Not the Monthly Post

Toward the Breaking Point

The great changes, the changes that matter, don’t always announce themselves with the blare of amplified voices or the distant thunder of cannons and bombs.  As often as not they take place quietly, moving unnoticed through the crawlspaces of society, and it takes an attentive ear to subtle cues and whispers in the night to catch what’s happening while it’s still in process.  I’ve come to believe that such a change is happening around us right now, and it’s one of the quiet kind, though its consequences won’t remain silent for long.

One of the things that clued me into what was happening was the simple fact that David Brin and I agree about something. If you haven’t been following the two of us online, this may not seem particularly improbable, so I’ll explain.  Brin, as I think most of my readers know, is a writer of hard science fiction, and a professional curmudgeon.  His blog, with a praiseworthy sense of truth in advertising, is titled Contrary Brin, and on it he routinely lambastes the many individuals and ideas with which he disagrees.  I’ve come in for a couple of his tirades, for good reason. He’s a scientific rationalist who believes that progress, unless it’s hamstrung by people like me, will lead us onward and upward to the gizmocentric Utopia of his dreams.

Obviously I disagree. As I see it, increasing technological complexity (i.e., “progress”) is as subject to the law of diminishing returns as anything else human, and is already slowing to a halt due to that inescapable factor.  As Leslie White pointed out long ago, too, the level of technology any society has is strictly determined by its net energy per capita. (Net energy?  That’s how much energy you have left when you subtract what gets used up in extracting, refining, and distributing your energy resources.) The rise of modern technology was a product of the mix of cleverness and luck that let us break into Earth’s cookie jar of fossilized carbon and waste most of it in a few centuries of giddy extravagance. As easily accessible fossil fuels deplete and net energy shrinks, technological complexity decreases in turn—watch what’s happening to our infrastructure if you want a ringside view of that process in its early stages.

Those are my views. David Brin finds them just as absurd and unhelpful as I find his.  Take any two people with basic presuppositions so divergent and it’ll be a warm day on the moons of Pluto when they agree about much of anything. Apparently they’re breaking out the suntan lotion on the methane plains of Charon, though, because we’re in hearty agreement about one of the oddest phenomena in recent news:  the remarkable 180° pivot that has Pentagon brass earnestly insisting that UFOs really are buzzing around the skies of our planet.

You have to have some sense of the development of the UFO phenomenon over the last three quarters of a century to realize how bizarre this is. From the day in 1947 when Kenneth Arnold landed at an airfield in Washington State to report that he’d seen something in the air that moved “like a saucer skipped over water”—yes, that’s where the label “flying saucer” came from—the US military has had a consistent and curious relationship to reports of strange things in the sky.  On the one hand, officials denied that there was anything happening at all. On the other, a steady stream of leaks, reports, off-the-record statements, and tantalizing scraps of data from military sources have fed the controversy, and kept it going when it would otherwise have gone to the same Valhalla of forgotten fads as phrenology and Richard Shaver’s Dero hoax.

That was the Pentagon playbook, and they followed it to the letter for longer than either Brin or I have been alive. Now all of a sudden that playbook has gone out the window. Media flacks from the armed services are giving press briefings in which they brandish photos that are blurry and ambiguous even by the rock-bottom standards of UFO imagery—the sort of thing you’d expect from a VHS video camera circa 1980, as though the US military has no better cameras than that—and insist gravely that there are things buzzing through our planet’s skies that do things no mere Earthling technology can imitate.

David Brin doesn’t buy it.  He proposes that what’s actually happening is that the US military is using all this babble about UFOs to provide camouflage for secret military technologies.  I admit I grinned when I saw this comment of his, because my 2009 book on the UFO phenomenon (reissued this year in a revised and expanded edition as The UFO Chronicles) identified exactly this as one of the primary sources of UFO reports.  That’s why they’re donning sun hats on Nix and popping open cold beers on Kerberos right now: Brin and I, starting from radically different basic stances, have come to the same conclusion, which is that a set of official statements from national authorities are complete hogwash and shouldn’t be trusted.

That same response is becoming tolerably popular right now in many other contexts.  Consider the comparable and even more recent 180° pivot of the US government and its tame media over the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Until quite recently, the party line was that the new virus had jumped from bats to humans via a Wuhan “wet market” where shoppers purchase live animals as food. Any suggestion that something else might have been involved— say, any suggestion that Wuhan was also the site of a major Chinese government medical research installation where scientists carried out extremely risky “gain-of-function” research on bat coronaviruses—was instantly slapped down by supposedly impartial fact checkers in the media as a crackpot conspiracy theory.

Now all of a sudden US government flacks and the corporate media have turned on a dime and are admitting that, well, yes, there’s a major Chinese governmnet medical research installation in Wuhan, and scientists there were conducting gain-of-function studies on bat coronaviruses—that is to say, studies in which viruses are genetically modified to make them more dangerous—and yes, there’s some evidence that viruses thus modified got out of the installation by way of inadequate biosecurity procedures and caused the pandemic. What was a crackpot conspiracy theory a few months ago is now being taken seriously all over the front pages, and the sudden pivot on the part of the supposedly impartial fact checkers is getting a lot of raised eyebrows.

Is there more going on here than meets the eye?  Of course there is. Those gain-of-function studies in Wuhan were partly funded by US tax dollars, via one of the many slush funds that our federal government uses to prop up the medical industry here and abroad. (The reason seems to be that these extremely risky studies can’t be done in the US due to safety regulations, and so the US medical industry promptly offshored them so they could keep playing with their dangerous toys.)  Specific US officials approved that funding and the studies it paid for—and some of those officials ended up also playing a significant role in pushing the narrative that the Covid-19 virus must have come from the meat market and couldn’t possibly have escaped from a lab. It’s pretty clear that covering certain highly placed and highly exposed rumps took precedence over the truth for a good long time.

One question for which I don’t have an answer yet is why the narrative has shifted so suddenly. No new data has surfaced—the information about the facility in Wuhan and the evidence that the virus was manmade have been around for more than a year, and yet suddenly they’ve gone from fringe subjects to front page news. I confess I wonder if this is connected to the equally sudden swerve that’s turned Bill Gates from media darling to media punching bag. Until quite recently, Gates was one of the principal celebrity flacks promoting the medical industry’s response to the Covid-19 virus, and his charitable foundation was heavily involved in funding that response.  From at least one angle, it looks rather distinctly as though he’s being set up to take the fall for something.  Still, we’ll just have to wait and see.

More generally, public skepticism about official pronouncements concerning the coronavirus outbreak has risen to remarkable levels, and not just on one side of the social landscape. For every person who insists that the virus isn’t a problem and refuses to take the vaccine, there’s another person who claims that the vaccine isn’t good enough and insists on wearing a mask and staying six feet away from everyone else even when official pronouncements insist that these steps are no longer necessary. It’s the same phenomenon on both sides, driven by a spreading distrust in those who claim to be able to speak with authority but have changed their minds too publicly, too often, with too little scientific justification. Meanwhile websites are springing up for people to talk about the health problems they’ve had after getting one of the Covid-19 vaccines—complications the media won’t talk about and, in many cases, doctors won’t treat.

None of this is particularly surprising, since official pronouncements on the virus have been driven by political pressures rather than scientific or medical concerns since the beginning of the outbreak.  It somehow never occurred to anyone in power that hearing authority figures talking out of both sides of their mouth does not inspire confidence in their claims. Do you recall, dear reader, how health officials insisted early last year that masks weren’t necessary? Coronavirus advice from official sources during the outbreak has resembled nothing so much as the weather here in southern New England:  if you don’t like it, wait a little while and it’ll be different.

All this comes, furthermore, at a time when public confidence in the official pronouncements of the scientific and medical establishments was already at an all-time low, for the same reason. Over and over again, the claims of supposedly authoritative figures have turned out to be just plain wrong. Take a look sometime at the number of pharmaceuticals that were approved by the FDA as safe and effective, and then had to be withdrawn in a hurry when it turned out they were neither. For that matter, look into the way that official attitudes toward, say, cholesterol have veered back and forth over the years, and ask yourself this:  why should you believe that this year’s fashionable opinion is any more correct than last year’s, when you know as well as I do that it’s going to be replaced by some different opinion in another year or two?

Behind this is a far more drastic problem that cuts to the heart of the scientific enterprise. The power of science as a way of finding out truths about nature depends on replicability—that is, when one set of researchers publish a paper saying that they’ve done some experiments and gotten certain results, anyone else with access to the necessary hardware ought to be able to repeat the same experiments and get the same results. That was the basis on which science broke free of the pack of competing methods of making sense of nature and became our culture’s core way of understanding the world. Unfortunately, in a great many cases, it’s no longer true.

The replication crisis, as this far from minor problem is called, has been the subject of a great deal of worried conversation in the pages of scientific journals for years now. The difficulty is that a huge number of experiments that have been taken seriously, and used as the basis for influential theories, have turned out to be irreproducible:  when other researchers repeated the same experiments they didn’t get the same results.  Some of that is due to scientific fraud of various kinds, ranging from outright faking of experimental results to increasingly arcane statistical gamesmanship that extracts the illusion of meaning from random data.

Much more, however, it is due to a culture of sloppy science in which experiments are set up  to support fashionable prejudices rather than putting them to the test. It’s indicative of this, as a recent survey of published studies showed, that studies that failed the test of replication were cited literally hundreds of times more often than studies that passed that test.  Tell people what they want to hear and they’ll splash your name around in the journals that matter:  that’s the logic that makes for a successful career in too many fields of scientific research these days. It also means, unfortunately, that medical care and public policy these days are quite often being guided by studies worth a lot less than the hot air that promotes them.

Of course this sort of thing is hardly limited to science. A great many Americans still recall with painful clarity how many times Barack Obama insisted that if his health insurance legislation got passed, their health insurance costs would go down and they would be able to keep their existing plans and physicians. He was lying, and the repeated double-digit increases in health insurance costs that followed the enactment of Obamacare made that point with impressive clarity. To be fair, there was nothing especially new about that whopping display of dishonesty; many of the same Americans, for example, remember equally well the imaginary weapons of mass destruction the Bush administration used to justify invading Iraq.

Yet it’s science that our culture tasks with the job of sorting out truth from falsehood in some semblance of an objective manner. That makes it worth noting when the response of scientific institutions to the massive crisis of confidence science faces these days is to demand blind faith in scientific pronouncements anyway.  That demand has been building for quite some time now, but it took on a new and impressively clueless form at the hands of UNESCO, the United Nations bureaucracy that promotes international science, and a clutch of other scientific bodies. Last month, to be precise, they launched a website and a publicity campaign calling on people to take a pledge to trust science.

I’m intrigued to note that this hasn’t gone over well. When the online edition of Spectrum, the magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, posted a fawning article about the pledge, the response from the engineers was so uniformly hostile and so well argued that the editors shut down comments after only 26 had been posted. More broadly, as I write this, the website at www.trust-science.org has gotten only 4438 signatures from pledge signers, despite being splashed all over the scientific end of the internet for well over two weeks.  A website for a Partridge Family tribute band or a schismatic offshoot of the Flat Earth Society could probably get better numbers than that.

May I offer a hint to UNESCO and the other promoters of this bizarre project?  You don’t get people to trust science by demanding that they take a loyalty pledge, committing them to believe whatever you tell them to believe. You get people to trust science the way the founders and heirs of the scientific revolution did all those years ago, by doing good science, publishing the results in detail, and letting the acid test of replicability determines whether you were right or not. That’s how the makers of modern science earned the respect that the scientific community of today has squandered so freely. As long as institutional science remains beholden to political and economic interests, and prestigious scientists are happy to spout whatever their corporate or government paymasters tell them to say, distrust in scientific pronouncements is going to become more widespread and more intransigent. The reason that so many people don’t trust scientists to tell them the truth, after all, is that so often, scientists haven’t told them the truth.

Yet it’s important to realize that something very serious is taking place here. Engineers are not typically noted for their superstitious mistrust of science. The response to the article in Spectrum cited above is a sign that confidence in scientific institutions is very low even among those who have technical training and could be expected to have a favorable opinion of science. Elsewhere, people have even less reason to accept whatever someone in a lab coat happens to say, especially since they have been lied to, over and over again, by people who claim to speak for science.

More and more often these days, conditions in today’s America make me think of France before the Revolution, when the comfortable classes who believed that the existing order and their place in it were fixed in place forever pursued their own advantage at the expense of most of the population, ran their nation into the ground, and ignored the burgeoning signs of disaster to come.  One of the few who understood, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, watched the unfolding of the sordid Affair of the Diamond Necklace—one of the many lurid scandals that burst like fireworks in the darkening skies of the Ancien Régime—and commented to a friend, “Keep an eye on that wretched business of the necklace.  I would not be surprised if it overturns the throne of France.”  He was right, though nobody seems to have believed him at the time.

I’m not in Talleyrand’s league, and so I’m not sure which wretched business to watch most closely at the moment.  One way or another, though, what little legitimacy the institutions of American public life still have left is trickling away. How long we have until a breaking point arrives is an interesting question, but I doubt we’ll have to wait indefinitely to find out.

***

On an unrelated topic, we’ve got five Wednesdays this month, and I don’t have anything scheduled for the fifth one. What do you want to hear about? Inquiring Druids want to know.

599 Comments

  1. Speaking of UFO’s… My latest in the series of American Iconoclast’s and Eccentric’s looks at the life of Tiny Tim.

    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/tiny-tim-the-goodhearted-troubadour-of-popular-song

    Among all the eccentric habits Tiny Tim had, he also had some eschatological views outside of mainstream Christianity. For instance, he believed in aliens for one, and for a second he thought the Antichrist would most likely be a demon who came to earth from some far distant galaxy. (To his credit he did not a specify a date or time for this to happen.)

    Tiny Tim was a real amazing character. My own favorite takeaway from reading about his life again was how much time he spent in Public Libraries. His comprehensive knowledge of old school popular music (specifically 1900s to 1930s, but ranging forwards in time, and also backwards to the 1830s) came from reading and copying sheet music in the library, which was a hobby of his.

    Also, on the hole-in-the-quilt side of things his Father was a Maronite Syriac Christian (with a priest as a grandfather on that side, and on Jewish moms side a grandfather that was a Rabbi)… all in all a fascinating and peculiar individual. For anyone who wants more detail, check out the article.

    Tiny Tim wasn’t the only one who believed aliens and end times were related.

    I’ll leave things off here with some lyrics by the Buchanan Brothers from a 1947 song they wrote
    (I’m sure Tiny knew the lyrics!).

    You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
    It may be the coming of the Judgment Day
    It’s a sign there’s no doubt of the trouble that’s about
    So I say my friends you’d better start to pray

    They’re a terrifying sight as they fly on day and night
    It’s a warning that we’d better mend our ways
    You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
    It may be the coming of the Judgment Day

    Many people think the saucers might be someone’s foolish dream
    Or maybe they were sent down here from Mars
    If you’ll just stop and think you’d realize just what it means
    They’re more than atom bombs or falling stars

    And though the war may be through there’s unrest and trouble brewin’
    And those flying saucers may be just a sign
    That if peace doesn’t come it will be the end of some
    So repent today, you’re running out of time

    When you see a saucer fly like a comet through the sky
    You should realize the price you’ll have to pay
    You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
    It may be the coming of the Judgment Day

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TxzAtyoK_0

    In any case I return now to your regularly scheduled “Apocalypse Not”.

  2. At some point, the helots will no longer quietly submit to being ruled by people who have nothing but hatred and contempt for them. The question is – just what the **** can they do about it?

  3. One thing I’m finding wryly amusing is that one of the core elements of the scientific method, replicability, is in serious danger from an angle I don’t hear very much about: what happens when the equipment needed to run a test is so expensive that you need to pour billions of dollars to build it? Using physics as an example, most research these days use particle accelerators. I won’t bother trying to follow the research; I don’t trust the people in control of the levers of power not to abuse their ability to control who can and cannot use their equipment.

    ” Last month, to be precise, they launched a website and a publicity campaign calling on people to take a pledge to trust science.”

    I thought I’d play around with that site, and some half dozen or so of those pledges are from me testing the security on their system. No verification of identity is required; the system will happily take multiple submission from the same computer, no real effort required; there is also no requirement to provide any contact information, and you can add names of public figures and it seems they will make no effort to verify anything. Further, since the counter increments immediately, it seems there is no effort to hold any of these random names people use for verification.

    In other words, that number is completely useless as a lower bound for how many people will sign a pledge of that sort; especially given how much fun many of us here have had talking about signing ridiculous names up, and the fact lots of other people have said the same elsewhere on the internet. If, even with so many people toying with their system it doesn’t even have 5000 signatories yet, then the crisis of legitimacy may have already gone much further than I thought….

  4. MSM can hardly create a Shiny object at the moment, I sure there will be attempts but no one narrative like the Bucket Challenge Summer a few years ago.I thinking about the last days of the Soviet Union from Nov.1989- August 91 ,the vast majority of the people knew everything from Pravda was a lie ,it just wasn’t shouted from the rooftops.

  5. Another group of people who are really going to get it when the shale hits the fan are homosexuals. The intimate association of the rainbow flag with the dying regime is going to end very badly for them, I think.

    In fact, I strongly suspect that the elite are effectively deploying them as a (very expendable) shield.

  6. As an engineer who is also married to an engineer I would propose that as a group “experienced engineers” are one of the most skeptical groups in the U.S. As a qualifier I rule out coders and software people from the ranks of engineers as most in these fields don’t get the same training or experience. Unlike scientists who live a political life based on the whims of their funders, engineers live in the hard reality of the physical world. If an engineer chooses to succumb to political pressure or economic shortcuts when designing something like a pedestrian bridge over a highway and it collapses as a result that engineer ( who’s stamp is on the drawings) is liable. No amount of graft or hand waving can change the physical laws of the universe. That is also why the most successfull and enduring group of Skeptics with regard to a certain significant event at the begining of the new millenium is a group of engineers and architects. Yes there are engineers who will be in the front seat of the techno-utopian jalopy headed toward the cliff, but all the ones I went to school with ( many years ago) that I know are leaping from the back of the jalopy and taking up positions in the woods.

  7. I think that this is an excellent piece, of course that might be because I agree wholeheartedly with what you say.

    I kinda wrote something along the same lines today. Rather than inconveniencing some random electrons by cutting and pasting here, I hope that you will forgive my cheeky link to my piece over at Dreamwidth.

    https://degringolade.dreamwidth.org/227111.html

  8. Suggestion for 5th Wednesday topic–W.B. Yeats and his views on magic, life, and historical cycles.

    Thanks.

  9. The crisis has come about because instead of following what the research shows, the tendency has been to follow the pointing arrow that has the bright blinking dollar signs on it. The cholesterol controversy is a good example. In spite of research showing few or no links between heart disease and cholesterol levels, there was money to be made selling vegetable oils (canola, corn etc.) so good science was ignored and pressure placed on getting research put out there showing what a great boon to public health veggie oils were. Butter and egg sales dropped and vegetable oils boomed but heart disease still kept on climbing.

    Following the dollar signs instead of doing good science has been going on too long and now people are getting fed up. The average joe or jane on the street with little training in the scientific method can’t evaluate what’s being told to them and are giving up in frustration, refusing to believe anything that’s told to them, even if it’s just that the earth is round. The roasting Spectrum got over its call to sign a petition shows even engineers and scientists are getting fed up with this rubbish. Signing a petition won’t restore the loss of confidence in science. Why should people allow an experimental substance be injected into them because it might prevent them from contracting a disease whose origins are dodgy to say the least? Why should people believe the blurry UFO pictures show by the military when it’s been public knowledge for decades that spy satellites in orbit can take clear pictures of the numbers on peoples’ license plates?

    The worrisome appearance of blind birds in the DC area (most likely the result of heavy pesticide spraying on insects) suggests the next health crisis may involve a surge in human birth defects which would take longer to show up. Poorly conducted science will likely take the blame over this as well. Whether this will be the ‘wretched business’ that precipitates the crisis remains to be seen.

    For the fifth Wednesday, perhaps something involving sacred geometry and earth energies?

  10. Hi JMG.

    Just started reading your entry for the week… Saw UFO diversionary tactic alluded to… And before I start reading further, I’ll propose my hypothesis regarding the so-called TIC TAC phenomenon observed of the coast of Baja ten-plus years ago… I’ll assume the pilots are honest Joes… After all, why not? They’re patriotic personnel honestly reporting what they observed… And I’m thinking what they saw was a combination of hacked virtual-reality headsets (which allow the pilot to ‘see through the plane’ in combination with the plane’s external cameras), and a synchronous hack off the plane’s radar. I’ll try to re-find the references I dug up for this…

    Casey

  11. Science means updating your credences as new information comes in. That’s about it. I would say it’s possible to yet trust the process without having to trust every single conclusion attributed to that process or the monolithic institutions that emerge from it.

    Axé

  12. Whats next? Maybe a ‘Cyber Pandemic’.

    Since people accepted some much so easily last time. I think we are in a controlled demolition of the economy and the people running things can set themselves up to profit from the fall by causing what comes next.

    From another good blogger who is a Texas emergency room and general practitioner MD https://www.johndayblog.com/

    From “Event 201” to “Cyber Polygon”: The WEF’s Simulation of a Coming “Cyber Pandemic
    …​When the world’s most powerful people, such as members of the WEF, desire to make radical changes, crises conveniently emerge—whether a war, a plague, or economic collapse—that enable a “reset” of the system, which is frequently accompanied by a massive upward transfer of wealth.
    ​ ​In recent decades, such events have often been preceded by simulations that come thick and fast before the very event they were meant to “prevent” takes place. Recent examples include the 2020 US election and COVID-19. One of these, Event 201, was cohosted by the World Economic Forum in October 2019 and simulated a novel coronavirus pandemic that spreads around the world and causes major disruptions to the global economy—just a few weeks before the first case of COVID-19 appeared.​..
    ​Rather than preparing for a potential medical pandemic, Cyber Polygon 2020 focused on preparing for a “cyberpandemic,” one that mainstream media outlets like the New Yorker claim is “already underway.” ​https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/02/investigative-reports/from-event-201-to-cyber-polygon-the-wefs-simulation-of-a-coming-cyber-pandemic/

    And, Here is the under-2 minute-advert for the “cyber pandemic with COVID-like characteristics”. https://www.weforum.org/projects/cyber-polygon

  13. I am sorry to leave two comments. But I do try to be brief and courteous.

    As for your fifth Wednesday, how about a piece comparing and contrasting Dionne Fortune’s worldview with that of Éliphas Lévi? I am intrigued by how Fortune left me cold and Lévi really seems to working for me. As you are, in the words of Trapper John and Hawkeye in the orignal M.A.S.H., one of the “Pro’s from Dover” in this arena, I would be really interested

  14. Also, we now have a meat plant ‘hack’ similar to the gas hack ransom attack. Can’t blame Russia for to much or we really would have to go to war. North Korea gets plenty of blame. A country someone once claimed the CIA said, “if North Korea didn’t exist we would have to invent it”. Who knows. I wouldn’t be surprised if the CIA is keeping Kim Jogn-un alive.

  15. The UFO thing, which is the most obvious crock of s— of my lifetime, looks like a tipping point to me also. For some reason I didn’t connect it to the Coronavirus about-face, though you’re right that they’re examples of the same phenomenon. I think that Mr. Gates is about to be offered up to the public as a sacrificial lamb, victim of a palace coup, but the winners of that particular game aren’t better people, though they are better players. I suspect that by January 2025, Joe Biden may have been sacrificed in the same way, with President Harris in Melinda Gates’s role. But we’ll see.

    I can’t help but notice that the upcoming eclipse is in the 12th House of both secret enemies and national institutions. In my delineation of last month’s Lunar Eclipse, I suggested that it looked as though Hermes were in a sense protecting the people from the curse that Zeus (First House in Gemini; Mercury as ruler trine Jupiter; Jupiter square Sun and Moon). But as Cancer rises in the June 10th Solar Eclipse chart, both the people as a whole and the loudest among them are represented by the Moon, eclipsed by the Sun and conjunct retrograde Mercury. I can’t help but recall that Hermes is also an underworld god and psychopompous; it’s to him that Electra first raises her prayer for vengeance at her father’s grave in The Libation Bearers of Aeschylus. “Retrograde Mercury in Gemini in the 12th House conjunct the the Solar Eclipse” sounds very much like how the Heavens say the words “Blowback” or “Chickens coming up to roost.”

  16. For anyone who wants the facts on vaccine reactions, the official head count is available online at: https://vaers.hhs.gov/data/datasets.html?fbclid=IwAR20p6oas-8tLn6oROzYqpjHEhYci1bODai-bKtqumld0KlYy65xe7yysl0 Funny how this data is NOT being used to refute the anti-vaxers….

    I haven’t downloaded the data files, but if the file sizes are anything to go by there is definitely a problem with the covid vaccines: the first 20 weeks of 2021 (just over 1.2% of the time period covered) account for a whopping 23% of the reports of ill effects. Even when the increased rate of vaccine use is considered, that still seems disproportionately high. And yet we are repeated reassured by the mainstream media that it’s all necessary and safe and above all so effective that you still need to wear your mask after getting your vaccine.

    This cannot end well.

  17. The current ‘scientific method’ has been corrupted by money, as has most things. It is NOT uncommon for those in highly technical fields to have patents filed before the research has even finished, on the chance that it is a workable premise in the patent. The ‘new and improved’ “first-to-file” doctrine of the USPTO has made this practice de rigeur at this point.

    As an author of many patents and currently involved in research, this practice of filing everything you can think of before the tests are even completed, much less replicated, is driven purely by profit motive, and it has been a top down thing. In many cases, these patent filing absolutely preclude many alternative means and methods, making the very act of trying to replicate wide open for the patent filing entity to sue – how is that fir unintended consequences.

    Again, it is the complexity of our governing laws that does this – the response to these laws is right in front of us. Imagine it, file a patent and then sue the beejeezus out of anyone attempting to replicate your work. Yes, replication is defensible in court, but the cost of defending your right to replicate can break anyone smaller than the patent owner.

    As with so very many things in our current complex world, there isn’t a singular broken thing to point to and fix. What we have is a degradation of culture and ethics in favor of yuge profit potential that have broken the old ways. This is as true in engineering as it is in hard science, maybe more so. Often we are given a concept and told to “make it work” – which we can do, but the concepts haven’t been run through any type of discussion, outside of market potential – even the obsolescence of current inventory isn’t discussed. I view this a just another example of the progress myth.

    Personally, I view patents as having gone completely opposite of what they were intended to do – protect small inventors. I have been successfully advising my clients on how to use means other than a patent to protect their interests and investment in fielding new technology for almost 10 years.

    My gut tells me little, if any of this, can be fixed without the existing structure collapsing or being torn down. There is simply too much money and power in maintaining the status quo. It definitely makes me want the other shoe to go ahead and drop, since the existing hypercomplexity has inverted the original intent of research and production.

  18. This makes me yearn for the glory days of Dr. Science. He had a master’s degree after all.

  19. “Tell people what they want to hear…” I hope by people here you mean the mega-rich because that is what happens again and again.

    “One question for which I don’t have an answer yet is why the narrative has shifted so suddenly.”
    I think this is an important question and thank you for simply saying “I don’t know”. Most people online would never say that to anything…

    I don’t have an answer to the question either but may I suggest that you are missing some pieces. Spcifically you never mention the global coordinated campaign surrounding the pandemic. The flip-flopping about masks happened everywhere for example. Same with lockdowns and vaccines.

    Even the fact that you waited until a minor event like the flip-flopping on Gates while you ignored all the major things happening last year seems a bit weird to me. I knew we are in for a big global shift a couple of weeks into the pandemic when most of the world switched gears at once.

    I do have a proposal for the fifth week. Why not look into conspiracies? I have read recently your book on secret societies. All those famous groups look like a bunch of con-men and children playing. Does that mean there are no secret societies? Of course not – for example you never one of the biggest presently operating which is CIA.
    Similarly most people (I think including you) dismiss any question of conspiracy about the pandemic because “it would be hard for so many countries to coordinate”. That is of course bs because it is not about the countries – the international corporations owned by the 100 (or so) oligarchs are the leaders of the world.

    See for example:
    “The Chinese biological laboratory in Wuhan is owned by Glaxosmithkline, which (accidentally) owns Pfizer! (the one who makes the vaccine against the virus which was (accidentally) started at the Wuhan Biological Lab and which was (accidentally) funded by Dr. Fauci, who (accidentally) promotes the vaccine!
    GlaxoSmithKline is (accidentally) managed by the finance division of Black Rock, which (accidentally) manages the finances of the Open Foundation Company (Soros Foundation), which (accidentally) manages the French AXA!
    Soros (accidentally) owns the German company Winterthur, which (accidentally) built a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and was bought by the German Allianz, which (coincidentally) has Vanguard as a shareholder, who (coincidentally) is a shareholder of Black Rock, which (coincidentally) controls central banks and manages about a third of global investment capital.
    Black Rock is also (coincidentally) a major shareholder of MICROSOFT, owned by Bill Gates, who (coincidentally) is a shareholder of Pfizer (which – remember? Sells a miracle vaccine) and (coincidentally) is now the first sponsor of the WHO!
    Now you understand how a dead bat sold in a wet market in China has infected the WHOLE PLANET!”

    https://stolenhistory.net/threads/coronavirus-possible-reset.1498/page-63#post-99978

  20. Dear JMG –

    While I am quite sympathetic to your argument about the origins of COVID-19, I’d like to add a counter to your counter. (I’m very much OK with the rest of today’s essay.) Ever since I figured out who he was, I’ve been a big fan of Occam and his razor. (My fave example of Occam’s Razor at work is: I’ve you’re walking down a leafy county road in Kentucky and you hear the thunder of hoofs behind you, don’t think, “Zebras?”)

    Here would be an, oddly enough, newly contrarian apologia against the current trend: Since about 45 minutes after humanity began abandoning pastoral and/or hunter/gatherer lifestyles for settlements, we’ve been plagued by, well, plagues. The Plague of Athens, the Antonine Plagues, the Black Death, 1918 Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, MERS and so on. Most can last for years, if not decades, and have completely changed the course of human development. All of which have occurred naturally. This is not to say that COVID absolutely, positively must be naturally occurring as well, but nature already has the commanding lead in this virus race. Sufficient evidence will always change my mind (big fan of Marcus Aurelius) but I say smart money goes on the defending world champion. For now, that’s Mother Nature.

    As for the Wuhan Labs info suddenly becoming a hot item, I’d like to posit a conspiracy theory to a conspiracy theory: Can’t this just be a US/Western ploy engineered to take down the Chinese? This has all of the touches of a state-run Psy-Ops action. With China squishing Democracy Demos in Hong Kong and making quite determined noises about “restoring” Taiwan, many in the West see China as a dangerous rival, a la Thucydides Trap. Blaming them for the pandemic could go a long way towards sewing mistrust and actively antagonizing China’s neighbors. This strikes me as a somewhat more Razor-Friendly explanation than cooking up a virus in a lab from scratch, buy hey, technology marches on.

    Also concerning the shifting advice coming from Public Health – I see this as superbly poor messaging. If they’d put me up there, in front of a microphone, back in Jan or Feb of 2020, I would have said the following: “This is a novel virus. That means we’ve never seen it before. That further means we do not yet know how to treat let alone cure it. As of this moment, we will be giving you, the public, our best reckoning as to how to protect yourselves and your families. Make no mistake, this WILL change. As we learn more, needless to say, our guidance will change. With knowledge gained from research and experience, the recommendations we give now will be superseded with better, more appropriate guidance. In fact, I look forward to the moment I stand before you and say something to the effect of, ‘I know we recommended X measure earlier but now we recommend Y measure instead.’ I look forward to that moment because it means we learned something. It means we are learning about how to deal with this virus instead of groping for past solutions. It means that, finally, we are moving forwards.”

    I would have concluded EVERY. SINGLE. PRESSER. with exactly that paragraph.

  21. What to post? There’s a lot of hype going on on the electric vehicle (car/bike/other). I’m seeing a lot more of them on the streets in my area, so it’s wheels on the road, not just verbiage. Farther afield, I understand that tiny, questionably road-legal electric minicars have taken off in huge numbers in China. I can’t help but wish that more of the electric cars we see in Canada were so small and electricity-sipping.

    How is electrification of transportation likely to affect both oil prices and the electricity grid, and how far do you think this will go?

  22. For your fifth Wednesday post, I’d like to see one on the differences between electric life and non-electric life as you see it. Since if I remember correctly you lived without electricity at one point, I think your thoughts on that question could be quite interesting.

  23. Oh! Forgot… I view the UFO thing as sleight of hand distraction put out by the Pentagon bunch. If there were alien tech that could be used to grant TPTB reign over the entire planet, it would already have been deployed. The 180 on this is astounding, as is you agreeing with Brin (WEG).

    Unfortunately, with all the software out there to enable Hollyweird to make most anything realistic, I can see them pushing this into the realm of the absurd. Would not be surprised if alien ships were witnessed by an entire stadium of sports rubes, since that is about the current limit of holographic projection.

    We all are daily witness to the amount of distractions currently running in media, from Trump revivified to the ongoing sludge that is Joe Biden having full cognitive function. Some folks blew some buildings up on 9/11 – and here we are decades later and nobody knows a thing. I’m still agog that the passports of the hijackers survived – floating out of the hijackers pockets, out of the plane, the fire and gliding down to the pavement, then magically being ‘found’ amidst chaos and rubble…intact.

  24. As for the Fifth Post, what about a post on Atlantis or lost civilizations or ancient technology generally? You made a very interesting comment the other day about the possibility that the ancient Egyptians had electricity that I’d love to talk more about…

  25. For me, the biggest story by leagues is the decline of net oil and likely civilization, maybe sooner than the partying sees.

  26. Where is Dr. Science when we need him? He has a master’s degree (in Science!), after all

  27. Good day, Mr. Greer! If you have not already done a post of this kind in the past (I know you have a number of websites, and I have only followed you here and on the Archdruid Report), I would love to read your understanding of whether and how the perennial wisdom/universalism/nondualism plays into traditional and/or contemporary druid philosophy and practice. The topic was almost touched upon in one of your recent posts where you mentioned Mirra Alfassa. If you have already posted such an essay, I would appreciate being directed to it. I also find just about everything you write on energy and finance issues to be fascinating, so another post of the current state of affairs in those areas would be wonderful. Thank you for all your great work!

  28. Since the D party got a controlling share of US media in the 1950’s, routine D hack shakedowns have tended to blow up into moral panics. When Hillary’s scandals hurt her in 2012 she locked down control pretty tight, and any controlled press is one long moral panic. So Obama routinely shaking down healthcare for cash and sweet deals for his supporters blew up into hugely inflated prices- not Obama’s intention, but he lost control. The moral panics over Covid speak for themselves. The moral panic over routine, beefy let’s-make-a-deal Trump. Until Hillary’s control slacks, it’s moral panics all the way down.

    Gates is getting bad press just when his wife’s divorce lawyers find it convenient- most of what I’ve seen involves stripper parties more than anything else.

  29. If you ever write a conspiracy thriller it should be called The Fifth Wednesday. 🙂 My vote is for a post on Russia’s Biocosmist-Immortalists. Cool and strange and a good counterpoint to the history of American occultism.

  30. You might want to look into the situation of promotion (to tenure status and beyond) in universities to see why so much poorly-designed, poorly-controlled, and usually irreproducible research is being done. In particular, studies in medicine and psychology are often done with uncontrolled or poorly-controlled variables, which makes reproducible results iffy. The pressure to publish…

  31. Hi JMG,

    To what extent do you worry that your ideas about future climate change depend on the findings of the very same untrustworthy scientific authorities who’ve done so much to earn this low reputation? And I’m not just talking about hyped-up models based on computer simulations, or dubious conclusions (AOC’s “we’re all gonna die in 12 years”, etc.) that aren’t supported by the data–but the very data and theories that underpin it all. Do you trust that any study or survey that didn’t find warming temperatures, rising sea levels, etc. would have ever seen the light of day, considering the wholesale commitment of nearly every power-center in Western civilization toward a particular conclusion on the matter? I’m agnostic on the topic and haven’t studied it in any detail–just curious about your thoughts.

    On another note–this whole business is precisely why I’ve taken up a regular cigar-smoking habit. I find it highly enjoyable, and have little worry about what “Science” has to say about tobacco use. Considering the massive, decades-long anti-smoking propaganda campaign waged by the U.S. Government, I don’t see much reason to trust whatever conclusions were reached in an environment of such intense political pressure.

  32. The crisis of legitimacy is something I’ve been watching with increasing horror since about the election. Frankly what weirds me out the most is the utter inability of almost anyone I know to handle the reality of said crisis. People’s emotional response of terror seems to short-circuit any constructive thinking about it. It seems that we are collectively like a sleepwalker striding over a cliff.

    Something I find interesting is that in the past few years I’ve done a lot of work gifting plants through craigslist. Mostly I focus on bee plants and perennial herbs and foods, some of which are hard to come by at a garden store. In the past few years, I’ve had a brisk business gifting plants. This year I’d say I’ve gotten less than 1/10 the response, with crisis looming in which having useful plants could make a decisive difference in a person’s life. Paradoxically, it seems to me that the closer the crisis approaches the less that people en masse are able to take constructive action.

    I want to second Jacques vote for a fifth Wednesday post on Yeats!

  33. Totally on point, as usual. Given recent coverage of demographic collapse trends in legacy media outlets and the rising popularity of a more nuanced discussion of future scenarios in the pod sphere, it is safe to predict that collapse will become a major theme of cultural conversation in the ‘20s. You are on your way to household name status, Archdruid Emeritus!

    Attending this momentous shift is the religious crisis of the Great Awokening, if you’ll allow the play on words for America’s periodic revival movements and social convulsions such as the one we’re going through right now.

    The Wuhan Lab EcoHealth Alliance Affair might be our regime’s Diamond Necklace meets a Zimmermann Telegram, but I suspect the biological warfare dimension of the military-industrial complex’s scandalous entanglement with the pharmaceutical lobby suggests a matter of even greater global scale in its impact.

    Essentially, the escaped reagent of bio-weaponry led to a massive test of our civil defenses, which we and other prominent Western powers failed miserably in the eyes of their own people and the world. Meanwhile, China’s leadership took the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of their regime in how they handled it. It was a less explosive version of JMG’s Twilight’s Last Gleaming scenario of sudden defeat. It has changed everything, and we have yet to see the end of its consequences.

    This disturbing revelation is driving the crisis of belief in Progress and Science and the other ideological idols of the secular globalist order promulgated from Washington, New York, London and Brussels. Some are doubling down, eagerly lining up to insist that we all swear oaths of obedience or utter shibboleths or what-have-you to prove our loyalty to the lying shrines of the establishment media, both popular and technical.

    Others are seeking new cults and explanations for what their eyes are revealing to them and the rest of us. This is where the Mad Max people will exploit panic while the Jetson Utopians try to flog their millenarian myth. However, the masses in the middle will be coming to terms with the realities of collapse now that the evidence is in front of our faces, even if the mask has slipped a bit for now.

    My vote for the fifth Wednesday topic is a mundane astrology review with comets and all, looking to understand the eclipse season we’re going through currently. Perhaps we should brush up on Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defence as well, so maybe we could have a discussion about incorporating our reactions to macroeconomic events into lessons for our microcosmic health and happiness in spite of all the Devil’s chicanery these days?

  34. My best guess with Bill Gates is the puppeteers pulling his strings have determined he is no longer useful to them, so they are getting rid of him. I guess he’s not polling well based on their data?

    I don’t know what to say about UFOs but you and Brin aren’t the only ones scratching their heads trying to figure out what the deep state is really up to with their 180. Thery’re up to something, what they’re really up to, who knows? I don’t know who it is they’re trying to fool. The normies?

    Perhaps what are labeled as scientists should no longer be called that? If what they’re doing isn’t really science, then they shouldn’t be thought of as scientists and maybe they should be trusted accordingly. Actually a real scientist wouldn’t demand trust anyway, he’d recommend reproducing his experiment. Sort of like how any entity demanding worship and threatening you if you don’t, isn’t really God.

  35. The recent spate of cyberattacks on fuel and food (and the immediate blame on Russia) has me wondering about hidden motives as well, especially because we have been told that everyone needs to drive electric cars and eat bugs/synthetic meat because of climate change. It makes me want to speculate on the chances that the next big one will be against the airline industry, coal, or LNG. Cyberspace would seem to be the ultimate environment to launch a “Ghost Army” misdirection campaign. Even the FCC falsely claimed they had been victims of a DDoS attack in order to build support of killing Net Neutrality back in 2017.

  36. I would suggest that due to the blind pursuit of profit and the ensuing corruption have led inevitably to the system as a whole becoming senile.

  37. >Some folks blew some buildings up on 9/11 – and here we are decades later and nobody knows a thing

    Might I suggest just treating the whole thing as dreamlike symbolism? This thing labeled “World Trade” then got destroyed? Remind you of anything going on currently, 20 or so years later?

    Whodunnit, eh, it’s almost as pointless as figuring out who killed JFK, which also nobody knows either.

  38. @JMG

    Do sciences like entomology somehow get less affected by this? I’m asking because one of the very practical applications of entomological studies is in the domain of biological pest control in agriculture, and from what I’ve seen, the investment required to study entomology is substantially less than, say, enzyme kinetics or vaccines. If the scientific method is to be saved, I believe it will be saved by people working in such ‘uncool’ fields.

    Also, for the fifth Wednesday, could you do a post on the ritual practices in Druidry and the traditions associated with them, as well as any possible influences on the same?

  39. “More broadly, as I write this, the website at http://www.trust-science.org has gotten only 4438 signatures from pledge signers”

    I bet half the people signed there with joke names like “Al Coholic” or “Hugh Jass”. They don’t make the list of people who signed public.

  40. I recall your essay about UFO’s some years back. And now, with all the “new” hype, I can only suggest that the plethora of “excited delirium” that is rampant in a lot of places and many different ways, from the Mexican border through to the Arctic ocean has, as you suggest, cultural and social underpinnings that probably have not totally come to the fore. The causative reasons are not addressed at all (only possibly furtively) except in blogs that are never part of the discussions of MSM. And this includes your excellent description of what the scientific method is supposed to be but which has been severely co-opted and thus more irrelevant and even, or especially, dangerous.

  41. While I have no personal conclusions regarding the lab origin theory, we can be sure that viruses, and those like it, are being researched somewhere. Even if this was not ‘weaponized’, Nature has proven most effective at deploying bioweapons against species.

    Hypothetically, if China were developing a bioweapon, why not start with one that seems to express itself differently depending on a particular gene cluster that’s almost entirely absent in one’s native population, put prevalent in nearby geopolitical rivals.

    It would be a blow to the American Ego if it turned out this was a bioweapon aimed at someone else…

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2818-3

  42. @ Steve #17
    My wife and I were discussing why the official stance is that vaccinated people have to continue wearing masks if they’re protected, and we thought perhaps it’s because if they allowed only vaccinated people to go about without masks then all people would end up ditching the masks. Who would want to single themselves out as an “anti-vaxxer”? It seems the politicians have painted themselves into a corner on this one.

  43. Justin, thanks for this. That saucer song is priceless.

    Thomas, well, what could the people of East Germany do about their government in 1989? Political power depends on the passive acquiescence of the masses, and if they withdraw that, governments fall with astonishing rapidity.

    Mollari, that’s a great example of the law of diminishing returns. 200 years ago you could make epochal breakthroughs in physics with no equipment other than your senses. 100 years ago you could do the same thing with gear that would have been considered hopelessly inadequate for a middle school science classroom back when middle schools had those. 50 years ago you needed a well-equipped laboratory. Now? Billions of dollars worth of brand new, cutting edge equipment. The return on investment in physics research, dollar for dollar, has been dropping like a rock. As for the site, I’m beginning to wonder if the whole thing is a hoax. Even UNESCO isn’t usually that incompetent.

    Patrick, that comparison has also occurred to me.

    Logan, we’ll see. The gay and lesbian communities are much less solidly behind the current regime than you seem to think, for a variety of reasons, and both have a significant presence on the other side of the line. You might want to look into the gay and lesbian groups who are distancing themselves from the rest of the alphabet soup because their rights are being trampled in the current transgender furore.

    Clay, the funny thing there is that the most spectacularly giddy crackpot theories I’ve encountered have also come from engineers. Back before I broke into print, for example, I worked for a while for a company in Seattle owned by a retired Boeing engineer who was also a conservative Christian and was up to his eyeballs in creationism. He’d worked out this wonderfully elaborate scheme, involving changes in the orbit of Mars among other things, to fit dinosaurs into a timeline that placed the creation of the world in 4004 BC. Fun stuff! I get the impression, though, that either engineering attracts a lot of people with Aspergers syndrome or something in engineering training makes graduates unusually resistant to social pressure, because you’re right that other engineers tend to be relentlessly skeptical.

    Degringolade, thanks for this.

    Jacques, so noted!

    Jeanne, that’s very much my read of the situation as well. I hope to the gods that problem with birds doesn’t start showing up in humans — brrr. As for your fifth Wednesday suggestion, so noted.

    Casey, that’s fascinating. If that’s what’s doing it, the USAF is going to be dog meat in a shooting war — since presumably whoever did that hack either worked for, or sold the data to, some hostile nation or other…

    Fra’ Lupo, the confusion between trusting the process and trusting the institutions and spokesflacks is exactly what needs to be dispelled. I hope we can save the scientific method as the backlash builds…

    Dennis, that’s uncomfortably possible.

    Degringolade, so noted!

    Steve T, I ain’t arguing.

    Steve, thanks for this. A brief glance at the file that lists adverse events by vaccine shows that problems caused by coronavirus vaccines seem to outnumber everything else by several orders of magnitude; I’ll leave it to those with better number skills to crunch the data, but it doesn’t look good.

    Oilman2, I ain’t arguing. The culture of sloppy science I discussed in my post is of course just one aspect of the problem, though it’s a big one. As for fixes, I don’t see any — it’s just a matter of waiting for it to come crashing down, and doing as much as possible to see to it that the basic concepts of the scientific method survive in other settings.

    LateforEverything, funny.

    NomadicBeer, it’s far more complex than just catering to the very rich. As Thomas Kuhn pointed out a long time ago, every science tends to get into a rut where experiments are used to refine accepted ideas rather than challenging them, and that continues even while problems to the accepted ideas pile up to the crisis point. This happens even in sciences about which the very rich literally couldn’t care less. As for comparing last year to this year, last year the flip-flops that happened got very little comment outside of the fringes. Now, as I noted in my post, they’re being much more broadly discussed. Governments always lie, but most of the time people just nod and go about their lives. When that stops happening, things change.

