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Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons

Why we're on a collision-course with crisis
Friday, July 22, 2016, 8:54 PM

Life is full of examples where folks make bad choices for noble reasons. Not every decision is a winner: sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don't.

  • In 1962, Decca Records passed on signing a young new band because it thought that guitar-based groups were falling out of favor. That band was The Beatles.
  • Napolean Bonaparte calculated he could conquer Russia by assembling one of the largest invading forces the world has ever seen. He marched towards Moscow in the summer of 1812 with over 650,000 troops. Less than six months later, he retreated in failure, his forces decimated down to a mere 27,000 effective soldiers.
  • 1985 217 separate investors turned down an entrepreneur trying to raise the relatively modest sum of $1.6 million to fund his vision of transforming a daily routine shared by millions around the world. That company? Starbucks.  

In these cases, those making the decision made what they felt was the best choice given the information available to them at the time. That's completely understandable and defensible. Fate is fickle, and no one is 100% right 100% of the time.

But what's much harder to condone -- and this is the focus of this article -- is when people embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare.

Really? you might be skeptically thinking. Do people really ever do this?

Yes, sadly. Absolutely they do.

Because decision-making isn't just based on data. It's also influenced by beliefs. And when our beliefs don't align with the data, we humans can be woefully stubborn against changing our behavior, even in spite of mounting evidence that our beliefs are incorrect and possibly even detrimental to us.

The fascinating field of behavioral economics is dedicated to studying why people are capable of making bad decisions despite have access to good data (if you've got the time, listen to our past interviews with behavioral economist Dan Ariely here. They're riveting.)

So, yes, we humans are easily capable of being our own worst enemies.

For a prime example, let's turn to one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

The Curious Case Of Wilt Chamberlain's Free Throws

On a long drive I took recently, I listened to a podcast produced by Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point as well as a number of other intellectually enjoyable human interest books.

Gladwell's podcast tackled this same topic of Why do smart people make dumb decisions?, and it featured Wilt Chamberlain's free throw career to make its point.

Wilt Chamberlain is widely cited as the best forward to ever play the game of basketball. At 7' 1" and 275 pounds, with a ferocious attitude and athletic grace, he was a dominating force on the court during the 1960-70s. He won seven scoring titles, including the game he is best known for in which he single-handedly scored 100 points -- a record that still stands today.

That record 100-point game is even more interesting than most people realize, Gladwell points out. It's significant not just for the total number of points that Chamberlain scored, but also for the number of free throws that he made during the game: 28. 

Chamberlain was on fire with his free throws that night. He made 88% of them (28 of 32). That's a very high percentage versus the league average, and amazingly high given Chamberlain's career average of roughly 50%.

In fact, Chamberlain was widely regarded as a horrible free throw shooter. His overall stats certainly say he was, but this short video clip below does an even better job of hitting home how poorly he typically shot from the line:

So how did Chamberlain's free throw conversion get so much better?

To answer that, we need to look at another basketball great...

Rick Barry & The 'Granny Shot'

A contemporary of Wilt Chamberlain was Rick Barry, who played much of his career for the Golden State Warriors. Barry was a phenomenal free-throw shooter -- at the time he played he was the best in history.

His career percentage? 90%

That's over a 15-year pro career. Amazing. (His best year was in 1979 when he completed a freakishly high 94.7% of his shots from the line).

Why was Barry so successful at free throws? Why was he so much better than Wilt?

He shot his free throws underhanded.

Yep, that's right. This 12-time NBA all-star made 'granny shots'.

Barry approached the free throw as a physics problem, and had a willingness to "do whatever it takes" to improve his accuracy and precision:

"Physicists have done all kinds of testing and said it's the most efficient way to shoot because there are fewer moving parts. It's so much more natural to shoot this way," he says. "Who walks around with their hands over their head?"

As Barry has often explained, the primary benefits of Granny style are that it increases the likelihood of a straight toss, and it produces a much softer landing on the rim. [Shooting underhand] is also able to generate more backspin, which gives him more breaks on errant throws. 

Here's a clip of Barry in action:

He didn't always shoot this way. Barry started as an overhand shooter like everybody else. But when he realized that his completion percentage improved by adopting the underhand toss, he switched over and the rest is NBA history.

Which brings us back to Chamberlain.

As a notoriously bad foul-line shooter, Chamberlain was advised to adopt the granny shot. He did, and his free throw percentage soon rose to a career high 61% in 1961-62, the same season as his famous 100-point game. So, the change worked. His stats improved, his team won more games, and his amazing consistency helped him set a single-game scoring record that remains untouchable to this day.

But then something unexpected happened: Chamberlain stopped shooting underhanded.

Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons

When Wilt gave up the granny shot, his free throw percentage proceeded to decline, plummeting to a career low of just 38% by the 1967-68 season.

So, the big question here is: Why? Why would Chamberlain willingly abandon a superior form of shooting, especially when he had already experienced direct personal gain from its benefits?

The answer goes back to beliefs: he felt "like a sissy" shooting that way.

Sure, in the early days of the NBA, underhanded foul shots were common. But by the time of Chamberlain's career, pretty much only female basketball players shot that way anymore.

Given the machismo of professional sports, it's understandable that a star like Wilt cared what the other guys thought of him. But was it important enough to abandon a solution that improved his quality of play so much? After all, isn't the most respected teammate the one who can be counted on to put the most points on the board?

Gladwell notes that it has been estimated that Chamberlain could have scored over 1,000 additional points in his career had he shot underhand from the foul line throughout.

In addition to that, he likely would have scored even more points by playing more minutes. Because he was such a poor free thrower, Wilt was often benched in the final minutes of play during close games -- as a poor foul shooter is a big liability under those conditions. The opposing team can foul him with confidence that he'll miss his shots and they'll then get possession of the ball.

Gladwell marvels that somebody so driven to win would deliberately abandon such an easy and advantageous solution as Chamberlain did the granny shot. Even after he had personally experienced its superiority. But he did, thus proving how belief can trump reason.

Later, in his autobiography Wilt: Larger Than Life, Chamberlain admits that switching back to an overhanded free throw was a clear mistake:

"I felt silly, like a sissy, shooting underhanded. I know I was wrong. I know some of the best foul shooters in history shot that way. Even now, the best one in the NBA, Rick Barry, shoots underhanded. I just couldn't do it."

What's amazing is that even though both Rick Barry and Wilt Chamberlain very visibly demonstrated the advantages of the underhanded free throw, half a century later almost nobody -- not in the NBA and not in college ball -- has adopted it. Think of all the additional points that could have been scored over that time, all the additional minutes played, all the additional team wins. It's not like players haven't had a powerful incentive to consider changing their behavior -- these are the very stats their contracts are based on. In great likelihood, many $millions ($billions?) of additional player compensation have been forfeited over the past 50 years simply because the athletes didn't want to look a tiny bit 'girly' at the line.

Later on in his podcast, Gladwell concludes that Chamberlain -- like virtually everbody else in professional basketball -- had a high threshold for overcoming conventional opinion. He wasn't comfortable being a maverick when it came to bucking social mores. Rick Barry, on the other hand, clearly had a lower threshold -- famously not caring what others thought of him (Barry was widely disliked across the league for his disregard of other's feelings).

