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Every so often, our work in the premium side of PeakProsperity.com is deemed so important that our paying subscribers request we share it with the general public. Last week's 'Off The Cuff' podcast received so many of these requests that we are releasing it to all here.

In last week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris delivered a very personal message about how we each decide to live our lives.

A growing number of people are watching the “prosperity” around them — record high asset prices, record-low unemployment, new technologies, etc — and yet feeling that we're making the wrong trade-offs as a society. All that wealth is flowing into fewer and fewer pockets, ecosystems are faltering and an alarming number of species are dying off, depression rates (especially among the youth) are skyrocketing.

In short: there's more money flowing around than ever, and yet we and the planet are becoming sicker and unhappier.

Why?

From Chris' point of view, it comes down integrity. The modern human way of life lacks integrity as a guiding principle. For those of us who desire a better future, brining our actions into better alignment with our integrity is the path to true prosperity.

My ultimate diagnosis of what's going on in the United States culture and a lot of Europe culture — probably in other cultures, but I can't speak to them as well – it's that they lack integrity. Now, integrity isn't simply “Oh, I don’t lie”. Integrity means that your actions are for the greater good. Sometimes there are acts of integrity which actually are not optimal for you; they're optimal for the larger society around you.

Integrity is thinking out seven generations. Integrity is saying that beauty matters in our life, and that when we take out a species, we're taking away something extraordinarily beautiful.

Maybe we shouldn’t just spray fungicides across thousand of acres in a single go. Maybe we shouldn't spray herbicides across million of acres in a single go. We don’t know what these herbicides are doing and fungicides and pesticides beyond the immediate use we're putting them to. They have all these ripple effects that go on and on and on. And we don’t know what those are.

So integrity would include a sense of humility. Full integrity is saying “I don't know”. We should be saying more of that. And integrity would include listening more carefully and deeply. Integrity would mean that we are operating in a way that is right for the other species around us, including humans. That we strive to do things that are right and good.

That part of ourselves that's calling for our hearts to be involved in the world and to believe in something that's larger and more profound than ourselves is really an essential concept. And everything about our current culture is cheap, demeaning, unfair. It's not building towards the directions that I think any of us can really believe in, and we know that we have to go in a new direction. 

 

Transcript

Welcome, welcome, welcome, everybody, to this Off the Cuff. It is Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Can't believe that. I'm your host, Chris Martenson, of course, and today, it's going to be a solo Off the Cuff where I get to amuse myself and hopefully you in the process.

I got to admit – let me start here – it has just been hard lately to keep my frame of reference on everything that's going on and to feel positive about everything because the level of market rigging and overt fake news that's out there. But my fake news is very different from what the mainstream media is calling fake news. We have very different impressions of the whole thing.

To me, fake news is the fact that you probably didn’t read anything about the Yellow Vest protests last week, even though they had Act 2020, separate Saturdays, 20 weeks of increasingly large participation by the people of France.

And why are you not hearing about it? Because that's really not a story that the powers that be want told. That's not a story that the central power structures want told. That's not something they want people really talking about and thinking about.

Fake news is a lie of omission. That's where they omit to tell you about something. We're always keeping an eye out for what's missing in the stories. As well, there are lies of commission where things are said that are just are flat out not true. Lots of those going on as well.

But I guess I got to start here. There's a new series out on Netflix, and it's called Our Planet. It's really saying what other nature series have omitted so far. It's classic, just like you would imagine from something that's narrated by David Attenborough. The filming is extraordinary, absolutely astonishing. The scenes that have been captured are so mind-blowing that it's hard to even talk about how incredible they are. You just got to watch it. You really should watch this series.

As well, it's highly disturbing, of course, because this time they're not pulling any punches. What the other nature series have omitted is just how bad the damage has been and how bad it's getting. It's really hard to take because they bring you up close and personal with these extraordinary creatures, the orangutans and the mongooses and just everything and the hyenas, just everything, right in their lives, and then talk to you about how fast everything is disappearing and being destroyed. They're using a lot of active verbiage, which they should. It's not that the rain forest is disappearing, it's that humans are cutting it down. Why? I don't know, because we want palm oil or something to make a few extra bucks with the trees cut down or something like that.

At any rate, what really catches me about this is just how profound the damage is. That grieves me a lot. I personally think that the world, with all of these incredible creatures in it, large and small, is a much better, much richer, much more worthwhile place to live. If we are on track to just continually keep destroying the natural world, that's a tragedy on a number of levels.

First, we could say, "Oh, well, that will become very expensive for us at some point," if we got to go into the money frame of mind. Or we might say, "Gosh, that might mean humans run into trouble," and that would be about our own species. But it's well beyond that.

Look, species come and species go. You put reindeer on an island with no predators and they eat all the lichen, they have this incredible explosion of population, and then the population crashes. You put yeast in a vat of sugar and they're really happy, they have this incredible explosion of population, and then they run of out the food and the population crashes. This is normal.

So what humans are doing as an organism is really not different or special or really noteworthy. We got an available supply of food, and we're eating our way into that supply of food. That supply of food, of course, is fossil fuels where ten to twenty calories of every calorie that I ate today, or that you will eat today, came with ten to twenty calories of fossil fuel secretly hidden in there.

That's because the fertilizers are either manufactured out of fossil fuels directly or mined somewhere very far away and then brought to the field with fossil fuels. There are giant diesel tractors that are plowing the fields. All the pesticides and herbicides and fungicides are actually manufactured directly out of chemical precursors from fossil fuels.

Once these crops are harvested, again, using fossil fuels, they are then dried or desiccated and stored using fossil fuels, transported using fossil fuels. Refrigerated, stored, or otherwise brought into distribution using fossil fuels, brought to the grocery store in packaged form after having been transformed into package form using fossil fuels. Then, of course, you drive to the store, you pick them up and you bring them home using fossil fuels. And you cook with them, typically using fossils fuels. On and on and on.

So there's this whole supply chain of food that requires fossil fuels. That's just the nature of the beast at this point in time. We're eating into that food supply of fossils fuels. I know, I know, I know, I know. It looks like you're having a bowl of cereal, but you're really having a spoonful of oil. It looks like you're having a big, juicy steak, if that's your thing, but it's really you are cutting into a big old slab of nitrogen in the form of protein, which probably – I bet you 99% of that nitrogen, unless you have grass fed beef from locally – 99% of that nitrogen that's in that protein came from the Haber-Bosch process, which means turning nitrogen from the atmosphere into bio-available nitrogen using natural gas.

So everything is about the fossil fuels. We're just an organism; we're eating into that food supply. So, again, you know what, nothing special, nothing un-special about that. That's just how organisms go.

I think the tragedy in this story, for me, comes into play because we're humans, we can do better than that. If you’ve come to one of our seminars – and I really would encourage you to come – I'm so excited for the seminar this year. If you're listening to this and you're coming, can't wait to see you. It's going to be amazing. If you come to one of the seminars, we talk about there's two ways that people change.

One is by pain and the other is by insight. Changing by pain, very common. It's the usual way. We've all done it in our lives. The change comes after some painful moment has caused that moment to be more painful than the pain of change. So things remain the same until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change. At some point there we run our calculus, it's like shoot, I'll change. I'll finally go on that diet, I'll finally quit alcohol, I'll get out of this job that I hate. Whatever that thing is that's painful for us, it has to get to a certain moment of exceeding pain before we finally go, "Oh, gosh, changing is going to be less painful."

So that's one way, that's route one. And by the way, all organisms go through that. So again, nothing special, nothing un-special about that.

Now, join me over here with the other way that we can change. I think this is special, and this is by insight. This is where we come across some information, we look at that information, and we make changes because we've parsed through it and if feels right. It's emotionally better. We can feel it in our gut and also rationally. By whatever means and combination, hopefully of head and heart, we come to this place of holding this new information by insight, and we go "I'm going to do that instead."

I love YouTube because I get to go on there, and first I get to learn from people who have tons of information. So that's learning. I love learning. But secondarily, you can see people making some pretty big mistakes and not repeat them. I think it's just fantastic. I've learned I never want to go skateboarding down a solid metal rail for a handrail. I can just watch that and go, "Yeah, not for me." And maybe somebody else is inspired by that. Good for them, but I look at that and the insight is yeah, that's a bad idea. I'm just not going to do that.

And this is what humans do. We have these things in our brains called mirror neurons which allow us to watch what somebody else is doing, and without apparently doing anything, without even mimicking the motions with our bodies, our brain is busy mimicking those motions and firing the muscle signals that would need to be fired in order to do something that somebody else is doing. This is why you will learn more quickly by going and being in the presence of somebody else who can do that thing you want to do really well.

Whether that's playing guitar or cello or going and wanting to learn how to shoot pistols, go be with somebody who's really amazing at it and just watch, and trust that your mirror neurons are saying "that's an awesome thing that person's doing. I'd like to do that. That looks successful." And your brain will begin to pattern that in and bring it in.

Of course, I talked about this in the last piece that I wrote talking about how this is both positive, if we use it in certain ways, but also can be used against us. And it is being used against us in the social media platforms where they encourage people to show these unattainable images of success that are often fraudulent in the sense that the pictures are cropped, or they're completely fraudulent and Photoshopped or whatever it is.

But people are showing their amazing lives, and of course, our mirror neurons and our biological underpinning as social creatures says "I'd love to replicate that. I want to emulate that. I would love to have some of that success" but, of course, you can't get it because there's no information contained in that static image about how you get there. Like if I see this person with all these attractive ladies on a boat, how would I get there? You don’t know. There's no connecting information.

So our biology is being used against us very, very strongly. And it's being used increasingly sophisticatedly—if that's a word—in increasingly sophisticated ways that is creating an enormous amount of stress in our organism. So that's part one.

Part two, at a meta level, at a higher level, I think people are starting to register and record that there's something really wrong with this story. I mean, there's just something that's just not right with it.

I write about too. Increasingly, the young people, the under 30 crowd, looking at what Greta Thunberg has done, the 16-year old from Sweden, galvanizing all the students across Europe to go on strike because their leaders aren't doing something that they consider – aren't doing anything about an existential threat that the students consider to be there, which is climate change.

Watching this feature on Netflix about our planet says whether you care about the climate or some other way, we're killing the planet. And it's going on at exponentially increasing rates. For somebody who's my age – I'm 56 now – I have seen a massive decline in my own biosphere here, around insects. They're not on my windshield anymore. More importantly, I leave the porchlight on all night, and my screen isn't coated with just this amazing sort menagerie of large and small and sometimes scary looking beetles and moths and all kinds of things.

I see that. I hear what's missing in the spring dawn chorus. There are all these migratory birds that are supposed to come through, various warblers and Tanagers and all these things that go and hang out down in Central and South America and come on back up here, and they're just not coming back. Why? Because they don’t have any food. There are no insects. That's what they eat. If the insects aren't on my windshield, that means the birds can't eat them. And if the birds don’t have food, guess what? They don’t reproduce successfully. It's not hard.

We just recorded that here was a 70% die off in Atlantic sea birds. For some mysterious reason, maybe it was because they think there was this B vitamin deficiency. Well, why is there a vitamin deficiency? Well, that's a little bit harder to unravel. But the causative chain might be that there's less phytoplankton, which is where the thiamin is actually generated in that food chain. A couple other places, but that would be the principle location. That is the main mine of thiamin.