    As for the 5th Wednesday post, so noted — I’ve added that to the list. I get the impression, though, that you don’t actually know what a secret society is, and how it differs from (say) a government-funded institution. One of these things is not like the other!

    Kevpilot, er, did you actually read my post? I don’t have a theory about the origins of Covid-19. I was discussing changes in the media narrative. The problem I want to discuss here, as you point out nicely in your last sentences, is that institutional science is unwilling to admit publicly that science is a process of fumbling toward the least provably untrue hypothesis — and it’s unwilling to admit that because very large amounts of money depend on what the spokespeople for institutional science say in public.

    Pygmycory, thanks for this — I’ve added it to the list.

    Mollari, it’s on the list.

    Oilman2, I remember when digital image editing first became a thing, CoEvolution Quarterly had a good article subtitled “the end of photography as evidence of anything.” Yes, I also remember those remarkably durable passports…

    Degringolade, excellent! Bardi’s quite right, of course. I bet he gets shouted down for pointing out that the Star Trek fantasy of interstellar expansion is a pipe dream, for reasons of hard thermodynamic reality.

    Steve T, I’ve added it to the list.

    RobertMP, it’s the biggest story of our age, and the one most people least like to hear about.

    Mike, funny.

    Dev, I’ve added both of those to the list. I’m currently a hundred pages or so into my first reading of Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, so a discussion of the relation between my account of the world and that of the nondualist philosophies will be on the agenda sooner or later, but it may be a bit!

  44. When I was in grad school, my advisor said that he didn’t trust most of the stuff that’s published in scientific journals. This was about a dozen years ago and he’s supposedly one of the top pharmacologists in the country.

    In his own lab and in the labs of those he collaborated with, though, I saw many fellow grad students and post-docs do questionable things that undermined my trust in their conclusions.

    I eventually got an MS degree before leaving. I was able to get the degree because I somehow managed to get “good” data. When I offered to repeat the experiments to see if the results were real, I was explicitly told no because we might “lose the effect.”

    A lot of the lab’s work I could not replicate, particularly when it involved this one particular procedure… I wasn’t the only one. Two other grad students left that year with a “consolation masters” instead of the PhD that we wanted to earn.

    I often think that maybe we didn’t get the PhD because we were too honest. Then again, maybe I’m just still a bit bitter.

  45. I second the suggestion of Yeats. Would love to hear your take on his occult activities, the Golden Dawn and his relationship with Maud Gonne and the Irish revolution.

    Speaking of Talleyrand another of my favourite quotes from him is his reaction to Napoleon’s kidnapping and executin of the Duc d’Engien. “It’s worse than a crime; it’s a mistake”

  46. When I heard 60minutes did a piece on Military reports of UFO’s, I knew we had crossed a threshold beyond which the center cannot hold.

    As for revolution however, and comparisons to the Ancien Regime, the propaganda of divide and conquer has been so long in practice and so refined, it is hard to imagine America uniting against American Aristocracy, rather the people cutting the heads off each other, so to speak. As a long time reader of comments to articles, the sheer malice I encounter left and right is disturbing in the extreme. It reminds me, taking up the work of The Cosmic Doctrine again, and the idea that one uses negative evil as a thrust block to achieve intent, or to let it progress unto the Ring-Pass-Not and dissipate. I feel it has become unsafe to comment on many a political website, so many seemingly willing to assassinate one’s character over what often amounts to so little as projection.

    Maybe you could discuss that next week, should trouble come in the form of a kind of collapse of the power structures in empire America, something of the how to be about it?

  47. I second Jacques “W.B. Yeats and his views on magic, life, and historical cycles.”

    If I can vote for two I also second Mollari’s electricity vs not-electricity idea, but I prioritize my first vote if not.

    I can confirm clay dennis’s notion about software engineers. As a group they seem to regurgitate all the latest fashionable ideas of the mainstream. I have only met one who truly thinks for himself. Mainstream narrative dissenters have to hide in the closet in the software industry so it wouldn’t surprise me if a few others stay secretive.

    Thanks for the post.

  48. Engleberg, well, we’ll see. I suspect it may be more than that.

    Yorkshire, one vote for Cosmicism duly tabluated.

    Tssmith, I include that in the culture of sloppy science I mentioned. When I was finishing my degree, I did work-study for a research project that was churning out highly praised, heavily marketed, and completely bogus studies on a subject in the health sciences. It was straightforward scientific fraud — as published, the studies were presented as double-blinded, but all the lab techs knew perfectly well what they were supposed to find and that the ability of the lab to keep bringing in grant money depended on their finding it. (I didn’t get to take part in that — my job was to correct the bibliographies.) But it was all about money and status, as you’ve suggested.

    Balowulf, that’s why I don’t rely on current studies. I base my predictions on the data from paleoclimatology, which the global warming crowd has neglected (understandably, because it doesn’t support apocalyptic claims) and which tends to have much less wiggle room. Inevitably, I’ve been accused of being a global warming denialist as a result. As for your cigar habit, by all means; freedom means doing what you choose and accepting the consequences, and so long as you don’t throw a fit if it does turn out that it hurts you, I don’t see why anyone else has any reason to object. (If you have kids, though, please don’t make them sit in the smoke; my dad was a two pack a day smoker and some of my less pleasant childhood memories involve sitting in the back seat of a car on long drives feeling sick to my stomach because of the smoke.)

    Violet, that’s quite common. As cognitive dissonance builds to the breaking point, people huddle down psychologically further and further, hoping that it’ll go away.

    Malleus, we’ll see. I hope that I can get people to break out of the delusional binary between progress and collapse and start thinking about decline. I’ve added your suggestion to the list!

    Owen, the whold thing is fascinating to watch. One of the things that makes it most fascinating is just how hamhandedly the whole business is being managed — the UFO thing, the coronavirus thing, and more. It’s one thing to be dishonest, it’s quite another to be stupidly clumsy about it!

    Aloysius, I could see that.

    Peter, that’s a plausible summary!

    Viduraawakened, that’s my hope — that science in unfashionable but productive fields will continue to get enough support from the public that it doesn’t get tarred with the same brush as medical science. I’ve added your suggestion to the list.

    Ecosophian, well, I know it’s been signed by “Thali Domide” and “Tuskegee X. Periment”!

    Bruce, I think you’re quite right that a lot of things are going on here that are receiving zero attention in the media. Now to piece together what they are…

    Harry, true enough.

    Ray, ouch. I saw too much along the same lines in my time in the university system.

    Robert, I’ve added your vote.

    William, I’ve added your suggestion. The thing I’d point out for the time being is that the current level of shrill hatred is unsustainable; something’s going to snap sooner or later — and when it does, things will change in a hurry.

    Youngelephant, so noted!

  49. @JMG,

    I wasn’t saying that the gay and lesbian communities were solidly behind the regime, I was saying that the regime is making sure that these communities are very strongly and visually identified with it. For example:

    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/06/02/us-embassies-pride-flag-namibia-bahamas-vatican/

    These events are obviously for US consumption, despite them happening overseas. Black Lives Matter is much the same phenomenon. What is happening is that minority communities are unwittingly being lined up as human shields for the regime, so that they will be the first targets for any revolutionary rage. This is the underlying purpose of wokeness.

  50. John–

    I’m still digesting the post. I want to ask about what comes after the institutional crisis, but that’s too broad a question. (I look at the French Revolution and shudder. Hopefully, not that.)

    Re the coming fifth Wednesday, I’d like to second the suggestion of vanished civilizations and the nature of their technologies (most specifically, how their technologies may not be recognizable by us as such).

  51. Isn’t the elephant in the possibility that instead of the statistical balance of benefit vs side effect that is being fought in the fringes of the media something more obvious rears its head down the road. Just for example ( Purely hypothetical) the Vaccine turned out to cause 95% sterility in the “good people” and their children ( how they browbeat to take it.) I think this would cause not only an earthquake in the belief in science but an epoch ending belief in government and the establishment.

  52. @balowulf, while only you can weigh the pleasure of cigar smoking against a possible shortened life, I do suggest you read Bradford Hill’s article weighing the probabilities of smoking causing lung cancer. I commend it for the simple pleasure of reading; it has since become the model of how to evaluate such a risk. It is in fact very cautious, much more cautious than has been the case in recent decades.

    I still know loads of health professionals and epidemiologists who smoke…

  53. As long as institutional science remains beholden to political and economic interests, and prestigious scientists are happy to spout whatever their corporate or government paymasters tell them to say, distrust in scientific pronouncements is going to become more widespread and more intransigent. The reason that so many people don’t trust scientists to tell them the truth, after all, is that so often, scientists haven’t told them the truth.

    That’s really just it, isn’t it? I’ve really “come around” quite a bit in the last six months about the coronavirus epidemic. That is to say, I no longer believe that the official narrative constitutes any sort of gospel truth. This is not to say that I dispute that there is and has been a significant number of people suffering (sometimes quite horribly) and dying on account of Covid-19, because I have no doubt of that. The things I do doubt are the lockdown strategy, the true level of danger to society posed to society as a whole by the virus, and what we’re doing to medically treat people who have the virus.

    The thing that “red-pilled” me about the virus and speaks directly to what you’re talking about this week concerns the third item on the list, namely the refusal of many international medical authorities to use Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 when doing so could squash the pandemic like a cockroach. There is even an industrial-strength campaign underway to suppress not only use of this well-established, safe, and effective medication, but to stop people on the Internet and in the media from even talking about it. I know you don’t watch videos, but I offer this two and a half hour long interview with Ivermectin-advocate Dr. Pierre Kory for the commentariat to give everyone an idea of what an outrage is taking place. But those who want to watch it should do so soon, because YouTube in its terms of service (yes, this is explicitly stated) to remove any videos that advocate treating Covid with Ivermectin.

    I can only speculate why this sociopathic policy is being pursued and backed up with establishment intimidation and censorship. The “Occam’s Razor” explanation is that Big Pharma’s vaccine-profits are being protected. But it has gotten to the point where I am open to the idea that something even more complex, nefarious, and downright Plutonian is going on in regards to the entire global response to the pandemic. And before all this started happening, I was always one to deplore such thinking as “conspiracy theories”. Of course, I still try to be very careful what I think and say about the pandemic because there are people who are using it to promote whatever deranged trip they’re on, and I have no desire to fall down any rabbit-holes of irrational thinking.

  54. Thanks JMG. I came across the book Bad Pharma recently. I haven’t read it yet but the author says that it is perfectly legal for scientists to bury any study, if they don’t like the results. https://www.badscience.net/2013/10/why-and-how-i-wrote-bad-pharma/
    So Dr Goldacre is promoting

    https://www.alltrials.net/find-out-more/all-trials/
    and 95,432 people have signed the AllTrials petition to stop this.

    It was Daniel Pinchbeck on FakeBook who was questioning the narrative on the covid vaccines and “progress” who alerted me to him in the first place. Needless to say, FB censored him, but you can read what he wrote here –

    https://danielpinchbeck.substack.com/p/viruses-vaccines-science-and-the

    A quote from him “Suddenly, Science doesn’t look like a hero anymore. In fact, quite the opposite.”

    Also, I second the request for an essay on Yeats. Afterall, he wrote the poem of our time, “The Second Coming”.

  55. great post — and u even mentioned UFO’s 😉

    one of the other commenters linked to the seneca effect blog, and that post linked to https://www.resilience.org/stories/2007-09-19/solving-fermis-paradox/

    I read this — and it could have been written yesterday. But it was written 14 YEARS ago! I was a big fan of your “next 10 billion years” story — but as someone who grew up in the US and watched way too much TV in the 70’s and 80’s I saw the the
    ‘crisis’ was usually averted at the end of the show (unless it was a 2 part show). Mentally I am on human time but this is all really geological time..

    Thanks again! (and with the eminent UFO “reveal” I am just eating popcorn like you suggested — so I’ll throw my vote for an article on Yeats )

    Jerry

  56. A rather apt statement on the dire state of science as we know it:

    “But even if you rid yourself of all those constraints upon creativity, you are still not guaranteed to come up with any new or good ideas. This is because, in order to free your mind, you not only have to have the right ideas about science, you have to have the right ideas about life. And those ideas are just a distillation in words of your relationship to Nature.

    “We can take the magazine Nature as the perfect example. The name of the magazine is another inversion and corruption, since its authors and editors don’t care about Nature at all. As regards physics, they don’t even believe in Nature. For them it is just a word. What they believe in is complex operators that have no connection to Nature at all. These operators are a world unto themselves, a world of intellectual isolation, confusion, and hubris. The real world for them is just an illusion,something that de-coheres out of their equations to present them a Nobel Prize. Not only do they have no love or respect for Nature, they think of her only as an unnecessary residue of their own nasty thoughts. Which is precisely why Nature refuses to give them any good ideas.

    “To be blunt, she doesn’t like working with a******s.

    “You may think I am joking, but I am deadly earnest. Yes, epistemology is not a theory, it is a relationship. Good ideas arise or don’t arise for a reason, like everything else, and that reason has nothing to do with the brain working like a machine, synapses firing, information being collated, and conclusions being spit out like ticker tape. Good ideas come when you develop a proper attitude toward and relationship with the world around you, and by that world I mean not academia, but Nature with a capital N. There is a real world, Nature, and you are but a tiny part of it, though connected to it in every possible way. If you recognize and respect those connections, you can use them, but if you don’t they are as good as closed. All knowledge comes through those connections, and arrives via those connections, which is what makes this an epistemology. You may think it is a religion, but it is just as much an epistemology, since it explains where good ideas come from and why they are true.They aren’t true because some stuffed shirt sitting in some chair has verified them, they are true because Nature has verified them.”

    The money phrase for me is:
    “Epistemology is not a theory, it is a relationship.” Whiech I also think is key. All of what is happening here is a symptom, and the disease is a broken relationship.

    Full essay by Miles Mathis on the topic of science, art and how modernism derails both, here: http://milesmathis.com/nescience.pdf

  57. Hi again JMG.

    Yes, anyone who could pull off such a hypothetical operation as hacking the imaging systems of an operational combat/surveillance aircraft would be indeed dangerous… But I can’t imagine the US Navy acknowledging such an event unless they themselves had controlled the event for purposes of disinformation. Methinks they doth protest not enough!

    Afterall, shaky gun-camera footage, sincere pilot testimony regarding what he or she saw in the HUD of his or her helmet, and apparently authentic radar traces might go a long way towards vindicating whatever shenanigans Naval Intelligence wants to get the USA into.

    Although I’m sure they would never ever even think of doing that 😉

    Casey

  58. A bit of a scattershot post:

    As we know, for months Bill Gates has been the face of the vax push. Turn around three times, and now he’s getting divorced, with his wife and family allegedly living away from him. Coincidence? Maybe Bill sees he’s about to be hit with the scapegoat pocket nuke and is getting his family out of the blast area. Or maybe his wife sees it also/has been warned, and is getting away for the same reason.

    JMG, I know you didn’t say anything about the origins of covid, so this paragraph isn’t aimed at you. Ron Unz at unz.com has been banging on for months about his theory that somebody in the deep state took the created virus from the US and saw to it that it was released in China. Several high government people in Iran died from the virus very shortly after. My point in this paragraph is that if (if!) such a thing happened, it would be news to me, but no surprise. Never attribute to a conspiracy that which can be explained by simple incompetence. The blowback from that alleged incompetence is one for the history books, if anyone can read them in a hundred years. Ron Unz was promptly banned from Facebook for his heresy.

    The vulnerability of the computer systems providing our necessities has never been more prominently on display. First the pipeline ransom ware attack, now another on a meat packing company. I’ve read articles suggesting that many people have done an internet search for “meat shortage,” showing that confidence in the MSM is very low. On the other hand, I have relatives in the restaurant industry. They didn’t know anything about the meat packing issue until I told them. They… don’t read much, but they’re informed on what NPR and CBS news tells them.

    The flopping and twitching of experts, media and government would provide endless material for comedy, were they not dragging us down with them.

  59. I too am struck by our era’s resemblance to late 18 century France. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were unfairly scapegoated in my opinion, but that was an inevitable symptom of the times. The fate of their young son the Dauphin, who was imprisoned after his parents were executed and died after going insane from loneliness and abuse, was horrific and evil. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to understand why it happened: how many peasants watched their own children starve to death while Louis XVI and his court lived it up inside Versailles?

    There are quite a few celebrities and politicians in this era whose public and personal presentations are far more incendiary and unsavory than Louis XVI’s. I can easily see them going the way of “the lantern” in the future.

  60. Hello JMG, here is a topic suggestion for your fifth Wednesday: how to build a functionning local / state economy in the long descent?

  61. Talleyrand seems to be one of the best examples of the art of Realpolitik, before the word was invented. I wonder how much ol’ Otto von Bismarck learned from him.

  62. Greetings all,

    Dear JMG,

    I began this reply by being skeptical of your claim but now I think that something is happening and not only in the US, but possibly throughout the Western world.

    A situation reminiscent of the downfall of the USSR in 1992 is being reached in the western world.

    To me it looks like the Covid pandemic and governmental reactions to it could be a trigger to massive losses of credibility.

    Governments are placing way too much confidence in Covid vaccines. Should covid vaccines not be as efficacious as promoted and should serious side effects keep piling up then collapse in the credibility of major institutions, political, scientific and industrial will be massive, unavoidable and definitive. There might be no coming back. A point of no return will have been reached.

    That in turn could well trigger the rise of populist leaders and the demise of democratic systems in the west and elsewhere.

    Either way I don’t think we are going back to pre-covid days.

  63. Regarding the 180 in the UFO sphere, the perception of a global threat has handed governments a considerable amount of power. It’s also shown the current level of “suspension of disbelief” when it comes to competing narratives.

    There has to be a temptation to use an “external threat” to silence the voices of the disaffected masses, and like the undetectable soviet submarines of the Reagan era, a threat we cannot explicitly assess opens deep government wallets.

  64. @ Logan and JMG RE: homosexuals

    I’m not so sure how long heterosexuals (cisgenders?, group-o-the-month?) are going to continue to allow things such as this to be paraded around in front of their children:

    http://82.221.129.208/bluescluesfag.mp4 ( I know you hate vids JMG – just mute it and read the lyrics)

    I have no issue with homosexuals and trans – you do what’s right for you is sorta my motto, as long as it isn’t hurting other people. But when you PUSH your views and RECRUIT for your group in a forum intended for children – that’s over the line for me. Children have enough crazy swirling around them without gender confusion or role confusion before they even feel the first drop of pubescent hormone…

    @ JMG – topic

    I would like to discuss DECLINE versus COLLAPSE or APOCALYPSE.

    Some geologically recent actual catastrophes (hockey stick events) might be worth a review as well, seeing as how this is slowly making the rounds in several of the sciences based on ice and geologic cores….

  65. I’m guessing that the release day for the UFO report will be on a Friday, and that it will coincide with another government action of far greater import, which will of course be announced much more quietly. The upcoming Independence Day celebration would be good cover, so June 25th almost fits, or possibly things could be stretched to July 2nd.

    Now as to what pill will be dropped on the same date, I will speculate that it is likely be something drastic and financial. Perhaps the Janet Yellen will stop by her local branch of the Federal Reserve and deposit 30 platinum $1T coins.

  66. I’m sure you may have explored this in many other places, and it’s certainly a theme of your Lovecraft-themed fiction, but I’d like to see a discussion in this forum of the, um, spirit-sphere. Taken as analogy to the biosphere. There are big things, and little things, and mid-sized things, things we can’t imagine and things we can’t see for a variety of reasons (including lack of imagination). The brain as a reducing filter preventing us from seeing too much of our surroundings fits in there somewhere.

    This comes to mind, for me, in relation to the sociology and social psychology involved in the whole UFO phenomenon, which I feel sure you covered in your book. I simply can’t keep up with everything you’ve written but I note it would be a worthwhile endeavor if I could.

    Seems to me that the human species is very much like a tiny bug in the water of the spirit-verse, swimming around like a nearly indestructible tardigrade, doing whatever we do and mostly (and correctly) ignoring most of the other bugs in the water, especially the much bigger and much smaller ones. There are undoubtedly UFO-like phenomena in the mythology of most the cultures that I’ve studied. Anyhow, a brief exploration of categories and scale in the spirit-verse and their relation to our current strange semi-self-aware situation would be very welcome to me on your fifth Wednesday. Here’s hoping that’s not too broad and undefined as a topic…

  67. I know that Brin gets called a hard science fiction author but he really isn’t.
    Most of his stuff I would call Science themed Techno Fantasy. (some of his short stories are hard science fiction)

    For example if you compare Brin’s EARTH to your STARS REACH. One is a techno cornucopian trash novel about a billionaire, a scientist and a plucky journalist who turn a black hole spill into an awesome new way to launch stuff into space. The bad guys are environmentalist and Gaia literally shows up at the end to pat our heroes on the head. The other builds a story about contact with extraterrestrials around hard limits imposed by physics.

    But that is not to say you can’t have a pretty awesome Science Themed Techno Fantasy, Three of Brin’s stories in the UPLIFT series are actually really good. In that series humans and a few other aliens are hiding on a planet from the dominate, dangerous, space fairing powers. The humans and aliens have imposed hard technological limits on their behaviors for reasons of ecology and avoidance of the dangerous space fairing races. The subtext is pretty awesome- life, love, adventure and meaning don’t depend on technology.

  68. Dear JMG,

    By an interesting coincidence, just this weekend I was reading the Jung’s essays on syncrhonicity that you recommended to me some time ago, and I realized that the phenomenon of synchronicity lies at heart of replication crysis in modern science. In one of the essay, Jung describes experiment when he tried to gather statistics on astrological aspects for married couples. First, he collected data for 180 couples and got an amazing increase in number of Sun-Moon conjunctions compared to the random pairs. He then describes how he got additional data, and on an extended set the results lost most of their statistical significance. He observes the replicating pattern – one gets subjectively meaningful and important results, which then evaporate as soon as one loses interest.

    For me, this resembles the scientific progress in “soft” sciences. The experimenters want to have the result and they get the result. But as soon as result is published, it can no longer be replicated. I don’t know how to relate to this phenomenon, but I don’t think that scientific community can keep pretending it doesn’t happen, and it’s definitely something worth thinking about.

  69. Hi John, many thanks for the post,

    I think all of this was predicted by Spengler when he talked about how in the civilization phase everything revolves around money.
    So money and power is what guide all the aspects in society: in politics, arts and of course science, and because Science is the “Sacred Cow” of our civlization is the most precious jewel money wants to control and, of course now control from top to bottom.
    So because science’s faustian bargain with money, it will sink to the bottom.

    Take, for example, the infamous case of the letter signed by 158 Nobel laureates “supporting precision agriculture (GMO’s)”, that was, in fact, a letter attacking Greenpeace for the opposition of this group to GMO’s. This is the letter signed by “la crème de la crème” of the global scientific institutions:

    https://www.supportprecisionagriculture.org/nobel-laureate-gmo-letter_rjr.html

    They say:

    “Greenpeace has spearheaded opposition to Golden Rice, which has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.

    The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people, suffer from VAD, including 40 percent of the children under five in the developing world. Based on UNICEF statistics, a total of one to two million preventable deaths occur annually as a result of VAD, because it compromises the immune system, putting babies and children at great risk. VAD itself is the leading cause of childhood blindness globally affecting 250,000 – 500,000 children each year. Half die within 12 months of losing their eyesight.

    WE CALL UPON GREENPEACE to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general;

    WE CALL UPON GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD to reject Greenpeace’s campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general; and to do everything in their power to oppose Greenpeace’s actions and accelerate the access of farmers to all the tools of modern biology, especially seeds improved through biotechnology. Opposition based on emotion and dogma contradicted by data must be stopped.

    How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a “crime against humanity”?”

    They wrote “crime against humanity” in bold in the original….Of course those who oppose to GMO are committing “crime against humanity”, that is what 158 Nobel laureates say, so this must be true.

    So, following these Nobel laureates, the problem of lack of vitamin A and many other nutritional problems is because the traditional varieties planted by the peasants in poor countries are not good enough, then the solution to famine and nutritional deficiencies is, of course, science & technology, in this case GMO’s.
    You cannot talk about land property, industrial farming to export raw mats, depletion&contamination of the soil, enclosures of the land by big companies, debt slavery of peasants, you cannot talk about that because, of course, they are not related to famine and/or nutritional deficits, what it is important is the poor and “old fashioned” traditional rice varieties those peasants sow.
    Ah!, and if the new GMO’s varieties are patented, always is better…

    No doubt institutional Science will sink to the bottom with the dominant minority

    Cheers
    David

  70. Having served in the Navy I was quite surprised by the “relese” of this UFO “evidense”. No one I knew would want their names or careers associated with such dodgey videos. The vids were out well before the official “release” and one of them, I belive, is about 5 years old. My first thought was the Navy is angling for a new weapons system. Or maybe it’s part of a Pentagon plan to increase funding for the Space Force. It’s all about as believeable as a ’58 Edsel hub cap suspened from a wire. The whole thing seems to have fallen off the radar, so to speak.

  71. Mr. Greer,

    Loved this article because the current news cycle is making me sea sick. Taken together Governor Newsome’s recall, the accusations against Governor Cuomo, the UFO business, the rehabilitation of the COVID lab-leak hypothesis, Bill Gates’ scandal, and today the perhaps immanent disgrace of Anthony Fauci, all lead me to the suspicion that something Night of The Long Knives-y is going on. Anybody else remember the heady “Draft Cuomo” days last October?

    But as for who, what, or why? No clue. Admittedly, I tend to see connections between things that may or may not be there but, unless I am imagining things, day to day people seem more tense and amped than even during the height of lockdown. Time will tell, I suppose.

    Also, not for nothing, I am acquainted with a civil/mechanical engineer who gets really, uh, chatty about the events of 9/11, Q drops, and the like after a few pints in the tavern. None of his ideas are totally absurd, and I typically find he has more insight than not, but I would not characterize him as constitutionally incredulous. Just one man’s experience.

    That said, for my money, the most absolutely zealous acolytes of the Scientism cult I encounter professionally are MD’s. The notion that a patient’s (read: peasant), or more often her estate, can come after an MD for injuring or killing the patient just infuriates him. And no amount of research or proof will convince him that, in addition not being God, he’s not a lawyer either. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to others here.

    –Anonymous Millennial

  72. JMG, I enjoyed your article this week.
    I’m reminded of a digital signal processing technique where you apply a filter to the received signal that only amplifies the pattern you are interested in. That filter will randomly detect your pattern in the noise, so it is only really useful if you expect to receive a continuous stream of that pattern. For detecting rare events, the filter is worse than useless because it will more often see things that aren’t really there.
    Most recently I have been reading The Book Thief, which seems to portray people pretending to live normal lives while the world crumbles around them, or maybe that is just normal.

  73. A while back I ran across the idea that there is a significant difference between lies and bullmoose. A lie is told because it’s false, bullmoose is spread with indifference to its truth.

    Looking at the other side, I think we can also characterize it as: lies are intended to be believed, bullmoose you’re just supposed to go along with — whether you believe it is irrelevant.

    For example, Iraqi WMDs were mostly on the lie side, while “America is a white supremacist nation” is firmly on the bullmoose side.

    Science has been plagued by hoaxes and fabrications since the beginning — the Piltdown man, anyone? — but it’s arguably now dominated by bullmoose, perhaps more than it was when Fredianism and “race science” were major forces. The start of this era was mostly when upper-class scientists decided that global warming could be used as a political bludgeon against their opponents, instead of the hard limit to complexity that it really is.

    (Also, does anyone else remember when opposition to stem cell research was decried as “anti-science” even though the argument against it was ethical, not scientific? Even though I don’t have a problem with stem cell research, that left a bad taste in my mouth.)

  74. Hail, Mr. Greer! And thank you for another insightful essay.

    My vote for the Fifth Wednesday is for an exploration of Tanamous Culture- both what it is, how it is rooted in the lands of North America, and how it will influence/become the American High Culture that will arise here around the year 2600, as you say. It’s by far the most fascinating Deep Future prediction that I have ever heard, and I’d love to know more!

    Regards,

    Matt

  75. To expand a point made earlier, our civilisation has forgotten how to make the distinction between two meanings of the word “science.” One is a principle, of moving pragmatically from theory to theory in search of that which best fits the facts and making decisions accordingly (you can invoke Karl Popper here if you like). The other is science as an actual observed activity, carried out by fallible human beings, subject to all the same jealousies, pressures and constraints as any other subject. In theory (and to some degree in practice in the past, when these pressures were less intense) scientists should be more interested in objective truth, and more willing to admit mistakes than, say, sociologists or cultural theorists. But in practice, the neoliberal termites have eaten away at the edifice of science just as effectively as at all other parts of our societies and our economies. And people have begun to notice this: it’s less science that they are against (after all, what’s the obvious alternative?) as scientists, and the very public way in which they have betrayed the principles they should uphold. You can compare this, if you like, with the recurrent scandals of the Catholic Church over the centuries involving everything from the sale of indulgences to child abuse, where the most violent critics were not atheists, but people of faith disgusted at what was happening.

    The other thing (speaking as someone who spent their working life in government) is that the actual quality of both the political leadership and the people supporting them has probably never been lower than it is now. Whatever your views, and whoever you vote for in your country, from a technical point of view (and again because of the ravages of neoliberalism), the actual ability of states to deal with crises is now desperately low. For almost every political leadership, politics is about performance and image, not substance. Which is fine until you meet a problem like Covid which has to be actually, you know, dealt with. This corruption of leadership into performance is typically the final stage before a collapse. It’s the Wizard of Oz moment, when people finally understand that there’s nothing holding the system up. Few western states actually have the resources or the leadership now to put down a determined challenge. In 2018, a few thousand demonstrators in Paris nearly drove Macron from power (I was watching it live). Regimes fall when people appreciate their weakness: it wasn’t the people of East Germany overthrowing the state in 1989: it was the Soviets shrugging their shoulders and making it clear they wouldn’t intervene. At that point the regime was finished, and it just melted away. In the end, any regime is only as strong as it can persuade people it is.

  76. I was trying to think of a suggestion for the fifth post,and a number of vague ideas floated by, some of which I think might be interesting, but none of which seemed to qualify for such a prestigious position. Until I saw this sentence from your reply to William: “The thing I’d point out for the time being is that the current level of shrill hatred is unsustainable; something’s going to snap sooner or later — and when it does, things will change in a hurry.” I’d love to hear you dig a little deeper into that thought. Why has that level of hatred risen to such an intense level? What continues to drive it? Why now? What could cause it to snap, and what might happen after that? How can those of us not involved in the shrill hatred respond to this situation? You have written a lot about hate, and this seems a natural continuation of those thoughts. Thanks for considering.

  77. The first two comments on the Spectrum article were posted (as far as I can tell) shortly after the article was published. The remaining two dozen were all posted within a short period of time, three days later. That makes me doubt that those commenters are representative of Spectrum’s regular readership. The timing suggests they were the result of a mention elsewhere in some influential blog or Twitter account. Not that engineers couldn’t have those same views, it’s just that we can’t really take anonymous Internet comments as evidence of it. Uncontrolled variables, and all that.

    Anyhow, thank you for making a valid critique of science as currently practiced, where the failure lies in not carrying out the scientific method properly. It’s actually a bit refreshing, after decades of addressing anti-science criticism from other quarters based on either “reality is subjective so scientific findings are just opinions,” or the more recent contender “science is racist.” Do you think those critiques arise from displaced anger at science’s actual failings, or are they just part of the more general pattern of critical theory and other postmodern fads?

  78. I’ve also felt a big shift coming since before the beginning of the pandemic, that has picked up a massive amount of speed since the pandemic began. My assumption that things might slow down a bit after Biden got elected was entirely wrong though. It’s almost as if we’ve run off a cliff and are picking up speed as we approach the point of final deceleration.

    It’s interesting how often your posts coincide with a train of thought or feeling that I’m having about something. I’ll cast my vote in favor of W. B. Yeats also.

    Thanks JMG!
    Brother Josephus

  79. In “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the TickTock Man,” by Harlan Ellison, the Ticktock Man who rules society goes into his office at the very end of the story, after breaking the will of the Harlequin, and goes “mrmee , mrmee” on his lips.

    I think something similar is happening very quietly within the culture of science.

    I just read Blindsight by Peter Watts, in which he more or less argues that human consciousness is a handicap, and we’d function much more successfully without sentience. He arrived at this position by… reading a bunch of neuroscience books written by conscious, sentient human beings.

    Add to that Daniel Dennett’s insistence that human consciousness doesn’t exist, which he proves by using science, a set of intellectual methods developed by human consciousness.

    Seeing as it’s caught between the ideological insistence that the human mind does not exist and cannot meaningfully engage with reality, and the inescapable reality that science is a function of the human mind, I’m wondering if the scientific establishment is experiencing an impulse to dismantle itself, as the only acceptable way out of the paradox.

  80. If I recall correctly, some weeks ago you suggested that you would be doing a Peak Oil post in the near future. I would vote that this happen on the Fifth Wednesday post.

    Last April 28, 2020 out at Art Berman’s site, he posted a timeline of oil production. This showed peak Crude + Condensates (C+C) as of December, 2005, peak All-Liquids as of November, 2018, and peak Shale as of November 2019. Peak All-Liquids was at around 101 million barrels per day. (101 MBD) This in effect established a very slowly descending ceiling on the possible level of petroleum production.

    Before the effects of this could really become apparent, the Covid virus came, and our insane over-reaction to this caused an immense level of Demand Destruction, some 30 MBD in just three weeks time. This of course masked the effects of the gradually descending level of oil production. But now that things have been slowly “opening up,” a good deal of the 30MBD has been restored to production.

    So I will go out on a limb here, and make a prediction, with that riskiest of elements, a time factor included. I expect that in about a year, give or take a month or two, the re-opening economy will bump up against that ceiling of production, at somewhere between 95-98 MBD. Even at the low point of the virus-induced Demand Destruction, we were still producing 70 MBD; depletion never stops. Obviously, if there is another panic and large-scale Demand Destruction happens again, my timeline for this will be thrown off.

    So, in light of what appears to be our having our first real face-to-face confrontation with hard geological Peak Oil in about a year, I would suggest that the Fifth Wednesday be given over to this.

    Antoinetta III

  81. Just came across this – things could get very interesting.

    ““In two to three weeks, big things are going to happen on three different continents,” stressed Reiner Fuellmich, who works with some 200 to 300 other lawyers. Two former WHO employees testified to Fuellmich that pharmaceutical companies urged WHO in January 2020 to declare an international health crisis. This was necessary so that their experimental gene therapy – the “corona vaccine” – could be approved for emergency use.
    “All the people who have been vaccinated should have been informed in advance that this is not a vaccine but an experimental gene therapy – this has never been done before – and that there is no supporting medical research. This is an experiment. The people who are participating in it have not been informed. They are guinea pigs.”

    “Everyone who is a part of this – including the doctors who do the pricks, the people who run the place, the people who profit from this, and the governments who encourage people to get vaccinated – is responsible. These are really crimes against humanity. I think we need an international coroner’s court to clean up this mess.”

    No doubt some people will call this a conspiracy theory. The same ones who said that the man-made origin of covid was a conspiracy theory.

    http://www.opensourcetruth.com/dr-reiner-fuellmich-begins-legal-litigation-on-the-covid-19-fraud-the-greatest-crime-against-humanity/

  82. I worked briefly in academia on social science research, and I can assure you, most social science data is also total garbage (in case you hadn’t already guessed). Poorly designed studies, inconsistent and unreliable data, and zero problem with GIGO. The last straw was when some of the wage-slave research assistants tried to tell the well-paid professional researchers that “this data is messed up, you (we) have to go back and fix it”, and were told “we don’t have time” and to basically just use the garbage data to produce a garbage report, because the Almighty Funder wanted the report now. The people in charge of that mess were “respected researchers” in their field. Having seen how the sausages get made is part of what makes me so distrustful of experts and “studies say…”.

    As for 5th Wednesday, I add my vote to lost technology!

  83. @JMG. I second the nomination of an essay on WB Yeats! It was from this site that I learned about Yeats’ mystical side and I would like to know more.

  84. Here is yet another example of why so many Americans no longer trust many of the leading institutions in our society:

    It has been five months since the so-called “insurrection” at the Capitol Building and the US government still refuses to release the name of the Capitol Police officer who killed (many are saying murdered) Ashli Babbitt, even though amateur sleuths figured out who it was months ago by poring over video footage and other evidence and have posted his name and info online, including photographs and video stills that were taken moments before the shooting when he had his gun out and was getting ready to fire. The continuing refusal by the federales to publicly release the officers name is made even more curious by the fact that in every other high profile case involving a police shooting or other serious use of force by law enforcement, the names of the officers involved were promptly released. So why the secrecy in this case?

    That discrepancy and others has led many to wonder exactly what it is the government is trying to hide, especially in wake of what a lot of people believe was a whitewash of an investigation into her death and the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

  85. To speak to the question of sudden U-turns in general, in my experience any organization, or for that matter, government, whose policies suddenly do a 180, has undergone an internal coup, and a previously unheard-from faction is now in the driver’s seat.

    For the 5th week? I’d be interested in something about Yeats.

  86. My vote would be for a post on how we might begin to bridge the artificial left-right divides and create a movement that both recognizes the reality of decline and is able to push back against the failing and flailing efforts of the ruling class to manage the narrative and keep us divided against ourselves.

    I know you are not one to venture into idealism, but I still would like to see a “political platform” laid out for a project to create much needed change, at a time when it seems that small efforts could yield large results.

    Thanks for this post. Yes, we are entering into uncertain times. I see no obvious place for myself in a corporate dystopian progress-future, so I am approaching the years ahead with a perspective of cautious anticipation.

  87. On the flip side (sorta) of non-replicable research, I worked in a medical library (40 years ago) and one of the pediatric doctors/researchers was disgusted. She said that a lot of the research folks were doing then had been done in Germany years before (unclear exactly when she meant!) but no-one could be bothered to read in German or have it translated.

  88. My first instinct was that the lab escape theory is being given airtime so it can be publicly debunked and officially laid to rest. My second instinct was that the US needs something on which to base an official cold war and it will do as well as anything else might. It would also help Biden sway Democrats to support foreign policies similar to Trump’s.

    A couple weeks ago, the OECD’s energy agency issued a report claiming demand for oil had peaked in 2019 and recommending against developing any new oil or gas deposits for reasons of climate and sustainability.
    I know next to nothing about peak oil so don’t know if this is related. However, considering the worldwide over-reaction concerning corona, and the UN’s 2030 sustainability goals, is it possible that we are seeing the beginnings of a new narrative to explain away lateral progress? Already, I am seeing advertising for used phones instead of new ones. Perhaps pandemics and electrification will serve to cloak the fact we are running low on fossil fuels and that the future lies sideways or behind us?

    Third possibility: Corona was a test. Over the last couple years, with growing frequency, I’ve read about this institute or that company/national agency going down due to a cyber attack. They look like tests of critical infrastructure. Similiar events seem to be happening in the financial markets (sudden buys/sell-offs of massive stock quantities). What if everything happened at once, doing real damage (power and water grids down, stock of major companies in freefall, national agencies unable to respond, communication networks down, far more lethal virus(es) in circulation)?

    UFOs used to distract people and make for cute entertainment, but everyone knows what cameras are capable of these days. And a lot of people are at least peripherally aware that the US military can take pictures of their garden from a satellite, so I doubt anyone except the diehard fans is seriously falling for those stories.

  89. Hi John,

    I too have been working my way through The Life Divine. It’s been a tough slog, but makes for an interesting counterpoint to The Cosmic Doctrine. In fact, I was inspired to start reading The Life Divine by one of the CosDoc comment threads.

  90. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    I would like to recommend a book: Markoš Anton (2002) Readers of the book of life. Contextualizing evolutionary developmental biology. New York: Oxford University Press. It tackles and explains (very well, but also quite subtly) basically all the problems mentioned in this post from the perspective of a biologist and philosopher. (Even, perhaps, some aspects of why the official UFO narrative had to change. 😉

    I have decided to reread the book, since it seems to contain both interesting questions and answers. It also contains well scientifically explored information about some aspects of DNA. Most people are not aware of that a virus (even the simplest one) can decide. It can behave in malefic, neutral or beneficial way. It can multiply or become part of a cell’s DNA which can actually be a very good thing, because it enriches the information field of the cell (potentially of the whole organism), but there are still myriads more options.

    Little matter how much a virus is manipulated, as far as it remains a living organism it really can decide in surprising ways and act like that – but since most people do not know the basic results of this branch of research at all or do not take time to think about them, some questions, e.g. the very important question why some viruses decide to behave almost without exception destructively is usually not even properly and deeply enough asked…

    With regards,
    Markéta

  91. JMG and Logan, as a member of the LGBTQ community (I’m a B), I can attest to the fact that a large number of that community here in the Atlanta area are very conservative, most are out, and most don’t seem to get a lot of push-back from their fellow conservatives, who just seem happy that they’re also conservative. Of course, there are some people who will hate anyone who doesn’t line up with their beliefs, but that’s true of either side. Friends of mine from other areas of the country tell me similar stories from their areas. Basically, if you step away from the northeast and the west coast, and from places where ultra liberals congregate, then the LGBTQ community is usually pretty conservative. Sure, we want our civil rights, who wouldn’t, but we want them in the context of a sane and reasonable economic and social environment.

    JMG, I hear what you’re saying about the UFO thing and that may be true, but I come back to a discussion I had in the 1990s with a retired Air Force pilot. In the 1950s, he was stationed at an air base in south Georgia. One day, after taking off from said base on a routine flight, he observed a silver sphere, about the size of his air craft, a little to one side and just above him. He told me that this was no light in the sky. It was daylight and he could see the solid, spherical structure of the sphere. It paced him for a short time and then accelerated almost instantly up and away from him until, three or four seconds later, it was a small speck in the far distance. I’m not saying this was an alien craft, but I am saying that it could not have been CGI, which did not exist at that time. And, if it were our own technology, then people in our government between then and now need to be arrested for criminal incompetence for not building it into every relevant item of U.S. military hardware between then and there. There’s something going on, and I don’t think it’s all self delusion or government conspiracies, though some of it likely is one or the other.

    Finally, I cast my vote for Yeats.

    Thanks for the great post!

  92. One more vote for Yeats, please.

    The UFO thing seems to have reached a new low in unbelievability – it’s like they’re not even trying to be convincing anymore.

  93. >Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were unfairly scapegoated in my opinion

    Inevitably, someone wins the Gorby Prize, someone has to take responsibility for all the bad decisions, whether they made them or not. We’ve yet to see the Murican Gorbachev yet, but he’s coming sometime this decade, I’d guess.

    Also, I would remark, if nobody is responsible for anything then anyone is responsible for everything.

  94. Alas, the elites have options, not available to the Bourbons in 1789, these involving the ability to liquidate tens of millions (of Deplorables), even faster than was done by (the elites’ models) Stalin, Mao, & Pol Pot.
    At least hundreds of conventional *missiles* could be targeted/ fired, by very few specialized personnel.
    My guess is, that many/ most of the elites would far prefer that course, rather than endure the humiliation of any measurable decline in their power.

  95. It’s interesting. On one hand, as JMG explains, there’s a lot of bad science being done. On the other hand, industry is continuously churning out new legitimate inventions that are based upon an understanding of new science, so there’s clearly some good science going on.

    To be fair to scientists, I think a lot of this is more the fault of media and officials than scientists themselves. If you ever see a scientist asked directly about their study, most will put their finding into far less certain terms than you might think. They understand science deals more with probability that certainty.

    That said, I do think there are some people on this blog who reject scientific findings as a matter of course just because of their feelings of resentment toward experts, which is at least as bad as blindly accepting whatever the scientific establishment has to say.

  96. re: UFOs

    It’s not that UFOs aren’t real or that they aren’t out there doing weird things but that the deep state has taken this particular moment in time to flog them to the public instead of doing their usual suppression and exclusion. That’s the weird thing that both JMG and Brin (and others) have remarked on. Why the sudden change in policy? What’s really going on in that faceless bureaucracy? I think it’s almost given the deep state is deep unfriendly – what are they really after?

  97. William, I’ve added your suggestion. The thing I’d point out for the time being is that the current level of shrill hatred is unsustainable; something’s going to snap sooner or later — and when it does, things will change in a hurry.

    Oh, that would be so beautiful. We psychic-sensitives who have been suffering grievously ever since April 2016 would be able to sleep like normal people again! I suppose there’s a possibility I might die in whatever cataclysm induces the “snap”, but that would actually be preferable to having to live another 15-20 years like this. (Note to commentariat: I’m going to stop reading and ignore any comments that purport to tell me the “real reason” why people like me can’t sleep normally anymore. It’s bad enough having to deal with normies who think we can’t sleep because “You’re crazy”.)

  98. “For every person who insists that the virus isn’t a problem and refuses to take the vaccine, there’s another person who claims that the vaccine isn’t good enough and insists on wearing a mask and staying six feet away from everyone else even when official pronouncements insist that these steps are no longer necessary.”

    Yeah, I notice a lot of these PMC types only seem to criticise the regime when it isn’t extremist enough for them. It’s really a false opposition. They attack the system only when it decides to soften up on some of its more insane policies. I suppose it’s kind of a “never give an inch” mindset, where any concession is seen as giving power to so-called “subversives” and the “unwashed masses”, thereby undermining the regime itself and their own privileged positions within it. Many such cases throughout history!

    In response to Logan’s comment (#5) and your response (JMG) in #45, sadly for those in the LGBT community who don’t identify themselves with the neoliberal regimes, they’ll likely be tarred with the same brush. They already are much of the time. It’s like you’ve said of the scientific method – it’s been so heavily twisted and corrupted in service of this regime, even though the scientific method itself provides no support for it. In both cases (science and the LGBT community), those who claim to speak for them the loudest have tied their fates to the regime and will face the consequences accordingly. Unfortunately, those consequences will have much wider implications for a lot of people who had nothing to do with these perversions.

  99. Hi, JMG. I’ve been reading you since the Archdruid Report. I was deeply affected by a video on the freemasons acting as a front for Satanism. I’d like to hear your thoughts as well as the purported elite agenda to usher in a new age coupled with massive population reduction. Only those bearing a mark (of the beast) will be able to participate in the new society. Deeply troubling. https://rumble.com/vhgzmp-insider-exposes-freemasonry-as-worlds-oldest-religion-and-luciferian-plans-.html

  100. Dear JMG,

    I am an engineer who works in the sciences and basically agree with everything you have said in this essay. This article was written 15 years ago and things have got substantially worse since then:
    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

    For the extra Wednesday I would be very interested to hear your recent thoughts about how you see geopolitics over the next decade or two. Particularly in SE Asia and Europe.