He ends the podcast with this observation:

I know we've really only been talking about basketball, which is just a game in the end. But the lesson here is much bigger than that. It takes courage to be good, social courage, to be honest with yourself, to do things the right way.

A Lack Of Courage To Be Good & Honest

Which brings us back to the point of this article. Chamberlain's willful blindness to the ramifications of his clearly inferior choice is not unique. In fact, when we look at many of the decisions being made by world leaders in recent years, we see a depressing abundance of intentional bad choices.

Most emblematic of this, in my opinion, are the ZIRP/NIRP interest rate policies the world's central banks are implementing. As discussed many times here at PeakProsperity.com, the endgame of these policies is easy to predict. History is replete with examples of similar attempts of governments attempting to print their way to prosperity. It's simply not possible. As Chris says, if it were, the Romans would have figured it out and today we'd all be speaking Latin.

The head central bankers are not morons (although a number of them may indeed be ivory tower academics too out-of-touch with the real world). Many of them realize that they have painted themselves into a corner by easing too much for too long, by flooding the world with too much cheap debt-based money. Many understand, perhaps today more than ever, Ludwig von Mises' rule that: 

"There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."

But, like Chamberlain, they do not have the courage to re-evaluate their beliefs and chart an alternative course.

To 'voluntarily abandon further credit expansion' means letting natural market forces bring down stock, bond and real estate prices from their current bubble highs -- thereby vaporizing a lot of paper wealth. It means widespread layoffs as inefficient companies that have been kept alive by nearly free access to nearly unlimited credit have to start actually generating profits if they can. It means living below our means today, so that we can sustainably live within them tomorrow.

Instead, they simply double down on the policies that got us into this mess in the first place, claiming that their efforts to date just haven't been big enough yet to succeed. And they do this with the full support of our politicians, who want to avoid any unpopular austerity measures because they care much more about getting re-elected than the hard work of actually addressing our nation's structural problems. So interest rates go even lower, asset bubbles grow even higher, the wealth gap extends even wider, and the risks of a "total catastrophe of the currency system" become even more extreme.

The coming economic/financial/monetary reckoning can't be avoided at this point; only managed. But we can't position ourselves to manage it gracefully if we don't have to courage to even recognize its existence. And our current leaders do not have that courage.

Which is why we need to ready ourselves, as individuals. Charles Hugh Smith recently penned an excellent report Investing For Crisis which is an essential read for any investor who shares the concern that we will continue to see more wrong choices being made for the wrong reasons -- until the entire systems fails. If you haven't read it yet, you really should.

Click here to read Charles' Investing For Crisis report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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42 Comments

Phil Williams's picture
Phil Williams
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2009
Posts: 337
Great Article!

Hey Adam,

I enjoyed this article, very thought-provoking. As an aside, in the Wilt Chamberlain video, it looked like he was back a couple of steps from the free throw line. I wonder why.

Phil

 

 

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3084
Size & Strength

Good eye, Phil.

Yes, really tall shooters like Chamberlain were coached to stand a few steps back from where the "small guys" made their foul shots, in order to bring the dimension into alignment with their greater size and strength. This was done to "soften the shot".

Listen to the commentary that starts at the 33-second mark: 

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
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Interesting. Here's a

Interesting. Here's a thought: what if NIRP etc is actually being done intentionally? What if the whole financial system was constructed in its current form for the sole purpose of gutting the middle class' wealth, gradually at first over the inevitable decades of dropping interest rates, then finally at the end with one big catastrophic collapse? History would suggest so. 

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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This is the flaw in the piece....

Thanks Mark!  

This is the flaw with the whole article (sorry Adam)....This is being done deliberately.  As with 9/11, the overwhelming evidence is that the elite bankers are doing this on purpose to take complete control of the citizen.  They've done the same thing over and over throughout the centuries.  It's also been proven by their own writings, speeches, actions, etc....it's ALL there to see!  

These aren't "wrong choices".  These are "right choices" for the elite banking cartel.  

wake up.

 

Mark_BC wrote:

Interesting. Here's a thought: what if NIRP etc is actually being done intentionally? What if the whole financial system was constructed in its current form for the sole purpose of gutting the middle class' wealth, gradually at first over the inevitable decades of dropping interest rates, then finally at the end with one big catastrophic collapse? History would suggest so. 

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
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I would agree LogansRun. The

I would agree LogansRun. The question I've always grappled with is how far does the scam extend. Obviously those at the top know what's going on but if you were to go to your local university economics department they probably believe in the Keynesian economic babble the Fed spews out. Every day I listen to economic news on talk radio just for fun; that guy seems to believe what he's saying. I'm sure they all believe in growth, falling interest rates, QE. And Yellen was once a university economics professor. Is it that the elite architects at the top have constructed this phony universe of Keynesian Economics over the last 100 years and the minions below them just eat it all up?

Eannao's picture
Eannao
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Michael Pento

Hi Adam,

great article. As a European, I really enjoyed the education on basketball!

On a separate topic, I've been listening to some recent interviews with Michael Pento where he lays out his ideas for how things might play out. He seems to make a lot of sense, but I'd love to hear his ideas being teased out by yourself or Chris. Any chance of a Peak Prosperity interview?

Many thanks, E.

treebeard's picture
treebeard
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Posts: 605
The supid excuse

I have to agree with Mark and LogansRun on this one.  Its a little like someone telling John Perkins that all those third world infrastructure projects were just a mistake, or they really thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, etc., etc.  Bill Black has plainly said, with lots of evidence, about the whole subprime housing debacle, that they knew what the results would be, but it was done anyway because they knew they could walk away with millions and didn't care what would happen to the system or the greater society as a whole (the best way to rob a bank is to own one).

Of course what LogansRun and Mark are talking about is much more sinister than even what the crooks did in the subprime scandal, but is pretty much in line with what Perkins talked about.  Systematic exploitation under false pretenses.  Now that the third world has been robbed blind, the system is turning inward on itself.  And always the "stupid" excuse, yet we fall for it over and over and over again.

What was the price that Wilt Chamberlain had to pay, perhaps a few critics here and there, maybe?  What is the price that real whistle blowers pay?  Financial ruin, excommunication, death even.  I must admit that I am a little tired of the imperious condescending narrative we get from likes of Dan Ariely from the sidelines of their comfortable upper middle class lives. "Oh, if only Janet Yellen was a smart as me". It encapsulated what I hate so much about the supposed "liberal" NPR.

Chris Hedges nails it in my mind it in his critique, Death of the Liberal Class.  The liberal intellectual class are more responsible for our march towards fascism than Donald Trump will ever be, who they absolutely love to berate. Hillary is a much a fascist as Trump is as well, but that is whole other topic of conversation.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Which is worse?

Which is worse?

  1. "They" are really morons and they have no clue what they are doing.
  2. "They" are super clever and know exactly what they are doing.

Honestly, I don't like the conclusion of either assumption because they both lead to the same place.

However, there's a third avenue here, one that Mark Cochrane keeps alive for us which leads to uncomfortable awareness that the global elites seem to have fallen for the false illusion that humans have transcended the natural world and don't need its services.

So they rig and scam within their corrupted financial universe unaware that it happens to be a subset of the natural world, not the other way around.  

Just look at the recent G20 meeting; nothing but frenetic statements about igniting even faster growth in a post-Brexit world.  Growth, growth, growth.

