collar, $690, Leash, $920, Celine.com

    THE OLDER MAN Model Garrett Swann wears: Overshirt, $2,490, Zegna.com; T-shirt, $115, us.Drakes.com; Pants, $1,950, Available in October, us.LoroPiana.com; Loafers, $995, SantoniShoes.com; Glasses, model’s own. On Rugby the dog: Leash, $410, Gucci.com

    That’s multiple decades of my clothing budget for one outfit. This sort of article always makes me laugh.

  137. I had the notion to do bibliomancy with my dictionary. I got the word “dislocation” and then the phrase “dislocation blues” came into my mind. I figured there had to be a song like that for the title, and found this fine number by Chris Whitley & Jeff Lang. Good blues / roots music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceqz5MnT1MQ

    Thinking of Floridians with this tune on. Also, the word “vaccination” and “heretic” are used repeatedly throughout, but I couldn’t make out all the words. I’ll listen again, closer.

  138. I wouldn’t recommend trying to sharpen chainsaw chains professionally. I sharpen my own but the particular combination of gripping and pushing it requires can leave your hand in agony after only one chain. Having to do many in a row for money is the stuff of nightmares.

  139. The media here on Finland is in full propaganda mode with respect to Russia (and has been for quite some time). So, for the Finnish media there can only be one culprit in the Nordstream case, full stop.

    I find it very disquieting to observe the power of such an all out media propaganda campaign; this is how entire populations are conditioned for war, and it works.

    To illustrate: an acquaintance posted a sincere request for help on a social media platform. He had – rightly – concluded that the official knee-jerk conclusion that Russia had blown up the pipes made little sense. He then asked: ”what am I missing?”, meaning ”please help me hammer this square peg into the round hole”.

    He is, in other words, smart enough to realize the narrative is lacking, but completely unable to question the underlying axiom ”Russia is evil incarnate”.

    Of course there was no shortage of helpful comments pointing to articles that explained why it couldn’t have been anyone else but Russia.

    We’re fracked.

  140. @JMG

    Re: Kilner: actually I had no idea they were based out of the UK.

    Unfortunately though I think they only make jars and there are other similar suppliers here for that. The difficulty is getting hold of a pressure canner. Without this only high acid foods can be preserved long term. We certainly have pressure cookers here but a US built pressure canner is a far more substantial item.

    I’ve got to visit the US in October, I might see if I can source one while I’m over there.

  141. @Aziz

    In my view, the problem is two-fold:

    1. Models are being used to make policy decisions, rather than as a tool of developing knowledge and understanding. A sane option, in my opinion, would be to use models to gain understanding of different systems, and then combine the understanding with traditional ‘folk wisdom’ and/or heuristics relevant to the field in question to make policy decisions. Directly setting up the model equations, plugging in the values ,and blindly believing the end result seems to me to be a very inefficient and unwise way of going about things.

    2. A large number of nonlinear models achieve nonlinearity only by way of multilinear relationships. They mostly tend to ignore power law behaviour, in addition to other nonlinear behaviour. Case in point: the standard SIR model, used in epidemiology. There are literally thousands of research papers all using modified versions of this model to predict the spread of Covid, but almost all of them failed to make predictions with accuracy comparable to the effort expended in the modelling work. I had, a few weeks back, posted an example of the SIR model with fractional order exponents, as a simple example of the idea I’m talking about; this then led to a lively and interesting discussion with Mark L and Walt F. I had even shared the link for the Jupyter notebook on the same; presently, I’m developing an Excel sheet to make it easily usable by those unfamiliar with university-level mathematics and scientific computing. I will share the link once I finish doing it.

    But you are right in saying that the model assumptions need to be carefully examined in general. After all, “All models are false; some are useful”, as Prof. George Box had famously said.

  142. Hello!

    With Nordstream 1 and 2 sabotaged, with 300,000 Russian troops pouring into eastern Ukraine and probably on their way to Odessa, with the referendums in Russia’s favour, it seems NATO countries are checked mate.
    What do you think will be the next move by NATO?
    Is there a real possibility of military escalation by NATO or will the West accept a new status quo in eastern Europe and move onto other things?
    Many Thanks!

  143. Isaac – I know fb is the devil’s spawn and all that, but your question about simple mechanical drive systems would really be right at home, and probably promptly answered, at the group called “Time Traveler’s Rabbit Hole” – the founder has amassed (and made clean and legible) a seemingly unending supply of +/-Victorian-era journal clippings on ways to make/do/mend an assortment of wacky and wonderful, and likely to be helpful things. The main page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/196874975859110/about

    Today, she posted an article on the construction of a gas-powered insulated cooker. Since the group is private, I can’t send you to the post, but if you’re on fb, do join!

    Tude – may I ask which insurance you got for the catastrophic coverage? That’s really all we need – we currently have nothing (though youngest kid qualifies for Medi-Cal (CA’s medicaid?)

  144. July 2013 Ukraine Black Sea Gas, Euromaidan November 21, 2013 – 23 February 2014,
    Feb 24, 2022 special military operation declared by Russia in Ukraine Donbas

    Good day all,

    A time line for the current Ukraine and SMO of Russia.

    1) Gas some oil found of the Black Sea coast of Ukraine, Jul 19, 2013

    2) Euromaidan November 21, 2013 – 23 February 2014

    So the coup starts 6 months after finding Gas. The coup puts Zelensky etal in power. Zelensky starts barowing money, and the West starts building up Ukraine’s military so it can take back the republics of Lugansk Donetsk and Crimea.

    My question since the SMO is why and what collateral the Ukraine had to borrow so much from the IMF? Why did the IMF loan any money to the already deeply in debt Ukraine. Why is the US (as you mention, an unreasonable hatred for Russia) so heavily invested in support of the Ukraine? Why is the EU shooting itself in the foot regarding energy? None of this made any sense to me.

    Unless the EU was told by US and Ukraine that all the gas they would ever need is in the gas field off the Ukraine coast. Then it makes some kind of sense what is happening. Support the Ukraine and make an EU member after deafting Russia and the gas is the EUs. Also helps explain why the US is all dug in and NATO/EU too as well as UK in defeating Russia. Without the pipe dream of Ukraineian Gas none of this makes any sense to me. Links follow.

    July 2013 https://www.offshore-mag.com/drilling-completion/article/16791765/ukraine-black-sea-gas-discovery-reported

    Ukraine Black Sea gas discovery reported
    Nov. 6, 2006
    The first well drilled by Chornomornaftogaz and Shelton Canada in the Black Sea near Odessa discovered gas, according to reports from the area.

    KIEV, Ukraine — The first well drilled by Chornomornaftogaz and Shelton Canada in the Black Sea near Odessa discovered gas, according to reports from the area.

    The Biryuchya Zakhidnyy 1, 50 km offshore on the northwest shelf of the Sea of Azov, encountered an estimated 350 Bcf of gas. The drilling objective was Cretaceous sandstones, with a planned TD of 1,700 m.

    ***

    Ukraine: Unexpected Oil Find, Major Gas Interest
    By Editorial Dept – Jul 19, 2013, 10:44 PM CDT

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Ukraine-Unexpected-Oil-Find-Major-Gas-Interest.html

    Bottom Line: We see a flurry of activity in Ukraine, with a $735 million Black Sea commitment by Exxon, an unexpected 100 million barrel oil find in the Poltava region and new estimates that the country could achieve annual gas production of 45 billion cubic meters by 2020.

    Analysis: First, Ukraine’s state-run oil and gas company Naftogaz on 11 July announced the discovery of an oil field in the eastern/central Poltava region that reportedly contains some 13 million tons of oil, or 100 million barrels of oil. This is the biggest oil find in Ukraine in a decade and a half. The Budishchansko-Chutovskoye oil field is fully owned by Naftogaz, and is the only field fully owned by the state-run company.

    The news for Ukraine gets even better this week, though. Exxon Mobil Corp is ready to invest $735 million to drill two deep-water wells offshore Ukraine in the Black Sea ($335 million in a signing bonus for the government and a $400 million commitment for seismic surveys and drilling). This is an amazing show of confidence by Exxon in Ukraine’s Black Sea.

    Finally, ExxonMobil has given Ukraine another public boost with a new estimate that the country’s onshore and offshore gas reserves could help it reach production of 45 billion cubic meters by 2020.

    Recommendation: We suggest very closely monitoring Exxon’s progress as it prepares to explore in Ukraine’s Black Sea, in the deep marine Skifiske gas field. (Right…
    Brief time line of Ukraine and Russian engagement and a possible why it happened at all

    1) Gas some oil found of the Black Sea coast of Ukraine, Jul 19, 2013

    2) Euromaidan November 21, 2013 – 23 February 2014

    So the coup starts 6 months after finding Gas. The coup puts Zelensky etal in power. Zelensky starts barowing money, and the West starts building up Ukraine’s military so it can take back the republics of Lugansk Donetsk and Crimea.

    My question since the SMO is why and what collateral the Ukraine had to borrow so much from the IMF? Why did the IMF loan any money to the already deeply in debt Ukraine. Why is the US (as you mention, an unreasonable hatred for Russia) so heavily invested in support of the Ukraine? Why is the EU shooting itself in the foot regarding energy? None of this made any sense to me.

    Unless the EU was told by US and Ukraine that all the gas they would ever need is in the gas field off the Ukraine coast. Then it makes some kind of sense what is happening. Support the Ukraine and make an EU member after deafting Russia and the gas is the EUs. Also helps explain why the US is all dug in and NATO/EU too as well as UK in defeating Russia. Without the pipe dream of Ukraineian Gas none of this makes any sense to me.
    ***

    https://www.rt.com/business/370226-ukraine-gas-black-sea/

    Ukraine ‘discovers’ vast gas deposit…already found in the 1980s

    A Ukrainian exploration vessel has ‘discovered’ a huge gas field in the Black Sea. However, it turns out the field was already found by the Soviet Union 30 years ago.

    “The fact that Ukraine once again began to search for oil and gas on the shelf of the Black Sea indicates a titanic shift in exploration work by the country. According to our estimates, gas reserves amounting to at least 40 billion cubic meters in an area of 7,000 square meters,” said Ukrainian Minister for Mineral Resources Nikolay Boyarkin.

    According to Boyarkin, Ukraine has enough resources to satisfy its gas needs and can produce it on its own.

    However, it turns out the deposits near Snake Island in the Black Sea were discovered in the 1980s by Soviet explorers. Moreover, the rights for these resources have been disputed by Ukraine and Romania, and in 2009 the International Court of Justice ruled for Romania, leaving Kiev with only 12 miles around the island.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/532759-ukraine-merkel-gas-fleet/
    22 Aug, 2021

    ‘Ukraine must be ready’: Merkel tells Kiev EU won’t be using Russian gas by 2046 – Zelensky wants weapons & help to build up navy

    _____________________________________________________________

    Euromaidan November 21, 2013 – 23 February 2014

    https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/event/2014-coup-ukraine

    The 2014 coup in Ukraine

    The background and implications of the 2014 far-right coup in Kiev, which overthrew the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, is critical for understanding the current Ukraine-Russia war. This coup was openly supported by US and European imperialism and implemented primarily by far-right shock troops such as the Right Sector and the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party.

    It represented the temporary culmination of long-standing efforts by US imperialism to install a puppet regime on the borders of Russia and brought the world a major step closer to a war between the largest nuclear powers, the US and Russia. Ukraine has since been systematically built up as a launching pad for a NATO war against Russia.
    ***
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=2014+Euromaidan+coup&ia=web

    Euromaidan
    Euromaidan, or the Maidan Uprising, was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on 21 November 2013 with large protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv. The protests were sparked by the Ukrainian government’s sudden decision not to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union.Wikipedia

    Date:November 21, 2013 – 23 February 2014 (year, 3month, week and day)

    ***
    https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/coup-in-ukraine-in-2014

    After the 2014 coup in Kyiv, the people of the peninsula voted in a referendum to re-join Russia, a decision that most NATO members have not recognised.

    The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called “Maidan”, or “Euromaidan” – were a result of the Ukrainian people’s frustration with former President Yanukovych. The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence.

    Ukraine’s government changed its relations toward Russia after the latter illegally annexed Crimea, which is part of Ukraine, through a non-recognised referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on gunpoint on 16 March 2014. The UN described it as not valid and stated that it could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. In its turn, the EU continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law and has responded by imposing restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.

    ***
    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/04/how-and-why-the-u-s-government-perpetrated-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine/

    How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine
    June 4, 2018 by Eric Zuesse

    This will document that the ‘new Cold War’ between the U.S. and Russia did not start, as the Western myth has it, with Russia’s involvement in the breakaway of Crimea and Donbass from Ukraine, after Ukraine — next door to Russia — had suddenly turned rabidly hostile toward Russia in February 2014. Ukraine’s replacing its democratically elected neutralist Government in February 2014, by a rabidly anti-Russian Government, was a violent event, which produced many corpses. It’s presented in The West as having been a ‘revolution’ instead of a coup; but whatever it was, it certainly generated the ‘new Cold War’ (the economic sanctions and NATO buildup on Russia’s borders); and, to know whether it was a coup, or instead a revolution, is to know what actually started the ‘new Cold War’, and why. So, this is historically very important.

    ***
    https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/02/24/677439/Russia-Putin-Ukraine-Donbass-US-NATO

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine’s Donbass region to “defend people” there against government forces, stressing that Moscow has “no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.”

    In 2014, Ukraine’s two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk – collectively known as the Donbass – were turned into self-proclaimed republics by ethnic Russians, leading to a bloody conflict between the government forces and the armed separatists.

    The conflict worsened following a wave of protests in Ukraine that led to the overthrow of a democratically-elected pro-Russia government, which was later replaced with a Western-backed administration. The majority in those areas refused to endorse the new administration.

    More than 14,000 people have been killed so far.

    Ukraine, as well as the European Union (EU) and the United States, claims that Russia has a hand in the conflict in the Donbass. Moscow denies the allegation.

    On Monday, Putin signed a decree recognizing the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions as independent republics. The recognition followed an address in which he referred to eastern Ukraine as “ancient Russian lands” being “managed by foreign powers.”

    https://www.conservapedia.com/2022_Special_Military_Operation_in_Ukraine_-_Donbas_cauldron

    https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2022/09/gilbert-doctorow-from-special-military-operation-to-open-war-significance-of-the-referendums-in-donbas-kherson-and-zaporozhie/

    Then there is Gonzo Lira, one of the best observers of the Ukrain/SMO to be found and he is funny. He is also Pro Russian. Mostly this post if from the Russian side as it is easy to get the Wests point of view.

    https://www.greanvillepost.com/2022/09/06/the-macro-picture-gonzalo-lira-on-the-ukraine-conflicts-broader-contours-and-implications-for-all-sides/

    he Macro Picture: Gonzalo Lira on the Ukraine conflict’s broader contours and implications for all sides

    The controversial commentator dissects the depths of the West’s mistakes in its malign strategy toward Russia, but their arrogance is blinding them to the inevitable consequences.

  145. Regarding the Nordstream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines… there is some very good analysis on Moon of Alabama about this very question (the topical posts on 9/26, 9/27 & 9/28 taken together provide a detailed in-depth backstory). And yesterday the Gateway Pundit offered a more blunt explanation (“ANALYSIS: Nord Stream Pipelines Sabotaged, and Only One Country Benefits”) and although they tend to be somewhat ‘conspiracy’-minded, their conclusion seems quite plausible.

  146. Hi Silicon Guy,

    Such “articles “ (disguised ads) appear all the time in women’s magazines. I didn’t know they were also pitched at men!

    According to Naked Capitalism, no matter how expensive a RTW garment is, these days it’ll fall apart in the wash. Because of a weight change, I’m wearing (very) old clothes, 20-25 years old, and as I go back in time I’ve noticed even hemlines, actual seams, buttons tightly sewn. I am thinking about posting pictures so the young can see how we used to live. These clothes were not originally expensive, just everyday clothes. I have one 30-year-old blouse from K-mart, if you remember them, that faded very little. I still wear it.

  147. I am looking for suggested sources for beginner themes for meditation for someone that perceives woo woo very well but still calls it woo woo and dismisses it. My mother saw me meditating and she wants to try but I don’t want her to plunge into the white hot coals of creation just yet despite her magnetism towards the book. She got spooked a little with it too, which reminds me I need to be better at hiding books when visiting because she takes extraneous stuff out of children’s guts and needs focus.

    I wonder if anyone has any favorite mythology books, stories, fables or children stories (she is a pediatrician and loves the latter) that you’d think are good for meditation. Thanks in advance!

    If I get mom to meditate dad would want to as well out of fomo, and that would be really good for him. The world has convinced him he is mad when he is just psychic enough to notice (and make stuff blow up). I think brother was a magician in a past life, that’s going to be a little tougher but so far prayer and natural magic seems enough for him to maintain good spirits and not be pestered.

    I guess my dad isn’t too far off when he refers to us as The Addams (in spanish it is the crazy addams) ha!

  148. Clay, of course. You can make an electric airplane, just as you can make a flying car — you just can’t make one that’s worth bothering with.

    Reese, given how bizarrely the German government has been behaving, you have a point!

    Jessi, oh, I’m perfectly willing to engage in verbal conflicts, but I do them on my own terms, in my own time scale. Blogging and publishing books seems to work fairly well for me. 😉

    Patricia O, it’s not always or often a matter of poisoning, but elites in a failing civilization inevitably get stuck in self-defeating behavior patterns from which they refuse to vary. Toynbee’s A Study of History largely focuses on that habit; he argues that what happens is that senile elites start demanding that problems conform to their preferred set of solutions, rather than adapting their solutions to the actual problems they face. As for the pipelines, I honestly won’t be surprised no matter who blew them up — so many countries had good reason to do so.

    Sparkels, many thanks for the data points. Those same experiences are on their way to the rest of the industrial world, of course.

    Aziz, fascinating. Thanks for this; I’ll put it on the get-to list.

    Jay, nope, not for long. Fun times en route!

    Robert, for starters, the unraveling of the global economy, a significant worldwide depression while regional economies get started up again, shortages of energy, food, and consumer goods, and wars in various corners of the planet, not all of them far from the industrial nations. Oh, and the collapse of at least a few democracies into autocracy. Hang on to your hat.

    Michael, it’s definitely entertaining, in a ghoulish sort of way.

    D., I literally have no idea how that happened. I started writing about decline for my old blog, The Archdruid Report, under the serene conviction that nobody outside of the Druid and occultist fringe would pay the least attention to what I was saying. When I started getting invited as a speaker to serious peak oil events, I was flabbergasted. When I started landing book contracts on the same subject, I was even more flabbergasted. Things went from there. Me, I remain comfortably lodged in the far fringes of modern industrial society, writing about magic and Druidry and other far from respectable subjects, and yet people who have some claim to respectability quote me. Why? Beats me.

    Mister N, that seems like a reasonable prediction.

    Quos Ego, according to sources that are all quoting the same stories issued by NATO propaganda mills, sure. Meanwhile Russia’s only used around 15% of its armed forces in the Ukraine war — most of the fighting has been carried out by local militias and mercenaries. (Did you know the Russians are recruiting mercenaries from Syria and Libya? Here’s a source.) It would be a major change in Russian military doctrine to use untrained troops in a combat situation when they’ve got plenty of trained troops ready to go, and there’s no reason why they should do so. On the other hand, NATO has every reason to spread claims that this is what’s happening, not least to try to convince Russian men to flee the country to avoid conscription. That being the case, it makes a lot more sense to recognize the claims you’re citing as standard wartime propaganda, and to discount them as an indication of what’s actually happening.

    Ighy, hmm. That’s a possibility worth keeping in mind.

    Renaissance, that’s not a literature I’ve studied in any detail; I don’t do dreamwork, and the training method I used for astral projection is the very simple one included in W.E. Butler’s book Apprenticed to Magic. Anyone else have recommendations?

    Blue Sun, the Biden administration has been pulling every trick it knows to try to drive down gas prices, including massive releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Biden’s handlers are terrified of this very effective sticker campaign:

    Ecosophian, funny! As for the “Druid Hills” neighborhoods, Druids have had a presence here since 1798, when the first Druid organization in the US was founded in the Hudson River valley of New York, and the United Ancient Order of Druids was a big presence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s not secret, just ignored.

    Kenaz, sensible advice.

    Chris, I’ll have to toss that to the commentariat; as I noted above, I relied on one source, and I have no idea how it compares to what else is out there.

    Siliconguy, hey, at least it’s extracting wealth from the clueless rich and paying some of it out in salaries to working tailors!

    Justin, thanks for this!

    Tommy, thanks for the data points.

    Andy, hmm! Yeah, that would be an issue.

    Karim, I get the impression that NATO literally has no idea what to do. They relied on economic sanctions that have backfired, and then doubled down by sending arms and irregular forces to prop up the Ukrainian side, only to face what looks like a potentially massive onslaught from Russia. One of the fascinating things about this entire war is that it’s been a cascade of failed assumptions on both sides — Russia thought Ukraine would crumple promptly in the face of invasion, NATO thought Russia would crumple promptly in the face of sanctions, and both sides were wrong and have been scrambling for a Plan B since then.

    Wilnav, thanks for this also — nicely laid out.

    Patricia M, and thanks for this.

    Blue Sun, except that far more than one country benefits! It’s unfortunate that so many people in this mess have taken sides and can only see it one way.

    Augusto, literally anything can be a theme for meditation. Does your mother have a favorite nonfiction book? That’s a good source of themes. Does she have religious interests? Those are especially good themes for meditation. Whatever interests you, whatever you want to understand more deeply, can be a theme for meditation. You could probably meditate your way through an engine repair manual with very good results!

  149. @JMG: that wasn’t my question at all. Am I aware that Russia can potentially turn the tide of the war? Sure.
    What I’m asking is: should they fail to do so and their war effort collapse, what would be, in your view, the political and military fallout?

  150. @renaissance #138 re: Lucid Dreaming

    I don’t have any personal experience to draw on for Astral Projection, so I can’t particularly recommend any of the books I have/have heard of on the subject, but I can help a bit with dreamwork. “Creative Dreaming” by Patricia Garfield has a pretty straightforward and effective set of instructions to go from “I don’t even remember my dreams” to “I’m lucidly dreaming pretty regularly”. If you are interested in the interpretation of non-lucid dreams, “Dreams, A Portal to the Source” by Edward C. Whitmont and Sylvia Brinton Perera is a Jungian-school dream interpretation manual that has served me pretty well.

    Hope these help and happy exploring!
    Jeff

  151. The Russian campaign is really not going well.

    LOL, only per the Western media, otherwise looks to be going very well indeed.

    I can’t help but reiterate that there’s literally no way Russia loses, period, end of story. Any other imagined outcome is pure fantasyland.

    Regarding Nordstream… I just don’t see the incentive for Russia, and as they say “Show me the incentive and I’ll show you the outcome”. It was their massive investment and their leverage and they’re fairly new. There were already protests rising throughout Europe to make nice with Russia and restart supplies. The only ones interested in undercutting those protests would be those trying to maintain NATO solidarity.

    Besides, the US totally telegraphed their intentions and ability in that regard.

  152. @Augusto, #165 re: Sources for Meditation Themes

    I haven’t tried most of these as sources for meditation themes, so take with a grain of salt, but some favorite children’s books that strike me as likely to have some good depths to them (I have only read these in English and am not sure about availability in Spanish, if that’s a concern for your mother):
    – “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery
    – “The Chronicles of Prydain” by Lloyd Alexander (older kid coming-of-age story inspired by the Mabingion)
    – Any collection of actual Brothers Grimm fairy tales has lots of archetypal stuff going on
    – A contemporary of the Grimms named Franz Xaber von Schonwerth collected a bunch of stories from his region that were re-discovered sometime around 2000, which are collected under the title “The Turnip Princess”
    – “Favorite Greek Myths” by Mary Pope Osborne tells selections mostly from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and follows the annoying Victorian convention of naming all the Greek Gods by their Roman equivalents, but it has some lovely paintings and stays reasonably faithful to the original myths while still being presented in a child-friendly way
    – The D’Aulaire Mythology for children books (Greek and Norse) are widely well-regarded – I like the tellings in the Norse one, but I’m honestly not such a fan of the art. Some folks find it charming, but it doesn’t work for me. I haven’t read the Greek one, though
    – Not quite a kid’s book, but “The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle strikes me as likely having a lot of worthwhile meditative themes in it
    – Lastly, of course, I have personally gotten quite a bit out of meditating through the Mabinogion and parts of the Poetic Edda (I put that on hold for various Druid studies), but I have no idea if those would resonate with your Mother

    I hope she’s able to find something that works for her!
    Jeff

  153. A thing that amuses me in a sick way is that with all the gafuffle over Russian gas imports to Europe, no one seems to have realized that the same situation will occur, probably within 10 years or so from depletion of the resource itself. I suppose if you can get another 10 years worth, go for it, but it will happen before too long whatever.

  154. Dear JMG,

    Recently I’ve been doing some research into the precession of the equinoxes reading _Hamlet’s Mill_ and doing work to better visualize the celestial geometrical motions of the and understand their terminology, meaning, and implications. This led to a synchronistic discovery of information: the Upton Chamber of Massachusetts apparently lines up perfectly with the descent of the Pleiades — discussion and images here: https://www.starmythworld.com/mathisencorollary/2012/10/the-pleiades-upton-chamber-ancient.html — of course, this is not surprising at all, but strikes me as an interesting data point and so I share it here!

  155. patriciaormsby talks about poisoning.

    Reply indirectly to you observation. The Apache Indian water supply was poisoned by the US army (calvary) because the Apache were very hard to fight against. Chemical warfare is not new.

  156. @JMG: Of course the high quality of the analysis you provide must have at least a little something to do with your ability to maintain respectability while being an occultist/druid. 🙂

    Speaking of which….

    @renaissance Many years ago, Donald DeGracia (a well regarded medical researcher and neuroscientist) put out a free and very detailed guide to out of body experiences.

    I’m not managing to connect to his site at the moment, but ordinarily you can find it here.

    http://www.dondeg.com/metaphysics/do_obe.pdf
    http://www.dondeg.co

    Otherwise, you can check it out here.

    https://archive.org/stream/frater-ahyhhgyg-manipulation-through-astral-correspondences/Donald%20J.%20Degracia%20-%20Astral%20Projection%20OOBE%20Class_djvu.txt

    Failing that, I’m sure judicious use of your favourite search engine would yield some results.

    Incidentally, I don’t dabble in such things, so can’t vouch for the work.

  157. @Justin Patrick Moore re: e-bikes.
    I have two ebikes, a normal commuter bike and a cargo bike. I’ve been using ebikes for 9 years.

    I would endorse everything said by pixelated. And add, get two batteries and never allow them to deep discharge. my main commute could be done with a single battery, but I use one battery out and the other home. Only half discharging both.

    Also never coast. I have 7 gears on my bike but never go above 4th. I always put in the same power as I would on an ordinary bike. This prevents fast discharging of the battery, minimises wear on the motor, increases your range and ensures you’re getting useful exercise on your bike ride.

    My two batteries are nine years old and very modest loss of range so far. I ride about 8000 miles a year.

    My cargo bike is a Yuba Mundo with a bafang 350 watt conversion kit. I haul firewood and garden compost with it. I’ve hauled loads of up to 100 kg (220 pounds) up 6% gradients. In some ways more useful than a small tractor because I can bring it deep into the woods and load where I’m cutting. I can then walk it out to the pass and ride from there.

    Ebikes will no doubt disappear in the upcoming dark age. But they are allowing me to ride out the last days of the industrial age, without a car, in a hilly rural location, in spite of my poor late middle-aged knees.

  158. @Jonathon (#30)

    I work with a bunch of electricians. They come from all walks of life. They were always professional and courteous to me. Seems like a good profession. Sometimes you have to work in difficult conditions though — bad weather, dangerous locations or tasks. There is likely a chapter of the IBEW not too far from you. They might be able to guide you on how to become an electrician.

  159. Jon, Thank you for the recommendation! a used copy of Harmony is on it’s way.

    Kimberly, Thanks for the app suggestions! I had no idea there was such a thing. I already did the first lesson for one right after reading your reply. The app should keep me busy for awhile and I might stop in for your YouTube lesson schedule permitting. I’m self teaching the keyboard right now.

    IVN, Thank you for the response and explanation. It sounds like the apps Kimberly suggested may teach the things you mentioned, so I will start there.

  160. I have been playing with Midjourney. It is a text to image processor. It is pretty surprising what it can do. It seems to be neural network based. To me, it seems to be a bit like magic. I have some familiarity with how the neural net is implemented in software, but still seems to be more than just a statistical processor somehow. Does this technology change how you view I at all?

    text prompts and the resulting pictures (chosen at random from the discord stream):
    “real photo of a man –upbeta –s 5000 –testp”
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/933565701162168371/1025146643437342830/developer_barcelona_real_photo_of_a_man_d76d3a1e-560f-4246-be53-bc041402b429.png

    “thor avengers playing basket ball, slam dunk, intricate details, art, animated, cinematic lightning, marvel univers, lightning, basketball, epic scene, cartoon, dramatic lightning, cloack, thor outfit”
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/933565701162168371/1025146670519955466/supersusanne_thor_avengers_playing_basket_ball_slam_dunk_intric_47a077a4-26c9-4c9d-9d64-05dc1184eba3.png

    “Architectural section, Shinkai Makoto style, old town-Japan, mount fuji, water rice fields, iver in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, potted plants, flowers, cherry blossom trees, mist, art by miyazaki, Craig Mullins, nausicaa, hypermaximalist, hyper detail, photography, 8k, octane render, by framestore, dramatícelo lighting —ar 9:16 —test –upbeta”
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/933565701162168371/1025147978492686427/c9f7399a-275e-4a85-a7d3-32d07db9489f_progress_image_85.webp

  161. What’s your take on the upcoming election? I have a premonition that the Blues will use the techniques they deployed in 2020 (plus whatever else it takes) to give themselves majorities in both houses of Congress. Should that occur, do you think they’d try to create a leftist”utopia?”