    Thanks, Nerd

  101. Logan, thanks for the clarification. The question is whether the prospective human shields will have the common sense to do an end run around the mass media and make their own contacts with the populist movement, so that when things heat up they aren’t in the path of the mobs. From what I’ve seen, that’s already well under way.

    David BTL, one of the major challenges facing prediction in the twilight of any dying regime is that what replaces it is a function of cascading events that can’t be anticipated reliably. Individual choices and bits of dumb luck affecting individuals have an outsized power at such times. All one can say for sure is that things will change. (I’ve added your vote to the list.)

    Clay, something like that — yeah. Or some other massive long term health consequence.

    Mister N, I tend to see it as simple greed in action. If the coronavirus can be treated safely and effectively with Ivermectin, then the profits to be made by selling people (or governments) vaccine booster shots every year go out the window, and so does the hope of making any kind of profit on failed drugs like Remdesvir. I’m pretty sure the pharmaceutical industry was hoping to turn coronavirus vaccines into a cash cow like influenza vaccines, and Ivermectin threatens to snatch that away from them.

    Bridge, yep. That’s one of the ways in which the culture of sloppy science functions. As for Pinchbeck, interesting. If they’ve lost him, the collapse in credibility is spreading far and fast.

    Jerry, now there’s a blast from the past. (Your vote has been added.)

    Scotlyn, well, by the Black Goat and all Her kids! That sounds rather uncannily like something one of the characters in my tentacle fiction would say… 😉

    Casey, yes, I could see that, too — then the question is just how secure the system is, because someone else could presumably hack it…

    Bird, I don’t have a theory about the origins of the virus. As for meat shortages, I notice that a lot of things are running short in the US just now. Interestingly, that also happened right before the 1973 oil crisis, and right before the 2007 oil crisis. Not that I’m predicting anything, mind you… 😉

    Kimberly, I’m keeping my ears open for the sound of tumbrils in the streets.

    Tony C, it’s on the list, but be warned — the kind of economy that functions during a time of contraction may not be anything like what you’re thinking of.

    Bird, Talleyrand was a consummate survivor, and one of the great diplomats of his age. I don’t happen to know whether Bismarck studied him, but there are certainly parallels.

    Karim, that’s certainly one very plausible trigger for serious trouble. Your final conclusion strikes me as precisely correct, too.

    Harry, and it’s true that using UFOs as a scare tactic for political and economic reasons was already being discussed in 1967, at least in the pages of Report from Iron Mountain.

    Oilman2, I’ve come to wonder if the whole point of the woke phenomenon is to increase the amount of hatred directed at African-Americans, gays, lesbians, and other minority groups, since dividing the working classes against themselves has been a standard gimmick on the part of the privileged classes for a long time. This would certainly qualify. (Your suggestion is on the list.)

    Dr. Coyote, that would make a great deal of sense.

    Clarke, I’ve added that to the list. The term I tend to use is “theosphere” — the parallel to the biosphere is exact, since there are various theoregions, each with its own distinctive theota.

    Skyrider, duly noted. I read some of Brin’s stuff back in the day, but his style of SF doesn’t turn my crank and I have far too much else to read! Thanks for your kind words about Star’s Reach — I tried to be very hard-SF in that work.

    Oleg, ha! That’s a fascinating hypothesis and, I think, a plausible one. (And if I researched it, I’d doubtless find plenty of evidence as long as I was excited about it…)

    DFC, oh, granted, I remember that letter. The whole point of it, of course, was to squeeze out native varieties of rice so that the big seed combines would have even more of a stranglehold on the world’s food supply than they already have. The same corporations could have provided a year’s supply of vitamin A pills to everyone affected for far less…

    Christopher, funny. An Edsel hubcap — or, say, a chicken incubator — would have been more convincing than the blobs on film the Pentagon is showing off!

    Augusto, so noted.

    Anonymous, that’s certainly one very real possibility. It really does feel like we’re moving toward some kind of crisis — but I don’t claim to know what kind, either. As for MDs, you must have heard the old joke. “What’s difference between God and a doctor? God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.”

    Piper, an excellent metaphor!

    Slithy, I do indeed remember that. Remember that to the science-mad, “anti-science” means “what do you mean we can’t do whatever we want?”

    Matt, it’s on the list.

    1Wanderer, exactly. The current regime in most Western countries is very brittle precisely because our leadership is so inept and so disconnected from the world outside the bubble of privilege. Once that happens it’s not a question of if there’ll be radical change — just when.

    Lydia, it’s on the list.

    Walt, the thing that struck me is that there was literally no positive comments at all. I get the impression that most people in science and engineering are just as appalled by this business as I am. As for my critique of science as currently practiced, you’re most welcome. My take, as far as the other critiques, is that most of them come from the broader context of the culture of sloppy science, which is the culture of sloppy thinking that pervades today’s industrial cultures. Postmodern faddishness is partly a cause of that but much more a result; once people convince themselves that the world is whatever they want it to be, this is the kind of problem you can expect.

    Brother J, it feels the same way to me — the descent into crisis seems to be picking up speed. I’m not sure whether the first thing we hit is terminal velocity, or the ground.

    Cliff, it’s always struck me that the best way to respond to eliminative materialists like Dennett is to treat them as unconscious objects. If they make a noise that sounds like speech, assume that it doesn’t mean anything, since there’s no person there to generate or experience meaning. Express sympathy for the fact that they don’t have minds, even though the rest of us do. I suspect you’d get a reaction very quickly! But you may well be right more broadly — the one way out of the paradox they’ve created for themselves is to stop reasoning and start parroting slogans, the way a mindless machine does.

    Antoinetta, that’s on the list. Have you been watching the price of oil recently, btw? Brent is now above $71 a barrel…

    Bridge, interesting. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

    El, thanks for this! None of it surprises me — social sciences are extremely difficult to do well, since controlling the variables is essentially impossible, and of course the influence of ideologies and economic issues is always pervasive. Assembly-line science — yeah, that figures. (I’ve added your vote to the list.)

    Gnat, so noted.

    Galen, it seems to me that a case could be made, given the intensity of the passions surrounding that event, that if that officer’s identity was publicly admitted, his life wouldn’t be worth two plugged nickels.

    Patricia M, that’s certainly an explanation that would make sense — the question is where the palace coup has taken place. (Your vote has been tabulated.)

    Mark, it’s on the list — but if I knew how to do that, I’d have proposed it a long time ago.

    Mike, that doesn’t surprise me in the least. Americans are so miserably ignorant about other languages!

    Piglet, hmm — that would make sense. The price of oil is rising again to levels that inflict real economic pain, and despite the handwaving about green energy we don’t have the capacity to support our transportation grid on renewables — anyone who claims this needs to explain how we’re going to double the amount of electrical generation capacity for the grid, or pay for a whole new infrastructure of hydrogen stations….

    Galen, it does indeed. I’ve been comparing it to Schopenhauer, whom Aurobindo clearly had read; the two of them are in some ways flipsides of each other, since Schopenhauer was a European philosopher strongly influenced by Hindu philosophy while Aurobindo was the reverse. Fascinating stuff.

    Marketa, interesting. Thanks for this!

    Chronojourner, thanks for the reality check on LGBTQ issues. As for the silver sphere, a lot of people spotted those at that time. The US was testing secret high-altitude balloons at that time, which are in fact silvery spheres, and which can move very, very fast vertically when they drift into thermals. That said, you’re quite correct that there’s more going on — I argued in my book that there are at least four things driving UFO reports. It’s just that none of them are alien spacecraft. (Your vote’s on the list.)

    Kfish, agreed– the latest vagaries of the system are astonishingly cackhanded. (Your vote’s on the list too.)

  102. So many great suggestions for 5th Wednesday. I vote we add a 5th Wednesday to every month.

  103. Mouse, so why didn’t the leaders of the Soviet Union do that? They had at least as many missiles, you know.

    Kel, there are still some new legitimate inventions, sure, but most of what’s being marketed as new technology is just repackaging or adding another layer of unproductive complexity — and there’s a vast amount of bad science on the part of scientists. Media and officials are only part of the issue.

    Owen, and of course that’s the big question. Why this, why now?

    Mr. N, you won’t be hearing that from me. I’m not especially psychically sensitive but now and again I’m up until dawn because the energies are so toxic.

    Mr. White, in both cases it’s up to individuals to do an end run around the official channels of communication and make contact with the opposition. If enough of that happens, I think there’s a real chance that the worst consequences can be avoided.

    Brian, a century ago the kind of people who circulate this drivel were insisting that Jews make Passover matzoh with the blood of Christian babies. Now it’s the Freemasons who are being targeted with equally hateful lies. It’s embarrassing what fanaticism and bigotry will do to people’s brains.

    Your Kittenship, duly noted.

    Nerd, thanks for this — and your suggestion’s on the list.

    Jack, alas, I don’t have that much clout with the makers of calendars!

    Quinshi, so noted.

  104. Hi John,
    In your own research, did you come across any evidence that advanced military projects aka UFOs were using any fundamentally new energy sources or making use of any fundamentally new physical principles?
    P.S. You and Dave Brin may agree on one other thing: the plausibility of the “Postman” scenario when society fragments and declines from overcomplexity in the face of multiple crises.

  105. Fifth Wednesday topic: your take on how and by whom Biden’s Super Tuesday victory over Sanders was orchestrated.

  106. I second Lydia’s vote for a post about what brought about the acrimonious nature of the times in which we currently live. 🙂

  107. @ JMG RE: woke hatred…

    My youngest kids used to watch that particular show – what have they put in the drinking water to imagine this will sit well with parents, cisgender or otherwise?

    If, as you elude to, this is an effort to engender and ignite hatred, then it might work to that effect with those already predisposed to hate anything “not us”. For many of us, we have been ok with the whole homosexual thing for a good while – but a loving and caring parent would want their child to grow into what they are, not force them into becoming something they are not. There is a reason that most parents disallow their children to watch this type of programming <—–a very apt word…

    I'm almost of the opinion that the wokesters are flinging poo at the walls of our society to see what mixture sticks the best….

    RE: oil price…
    if the JCPOA is continued, and sanctions dropped, then Iranian oil hits the market and price will fall again. That would mean loss of long term pricing floor, which is what is used to justify exploration expenditures. Our illustrious Admin is working very hard to provide sanctions relief to Iran, via the EU as well. Thus if the price of oil drops back again, then exploration drilling will remain at a near standstill, while depletion creeps ever onward.

    You have heard of DUC wells (drilled but uncompleted)? I had a client with over 95 DUC wells, most over 2 years old. Upon re-entering several of these wells to complete and frack, they were found to have collapsed – making them scrap. Currently, this client is re-entering DUC #5, and that means they have 3 good and two shot going forward. So remember that just because they were drilled, it doesn't mean they will ever produce a drop.

  108. Regarding the likely consequences of a Covid-19 lab leak origin being conclusively confirmed: Among my skeptics’ community I’ve gotten stony silence in response to my suggestion that, should the lab leak hypothesis turn out to be correct, there will and should be major consequences for research in that and related fields. In that milieu any claim no matter how absurd gets discussed. (I could claim I rowed to the moon in a bathtub and get a ten-page thread discussing why it’s implausible.) So such stony silences are always telling. As was the one exception to the silence, a comment to the effect of “we still need that research to keep us safe from future novel virus threats.” As if, when millions die and major industries are disrupted worldwide, you can just say “oopsie” and expect to continue on as before.

    That’s a frightening thought, because there’s no “due process” to follow in such a case, so it might look like doing nothing is a viable option, or that nothing can be done. Either of which would have toxic long-term effects, for which the Affair of the Necklace is indeed an apt analogy.

  109. For 5th Wednesday, I vote for ancient technologies. (But maybe for a future post, because it looks like Yeats is ahead.)

    About the cack-handedness of the mutating Official Narrative, I would amend a previous post (one of JMG’s? I don’t remember.) Yes, we live in a magician state, run by evil sorcerers. But they are increasingly incompetent evil sorcerers!

  110. One thing that comes to mind that I’d like you to consider writing in is, given how everyone generally assumes that those folks over there are either exactly like us or totally evil, how we can protect ourselves and our communities from falling into either side of that binary trap.

  111. Regarding the fifth Wednesday post, I would like to cast my vote for the discussion of ancient civilizations and their vanished technologies.

    Thanks for another stimulating post and discussion!

    -Solarfed

  112. To Harry (#43)

    I’ve noticed with some amusement how this virus seems to be dangerous primarily to people with metabolic disorders (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.). If somebody wanted to engineer a virus to attack Americans and not Chinese, for example, that would be one way to do it.

  113. I think the average person doesn’t realise how different our current institutionalised ‘science’ is from the era of great science. Great science seems to require large amounts of leisure to pursue something for its own sake. Thus, Darwin was a man of independent means. Wallace financed his passion collecting specimens for the wealthy. Mendel lived in monastery. Einstein worked in a patent office etc. Similarly, Freud started modern psychology partly by organising a meeting on Wednesday evenings in Vienna that was attended only by about a dozen interested people for years before turning into something more substantial.

    These days we almost don’t have scientists, we have academics and academics have salaries and pension plans which are paid for either by government or vested financial interests. Add to that the fact that the peer review process explicitly dissuades from new and interesting breakthroughs. To secure their career, an academic must get published and the easiest way to do that is to tell others what they want to hear. Now add in zero sum politics where a large group of people are chasing after a limited number of paid positions. Put it all together and you get a system that’s almost perfectly designed to produce groupthink which is why modern academia is, among other things, spectacularly boring.

  114. Synchronicity abounds.
    I can’t tolerate too much National Propaganda Radio anymore, but I like to check what the party line is each day. Mostly I just listen to the headlines (first 5 or 6 minutes) and turn it off. Sometimes I’ll check the website and see if I want to hear any of their stories.
    Anyway, tonight on all things considered they had a story about how people increasingly don’t trust the media, and another one that ended with something to the effect of “expect more cyber attacks”.
    Are they actually telling the truth this time, or is it some kind of propaganda, or both? I suppose all the best lies have a kernel of truth imbedded deep down in them to give it some weight.

  115. To Cliff (#82)

    Back in my student days (and for some time after), I struggled to make sense of things from the standpoint of scientific materialism. Arguing from principles – meaning mechanistic physics – it seemed to me that the only logical conclusion was that the universe cannot exist, and I certainly cannot experience it. Empirically speaking, though, both of those conclusions are clearly false. It took me an embarrassingly long time to come around to the realization that the absurd conclusions were an indication that my premises were false.

  116. JMG,

    From your suggestion, I started reading Hieronymous’ book “The Story of Eloptic Energy”. Halfway through, Hieronymous mentioned another book by Max Long called “The Secret Science Behind Miracles.” He referenced that book to try to explain the nature of the force that was allowing his machine to work.

    So that other book turned out to be an examination of the shamans of Hawaii and Polynesia, who were called “kahunas”. It discussed their magical abilities such as fire-walking, healing by the laying on of hands, changing the near future, along with discussing the source of the force behind magic. Have you seen this book and what are your thoughts on this type of magic?

    It’s fascinating to look back almost 70 years and see researchers struggling to understand, and express in words, the underlying “fabric” that our universe is made of. I’ve just finished a couple of laymen books on quantum physics, and a similar struggle has been going on there over the last 100 years. My guess, for now, is that for science to remain relevant into the medium-future, they will have to acknowledge “consciousness” as a real entity and admit their limited knowledge, and that the universe, all of matter, is “alive”.

    As a last aside, I’ve heard that the original version of Maxwell’s Equations had a component for consciousness. Have you heard this? I don’t have the math yet to understand his equations, though I am working on that…

  117. Hey hey JMG,

    I was talking to a friend recently about the lab leak 180 and the replication crisis. We talk about politics that are far from mainstream, not red or blue team, but things like Noam Chompsky’s Manufacturing Consent, the 2019 Bolivian coup, Putin’s 2014 UN speach blaming the US for the mess that gave rise to the Islamic State, or the UN general assembly voting to condemn the US for embargoing Cuba every year since 1992. Stuff that doesn’t fit the dominant narrative but is generally not well known. It’s not secret, but one has to go looking for it because it will not be in the MSM.

    The lab leak is different because it is well known. We didn’t talk about the navy announcing UFOs, but there are a few other well knowns that you might want to add to your list. 1st amongst them Jeffery Epstein’s death. It was well publicized and only 1/3rd of Americans believe the official narrative. I don’t know if we will ever hear the full story, but polling indicates that 2/3rds of the country believe that they are being lied to by the government and the media.

    Trust in the government and the media has been falling for decades, Gallup keeps polls of confidence in US institutions and the president, congress, police, courts, media, banks, and big businesses have all fallen to very low levels. Pretty much the only institution that Americans still trust is the military. The question is how low can it go before the institutions cease to function? What does that look like when it happens?

    On a different note, the coup in Bolivia was overturned in a single year and the left returned stronger than before. The coup participants were arrested and scheduled to be tried in court. The US’s ability to topple democracies in small countries and establish friendly regimes in our own backyard has faltered. It looks to me like the US is losing its touch. This sort of thing used to be standard practice.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  118. Mr. Greer,

    I love that old chestnut. Here’s one bandied around the law school and courthouse

    What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in medical school?

    I don’t know. What?

    Doctor.

    If you think that’s scary, what do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in law school?

    What?

    Your Honor.

  119. et all: I really liked Brin’s book, “The Postman.” And, the movie made from it. So when I tried to read his other books … well, I was disappointed. After awhile, I just didn’t bother, anymore. Lew

  120. @clay dennis – I think Chuck Marohn over at Strong Towns would disagree with the idea that engineers as a group are not as subject as any other scientists to political tinkering with their results. He’s shown you can build an entire transportation safety system deliberately designed not to transport people safely (or planes that go crash, or buildings that make people sick, etc.) and absolutely not get stopped for it; your funders or political handlers will come for you, too, if you blow the whistle.

    And, as a Professional Agrologist (resignation in good standing to be a politician) many other scientists (and especially those in medicine) have professional designations that give them stamps and the ability to be sued or disbarred for not doing their science right.

    There are two issues we all face: we all have to serve the interests of both the client AND the public, and those are not necessarily the same, even if the client is the government, who supposedly has the same boss, because industry still pays them. We also all have to uphold our discipline itself – recruit more, foster career development, etc. And – to paraphrase some guy or other – politics happens whenever humans get within shouting distance of each other, so professional bodies themselves develop power hierarchies that mean some individuals will begin to create The One True Science about whatever their pet specialty is.

    Of course, it gets even worse if we remove the idea of professionals. My last client was a permaculture farmer who I was working on a soil fertility study with, and he told me about when he went to an ecovillage who were starting to work with biochar. He was interested, as he’d been experimenting himself, and asked them how they’d charged it before application. They said they don’t bother, because Starhawk (yup, that one) just casts a spell on it.

    There’s a lot we don’t know about soil fertility yet, but, to paraphrase that guy again – soil fertility is still not whatever you want it to be. Findhorn was a demonstration of that; their soil tests came out perfect – scientists were able to measure that their site was fertile, their plants were large and verifiably healthy. They also independently confirmed large swathes of conventional scientific knowledge about soil amendments and pest management, but from an entirely different angle.

    Honestly, I feel the conflict between professional versus crank only arises because for some reason everyone has decided to listen to the people who play “who are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ ‘eyes?”

  121. Some months ago I got an email detailing one of the furthest-out conspiracy theories I’ve heard that didn’t involve lizard people or outright supernaturalism: that the virus known as COVID-19 is not actually the cause of the pandemic, but was falsely blamed in order to conceal the real cause, namely the rollout of 5G. If it had come from some rando with enough money to buy a mailing list with my name on it, I’d have trashed it and forgotten it, but this was from Sally Fallon Morell. She wrote Nourishing Traditions, a book I’ve been recommending for twenty years as a guide to squeezing every possible nutrient out of your food. That book challenged a lot of the conventional nutritional wisdom of the times, and many of its stances have since been vindicated, notably those regarding dietary fats. She has a track record. Furthermore, given the level of evil that we’ve seen from the rarefied heights of the corporate world, I wouldn’t be exactly shocked to learn that, if a useful bit of technological infrastructure were found to kill the old and the disabled while leaving the productive and the potentially productive mostly unharmed, they would see that as a feature, not a bug.

  122. I also vote for Yeats. Another subject I hope can be addressed in some future post is what might replace our current method of education. I have my own ideas and would like to hear those of others. I do insist that universal literacy is a necessary goal, and it shouldn’t take 12 years to accomplish.

    If I may, I listen about once every week or two to a leftish radio program. This morning there were complaints about help wanted signs all over the participants’ towns–as if that were a problem! To me that sounds like jobs for high school and college kids for the first time in I can’t remember how long. For the program participants, well, this is of course the result of Trump’s immigration policies, and we need more immigrants. sigh Naturally not a word was whispered about the disconnect between housing prices and wages.

  123. @JMG: I had a dream a few nights ago that featured a hologram, projected on the sky, of the UN building toppling over, so there’s that…I didn’t really know where that came from until this post, which reminded me of your earlier mention of the pledge. Thank you!

  124. JMG, in post #99, on the USSR:
    Quite pertinent question.
    I’ll bet, that the Sov brass didn’t hate the Russian people nearly as much, as this current crop hates the Deplorables.

    BTW, for an expert view of what’s popping in science recently, see Brett Weinstein interviewing Pierre Kory, on Ivermectin’s successful prevention and treatment of Covid, and its suppression.
    Watch while it’s still up, esp. c. 1/2 hour in, on how docs are now mostly just stenographers, or some such.

  125. I thought it was well known that Freemason food rituals involved bacon cheeseburgers 🍔, not baby-burgers. Harrumph. Boneheads (the bigots, not the Freemasons).

    More seriously, the outgroup ALWAYS gets hit with this canard. You’d think after all these centuries there’d be a little more variety.

  126. Yeats is leading by a country mile, so I don’t expect to, but I would like to hear more of your thoughts about Jung – anything at all.

  127. I would vote for a post on peak oil with a particular focus on the fact that, as far as I am aware, no one has ever done the calculation of what it would take to make renewables self sustainable.

    I see lots of articles claiming renewables are already a cheaper source of energy than fossil fuels. I cant help but wonder how anyone could possibly know that given to be sure you would need to run the experiment of running all the exploration and mining operations, steel production, manufacturing, transportation, installation and maintenance operations on only renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.

    As things stand today all of these steps in the production of these renewable energy systems use massive amounts of fossil fuels and the existing energy infrastructure and transmission systems. If you cant make renewables using only renewables then trying to manufacture 100’s of millions to billions of solar panels and wind turbines is just going to cause a massive spike in fossil fuel usage.

    Seems to me we are going to use more coal, oil and gas trying to transition *unless* someone proves renewables are self sustaining with high EROEI.

  128. In the vein of coming signs of a stair step down the ladder of collapse is something I have been thinking about with regards to Portland’s violent antifa mobs. Originally I figured they were some sort of dem party brown shirts funded to cause the orange king to overreact. But in Portland they have kept up their window breaking antics despite the installation of the Biden regime and being ostracized from the local BLM movement. I peer at the occasional mug shot and examine the graffiti on the walls near by shop in North Portland looking for clues. Today it dawned on me. You have often described that as empires fall both internal and external war bands gain power and fill the vacuum left by the decline in power, authority and respect of the official government. The seeds of these future war bands are easy to identify, cartels, ethnic street gangs and right wing militias and such. But no one thought that war bands could spring from the left leaning children of the comfortable classes. But I think that is what antifa is , the disillusioned children of the disfunctional fringes of the comfortable class. They became clustered in portland in other places as they were billed as hip playgrounds for “cool kids”.But given the lack of any kind of ethnic culture or power structure it left a spot for left leaning war bands to emerge. After all in the coming collapse who is better suited to rule the progressive white enclaves such as Portland, Williamsburg, Silver Lake and echo park.

  129. In the vid to which I referred just above, Dr. Kory stresses that, in the good old days, doctors making House Calls would see patterns that today’s bureaucrat-types miss.

  130. Greg, no, I didn’t. What I found was that encounters partaking of high strangeness all had the earmarks of personal visionary experiences, while encounters that had the markers of physical events could all be readily explained by the current generation of secret Air Force projects.

    Brett, I’ve added it to the list.

    Mr. Nobody, so noted.

    Jack, I discuss that here.

    Oilman2, if Iran gets out of sanctions, that may push the next price spike a few years further down the road — but not much more than that. Yes, I’m familiar (theoretically!) with DUC wells — is it common for those to collapse like that, or is this something relatively new?

    Walt, yeah, that’s what I would have expected. To an embarrassing extent, the skeptic movement has been turned into a wholly owned subsidiary of the medical industry’s marketing wing — it’s not accidental that there’s a 1.0 correlation between those medical modalities skeptics accept as scientifically valid and those that make a profit for the mainstream medical industry, nor that there’s a 1.0 correlation between those that don’t make a profit for the mainstream medical industry and those that skeptics denounce as crackpot pseudoscience.

    John, riffing off your metaphor, maybe they’ve lost control of the entities they summoned. I’m reminded of the end of King Gorice XII in The Worm Ouroboros, who perished so:

    BoysMom, it’s on the list.

    Solarfed, your vote’s been tallied.

    Simon, that’s an excellent point. Quite a few of the great scientific advances in the 17th and 18th centuries were the work of clergymen, who were very busy on Sundays but had a lot of free time the rest of the week!

    Adam, that’s pretty good.

    Wet Dog, a lot of people in the mid-20th century turned to Long’s book as a source of theoretical concepts — and it has much to offer it. Half a century earlier they were turning to Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine for the same thing. As for Maxwell’s equations, they’re completely over my head, but that’s fascinating to hear.

    Tim, I’ve noticed that as well. Maybe it’s not just Joe Biden who needs to be assessed for cognitive impairments…

    Millennial, funny.

    Lew, I enjoyed Startide Rising and The Uplift War too, but his style of SF more generally doesn’t turn my crank.

    Joan, I heard that from several sources quite a while ago. You’d think that if it was true, people concerned with the 5G rollout would be able to document the connection.

    Mary, I’ve tabulated your vote. As for the people on the radio program, well, of course they’re upset. That means that the working classes will get a larger share of the national wealth, and the class that the radio program represents — the privileged classes, that is — will have to settle for slightly less.

    JimmyD, hmm! Funny,

    Mouse, why do you think that?

    Your Kittenship, nah, green beans. Those play so relentless a part in Masonic dinners that it’s a running joke in some jurisdictions that that’s what the G in the square and compasses stands for. As for the unoriginality of bigots, well, yeah.

    Rose, so noted!

    Off the Pools, have you visited Tom Murphy’s blog Do The Math? He does the math, and explains in great detail exactly how little those claims mean.

    Clay, you know, I could see that.

    Mouse, that’s a fine point. Of course doctors actually spent time with their patients in those days!

  131. Solarfed said: I would like to cast my vote for the discussion of ancient civilizations and their vanished technologies.

    I would like to second that.

    Regards

  132. seconding Joan’s 5G reference, an alternate, perhaps less far-fetched take might be that C19 served multiple purposes. Among them, to both distract from 5G installation rollout & keep folks restricted from moving about as freely as usual during said roll-out, so as to make for fewer prying eyes. The impending official launch of Amazon’s “Sidewalk” IoT livemapping & Apple’s incoming pivot to founding their i-Empire on an interactive global 3D live-map (IP addresses for each cubic yard or so?) are developments worthy of attention & critical examination, imho

  133. I was glad to read about skeptical comments on the pledge. As an engineer with Aspergers syndrome, the drive to be a good engineer is pronounced. One of the hallmarks of a good engineer is having opinions that are justifiable and well researched. This naturally brings conflicts with your team who disagree with you or form lazy opinions, so finding balance with them becomes important to get work done. Engineers walk this fine line everyday, so I’m not surprised at all to see comments openly disagreeing with the pledge.

  134. I’m bummed that the UFO stuff is so shoddy that no one is buying it. I wanted to go full time-foil hat and say that the powers that be are preparing us for an alien invasion so that they can continue to impose more stringent social controls (just as depicted in many as Sci-fi stories).

    One thought is that the main stream media and its allies is crashing and burning now that they don’t have DT to get everyone agitated. Various powerful interests can slide a lot of stuff by when the noise to signal ratio is amped up. Fewer social scandals and Orange Julius outrages means people actually pick up on news articles like housing prices and the way that billionaires get to keep gaming the system. DT did provide a distraction from noticing the wheels coming off.

    Totally off topic, but you’ve talked about this in the past – thought you might be interested. https://therealnews.com/worker-cooperatives-prove-your-job-doesnt-have-to-be-hell

    It seems like Yeats is the leading candidate which would be great, but I hope some day you might explore how religion and magic were integrated in past cultures like Sumer and Egypt. Astrology and magic were so much more intrenched. I wonder about the times in the past where magic may have been so co-opted and defamed that it was in the same position the science seems to be now, and religion was in other times.

    Thanks for always providing so much food for thought.

    Sincerely,
    Candace

  135. JMG,

    Another excellent post. Our society’s deepening epistemological crisis is just as big a problem as peak oil or climate change. It may well prove to be the most important of all to present generations and future archaeologists when we attempt to find an explanatory trigger for the end of Pax Americana.

    Keeping in this theme, my suggestion for the fifth Wednesday post is an analysis of the Q-Anon movement.

  136. William Hunter Duncan #48 said “Maybe you could discuss that next week, should trouble come in the form of a kind of collapse of the power structures in empire America, something of the how to be about it?” Malleus M. #35 suggested “Perhaps we should brush up on Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defence…” It seems to me they are both pointing at similar topics. This month would be a particularly appropriate time for you to share information on the best steps we could take to cope with an uncertain and difficult time.

  137. As a follow-up to your assertion about what is behind the UFO stuff, and as much as I want to believe it’s a military smokescreen, I’d like you to write about the Archons and the Demiurge and what the old Mystery schools thought about it. Perhaps the dependency and soon decline of technology has put us in just the vulnerable spot that has been waited for?

  138. Yep.

    And this is not limited to science. I think what’s happening is part of the cycle of social collapse, as outlined by Tainter, yourself in the catabolic collapse paper, and others.

    As resources get spread more thinly people lack the time and incentive to do their job properly (e.g. peer reviewing, replication studies for example). The maintenance work isn’t done properly, and things fall apart. Trades, and teaching, are other examples I’m aware of.

    This feeds into a generalised loss of trust and polarisation as people aren’t looked after, which compromises our ability to cooperate with each other. I know you’re not a fan of Peter Turchin, JMG, but I really think he’s onto something with his work developing Goldstone’s structural demographic theory.

    Cheers,
    Graeme (an engineer)

  139. Clay Dennis

    “Unlike scientists who live a political life based on the whims of their funders, engineers live in the hard reality of the physical world. If an engineer chooses to succumb to political pressure or economic shortcuts when designing something like a pedestrian bridge over a highway and it collapses as a result that engineer ( who’s stamp is on the drawings) is liable.”

    I’m sure you’re familiar with this:

    https://fee.org/articles/woke-educators-release-letter-declaring-objective-math-a-form-of-white-supremacy/

    “Beyond activism, these recommendations also argue that traditional approaches to math education promote racism and white supremacy, such as requiring students to show their work or prioritizing correct answers to math problems. The document claims that current math teaching is problematic because it focuses on “reinforcing objectivity and the idea that there is only one right way” while it ‘also reinforces paternalism.’ ”

    When these “woke” math students become woke engineers and start designing bridges, better take the long way around.

  140. Re UFO propaganda.

    Perhaps the topic is actually irrelevant / the misdirection itself. It occurs to me that the topic is an excellent excuse to establish and strengthen direct lines of communication between the media and the military. The pentagon taking direct action in an attempt to fill the obvious power vacuum that exists under the Biden administration would explain a lot of the recent turns.

  141. Mr Greer,

    Just thinking about all the different things mentioned, I know as Jerusalem and the Jewish lurched towards destruction in and around 70 AD, there was a lot of what the Rabbis called “ baseless hatred” and a lot of different “Messiahs” and much of what we would call “ national populism. There is a reoccurring statement in the Gospels “ they feared the People”. There was even at least one plague in Judea that I am aware of… and a lot of demon possessed people seemed to be wandering around..

    So I am wondering if – Fauci and Bill Gates being possibly thrown to the wolves and the adoption of what is a popular alternative explanation of Covid’s origin, and now “ the Messiahs” of alien civilizations possibly coming to save us bring talked up, depending on how you view them ( I guess President Trump could possibly fall into that bracket too? and I saw a film where Vulcan technology and progress came with a first alien contact) – the ideas and conversation we are seeing are in it’s entirety unfortunately all part of the collapse of both America, and what remains of the rump of Roman western Civilization?

    That theory does mean really as well that we are effectively leaderless. Our rulers are letting the tide of public and popular ideas rule them in the hope of survival. I’m not sure that scapegoating and bloodletting doesn’t follow along as a matter of course with that kind of situation? I think Violet’s comments are very pertinent. Keeping one’s spirits up and not going into a state of despair and hopelessness seems more important than ever.

    I’d be interested especially in hearing more of your opinions on how we live in a healthy way in the days coming up, and also Decline versus Collapse or your oil opinions or any opinions on geopolitics in Europe and Asia.

  142. Fifth wednesday topic suggestion: the process of reading.
    I think you wrote about it in the past. I’m unable to find it though.

  143. “You might want to look into the gay and lesbian groups who are distancing themselves from the rest of the alphabet soup because their rights are being trampled in the current transgender furor.”

    Here’s one, for example.

    http://disaffected.fm/

  144. @Joan and JMG,
    Several people including Dr. Magda Havas and Dr. Paul Doyon have been documenting the connection between 5G and the severity of the COVID pandemic. The latter tended to cherry-pick in my opinion, but Havas & Tsiang (2021) were meticulous. They deal with it statistically, and there could be reason within that to cast doubt, but the criticisms I’ve heard so far have been thought-stoppers by people who clearly hadn’t read their report. In the summer of 2020, any mention of 5G in connection with COVID became subject to censorship and attacked as disinformation by conspiracy theorists, so no public discussion of this was allowed. My impression is that the things being subjected to this kind of censorship are topics the Powers That Be do not want examined publicly, whether it be to protect crucial cash cows or agendas. The same WHO that changed the definition of “immunity” last year to refer only to that provided by vaccines is the one that has sat on information about harm from radiofrequency radiation for 20 years since their own Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland brought forth evidence that she herself was affected by cellphone radiation enough to be able reliably to tell whether someone entering her office had a hidden cellphone on or off. She resigned shortly thereafter, has stayed quiet since, and the WHO considers her condition to be purely psychological.

  145. The exchange about conditions in Portland during the last Open Post showed me in a strong way that nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult, if not impossible, to know what is really going on. Even the most intelligent and independent person is dependent on the quality of the information available to him or her. So the motto “Garbage in, garbage out” does not only hold for computers, but for humans, too.

    As for the breaking point of the current crisis in Western sociaty, I find it difficult to imagine anything extraordinary happening: since people have tolerated everything which the political powers of the Western world have thrown at them, why would this complacency suddenly cease? Maybe it has to do with the unpredictability of revolutionary change.

  146. Hey jmg

    Would I be correct in thinking that it was because of me that you learned that brin agrees with you about UFO’s?

    If so, I’m happy that I have finally contributed to an essay like some of the other commentators.

  147. @Mr Nobody.

    For my part. Let’s assume that Ivermectin is an effective treatment against Covd-19. If so we had excellent reason to think that it is one since October of last year (possibly even before that). If it ever does become mainstream that Ivermectin is both safe and effective, the fact that it could have been used to save upwards of millions of people’s lives back at the end of 2020 will also come into the mainstream conversation. If you are a politician/public health official/social media platform do you want people to connect the death of millions with your suppression of this drugs use? Psychologically, do you even want to connect in your own mind, the death of those millions with your suppression of this drugs use. Wouldn’t you rather the pandemic end with the deployment of the vaccine which you helped champion. Isn’t that a nicer ending to this story? I would argue this motivation can be attributed to a large number of people, from fauci, to the average doctor in the hospital.

    I think the story here is similar to a movie where the protagonist make some slightly morally dubious decisions but then finds themselves committing more and worse acts in order to cover for the initial sin. In the beginning public health officials were rightly skeptical of some dirt cheap anti-parasitic working, and trusted the pharma officials which were giving them cash incentives to promote remsidvir, and vaccines was the way to go. Now they have dug themselves into a hole where if they acknowledge the risk benefit ratio of taking a vaccine vs taking Ivermectin they will be thoroughly discredited.

    Not that I’m certain they actually would be discredited. Not like the Iraq war pushers ever had any comeuppance. Then again, everybody directly impacted by the Iraq war was unimportant.

  148. @Commentariat

    Regarding: the video shared by aNanyMouse

    I guess we could do worse than to download the video using the ‘Youtube to MP4’ option that you get when you search on Google; I won’t be surprised if Youtube pulls down the video calling it ‘misinformation’ or ‘hate speech’.

    @JMG

    Regarding the coronavirus, I remember having a conversation with a cousin of mine who lives in the UK along with his brother and his parents. All four of them are examples of the ‘ideal’ citizen, they hate BoJo, sincerely believe everything the Guardian and Independent say, etc. I was discussing with him about Ivermectin, to which he used the standard argument ‘…but there’s no peer-reviewed evidence that it’s effective’, ‘no statistically designed medical trials’, etc. and he shared with me an op-ed featured in the journal Nature, which basically denounced Ivermectin as ineffective and said that the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid was an example of recklessness. I knew then that there was no point in arguing any further and stopped discussing the topic with him. After the conversation, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking as to how people literally trust institutional science so much as to put their own lives in jeopardy. I mean, a little skepticism always helps, does it not?

  149. The larger part of the issue, with both the pandemic and the Wuhan lab angle, is the messy issue of doing science in real time (by science, I mean simply updating your credences as new information comes in). There is the perception that somehow science provides certainty, the “right” answer…but this is not at all the case. Science traffics in theories, that is best guesses based on the available information. The sheer scale of the coronavirus problem and the amount of data that had to be sifted would make unanimity of conclusions impossible, hence the shifting stories from the science orgs. They are making their (presumably) best guesses given the info on hand at the time, and new information may lead to changes in the conclusions. That’s how it works. On the marketing level, this doesn’t sound so reassuring, as it’s far less than the certainty most people crave. But that’s just how it is. These theories will likely continue to evolve as new info is synthesized, and we should have every right that they will.

    The question, then, is not whether this was the “right” response. It was not, nor would it have ever been “right.” The question is only whether this was better than doing nothing at all. Further questions: What’s the likelihood that the government would advance a solution (the vaccine) that would kill untold number of citizens? I don’t know, and in fact nobody does. We have our gut feelings and pas history to go by. Maybe I’m naive, but i am going to bet it’s rather low. I could be wrong. I guess we will find out.

    But if you’re asking me whether it’s worth wearing a mask temporarily and get a new vaccine on the off chance (an educated guess, not a certainty!) that it would potentially save the old lady up the block or my in-laws or some immunocompromised person from a horrible death…then yeah, I will take that wager. I regard it as a civic duty. But this is an ethical question that can only be addressed by the individual.

    The key thing to keep in mind, with the scientific process as with many things in the world, is that it’s not drop-dead certainty, but educated guesses. Sometimes that’s all you got, and sometimes that’s enough.

    Axé

  150. Very good posting, I linked to it from my blog. I actually think this one might become one of your “classical” postings!

    I originally assumed that the 180 degree u-turn on Wuhan had something to do with Biden wanting to continue confronting China. However, the Bill Gates situation is curious. Also, almost anyone can confirm that the lab in question was financed by US interests! So what is really going on? Gates is one of their own, and a Wuhan lab financed by US Big Pharma doesn´t sound like a causus belli against China…

    So perhaps what´s going on is…something else, something “domestic” so to speak, and everyone is running for cover. Note that Gates is connected to another “conspiracy theory” scenario, known as “Jeffrey Epstein didn´t kill himself”. Are they going to flip on that, too, and throw him to the dogs? But why? COVID, vaccines, what?

    Also, I long wondered why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the Dem nominees. Sure, they won, but why didn´t anyone else want the job (well, some did, but they had to withdraw). Biden is senile and Harris had less traction in the primaries than Tulsi Gabbard. So why were *they* promoted to the White House? Are they the “fall guys” for something?

    The least conspiratiorial scenario I can think of is that with Trump gone, the Dems aren´t united anymore and/or the Trump people feel they can leak like crazy, and now everyone is desperate running for the door…

    It happened much faster than I expected, frankly!

  151. As always a very interesting essay and wonderful comments

    My vote for the fifth Friday is everything autism and Asperger’s. However since no one else put in for that I would like to hear about the vanished civilizations.

  152. Yeats, please!

    On LGBT issues:

    I think the current state of increasing categories to absurdity will eventually collapse under its own weight and shrink back to the LGBT acronym and the regular Pride flag. I honestly think open acceptance (or appearance thereof) has been co-opted by bad faith actors in a lot of cases, and people are catching on.

    On trans issues:

    Again here I think the overall issue of trans rights is being co-opted by bad faith actors. A solid majority of the trans people I have met want to pass and not be identifiable as trans. (Not that there’s anything wrong with androgyny in and of itself, per se. It’s the loud voices insisting on special treatment that ruin it for everyone else.) In general my experience of the LGBT community is largely full of people who want to live quiet lives and have the same rights as everyone else. All of this noise online is going to backfire on regular people who didn’t ask for this.

  153. At your recommendation a few years ago, I read Jacque F Vallee’s Passport to Magonia. It served to confirm my belief that the “high strangeness” you referred to in your reply to Greg about UFO encounters, are in fact characteristic of encounters with the extra-dimensional beings our ancestors called Faeries. These beings were known to frequently travel in strange flying craft.

    My guess is that it is very unlikely that our Faerie-folk observers constitute any sort of threat to our material interests (though like humans, there is the whole range of behavior among Faeries ranging from the saintly to the sociopathic), and they are likely rolling their eyes or whatever it is they roll in response to our elites using them as some kind of justification for pursuing new military projects or adventures.

  154. Something clicked for me, tangentially related to the topic, and I wanted to share it here. I kind of don’t want to say it out loud though, and I feel like before I say it I have to preface it by saying that I’m a (more or less) conservative Republican who grew up in a part of the country that’s been devastated by globalization and the so-called opioid crisis and voted for Trump because of those things.

    That wasn’t always the case, though. Fifteen years ago I was a radical leftist involved in the anarchist movement. I got involved in radical politics mainly because of the Bush Administration, which came into power when I was 17.

    Our criticism of Bush and the movement gathered around him were as follows:

    1. They believed that Washington had the right to impose its values by force onto other countries and cultures, particularly in the Middle East;
    2. They were totalitarians who silenced dissenting views with moronic arguments repeated at high volumes– their favorite trick was to accuse their critics of “hating America”;
    3. They were political Manichaeans, dividing the world into the Good People (Republicans, Christians, and anyone who supported attacking the Middle East) and the Bad People (Muslims, Democrats, and anyone who disagreed with their policies);
    4. They were deeply authoritarian, creating enormous new surveillance systems systems and vast new government bureaucracies via the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts;
    5. Their signature policy was a complete absurdity– a war against an emotion (“The War on Terror”);
    6. They terrorized their followers with constant propaganda about evil Muslim terrorists lurking around every corner;
    7. At least at first, Hollywood lined up to support the Administration with its signature brand of propaganda, regularly portraying Muslim terrorists as 2-dimensional villains in shows like 24.

    With the emergence of the contemporary Social Justice movement during the second half of the Obama Administration and through the Trump Administration my views shifted from Left to Right. In particular, I was opposed to the Social Justice movement and its backers in the Democratic Party, the media, academia and Hollywood for the following reasons:

    1. They believe that they have the right to impose their values by force onto other cultures, especially in rural America and the “Red States”;
    2. They are totalitarians who silence dissenting views with moronic arguments repeated at high volumes– their favorite trick is to accuse their critics of “hating black people” or other minorities;
    3. They are political Manichaeans who divide the world into the Good People (them) and the Bad People (White Males, Republicans, and anyone who dissents in any way from the Social Justice narrative);
    4. They are deeply authoritarian, creating new bureaucracies both public and private dedicated to enforcing the social justice narrative and limiting the rights of their critics;
    5. Their central motivating narrative is another absurdity, another war against an emotion– in this case hate, rather than terror;
    6. They terrorize their followers with constant propaganda about evil White Supremacists lurking around evil corner;
    7. Hollywood has, as usual, lined up to support the regime with its signature brand of propaganda, pushing regime talking points and regularly portraying White Males as two-dimensional villains.

    As I said, I grew up in rural America, in an area badly harmed by the last 40 years of economic policy in this country. That said, 15 years ago the great majority of the people that I grew up with supported George Bush, his regime, its policies and its wars. I remember when our congressman, the late Jack Murtha (a friend of my grandfather’s) raised some objections to the Iraq War. A local bar put up a gigantic sign reading “HEY, MURTHA, SHUT THE F— UP”.

    Having said all this– Isn’t it the case that the people who are suffering the most from the deeply authoritarian, violent and bigoted Social Justice movement are also the people who were most likely to support the deeply authoritarian, violent and bigoted Neoconservative movement 20 years ago?

    We’ve been talking about the Coronavirus, or perhaps the coronavirus vaccine, as blowback from the magical resistance.

    In the same way, might not the Social Justice movement be the karmic blowback from George W. Bush?

  155. If anyone wants a good chuckle, the International Energy Agency recently published their net zero roadmap. https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050

    The report describes their analysis as “the most technically feasible, cost‐effective and socially acceptable” pathway to reaching net zero by 2050. Thankfully these serious scientific minds took their pledge to maintain comedic integrity.

  156. I’d like to put in another vote for “vanished civilizations and the nature of their technologies” for the 5th Wednesday post.

  157. Curious if and how you think René Girard’s concept of mimetic desire fits in with what’s next? I can see how it worked through Covid hysteria, but I do wonder if it can be activated or used by the masses against what seems like a mentally unhinged or possibly just decrepit ruling class.

  158. Dear JMG,

    In your recent podcasts you’ve mentioned how the idea of jackboots coming back is a retread of history, lacks imagination, and is unlikely to happen. It got me thinking that almost all of the political/cultural movements happening right now are the result of people LARPing. For example:

    G.O.P. = Reagan/cold war
    Dems = FDR
    Antifa = Russian/Chinese revolution or Spanish Civil War
    Iconoclasm = cultural revolution/Cambodia year zero
    New Black Panther Party=Black Panther Party

    I agree that there is a whiff of the French Revolution in the air, but just as jackboots aren’t coming back I the guillotine will start ticking like a metronome. Something else will happen. But we still ought to beware of a future Robespierre or Napoleon regardless.