If there's less phytoplankton and then there's less zooplankton, the other plankton that's eating that, and then there's less things for the small fish to eat and fewer things for the bigger fish to eat as a consequence, it goes up the food chain, and guess what? By the time you're the apex predator in that story, which is one of these sea birds, there's just not enough to eat. And what you are eating is deficient in the things you need.

The next thing you know, because it's always about the food and the organism, is that there just isn't enough food left in the ocean to support all the different types of life. The whales aren't breeding anymore, at least the Right whales didn’t. Gray whales are having trouble. All this stuff. We're seeing it everywhere.

An intact culture—and I'm not just talking about U S, but an intact world culture would time-out, blow the whistle, and say we can't keep doing this. We are not willing to do that because the number one thing you have to admit when you say we've got to stop pulling so much out of the natural world is you’ve got to admit that you can't grow your economy exponentially.

Next thing you know, all the power structures of humanity don’t make sense anymore. The bankers aren't the most revered people in the world. In fact, they're the world's number one enemy. The people who are the billionaires who haven't actually produced much or maybe they’ve produced nothing to gain their billions, all they’ve ever done in skim money out of an exponential money system and then they give all of that to politicians who desperately want to be reelected, even though they don’t do anything of value when they're in there. I put that data up too.

They don’t do anything of value for the people they allegedly, supposedly represent. The politicians do things for their backers. So it's all about the money. Stephen Jenkinson said in, Money and the Soul's Desire – check that podcast out if you haven't seen it. It's really just a – in fact, I got to repost that one. It's just so good. We should bring that great material back forward again from time to time.

He said – people misquote it all the time – they say, "Money is the root of all evil," and that's not the quote. A couple words missing from the beginning of that phrase which are, "For the love of money is the root of all money. For the love of money is the root of all evil." "For the love of" means your relationship to it. Stephen makes the point that money itself if neutral. It's just a thing. It's neither good nor bad. But our relationship to it—now that defines what happens next. If our relationship goes off the rails, if we become enamored with this objectifying force calling money, then it does become a force for evil.

Look at what just happened recently. I don’t know if you track this in the news. I certainly did. But this gentleman, Ray Dalio comes out, and I think he's a well-spoken, very intelligent man, and the media was all over listening to his message because he's worth billions. He's been running this hedge funds for 20 plus years, and he's worth billions.

He's a very smart man, he's worth billions, let's listen to him. And he's talking about how capitalism has maybe gone off the rails or the Federal Reserve has done some things that they shouldn’t have. Or maybe we need to tax the rich a little bit more because they’ve just sort of been the accidental accumulators of all this wealth that the central banks have printed and maybe it's time to divvy that back up again.

As you look at that – that's why I wrote these articles. One was called "The One True Thing," which is that our hierarchical pyramid is enforced, and everybody knows their place in it. They self-police, self-correct, self-reinforce, self-slot themselves into their appropriate layer in the pyramid. "Neither shall they go higher or lower" – hey, Hosanna – because of how much money they have. That's our organizing principle.

In times past, it was your connection to royal blood or were you descended directly from the Gods? Which Gods? It depends which culture. Did you have a direct voice with the Gods or something? Whatever the thing was, there was always a reason that there were very few people at the top of the pyramid and a bunch of people organized down below.

Our one true thing is money, and so we detect that when the media fawns all over listening to every word that this guy Ray Dalio says. Again, probably a really nice guy. I bet I'd like him if I met him. Never have. But at the same time, he doesn't have any particular better insights than anybody else. He's produced nothing. Ray Dalio has not made the world a better place in all of his 20 years. As successful as he's been, he's never built a single thing. He's never helped make the world more sustainable.

What he's done is take his incredible mind and use it to harvest money, or what we call money, out of a system that is busy destroying the planet. That he's like the high priest, one of the top tier layers of our particular pyramid of social control right now, doesn't make him necessarily somebody who's got better or worse insights either way.

But our media would never give the same sort of channel or platform to, say, myself, somebody else who hasn't proven really that they are worthy of talking about how we should keep this pyramid stable for the next 100 years because I'm fundamentally chipping at that all the time and talking about how the pyramid isn't really even a good pyramid. Or it doesn’t really work for everybody. Or in fact, it only works as well and as politely as it has for the past 50 years or 100 years because of this thing called oil.

Energy. It's the energy. Ray doesn't have a clue about the energy – or maybe he does – but he didn’t talk about it. He doesn’t talk about the fact that we don’t need a better taxation system. We just need to stop the central banks from funneling money to people like himself. We don’t need to reform capitalism.

We need to understand that the planet is being killed. We, either on our own terms through insight, decide to square up to that information, or we just pretend it doesn't exist, talk about how we're socialism versus capitalism, something completely meaningless. Because both isms are just as busy as either other ism figuring out how to grow and divvy up the pie. Just different means. We're arguing over how the pie gets divvied up. But nobody's talking about the fact that the pie is about to run out, that the pie is being poisoned.

So, I don’t really care. I'm totally agnostic. I don’t care if Trump is in there or if a Clinton is in the Presidency. I don’t care at all about whether we call it socialism or capitalism or kleptocracy or whatever is it, it doesn't matter. Or capitalism versus Communism. It doesn't matter. It doesn’t matter because they all have the same thing in place which is our one true thing. It's money. It's money.

We're going to take this system of money, and it has to be preserved at all costs. We can't entertain any other ideas around anything else because this is how we know our place in society. It would just be too painful to think about reorganizing that particular pyramid. So everybody's just going to let it run.

Next thing you know, you have the kids in this story, the 16-year old's like Greta Thunberg and all of her compatriots boycotting school, and coming out and saying "Hey, older people, we don’t believe in this future you’ve got laid out for us. Why should we study and do our homework if you guys are refusing to study and do your homework? How is it that we're supposed to stay on track in our jobs, as they are in this larger pyramid, if you're not even going to remotely attend to how this has any sort a future you can explain to me?"

I wrote in this last piece that came out, I said, "There's a generational breakdown occurring with increasing numbers of young people. Let's define them as the under 30 crowd, falling into despair, dismay and even outright demoralization over the state of the world. Put bluntly, many of them see nothing to gain by preserving the status quo."

It was just a few days later that some really startling information came out, and the headline of that was – this was the headline from CNN. It reads here, "Number of Children going to the Emergency Room with Suicidal Thoughts and or Attempts Doubles." So the data here is that between 2007 and 2015, according to an analysis that came out from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, administered by the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention – it's done every year – they sampled 300 emergency rooms, and they found that the number of children between the ages of 5 and 18 who received a diagnosis of suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt doubled. It doubled between 2007 and 2015.

In case I went past it a little fast, let me repeat a number here. 5, children as young as 5, are showing up here in this report. The average age of a child at the time of evaluation was 13. And 43% of the visits were in children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Again, an intact culture, one that wasn't sick to the core, one that wasn't absolutely not a civilization would say how is it possible that our children, between the ages of 5 and 11, are thinking about suicide? What is it?

Is it because we're killing the planet and they're still sensitive young, open creatures, these children, and they're registering that? Is it because, per chance, we're stuffing them to the gills with highly profitable, but ultimately, incredibly damaging psychoactive compounds to correct for ""behavioral maladjustments"" because the kids just aren’t finding a way to find meaning and purpose, they aren't fitting into this culture?

Seriously; 5 and 11, 43% of the visits. Children between the ages of 5 and 11. That is a sick culture. There's nothing there worth preserving. There's something worth understanding. There's something worth studying. But boy, things need to be changed right away. Just right away.

I don't know what the statistics are, but even I bet if you went back to 1930, depths of the depression, things you would imagine, that's as hard as life can be. I will bet you anything, and I'll have to see if I can dig this data up, and I don’t know how good the data would be from back then, but I would bet you kids weren't thinking about taking their own lives back then. Maybe a few did, but not these numbers. Not like this.

So what is it about today that is so damaging and sickening for these kids? Is it the screen time? We don’t know. There was a big study in Psychology Today that came out two weeks ago that said 17,000 children were studied and screen time didn’t correlate with any negative outcomes. Yeah, can't wait to find out who funded that study.

That's the other problem with today. Lies about omission and commission. So many lies of commission by so-called studies that are funded by people and, surprise, the results always seem to match with what the dollars want it to find. Go figure. Total surprise. That's the world we live in.

But there are these suicides popping up. This is just an absolutely astonishing thing, again, that I think should really not just be like this little blip, it was news that came out three days ago, so we're already past it. This would be something that I think should cause us to just stop full force and really consider it.

This raises the idea for me that – I keep talking about it. There was this great article, and I'm going to see if I can get the author of this on a podcast because I just keep quoting it so many times. It really stuck with me. It's about the demoralized mind. This was in April 2016. This is when the article comes from – it was in a – by John F. Schumaker, and he's a retired psychology academic living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He talked about how the age of depression, that our descent into this age of depression just seems unstoppable. This is back in 2016, so that comports with this other data that we're seeing here.

Three decades ago, the first onset of depression was 30. Today's it's 14. As they really look through this data and start coming through it, again, they found out that depression wasn't really the right term here because depression is usually treatable. It's either chemical, so we can pop you out of that with some kind of a compound, hopefully something short acting like an infusion of ketamine, which actually pops you into a new chemical state that can give you a chance to operate in a non-depressive mode, not one of these long term, lifelong chronic antidepressants that has its own set of issues as a lifelong compound.

It's either that, chemical, or it's situational. So something happened, you lost your job, somebody important to you died. Something happened. But that's treatable too. There are ways to get support to move past those situationally awful moments in life.

They found that this new onset of depression that was coming on at the age of 14 was resistant to treatment, chemical or talking or whatever modality. It just didn’t work. There was no way to talk people out of it or pill them out of it.

So they came up with another word like, oh, this is actually demoralization. It's not depression. Demoralization is something that speaks to an extreme attack on your existential being. It's a disorder associated with the breakdown of your cognitive map. It's this big, overarching, psychospiritual crisis where the victims feel disoriented, they're unable to find meaning or purpose, they can't find that fulfillment in life.

As they persist in that demoralized state, the entire world around them starts to lose creditability. They don’t trust anybody. They don’t connect with anybody. The people who are very well meaning, who are trying to get them back in the game, "Come on, Jimmy, we'll get you out of your demoralized state because we need your grades to get back up so you can get a job." They can't connect because the advice is actually trying to push them back into the very hole where they find no meaning. So frustration builds, anger builds, bitterness, all of these things come. It's just like some kind of lost cause or losing battle.

Let's imagine now that you're one of these young people who feels demoralized, hopefully not all the way to the point of suicide, but it's increasingly – that's showing up. And in large measure, the reason why I think it's contained exactly in that special on Netflix called Our Planet, which, again, you should watch. What purpose is there really in participating well in a so-called well-adjusted way in a culture, in a system, that is fundamentally unfair? It throws billions at somebody like Ray Dalio. It forces really dynamic school teachers to pocket out of their own meager salaries for art supplies.

What do you do with a system that's just deeply unfair, where everybody shrugs and goes, "Oh, what are you going to do?" Some drugs cost $80-$300,000 now. Why? "Well, because we think we can get that much out." How high are hospital bills? "Just enough to bankrupt people. That's how much we want, what we would like to get, basically, all of your money if we could just because we had you in a captive hostage situation at a critical moment where you couldn't comparison shop. And then we were opaque about our billing strategies because, you know, that's our system."