  162. Last one, I promise. I continued on this with a couple more iterations. I know I am being silly. I find the application fascinating and amusing:

    “https://i.mj.run/cdb50c39-17c0-4380-b8a9-888388eb1048/0_0.png John Michael Greer playing basketball, detailed, stadium lighting, indoors, realistic, detailed, 4k, unreal engine, octane render –iw 2 –upbeta –test –creative –upbeta”
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/995431473828077618/1025157651446894623/jb_John_Michael_Greer_playing_basketball_detailed_stadium_light_e6767a1f-0577-4db9-956c-bd06e379fb28.png?width=1128&height=1128

  163. Isaac @ 101,

    FWIW, I’d point out that Victorian England was the leading edge of the industrial revolution, and I wouldn’t consider it low energy. That era wiped out village-based textile manufacturing by factories that were powered by on-site steam engines fueled by coal. The steam engines drove shafts that ran above the factory floor, which in turn drove belts that were connected to looms, spinning jennies, lathes, grinders, milling machines and such.

    I have no doubt that those mechanical power transmission and distribution systems embodied a distinct body of knowledge, of which documentation is no doubt hard to come by now. But it ‘s most advantageous to convert the power to electrical if you have that option; it’s sure easier to distribute and connect to than mechanical.

    What’s also salient in my mind is that power generation was onsite, and that the steam engines were piston, which as engines go, are as low-tech as you can get.

    Still, you have to melt iron or steel in melts of up to 30-100 pounds or so to make castings for the parts. That requires the use either coke (basically purified coal), or high grade charcoal made from hardwood. Either way, in a world of energy descent, scarcity, economic contraction, and localization, that seems like a tall order. I suppose people will look for ways to improve the grade of charcoal obtained from fast-growing softwoods, or get higher temperatures from the charcoal at hand. And once you’ve made the engine (and boiler!), you need to fuel it: Soft wood? Bamboo? Dried hemp? Organic waste? Whatever you use, your setup has got to be pretty small scale for any hope of running it indefinitely, as you probably won’t be alone in needing local fuel…

    One might consider manufacturing some metal items from scrap aluminum, as it’s fairly abundant, and has a low melting temperature, though I doubt you could make steam engines with it, and certainly not boilers.

    IMO, the long-term best use of fuel will be to melt/forge metal to fabricate it into muscle-powered tools and machines, e.g. hand tools, treadle/pedal sewing machines, spinning jennies, looms, lathes, drill presses…

    There is quite an extensive literature on small scale, DIY metal fabrication (melting & casting, machining, grinding…), though I’m not sure if fabrication covers the same ground as manufacturing, as you asked. I might suggest getting a hold of textbooks on jigs, which are a simple technology to preposition parts for assembled, glued or welded items; indeed it might be only extra bit you need for the manufacturing scale you’re contemplating.

    I did put together a little metal fabrication library back when Lindsay Publications was around (which reprinted old metal-working technology textbooks), and it was THE one-stop shop for that sort of thing. Sadly for us, Lindsay retired, and the seller that bought up his inventory is about out and closing shop.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  164. Hi JMG and commentariat,

    Is anyone familiar with a possible connection between Frank Lloyd Wright and druidry?

    Last year, on weekend trip through the Driftless region of Wisconsin, I stopped at Unity Chapel, the family church of the Lloyd-Jones clan, a Welsh family that immigrated to this part of the state and today is best remembered as the provenance of the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
    Unity Chapel was a small Unitarian church whose adherents were mostly of Welsh descent. As some may know, Welsh Unitarianism was closely connected to the development of druidry in the figure of Edward Williams, or Iolo Morganwg. Your readers might be interested to learn that the stone gate of Unity Chapel has a prominent symbol of Awen, as do several of the tombstones in the churchyard.
    Also, in the same verdant valley as the chapel lies one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most popular studios, which he named “Taliesin.” Taliesin was the name attributed to a Welsh bard in a medieval manuscript of poetry bearing the same name. It was also the name of one of Morganwg’s sons.

  165. Graham C (and anyone else who watched the linked video about a Scottish island which is self-sufficient with renewable energy) – The video is all about the solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric power, but the interviewed engineer says that their energy is “mostly hydro”. And, it’s diesel generators, when they need them. And the people interviewed in their kitchen had a gas stove. And there was a radiator mounted to the wall, which might have been electrically heated, but my hunch is that it was part of a gas-fired hot-water system. And there was no mention of transportation (electric or otherwise, so probably liquid hydrocarbon) of either people, sheep, or goods. Note that the population density appears to be low, though growing. They may be able to add solar panels and batteries, but my hunch is that their hydro-electric resource is fully exploited, since that’s 100-year old technology.

    So, I don’t think that this is “our future”. It’s much too rosy.

  166. patriciaormsby (no. 122), Clever Name (no. 89), one day I happened upon a wood-carving of Ganesh which some neighbor had discarded, probably because the trunk had been partially eaten by termites. I took it home, intending to give it a more respectful burial in the mountains. But my wife set it outside our door, where he stands guard today. Lizards seem to like him.

    I understand that in Hindu ceremonies, Ganesh is always worshipped first. There’s a story to explain why that is.

  167. Andy, #156
    For a good pressure canner, I would recommend the All American brand. I was gifted one a several years ago and it is one of the most valuable pieces of canning equipment I own. Parts are easy to get from the company and they are willing to talk with you on the phone to answer questions (might be expensive from England, I know). Here is a link. Perhaps they ship overseas, I didn’t look.
    https://www.allamericancanner.com/

  168. Archdruid,

    I’ve searched and I cannot find the post but in the past month or so someone requested advice on how to use the tarot during these troubled times. You requested the person ask during a Wednesday open post.

    I found the question intriguing and hopefully this triggers a memory of the exact request but any advice you could offer for those that use the tarot for divination as it relates to the ongoing downturn would be interesting to read.

  169. @ dear commenters from Austria (Curt, CS2, Bergente, Njura and whoever might be lurking). Myself, I’m a rare commenter.
    If you feel like meeting in person, I would be pleased to even invite you over and cook for you. Or if that’s too private. let’s meet somewhere else…
    You can reach me with my handle beim österr gmx

  170. I have a question regarding Renaissance hermeticists and alchemists and the advent of modern science. One popular opinion I run into online is something like: these traditions basically became what we know as modern science, once they dropped the foolish & superstitious aspects of their inquiries: astrology becomes astronomy, alchemy becomes chemistry, the arrow of progress moves from these error-ridden schools of thought to more rational, productive branches of scientific inquiry.

    I think I remember reading somewhere you making the argument that this was not exactly the case, something like that there came to be an agreement between the secular philosophers of the Enlightenment and representatives of organized religion which kind of agreed to bury the concerns & inquiries of Renaissance hermeticists, coming to a truce, agreeing on having two separate bodies of knowledge that would no longer interact.

    Do I have your opinion correct here? Do you have any suggestions on further reading to investigate this thesis?

    I’ve been reading several biographies of John Dee and some of the works he wrote, some biographies of Paracelsus, histories of alchemy. I’ve got Norman Hampson’s book on The Enlightenment on deck, as well as some books on “the scientific revolution” (they seem to begin with sections questioning whether such a revolution ever actually took place.)

    The figure I’m most interested in is John Dee. I’ve read that late in his life he was trying to get funds for a kind of polytechnic institute, schools where natural philosophers would be on staff alongside skilled craftsmen, to test out various hypotheses, as well to find beneficial technical applications of the knowledge that was obtained in this school. (Of course the funding was denied!) Also interested in Paracelsus and the Rosicrucians in this regard.

  171. Thanks for all the suggestions! Low tech magazine has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now. As for FB, sadly that is a place I can’t bear to visit. The Mechanical Movements book looks good though!

  172. renaissance wrote, “Could you recommend some book titles regarding the practices of astral projection and lucid dreaming?”

    I found Mark Stavish’s book “Between the Gates: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, and the Body of Light in Western Esotericism” to be useful for learning about both of those practices.

  173. Quos Ego, there are too many variables in play for the results to be predictable, nor does that outcome seem plausible to me at this point.

    Stephen, good! Yes, exactly — and it’s because depletion is so far advanced in so many natural gas reserves that we’re in this situation in the first place, with so few sources and so little additional capacity that the Russians shutting off the gas would cause this much trouble.

    Quos Ego, I follow War on the Rocks already — a useful site, but they have their biases.

    Violet, I’ve been working on a book project that’s sent me back to records of megalithic sites in New England and elsewhere, and so stellar alignments are of particular interest right now. Thank you!

    D., maybe so, but a lot of equally good analysts have been shoved out to the fringes. It really is odd.

    BCV, ha! Funny.

    RPC, quite a few states have sharply tightened their election rules since 2016; here in blue Rhode Island, for example, you have to show photo ID to vote. I expect the Democrats to lose some seats in the House, probably enough for the GOP to take control; the Senate’s too close to call right now. Given the number of Biden administration officials who are preparing to bail out with the new year, I doubt there’ll be any more than the usual amount of vote fraud.

    Devin, good heavens, yes. Wright’s mother’s family had connections to the Welsh Druid scene and Wright drew heavily on that — he took Iolo Morganwg’s motto, “The Truth Against The World,” for his own. He’s one of the handful of first-rate creative talents that modern Druidry can call its own.

    Scotty, you might find this essay helpful:

    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/13910.html

    Alacrates, my book of essays The City of Hermes has a long essay on exactly this subject, which talks about the way that Hermeticism was squeezed out by materialist science and dogmatic Christianity, and how these later turned on each other. You might also read the books on Hermeticism by Frances Yates and Margaret Jacob’s books on the radical side of Freemasonry.

  174. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for providing this format. I hope that we are sharpening your mind, as much as you are sharpening ours? 🙂

    I’d be curious as to your perspective in a matter which has bothered me for quite a long time. Over the many years I have had occasional dealings with the legal system. Years ago I heard a cheeky scamp suggest that that particular system was ‘an administrative system which always seeks to administer itself’. An astute observation if I may say so. All of my experience with that system has ended up in unjust outcomes (even when matters were clear cut), and I’m curious as to your historical perspective. Is this lack of justice (albeit that perceived outcome from my perspective, and I would not use the system for frivolous issues) a recent development? As a side note, it’s a very expensive system too, probably out of reach for many people. Hmm.

    Cheers

    Chris

  175. Re the Nordstream event – to use the old saying: “If it walks like a dog, barks like a dog, and looks like a dog, it must be a dog”. Applying the principle of cui bono to the event, leaves the US as the only plausible beneficiary. The idea that Russia has done this is just not digestible. Putin was provoked into this war and has pursued a mild mannered campaign so far. Germany was starting to show indications that it was going to pull back from its suicidal support for the war (Schulz refusing to send anymore weapons support etc) and people were going out into the street demonstrating for a return to reason. It was time for the Don to make his gangster move. So gang boss USA stepped in to secure Germany’s continuing obedience. Only 3 countries have the technical means handy to do this: US, China and Russia. It would clearly be against Russia’s interests (as stated), China does not figure, and thus the US is left as the obvious culprit. As far as i can recall this is the 1st substantial attack that the US has made against an ally (the pipeline was after all Germany’s) since at least WW2.
    The decision to green light it says everything about the madhouse that the Biden WH must surely be behind closed doors today. Do they really think that there will be no long term ramifications in Germany/Europe after such a contemptuous/destructive/bullying action as this?

  176. @Quos Ego: “should they fail to do so and their war effort collapse, what would be, in your view, the political and military fallout?”

    One view is that Russia see this as an existential war. If they lose they will be strangled to death by NATO. With already terminal demographics and a militarized, pro-west Ukraine on their western flank, that paranoia is probably well founded.

    So they cannot lose this war. No matter what.

    We should consider the possibility that MAD (mutually assured destruction) is a two-edged sword. Yes, it enforced a peace between the major powers for 77 years and counting. No one has used nuclear weapons in anger since 1945.

    But, if one power is convinced they are going to be destroyed anyway, then the MAD principle gets turned on its head. The collapsing power can take their enemies down with them and see who emerges first from the glowing rubble a century or two down the way.

    If Russia continue performing poorly on the battlefield the use of a nuclear strike grows. The potential for catastrophic escalation is then very real.

    If that view is accurate, then the equation for Russia is very simple. Win at all costs.

    The equation for the West is diabolical. Defeat Russia and face a high risk of nuclear war. Or find some path to either stalemate or de-escalation.

  177. Andy #156

    “Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry has manufactured All American Pressure Canners since the 1930s. The All American Pressure Canner is the only pressure canner that forms a metal to metal seal eliminating the need for lid gasket replacement. The All American Canner offers large capacity canning to make pressure canning your meats, vegetables and fruits easy.”

    These are generally held to be the Rolls Royce of pressure canners. I don’t think the Foundry does direct sales, you have to order from a retailer. They are often on backorder. You’re looking at $400-500ish, depending on the model you choose.

    I have one. It’s my most highly valued food preservation item.

  178. Quos Ego’s article is a good example of how the Washington DC propaganda and influence chain works. The operation that put it out is an infamous think tank, “The Center for New American Security”. It is currently masterminded by Michelle Flounoy, who while in the Obama administration helped convince Obama of the goodness of invading both Libya and Syria. Before Michelle it was run by ” drum roll please” the infamous Victoria Nuland who has been the ringmaster of the the entire U.S. Ukraine operation since the Maiden coup in 2014. The purpose of articles like these are to convince various decision makers and toadies in DC to go along with the policies of a particular influence group . These articles are written the same way as a Paul Krugman economics article. Nothing is exactly false , but they use big words, important sounding phrases and a deep dive in to some insignificant aspect of an issue that makes the reader think they are smart. These are the seeds that are then passed on to places like the NYT or Washington post to be stripped down and sugar coated for popular consumption. This is how people in power can convince themselves of stupid things because the arguments they hear are created in the think tank industrial complex and bounced around the main stream echo chamber until they seem real.

  179. Chris, legal systems always end up there. They start out as rough justice administered by local barons, shaped by an ongoing conflict between the barons’ self-interest and the need to retain the loyalty of the underlings. They gradually become more systematized and, for a while, more fair, but they then attract a class of educated parasites who profit by making the legal codes too complex for anyone to deal with it without their help. Complexity builds on complexity, until the legal system is vast, intricate, abstract, incomprehensible, and hopelessly dysfunctional — the normal state of law in a civilization in decline. Collapse follows, the legal system goes to bits, and local barons emerge to start the cycle over again. Giambattista Vico talks about this in detail.

    Greg, it’s a source of wry amusement to me that so many people are incapable of admitting that we just don’t know.

    Clay, yep. I’m finding it entertaining to watch the trollery play out.

  180. In regards to the whodunnit NS1 and NS2 –
    I think we can strike Russia from the list. The pipelines are Russian infrastructure. I just don’t see the Russian military destroying their own infrastructure as part of their war fighting doctrine, unless they feel they will lose control of it like burning crops in retreat of an invading force, given their history.

    Another consideration is that the destruction of the pipelines are in line with the American led strategy to cripple the Russian economy by crippling their fossil fuel revenues. They tried this with sanctions. They tried to create a monopsony coalition to control Russian gas below market. Both of those failed. Destroying the physical infrastructure seems a next logical step.

    There is always the wildcard possibility, such as put forth at MOB referenced upthread, that it was some regional actor with a host of axes to grind like Poland. Hard to believe that any NATO state would go rogue in the conflict, without coordinating their action with other states, but that would be far from the strangest thing to have happened in world history.

  181. Clever Name (#89), I am a practicing Hindu. Ganesha has a very pleasing disposition when it comes to his relationship with the worshippers. So right off the bat I don’t think you have anything to worry about.
    Ganesha is literally a child (but a very wise one). He is easily pleased by a simple offering of a few flowers and fruits (more elaborate ways of worship also exist). His main attribute is when you pray to him before starting an activity, he will remove any obstacles and will ensure that it goes of without a hitch. People pray to him everyday, but specially before buying big stuff (like houses, cars), job interviews, starting a new job, weddings, taking long journeys, basically important stuff in life.

    Once you start praying to him regularly, if you fail to pray to him at the beginning of an important task, Ganesha won’t like it. He would actually _create_ an obstacle. At the point if you realize the mistake, pray to him and ask for his forgiveness, the obstacle will be removed, and things will be fine.
    I have not given you any tips on how to worship him because it does not look like you have made up your mind on that yet. If you do, let me know.

  182. Hi!
    Since the mid 80’s I have been fascinated by airships. Given that they require far less energy to operate than conventional aircrafts, do you or anybody else think that with oil depletion, we’ll see some form of come back for airships?

    I am quite aware that helium is a rare non renewable resource and that hydrogen is flammable! But let us assume that the resource of helium can last for some decades yet or that the dangers of hydrogen can be minimised to the extent that its use presents acceptable levels of risks (after all jet fuel is just as flammable if not more but the level of risk is considered acceptable by society.)
    PS: I am quite aware of the Heindenburgh accident amongst others…

    Many thanks!

  183. @Darren (#196) and all:

    I am as certain as can be that Russia does regard this as an existential war, and that it will throw every nuke it has against the US rather than surrender to the pressures we are now bringing against it. Not too many weeks ago Putin said, in one of his major speeches, that he sees no point in “a world without Russia in it” even continuing to exist. Much the same sentiment, less starkly expressed, pervades many of his recent speeches, and also the speeches of Russia’s foreign minister, Lavrov. Very clear warning signals … And very many Russians, perhaps most of them, would agree with that sentiment.

    So, yes, Russian will certainly do its best to take the whole West down with it if it ever becomes convinced that it it is going to be destroyed or subjugated. Mutual Assured Destruction is Russia’s ultimate weapon, which it holds in reserve against that possibility.

    And, to my deepest sorrow, I think that the arrogant [undruidly expletives] of both parties in DC do not believe that such a thing could possibly happen … not to THEM, the self-crowned Masters of the Universe. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” as King Solomon is said to have warned.

    I hope against hope that I will be proven wrong about the denizens of DC, but it is a very faint hope these days.

  184. Hi re this JMG and thanks for your response.

    i think the ‘we just don’t know’ thing has kind of run out of steam in terms of late 20th/early 21st century history. ‘We just don’t know’ doesn’t cut it anymore. We ‘just don’t know’ whether Lee Oswald was a patsy – yet we actually do ‘know’ that he was – it’s freaking obvious and always was. We ‘just don’t know’ whether Sirhan Sirhan was a patsy in RFK’s assassination – yet we actually do ‘know’ – its obvious if you look into it. We ‘just don’t know’ that the Sept 11 event was staged, but if we look into it – its freaking obvious that it was.

    In the legal world we have the ‘beyond reasonable doubt (BRD)’ principle to guide conclusions/judgements in matters of criminality, and in the civil legal world we have ‘the balance of probabilities (BOP)’ to guide us. This scenario has to be a BRD scenario. The pipeline was Russia’s one major leverage point/bargaining chip with Germany/Europe to obtain de-escalation (what they obviously have wanted since 2014). Of course it was snuffed out by America (or their proxy NATO, if you will). Any other conclusion resides in the P<0.001 world of improbability. Entertaining improbabilities (granted, they do exist) is fine in the world of fiction – but pretty lame in the real world which moves faster and with the mad gusto of a glutton or an addict. For God's sake, can we not ever agree socially (i.e among everyday people) to just call 'a spade a spade', and then move/act accordingly?

  185. With all this talk about the coming energy shortages – even if it doesn’t look like it will impact me too much… yet.

    I will live simple like Diogenes. Build friends and community like Epicurus. And watch the broad spectacle of decline like the legend of Nero.

    To live like a Zen monk in the 15th century – you will be fine.

  186. @Clay:
    The article I posted was written in June.
    It accurately predicted what happened to the Russian army in September and why.

    That, in my book, is what matters.

    War on the rocks is a pro-western website, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else… but analysts like Michael Kofman seem to have a very clear and accurate view of the situation on the ground. If you read them instead of shouting “propaganda” and “Obama” out of the top of your lungs, you’ll see that their view is actually much more nuanced than you’d think.

  187. @JMG: well, I was asking you to be speculative, not whether you found this possibility likely or not.
    Oh well.

    @Darren: thanks!

  188. JMG,

    I understand that we don’t know who did it, and even after the investigations are concluded we probably still won’t know because anyone that could pull this off has the means to do so with equipment that won’t trace back to them. In 2015 there was an unexploded drone found next to Nordstream 1 (at that point just Nordstream) rigged with explosives and even though it was intact we couldn’t trace it back to anyone. So the saboteur is not likely to be positively identified.

    And, I know that several countries opposed the Nordstream pipelines. The USA, Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states are all on record as hostile to the project.

    Further, I know that many countries stand to benefit from Germany and Russia’s loss. Anyone selling LNG or exporting manufactured goods has something to gain from injury to a competitor.

    The thing that bothers me is that the USA had the means, motive, and opportunity and is desperately trying to prop up its global hegemony and dwindling wealth pump. Which makes it a prime suspect. But the ostensibly free press in the USA runs drivel like this:

    https://time.com/6218125/russia-gas-pipelines-energy-war/

    With the title:
    “Russia Blows Up Gas Pipelines, Declaring an All-Out Energy War It May Already Have Lost”

    Which states in the title, as an uncontested fact, that Russia did it. Then, in the article, casually mentions that no investigation has been done yet. And when it assesses the costs and benefits it concludes that Putin made a mistake because sabotaging the pipeline does not benefit Russia in any way.

    I also realize that Time magazine isn’t quite the quintessential American publication or the news paper of record. But, when it starts with the assumption that if something bad happened that it is a priori obvious Russia must have done it and then concludes that Putin made a mistake because it does not serve Russia’s interests in any way, well, let’s just say that it rubs me the wrong way.

  189. When I heard the pipeline had blown my first thought was the Germans had done it themselves. Like an ancient general slaughtering his horse in front of the troops to prove he won’t retreat. Or the Russian Civil War equivalent – decoupling the locomotive from the armoured train. 🙂

    Perun’s videos are the best analysis I’ve seen about the war, with a focus on economics and manpower: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC3ehuUksTyQ7bbjGntmx3Q/videos

  190. @D. to @JMG: “Of course the high quality of the analysis you provide must have at least a little something to do with your ability to maintain respectability while being an occultist/druid. 🙂”

    @JMG said:
    “D., maybe so, but a lot of equally good analysts have been shoved out to the fringes. It really is odd.”

    Speaking for myself, the quality and usefulness of the analyses are secondary to the poise JMG exemplifies by staring squarely in the face of the major troubles we collectively face with the stability of a mountain. Decades of relentlessly trying to find the most effective way to potentially make a difference at least for some people, starting with those that will be most impacted first, adds up. Doing this with no public office position, limited economic means, and none of the usually required credentials, instead relying first on strong and balanced character development. That leaves a track in space that even if I can’t quite emulate (yet!?), provides a nice refuge from the ambiant craziness, and a much better springboard for effective thinking and action.

    So I guess I am saying thank you! And I am also guessing that these humble answers are a way of avoiding the traps of Ego glorification once all that training starts giving its fruits…

  191. @Mother Balance #197, @Andy #156
    I purchased an All American pressure canner, and ran into an unexpected problem– Not with the canner, but the heat source. My kitchen stove is not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the canner, so I need to find an external burner that provides the right amount of heat without risk of burning down the house or filling it with carbon monoxide.
    All American does not make burner recommendations as a matter of policy (so far as I can tell), but some sources recommend a burner that provides 20,000 BTU’s. I can find electric and camp-stove burners with 10,000 BTU’s, but they seem to jump to 50,000 BTU’s with not much in between, and the electric burners I have found so far seem to run on 220 Volts, if above 10,000 BTU’s.
    I have gotten a gas burner with the higher BTU limit, and plan to turn the flame down low, but I am not happy with the idea of needing to use the pressure canner outside in the yard.

    Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution?
    Or maybe what I really need to do is get rid of the modern stove and find one that is sturdy enough to hold the pressure canner…

  192. A thought on the pipeline incidents: since the last World War, countries have become much, much more dependent on international and transnational infrastructure such as these pipelines. Undersea cables come to mind, especially those that connect trading centers; satellites are another thing, as are the big nodes of internet distribution, server farms, commercial ports, etc.

    If the international order should become as upset as it was in the fourties, and it seems to be headed that way, even just a few cases of state actors targeting facilities like these would have enormous consequences.

    It seems the wealth of the industrial world has been built on ever shakier foundations – the newer the development, the easier it is to attack, and the worse off those who made themselves dependent on it.
    And thanks to Faith in Progress, at least at the level of national administrations and above, the only basket you were ever supposed to but your eggs into was the one labeled „shiny and new“

  193. @Chris and JMG re:legal systems – Charles Dickens pinpointed the same thing in Victorian England in Bleak House.

  194. News flash for mundane astrologers,

    https://on.rt.com/c2zd

    According to RT, the ascension treaties for the annexation of the Donbass territories will be signed 3PM on Friday, 30th of September in Moscow. While this is not the final step of annexation, as it is subject to judicial review, and ratification by the Russian Parliment (which convenes October 4), this is the first firm mundane map that can be drawn of the annexation process.

    As a question of historical astrological research, a good look at the annexation process of Crimea, and its relevant charts are pertinent to the current process.

  195. Some interesting data this month. Back home in The Netherlands, September 18th was the coldest since measurements began. For the first time in my life, I heard women gossip about ways to reduce heating costs.

    I travelled through Eastern Europe. Bratislava in Slovakia had many new glass-and-steel bank towers and luxury cars, but also many closed shops and homeless people. Slovakia was the only Euro zone country I visited.

    Budapest in Hungary had fewer homeless people and closed shop windows, but also fewer bank towers and expensive cars. Dutch newspapers claim the Hungarian president is a dictator, but Hungarians didn’t agree with that.

    Bucharest in Romania used to be very poor. Today it looks like everyone owns a car. Even fewer closed shops than in Budapest, but still some. Romania is shrinking quickly, from 23.5M people in 1990 to 19.7M today.

    Istanbul in Turkey had no unusual amount of closed shops. There is a new car tunnel, a new train tunnel and a new giant beautiful mosque at Camlica park. It also has a giant brand new modern airport. It’s hard to believe that Atlanta Airport in the US serves three times as many passengers!

  196. Hello JMG

    Given your relatively positive astrological reading for Liz Truss, what’s your take on the current economic turmoil in the UK? Is she going to learn lessons and change strategy?

    SMJ

  197. It is always a mistake to analyze and predict the outcome of major wars based on tactics, minor reversals and matchups of minutia as Quos Ego and others do. They are almost always decided by proximity, logistics, size and commitment. The German Army outclassed the Soviet Union’s in almost every way at the beginning of WWII but they did not have the Russian’s access to energy, raw materials, and production space beyond the war zone. The proximity, massive land based supply chains, and ready population of Viet Nam turned they tide against the U.S. despite vastly inferior technology. Afghanistan slowly turned in to a disaster for the U.S. because the grind of hauling in all its supplies by air or through Pakistan tools its toll. Russia has air superiority, long range missile dominance, artillery dominance, proximity, energy, raw materials and the industrial backing of China. Even if the Ukraine is backed by the U.S. that may not mean much as the U.S. ability to turn out artillery and shells is tiny, As an example, the cannon on the U.S. main battle tank comes from a supplier in Germany ( oops). Predicting ( or speculating about) the outcome of this unfortunate war based on the Ukrainians retaking a few Kilometers of territory defended by a handful border guards and reservists , while losing a third of their troops doing it can be likened to a sports analogy. It is like predicting the outcome of a football game between Alabama and Brown because Alabama fumbled when receiving the opening kickoff while all their starters were still in the locker room having breakfast. The outcome is not in doubt, no matter how many times you replay the slow motion video or how many tweets the pundits put out about how the scrappy Ivy Leaguers are turning the tide with grit, determination and superior SAT scores.

  198. @JMG

    Regarding computers, do you expect them to go out with the latest and hottest software, or do you expect a gradual decline in software complexity to the point where older and less complex (and less powerful) software are what’s standard at the ‘point of inflection’ of computer decline? For example, today, for engineering and scientific simulation, there are some pretty powerful and complex (but also computationally heavy) software packages available; just a couple of decades back, tasks done on these software packages would be done on spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel. So, as the point at which computers start becoming unaffordable to the average Joe and Jane nears, do you expect such software packages to go away and start getting replaced by spreadsheets, or do you expect software packages to keep getting more complex (and delivering net negative returns) right up to that critical point in the future?

    The reason I’m asking this is – last week, I had mentioned that I am interested in doing my bit to preserve knowledge and skills pertaining to modeling via, and solution and/or qualitative analysis of, ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations for the future. I had also invited suggestions for possible strategies in this regard, to which you encouraged me to go ahead, but you also mentioned that you couldn’t suggest any strategy that you’re aware of. Since then, I have, after some thinking on the subject, come to the conclusion that it’s much better to do so in a gradual manner. What I mean to do is this:

    Step 1: Start making interactive Excel spreadsheets (that use ODE/PDE models) as cheap simulation options to software packages like Scipy, Scilab (open source alternative to Matlab), and professional packages like Modelica or STELLA (used in system dynamics). The reason for choosing Excel is that not only is it cheap, but also more intuitive, in that Excel spreadsheets can be understood even by people who have no idea of scientific programming. Thus, it is a good way of passing forward key concepts without getting bogged down by the complexities of scientific programming.