    You’ve spoken of how Hitler was the embodiment of Wotan. Were any of the figures in the French/Russian/Chinese revolutions embodiments of other archetypes? Also, are the types of LARPing mentioned above an attempt to manifest one of the archetypes into a time where they don’t fit? I would love a further discussion of archetypes of any kind in week five.

    Your new book is phenomenal and really made me think. Thanks!

  159. Appropriate to a piece by JMG on his front page Ecosophia.net, I spent time yesterday laughing about the UFO deal and dredging around on the net to get more background (truthfully, there really isn’t all that much there as “evidence”, it appears to be a lot of flacks a flackin’) Mostly it appears to me to be a pretty big push to create a “shiny” that will distract the rubes so that important looting can be done.

    But one never knows.

    Oddly enough, the story itself brought to mind a science fiction article from the golden years. Robert Heinlein was the Dean of Science Fiction for a long time. I grew up on this stuff, but one of his early forays was a novella named “Magic, Inc” and a short story named “Waldo”. I think that a lot of folks in the Sci-Fi fanboy circles do their damnedest to forget these two pieces. They really don’t seem to fit into the arc of Heinlein’s work. But truthfully, the guy was a lot more nuanced than what folks give him credit for.

    So, in light of my current recherches into the occult (I am thinking that I kinda like the Tarot/Qabala duo, but there is a lot of work remaining to getting to the point of understanding it. The attitudes of skepticism I have spent years developing aren’t going away anytime soon), I think that I have come up with an interesting idea. It is just an idea more appropriate to b********ing with your odder friends in a bar than an apple falling on your head or running from a bathtub exclaiming “eureka”.
    Let’s just consider the possibility (probability <1%!!) that the gizmo’s seen in the “photos that are blurry and ambiguous even by the rock-bottom standards of UFO imagery” are real and are not of the mundane earth.

    In a way, I can blame JMG for this. The Radiance was kinda interesting in the WOH universe. But in the end the radiance lost (hooray for our team). But as JMG has been out on the podcast circuit of late, doing the requisite meet and greets to promote sales of “the King in Orange” (BTW, these seem to be a lot more pleasant than the book signings and the enforced jovialities of book signings) I think that, in this particular instance, we can explore the idea that Magic (should that be capitalized?) is afoot in the world.

    Now, without further adieu, and if for no other reason than it might be a fun book, what say these UFO’s are in fact there? What say that they were drawn into physical existence like the black dogs of Nyarlothothep to serve the purpose of a greater magic. The reason that this might (however unlikely and unprovable) be what is happening is that, as JMG has noted in the KIO is that now that the “man as conqueror of nature” meme is looking decided cracked, a critical mass of folks are now breaking out of that mindset and deciding that, in the words of Morris Berman, “The only hope, or so it seems to me, lies in a reenchantment of the world)

    All of this is far-fetched and pretty darned unlikely. But, ¿quién sabe?

  160. The term I tend to use is “theosphere” — the parallel to the biosphere is exact, since there are various theoregions, each with its own distinctive theota. – JMG

    What is that? Could you blog more on it?

  161. Ah, groupthink strikes again. At Fed World, everyone followed the group consensus, whatever that was. No one followed the Chicago School which emphasized Marxism nor the Austrian School, which is followed by very few. However, everyone was a Keynesian. They are still Keynesians and now “Modern Monetary” Theorists. In other words, they are insane as in “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” All the QE (Quantitative Easings) having resulted in much of anything, but they still do it.

    Rather than being stuck in a rut, they are a narrow groove that is deep.

    From the website:https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/austrian-school-of-economics.asp
    The Austrian school uses logic of a priori thinking to discover economic laws of universal application, whereas other mainstream schools of economics make use of data and mathematical models. The early concepts of the Austrian school contributed significantly to the theory of diminishing marginal utility.

    (My comment: They are more into thought experiments.)

    From the website: https://www.investopedia.com/modern-monetary-theory-mmt-4588060

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a heterodox macroeconomic framework that says monetarily sovereign countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Canada, which spend, tax, and borrow in a fiat currency that they fully control, are not operationally constrained by revenues when it comes to federal government spending.
    Put simply, such governments do not rely on taxes or borrowing for spending since they can print as much as they need and are the monopoly issuers of the currency. Since their budgets aren’t like a regular household’s, their policies should not be shaped by fears of rising national debt.

    (My comment: Reminds me of the days when trying forecast budget etc, during Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. We threw darts at a board. No joke. Better than what we came up with our models.)

  162. On UFOs. I have been a long enthusiast of them. I like the idea of them. I actually saw one. They seem to like the Allagash River Basin area in Maine. We used to discuss them among ourselves lest anyone thought we were nuts. Never associated them with spacemen until the Betty and Barney Incident in the 1960s.

    I have always thought of UFOs as sort of a holding place for people’s minds. They could be metaphors for incest, helplessness, or insanity. They could be space aliens or anything a person could imagine including the Men in Black. My favorite was that the Gods were aliens who check in on their creation every so often.

    I am puzzled by all the current focus by the media, etc on them. Have we run out of conspiracy topics? Usually they are in the back pages of sci-fi magazines, not on the evening news.

  163. Riffing off Oilman2’s remark that Iran coming out from under sanctions would increase world oil exports significantly for a while – we seem to have moved a long way toward resource nationalism, which will mean that much international resource trading will be bilateral state-to-state deals, and the precise amount shipped may be secret. Everybody knows that Iran is exporting a great deal of oil to China, in defiance of the sanctions, and neither Israel nor the US seems up to the challenge of sinking Chinese tankers. But how much oil is involved, and how much could Iran increase exports if there were no sanctions? I’d be glad to hear, but I suspect it’s another case of Nobody Knows.

  164. One aspect of the French Revolution’s aftermath seems to be repeating exactly. Since the establishment uniparty got rid of Trump and back into office they are behaving exactly as the French aristocracy did after Napoleon…”They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

  165. On ransomware and other cyber attacks as the New Covid, in case UFOs don’t get any traction: Even when sponsored by national actors, these attacks are opportunistic. They find back doors or weak spots in particular software packages, then find out what desirable strategic targets have those packages installed. This may be another case of trading off resilience for efficiency; the risk would be reduced by using unfashionable software, and greatly reduced by air-gapping any computers connected to the Web from the company’s internal operational backbone, linking the two by Sneakernet (flash drives holding malware-scanned flat files, hand carried across the server room).) That’s slower and more expensive than operating in the cloud, so no true believer in Progress would be interested. One main security hole is social engineering, wheedling, bribing, or blackmailing employees to use their access for the Black Hats. Lowering the risk of that requires trustworthy employees as well as security training, which might require not treating the employees as, er, Human Resources.

    One odd sidelight on the meat company that recently got cracked: They are a Brazilian multinational. South Americans of the upper orders are as much slaves of fashion as anybody, even in software selection. I just did an official transaction online with a South American government. To make an appointment with their Miami consulate, I had to deal with the server of the parent government agency in the capital, and to do that, I had to use Faceplant. I admit that the transaction completed successfully, and that did not happen a few years ago when I used an online program Cancilleria had done in-house. I still think the new arrangement was a little too modern-minded!

  166. @Off the pools, Comment #135 – because everybody knows I have been a bookkeeper in my day, I keep asking “Has anyone ever done any cradle-to grave cost accounting on this project?” Blank stares, or “I don’t know.”

  167. My vote is for ancient civilizations and their vanished technologies.

    On another note, a current opinion piece by the British working-class academic Lisa McKenzie actually uses the phrase “class cleansing” (by analogy with “ethnic cleansing”) with reference to rising housing prices. Long overdue, IMHO …

    To be sure, her opinion piece appeared in Russia Times. I couldn’t find it directly referenced in any British newsfeed. British news reports on her activism seem to replace her phrase with a much weaker one, “social cleansing.” Here’s the link:

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/525482-class-cleansing-killing-london-gentrification/

  168. To misquote Nietzsche:

    Science is dead. Science remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become scientists simply to appear worthy of it?

  169. Dear Archdruid, you wrote: “One way or another, though, what little legitimacy the institutions of American public life still have left is trickling away.”

    I am not an American, and I don’t live in the US, so my opinion is of little value, but it seems to me that the secret fear of the American establishment is what I would call Populist Separatism. President Biden seems to be obsessed with White Supremacy, which sounds weird. I strongly doubt that a significant number of white people wish to be above non-whites. More likely, they’d like to be away from non-whites, which is not the same thing.

    Why did John Brennan add Libertarians to his list of dangerous extremists? Did anyone ever hear of Libertarians conspiring to kill people or topple the government? But Libertarians are against what they call the American empire, and Joe Biden and John Brennan want to prolong the empire as long as possible, because they think that American prosperity (and hence their own wealth and status) depends on the USA being “the leader of the free world.”

    The (mostly) white separatists would destroy the empire, because a partitioned USA would loose most of its international influence, militarily, politically and financially. Hence Biden’s apparent obsession with what he calls “the White Supremacist extremist threat”.

    Why doesn’t he mention separatism as a threat? I suppose that separatism can take many forms. Total independence is a tricky issue. Turning the Union into an empty shell, similar to the Holy German Empire, would be more palatable to Americans, I think. I guess that they would be satisfied with the degree of independence that European States still enjoyed when the EU was in its infancy, but Biden and the establishment certainly don’t want the Americans to even think of separatism. Better, for him, to call it what it isn’t, in order to turn it into a political bugbear, a subcategory of right-wing extremism.

  170. @ Off the Pools #135 — Regarding the use of fossil fuels to manufacture “green energy” infrastructure, the experience of Solarex, Inc. in Frederick, MD is instructive. The plant was built in the 1980s with a massive solar array as its South wall. The objective was to use solar energy to manufacture solar panels, and to do so profitably. It never worked, and the company was eventually sold first to Enron and then to BP. The plant was finally demolished about a decade ago.

    Of course time has moved on and solar technology has advanced since that time. But I’m still unaware of any facility that manufactures solar panels using strictly solar energy. “Strictly” in this sense applying not only to the manufacturing facility itself, but to its entire supply chain as well.

  171. Fifth Wednesday request — something on critical thinking and how to check up on and debunk false claims.

  172. From Jean Lamb in Oregon: “Portland has the black mask anarchists who just want to break windows (they showed up in droves when Trump was elected), and various Causes hate them with a passion. The cops are not real fond of them either.”

    Jean notes that Klamath Falls rather ignores Portland and looks to Medford, Bend, and Reno instead.

  173. I’d like to hear about Buckminster Fuller’s synergetics, Appropriate Technology, Solarpunk, and more generally putting more of the load of wealth generation onto the household economy rather than the market one, practicalities of living well in an age of sharp economic decline.

    Or, some more on eccentric business models, like you did with Johnny Appleseed.

  174. Clay @ 136, if someone in Portland were to do some of what I believe used to be called investigative reporting, they might look into whom, exactly, is funding antifa, and also where do they come from? Are they local or imported from somewhere else?

  175. A very small and local example: St. Louis County, MO, where I lived, just issued its Action Plan for Biking & Walking. This document describes a network of potential improvements to the county transportation system that would make it easier and safer to walk or bicycle from place to place. I participated in the public engagement portion of the project, so I was quite interested in seeing the result.

    I would like to see the plan implemented; it would make a real and positive difference. But … starting on page 119 of a 152 page report, the discussion on funding the plan makes it clear that there is no way it will be accomplished. The kiss of death is on page 121, in this sentence: “Internal revenue dedicated to transportation projects cannot support current needs for system maintenance and preservation, let alone enhancements to the system for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.” The current funding deficit to maintain the current roadway system is about $387M total over the next decade. As the report blandly puts it, “In light of this considerable maintenance funding shortfall, the financial picture for implementing the Action Plan is bleak without additional revenue sources.” On the next page, we learn that “St. Louis County must consider new revenue streams to address both system preservation and multimodal expansion. Whether through a bond issue, sales tax, gasoline tax increase, or other funding source, creating new revenue will require political will and public support. It will therefore be necessary for the Department of Transportation to demonstrate a clear and convincing need for additional revenue, provide a detailed plan for how that revenue will be spent, and a measurable benefit achieved through the projects funded with that revenue.”

    Well, that has about as much chance of happening as a snowball does of surviving longer than a microsecond in the proverbial eternally hot location. And our public officials knew that the shortfall existed before they began the public engagement process, so there was never any reason to expect any changes to come from it. But hey, we got a really pretty report out of the process, and a bunch of people got paid to produce it and feel good about it. Meanwhile, people like me figure, what’s the point in participating in their so-called public processes if nothing ends up coming from them? It’s another way that our public officials disengage themselves from the public, another reason for us to not trust them.

  176. @Degringolade

    I’ve read somewhere many years ago of a wild theory that UFOs were services or entities that nature uses for “self-regulation”. Reenchantment?

  177. https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/well-see-200-oil-russia-opec-ministers-blast-ieas-net-zero-2050-plan-la-la-land

    This is going to get very spiky and interesting a lot sooner than I imagined – and the pricing will be 100% political.

    As my business is currently on life support, I have looked into the requirements to consult for the IEA. The pay and bennies are great, so I have scheduled a pre-frontal lobotomy in order to be able to function within their organization…

    @ John P. Evans RE: Iranian oil

    try this link: https://tradingeconomics.com/iran/crude-oil-production

    @ JMG RE: DUCs

    This is the first time we have pushed the mothballing this far into the future – we don’t know even the mechanism yet, as nobody want to do research on this because it’s throwing good money after bad, and people have losses aplenty to recoup.

    Another item – many DUCs will never be finished due to economics, even with increased prices. The amount of oil we can wring from them is pretty predictable at this point, based on other wells in the geologic structure. If the returns on completing and fracking do not measure up, then it’s cement plug time. I am speaking of wells that likely shouldn’t have been drilled in the first place, but were drilled due to hot money flows looking for return.

    Also, many of these were drilled prior to the local “recipe” having been developed – they cost more to drill by a fairly large margin than they would currently, since the drilling “recipe” has been refined for these fields. For instance – we can pop in a 24,000′ well in 4 days down near Corpus Christi these days – the older wells took weeks to drill, and thus more costly. So everything comes down to math as to whether any DUC gets finished.

    Fortunately, many of the DUCs were sold at fire sale prices, so new owners with capital may have better economics. The mix is of wells and companies is highly complex, and so there are few likely to forecast DUC completions, other than compiling permits as they come into states.

    @ Simon S RE: leisure men of science….

    B-b-b-but we have Bill Gates and the entire Davos bunch!

    The problem with many academics is that they spend their youth in the halls of academia, many spending a decade to acquire those illustrious certifications. Prior to that, they were in high school. They are now considered credentialed and experts, even though very few even held a job for more than a summer.

    I think my field (drilling for oil) was the last one standing where a man could earn a great living and do good work without acquiring that sheepskin. Today, it is the same as every other profession – degree required. Unfortunately, that degree delivers authority to someone who may or may not possess common sense or even understand what is actually happening down the hole they are drilling…

  178. @Deringolade #169:

    Great post!

    “….what say these UFO’s are in fact there? What say that they were drawn into physical existence like the black dogs of Nyarlothothep to serve the purpose of a greater magic.”

    This has a distinctly Jungian ring to it. I give it an enthusiastic nod and proclaim that it has >1%!! probability of being true. Or, true enough.

    Regarding the Kabbala/Tarot duo, I have a longstanding and inexplicable resistance to exploring the Kabbalah, but I recently encountered this idea, which is encouraging:

    “A concrete image is a manifestation requiring space in which the spirit clothes itself in the material in order to draw to man. …Images and numbers are doors through which the spiritual can reach man.” -C.G. Jung

  179. John–

    Unsure if this is another crack in the edifice or not, but certainly an acknowledgement from a significant quarter:

    https://news.yahoo.com/condoleezza-rice-trump-supporters-felt-191337221.html

    One the other hand, an article that made me think of declining legitimacy right away:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/samantha-bee-to-democrats-on-recent-gop-filibusters-stop-letting-the-losers-call-the-shots/ar-AAKEwxM

    (Certainly, not the tone one finds in a functional democracy…)

  180. Remember Hillary made it a campaign thing in 2016 that if elected she would open up to the public government info about UFOs.
    Money corrupted democracy (Citizens United) why shouldn’t it corrupt science. As the long descent progresses, we can’t afford certain things, they only get paid for if they submit themselves to the service of a profit making entity. This encroaching control of corporations seems to be a feature of the long descent. Of course, this introduces distortions into places where the profit motive is wholly inappropriate (such as science and healthcare). I find this wholly descriptive of the course of our country over the last 40 years.
    (Increased taxation might seem to be a way out of this but given the decline in cheap energy it only ends up exacerbating the affordability problem further. It doesn’t end up solving anything.)

    @Ecosophian
    Someone I know signed the pledge as “I.C. Weiner” and watched the count go up by one.

    @Tim
    I think there is a desire for businesses and so forth to check vaccination status RE: mask wearing. That’s going to fall down flatter than a pancake. People are going to go to the business that doesn’t bother them with these kinds of vax card checks. The only place this may take hold, and for a very short time if it does at all, is government, such as universities or schools or courthouses.

    Anybody looking at the CDC numbers KNOWS that COVID is going to be a nothingburger by the end of the summer. This is why they are pushing the vaccines so hard now. Nobody will care by fall.
    For this reason, organizations that are taking a wait and see approach on vax mandates until full FDA approval will never implement them, and I predict that vaccine mandates already in place at various organizations (i.e. Delta Airlines, some colleges/universities) will be repealed by next summer.

  181. Bakbook scared geometry? What’s it afraid of?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  182. Steve T, that’s a really interesting point. I think you might be onto something.

  183. @ off the pools RE: zero carbon renewables

    The above phrase (title) is a thing that will simply never exist. Everything (and I do mean everything) and anything (and I do mean anything) we build today is based on materials mined or harvested using fossil fuels. Any electric vehicle or battery we produce is made using fossil fuels at multiple steps in its production.

    In a short and frank way, there is no item built today that is green. Even the guys in Alaska use chainsaws to make log cabins – because a two-man saw takes hours to drop a big tree and minutes with a chain saw. I know, because I OWN a two-man saw, and my son and I sharpened it up and used it to cut a 3 ft diameter oak – it took 3 hours because it was exhausting work and frequent breaks required. As long as we can get fossil fuel, we will utilize that.

    I own an electric chain saw – about 10 minutes to run down the largest battery that I could fit in it. The battery then takes 60-90 minutes to fully recharge, and the bar on it is only 10 inches long.

    Then we need to actually look at what these ‘energy guys” are actually doing, so here are a few recent…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/bill-gates-and-warren-buffett-team-build-advanced-nuclear-plant-wyoming

    https://wonderfulengineering.com/the-u-s-air-force-wants-to-harvest-solar-energy-from-space-and-use-it-on-the-surface/

    https://www.greenbuildingafrica.co.za/the-future-of-offshore-wind%E2%80%AFsize-matters%E2%80%AF%E2%80%AF/

    I spent a lot of my life working offshore across this planet. The amount of maintenance on everything is tremendous due to the salt mist present over any and all surfaces. The UV striking the ocean, where the only shade is streaming clouds, makes any plasticizer go brittle due to UV radiation in a matter of months. Maintenance of offshore wind structures will make these projects eat their own in a matter of a few years.

    I went to a website espousing green energy jobs a few months back – to even be considered, one has to sign a pledge not to be ‘racist’ – which has zero bearing on the work they will be doing.

    This will all avail us nothing, but it looks like those running the show will still get their skim off the top as these things fail to deliver.

  184. In terms of flips in the media, here’s what I’m seeing north of the border. Yes to stories on the Wuhan lab being taken more seriously, maybe 1 or 2 stories on Bill Gates I didn’t actually read, and I didn’t notice any UFO stuff. So some of this is US-specific.

  185. Hi John and other readers,

    You know, its funny but I have been thinking recently about the way the Western world is shaping up and I do have to confess, it does seem to me that we are in the early days of some form of “revolutionary activity”. I think that we have already seen the dress rehearsal with Trump and Brexit but that is just the beginning.

    So why is this all happening? I would say that people in the West are starting to lose faith in the established institutions. I will give you an example. I was a child in the 1990s and I remember that era quite well. The Cold War had ended, business was booming, a very comfortable middle class existed that worked in the then service and retail sector. The internet and computers had just emerged to the average joe en mass.

    You had the Millennium coming up and all the craze was how “great” the new millennium was going to be. How much great technology we would have. I even remember one particular advert broadcast here in the UK in 1999 about a man who lived in the new century and the new technology he got by each year. Space boots by 2002, jet pack by 2007, etc, etc. It ended up with him on a space base telling his granddaughter (with neon pink hair) about his amazing life. She looks at his wife who is her grandmother and cannot believe how young she looks due to genetic modification.

    Yes, people in 1999 really did believe this crap. Fast forward to 2021 and all people talk about now is economic collapses, climate crisises, ethnic civil wars, etc. A huge far cry.

    Now with that aside, allow me to state the current problems:

    1) Diminishing technological returns.

    2) Bad economic policies

    3) Declining moral values

    4) Mass immigration leading to divided communities

    5) More statism

    Now where will the West go? I think that we will see the rise of populism and the eventual breakup of modern states. America I think will just get to the point where either Trump (or a true successor to him) simply cannot win legit anymore and people decide to throw their weight around their very own Brexit. That is split up the country and be done with it.

    I know John said America would have a Byzantine landing but I think that has passed now. If Trump.had won a second term? Absolutely. But the regime put in Biden. This signifies to me they are doubling down their efforts and will resist reform, especially with its heavy support of woke culture.

    There wont be a civil war. Too many Americans are still too fat and comfortable to pick up a gun and fight. I remember on Parler there was this American pro Trump guy complaining about having no freedom of speech yet posting glorious desserts he had for dinner the previous evening. Still too many of those people. They will vote for secession. They will democratically support it. But no one is fighting just yet as long as they can buy a great dessert.

    As for Europe? Same. It will implode. But in all honesty, Europe is too far gone to save at this point. I suspect LePen could win in France but she would be a Gorbachev type of figure and the whole thing will come crashing down. I suspect the same in Europe.

    As for Russia – people in Russia are not in a revolutionary mood. Yes, people are fed up with Putin since the money is not trickling down as it once did. But on the other hand, no one is in the mood for Nalvany. They remember Yeltsin and they see Nalvany as just that – a worse candidate then stable Putin.

    Russians are in the mood for reform. They want a top down reform and more money put into the economy. I suspect some bright young thing in United Russia is feeling the winds of this and more than likely reforms will start to come as more pressure is put on Putin. I suspect Putin will retire at some point and reforms will trickle down to the mainstream.

    So Westerner want revolution, Russians want reform. That pretty much sums it up. But I do look forward to seeing those idiot pro-West fools here have a huge shock on their faces when the darling West does flop and its not longer the land of milk and honey.

    As for me – Ill vote for the new American great culture. Sounds cool and interesting.

  186. Chesterton (of course, coming from me!): “In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree
    that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”

    My 5th Wednesday vote is for Atlantis/prehistoric civilizations. Two reasons: 1) You’ve mentioned that you’re dissatisfied with your book on the subject and you have much more material now; 2) all those lovely continental shelves (that would have been above water during the last glaciation!).

  187. @Horzabky re: Comment 180. You just pinpointed the difference between the American (USA) South and the North. Northerners historically didn’t care if black folks prospered, they just didn’t want to be around them. Southerners (the Old Confederacy) were used to having black folks around – just as long as they “kept their place.”

    Biden is a Northerner who is looking at and criticizing Southern attitudes. Insert parable about the speck of sawdust in your neighbor’s eye and the 2×4 in your own eye. Though, as JMG has pointed out repeatedly, the Northern attitudes described above have been slowly breaking down for some time now. Still, I never realized how much of the old attitude was in me until I moved down here and the vast majority of the staff was black. Including, BTW, my primary care (PA) practitioner. I never felt any of the old attitude with her for some reason. Come to think of it, I think the key word here is “her.” Duh! As if an unspoken taboo has been planted in my mind before I even knew it.

    Pat, transplant from, essentially, the North, to deepest Dixie for the past 2 years.

  188. Regarding the 180 degree on Covid-19 origins; I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat and gin up a hypothesis:

    TPTB see a huge crisis looming on the horizon with large scale complications from the vaccines involving grave symptoms or death. But this cannot be blamed on the vaccine. Vaccine deaths will be attributed to Covid-19; and Covid-19 in turn came out of the Wuhan bio-lab, so it will all be China’s fault.

    [I now doff the tinfoil hat]. Cheers.

    –Lunar Apprentice

  189. I vote for William’s suggestion, #48. BTW, might I suggest you give his suggestion s title? I’ll bet it’d get more traction if it will more crisply worded and labeled.

  190. Now might be a good time to read Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France”. Of course after the Revolution came the Reign of Terror and then an autocrat and the Napoleonic Wars that brought France to its knees.

    As a Burkean conservative how worried are you about what might happen if a revolution breaks out? America certainly has enough guns to create mayhem.

  191. About Robert Heinlein’s Magic Inc. During the years when Heinlein wrote that (and also Waldo) he was up to his ears in magic, thanks to his second wife Leslyn MacDonald. Leslyn called herself a Witch (possibly even meaning that as her religion), and she practiced magic heavily during the years before and during her marriage to Heinlein. (She is probably the real person behind the Witch “Amanda”–literally, “She Who Must be Loved”– in Magic, Inc.)

    Robert himself was good buddies with the rocketeer Jack Parsons, who was a student of Crowley and quite a knowledgeable mage, as well as being deeply involved with MIT’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. Heinlein and Parsons were, at that time, also good buddies with L. Ron Hubbard, who had not yet invented either Dianetics or Scientology.

    The notion that Heinlein was a pure devotee of scientist was actively pushed by his third wife, who did her best to suppress any knowledge of his second wife’s role in Heinlein’s life–at least until all other witnesses to those years were dead, and she was able to shape that part of the narrative of Heinlein’s life without fear of contradiction. Magic, Inc. gives the lie to her narrative.

  192. People believe what they want to believe, and oh, how they WANT to believe! A century ago was also when the most snake oil was for sale, and worse than snake oil.

    How strange it is to hear my favorite skeptical occultist talk about replicating results and proving science! When was this golden era, before science was taken out of the hands of the average citizen and placed high in the ivory tower? Back in the time of Tesla, science was more like a magic show. First people needed to see that something would actually happen, since so much stuff was ordered out of catalogs that just did not work. And then they came up with their own weird problems with it, weird uses for it, and fit into their supernatural cosmology.

    Even among very elite scientists, the theories are wildly different. There’s space for different reasons while behavior stays the same.

    I’m afraid with Covid-19 from a lab and especially the UFO thing I fall back on my own favorite explanation: It’s a distraction. Things aren’t as quiet in the cities as the government would like. Antifa and BLM didn’t accept that with enough democrats in office it’s okay to go back to Mum’s basement and get back on that PS5. But the media has to report on something, and only the crackpot media is permitted to say how there’s still unrest in the cities. Or the border.

    I suppose Qanon is back in church, watching weird CGI videos of how The End is Nigh.

    Biden’s cabinet is full of hawks and they’d love a nice popular war. It’d be nice if we wouldn’t ever have a nice popular war again, but they think they can drum up one against China. Maybe just a cold war. Maybe a nice set of naval battles that wouldn’t have dead bodies in the mud? Better than Afghanistan, where the stars of the show are all dead but we just keep dancing along. Four months later than Trump said he’d get U.S. troops out. What proof that war could even keep a politician popular? Didn’t work for LBJ. Didn’t stop those other riot/protests where there were infiltrators and communists. Funny thing that.

    It takes very little proof when people already want to believe, but once they believe what they want I think it becomes a bit addictive.

    Witness all of the auto-immune diseases that there are “no explanations for.” Diabetes, thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, etc and witness how, rather than blaming pollution and pesticides, people come up with odd explanations like acidic blood or leaky gut. With farts for proof, or how energetic they remember their grandparents. Just little proofs. All to keep the population docile. Which the population is not, to my view.

    What will happen is the next big sensation. The next OJ trial. Baby Jessie being rescued from a mine shaft. None of the auditions have quite made the cut yet. I’m surprised the ransomware attacks have made the news. Hey, remember the last time you posted about fake meat substances? And that was just after the first meat shortage.

    Could you talk about ley lines? As long as you’re bring up UFOs. They’re ubiquitous in fantasy literature but in occult writings they seem more related to UFOs. I’d expect Madame Blavatsky to have written about them, but to tell the truth I can’t remember her doing so.

  193. wow, this is a very active website. i came here from the higherside chats interview i think.

    not sure if anyone will see this after 100+ comments. i just wanted to say that it has appeared to me for some time that the bizarre, contradictory demands of certain elements in power to say or do this or that, even things that are the exact opposite of previous demands, were for the purpose of having the victim demonstrate their subservience.

    i feel like this development of the pentagon having to say the exact opposite of what they said before, or CDC types saying the exact opposite of what they said last year, may be the same thing. it is a sign of submission to someone higher up the food chain somewhere.

  194. As for the UFO business, why that’s just TPTB’s way of saying “Oh Look! A squirrel!”, to direct attention from the vaccine and vaccine mandates, or from something else… Somebody might be getting desparate.

  195. Hi JMG,

    Yes, there was another letter, this time signed by “only” 81 Nobel laureates, denouncing the personal decision of Trump for ending the coronavirus research grants to EcoHealth Alliance (Peter Daszak) and the rest of the people working in GoF project with bat coronavirus in April-2020.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/05/22/861299458/77-nobel-laureates-denounce-trump-officials-for-pulling-coronavirus-research-gra?t=1622744401505

    They say:
    “sets a dangerous precedent by interfering in the conduct of science” and “deprives the nation and the world of highly regarded science that could help control one of the greatest health crises in modern history and those that may arise in the future.”

    So, the risky GoF research on potential pandemic virus is a good idea following the Noble laureates, bacause, of course, it is impossible to think that this GoF research could produce any problem at all.

    The same with hydroxychloriquine, Iveremectin, vaccines, etc…

    Yes, the institutional Science will sink to the bottom in the same ship with the dominant minority

    Cheers
    David

  196. @John P Evans (#176):

    I used to use PayPal for various sorts of purchases. A few weeks ago I had to cancel my account with them–which wasn’t easy, btw–,since they now require that every user supply them with a smartphone number. Since I don’t have such a phone, and will never have one on principle, I can no longer use their service–as they told me outright. (My not having a smartphone was actually what made it quite difficult even to cancel my account with them.)

  197. I would like to share some of my insight into the apparent 180-spin we see before us.

    If you want world domination, all you have to do is dominate people’s minds. But wait, most people’s minds are already dominated – by the internet. So to dominate people’s minds, all you have to do is dominate the internet. But wait, the internet is already dominated – by Microsoft Corp. So to dominate the internet, all you have to do is dominate Microsoft Corp. But wait, Microsoft Corp. is already dominated – by Bill Gates. So to dominate Microsoft Corp., all you have to do is dominate Bill Gates. But wait, Bill Gates is his own man the way Mr. Trump was and can therefore never be dominated. So what to do? You shove him out of the way and replace him with someone who’s okay with the fact that he only gets to keep his flashy high-paying job as long as he does as he’s told – just like what happened to Mr. Trump. So you take world domination by shoving Bill Gates out so you can shove your own patsy in and thereby dominate the man who dominates the company that dominates the internet that dominates people’s minds all over the world. Hence the sudden fuss over Mr. Gates.

    But that only works on the people who have let their computers be their masters. What about the rest of the population? Well, anyone these days who won’t let a computer run his life for him is obviously some kind of cornball UFO-sighting conspiracy theorist….

  198. Karim, your vote’s been counted.

    Nomad, thanks for this.

    Candace, go tinfoil hat anyway! It’ll add to the entertainment value. Thanks for the link — good to see worker co-ops getting some attention. (I’ve added your suggestion to the list.)

    Devin, you may be right — and your suggestion’s on the list.

    Ilona, I’ve added yours to the list too.

    Jason, did you think the old mystery schools had an opinion about UFOs? If not, I’m not sure I’m following you.

    Graeme, my only problem with Turchin is that I think he’s stuck in the very common quantification trap — treating things that can be quantified as though they’re more important than those things that can’t. He’s got some good ideas. Your broader suggestion intrigues me, because I think you’re on to something important: in terms of my catabolic collapse model, the maintenance costs of information access have outstripped the resources made available for them, and so information is being garbled as a result. That suggests several ways in which my model can be expanded — thank you.

    Daniel, interesting. That strikes me as a hypothesis worth exploring.

    Naomi, thank you for this! That’s a fine historical parallel and one with quite a few lessons to teach. I’ve added your suggestion to the list.

    Sergi, was this the essay you meant?

    Klcooke, thanks for this.

    Patricia O, thank you for this also. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if RF pollution worsened the situation — any source of additional biological stress will weaken the body’s response to a pathogen. The claim I question is that the symptoms attributed to Covid-19 are caused by 5G.

    Booklover, there’s a saying in Mexico that translates out to “nothing happens until it happens.” One of the oddities of history is the way that a seemingly intolerable situation can stumble on for a long time, and then something pulls the trigger and convulsive change hits.

    J.L.Mc12, you were one of three people who let me know about that, so thank you.

    Viduraawakened, no argument there. Blind faith in anything is a bad idea.

    Fra’ Lupo, sure — but for that very reason it would have been wise for the spokespeople of the medical system to present what they were doing as tentative, subject to change, even advisory. That’s not what they did. They demanded absolute unquestioning obedience to their edicts, and don’t you dare ask why it’s different from last week’s! That attitide is what I’m trying to talk about here. I’m quite aware that science is tentative, that all it can do is settle on the hypothesis that for the moment is least disprovable — but again, the institutions of science are not acting accordingly, and that’s what’s causing the crisis of confidence in science I’m trying to discuss.

    Your Kittenship, yep. Not good.

    Tidlösa, no question, this is unfolding fast. Now Fauci’s getting it in the teeth — his forthcoming book has just been pulled and a whole bunch of his emails are being splashed around by such, ahem, conservative media as the WaPo, showing him engaged in questionably legal maneuverings to cover up the lab-leak scenario. I’m really wondering what’s next.

    Will, so noted.

    CS2, I hope more people in the gay, lesbian, and trans communities who aren’t in favor of what’s being done in their names speak out. That’s one thing that could help a great deal when the blowback hits.

    Bakbook, so noted.

    Mr. Nobody, that seems like a very plausible analysis! Have you read John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies yet? Keel’s analysis of UFO phenomena as a kind of waking nightmare that ultimately makes no sense outside of dream logic is, I think very plausible in the present case.

    Steve, you know, a case could be made.

    Jo, thanks for this. I’ve bookmarked it and will seriously consider a commentary on it.

    Faluc, so noted.

    Denis, I’m not at all a fan of Girard, so I’m not sure what you’re seeing here. Could you sketch it out in a bit more detail?

    Gollios, when I make comments about tumbrils and guillotines I’m employing edged humor. Of course it won’t be the same — but a parallel kind of sudden disruption followed by radical reorganization, quite possibly. (I’ve added your suggestion to the list.)

    Degringolade, have you by any chance read Jung’s book on UFOs? It makes a case for UFOs as reflections of human collective psychology — might be worth factoring into your view.

    Neptunesdolphins, yes, I’ll consider doing a post on the ecology of spirits down the road a bit.

    Methylethyl, thanks for this!

    Neptunesdolphins, it’s exactly the way that they’ve popped out onto the evening news that fascinates me about this whole business.

    John, that’s a good point. At least in theory, Iran can produce more oil than it’s currently selling under the table to China and other countries, but how much more? We’ll doubtless see — if the price of oil keeps going up the overdeveloped nations will do anything and everything to drive it back down.

    Gollios, well, there’s that!

    John, exactly. On a very small scale, my wife and I have a laptop that only gets used for the internet, and runs a quirky software mix on an obsolete OS. Our computers for other purposes are cut off completely from the internet, except by sneakernet. It seems to work.

    Robert, fascinating. The cat really is out of the bag at this point! (I’ve tabulated your vote.)

    Ecosophian, funny. I quoted exactly that passage in my book After Progress, with a similar intent.

    Horzabky, I think you’re mostly right, but it’s not even a matter of separatism. It’s simply the fact that a large and growing number of people in the US no longer accept the rule of the managerial class, and it’s convenient for members of the managerial class to denounce them by dragging in race issues.

    Card Geek and Synthase, duly noted.

    SLClaire, can you post a link to that? That’s a perfect example of catabolic collapse in process, and I want to use it in an upcoming post. Thank you!

    Oilman2, many thanks for the info on DUCs — that’s worth factoring in. As for the IEA’s journey into La-la land, I think OPEC’s quite correct, and an oil price spike to $200 a barrel is far from unlikely. Time to get some popcorn…

    David BTL, fascinating to see Rice saying that. It’s almost as though somebody just published a book making that point. 😉

    DT, and the next phase of the Long Descent sees the unraveling of the corporate rent-seeking systems as people go around them to meet their needs. That’s already quite common in fields such as health care.

  199. 1) UFO’s – is it possible that these mysterious flying objects might be from another country? Never mind. I thought of the answer while writing this out – the disinformation campaign & security protocols would be a lot different.. I will really start wondering if articles surface in MSM talking about flying shoggoths or signals from the great old ones.
    2) (Haven’t had a chance to look at the comments & someone may have already mentioned this) An op-ed in yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal, “You can trace COVID origin theory from China to Fauci” by syndicated columnist Marc Thiessen (Washington Post). The title on the WP website is different though, but same content: “Opinion: The media’s big mistake on the covid-19 ‘lab leak’ theory” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/05/27/medias-dereliction-duty-lab-leak-theory/
    3) I feel that there is a fair amount of good honest scientific research going on, but it’s just not “sexy” enough to get the attention it deserves. Or maybe it’s just safer to “fly under the radar” given the current reputation of Big Science.
    4) I dunno – is it just me? Things are curiouser and curiouser. Alice in Wonderland is starting to look normal.

    JMG – you made me look! Now I know that Pluto has 5 moons (Styx, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra, and Charon).

  200. @ wet dog #123 – re Maxwell’s equations and consciousness: My reading on this subject seems to be saying that Maxwell’s equations could be seen as supporting the idea that consciousness has an electromagnetic basis. The idea wasn’t exactly revolutionary at the time, since Luigi Galvani had demonstrated a century earlier that the nerves in frogs legs could be activated by an electric charge, suggesting that nerve transmission has an electrical basis. It’s only a short step from there to extend this idea to brain function, and thus to consciousness itself. I don’t see where Maxwell’s equations really said anything about things the other way ’round — that electromagentism has a consciousness component. But that may be more of a philosophical question than a physical one.

  201. So, here’s my personal UFO anecdote:

    Back in April of this year a friend and I observed 4 odd-looking, oddly-moving objects in the daytime sky. I know it sounds so hokey, but they appeared to be the oft-cliched ‘silver disks’ that are often described by people who have claimed these sightings. In brief, they were there for about one minute and the next minute they had vanished from the sky without a trace. This sighting was accompanied by an intense feeling of “being watched”.

    Based on what I saw that day with my own pair of eyes, and on what I have to reference it against, I personally see 3 possibilities regarding the recent media attention:

    a) The government is actually telling the truth (!)
    b) It’s some sort of smokescreen for secret military technology
    c) It’s a complete hoax, to the order of the ‘Moon Landing’ hoax theories

    I’m leaning towards (b) on this one personally. Namely because (a) seems less and less likely with every passing year, and (c) seems a little…bit of a stretch…

    Of course, I could be entirely wrong and for all we know ‘they’ may be projecting 3D holograms in the sky as part of some dystopian augmented reality program. I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    What I *do* know, is there is certainly something very uncanny going on “up there”…

  202. @Ksim #196

    Yeah, my view is that the US will eventually have to break up into separate countries. Even if we don’t see that in our lifetimes, maintaining a huge federal superstate like the US just won’t be feasible in 100 years’ time when there’ll no longer be sufficient infrastructure to integrate economies as far away from each other as New England and California, or the Pacific Northwest and Florida.

    As far as civil war goes, well, let’s just say that diverse super-states don’t have a great track record for peace. At the moment, there aren’t many people who would be willing to fight a civil war, but the US still has its empire right now, even if it’s in decline. The dollar is still the global reserve currency and the US can still get away with piling up massive amounts of debt and affording many of its citizens a rather privileged lifestyle (globally speaking), even if increasing numbers of people are losing those privileges.

    At some point, this will catch up to the US as a whole. The dollar is gradually losing its special status, the US is increasingly unable to maintain its empire, and eventually there will be a crisis of confidence which tips the US over the edge (very possibly in the manner of JMG’s Twilight’s Last Gleaming). Not even the managerial classes will be able to maintain their lifestyles then – or at least, the managerial classes will shrink drastically. The US will just become like any other Third World country – but with even more disillusioned and unemployed young men of fighting age (and American citizens are armed to the teeth). The prospects for peace in the US over the next 50 years or so are not particularly bright in my opinion. That said, it’s very possible that only small parts of the US will see significant armed conflict. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Chechnya and Dagestan were the only places in Russia which saw open warfare, as terrible as that was. Perhaps most of the commentariat here are more optimistic, and I hope that such optimists will be right, but I’m sceptical.

    As for Europe, I can see France and some of the Mediterranean countries possibly going down the same route of violence (especially considering their history). The UK I think has a good chance to avoid major violence, although there could easily arise a situation analogous to the Northern Irish Troubles with certain communities now present in large numbers on the mainland. Germany and the Scandinavian countries are probably the most likely to be able to maintain peace over the next 50 years despite the demographic troubles many of them share with the rest of Western Europe. I suppose I can only really speak for the UK given this is where I’ve lived all my life, so if people from other countries disagree, by all means, do so.

    With Russia, a friend (well, internet friend) of mine who lives in Samara told me a funny story about how after the US election, even pro-Western Russian liberals became embarrassed to support US-style democracy in their country. The myth of America as the promised land of free and fair elections had been shattered (at least, in Russia), so if they try to advocate for making Russian politics more like America’s, the response from just about everyone else is: “As in America? Are you serious?”.

    @JMG, I’ll also vote for the future American great culture (if there’s much you feel you can add that isn’t already in your book). If not, my second preference is just anything Long Descent related.

  203. JMG, I am a subscriber to The Fourth R, the magazine of the Westar Institute. Westar describes themselves as “An Advocate for Religious Literacy”, and is a home for study of the understanding of the Bible. The Fourth R has had many interesting articles on aspects of the Bible, for instance, examining how words in Greek or Hebrew can be translated, with the consequent changes in our understanding.
    The latest volume (May-June) has an article by Donald Braxton entitled “Religion Promises but Science Delivers – The Transhumanist Wager”. The article repeats the argument that “the real hope for humanity is science”, in the area of the five promises that religion makes.
    “The five promises are:
    1. biological healing
    2. mental healing
    3. fertility
    4. transcendence of death
    5. interactions with human-transcending agencies”

    This has got to be the most spectacularly mistimed writing I have ever seen in a scholarly journal. I will skip over the biological healing, as we are all too familiar with the failures of the medical establishment. He points to the drugging of generations with Adderal as a great triumph of mental healing, and completely misses the worldwide drop in fertility, probably associated with the 2 centuries of chemical experiment we’ve been conducting on the planet. Transcendence of death will come when our minds are uploaded to the cloud. And AI will be our new gods. All expanded to fill 8 pages.
    Mr. Braxton, PhD, a Professor of Religious Studies, seems to have foresworn religion for SCIENCE, but he has just traded the faith of his fathers for faith in our old favorite, the Religion of Progress.

    Ah, Gorice XII
    Ten, eleven, twelf I see
    In sequent varietie
    Of puissaunce and maistrye
    With swerd, sinwes, and grammarie,
    In the holde of Carcë
    Lordinge it royally.

    And later
    Whereby it appeareth (yet not clearly, but riddle-wise) that if one and the same King, essaying a second time in his own person an enterprise in that kind, should fail, and the powers of darkness destroy him, then is not his life spilt alone (as it fortuned aforetime unto Gorice VII. at his first attempt), but there shall be an end for ever of the whole house of Gorice which hath for so many generations reigned in Carcë. Be careful with your grammarie, JMG!

    On the 5G connection: on the one hand, we have legions of “Scientists” telling us that 5G is harmless, all these effects are just another conspiracy theory, nothing to see here, move along now. At the same time, the official organs of the State are claiming that the mysterious illness that has befallen many of our diplomatic staff, starting in Havana, but now spreading worldwide, is a directed microwave energy weapon.

    And finally: NPR is running a series of self interviews on how their reporting is done. A lot of babble about fact checking sources. They must feel the hounds nipping at their heels.

  204. In both the UFO and lab leak narratives shifts; the only thing that has really shifted is who stands to gain financially from the public’s unquestioning loyalty to the new party line. When the department of defense is testing a secret plane that gets spotted, its in their interest to dismiss the sighting as a conspiracy/hoax. But the genesis of this new found interest in UFO’s was a report which claimed the navy might be dismissing UFO spotting that were actually adversarial drone tests of the US military readiness. Regardless of the truth, the fear that US defense readiness might be inadequate justify’s massive increases in defense research/tech; ergo money can be raised on the newfound interest in UFO’s.

    Its worth pointing out that what gets amplified in our media’s echo chamber isn’t “Science” it more accurately described as “whats trendy and new in the world of technobable”. The reproduction crisis isn’t caused by the failure of the scientific method, but rather a failure in the way we fund science. Widget makers, sluge factories, and food chemists are just p-hacking statistics studies to build a consensus protecting their desired status quo. Click bait articles about whats trending in the world of health and why eating “x” is sinful and unclean and why a healthy citizen is willing to pay more for “y” is just way better for business then “put the god damn fork down and go for walk”. In consumertopia the question isn’t whether to consume, its “what do I consume?”

    Contrary to what the internet pioneers promised. Information was never made free, we’ve just refined a propaganda dissemination apparatus. But you already know this JMG, you linked out to one of the blueprints in a recent post. Forum Sliding… Check. Consensus Cracking… Check. Topic Dilution… Check. Anger Trolling… Check. The problems of online discourse haven’t gone away, we’ve just scaled up and perfected the exploitation of them.

  205. Such a wonderful post and ensuing comments, and also ‘fifth Wednesday’ suggestions … Yeats seems to be winning by a nose, and I am intrigued enough to add my vote, but many I hope others will be taken up in due course, such as Mark L’s question about how to bridge the abyss between right and left; the art of critical thinking; decline/collapse (Decline and Fall); economics (doughnut?) for times of crisis. Yeats also made me think of Keats, and his notion of “negative capability”, which I have always wanted to understand more fully.