There's no real good way for people to engage with that. So here's the call out. This is what we need to do. It's time to get past all of that. It's time to no longer feel like we're victims in that situation. It's time to stop asking our young people, who are demoralized – and if you know one of them, just sit with them and talk with them, and don't ask them to participate in a system that deep down they know is corrupt, that they know is not worth their time, that they know is not going to provide them with anything fulfilling, nothing purposeful, and is going to just lead to this existential depression, which we can call demoralization.

Because demoralization, let's be clear about this, it's actually a realistic response to untenable circumstances. That's all. Demoralization is not this thing we have to fix. It says that we have to understand the larger thing around it. We might say that wow, we have all these young boys, typically, who just have ADHD because they can't sit in this box—as a 6 year old, a 7 year old, an 8 year old—they can't sit in a box under 60 cycle humming fluorescent lights all day long with no other stimulation besides the material we put in front of them without bouncing off the walls and tapping their legs and doing other things like that.

The problem isn't the boys who can't sit still in that situation. The problem is the box you put them in. That's all. It's that simple.

I like this idea that if demoralization is a realistic response to untenable circumstances in our life, then what are better circumstances? And what do we do to break out of this?

Of course, this is the work of Peak Prosperity, and my own life is dedicated to this idea which is that what we need to do is recognize where we are in this story. Let's have the insight. Let's not go all the way down the pain route. Let's just take a look and say the direction we're heading in is unsustainable.

We are eating into our fossil fuel supply. We are destroying the planet. We are killing it – active verb, it's not dying – it's being killed. We are doing things that also, besides impinging on our own sense of a future and survivability, are destroying the beauty of the world. Really the ultimate thing that – I don’t know how to put all this together because I can point all this stuff out – that's fine, but what do you do about it?

Here's my ultimate diagnosis of what's going on in United States culture and a lot of Europe culture, probably in other cultures, but I can't speak to them as well. It's that they lack integrity. Now, integrity isn't simply oh, I don’t lie. Integrity means that your actions are for the greater good. Sometimes there are acts of integrity which actually are not optimal for you; they're optimal for the larger society around you.

Integrity is thinking out seven generations. Integrity is saying that beauty matters in our life, and that when we take out a species, we're taking away something extraordinarily beautiful. How it operates, and the subtlety and the sophistication, and the more we learn about how nature actually operates, the levels of sophistication are extraordinary.

In this BBC documentary – well, it's on Netflix –I'm not sure if it's BBC. I usually associate Our Planet with BBC. It might be. Anyway, I can't remember. But this Netflix thing that I watched, Our Planet, they had this one thing where there are these bees, these male bees, and they have this relationship with these orchids in a rain forest environment, obviously. The male bees are attracted to these orchids because the orchids produce the pheromone that the female bees want to see.

The male bees, if they want to get laid, they got to trundle off, find themselves one of these orchids, and they're rummaging around in the opening of this orchid flower, and they're getting close, and there's this really awesome pheromone. It's like cologne. This is absolute— you want to get a gal, you got to get some of this cologne.

So they start heading toward the cologne, and oops, they fall down the throat of this flower. And then it's all like gosh, it's all kinds of... there's hairs pointing the wrong way, and it's a little slippery, and they can't quite get their wings out, so they got to get out by some other means. And oh, the flower has left this little portal at the base. Oh, that's so nice. So the bees crawl out this little portal at the bottom. And as they do, it gets a little narrower, and it gets a little tight, but it's just wide enough for this particular bee to get out.

It wrestles through there and it just wrestles through, it gets deliciously coated in this nice cologne, so the bee's kind of happy, I guess. But as it's popping through, the last thing that happens is two little pollen sacs are glued onto the back of the bee, not in a place that interferes with its flying or its mating, but the pollen sacs get glued on. Now this bee is a messenger for the flower. So the flower gets what it needs. It manufactured this tasty cologne for the bee and its pollen sacs get carted off to the next flower. The bee gets the cologne it needs so that it can reproduce and continue its mating cycle.

How does this happen? This is extraordinarily beautiful. It's astonishing that nature would have thought of things that complex. And oh, by the way, it's probably thought of things a thousand times more complex than that that we haven't unraveled yet. So integrity to me includes the idea that we would have the humility as a species to say we don’t actually know what's happening out there in nature, but it's important, and we should stay connected to it, and we should use our powers of observation to begin to understand it.

But maybe we shouldn’t just spray fungicides across thousands of acres in a single go. Maybe we shouldn't spray herbicides across millions of acres in a single go. We don’t know what these herbicides are doing and fungicides and pesticides beyond the use we're putting them in. They have all these ripple effects that go on and on and on. And we don’t know what those are.

So integrity would include that sense of humility. Full integrity is saying "I don't know." I don't know. We should be saying more of that. Integrity would include listening more carefully and deeply. Integrity would mean that we are operating in a way that is right for the other species around us, including humans, but we do things that are right and good.

That's why I included that Marcus Aurelius quote in that last piece where he said the grapevine doesn’t spend any time thinking about how many grapes it produced last year. It just does it. And goodness can flow from humans as just an order of our business. We should be operating in a good way and with a good heart. Bodhicitta is that good and pure heart that is like a gem that is – you can bury it under the earth for a thousand, million years and when you pull it out again it's still just as shiny and unchanged. It's still just as brilliant.

That Bodhicitta, that part of ourselves that's calling for our hearts to be involved in the world and to believe in something that's larger and more profound than ourselves is really an essential concept. And everything about our current culture is cheap, demeaning, unfair. It's not building towards the directions that I think any of us can really believe in, and we know that we have to go in a new direction.

The Integrity Project is something that occurred to myself and to Evie as we were thinking this through the other night. What would that look like? How would we convey this? It's really calling upon ourselves, our highest selves in this situation, to bring our greatest integrity to whatever situation or circumstance is before us and to bring our best selves.

One of the things that I know – I wrote this in a comment, but I'll say it here in this Off the Cuff podcast too, which is I know that one of the most important and powerful gifts that I can give to somebody that's sitting across from me, who I'm in a relationship with, whether that's just a minute or two in between talks at a conference or it's in a deeper more structured way, say at my men's group or my relationship at home, is to bring my full presence. That's it. I don’t have to have magic words. I don’t have to go to a lot of training to figure out how to do that. I just need to quiet my mind, get all of my egoic thoughts out of the way so that I'm just there fully present.

That presence is what transforms us. I think there's something subtle going on there that we don’t yet understand. Like we just learned about mirror neurons in 1998. We learned about associative trees. We've learned that our DNA actually pulls in and records experiences and passes those on, just records them and somehow passes them on to our offspring in certain circumstances. So we're learning.

But there's something magic that happens when you just bring your full presence to somebody. It's recorded in some important way.

When I think back to what's happening with, say, this suicide data that I talked about with kids, it's just that tells you there's something profoundly, profoundly wrong in that situation. Because being alive is one of the most amazing things. It's the most amazing thing.

If you follow the movie The Matrix at all – I love the movie — it has got a lot of great metaphors, but the idea that there's this software simulation that people are engaging in, there's times I don’t know if this thing that we're in isn't just some sort of giant simulation of some kind.

Who knows what the fundamental nature of consciousness and reality is? It's beyond the scope of this podcast and my life. But I look at it and I go this is amazing; to be alive is amazing. To be surrounded by natural life that works at all is astonishing. How things actually work in my body and in all of nature is just simply breathtaking.

If we extract all of that beauty away, if we anesthetize ourselves – Stephen Jenkinson made this point as well, he said, "Break that word down, anesthetic." "An" means without, and "aesthetic" is beauty. So an anesthetic is something that takes the beauty away. We numb ourselves. First it takes the beauty away, but maybe we numb ourselves. Maybe the opioid epidemic and these suicides are because the beauty has already been taken away. We know that students learn much, much better if they're in an environment where the architecture, like you find at Harvard, say, like beautiful halls and inspiring architecture that's at a human scale and the number of stairs actually leading up to the library actually follows the Fibonacci progression and all of the beautiful stuff.

That was all built very intentional because with that solid container, then it infuses the student with a much better opportunity to absorb, really deeply absorb the material. As compared to say, getting shunted off into a little box with no windows and florescent lights. Just the environment matters.

Our built environment is very much not beautiful. Jim Kunstler would tell you all about that. I got a piece here I'd like to read from him from something he wrote recently because it's really important, I think. It's about that lack of beauty.

In this Integrity Project movement, to be in integrity means to value things across all of the aspects, all of the attributes. I talk about honoring and elevating and rebalancing the feminine attributes and holding them just as valuable and just as dear as the masculine attributes that so much of our culture is just really over organized around.

Here's a recent quote from Kunstler, he said:

"I don’t think you can overstate the damage we've done to ourselves in the sheer material arrangement of our national life."

He was taking about sitting on the boards and Walmart's and chain stores and all that stuff happening in upstate New York and how so many people just really, really wanted these Walmarts. He said:

"Well, that was some bargain they got. The chain stores got approved and the Main Streets died, but that wasn’t the end of it. This dynamic also destroyed networks that gave local citizens an economic and social place. Locally owned business people were the caretakers of the town. They took care of two buildings; their place of business and their home. They sat on library, school and hospital boards, and donated money to running local institutions. They employed people who lived in town, and there were consequences for treating them well or badly. There was even a time in this country when local business people wouldn’t dare to put up an insulting ugly building.

"A lot of this economic behavior has produced the social perversities of our time. Exterminating an entire class of local merchants has eliminated the heart of the American middle class and grotesquely concentrated the nation's wealth among corporate leviathans who comprise one percent of the population. It has also eliminated the place where young people learned how to do business, preparing themselves to drive ventures of their own and to make a place for themselves in the world.

"What is your place now? A cubicle in the marketing department of Old Navy? An aisle in the Home Depot? A desk in the Diversity and Inclusion Office of some state university pushing to sort the student population into racial and sexual categories because all other ways of belonging in society are gone? None of those places are liable to furnish a personal sense of life that is worth living."

I think that captures it. There are consequences to things.

As we chased money—for the love of money—our relationship to money said it's everything. Money's everything. That's how we know our place. That's how we – if something's making a lot of money, I guess we got to just let that go. "Oh, Monsanto makes a lot of money on Roundup and Roundup Ready Seeds. I guess it's okay. let's listen to the people who have billions of dollars. They must know something I don’t."

That overconcentration and focus on money has left us in a place—that slight abstraction... Humans are wonderful, complex creatures. We're capable of really deep, intelligent thought, and we're also not. Two sides on that coin. Yes, we're amazing, deep thinking creatures, but also, it's kind of simple.

For the most part, money provides that one layer of abstraction that allows us to do really horrible things. I don’t know of many CEOs that would take a gun and shoot a mother orangutan right there on the spot, but they would fund a palm oil planation that ends up doing that anyway. The money provides that layer of abstraction that's essential in this story.

This Integrity Project, whatever it is, has got to be about reclaiming our own sense of integrity, knowing right from wrong, doing the right things because they're the right things, not because they make the most money, not because society says they're important right now, but because we just know they're important. We just know that.

We know that things are off track. I shouldn't have to provide and more data on this to anybody. When you have 43% of visits to the ER for suicide ideation or attempts are for children between the ages of 5 and 11, God damn it! There's just so much in this story that we need to be having conversations about that has nothing to do with socialism, nothing to do with capitalism. Everything about DC in the United States, everything about politicians is just absolute distractions. It's meaningless.