    Step 2: After completing and mastering Step 1, start translating these Excel spreadsheets into ODE/PDE models that can be solved using handheld electronic calculators like the Casio 991-ES model. Obviously, this step involves letting go of the ‘interactive’ nature of the process, as well as a great deal of convenience as regards calculating values. This step will involve a much greater focus on qualitative analysis than Step 1 (as it requires mathematical proofs).

    Step 3 (optional): I’m not sure whether I will be able to reach this stage, but if I do, it will essentially be Step 2 with slide rules instead of handheld calculators. Needless to say, this will involve a greater amount of mathematical proof-based work than Step 2.

    I have already begun work on Step 1, and I expect 20-25 years to pass before I reach the stage where Step 2 is necessary. That said, this is a slow process, so it’s better to start early, IMO.

    I’d like to hear your opinion on this strategy, and sorry for a rather long comment.

  199. The website has become slightly more awkward to use. I normally leave the page scrolled down to the last comment and occasionally hit refresh to see if there’s any more. That almost always worked fine (the only exception being rarely it would be like comments were being approved in reverse order and some unread comments would be above where I’d left the page. But now when I refresh, it often jumps me back up to my last comment, or maybe somewhere else upthread, making me lose my place.

  200. Karim Jaufeerally #202, I’ve also had a love of airships going back to the 1980s. But I’m not sure they are fuel efficient compared to planes. Slower doesn’t always mean more efficient. Back at the dawn of the Jet Age they worked out how many passengers a year a 707 could carry compared to the QE2, relative to fuel used. It turned out the 707 could carry twice the passengers and only burn half the fuel. A modern airship would have multiple turboprops or jet engines, yet would still top out at 90-110mph. I can’t see how that can be efficient compared to a plane with probably a larger carrying capacity going at hundreds of miles an hour. Unfortunately I can only see a few specialist uses like scientific research, some military roles, or a truly monstorous airship that sacrifices any claim to efficiency in return for being the most powerful flying crane ever made.

  201. @Clever Name

    I would be one of those westerners who has developed a relationship with Ganesh and it did come to me more or less out of the blue. Similarly to your story, there were synchronicities and signs all pointing to him that I started noticing and later a dream-like contact. Unlike you, I wasn’t even consciously looking for any relationship with a deity. I was slowly recovering from being quite anti-spiritual and Ganesh helped me to take a step that I was extremely hesitant to take and to break into the world of relationships with greater beings. He is indeed the Lord of Obstacles and the Opener of the Ways and my feel of him is that he has this child-like quality of trying out new things and being playful. He has a strong element of being a trickster god which with him has a friendly, gentle, and, again, playful bend.

    For some reason I was steered away from learning how he is worshipped in a traditional environment. I visited his temple, that happens to be relatively close to where I live, but it didn’t quite resonate with me. What I got from him is that there is some rigidity in the traditional ways of worshipping Ganesh and he is looking to explore new ways. The traditional ways work quite well and are worth exploring if you feel drawn to them and get guided in that direction. It seems, however, that he is looking to break some new ground and that might be the reason he contacts people outside of the traditional setting.

    If I may suggest anything, trust the guidance that you get from him and double check it with divination to make sure that your understanding of it is correct. Having another person doing divinations for you is even better. If unsure keep asking him questions in prayer, asking for signs, asking for help if you feel lost. You already seem to be doing all of that so, I guess, keep doing what you are doing and have fun! :——–}

  202. Canning

    I can, and have several canners including 2 all american canners.

    I can on my electric stove with no problem, including using my very tall large All American canner to pressure can. I do not have a glass top stove, I have regular electric coils. My stove is 240V, as are all electric ranges in the USA so far as I know. But, for coil ones, if you go to buy a new one, look at how many turns the coils make, you can look and tell between 2 stoves if they have the equivalent power by burner size AND how many turns of coil, as of course it is realy the coil length that determines resistance and power output. My daughter cans on her glass top stove, but just with a steam canner, not a pressure canner

    Pressure canners are not neccesarily any heavier than a water bath canner as the pressure canner is not filled up with water, it creates steam. But, All American canners are heavier than others, and All Americans come in different sizes, so the large one, which I have, filled with 2 layers of large jars is too heavy for a glass top stove. There are smaller pressure canners that weigh less, so you have to look at your own situation.

    That said, canning outside in the shade can be ideal. At least in a hot California summer. People I know buy a propane camping stove, the heavy duty ones for this. They serve a dual purpose of having a way to cook when the power is out. I do not have this set up, but I have used this type of set up at a friends, we used to can together on their set up. I wish it worked out to do this more as it is more entertaining to have 3 people getting such a job done and getting alot of it out of the way at once. And the kitchen stays cool.

  203. Greetings JMG,

    I read this interesting article on a web site Voltaire that says amongst other things that Russia and China have the capacity to disable the US strategic communication satellites, which would prevent the guidance of nuclear missiles and render them ineffective. Do you think that is true?
    Wouldn’t the submarines-launched systems and the stealth bombers remain effective?

  204. @Emmanuel Goldstein #212

    If you’re willing to replace your “modern stove” in the unlikely event you actually break it, I’d say it’s worth giving it a try.

    Although I have the slightly smaller Presto version, I’ve been pressure canning on glass top stoves for a decade with no issues. The glass is rated for 50 lbs, which means it would probably take at least 100 lbs to actually break it as there is always some safety factor in the ratings. And the fact that pressure canners are not typically moved when at their full weight helps as well.

    That said, if you’re canning hundreds and hundreds of jars, a burner with a higher heat output can save time.

  205. Since the appeal of Jordan Peterson came up:

    Personally I have found Peterson’s work helpful — he’s very enthusiastic, and he talks of many good books and authors in a passionate way. Certainly I got into reading Jung because of Peterson, and for that I feel some gratitude for the Canadian professor. For some months too I found him a very compelling public figure.

    As Jeff Russel notes, though, he’s somewhat of a better populizer than a thinker. That is, as I read more mythological material as well as more Jung and especially Marie Louise von Franz I began to suspect that Peterson doesn’t fully understand what he’s discussing. For instance, in his discussions of the Lion King through the lens of archetypes, he gets all sorts of details wrong: for instance, I remember that he emphasizes Apollo as an underworld deity. I’ve studied Greek myth fairly rigorously, and so that stuck out to me.

    Some of the problems I see, though, are deeper than a profound vagueness. He seems to make the claim that Jungian psychology basically expresses Protestant ethos. That is not true, as a cursory reading of von Franz makes clear. As one example, Peterson has no way of squaring the radical implications of enantiodromia with his own rule making! Peterson has a few idea that he hammers on: personal responsibility, psychometric testing for self-knowledge, and a conventional approach to life. None of these ideas are bad. That said, if I listen to one of his lectures and then read a book of Marie Louise von Franz lectures, it’s clear that Peterson has far less ideas, and far less interesting ideas than von Franz, far less of a grasp of myth than von Franz, and far less depth of research than von Franz. Von Franz also has a far better developed sense of humor!

    The other major criticism I have of Peterson is stylistically: he’s a compelling speaker, but I have made transcriptions of what he has said and on paper it looked for less impressive and sometimes even nonsensical. I have tried to read his books many times, and they were just atrociously written from my perspective, and actually unreadable. That is, I couldn’t force myself to read them.

    Granted, his books have done a lot of people good, and my engagements with his ideas did me good. Personally, I think he’s neither exciting as a thinker nor contemptible but rather banal and avuncular, but avuncular in the best sense. There will always be part of me that wishes that he were my uncle! I also confess I find him rather funny, and wrote a parody of his style of film criticism last month in which I have him analyze Tim Allen’s _The Santa Clause_ in the style of his Lion King discussions: https://violetcabra.dreamwidth.org/323034.html

  206. Non-doom-scrolling

    For a business that operates in a way to warm a Retropian’s heart: Waffle House.

    Ursula Vernon had this to say about Waffle House:
    https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/1575314837810331648

    There are 3 of them in Gainesville.

    And the hurricane is over. Gainesville got off lightly, and The Village, even more lightly. The sun is shining, and there is a breeze ruffling the tree branches. Normal operations resume tomorrow.

  207. I am not sure the folks who pulled off this Nordstream stunt know it but kneecapping German industry is probably the surest way there is of taking down the global manufacturing economy. German industry is not just BMW’s and Porsche’s. Much of the critical mechanical, chemical and electrical components that make industry work ( even in China) come from Germany. The wingspars that are critical to Boeing making plans are made on German 5 axis milling machines. These machines will run for about a week before needing spare parts of some kind or another. The entire chip industry is dependent on Optics from Zeiss. The high tech specialty metals business is entire based in Germany as are the specialty chemicals that key to industry. Anyone who has delusions of this helping industry in the U.S. or France or the UK is clueless and will make the stupidity of the sanctions pale in comparison. Get ready for the next step down the catabolic ladder.

  208. For Chris #194, I definitely imagined to myself that the answer should be that the problem is Faustian civilization, but hesitated and remind myself that that the problem is the collapse of a civilization might be a better answer. JMG’s answer is that it is the collapse of any civilization, and he’s probably right. But I can’t help perceiving a peculiar Faustian tone to the thing I picture from reading Chris’ characterization of his experiences with the legal system, but then now I can’t figure out what it was that I was picturing. I now realize that I apparently have a potentially embarrassing habit of confusing that I might dislike aspects of Faustian civilization with that Faustian civilization is failing, to which I would have imagined myself to be less susceptible.

    So, JMG, what do you think might be most different about the aesthetics and emotions of the failure of Faustian civilization compared to the failure of other civilizations? What things do you think I ought to remind myself are similar?

  209. @ Chicory Omnibus #131

    Re my earlier post re the court ruling

    I agree. The lack of harm with respect to infringement of a religious practice is one of the things that makes the ruling problematic, in my view. (At least from a person-on-the-street perspective; I’m no legal specialist.)

  210. Could the Nord Stream pipe line explosions have been an accident?

    Nobody does maintenance anymore and those pipelines are high-tech in a super-corrosive environment at the bottom of the sea under immense pressure.

    The Russians aren’t known for their impeccable maintenance (Chernobyl).

    I could see a little nudge at an accident waiting to happen from a local Baltic sea god, annoyed with what’s being done to his waters. Or a bigger chaos deity, making a little nudge at an opportune moment.

    The pipeline explosions certainly added more chaos to the mix.

  211. (For some reason, my browser put my name as just R in my last comment about synchronicity… Weird)
    I have to say that your recent series where you introduce the word “Clerisy” (O.E.D.: “Learned or literary person as a class – archaic”) as a much more poetic description than ‘professional managerial class’ was disturbing to me in a good way.
    Now that I see it, I can’t un-see it, and fear becoming like the very odious and Maoist Social Justice Warriors who enthusiastically discover whatever “-ism” they are looking for in every aspect of the culture. Now I see the effect of the clerisy everywhere: I just recently watched a series of discussion panels on The Agenda (TVO) talking about the future of the Great Lakes in an era of climate change, and listened to the clerisy bandying about fashionable buzz-words and terms like ‘net-zero’, ‘climate migrants’, ‘exclusivity’ &c. They were enthusiastically gushing about the Villiers Island Project and I could not stop myself from counting the number of times they said that the government must do this or fund that and how it would be so economically beneficial… (you know where I’m going with this, right? You pointed it out!) …If it was truly economical and of such great benefit, the government should only need to set limits on behaviour and a consortium of private interests would be all over it. But the clerisy are yet again enamored with their newest utopian vision which they want everyone else to pay for.
    It was obvious to me that their lives are spent in offices surrounded by paper and being well paid to think up wonderful ideas and emote about the plight of poor people who have to lift heavy things to put food on the table. While it is true, I get paid to work on a computer, my other job is shoveling out horse stalls. I prefer that job.
    At the time I left high school in at the end of the decade of economic dislocation that was the 1970s, I quickly figured out that over the course of the 20th century, qualification creep was a continuous effect. The same jobs which once needed only a basic high-school education (which I had) needed a university degree (which I could not afford). I kind of knew that the turmoil of that decade had something to do with oil, but it was years of picking up bits and pieces of information to put it together: the U.S. stopped being the biggest producer of oil while still being the biggest user of oil. Suddenly at the mercy of foreign, alien, interests. (I wonder if there is some long-term planetary configuration that began in the early 1970s that would coincide with the decline of the American Dream which was predicated on plentiful cheap energy.)
    I now understand that qualification creep as the metastasizing of the clerisy, from its ascendancy in the late 19th century when their hypotheses were tested in the real world and found to be effective, the industrial expansion that required trained engineers with increasingly complex theoretical knowledge i.e. mathematics and science, that made a university education a guarantor of high-paid work in the 1950s to the qualification creep of the 1970s that meant that, by the time I finished high school, the sine-qua-non of a decent job had changed from a high school education to a university degree to do the same work to today, when there are very few opportunities even with the sacred scroll of learning.
    The clerisy became the new aristocracy and those who gained membership, like all aristocracies, were not really interested in sharing the wealth. Thus cost of membership rose (university tuition) and more and more barriers thrown up that meant that only the proper people could be allowed membership and an increasingly narrow range of opinions are tolerated. Nowadays if one does not evince the ‘scrutiatingly correct attitudes, one can forget getting into any position and they are making up well-paid positions to root out all the ‘-isms’ that plague society and keep us from the glorious future in which all races and pseudo-genders will be equally wealthy… (stop me if you’ve heard this one before). In the same way the traditional aristocracies by the late 19th Century became more ossified and rigid until they dissolved in the destruction of the Great War, the clerisy is now starting to become rigid and ossified.
    I’m working to get myself to a place where they cannot suddenly decide I need re-educating.
    OK, gotta go practice some practical skills with hand-tools, as per your wise advice over the years.
    Bruce

  212. @stephen pearson #171:

    In a way, this is the position of the German Green party, though they don’t talk about depletion. They say “we will have to phase out fossil fuel use in 10-20 years anyway; we were behind schedule because we were too comfortable relying on Russian natural gas; now that the gas has been or will be cut off, we have to catch up for the lost time”. If you think about depletion instead of climate change emergency, the reasoning is still more or less the same. All those German companies who are having trouble producing cars, fertilizer, chemicals etc because of the high gas prices: they would have that same trouble in 10-15 years anyway, because we all know that energy prices will continue rising.

    Now I am aghast that the Green party has been and is still pushing so hard for further involvement in the war, and it is incredibly stupid to go cold turkey off the Russian gas in a single year, but as you said, all these energy problems would have turned up in a few years anyway.

    What needs to be done is also rather clear: conservation in housing (thermal insulation, lower temperatures in winter etc.), lower energy use in transportation (public transport, shared cars, smaller cars, e-bikes, normal bikes…), lower energy use in agriculture (organic instead of fossil-fuel based fertilizer) need to be done regardless of whether you are planning for climate change or for fossil fuel depletion, and the Greens are pushing in the right directions there. Some companies just won’t be profitable anymore, though again, it is stupid to go cold turkey in one year. The harder part is planning for a future without a reliable grid, and there JMG’s critic of the mainstream Green position is right on spot.

  213. @Emmanuel Goldstein

    I’ve used such an All American pressure cooker for many years. Rather than heating it on my electric kitchen stove. I use a propane stove from Partner Steel. It’s significantly more heavy duty than a standard camping stove (like a Coleman) and is great for canning, camping, or home cooking when the power is out.

    https://partnersteel.com/official-cook-partner

    Hope this helps!
    Lothar von Hakelheber

  214. Re: airships

    Efficiency could be very high if they mostly ride the air currents with minimal propulsion to move up and down and laterally. I can imagine a future ecotechnic society with airships riding the jet streams, and it seems this has actually been considered, e.g. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590174519300145

    Re: pipeline accident possibility

    It’s hard for me to imagine any sort of accident that would breach both pipelines and cause four separate explosions aside from a major earthquake that would have been felt all around.

  215. Has any thought been given to the affect that durable goods will have in a deindustrial future? For example, long after the ability to produce something like an AR-15 has been lost, there will be AR-15s and ammunition lying around. I don’t know what the shelf life on ammunition is, but there are people still using WWII surplus ammunition for Mosin-Nagants. The M2 .50 cal machine gun has been in use by the US army for almost a century. On a long term time scale, as the ability to produce these things is lost, groups that have them and maintain these durable goods will dominate groups that don’t have them, kind of like how the British having access to the Maxim gun allowed them to dominate tribal societies in the late 19th century. Of course, over time these goods will get more and more expensive. I do wonder, however, in 500 years there will be battle rifles that as famous as Excalibur, as they are passed down and maintained for generations.

  216. All–

    A bit of relevant energy news, courtesy of the EIA:

    Number of drilled but uncompleted wells continues to decline from record-high levels in 2020

    Based on our latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), the United States had an estimated 4,283 drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) in all DPR regions in August 2022, the lowest amount for any month since we started to estimate the number of DUCs in October of 2013. The decline in DUCs in most major U.S. onshore oil and natural gas-producing regions reflects more wells being completed and, at the same time, fewer new wells being drilled.

    In reaction to reduced petroleum product demand resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 in the second quarter of 2020, oil and natural gas producers shut-in existing production and halted new well completions. As a result, the DUC count increased to a record high of over 8,800 DUCs based on our current estimates, leaving producers with thousands of uncompleted wells.

    Due to continued market uncertainty and limited access to new investment capital, oil and natural gas producers have been focusing spending mostly on existing operations. As a result, the overall DUC count has steadily declined since June 2020 by an average of 227 DUCs per month during 2021 and 82 DUCs per month during 2022, reaching 4,283 DUCs in August 2022. The monthly count for completed wells increased accordingly from a low of 253 completed wells in June 2020 to 969 completed wells in August 2022 due in part to the accelerated completion of DUCs.

    The decline in DUCs has been highest in the Permian region, which is primarily an oil-producing region but also produces significant volumes of natural gas in the form of associated gas. The monthly DUC count has also declined in the Appalachia region, the largest natural gas-producing region in the United States. Only the Haynesville region has recorded a modest rise of about 100 DUCs since second quarter 2020 as producers manage natural gas demand growth from newly added liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity on the Gulf Coast.

    In 2022, new drilling activity has increased, as indicated by an increase in rig count for both oil and natural gas-directed rigs, based on data from Baker Hughes. The natural gas-directed rig count has increased to 160 rigs for the week ending September 20, 2022, an increase of 53 rigs since January 4, 2022. The oil-directed rig count increased to 602 during that same period, up from 481 on January 4, 2022. New drilling activity has reduced the rate of monthly decline in DUCs to 16 DUCs in August, the lowest rate of monthly decline since July 2020.

    @ Clay Dennis #220

    “scrappy Ivy Leaguers are turning the tide with grit, determination and superior SAT scores” Now *that* is funny!

  217. Jastin, I don’t think it’s smart to strike anybody from the list, for reasons I’ve already mentioned.

    Karim, the problems with airships aren’t limited to the difficulties with lifting gases. They were tested thoroughly in the 1920s and 1930s by all the major industrial nations of the time, and they didn’t turn out to be viable except in specialized uses — for example, antisubmarine blimps of modest size worked very well in the Second World War. The great problem with the larger airships is that they’re extremely vulnerable to bad weather — much more so than airplanes. Personally I regret this, as I think airships are cool. They just aren’t resilient enough to deal with the atmosphere!

    Greg F, we still don’t know who killed JFK. Yes, there are dozens of theories, and yes, it’s very unlikely that Oswald had anything to do with it; so? We don’t know who the actual culprits were. The kind of rhetoric you’re using here is exactly what the US media is using to blame Russia for the Nord Stream mess, and what Russian media is using to blame the US for it. We still don’t know who was actually behind it — and demanding that everyone agree with your theory, whatever that happens to be, just guarantees that the whole question will be buried under a dogpile of people shouting at one another.

    Michael, that’s excellent advice!

    Quos Ego, that sort of intellectual onanism doesn’t interest me — especially when it’s rather clearly in the service of a particular set of propaganda being pushed very hard on social-media comments page just now.

    Tean10tim, I ain’t arguing about the US press. Our controlled corporate media is a complete waste of time these days, unless for some reason you want to know what the corporate-bureaucratic state wants the clueless to believe. I also grant that that’s a frankly weird thing for Time to say; it’s not at all hard to think of reasons why Russia might have wanted to send an unmistakeable “frack you” to its former European customers at the same moment that it was doubling down on Ukraine and taking steps that guarantee that there will be no negotiated peace.

    Yorkshire, I could almost see that!

    Viking, you’re welcome and thank you. I don’t think of my answers as especially humble; I’ve got a fairly robust ego — most writers do. I just try to be realistic.

    Eike, that’s a very good point — and a crucially important one. The degree of interconnection between economies worldwide is much higher than it was in the last great era of globalization, the Victorian period, and the economic blowback when that got shredded by world wars and trade barriers was considerable; this time it’s likely to be much harsher.

    Ighy, thanks for this!

    Thinking-turtle, many thanks for the data points. If the cold trend continues, that’s going to be very harsh indeed for Europe.

    SMJ, one of the problems with inauguration charts is that they give a very broad overview. Once Truss is out of office, looking back on her time as prime minister, my chart is likely to be fairly accurate. Right now, in the first month or so of her term? Too soon to say.

    Clay, well, yes.

    Viduraawakened, here again, I’ll have to leave this to the mathematically literate, because I have no idea what you’re talking about. I never got to differential equations in my schooling, and the software packages you mention are utterly unknown to me. Nor do I have any way to judge how the engineering profession will act with regard to different types of software programs — I’m not an engineer and I don’t know much of anything about engineering culture. So these are good questions but they’re questions about which I have no relevant knowledge and no clue.

    Yorkshire, I think there’s been an upgrade, I’m sorry to say. I’ll pass this on to my software person.

    Tony, I’d have to see the article, and assess whether its claims are plausible on the basis of the actual data presented.

    Patricia M, delighted to hear this!

    Clay, interesting. It’ll be worth watching whether the German firms in question can relocate successfully in time. Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s just been announced that Igus, a German manufacturer of polymer components, is putting $200 million into a big new manufacturing and headquarters facility here in East Providence…

    Chicory, the thing that’s distinctive about Faustian civilization is its obsession with infinite linear expansion. To the Faustian imagination, there can be no limits, no change in trajectory, no second thoughts — no, it’s pedal to the metal and take it to infinity! That will likely make the decline and fall of Faustian civilization a little faster than usual, and more richly stocked with local and regional catastrophes. It will also mean that those people who are still obsessed with the Faustian vision will be far more likely to close their eyes to reality and insist that all’s well and we’re still on our way to the stars, than to come to terms with mere facts. Expect a weird mix of shrill idealism and desperation to play a large role in the collective mind as things proceed, and people double down on their failed dreams.

    Renaissance, it’s a useful concept! Of course it can be overused, but right now North America in particular is overrun with a vast and senile clerisy, and recognizing that is a first useful step toward constructive change.

    Conan, that’s a very important issue; I discussed it at some length back in my former blog, but it’s been a while. The short form is that legacy technologies are very important in an era of technological regress. Think of the way that Roman aqueducts kept cities in various parts of the former empire supplied with water centuries after the ability to build aqueducts had been lost! In the same way, I expect the more durable modern weapons to be significant — it’s a lot easier to figure out how to jerry-rig ammunition for a rifle than to build the rifle, after all! — and many other technologies as well. Consider the results of a small hydroelectric dam that stays in usable condition into the deindustrial future…

    David BTL, many thanks for this.

  218. BTW, I’m now getting coordinated posts by several people demanding a response to a question about a hypothetical Russian defeat in the Ukraine. It looks rather too organized to be casual, and as per my usual rule, I am therefore ruling the topic off limits for this week. Any further attempts to bring it up will be deleted.

  219. Darkest Yorkshire #222, I have the same problem with the page jumping where I don’t want it. Normally there will be a comment number in the search bar that it jumps to. What I do is get the number of the comment I stopped at (hover over the date) and replace the number in the search bar with it. Then the page will stop where I want it.

  220. JMG

    I surf several sites that have been tracking Ukraine. The number of trolls and derailing tag teams has been off the charts for the last month – you are wise to simply disallow this avenue of discussion.

    I am leaving behind a small metal lathe, 100% manual, that is more than capable of turning 30-60mm cannon barrels. Along with the instruction manual, both from 1951! Regressive tech is usually just less automatic functions – nothing I can’t build on a manual mill that is currently made by CNC mill – manual just takes longer and more knowledge.

    I am about to use some big pillow block bearings, a shaft and a pair of 24″ grinding wheels to make a pedal driven grinder to sharpen shovels, hoes, axes, etc. Those old Singer sewing machine treadles are useful!!

    I am currently looking for horse drawn mowers….rare to find used…

    Back to our future, eh?

  221. Wer here
    We had another brownout last day. I want to adress some people who said some things in the comments section. Firstly Poland is in a tragic shape right now, LNG from a pipeline Baltic pipe is not comming and things are looking dire, inflation “official” version hit 17+% most likely it is double right now. Accountants in the NBP and their creative works…
    Polish goverment is desperately looking for money recently a polish minister Saszin is planning on imposing a 50% tax on profits made by polish companies. i am not making this up.
    https://businessinsider.com.pl/gospodarka/podatek-sasina-uderzy-po-kieszeni-wszystkich-polakow/cwpztt8
    Some folks are quietly saying that the goverment is flat out broke a this moment, on top of that we have an GDP projection of – 6,7% in the year. So to summarize Polish economy is doing much worse than Russian economy and let’s not talk about Polish population etc.
    The whole baltic pipe thing was to raise pols of the rulling party and was dropped immediately afterwards ( they don’t have the contracts for the gas anyway).
    80% of Polish armor was send to Ukraine and by the looks of it we won’t be getting it back.
    Meanwhile the Russians are gathering a much larger force near the Kharkiv border and armed collums were spotted heading to Crimea, things are escalating rapidly, Zelensky recently said that he is looking to immediately enter NATO but they said that they will only suppley weapons.
    Ukrainian women working in a nearby factory went to Ukraine to join the army (not joking)
    I don’t trust the media at all about the war and i think both sides are lying.
    IMHO the Russians understated the amount of weapons NATO will pump to Ukraine, post Soviet weaponry in Ukraine went extinct a long time ago, they are relaying on gifted armor etc.
    On top of that entire mercenary legions “Ukraine foreign Legion” sponsored by the West were formed there and send to fight the Russians
    And the West understated Russia completely ( they can afford to fight, despite propaganda that Russians are running away the ones that are protesting Putin are almost pro left and LGBT supportive Russiana etc. or rich kids from cities) Majority of Russians are supporting him and don’t trust the EU (why would they after all of this nonsense that was published). But now the Russians are preparing like crazy ( keep in mind that in December 1941- millions dead moscow surronded at all sides millions of Germans pouring in from all sides it would be easy to claim that the Soviet Union is on the verge of total defeat).
    IMHO The Eu is on the verge of a political meltdown, currencies circling the drain, prices settling daily records,industry dying ( I am looking at you Germany), Polish goverment wanting to miniority of people here that still have a working buisness, dammned COVID self destructed the economy. On top of that American election can end up in a civil war people are discusing it here now. Russia is very stable at the moment compared to the EU and US,
    JMG what is your take on Dmitry orlov because he is a very controversial figure in the “collapse movement” and I don’t know it personaly don’t have time to read about everything that is happening.
    In the long run we are all screwed as JMG said the window of opportunity is closing right now because cheap energy is gone we have a dysfunctional society and media is lying about everything it is safe to say that without cheaper than market price Russian gas the EU will be shedding it’s over the top economy and member states.
    For examplet germany claimed it will militarize but how are they palnning to do this with economy in tatters and inflation out of control? And let’s not mention that EU population is crashing even faster and young men are woke belivers and sick/ emancipated right now, EU is flooded with migrants that don’t like us and everything.
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  222. @Darren 196 and Robert 204

    I don’t discount the assessment at all that Russia might be willing to “push the button” if things start to look catastrophically bad for them. I think that, perhaps, our hubris is so ridiculous that our elites actually think, “gee, the Russians would never do that, they’ll just roll over and die like they’re supposed to they are the bad guys, after all”. Never mind the lack of reality in that statement, historically or currently.

    I think, however, that if nukes are going to get thrown about, the most likely (though by no means the only) scenario is a different one. The same aforementioned hubris of our elites also fills their minds with the idea that we simply cannot be defeated on the battlefield. JMG has mentioned this a time or two, that the US doesn’t even remember what it is to have to surrender.

    I can easily envision the sort of situation where the war between NATO and Russia moves into a much more kinetic stage. The US responds with its readiness units in Europe and everything else that it has been moving into position. Of course, because we are the good guys we will easily wipe the floor with those foolish Russians. Within a few days of first real contact, the unthinkable news comes through to the situation room, which is completely unprepared for it. An western division has been overrun and a Russian army group is rapidly exploiting the gap, gaining operational depth.