    I just wanted to mention to Mr N that lettuce leaves (especially romaine) have an amazingly soporific effect (as some of the bunnies in Beatrix Potter discovered, to their detriment): water in which they have been boiled and steeped for five minutes or so may really help with sleeplessness.

    Please, I have three questions, in no particular order, to ask of the intelligent minds here:

    — I read a popular history book recently called Humankind, by Rutger Bergman. Mostly it’s concerned with the age-old back and forth between Rousseau (civilisation has destroyed us) and Hobbes (no it hasn’t; pre-civilised life was Nasty, Brutish, and Short, etc.) The author agrees with the former, and contends that the reason we’re all in such a tizzy is that we have long been disconnected from our natural environment and therefore our behaviour is not ‘natural’. Perhaps. But one thing did really leap out at me, and that was the author’s assertion that nowhere, in all the cave paintings discovered so far in the world, is there any depiction of human v human violence, and one would have expected that, if war and aggression had indeed been a usual thing, there most probably would have been some artistic representation of it. Is this just wishful?

    — I’ve been thinking a lot about the shenanigans of Bush v Gore. How different does anyone think the world would be now, had things gone the other way (and they did seem to be poised on a knife edge, or rather hanging on a chad) …?

    — This week, my tiny world was rocked by the news, via my son, that Einstein “was wrong”. I have spent quite a lot of my life trying to understand or at least get to some grips with his theories, and am rather downcast by this rumour. Could anyone shed light on this; what is he now supposed to be “wrong” about?

    Thank you. I have spent such an enjoyable couple of hours reading the couple of hundred eclectic posts above.

  206. Hi John,

    Have you been watching the new strain of H10N3 bird flu that has cropped up recently in China? One of the other blogs I follow closely is SNAFU, which has a great post out about concerns over the bird flu outbreak. It’s worth noting that Sol was one of the first bloggers to sound the alarm about COVID-19 and correctly predicted what would happen, so when he has an “oh shale!” reaction to another contagious disease cropping up in China, I tend to pay very close attention to what he is saying.

    https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2021/06/is-this-our-next-pandemic-straight.html

    I seem to recall that you made a prediction based on astrological indicators that a major public health crisis was likely to occur this summer and fall and it strikes me that this could be it. In addition, as Sol points out, another big pandemic coming out of China is likely to trash what is left of the PRC’s reputation and severely damage their export oriented economic model, especially if their policy of downplaying the severity of the bird flu outbreak turns out to be as honest and effective as their attempts to downplay and cover up the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. If that turns out to be the case, a huge backlash and disastrous repercussions for China will be all but inevitable. As Sol puts it

    God help us all if this thing is savage. If it is then it could actually start a war.

    Maybe not directly, but China will be an international pariah and its trade will collapse. A nation on the ropes is unpredictable and China would act like a feral animal before seeing its status decline.

  207. [Let me don my tinfoil hat again:] To expand on my earlier comments, Fauci and Gates may be being set up as scapegoats for a feared impending vaccine disaster (plan B in case blame-vaccine-deaths-on-Covid-and-China doesn’t get traction), subsequently to be Epsteined to forestall further investigation…

  208. I think that future historians will look back on this time and declare that one of the largest political mistakes in history was the Democratic Party pulling out all the stops and going to such great lengths to obtain the presidency for their man Joe Biden. The way things are unraveling now ,whoever was in power at this time in history was destined to be buried under a banquet of consequences. It truly highlights the senility of the elites that they could not see this coming. I think the democrats may be lucky to even have a viable national party in 4 years let alone win any more high offices.

  209. >I’ve been thinking a lot about the shenanigans of Bush v Gore. How different does anyone think the world would be now

    Less than you might think. President hasn’t mattered since they killed JFK and got away with it.

  210. Pygmycory, thanks for this. Yes, it does look rather US-specific.

    Ksim, I wonder if there’s any way to find that advertisement! It would be entertaining to pick it apart, and useful as an antidote to the next round of pseudofuture. As for your list of problems, you’re leaving out the biggest of the lot: declining net energy. That’s the motor behind most of it.

    RPC, so noted.

    Apprentice, what can I say? It’s more plausible than much of anything the corporate media is saying. (Your vote’s noted. Got a suggestion for a title?)

    Patricia M, classic indeed — thanks for this.

    Bridge, of course I’m concerned. Guns or no guns, once the rule of law collapses it’s anyone’s guess what will happen, and bad outcomes are more common than good ones. That’s why I’m hoping the necessary changes can be forced through without a violent revolution.

    Womansatlasrc, Blavatsky didn’t write about leys because they weren’t rediscovered until well after her death. Alfred Watkins’ The Old Straight Track, which introduced the concept (and the term), was first published in 1925. I’ve added those to the list of possible topics.

    Antony, just because the narrative is changing doesn’t mean the new narrative is more accurate than the old one!

    Anonymous from Higherside, welcome to Ecosophia! Yes, it’s a very active blog; because comments are moderated and trolls and flamebaiters get deleted and banned, the conversations here are lively and congenial. I think a good case can be made that you’re right, and at least part of what’s going on is a simple demand for mindless obedience.

    Apprentice, I could see that also.

    DFC, yes, I recall that. “How dare you take away our dangerous toys!”

    Steve, there’s a lot of us cornball theorists out there just now!

    PatriciaT, it’s not just you. Things do seem to be getting curiouser and curiouser. You’re welcome, btw — inspiring people to look things up is one of the services I offer. 😉

    Sheriff, that’s a classic Daytime Disk sighting — thanks for it. Yes, there are in fact strange things being seen in the sky — that’s the reason why the pseudoskeptic narrative falls on its nose.

    Great Khan of Potlucks, oh my. What a classic bit of hubris. As for gramarye, I’m exceptionally careful with it — I first read the fate of Gorice XII in my teens and took it to heart. Luro Vopo Vir Voarchadumia!

    Void, it’s a source of great amusement to me that when I talk about the crisis in institutional science, so many people immediately say “but it’s not the fault of the scientific method!” I never said it was. Science is more than a method. It’s a set of institutions, and those institutions happen to be unusually corrupt just now.

    Lark, (1) the author is shoveling smoke. This is from Paleolithic North Africa, and yes, one group of people is shooting arrows at the other:

    (2) My instinctive reaction is that it wouldn’t have changed much, but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. (3) Einstein was actually wrong about a number of things. That doesn’t mean everything he said was wrong, just that some of his theories have had to be updated and corrected since his time.

    Galen, yes, I’ve been watching it. We’ll see what actually happens.

    Apprentice, fair enough! Now we’ll see what…

    Clay, a case could be made! Astrologically, certainly, whoever got inaugurated this year was facing deep trouble.

  211. JMG, in #138, on my “bet, that the Sov brass didn’t hate the Russian people nearly as much, as this current crop hates the Deplorables.”

    I’ll bet this, until I see a quote from, say, Brezhnev, Andropov, or Chernenko, similar to
    Hillary’s “basket of Deplorables” gem, or, weeks before (July 2016),
    the NYT’s M.E. Dyson on “you, white America.. shooting… hate into our muscles”, or, a few years later (June 2018),
    the WaPo’s Suzanna Walters on “team feminism” *specifying* hatred of men.
    All these from pillars of the Establishment, in “respectable” publications like NYT and WaPo.

  212. You can find the Action Plan for Walking + Biking that I referred to here: https://stlouiscountymo.gov/st-louis-county-departments/transportation-and-public-works/future-projects/action-plan-for-walking-and-biking1/?utm_source=Master+List&utm_campaign=9d0458900d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_29_01_32_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_91df8cc23c-9d0458900d-453655045&mc_cid=9d0458900d&mc_eid=4aaee17048

    (sorry, I need to learn how to do the tiny url thing)

    Scroll down the page to find the St. Louis County Action Plan that you can download. The quotes I gave are from that document.

  213. @Robert Mathiesen at 209:

    I feel your pain on PayPal. I recently tried to use them, for the first time in three years, and they utterly botched the transaction. I went looking for another solution, and found that most money moving services now only want to work on smart phones, and the one I had wasn’t smart enough! I had to get a faster one with more memory to be able to run the apps. (Square’s CashApp was inoffensive and widely accepted.)

    On my South American transaction, I forgot to mention that they told me up front, “When you navigate to our site, please use Google Chrome. Other browsers will often not render the pages correctly.” I’ve been getting that a lot lately. Never assume political pressure from Giggle when it could just be Lazy Programmers! Handling multiple browsers really is extra work.

  214. I just heard of Girard’s theories of how humans copy each other behaviors and his premise of the scapegoating need of society, and it really seemed to fit some of the Covid theatrics. I bring him up in thinking about what’s next and where all the energy goes that went into fighting Trump, and then Covid with a parallel fight of anti-racism (all done with hysterics and absolutely ineffective).

    In all the situations the people involved communicated how serious they were and everyone else was dumb/foolish/selfish. I noticed there are several regular commenters no longer here who were of the serious about Covid camp. We’ve really divided ourselves based on worldview. I hear a lot of talk of violence and a lot of it seems to have religious overtones and Girard seems to have thought about this. I ordered his book Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World.

    So what makes you not a fan of Girard. Does he rank as low as Hegel for you?

  215. @Oilman2, thanks for the Iranian economic statistics! Looks like they are coping with the sanctions even better than I expected. One drag on their post-sanction oil exports might be rising domestic consumption; doubled population since the Ayatollahs took over, and continued lifestyle changes in the direction of using more oil, like all those tinny little Paykan cars running around.

  216. @JMG The institutions were never really that great. Science still advances one funeral at a time; usually when the intelligentsia fails to silence those pesky heretics. Having a good immune system against blasphemers is a cornerstone to institutional success.

  217. JMG / Graeme,

    > the maintenance costs of information access have outstripped the resources made available for them, and so information is being garbled as a result.

    There is a converse to this in that the information production has far outstripped the resources (or need) to manage it. I personally have seen it first hand in my work assessing existing buildings for earthquake resilience here in New Zealand and it has been fascinating looking through the historical records which are oftentimes extensive.

    A mid-size (2-3 storey, light commercial) building constructed early 20th century would have plans comprising perhaps 3-5 sheets for drawings and a combined specifications and contract of 15-20 pages.

    The same building mid-century would be 10 drawings and around 100 pages of specifications, along with a separate contract. By the turn of the century CAD started being used, so it was up to 20-50 drawings and probably 500 pages of specifications.

    Nowadays the same size building would be easily 200+ pages of drawings, alongside multi-thousand page specification documents and hundred page contracts.

    Now, does anybody read all of this? Not a chance; but it still has to be produced, verified and then certified. It is absolutely insane.

    And you can’t really call the output ‘garbled’ either because it all ‘sort of’ makes sense, every step and item has a purpose and reason. But taken together it drowns everything (and everyone) is a torrent of information that is (literally) practically useless. The poor contractor is left sorting out which dozen or so documents are actually relevant, is not allowed to make any decision that is not specified, and yet is blamed if things go wrong. And people wonder why building costs are so high.

    (In residential the progression is similar, a simple dwelling went from 1 sheet drawings (and zero specs) to 5 sheets drawings with maybe 10 pages of specs, to 50-100 sheets of drawings and 500 pages of specs over the same period. For a simple house!)

  218. For the 5th Wednesday, I would like to vote for the lost cultures and their tech.
    Thanks

  219. @clay

    If either of the major parties falls apart, it should pave the way for a long overdue realignment to a populist party and a PMC/elite party, of which the former should have a clear demographic majority. This probably goes more smoothly if there’s a polite PMC bureaucrat in power when the shale hits the fan, as opposed to an unpredictable and narcissistic strongman.

    A mistake for the Democrats? Maybe, but I don’t think the party as currently conceived would have been long for this world if Trump had won a second term, either.

  220. Been pondering. I find what you say about the constraints on magic as practiced by humans as very convincing. But, I think that there might (just might) be such things as gods afoot in the world. That being said, would their magic have similar constraints? I actually don’t want an answer. I was just thinking things through.

  221. “I think OPEC’s quite correct, and an oil price spike to $200 a barrel is far from unlikely. Time to get some popcorn…”

    And after a short while, the price will crash. Out here in California, at least, $100 oil translates roughly into $5 gas. $200 oil would be pushing $10 gas. I suspect that anything close to $10 gas would soon cause a massive amount of Demand Destruction, and another step down in the overall economy.

    Catabolic collapse, indeed.

    Antoinetta III

  222. If the ruling class face death at the hands of the masses in the USA, what will be the choice method of execution? France had the Guillotine. The USA seems to have had a thing for hanging… though I imagine in a nation where barbecues float with us in the pool, Americans won’t disappoint in creative ways of disposing of their elite.

    My guess is that it will be ISIS style video executions if the rule of law breaks down.

  223. Oilman,

    I think it was G K Chesterton who said the purpose of education was to learn not to take the educated seriously.

    It seems that the baby boomers had a fixation on education. I know my parents saw it as their duty to ensure us kids went to university and they still believe the ‘experts’ on television even when the experts are clearly and obviously wrong. Perhaps the generation that is coming up now will do a 180 turn and see a university degree as a sign of stupidity. One can only hope.

  224. Hi JMG,
    I was drawing a connection between UFOs/aliens and Archons and the possibility that aliens are they in flesh and blood. However, it occurred to me after I asked you to address the possible connection, that perhaps there was something else behind the transformation of the Archons from powers into manichean cylons in some of the Schools.
    Perhaps the Schools, because they were so vehemently opposed to the salvationist, cut-down-groves, Hypatia-murdering, monotheist, manichean cult that was springing up around them, craftily refigured the Archons and Demiurge concept into a scary warning to think hard about what was being alleged. The idea of an off-world alien power pitting his chosen good people against the evil bad people should’ve raised alarm bells after all, and its adoption into the arsenal of empire became proof in the pudding of how nasty a thoughtworm it is.
    If warning is what the Schools were doing back then, we should also heed their warning now. A fake government-alien alliance, if that is what’s being cooked up, is perennially dangerous.

  225. People have mentioned ivermectin repeatedly. I accompanied the (hydroxy-) chloroquine literature for the first months. If you search, you will see that I was enthusiastic about the potential of chloroquine in March 2020. In the end, the many different randomized clinical trials, powered by that same enthusiasm, all had the same result, as you can see in search: no effect. Many of these trials enrolled hundreds of participants.

    I hadn’t accompanied the ivermectin literature. I have now repeated the exact same search, but with the word ivermectin. There are seven results, most of them with very low participant numbers. In the general replicability debate, one hot issue is the number of experimental units (animals or humans): if it is too low, the probability is very high that “interesting” results are published, while “uninteresting” ones go to the drawer. Some of them report preliminary positive effects, all of them cautioning that higher numbers are needed; the only one with a higher number of participants (400) saw no effect.

    I do wish that at least one or two additional ivermectin trials were conducted with enough participants to come to a safer conclusion. I hope that ivermectin has some small benefit – small benefits are important. It is also clear that small benefits can only be determined through randomized double-blind trials – humans find too many ways to fool themselves.

    However, in Brazil the federal government, many state governments and many local governments have given out hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin for free since early 2020; in addition, 25% of Brazilians have bought ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine or both at pharmacies. This has certainly not prevented a massive pandemic.

    People who criticize “official” science must not let their judgment be clouded when it comes to the treatments they prefer.

  226. @JMG Exactly. I strongly suspect that the truth about the origins of Covid are not going to be as cut and dried as the official narrative. The question is, are we ever going to know the empirical truth?

  227. Re. JMG #223: OK. As for a title for William’s (#48) suggestion, at least as I read him, how about ‘Coping With a Prospective Near-term Collapse’?

  228. with all the recent talk of UFO’s I think I ought to come clean and give full disclosure of my encounter experience,
    in the late 90’s I was living on the cheap in a single storey chalet/shack on private land on the edge of Ashdown Forest, it was off the beaten track and surprisingly secluded,
    I’m country born and bred, I loved it there, especially the lack of light pollution at night,

    late one night I finished watching some scary movie on the tv and was thinking about getting off to bed when I had one of those rare childlike premonitions, of feeling spooked and my imagination running away with me,
    then I heard a really odd sound outside the building,
    I walked to the bathroom door and looked in and there on the other side of the window was this long face staring in at me,
    I froze, I was literally on the verge of pooping my pants and all the hairs on my body were standing up, I don’t think I’ve ever, before or since, been so viscerally terrified,

    then the face began to rise and I realised it was the fricking horse from the field, it had got in my garden and was head down eating the grass growing up in front of the window,

    when you see something inexplicable and out of place your mind can come up with some pretty crazy explanations.

  229. Archdruid,

    Speaking of a clash between expertise. In India a major fight is taking place between the Indian Medical Association and Patanjali. The former is the national voluntary organisation of physicians (and an unofficial arm of the big Pharma) in India, while the latter is the biggest representative and distributor of Ayurvedic products in the country. The founder of Patanjali is a TV guru named Baba Ramdev, while the head of IMA is Dr. J. A. Jayalal. As with most things in the country there’s layers to this fight, including the accusations that Jayalal was using his position for missionary activities, and counter accusations that Ramdev was selling snake oil.

    Over all the expertise class is taking a beating in the Indian public sphere due to their mishandling of the second wave of the pandemic.

    Regards,

    Varun

  230. Is it possible that the chaos we see right now is in part because the Magic Resistance did in fact achieve their goal of getting rid of Trump, but we’re still left with all the forces which gave us President Trump in the first place? In other words, they got what they asked for: the release valve is gone, and now pressure is building?

  231. Check out this headline and article concerning the US Government’s latest announcement about UFO’s:

    US military says UFO sightings by Navy pilots could be aliens or new hypersonic technology from Russian or China but are definitely not from a secret project run by US government, in classified report for Congress.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9650541/US-military-says-UFO-sightings-aliens-new-hypersonic-technology-Russian-China.html

    Like our host, I don’t doubt for a moment that the US Navy is testing something very interesting and the recent “admissions” by the US government are a smokescreen. Incidentally, the recent sightings of disk shaped UFO’s and claims they may be Russian or Chinese hypersonic aircraft reminds me a lot of Pye Wacket, an experimental disk shaped hypersonic missile developed as part of the B-70 Valkyrie Mach 3 bomber project.

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

    https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-tactical/pye-wacket-missile-saucer-ufo/

    http://astronautix.com/p/pyewacket.html

  232. Hi JMG, congratulations on your book! I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I have a questions (and I’m hoping a week on its not too late). I wonder what your thoughts are on the California coast idea of ‘techgnosis’ promulgated by Terence McKenna in the 90s and later written about by Erik Davis who I believed coined the term with his 1998 book Techgnosis. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit in terms of the new divide between those inside and those outside the matrix (for want of a better distinction) that is becoming much sharper since 2020. There is a thread in some of these otherwise erudite and interesting thinkers toward a veneration of the techological as a means for transcending the body and communing with each other outside the systems of power. This was the early utopian vision of the internet, in some ways still evident in the community you have created here, of transcending national borders and terrestrial boundaries and connecting up with other like minded folks. For many of us, finding these communities on the internet has been a god send (maybe literally if we follow McKenna), and yet the ‘internet of all things’ and ‘surveillance capitalism’ has cast a long, thick shadow over all this. At any rate, I am wondering what your thoughts are on this tension. Where is the line between the QR code on the forehead, and us having this discussion across the oceans?

  233. JMG, are you familiar with the writings of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky? I just ran across their names this past week and wondered if they were worth reading.

  234. Mouse, fair enough!

    SLClaire, many thanks! I’ve downloaded it and linked to it. That’s absolutely classic, and will make a fine Exhibit A for catabolic collapse in process.

    Denis, fair enough. Girard makes much more sense than Hegel — Girard is actually saying something meaningful, while I challenge anyone to explain in straightforward language just what Hegel meant by the word salad of The Phenomenology of Spirit — but his theory proceeds as though all religions are basically forms of Christianity and as though his personal psychological kinks are human universals. (To give him due credit, that latter’s pervasive in Continental philosophy these days.)

    Void, I didn’t say they were great. I said they were better in the past than they are today — and I think that claim can be justified.

    Daniel, that’s another important point — thank you. One of the disastrous downsides of the metastasis of the managerial class is the explosive growth of what we should probably call “exformation” — pseudo-information churned out by managerial personnel in an attempt to justify their jobs. Those reams of reports, stacks of specifications, and dumps of drawings are all exformation, and as the ratio of exformation to information rises, the result is to choke off access to information, since these two are not segregated as they should be!

    Kay and Karma, I’ve marked down your votes.

    Degringolade, you’d have to ask them!

    Antoinetta, of course! Spike and crash is the normal way of things in a condition of resource shortage, and we’re going to see a lot more of it in the years ahead.

    Mason, that hasn’t been settled yet.

    Pygmycory, oh dear gods, that’s stupid even by the standards of technogeekery. No, we can’t.

    Jason, as I understand it, the Gnostic tradition has a different and, to my mind, subtler source. The precession of the equinoxes is taking the earth from a period of relative closeness to spiritual powers (the ages of Leo and Cancer, ruled by the Sun and Moon) toward a period of relative separation from spiritual powers (the ages of Aquarius and Capricorn, ruled traditionally by Saturn). By the opening years of the age of Pisces, as the oracles fell silent, it became clear to a lot of people just how serious that transformation is, and the result was the rise of traditions such as Gnosticism and early Buddhism that staked everything on trying to find an escape hatch from existence. The Gnostics recast the planetary intelligences as evil beings because they felt themselves trapped within a doomed cosmos by the relentless forces of time. Later on, that helped feed the rise of monotheist faiths that denied reincarnation and insisted that sometime very soon the wheel of time would be broken once and for all by the one true god. Later still, we had the rise of atheism and materialism: all reactions to the ongoing descent into the realm of Saturn. We are now in that realm, and will be there for another 4178 years.

    Antony, I don’t expect we ever will. I see no reason to think we will ever actually know what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1962, for that matter!

    Methylethyl, so noted!

    Apprentice, fair enough.

    Matt, funny! Thanks for this.

    Varun, no surprises there. It’ll be interesting to watch India shake off a Western pseudomorphosis.

    Anonymous, that’s certainly a hypothesis worth exploring.

    Galen, good heavens. That’s practically admitting that it really is a secret project — you don’t formally deny something like that unless you want people to make a beeline for the thing denied. They may be planning on dropping the UFO schtick now that so many people know what’s really going on.

    Petra, the “techgnosis” delusion is yet another form of the religion of progress — the faith-based conviction that the next generation of technogimmicks really will bring about the utopian condition that all previous generations have failed to provide. Conversations like the one we’re having, by the way, were being had at a slightly more sedate pace in periodicals a century ago — if this were 1921 instead of 2021, we’d be having this conversation in the pages of Ecosophia Magazine, and you’d be sending in these posts for inclusion in the Letters to the Editor section (which routinely amounted to many pages). So I see the techgnosis thing as another aspect of our current cultural senility — people forgetting that there’s actually not much genuinely new about the internet, or the other gizmosystems that are so heavily fetishized these days.

    Graham, I’ve read some of their works but not that many — the Fourth Way (the spiritual system they taught) isn’t of great interest to me. Most people consider Ouspensky easier to read than Gurdjieff, so you might try one of Ouspensky’s books and see if it speaks to you.

  235. I’m still curious about how much of the replication crisis is scientism eating itself. I can’t imagine there’s not a few of these “failure to replicates” that aren’t a James Randi special.

    For instance big sugar funded the initial research into cholesterol, as I recall, and I could easily see big pork and/or big beef funding studies not only about how wonderful cholesterol is but also how awful sugar is. Any of those could also run a study on the other’s studies and announce a “failure to replicate.”

    One of the best guides is the movie (and book) “Thank you for smoking.” It’s about a corporate tobacco lobbyist. They have the academy of tobacco studies and the main character refers to the lead scientist as “He’s been testing the link between nicotine and lung cancer for 30 years and hasn’t found any conclusive results. The man’s a genius. He could disprove gravity.”

    In fact corporations contributing to scientific funding and campaign funding for politicians, hmmm… if one falls this could get very exciting indeed.

  236. @Varun

    Regarding: IMA Vs Baba Ramdev

    I have a lot of respect for Ayurveda, but I don’t really trust Baba Ramdev and his company Patanjali. There have been accusations that Patanjali does not actually manufacture a significant number of the products they claim are theirs, rather, they get them ‘contract-manufactured’ by small companies, and repackage them as their own. Also, Baba Ramdev’s own record isn’t all that nice, with his numerous public gaffes being the least of the problem.

    As for Jayalal, it is quite a serious matter there. He is indeed using his position for missionary work; Opindia had published a few well-referenced articles on the same, IIRC.

    That said, it’s good that people are questioning allopathy’s supposed superiority over ‘pseudoscience’, in the case of Ayurveda, at least. Hopefully this should lead to a wider public awareness that TPTB, i.e. the IMA, is not always the final word on everything in medical matters.

  237. @JMG thanks for the Do the Math link – a fun exploration of how impossible the predicament we are in really is in terms of expectations of continued BAU growth and progress narrative being refutable with some fairly simple maths…

    @Patricia Mathews – cradle to grave analysis just has not been done and yet, amazingly to me at least, we have politicians trying to one up each other as to how much sooner than can promise net zero carbon by 2030 or 2050. No one asks them to explain how they could possibly achieve these goals.

    @Helix – thanks for the Solarex example. Interesting that they did already try the experiment and fail. You would think if it’s true the technology is so much better now and so much cheaper it would be trivial to rerun the experiment to prove its possible! And yet I don’t believe anyone has run the experiment again and still we hear claims we will be net zero by 2030 or 2040 or…. No one seems to ever stop to ask how exactly we are making all these renewable devices….. it boggles my mind. It seem such an obvious question to ask.

    @oilman2 – thanks for the intel from experience and links. I agree, everything we have today in fossil fuel derived which is why I voted for having JMG do the sanity check on the prevailing claim and plans, gathering steam day by day, of world leaders to be planning to transition the whole world to “clean” renewable energy. Yet a quick search on the internet can clearly show that whilst it is true the percentage of energy coming form renewables is rising slowly, something around 13% I believe, we *still* significantly increase the amount of fossil fuel the world uses every single year. Our world in data https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-consumption has some great graphs that show this clearly.

    China, India, Indonesia to name just a few – all of their citizens want the same standard of living that all of us living in the west now enjoy. There is only one way that will happen – a significant *increase* in fossil fuel use. I guess the true believers think an energy miracle will occur and some as yet undiscovered solution is about to emerge…

  238. “Mouse, so why didn’t the leaders of the Soviet Union do that? They had at least as many missiles, you know.”
    In part because a large part of the Soviet leadership themselves dismantled the Soviet system and took overt control of what they had already had control over. In the process, they rid themselves of most of the obligations of the Soviet state toward the Soviet working class. Eastern Europe was different, as were some of the non-Russian soviet republics (the Baltic states), but there was no mass uprising that overthrew the Soviet state in Russia. It was largely an inside job. Somewhat similar to the Roman Senatorial class switching over to become Christian bishops.
    This does not mean that the Soviet leaders would have murdered masses of their soon-to-be-ex subjects otherwise. The only case I know of that is close to that was the Japanese murdering many Okinawans and causing many others to commit suicide near the end of WW2, but even they did not do that with the folks on the mainland.

  239. JMG- can you think of comparable crises of authority in the past ?(not the more common political type but those more intellectual in nature). Did even hunter gatherers need to regularly reconstruct their creation myths as they wandered the planet?

    The black death in Europe springs to mind for me. The church had a monopoly on explaining the nature of the reality beforehand. During the plague the church failed to adequately explain what was happening or why, or do much about it. I believe the damage to its authority set the stage for scientific explanations about the physical world to spark and grow, leaving spiritual matters to the church. After the industrial revolution the authority of the church in the west has withered away to almost nothing. Could you see a similar splitting of authority ahead of us? Or are old systems being replaced wholesale with something new the more common result?

  240. Re: ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and no-effect bias

    There are so many variables – dosage, timing, stage of illness at which treatment begins, underlying treatment protocol (other medications/interventions), illness severity, etc. These are all methodological considerations, which means that a study of 10,000 people can still fail to find a real effect if it uses the wrong methods (e.g. starting treatment too late, or using too low/high of a dose, or failing to include another medication, or including another medication that counteracts the effects).

    There are tricks for finding an effect where none exists – like p-hacking, or running a bunch of studies and only publishing the ones that find something interesting. However, it is *much* easier to design a study that finds no effect, when finding no effect is the desired outcome. No harm from smoking. No harm from EM radiation. No harm from pesticides. No harm from vaccines. No benefit from herbal medicines. No benefit from ivermectin. All that is necessary is to have some idea of the mechanism by which an effect might happen, and to design the study so that this mechanism doesn’t come into play.

    I’m not saying that I’m sure that’s going on here – only that it is obvious to me that there is plenty of motivation to suppress/ignore the effectiveness of cheap and widely-available treatments.

    I tend to respect Sebastian Rushworth’s analyses. He focuses on randomized controlled trials but also discusses methodological problems and author biases/conflicts of interest. He doesn’t feel that the data justifies hydroxychloroquine use, but he is convinced that ivermectin works at least well enough to justify some big robust studies. https://sebastianrushworth.com/2021/05/09/update-on-ivermectin-for-covid-19/

  241. @Jo we the IEA report.

    I found this so surprising, I had to wonder what they were up to. I was pondering on whether they were calling the bluff of the green techno-utopians so as to take the attack pressure off the industry.

    MCB

  242. Hi

    @Mattias Gralle #240
    I just thought I’d mention that I follow the Mexican development and theybseem to have good and quantifiable results with Invermectin treatment.

    “Widespread distribution of ivermectin proves effective in Mexico against COVID-19” https://trialsitenews.com/widespread-distribution-of-ivermectin-proves-effective-in-mexico-against-covid-19/

    Too bad I have to buy the stuff for me and family from some dodgy internet site that might mean I’m not even getting the correct substance…. which would be bad if we ever need to use it.
    Ola

  243. Something with the replication crisis that I find fascinating is that, adjusted to submission ratio, those papers that cannot be replicated and the ones most likely to be referenced in subsequent studies. As such a lot of unrepeatable studies are producing further twisted non-repeatable studies are thus compounding the problem. It is fascinating watching those in field getting more desperate trying to wallpaper over the cracks in the wall of their field.

    As for the Pentagon UFO stuff. If the Pentagon had any serious footage of something that was genuinely unknown, they would be very quietly studying it – not releasing the footage to the public for everyone to gawk at. About the only thing that we can take out of these releases is to look for things in the sky that look like those blobs – especially around various military bases.

    @JMG “Interestingly, that also happened right before the 1973 oil crisis, and right before the 2007 oil crisis. Not that I’m predicting anything, mind you…”

    About month back when I mentioned ‘After Progress’, you said you might consider doing another Peak oil book after oil breaks $100 USD per barrel. I figured that point would be in about 3-5 years time but it is looking we will break that point a bit quicker than anticipated. No pressure on the book, but it is astounding watching this stuff creep up yet again while folks stare blankly in confusion as problems start stacking up yet again.

  244. OK not as low as Hegel is helpful. I didn’t realize Girard was a psychologist. Hmmm….

    I keep thinking there is something that can be said, some message distributed, that will have people snap out of the weirdness. There’s just no going back, is there?

    Anyway not to worry everything is still progressing! I just saw that United is buying up to 50 supersonic aircraft that run on sustainable jet fuel before 2029. That announcement was a new record in absurd things in one statement. Usually it’s one or two items they try to pass at a time. Here’s the website https://boomsupersonic.com Even the name is something a child would call a company. If one looks closely the interior is one large seat on each side of the aisle, so these are basically private aircraft for the very wealthy. They say they are going to charge people $100 to fly to Sydney. Delusion or flat-out lying? Hard to tell.

  245. Hi John

    Great piece as always.

    Regarding the vaccines, my sense is that most people have been virtually brainwashed into thinking that they have to take these vaccines to avoid the dreaded plague (Covid-19) and generally don’t want to hear about either the short-term side effects or unknown longer term side effects of these vaccines.

    I also suspect many (and it has already started) of the deaths and severe reactions will not be directly connected to the jab.

    Found two more interesting articles:

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fvaccinechoicecanada.com%2Fin-the-news%2Fopen-letter-to-dr-bonnie-henry-from-bc-physician-re-moderna-vaccine-reactions%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1NQE7uS8b2HJpm5nAts28gjMNMHV0-uWmYYVLcVOdZlwnrdq3TIEevVs4&h=AT1vNicdwGxvkMj5PpLey24VelkWZWIYR61QmT0SP6fqqqwfbVMVcpLfQoCGZlQD01e2dHebGZCmJ_dU3AuJOZm5fgIMcUxZ58F9MabM2jI2zzmYX_-zC1XRgxxknqA1iZs

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20210602095146%2Fhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestandard.com.hk%2Fbreaking-news%2Fsection%2F4%2F173622%2FTwelve-died-last-week-after-Covid-vaccination%2C-four-suffered-miscarriages&h=AT1vNicdwGxvkMj5PpLey24VelkWZWIYR61QmT0SP6fqqqwfbVMVcpLfQoCGZlQD01e2dHebGZCmJ_dU3AuJOZm5fgIMcUxZ58F9MabM2jI2zzmYX_-zC1XRgxxknqA1iZs

    Both suggesting that in “the real world” rising cases of people getting ill and dying from theses vaccines continues to pile up.

  246. aNanyMouse, you should read about leninthink . Early Soviet brass really was extremely nasty to its own people. It’s quite a horrible chapter of history.

  247. JMG,

    you know, that article you link on the new replication crisis is testament of an extreme rot in science. A factor of 153 means that science is off to fantasyland but on a rocket. This will be a very interesting century indeed.

    As a side note, concerning covid-19, I’ve been wondering for a while if the whole thing is nothing but a huge hallucination induced by a combination of layers upon layers of bad science, and terribly indirect methods of observation. Nobody seems to make a big deal about the fact that, if the basic narrative of the virus is even a little true, then lockdowns absolutely should have worked. What does follow from their failure? (I oppose lockdowns for moral and ethical reasons, JFTR). In any case that’s why I suspect that the lab leak theory is one of those *not even wrong* theories.

  248. Request for the 5th Wednesday – how about a post related to something you said in your various podcast interviews about your start in magic. You’ve mentioned beginning magic studies as a troubled young man in the boring suburbs of Seattle. With the release of your latest book and the blog doing the Levi study, a post from you that occurs as an invitation to those of any age out there who want to change their lives through magic could be helpful to our collective futures. If everyone is feeling this breaking point, then the sharing of your journey could be a beacon.

  249. If it is not too late to cast a vote.
    You once wrote a story about a journalist from a lost continent.
    “Atlantis won’t sink; experts agree” I think it was called.
    I must admit it took me in and I reread it just a couple of weeks ago. And liked to imagine how the priestes of the Sea temple and her compatriots fared.
    Could I vote for a sequel?

  250. Ok, so I have listened to one of your recent podcasts** and now I know exactly what I would like to vote for in a post (whenever suits, but I will welcome it)… “The Proper Care and Feeding of Egregores”… the instant I heard you say this phrase I thought – yes, that is what I would like to know something about.

    ** this was the one that was posted on Youtube, producing the irony that I was listening to you on a podcast that is sponsored by ads for buying gold, and for getting set up with grid-tied solar panels, as ways to gain certainty in an uncertain future… I could just see you rolling your eyes during these “now a wee spell from our sponsors” episodes… 😉

  251. IEA wants to drive science-fiction writers out of business with their new Road map. But they are honest in two cases. First, they admit that 50% of the emission reduction must come from technologies that do not exist outside laboratories.
    Secondly, they admit that after analyzing what countries of the Paris Agreement say they will do, to stop climate change, fossil fuels will still be the most important source of energy and we will just go back to the year … 2000. If we look at what signatories actually do, fossil fuels we will be used more than today (not much but more).
    Last but not least, IEA is going to stop the burning of wood for cooking by the end of 2050 – thanks to French bureaucrats backward tradition with four hundred thousand years of history will vanish. Amazonian hunters-gatherers can already place their orders for a modern wood pellet boiler.

  252. i find it troubling how quickly people who claim to know more about science than scientists dismiss the scientific method in action. Covid-19 is a NOVEL coronavirus. Novel means new, unseen. NOTHING was known about it at the outset, and it was rationally assumed that since it was related to SARS, it didn’t spread via aerosol. As knowledge increased, that stance was reversed. That’s how science works: in light of new evidence, opinions change.

  253. @JMG Its fair to say that most institutions are currently less effective then they were at some previous high point. I’m just suggesting that we shouldn’t accept the narrative that the institutions are/were the causally linked to scientific advancement when the advancement usually occurred in spite of institutional gatekeepers. Its also a mistake to underestimate the survival instincts of a few institutions that can slowly back away from a counterproductive ideology to secure a substantial advantage over their competitors.

    The main function of the institutions has been to cultivate middle management (ish, some animals are more equal than others) types who do the busy work. The ranks of the most innovative edge of the institutions have been mostly populated by outsiders who produce discoveries that rattle the institutions first and get co-opted by the institutions later. Usually the outsiders were let in during times of crisis, or outside ideas get accepted posthumous when they can get the milk without the annoyance of the dairy farmer. This isn’t just pop culture inspired rumination on the rise of a wild haired patent clerk. Remember that hand washing and water boiling were mostly rejected by their contemporaries and that germ theory is one of our civilizations stabilizing forces. (Perhaps one of the few advancements that will survive an energy collapse).

    I’m neither optimistic or pessimistic here. There is plenty of opportunity to forestall some of the failure conditions you (I think accurately) outline but its dangerous to put our hopes in dreams in institutions that are effectively the true welfare queen’s of our age. But fools who persist in their folly can become wise. Institutions are just groups of people.

  254. Thomas Parker #2 asks ‘what can we do about it’ A Frenchman Etienne de la Boetie wrote, in 1552 (the time leading up to the French revolts), that a tyrant and its tyrannical institutions only exits with the consent of the people, and thus the way to ‘do something about it’ was in fact to ‘simply’ withdraw that consent. In effect, if the oppressed withdraw their consent to be oppressed, then the oppressor has no tools with which to exercise tyranny. Boetie recognised that the tyrannical regime required a vast network of corrupted people all with an interest in sustaining the tyranny. The eyes that spy on you are a citizen’s eyes, the ears that listen to your secrets are those of your parents, or your children, or your friends, the arms hold the batons that beat you at the marches are the arms of your brothers. Layer upon layer of perfidy and fear entwine the people of the nation, and these must be purged. The first acts then are to withdraw support for and sustenance of the tyrant – a passive act. Then as the tyrant’s henchmen reveal themselves, further ‘inactions’ can encourage those miscreants to change their ways. Simple? No. Possible? It has been proven to be so. There is hope.

  255. @ John P Evans RE: Paykans…

    You’re welcome. I try to supply what I can to dispel the fog of things. Iran was the first foreign country I visited, at age 15, when my girlfriends father, the Colonel, was transferred there. I got invited, and took a series of transports from Corpus Christi with one of his Sergeants. That changed my view of Iranians and set my feet on a different path than I imagined.

    I think what you are seeing with the Paykans is a great example of Jevons Paradox. I also believe, based on what I have seen wrt Russia and Iran, that economic sanctions are useless in a world where there exists more than a singular economic power. They tend to force all opponents to work together and thus actually harden opposition ties to overcome the intended effects of the sanctions. Look at what Russia has built and set up regarding SWIFT sanctions – we “forced” them to build an alternate clearing system, no small task. It is quite the shame that those pulling the levers on all this cannot even conceive the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    And it’s a shame that 99% of Americans believe that Iran is a desert country…LOL

    @ Simon S RE: we Boomers…
    My father offered us a choice of university education or to set us up in a trade when we were 17. He was a Korean war vet, and his wartime job was to take out a tugboat in Alaska and catch King crab to ship to the Pentagon. He and 5 other guys did that during the entire war after their initial assignment shipboard. He remained convinced until his death that the MILplex was completely corrupt.

    I chose university, with my sights set on being a doctor. I got accepted into Med school, but then took a summer job working offshore. I never looked back, even though my parents were, initially, very let down at my choice. I followed my father and grandfather into the oilfield, and put all 4 of my kids through college with the same offer my father gave my brothers and I at graduation from high school.

    I think my parents offered me the choice in order to give me a “leg up” on entering life. I provided the same to my kids – what else would I do? Put money in the bank and watch them struggle as I buy more “stuff”? Nah – they will ALWAYS be my children, regardless of how old they are. I will ALWAYS try to help them any way I can – I’m quasi-Nietzschean that way…

    When this wokeness burns itself out, when colleges begin to shut their doors due to low enrollment and political correctness removes itself – then colleges may be worth attending. Yet I am hoping that apprenticeships will rise again for my descendants, as they are much more effective means of teaching things efficiently. That is how the oilfield used to work, with unspoken apprenticeships everywhere. All my kids view their degrees as necessary, to even be employed outside of a trade. They all would have done differently if there were a way to align what they wanted to do, but for Millennials, was no alternate path due to the way our society was/is structured.

    The offer my father made to us was college or trade – but there was an education to be had no matter which path we chose. My father was a good guy; I try to be like him in many ways.

    @ Galen RE: disclosures…
    I am in full agreement with JMG on what you posted. It’s not what they posit, but what they deny that has historically become truth. Look around – we are fairly swimming in ‘conspiracy theories’ become fabric of our reality!

  256. Hi again JMG.

    More grist for the Virtual Mill.

    VR visors for commercial pilots? Sure, why not?

    https://www.aviationtoday.com/2019/10/29/business-jet-pilots-ready-wearable-head-display/

    Regular reality not good enough? Augment it!

    https://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/08/prweb14621269.htm

    And given that these technologies are usually around for a decade or two before the powers that be ‘fess up, they could very well have been in use during the Nimitz TicTac episodes.

    The TicTacs’ defiance of Newtonian physics is immediately suspect… But suppose you could project a movie or still image into the air above a large body of water?

    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-holograms-d-thin-air.html

    The technology is here apparently, and I’d imagine it’s been here a long time. The opportunities for messing with people’s perceptions (‘perception management’) and interpretations of said perceptions abound!

    The same sorts of brutally casual attitudes toward the physical &/or mental health of individuals serving in uniform (think Tuskegee Airmen) that have manifested in the past could be in play still, nicely summed up in the words Madeleine Albright, though in her case a different group of human beings suffered under their application: “We think the price is worth it.”

    Have a good one!

    Casey

  257. about UFOs, I remember listening to late night radio when I was a kid in Maine. Area 51 was always discussed with the various federal people involved threatened with their lives and pensions. (yes pensions.) Area 51 and the people who get threaten seems to change through each iteration of the telling. It started off with FDR’s secretary and her pension, now it is who knows what…..

    It would seem that the government and the people are at odds to UFOs with the government being silent. People coming up with theories. Now the government isn’t silent, and I had to pick myself off the floor.

    Perhaps there really is a Q in the government and this is Q’s doing. I wonder what threads get pulled and what pops out.

    My working theory about Biden is that he is senile and that a cadre of people (two or three) prop him up and saying all these idiotic things and doings. But each is a show piece, with no resolution of any kind. I wonder if the UFOs is another show piece.

  258. Even the oil people are warning of unintended consequences…

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Climate-Revolt-Against-Big-Oil-May-Lead-To-Surge-In-Crude-Prices.html

    One of the Big 3 controlling brokerage firms is responsible for these goings on:

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Blackrock-Investors-Cannot-Run-Away-From-Oil-Industry.html

    The fact that they made this statement means exactly the opposite will likely transpire, as they will be trading accordingly. Blackrock has a simple business plan – lead them into the barn and shear the sheep.

    If the independent majors (BP, Chevron, XOM, etc.) continue down the road that they have taken to date, this will leave national oil companies as the primary explorers. We have been trending that way for a decade, with companies like Pemex and Petronas taking positions in ventures outside of their own countries and embarking into Africa as well. This puts supply wholly into the hands of nations other than those in the west.

  259. “Later still, we had the rise of atheism and materialism: all reactions to the ongoing descent into the realm of Saturn.”

    This is an interesting example of how, as Bayo Akomolafe says “what if the reaction to the problem is part of the problem?” It seems like so many actions, even of people who have developed their will, are part of larger patterns. Fate is a sticky thing.

  260. @ JMG – In a similar vein to the ‘official’ 180s on UFOs and the Rona, and the public distrust of experts that engenders, I think the low-key wage strike going on in this country in another indicator that real change is afoot. From my perspective, the fact that people are refusing to re-enter the workforce because they bring home more on unemployment (which, at $600 per week in the most generous states, isn’t exactly a fat income), than working, indicates to me that a lot of Americans are fed up with the economic status quo. My hope, and I’m pretty sure this hope will be in vain, is that as those benefits go away, and people are forced back into the workplace, they will demand higher wages and/or benefits. If the cops decide to stand by and let strikes happen, rather than put them down, that could be the spark needed for real change.

    On a related note, here’s an op-ed from Newsweek, of all places, discussing the death of the idea of ‘trust the experts.’ Seems the ideas you’re writing about have slithered out of the crawlspaces and onto the living room floor, if I’m not stretching the metaphor too much:
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/covid-19-has-forever-destroyed-americans-trust-in-ruling-class-experts-opinion/ar-AAKHSPQ?ocid=spartan-dhp-feeds

    On last week’s AMA topic; can you recommend anyone to cast natal charts?

  261. I have been reading Paul Wallis and his Eden series. His is the trope that aliens are Gods who created people. UFOs come into this as the aliens are still tinkering around. Also, he repeats the idea that they send a death ray or something every thousand years to destroy civilizations such as Lemuria.

    Anyway, I have poked around with the alien as God trope for a long time. My recent idea is that there are a lot of post-modern people who are firmly wedded in the material universe. Therefore reading old creation myths is not an exercise in theology but an exercise in science. (Especially the ones from Mesopotamia.) The UFOs take on a physical hard sense rather than an occult sense.

    Perhaps that is what is leaking through the media – the idea of making all things material whether they are or not.

  262. JMG,
    I noticed some of the discussion in the comments goes back to the managerial class.

    I asked before but I would like to understand how you explain the reduction of quality of life that the managerial class has suffered in the last year?
    The oligarchs have got everything they wanted – not only trillion of dollars but freedom to travel and quiet tourist spots.
    The PMCs have gotten the chance to work from home but other than that is all bad. A whole year of panic, restrictions to travel, limitations to what they can buy (e.g. cars due to lack of chips) and now of course they have a much higher chance of dying of the gene therapy than they ever had of dying of the virus (whatever it is).

    My theory is that PMCs are just tools, useful idiots that will follow in the footsteps of the working class – used and discarded.