If I have to hear one more person complain how if we just had somebody besides Trump in there everything would be better, I just want to slap them because it has nothing to do with anything. Obama was just as bad as Trump in every measurable category. 4,000 people were drone struck and killed under Obama. He was known as the Assassin in Chief to the security teams. He would sit down, pretty routinely, maybe one, two times a week and say here are the targets we should hit, picking off a deck of cards or whatever – however they did this. We now know that 90% of the people that were killed by those drone strikes were innocents. There were civilians. They were not the intended targets.

Can you even imagine what would happen in the United States if some other country was just willy-nilly and just sort of bombing places? "Well, we thought some bad people were nearby, so we bombed it. Deal with it."

We tolerate things that are done in our name with that level of abstraction in other countries that would never, ever, ever be tolerated inside of our own borders, but here it is. It's just fundamentally out of integrity. Fundamentally out of integrity.

So that's what I think we need to recapture as an organizing point that sort of occurred to me is how do we begin to communicate and organize and rally around this idea of integrity? Of doing things because they matter. Because they fulfill us with purpose. Because they're beautiful. Because we just know in our heart that that's the right thing to do.

And we don’t do other things because we just know in our heart they're the wrong thing to do. I could never load up a thousand-gallon sprayer container and contaminate the 2,000 acres that were under my management. If I was asked to do that, I couldn't do it because to do that I would lose something. I would lose my job if I didn’t do it, but I would lose something that I couldn’t recapture.

That's the story of war. People go to war and they do things that they cannot undo, and it's permanently disfiguring to their psyche, to their soul, to their core.

On that note, to look at just one thing that's happened recently – let me see if I can find it here in my notes because this is I think really, really important.

I talk about the Yellow Vests, just as a quick aside, and so here's something that is virtually never reported in the mainstream media. I had to dig hard into a blog to find it. The French demonstrations where the riot cops are deployed, the Yellow Vests are actually chanting something. (FRENCH) "Everybody hates the cops." That's what they're shouting at the cops. "Everybody hates the cops."

And again, state of commission, if you read anything about the Yellow Vests inside United States or European press, you're probably reading that Yellow Vests are totally composed of White Power, anti-Semitic fascists, right? But when you actually dig in there you discover oh, no, it's just French people. There's grandmas, grandpas, mothers, fathers, children. And possibly, just like any large crowd, I'm sure there's a couple of anti-Semites in there, but that's not the whole thing, not even a part. It's not even like a tiny pie wedge of the whole thing.

Anyway, think about that. So the police are violently beating up on their own fellow citizens. They don’t dare wear identifying badges, numbers, anything like that because that would just be too horrifying. But at any rate, people still know who they are. And they detest the police for how they're behaving.

So that's probably – you'd think, wow, the police don’t seem to care. They're just doing horrible stuff too. I don’t even dare to really circulate this stuff anymore because it's too much, but it's happening. I've been reading about that for a while, and then it was just – let me see where it is – I think it's on this page down here. Oh, yeah, this just came out a couple days ago on April 8th. The headline is "Wave of Police Suicides in France Sparks Alarm." And this is in a mainstream source.

The highest number of police suicides in French history was in 2014; 55 officers took their own lives, and just four months into 2019 there's already half that many. The article concludes: there's no clear underlying cause for the high rate of police suicides.

Let me go back to this idea of the demoralized mind. If you're a police person and you're doing things that you fundamentally don’t believe in, it's just harder to not be demoralized by all of that.

I can't imagine being a riot police person in France and trashing and beating up on my own citizens and being chanted at that everybody hates me and then going home and being cool with that.

So this is just some interesting data that's just sort of come out. What's interesting about this is that the police in France, the median salary, $59,680. It's not a lot. So there they are protecting the 0.1%. There they are protecting the elites of elites that went to the best ecoles, protecting this guy Macron who fundamentally is a Rothschild banker boy, as it were, who has just been entitled his entire life and absolutely refusing to behave in any way that's remotely appropriately for the people of this country, asking the police to go out and protect him and everything he stands for by being violent with the people of France.

So the cops, they have to protect the 0.1%, but at $59,680 median salary, they're not part of it. So that's really an awkward place to be.

I'm not surprised to hear that the French police are suffering some psychic difficulties managing that balancing act. My prediction would be that if the Yellow Vest people can just persist for who knows how many more acts, how many more weeks, that they will find that the police will come over to their side.

And then, grudgingly, grudgingly, the power structure will give some crumbs, and hopefully enough crumbs that they can get everybody to go back to sleep for a little bit longer. And that's the nature of it.

But one thing that the elites would not do is act out of integrity, is to sit down with the Yellow Vests in an honest open way and say "there's a disconnect here. How do we reconnect? What are you feeling? What are your grievances?"

Their grievances are actually quite profound and well categorized and I think very reasonable. Among the many things the people of France are grieved about, and on their list – I've never seen it anywhere else – on their list – "here's some things we're a little concerned about. We'd like our government to actually operate in our best interest. And one of the things we care about is this stupid practice of planned obsolescence. We hate buying stuff that breaks. It destroys the environment, it doesn’t last that long, it's annoying, it costs us more money, it's wasteful. We think planned obsolescence ought to be outlawed." Government says, "oh, what are you going to do? How could we possibly pass... what could we do?"

Well they can't do anything. Governments can't do anything because corporations own them and they own them in France as much as they do in the United States. But boy, that's a legitimate grievance. I'm aggrieved by that. I don’t want to have to buy a stupid washing machine every four years because they're designed to break. That's stupid.

But that would be of the things that Macron has said, "you know what? We'd rather send police out with truncheons and eye-destroying rubber bullet guns and lots and lots of tear gas because we'd rather not have to sit down and talk about that. That's just too much."

Or the idea that the banks ought to be nationalized and that the banks ought to be working for the interests of the people, not for international interests that syphon the wealth of a nation out, not unlike maybe the State Bank of North Dakota, which works beautifully up there.

Maybe the people say, "when times go upside down, we shouldn't have to be the source of the bail-in funds. Maybe we ought to do what Iceland did, make the bankers eat their losses." These are untenable thoughts to somebody like Macron who's a died in the wool status, big-government kind of person who's hoping he can just club these terrible ideas back into submission because it's been a really great gravy train for the elites.

Ray Dalio might be a nice guy, but the people who have been feasting on this deeply unfair monetary extravaganza that the central banks have pushed forward are just in no position really to comprehensively critique it in any meaningful fashion. Even as they dither and pretend that this ism matters more, maybe we can tweak taxes or maybe we could exceed a few of your demands, the rain forests of Borneo are being chopped down at an astonishing rate. I think we're losing something worldwide like one football a second. It's just an unspeakable tragedy.

And the sea birds don’t have enough thiamin. And the phytoplankton's gone somewhere. And the Arctic ice extent is already way below what it should be or ever has been at this time in April. And on and on and on and on and on and on.

What do we need to do? The reason I created the Crash Course is I don’t want to take the bankers on directly. They play dirty. People have a fairly short lifespan when they do that. But what if you can invalidate them by pointing out that their whole central theory, idea of exponential money forever, doesn't work on a finite planet.

What if you can come with that idea, like V for Vendetta, the movie, you're coming in with an idea that... ideas are impossible to kill. There's a new idea coming forward which is about how are we going to live differently in this overall planet?

Maybe this time we live differently. We live with less. We don’t have quite as many goodies in our lives. We have less stuff to manage. But guess what? Maybe we get some benefits from that? I don't know, maybe not everybody has a smartphone, but maybe fewer of our children end up committing suicide. Who knows? There are all these tradeoffs we can make. We have to begin making them.

We either do it on our own terms by insight or we do it by other terms through pain. Macron says we're going down the pain route. We're going to just keep this ship going this direction until it breaks in some larger, more ugly way. Fine. History goes that way.

But we don’t have to go that way. The idea that really I think pulls at people is that sense of legacy, honor, integrity. The only thing that matters at the end of the day, when you're on your deathbed, the only thing that matters is your integrity. It's how you conducted yourself. It was your being. If was the impact that you made, the service of your gifts to the world offered just in service. That's what matters. That's what matters. It's the integrity.

That's a side idea that pokes right into the side of this thing without having to take it on and fight every battle and get this person elected and tweak that law. God bless the people who are taking that route, but it's a losing, rearguard action. Put up as many Standing Rocks as you want and block as many pipelines as you want, and there's ten more right behind them for every one that you stop. That's a rearguard action.

So what is the clever way to come at this particular thing, given where we are in this story in this day and age? And it's this: We have to have an idea that takes the moral position that's unassailably right. Will be as unassailably right today as it is in a thousand years. It's as unassailably right as the things that Marcus Aurelius was writing about because we're humans.

Deep down, what matters deeply to us is our integrity. Who gets hurt the most when we're out of integrity? It's ourselves. That's who gets hurt the most in this story.

The question is: Where is our integrity and how do we begin to promote that? As young people are increasingly saying "I don’t want to participate in that low or zero or negative integrity system. I don’t want to do it." We should say "[Claps], absolutely. I'm right behind you. What do you want to do? How can I help?" That's got to be the story as we go forward.

That's what sort of occurred to me this week. Thank you so much for listening. I guess I don’t know what else to say besides that; integrity. The Integrity Project. Got to figure out how to get this really pulled forward.

So that's that. It's been wonderful. I will see many of you, I hope, at the seminar coming up in a couple weeks. With that, listen, just comment on this. Let's talk about this. I need everybody's input on this. I want everybody's input.

I just can't wait to figure out how we get this movement going and I want to participate however I can and do whatever I can to participate and enable it because this is my mission. This is my mission.

So thank you. I can't wait to see you in a couple weeks and, if not, I'll see you in the comment sections.

Bye-bye.

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73 Comments

  • Tue, Apr 23, 2019 - 8:04pm

    #1

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 472

    1+

    Kudos

    Kudoes to Chris.  To put out personal beliefs and thoughts is a walk in vulnerability and as Brene Brown would say that’s the birthplace of courage.  So I and we appreciate your tackeling the challenging subject!  
    Unfortunately people and groups can believe they have integrity and adhere to a strict moral code and yet be totally lacking in decency, empathy, compassion and fairness.  So integrity is subjective.  For instance The Secretary of State over the weekend bragged that we lie, cheat and steal and was highly applauded.  Below is the video.  Was that an example of integrity?  Does one of the most promanent figures in the world Have integrity? What is he teaching?  Beyond sad.


     
    AKGrannyWGrit
     

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 4:00am

    #2

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 495

    Three Things

    First, people are quietly scared, at least most are quiet about it.  But, you can see it everywhere, if you look, not just suicides.
    Second, thanks for the discussion about demoralization.  I am not prone to depression, but a few years back I began to feel that I was becoming depressed.  This persisted for some time, until I heard you talk about demoralization.  I immediately understood what was going on.  Thanks for helping me understand that.
    Sadly, I’m still demoralized.
    My third comment is on integrity.  The problem with integrity is that people have different opinions regarding what constitutes integrity.  As a consequence of this, people judge other peoples integrity, based on their personal definition.  
    Not to pick on anyone, but I’ll give a “low-fruit” example of this.  If I don’t believe in the Koran, a Muslim would label me as an infidel, possibly even considering me expendable.  If I chose not to base my life on a different religious text, another group, might call me an atheist or agnostic.  My integrity considers those labels just as inappropriate as racial slurs.
    You mentioned the school kids strike against global warming.  The first thing that came to my mind, is to wonder how these kids are living their lives.  Do they avoid unnecessary energy expenditures in transportation, etc?  Are they minimalists, or do they buy the latest gadgets like their piers?  Are they vegan or do they consume animal sourced food products that are far more destructive in their use of energy, water and land?  
    When someone makes an issue of the environment, they open their own lifestyle to scrutiny, like Al Gore did.  Their report card, might not have all As.  Mine certainly doesn’t.  
    Enough of that.  Integrity is something we each define for ourselves and we are unlikely to agree on the definition, but, we will judge others based on our values, just the same.
     