Good grief, how utterly and delightfully unaware.  I find that people on all political sides of the story share the same delusion that endless growth is both necessary and desirable.  

One side thinks we can just ignore the environment - damn the smelts! - because who cares.  Right?  The other side thinks that a few more Teslas and Uber aps and we're good to go; we'll get growth by other means.

Neither side has done the basic math.  We are literally eating fossil fuels.  There's no chance of displacing them any time soon.  Here's an article that will be ignored by nearly everyone because it does not support their pre-existing beliefs:

The contradictory and troubling nature of the energy landscape is on clear display in the 2016 edition of the International Energy Outlook, the annual assessment of global trends released by the EIA this May.

Renewables get prominent attention in the report, which includes projections of global energy use through 2040. “Renewables are the world’s fastest-growing energy source over the projection period,” it concludes.

Wind and solar are expected to demonstrate particular vigor in the years to come, their growth outpacing every other form of energy. But because renewables start from such a small base — representing just 12 percent of all energy used in 2012 — they will continue to be overshadowed in the decades ahead, explosive growth or not. In 2040, according to the report’s projections, fossil fuels will still have a grip on a staggering 78 percent of the world energy market, and — if you don’t mind getting thoroughly depressed — oil, coal and natural gas will each still command larger shares of the market than all renewables combined.

(Source)

The cornucopians on both sides will stop reading at the first part in bold above.

The critical information is embedded in the second bolded part.  Fossil fuels will still represent 78% of our fuel mix in 2040.  Let that sink in a moment.  

Nearly 4/5ths.  And that's if and only if renewables continue on their expected high growth trajectory. If not, then fossil fuels will remain over 80%.

Business as usual is literally killing us and nobody in power can seem to formulate a reasonable plan of escape.  

Of course we could fashion a reasonable response, but only if we were willing to do the hard work of challenging our pre-existing beliefs, which is difficult emotional work, and not many are yet up to that task.  Then we could get on with deploying the systems and technology we already have to build a more beautiful future.

So our work at PP continues; changing the narrative is the best (and probably only) way to proceed.  Because it is the stories we live by that shape our actions, and the G20 shows that the wrong story is still 99.99% entrenched while the global ecosystems, and simple math/logic, are clearly telegraphing that it's time for a new one.

The new story has to include the ideas that infinite growth is neither possible nor desirable, that the natural world is essential and we are a part of it not apart from it, and that our human greatness is not measured by our ability to cleverly detach from life but to fully and consciously immerse ourselves in it.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
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Posts: 470
I agree - the elites are far from all powerful

Chris, 

I have to agree with that 3rd option.  The global elites might have a clever plan to maintain and increase their control at the expense of everyone else.  But they're still human and subject to the same strong tendency to stay stuck in the old story despite all of the evidence that a new one is needed.  It's just as daunting for them to step outside the rut and do the difficult emotional work as it is for anyone else - perhaps even harder because they have the most to lose. 

Unfortunately for them, the old story misses the most important issue - the fact that their economy is a subset of the natural world.  It also ignores the fact that our survival depends on true understanding of and interdependence with the rest of nature - and that we humans are wired to connect in this way - with our inner life, with each other and with the rest of nature - that it actually feels good to do this and makes us healthier in every way.

There might be some among them who get this on an intellectual level, a subset of those who shake the old story loose enough to take some steps in the right direction, and even fewer who do some real work to create and live a new story.  But those aren't the people we need to worry about.  Once they've gone that far along the path, they won't be interested in world domination any more.

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3084
I've Tried

Eannao -

Thank you for the kind words - I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed the piece.

To your question about Michael Pento: I've reached out to him several times to come on our podcast.

He's proven quite challenging to get a response from. Once, I actually did catch him via phone -- he wasn't very familiar with us, though after some discussion indicated he was game. But since then I've received no response to my subsequent follow-ups trying to lock down a date and time.

Some folks are harder to land than others. I'm not judging here; everyone has their own set of priorities given what's going on with their own lives and businesses. I'll keep knocking on Michael's door (while trying to avoid being a pest). Polite persistence usually pays off in the end.

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1444
I'm not talking about the top .01%

I'm talking about the top 3-5k elites in the world.  Could be even less.

What if, their agenda is to deplete the world to a point where starvation, war, pestilence, etc...deplete the population of the "unwashed masses", while they have hoarded all of the Power and wealth.  With this wealth, they've built "arks", gained control of the militaries, as well as the rest of the needed infrastructures in order that THEY and their chosen few, live through (in opulence) the dark age described above?  Then in the end, they still have control, just much more?

 

Not possible?  Hmmmm....

 

 

cmartenson wrote:

Which is worse?

  1. "They" are really morons and they have no clue what they are doing.
  2. "They" are super clever and know exactly what they are doing.

Honestly, I don't like the conclusion of either assumption because they both lead to the same place.

However, there's a third avenue here, one that Mark Cochrane keeps alive for us which leads to uncomfortable awareness that the global elites seem to have fallen for the false illusion that humans have transcended the natural world and don't need its services.

So they rig and scam within their corrupted financial universe unaware that it happens to be a subset of the natural world, not the other way around.  

Just look at the recent G20 meeting; nothing but frenetic statements about igniting even faster growth in a post-Brexit world.  Growth, growth, growth.

Good grief, how utterly and delightfully unaware.  I find that people on all political sides of the story share the same delusion that endless growth is both necessary and desirable.  

One side thinks we can just ignore the environment - damn the smelts! - because who cares.  Right?  The other side thinks that a few more Teslas and Uber aps and we're good to go; we'll get growth by other means.

Neither side has done the basic math.  We are literally eating fossil fuels.  There's no chance of displacing them any time soon.  Here's an article that will be ignored by nearly everyone because it does not support their pre-existing beliefs:

The contradictory and troubling nature of the energy landscape is on clear display in the 2016 edition of the International Energy Outlook, the annual assessment of global trends released by the EIA this May.

Renewables get prominent attention in the report, which includes projections of global energy use through 2040. “Renewables are the world’s fastest-growing energy source over the projection period,” it concludes.

Wind and solar are expected to demonstrate particular vigor in the years to come, their growth outpacing every other form of energy. But because renewables start from such a small base — representing just 12 percent of all energy used in 2012 — they will continue to be overshadowed in the decades ahead, explosive growth or not. In 2040, according to the report’s projections, fossil fuels will still have a grip on a staggering 78 percent of the world energy market, and — if you don’t mind getting thoroughly depressed — oil, coal and natural gas will each still command larger shares of the market than all renewables combined.

(Source)

The cornucopians on both sides will stop reading at the first part in bold above.

The critical information is embedded in the second bolded part.  Fossil fuels will still represent 78% of our fuel mix in 2040.  Let that sink in a moment.  

Nearly 4/5ths.  And that's if and only if renewables continue on their expected high growth trajectory. If not, then fossil fuels will remain over 80%.

Business as usual is literally killing us and nobody in power can seem to formulate a reasonable plan of escape.  

Of course we could fashion a reasonable response, but only if we were willing to do the hard work of challenging our pre-existing beliefs, which is difficult emotional work, and not many are yet up to that task.  Then we could get on with deploying the systems and technology we already have to build a more beautiful future.

So our work at PP continues; changing the narrative is the best (and probably only) way to proceed.  Because it is the stories we live by that shape our actions, and the G20 shows that the wrong story is still 99.99% entrenched while the global ecosystems, and simple math/logic, are clearly telegraphing that it's time for a new one.