    Can you give me a prediction that follows from your belief that the PMCs are leading the world? What advantage will they get?

  263. @Neptune’s Dolphins

    You explained, “Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a heterodox macroeconomic framework that says monetarily sovereign countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Canada, which spend, tax, and borrow in a fiat currency that they fully control…”

    I wonder if you might add your thoughts to the following – which is my own current thinking on the major flaw in this theory…

    1. There is no real “fiat currency” in existence (although such a thing is theoretically possible), since what are called “fiat currencies” at present are actually created using the mechanism of debt.
    2. When you issue a loan, you simultaneously create a legally enforceable creditor claim upon a borrower’s effort and/or property.
    3. This being the case, it is simply not the case that any currency is “fully control[led]” by any government – and even less are they “fully control[led]” by any nation – taking a “nation” to mean the people who are members of that entity. Instead, such currencies, consisting, as they do, of creditor claim chitties, are controlled by their beneficiaries – the net creditor class.
    4. The net creditor class appears to be a supra-national class, who can perform the simultaneous trick of recruiting government force to back up their claims against individual borrowers (both when they are keeping up their payments and when they are defaulting on them), while remaining outside of the purview of national laws in the lawless wild west of “multi-national” or “international” or “global” space.
    5. Any “magical” increase in the amount of money must therefore entail a “magical” increase in the number of legally enforceable creditor claims being held by the lawless at the expense of the legally bound, law-abiding net borrower class.

  264. JMG, I vote for the discussion of ancient civilizations and their vanished technologies

  265. @ Lark – I’ll throw a few cents in on some of your questions/thoughts:

    1 – Yes humans have always engaged in some form of mass violence, but the degree of violence is certainly quite various. For instance, compare the endemic warfare of ancient Sumeria, which got quite brutal if the sources and archeological evidence are to be believed,, with the contemporary Indus River Valley civilization. The Indus people had comparable sized cities and agricultural technology, but warfare and communal violence seems to have been much less frequent and not as intense. It would help if could read their writing, though….

    2 – Oh boy. What if Florida’s electoral votes had gone to the man who actually secured the most votes.. I was 18 in 2000, so the Bush v Gore mess was a bit of a political coming-of-age moment for me, and as such, my opinion is certainly biased. All that being said, I think the trajectory of the last 20 years would have been quite different, in a couple of important ways:
    1 – Gore would not have invaded Iraq. Right of the bat, thousands of American soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive, to say nothing of the long-term costs of the Iraq War to the US Treasury. The geopolitical impacts of the Iraq War will reverberate for decades, and could take up a full book on their own.
    2 – I doubt that Gore would have signed off on the two rounds of ‘trickle down be another name’ tax cuts that Bush signed. This would have not only helped reduce the country’s debt, but it would have slowed the speed with which the wealth of this country was vacuumed up by the financial elites. I would argue that even a relatively more equitable distribution of wealth in this country would have kept millions of working-class Americans out of the current poverty and desperation in which we find ourselves.
    3 – It was two Bush appointees to the US Supreme Court that cast deciding votes on the Citizen’s United case, thus opening the floodgates of dark money into federal elections. While I’m not saying that governance was squeaky clean before 2010, it would be nice if it were moderately more difficult for the rich and powerful to outright buy politicians wholesale. While we can’t say for sure, I doubt that Gore would have appointed people to the Supreme Court that would have found in favor of Citizen’s United.
    4 – If Gore won, I think he would have kept the US in the Kyoto Accords. While I realize that the Accords didn’t have much in the way of teeth, BUT, I think the symbolic act is meaningful, and I take Gore at his word that he would have pushed for some kind of carbon-reduction legislation in Congress or pursued it through executive orders.
    5 – Given the back and forth of American politics, its also entirely possible that John McCain would have won the 2008 election, and McCain had a record of being a champion of election finance reform, and accepted the reality of climate change and the need to act to avert it. I think the US could have done much worse, than 16 years of Gore then McCain, and we are living out the consequences of the ‘much worse’ path.
    Would all this have changed the overall trajectory of industrial civilization? Probably not.
    Would a Gore win in 2000 have made the long descent much less bad? I think so.
    What are your thoughts?

  266. @Mark L re: comment #232 – the minute that 2-part division of parties happens, I predict someone will propose a “Moderates” party that rejects both positions, preaches bipartisanship and Law & Order,and attracts ever business owner/management in reach. And then will fall prey to the position Business repeatedly takes with respect to their workers, so it will become known as the Shaft the Workers party by everybody , often in much hotter language. Myself, I’m leaning towards the “A Pox on All Your Houses” party.

    @ Mason Mason – bring back tar and feathers and being ridden out of town on a rail?

  267. Kenneth, and anyone else who wants to argue scientists changing their minds is acceptable in public discourse, this will go over well just as soon as you get climatologists to admit they believed an Ice Age was coming.

    The problem is not just that scientists change their minds. It’s also a matter of the fact that all too often, they then publicly pretend that did not happen, and they always said what they are saying right now. Or the spectacle of claims being splashed around the mass media claiming that scientists always thought masks were needed but didn’t want people to buy them. Since the issue is the media interpretation of science, and not science itself that’s driving the crisis of legitimacy, it doesn’t mater what the scientists are saying.

    Why should I ever trust someone again when they are saying outright they lied to me to try to make me do what they thought right.

    JMG,

    On the topic of the Magic Resistance, it’s occurred to me to wonder about something: the workings Hughes designed lacked the ability to draw a lot of power, but we can be fairly sure there were alt-right mages who threw monkey-wrenches at them. Would that have charged the workings as a whole, and not just the part being thrown the monkey-wrench? For example, there were a lot of people who decided to use Hughes’ Bind Trump working to bind anyone from being able to repeat Trump’s lies (I know of at least three groups that apparently independently created workings for that), on the basis that Trump supporters never need to do that, and arguing against his lies would be harder if you could not say what they were.

    This seems to have had an effect, given how rare it is for anyone to ever repeat any of his clear, unequivocal lies, but did it also charge and strengthen the rest of the working? I ask because I’m noticing that there has been a massive shift lately towards pulling off the goal at the heart of the Magic Resistance, namely stripping the right from having any place in the public sphere. It would also help explain why the left has grown so much more incoherent lately, and seems to be embodying many of the Magic Resistance ideas in their most unbalanced and extreme forms.

    If this is the case, then things could get a lot more interesting before all of this is over……

  268. @Denis re: Comment #260. Charge $100 for a flight to Sydney on an SST? That’s less than you’d expect to pay for a seat in a Cessna from Melbourne, I’ll bet. What bean counters would possibly sign off on this? I’m betting this is a practical joke. If not, someone needs to be quietly escorted to the nearest rest home and be examined for creeping dementia.

  269. @Daniel (#83)

    Two observations:

    1. The considerations that have to be taken into account when interpreting the data affect both the pre-covid figures and the post-covid figures equally, so a comparison of the datasets is still valid; and:

    2. The arguments offered by the “fact-checkers” in favor of disregarding this data are exactly the same as those offered by their opponents in favor of disregarding the official covid mortality statistics – so the one cannot be discredited without equally discrediting the other.

  270. @Ksim (#196)

    I think you’re right about the fate of the US going out with a whimper, but I believe it is the best still viable outcome.

  271. About the Age of Aquarius and its position in the big precessional cycle, I believe from my own experiences and from the experiences of others that spiritual and magical activity are still possible. So the Ages of Aquarius and Capricornus would be distanced from spiritual realities only relatively speaking, not in an absolute sense. Am I on the right track there?

  272. More about Bill Gates: the plot thickens.

    https://usrtk.org/bill-gates-food-tracker/radical-menu/

    What is interesting about this article, in addition to the description of Gates’ outrageous beliefs about food and farming–I will say that he does put his money where his mouth is–is that is has been picked up in lamestream media. I have always believed that the GMO/bioengineering industry has a lot more overt and covert influence than most of us realize. Farming not having the glamor of oil or even pharma, it tends to be overlooked. (Speculation ahead) We do all understand that discrediting and possible disappearance of Gates won’t make his money go away. That will remain, with designated Good Person Melinda as figurehead, probably with a lucrative book contract to keep her out from underfoot. This is exactly the same play that was run on the formerly respected organization Seed Saver’s Exchange. In that case the heirloom seed saving and organic farming movements had developed enough resiliency that they could absorb the blow and keep on going. The comment above from Void about the milk and the dairy farmer is most apropos here.

  273. @Antoinetta

    …it’d be a huge shock, but I’ve actually visited in Viet Nam when the price of gas (once you figured out the exchange rate, and worked out how many litres per gallon) was around $12/gallon. That was over a decade ago, and everything still functioned. And from what I’ve heard, it hasn’t changed a lot in the intervening years. They live a lot more energy-sparing lifestyle than we do, and the main mode of motor transport are small-engine motorbikes and scooters that use gas very sparingly. Life goes on.

    The real question is, when (not if) gas prices reach that level in the US, how long will it take us to start dismantling the stupid regulations that prevent us from using the types of vehicles that are commonplace where gas has always been terrifically expensive? Right now, EPA pollution metrics specify that emissions have to meet a per-gallon standard rather than a per-mile standard, which prevents the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles being sold here. Our speed limits are too high to make those little motorbikes even remotely safe, and we are not allowed to transport children on them (in VN, they are used as the family car– I have seen two parents and three kids pile onto the same scoot!). This of course assumes a fair amount of highway risk, but not as much as you’d think, because nobody’s driving all that fast… and if our road maintenance keeps on going downhill, we’ll end up with de-facto speed limits in the same range… wheee!

    Also, what will it take to ditch our stupid zoning laws, that actively prohibit cities and neighborhoods being set up so that all your basic needs are in walking distance? We can hardly even imagine how much gas it saves… and how much of a boost it is to basic quality of life, when you can walk across the street to buy butter and eggs, and not have to get in your car, drive fifteen minutes, park, walk half a mile across the parking lot, wait in line to fight with a glitchy self-checkout, drive back home, etc.

  274. Adam Ash @ 270 I am finding your post a bit puzzling. The Frenchman, Boetie, published in 1552, which you describe as “the time leading up to the French revolts”. Do you refer to the religious wars? The French Revolution is generally said to have begun in 1789; that is 237 years later, or slightly less time than the US of A has been in existence under our present constitution.

    Your concluding thought is:

    The first acts then are to withdraw support for and sustenance of the tyrant – a passive act. Then as the tyrant’s henchmen reveal themselves, further ‘inactions’ can encourage those miscreants to change their ways. Simple? No. Possible? It has been proven to be so. There is hope.

    The only cases of which I know when this has proven to be possible are when the passive resistors had some kind of outside support. My reading of history suggests that indigenous resistance can rarely take down an imperialist master; what it can sometimes do is induce that master to be satisfied with tribute and some pro forma acknowledgement of subordination. Wales under the Plantagenets, for example or the more inaccessible parts of Anatolia under various empires.

  275. @off the pools (#135)

    When we bought our rural property some 15 years ago, we looked into the feasibility of using our (already cleared) land for a solar panel installation. What we found out was that when the cost of construction, installation, and maintenance was compared to the available energy yield over the useful life of the machinery, the cost per kilowatt-hour was four times higher than just buying it from the provincial utility. Sure, there was a government-subsidized program in place that drastically overpayed for the energy to be fed into the grid, but even at those inflated rates the breakeven point would have been about 12 years down the road – and it relied on the subsidy program remaining undiminished throughout the entire period. Needless to say, we opted to not proceed with the project, and gladly so because about 6 months after we made that decision, the subsidy program underwent a “rate adjustment” that stretched the breakeven period from the original 12 years out to 19 years – just 1 year less than the life expectancy of the equipment, and contingent on the already-compromised subsidy program surviving another four or five elections!

    Anyone who tells you green energy can pay for itself is full of * and hasn’t done the math.

  276. Oilman 2 @ 271: Sanctions are for domestic consumption. Having designated an evilly evilish opponent whom all us patriots must hate, the ruling classes must be seen to be doing Something about said opponent. There being no more public appetite outside of neocon gated community for overseas adventuring, sanctions it is. The dictator’s trophy bride won’t be able to shop on 5th Ave. anymore oh my goodness. Nevermind that she shops online now. Sanctions are also a bit of a sop to those of us who would like to see a sensible immigration policy.

    About Iran not being desert, might I respectfully suggest that you, as, I gather from your posts, a fairly successful fellow and local property owner have enough clout to attend local school board meetings and publicly ask why American kids are not being taught geography. Provide examples from your own experience of shocking ignorance of basic geographic fact.

  277. @ blue sun #290: I need to find the buyer of “Io Sono”, and sell him the sole copy of my performance of John Cage’s 4:33.
    I notice he also installed an invisible Buddha on a public square in Milan. I wonder if he applied for a permit from the municipality? If not, I’m sure someone in the bureaucracy will fine him for erecting a sculpture without permission.

  278. “The precession of the equinoxes is taking the earth from a period of relative closeness to spiritual powers (the ages of Leo and Cancer, ruled by the Sun and Moon) toward a period of relative separation from spiritual powers (the ages of Aquarius and Capricorn, ruled traditionally by Saturn…and will be there for another 4178 years”

    Well I think that answers the question why magic is weaker now than it used to be in the past.
    We’ll have to wait till the age changes…4178 years is a long time!

  279. David, by the lake, Entryism is what happened. This was back in the 00s, as I recall. I can look up links if you want the whole dirty story. The hostile takeover resulted in SSE donating seeds to the Svalbord vault, where, according to the treaty, they are available to anyone who requests them for any purpose whatsoever. Gates Foundation is a major donor to the Svalbord project.

    This intrigue provoked the exodus from SSE of some of its’ most renowned and productive members. Since then there has been a veritable explosion of small and medium sized companies offering heritage seeds, often home grown. Almost no one in that movement uses the non-profit model anymore.

  280. Regarding the elites and possible French Revolution and guillotine like doings…

    …a better alternative that would spare them their lives, while still humiliating them would be…

    enradishment.

  281. I”m afraid that I disagree with Patricia O and others here who see a connection (causal?) between 5G and COVID. It looks to me like a red herring, and my suspicion is that after it has been soundly debunked everyone will be urged to conclude from that that 5G is harmless. That’s flawed logic, of course. Here I’m with JMG, (which is not always the case) thinking that RF exposure, from 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G, radar, microwave ovens, smart meters, Wi-Fi, “smart” devices of all sorts and the dreaded “what have you” could be an aggravating factor in many illnesses, including COVID.

  282. Since someone above in a comment mentioned Ron Unz’s theory I’ll add my two bits worth of pure speculation. It appears to me that the reason Unz blamed in on the “deep state” was that he wanted to steer way clear of blaming it on the “shallow state.” COVID began appearing in Wuhan at around the time that the Iranian General was assassinated by a US drone strike; a very reckless act, authorized by whom? Anyway; deep state or shallow state, if Unz’s theory is correct, given the relative economic effect on China compared to that on the US, wouldn’t that be the “raspberry jam effect” with a vengeance?

  283. Drakonus, no question, there’s a vast amount of overt fraud in science these days, and yes, much of it is bought and paid for by corporate interests. There’s an even larger amount of sloppy science that simply rehashes the conventional wisdom, using shoddy experimental design to do it.

    Off the Pools, you’re welcome! Murphy’s site is a must-read.

    Zeroinput, sure. The examples that come first to mind, since I’ve studied the periods in detail, is the implosion of legitimacy in the western Roman empire that allowed the Christian church to seize power, the implosion of legitimacy in France in the decade or so leading up to 1789, and the implosion of legitimacy all across central and eastern Europe that erased the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires from history in 1917-1918. The Black Death is a more complex situation but it’s also worth taking into account; you might also look at the collapse of Catholic authority in northern Europe in the era of the Reformation.

    MCB, that’s one possibility. I need to study it much more closely.

    Michael, I’m already considering outlines and first chapters. Brent crude, one of the global benchmark varieties, has stayed above $70 a barrel for some days now — you know, the price that apocalyptically minded peak oilers used to insist would bring the global economy crashing down overnight, and bright-green-minded peak oilers used to insist would magically solve all the problems with renewable energy — and Louisiana Light and Bonny Light have joined it above that line. (West Texas Intermediate is still a little below, but it’s rising.) I expect the Biden administration to find excuses to lift sanctions on Iran very soon, since keeping the price of oil down is essential to political survival these days, but that’ll simply postpone the inevitable crisis a little.

    Denis, yes, we heard this same drivel the last time supersonic airliners were the hot new technology, back in the 1960s. SSTs are like nuclear reactors — they’re safe, clean, and affordable until the day somebody makes the mistake of building one.

    Forecasting, there are cleaner, non-Faceplant URLs for those:
    https://vaccinechoicecanada.com/in-the-news/open-letter-to-dr-bonnie-henry-from-bc-physician-re-moderna-vaccine-reactions/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20210602095146/https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/173622/Twelve-died-last-week-after-Covid-vaccination,-four-suffered-miscarriages
    We’ll just have to see how things proceed from here; it’s early days yet.

    Mario, that’s a fascinating point, and worth exploring.

    Denis, one way or another, I’ll consider that.

    Marko, as far as I know, the sequel would be one word: “Blub!”

    Scotlyn, so noted — it’s on the list.

    Misza, back when I was first writing science fiction stories, magazine editors in the field had their own jargon for the most common mistakes novice writers made. Stories that weren’t science fiction in any meaningful sense, but were simply Westerns (or other adventure stories) transplanted into outer space, were “Bat Durston stories.” Stories in which the author pulled off some kind of asinine reveal on the last page got the label “Tomato Surprise.” The most common and most damning of the lot, though, were the three letters DNC. Those stood for “Does Not Convince,” and marked a story in which the characters, the technology, or some other factor did what they did for no better reason than that the story would fall apart otherwise. The IEA Road Map is among the best examples of a DNC story I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure they know perfectly well that it’s not going to happen — the point is to give their privileged readers something to cling to, so they can keep on consuming the planet under the delusion that someone else is going to fix everything.

    Kenneth, if you’d taken the time to read my post, and maybe even to think about it, you’d realize that screaming “Shut up, you peons! How dare you criticize your betters! We know what we’re doing!”– as of course you’ve just done — is not an effective response to the collapse of public confidence in science.

    Void, er, where did I say that the institutions were causally linked to scientific advancement? (Hint: I didn’t.) All I’m trying to point out is that the quality of scientific research has suffered a serious decline in recent decades. A century ago most influential studies were not merely replicable, they were replicated; now, obviously, that’s not the case. I’m also trying to point out that here are important institutional factors in bringing about that decline in quality. If you think I’m putting any hope at all in “dream institutions,” though, you might want to try reading what I’ve written a little more closely.

    Casey, how wonderful. 🙁

    Justin, so noted. We’re currently running 17 votes for Yeats, 12 for lost technologies from ancient civilizations, 3 on sacred geometry, 2 on how to deal with an impending crunch, and 1 for each of the others. Voting’s still open, however!

    Neptunesdolphins, it’s precisely the garrulousness of government that has my hackles up. This whole business just stinks of disinformatsiya.

    Oilman2, the shift from independent majors to national oil companies makes sense, since access to petroleum is increasingly a political issue rather than an economic one. Of course it also allows the majors, owned mostly by shareholders in the overdeveloped world, to insist that they’re moving away from fossil fuels, secure in the knowledge that the nationals will pick up the slack and keep the oil flowing.

  284. @JMG

    I’m seconding Ksim’s vote for something about the future American great culture – unless there’s not much you feel you can add that isn’t already in the King in Orange. If not, my second preference goes towards anything Long Descent related.
    Thanks!

  285. @forecastingintelligence #261 there is definitely something afoot. I have one Cub scout who has been obsessed with seizures and strokes for a few months. He’s from one of the (rapidly piling up) Covid divorce families, and I suspect, though don’t know, it has something to do with things his mom tells him; she is always solidly on whatever the bandwagon is (which or course in Canada this week is not UFOs, but rather attempting to perform necromancy on dead residential school children rather than actually laying them to rest.)

    When we were doing first aid for camping – ticks, sunburns, nosebleeds, etc. – this kid kept asking us to talk about strokes and seizures, which we declined to do, because that’s not usually something that happens unexpectedly to kids at summer camp. Why has she been scaring him about these things happening to kids now? Are the people obsessed with covid seeing a lot of strokes in their social networks? My stepmother had pre-existing heart problems making her “at risk” and hence is terrified of covid, and hasn’t voluntarily left her house in over a year – instead she had a stroke and lost her sight in one eye. Another friend, age 42, also told she was “high risk” due to obesity (I quibble with this: it was her lifestyle choices, not her weight. To quote her husband when he finally took her to the hospital for her wheezing “You’re not out of breath because you’re fat – *I’m* fat! But I can still walk – this is something else”). Last August, she had lung clots in both lungs, got put on permanent blood thinners and blood pressure medication, then last month was told she has diabetes. Fortunately, she got her vaccination, and is now invincible to the real threat.

    Meanwhile, Chris Selley is on fire Ontario reaches peak covid incoherence

    “We have had 14 months to accept a central blessed fact about COVID-19: as bad as it is, it is largely and conspicuously uninterested in sickening and killing otherwise healthy children: The death toll among children in the United States from COVID-19 is only just now catching up to that from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which hardly anyone even remembers. ”

    Yet, here is Cub also pestering all the other kids to get booked to be vaccinated, despite the fact they aren’t old enough. Except when he was explaining to a kid why kids should both take the virus threat very seriously, but also wait their turn for salvation via vaccine he chose to phrase it thusly: “who would you rather died; you, or your grandma?”

    I’m going to have to quote Selley again, here: “Polling is fine. Polling false choices is useless.”

  286. JMG, Since my suggestion for the 5th post is probably one of the 1-pointers, I withdraw it and add a vote to the lost technologies.

  287. SLClaire – if you copy a URL and want to shorten it, check to see if there is a “?” anywhere in it. If so, what you have BEFORE the “?” will be the actual URL, and what you have AFTER the “?” is superfluous tracking information that tells anyone interested where you picked up this link (it looks like your link came to you in a campaign email, btw). I have discovered that you can delete everything after a “?” in a URL to both shorten it, and to also delete any tracking information attached to it. FWIW. 🙂

  288. @ Ksim # 196

    You wrote “I know John said America would have a Byzantine landing but I think that has passed now.”

    What is a Byzantine landing… what does that mean?

    If you have a link to the discussion where JMG said this, I would appreciate it.

  289. I am adding a vote for lost civilizations (ie, civilizations before what is currently accepted as the earliest – Sumer etc 5000 years ago, whether human or otherwise) and/or lost technology.

  290. @ Mary Bennet and ALL

    I disagree with you about sanctions – they are another means of coercion by empire, from where I sit. They do have effect, and often unintended consequences. For instance, sanctioning particular oligarchs forces them to pursue business by other means. Imagine Russia sanctioning Jamie Dimon from doing business with the EU, to put the show on the other foot. Now imagine that across the entire spectrum of USA oligarchs. In my imagination, they would immediately turn towards other large nations/markets – such as China.

    Business will find a way – we always do. Yet sanctions block off old, traditional means and routes, forcing new bedfellows and new things to develop. From where I sit, sanctions are “cutting your nose off to spite your face”. The sanctions harm entities here as much as in the sanctioning countries.

    The sanction against Rosneft had trickle down effects on my business, tbh. It’s not that they directly affected me, but items I was supplying into central Asia suddenly had Chinese competitors rolling in at prices that were too low. I lost business to Chinese companies, whose same businesses were built on the back of American manufacturing expertise – which they bought with a $6M contract with one key guy. At the end of milking him dry of tech, he was kicked to the curb and only half his contract paid out. What you gonna do? Sue a Chinese company in China?

    This would likely not have even occurred but for sanctions effects in ancillary countries. Sanctions effect those merely in the orbit of big companies and nations – unintended consequences….

    As for the school board – I am in my 60’s at this point. However, the geography issue was brought up at a school board meeting by myself in about 2012. After the 3rd obfuscating answer, I asked if anyone on the board could point out Kazakhstan on a map, and told them I had a $100 bill if anyone could. I waived the $100 bill in my hand.

    Guess what? Zero takers and immediately the board had to recess for a potty break Upon renewal of the meeting, they called for the next guy and shut me down. The adults had no idea what Asia consisted of, were I to guess.

    If we want to make changes to the school board, any school board at this point, I think the best way is to buy the change or force it via some personal researching of the board members and their personal activities – they do not understand anything except the way their environment works, and that is bribery and coercion.

    Look at the way government at all levels works – Kucinich is very right – the system changes the new people rapidly, using conformity as a bludgeon. In my metro area, Houston, the system is so big and so much money passed around that the only way I have seen things change is when new companies bring in more money to pass around.

    Were I to do this again, I would likely live an hour or more out of the metro area, where the government is small enough to be concerned by a singular pain in their ass. It might mean I was only coming home for Fri/Sat/Sun, but at least there might be a prayer for a small group to be heard. I have my farm well outside of any town, but my kids are grown and they are still teaching geography in the small high school there, albeit there is no stated geography class any longer – they call it “globaling”. Some very smart teacher made a game of it…

    Public education is a reasonably lost cause. My own kids are NOT letting their children go back post-Covid madness, and I do teach them geography with a globe and lots of vids from the various countries. They are also learning basic Spanish with me. I get them 2 afternoons a week.

    Thus I have done my bit at several levels. I view this as an inevitable part of the long descent. Looking ahead, some things need to start breaking down so we can start over – public education is one of those horrid things so corrupt that it just needs to die. Re-animating what is rapidly decomposing seems a waste of effort. Better to just take the burden yourself and let the beast starve.

    I do not say this without cause – my eldest son is Aspergery and very bright – reading before age 3 and graduated high school at 15. But the unbelievable things we had to do to get him out of a system designed for ‘one size fits all’ was both tiresome and trying.

    Were I living in a smaller city where people could affect change without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars – I would do as you say and likely be effective. Having actually waded into this nearly a decade ago, I have no desire to even enter the swamp – nothing is there except rats, skeeters, nutria, snakes and a few gators. And the smell is bad…

    YMMV, but my experiences shape my views – and we disagree about the value of what you propose, primarily because the timing for the effort should have been 20 years ago or more.

    Dammit – I wrote another novella – sorry…

  291. All right, I’m going to take another crack at the U-turn, instead of riding the specific examples again. I think I know what’s happened now. We’re at that point in a Crisis Era when all the things we’d been worrying our heads over last year, all give way to an obvious One Great Problem which must be solved or we perish. Strauss & Howe called it something like the Resolution and specifically defined it as stated above. I call it Endgame. What gave that away was a penciled note on scratch paper of something you pointed out earlier, that *people were now talking openly* about the gutting of America’s wage-earning class.

    What puts a finer point on it is that one of the resident here, or whoever cleaned out his or her room, left a great pile of new magazines from the years 2016 – 2020 on the giveaway table, and nothing in them seemed worth the reading at all. In fact, my rich mental music library, which has a mind of its own, started singing in my mind’s ear “Mademoiselle from Armentieres, she ain’t been kissed in a hundred years…” in a jaunty, mocking tone. It was that far into the past now. All that little stuff had vanished into irrelevance before the One Big Issue. And that was the “palace coup” I thought I spotted earlier.

    The U-Turn on matters like UFOs or COVID are symptoms, nothing more.

    What made it possible was the election of Biden, after Trump had done his work. That’s because, during his term in office, if Trump had said the sun rose in the east, the entire Left would have said it rose in the west – and the Wokester Left would have insisted that we navigate accordingly. Now Trump’s out on his rear end, and Biden can safely say the sun rises in the east and have us navigate accordingly. Now, whether he’s addressing the issue in any concrete manner is another story. The fact is that it’s now safe to address the issue and put it into party platforms etc. And that’s what’s moving through the crawlspaces of society today. With, of course, all Trumpian serial numbers filed off.

    Endgame. Whether we know it or not. Fort Sumter has been fired on.

  292. @ JMG RE: national oilcos

    You are likely right. In support of that assumption, the technology transfer within the oil patch is a rapid one. We began fracking in Argentina almost within 2 years of it taking hold here. My company is one of the few, small guys actually providing manufacturing and design expertise into other countries to break the stranglehold of the HALs and SLBs. We were growing well until the lockdowns, and now playing wait and see.

  293. @ Matthias Gralle # 240

    In this link you can access to the studies on ivermectin to treat Covid-19

    https://c19ivermectin.com/

    There were 57 trials published by 509 scientists, 29 randomized controlled trials

    Almost all the studies see very strong improvement using ivermectin as prophylaxis and early tratment and some improvement as late treatment.

    I can describe the situation with the trials of ivermectin in Spain: there were two small studies in Navarra and in Barcelona with some dozens of patients with mild-moderate symptoms, and the conclusions of the studies is that ivermectin seems to be a promising early treatment and in both cases the scientists ask for a much bigger studies with many more people (in the level of many thousands) to assess the impact in mortality and recovery, it was in the begining of summer 2020 and that never hapened because there were news about the brand new vaccines and I suppose at high level it was decided not “waste time and money” with early treatments… crazy

    I tend to agree with the experiences of people in the field, and for this reason, the testimony of dr. Pierre Kory in the senate touch me as something authentic and important and I think authorities should have listened to him and his group:

    Instead he was attacked as “politically motivated” when, in fact dr Kory recognised himself as well known democrat voter and sympathizer from decades (the long shadow of TDS).
    You know, everyone who does not follow the diktat of the high level health institution + MSM + big tech + big pharma must be a neandental….

    Ivermectin seems to be crushing Covid-19 in India after was recommended (in some states) as early treatment at the end of April, also in Mexico city and in many places where they are using it as prophylaxis and early treatment.
    As you know there were NO recommended prophylaxis or early treatment for Covid-19 in the rich western countries, if you have the symptoms of Covid-19, they recommend, at most, only paracetamol, still today they do not recommend Ivermectin, or vitamin D, or anti-inflammatories, or antihistamines, or anything at all, just call 911 when you cannot breath and we will bring you to the hospital, and good luck,
    This is unprecedented in recent history with a disease that kills so many people. I think this is criminal.

    The institutional science will sink to the bottom with the dominant minority, and its fate will be well deserved.

    Cheers
    David

  294. Simon S:

    Late Boomer here. Can’t speak for all of us, but I outgrew my belief in the rightness of experts after two years at university, age 20. I now assume that pretty much every word out of the mouths of experts on TV and National Propaganda Radio is not to be trusted. It’s true that we Boomers grew up at a time when experts were expected to be, well, expert, and that can be a hard view to change, but if Covid has done nothing else it has helped a lot of people get over their faith in anything the folks in charge tell us.

  295. Isaac, the reaction to the problem is always part of the problem. That’s why protest movements so reliably just move society in the direction the privileged classes want it to go anyway.

    Ben, that’s another great example. The virus panic has had some positive consequences — a steep increase in the number of people who are homeschooling their children is one of them, and an even steeper decrease in the number of people willing to take miserable jobs at lousy pay is another. As for natal charts, if you’re in the US, the American Federation of Astrologers at https://www.astrologers.com/ keeps a list of people they’ve certified — and they have a very rigorous certification program.

    Neptunesdolphins, yep. The whole “ancient astronauts” genre — which I’ve followed since Erich von Daniken’s first book — is simply a demonstration that it’s possible to rewrite mythology as bad science fiction. (Roger Zelazny proved in Lord of Light that it’s possible to do it as good science fiction.)

    NomadicBeer, you seem to have the notion that only one group of people can have any power at all, and that all others have none. That’s a stunningly simplistic analysis: it leaves out the constant struggle between competing power centers that’s most of what shapes political reality. Still, thank you; you’ve helped me understand that conspiracy culture is about radical simplification–about reducing the extreme complexity of the real world into a much less stressful form.

    Jeffinwa, so noted!

    Mollari, it would depend very much on the fine details of the monkeywrenching workings. Most of the ones I’m familiar with were intended to work off (and thus drain) the energy of the original working, and therefore won’t have had that consequence. Still, if there were others at work that didn’t do that, it’s possible that random bits of Magic Resistance workings might have ended up charged with extra power. We’ll have to watch.

    Booklover, yes, it’s relative, not absolute. Spiritual realities are still present, but it takes much more work to contact them and it’s much easier to ignore them.

    Blue Sun, ha! A world-class scam. I hope the con artists among us are taking notes.

    Mary, thanks for this. Yeah, that figures.

    Ecosophian, yep. The bright side is that those of us who are still on the Path have taken on the most difficult spiritual conditions of the whole precessional cycle, and kept going anyway. We’re the toughest muthas on the metaphysical block!

    Justin, I’ll take that as a formal motion, and second it!

    Mr. White, Mike, Lydia, Ben, and BXM, so noted!

    Patricia M, my guess is that the first cannon hasn’t been fired yet, but it’s close.

    Oilman2, thanks for the data point! That’s worth knowing — and thanks also for the article. Hang onto your hats, folks…

    Goldenhawk, so noted.

  296. Oilman,

    Providing options for children is always a good thing as you never know what is going to pay off.

    My journey was a little bit different because my father ran a small business and from age 13 I was required to work there during school holidays. Initially, I hated it as it was hard work and I wasn’t any good. But slowly I got better and started to be allowed to do cool things like drive forklifts and cranes as well as be given responsibility for more and more important jobs that were actually used by real people in the real world. By the time I started university, I was almost a skilled tradesman. I didn’t enjoy university but I don’t regret going as it helped me to understand the world we live in more from a political point of view than anything. The risk that experts run is that they can’t extrapolate their knowledge into wisdom i.e. they can’t put it into a broader context. We should help them by asking questions that do put their knowledge into context, instead we just bow down and kiss their feet and tell them how great they are. That’s bad for them and bad for us.

  297. “Would a Gore win in 2000 have made the long descent much less bad? I think so.
    What are your thoughts?”

    Clinton, Gore And Babbitt destroyed tens of thousands of jobs in the West, mostly in mining and logging. They wanted the ranchers dead too, but they have enough romance still attached to them that they mostly survived.

    Personally, my blossoming career in mining ended and it took a a decade to get back to my original pay rate. And it wasn’t just me. NPR admitted that 40,000 jobs were lost in Oregon alone, though being Clinton fans they wouldn’t quite admit who was responsible. And why? So the urban elite could have high quality, low cost vacations.

    One side effect is the rise of “artisanal” mining in Africa because we still need the minerals. The child labor is distressing, but easily ignored after making some sympathetic noises. And the US is now hostage to Chinese rare earth elements, when we have our own, but mining is impure and unclean, so we can’t allow that to happen here. And lithium mining is hitting the same opposition.

    One consequence of the Green New Deal is that it has lower energy density, and therefore needs much more material to build the same capacity, especially if you want it always available.

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/mines-minerals-and-green-energy-reality-check

    So to answer the question, Gore winning in 2000 would have kick started the Long Descent rather well, as he would have continued to wage economic war to depopulate the region between the 100th meridian and the Pacific Crest Trail. And of course he had no intent of giving up his multiple mansions and private jet.

  298. @zeroniputagriculture, if I may:
    The Plague of Justinian strengthened the imperial church. Plagues in Eastern Europe contemporaneous with and subsequent to the Black Plague did not threaten the church at all, as narrated marvellously well in “Laurus”. In fact, even in Western Europe, the influence of the different churches was arguably stronger in the 17th than in the 13th century. Sunday church attendance reached its peak in Europe in the 19th century.

    All of which is to say that the erosion of the political and intellectual dominance of Christianity has other reasons…

  299. @ balowulf #33
    The questions you asked JMG about trusting past studies pointing toward climate change really resonated with me.

    Chinks in the armor of The Science started to appear for me when I was in grad school — but I thought the failures were in my own field (medicine). All the rest of The Science probably remained pure, with the sense of holiness that implies. Later, I saw major falsifications when studying psychology/neuroscience, as well as the usual human frailties and ego issues you find when Big Brains get together.

    This was decades ago, and it ain’t got better since then.

    The end result, for me, was to reach a point of doubt in *everything* I thought I knew was certainty — not just in science, either. Today, “How do I know XYZ is true?” is an unhappy theme in the back of all reading, all conversations, all expository statements.

    It’s rough! But I think it’s leading to a much more feet-on-the-ground worldview.

  300. Just a general question – an invitation for anyone to add their brain to this: why would the mrna vaccine be causing inflammation of he interior lining of the heart, especially in young men, when a covid infection causes strokes, again in young men? Young men, I assume, have robust immune systems and strong circulation. The mrna vaccine causes a body to mass produce spike proteins, and the heart inflammation is being found at the height of this reaction. The mechanism for covid strokes was thought to be blood clotting related to the spike protein…

    Opinions appreciated!

  301. Oilman @ 312, Thank you for your most informative response. I don’t doubt that sanctions have real world consequences, nor that those consequences do harm to many. I do believe that the political reasons for imposition are mostly domestic. It is of a piece with the shocking carelessness and indifference of our political “leadership”, you should excuse the expression, to simply not care who gets hurt.

    I loved your anecdote about the $100. bill. One excuse one will hear about instruction in geography is well, but it is included. No, it isn’t, and the presence of a map in a social studies book does not constitute instruction in the subject. I do hope JMG will at some future time consider moderating a discussion on what a revived public system would look like.

  302. Mark L: I think we mostly agree about ivermectin. Thanks for the Rushworth link, which I also mostly agree with. One thing I would do additionally is a funnel plot to see if the larger effects are due to the smaller studies – that would hint at publication bias. In any case, I am looking forward to the McMaster trial.

  303. Mr. Greer,

    I vote for ancient civilizations/technology.

    Also, I found what you said in one of your responses (about Leo/Cancer versus Aquarius/Capricorn) fascinating. It would be awesome if you could say more about that in a future post.

  304. “Sorry off topic but this is too funny…..

    Italian Artist Sells Invisible Sculpture for More Than $18,000
    https://www.newsweek.com/italian-artist-sells-invisible-sculpture-more-18000-1596608

    Selling “art” to the privileged is good work if you can get it!”

    WTF??

    Honestly, I didn’t think “Modern Art” could get any more self-parodying than it already was, but apparently I was incorrect. This makes me want to weep for how our high culture has utterly debased and stupified itself.

  305. I’d like to see vanished civilizations and their technology, too.

    Perhaps you should make a list. Then you’ve got all your 5th Wednesdays mapped out in advance and have plenty of time to ruminate over the essay.

    When you run out of topics, ask again for a fresh round.

    Thanks again for a great essay. Winds are changing!

  306. @ Peter Khan #297: The funny thing is there’s a well-known story about some tailors back in the day who invented some cloth that was invisible as well. If I recall correctly, their soi-disant betters of that day (as our beloved Archdruid might call them) were the only ones who could see it. It seems our contemporary betters are not familiar with the moral of the story. Perhaps it’s been banned by the Wokesters—I haven’t checked the list recently…..

  307. I would like to cast a vote also for something about Atlantis, “lost civilizations” (Mu, Lemuria), their possible links to Egypt and perhaps megalithic societies (was knowledge brought there from somewhere else?), etc. Interesting stuff

  308. @Ola Pettersson: Thank you for the information on Mexico. From a scientific point of view (what we are discussing this week here), one would need comparison with other cities, or comparison of different parts within the same city, in order to reach any conclusion on the efficacy of a treatment. After all, waves of cases come and go.

    Of course, a public official has to take decisions before such data is in, and if the administrators of Mexico City provided ivermectin in addition to expanding hospital beds, guaranteeing supplies of oxygen, intubation kits etc, then they are commendable. After all, ivermectin is very safe.

    Unfortunately, the Brazilian government tried to make a test case of Manaus in January 2021, possibly inspired by Mexico City, but they provided hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and ivermectin instead of oxygen, with horrible consequences.

  309. Hi John Michael,

    I’ve noticed that there is a bit of talk this week about the US national boogeyman: Russia. I’m no expert, but you guys in the US should take note that they’ve not so quietly ditched international trades using the US dollar in favour of the Euro, and just for fun, they’re using Rubles for trading with their former nation states. And they’re apparently ditching their national reserves of US dollars.

    If memory serves me correctly, the last folks who tried that were the Libyans who tried trading Euro’s for oil, and it is worthwhile noting that Russia ain’t Libya.

    Hold onto your hats folks.

    Cheers

    Chris

  310. Jessica, #254, on “took overt control of what they had already had control over…. An inside job” :
    Sounds close enough. If that brass had a sweet alternative to torching the Russian public, doesn’t mean that this current crop will have such an alternative.

    Mario, #262, indeed, Lenin/ Stalin were brutal, but didn’t have to face a choice, between losing power, or using WMDs vs. the Russian people.
    Today’s DS etc. brass may well have to face such a choice.

  311. Thanks John Michael for yet another high quality post.

    A vote for ancient lost technologies from me please.

    Also, finally got to starting WoH Innsmouth. Loving it!

    Jez

  312. A rather sage observation regarding market manipulations is that the only successful ones must ultimately be in the direction of the underlying trend.

    I’d aver that those used to controlling the national discourse realize that their preferred narratives are failing rather quickly and are furiously attempting damage control.

  313. Well, I’m arriving late this week. I don’t have much to add to what is said in this excellent essay, anyway. I will certainly be pointing friends toward this.
    For the 5th Wednesday, if I had gotten here at the beginning of the conversation I would have asked for the post you’ve mentioned possibly doing, a discussion of the real occultism to be found in L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. I would still love to read that. But for this month allow me to add my vote for lost civilizations/technologies.

  314. Archdruid,

    As the current capture of science by the global elite continues to break down, do you except to see people doing actual science for the purpose of discovery and social betterment?

    Also, my vote is on ancient tech.

    Viduraawakened,

    Oh no question on that account. Ramdev is a TV personality and one hell of a salesman, but I wouldn’t trust that man as far as I could throw him. That Being said, I would rather have shady characters on our side, fighting shady characters on the other side. No one ever said that the Hindu revival was going to be clean or neat.

    By the way, can you link that article? I missed it earlier on.

    Regards,

    Varun

  315. Like Lydia at #307, it seems my Peak Oil request for the Fifth Wednesday is also one of the one-pointers. Like Lydia, I also would like to withdraw this vote and give it to ancient technologies. Anything but Yeats!

    Still hoping that we can have the Peak Oil discussion sometime soon.

    Antoinetta III

  316. @ David BTL #292 and Mary Bennett # 299: I was a Listed Member of Seed Savers Exchange when Kent Whealy, the executive director and founder of SSE, was terminated in late 2007. He refused to sign the Separation Agreement, thus losing a great deal of money, but preserving his ability to tell his side of the story about what happened. Because he had all the addresses of the Listed Members, he sent all of us letters detailing his side of the story. SSE’s Board followed with their own letter. I still have copies of everything that Whealy sent, many pages worth, as well as the Board’s response. He wrote he was terminated because he would not send samples of SSE’s seeds to the Svalbard seed depository, which is because Svalbard’s seeds are available on request to corporations who can then genetically modify and patent them.

    @ Scotlyn #308: thank you!

    @ JMG: I vote for the lost technologies of ancient civilizations.

  317. I vote for Lost Technologies from ancient cultures.

    I am trying to find about on appropriate technology from every corner of the world and assemble a suite of tech suitable to my local needs and resources. It is astounding, looking at the sheer variety of tools and implements produced by different cultures for farming, food production, household chores etc. (Though a post on Yeats is just as enticing).

  318. My first vote for this month is still for ancient technologies, but if you are making a list for future posts, then my second-ranked vote is in support of Jeff H.’s suggestion – I too would love a post someday on the real occultism of Frank L. Baum.

    Also, I realized that in my other post, I thoughtlessly wrote “data is” rather than “data are”. The word is of course plural, but almost everyone falls into the trap of making it singular unless being very careful. But is, are – either way, the studies I worked on were still c-r-a-p.

  319. Hi Elkriver,

    Can you tell me any falsifications you remember in autism research?

  320. Since I know of at least three groups who apparently independently decided to target the Magic Resistance by amplifying parts of the Bind Trump working, I think it’s safe to say there are quite a few who took that route. So, we’ll just need to wait and see what happens, but I think a lot of blowback from that is shaping the mess we’re in right now.

  321. As electric vs non-electric is not going to win the race for fifth Wednesday, I would like to change my vote to lost civilizations and technologies.

  322. Another kick in the groin for Progress: according to the technogeeks, the future of teaching was always going to be videoscreens broadcast to children in their own homes. Many places have been trying it for the last year, and the results are a cruel joke to everyone involved. Oddly enough, face-to-face is important for learning to happen and the vast amounts of technology that we threw at the problem last year couldn’t change that.

  323. Dismisinfoganda is the word i heard for it although disinformatsiya is nice to! I vote for ancient tech or future american great culture please!

  324. DFC, thank you for the link. While perusing the studies on the site, I saw that many of them are preprints, or were not published in indexed journals, which is why they didn’t turn up in my PubMed search. Since it is my experience that peer review considerably changes most papers, I prefer to restrict myself to the peer-reviewed ones (randomized controlled trials) – to bring this back to the original post by JMG, peer review, with all its imperfections, is one of the core features of good science. Much harm has been done to the reputation of science in the last years because certain authors released their results to the press before they underwent the regular publication process (though I am not saying this was the case for the ivermectin papers).

    However, I don’t disagree with your main point – the small studies should have been followed up by large-scale trials in 2020. I also agree with you about possible competing financial interests. I do offer an additional reason: June 2020 saw the publication of the first three randomized controlled trials of hydroxychloroquine, which showed a complete absence of effect. This will have discouraged the testing of yet another repurposed drug. What I don’t understand is why the governments of Peru, Mexico and India, the three countries that have been mentioned above, did not conduct such a high-quality, sufficiently powered trial. I do know that in Brazil, whose scientists are entirely capable of high-quality research, the government is clearly pro-hydroxychloroquine and pro-ivermectin (a strange and unscientific, but entirely exact description of its stance), yet has never felt the need to do a properly controlled trial.

    I do think it is possible that ivermectin has a slight protective effect, just as I think it possible that vitamin D and/or vitamin C and outdoors physical activity have protective effects. I just don’t believe it is a magic bullet, based on the total deaths in Brazil (92% higher in March 2021 than in March 2019, by my last counting), and it would take at least one sufficiently powered randomized controlled trial to convince me of the opposite.

  325. I’d love to hear your opinion on the current state of slavery in the world’s major economies. “Debt, the First 5,000 Years” ties debt and slavery so closely that the term “debt slave” becomes nearly redundant. The twist, in today’s neoliberal economic system, is that the rich and powerful take on huge amounts of debt in order to be become richer and more powerful. Or, am I not seeing the forest for the trees?

    Solon’s putative genius was in divorcing a person’s person from his payable ledger, which is credited for laying the groundwork for Greece’s eventual democratic renaissance. Of note is that he felt the need to leave the country shortly after accomplishing this feat. Are we too far gone? Solonesque leadership doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon. Are we already functional slaves, or are such claims still hyperbole at this point in time?