     

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 5:56am

    #3
    pat the rat

    pat the rat

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 01 2011

    Posts: 115

    bad desing

    We have a Samson washer that was recalled. I could not think what was wrong with it when we frist got it, then i realized the tub was out of ballance with the frame. When I balance the tub, and let frame stay out plumand level the washer work just fine. Conclusion the people that desing and make this stuff just don’t care, out the door make the money that is all they care about.5 years my foot try delivery!     

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 8:30am

    #4

    pyranablade

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 08 2010

    Posts: 214

    Great podcast

    Great job Chris! 
    What people are doing has moral consequences! This is an important podcast!
     
    Here is a spelling correction to be made to the transcript:

    galvanizing all the students across Europe to go on strike because they’re leaders…

    That should be changed to “…go on strike because their leaders….”
    [Adam: Good catch — fixed!]

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 9:12am

    #5
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 533

    Matbe it was something I ate?

    Not to belabor the point, Chris, but your points on the outlook for the mental health of our society can be directly linked to diet and the major focus of multi-national food companies. Nothing is sacred when it comes to profit. As AKGranny pointed out, spewing bullshit was at one time looked upon as taboo. Now, we don’t even apologize for it. We embrace it and smile when we’ve pulled the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting public. There is method to this madness and it is outlined in this short clip on the chemistry of our addictions. the implications are profound:

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 9:20am

    #6
    brushhog

    brushhog

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 63

    You had it right in the beginning of the video Chris

    …We are going to eat through our resources until there isnt enough to sustain us, and then we’ll adapt or die off…just like every other organism. Just like every other organism. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER ORGANISM. There is no other option. Humans have never changed volunarily, it’s always been the result of necessary adaptation to a changing environment.
    An individual can change to a degree but the larger collective is not an intelligent entity. Its a mob. Its like a fungus or a bacteria, it cant be reasoned out of it’s nature. Thats why I always say that there are no collective solutions, only individual ones. What can YOU do to prepare for the inevitable? Thats it. You’re not going to change the tide of human nature.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 9:27am

    #7

    pyranablade

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 08 2010

    Posts: 214

    Again

    ***Seriously, the podcast was more relevant to our world currently than anything I’ve read anywhere.**
    I have long believed that people should not only think about themselves and their loved ones as theygo about their business…and the thing about how a weathly person won’t shoot an orangatan purposely, but will invest in a palm plantation where workers are paid to do that very thing… well that is the problem of our age in a nutshell. Also, think of all the young people having babies – either they want a cute thing to love or they just weren’t disciplined enough to use a condom – well, we need to applaud the young people for not having children – or for stopping at one or two.
    Again, a really great and relevant podcast. At the same time, have somebody re-do the transcript. It will be OK with a few tweaks and corrections.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 10:07am

    Reply to #6
    Rodster

    Rodster

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 22 2016

    Posts: 40

    The World Knows, No Other Way

    “…We are going to eat through our resources until there isnt enough to sustain us, and then we’ll adapt or die off…just like every other organism.”
    The way our banking, financial and monetary systems have been designed, it’s pedal to the medal !
    The US Empire is in decline just because every Empire throughout history has declined and collapsed. So what to do? Well, just ask China, they are building their Silk Road to prosperity. So in essence it’s to hell with the Planet and keep making stuff just to keep BAU, functioning. This is the same country who builds Ghost Cities and Factories and tears them down just to keep their GDP looking good.
    And while we’re at it let’s keep adding more babies to the population so they can become debt serfs and payoff all the accumilated debt with interest. More mouths to feed equals more resource depletion and the planet’s ecosystems which will further bear the brunt.
    In one of Chris’ previous articles he stated that “humans if given the opportunity will always take the easy way out because, THAT”S what humans do”. Which leads me to believe as Gail Tverberg has also stated over and over that there are really NO solutions to our current course other than a total global collapse and waiting on the other side to try and reassemble whatever is leftover. And that’s if there’s anything leftover.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 3:20pm

    Reply to #6

    Matt Holbert

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 79

    Total Global Collapse

    Rodster- I think you meant to type “pedal to the metal.” : ) All the research that I’ve done indicates that humans will not change unless they have to do so. Roughly, I would say that changes will not be made until at least 5 billion people and the majority of other species perish worldwide. The U.S. itself will probably not make any meaningful changes until 200 million people and the majority of other species — there is a connection here — perish due to poor choices by just about everyone.
    I just finished a book entitled From Earth Spirits to Sky Gods. The thesis of the book is that man does not change until he is forced to change. It’s a book that should be widely read but is unavailable for the most part. I obtained a copy via Interlibrary Loan from a small college in Salt Lake City. The sole reviewer of the book on Amazon (published in 2000) was Richard Heinberg. I do not think that it can be overemphasized enough that those who know of our predicament are an extremely small group.
    Speaking of Richard Heinberg… He credited Jay Hanson with opening his eys to peak oil. For those who haven’t heard, Jay died a few days ago. Link: https://peakoil.com/generalideas/jay-hanson-dies-in-diving-accident/comment-page-1 He was a key factor in my awakening as well…

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 3:46pm

    #8
    DennisC

    DennisC

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    Posts: 101

    Thinning the Herd

    This was from over 10 years ago so I’m sure we’re in better shape now, right?

    2008 EMP Commission Report

    Summary
    In 2008, the bipartisan Electromagnetic Pulse Commission testified before Congress that the U.S. as a society today is not structured, nor does it have the means, to provide for the needs of nearly 300 million Americans without electricity. It found the current strategy for recovery from a failure of the electric grid leaves us ill prepared to respond effectively to a manmade or naturally occurring EMP event that would potentially result in damage to vast numbers of components nearly simultaneously over an unprecedented geographic scale. Should the electrical power system be lost for any substantial period of time the consequences are likely to be catastrophic to society, including potential casualties in excess of 60% of the population, according to the Chairman of the EMP Commission. Negative impacts on the electric infrastructure are potentially catastrophic in an EMP event unless practical steps are taken to provide protection for critical elements of the electric system. Finally, most experts predict the occurrence of severe geomagnetic storms is inevitable; it is only a matter of when.
    https://empactamerica.org/our-work/why-is-emp-a-threat/the-emp-commissio

    If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, and the valerian and scullcap tea just don’t cut it anymore, try reading one of these.  If you get sleepy easily, a suggested quick read would be chapter 7 of the second link below.
    http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf
    http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 6:39pm

    Reply to #19

    jturbo68

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 04 2009

    Posts: 87

    cmartenson wrote: Full

    cmartenson wrote:

    Full agreement here with everything you’ve written.
    We know that indivuals can change via insight or pain.  Both are effective routes, with pain, by far, being the road taken most often.
    Can ‘the mob’ change at all?  Do we have any evidence of a hierarchical society willingly giving up creature comforts for a long-term gain? 
    I am familiar with the idea that some indigenous cultures would consider 7 generations, but I don’t know how that really was put into practice.  However, even if that happened, that would be within a tribal arrangement where culture would be more amenable to rapid change being of a much smaller more manageable size and all.
    Otherwise, has it ever happened that a big old fat pyramid of humanity has decided to downsize their power, resources and influence to make a better future for people as yet unborn?
    I’m unaware of any examples, but that’s not really helpful because my knowledge of ancient cultures is so dreadfully incomplete.  So ready to gather any examples people may have.
    Said differently, each individual is the sum of their belief systems and those are addressable and can be modified.  A ‘mob’ or larger culture has memes, narratives and cultural beliefs that float around and are not located anywhere in particular, and heavily reinforced by self-censoring agents and entities that are invested in keeping those myths alive.
    So, that’s a long way of saying I simply cannot imagine the larger narratives changing in time to ward off what we all see coming.
    It’s never pretty when an organism eats through the lucky food supply it stumbled across.  Overshoot and collapse are the natural laws in place.  What evidence do we have that humanity, as a hierarchical structure can rise above the biological laws that have been shaped and have evolved over hundreds of millions of years?
    Again, I don’t have any such evidence at my fingertips.  I do, however, have tons of data showing that humans are simply organisms.  We eat, we breed, and our marketing almost exclusively targets sexual desire and reproductive fitness. 
    I only raise all of this because to correctly address any problem or predicament you first have to understand it at the root level.  Any analysis or proposal that seeks to overlook our biology is not a robust design worthy of much inquiry or debate.
    Where mind-body-spirit have to all be activated for a healthy human to transform effectively, I think any proposals for re-shaping culture have to include biology-beliefs-resources as the root level drivers of destiny.

     
    Chris,  
    I am short on details, but have heard that Britain was in a bad way once upon a time and proactively shed its empire to boost their way of life, vs heading deeper into collapse.
     
     

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 7:32pm

    #9
    Hotrod

    Hotrod

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    Industrialized Agriculture

    Great work Chris,
    Your quoting of Jim Kunstler’s opinion of small, local business decline matches up perfectly with the population decline in Rural America.  We have witnessed the replacement of small business owners (family farmers) with conglomerates fueled by petro chemicals and massive debt.  As a result, our communitues are being hollowed out as there is no one left for the volunteer fire department, local clubs, etc. This trend also entails the substitution of chemicals for labor regardless of the long term effects, both socially and ecologically.  The decline of Rural America in the last 40 years has been astonishing.  It is called agriculture, but there is very little culture left.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 4:25am

    Reply to #23
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Posts: 63

    Climate and environmental "data"

    I wouldnt lose too much sleep over climate and environmental data, David. Almost every prediction made by the climate crowd has been dead wrong. The IPCC [ considered the gold standard of climate science by the UN ] produces regular climate report models. They have made 73 climate models so far with predictions….all 73 have been dead wrong BY ALOT. In fact there have been five official temperature data sets which have shown that the earth has not warmed AT ALL in the past 17 years. A monkey rolling dice could have done far better at predicting future temperatures than the IPCC’s models.
    As for taking out the blame? Yeah of course. It never should have been brought in the first place. Humans are humans. Its like blaming a tree for growing to large and toppling over. More-over, no human being can predict what will happen, you can’t change it, and you shouldnt even if you could. We are semi-advanced, hairless chimps. It is not our place to worry about the universe.
     

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 5:35am

    Reply to #23
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1377

    warming

    brushhog wrote:

    I wouldnt lose too much sleep over climate and environmental data, David. Almost every prediction made by the climate crowd has been dead wrong. The IPCC [ considered the gold standard of climate science by the UN ] produces regular climate report models. They have made 73 climate models so far with predictions….all 73 have been dead wrong BY ALOT. In fact there have been five official temperature data sets which have shown that the earth has not warmed AT ALL in the past 17 years. A monkey rolling dice could have done far better at predicting future temperatures than the IPCC’s models.
    As for taking out the blame? Yeah of course. It never should have been brought in the first place. Humans are humans. Its like blaming a tree for growing to large and toppling over. More-over, no human being can predict what will happen, you can’t change it, and you shouldnt even if you could. We are semi-advanced, hairless chimps. It is not our place to worry about the universe.
     