The new story has to include the ideas that infinite growth is neither possible nor desirable, that the natural world is essential and we are a part of it not apart from it, and that our human greatness is not measured by our ability to cleverly detach from life but to fully and consciously immerse ourselves in it.

climber99's picture
climber99
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2013
Posts: 183
I enjoyed the article however

I enjoyed the article however I'm not sure ZIRP/NIRP policies is good example for irrationality.  I'll try to justify ZIRP/NIRP and welcome people to demolish my reasoning.

97% or so of money in circulation is borrowed into existence which ends up, for a verity of reasons which I won't get into now, concentrated as savings in a relatively small number of hands.  The only way that debts/money can be paid back is if the money that is currently being hoarded, as savings, get spent back into general circulation.   This is the purpose of ZIRP/NIRP.  It makes it less advantageous to save money and also to get saved money back circulating.

I welcome comments.

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 268
Towers and Windmills

To Mark_BC:  The term "Ivory Tower" has been around for a while but I don't hear or see it used very often lately.  In the field if education it is used to describe the self contained world of tenure protected, better than average salary, benefits and pensions. This world has separated itself from reality while fighting academic battles that have little meaning for, or impact, on the average person.  It used to be that this term was used to describe members of the professorial class. With the advent of  "micro aggression" complaints and "safe space" demands it appears the students are buying into the same insulated, disconnected from reality, world view.  I would not wait too long for any meaningful help to our problems from these folks. 

To Chris:  I would add a fourth path here.  Human psychology.  Denial is a powerful force affecting all of us to a greater or lesser degree.  History is full of examples of powerful people, who had the means to discover the truth, and had the ability to change or mitigate what was happening, but could not take the mental steps to act.  Louis and Marie Antoinette, Nicholas and Alexandra, sat on their collapsing thrones until it cost them their lives.  Chamberlain and Stalin, in the face of all evidence to the contrary (including his own pronouncements) believed Hitler would never start a war.

Belief systems can account for part of our inability to look at or accept reality. I would contend, just as powerfully, our psychological makeup allows us to look directly at the truth, and with wonderful cognitive dissonance, lets us deny or ignore what should be readily understood.

JT

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 605
All three

I do appreciate all that is done here to bring a variety of perspectives and I understand all the work that is involved to make that happen.  I understand that I sit in a comfortable seat here, sometimes lobbing bombs from the bleachers. Let me first say a very load thank you for the site, Chris, Adam, and all the wonderful participants that have created this amazing venue for an open an honest discussion of ideas, daring to go where few have gone before, religion and politics discussed in a civil fashion, simply amazing. Perhaps I am a victim of your success, I am so comfortable here, tossing out opinions, perhaps I should rein it in a bit sometimes, thanks again.

Calculating evil doers or morons?  Is there a difference?  I think that it actually is a very complicated question and the follow on question is does it make a difference is just as complicated. I do believe actually that all evil is unconscious by its very nature and would agree that the separation of mind/body, humans/natural world, the self/the other is at the crux of the matter.  I am in total agreement, but I don't think option three deals with the first question.

How does a particular world view gain ground, and why do their champions become so single minded and intolerant of divergent opinions?  Why do you do see the purging of universities of alternative thought in economics (even though neoliberal economics is neither new or liberal) and agriculture(get big or get out)?  The neocon world view that seems to be driving us towards self destruction, based on the belief after the collapse of the soviet union the neoliberal Anglo-American empire should rule the world without exceptions.  Why are they so intolerant of diversity and complexity and have such an intense desire for power and control?  Why?  All this because they don't understand the limits of growth or are confused about the relationship between the natural world and we humans who inhabit it?  Perhaps that's true, but I would add that we have a more fundamental problem.

Lets take a real world example.  Suppose you are awoken in the middle of night by a load noise:

Moron scenario: Your neighbor is standing in your front hall, your front door is shattered, he's as drunk as a skunk.  Your response - Hey dude, you're in the wrong house, get your act together. Seeing you and hearing your words, eureka, enlightenment, he gets it. I'm drunk, I'm in my neighbors house, damn! You walk him home or just throw him out depending on how well you know him. Outcome - if he's a decent guy you may find a check taped to your front door for the damages in the morning.

Evil Doer scenario:  Some guy you never met before is standing in you front hall with a ski mask over his head.  If you responded the same way you did in the moron scenario you have a problem. Unlikely to be a eureka moment here. Outcome - if he's just a thief, he probably ran away, if he's a sociopath, your probably dead.  Either way your or your family is paying for the damages.

The problem with the liberal intelligentsia I think is worse than that. In the political and economic ecosystem they have fallen down or been bought out.  They no longer provide the proper check on power but have become apologists for the system, often blaming the victims, in a way becoming impediments to real change.  Weak intellectual arguments are often just poorly constructed rationalizations for their own cowardice.

Perhaps this is all necessary, it requires us to all step up, and do what needs to be done. First we need to change our own lifestyle and wake ourselves up and live in a way that does not support the thoroughly corrupt infrastructure we live under.

 

climber99's picture
climber99
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I like to shock people out of

I like to shock people out of their complacency.  I recommend readers to try this.  I tell people  "by the end of this Century we will have burnt through all our fossil fuels and we will cease to an industrial society but will have reverted back to being an agrarian society. "  See how they react ?  

At first they think you are mad because NO ONE has ever said this to them.  Then they will come up with arguments which are easily refuted by regular readers of Peak Prosperity.  In most cases they will walk away unconvinced BUT never the less you will have planted that seed of doubt in their Cornucopian minds.

 Before Mankind can prepare for our impending energy descent they need to be made aware of it

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Transcend
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Individual Actions
cmartenson wrote:

One side thinks we can just ignore the environment - damn the smelts! - because who cares.  Right?  The other side thinks that a few more Teslas and Uber aps and we're good to go; we'll get growth by other means.

Neither side has done the basic math. 

 

PP is based on the idea of leading by example and taking individual actions in the hopes that others will follow suit to pursue a sustainable and prosperous future. Maybe it's my lack of understanding, but what I see when I look at what Tesla is trying to accomplish, it seems that company is on the same mission.  Sure, they have a huge cash burn and it is possible that some of Elon Musk's ideas are far fetched, but the money they are spending in my opinion is going to good use. They are building the alternative infrastructure we talk about here.  Not gas stations, EV stations (think solar EV stations in the years ahead). They want to acquire Solar City in the hopes that we use the sun as our main energy source and get off the dependence of fossil fuels (idiots, how dare they!).  They are now an energy company offering the Powerwall and Powerpack for energy storage.  Their car is the best I've ever driven (not an owner) and that's what every owner I've spoken to says. Maybe their other products will also be superior? The Gigafactory is supposedly going to be 100% run on renewables. Again, leading by example.

There are a ton of people who bash Tesla and Elon and think he's out to lunch and I'm sure those same people laughed at the idea of launching and landing a rocket and reusing it.  Well history was made December 2015 and those naysayers have been proven wrong and billions will be saved on future space projects.