    Those folks sitting in that war room, who had no idea that we could do anything but win, suddenly panic because they’re being challenged with a situation that we are simply doctrinally unprepared for. Of course, we have “plans” for this sort of situation, but no one really seriously considered it, it can’t happen. Russia, after all, is not a peer to NATO, not even a near peer, they’re just a backwater washed up second rate power. This can’t be happening! Our own clueless elites, who are probably just as deluded about the state of our nuclear forces and those of Russia as they are about everything else, push the button in panic. Russia, of course, won’t actually respond because they will roll over and die like they are supposed to.

    I personally don’t think Russia will start a nuclear fight, not because of a lack of willingness, but because they are winning in a strategic sense. Watching the current state of affairs in the US, I don’t see that as likely to change. I do sit and wonder though, just how much of their own kool aid our elites are sipping. It sure seems, from the outside, that they buy an awful lot of their own propaganda. I think reality may be about to collide with that propaganda pretty hard though.

    The perception of US military readiness in the not totally clueless is that it is in pretty bad shape. My personal gut feeling, formed from talking with other vets and active duty folks I know and just following the general flow of information is that our actual readiness for a major conflict is somewhere between complete joke and atrocious. When that readiness gets tested against reality, I’m seriously concerned about what might happen.

    HV

  223. JMG and Jeff, thanks!

    This is what I needed and I’ll most likely find a bunch of themes to prepare something for her while she gets the hang of it.

    I will have only a week with her and would like to set her up with something structured you she can follow though she will be delighted to know that she can meditate on her surgery manuals!

  224. JMG, as for your answers to Eike and Chicory, I myself have an inkling that the collapse of Western civilization might be on the fast side of average. Civilizations take on average 100-300 years to decline and fall; so 100 years would be a plausible timeframe. The reason is, as already mentioned, the extreme complexity and interconnectedness of Western technologies and technology infrastructure. But of course this is not determined yet.

    D. H. and JMG, one of the lost works of Antiquity, which I would like to be rediscovered somewhere is “Ta peri tou Okeanou” by Pytheas of Massilia. Others are the Etruscan dictionary by Claudius, Speusippos “On Pythagorean Numbers”, Suetonius’ “The Lives of Famous Whores” and “Greek Terms of Abuse”.

  225. Tony C #226, the question about nuclear weapon guidance stirred a memory of something I read in the early-to-mid 90s. So I dug out the appropriate folder of Marshall Cavendish’s In Combat series. Nuclear missiles predate GPS by decades. First they had inertial guidance, both knowing where they were launched from and sensing how they were moving in space. The Trident Mk5 also has stellar navigation to overcome errors and make corrections in flight, making it much more accurate – down to 100m. However, while not dependent on satellites in flight, the launch order comes to submarines via satellite. Presumably ground-based systems have landline communications.

  226. JMG and others: I wonder if you have any suggestions of ways to simplify a cumbersome overly complex subsystem, despite civilizational decline. Do you know of historical turnarounds worthy of study?

  227. “I read this interesting article on a web site Voltaire that says amongst other things that Russia and China have the capacity to disable the US strategic communication satellites, which would prevent the guidance of nuclear missiles and render them ineffective. ”

    GPS is easily jammed/spoofed. But the on board inertial navigation system will still work. It’s self contained. All it cares about is where it started, where it’s going, and the accelerations experienced by the missile.

    Bombs care about even less, down being very straightforward.

    Disrupting communications is still a valid targeting goal though.

  228. If anyone wants to replace engineering software with Excel spreadsheets to prepare for the fall, then don’t use the current version of excel. It won’t run on old hardware. Use a version that can run on an old operating system.

    Or better yet, find a book on programming in another language. I had a college class in Applied Numerical Methods that came in very handy over my career.

    Technique is what matters, you can program what you want on anything that works. Wonders were done with AppleSoft Basic in the day. I had a book on engineering programs for AppleSoft, but it got lost somewhere.

    The same goes for statistics.

    If you really want to use a spreadsheet look at LibreOffice. It’s open source, If Microsoft goes down the source code will be gone as well. With open source it still will exist somewhere. The there is Octave for a Matlab replacement, and R for the fancy statistics applications.

  229. A political ad from Common Cause reads, on the outside” Inside: Discover how to FIX THE BROKEN ELECTORAL COLLEGE. It’s time for the National Popular Vote.” (Uh, no. I won’t. Into paper recycling.)

    I am reminded that one local issue on the November ballot is a move to abolish the current at-large voting for County Commissioners, to be replaced by voting by district. The principle of subsidiarity would call for voting by county district, but the political reality is that the current one gives Gainesville votes an edge, whereas by district, the rural areas, mostly Republican, would rule. Which disturbs me, since the major issues the Florida Republicans, like most Southern ones, are culture war issues which seem to be dead-set on removing rights rather than extending them. Which purely seems to me to be another Cthulhu-choice vote. Shakes head – a plague on both their cultural-warring houses. Especially since the local GOP’s stand on pocketbook issues makes one want to turn Socialist by comparison.

  230. @Renaissance Man #234 – the irony of your job shoveling out horse stalls vis-a-vis the clerisy is that, as one of John Barnes’ characters (in A Million Open Doors) commented to a young man also taking shovel to barn floors, “if you go to work as a government economist, you’ll be doing the exact same thing.” (paraphrased, from memory)

  231. @Kevin Sweeney #176:

    Thanks for the extra input Kevin! I appreciate it. Those tips on extending the battery are very good.

    I’ll definitely look into getting two batteries for whichever kind of ebike I choose.

    I see the ebike as a transitional/downshifting kind of tool, personally and more generally.

    I can get a vivid picture in my mind of hauling wood with an ebike. That’s cool ~ I’m copying both of your comments so I can refer to them again as I narrow down what to do.

    I guess the cool thing with a conversion kit is that when the parts wear out, or if the grid is down, I can go back to having a regular bike without all the extra weight.

    Thanks so much!

  232. The liberal action group Common Cause has been sending emails warning of the danger of a Constitutional Convention under Article V. All relatively unnoticed states have been passing resolutions in favor of such a convention. Apparently only 6 more are needed for the 2/3 vote required. This is being described as the greatest threat to our democracy EVER!!

    Just thought I would pass this on.

    Rita

  233. Violet didn’t mention it, but she has a very good primer on precession on her Dreamwidth blog. That helped me understand something that led me to a fun discovery. There is a free program called Stellarium (download from this page https://stellarium.org/) that you can use to view the sky from any latitude/longitude. (The dates let you do BCE by entering a negative sign before the date.) (The free web-based version of Stellarium does not do BCE, as far as I can tell.) I am currently on a Herakles quest and I could use Stellarium to view the vernal equinox at 10,750BCE. (spoiler alert! The pole star was in the constellation of Herakles then, and the astronomical zodiac sign for the vernal equinox was Leo!) Stellarium also allows you to choose if you’d like the constellations labeled in the sky and which ‘starlore’ you’d like to use (Greek? yup. Mongolian? yup. Phoenician? unfortunately for me, no…) I did learn that when you go back to the BCEs, the dates in the program for the vernal equinox don’t exactly match up to March 20. But, IIRC, somewhere along the ways, some pope added some weeks to the calendar, or took them away, so it is understandable.

    So, JMG, if you have the lat/long of the megalithic sites you are researching, you can see what the stars would look like when they were built. 🙂

  234. Oilman2, I’ve noticed the same thing on other sites. It’s worse than it was in the midst of the Kek Wars, which is saying something; clearly the ruling class has finally grasped how dangerous it is to lose control of the narrative — and it’s also sunk in that the legacy media have lost what little authority they once had.

    Wer, thanks for the update.

    Booklover, of course it depends on where you start the decline. If I use my usual figure and take 1914 as the beginning of decline, we’re well past the century mark already. If European civilization takes another hundred years exactly to finish its descent into history’s dustbin, it’ll have taken 208 years, which is close enough to the midpoint as doesn’t matter. If it takes less than that, well, we’re still toward the midrange.

    Gardener, check out the transition from the late Roman Empire to the Byzantine empire — that’s a world-class example of successful downsizing.

    Patricia M, “fix” in this case meaning “rig,” I gather!

    Rita, depends on their definition of “democracy,” of course. The push toward a convention is intended to put term limits on Congress, force the federal government to balance its budget, and close the loophole that allows the federal government to exercise power in areas not assigned to it by the Constitution, as I recall. By most standards those would further the cause of democracy…

    Patricia M, quite possibly both.

    Random, thanks for this!

  235. Drones have changed the shape of warfare. It used to be that the infantryman was pretty safe in a trench, but viewing footage of drones precision dropping grenades on troops sheltering in trenches, that’s no longer the case. They have even dropped grenades down the open hatches of tank turrets.

    My dad fought in the desert and Italy in WWII. I asked him what weapon he feared the most. He said the German mortars, which they called “moaning minnies” from the sound they made. They’d be sheltering in a trench but looking up at the sky for the next mortar shell. But those mortars were directed at a general area. Now with drones they can pick targets precisely, even in trenches.

    On grand strategy, America’s glory days were the post-WWII years when America was undamaged but Russia and Europe were smoking ruins. Are they trying to recreate that situation?

  236. @Wer

    Sounds like the shale is getting real in Poland. Thanks for the report and best wishes in riding out the storm.

    From my US perspective, any rumors that the upcoming election will lead to civil war are likely overblown. For one, it’s a midterm election and the presidency is not at stake. For another, the two dueling tribes here are not actually that far apart with regard to the situation-in-Europe-which-may-no-longer-be-discussed, and the more that dominates the news cycle as opposed to more polarizing hot-button domestic issues the less it feels like the country is in imminent danger of civil war.

  237. RandomActsOfKarma,
    I love stellarium – though I used it for amateur astronomy in the present day. It’s great for that purpose.

  238. regarding Stoss, Elizabeth Truss’s neoliberal policies of tax cuts for the rich, and austerity for everyone else nearly sank pension funds for most of the country, and boy has the whole thing made a financial mess for Britain. It looks to me like that set of policies now produces a massive backfire when put into practice. I hope the US and other countries governments are watching and taking notes so they can learn by bad example rather than by blowing their own economies up.

    But yes, Stoss does sound a little hysterical too.

  239. Hey jmg

    I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to share with you a blogger who writes on historical matters called “The scholars stage.” He also has written some stuff about the myth of progress.

    He has also written a criticism of Spengler which you may be interested in, both to see what new refutations historians are trying to think up, and also because he references a Japanese historian called nakamura hajime who seems to be a “asian Spengler” who has attempted a broad analysis of all major Asian cultures and religions.

    https://scholars-stage.org/spengler-and-the-search-for-a-science-of-human-culture/

  240. For what it’s worth, the DOW just dropped another 500 points; other indices show comparable drops. Anyone who tied their dividend income to stock prices, like my older daughter, is in for a world of hurt.

  241. Hi JMG. I’m curious how you think the Ukraine war will finally end and how long you guess it’ll take to end? Russia’s draft and recent territory loss shows they’re not in a very powerful position, yet Ukraine probably doesn’t have the ability to take back the areas Russia has annexed either. Neither side seems interested in a settlement. Some say it’ll go on for years and only end when either Kiev or Crimea falls to the other side (Regardless, it’s clear to me there will be no “winners” in this war).

  242. @HippieViking (#245):

    No argument from me!

    It seems to me possible that both NATO and the US will be unable to win in a war against Russia, simply for lack of sufficient will to keep on on fighting in the face of horrendous losses that are likely to be inflicted on them their adversary. (Russia has long been used to enduring horrendous losses in war, and Russians themselves are rather proud of their ability to fight on despite such losses — almost to the very last Russian standing.)

    If the West loses the war decisively, then of course Russia will not need to go to the Mutual Assured Destruction option. NATO will have been destroyed, and the US (if it continues to exist) will have lost its global hegemony forever.

  243. I have two editions of Paths of Wisdom and the book speaks to me to such an extent I almost wish I had started there. What lead you to move away from the emphasis on ultimate reality and its emanated states of awareness to the a down-to-earth polytheistic focus?

  244. I’m a mature age student at university in Australia, and I studied a philosophy course recently. What they are now teaching is the fallacy of false authority. It used to be a fallacy that an argument from authority was a fallacy itself, in that an argument should stand on its own through a sound premise, and a logical deduction based on that premise, independent of the status of the person who made the argument. However, now students are taught that an argument is valid if it comes from an authority, as long as that authority is a valid authority. This is the new paradigm, that the argument is no longer the authority, the person in power is the authority.

    You can see a live version of this philosophy in the 98/100 climate scientists believe climate change is real argument. While the argument is almost certainly true, instead of saying, the science proves it, here do the experiment yourself, what they say is that the majority is right, and they are an authority, therefore we are correct. It is possibly the least scientific argument I’ve seen, and it depends on the status of scientists as the premise, not on the scientific facts.

    I just thought I should share this, it may be contributing to the reasons behind our culture becoming more nuts.

  245. The tensions in Europe seem to be increasing all over the place and trelationships between countries are becoming rife with conflicts. The egregores of inter-national conflict seem to get activated again. A few examples: the gas that comes from the US in LNG ships needs to be processed in terminals and then transported over the continent. 50% of Europe’s processing capacity in in Spain. There were plans to make a pipeline from Spain into France so that the gas can reach Germany, but now France is refusing to cooperate citing uncertainties about the costs. In the meantime the new Italian PM was absolutely shredding the French leader (https://twitter.com/NadaAndersen/status/1574862353920827405). Former foreign minister of Poland Radek Sikorski tweeted “Thanks US” after the pipe explosion (and removed the tweet) which Germany probabely also didn’t appreciate. Same is true for the war reparations that Poland demanded a few weeks ago and Germany refused. In the meantime German use of gas has *increased* 14.5% compared to the same week in the past years likely due to the cold (https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1575416466471616513). Apparently Poland want to have enemies both to the east and to the west while banking on a declining transatlantic power and Germany seems to be bottling up all frustrations until it comes out in the most ugly way.

    As to the whodunnit NS-pipelines: I agree it can’t be known at this moment. I’m quite disappointed that many commenters and bloggers on the internet with usually insightful posts seem unable to live with this uncertainty and stay openminded. The blogs that are critical of the US empire immediately concluded that it was the US or an ally and the blogs that are positive about the empire point to Russia. I guess there is an important difference between go against the grain and objective looking and although an objective look will be go against the grain in times of decline, the distinction is important.

    In one of your replies you seemed to imply that it is very well possible that Russia did it and I can see that. Putin seems to be ready to go all-out in the war and with that he gives up any hope of striking a deal. That means that the pipeline would be useless anyway. Why then not destroy it and blame the US? That might create discord between NATO members who’s hapless leaders cannot conceive someone destroying their own property. The public in NATO countries will not believe their leaders or MSM anyway and might also argue that it couldn’t be Russia. The NATO members will distrust each other or believe that it was Russia if some convincing evidence surfaces. In both cases that is good for Russia, as in the second case they get the message that if Russia can blow up NS1 and 2, they can also blow up the Norwegian pipelines that provide 25% of all gas to the EU. That way Russia can escalate without having to resort to the nukes.

    Of course it could also be US for obvious reason, or Poland or another country with motive, but I’m surprised I’ve seen the above reasoning not in more places. No doubt Putin is well enough trained in psychological warfare to at least have considered such a scenario.

  246. hi JMG, thanks for your reply. apologies if i seemed to be demanding agreement from you/the group over the pipeline scenario. your critique of my use of examples re the ‘just don’t know’ thing is of course correct. if i tried harder though, i’m sure i could come up with better ones, lol !
    i guess its the serious entertainment of the ‘Russia may have done it’ theory was/is just too much for me to stand by and not say anything. I remain convinced of the view expressed (it’s surely the only view that serves the requirements of simple logic), but make no demands upon others – who are entitled to either not have a view (i.e ‘we just don’t know’, or a different view. I appreciate the opportunity to express a view on your excellent forum.

  247. Archdruid,

    I’m listening to you on the The Occult Unveiled Podcast (BTW – I like how she places “audible links” such as when a specific tarot deck was mentioned and there was a quick explanation) and heard you mention you were a teenager in the south Seattle suburbs.

    I spent a miserable year with some miserable cousins in White Center way back in the 80’s so I have some curiosity on where you lived out there in the prior decade.

  248. Martin, the first country that comes up with an effective way to knock out drones over a battlefield will have a sudden massive advantage; it’s probably safe to assume that engineers are working on this in most of the world’s countries.

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this. I’ll put him in the look-at pile.

    Patricia M, yep. We may be in the opening phases of a really big stock market decline.

    K, we’re probably years from the endpoint. Russia has a well-earned reputation for playing a long game in warfare, and we’ll have to see what the situation looks like after the current mobilization is finished and the upcoming winter campaign season is done — the Russian army has specialized in winter campaigns for well over 300 years — before it’ll be possible to gauge where the war is heading next.

    Ataulfo, Paths of Wisdom discusses one model of ultimate reality. In the years after that was first published, it became clear to me that models are simply models, and a broader and more critical approach to human spiritual experience was more useful.

    Old Will, yep. It’s gotten to the point that people attuned to the mainstream mock the idea of doing your own research and thinking for yourself.

    Boccaccio, exactly. It’s a complex situation full of bitter hatreds and intensifying rivalries, and the history of Europe does not suggest that it will end well.

    Greg, you’re certainly welcome to believe what you believe. I’d encourage you, however, to read the comment by Boccaccio immediately above yours, and try to fit your head around the fact that reasonable people can reasonably disagree with you. That sort of thinking is in disastrously short supply just now!

    Scotty, you were a little north of me. I grew up in the south end of Burien, except for a few years in Federal Way. When I was attending Highline High School, 1977-1980, I used to walk up Ambaum Way to the White Center Public Library, which had a meeting room with its own outside access; one of the library’s teenage employees was a roleplaying game fan, and had arranged to use the meeting room for all-night D&D sessions. I have good memories of those.

  249. JMG (no. 240) “…it’s very unlikely that Oswald had anything to do with it…”

    That’s just what THEY want you to think!

  250. Dear JMG,

    I am worried, based mainly on the rhetoric and the atmosphere here, that my rather insignificant country – the Czech Republic – might be the next testing ground for Russia; we are part of NATO, but we do not very strong defenses and the Czech people are more and more divided…

    How probable is, in your opinion, that my worries might become reality?

    Thank you!
    Yours,
    With deep regards,
    Markéta

  251. JMG – Along with all of the other mutually contradictory analysis of the Nordstream pipeline attacks, here’s one more possibility: maybe whatever party did the attack hit the WRONG pipelines! Try to imagine being out at sea, looking for one or more of the pipelines from Norway into Europe, maybe not quite sure of your position, maybe not quite sure of the pipeline routes, and whatever device you have for looking at the seabed finds a pipeline. Is the pipeline running north/south, or east/west? Do you think to ask? Do you have a way to tell? Or do you just plant the bomb and make sure you’re somewhere else when it goes off?

    We’ve been asking “who would benefit from disabling Nordstream?”
    Now, ask “who would benefit from severing any of the other pipelines in the area?”
    Then, ask “who would benefit from severing any pipeline in the area?”

  252. Clay (#115) and JMG (#166) regarding electric airplanes. Of course, it is a daft idea! So, that’s why Canada’s national airline – Air Canada – has placed an order for 30 electric airplanes and is investing an additional $5 million of Canadians’ money in that rat-hole.

    Details here: https://www.aviationtoday.com/2022/09/20/air-canada-signs-purchase-agreement-hearts-updated-es-30-electric-aircraft/

    Apparently, the vehicle in question – the Swedish-designed Heart Aerospace ES-30 is supposed to have a mind-blowing range of 400 km. In a country that is over 7,000 km from coast to coast, any plane with a range like that is about as useful as teats on a bull. The damned thing can’t even fly the width of most provinces (microscopic Prince Edward Island being a notable exception). Everybody give the Canadian government a “big hand” for investing in a bright green “net zero” aviation future!

  253. Bei, depends on which of the dozen or so Theys you have in mind, and who’s got the Orbital Mind Control Lasers card this turn. 😉

    Patricia, about time. Thanks for this.

    Markéta, even if the Russians decided to launch a campaign of conquest in eastern Europe, which seems highly unlikely to me, they’ve got to get through Poland or Slovakia first. My guess is that the Russians at this point are planning on a new cold war in which Europe is cut off from all Russian resources and a fortified frontier separates Russia and its allies from the NATO nations.

    Lathechuck, a valid point. I’ve also received from a friend a solid argument suggesting that the blasts were accidental, as a result of technical incompetence. And of course there’s always this suggestion:

    Ron, I’m sorry to say that doesn’t surprise me in the least. Sigh…

  254. Hi JMG–I’ve seen you mention your Asperger’s syndrome in a few posts. My first question (I actually came up with this one after the second question formed in my mind) is from an occult perspective, what do you think causes people to be born with Asperger’s (or autism spectrum disorder in general, since now the shrinks seem to not be diagnosing Asperger’s anymore, and just calling it high-functioning autism), with such severe measurable deficiencies in social skills (and some benefits, like savantism)? It’s got to be more than just an astrological influence on personality, right? Something to do with our past lives and reincarnation? I guess this really gets into the bigger questions of personality in general, how it’s developed both by nature and by nurture, and shaped by the alignment of the planets and stars the moment we’re born. I mean as far as neurologists can tell, there are no major physical differences between autistic and neurotypical brains. Any possible reasons you think why it’s often kids born to older mothers who have it? Why it’s more often males?

    And all that leads me to my second question–how has your esoteric/magical practice affected your Asperger’s over the years? (or I could ask vice versa! how has your Asperger’s affected your esoteric/magical practice? I’ve seen you mention too that in many ways your Asperger’s has been helpful in helping you obsessively focus on reading everything about certain topics). Have you seen your social skills improve, either intentionally or unintentionally as you’ve continued on your path? (I guess it would also be relevant to know more how “severe” your social skill difficulties were when you were younger, where you started from). Do you even see it as a problem personally, for that matter? It seems to me that many people fall into the two extremes of categorizing Asperger’s as either a terrible debilitating condition that must be fixed by therapists (for people with more severe autism, this is probably often the case), or as just a different way of existing that should be accepted, indeed celebrated, and not “treated” by therapists. Of course because it’s a spectrum dammit, the true nature of living with Asperger’s/autism probably lies somewhere in between those extremes. It’s wild stuff.

    If you don’t mind me taking up the space, I’ll share some relevant info about myself–I too am “on the spectrum”; I was diagnosed when I was around 3 (I was born in 1994). You were probably diagnosed much later in life, no, since the diagnosis wasn’t very common when you were young? Mine was not very severe, but I definitely was quite an awkward (and bright) little kid who was always behind on social cues. Anyway, I was very lucky that my parents could afford to send me to a good therapist, who helped me in both individual and group sessions work on my social skills. I realized I was socially different and when I was almost 10, got my parents to explain to me that I had Asperger’s. That meta-awareness helped me a lot over the next couple years with more consciously observing other people and improving my social skills, and by the time I was in 7th grade I was for the most part just another energetic, still slightly awkward boy.

    But that meta-awareness of having Asperger’s also has been an obstacle in many ways, still after all these years, because often I still think about the diagnosis, and what it still means for me and my social skills, even though I’ve been good at making friends, getting along with co-workers, etc. I often self-doubt myself socially, whether I speak too loud or too soft in a conversation, too fast or too slow, too much eye contact or not enough eye contact, too much talking about myself or too much asking about the other person I’m talking to. I’ve called it living in the shadow of Asperger’s. It comes and goes in different situations; throughout my life there are sometimes moments or even full days where I feel more Aspie than others, certain periods like months or even almost a full year sometimes when I feel almost an Aspie relapse of social self-doubt, less confidence.

    So with that, I actually do have a third question–what particular magic would you recommend for someone struggling with self-confidence in general, whether they’re full autism spectrum or just an awkward neurotypical? I recognize that some of my confidence issues, while rooted in my self-narrative going back to my childhood with Asperger’s, may stem from other spiritual issues, negative thoughts that have taken on a power of their own. I’ve been getting back to meditating every morning, and based on your advice I’m reading through in the Well of Galabes archive I’m going to start incorporating a banishing ritual before that meditation, and I will also pick up divination again in earnest, after a couple years of slacking on it. I’m sure all of that will help me sift through this further. Anything else you could recommend to me down the road as I become more experienced with my practice? I also plan on getting a copy of your Learning Ritual Magic very soon.

    Sorry this comment is so long, with such long-winded multifaceted questions, and a lot of personal talk about myself! If it’s too long, you can just post the first 2 paragraphs and the 5th one, since the 3rd and 4th are very centered on me.

  255. In response to ongoing arguments concerning the Nord Stream explosions:

    It’s reasonably clear that this was deliberate sabotage. It’s even more clear that the guilty party will officially deny dropping the depth charges. And it’s certain that partisans and propagandists on all sides are going to push their chosen narrative while dismissing everyone else’s.

    The depth charges may have been dropped by Americans, Chinese, Poles, Russians, or somebody else altogether. A recent story in the *Guardian* suggests the explosions involved around 500kg of TNT, or 375kg of C-4 or a similar explosive. Depending on whom you ask, the explosions happened at a depth between 50m and 90m.

    Military folk and journalists love James Bond scenarios using sophisticated technology, but a team of divers could plant those explosives, return to a boat (and there are lots of boats sailing around the Baltic), and be safely back on land days before the timer went off. There’s really no need for high-tech drones or automatic submarines. These bombings could be pulled off by anybody with a few divers with experience working on offshore oil platforms and a boat big enough to haul them and a ton of explosives to and from the blast site.

    It would be challenging to pin the blast on a particular boat, and even more difficult to find out who funded the explosives and divers even if you discovered the responsible boat. And each party would do exactly what they are doing now — point fingers at the other side while their press agents pump out accusations and “exclusive leaks from trusted sources” that prove they are telling the truth.

    I’m being a stickler here because I’ve seen so much energy wasted over the past several years arguing about various conspiracies and events of uncertain origin. The right “trusted the plan,” while the left spent years insisting that Russian perfidy, not political incompetence, cost the Dems the 2016 election. And all the while the usual suspects continued looting government coffers and running the show while everybody was distracted by the drama.

    One of the hallmarks of 5th Gen Warfare is plausible deniability. When you have several nuclear powers involved in a local conflict that could explode outside those boundaries, you want to damage your opponent without giving them a reasonable excuse to escalate. So I don’t expect anybody to own up to this one anytime soon, though there will certainly be a number of books written explaining why [insert culprit here] was certainly the guilty party.

  256. Gray Tuesday, answering those first two questions would take a small book, and the secoud one would involve a lot of very personal matters I’m not really interested in putting online. As for the third, good question; my own fairly complex neurological condition, which combines adult residual Aspergers with a few other dysfunctions such as motor dyskinesia (aka “clumsy as frack”), has gradually improved over time, but I have no way of knowing how much of that is magical practice and how much of it is the normal improvement in symptoms that happens as age and experience teach more effective coping mechanisms.

    Your Kittenship, ha! That’s a fun one. Do you recall this one?

    Kenaz, thanks for this bit of common sense. (BTW, you may not have seen this, but I ruled Quos Ego’s question out of bounds further up the thread when a small flurry of other rent-a-trolls jumped on it — you’ve probably seen that mode of forum hijacking at work plenty of times elsewhere.)

  257. JMG: further on the topic of electric airplanes. My aviation-oriented son had a good laugh when he read the article about Air Canada’s purchase of the electric airplanes. He especially giggled at the claim that the ES-30’s battery could be recharged in 30-50 minutes, saying that so much current would be required that the battery’s temperature would be close to the temperature of the Sun’s surface (exaggerating just a wee bit) and would require a huge supply of liquid nitrogen on hand to keep the temperature down. He figures that the best candidate for an electric powered commercial aircraft is the TBM 850 (a single-engine turboprop that seats 4-6, including the pilot) due to the fact that its engine runs at a constant RPM (which is good for conserving battery power) and controls its speed by the pitch of the propeller blades. No way could a “normal size” (say, airbus) jet aircraft even get close to getting off the ground if it was powered by electricity, by his calculations (and he is trained in calculating aircraft power-to-weight ratios).

    More technical details on the insanity of the ES-30 electric airplane. My son estimates by its design that the aircraft would have a cruising speed of 200-300 knots (or 400-600 km/h), so the vehicle’s flight time would be max less than one hour – or less than half-hour if using battery charge alone. With a recharge time of up to one hour, that means that it takes the vehicle more time to charge than it does to fly!

    So, for fun, I calculated the ES-30’s flight itinerary for the fictitious businessman Mr. Jones from Victoria BC to St. John’s Newfoundland, assuming the extended range of up to 400 km per flight and taking into consideration that some natural features such as mountain ranges, great lakes and large expanses of sparsely populated land mean that sometimes one cannot always fly close to the maximum range between communities. Fasten your seat belt, Mr. Jones – were’ taking off!