  326. https://energyskeptic.com/2021/book-review-of-richard-heinbergs-2011-the-end-of-growth/

    As early as 1998, petroleum geologists Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère were discussing a Peak Oil impact scenario that went like this. Sometime around the year 2010, they theorized, stagnant or falling oil supplies would lead to soaring and more volatile petroleum prices, which would precipitate a global economic crash. This rapid economic contraction would in turn lead to sharply curtailed energy demand, so oil prices would then fall; but as soon as the economy regained strength, demand for oil would recover, prices would again soar, and as a result of that the economy would relapse. This cycle would continue, with each recovery phase being shorter and weaker, and each crash deeper and harder, until the economy was in ruins. Financial systems based on the assumption of continued growth would implode, causing more social havoc than the oil price spikes would themselves generate.

  327. One of the more outspoken scientists who has tried to draw attention to the replication crisis is John Ioanidis of Stanford. He was also one of the voices trying to promote a more measured reaction to the emergence of SarsCov2 back in Spring 2020, claiming that it was clear even from the early data that the lethality of the virus was in the domain of seasonal influenza. His recent paper looking at fatality rates from around the globe, one year on, has confirmed his earlier pronouncements as correct.
    Also, a decent interview with Leemon McHenry on his work, ‘The Illusion of Evidence Based Medicine’ – a delve into the the way that medical publication actually functions in today’s world :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAEAWyfuEWY

    I would suspect that the attempts to get more people to ‘trust the science’ will become increasingly strong armed as the wealth and power of just about all those at the top of this teetering civilisation depend upon just such a submission.

    Aside: John, did you write about Operation Highjump ?

  328. @Moss

    —-
    “Just a general question – an invitation for anyone to add their brain to this: why would the mrna vaccine be causing inflammation of he interior lining of the heart, especially in young men, when a covid infection causes strokes, again in young men? Young men, I assume, have robust immune systems and strong circulation. The mrna vaccine causes a body to mass produce spike proteins, and the heart inflammation is being found at the height of this reaction. The mechanism for covid strokes was thought to be blood clotting related to the spike protein… ”
    —-

    Here’s a hypothesis for you.

    When a person has a covid infection, the spike proteins are on the surface of the virus. This means that many of them will be circulating in the bloodstream, where the they can apparently trigger coagulation – either directly or through the body’s immune response to them.

    The mRNA vaccines do not contain spike proteins, but rather contain genetic instructions for making spike proteins. When a person is injected with an mRNA vaccine, the spike protein is manufactured by human cells and becomes fixed on the exterior surface of those cells until it is destroyed or naturally degraded. These cells, unlike viruses, are not mobile, and so there should not be a significant amount of spike protein circulating in the bloodstream following vaccination. (Red blood cells do not have a nucleus and are not capable of transcribing RNA/making new proteins.) Furthermore, the immune response to the spike protein will cause inflammation in the areas of the body where the proteins are being expressed.

    Now consider two possible outcomes of vaccination:

    1. The needle does not hit any blood vessels, and the vaccine is entirely localized in the muscle where it is injected. In this case, the vast majority of spike proteins are produced right there, leading to an inflamed and sore arm which is a ubiquitous side effect.

    2. The needle punctures vessels on the way in, or in some rare cases, the tip ends up in a capillary/vein/artery with the result that the majority of the vaccine enters the bloodstream. In this case, the spike proteins will be produced in parts of the body that have the most direct contact with blood, and the heart muscle is pretty high on this list. So instead of an immune response creating inflammation of muscles in the arm, we have an immune response creating inflammation of the heart muscle, which is of course far more serious…

  329. @Varun

    The first four articles in this search are the ones I’m talking about: https://www.opindia.com/?s=Jayalal.

    I agree with your points; the Hindu revival is not always going to be neat and clean, there will be shady characters on our side fighting shady characters on theirs.

  330. @Mr White

    “As far as civil war goes, well, let’s just say that diverse super-states don’t have a great track record for peace. ”

    True. And China was often divided as well. But unification occurred over and over again with each Dynasty lasting a longer time. With a resillient Confucian managerial class selected by Civil service examinations ready to pick up the slack of administration for every conquering Warlord.

    We musn’t forget that some countries have been Empires for a long time. And they are better able to reconstitute themselves over time.

  331. @Matthias Gralle

    In “Everlasting Man” GK Chesterson seem to have made the observation that each time Christianity seemed to have died out in Europe. It rose again from the dead in full strength as if by a supernatural power when it had to contend with cultural forces that threatened its legitimacy.

    And the young take hold of it anew.

    The deep rich wine which reconstitutes itself after being diluted and degraded into Vinegar.

    Although it was successfully suppressed in Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate until Admiral Perry forced Japan to reopen.

  332. Hi JMG

    I would like to know your opinion about why the health autorities in all the western countries want the people who have had Covid-19 to be vaccinated? What reasons do you think they have to ask all the people to be vaccinated even if they have pass the disease some months before?

    Which part of the “Scientific Method” do you think they use to justify this?

    Take the example of Rand Paul, when he declared he will not take the jab because he had the bug he was accused, by the MSM, of promoting “dangerous behaviors”.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/rand-paul-says-he-won-t-get-covid-vaccine-n1268268

    “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have been infected still get vaccinated because experts are not certain how long natural immunity lasts.”

    If the “experts” of the CDC say that, it must be true…

    Meanwhile there are tens of thousands of infections in vaccinated people in USA and the re-infections are much rare in people who had Covid-19.
    At the end of april there were 10.262 vaccines breakthrough infections in USA

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7021e3-H.pdf

    “Based on preliminary data, 2,725 (27%) vaccine breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, 995 (10%) patients were known to be hospitalized, and 160 (2%) patients died ”

    And they recognised:
    “the number of reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases is likely a substantial undercount of all SARS-CoV-2 infections among fully vaccinated persons. The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative ”

    Probably the vaccine breakthrough are in the hundreds of thousands and growing in the USA

    The natural immunity is much much more efficient that the humans could do, because is based in dozens or hundreds of epitopes of the virus, and the long term are mainly epitopes of the capside of the virus, the part of the virus that change less and NOT in the spike proteins because it is much more subject to evolutive adaptation (nature is clever):

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-021-00923-3

    “That the majority of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were activated by non-S viral epitopes has implications for vaccination in populations that have experienced prior SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

    Please give me your opinion

    Cheers
    David

  333. Mary Bennett @294. Thanks for your considered response. My post was shall we say ‘exploratory’ – since my ignorance somewhat exceeds my knowledge of history, tho I am keen to consider ways forward. I understand Boetie and his fellow citizens were already enduring the downside of tyrannical rule – albeit mostly on the religious side at that stage of the history of France. Things didn’t get better over the following couple of centuries and (apparently) his ideas were oft referred to.
    In any case, the use of ‘withdrawal of support for the oppressor’ seems a logical first step by the oppressed, since it is a passive action requiring almost negative resources. Refusing to pay taxes, declining to surrender the required portion of the crop – such measures seem to have immediate appeal. Such thinking of course quickly gives rise to scenes of The King’s Men bearing flaming torches and rusty swords entering the village to plunder and take what they will while doing unmentionable things to the miscreants by way of example to the rest. A hard ask if done only by a small portion of the population, indeed.
    In recent times it is traditional for the ‘good’ states to support indigenous rebellions in the ‘bad’ thereby (seeking to) bring about the ‘desired’ change (tho the desire may not be that of the populace but rather of the external ‘supporter’), but today there are very few external players who any half-discerning serf or slave could actually class as ‘good’. To which country would an oppressed people turn today in the hope of finding a better solution to their plight? To which person of near-infinite wealth and resources would one turn to for support and influence? Even the ‘most powerful’ nations are (mostly) in decline in economic, political and social terms – and hardly represent an example of economic or moral fortitude to which the oppressed may aspire to. Blindly leaping out of the scalding frying pan has never been a particularly good move, without a thorough reconnaissance of the destination, and what remains of the free internet does allow for such reconnaissance – albeit at a superficial level. Most of the benevolent super-rich seem to have cast their lots with the devil and are contributing (often quite directly) to the misery of the masses rather than leading them to the light.

    I accept your suggestion that a traditional pitchforks and torches revolt will not unseat an entrenched tyrant and its lackies. An Arch Druid we know has oft-times preached that folk should make some prudent preparations for the ‘interesting times’ ahead. Such preparations including arranging basic food supplies (a normal city section can provide fodder and water for a family year-round if thoughtfully organised) as well as arranging domestic affairs to minimise exposure to debt collectors when opting to default by way of passive actions. If that good sermon could be widely heard and actioned, then it may be possible to loosen the tyrant’s grip. However we all know of (or worse live in) places where even the most basic commodities to sustain life such as water are state or corporate owned, along with attendant ‘rights’ to the state to enter and seize any property to address suspected non-compliances. The King’s Men are at the gate, and they are watching you.

    So not only is the Global Social Crisis strengthening the grip of the ‘powerful’ over the great unwashed, but this creeping disaster is denying the masses the wherewithal to extract themselves from their unhappy condition. Worse, the effective dumbing down of mass education has left the populace generally utterly unable to identify or articulate the core of its woes – instead the masses direct their angst against a succession of straw men tossed in their path by the state-controlled media.

    So then – what is the prognosis? Are we best to attempt to secure our own enclave and its resources and do what we can to avoid ‘bring ourselves to the attention of the authorities’? To adopt the path of the ‘small man’ who hopes that he will not be noticed; that the worst will pass him by? Mass resistance at a scale which could affect real ‘change for the good’ seems not just fruitless (in the face of the domestic realities of such actions and the all-embracing surveillance of every keystroke we now enjoy), but, given the intellectual disabilities of the folk involved – utterly impossible.

    I fear we will take a short cut around any sort of ‘nice’ part of decline and (as Seneca suggests) end up flicking from an energy- and technology-rich lifestyle to something quite base and tribal in a remarkably short time. The interconnectedness of the world’s primary support networks represents a remarkably fragile card-house, the Boolean options of death by disease or death by the cure (depending on who you listen to) may ease the ‘population issue’ for a time, while the blast of carbon into the atmosphere which these final paroxysms will inspire will ensure that the more extreme climate change outcomes predicted by careful science will become available at a store near you quite soon. And the winds of change are blowing stronger every day.

    Mmm?

  334. >ditched international trades using the US dollar in favour of the Euro, and just for fun, they’re using Rubles for trading with their former nation states. And they’re apparently ditching their national reserves of US dollars.

    I think they’ve already been effectively forbidden from using dollars anyway? I guess that exclusion was intended to hurt Russia but they might find that all it did was isolate tthe Russians from the dollar system, which IMHO has short term bad consequences but long term good ones too. Weaponizing the dollar will probably be looked back by historians as a collosal blunder by the Americans. Russia’s response to it all seems to be “Well, Ok. We’ll manage without you”

    Wouldn’t surprise me if another 30s situation happens, where the West is in shambolic disarray while Russia is sitting pretty in its corner, doing what it has always been doing, albeit not that well. But they’ll look great relative to everyone else.

  335. Hi John Michael,

    I’ll chuck in a vote for ancient technologies and ancient civilisations! The words of Robert E Howard are hard to shake from my consciousness. 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  336. @Moss “Just a general question – an invitation for anyone to add their brain to this: why would the mrna vaccine be causing inflammation of he interior lining of the heart, especially in young men, when a covid infection causes strokes, again in young men? Young men, I assume, have robust immune systems and strong circulation. The mrna vaccine causes a body to mass produce spike proteins, and the heart inflammation is being found at the height of this reaction. The mechanism for covid strokes was thought to be blood clotting related to the spike protein…”

    This article might be of interest to you: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/no_author/we-made-a-big-mistake-covid-vaccine-spike-protein-travels-from-injection-site-can-cause-organ-damage/

    Short version: the spike protein can attach to ACE2 receptors in blood platelets (which causes clotting, which can cause a stroke). ACE2 receptors are also found in the heart and the brain.

  337. That institutional science is deservedly not trusted is not the result of a few bad apples. It flows from the deepest parts of the structure of the economy of recent decades.
    Our story starts back in the 1960s. This was the peak of the unnatural US domination of world manufacturing (made possible by rival industrial powers having had their infrastructure bombed and their finances trashed). A peak that was about to wind down. At the same time, the economy was changing into one driven more by knowledge and less by capital/infrastructure.
    What was both possible and needed was a knowledge-driven economy that related to manufacturing the way that manufacturing related to agriculture in the industrial revolution. Manufacturing was only possible when agriculture was sufficient and it fed back into agriculture with equipment. In the same way, a real knowledge economy is only possible when manufacturing (and agriculture) are sufficient and it feeds back into them by making them more efficient and robust.
    A real knowledge economy must do two things at the same time: set information free to be shared and built on and compensate those who do the knowledge work. This would probably look more like a well-run commons than like the private property or state property of manufacturing. It is hard to say because no real knowledge economy has been built anywhere on mass scale.
    We did not get a real knowledge economy. Instead we got the bonsai version. Social structures that worked, crudely and perhaps unnecessarily brutally, for an industrial economy were adapted to knowledge. Patents. Copyrights. Intellectual property. Monopoly. An economy that functions not by making use of the main advantage of knowledge – its ease of sharing and multiplying – but by throttling it.
    One of the first results was that the work force that by the 1960s had been developed for a knowledge economy (a large part of which was the sons and daughters of the working class and lower middle class who had flooded into universities in the post-war years) looked at the prospect of working in the bonsai economy and said no. This rejection was one of the major drivers of The Sixties.
    All this was a product of a prosperity that was about to be shaken. In the 1970s, the US economy could not move forward, not with a bonsai economy, but it could not stand still once Europe and Japan had fully recovered from WW2. The result was stagflation and the start of the counter-attack against the intrusion of non-elites into decision making. The essence of the counter-attack was to block any input from non-elites in the activities of elites, be they governmental, corporate, or academic elites. This meant establishing a principle of non-accountability of elites. Since that time, the US and the rest of the industrialized world have been like a plane whose pilot is switching off one warning system after another.
    Of course, one aspect of this principle of elite non-accountability was prohibition of discussion of this fact. Academia and media play a large role in enforcing this prohibition.
    (It is not that no one can say these things. It is just that no one can say them and be taken seriously anywhere near any levers of power. Freedom of only impotent speech is one of the West’s cleverest inventions, even if arrived at by accident.)
    Comes the 1980s and President Reagan. The professional managerial class (PMC) teamed up with those who pull their strings to solve the stagflation of the 1970s by throwing the working class all the way under the bus. In the 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the establishment of party-led capitalism in China threw huge numbers of workers onto the global market and gave the PMC more intense domination over the working class throughout the first world.
    This is why the 2008 financial crisis and the covid-19 crisis have been handled as they have.
    By 2016, the rot could not be hidden any longer and both Trump and Bernie, in their own ways, for the first time, put what had been done to the working class and to the industrial regions of the country, at the heart of the presidential campaign. The campaign of the most qualified (most resume’d) candidate ever showed that the response of the PMC was to double down on the principle of non-accountability. Ever since then, the right of non-accountability of the professional managerial class and of those more powerful on whose behalf they rule has been defended ever more vigorously, even viciously. What I am trying to show is that this was inevitable. It came not from a few bad leaders but from the very structure of the professional managerial class as it currently exists.

  338. @Adam Ash

    The fall of the Soviet Union was possible because almost the entire military and the vast majority of Officialdom couldn’t be bothered to crush resistance. When the protests happened the military who have since stopped believing in the Soviet Union legitimacy did nothing.

    And the minority that tried to restore hard-core control in the 1991 Soviet Coup was defeated by the overwhelming opposition among all the key henchmen of the former Soviet Union.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Soviet_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat_attempt

  339. One more thing: As the failures of the current social configuration become harder to disguise, the media fall back onto generating confusion so that even if far too many people see that something is wrong, they don’t coalesce into any agreement about a diagnosis and above all, they don’t coalesce into agreement about what a solution might look like. Thus media can be expected to continue to play an increasingly disruptive role within society, even to the detriment of the functioning of the existing configuration. There is a clear parallel between how media function socially and the thoughts of an individual suffering mental health problems and such problems themselves can be expected to increase as societal mental health deteriorates. But most of the readers of this blog seem to be well aware of this.

  340. @ Chris at Fernglade RE: hanging onto hats…

    Probably the most accepted and planned for item in banks and governments across the planet is the ending of the USD. Most believe it will be accompanied by default, as there is literally no way that the USD can survive rising interest rates, and no way that Merica can pay off what it has borrowed. We are likely at the point (or soon) where we borrow to pay the interest on what is borrowed.

    You can see a lot of playing around by the crypto crowd, but there is no hard asset it is tied to – it is a creation that only survives on the internet. You can see the manipulation in the PM markets, with the whales playing their game of ‘let it rise and sell it short’. What is interesting to see is that the enemies of the USA, and many allies, are all piled into PMs, so they are and have been prepping for the USD to tank bigly.

    Thanks for your comment – I need to find some reading on the timeline and effects of the pound sterling taking a last dive – not that it will be the same but the effects should rhyme reasonably well.

    I’m off to my farm to plant more food foresty stuff…

  341. Greetings from a small town 1000 miles from the SF Bay Area. It’s not perfect, but I wake up thankful every day to be in a more freedom loving state, in a town that while pretty “liberal”, has been operating much closer to normal through this whole “pandemic”. I want to thank JMG and commenters here for your support and encouragement as I thought about escaping, then executed on it, you all really helped!

    One thing I haven’t seen commented on here is the fact that I am being told via “the news” that UFO has now been branded UAP. They don’t tell me why, just that we are now supposed to use this new term. Has anyone noticed this? Thoughts?

    I find this push to re-define, re-name, re-brand everything rather scary. That’s a topic I’d love you (JMG) to write about, but I understand if it’s not something that interests you.

  342. My opinion on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

    Scotlyn:
    1. There is no real “fiat currency” in existence (although such a thing is theoretically possible), since what are called “fiat currencies” at present are actually created using the mechanism of debt.

    2. When you issue a loan, you simultaneously create a legally enforceable creditor claim upon a borrower’s effort and/or property.

    3. This being the case, it is simply not the case that any currency is “fully control[led]” by any government – and even less are they “fully control[led]” by any nation – taking a “nation” to mean the people who are members of that entity. Instead, such currencies, consisting, as they do, of creditor claim chitties, are controlled by their beneficiaries – the net creditor class.

    4. The net creditor class appears to be a supra-national class, who can perform the simultaneous trick of recruiting government force to back up their claims against individual borrowers (both when they are keeping up their payments and when they are defaulting on them), while remaining outside of the purview of national laws in the lawless wild west of “multi-national” or “international” or “global” space.

    5. Any “magical” increase in the amount of money must therefore entail a “magical” increase in the number of legally enforceable creditor claims being held by the lawless at the expense of the legally bound, law-abiding net borrower class.

    —-
    This is about right. I believe that MMT is the last gasp of Keynesian, which is now flat-lined. The people who came up with MMT have only experienced deflation, and so believe that inflation can be controlled by wishing it away. I believe it came out of rationalizing “deficits don’t matter” and spending your way into prosperity.

    As for the lawless creditors or multinationals, the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) knows about them. The BIS which is all of the heads of the G-10 central banks meets monthly. They have closed ranks to keep each country sovereign or at least above water. However, there is simply too much debt which will sink the efforts of everyone trying to issue credit.

    “Global” space has been regulated by monetary authorities since the 1970s through the BIS and the IMF. What will break it will be a country like France or the U.K. who decides to go it alone. France broke the Gold Standard system in the 1970s. It set off a cascade effect for the rest. What will set off the cascade will be Chinese-U.S. credit/debt relationship. The U.S. paper is bought by the Chinese, who are now having problems with their own debt. The cracks are showing. Meanwhile, Europe has to cope with the Southern Tier of countries – Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal who have not cleared their debt either.

    In other words, the whole thing is a Ponzi scheme ready to fall.

  343. @Moss

    It’s most likely part autoimmune effect, part spike proteins. My understanding is that the mRNA vaccine particles enter cells and take over the machinery to produce and display the spike proteins. The vaccines were supposed to remain localised around the injection sites with the spikes bound firmly to the original cells so only muscle cells would get affected, but the biodistribution studies were waived and in fact it now appears that the particles and/or spikes often get broadly circulated.

    One potential unknown side effect of the vaccines that wasn’t tested was if they would train immune systems to attack the types of cells the particles took over as well as the fake covid spikes. Possibly, they do have this effect, causing inflammation.

    Also, if the spikes get widely circulated they will still attempt to preferentially bind and thus damage cells with lots of ACE2 receptors, such as in hearts. Thus causing inflammation. Or, the spikes may cause platelet clotting, or nerve damage. As with Covid, there seem to be a lot of idiosyncratic factors affecting outcomes.

  344. @Matthias Gralle

    I’m afraid it was watching the systematic takedown of hydroxychloquine in early 2020 that thoroughly shook me. I don’t claim to know if it works or not, but the conveniently timed fake studies, the studies with moving end points and other statistical oddities, the three very large studies by reputable research organisations such as Oxford which gave hundreds of seriously ill people toxic overdoses and then trumpeted their high death rates…

  345. Daniel@83 the VAERS site is down undergoing maintenance so I am not able to check first hand info, but all the second hand info suggest it is mere thousands over a 20 week period amongst 145 million people that took the vaccine. 2018 and 2019 both 2.8 million deaths for the year in the U.S., apply that rate to a 145 million randomly chose subset of the population and a 20 week fraction of a year and you get 473 thousand deaths. Of course the number of people vaccinated started out really small at the start of the data collection and slowly grew to 145 million over the period of 20 weeks which could explain why it is only thousands as opposed to hundreds of thousands as you would normally expect when there is no pandemic or no mass vaccination going on.

    It appears to be much ado about nothing, but I would like to see what’s on the VAERS site, its been down for more than 15 hours now.

  346. Hi JMG,
    I have a question from your Book, the King in Orange, which I have now read twice. It’s where you talk about the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief. You say: “The fourth stage is depression. We haven’t gotten there yet, though I expect it is very close”. Of course, you wrote those words some time ago before the book was published, so I wonder if you think we have arrived at that stage yet? I live in a very liberal area, and when Biden, ahem, “won” the election there was much dancing in the streets. Lately, political euphoria has died down markedly. Or so it seems. Is that stage four arriving?

  347. Ancient Civ tech seems to be surging…please add my vote. Thanks JMG, and everyone else, for your contributions.

  348. Two items here.

    For #348 Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat: I’m sorry — my focus was on Alzheimer’s research, with special interest in effects of diet on the genetic base of the disease, not on autism.
    ———————–

    On the role of antimalarials (like hydroxychloroquine), antibiotics (like azithromycin), and dewormers (such as Ivermectin) in treatment of viral diseases like CV and influenza…. the author of the linked analysis is a physician writing in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in Feb 2020. His conclusion: we’ve been deceived for decades.

    He writes:
    “It may be difficult for non-physicians to appreciate the magnitude of this world-shaking scientific omission—and probable cover-up. It is the pharmaceutical equivalent of being told for 40 years the world is flat—only to have it conclusively exposed overnight to be round. This idea that viruses—like the current pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus—can be killed by commonly used drugs—antibiotics, antimalarial, or antiparasitic agents—profoundly changes the practice of medicine.”

    https://www.jpands.org/vol25no3/merritt.pdf

    It was pretty world shaking news for me. When I was in practice, the protocol for any patient presenting with a viral disease was to send them home with a prescription for fever-reducers, tell them to stay in bed, drink plenty of fluids, and call if it got worse. Since a percentage DID call when they developed an obvious bacterial infection afterwards, I started doing something which earned me lots of criticism from antibiotic-fearful colleagues — I ordered antibiotics on presentation, instead of waiting for it to get worse.

    My rationale at the time was that I couldn’t tell who would get better with the usual virus protocol, and who would get worse. So, to prevent possible pneumonia, I’d just treat everybody with antibiotics at the outset.

    Guess what? People recovered from their viral illness *faster* and with few if any follow on effects.

    I was so immersed in the “antibiotics can’t fix virus” lore, that I couldn’t even see the forest for the trees — instead, I thought that my original “virus” diagnosis must have been wrong even with positive influenza tests, and the patient actually had a bacterial infection all along.

    It’s easy to miss what you are trained not to see!

  349. I’d like to move my vote on how to deal with an impending crunch, since mine was a lone suggestion.

  350. Hmmm, the VAERS is down for maintenance. Are they desperately trying to not look down, because they suspect the edge of the cliff is behind them? We shall see…

  351. Most-honorable and ever-stimulating Archdruid, the breaking point you mention, from my perspective at least, seems like the splintering of a enormous dry stick over the knee of a giant, with much crackling and fragments flying while the giant grapples with and bears down on the stick. So many things appear to be in slow-motion disassembly.

    One item is the slow-rising tide documenting reactions to Covid VINO (Vaccine In Name Only) injections. This site: https://www.c19vaxreactions.com/ is one indicator. If one clicks on the “Real Stories” tab you get quite a number of often-horrifying accounts detailing damaged lives. Yes, all these accounts are anecdotal, but with enough anecdotes one can often deduce patterns.

    For the fifth-Wednesday post, a discussion on ancient civilizations gets my vote. Notice I didn’t mention “technologies”, as I am much more intrigued by the complexities and variations of their social structures. I am also fascinated by how rapidly said “ancient” civilizations can seemingly disappear; in the Western Hemisphere, there is much dispute about the true nature and accomplishments of the cultures extant only 500-1000 years ago, be it the Mississippians, or the clans of the Iroquois, or the so-called “Anasazi” cultures of the American Southwest, or the Aztecs/Mexica, or the Mayans, or the Incas or, biggest of all, the (perhaps as many as 100 million) Amazonians who farmed where there is now only a huge rain forest. A book-length treatment would likely be too short!

    Best regards to you, and to this amazingly-engaging commentariat!

  352. But I left with the impression that the priestess and her group made it. That they reached the shores of Europe or Africa and became seed-bearers.
    Guess they were too late.

  353. info
    Christianity in Japan under the Tokugawa is interesting, because it didn’t actually die out completely. It went underground, and those who still held to Christianity got very good at camouflaging themselves. Their still-Christian descendants showed up again when westerners were once again allowed in, and the rules against Christianity stopped being enforced and were removed.

    https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2015/10/08/nagasakis-hidden-christians-survive-persecution-and-the-atomic-bomb/

  354. Everyone who voted, your votes have been added to the total. Currently we’re at 33 votes for ancient civilizations and lost technologies, 18 for Yeats, 3 for sacred geometry, 3 for Tamanous culture, and a flurry of 2-vote and 1-vote suggestions. Still, voting won’t be closed until this coming Wednesday.

    Ray(2), I’ll definitely consider a future post on the astrological ages — it’s a neglected key to understanding the religious history of the ancient world, and the reason it’s neglected is that it doesn’t promise the imminent arrival of either utopia or catastrophe.

    Jerry, I’m popping more of it as we speak!

    Tolkienguy, Andy Warhol is giggling in the afterlife, having had his brilliant pranks on the art scene comprehensively one-upped. If I’d come up with this as a parody, no one would have believed it…

    Chris, yes, I’ve been watching that. If more countries begin ditching dollar-denominated investments from their central banks and sovereign wealth funds, the collapse of the US$ is probably not far off.

    Jez, glad to hear it!

    TJ, two good points. I wonder when it will sink in that damage control doesn’t work if it just digs you in deeper…

    Varun, only if people who value the scientific method make a sustained effort to communicate the difference between the method and the current institutions that claim to speak for it, and encourage people to pursue their own scientific ventures on their own time. I’m doing what I can.

    Antoinetta, er, why “anything but Yeats”? I promise you there are some interesting stories to tell about him and his occult involvements.

    Kat, a new mRNA technology from one of the current Covid vaccine providers, claiming to treat one of the major complications of Covid vaccines? Yes, it’s as suspicious as frack.

    Brian, you definitely have your work cut out for you, then!

    Mollari, so noted! Hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes.

    Kfish, a fine point! It’s been tried before, sometimes in school, sometimes out of it, and the results are always the same — like flying cars, SSTs, and nuclear power, among others.

    NoHype, there’s a difference between slavery and debt bondage, which is far and away the more common system these days. Under most current systems of debt bondage, the victims of the system are free to change from one poorly paid exploitative job to another, so long as they keep paying their debts; and the debts are inflated through various gimmicks to keep them subject to the system. (It’s thus a somewhat more flexible form of peonage.) The conditions to which people are subject under debt bondage aren’t noticeably better than those of slaves, but it’s somewhat easier to get out of debt bondage than to escape from slavery — not vastly easier, but somewhat.

    TJ, yep. Some of us were on top of this all along. We were shouted down by the apocalypse fans and the salesflacks for allegedly green energy, but we’re still here…

    Mog, no question, it’s going to get shrill. The thing to keep in mind is that not all power centers in the current system depend on blind faith in science, and those that do not are in the ascendant. No, I haven’t written on Operation Highjump — I considered putting something about it into my tentacle fiction, but decided against it. 😉

    DFC, I don’t know. I really don’t know.

    Jessica, a good solid summary. Thanks for this!

    Tude, glad to hear that it’s working out well for you! As for UAPs, doesn’t that stand for “the Usual Antics of the Pentagon”? 😉

    Lydia, I think we’re getting there, as it sinks in that Trump was not an anomaly and the managerial classes are going to have to deal with increasing unrest from the working classes no matter what happens to the Orange Julius.

    Michael, yes, I know. I got his response. It violated this blog’s courtesy policy and so has been deleted. If he wants to join the conversation instead of spewing cheap schoolyard insults he’s welcome to do so.

    Pygmycory, so noted.

    John, well, let’s see how long it stays down…

    Bryan, that strikes me as a good metaphor.

    Marko, no, they made it, but we were following a reporter in the story, and he went “Blub!” The story of the priestess and the ships would be a bit different from a sequel…

  355. Yeats was a superb poet, and also a superb magician–the two things are not all that different, actually!

    Against the possibiity that an essay on ancient civilizations and technologies finally wins the majority vote, I have just put three of Yeats’s best writings on magic up on http://www.archive.org for the enjoyment of whoever happens to be interested. Two of them are openly published essays of his, “Magic” (1901) and “Swedenborg, Mediums, and the Desolate Places” (1930). The third is his privately printed and distributed pamphlet, “Should the Order of the R. R. and A. C. Remain a Magical Order?” together with a “Postscript” to that pamphlet (1901). The articles have been scanned from their first publications, the pamphlet and its postscript from a later reprint.

  356. A bit late, maybe, but so on point: The Lancet just announced they’re sending their own task force to investigate the lab leak theory, like, really for real this time.
    Guess who’s heading that effort? Peter Daszak of Eco Health Alliance, the very same dude who was on board the WHO’s last clarification effort – the one that ended in him having a 3-hour chat with his good buddies from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, before declaring “no chance it came from the lab I funneled US taxpayer dollars into for years, nothing to see here, move on folks!”

    Apparently, he’s accompanied by a bunch of people he worked with before, among other occasions as facebook censors – excuse me – fact checkers ™

    Once again I’m reminded of some wise person’s comment about the WEF’s twitter feed: “It’s like they don’t even know any people.”

    Seriously, what are they thinking?

  357. As for the breaking point thing, I can see it, lots of folks I know are bracing for things going weird(er), several friends have told me their gut feelings say it will happen this fall.

    The biggest red flag to me is that my buddy from the 7th day Church who always is going on about the finer details of Revelations has recently told me he cannot make heads or tails of where the present fits in the narrative. Similarly friends with other “highly personalized” narratives for fitting reality to have expressed stumpedness about what is going on. Included in that is this very conversation about UFO’s and Covid-labs. The point being is that several different epistemologies all agree that the current news doesn’t make sense. The only folks I know who are certain their narrative makes sense of the world are cryptos going diamond hands to the moon apes.

    I vote for ancient and lost technologies.

  358. I have no doubt that there are interesting things about Yeats’ involvement in the occult, and I will certainly read it when you do put it out.

    I guess that what put me off with Yeats is that he is primarily known as a poet, and for me, poetry simply doesn’t “turn my crank.” For myself, at least I, find it awkward to read; the same ideas expressed in a poem can be more succinctly stated in a form easier to digest, in other words, standard prose.

    If I recall correctly, poetry came into being as a memory aid. In cultures with little or no writing, lore, history and any other knowledge to be passed down the generations was transmitted orally. This meant that the purveyors of information had to have acute and exact memories. For example, the Illiad and the Odessey, each a book of several hundred pages was not so much as written by Homer, but told orally by him, to certain others who memorized the whole thing, and later passed it on in turn. Personally, I can’t conceive of myself memorizing, word for word, something a tenth the size of the Illiad.

    And the structure of poetry is an aid in this sort of memorization. The relatively short length of the lines, the rhyming and the general structure all provide a sort of rhythm to the text, all this facilitates memorization.

    But now we don’t live in an oral society and mass printing has rendered this extensive memorization redundant. I’ve read the Illiad and Odessey in standard English prose text and “got” the story easily enough. If I had to try to slog through the books in their original poetic form, I would likely have given up after a dozen or so pages.

    Antoinetta III

  359. Hi John and fellow readers,

    First of all, I cannot find that advert. It seems to have been lost to time and space. All I know was it was part of the BBC’s “Countdown to the Millennium” series. I will keep looking for it and if anyone else finds it, much appreciated as I would love to watch it again!

    My thoughts are that “The Long Descent” really started to happen around 9/11 (although the process had begun much earlier). Why would I use this date as the overall beginning? Because before then, despite the de-industrialisation period, most of the West still lived in a happy fantasy with plenty of money to go around and an optimistic vision of the glorious future to come. When the twin towers came down, it ultimately shattered peoples confidence in the great future and it has been downhill ever since.

    Now regarding the elites – I hate to disagree with John on this but I do not believe there is any major plan to divide people. On the contrary, the West has been “woke” since the 1950s. Allow me to explain.

    After World War 2, the West was in competition with the USSR over the future of the planet. World War was out due to nuclear weapons. Yet the elites still wanted to create an American led world hegemony that would ultimately shatter the image of Communism and allow a world system under Western dominance.

    Every decade since 1945 has been one of left wing pushes, the ultimate goal being the eradication of any differences and the establishment of a one world society. Anything remotely traditional or nationalistic must be smashed as it is “not progressive.”

    If you watch adverts from the past, it is always centred on the UN and a one world culture. “Wokeness” that we see today is merely the revolutionary impulses of the final establishment of this trend. The seeds were planted long ago and now the harvest is ripe for picking.

    The Elites themselves believe in this crap just as fervently as the early Communists such as Lenin and Trotsky believed they were building a better world. You can see the zeal they have about it.

    That said, we are in a dangerous situation now, what with the decline in technological gains and the ever decreasing financial impetus created by technology. The Elites are doubling down with the crusade to keep everyone in line and away from the troubles ahead. They use it as a way to keep people thinking a glorious future is ahead for them – as soon as they crush the last vestiges of “white supremacism” itll be over and the kingdom of heaven will be on Earth.

    Problem is – when Wokeism fails to provide the economic great opportunities and people have been called racist for so long stop believing in the religion – what will people do? Its a good question. A very good question.

    If I was to offer a prediction – I would say the upheaval will begin later on this century. This is a slow decline. Its not a fast one. Life in 2021 wont really be that different from 2022. But I do predict that between 2050 – 2100 the fireworks are going to kick off. But that is just my take.

    As for the USSR leaders – they were very Russo-centric actually. Despite them pledging to build a better world, a new Soviet man, they treated the other nationalities around them as colonial subjects. That is Russians (and Ukrainians and Belarusians) came first in everything.

    Take Estonia for example. Under the USSR, it became nothing more than a farming colony for the greater St. Petersburg area. People in Estonia were queing in long lines well into the 50s, 60s and 70s where as there was no such queues in Russia at that time. Why? Because Russia got the best produce.

    There is a joke in Estonia that Russians threw a grenade at a pig farmed in Estonia. The Russians got the belly of the big (the best part) where as the Estonians got only the ears and the head…and sadly, this is more of a true story then a joke.

    Estonians were even told that before the USSR, they were nothing but backward savages that did not have toilet paper but thanks to Mother Russia, she is now civilised. Reminds you of colonialism eh?

    The only difference is Russians didnt start an apartheid type of society like South Africa. They never would force an Estonian to the back of the bus or force them to live in shanty towns. They merely favoured Russia first and foremost.

  360. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    If I may, since LGBT issues have come up:

    Personally I’ve been heartened that Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor of California on a conservative platform: https://www.rt.com/usa/525014-caitlyn-jenner-cancel-woke/

    Basically, I’ve noticed that a lot of sexual minorities have made it clear that we aren’t the willing human shields of the purveyors of woke ideology, and now perhaps the famous trans woman in the world has made that very clear. Personally, I find this heartening.

    On the lunar eclipse in the 6th house in Sagittarius, I’m sad to note that a new illness seems very consistent with the symbolic thrust of the mundane astrology: https://www.rt.com/news/525763-new-brunswick-mystery-disease/

  361. Completely off topic no need to post but do you think it’s significant that the person who was killed in Minneapolis that is leading to protests again is named “Winston Smith”. Full name Winston Boogie Smith Jr. but….

  362. @ DFC

    The WHO quietly changed its definition of herd immunity in October 2020. Herd immunity now only happens when a population has been vaccinated. By this definition, even if you have recovered from a disease and have antibodies, you don’t count towards herd immunity until you are vaccinated. Yes, it’s completely indefensible on scientific grounds. It’s completely indefensible even on common sense grounds. But that is where we are at with this whole sorry business.

    @ Beekeeper

    Yes, the glimmer of hope now is that they have had to go so far with the nonsense that even the people who were happy to go along with the narrative don’t believe it any more. What that means practically in the years ahead is going to be something to watch.

  363. Here is one question I think worth entertaining: we accept that humans are highly social, as a species. We can observe other social species exhibiting complex behaviors well beyond what the cognition of the individual member is capable of (eg. hive insect). Question is: to what extent can human societies make decisions that are beyond the possibility of perception by individuals; not just a quorum sensing herd mentality, but a multi-factorial decision that benefits survival of the herd/tribe/hive overall ?

  364. For the past couple of years I keep having this recurring thought that technology has given people a tremendous, decision-making leverage that can harm them spiritually. The level of influence that a government bureaucrat of a large nation-state has is almost as much as a Roman emperor 2,000 years ago. A simple decision can affect millions, if not billions of people.

    If this is the case, then I’m almost relieved not to have been involved in any institution in this country. I can’t imagine what karmic blowback a high level bureaucrat might get just by simple, typical rent-seeking that many bureaucrats do. Certainly much more than say, an official back in the 16th Century.

    I’m not saying this is true, but imagine that Ivermectin was all we needed to treat Covid patients. But a pharmaceutical rep mentions offhandedly to the bureaucrat, that after they retire, they’ll get that cush job in the pharmaceutical company. So, delete any study about Ivermectin from their recommendations to higher-ups. Suddenly, they half a million lives on their hands.

    It kind of makes me wonder if my higher self was working hard to make sure I was a “Joe Nobody” in this incarnation. Too much blowback!

  365. JMG, temporaryreality, barefootwisdom and Patricia Matthews:

    I haven’t yet thanked you for the help with “thrust block.” I understand now.

    Horzabky:

    You have hit the nail on the head with your comment. There is a stronger and stronger desire for the states to pull away from the centralism of DC. We were never meant to be run from a central city like Paris or London, but to be a union of semi-autonomous states.

    Just one example out of a long and complicated history: DC learned in the 1980s that they could have as much control over the states as they wanted just by issuing threats of withholding money. Now our states are dependencies who are afraid to give up their free money for independence. It is one reason why we are so ossified. The flexibility and robustness handed to us by a federalist system is now gone.

  366. Matthias Gralle – your reply to DFC has made me a bit pensive, and I wonder if you might have some thoughts on this…

    You said:
    “Since it is my experience that peer review considerably changes most papers, I prefer to restrict myself to the peer-reviewed ones (randomized controlled trials).”

    So, the does it follow from the fact that peer review considerably changes most papers, that peer review IMPROVES most papers?

    It seems a fact worth pondering that “peer review” is, essentially, a gate-keeping exercise. And to trust that the quality of what is permitted to cross the gates will continually be higher than that which is not permitted to cross the gates is entirely an exercise in trusting the gate-KEEPERS.

    Do you yourself still find that the gate-keepers who staff the “peer review” gates to what is permitted to count as “science” are trustworthy keepers of that trust? If so, why? What would be the qualities that a trustworthy “peer-review” gate-keeper should have? Is there any process whereby the gate-keepers (and their decisions) are themselves subject to review? Should there be?

    What if one of the contributors to the lack of scientific trustworthiness which is the subject of this post is due to a creeping form of “entryism” of non-scientific agendas into the peer review (gate-keeping) system itself? If such turned out to be the case, would the damage that any such entryism could wreak through its control of the peer review (gate-keeping) system be rectifiable?

  367. Jessica, #369 + 371, indeed gripping.
    Such understanding of the pro managerial class is, thanks to the virus, being more widely faced, see e.g. a pal of Bari Weiss, at

    https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/what-happens-when-doctors-cant-speak (on recent politicization of medicine),

    and Karl Denninger’s comments on that post (esp. on intimidation of Henry Ford Hospital System’s original looking into HCQ), at
    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=242611 .

  368. Neptunes Dolphins – #374 – thank you for this. You give me much to think about!

  369. Diana Paxson had a good “Priestess on the Ship” novel in which 2 ships ended up in Britain. (Blown off course by a hurricane. Knowing wind patterns in the Atlantic, I don’t really think so, but, hey. She’s writing about Britain a la Dion Fortune.)

    One, down by Stonehenge, captained by a Prince, sets out to make the same old mistakes in the new world. The other, up by what later became Glastonbury, can only survive with the help of the natives, do so and live modestly and intermarry etc and slowly become used to doing things an entirely different way. Living in a cold, damp, foggy* climate, frex, rather than one in which you can generally see the skies, and where the weather was balmy. Think “from the Bahamas to Seattle.” Prehistoric Seattle.

    *Which really louses up their astrology, as an example.

    And when the two finally reunite, the Prince-led ones think “What a scruffy lot! We must rescue and recivilize them!” Uh-uh. Even the second one’s Little Miss I’m A Princess apprentice priestess finds she want no part of that. What a parable for our times!

    But then, I highly respect Paxson as a priestess, even though her Asatru is not my horn of mead.

  370. SLClaire @ 345, Much of the material you mentioned was posted on the internet. I think I read everything that was publicly available. I have never been a member of SSE. The scandal broke about when I was thinking maybe I could afford it, and then I lost interest. I remember stating on various now closed garden fora that what had happened didn’t pass the smell test. I do remember quite a few articles about us nobodies couldn’t possibly understand treaties. As I recall, it was a marital breakup, not a good thing but neither very unusual, which provided leverage to remove Mr. Whealy, and it would appear that something similar is being used to, I speculate–merest speculation–discredit Gates and possibly separate him from some of his money. It would appear that setting him up for Epsteinian blackmail didn’t work. A mutually agreed upon divorce after nearly three decades of marriage is hardly in the same league as what many of the great and good get up to, and if there were anything truly reprehensible involved on either side, I am sure we would have heard of it.

  371. JMG – Re: “…official pronouncements of the scientific and medical establishments…”. That makes me think of various foods (and food-like substances, for that matter) that one year is the darling of the establishment and is deemed a ‘superfood’, then the next year the darling superfood is found to cause various health problems, some severe. I guess then they become killer superfoods? Somehow a sensible balanced diet never enters the picture. Also – just wondering – did you have a post some time ago that discussed the ‘one true diet’?

  372. @rabtter

    Its not like the people in the VAERS database died in car crashes. Someone had to think there was a reason it was connected to vaccination and report it under the threat of legal action if they lie. For comparison, about half the population of the US gets flu vaccination each year and that yields about 50 reported deaths.

  373. Hi JMG and all,

    First and foremost, I’ll cast my ballot for Ancient tech.

    And yea, things are getting pretty funny out there, and as has been noted here, that tipping point can’t be far off.

    I live rather simple- don’t make much money, but I’ve managed to set myself up so I don’t need much. This has been much to the horror and confusion of my upper middle class family (they skew mostly to the “conservative” side).

    I get the occasional poke and prod about my finances, asking how much I have saved for retirement (ha!). With the events of the past year and half though, I’ve decided to be a bit more forthcoming with my opinions. When they ask about my finances, I ask them if they honestly believe their dollar investments (mostly in US stocks) and suburban homes will be worth anything 10 years from now. I ask if they honestly believe we’ll still be living like this 10, 20 years from now.

    Instead of the usual shake of the head and a , “Oh dear, hes a nutter!” I am now met by a very long silence, and a distressed gleam of recognition in their eyes….

    And on a final note/ data point for you, Dmitry Orlov has just posted a new article, noting that Vladimir Putin now agrees with him! Putin, at the currently ongoing World Economic Forum, has publicly stated that the United States is on the same path as the collapsing Soviet Union was, and will be overwhelmed by problems it (the U.S.) can no longer cope with.

    Yup, not long now at all, most likely. A suggestion to anyone who lives in the northern parts of our fair land; you still have time to get a crop of potatoes in the ground. I would advise planting as many as you can, it might come in handy…

  374. Your host refused to post my response to this posting, which cited me – by name – as espousing opinions I do not have and strawman-attributing to me – and especially to scientists in general – traits I despise. I submitted a reply here which he rejected as not meeting community standards of courtesy… ironic, if he is the fellow I think he is, from his past comments on my site. In any event, if he rejects this one, it will not be for any such reason, but simply an aversion to criticism.

    You can find my full response posted as a comment under my recent thread “Is lying endemic to all nations?” at http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ (Contrary Brin blog)

  375. All,

    Is anyone else wondering if the fighting over the recount in Arizona might be the spark which brings about the collapse of what legitimacy American government has left? There is no such thing as a clean election, and so the recount, if it’s any good, will find discrepancies; and once that goes public, well, that could very well be the moment where everything starts coming undone……..

  376. I’ve long felt like things have been undulating for quite a while. It makes my head spin sometimes, and I often wish the other shoe would drop so it can be over. Then I remind myself that it’s never really over, it just shifts to a new level, and the game continues on…

    Joy Marie

  377. JMG and Ksim (# 196)*: People at the turn of the millennium looked forward to jetpacks or whatever (regarding jetpacks, I actually think they are more representative of 60’s ideas; the 90’s seemed more of “getting more miles to the gallon” “modern healthcare means you’ll live to be 125” and “better living through computers” to me) and such because they were being told by the society planners that it would happen. Everything could be delivered easily and cheaply by Technology.