    Perhaps you could reveal what data you are depending on for this rather sweeping conclusion.  It sounds an awful lot like a meme that’s been bouncing around the denialosphere for the last decade or so, and its been wrong for the last decade or so, although the last number I’ve heard was 19 years.
    This is probably a more authoritative source:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/04/17/satellite-confirms-key-nasa-temperature-data-planet-is-warming-fast/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f4c5b63d3e30
    That said, it is true that projections of coming conditions by the scientific community have frequently been wrong.  Unfortunately, however, they have been wrong in underpredicting the actual warming.  And, I believe its true that every individual model is wrong to some extent, but the cumulative results of those models tend to be pretty accurate.  The longer we dally hoping our world is not changing, the more difficult it will be to reverse direction.
    2JZIFL667RGT5M7AAG46REFHFU.jpg

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 9:55am

    #10
    mjtrac

    mjtrac

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    Posts: 8

    acting with integrity

    Personally, I don’t think a path forward will begin with people who need to make a living and/or bring up children.  That leaves the young and the old.  Imagine if 5% of the retired people in New York City decided to hang out with picket signs at the offices of Goldman Sachs and Exxon, and the streets of business districts, and not allow passage.  The jails would fill the first day, they’d have to fill neighboring jails the next, and I don’t know what would happen on day three.
    I’m still a few years off, but I can imagine a pleasant stay in jail trying to atone for the things I’ve allowed.  I’m sure many others feel similarly.
    As for how often the mob decides to act for the future, I think it’s important to remember that history is written by the winners.  I’m not sure history is a reliable guide for determining how many times in the past people collectively threw themselves against evil, because we don’t hear about all the times evil “wins” by yielding and co-opting. 
    History, at least popularized history or history-as-taught-in-public-schools, then tells us how some remarkable politician stepped forward from the ether and implemented a change.  He didn’t, his hand was forced or at least assisted by events.  Without the events, the remarkable politician will look just like ours.  We rage against the politicians, but it’s really the lack of forcing their hands that we should be most disgusted about, and that’s on us.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 10:22am

    Reply to #1

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 206

    Atrophy

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 11:20am

    #11
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Posts: 63

    Washington Post as an "authoritative source"...

    …Come on. Even you have to admit that is pretty far fetched. Climate predictions have been dead wrong for decades;
     
    The 1975 Newsweek article entitled “The Cooling World,” which claimed Earth’s temperature had been plunging for decades due to humanity’s activities, opens as follows:
    There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production — with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas — parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia — where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
    The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteor­ologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually.
    The article quotes dire statistics from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison to indicate how dire the global cooling was, and would be.
    All anyone has to do is a little bit of research from legitimate sources [ obviously the “washington post” is not going to be among them, lol ] to see how completely off the mark the IPCC has been in every single one of it’s predictions. Shit, Al gore claimed the planet only had 15 years….that was back in 1995 for God sakes.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 12:15pm

    Reply to #11
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1377

    Do some reading

    If you had read beyond the first word of the link I cited, you would learn that the author of the article is Chris Mooney, a well respected chronicler of climate change for decades now.
    Then, if you actually read the article you will find links to scientific studies and data sets for virtually all the major temperature tracking technologies, including  from NASA and NOAA which measure surface, atmospheric and ocean temperatures.  Curiously, they all seem to agree.

    Quote:

    A high-profile NASA temperature data set, which has pronounced the last five years the hottest on record and the globe a full degree Celsius warmer than in the late 1800s, has found new backing from independent satellite records — suggesting the findings are on a sound footing, scientists reported Tuesday.
    If anything, the researchers found, the pace of climate change could be somewhat more severe than previously acknowledged, at least in the fastest warming part of the world — its highest latitudes.

    You will also find references to peer reviewed studies by Joel Suskind, Gavin Schmidt, Zeke Hausfather and others, all well respected climate scientists.  The conclusions:

    Quote:

    The new research “confirms (yet again) from an independent source that the surface temperature records over the past couple of decades are robust,” added Ed Hawkins, a climate researcher at the University of Reading in Britain, by email.
    The methodologies used to calculate Earth’s temperature are being improved all the time — and the data sets are constantly updated with the most recent information. Lively debates will persist about how to deal with some of the problems involved in this process, such as that cities tend to be warmer than the countryside, and that records are far more numerous and reliable today than they were at the close of the 19th century or a little bit before it, when the data sets begin.
    But the new study suggests none of this weakens the major conclusion: Warming is ongoing; and Earth keeps pushing record temperature highs, at least in the context of the past 140 years or so.
    “For all the issues that there are, the patterns are not just qualitatively right, they’re pretty much quantitatively right, too,” Schmidt said.

    Funny, they have massive data that support their findings.  You have a nearly 45 year old article from Newsweek (is that a respected scientific journal) that, in retrospect, was clearly wrong.
    Now, again, who are your sources?

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 5:57pm

    Reply to #11
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Triggering

    Quote:

     Look, Doug. I realize that you have been triggered and are retreating behind your political safety wall. 

    How about you dispense with your own triggering and answer his actual question?

    Quote:

     But here’s the reality; The predictions have been wrong. Alot. We have seen all kinds of predictions fail.

    Examples, please. Sources, please.

    Quote:

     We dont know whats going to happen.

    So? We never, ever know exactly what’s going to happen, or how. Not in any sphere of life. That doesn’t stop us from observing the world and making very practical operating asumptions.

    Quote:

     So, ok maybe global warming is happening and its the end.

    There’s no maybe here. Average temperatures ARE rising. Glaciers are retreating all over the place. I have seen a few with my own eyes, in western Canada.

    Quote:

     we dont know how to stop it even if we did

    That’s the sad part … we don’t know everything but we know a lot of things  … and we’re not doing them.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 12:02am

    #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    quoting WAPO

     Doug-
    I think you’d find things easier sledding here if you stopped citing WAPO as your source, and instead use news sources that have managed to get hard stories correct these past few years.  There are other left-leaning sources out there that aren’t so utterly captured by corporations and DNC groupthink.
    Consider: if your news source got “collusion” dreadfully wrong, many people (especially here) will remember this, and you will have more trouble convincing them of your possibly-otherwise-reasonable viewpoint.  These people are using an internal “newsguard” that applies a big red cherry to all WAPO stories, deservedly or not, because of WAPO’s recent egregious failures.
    Just from the standpoint of tactics, you would probably be better served to use sources which aren’t so tainted.
    Just some friendly advice.  🙂
     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 12:30am

    #13
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Posts: 27

    I prefer experts

    Brushhog wrote ‘The IPCC [ considered the gold standard of climate science by the UN ] …
    Brushhog I do agree with much you write but the IPCC is the gold standard for nothing. They are bureaucrats with a mentality of complacency who pick and chose what they include in reports based on palatability. I prefer experts and one of my heroes is Pater Wadhams – Emeritus professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University. He’s a practical scientist with vast experience  and real integrity.
    One example of the IPCC geting it completely and dangerously wrong – The recent IPCC 1.5Deg report says ‘ If we keep global warming to 1.5 degrees C there will be an arctic ice free summer once in 100 years’. To Wadhams this is ‘daft’ Once we start getting ice free summers they’ll be here to stay. The problem is IPCC are using old models and ignoring feed back loops associated with ice retreat. I’m not sophisticated enough to bring up the video but here is the link to Peter Wadhams explaining this and 2 other feedback loops that are excluded from the IPCC report (15 min)


    And if anyone finds that useful heres a more general discussion entitled ‘Peter Wadhams – IPCC Underestimates and Political Cowards’ (20 min)

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 6:44am

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Groupthink

    Quote:

    Consider: if your news source got “collusion” dreadfully wrong, many people (especially here) will remember this, and you will have more trouble convincing them of your possibly-otherwise-reasonable viewpoint.  These people are using an internal “newsguard” that applies a big red cherry to all WAPO stories, deservedly or not, because of WAPO’s recent egregious failures.

    Sigh … that’s a form of groupthink too, y’know.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 7:58am

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    forms of groupthink

    Yoxa-
    So let me get this straight.  If someone lies to you repeatedly, you feel it is “groupthink” to stop trusting what they say?  I mean sure, people start to think you’re a crank for not believing the official story, but…if you have a functioning memory, its hard to keep that trust going after they feed you enough lies.
    I think a lot of us here are at this point.
    For this audience, it is probably better tactics to cite sources that got the hard stories correct, rather than to cite the places and people who got those same stories wrong.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 8:22am

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Groupthink 2

    Quote:

     If someone lies to you repeatedly, you feel it is “groupthink” to stop trusting what they say?

    WAPO isn’t “someone” it’s a corporate entity comprising multiple departments and many individual journalists.
    I do indeed consider it groupthink if someone refuses to consider an individual article on its own merits because some of his/her friends felt that a different department got a different story wrong.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 8:38am

    Reply to #12
    Doug

    Doug

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    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1377

    sources

    davefairtex wrote:

    Yoxa-
    So let me get this straight.  If someone lies to you repeatedly, you feel it is “groupthink” to stop trusting what they say?  I mean sure, people start to think you’re a crank for not believing the official story, but…if you have a functioning memory, its hard to keep that trust going after they feed you enough lies.
    I think a lot of us here are at this point.
    For this audience, it is probably better tactics to cite sources that got the hard stories correct, rather than to cite the places and people who got those same stories wrong.

    So, let me get this straight.  Has Chris Mooney lied to you repeatedly?  He was the journalist who wrote the article I linked and he has a long and solid reputation for climate reporting.
    As far as WaPo and its reputation for honesty, perhaps my “functioning memory” is a bit longer than yours, but I remember the Pentagon Papers, Woodward and Bernstein and Watergate.  That was quite a run of sterling journalism, truly ground breaking.  Or, is your standard “what have you done for me lately?”  A lot of people and news organizations got WMD wrong.  Although, as my wife pointed out today, NPR continually questioned that story and the justification for invading Iraq throughout that period.  So, one institution got it right.  We were all otherwise mislead by our gov’t and the military industrial complex.  Give our major news periodicals a break.  Second chances frequently pay off.  It seems to me there is a lot of group think centered around mistrust of everything that resembles an institution these days.  That mistrust is frequently unfair.
    I understand the impulse to not trust a source when you have been deceived enough.  That’s why I don’t bother to go to ZH or Breitbart or Alex Jones.  And I never ever believe anything that comes out of DJT’s mouth.  They have all made deception and conspiracy theories a way of life for their true believers.  Now there is a real example of uncritical groupthink.  If you claim to be a critical thinker, read a wide assortment of sources and make up your mind based on your experience and objective evidence.  That seems to me to be a pretty solid precept for “living with integrity.”

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 11:52am

    Reply to #12

    David

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 28

    Read a wide assortment of sources!

    Yes!  Please do, “…read a wide assortment of sources and make up your mind based on your experience and objective evidence.”
    No, definitely DO NOT, “Give our major news periodicals a break.”
    WaPo is an interesting case because of how far they have fallen … from being a true antagonist of the state for the benefit of society to, instead, being an amplifier of the deep state.  NYT (eg, J Miller) may have outdone WaPo in the amplification of Iraq 2003 invasion, WaPo has been trying to outdo all in regurgitating the deep state’s Trump-Russia collusion story, IMHO.  
    Worse yet, WaPo has been turning towards yellow/tabloid journalism in recent years.  They published a list Russian-controlled propaganda sites (compiled by a third party) which included Charles Hugh Smith, someone well liked here at PP.   Complete dogshit.http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-washington-post-useful-idiot-shills.html
    I cannot read the Chris Mooney story you linked because it requires a subscription or that I accept tracking cookies (both NFW).  
    I think we fall out on the same side of the AGW debate, but do you have some other, more useful source(s) you can share?   If WaPo’s Chris Mooney is the best, then we are in trouble.
     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 12:47pm

    Reply to #12
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1377

    Mooney article

    Quote:

    I cannot read the Chris Mooney story you linked because it requires a subscription or that I accept tracking cookies (both NFW). 