    Day 1: 1,468 km
    Victoria BC to Vancouver BC (93 km)
    Vancouver to Kelowna BC (271 km)
    Kelowna to Cranbrook BC (271 km)
    Cranbrook to Lethbridge AB (307 km)
    Lethbridge to Medicine Hat AB (159 km)
    Medicine Hat to Moose Jaw SK (367 km)

    Day 2: 1,616 km
    Moose Jaw to Carlyle SK (248 km)
    Carlyle to Winnipeg MB (369 km)
    Winnipeg to Ignace ON (399 km – let’s hope there’s a strong tailwind for this leg!)
    Ignace to Terrace Bay ON (339 km)
    Terrace Bay to Wawa ON (261 km)

    Day 3: 1,542 km
    Wawa to Blind River ON (243 km)
    Blind River to North Bay ON (293 km)
    North Bay to Ottawa ON (309 km)
    Ottawa to Trois Rivieres QC (264 km)
    Trois Rivieres to Quebec City QC (114 km)
    Quebec City to Edmunston NB (319 km)

    Day 4: 1,468 km
    Edmunston to Moncton NB (303 km)
    Moncton NB to Antigonish NS (288 km)
    Antigonish to Sydney NS (198 km)
    Sydney to Port Aux Basques NL (174 km)
    Port Aux Basques to Little Bay NL (227 km)
    Little Bay to St. John’s NL (278 km)

    I’m sure that after 4 days and 22 stops, Mr. Jones will arrive in St. John’s as fresh as a daisy – especially since many of these stops were to small communities that probably have little more than a dirt landing strip! Sure beats the nuisance of a non-stop 7-hour flight on a fossil fuel powered airplane, doesn’t it?

    Apologies for such an extended flight into the Twilight Zone – but the whole topic “inspired” me! 😊

  258. JMG: appy-poly-logies, I did not see that. I am not surprised you are getting hit by thread-hijackers, and expect things will get worse as the clerisy realizes just how much they’ve lost control of the narrative.

    Getting back to Nord Stream, Gerhard Schindler of the German Federal Intelligence Agency said “An unnoticed, conspiratorial damage to pipelines at a depth of 80 meters in the Baltic Sea requires sophisticated technical and organizational capabilities that clearly point to a state actor.”

    But the fact that drones were used (assuming they were used) would not point to any particular state actor, or even prove that the explosion was caused by a state actor. This comes from the University of South Florida’s Oceanography Department:

    https://www.marine.usf.edu/pjocean/packets/sp99/s99u2le1.pdf

    * * * * * *
    The autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) developed at USF are smaller and easier to operate than research vessels. They are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain: the average cost to build each unit is $70,000. The instruments that go on the AUV can cost from $5,000 to $100,000 each. The operation cost of an AUV at sea is approximately $1000 per day.

    AUVs are extremely versatile because they are scalable, upgradable and reconfigurable, which means researchers can use the same basic design and modify the components. The network used to communicate between the components on the AUV is an off-the-shelf item that is relatively inexpensive.

    USF’s AUV is shaped like a torpedo and has been nicknamed the “yellow submarine.” It is 7-10 feet long, 21 inches in diameter, and weighs between 440-660 lbs. AUVs are streamlined with a hydrodynamically designed hull to minimize drag. Compare USF’s yellow submarine’s measurements to the British Autosub AUV, which is 23 feet long, 3 feet in diameter and weighs 3300 lbs! Or the Woods Hole REMUS AUV that is 52 inches long, 7.5 inches in diameter and weighs 66 lbs!

    * * * * *
    If this is to be believed, and I’d generally trust oceanographers over bureaucrats, an underwater drone bombing could be accomplished by ecoterrorists funded by a moderately wealthy backer. And if that drone parked itself with its payload on a 7-10 day timer, it would be almost impossible to trace it back to any specific ship within the region.

    As Abraham Lincoln once said, “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”

  259. I’ve got a friend, an Osteopath, who has retired from practice. He has a library of medical books he thinks nobody wants anymore because all the new young doctors are getting their info off of the internet. Well, boy do I know a set of people who might just be interested in his library!

    If anyone would like to contact my friend to get his medical library please contact me by email : dranetsimard@gmail.com. I will give your contact info to him and you can move on from there.

    Annette

  260. Hey jmg

    Thanks for the appreciation.

    Something else I found out on the guardian is this gem;

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/29/could-a-digital-twin-of-tuvalu-preserve-the-island-nation-before-its-lost-to-the-collapsing-climate

    It makes me wonder how the former inhabitants of sunken Polynesian island will remember their heritage in the deindustrialised future, I imagine that the preservation of photos of their island combined with memorisation of their former homes landscape for art of memory applications is a possibility.

  261. Argument taken, JMG! The issue here is, of course, if the summit of Western civilization is considrred to be at 1914, the time of its biggest imperial extension, or the 1970s, the time at which Western civilization reached the pinnacle of its wealth and got poorer thereafter. A hundred years is, anyway, on the shorter end of the possibilities. It seems to me that the time span from imperial decline to economic deline is unusually long in Western civilization compared to other civilizations, because the consequences of the availability of fossil fuels for energy production, and thus, wealth production.

  262. I know zilch about electricity, and so have a very uninformed question about the use of home-made electricity, as from a small backyard windmill or a modest downmarket solar setup. One of JMG’s followers who seemed very well informed on the subject mentioned a few years ago that the easiest and cheapest way is to build a home system with direct current at 12 volts, if I recall correctly: as he had evidently done.

    My question: how exactly would that work? Would one need batteries to store and regulate power, or could you just let the power support some of your household needs for as long as the sun shines or the wind blows, and switch to something else when that fails? Even sometime electricity is better than none, especially when you have the advantage of owning and controlling that system, rather than, say, being at the mercy of rolling blackouts. If you’re plugged into the grid, it might be a money-saver to take some of that load off of it.

    What I have read about the standard solar setup with its deep cycle batteries and associated gear sounds very complex and expensive. I know a family who got taken for thousands and wound up with a large array of useless solar panels on their roof. Even J.H. Kunstler has complained recently of the problems he’s had with the system he had installed at great expense a few years ago.

    I live in a flat with lots of windows, receiving many hours a day of sunshine; also, I have access to a back yard. What could I do to provide for some of my energy needs, as simply and inexpensively as possible?

  263. I just stumbled over the work of David Engels which reminds me of your essays,what do you think of it?

  264. In reference to the argument JMG linked that the pipeline explosions may have been accidental:

    Oilman2 or others, is it actually possible for the hydrocarbons in a pipeline to detonate underwater? My basic understanding of chemistry would say this is not possible due to a lack of sufficient oxygen, and therefore if “explosions” large enough to be detected from a distance occurred it would imply sabotage.

  265. JMG (no. 281) “Bei, depends on which of the dozen or so Theys you have in mind…”

    How about a conspiracy of conspiracy theorists? What if all the conspiracy theorists all lying to us? Follow the money.

    “…and who’s got the Orbital Mind Control Lasers card this turn.”

    A careful examination of the Zapruder film shows Kennedy’s head jerk back, in the same way it would if he had been struck from orbit by a phaser set to “kill.”

  266. JMG, I remember Kabala. In fact I wanted it, but didn’t get it for Xmas. I don’t remember for sure, but am guessing Mom couldn’t find it, as my parents were quite generous at Xmas and on birthdays.

  267. My best guess for how things in Ukraine will play out – Korean War. There will be some tight lipped grudging armistice signed, and then each side will glare at each other across barbed wire with nobody officially agreeing to anything. But the barbed wire will stay where it is and the borders won’t change.

    As far as whodunnit with the pipelines, does it really matter? Whoever it was demonstrated how fragile energy trade is. Something something glass houses, something something throwing stones.

  268. Lazy Gardener #249, for simplifying complex systems the book you want is Beyond Command and Control by John Seddon.

    Ron M #280, the version I heard is Canada’s complex coastline leads to a lot of 20-30 minute flights crossing bays and inlets and island-hopping. That’s supposed to be ideal for electric aviation.

  269. Hi John Michael,

    Mate, please forgive my flippancy, but I don’t care who done it (referring to the pipeline drama). At this stage, it actually doesn’t matter. What matters here is: outcomes. Putting aside all of the words and emotions, the result is: one less option. It really is that simple. Far out, people get lost in the details.

    I’ll tell you a funny story: There’s a 300km long undersea DC cable linking this southern mainland states electricity grid to the island state of Tasmania’s grid. The connection was intended to send electricity in either direction, but usually from the mainland to there. The water between here and there is reasonably shallow having once been a land bridge. Rough seas now (think the cult film: Point Break). Anyway, around Christmas 2014 a drought gripped the land, and the cable got broke. Nobody knows how it broke, but that’s what happened. Fixing an unknown break in the cable (and the waters are shallower than where the pipe is) was announced to take only a few weeks. From memory it took six months, maybe longer. And that state relies upon hydro power and the DC cable and yeah, not so good for them. Not a quick fix. What they did was bring in huge diesel generators to make up the difference (and possibly pray for rain). An expensive solution which nobody seemed to question, even the environmentally conscious folks, until the DC cable was repaired. And there are even more people in that island state nowadays. How is the pipeline which is at much deeper depth, get repaired quickly? At least they know where the break is.

    Earlier today at lunch with mates I inadvertently blurted out that that part of the world has volunteered themselves to test out the relative merits of the energy and geopolitical policies they’ve been pursuing with abandon for a number of years. They’re doing us all a favour. And whatever anyone else says, the lesson will be instructive. Who done what, we’ll never know – and it doesn’t matter to the lives of the people living under that Grand Experiment. But then there seems to be a lot of experimentation taking place nowadays. Recklessness in the extreme, but I didn’t do it.

    In more local news: Victoria’s Loy Yang A power station will close as early as 2035. What does that mean for energy generation in the state?

    Whoosh! Here we go! We’ll be fine, I’ve visited third world countries and the people seem to get by well enough (with occasional bouts of unpleasantness), and we look set to join their ranks with a declining energy per capita. It was baked into the cake, you know it, I know it, but do the people enthusiastically pursing the current disinvestment (catabolism) know it? Dunno.

    Thanks for the response regarding the legal system. It makes sense and like so much else, follows the inverted bell shaped curve of rise, decline and fall. I’m beginning to think that curve is hard-wired into the fabric of the universe.

    Cheers

    Chris

  270. In talking with my chicken vendor at the farmer’s market, it sounds like this avian flu sweeping the country might mean few to no turkeys for thanksgiving as well as a total wipe out of chickens. It started in spring, subsided, and now is is 100x worse than anything he’s seen before.

  271. Wer here
    Well This whole mess in the East can only be viewed in hindsight of depletion. Almost nobody exept this blog and others has a viewpoint on this. Cheap resorces are gone from Europe. For example Poland has still some anthracite but it is deep underground and very expensive to mine brown coal is trash compared to anthracite and the 300 k tons we recived from malaysia is even worse… As a result a society dependent on cheap oil is falling apart. Inflation is rising and it will continue to rise bacause you can print money but You can’t print fossil fuels to power the economy. LTG charts explain once the cheap stuff is gone and pollution bites in disaster is not long in the making.
    For example Europe was buying natgas and oil for discount price from Russia now Europe would have to buy whatever is left on a much higher price (people had noticed that Norway is past it’s peak of cheap gas and it is drilling for ultra deep boreholes now.)
    https://www.offshore-energy.biz/oil-output-on-the-decline-as-norway-records-slightly-higher-gas-production-in-may/
    The result is that the industry and standart of living is going away. Here in Poland it was never high but right now…
    For example in response to russia and Ukraine Germans proclaimed that they will militarize but right now german industry is falling like a stone, industrial plants are shutting down and inflation is raging, something tells me that the EU will deindustralize very quickly and the population in the EU is already showing that It has enough of lies and heavy handed approach of the Brussels elite. Cheap fossil fuels are gone and the can’t find a replacement for Russian resorces- something tells me they will never. There will be chaos as we move into winter and people will took to the streets. At this rate there will be a crisis of politics in the EU and US Bill Gates recently said that there will be a civil war (narrowly avertedby Trump presidency) now because the disconect between the peole and political class is now a yawing chasm.
    And I don’t want to speculate on Nord Stream we will probably never know, it makes sense for Russians to abandon EU at this point and concetrate on trading with Asian countries, somethign tells me that fracking will be flash in the pan here also and we are without heating or gas in the winter, let’s not even say about military or any sort of a plan from our goverment.

  272. Justin Patrick Moore,

    I bought a 1Up 700 series ebike (Class 3, 750W Bafang rear-hub) for my birthday this summer – got it on Lammas – and have been riding it ever since. I love it. My commute is easy though – a mile and a half to work, another half mile to my favorite lunch spot, another mile or so to my favorite pub, and then 2.5 home from there, with most of everything else I need somewhere on that circuit. Panniers are a must.

    Love the light exercise, without the need to get overly sweaty. I live across a river valley from work, so the only real hills are at either end of my commute. Just where you don’t want them…but the electric assist gets me to work still feeling fresh.

    TBH, the heat isn’t much of a problem on an ebike. Whether I’m straight-throttling or pedal-assisting, the boost is substantial, and the breeze is delightful. It’s the colder weather we’ve had lately that’s getting me! And you live well north of me.

    I manage a small plastic injection molding factory, and my wife loves the airing-out I get on the way home, too…

    Throttle-only moves me along at about 20 mph, and I can pedal-assist on the flat up to about 32 in high gear. 37.5 is the fastest I’ve done on a downhill, but I freak out at that pace!

    Agree that it’s a great transitional transport.
    I definitely recommend getting one.
    Grover

  273. Anybody have an opinion they’d like to share about Jonathan Kirsch’s book ‘God Against the Gods’? Just started reading it and am enjoying it so far, but it’s definitely raising my hackles toward monotheism. And I live in a very, VERY Christian town.

    Thanks in advance.

  274. Thank you, JMG and David

    Vidura #221,

    In the past when computers were slower and more expensive, software was more likely to be custom. Retrofitting existing software for different equipment takes effort. Existing compatibility infrastructure hides that. Less capable computers of the future will likely not use the same identical software as less capable computers of the future. Right now, there are enormous peer pressures against reducing software complexity from the top in both business and academic theory. For the downward slope of computer complexity to be as smooth as the upward, that would need to change. Software development is sensitive and time-consuming in ways that the economic mainstream does not fully consider. You can expect surprise failures in many aspects of the computer industry, even already.

    If the scientific modeling you are describing can be done in Excel, it could probably be done on paper with slide rules, even if more time-consuming. I wonder if it would be productive to write a written manual.

  275. What would be your recommended approach to someone who’s unlucky, who reports consistently weird bad luck over a period of years? Would you recommend taking a look at their astrological chart, or would you look at other factors, such as a literal curse? Even my girlfriend has remarked that I have terrible luck (if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all). Where would you start to make sense of a predicament like this if you were experiencing bad luck on a consistent basis?

  276. Hi John,

    What’s your take on the Labour party under Sir Keir Starmer. My Labour supporting friends are getting v excited that the Tories look likely to lose the next ge. I keep on telling them that assuming the general election is in 2024, Labour will be inheriting a huge set of problems and what seems to be a growing economic/financial crisis that should erupt by 2024. And yes, we are tied to a collapsing European economy that doesn’t get cheap Russian fossil fuels anymore…

    They hate this message.*

    *In fact, I’ve thought for a while its in the Tories interests to lose the next general election!

    There seems to be some underlying view among many voters that voting Labour equals returning to some 2010’s paradise, pre-Brexit, when the world was peaceful and prosperous. Personally i think they are doomed to be disappointed.

    Now, whilst I lean Tory in my voting (and I’m a party member), I do think some in the Labour team seem fairly sensible and probably have some good ideas. But the idea that a change of government, at this late stage of the game, can fundamentally change the course of this decade is a stretch. Particularly given the Labour party seems largely clueless to the state of energy, why we are in this rolling crisis and how the European social democratic welfare model is completely unsustainable.

    Regarding the stock market, the sources I track and subscribe to think we are due further volatility and downward pressure but a strong and probably final rally in 2023. A final melt-up rally before a serious crash commencing late 2023/early 2024. And this one will be a global crash.

    My plan is to partially move to cash in 2023, switch to US dollars and wait before going back into the markets after things have bottomed out (probably mid-2020’s).

  277. Hi JMG.
    Not sure if you saw my post, up around #150.
    I elected to be notified when someone commented, but many separate emails were piling up, so I unsubscribed.
    I suppose additional comments just add to the same email when there is enough time between, but come across as separate when they come multiple times per minute.
    I’ll resubscribe and see if anything changes.
    The question was basically in regard to your last blog post. I am wondering what your take is on the limits of sealing up a house, in regard to stale air and moisture/mold.

  278. @Ron M #280:
    You know, I seem to remember that there is actually a way to cross vast expanses of land using electric power. And with just common materials like steel, copper, and aluminum, mostly, too, instead of a bunch of rare earth metals packed into highly flammable battery packs. Some… _obscure_, little-known technology, but I think the name started with a _t_, and maybe rhymed with “rain”…
    …Nope, alas, I’m [i]just not thinking of it[/i]. I suppose we can’t blame the Canadian government for not seeking to use some esoteric thing like _that_, whatever it’s called, to turn investment dollars into electric-powered cross-continental travel. Obviously has to be electric airplanes. Yep.

    (Sigh. And I’m not even talking about high speed rail, to be clear. Sling some wires up over the existing CP and CN transcons and their branches, buy a bunch of new rolling stock, and there you go: electric cross-Canada travel. It would be expensive, sure — but so are these boondoggles, and unlike them, tried and tested traditional (not extra expensive and flashy HSR, not some gadgetbahn that might be a deliberate scam…) railway technology would _actually work_. Slower than an electric airplane? Less convenient point-to-point than a fancy modern electric car? Sure! But the train’s a lot easier to _keep working_ than either of those (to the extent either of those work at all), and it’s a _whole_ lot faster than crossing Canada by horse and cart.)

    Oh, say, JMG, while I’m on the topic, I recall that, directly in and/or in commentary on _Retrotopia_, you mentioned that you think diesel-electric locomotives are a better bet for the future or railways (while there’s still one, before _any_ railway becomes too expensive) than mainline electric locomotives, even in an environment where the rail line is heavily used (and thus where the lower variable costs of electric locomotives start to overpower the higher fixed costs and tip the balance from diesel’s higher variable costs and lower fixed costs). I also recall you saying you think diesel-electric beats steam from having _such_ a higher efficiency of turning chemical energy in the fuel into moving rolling stock, even with the potential for a steam locomotive to be much easier to build, maintain, and fuel in a deindustrial or deindustrializing environment than a diesel-electric one. Do you have any new thoughts on that, or anything you’d like to elaborate on here?

    (Also, sorry if this comment showed up for approval twice; these was a software oddity, and I wasn’t sure it got through the first time.)

  279. To JMG and the commentariat,

    I usually don’t contribute much to the Open Posts and, although there is some overlap with the Levi posts, Open Posts have a different feel. What is the etiquette for when someone responds to my post, but there isn’t a question? My instinct is to acknowledge it; it feels rude not to. On the Levi posts, where there are usually less than 200 comments for the whole week, I don’t mind posting short responses. But Open Posts typically have more (this post is pushing close to 300 comments and the weekend is just starting) and I don’t want to add stuff that doesn’t really contribute but I also don’t want to be rude.

  280. To the canning crowd out here:
    what can you do with a pressure canner that you cannot do with a pressure cooker?
    As a European, I didn’t even know the former were a thing!

  281. I had seen several references to Herakles/Hercules tasks aligning to the Zodiac and it seemed intriguing, so I searched for an article or book on it. For as many references I have seen regarding it, it is surprising how many articles I have found about Herakles that don’t actually relate the tasks to the signs. (I did find one by Bailey, though it has a definite bias to relating Herakles to her religion.) I have just finished reading “The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology” (Richard Payne Knight), which has lots of information (way more than just Herakles). And I’ve gotten a copy of “Hamlet’s Mill”.

    I was wondering if JMG or the commentariat had other recommendations (book, articles, websites) re: Herakles/Hercules.

    Thanks!

  282. JMG

    I have been reading a LOT of comments concerning Russia, from pipelines to military tactics. What has become crystal clear to me is there is a tremendous amount of bias WRT Russian technology and capability.

    So, let’s just point out that Russia was effectively written off when they collapsed decades back – yet here they are standing up to NATO and the US on TWO fronts.

    They currently field the best ELINT and electronic warfare systems in the world.
    They currently build rocket motors while the USA cannot (if you doubt me, review our latest launch by NASA).
    Their fighter jets and helicopters are more advanced and capable than those in the west (F35 anyone?).
    Hypersonics – they made it work and Raytheon still cannot…

    I am NOT a Russian apologist, but the comments I have been reading written in English from a multitude of sites CONSISTENTLY show a highly negative bias WRT Russians. You have to maintain a clear head and keep in mind that to even participate in just the above categories requires a wealth of supporting technologies, industries and manufacturing capabilities – especially when the insane sanctions from the western countries are factored in. Russia has actually set up more new plants and industries in the last few decades than people realize – because the west forced them to do so.

    Looking down your nose at Russia based on 50 year old data and experiences is unwise, IMHO.
    To think Russians are ignorant or drunk or stupid WRT pipelines is ignorance in itself. Russia had to meet the EU standards in construction, engineering, materials and operations to even get approval. They did this, and yet everywhere I read comments that basically relegate Russian technology to one of drunken engineers and always use substandard everything – which makes no sense in today’s world of ISO 10,000+ standards or when one considers what they have fielded successfully in several global industries…

    I wrote this after reading comments in the LawDog link, BTW.
    Makes me think of the “not invented here” bias many Americans hold to.

  283. Did not someone on this forum offer services as an horary astrologer?
    I forgot who, he gave contacts.

    Maybe someone knows, otherwise I’ll have to search past posts.

  284. JMG:
    (And and commentariat)

    What are your thoughts on allowing state legislatures to call themselves into special sessions versus only state governors being allowed to call special sessions?

  285. @everyone,

    I have an intuition that small services businesses are less and less interested in tyrannical entitled customers that don’t appreciate any of the work. It is too much trouble for the same $ as other better customers. At least I try and avoid those bad customers as much as possible.

    Is anyone else seeing this change in the marketplace, with the offer side becoming more empowered than before, or not really?

  286. Thanks to @temporaryreality for mentioning the map. I’ve just finished adding the 28 new pins submitted since then! For Richard in Launceston, I’m assuming you meant the one in Tasmania, not in Cornwall. If that’s incorrect, please email me (adara9 at gmail), message me via Dreamwidth, or submit another pin correcting my misconception.

  287. @Gray Tuesday Man #283 – a multitude of causes. In my case, a low-level mutation (Fragile X) in the maternal line, and with two X chromosomes, any one of them could have drawn the wild card. In my case, a strong majority of them. Think of a calico cat – some orange fur, some black – vs. a tortoiseshell cat.

    Other reasons – consider any Silicon Valley marriages you’ve ever heard about. A concentrated population of ubergeeks, most of them marrying their class equals rather than, as in the 1950s and ’60s, secretaries and the like. Or, as one of my guilty pleasures novels about a Gifted population, put it “….and let ordinary aristocratic intermarriage do the rest.”

    Finally, we’ve always been around. Check out Victorian eccentrics. Or for that matter, Plutarch’s biography of Cato the Younger – great Ghu, it’s written all over him!

  288. @Kenaz Filan #285 – it could even have been a lone activist, or some kid who liked to see things blow up.
    @GrayTuesday #283 – I cut off my comment too soon. I wanted to say, I’m with you all the way – at my age it was “Bright, but with a behavior problem” – and I’s curious about the rest of the answers to what you were asking. Note: as I said a while back, it might have made JMG oblivious to other people’s opinions of him, but not me. The former might be a guy thing.

  289. BobinOK #292 That hypothesis is entirely plausible, and may even be the most likely explanation for the event. But I don’t expect Russia to confirm or deny it, so we may never know. Which brings us to the big problem at hand: given the available information, one could create several entirely plausible theses about the Nord Stream explosion.

    Based on the information I found about UAVs, I could note that Extinction Rebellion has engaged in several anti-petroleum protests in the UK. Given the estimated costs in the USF article, building UAVs is within reach for an organization of their size and with their funding. And there is certainly precedent for protesters taking to sea: Greenpeace has been messing with the whaling industry for decades now. They have at least as much motivation to blow the pipelines as any other suspect, and if the USF numbers are correct they would have the means as well.

    Here’s another ride down the rabbit hole: Norway has a huge fossil fuel industry and a fair number of saturation divers who regularly work at depths well below 70-90m. (I’m not a scuba expert, but if my back-of-envelope calculations are right you could do a 90m dive with a controlled ascent if you were very careful, eliminating the need a pressurized chamber). Who’s to say they didn’t blow a competitor’s pipeline to improve their bottom line, knowing that everybody would point the finger at warring parties?

    These conclusions are entirely speculative, of course. As of now there’s no hard evidence linking radical ecoterrorists or Norwegians to the explosions, and these conclusions rest on a whole bunch of suppositions and conjectures. But they are no more jerry-rigged than the arguments I’ve seen “proving” that X is the only possible answer. There are several players in the game with motive, means, and opportunity.

  290. The map of Ukraine’s lost regions shows they all border the Sea of Azov(? spelling? last letter blurred.) And Russia has always wanted a sea coast all its very own. Although they’re well on their way to getting one in the Arctic.

  291. @ Kevin RE: electricity…

    That could have been me…

    We have 12VDC system with 12 lead-acid batteries set up in our farm. It is tied into some panels which we put in a pasture. We have 12VDC LED lighting, some 12VDC appliances bought from RV places and same for computers. The wiring is just extension cord wiring, the lowest resistance we could find. We stayed with 12VDC because there are many more options available. The entire setup is secondary to the standard grid – for emergencies – but could easily be a “new normal” in future.

    Our barns are also lit by 12VDC automobile flood lights tied into small solar panel and single 12VDC battery. Have been installed for 7 years without problem, but likely time to desulfonate batteries…

  292. Many thanks to everyone posting their experiences with the All American Pressure Canner. There are one or two ways I can get this imported into the UK so I’ve pencilled it in for the next big project after the inshore fishing is up and running.

    Long experience has taught me that I only have the capacity for one learning experience at a time so it will have to join the queue. Still, queuing is of course something that even children have mastered here.

  293. @ Mark L RE: exploding

    Cool – I was wondering when someone would snap to that.

    You would need to supply O2, and that would have to be pumped down.

    Why is it that oil well blowouts only burn at the surface and not down below? Yep, O2… Otherwise Kuwait would still be burning.

    That LawDog guy got a ton of hits, but he is some kind of wrong in his assumptions…

  294. @Kevin #293 re: home power

    Home solar is many many times easier than home wind power, much more reliable/lower maintenance, and much more predictable in terms of output. One nice thing about solar as opposed to wind/hydro is that you don’t have to try to use all of the power that the system produces. Use less or none at all while the sun is shining and the panel just sits there at around 24V (“open circuit voltage”) with no harm done.

    An unregulated small solar system is possible, but the components used need to be able to tolerate a range of voltages (i.e. up to 24V) and you will also deal with short-term interruptions e.g. when a cloud passes in front of the sun. It doesn’t increase cost that much to add a small charge controller and a couple of RV/marine batteries which will allow you to have lights at night, to have a steadier voltage, and to be able to use higher-wattage loads for short periods uninterrupted. I recommend looking to the RV and house-boat communities for suggestions (and also sources of 12V lighting and small appliances) rather than the home solar community which is focused on big battery banks and 120/240V inverters designed to maintain current levels/patterns of energy use on solar.

    @Siliconguy #316

    That’s true if you mount sensors on cars: roads and buildings get really hot and radiate heat upwards. Sensors placed in the usual weather station manner (i.e. at least 2m height and at least 30m from paved areas) will not show a 14º difference although urban centers will still be hotter.

    @Quos Ego #312

    Pressure canners are mostly just bigger pressure cookers, designed to fit a maximum number of glass jars in one or two layers. You can can in a pressure cooker, if you have space to fit the jars and a rack to keep the jars off the bottom. It’s less advisable to cook in a pressure canner, since they’re designed for use with water only and the steam exhaust valve can get clogged with food particles.

    @Reese #310 re: locomotive power

    I’m also interested to hear JMG’s perspective here. It seems to me that in a world with limited but readily available electricity (hydro, wind, coal, maybe still some gas) and very limited/expensive liquid fuels that the expense of stringing wires over mainline railroads would be offset by the extreme expense of sticking with diesel (e.g. from biofuels), and that the precious liquid fuels would be used instead for aviation and ocean shipping for which electrification is not an option.

    I could certainly imagine a system in which the mainlines are electrified and the branch lines continue to operate with diesel-electric or perhaps a revival of coal-steam or even a novel coal-electric design.

  295. Regarding Jordan Peterson, I am not woke/leftist at all but I dislike him.

    I’ve tried to get into his stuff, I did the Big Five, which he recommends, and tried to listen to some of his lectures.

    My opinion is that he mainly appeals to highly neurotic people who might not have had stable parenting or had bad relationships with their parents, especially, but not only, males. I think his whole “cultural Marxism” shtick is stupid and inaccurate, and that his personal life and the way he brought up his kids doesn’t make him someone worthy to emulate.

    Just one example to note, in 2020, his daughter dragged him around Europe for whatever reason, he caught covid, had a mental health breakdown. His married daughter checked him into a Russian hospital and flew to Romania to chill with internet pimp Andrew Tate. Previously, he also told Joe Rogan that he had a huge mental breakdown after starting on the “carnivore diet” shilled by his daughter but he kept doing it for whatever reason.

    Between Tate and Peterson, I personally like Andrew Tate more. Tate is funny and charismatic. Peterson radiates cuck energy IMO.

    Just my 2c, and my Big Five results are probably very different from most of his followers. (1st percentile neuroticism, 1st percentile agreeableness, relatively high openness and conscientiousness)

  296. I find the world changing around me quickly. It’s hard to adapt as an autistic person but beyond personal failures, I think I have a gift for where the abstract data available should lead us. Could anyone here critique my analyses?