I think if we're going to bailout banks with trillions then it makes sense that billions is spent on products with this type of vision. Even if what he says isn't 100% accurate, it's a step in the right direction isn't it?  How can you fault a company for actually trying to make a sustainable / prosperous future?  I'm not saying they are the best and I completely understand they lose money every quarter right now and that the government (taxpayers) subsidizes a lot of this.  Tesla could go bankrupt soon, but I hope they continue with their plans, reach the masses and help with a progressive change. I do support what they are trying to do and the concept, which is: have solar panels charge your electric vehicle and provide your home with electricity.....makes sense to me. How do we get there?  If we ever get there, does that solve all of our problems?  Not by a long shot, however, it seems we would be better positioned than we are now. I also understand the sun doesn't shine everywhere all the time.

https://www.tesla.com/blog/master-plan-part-deux

Watch this video to see their Powerwall and Powerpack products.

 

Why is this bad? What am I missing? 

 

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climber99
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Just look at your picture for your answer.

Just look at that picture that you posted.   What are you missing you ask?  Look at that picture again.  Can you see it now ? No.  No ?   Ok, I'll spell it out to you.  Everything in the picture would not be possible without fossil fuels.  Nothing.  Add up all the energy imbedded of all the objects that you see.  It is massive.  None of it would be possible without fossil fuels.  Renewable energy supplies less than 3 kWh/day each in the US, where the picture implies a lifestyle that consumes at least 250 kWh/day each.  The picture does not represent life without fossil fuels, it's an illusion.

Do you get it now?

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sand_puppy
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We are so easy to deceive

The question of understanding someone's motivation involves guessing.  We see the individual events then we must GUESS as to what the real goals are.   I imagine this is like watching a chess game and trying to guess the pattern being developed as we watch the individual moves.

One example:  Suppose I wanted to establish totalitarian control over Europe.  Well, I could do it for freedom, compassion, right wing resurgence and to establish law and order.  So, do you believe that sh*t?

1.  Freedom--bomb the crap out of lots of Arab countries to liberate them from dictators.  Millions displaced and homeless.  Infrastructure destroyed.  Water systems, roads, factories. cities unlivable.

2.  Compassion--they attempt to escape the shattered country on boats.  Some drown. Some trapped in inhumane refugee holding areas and border fences.  We must have compassion for these people and open our borders and hearts to fellow human beings in need.  They enter in the hundreds of thousands to millions.

3.   Right-wing nationalism:  Millions of un-assimilable Arab men (mostly) move into communities throughout Europe.  Speak different language, different customs, cannot be employed well.  Safe western cities suddenly have immense ghettos and gang rapes by migrants are common.  European's get really mad.  The situation is framed that not liking being gang raped by Arab men is "racism" and that patrolling the streets by indigenous European population is a "resurgence of right-wing nationalism."

4.  Conflicts break out and to preserve order, police / domestic military must escalate crowd and population control efforts with surveillance, check points, facial recognition software, detention without legal process, movement restriction, capitol controls, etc. etc.

A totalitarian transformation happens.  But we are good people and we don't believe that anyone could deliberately do something so harmful.  And we believe in freedom, compassion, right-wing reactionary groups and law and order.

So it all happens under our noses and we just don't get it.  We are lead like a cow with a ring in its nose using all of our most basic attitudes and assumptions.

 

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Not good enough

Yes, I'm aware it was created with fossil fuels. Your response seems very condescending, no?  No? 

Ok, no I don't get it.  What your saying seems to indicate we should just give up.  It wasn't constructive at all and I think you've missed the point.  Telling me that everything in the picture would not be possible without fossil fuels does not help. Let's just forget about renewables all together and keep doing what we're doing, burn baby burn.  Thanks anyway climber.

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Heavy Metal!

Are we not bothered by the concentration of heavy and rare earth metals necessary for a 21st century life style! Are those elements safely recycled? Are the purifies safe when nature disperses them such that they are considered rare?

 

not in my back pasture!

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Perspective

How do they know?  Those with vast wealth and easy lives have such a different perspective than those of us who live at the bottom of the pyramid how do they know what's going on in the world and where do they get their information?

I imagine the uber wealthy must get into a car and drive or be driven to another building or flown, privately to another location.  Their outdoor time is spent vacationing, relaxing, sporting at an exclusive get away.  It's doubtful they see the destruction of our environment 1st hand. The only little people they come into contact with must be people in service to them.  The information that steers their perspective is most probably gleaned from articles, charts, statistics and consultants.  If indeed people get a fleeting notion of our demise and how the natural world is suffering at the same time the minutiae of their lives snaps them back to the present.  Some are morons some are clever and some are in denial, most are probably apathetic.

The movie Hunger Games and Mockingjay sums up our predicament succinctly.  The leader described the relationship between the capitol and the districts as the capitol was the head and the districts were the body. It was supposed to be a symbiotic relationship with the capitol ruling the body.  However as the heroine put it so succinctly, "if we burn you burn"!  Meaning they could not destroy the body without the head being affected as well.  The wealthy and those with power and influence will, at some point, be substantially effected by the demise of our nations backbone and  apathy toward, and desire to control mother nature.  Some of us don't have far to fall and have made preparations to land softly.  Others have no idea their towers are at risk. And if they do they think a fortress and superior firepower will protect them.  Historical ruins appear to say otherwise.

Some one said that it was not medicine that extend the lives of people it was the ability to provide clean water and sanitation.  Think about the ramifications of that statement, we all share one planet and everyone is vulnerable in my opinion and its not evil destroying us but rather apathy.  The question is - is apathy evil?

AK Grannywgrit

Doug's picture
Doug
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highest and best use
Transcend wrote:

Yes, I'm aware it was created with fossil fuels. Your response seems very condescending, no?  No? 

Ok, no I don't get it.  What your saying seems to indicate we should just give up.  It wasn't constructive at all and I think you've missed the point.  Telling me that everything in the picture would not be possible without fossil fuels does not help. Let's just forget about renewables all together and keep doing what we're doing, burn baby burn.  Thanks anyway climber.

I have long said that the highest and best use of our remaining fossil fuels is developing ways to live without them.  The inevitable progression of technology is making it more efficient and usable.  Same will hold here. Renewable tech is in its infancy.

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you know the answer re: apathy

for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.

attribution debated: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/12/04/good-men-do/

I imagine the super elites (meaning wealthiest) have every reason to want to survive and thrive and we may be just ants on the ground....I have heard some of the talk and how some see the lower 99.999 percent and even if the folks in charge are a mix of dumb, good and evil the evil part is pretty damned evil I am here to say.

Just one anecdotal opinion and all I can offer as I cannot keep up with the technical minds here just my 2 cents :)

I will do what I can where I am with what I have and in the way that I see fit. I have a responsibility here.  

 

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Sorry

Sorry I was a little condescending in my reply.  I was just making it a little more entertaining.  Yours was a serious comment requiring a serious reply so I'm sorry.

Renewable and nuclear energy requires considerable amount of fossil energy for it's deployment and renewal.  If the energy returned throughout their lifespans is greater than they have consumed themselves then I agree that this is a worth while endeavour.  I regard them as fossil fuel extenders and as such give us extra time to prepare for our post fossil fuel age.  However, and this is the crux of the matter,  we won't prepare because most people live in a cornucopian dreamland.  Instead we will grow our population size into even greater overshoot.   Obviously if you are 50+, like myself, then this is great because we don't have to make any sacrifices now and will be long dead (hopefully) before the shit really hits the fan.