    Someone else had the same experience.  I accessed the article through skepticalscience.com.  This is the link:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/04/17/satellite-confirms-key-nasa-temperature-data-planet-is-warming-fast/?utm_term=.2d8d8a5522a8
    If that doesn’t work go to skepticalscience.com and scroll down to:
    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16
    There’s a link there that got me to the article.  I don’t have a subscription to WaPo but got in through that link.
    The link reads Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast 
    If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to tell you.  Let me know whether that works.
    Doug
     
     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 12:55pm

    #14
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Try tbis

    Clear all your cookies from WAPO and WashingtonPost.com.
    Then try this link:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/04/17/satellite-confirms-key-nasa-temperature-data-planet-is-warming-fast/
    Note that I removed some stuff from the end of the link.
    As for being tracked, be aware that the very page you’re reading this on is not free of tracking.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 1:18pm

    #15
    jbuck

    jbuck

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    Posts: 2

    2+

    Past Performance

    When discussing finance, we have no problem with the idea that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    No one can think of examples of humans collectively doing anything differently than we’ve ever done.  Of course we can’t because we probably haven’t.

    We’re focused on examples and we’re talking about (IMHO) an impending evolutionary shift.  That is my assumption anyway and there are authors out there talking about this (the recent pair of interviews between Charles Eisenstein and Daniel Schmachtenberger, or the Transition video with Schmachtenberger and friends come to mind.

    So, can someone give me an example of an organism that foresaw an evolutionary advance coming and responded in a proactive or even slightly thoughtful way?  Evolution is a response to environmental pressures.  It makes sense to me that we can become aware of the pressure.  But to imagine we can see through the chaotic transition and into another stable state (a basin of attraction in the vocabulary of chaos theory) strikes me as either hubris or naïveté.  To be clear – this does not lead me to the conclusion that there is no point in us trying to do anything.  I believe the first journey needs to be within.  If individuals fail to get their own acts together, how will that ever happen collectively?

    A few years back, Chris went out on a limb and revealed something about his personal spiritual belief – to mixed reviews so I hesitate to do the same.  But I need to in order to clarify where I’m coming from.

    Jose Stevens is an author who has completed his 10 year apprenticeship so I guess it’s correct to call him a Shaman.  I don’t identify myself as a follower but I have found some of his writing useful.

    Specifically, he describes 2012 on the Mayan calendar as the point at which the human race had an equal number of baby/young souls and adult/mature souls living on Earth.  From that point on the balance will favor adult and mature souls.  For this to make any sense you need a belief in the transmigration of souls and the concept of soul age.

    If I think about such a transition from the POV of a baby or young soul, I can imagine how it would seem like the end of the world, the end of the world they understand, anyway.  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

    From another angle, I’m a high school teacher.  If I maintained the attitude toward individual students that people here are expressing toward our whole species, I would expect that no one would ever successfully reach adulthood except as a grown up child.  In truth, some of the coolest adults I know were the biggest f*#%ups as kids.  They did the same stupid, self-destructive behaviors over and over and over … until they didn’t.  They grew up. (true, not everyone makes it)

    Our species is in its adolescence now.  Adolescence is tumultuous but it’s when we start learning to discern feelings and to work with our emotional experience in more productive ways rather than just getting buffeted by them.  It’s also a time of sometimes feeling that the world is a dark place and that there’s no way forward.  I have faith that we will grow up.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 1:55pm

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    someone

    Yoxa-
    Well, to me, WAPO is a someone.  Currently, that someone is named Jeff Bezos, and that’s who is doing the talking.  Everyone there works for him.   Fish rots from the head, that’s how it always works.
    I assume that if the management there tolerates poor judgement, then why on earth should I waste my time on anything they say?  Not too many years ago, viewers of Fox actually didn’t understand how the world functioned because the reporting there was so bad.  Why would I go there in the hopes that one of their reporters might accidentally tell me the truth?  Same thing here.  I go with the odds.  I assume if the WAPO staff gets some big stories really wrong, I cross them off my list.
    Saves time all around.  FIsh rots from the head, after all.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 3:41pm

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Groupthink 3

    Quote:

     I assume if the WAPO staff gets some big stories really wrong, I cross them off my list.

    I’ll have to take your word that they got some big stories wrong, because I don’t know that for myself. (Enter some groupthink of my own!) The only time I read WAPO (or large newspapers in general) is when someone on a forum points out an article they thought was worth a look.
    It might amuse you to know that I’ve read Clapper’s book. His take on the 2016 election was that Russian attempts at meddling were very real, and rooted in Putin’s intense personal dislike of Clinton. It began as an “anyone but her” kind of effort and only focused on Trump after he was nominated.
    Now … back to the article that started this exchange … I thought it was a pretty good roundup of current observations.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 10:06pm

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    clapper

    Yoxa-
    I’m glad to have you provide the summary for Clapper’s book.  It is too bad he didnt delve into the incredibly effective meddling that Clinton herself did in the 2016 election that won her the primary.  Turns out if you own the DNC, and the press clears all their articles through your people, its much easier to beat Bernie Sanders.  Anything Russia did pales into insignificance by comparison.
    I consider Clapper himself to be a traitor to the nation – presiding over the construction of a massive surveillence effort resulting in a turnkey tyranny capability and then lying to Congress when asked about it.  I suppose if you systematically and egregiously violate the 4th Amendment the way he did, lying about it is to be expected.  Obama the constitutional attorney thought this was all just grand.  I voted for him, sadly.  From all I can see, Obama was just Bush III.
    I think Trump won not because of Russia, but because of facebook’s ability to deeply understand and microtarget key groups and individuals in the swing states.  That was Bannon and Cambridge Analytica.  Trump tailored his campaign accordingly.  Clinton ignored those states, and she lost the election as a result.
    FWIW, I totally understand Putin’s feeling – anyone but Clinton.  Those emails revealed just how corrupt she really was.  Unfortunately for Clapper and for Putin’s reputation as a mastermind, they were leaked, not hacked.  It was a DNC insider who did it, Binney and his team provided the forensic evidence which (naturally) nobody wants to look at, or even challenge.
    I just wish Russia had released Hillary’s email cache from her server.  Those would have made for fascinating reading.  Of course she had them destroyed.  I think they call that “obstruction of justice” – well, when it isn’t done by a Clinton that all the senior DOJ and FBI officials expected to be working for.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 10:18pm

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Not a summary

    Quote:

     I’m glad to have you provide the summary for Clapper’s book

     FYI that was nowhere near a summary of the book. His comments about the 2016 election were part of a narrative about the intellgence community which spanned several decades. As a non-US person I found it fascinating.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 2:11am

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Primary sources

    Quote:

     Now, apparently, he says he “was confused” by the question.  CNN apparently accepts his explanation.  Do you?

    The way he explained it in the book, yes I did find it believable. I’d encourage you to read it for yourself. Read his own words, in full, don’t just read what someone else says about it, including me. Sometimes integrity requires that one consults the primary sources! Hold your nose and borrow it from the library if you can’t stomach paying for it.  
    I didn’t know who Clapper was when I stumbled across his book (Facts and Fears), so I likely had a very different set of filters about the material than you would.
    My next US-centric bit of reading will be the Mueller report.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 7:17am

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    that would be - no

    I assume you’re referring to Binney again.  It’s hard to cry crocodile tears for someone who retired after 31 years with the NSA and four years with the Army Security Agency before that.  And then he retired because the NSA chose someone else’s software package over the one he helped develop.  It’s hard to know the truth when you’re dealing with spooks.

    No.  I wasn’t.  I was referring to Snowden, Manning, and Ellsberg.
    But a really nice try anyway.
    I said:

    There is always a struggle between those whose actions destroy liberty “for all the right reasons”, and those who expose such conduct to the light of day – at the cost of their career and liberty.

    Colonel Ellsberg – career gone.
    Manning – 7 years in prison.  And seemingly more to come if she doesn’t roll over on Assange.
    Snowden – in exile in Russia.  If the US ever gets him, its “in a Supermax Prison for the rest of his life.”
    Your good friend Clapper?  He’s living high on the hog on his CNN consulting gig.  Lying to Congress, in public – no penalty for him.  In fact, he’s been rewarded.  US society says, “atta boy Clapper, we want more of you.”
     
     
     

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 7:45am

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    the evidence I need

    Yoxa-

    The way he explained it in the book, yes I did find it believable. I’d encourage you to read it for yourself. Read his own words, in full, don’t just read what someone else says about it, including me. Sometimes integrity requires that one consults the primary sources! Hold your nose and borrow it from the library if you can’t stomach paying for it. 

    Interesting.
    Well for me, I don’t need to read his “explanations.”  I saw what I saw.  My primary source was the video tape of the interview.   His expression said it all.  He was lying, he was extremely uncomfortable doing it, he did it poorly, and this was the act that caused Snowden to throw away his career.
    This was not a hard question.  But if he answered truthfully, it would have opened up a huge can of worms – shredding the 4th Amendment on a nationwide scale.
    So he lied.
    I have all the evidence I need.  I provided you the most primary source available – a videotape of the man committing the act itself.  We can all judge for ourselves if we believe he is telling the truth.  Snowden didn’t think he was telling the truth, and he was deeply involved in the field.  I don’t think he was telling the truth, because I have a passing knowledge of what “yes” would have unleashed – and because he looked like a total weasel when doing it.  Wyden, the guy who asked the question, didn’t think he was telling the truth either.  And – my guess – a jury of his peers would have found him guilty of lying to Congress, if he had ever been charged.
    But you believe he was being truthful.  For whatever reason, you found his ex post facto justifications compelling, in spite of witnessing his testimony for yourself, and in spite of understanding that yes, the US was collecting information on Americans on a massive scale.  Wittingly.  In violation of the US constitution.  And in direct contradiction of everything he had testified to, under oath.
    Did you see Wyden’s expression?  He was asking with that glance, “are you sure you want to say that?”  I suspect Wyden knew.  Supposedly, Clapper got the questions a day before.  And he got the chance to amend his testimony a day after.  FWIW.
    CNN pays him money.  Birds of a feather.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 11:01pm

    Reply to #25
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Poorly worded question

    Quote:

    So, what i wanted to see is, if you could give me a yes-or-no answer to the question, “does the NSA collect ANY type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

    Dave, I stand by my assertion that it’s a poorly worded question.
    If the senator had asked “does the NSA collect any type of data at all on Americans” and stopped there,, I’d have considered it a good question.
    But mentioning “millions or hundreds of millions” is problematic because there might be possibilities where those numbers wouldn’t apply. The question, as it was asked, had a false dichotomy baked right in.
    Dave, you look at that video and see the technological panopticon. I look at it and see a depressing reminder that laws are made by politicians who haven’t mastered basic logic. 
    Both of those offer scope for trouble.  ¯_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 2:17am

    Reply to #19

    Robinson

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 27

    We agree.

    JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER ORGANISM. There is no other option. Humans have never changed volunarily, it’s always been the result of necessary adaptation to a changing environment.