    * Here’s my explanation for why the US will not conquer the world. I use the concept of “the Epic Confrontation” and explain how we will lose this. https://winstonsocrateses.substack.com/p/the-epic-confrontation

    * The BRICS alliance may play with the petrodollar. I analyze how this may happen through a theoretical “Operation Gut Strike”. Hasn’t happened yet, but still could! https://winstonsocrateses.substack.com/p/operation-gut-strike

    * Considering the absence of an equivalent to Operation Gut Strike so far, here’s my revised forecast for the Next Five Years. https://winstonsocrateses.substack.com/p/the-next-five-years

    Thoughts? Comments? Critiques?

  297. Ron, thanks for this. That’s about what I would have expected; one of the basic rules of existence is that batteries are heavy, and another is that airplanes can only carry so much weight!

    Kenaz, what is it about German politicians these days? It emphatically would not have taken a state actor to blow the pipelines. All it would have taken is a few people with scuba gear and a bunch of plastic explosive. 80 meters is well within diving range, and strapping a bunch of plastique onto a pipeline with a blasting cap and a timer attached is not exactly rocket science. If, to pull an arbitrary theory out of thin air, a renegade faction in the Polish military decided to blow the pipelines to cripple Germany, now that at least one German politician has called for “readjusting” the border between Germany and Poland and Germany has again refused to pay reparations for war damage to Poland, it would have been the easiest thing in the world for them to send some divers on a fishing boat into the Baltic and do the thing. They’d have wanted to do it well away from Polish waters, of course, to avoid blowback. (Am I saying that this is what happened? Nope. I’m using it as an arbitrarily chosen possibility, one out of dozens.)

    Annette, thanks for this!

    J.L.Mc12, I doubt the people of Tuvalu are especially impressed by the idea…

    Booklover, granted. Even if you take 1973 as the date when European industrial civilization peaked, however, we’re already fifty years into the decline, and if things continue along their current track it could very easily take another century or more before dark age conditions become common in Europe.

    Kevin, I’ll leave this to those who know what they’re talking about.

    Njura, I’m not familiar with him at all. Can you recommend some good samples?

    Bei, I’m reminded of the great line from that Giza X song: “Help! Help! The paranoids are coming! The paranoids are coming! They want to get me! They want to get me!

    Your Kittenship, alas, I never got one for Christmas, and moped about it. 😉

    Viduraawakened, no surprises there. India is a rising power, very likely an emerging superpower, and Germany’s starting to look past the failed EU project toward a future in which it will need strong allies.

    Owen, that’s entirely possible.

    Chris, ha! “You wanted an energy transition, you got an energy transition. If you don’t like it, hey, that’s not our fault…”

    Denis, thanks for the heads up.

    Wer, thanks for this. I’m glad that at least somebody in eastern Europe grasps what’s actually going on…

    Joshua, I’d encourage you to find a capable astrologer and get a good thorough delineation of your natal chart — ask about the luck issue, and see what the chart shows. If there’s a curse involved, for example, a vulnerability to that will show up in the 12th house.

    Forecasting, I think it’s quite possible that the Tories will lose the next general election, now that they’ve stuffed their populist wing back onto the back benches and are busy with their old habit of making the rich richer and calling it good. That said, Starmer’s demonstrated that he literally doesn’t have a single original idea in his head; the recent announcement that he’s going to push for an exact plagiarism of Germany’s Energiewende in Britain, right at the moment that its total failure in Germany is becoming impossible to ignore, demonstrates that with brutal clarity. Thus it’s quite possible that Labour will be left holding the bag in a big way in 2024. But we’ll see.

    Barry, the packet of energy conservation info I linked to in the post two weeks ago has a paper specifically on that question, and I’d encourage you to read it.

    Reese, er, I don’t have a particular opinion on the different methods of powering a railway; that’s best decided by engineers on the basis of the specific situation faced by a given railway and the country and region in which it operates. I used diesel locomotives in Retrotopia because in that place and time, large amounts of biodiesel were the most logical fuel for long distance trains; if you recall the novel, you’ll remember that the urban trolleys were all electric.

    Random, there’s no particular rule. Do as you wish.

    Oilman2, fair enough!

    Siliconguy, hmm! Thanks for this. That’s well worth knowing in a warming world.

    Raab, er, I don’t have an opinion on the subject. Do you know of a reason why I should?

    Tony C, oh, I hope so! (But then I’ve worked retail…)

    Polish, thanks for this. I think many of my readers are up on the difference, but a different perspective is always of interest.

    Winston, I’ll see if I have time to get to them, but it’s shaping up to be a very busy autumn for me. Anyone else?

  298. @TonyC It’s funny you should ask about that. I have two close friends – one who builds websites and another an accountant. Both have fired long-standing clients in the past couple months. All they said was they couldn’t take their (banned word) anymore.

    I’ve also noticed a couple big YouTubers state they are taking a month or two off from posting. These are people who only make month when they post videos, and always have competition for eyeballs.

    Best I can categorize what is occurring is major priority shifting. I don’t know if its the “pandemic”, the constant talk of WW3, or just the general (banned word) economy, but people are ‘stick a fork in them’ done.

    And as an aside, I think opportunities abound in this chaos and quitting.

  299. @Justin Patrick Moore you’re welcome! We have a Pedego distributor here that a friend of mine who does really long distance bike tours uses exclusively, and so I think they may be worth the additional money for the access to their customer support, if you can get to it… also, listen to Kevin Sweeney on the battery usage. I am not good at using my batteries properly, and it’s fairly shot and low range at only 5 years old. Though I did use to haul 350 lbs with it for work on the regular; if he’s using a Yuba Mundo, the old ones were pretty heavy steel frames meant to haul a lot (they say only 350 lb, but you can do at least 450 if you distribute it correctly and use a Bikes at Work trailer 😉 – check out this guy at the Yuba site with the ski rack: https://yubabikes.com/. Cargo bike people are so cool – it’s a good cult… I promise…). My e-bike is a converted Yuba Boda Boda, so it is heavier than it needs to be if you don’t intend to haul mad cargo, you could definitely get a lighter frame, and if you get a system with a swappable battery like Kevin has (I don’t have a spare because obsolete by the time I bought it at the fire sale) then if you don’t need the battery all the time, you could even take that extra weight off sometimes and spare the wear on your bike.

    @pygmycory thanks for the reminder about Nikiforuk… he did write good stuff about the oilsands. I see he’s also been writing about Ukraine, though, and the headings alone make me think this is unfortunate, but 2/3 ain’t bad, I guess.

    After seeing teresa from hershey’s comments re: the political activity at the fair (which is so exciting), it made me wonder how you’re faring in Victoria, with 35 people potentially knocking on your door asking if you’ve Heard the Good News about themselves 😉

    It’s so strange – usually in an election year, those connected to the political sphere and feeder network (e.g. community groups, political appointed committees, non-profit boards, etc.) have a pretty good idea who will be running before nominations. This time it was crickets, except for the Victoria mayor race. There were 8/13 munis with no known mayoral candidate until near the end of nominations in September- usually serious candidates have ads out by April or June at latest. But then explosion! Candidates all over the place; total outsiders. The all candidates in one muni I heard about, it was a major social event for millenials who’d never been to one before. Now, some of the candidates are complete kooky dooks, but some have been very impressive, and it’s a wild time.

  300. Darkest Yorkshire (#300): you are correct. Electric aviation in Canada would need to be restricted to the niche market of Pacific and Atlantic coastal communities and maybe the urban-packed stretch from Windsor, Ontario to Quebec City, Quebec (for maybe 9 months of the year). It certainly would not work in over 95% of the country’s landmass for a variety of reasons including weather: anywhere between the Rockies and Lake Huron (and even much of Quebec) would be dicey between November and March, where the electric planes could be potentially grounded for weeks due to extreme cold (Mr. Jones the flying businessman would need to hop on a train to finish his journey). Batteries don’t exactly hold their charge well in the cold: that’s why there are no Telsa cars in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.

  301. @Oilman2 #325 –

    Thanks for that! This tells me right off the bat something that’s bound to be useful: that RV places are a good source for suitable appliances. Maybe marine stores are another possible (if pricey) source. Also, I now know that lead acid batteries are usable for this purpose.

    Additionally, from your post I make the following inference – if I’m wrong, perhaps you’ll be good enough to correct me. It sounds as though your lights and appliances get their power (in a steady stream regulated, I suppose, by adapters) from the batteries, and these in turn get their power directly from the solar array, all using ordinary extension cords that I can get off the shelf in a hardware store. Have I got the right general idea, or have I perhaps omitted some essential step or feature?

  302. Last comment from me on this thread regarding the Ukraine war…

    Russia doesn’t subscribe to MADD. They not only believe a nuclear war is winnable, they believe it’s inevitable and have been preparing for it for decades. They reportedly have underground shelters for more than 40% of their population. Again, “failure is not an option” for them and they can and will use whatever is necessary to prevail because they believe the future of Russia itself is at stake. I wish more people understood this.

    As Oilman2 noted, their weapons are homegrown and first-rate. For example, their S-400 SAMs are better than PATRIOT & THAAD and the next generation S-500 is already in production. Oilman2 also mentioned the Kinzhal hypersonic missile for which we have no defense. They’ve also started fielding the new SARMAT ICBM which can reportedly fly over the poles completely bypassing NORAD ABM defenses.

    Owen’s #299 take is mine as well — eventually a truce will be called with Russa retaining the annexed regions just like they have Crimea. Anything else is too horrific to contemplate.

    Regarding NS1/NS2…

    I’ve read the arguments but I still don’t buy maintenance issues causing explosions on both pipelines inside of 24 hours. NS1 has been operating without such an incident for over a decade and NS2 is essentially brand new.

    Furthermore, although non-state actors are certainly plausible, they usually take credit for their work to attract attention and funding for their cause, and there hasn’t even been a rumor of such. IOW, the silence is deafening.

  303. JMG #333:

    Apologies that my question about state legislatures didn’t include more context.
    The question of who is allowed to call special legislative sessions is an upcoming ballot measure in my state (and several others), and in trying to understand the pros and cons of permitting the lawmakers themselves to do it (versus only the governor), I have found few if any comparisons or discussions from a risk / benefit standard. Your explanations of Burkean conservativism and the free trade fallacy have proven very useful to me, and I simply wondered if you had any thoughts on this rather obscure separation-of-powers thing.

  304. JMG, my first visceral reaction to who blew up the pipeline was that it was the English.

    I don’t know if the English did it or not, but I am 100% sure those James Bond wannabe goons over there at MI6 have been green with envy all week if they did not do it. Imagine the transatlantic tension earlier in the week if it was those Americans that had gone done it without letting MI6 get in on it! If there is one thing the English do well, and at this point in history it is not much, it is the sabotaging of critical continental operations.

    I am not sure it even makes sense for the Americans to have done it. Remember this conversation with Victoria Nuland in Washington at the start of the year:
    CIA drone A: “Hey Victoria, last night I had an idea. Instead of starting a war in the Ukraine in order to stop Nordstream 2, why don’t we just blow it up instead? I mean the pipeline, not Ukraine.”
    CIA drone B: “That’s a great idea! While we are at it, why don’t we blow up Nordstream 1 as well! I hear it’s nearby!”
    CIA drone A: “Yeah awesome!”
    *CIA drone A and B give one another the high of five*
    Victoria Nuland: “You idiots! We don’t want to blow up Nordstream 1 or 2. Once the sanctions collapse the Russian government and we walk into Moscow with our Ukrainian minions, we’re gonna need those pipelines to deliver gas to power all those new bioweapons factories we got planned for Europe! We’ve got a new strain that targets only the Chinese and MAGA voters, anything red basically. Why do I always work with idiots here?!”

    Speaking of Trump, does anyone yearn for the becalming days of the Trump administration, the only president in my lifetime not to have started a war? As Kunstler recently pointed out, they have tried to pin anything on peacenik Trump the last six years and have come away with absolutely nothing. Unbelievable. He is as clean as a whistle. To my mind, this explains why he wasn’t a very good businessman. What was that idiot Trump thinking trying to be a successful American businessman without bribing at least a few people in congress and laundering even a few million?

    What Victoria Nuland and the neocons seem unable to grasp is that if they wanted to weaken Russia, they could let Russia take control of Kiev as we in the west are now finding out. I am told that, after traversing the corridors of power in Kiev, even Hunter Biden was dismayed at the levels of corruption and substance abuse he encountered. Therefore one thing we know for sure is that whoever ends up controlling the Ukraine once this conflict is finished will be the real loser. (A flick through any war glossary otherwise known as “European history” will point to a certain Poland being left holding this particular bag).

    So I think it would be a mistake to confuse Putin’s stalling with sending in the cavalry as a weakness. He is despite the protestations of western hacks a bureaucrat and can already envision the bureaucratic headaches. If any average hot head Russian warlord were in charge, the whole thing would have been over by now and Russia would have been stuck managing western Ukraine. Imagine this conversation in the Kremlin:
    Kadyrov: “What are you waiting for Vladimir? Send in the big guns for crying out loud!!!”
    Putin: “Now now, Ramzan, calm down. It is not like we want to just go into Kiev and cut everyone’s throat. I mean, this is not Grozny.”

    Rumour has it that negotiations were ongoing between European powers and Russia for a possible end to the conflict and so the interpretation is that America ended any motivation for Europeans to seek a peace agreement by blowing up the pipeline. But consider this, name me a single person who has been in extensive negotiations with multiple European partners at once and *not* wanted to blow up critical infrastructure thereafter?

    The neocon plan is apparently to weaken Europe and steal German industry? I think though we can forgive the neocons for not having travelled on German rail recently otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn. Let me tell you that German industry is not what it was cracked up to be and every time I am sitting for hours in the middle of nowhere waiting for a “Signaaaaaal Störung” to be debugged, my mind flips to that famous Star Trek scene depicted here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54) and transcribed for your benefit:
    *train stops 10 km outside Nienburg*
    Deutsche Bahn announcer: “I shall leave you marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet buried aliiiive.”
    Long suffering Deutsche Bahn passenger: “BAAAAAAHHHHHHN!!!! …. BAAAAAAHHHHNNN!!!”
    Deutsche Bahn announcer: *orgasm*

    Meanwhile in the German parliament the pipeline destruction completes energy minister Robert Habeck’s expert destruction of German industry. I consider Habeck a Russian agent and he is known in this household as “Agent Habeck” after cutting off Russian energy, creating shortages, thereby raising the price and thus furthering the profits of gazprom; he has also been known to send valuable western weapons to the Russians (via Ukraine). Some say Habeck is an idiot but I am not so sure. If he was a real idiot, a complete deranged nincompoop of the highest order, they would have made him health minister.

    Western governments have labelled the recent referendums in the Ukraine to join the Russian federation as a sham. This is an accusation we have to take very seriously since it appears western governments have lots of practice in sham elections. We all know about the dodgy 2020 elections in the US but now the 2021 Berlin elections have to be repeated after investigations found them to be a sham.

    I think the true hero of all this is 72 year old Russian foreign minister and rock star Sergey Lavrov in his prime and on his world tour, cutting business deals, winning friends and influencing others. He recently secured a trade deal with the Taliban, JMG. The Taliban! When is the US gonna get some young enthusiastic blood up there in the white house to match the youthful vibrant energy of the Kremlin?

  305. Winston Socrates, you stated in the essay linked to above–the first link: imperial expansion had persuaded Roman elite’s millennia earlier to shift from alliances with the masses to one with provincial elites. When do you believe that happened? Can you provide any references?

    As for the rest of your analysis, so far, my first impression is that you are rather short on details. I do happen to be a detail person, so there is that. I also wonder if you tend to discount emotion, such as East European, including, or maybe especially, among the diasporas, hereditary loathing of Russia. My bias here is quite clear and I am very willing to state it. I do not appreciate seeing my country set on a possibly catastrophic European policy because of whatever atrocity was committed by what starved, brutalized out of his mind, never been away from home before teenaged Czarist soldier in whoever’s ancestor’s village during the 19th or even 18thC. Also, I understand, that the citizens of India, of apparently all religions and ethnicities, really, truly, do not like China.

  306. JMG, be it as it may, at the moment the perspectives for Germany and other European countries look quite dim due to geopolitical facrors and a lack of fossil fuels on the territory of most European countries.

    Does anyone have an opinion about the books of Peter Wohlleben? He has written a few books about trees and forests. But I am not sure; he has something celebrity-like to him, because he is so involed in mainstream media.

  307. @JMG. It seems at one time you said that as empires decline they asset strip their periphery. An that the Anglo-American empire would do that to Europe. It seems like that is starting now. If Germany doesn’t have the energy to support manufacturing, it seems likely much of that will have to move here as I believe others have pointed out. Even if this is not the intent of the activity in Ukraine, it seems likely to be a result. Do you think the “asset stripping” has started in earnest?

  308. @JMG and community Matt Taibbi has mentioned that no one is really discussing the environmental impact of the N1 & N2 leaks, is there more being said in Europe and it just isn’t getting published here? I started reading this blog after trying to find sources and insights into the Macondo well leak, there was a huge discussion of the environmental impact. What has happened to marine life there? What has happened to coastal communities?

    Thanks for any insight!

  309. @ JMG et al… look what we have here. A billionaire who plans to bring green energy to peoples home! How? You may ask. Through cheaper panels? Molten sodium batteries? Better wiring?

    Nope. (Checks notes) CREATIVE FINANCING!!!

    Do we have the first gurglings of a green bubble?

  310. @Reese, re Trains.

    Electric trains have several advantages. The big one is weight, a diesel electric has an engine, generator, motor and fuel, an electric only has a motor. Lighter weight means a better power to weight ratio, and higher cruising speeds. Electric trains can accelerate faster and brake quicker. They do not have to be refuelled, so saving a little labour and time. An electric is much easier to maintain. On the downside the overhead power lines add to the overall line maintenance costs.

    As we enter the age of conservation, I would expect to see trains slowing down a lot, not only will this conserve a lot of fuel, it will also dramatically reduce the cost of line maintenance and extend the lifespan of existing networks.

    In the year 2000, Ireland had the oldest rail network and rolling stock in Europe. The oldest rails on the network were 100 years old and the slowest inter station speed limit on the network was 35 mph. This was about the top speed when the lines were built in the 1840s and 50s. So, a crumbling network can have an extended life by dropping speeds.

    Railways are militarily important which might provide an incentive to future generations to try and keep them going. Any place with good hydro power resources would have a potential power source for electric railways. The oldest railway in the world is at Saltsburg castle in Austria, a cable railway dating from about 1505. The railway was invented by German miners in the 1400s, version one used muscle power (mostly horsepower) and gravity, it used timber wheels running on timber rails. The technology was about 350 years old when steam power replaced horsepower on the rails. Douglas in the Isle of Man, still has horse drawn trams, maybe the railways of the future will look like that.

    Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.
    http://douglashorsetramway.im/

    The Saltsburg Castle cable railway.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reisszug

  311. Njura, thanks for this. I’ll put it on the get-to pile.

    Raab, interesting. In your place I’d start by finding out why there’s a push to let the legislature call its own special sessions, and consider the issues on that basis. If the governor had repeatedly refused to call a special session about an issue many people wanted addressed, for example, it might be worth making the experiment.

    Thecrowandsheep, this line —

    “But consider this, name me a single person who has been in extensive negotiations with multiple European partners at once and *not* wanted to blow up critical infrastructure thereafter?”

    — may be the best comment yet on the pipelines. Thank you!

    Booklover, dim? Why, the European elites wanted to use a lot less fossil fuels and emit much less carbon dioxide, and now they’re getting their wish. 😉

    Candace, that’s one of the possibilities, yes.

    Ben, do you have a link for this? That’s so gloriously moronic a display of elite stupidity that I want to post something about it…

  312. @ Kevin RE: my system

    We run standard 110VAC line power. If we have power down, we just use the 12VDC system. The two are completely separate, but are run in the same walls. We run normal appliances, 110VAC. We have alternate backup appliances that run on 12VDC which mostly stay on the shelf.

    We tried grid tie and all the rest – we just had no luck until we went to bare bones system. The other system parts required maintenance and replacement too often, so we thought, “Why not make it like the tractor?? Just draw off battery and recharge during the day.”

    No – we cannot have AirCon or electric dryers and such, but things are livable without line power. And we have oil lamps so we can save batteries if things get that bad. Our thoughts were not to go all in on any one thing, because nobody knows what is ahead – keep options open.

  313. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 They did bring this upon their own heads. And hopefully the experience of failure prompts that part of the world to stop mucking around and get back to basics, and meanwhile the policy makers here get to see for themselves what failure looks like. Probably won’t happen though – they all seem illiterate when it comes to the subject of energy. A strange learned blindness don’t you reckon?

    The oceans surrounding the continent are getting warmer, and it’s getting wetter here. Far out. A lot of rain. Wet and cool across most of Australia in September . I suspect the lack of relatively tall mountain ranges on the continent has something to do with this story as well.

    Cheers

    Chris

  314. @JMG,

    How far further down do you think we are going in this step of the long descent?

    Should the people in the US expect a major breakdown of national economic activity, and be well advised to have preparations in place for something close to the local ‘survival’ level in their community with sources of food, water, shelter, security, or does it look to you like ‘ just ‘ a big recession ahead ?

  315. Quos Ego #312

    I will second what Oilman2 mentioned about the use of a pressure canner and add that the size of the larger All American pressure canners can allow you a greater level of efficiency when you are trying to preserve a years worth of canned veggies because they will hold 19 pints in two layers or 16 quarts.

    Also it can take some time for the canner to get up to temperature, process the load for the correct amount of time and to cool down so you can unload it, it is best to try and fill the canner as full as you can each time.

    You also have a greater range of pressure settings with a canner then you do a pressure cooker which usually has only one, since you are just cooking a meal or two, not preserving food. The point with a pressure canner is killing botulism so that your preserved food won’t kill you in the future when you eat it. This sometimes means that you need a greater range of pressure to create high enough temperatures to kill the botulism spores. Depending on the food you are preserving, you may need a higher pressure that a pressure cooker just won’t provide.

  316. JMG – I doubt that this is what Ben was referring to, but I saw a “glossy” web site presented by Bloomberg and featuring Wells Fargo (financial services company). Their current slogan: “Wells Fargo — Forging What’s Next.” What’s next, apparently, includes “Preserving Nature by Trading It”. That sounds somewhat like “creative financing”.

    Now, back to that multi-faceted verb in the W.F. ad: “forging”. When I saw it, I was immediately reminded… not of their 2021 slogan “Wells Fargo, Forging Ahead”, or of the 2020 slogan “Wells Fargo, Forging a Path Forward”, but their 2002-2016 indictment for “forging customer signatures on new account applications”. The continued use of that verb by “the stagecoach that robs you” is mystifying. Are they trying to push the indictment papers into the second page of search results?

  317. Gray Tuesday Man wrote, “from an occult perspective, what do you think causes people to be born with Asperger’s…. Something to do with our past lives and reincarnation?”

    Though I don’t have Asperger’s, for some reason I know an unusual number of people who do. In my experience, the Asperger’s label gets regularly slapped onto two very different conditions with similar behavior signatures. One is on the autism spectrum with its characteristics of over- and under-sensitivity to various different sensory inputs. The other is a compensatory suite, which people with an unusually strong gravitational influence in the unseen dimensions resort to due to the overwhelming threat of etheric, astral, and spiritual parasites being drawn to feed on their immense power.

    The majority of the parasites to which we are most vulnerable come from other humans, as those have already attuned themselves to a human signature. An infant consistently wailing versus relaxing around a particular person is a fairly good measure of how actively that person’s unresolved baggage is attempting to attack and siphon energy from that infant. The larger an infant’s gravitational pull or ability to affect the reality around him, the more noticeable he will become to the diverse ecosystems of parasites we all drag around with us. (That’s also why, if you plan to practice magic, thereby increasing your ability to affect reality through the unseen dimensions, you will want to perform banishings and other magical hygiene.)

    Any child with a sufficiently potent gravitational influence will experience normal social interactions as though there were a bright, blinking “SMORGASBORD” sign pointing directly at him. After recognizing the near continuous attacks and feeding that occur while interacting with most people, such a child may compensate, quite understandably, by avoiding socializing as much as possible. By adding to that the confusing inputs that others don’t seem to get anywhere near so brutally attacked and that even the safest of people still bring attacking parasites along with them, the gravitationally potent child can easily begin manifesting behaviors indistinguishable from the sensory over- and under-sensitivity of autism. Both forms of Asperger’s appear to derive from being overwhelmed by incomprehensible inputs.

    Reincarnation is linked to the gravitational version of Asperger’s by the fact that we all begin our sequence of lives rather small and inexperienced, with minimal gravitational impact on the unseen dimensions. Ideally, our invisible gravitational pull will increase over our many lives until we eventually end up being born quite surprised by how extraordinarily influential we somehow became. We will certainly need to learn how to deal with being that influential over unseen energies, should we ever hope to graduate to godhood. The gods are not at all interested in anyone showing up in their realm all clueless and unpracticed! As far as I can tell, this particular type of Asperger’s is one way of beginning to cope with the disorientingly powerful influence that the gods simply take for granted.

  318. Re: electric railroads

    Weight savings might be helpful for some passenger trains, but in general locomotives need to be heavy or the wheels will slip.

    Railroads with overhead power lines don’t do well in ice storms and can be taken out by falling trees, rendering them less tolerant of extreme weather. On the other hand they don’t consume oxygen or release noxious fumes in long tunnels, giving them an advantage on alpine routes that currently require tunnel ventilation systems and wait times in between trains.

  319. Chris, I seem to recall that central Australia used to have pluvial (rain-fed) lakes back a couple of dozen millennia or so — big ones. I wonder if anyone’s put any thought about what to do if your continent is no longer the world’s driest…

    Tony, here in the United States I expect a serious recession made worse by stagflation and the rupture of various supply chains from overseas. I don’t expect anything close to survival-level conditions — just a sharp decline in economic activity, a real estate crash, crashes in other markets, rising prices for energy and many goods and services, fairly widespread poverty and hunger, and serious political instability with a significant risk of violence. Read the news from any troubled third world country and you’ll likely find a similar litany: no surprises there, since the US is a third world country temporarily boosted out of its normal state by a cascade of historical accidents. We’re in the process of reverting to the mean.

    Ben, thanks for this! (Rubs hands together gleefully…)

    Lathechuck, “Forging What’s Next” — ha. Truth in advertising, given their track record of forgery!

  320. This is mostly for Lathe Chuck, in continuation of a conversation a couple weeks ago. I thank him first for motivating me to take a closer look at what is going on regarding pesticides in the communities I am observing. My focus, has been on electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
    What I have found is TL;DR, so I will try to summarize it.
    1) There is rampant use of neonicotinoids in Japan. A month ago my municipality used a drone to spray the rice fields surrounding our house with them, to control stink bugs and leafhoppers. The information sheet they provided me warns about harm to bees.
    2) I have no way to find out how long neonicotinoids have been in use in our area. I noticed a major decrease in honeybees on the EMR-sheltered side of our house, but one friend says that the controversy over spraying is decades old, with nearby municipalities having discontinued it. The formulation may have changed, but I can’t find that out.
    3) Adding to the confusion is two neurotic neighbors hosing down their properties with Roundup about once every two months. No gov’t regulation of that.
    4) There are few leafhoppers, but stinkbugs abound here, and I saw native honeybees working the dayflowers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commelina_communis at the edges of the sprayed fields this past week. Pesticides are really notorious for fostering adaptation. Perhaps they’ll try changing the formulation. (No word on that. I suspect the continued spraying is faith-based.)
    5) The paddies are home to three frog species, one of which is so abundant they inhabit our bathroom about six months of the year. I have counted thus far 45 bird species, and they seem to have stabilized after what my brother-in-law characterized as a sudden decrease/change in behavior 3-4 years ago, e.g., sparrows inhabiting hollows instead of neighbors’ trees, kites disappearing. Two that I had somewhat regularly encountered here seem to have disappeared since 2019.
    6) I am monitoring 31 pollinators, including 8 bees, 4 flower flies, 17 butterflies and 2 sphinx moths; and 17 predatory insects, including 10 dragonfly species. Unfortunately, I’ve only been here two years and only began keeping records of them this spring, so I can’t talk about trends yet.
    7) The area north of Mito Station (on Highway 50) with very high EMR levels and 5G service has mostly small shops and restaurants aimed at a relatively high-class clientele. In parts of the flower beds, they are growing herbs. I see weeds growing that Roundup would eliminate. I think they would object to spraying if that were going on.
    More later! Getting called away…

  321. My reply to Chuck Lathe, continued:
    8) There is one patch of too-neat lawn north of the station, which looks like a candidate for constant chemical inputs, and there, oddly, I have noticed the past two months a species of bee I have not been able to identify yet, but may be a large mason bee, roaming about and attacking each other. In 80 minutes of careful observation over a 2-km course, I saw a total of 7 ants (2 locations), 7 other insects and one small worm, Even where persimmons had fallen onto the sidewalk, there were no insects at all. No spiders, no birds at all. But even more oddly, I looked up this time from the overpass at the station next to the little lawn and noticed weed-filled lot, and north of that, nearly surrounded by tall buildings and a bluff, a low-lying wetland. Immediately visible were dragonflies and a cabbage butterfly, and I could hear tree frogs calling.
    Getting called away again! Sorry…

  322. @JMG, that figures, they are indeed huge questions, thanks for the response anyway. And sorry if I came off as prying too much into your personal life with the other question!

    And @Christophe–extremely interesting stuff there, unfortunately I’m still very early in my own mystical path, so a lot of that goes over my head (for now). I will definitely revisit this comment in a year or two when I hopefully understand more.