In short. Yes it is worthwhile investing in new technology, renewable etc. if we use the extra time to reduce our population naturally and relatively painlessly to our post fossil fuel age carrying capacity.  Even if we don't prepare, which seems highly likely, and you are 50+ then you probably don't care and in fact you may be better off in the short run,  which after all, is all that matters to most politicians.

 

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climber99 wrote: Just look at
climber99 wrote:

Just look at that picture that you posted.   What are you missing you ask?  Look at that picture again.  Can you see it now ? No.  No ?   Ok, I'll spell it out to you.  Everything in the picture would not be possible without fossil fuels.  Nothing.  Add up all the energy imbedded of all the objects that you see.  It is massive.  None of it would be possible without fossil fuels.  Renewable energy supplies less than 3 kWh/day each in the US, where the picture implies a lifestyle that consumes at least 250 kWh/day each.  The picture does not represent life without fossil fuels, it's an illusion.

Do you get it now?

I think that's the whole point -- use fossil fuels to develop alternative energy infrastructure and then once that is established, alternative energy infrastructure can take the place of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are a one time gift that we should be using to build out a sustainable future, not burning once in SUV's with no lasting benefit and only lasting environmental degradation.

If processes can be developed that convert solar energy into hydrocarbons then we are "set", even if the efficiency isn't that great.

But I am under no illusion that this transition is a given or that it will be possible before a massive global crash and die-off. We are going to get that regardless; the opportunity that electric transportation and solar energy offers is more like a century down the road for the survivors. But to not pursue solar energy and electric transportation today because it isn't currently a perfect solution makes zero sense to me. Any quitter who expects a perfect solution straight out of the bat on the first try will never accomplish anything. We are 100% guaranteed to face a massive global die-off if we continue on with fossil fuels so what other choice do we have?

I also do not like the way that Musk and others who promote these technologies use this as an excuse for more growth. It is anything but; it is more like a safety net to catch us on our fall down and prevent a total catastrophe. That is my beef with Musk.

I don't care that the government subsidizes Tesla and other similar technologies. Everything else is subsidized so why not level the playing field. I heard numbers like 1% of global GDP goes directly to oil subsidies so why can't Tesla get a few billion? There is no such thing as a genuine market anymore so "profitability" in today's environment shouldn't necessarily mean much at all.

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The cure

The cure for bad decisions is independent auditing: For politicians that would mean employing a jury of highly educated (middle class) people to vet senate bills (as opposed to elitist senators). Yes that requires giving up on the denial that perpetuates belief in an old-world governmental structure born out of parliament by aristocracy.

Serial cronyism perpetuates the lack of courage. People in power (managers in general) don't want to be criticised or embarrassed by people who have the courage to make the sissy shot. Bernanke's lack of "courage to act" is reinforced by promoting gutless sycophants as successors over any potential boat-rockers.

Again if human culture would simply recognise the truth that AT has described: That experts aren't immune from making wrong decisions, then we could start to fix it. For every panel of experts you need an educated jury of the very people they preside over to audit policy.

That only requires humility and modesty to implement. A tiny change in ethics that needs to spread and heard then implemented... by revolution if necessary.

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No Excuse

Treebeard,

 Thanks for confirming my recent decision to no longer support NPR and PBS. Their lack of balanced reporting around anti - establishment candidate(s) is astonishing.and sad. ZeroHedge is reporting that the Koch brothers are now supporting Hillary, that just about says it all.                                                          

I agree with your observations about TPTB pillaging of the 99%, with predatory wealth extraction being not only ignored but encouraged as the new normal and with fear of the terror boogey man used to subordinate our Constitutional rights for our own good.

 I also love Chris Hedges' Death of the Liberal Class, where he calls out the liberal intellectual class who's support for Hillary's astounding record of corruption and warmongering is breathtaking.                               Trump is now being called the peace candidate compared to Hillary in some circles, stupid indeed !       

Tim.

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please Look Past Banksters to Big Picture/Scheme they Enable

The Fed is just the central enabler of the all-pervading debt money “Scheme for the Confiscation of Wealth” young Dr. Greenspan decried — before he sold out to become the worst central bank Confiscator ever (or was given an offer he couldn’t refuse).

As Greenspan simply described (second link below), all debt money systems like present US dollars automagically transfer ever more wealth from the many to the wealthiest few, virtually effortlessly making them ever wealthier, as known since ancient times:

Hence, since completing the debt money Wealth Confiscation Scheme by Nixing the gold peg in 1971, when US was greatest middle class society of all time, with an otherwise unheard-of wealth distribution: a majority of households owning a majority of the nation’s total wealth..

the Wealth Confiscation Scheme is the primary reason half of US households now have virtually zero net worth on average per latest Fed Household Survey, and the top few percent own and/or control essentially everything (especially the megawealthy 0.001%).

Since the Scheme is exceedingly simple to understand, the wealthy* spent more than a century endowing Chairs of Finance and Economics and otherwise commandeering all discourse to expunge colonists’ understanding and hate of debt money. (That’s the expunged backstory to Boston Tea Party: the tea tax had to be paid in hated debt money British pounds.)                   *actually the wealthy worldwide, where necessary

Without a peg, the value of debts/money ever collapse as asset prices soar..*

thus essentially effortlessly mushrooming net worth of especially those with the most access to credit, the wealthiest, thus enabling them to borrow ever more and accumulate ever more as their net worth ever grows automagically via soaring asset prices (plus rising retail prices boosting earnings and dividends, etc.)..

as explained in detail on this page

* = prices soar due to ever more lent money chasing a constant amount* of a nation’s assets                                                            *or slower growing

ALL wealthy portfolios* expand automagically via the debt money price escalator, ever larger, up to exponentially fast, as following 1971..

ever accumulating ever more of everyone else’s assets.

*that don’t get too reckless

Banksters are just the enablers, the well-paid agents indebting/bankrupting the masses, ever infecting them with endless propaganda and spin..

the Scheme colonists well understood hence hated: that’s the backstory to bankster Hamiltonians vs. Jeffersonians, the hardest-fought battles of the Constitutional Convention.

Please note the Fed was just chartered by Uncle Shame, it is OWNED and DIRECTED by banksters, primarily by megabanks who have most on deposit with the Fed hence own most of its stock, hence choose the Directors of the twelve Fed District Banks.. who are also members of the Open Market Committee that sets monetary policy. All these interested parties, especially megabank owners who are the primary powerbrokers though never acknowledged..

all these are also intimately involved in determining who is appointed to the Board of Governors and who becomes Fed Chair.

Anyone sufficiently familiar how banksters operate watching Congress’ alleged oversight of the Fed via the Chair’s biannual testimony knows at most one or two members of Congress have any significant understanding of the Fed, and debt money banking in general. (Not to mention the arcane, Jurassic Park predator worlds of derivatives, etc.)

Global banking is coordinated and directed via the world’s rarely mentioned Bank for International Settlements. Although the Fed Chair and US Treasury Secretary make at least quarterly trips to the BIS to work with their peers in the rest of the world’s nations, to govern and integrate the global monetary/financial system, these ultra-crucial meetings are rarely to never mentioned in the press.

Banksters rule finance, including financing governments, rule and dominate in endless ways..

ever primarily serving their über wealthy owners who are among the primary owners / clandestine dictators of the entire world, including governments:

Wall Street and its law firms provided almost 60% of the cost of Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Many more little to unknown but crucial details can be found via the above links.