    JMG, you might find this 1998 publication by the ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD) interesting: “21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES; PROMISES AND PERILS OF A DYNAMIC FUTURE” (I have never heard of the OECD, but looking at their main page they seem like a globalist planning organization, definitely with a progressive stripe.) It’s a collection of reports predicting the progress of technology in a globalized world, with titles such as “The Promises and Perils of 21st Century Technology: An Overview of the Issues” and “The Next Twenty-five Years of Technology: Opportunities and Risks”. Chapter 4 “Biotechnology for the 21st Century” might be interesting just to see if anything pertains to the current pandemic.

    https://www.oecd.org/futures/35391210.pdf

    I’ve only glanced through it so far, but it seems to be a mix of correct predictions, some admittance of dangers and problems with rapid technological change, and a trust in progress to solve our problems and make life easier. There might be something in there for you to use, JMG, as an example of scientific hubris.

    *This is as far as I’ve reached in the comments! Quite a few to go, but I look forward to reading every one of them. I learn as much from the commentariat** as I do from JMG!

    **(Can you footnote a footnote?) Commentariat has been used to describe us, but if you look it up in Wikipedia, it redirects to “Chattering Classes”. I think we need a new descriptor!

    Joy Marie

  378. I find it wryly amusing that Brin’s response to you, and indeed much of his current writing, seems to assume that he’s in the minority in his belief in Progress. Am I alone in finding it tedious just how often the accepted, socially dominant narratives are constantly presented, often by their own believers, as these edgy, unpopular opinions which other people might now have come across?

    He seems to assume, for example, that your readers have never read Pinker or Diamondis. I’ve read both, and find them unconvincing; cherry picked data and logical fallacies made me decide to ignore them. I just wish people would stop trying to present me with books, or articles, or videos, or whatever, they are sure I must never have come across. It’s gotten very, very tedious.

  379. @TamHob, it’s been a while, please correct me if I am wrong. As far as I remember, the (hydroxy)chloroquine sage began
    1. With a tiny and uncontrolled French study in humans and a cell culture study published by the Nature group and reposted by JMG and also myself in Feb-March 2020.
    2. On this rather weak fundament plus hope, and for lack of anything better, countless doctors worldwide started to prescribe (hydroxy)chloroquine. Many hospitals assembled their observations into studies. Randomized controlled trials were also immediately started in March 2020, but took a while to collect enough cases.
    3. A rather large number of observational studies were published, with divergent results. I don’t claim to have read all; I do remember one that claimed a beneficial effect, several that claimed no effect, and a few that claimed a net adverse effect. Are you referring to these studies when you speak of exaggerated high doses? On of the latter studies was also the complete hoax published by Lancet to their everlasting shame, which they had to quickly retract.
    4. Then, in June 2020, the results of the randomized controlled trials came in. I remember reading the first three, which were unanimous in claiming no effect (no adverse effect either). After that, I stopped accompanying the literature. The search I linked to in my post above (#240) seems to show that until today, almost all of them showed zero effect.

    So it seems to me that the chloroquine saga begins with excesses to both sides before settling in, with better data, on a net zero effect.

  380. In the comment on his site, to which Mr. Brin refers in #412, he writes:
    “… if you knew any scientists… who **are** the most COMPETITIVE humans our species ever produced… have one value above all others… to catch their rivals in a mistake.”

    While that *was* likely true decades ago, it’s not true now.
    They do like to humiliate rivals in their *narrow* field, but nowadays most put far greater weight, on sucking up to those feeding at the same (often federal)¬ trough as themselves, esp. those on their research TEAM. (Rather few actually work alone anymore.)

    And, sucking up to their fellow Upper-middle class peers, on all issues outside of their narrow field.
    At very most, they’ll depart from these peers, on ONE issue outside of the Class Consensus.

  381. @David Brin #412,

    Damn, sir, if I were you I’d have been more than happy such a comment was deleted! I’m not sure a response like “paranoid doggie spew”, right before talking about a “Kremlin basement”, is such a good look…

    As for the rest, if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it! But thank you for teaching me (and everyone else here) about the mindset of our progressive “scientists”. Very educational!

  382. And, Jessica, please say any writers who much influenced your thought, esp. on things like
    “we got the bonsai version. Social structures that worked, crudely and perhaps unnecessarily brutally, for an industrial economy were adapted to knowledge. Patents. Copyrights. Intellectual property. Monopoly.
    An economy that functions not by making use of the main advantage of knowledge – its ease of sharing and multiplying – but by throttling it.”

    Perhaps relevant to your thinking are the views of Sheldon Wolin, see
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/sheldon-wolin-and-inverted-totalitarianism/ .

  383. @scotlyn, that is a good question. In my personal experience with rather low-impact (that is to say, very boring 🙂 ) papers, peer review tends to whittle down exaggerated claims that the authors cannot support by experimental data. I only remember once removing a figure with actual data because a reviewer asked us to, and that was because the figure had been published before, though in a different context.

    In general, it would have been difficult, a few years ago, for a third person to assess the impact of peer review on biomedical papers. The problem with science nowadays is rather an excess of false claims (as suggested by JMG above) than a lack of confidence, so I tend to think peer review is beneficial. Now, more and more papers are posted as preprints on biorxiv or medrxiv (just as has been the case in physics since the 1990s), so a reader can compare the the original with the final version and judge for themselves.

    The one case where I read both versions was with a paper where the preprint version claimed, in August 2020: “COVID-19 herd immunity in the Brazilian Amazon”. Since cases and deaths started climbing again in September 2020 and in January 2021 were even higher than in April 2020, the title had be changed to: “Three quarters attack rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Brazilian Amazon during a largely unmitigated epidemic”. I don’t know if a prescient peer reviewer might have forced the authors to change their title even before cases and deaths started climbing again, since it is in fact not known how long exposition to Covid guarantees future immunity. It would certainly have spared them some egg on their face, and might have helped mitigate the public health disaster.

  384. I went over to David Brin’s to read his rebuttal of this post. It was a comically amusing and cringeworthy mix of butthurt, techno-fetishism and shameless self-promotion by someone who seems to have an overinflated opinion of himself and his importance. The old cliche about someone being a legend in their own mind comes to mind.

    It is rather fascinating watching someone like Brin desperately trying to justify their faith-based worldview in the face of growing evidence that that worldview is no longer tenable and is fast approaching it’s sell-by date. There are few things more pitiful than a dead-ender who steadfastly refuses to admit they were mistaken and that their faith has been in vain. I expect we will see a lot more of this in years to come as liberalism and the Cult of Infinite Progress circle the drain and come to be seen as the God That Failed.

  385. Dear Mr. Greer,

    Could you discuss a current application of your theory of catabolic collapse? I read “The Long Descent” and enjoyed it (if you can call it enjoyment) but I’d like to see how it’s working out.
    Thanks!

    BTW, I wore a Cthulhu shirt during the 2020 election. At first I thought it was a wasted effort. But now I wonder if Cthulhu did win and he (or it) is controlling President Biden. So maybe my sartorial efforts weren’t wasted.

  386. Bruce Berry asked:

    “Question is: to what extent can human societies make decisions that are beyond the possibility of perception by individuals; not just a quorum sensing herd mentality, but a multi-factorial decision that benefits survival of the herd/tribe/hive overall ?”

    I think the answer is pretty obviously a resounding: “Yes, they can, and they actually do so to a great extent.” There are, for one example, what might be called “pendulum swings” over decades in the intellectual trends of our own society, in which periods of permissiveness alternate with periods of repressiveness every 35 years or so. There is no evidence that anyone ever deliberately set out to keep the intellectual “pendulum” a-swinging; nevertheless, it swings, and swings regularly.

    I first noticed that when I set out to design a course on women-led magical religious movements in the history of the USA, and was surprised/appalled to see that periodicity at work.

  387. Again, everyone’s votes have been totaled. Thank you all!

    Ecosophian, I saw that. I hope you and others who are concerned about such things make sure it gets to everyone you know whose kids might be considering going to university.

    Robert, we’ll see what the final count is, but since Yeats and lost technologies both have a lot of people interested in them, whichever doesn’t appear this month will appear soon.

    Eike, there’s an old saying about foxes guarding the henhouse…

    Ray, oh my. If the grip of the standard narratives is breaking down that broadly, real change is coming within reach. Hang on!

    Antoinetta, so noted, but since this isn’t a poetry blog I don’t intend to say much about Yeats as a poet. As a mage and occult philosopher, on the other hand, there’s a lot to say.

    Michael, by the way, were you deliberately trying to stir shale? If so, please do it somewhere else.

    Ksim, thanks for this. An intriguing analysis.

    Violet, hmm! Okay, that’s definitely a positive turn of events. Thanks for the data point. As for the New Brunswick illness, hmm. What I’ve read of it is that it’s been around for some years now and doesn’t seem to be spreading outside the province, but we’ll see.

    Candace, good heavens. No, I hadn’t heard that. Dr. Jung’s on the phone — he wants to talk to you about something called sychronicity…

    Bruce, occult philosophy has it that human beings very easily form “group minds” that act like individuals — though most group minds are as dumb as rocks. (It’s as though our capacity to generate group minds has atrophied in recent millennia.) That’s why it’s standard practice in occult and also religious circles to invoke a divine or spiritual intelligence to guide deliberately formed groupminds and make them intelligent enough to be worth having.

    Jon, that’s a valid point! I know that I sweat sometimes over the influence I have over other people, and that’s minor compared to any midlevel bureaucrat.

    Antoinetta, thank you!

    Patricia M, hmm! That might be fun to read. Thank you.

    PatriciaT, yep. As for the One True Diet thing, yep — you’ll find it here.

    Andrew, fascinating. That’s a data point of quite some importance — thank you. As for Dmitry, yes, I read about Putin’s comment, and my first thought was that Putin has been reading Dmitry’s essays. I hope so — they’re worth reading.

    David, thank you for a more civil response. You can certainly post whatever response you like on your own blog; mine has policies that nobody gets to break, including me. As for the person you think I am, er, no; I read your blog now and again when I want to see what the other side is saying, but I’ve never commented on it, and when I comment online anywhere I always use my full name.

    Mollari, we’ll just have to see.

    Joy Marie, to risk an outdated joke, there are so many shoes waiting to drop that the future looks like Imelda Marcos’ closet. Thank you for the link to the OECD study! That should be entertaining reading.

    Mollari, it’s a standard part of the mythology of progress to pose as the lone visionary contending with the entrenched forces of superstition and stasis. That’s the posture Brin is striking, of course. Yes, it’s tedious, but you’ve got to remember he’s a devout believer in the religion of progress and its myths are very deeply wedged into his mind.

    Kaishaku, it amuses me to note that this is being said by a science fiction writer, not a scientist. I know a lot of working scientists and they tend to disagree heartily.

    Galen, oh, good. I haven’t gone to take a look at it — I have a lot to do just now, and listening to Brin rant is kind of low priority — but I was hoping for a good spittle-stained rant.

    Unappreciated, that’s a topic for a whole post. Fortunately I plan on an update on my catabolic collapse paper in the not too distant future, and I’ll include that.

  388. Hi Joy Marie,

    Since we have a Great Khan (Of Potlucks) we could logically be referred to as a horde. Or we could come up with our own plural noun, as has been done with almost any animal you can think of (a murder of crows, a knot of toads, a flock of seagulls [who ran so far away], a crash of rhinoceros, and so on). Possibilities:

    —a string of commenters
    —a meditation of commenters
    —a fuss of commenters
    —a gripe of commenters
    —a batch of commenters
    —a long descent of commenters
    —a brecken of commenters
    —a mythos of commenters
    —a forest of commenters
    —Since most of us seem to have as many books as we can squeeze into the house, “a library of commenters “ is a possibility
    —a Fortune of commenters, in memory of our old buddy Dion

    That’s all the possibilities I can think of right now, we’ll probably get many more suggestions. I like “horde of commenters.” It acknowledges the Great Khan and the Archdruid (any Khan with any sense listens to his Archdruid), it accommodates any number of commenters, and most people know a horde is not to be taken lightly. The downside is that a lot of victims of modern schooling will think we are a “hoard,” but we can always explain we’re a whole passel of commenters and not a pile of gold with a dragon sitting atop it. (How much is a passel? Less than a hoard, but a pretty good size for a self-respecting horde.)

  389. It’s striking, that Brin’s Profile page says boo about what sort of science education he got.

  390. Tamanous “the personal relationship and the individualized spiritual power takes center stage” p165 The King in Orange

    This concept combines with the interdimensional ufo theory pf future human transformation appears as a current archtype.
    do we believe we are the only beings in the universe?
    have we rediscovered a way out of cultural suffocation ?
    this is the center stage we dance around unconsciously, a psychedelic spaceship. toss the coins and consult book of changes.

  391. Most of these Wokesters, esp. the most vocal, are frauds. You personally deal with them at your peril. If you keep major distance, you may be OK.

  392. @Weilong (#122):

    Arguing from principles – meaning mechanistic physics – it seemed to me that the only logical conclusion was that the universe cannot exist, and I certainly cannot experience it.

    I wonder if this is the sort of thing behind the “universe is a hologram” idea that keeps popping up in physics.

    It took me an embarrassingly long time to come around to the realization that the absurd conclusions were an indication that my premises were false.

    I’ve certainly experienced that; I think most people have. It does seem to be an acquired skill to say to oneself, “Let’s pump the brakes here.”

  393. All those who voted for the topic of lost ancient technologies… you’re not expecting JMG to provide any blueprints, right? If he could do that they wouldn’t be lost.

    (No, this isn’t a vote for or against. Carry on.)

  394. Another gem from Brin’s response:

    – The “science pledge” is a dismal piece of agitprop, either deliberately issued by some Kremlin basement or else by a well-meaning fool.

    The Russians did it! The Russians did it! Is there no indecency they will not stoop to?

    As for the rest of the reply, the frantic invective is familiar to me from when I read his blog back around ’08. What’s new is the shameless self-promotion, worthy of any second rate Las Vegas street hustler.

  395. “Coronavirus advice from official sources during the outbreak has resembled nothing so much as the weather here in southern New England: if you don’t like it, wait a little while and it’ll be different.” This is one of my sayings about the weather in Michigan, although I first heard it when I spent summers in Massachusetts. The converse of it was that if you did like it, too bad, it’s going to change anyway. Maybe it would have been better if it were like the weather on the west coast, which is more stable, especially where I grew up in southern California. On the other hand, if you didn’t like the weather there, too bad; you were stuck with it all week.

    I was not familiar with “the Affair of the Necklace,” so I looked it up. Imagine my surprise to read that one of the people arrested was Giuseppe Balsamo alias Count Alessandro Cagliostro, Freemason, occultist, forger, and one of the people Aleister Crowley claimed as a prior incarnation. His name caught my attention because I was an anime fan and one of my favorite anime movies was “The Count of Caligliostro,” whose only connection to the actual man was the name, the title, and a talent for forgery, or rather counterfeiting. Oh, and he was a scoundrel, too. Still, it was interesting to find an occultist mentioned in the story, even if he was acquitted of any crime related to the necklace.

  396. @Matthias Gralle

    Is there any hard data on how widely/systematically Ivermectin is being distributed in Brazil? If everyone is taking it there, unless the covid cases in Brazil are restricted to only the people without Ivermectin, then it cannot possibly be as effective as claimed. My understanding in India is that the government was distributing ivermectin, then they were not, then they started using ivermectin again.

    On the subject of HCQ. This retrospective analysis from Iran (not a randomised control trial) would suggest that HCQ is in fact effective when given early. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576921002721#b0035. I wouldn’t necessarily trust it, but I will note this result would actually be in line with most of the randomized control trials I looked at for HCQ administered early. They were showing roughly 20% reductions in hospitalization, but didn’t have enough participants for that to be statistically significant. My understanding is that most of the large RCT trials for HCQ were cancelled after the fake Surgisphere article on HCQ was published in the Lancet. Coincidentally Surgisphere also published a fake article showing ivermectin worked around the same time.

  397. RE: #300, Enradishment

    Due to that post over on dreamwidth and by coincidence, my happening to find some long white and long red radish seeds, I’ve made it a point to grow them this year in order to have the seeds available should the punishment make a comeback.

  398. A few weeks ago I took the encouragement and joined the Knights of Kaleva (thank you JMG!). It’s been a great experience, and I’ve met a lot of great people already. One of those people has had the opportunity to travel around the world, and in particular makes frequent stops in Guatemala. He shared with me his story of having an ancestry test done, which traced him back to Finland, and ultimately to Africa, the knowledge of which he used to argue that we are all brethren, through science. He shared this information with a Guatemalan Mayan who responded, as many Native Americans do, that they were born of the land. The world traveler then offered to take the Mayan’s DNA back for testing and to bring back the results when he return, to which the Mayan agreed. The results came back indicating the Mayan also had roots in Africa and that knowledge made him a fellow believer in science.

    That anecdote actually saddened me. Science is a great tool. It’s odd to persuade people that they need to become believers in a tool, rather than see its usefulness. The Mayan had faith in a great narrative, one that had been constructed of time and of volcanoes, rainforests, tectonic shifts, temples, and animals, ultimately a culture born of the land. Of what benefit was it to try and destroy faith in that narrative? To have one more believer that “science is real”?

    As your main point in this weeks essay drives home, many are losing faith in “science” narrative. The reason why is, in my opinion, twofold: that modern science is only data is being shared in ways to manipulate others, and because science still can’t answer the important questions, where we came from, and where we are going. A lot of folks are without a doubt seeing the writing on the wall, that we won’t be going to live in outer space as promised, and as covid-19 has driven home, we can’t defeat death.

  399. According to Colonel W Patrick Lang, the Defense Intelligence Agency has been interviewing a senior Chinese official who defected to the US. Not only has the official’s name been kept a closely guarded secret, but the DIA kept info about his defection and debriefing from the CIA and FBI because of suspicions that both have been penetrated and compromised by Chinese intelligence agencies.

    It’s been reported that the official has detailed information on Chinese biological weapons programs and other highly classified weapons development projects. It has also been reported that info provided during the debriefings are one of the major reasons why Dr. Anthony Fauci’s credibility has taken a nosedive and why US officials are increasingly leaning towards the lab leak theory of COVID-19’s origins.

    https://turcopolier.com/anonymously-sourced-story-says-the-dia-has-been-talking-to-a-major-chinese-defector/

    If this turns out to be true, the consequences could be huge…

  400. “Pretty much the only institution that Americans still trust is the military. ”

    On that subject I Recommend Lt. Col. Mathew Lohmeier’s recent book, “Irresistible Revolution.” Such trust will be subject to quick evaporation.

  401. “as far as I am aware, no one has ever done the calculation of what it would take to make renewables self sustainable.”

    You will find some calculations in the book “Bright Green Lie,” by Derrick Jensen et al.

  402. To Robert Mathiesen with respect to your post #203–

    I had read before that the character of Amanda in Magic, Incorporated was based on a woman whom Heinlein knew well. Before reading your post, I didn’t know that Heinlein knew Jack Parsons. This might clear up something I’ve been wondering about for years.

    Parsons wrote an essay called The Witchcraft which was reprinted in 1989 in a collection of his writings titled Freedom Is a Two Edged Sword. I think there is a second piece about witchcraft in the same collection, but I can’t lay my hands on it at the moment.

    When I read Parson’s essay, it struck me that the tone and content were markedly different from the writings of other Thelemites then and later. It seemed to me that Parsons had gotten excited over the idea or archetype of the witch and was trying to work out a way to make it manifest. Just now, writing this, I’m seeing a resemblance between The Witchcraft and the Rosicrucian Manifesto, which according to Frances Yates kicked off a lasting and influential magico-religious movement.

    When I first read his essay, I was pleased to see something a bit original and not just a rehash of Wicca (which barely had a foothold in California at that time). I wondered what Parsons would have made of his own take on witchcraft had he lived, since he had the talents to lead a group. I also wondered why or how he had developed that particular interest. He certainly didn’t get it from Crowley. But as a younger man, and a creative
    person, it didn’t surprise me that he might strike out in a new direction.

    My guess then was that it was just steam engine time. But if Jack Parsons had direct contact with a practicing witch, a person of roughly his age, class, education, and so forth, the mystery is solved.

    Also, in the photo on the cover of Freedom Is a Two Edged Sword, Parsons is extraordinarily good looking, at least to my taste. I wonder whether he had an affair with Mrs. Heinlein.

  403. @ Matthias Gralle, # 354

    Take the case of the following drugs that had all of them trials peer-reviewed by famous and well known researchers and institutions, safety assessed, animal tested, and…..withdrawn from the market for their very bad safety profile:

    Chlordimeform, Talidomida, Phenformin, Oraflex, Clioquinol, Selacryn, DES, Tylenol (2º), Omniflox, Fen-Phen, Baycol, Seldane, Duract, Palladone, Posicor, Propulsid, Hismanal, Vioxx, Bextra, Lotronex, Cylert, Accutane, Permax, Raplon, Meridia, Darvon, PPA, Trasylol, Raptiva, Mylotarg , Rezulin, Zelnorm, etc…..

    Don’t be too strict with me about how systematic I am, I know there are many more drugs withdrawn (some dozens more), this is only a short list of some of them just to have some taste of the problem…

    Yes it seems the best predictor of the result of any experiment/study is to ask: who pays it?

    Ivermectin is trialed by physician mainly in the third world with low amount of money and with the only aim of solving a death/live problem (no conflict of interest). Ivermectin has many more trials and studies for the Covid-19 treatment than probably any other drug in history, and the results are overwhelming in the very positive side, and of course you know the safety profile of Ivermectin is very very good because has less secondary effects than aspirin, have been used from 40 years and taken by around 4 billion people, some of them everyday as prophilactic for the oncocercosis and other parasitic infections, but the institutional science is not satisfied …and never will be, of course.

    The institutional science is not satisfied and did not and probably never will approve Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 because it would obliterate the need of an EUA for the hi-tech vaccines, whose premise is that there is no safe and effective way to treat the disease…There are many billions and a huge future market for the mRNA techonology that must be open at ANY price.

    Compare all the preventions to use Ivermectin with how the vaccines have been approved and the safety profile they have; have you read the EUA authorization report?, have you seen all the weak points, all the unknown, all the guess?

    it is stunning to see how they have not approved an EUA for Ivermectin and at the same time they have approved one for those vaccines at the cost of many thousands of lives, that is another reason everyday I am more and more sure the institutional science will sink to the bottom with the dominant minority and it will deserve that fate.

    Cheers
    David

  404. One amazing thing this week was Ben Domenech’s rant on Fox Primetime on the “octogenarian elite” who he likened to the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ibGXEvk3Ww

    What is particularly notable is that he employed Mencius Moldbug’s concept of The Cathedral. So this means that The Cathedral is now being mentioned on a major cable news network and is about to go mainstream. I am now wondering how long it will be before Bronze Age Pervert’s notion of “The 500 Names” also goes mainstream.

  405. One problem with the vaccines against the coronavirus is that the information about the prevalence of risks of adverse reactions is unsatisfying; I find it difficult to come to clear conclusions about the risks of the different vaccines. Searches about the vaccines tend only to yield links to mainstream sources; and what I found about adverse reactions and the back-and-forth in the EU about using the different vaccines doesn’t inspire trust that the risk of short-term or long-term adverse reacions is low enough. At the same time, the people in my environment who have been vaccinated, didn’t have much of an adverse reaction, and so, the possiblity of problems is invisible to them. JMG, do you have any advice how to deal with that situation?

  406. And sure enough: Caitlin Johnstone: US corporate media wastes no time using UFO report to promote arms race

  407. Years ago I read a fascinating book: “Vanished Kingdoms” by Norman Davies. If memory serves, I had never heard of most of the kingdoms he wrote about (Catalonia being a notable exception). It left me wanting to know more,

    so my vote for the 5th Wednesday is lost civilizations and their technologies.

    I hope the social and economic fabric in this country holds long enough for me to get our (new to us) 170 yr old house buttoned up enough to live in. It may be in my favor that our area has a burgeoning Amish population; they are “helping” the building inspectors recognize not everyone wants or needs hot/cold running water in multiple rooms or 2-3 electrical outlets on every wall! The property comes with an artesian spring providing water in ample supply for a modest homefast so that is one basic necessity that is covered!

    Even though I worry and fret sometimes , and although our situation is anything but secure, I cannot help but feel very blessed, very “wealthy” and hopeful on a personal level.

    I wish the same for all here!
    Cheers,
    Courtney

  408. I came across this possible data point the other day, and I think the title may be pointing in the right direction: https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/obama-speculates-new-religions-will-appear-if-alien-life-makes-contact/

    A time of ‘New Religions’ might necessitate getting ahead of the story. There may be seeds planted some time ago that are ready to germinate now. One particular story making the rounds again is that we have not been officially contacted because we are not a ‘class one civilisation’ (i.e. we have multiple governments instead of one planetwide one) and that until we reach this status, we are the Galactic Federation’s equivalent of a nature preserve. Because of it’s parallels to the warnings in Revelations, this story is usually presented as disinformation spread to ease acceptance of a worldwide government – but it’s also been pointed out that today’s alien stories seem an awful lot like old-testament-angels with a materialist makeover, so who knows where the real origins of these stories lie…

  409. JMG,

    File this under “don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger!” I read your post, thought David (Brin), who I know personally, might be interested in it, as it mentioned him multiple times, and therefore, forwarded a link to it to him. I had no preconception as to how things would develop, from there, or if he would even bother to reply…

  410. Yeats led the vote and then ancient and lost civilizations quickly overtook it seemingly overnight. Could we have election fraud afoot here? I joke, of course. I suspect Archdruids can run fair elections better than most goverments.

  411. JMG,

    BTW, here is the unedited communication which I emailed to David Brin yesterday about your column. Header was “Possibly interesting column”:

    “https://www.ecosophia.net/toward-the-breaking-point/ John Michael Greer in shock (“…warm day on the moons of Pluto…” after agreeing with you. “Cat lasers” and all that!”

    Nothing prejudicial (to you) there.

  412. The Serallini Affair was a notorious exercise in gatekeeping: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9ralini_affair

    About Homer and poetry:

    He is a blind man. He lives on rocky Chios.
    His songs are the best.

    I wish I knew how to learn the kind of memory skills the ancient recitalists had. Was Lysias the Platonic dialogue about interpreting Homer? “First prize was what I won, Socrates.”

  413. My UFO story:

    I was driving to work one morning down a long, straight road, when over a nearby hill I spotted an exceptionally bright light in the sky. I watched for a minute or more as it slowly rose up and to the left.The light was much brighter than any possible source like an aircraft’s landing lights.

    Then the light changed, and I realized I was watching the sun reflecting down the shiny flank of a jet aircraft as it slowly climbed away from a nearby airport. The illusion was broken when it banked. It had been a one in several million coincidence that the relative positions and movements of the sun, plane, and myself worked together to maintain the reflection for an extended time.

  414. This article is a good summary of how the elite rich are pushing the ‘zero net carbon’ mess. Unfortunately, the elite rich can afford any oil price, whereas businesses and commoners cannot.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2021-06-06/energy-crisis-now-guaranteed

    It looks like the squeeze is on for the independent majors. They were stupid and let politics take over their businesses. I look for any seasoned petroleum engineers to begin looking for their exits from these companies. They don’t have many left – most boomers already took early retirement packages. In addition, their reserve portfolios are all abysmal, due to depletion and their abstention from exploration for the last 3 years.

    I look for them to begin selling off more of their overseas oil assets to comply with their board directives, and the most likely buyers are (logically) the nations where the oil is. One has to wonder what will become of these companies when their major assets and primary reason for existing are removed?

    We may be in for a “Perfect Storm” in oil in the not-so-distant future, with depletion, zero exploration and now corporate commitments to slit their own throats. How will these people in control react when their consequences roll in like a black tide?

    I’m going to go buy the gear for biodiesel manufacture. And plant more castor bean plants – that oil burns in 2-stroke small engines just fine. I hate being caught out, and would rather be over prepared. I been in this business my whole life, and have never seen this kind of stupid, nor this concatenation of existing circumstances.

  415. Oh! @ JMG

    Your prescience with the title of this weeks essay is a large bowl of lagniappe!

  416. I went and took a look at the IEA report. Not gonna happen. 40% increase in world GDP by 2050? Maybe in nominal dollars if there’s massive inflation. 2 billion more people? I really, really hope not. Getting to net zero by 2050? Highly unlikely. Doing so with only 4% of the drop in CO2 coming from behavioral changes? LOL. Too much reliance on electric cars and assumption we’ll be able to vastly expand the electricity grid, and the proportion of wind and solar without destabilizing the grid. Far too little attention paid to the problem of electricity storage for the grid to keep it stable with the increase of intermittant energy sources.

    I do expect human CO2 emissions to drop dramatically by 2050… but not to zero, and with a large part of the drop being due to drops in real GDP, demand destruction related to economic instability and crazy fossil fuel price gyrations, and behavioral change. And yes, some increased electrification and a move towards renewables. But we’re not going to be able to run what we’re running now in 2050, let alone 40% more!

    If this were fanfiction, I’d categorize it as crackfic. ie. “What was this person on when they wrote this?” fic. Sadly, it’s not even very original crackfic.

  417. JMG,

    A BLM group called BLM 757 and a far-right group called Boogaloo Boys have joined hands for a protest against police brutality and in favor of gun rights last 4th of July. The mainstream media tried to obfuscate this, but the highly talented Matt Taibbi ferreted it out. See here.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/introducing-activism-uncensored-a

    I also found this. https://www.saintsedwardmedia.com/2020/07/04/propertarians-take-over-2a-rally-in-richmond-va/

    This is the sort of solidarity across races that the elites and PMC are frantically trying to avoid. But it is happening anyway.

  418. @Jessica. I mean, okay. Your Critical Professional Managerial Class Theory is at least a shorter read than the other canons of Critical Race Theory, the Protocols of Zion, the Engineers of Prometheus and Icke’s Lizard People (I hear he’s now being taken seriously in some quarters).

    It’s not like these things didn’t happen, and there definitely are a few bad apples – I’ve met the “people” who own the mines on the northern BC frontier. The Alaskans, and the Tsimshian out at Taskeo – they do not lie, those guys are really bad.

    But, before I was high enough up the ladder to meet those pantstains, I worked with the guys on the ground, both the site environmental scientists and the miners. I was once at the site of one of the older, most storied mines in BC. The high profile dump failures at this site, had, in fact, lead to the radical updates on dam and dump stability requirements of the Reclamation Code that now make mine wastes less likely to fail from water infiltration and block a river. Hurray! Ah, but they also made them virtually impossible to reclaim. What we are not really encouraged to publish is that the failed dump is the only one that looks like a natural ecosystem. The rest are the stable, compact walls of moisture shedding, windblown stones they were designed to remain for eternity.

    And my boss and I had the contract to reclaim this old closed mine that was not running, but still a liability to its owner (care and maintenance, they call that stage) and were looking across at the high pit wall and dump below from the neighbouring mountain – 40 years and it was as bare as the day they shut it down – and shaking our heads. We had no idea what we were going to do to overturn the laws of ecology and make this happen. The mine guy who was escorting us followed our gaze, and broke into a huge grin, “Isn’t it incredible?” he said. “It looks like the pyramids of Eqypt or the Aztecs! We built that, and thousands of years from now, people will marvel at what we were able to accomplish!”

    He wasn’t joking, he was really proud.

    And that’s how it was at every site: some of them felt a little worried – what if the selenium in the Elk River was as bad as the data were starting to show? What if global warming was real? Some of them felt they were doing the best they could (this was me) to mitigate damage that kept the lights on for everyone else. Some were resentful that nobody else seemed to appreciate all they did each day in that pit to keep the lights on, and were happy to log it to the shore so they could see the beach from their house for all they cared about those environmentalists anymore.

    But most of the time, the whole town up there in the mountains worked at the mines, and was full of That Guy and all their families smiling at the company picnic about the pyramids they were building.

  419. Dear Lady Cutekitten and Joy Marie,
    If I may, Peter is the Great Khan of Potlucks, so he would then lead the Great Horde of Potluckers.
    For the Archdruid’s group of commenters, I respectfully submit he leads the Great Grove of Commenters.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Will1000

  420. @Deborah Bender (#442):

    Jack Parsons certainly did have “direct contact with a practicing witch” in the 1930s and 1940s. Her name was Leslyn MacDonald, and she was Robert Heinlein’s second wife. Magic, Inc. was first published in 1940, at the midpoint of the years when they were a couple.

    In those years and later, Parsons and the circle of men and women magicians that he ran with were not noted for their monogamy, and neither was Heinlein.

    It seems to be fairly well documented that Heinlein was introduced to MacDonald by his friend (and her lover at the time), Caleb Laning, in January, 1932. With Laning’s enthusiastic consent, MacDonald and Heinlein shared a bed that very night. They found the experience so satisfactory that they got married 2-3 months later.

    MacDonald already had a BA with honors in philosophy from UCLA and an MA in the same field from USC, so she had a first-rate mind. She was also a Theosophist and a student of P. D. Ouspensky, and she was probably well read in other forms of esotericism. And during those same years Heinlein was conducting his own independent experiments in telepathy with Laning and another person named Gus Gray.

    Heinlein became friends with Jack Parsons around 1939, and met L Ron Hubbard in 1940; it was Heinlein who introduced Parsons and Hubbard to one another.

    Cal Laning had a huge trove of correspondence with MacDonald and Heinlein, and of other materials by or about the two of them, which could shed a great deal of light on MacDonald and her views on Magic and Pagan religion. After Laning’s death all this material went to Leon Stover, who was preparing a never-published biography of Laning.and his circle. After Stover’s death in 2006, all these documents, as well as the manuscript of Stover’s biography, were purchased by a wealthy collector, who even as late as 2014 was refusing to let any scholar have access them.

    MacDonald was far from the only young Californian woman who called herself a Pagan and/or a Witch in the decades before Gardner. It seems to have been something of a thing back then in California. Another young California Witch was Jonquil Stephens Leiber (Fritz Leiber’s wife); a third was Shirley Jackson.

    Surely there were others whom I haven’t tracked down yet; Jack Parson’s wife (since 1946), Cameron, might be a good candidate for a fourth.

    Actually, the tradition of women in the US who called themselves Witches in the (non-Christian) religious sense of the term goes back as far as the late 1860s, when some Spiritualist mediums decided they were the same sort of women with exactly the same powers as the women called Witches of bygone centuries, and that they might as well own the name of Witch. (Emma Harding Britten is the earliest on them whom I can document.) Since Spiritualism was a very big new religious movement in California from the 1860s onward, there is probably some sort of direct line of descent between Spiritualist Witches of this sort and the young Californian Witch-women of the 1930s and 1940s. But I haven’t found documentation for that yet.

    Parson’s essays on Witchcraft, I suspect, owed a lot to Leslyn MacDonald as well as to Cameron.

  421. @ nohype #355. Our host is correct. Debt bondage can be escaped.

    It’s like quitting an addiction (and spending is addicting). That’s not to say it’s easy but it can be done.

    People escape debt bondage every day. Some of them even achieve — through luck, pluck, and hard work — financial independence. Without, let me state clearly, inheriting or hitting big in the lottery. It all depends on what your monthly nut is and you are the determining factor in its size and what you chose to do.

    You may not achieve financial independence but you can get much closer, thereby giving yourself a bigger cushion for the rough ride ahead.

    All the powers that be don’t want you to be debt-free, but you, as an individual, can become so. It’s even possible to do spouse conversion and family conversion.

    Both Dave Ramsey and Amy Dacyczyn address the subject as do a host of thrift writers.

    You can find them on the far left as well: look for Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine.

    Ms. Levine was inspired by her horror of G.W. Bush and decided not to participate for political reasons. Over her year of saying “no” she discovered that by not shopping she was able to pay of debts she thought she would never escape AND build up her savings account.

    Anyone can do this. It just takes willpower and won’t-power. As in “I won’t buy that.”

  422. @Matthias Gralle – thank you for replying. I do not think we are in disagreement about anything you say, but I wonder if peer review would provide more benefit to the knowledge commons that scientists are in the business of gathering and sharing if it followed a rule not unlike JMG’s rule here – ie – if it focussed on “conduct” rather than “content”.

    That is to say, if reviewers are chosen for being “experts in their field”, their position gives them an immediate conflict of interest. ie – an expert is someone whose stock-in-trade is what they know, and what they can be called upon to explain, and they are naturally going to feel a professional pride in what is currently known and/or theorised about in their field. Therefore it strikes me that they may find themselves predisposed to find fault with papers that theoretically venture outside of what is known and/or present evidence which throws current theory into question. Venturing outside of what is known was once, after all, a hallmark of scientific endeavour.

    What if, instead, reviewers were selected for their familiarity with scientific methodology, and permitted to comment upon that alone. No paper could be banned or changed because of its CONTENT, however startling or unorthodox, but only for failures of rigour* and method. ie – review for CONDUCT very rigourously, but for CONTENT, not at all.

    This would re-open many essentially “forbidden” research topics, and perhaps break the corporate hold on those “peer review” gates…

  423. @ Antoinetta III – If you can find any classic poetry set to music and sung, try that. My entry to that world was Leslie Fish’s tapes (now CDs, I think) of Kipling’s poetry – it’s like finally getting the sound track to a silent video of an orchestra playing.In fact, I was treated to a recording of some Old English poetry – Beowulf era – sung and played according to the rules laid out in Snorri Sturleson’s essay on Norse poetics. Duh! It’s RAP!

  424. @ Matthias Gralle – that sentence should read…

    “[Even though] venturing outside of what is known was once, after all, a hallmark of scientific endeavour.”

  425. Not necessarily for publishing, as I have nothing else to say but “Yeats”.

  426. @JMG: the novel is called Ancestors of Avalon. It may be under the posthumous byline of Marion Zimmer Bradley, but it’s pure Paxson all the way.

  427. Re: World Health Organization and herd immunity–here is a link to the most recent statement I could find. It was posted Dec. 2020. It does not redefine herd immunity as deriving only from vaccines. It does say that using vaccines to create herd immunity is preferable to letting a disease go unchecked because fewer deaths will result. Ideally, this is obviously true. Those of us old enough to remember polio certainly don’t want the polio vaccine to go away. Nor, if you read history, would you want smallpox to return unchecked. So the question is not vaccine vs. no vaccine, but rather risks of vaccine vs. risks of disease itself. This equation rests on knowing the risks of the disease and on through and unbiased tests of the vaccine. With a disease like smallpox that has been around for centuries the risks are fairly well known. With any new disease we have to run the calculations with less information.

    https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/herd-immunity-lockdowns-and-covid-19?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5PGFBhC2ARIsAIFIMNfN7IRTyK_5olrWUs6tVcEWaPPDNFyDqQNvRRsDGr_5kIlLss5OxrIaAkZ7EALw_wcB#

    aNaniMouse–the article on WOKE racism in medicine was an excellent example of using racism to disguise class differences. Medical services are inadequate in this country for poor people, rural people (except those who arrive at their country retreats by plane or limo), undereducated people, etc. This includes rural whites, Indians on reservations, Hispanic farmworkers, and minorities in city or country. The obvious answer is to work for some kind of universal standard care regardless of income, not for individual doctors or institutions to shove black or brown people to the head of the line. This will backfire so badly.

    May 31 New Yorker has an article in the Books section on the history of Spiritualism.

    Rita

  428. @Lady Cutekitten re: “we’re a whole passel of commenters and not a pile of gold with a dragon sitting atop it.”

    No, of course not! It’s a pile of *books* with a dragon sitting atop it. (Abelard Whipple? That would work.) He’s a Bookwyrm!

  429. @Mary Bennett at 453:

    If you haven’t read it, you might enjoy Mary Renault’s novel, The Praise Singer, where Simonides of Keos talks about memorizing tens of thousands of lines of chanted verse: “Just practice, that’s all!” A prominent Athenian asked him if he had a secret art of memory, “which I can forgive in a man with no education to speak of.” He was shocked when he discovered that his nephew and apprentice was composing his own poems by writing them down.

    He was reconciled to written poetry, at least as an alternative, when the Archons of Athens held a yearly contest for the best recitations from Homer and the Sons Of Homer.
    He helped judge this, wincing a lot at bad stitching and passages left out, but then one illiterate old man from the North came out with four lines. “Pure gold; they must be Homer. But i had never heard them, and that means my teacher never heard them either.”

  430. Kaishaku, thanks for this. Yes, it’s worth remembering that he’s a science fiction writer rather than a scientist; that may be why he sees science through such rose-colored glasses. It may be no more than “But my characters don’t behave like that!”

    Cloudragon, it’s typical that one of the first things to follow the original UFO flap in 1947 was a bunch of Americans claiming to receive channeled guidance from UFO pilots.

    Cliff, I was wondering about that. Do you happen to know if he’s having career trouble?

    Vince, the Affair of the Necklace is well worth reading up on! If you want really garish scandals accompanied by powdered wigs and exquisite manners, the French court in the two centuries before the Revolution is the place to find them.

    Prizm, delighted to see that somebody’s prepared! 😉 I’m glad you’re having a good time with the Knights of Kaleva — and equally sorry to see the religion of progress still being pushed by evangelists. A monoculture of myth is just as destructive as every other kind of monoculture.

    Galen, I read about that. It’s equally striking to me, if it’s true, that the DIA is deliberately cutting the CIA/FBI/State Department nexus out of the loop. But we’ll see.

    Logan, good heavens. Yes, that’s a significant breakthrough for NeoRx.

    Mr. Nobody, but of course! “We don’t know what they are, but we want $10 trillion to fight them.”

    Court, you should be fine. If the current situation follows the usual historical arc, most of the chaos initially — as in, for the next few years — will be concentrated in a handful of politically important cities.

    Christopher, too funny. I was reading SF stories with that theme before I left elementary school.

    Michael, fair enough. I figured I’d get a tirade but didn’t expect him to post it here, and I didn’t expect him to ignore the sources I linked in the essay and just engage in angry handwaving. Still, one can’t have everything. 😉

    Youngelephant, funny. It probably involved hanging chads and rigged voting machines.

    Martin, thank you. That’s a classic!

    Oilman2, biodiesel sounds like a really good bet right now; get in ahead of time and you’ll be ready to cash in when diesel fuel hits $10 a gallon.

    Pygmycory, I somehow hadn’t previously encountered the word “crackfic” before. Thank you! You’re quite right that it’s a fine example of the species.

    Anonymous, yes, exactly. All this is reminding me of a passage I wrotea few years back:

    “It occurs to me that some of my readers may not be familiar with the structure and function of curses. (What do they teach children these days?) The sort of thing you get in bad modern remakes of fairy tales, where someone inoffensive gets burdened with a dire fate that would not otherwise befall them, is strictly amateur stuff. Professionals know that the curses that matter are the kind that unfold by their own inexorable logic from the actions and attitudes of the accursed. The witch or wizard who finds it necessary or appropriate to pronounce a curse doesn’t have to make anything happen; he or she simply says aloud the unmentionable realities of the situation, states the necessary consequences, and leaves. The efforts of the accursed to avoid falling victim to the curse, without actually changing the things that make the curse inevitable, then proceed to drive the curse to its fulfillment.”

    Team10tim and Lew, thanks for these.

    Oskari, so noted.

    Patricia M, fair enough — I avoided the other MZB Avalon books because I found the first one unreadable, but I’ll consider this.

  431. @ Anonymous Collapsenik, RE Comment # 458

    I am not surprised to see groupa like BLM and the Boogaloo Bois finding common cause. Both are animated by a distrust of the status quo and the realization that if the government won’t protect the lives and rights of ordinary citizens, then people need to be prepared to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary.

    It’s worth noting that the Black Panthers started out as a protest movement against police brutality and used to conduct armed patrols in inner city neighborhoods. It’s also worth pointing out that the gun control laws so beloved by PMC liberals originally started out as an attempt to disarm African Americans. The first wave of control laws were passed in the Deep South during Reconstruction as a way to restrict gun ownership by freedmen. After all, they couldn’t have a bunch of uppity former slaves fighting back against the KKK and the lynch mobs! The second wave of gun control laws originated in states like California as a way to hamstring the Black Panthers and their neighborhood patrols.

    The truth is coming out and a whole lot of people, Black, White and otherwise, are waking up to the way that they have been played by the PMC, the MSM and other manipulative elements.

  432. About the DIA cutting the CIA/FBI/ Foggy Bottom nexus out of the loop: I think most of us remember that the CIA, FBI and State Department were hotbeds of anti Trump sentiment and went out their way to undermine the Orange Julius and his presidency. On the other hand, Trump had widespread support in the military. I recall that you talked about the role that military intelligence agencies like the DIA and MSA played in thwarting an attempted color revolution in the summer of 2020. So it’s possible that the DIA’s actions in the case of the Chinese defector are motivated in part by an ongoing power struggle within the US government, as well as a lack of trust between the military and other federal agencies that are seen as being captive tools of the PMC.

  433. courtinthenorth:

    One of the things that sold us on our current home is that the water supply is gravity-fed from a spring (not artisanal) so even if the power is out the 100 gallon tank in the cellar fills automatically. The electric pump will not send the water to the upstairs faucets of course, but I can go down and easily fill a bottle or bucket with water, not really much of an inconvenience.

  434. Has anyone else realized that Brin’s response of “That’s not what scientists do” is a good example of overly abstract thinking? “X are X, and therefore do Y, and if there’s evidence that they don’t do Y, then it’s because of some other factor, because we know all members of X do Y by definition; otherwise they would not be X.”

    On a different note, something I’m now tracking as potentially being a major turning point is that quite a few people I know in our 20s and late teens are telling our parents point blank we will not be getting the vaccine, getting threatened with being kicked out, and saying that’s fine, we’ll leave. A cursory search on Reddit seems to suggest quite a few others are trying to sort out what to do after having made this decision as well.

    Is anyone else noticing this in their social circles?

    Quite a few of us have massive adjustments to make, since a lot of them come from families with six figure incomes, but if this is a major trend, and a large number of younger people, especially from those families in the chattering classes, are engaged in a massive show of independence right now, then things might get very interesting, since the Devouring Mother Archetype plays such a large role in our society, so I’m curious how widespread it is.

  435. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vaccine-researcher-admits-big-mistake-says-spike-protein-is-dangerous-toxin?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

    Thanks to Dennis G (comment #12) for the link to the blog of John Day, where I got this, in his June 3, 2021 post. It can be found about half-way down.

    My apologies if there’s any trouble with the link – I am posting this from my cell phone, which is my only internet link.

    Looks like a plausible explanation for the vaccine side effects. I wonder what the long-term effects will be?