    You did write “As far as I can tell, this particular type of Asperger’s is one way of beginning to cope with the disorientingly powerful influence that the gods simply take for granted.” Yikes, I know you were talking about one of the “types” of Asperger’s, but that sounds like it very much feed into the ego of someone with Asperger’s, the idea that some of us are attaining god-like influence. Might explain a bit how the kids who are often labeled by their parents as special chosen “Indigo children” or other New Age stuff like that tend to be on the spectrum. A family friend of ours who bought into some New Age stuff suggested to my parents that I was one of those when I was younger. I do follow what you’re saying though, about where many Asperger’s people are at in their cycle of reincarnation and lives, and how that could be affecting us, I don’t disagree with your interpretation, I’m just observing myself how cautious people should be when they hear phrases like “powerful influence that the gods simply take for granted,” can’t let that get to our heads, eh?

    Also, @Kenaz Filan, just wanted to say I noticed and appreciated your “appy-poly-logies” nadsat reference to A Clockwork Orange 😉

  323. Aldarion # 235
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I wish there was at least one politician who had the courage to address resource depletion as part of the reason for cutting back energy usage I know it would probably be the end of their career, but history might remember them as an honorable person. Too much to hope for I guess. I had hoped such a person might come from the Greens: a modern rendition of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ I guess the concept of perpetual growth is so hardwired into our beings that we won’t get past it without a great deal of pain.

    Simon Sheridan has a very interesting post where he refers to a TV series by Kenneth Clark in 1969 defining heroic materialism as the art of the 20th century. It is a fascinating perspective that it has become so ingrained in our consciousness that most of us can only see the world that way. My apologies, Simon, if I have twisted your meaning at all. I would recommend all here to read it at simonsheridan.me

  324. @JMG, @Ecosophia

    So I have done a tarot reading finally with my Sri Rohit Arya deck that I find interesting I wanted to share it with JMG and Ecosophia readers in general. Sri Arya slightly modified his deck with the addition of a few Major Arcana cards beyond the normal deck. Also Sri Arya’s deck follows the French Marseilles tradition in their ordering, not the more popular Rider-Waite inspired decks.

    The additions to his deck include each for the following:

    Major Arcana additions:
    (A) – Grace Card [Blessings of Ganesha] – Remover of Obstacles – Suit Tattva is Akasha (space) – the most auspicious of the elements of this material plane (Malkuth). His particular card’s Tattva is Prithvi-Akasha (earth-space).

    0 – The Wild Card – Rudra Shiva – literally the Unmanifest (that-which-is-not) as Rudra – ‘The Howler’. Suit Tattva: Akasha (space). Card Tattva: None/All

    If this card turns up in a reading Sri Arya says all readings of the spread are rendered ambiguous whether upright or reversed. It’s karma type is All/None and it’s karma quality is All/None. Which is what renders it as both dangerous and loaded-to-the-brim with potential in as-yet-unformed possibilities underlying the rest of the spread. This Wild Card was the Universe the instant before the Big Bang happened…if you get my drift. Think of any science documentary or podcast about the Big Bang. That is this card – Rudra-Shiva. The Unmanifest activating as the Howler. Big things are in play even in the subtle planes if this major arcana card turns up in a spread.

    Sri Arya’s deck contains TWO Death cards. The readings for each are different though of course both are Death.

    (A) Death – Yama – the god of death. Suit Tattva: Akasha (space). Card tattva: All

    Transcribe from Sri Arya’s book that came with the deck:

    The name Yama itself means The Restrainer. Refining it further, we get ‘The Restrained One.’ Yama is in full control of his sense organs; he is the first man to have triumphed over them. According to Indian Yogic and Tantric lore Sri Arya says Yama was the first man (yogi) to attain to the secrets of death and dying itself. He who knows death, knows life.

    Karma type: Prarabdha (activated karma, Purushartha (actions performed out of our free will), Agama (karma aquired during the operation of our Prarabdha and Purushartha). Karma quality: Both: Dridha (fixed/immoveable/unescapeable) and Adridha (fluid/easily sidestepped or overcome karma)

    (B) – Death – Kali – the dark goddess (Kali is the feminine of Kala – ie. ‘Time’). Karma type: All. Karma quality: All.

    TWO forms of The World card: Readings for each will be different.

    (A) – The World – Mahashakti – there’s that word ‘maha’ = that-for-which-no-limit-can-be-found. So…Maha-Shakti. The all-encompassing World. The grand Tattva of all the tattvas. Suit Tattva: All. Card Tattva: All. Karma type: All. Karma quality: All

    (B) Nataraja – The World

    Sri Arya writes:

    The eternal rhythm of galaxies, waning into and renewing from stellar debris, is the dance of Shiva-Nataraja – king of the dancers. Galaxies hurtle across an ever-expanding universe; expanding in what space – if space itself is expanding? For the Indian mystics, the question has a primordial answer – it expands within Infinite Consciousness. (my note: the word mystic in Yoga is NOT the same as its use in Western Traditions. As I understand it, the word mystic in Yoga refers to anyone who can reach up to high, subtle, spiritual dimensions and do actual work there while still being able to do work on our material plane too – often simultaneously. So if a Western Occultist can reach up such to do work there then that Western Occultist counts as a Mystic).

    The final card addition Sri Arya made:

    (B) Grace card – Blessings of Babaji – Maha Avatar – The Lightening Standing Still
    Suit Tattva: Akasha (space)
    Card Tattva: All/None

    As Ganesha’s Grace Card begins the Major Arcana. Babaji’s Grace card completes it. The Alpha and Omega.

    I’ll say only one thing that Sri Arya makes over and over both on Youtube and in this book. All the people (since Yogananda wrote his book) who claim to have received ‘messages’ from Babaji (or even worse – claim to be direct disciples) are idiots (Sri Arya isn’t known for pulling his punches). Sri Arya insists only an actual Avatar (ie the Divine) is qualified enough to be a disciple of a Maha Avatar (Exalted Divine). For anyone else the cosmic power is too great and will fry you to bits instantly. [p.s. I plan to submit a post at some point about some further fascinating things I’ve discovered recently about Maha Avatars though it will probably be for next month’s Open Post].

    Sri Arya wrote:

    He is the luminous breath of life, the incandescent soul of the cosmos. He is the ancient power behind Yoga, the highest stage of realisation and attainment that the universe knows. His spiritual stature is of unfathomable magnitude; his consideration for faltering humanity is astonishing. He is delaying his final merger with Infinite Consciousness, refusing to forsake humanity at such a stage of its evolution. This form (ie his human form) is something he has assumed so that it can be comprehended by ordinary human minds. In reality he is pure light.

    There is an interesting mechanic implemented from Sri Arya’s decade-long trials and testing with his students, friends and family. Whenever the (B) Grace – Maha Avatar Babaji card is turned over you immediately set it aside and pull another card at random from the deck.

    Sri Arya then wrote: Now look anew at the reading in light of all that you know about Babaji. In what way has Light and Consciousness transformed the reading and impacted the cards already laid out?

    (note to self: looks like this spread is going to take up a good portion of my meditation time to answer the above question Sri Arya proposed. Sri Arya’s book has several pages on Babaji’s card I will have to read several times then go back and look at the spread. In fact…it looks suspiciously like he’s recommending something similar to JMGs current book club tarot methodology).

    Ok..so I gave all of the above to talk about a 7* card tarot reading for the U.S. for 2023.

    [*in honor of the 7 planes every human soul must eventually ascend through]

    My question:

    What Cycles are happening for all of 2023 that most people and institutions will be oblivious to or neglectful of – especially compared to that which will capture their attention?

    1st Cycle Oblivious to: Page of Swords
    2nd Cycle Oblivious to: King of Wands R
    3rd Cycle Oblivious to: Page of Pentacles
    4th Cycle Oblivious to: (B) Grace Card – Blessings of Babaji (set aside as per the Babaji Card mechanics discussed earlier)

    I admit I was a bit taken aback by the 4th card drawn. I split the deck 5 times then re-stacked them. Then inhaled, hesitated somewhat because I and my hands were shaking a bit. Didn’t know what was about to be drawn but knew whatever it was would probably contain lessons the U.S. populace would benefit from if they can take notice:

    Fourth Card Redraw (ie 4th Cycle Oblivious To): (10) The Wheel – Kala Chakra – The Wheel of Time. Suit Tattva: Akasha. Card Tattva: All. Karma Type: All. Karma Quality: All.

    Sri Arya wrote the chief lesson or feature of the Wheel card (whether upright or reversed) is: The universal cycle, the eternal return. Whatever has been happening, the opposite is about to begin its manifestation. He says this holds true for both its light side and its shadow readings.

    I note that it came up in its upright position. So as per my question – what came before – the U.S. for all that it has been in its existence prior to Jan. 1, 2023 – the opposite is about to unfold – and it is doing so per the Grace of the Lightening Standing Still. My guess: Possibly very bitter medicine is about to go down in 2023 so that well-being for the people finally has room to flourish again in the aftermath.

    So whatever it is that follows is going to sweep away what came before (hmmm…why am I thinking of Kala Sarpa just now…). Don’t know how that is gonna play out but I’m guessing it’s probably not going to win a lot of fans in the U.S. I bet dollars to donuts it will likely hugely dismay the current PMC and fans of the status quo.

    ok…moving on:

    5th Cycle Oblivious to: 3 of Pentacles (ooh! hidden opportunities for under-the-table-work outside the purview of bureaucracies and taxman, maybe?)
    6th Cycle Oblivious to: Page of Wands R
    7th Cycle Oblivious to: Death R – Specifically, (B) Death – Kali R –

    Sri Arya writes about Kali R: Explosions of anger and rapidly shortening temper. Change is not deep or profound, merely a desire to titillate oneself with novelty. Even when getting hurt, persisting with old and foolish modes of behavior and circumstances. Inertia, depression and stagnation, rendered worse by the knowledge that you are acting without wisdom. Too much unfinished business in life and now it all surfaces simultaneously, demanding that you deal with it. Complaints and whining are inevitable. An interesting meaning is – deliberately suppressing your true potential so that loved ones do not become resentful of your power and talent; this has traditionally been a woman’s problem but has now become universal. Change is enforced by destiny; something is forcibly removed that you were not willing to sacrifice.

    Ugh. I just had a thought pop up. What if the Kali card is referencing in part to Retirement Accounts of all kinds? ugh. Wow. Sometimes Status Quo means more than just references to things beloved of the PMC.

    Yup. I suspect that final card draw says it all. For all that the U.S. has been prior to 2023 – the opposite is now going to unfold and it can not and will not be stopped. Maybe it can be delayed – but only for a very short while. Kali – Mother Time will ultimately win.

    The final sentence Sri Arya has this to say (all by itself at the bottom) about (B) Death – Kali

    Whatever people and circumstances are inappropriate for your spiritual growth will be ejected from your life, so be prepared for interesting times.

  325. I’ve been briefly musing over the Upright Wheel of Time draw. I suspect that what the people experience as depressing and dispiriting as it unfolds will ultimately be to their long-term benefit. That’s where the Grace of the Lightening Standing Still will be found – underneath, upholding The Wheel. We’ll be forced as a country – especially the comfortable – to re-learn basic lessons for building well-being into a society that’s grown very dysfunctional and sick for way too many. Especially for the less well-to-do classes. Perhaps they’ll finally catch a break in the aftermath. I hope so.

  326. @Patricia Matthews,
    The base at Sevastopol, Crimea, was Russia’s one warm-water base and thought to be one of the strategic objectives behind Victoria Nuland’s sponsored coup d’etat in Ukraine eight years ago. Russia had been leasing it from Ukraine until then. If it had fallen into NATO’s hands it would have been a real disaster for Russia, and that is why Russia was so quick to accept Crimea’s call to be reunited with Russia, whereas similar referenda were held in Lugansk and Donetsk in 2014, but Russia rejected them and sought to guarantee their security by other means.
    Many people think it likely that Russia will push on as far as Odessa, because that was also previously a part of Russia and has a Russian ethnic majority. Doing so would cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea entirely, disempowering what’s left of that state.
    I’d heard long ago that Lenin had gifted these Russian-ethnic provinces to Ukraine, but what I learned recently was that this was not done out of generosity, but rather a matter of gerrymandering. Later on Khruschev gifted them Crimea as well.
    This gives you some insight into the nature of the conflict. Ukraine’s Russian majority kept voting in a way that left the Ukrainian minority dissatisfied. That was a situation easy to exploit when the Soviet Union broke up. You can start to see the anger behind what is happening there.

  327. Further musing:

    If money and the comfort it brings gets “forcibly removed” from the life of the comfortable classes then the Death (Kali) card is implying that their current wealth and comfort are in some way weighing them down and retarding their growth into truly flourishing beings. Sadhguru says many people around the globe are suffering their material well-being. Material well-being that is mis-matched to one’s inner well-being brings inner suffering even though the outer circumstances may be quite comfortable. Example: the escalating PTSD and depression/anxiety diagnoses in wealthy countries among otherwise materially well-to-do classes.

    I wonder if this is part of what is about to get swept away. I note more than one of those cards in the spread were from the Pentacles suit.

  328. Oops.

    Final clarification from my original post:

    For all that the U.S. has been prior to 2023 – the opposite is now going to unfold and it can not and will not be stopped.

    Should actually read:

    “For all that the U.S. has been in my lifetime (I’m Gen-X) prior to 2023 – the opposite is now going to unfold and it can not and will not be stopped.

  329. Hi John Michael,

    That was not lost on me. After WWII some of your countries army engineers stationed down under wanted to run a channel from the ocean to a vast inland area which sits – below sea level (and some wet years has a vast salt lake). For some reason, the crazy idea never took hold, but the people forget: The Great Artesian Basin, didn’t fill itself, and at one point in time, almost a third of the continent was rainforest. What did they think would happen when the oceans surrounding the continent warmed and the prevailing winds from all directions blew the moisture across the arid interior?

    Today was the first day in many months I was able to get machinery into an area of the farm which had previously been a bog. And I’m high up on the side of a mountain saddle. The soil is saturated. It’s not unprecedented, but the current soil moisture is on the upper end of my experience.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say about Ben’s Goodly-Loopy 🙂 link. Mate, I’m versed in reading this kind of stuff, and maybe it’s just me, but it sounded like a lot of fast talking. Far out, I never expected to make a single cent on this technology. My one hope is that it generates slightly more energy than was used to produce the stuff, but I’m aware of how hard it is to produce such a pure grade of silicon, let alone mine the other rare earth minerals. Oh well, I just wish, maybe…

    Cheers

    Chris

  330. Just wanted to point to Martin Armstrong’s blog for any and all who are wondering about how the war with Ukraine will play out. Martin has advised government’s behind the scenes through major crises for the past 40 years and his computer Socrates stands alone in its ability to forecast events precisely. He is a giant in the financial world and many of the biggest funds on the planet, including governments, rely on his computer’s information. His Economic Confidence Model is clear about the trajectory of Western civilization in the near term providing exact dates. The computer can work with more data and information than any human analyst – Armstrong has bet against his system before and lost, as he admits. The interviews on his blog as of late explain the issues between the USA and Russia going back to the fall of the USSR in the early 90’s and where we are going clearly. I have heard him referred to as a modern Giordano Bruno, and after exposing myself to his information consider him as such.

    Being familiar with the model as it pertains to the West in general, I was the guy in the lunchroom at work from 2017 on telling everybody early 2020 was the next major turning point and to expect any big change to happen then. I must have said it enough for people to remember since they were somewhat baffled when the pandemic/plandemic really started affecting the world at that point and everything spun on a dime finding ourselves under house arrest for quite a while.

    John I hope its not a problem to post a couple of links here, this information could be very helpful in giving coherence to whats happening in the world for some. Martin Armstrong has admitted many times he is basically Klaus Schwab’s nemesis, they have sat across the table from each other at meetings advising different governments. Klaus hosts the World Economic Forum and Armstrong hosts his World Economic Conference. The type of get together where business needs to know what will be happening in the future before they deploy billions into a country or region.

    Basically Schwab is a Communist (statue of Lenin’s head in his office) and Armstrong is a free markets guy.

    Blog:

    https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/blog/

    His model explained:

    https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/armstrong-in-the-media/the-future-according-to-the-ecm/

  331. Viduraawakened @221, you seem very young, like under 40.

    Regarding software, what kind of packages will remain viable in a period of decline depends on what kind of hardware it will be hosted on.

    Semiconductor fabrication plants now run $5-10 billion, encompassing a vast array of not only supporting technologies but supporting industries spanning the globe. Nowadays, there are how many transistors crammed on one computer chip? Surely 10 million. Or 100 million? a billion? I lost track decades ago. With decline and localization, access to the output of $5 billion foundries in Taiwan or S Korea may become dicey even assuming they are still in business. I have a hard time seeing how this ferociously complex and networked technology will remain economically viable in a period of long term economic decline, and decline of global trade.

    I expect that if semiconductor technology is to survive in the long term, it will have to scale back to a much simpler level that can be supported by regional if not local resources, technologies and industries. I don’t know what that level will turn out to be, but I’d be surprised if any level of semiconductor technology beyond the late 1970’s will prove sustainable. So at best, we’d be looking at microprocessor technology on the order of 8 bits, 64 k-byte address space and RAM to match, 2 or 4 MHz clock rates, cathode ray tubes, and no hard drives. We’re talking microprocessors with 4,000 to 10,000 transistors, or the equivalent in SSI (small scale integrated) circuits, or even assembled out of discrete transistors. The MOSTEK 6502, the microprocessor that powered the Apple IIe, had only 3,900 transistors. I think with that kind of hardware substrate, you’re back to the keyboard with command line user interface, text editors, and other command-line oriented software tools that need minimal RAM (no more windows-style graphical user interfaces, no mouse …). Think late-70’s early 80’s (pre-windows/mouse) software technology. In 1981-83, I developed code with an 8 bit development system (IIRC, the Tektronix 8002, which I think used a Z-80 microprocessor) that had only 9K (9 thousand bytes) of user-accessible RAM, two 360-kbyte 8 inch floppy drives, and no hard drive. Its only software tools were 1) A line-oriented text editor similar to unix vi, 2) an assembler, 3) a linker, 4) a module to support the hardware emulator, 5) a debugger, 6) and a tool to load executable code into a PROM (programmable read-only memory). That was it. But it was light years ahead of programming with coding forms and punch cards at an electromechanical console, which seemed futuristic at the time. I think sustaining that level of hardware and software technology on a long term basis is the best we can hope for. Excel spreadsheets? AutoCad? You’re dreaming. But SPICE or something similar? Probably. Check out software ads for the Apple IIe in Byte magazine in 1980 or there-abouts. That should give a good picture of what I’m talking about.

    In those days, software engineers really knew how to squeeze amazing functionality out of very little memory (as in a couple thousand bytes for code space, and several 10’s of thousands for data space) and very slow processors; a lost skill-set from what I can see.

    BTW, to give a sense as to much one might do with very little, the project I developed with the above (Tektronix) system involved coding floating point arithmetic functions in assembly language (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), polynomial math, the solution of cubic equations, exponential and log functions, coding the transfer function of a 2-dimensional motor position control function and its inverse, as well as for the optical system the motors drove, the motor driver, the user interface to a control panel, and self-diagnostic functions. This was all done in assembly language, and I had only 4k bytes each of code space and data space to work with, which proved ample.)

    —Lunar Apprentice

  332. Crowandsheep, I miss Trump and his very sensible policy of maintaining good relations with large nuclear powers.

    Babylon Bee readers, I don’t think they’re nearly as funny as they used to be. What do you think?

  333. @ Ben and @ JMG Don’t solar panels for the home have a ten to fifteen year lifespan before they need to be replaced?

  334. @Mark L Re: electric railroads

    “Weight savings might be helpful for some passenger trains, but in general locomotives need to be heavy or the wheels will slip”

    Good point, I was indeed thinking of passenger trains. Most electric passenger trains are multiple units, rather than locomotive powered. Apart from the British Isles, most European rail freight is moved by electric locomotives. It’s easy to add weight if required.

    “Railroads with overhead power lines don’t do well in ice storms and can be taken out by falling trees, rendering them less tolerant of extreme weather.”

    Overhead powerlines are definitely vulnerable to extreme weather. The more rugged way to power electric railways is a third rail. This is used on the London Tube, including the overground sections. Although no doubt it might come with its own drawbacks.

    Falling trees (and even leaves) are also a problem on the track itself, Irish Rail have overcome this problem in the last few years, by clear felling all rail side trees on their property. Much to the chagrin of the green lobby.

    My views are Hibernocentric, diesel has many advantages, and electric has many drawbacks, but in Ireland we have no native source of diesel fuel. We do however have good hydro power resources, hence my interest in electric trains.

  335. JMG,
    The lakes and rivers are still there but usually dry. However, there is a great deal of flooding at the moment. When the early white settlers came through those central areas there was good grassland. As a child, not so many millennia ago, I remember hearing about flooding out west. The rain is a bit early in the season. It used to come in summer.

  336. Booklover,
    I have a copy of Peter Wohlleben’s book Trees. I found it interesting and delightful. I have no plans to read any more but if one crosses my path I might.

  337. Thanks for the reply, JMG. I took the advice and tested it out and… yeah, I won’t be doing that again. Certain of the elemental callings were all right, but for the most part my previous ability to feel (or imagine that I felt) energy moving was gone. As it went on things became very quiet and still, too much so, including in my own head which usually never stops thinking. That might sound good, but it got in the way of visualization, something I already struggle with as I’m not naturally a very visual person. Like with feeling the energy, it would begin okay and diminish as I continued through until for the last three segments I can’t call anything to mind and trying to make the sphere appear and move doesn’t work. Couldn’t meditate either, the blank mind remained. My second attempt also included a loud, shrill noise that came out of nowhere the second I began trying to vibrate one of the divine names (I was doing it at four in the morning, it was perfectly quiet before and after that), I’m taking that as a negative omen.

    Sigh. I can’t say I’m too surprised, this situation seemed very improbable regardless of what the cards said. One reason I asked here. Ganesha was one of the few parts that did work, but I guess I’ll have to uncouple him from this and find something else to do.

    If I may ask another question. This is not the first time divination has given me a green light only for the practice to fail utterly when I attempt it; it may not even be the hundredth time. My partner had gotten a good reading, too, though I know she isn’t an unbiased third party; I don’t know unbiased third parties for this any longer, my last try taking up random tarot readers online didn’t work out well either, their readings tended to come back with no advice at all (that is, when they actually did get back to me). Why does this happen? What is getting in the way here?

    I have to say, it’s frustrating. I end up feeling like I will never get anywhere because something keeps gaslighting me.

  338. @Mark and Kay, thanks a lot!
    I did a bit of research, and you can find pressure canners in Europe, but you need to look into professional brands, especially those meant for the medical industry.

  339. Has anyone had moisture issues with their insulated curtains, or warm window system?

    I am upgrading my window covers. We put reflective foil over foam insulation board, fitted tightly in the windows, flipping the foil side from exterior in summer, to interior in winter. A separate layer of decorative standard curtains were toward the inside of the house. A few years later, the boards are warping and have lost the tight fit, so they do not work as well. We had problems with moisture and mildew in the northern windows, so ended up replacing them with roller blinds.

    We have hot summers and cold winters, with substantial direct sun coming through the southern (and some east/west) windows. I wondered how effective the internal reflective and vapor barrier layers (warmwindow fabric) work for radiant transmission. How well does the microfiber layer substitute for the 3/4 inch air space that most references state are required? Does it seem to work both ways – for external summer sun, and internal winter ?light/warmth.

    Has anyone tried a dual system with reversible reflective/vapor barrier inside the window frame, and a second insulation/decorative curtain towards the home interior? Thinsulate has high R value and is a lot cheaper than the warm-window fabric. Mylar/foil with or without a bubble wrap layer, is much cheaper too.

  340. I recently got a new view in to the fragility and future of the semiconductor industry. I moved to a new shop in an industrial park that is situated between Intels newest and oldest fabs in Oregon. About 4 units down is a guy with a small brewery and taproom who works during the day as a union pipe fitter and has spent every one of his working days for the last 10 years working one of Intels semiconductor facilities. Most of the other patrons in the brewery are his pipe fitter friends. They often talk of the trials of tribulations of trying to build one of these incredibly complex and expensive places. Taking a week to put out the fire in a pipeline filled with some exotic gas. Robotic vehicles colliding with scaffolding and trashing millions of dollars worth of half finished chips, etc. They said lately the hushed talk around the fab is Helium. This noble gas is critical to these fabs ( at leasts the new ones) and the world supply of it is running low with almost no way to make it in industrial quantities. It can only be found in underground caverns where it is created by radioactive decay. They hear the hushed talk because they build the piping that hauls the stuff around the plant. The standards for leaks have gotten much tighter and now they have to first test the lines with another noble gas ( Argon) because helium is in such short supply. So who knows when we will be back to those simple 70’s chips.

  341. Whew what a mess. I’m still trying to recover from Hurricane Ian. We finally got power this morning and shortly after it went out again. Sigh 😔

    Ft Myers where I lived for close to 10 years is pretty much demolished in certain parts. A span of the Sanibel Causeway has been washed away as well as homes from their foundation. Several have died and no doubt more will be added who decided to stay and ride out the storm. Twenty foot storm surge went inside homes and those who stayed, drowned. Twenty feet of water is roughly two stories high. You are more likely to be kissing an alligator with those water levels as here in Florida alligators are in lots of areas where there is water.

  342. Hello JMG,
    Thank you for this forum – the island of sanity in the sea of madness.
    Regarding the question of “Who did that?” Of course, I don’t know like everybody else. However, I was born and raised in Russia… To blow up Nord Stream pipelines would be a quintessentially Russian act. My grandma who was imprisoned during Stalin era would tell me how tough guys in prison before going to interrogation would sew up their own lips using a needle and a thread as the demonstration that they would not talk. The message intended to demonstrate 2 points:
    1. Look how tough I am. I did that to myself. Don’t waist your time trying to extract information from me.
    2. I did that to MYSELF. Think of what my friends on the outside can do to YOU.
    Analogously, Putin may be saying something to the effects:
    1. We did it to our economy ourselves. Don’t waist your effort to ruin our economy.
    2. If we can blow OUR pipeline think of what we can do to YOUR infrastructure.
    As to the outcome of this war… you are smart enough not to speculate, but I will venture the following: Russian people can OUTSUFFER anyone.

  343. JMG and Commentariat

    I recently finished reading “Human-Derived Product” from “The Flesh of your future sticks between my Teeth” anthology.”

    An image of the narrating character or, “Corpse Lord”, has been in my mind for a few days now. Really a polarizing perspective from Roger Arevalo. There is all the gimmickry and fantasy of the future in the original Grist cli-fli anthology, and then there is the grisly efficiency of an industry based around this ‘cannibal industry’…hahahaha!! I am shaking my head and chuckling as I write this post. My teenage kid is gonna read it too. These stories are great, thanks again for leading the charge on this.

  344. @Curt:

    From a previous open post,
    (Commenter andrewskeen) “I’d like to invite those interested in a horary divination on any topic to drop me a line at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com, and I’ll perform an traditional astrological analysis of it. This is the best way to improve and has been exceptionally fruitful so far.”

  345. >As to the outcome of this war… you are smart enough not to speculate, but I will venture the following: Russian people can OUTSUFFER anyone.

    These are the people, when they got bored, that invented the game of Russian Roulette. It’s not called Italian Roulette or Mexican Roulette or Zimbabwean Roulette.

  346. @ Jonathan #30

    I’m fairly confident that the skillset you’ll learn as an apprentice electrician will serve you into old age. The bigger question is are you suited for construction work? The culture is very different than the one you were engaged in before and if you don’t fit in well enough then the support you’ll need to earn a license won’t be present.

    I would suggest getting an intermediate gig that exposes you to both lower class work and production oriented jobs before attempting to get into an apprenticeship. It could be as a laborer, prep chef, or anything that exposes you to loose team work with a production focus.

    Good Luck!

  347. Panda, thanks for this.

    Chris, the thing that fascinates me about Ben’s link is that the idiot millionaire in question has apparently never wondered whether the technology will do the job: it’s purely a matter of throwing money at the problem to make it go away. That attitude is behind a good three-quarters of the self-inflicted disasters dragging our civilization down to ruin.

    Bob, so noted and thank you.

    Joshua, I’ll leave that to the solar tech geeks to answer, but I’ve heard that fairly often.

    JillN, those lakes may not be dry for long. A few decades of heavy rain and you may have forests in central Australia…

    Clever Name, that’s one of the things that happens — and that’s why doing the experiment is a good thing! Now you know. As for divination, it’s always a bit of a crapshoot, because it can be influenced by any number of things on the inner planes; it takes practice to get an intuitive sense of whether there’s interference.

    Gardener, that’s often an issue. When I was a teenager, one of my chores was to raise the insulated window coverings on the south windows in the morning and mop up the water from the glass. (It was all single pane.) It sometimes takes some tinkering to work out something that fits any given situation.

    Mary, now we’ll see if anything actually happens as a result.

    Clay, fascinating. Many thanks for the data points!

    Rod, glad to hear that you’re okay. I gather it’s a real mess down there.

    Kirsten, yep. We don’t know who did it, but it’s far too soon to exclude Russia — or anyone else.

    Ian, I’m glad you liked it! That project got a lot of first-rate stories but, yeah, that was a great one.