The primary effect of all such systems that concentrate wealth and/or power in few hands is exploiting if not impoverishing the rest of humanity.

sand_puppy's picture
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German Army Can Protect Citizens from Refugees

"Don't Panic" German Interior Minister urges the population after a week of domestic attacks on German citizens by refugees.  He advises that these attacks have nothing to do with Merkel's refugee policy (that accepted >500,000 refugees in 2015 and continues to admit them in 2016).

And furthermore

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that "the attacks are unrelated to Merkel's refugee policy." He urged people not to panic, adding "naturally people are concerned and are questioning whether they should change their routines. We should not. ... we should continue to live our free lives" AP adds.

And to help them do just that, the interior minister said that he has ordered increased security presence at airports, train stations and other public places, adding that the "German army can play a domestic role in special cases." Cases such as these.

So, how gullible are we willing to be? 

Or do we notice to the social re-engineering project?

(See post #18 above)

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Sand Puppy, in the most

Sand Puppy, in the most amazing coincidence in the history of the world, "local reporter" Richard Gutjahr happened to film both the Nice attack, the balcony footage showing the truck barreling down the boulevard at 10 mph not hitting anyone, but also made his way back to Munich in time to also film the McRampage that happened there. This guy gets around!!!!

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The Whole Point of The Machine is That Everyone Knows

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The same page as Climber 99

We should all be on the same page as Climber 99. The simple fact of the matter is that he is right (see #17 and #24). The math has been done by people like James Howard Kunstler. In Kunstler's The Long Emergency, he had a chapter about the solar panels on top of his off-grid cabin. Unlike a lot of other Kunstler writings, this one was a "just the facts ma'am" analysis. The conclusion is not "don't do solar don't do wind, etc., but rather, best case scenario, if we plan for the future - and so far we aren't - solar and other renewables will allow us a smoother transition into the agrarian lifestyle that Climber, Kunstler and other sober-minded and well-informed people are expecting.

I suppose the only other thing that needs to be said is that if we know and accept this kind of thing we have to be careful how we talk about it, the information itself is too hard for most to accept, so if we are too snarky in how we present it, then nobody will be persuaded to look into it further.

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Thank you.

Thank you, pyranablade, for your kind words and I'll take onboard the observation that being too snarky is counter productive. Not read The Long Emergency strangely enough but occasionally read Kunstler's blog.

 

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One lucky photographer

I took Mark_BC's suggestion and looked into the lucky photographer, Richard Gutjahr, who was positioned on a balcony in Nice, France running his camera just as the truck begins to move into the crowd.  Stunning timing.

The same photographer was positioned on a balcony with running camera for the opening shots of the Munich MacDonald's massacre last week, also.

I know that everyone already knows this, but I will point out the obvious.  Getting a camera running BEFORE a SURPRISE event is very difficult.  So catching the first shots or moments on film of a terrorist incident is most remarkable.  Catching two such events is really really remarkable.

The Munich police have asked everyone with video footage of the Munich attacks to NOT post them.

The French Anit-terrorism unit has ordered the destruction of security camera footage of the event.

Who is this guy?  Where does he come from?

We cannot respond effectively unless our understanding of world events is accurate.

 

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When I duck-ducked the name...

…. that you gave, SandPuppy, I saw a reference to a teenager who was killed, and a lot of what is probably really bad websites.

Your mileage may vary if you use Google instead of duck-duck-go.

What I did not see was evidence that this guy is a professional news photographer.

So that then makes me wonder: is he actually an ISIS publicist? Or is his name a hoax you fell for? Or could he be a substitute name of a deceased person, ued like John Doe, when the real person does not want to release his identity?

I'm sure there are many other possibilities out there... we just don't know yet.

I am always hesitant to conclude too much rn an absence of evidence.

Like when I see the things about merkel's "illuminati hand signs". I have no idea from that whether she's actually illuminati-controlled. But if she IS flashing hand signs, then I find that to be a very similar structure to the gang hand signs flashed by gang members when they're in enemy territory.

Yes, it means they're part of a dangerous gang. But it also means that they're weak, scared, and running. It also makes me wonder what other gangs are out there, with what other hand signs. One might look around and see. It make me question: for whose benefit do they flash these signs?

What it doesn't do is lead me directly to a conclusion. If it were to do that, then I'd never have a chance at understanding the structure of the battlefield.

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It’s actually the opposite

“But what's much harder to condone -- and this is the focus of this article -- is when people embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare.

Really? you might be skeptically thinking. Do people really ever do this?

Yes, sadly. Absolutely they do.”

Well it’s actually the opposite: most people “embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare” most means 90-95% of the population.

The reasons are quite obvious once you start to profile behaviors as manifestation of systematic thought processing which in term define the mindset of an individual:

On one hand you have a thinking process that is based on empirical data and multi-dimensionality (layers of symbols in the short-term memory) which we call logic which defines the mindset of an individual as “System thinking”.

On the other hand you have a thinking process that is based on combination of empirical data and non-empirical data (opinions and myths), low level of short-term memory dimensionality and high dependency on long-term memory storage of multi-dimensional super symbols (ideologies indoctrinated by memorizing) which contain emotional triggers and set of actions and regulations for dealing with stimulus (external & internal) a categorical (symbolic) thinking mindset – i.e. belief.

An individual which obtain the first mindset (System thinking) will always maintain critical thinking and will always process data in the same methods while an individual which obtain the latest (Categorical thinking) will always rely on non-empirical data (beliefs ) to certain levels.

The two thinking systems are based on two different neurological circuits the logic System thinking mindset will start process information and stimulus via the high-road (prefrontal cortex) and the ideological/believer Categorical thinking mind will almost always start process the info via the low-road (amygdala’s fight or flight mechanism).

The good thing about understanding the fundamentals of mindsets is that it produces a certainty in profiling a person:

The manifestation of every thought that is processed and communicated can be easily detected as empiric or non-empiric, if there is a constant of non-empirical data as part of the calculation and communication of an individual then its mindset can be profiled as Categorical thinking and vice a versa.

Any persistence of non-empirical data that is regarded as factual by an individual such as belief in god, myths, ideologies etc. can define the individual mindset as a whole and that type of people will rarely succumb to logic (obviously there are borderline mindsets ones with potential  but lack of guide and info).

That means that a person with System thinking will never be able to communicate on factual levels with individual of the opposite mindset and that is the reason that no matter how many time this people will watch the PP crash course they will never be able to conceptualize the complex interactions between multiple systems. And that goes with all the rest of the complexity that makes the system in which they are living.

This people will always see the internal ideas in their heads rather than the factors of reality and therefor they are prone for constant errors and miscalculations of probabilities and plausibility’s in every aspects of their life actually a decision of such individual is more of a flip of a coin then a strategically planned decision.

The problem is that when you count the religious and other ideologists (from political fan boys (left or right) to veganism, climate deniers, evolution deniers, fanatic conformists, new-age freaks and many more) you come to the astonishing understanding that almost everyone around you is from the non-empirical/critical thinking crowd – 90-95% of the global population.

The implications are also important: if you choose to tie your life with one or live in a community with a mix of mindsets that includes individuals with limited level of communication and with decision making mechanism that is based on data processing malpractices and fear (amygdala) when shit hit the fan you will be in a problem.