  348. Wer here It might be my last reply in a while here. Things are getting weirder here by the day banks in Poland have trouble, recently major banks here were obssesively calling people bullying them to take credit they knew they cannot afford. It is a strange place If someone told me a would be on a forum discusing the decline of civilisation, the economy in my country would became a disaster and there was a escalating war in the East I would seriously called him a lunatic and yet here I am.
    meanwhile people in Russia are obilizing their entire society, despite what some flacks are saying their society is standing with Putin and supporting the troops
    https://gorthodox.com/en/news-item/a-prayer-for-holy-russia-head-of-russian-church-composed-this-prayer-for-the-ukraine-conflict-now-russians-are-repeating-it-nationwide-2
    The Ukrainians are in bad situation they are trying to regain some ground before the inevitable reinforcements arrive, I learned that millions of people in Russia have militarry training and are physically fit, they know how to handle themself there. The MSM would like you to belive that these people are civilians cought in a street but they are not. I had no idea that their society can mobilize like that this quicklyI was shocked. I wonder how many blue haired Davos enviromentalists living on their parents riches would in large pro EU Polish cities would be capable of this ( some of them run away already to germany- bad idea would they have heating there in the winter?).
    JMG It seems that the veil of trance is breaking it is hard to claim everything is going according to plan when the economy and things around you stop working.
    I have a more personal question do you and your wife have a plan what to do when the US erupts in somekind of internal insurgency. Because Kunstler and PCR are saying that the democrats would pull of an 2020 during the midterms but Pelosi and Biden are so (justly) hated that there will be consequences ” Potemkin Nation” comes to mind.
    Stay safe everyone Wer

  349. Well just wanted to add to this idea of the electric universe. It does not seem to me that it just about catastrophe. Rather it begs the question of a way of seeing or maybe measuring the vastness of our surroundings. That there is possibility that we have been blasting through space and some kind vehicle called earth, and the ancestors observed this, and had a way to see something that would bring great change and to prepare maybe. Really the most intriguing thing about this concept, if that’s what you want call it, is that is stands up to the science of mathematics ans physics the cooperate guys are using, at least with my understanding of these methods. Also final note on idea electricity is referred in ancient text and myth not just for powering a machine, it is said in the Vedic Sanskrit it is simply called movement, some even think that spirit(divine spark) is a word for it to. Obviously it effects us many levels. Very exciting in my book, and thanks for another great open post JMG .

  350. JMG I take your point about will anything actually happen. It is interesting to me to speculate why Bayer/Monsanto would have apparently decided not to take this on to our conservative Supreme Court. One of the newer justices has 6 children, one special needs, so integrity and cleanliness of the food supply might be a matter of personal concern, which might, I only say might, overrule the usual conservative big biz bias. hmm.

  351. To #18 Chris, I am an operator at a water filtration plant, so I hope I can answer your question. With our current setup, we do require a fair amount of power. I don’t know our exact power requirements, but we do have a fairly massive diesel backup generator (50 KW?), as well as two smaller generators at remote sites. Our plant is on a river, within site of an operational hydroelectric plant, with another plant five miles upstream from us. We service a small city of 35,000, and are in constant operation. We also provide water for surrounding communities and a military base.

    In addition to power, we also need inputs of chemicals to filter and treat the surface water that our plant uses. We need a constant supply of gaseous chlorine, as well as coagulants and Ph buffers in order to ensure that the water that we produce is fit to drink. One of our chemical suppliers has warned us about a potential gaseous chlorine shortage in the future. There are alternatives to chlorination including ultraviolet and ozone treatment, but both processes require large amounts of electrical power. As I mentioned before, we are in sight of a hydroelectric plant, so that might not be a problem. I have been following the situation in Jackson, MS, and am reminded that our equipment and distribution system also needs to have routine maintenance performed at regular intervals. One resource that we have is a well trained and competent maintenance and laboratory department. Hopefully they will be able to keep us operating safely for many years.

  352. Hello JMG and commentariat:
    A prelude to my actual question: I have never been a proper member of the PMC, functioning mostly at the bottom of the administrative hierarchy in menial office positions. Consequently, I have rarely had the opportunity to function as a tourist, or even to experience what it means to be on vacation. Also, I have never actually thought well of the enterprise generally at least for myself, probably a function of my form of Aspberger’s. I well remember one winter on a return flight from Nepal (where I spent a month in an educational program) that stopped over in Amsterdam. I’ve rarely been so lonely. So, tourism has never been my thing. Had I not had my family when as a youth I went with them to the Outer Banks each summer, and books, of course, I might have gone even more bonkers than I normally did… But like a burr under my clothing that will not dislodge itself, I am curious about the whole phenomenon of tourism and vacationing.

    Herewith, my question: I don’t have statistics to quantify the issue here, but from the advertisements I have seen just about everywhere (legacy media, internet spaces, etc.) and even the various content creators (e.g. the current versions of the BBC program “Escape to the Country”) it seems to me that a vast (and I mean really vast, perhaps only eclipsed by the medical industry) part of the income streams for the soon-to-be former first world countries and their satellites has been based on tourism and all the ancillary parts of that (restaurants not least of them). My guess would be that the diminishment we are undergoing will be accelerated by the inability of many people to travel freely for sheer entertainment. Perhaps almost all people. Distances for these jaunts will shrink steadily, surely, and countries like Greece and Italy and France that rely (to whatever extent) on this form of income will not be happy places for some few decades. I would welcome more insights you all have on this aspect of our current life particularly. Thank you.

  353. According to this Riley Waggaman piece from July, Russia being ostensibly booted out of the WEF has not made the regime reconsider its Reset-friendly policies: https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/07/investigative-reports/resetting-without-schwab-russia-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

    I approached a certain well-known Russian peak-oil writer for his take on Russia’s role in the Great Reset, with a view to recording a podcast, and his response was simply “the Great Reset is finished. Russia and China shot it down. Why talk about it?”

    Uh huh. Whatever you say, man.

    Incidentally, Herman Gref of Russia’s Sberbank is still listed as a member of the Board of Trustees on the WEF website, so I have a feeling that the outrage in Davos about the Ukrainian situation may be more cosmetic than anything else.

  354. @JMG @here

    I value a low-tech, low-energy lifestyle (i.e. resilience). But I also value local identities and cultures (i.e. borders). I believe these two values are interdependent, e.g. for a low-energy lifestyle to be stable and satisfying, we’d need far more social cohesion and well, traditions, to make life meaningful closer to home instead of seeking out dopamine online in the global marketplace.

    The problem I have is that the “resilience” crowd is quite often in favor of things that destroy social cohesion, such as anti-natalism, anti-nuclear family, pro-mass migration, pro-open borders, etc. I guess they think that (ironically) we need a global communism movement to enable humans to survive on the remaining arable lands? I’m trying to grasp their logic, but it just seems like globalism with none of the benefits and all the danger. Incredibly naive.

    This isn’t theoretical. In the Anglosphere at least, resilient, walkable communities (the kind with community gardens, farmer’s markets, bike parking, and solar panels) are highly correlated with globalist/communist attitudes that I’ve described. Meanwhile, the people who care about tradition are living on the edge of nowhere driving tractors for big Ag and shopping at WalMart. Putting aside the hypocrisy inherent in both camps, do you see this contradiction getting resolved anytime soon?

  355. re electric airplanes. I can see three situations in Canada where a short-haul small electric aircraft might be worth having, assuming fossil fuels are hard to come by.

    1) air ambulance. There’s a lot of small communities that don’t have hospitals, and a lot of medium communities that don’t have big ones. Could save lives, if it is an electric airplane vs. a vehicle on the ground.

    2) travel to small northern communities that don’t have year-round land access. ie. they use winter roads which don’t work all year.

    3) flying rich people into fly-in only wilderness fishing/skiing/other wilderness holiday destinations… but would the other end have a charger? And frankly, I’d be just as happy if this niche was left unfilled. Let them drive, charter a bus, long-distance bike, backpack or not go, like the rest of us.

    But the first two are both pretty niche, and I would have expected government agencies, small communities, or specialized travel agencies to buy them, not Air Canada. The last is not really needed, in a sensible world with limited resources. We live in a resource-constrained world ruled by out-of-touch fools, unfortunately, so they likely will get used for the latter so long as they are available.

  356. @ JMG

    @ Clay RE: CHIP Story…

    I heard something similar the last time I went to Costa Rica, where Intel has several plants. Not the horror stories but the concern about Helium a table over, some intense concern among the guys talking.

    The biggest difference the new chips have made is size – they make a lot of handheld things, and reduced footprint computers. However, I can remember being very happy carrying around my old analog bag phone in the 80’s, and similarly being thrilled with my suitcase sized portable 80386 computer as well. The 80386 PC still runs and the bag phone would probably work if there was a network.

    Going backwards might not be as difficult as people think, provided it is talked about and expectations lowered accordingly. It may be a case of “do it this way” or not at all. And then there is the question of what value a smartfone actually adds to quality of life….a question considered anathema these days.

  357. pixelated
    I’ve been to one event so far. Lots of candidates, hard to sift through them. Only 2 are running again, one former councillor as mayor. I’m having trouble finding the enthusiasm to sift through them all. I like Dave Thompson – I had a really good conversation with him about energy conservation, insulation and non-car transport options, and he seems like he has a clue and is willing to listen to LESS ideas. Also polite, well-spoken, and like he’d be a nice person to work with.

    Most of the others I talked to, though, I’m a lot less enthusiastic about, and there was one guy who I stuck in the Marie Antoinette bucket over his lack of clue of what it means to be poor in Victoria with regard to housing these days as opposed to in the previous century when he was young.

    And another whose rental housing policy would backfire and I don’t think she understood what my problem with it was. You can’t just add rent control between tenants on top of the current rent control within tenancies, both well below real inflation. Yes, it would drop renovictions like a rock and the sudden jump in rents between tenants is a big issue. But landlords have to make enough money to stay in business, otherwise they sell up and there’s nowhere to rent. Over time, you’d end up with an even worse situation than you have right now.

  358. patriciaormsby – Thanks for the follow-up (on pesticides, electromagnetics, and wildlife). It makes my sad to know that some people are buying flowering plants to help their local pollinators, but the plants have been treated with systemic insecticides that make even their nectar and pollen toxic.

  359. More ruminations follow from the spread I did for the U.S. in 2023.

    Page of Wands R – instability, misdirected energy. delays, cancellations, postponements – especially of journeys. Weirdly becomes prone to being passionate followers of dubious leaders (Charismatic Ceasar-ism). Mischief making becomes a habit. Charm is substituted for real achievement. Incapable of finishing what one starts. Whines and complains endlessly. Running away from a challenge instead rising to meet it.

    I am submitting something new because of something I learned about Page of Wands R.

    Sri Arya also says this card has a special meaning in addition to it’s more well-known one’s in books and websites.

    It also indicates (his words): “Emigration to a foreign country.”

    I note the above card was turned over for the U.S. tarot reading. I think three main trends will begin for the U.S. to a non-trivial level in 2023.

    A) The Fed level of U.S. GovCorp will no longer be seen as stable enough to backstop elite wealth (both home-grown & foreign that have parked their wealth here for the meantime) so the U.S might, for the first time in a very long time, experience actual, worrying-levels of capital flight at some point in 2023.

    Also, capital influx from the rest of the world to the U.S. because of a trending world-wide Great Recession 2.0 will be short-lived. In short, the U.S. will go through in full what far-east Asia experienced in 1998. As quickly as international capital pours in in 2022 (possibly holding on for early 2023), something will cause international capital to lose confidence in U.S. GovCorp and the wealth will pour out even faster than it came in. At some point the U.S. will start hemorrhaging even homegrown elite wealth and eventually the elites themselves may begin to emigrate.

    B) Whether both houses of Congress will be in any shape to mitigate a 1998 Far-East Asian-Style wealth collapse (U.S. ver. 2.0) remains to be seen. I suspect they will be basket cases of gridlock but both Parties so equally panicky about it that they’ll pass into law something really stupid that disproportionately favors the rich (the way UK’s new Truss gov has done) and will simply fuel the rage and division of the U.S. populace even more while further de-legitimizing the Federal level of GovCorp and its policy elites who claim to have special insight into what to do about the cascading failures hammering the country.

    C) Illegal immigrants already in the country may also decide to leave since a dollar problem removes their ability to arbitrage their work to send money back home. My guess: over the long term the constant caravans of economic migrants from Latin America to the U.S and Canada will wain. Too much effort for too tiny a reward. So the outright U.S. population levels will start falling. Which again will inflame stagflation. Shrinking working base = exploding costs plus capital flight = whirlwind of hurt for the populace. The U.S.’s population levels are being propped up by economic migrants but it will lead to even more rapid declines in Latin America. Honestly I would not put it past Congress and Biden to declare an FDR style bank holiday. There is a real possibility in an 1998-style collapse for one or more banks to outright collapse. And the FDIC is using cooked book accounting to pretend propping it all up.

    Other prediction: I bet even MORE congress critters then the mere 30 who’ve already announced it will decide its time to get the heck out of Dodge and run for the hills. Some might even retire when there’s still plenty of time left before they come up for re-election. Maybe the States will begin having more sway via various Governors emergency appointing congress-critter replacements.

    Currently, U.S. GovCorp’s de facto Pro-Capitalism policy is to depend upon large influxes of economic migrant caravans to stop TBTF Corps deflating from customer/client/labor force shrinkage. As a result, I suspect a larger than expected (even for a U.S. redux of Asia’s 1998 collapse) number of these behemoths to take a permanent dirt nap. More de-legitimization of the proponents of Progress will follow. I expect to see some very weird swapping among former enemies and former friends. New associations will be forming at the grassroots level.

    Some of the above could be equally relevant to Poland as well (Wer take note!) as I am doing a reading for that country and the same card: Page of Wands R turned up. Well not specifically the stuff about the dollar since that’s unique to the U.S. but some of the other stuff may apply. Especially the bit about Page of Wands R being the card of emigration.

    I am going to watch to see if any of the above scenario I’ve sketched begins to become noticeable in 2023.

    JMG, do you think any of the above sounds about right – especially in light of your mundane astrology charts for that time frame (all of 2023) or am I reading too much or incorrectly here?

  360. Wer, thanks for the update. I don’t discuss my personal plans and preparations, so I’ll just say that I’ve made appropriate arrangements.

    Ataulfo, excellent! Yes, and in fact I’ve worked with a version of the SoP based on the Sepher Yetzirah, the source of the Cube of Space.

    Hawk, maybe so, but until somebody comes up with some evidence that it’s factually correct as a description of the cosmos, it’s out there with Charles Fourier’s lemonade oceans.

    Mary, good question. I wonder if Bayer’s looked through the evidence, realized they’re going to lose, and have started making arrangements for the blowback.

    Clarke, worldwide, tourism and hospitality accounts directly and indirectly for about 14% of global GDP and around 12% of global employment, and grosses around US$7 trillion a year, so it’s a big, big industry. As it goes away, a lot of people and countries that depend on it will be left twisting in the wind.

    Luke, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Brian, I know. It’s a real challenge to try to establish a sane position — but somebody has to do it. If some of us make such a position known, there’s a chance that people will be drawn to it from both sides.

    Oilman2, exactly! A 386 is not exactly stone age technology…

  361. @pygmycory both mayoral candidates were on the previous council (though Andrew was only elected in the byelection). And while Ben may be a favourite of the press for good reason (oh, Ben), I have sat on committees with him and he is still well worth keeping around. I don’t know either Alto or Andrew personally, but based on second hand accounts from people I really respect, Alto seems like a choice for more council harmony – it seems too bad that he ran for Mayor rather than just staying on council, I read his blog, and he seems to be otherwise a pretty good guy.

    But yeah… looking at some of these other candidates… hoo boy.

    The Viva Victoria slate platform looked okay to me, and the candidates seem to have diverse thoughts from each other that make me think they allow some dissensus with each other, a good sign. I hope none of them were kooks in person – because several of their candidate profiles I read were cool! I want to have beers with Julia, Sandy and Jason, at any rate.

  362. Hi John Michael,

    Ah, of course! And hashtag just sayin’, adding more panels to the system is adding to the problem of instability. Down here the uptake of solar has been big enough that the problems are there for all to see. And my mind boggles to think what will happen when a lot more people will want to charge their electric vehicles at night – as they will.

    Hi Joshua,

    Don’t solar panels for the home have a ten to fifteen year lifespan before they need to be replaced? Dude, where did you get that idea from? Are you seeing it in the area where you live? Even solar hot water panels have a longer lifespan than that.

    Cheers

    Chris

  363. @Brian #397

    Thanks for starting this discussion – I would even propose it as a topic for one of JMG’s essays some time.

    All four quadrants do exist:

    Pro-resilience, pro-tradition: Amish communities, as an extreme example, but also quite a few small towns and rural areas that have been left behind by “progress” and so are not 100% suckling from the teat of the global economy (i.e. “driving tractors for Big Ag and shopping at WalMart).

    Pro-resilience, anti-tradition: College towns, many “blue” communities, and the general zeitgeist of “the left” as you say.

    Anti-resilience, pro-tradition: Oil towns, Big Ag areas, timber/mining communities, most areas where the dominant industry is both hard labor and fully integrated into global supply chains, and the general zeitgeist of “the right.”

    Anti-resilience, anti-tradition: Upscale urban neighborhoods, “Portlandia”-type communities, and other such areas where any “resilience-oriented” ideals are purely performative and do not increase actual resilience in any meaningful way.

    There is definitely hypocrisy, but from my perspective there is also a LOT of projection going on from both sides that makes it difficult to find common ground. For example, the left is strongly pro-immigrant, and the right is strongly anti-immigration. The left projects an anti-immigrant bias on the right – far in excess of what actually exists – and the right projects a pro-immigration (“open borders”) bias on the left – also far in excess of what actually exists. To the extent that a policy could be pro-immigrant (respecting the people who are here and who are working hard, whether or not they arrived legally) and also anti-immigration (limiting entry of new people into the country and removing those who are apprehended at the borders), I think a lot of people could get behind it.

    Similarly, the idea of nested identities (e.g. Latino and Christian, but also a participant in the local food system, an inhabitant of the Willamette Valley bioregion, an Oregonian, and an American citizen) provides a possibility for compromise between those seeking to embrace diversity and those who recognize that a sense of regionalism/nationalism is necessary for resilience. I don’t think it is necessarily either/or as much as as we might be led to believe by the warring political tribes.

  364. @Annette:

    Groan. I chucked plenty of my medical school texts, not considering an internet-less future. Luckily my precocious tween daughter was keen on them and so I kept some.

    @Oilman:

    Thanks much for these details about your battery system, I’d love to hear more about the size of the batteries you’re using. You know there’s a phenomenon where you have an idea, and you really don’t know whether it’s hare-brained or not, until someone else says, yeah I’ve done that already, and you’re like okay, so it is feasible.

    Earlier this summer I spoke to a solar-array company. The long-and-short of this is, that I’m sure the lady on the phone thought I was a bit odd and/or slow, asking whether they were prepared to help me create a solar “backup” for JUST a couple of items like my well pump. She told me no, “we only do yer whole house”, or nothing.

    @Alvin:

    Re: Peterson – agreed. I wanted to like him when he burst on the scene, thinking it was nice to have a Canadian hero for once. Turns out, he has nothing to offer anyone who can already manage their own lives. The personality testing can be useful though.

    @Lunar:

    “you seem very young, like under 40”

    Heh, i’m not the poster you’re replying to, but I guess that if you went to medical school as a mature student, you never had this experience: if I had a penny, when I was a brand new doctor, for every time I heard, “Oh, you’re so young to be a doctor, dear”, and I’d think to myself, no, you’re just OLD, ya geriatric shale…

  365. JMG and all…

    I learned computer animation on an 80486 running NT, and then we stepped up to Silicon Graphics and an Amiga to do video compositing….that was in like late 1990’s or so. My point here is that the primary factor that has changed is time – lots more operations per second, and things seem nearly realtime today compared to back then.

    So I envision things simply slowing down over the next century – you can pick your reason (chips, electrical going wonky, can’t get repair parts, etc.). From my ancient perspective, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

    What would people do if their tweets took 30 seconds to propagate instead of instantly?

  366. JMG, have you come across Kevin Townley’s “The Cube of Space” and “Meditations on the Cube of Space”? They are the only book-length treatments on the subject I’m aware of, and the latter is a system of practice.

  367. @ Brian: I heartily agree with you. A lot of my ‘green wizardry’ is mostly inherited from my grandparents’ farming experience and traditions. They’re generous, resilient and hardworking, but my bisexuality would get me booted out of any community that thought like them. At least the globalist hippies accept me for who I am. That emphasis on personal freedom has both benefits and costs.

  368. On the topic of energy conservation–in the very helpful “Before Winter Comes” post this month, you talked JMG about using insulation for water heaters and pipes carrying hot water, if accessible enough. But what about pipes carrying cold/unheated water? During the very bad years on the long staircase downwards, when energy scarcity and prices are at a ridiculously high price in the cycle of the descent, making heating prohibitively too expensive, during those winters we’ll just have to shut off our water altogether no, if there’s no way to stop the pipes from freezing?

    Before industrial indoor heating, how did people living through cold winters in the pre-petroleum age keep indoor plumbing from freezing? Or is that just it, did indoor plumbing only become a thing once coal/gas heating became a thing, and centuries from now when industrial indoor heating is a thing of the past, then people just won’t be able to use indoor plumbing (in freezing winters, at least)?

  369. JMG,
    enertaining and informative as always, Thank You.

    a couple of data points appeared in front of me this week.

    first, my 86 yo mum got a letter from the regional authority responsible for water, weeds and feral pests, along with an invoice. It was addressed to her Husband, my father, who has been dead for 14 years. It was addressed to a property that was sold 50 years ago, and contained an invoice for pest management rates on a 90 sq metre parcel of land. It found my mother because the postal system where she lives is run by real people with long memories and it is a real community in which she, and my father when he was alive, vigerously participate. After some discussion we have arrived at the conclusion that it is most probably a relic from a road realignment that has got lost in the landtransfer system and has resurfaced when the local municipality handed its pest / weed management function over to the newly created regional authority. The rates and charges on the other 124 acres owned were obviously paid, because the land would not have sold without that being the case. We reckon that some genius has done a database search and dicovered this parcel has never been rated, and then calculated rates and arearrs to the present day, resulting in a not insignificanr sum. I reckon the local council looked at the sum, and thought it too trivial to bother with. Late stage bureacratic nonsense.
    When she phone the regional authority and angrily pointed out that this was the 3rd time in 12 months she was explaining the position she discovered the person she was talking to shared the same surname as her husband, and came from the same area. We are not related that we know of, and it is an uncommon name. The call centre operater promised to make it her mission to sort the issue out.
    This is in Jacinda Adherns NZ,

    Universities in Tasmania, Australia
    moving from spacious, well services and equiped grounds on the outskirts/suburbs into the city centres, and in the process creating parking problems, exposure to flooding and sea level rise, all to apparently reinvigorate those same city centres. go figure.

    re, Putin. Perhaps the reason he is playing it cautious and slow is because he is waiting for the November elections and the inevitable distraction it will cause the US administration, with consequences up to and possibly including considerable civil strife.
    Stife which has the potential to leave it incpable of future meddling in European and Eurasian affairs….
    The others I discuss geopolitics with have observed both Russia and China are more than happy to play a very long game, and wear short term losses while their enemy is engaged in activities that will bring itself more harm and weaken it. the US is riddled with such activities, and they are obvious to astute observers.

  370. @Oilman2

    “The 80386 PC still runs and the bag phone would probably work if there was a network.”

    My time on the internet is dwindling these days – doesn’t feel like it this week however. 😉 Lots going on in the world!

    A big part of that is now using computer technology that fits an internet free style. Something that is pure function. Nowadays, my main computer is a 2010 Lenovo Mini 10. This thing was a slouch when it came out, but since I run DOS on it, it is probably about 50 times faster than a 386 and a 386 is about 5 times more power than I would ever need in this case. I cut my teeth programming on a 8Mhz 8086 with 512KBytes of RAM – this laptop feels like a galaxy of power compared with that thing.

    Computers when they get down to that scale are both more interesting to use when you need them but also completely boring when you are done with them. It is how a technology probably should be.

    The biggest issue I am having at the moment it trying to find a text editor that can handle files larger than about 60KB and isn’t an absolute headache to use. I am getting tempted to just build my own and get it done with – a weekend project if I can be bothered. 😉

  371. Regarding the lifespan of solar panels, I have a couple of data points that indicate it is considerably longer than 10 to 15 years. 1) The standard warrantee for a solar panel is to deliver more than 80% of rated output after 25 years. 2) The panels I installed on the south roof of my barn 10 years ago have required zero maintenance or repairs and are still delivering the same power they were when new, as closely as I can measure.

  372. I didn’t understand the Jordan Peterson controversy either, and someone here explained it. I can’t remember the exact wording, but it was to the effect that these days a lot of young men grew up without common (in my youth) advice like “Clean your room.” Peterson was filling the void for such youth.

  373. @ Alvin. As a woman who made it half way through the 12 Rules – even after the lobsters made my brain liquify and run out my ears – I have to say that the daughter of someone with Peterson’s take on human sex relations ending up with a man like Tate is about the least surprising thing I’ve read.

    I read the entirety of The Game, however, so I also know roughly where people like Tate end up, too, though. Will it be suicide, celibate and afraid of women in an ashram, fleeing in terror back to parent’s religion, or finally writing The Truth? I suppose we’ll see!

  374. @Mark L #406, @Kfish #410 @JMG

    Yeah, thinking of the problem as quadrants instead of a contradiction does clarify things. But what is a sane x/y coordinate on these political axes? Not an easy question. There are tradeoffs and one man’s freedom is another’s prison. We can only define our own values and measure them against real world constraints.

    Given that, my ideal is an update on Renaissance Florence. Traditional urbanism with local materials, crafts, and haute cuisine. A warm summer night in the piazza, grandparents gossiping and teenagers giggling. A big enough city to have culture, trade, and some immigration, but not so big that you won’t be recognized (and valued) as part of the community. If you’re an outsider, people will know.

    This level of social cohesion will involve giving up sushi on demand mobile apps, and possibly some individual “rights”, but this isn’t a return to the 1400s. Technologies such as solar, wind, and hydro provide (seasonal) energy. Indoor plumbing still works. Basic computing, 3d printing, ham radio, light rail, and ultralight planes are available, if the community wants them and can afford them.

    Not sure what to coin this. It’s neither a dark age peasant lifestyle nor the high-tech “nowhere man” globalism we know and hate. Low-tech luxury localism? Goldilocks urbanism?

  375. Owen @ 387: I understand there is nothing Russian about Russian Roulette. They think it’s French and call it ‘French Roulette’, and are indignant at the Anglophone moniker.

  376. About this „moving through space and having a feel for changes thing“ that Hawk Zatar mentioned in #392 (but if I remember correctly, other people have been talking about this or hinting at it, too, also in earlier comment sections):

    „Well just wanted to add to this idea of the electric universe. […] That there is possibility that we have been blasting through space and some kind vehicle called earth, and the ancestors observed this, and had a way to see something that would bring great change and to prepare maybe.“

    I‘ve seen people allude to that in various contexts: e.g. about moving through different areas of space with different electromagnetic fields, and thus having different effects on earth (or as least that was my understanding of what they said 😉 ).

    I can‘t really get a good grasp of this concept or idea, though, and am not even sure what to search for.

    Does anybody have any reading recommendations? Any angle or viewpoint to look at this would be welcome (scientific, occult, …).

    Milkyway

  377. >I would not put it past Congress and Biden to declare an FDR style bank holiday.

    People remember the events but not the contexts surrounding them. You look at a skeleton and it’s hard to see the fully fleshed person it once was. By 1932, most of the bank failures had already happened and even the blockheads in DC knew that all the banks that were going to fail, had already failed. The “bank holiday” was an idea they stumbled on, to convince people of that. Let’s shut down all the banks left standing for one day and then reopen them to show the public the banks are now OK. They were spitballing, it wasn’t a real costly move and – it worked. Or, maybe sentiment was bottoming anyway and they happened to get it right.

    So,

    1. We’re not there yet. Not even close. And that’s partially by design. Every time even the idea of systemic bank failure comes up, they hit the money presses.

    2. Nobody trusts the weasels in the Imperial City anymore. “The banks are OK, trust us!” – what would be your first response? Something akin to “Yeeeeah, riiiiiiight”?

    It’s not so much that they wouldn’t do it, it’s that it wouldn’t really solve any problems they have. And probably create a few they don’t have right now.

    In general if you take a look around the world, nobody lets their banks fail that much these days. What you get instead is hyperinflation, bare shelves, black markets, milk smuggling, etc.

  378. re: electric airplanes

    The physics of batteries makes them not quite a nonstarter but very very challenged. A recent video was published about this very topic but a physicist.

    https://yewtu.be/watch?v=RVaVMyd0lI0

    I think what you are likely to see is a switch to synthetic fuels or a switch to ethanol instead.

  379. Scanning through recent posts, I was looking for reference to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I didn’t have time to read everything, but I couldn’t find any writing about them, or their relevance to the several initiatives of ‘Great Rehash’ that are covered.
    I wondered if you were interested in delving into them and writing about how they fit into the model of a Long Descent ?
    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/09/investigative-reports/sustainable-debt-slavery/

  380. Hallo John Michael, one more question concerning Rudolf Steiner. When he talks about the consciousness soul does that correspond to what you have called the mental body? Both him and you talk about the need to develop this.