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Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 839
I'd like to contend with your critique of thought

Thank you for that insightful comment; nonetheless, I think I'd have to disagree with it.

First, you deal with a system of thinking based on empirical data that is multidensional, that we call logic, and you name as "system thinking".

I'm going to say that almost EVERYONE is capable of logical thought, but it is of extroardinary limited applicability, since logic can only apply in extremely well defined limited tracks of reasoning. When you are absolutely SURE you know the boundaries of a system, then you can start applying logic. If you don't, then the conclusions of logic are going to be flawed. It is for this reason that in the hard sciences, millions of dollars are spent to set up extremely limited experiments, just so that a logical conclusion about reality can be made. One example experiment was to pump and then bake all the impurities out of a specially designed hydrogen-ion trap that used a million-dollar superconducting magnet, so that then a few such ions could be trapped, and then the photodetachment of electrons under specific laser-light energy packets could be studied.

Even soft sciences no longer can use logic. How much less can "system thinking" us logic, then?

Therefore, I would contend that "system thinking", which I do exercise, is more of a soft science. It involves structures of rational approximations that are designed to attempt to navigate the system of collective experiments. One of these methods is statistical analysis. Statistical analysis is a flawed method of processing huge amounts of experiments where the controls are insufficient to the task of logic. Flawed, did I say? Yes, but the flaws are very limited, and can be controlled to give a known limit on the flaws. But again, the value of statistical analysis is of limited applicability. Now, you have to spend tens of thousands to set up the experiment. If you don't, then you can't claim to know the extent of your ignorance.

Most people have to operate below that level of confidence. So what do you do as a softer science to reason your way through life? Well, the beginnings of science are stamp collecting. You classify what you have, and then see how new data fits into the classifications, or doesn't. And to get better data, you compine datasets with other trusted sources.

But here's the thing: most people still engage in every level of rational thought at all of these levels. I suspect that anyone who doesn't, is sitting in an insane asylum; or is otherwise having all their needs taken care of by a person who is more capable of everyday life than they.

And those who are aware of their thought, are aware that they engage in all of these, and that others engage in all of these, too. Indeed, a person who is aware of these things sees the same structure of thinking in others, and understand that they are indeed rational.

So where do myths, and belief in God, and belief in an "end times" fit in all this? That's the third level. A person who believes in end times will look at events, and stamp-collect the data, asking, "how much do I think this event matches this belief?". If a great enough percentage of event matches, then the person may be rather convinced we are in an end time. Or let me try it another way. How does a rational logical physicist reconcile his rational thought with a belief in God? My own father is a good example. He is a physics pHD who forecast back in 1967 or so that practical nuclear fusion, which was only fifteen years away, would remain only fifteen years away for the next fiftty years (that is, would never come to fruit). He forecast that for practical, logical, tier-two reasons, including the limited availability of Lithium to make tritium.

But he always said he was a skeptic. But when a local friend of his had her polio-shortened leg healed at a prayer meeting, he engaged in extensive tier-three investigation, interviewing everyone involved. When another physicist in his university department had a wife with debilitating MS healed through prayer, in which she told her husband that in prayer God wanted them to drive to florida, and as they walked in the door of a church He led her to, the pastor was saying "I had a sermon, and God wants me not to give it, but to conduct a healing instead..." then he again investigated as fully as he could. And when his sister's husband was healed of a MRSA infection from the level of all his organs shutting down, and hie investigated again... at some point the tier three logic said, "I may be a skeptic, but if so, I have to accept this as valid".

At this point, he says that nine out of ten people he talks to knows a person who has experienced a modern Christian miracle. The implication of that statement is that they also know about that miracle. He says that if that is true, then the dead guy named Jesus of Nazareth isn't dead at all, and is extroardinarily active keeping His word. And if that is so, then a lot of assumptions he HAD made as a physicist are possibly not correct.

Anyhow, it isn't "rational/ myth believing" It is three tiers of rationality, and it allows for many forms of thought, all of which are rational and useful for dealing with limited knowledge in an extensively interactive and uncontrolled world.

Bankers Slave's picture
Bankers Slave
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2012
Posts: 523
Good Moning beautiful

"I know that god lives in everybodys soul, and the only devil in your world, lives in the human heart"

Starts 40 seconds in.

glddst's picture
glddst
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 19 2015
Posts: 7
No, Fed was never hoping it could stimulate economy

Much evidence indicates at least some central banksters are well aware the primary function of every debt money Scheme is transferring wealth from the many to the few.

As noted in my 25July post, it took vast effort over more than a century to conquer Founding Fathers' and colonists' rejection of the Scheme. Linked articles provide many details.

Bernanke spun QEII as stimulus to economy to avoid panic from acknowledging global investors lost their appetite for hopelessly bankrupt Uncle Shame's debt.

Fed conjured dollars to purchase vast majority additional Treasury borrowings since 2010 because global investors see writing on wall:

Graph of Uncle Shame's current plus next decade's debt Congressional Budget Office projects demonstrates hopeless US bankruptcy. (scroll down for graph)

Fed was never hoping to stimulate economy, it was forced to become dreaded Lender of Last Resort.

All going to plan: as US finishes collapsing into worst depression of all time, ultra-wealthy Crooks in Charge will buy up most of rest of US assets they don't already own at fire-sale prices.

Already in 2013, top few % of US households had accumulated vast majority of entire nation's net wealth (Fed's latest Household Survey).

Welcome to the New Serfdom.

glddst's picture
glddst
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 19 2015
Posts: 7
Re: Why universities purge alternative economic thought?

The first debt money scheme was invented in ancient India: that's why Asians mostly refuse to save debt money, long since learned to trust gold especially - due to its unique qualities.*

Jeffersonians fought bankster Hamiltonians because colonists hated debt money, as least on gut level understood it's what young Greenspan called "A Scheme for the Confiscation of Wealth." - see #28 post above with links to full details about.

It took over a century of debt money Mobster propaganda including endowing University Chairs to sufficiently eradicate what colonists understood, hence get enough Americans brainwashed they swallowed creation of Fed plus New-Not! Deal eliminating what Fed Chair Volcker repeatedly called Fed's "Enemy No. 1:" gold money. (Minority of True Patriots left fought New Deal to Supreme Court.)

As young Greenspan noted, "only gold stands in the way of the Scheme."

Hard as it is to swallow!: All going to plan on the Planet of Lessons, where we gain lessons to last all eternity.

*No one mentions stealth devaluation China did to yuan over decade ago by letting prices multiply: kept their hopeless banks afloat as debt vastly depreciated thereby. Chinese didn't protest: just business as usual.

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3084
PP Interviewing Michael Pento next week

Just a quick update to this thread to let folks know I've finally been able to land Michael Pento as a PP podcast guest. 

We'll be recording the interview shortly and it will be posted on the site on Satruday.

maincpa77's picture
maincpa77
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 10 2017
Posts: 2
Yes, I'm aware it was created

Yes, I'm aware it was created with fossil fuels. Your response seems very condescending, no?  No? 

Ok, no I don't get it.  What your saying seems to indicate we should just give up.  It wasn't constructive at all and I think you've missed the point.  Telling me that everything in the picture would not be possible without fossil fuels does not help. Let's just forget about renewables all together and NBA live mobile hack keep doing what we're doing, burn baby burn.  Thanks anyway climber.

 

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