    Thats evidence, is what make us write a new evolutionary theory.  That say just that. https://mutualwelfare.org/biological-evolution/

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 2:20am

    #16

    Robinson

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 27

    the society need a clear purpose, in line with love and nature

    https://mutualwelfare.org/liberty-equality-and-fraternity/

    Do not do to another what you do not you would like to be made to you, it is the minimum foundation of human relations, Equality of importance is the principle to achieve peace and social harmony, and Love is the ultimate goal of society, of a country, and of the world.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 8:55am

    Reply to #25
    MarkM

    MarkM

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 22 2008

    Posts: 358

    Just one source

    Yoxa wrote:
    Quote:

     Given that the metadata collection program collects data on all Americans who have phones

    Please tell me how you know that.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/jun/06/verizon-telephone-data-court-order
     

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 12:01pm

    Reply to #25
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    New Rabbit Holes

     

    Thank you for that, MarkM.
     
    It’s going to send me down some new rabbit holes …

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 5:11pm

    Reply to #28
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    NSA backtracking?

    I was settling in for some after-supper searching and this article was the first thing that came up:
    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/26/headlines/nsa_recommends_ending_m

    Quote:

    The National Security Agency has quietly recommended that the Trump administration abandon a surveillance program collecting metadata on the phone calls and text messages of hundreds of millions of Americans. The program was launched secretly under President George W. Bush after 9/11 without the approval of federal courts. The secret program’s existence was revealed in 2013 by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. For years the NSA defended the surveillance as an essential tool to fight terrorism, but the NSA now says the surveillance program is no longer worth the effort needed to maintain it. Snowden responded on Twitter by saying, “First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they admit you were right all along and maybe shouldn’t have been violating everyone’s rights in the first place?”

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 7:36pm

    #17
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 334

    The NSA

    Reccomends dropping the program.TheTrump White House has until December to decide.The WSJ had the scoop last week.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 9:34pm

    Reply to #26
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Quote: I must confess I was a

    Quote:

    I must confess I was a bit surprised that Clapper left out this “minor detail” about just how massive that metadata collection program actually was.  But on reflection, it reinforces just how big a weasel he really is.

    You’re assuming he left it out, I didn’t say that. He did talk about metadata but at the moment I don’t remember the details so that’s all I can say for now.

    Quote:

     I was also a bit surprised that you didn’t know how large it was either.

    I’m from a different country, remember. Don’t expect that the entire world knows every detail of the US’s dirty laundry.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 10:29pm

    Reply to #26

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    ending metadata collection

    Its nice to hear that NSA is considering ending its metadata collection program.  I also enjoyed Snowden’s snarky comment which you supplied.  Snowden gets to take a victory lap on this one.
    I must also take some of the responsibility for not providing you with enough information.  A simple google search: “NSA metadata collection program size” turned up the size of the program in article #6, where a “failing” New York Times headline said: “Reined-in N.S.A. Still Collected 151 Million Phone Records in ’16”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/us/politics/nsa-phone-records.html
    But I didn’t bother to do such a search and provide you the information.
    Perhaps now that Trump is in control of NSA instead of Obama, the left will get more enthusiastic about placing limits on NSA’s activities.  Assuming they can find time in between their Russiagate conspiracy hoax hearings.
    One can hope anyway.

     

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  • Tue, Apr 23, 2019 - 7:01pm

    #18
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 533

    That's why shrouds don't have pockets!

    A very rich man passed away and garnered the attention of many who knew him. One inquisitive observer he knew asked, “What did he leave?” The man’s reply was, “Everything!”.
    Not to tread on those agnostics out there that are averse to “religious” messages, but perhaps a spiritual examination would suffice to put things in perspective:
    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/2245/treasures-in-heaven-part-1 
    One of the better expositions on the topic of integrity.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 3:47pm

    #19

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4802

    1+

    What drives true change?

    brushhog wrote:

    …We are going to eat through our resources until there isnt enough to sustain us, and then we’ll adapt or die off…just like every other organism. Just like every other organism. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER ORGANISM. There is no other option. Humans have never changed volunarily, it’s always been the result of necessary adaptation to a changing environment.
    An individual can change to a degree but the larger collective is not an intelligent entity. Its a mob. Its like a fungus or a bacteria, it cant be reasoned out of it’s nature. Thats why I always say that there are no collective solutions, only individual ones. What can YOU do to prepare for the inevitable? Thats it. You’re not going to change the tide of human nature.

    Full agreement here with everything you’ve written.
    We know that indivuals can change via insight or pain.  Both are effective routes, with pain, by far, being the road taken most often.
    Can ‘the mob’ change at all?  Do we have any evidence of a hierarchical society willingly giving up creature comforts for a long-term gain? 
    I am familiar with the idea that some indigenous cultures would consider 7 generations, but I don’t know how that really was put into practice.  However, even if that happened, that would be within a tribal arrangement where culture would be more amenable to rapid change being of a much smaller more manageable size and all.
    Otherwise, has it ever happened that a big old fat pyramid of humanity has decided to downsize their power, resources and influence to make a better future for people as yet unborn?
    I’m unaware of any examples, but that’s not really helpful because my knowledge of ancient cultures is so dreadfully incomplete.  So ready to gather any examples people may have.
    Said differently, each individual is the sum of their belief systems and those are addressable and can be modified.  A ‘mob’ or larger culture has memes, narratives and cultural beliefs that float around and are not located anywhere in particular, and heavily reinforced by self-censoring agents and entities that are invested in keeping those myths alive.
    So, that’s a long way of saying I simply cannot imagine the larger narratives changing in time to ward off what we all see coming.
    It’s never pretty when an organism eats through the lucky food supply it stumbled across.  Overshoot and collapse are the natural laws in place.  What evidence do we have that humanity, as a hierarchical structure can rise above the biological laws that have been shaped and have evolved over hundreds of millions of years?
    Again, I don’t have any such evidence at my fingertips.  I do, however, have tons of data showing that humans are simply organisms.  We eat, we breed, and our marketing almost exclusively targets sexual desire and reproductive fitness. 
    I only raise all of this because to correctly address any problem or predicament you first have to understand it at the root level.  Any analysis or proposal that seeks to overlook our biology is not a robust design worthy of much inquiry or debate.
    Where mind-body-spirit have to all be activated for a healthy human to transform effectively, I think any proposals for re-shaping culture have to include biology-beliefs-resources as the root level drivers of destiny.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 5:27pm

    Reply to #19
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Posts: 63

    Do we have the RIGHT?

    Chris while I agree with your analysis, I question not only whether we have the ability to interfere and change the natural course of humanity…even if we COULD, do we have the right to do so? In order to believe I had that right, I would need to claim knowledge of every long term outcome. Since neither I, nor you, nor any human has that knowledge, we simply are unable to say with any certainty, which outsome is “BEST”.
    It it “better” for humanity to curb it’s consumption, make some changes, live on in large number even longer and do more damage to the environment, perhaps destroying any chance for a better future. Or is it “better” for humanity to hit the wall, lose large numbers of people and change drastically through necessity? “Better” for whom? On what time scale? And to what ultimate purpose? Are we certain that any of these things will even happen? History is full of people who interfered with and tried to change society in ways they thought were “better”..[ Hitler, Stalin, Mao ]…and caused great suffering in the process.
    We are unable to answer these kinds of questions because we are limited creatures, with a very limited view, who cannot make those sorts of epic decisions. Luckily those are not our burdens. Those are questions for the gods not us. Lets have a little faith that our nature will lead us where-ever we are supposed to be.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 8:11am

    #20

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 206

    Blame

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 8:06pm

    Reply to #1
    spotted turtle

    spotted turtle

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    Posts: 6

    Pompeo

    What a repulsive human being. Other nations should refuse to engage with him.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 3:13pm

    Reply to #11
    brushhog

    brushhog

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 63

    This is silly

    Look, Doug. I realize that you have been triggered and are retreating behind your political safety wall. You have your posts ready to go and your arguments that Im sure are very well practiced. But here’s the reality; The predictions have been wrong. Alot. We have seen all kinds of predictions fail. So, ok maybe global warming is happening and its the end. But maybe it isnt. YOU DONT KNOW. You can post a million articles and wax scientific until the cows come home. It doesnt mean a damn thing.
    The predictions have been wrong at times, and so, logically, [if we are really after the truth], we have to consider the very real possibility that they could be wrong again. And, so, the only thing that we can say with anything even remotely approaching the truth is….WE DONT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN. You can quote me your scripture all day long, at the end the answer is still…we dont know. We dont know whats going to happen, we dont know how to stop it even if we did, and we dont know what the long term ramifications of either action would be nor whether one is preferable to the other.
    So let your hackles down, admit that your only human, you dont have the answers, and you’re just along for the ride like the rest of us.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 10:44pm

    #21

    sebastian

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 08 2010

    Posts: 15

    1+

    bumpy ride.

    We are in overshoot by a factor of about 6 give or take a few hundred million right?
    The best we can do at this point in time is get our ducks in a row to try and weather the storm. I’m in the middle of proactive change and it’s great, don’t get me wrong it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked and comes with a lot of sacrifice/lowered standards of living (by today’s standards). I’m almost in my home now couple of months to go… living in a 25’ 5th wheel with three kids for a year sure makes for memories 🙂 
    I think the best we can aim for is to study and put into practice the concepts of permaculture so when the time comes we are a beacon of knowledge for the community around us to help in the transition. 
    Seb.
     
     
     
     

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 4:01pm

    #22
    Ravtar8@gmail.com

    [email protected].com

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 20 2016

    Posts: 1

    1+

    Living With Integrity

    Excellent podcast, with which I whole heartedly agree.  Also, I agree with mjtrac’s comment that those of us who hope to retire in the next few years, or already retired, need to take the lead, as the young, and parents of young children, are likely overwhelmed.  I also think we can all combat enviromental degredation and the extinction of species without even talking about “climate change” which has sadly become too tangeled up with our political identities.  Pollution, and the massive loss of insects and forests are not predictions.  They have already occurred, and are getting worse.  We can see it with our own eyes.  Farmers have an uphill battle to make a living without pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, but all of us who follow Peak Prosperity can eliminate these poisons from our homes and gardens.  We can lobby LOCAL government to eliminate them from parks.  This will help the pollinators, wildlife, and our health, as well as the health of our children and grandchildren (who will fund Social Security & Pensions only if they are healthy).  We can be arch-conservative, or arch liberal, or apolitical, and still do this one thing, to live with integrity.  Those of us who are able, can retire off-grid, right in the suburbs.  There are UL listed masonry heaters now that can heat houses with a tiny amount of local wood (invasive buckthorn, anyone?).  Solar panels work fine in any climate, with batteries, and having some days without electricity is no big deal.  I gave away my dishwasher and refridgerator a couple years ago & haven’t missed them at all.  If we can afford organic vegetables, it supports the farmers in their transition to using less poison.  We can do this, it will be immediate integrity for the person doing it, and if enough of us do it, the market will respond.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - 1:19am

    #23
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Posts: 27

    Demoralization and facing up to the big picture

    It’s got a lot more difficult to find a clear pathway forward in the last decade. In 2010, when we decided to move to a homestead and start living off the land I was reasonably positive about the long term survival of the species. Yes, a great human dieoff was inevitable but I was confident that a significant population of humans would make it through the keyhole. Back then I thought resource depletion would trump global warming and environmental degradation ie I thought civilizational collapse would occur before climate and environmental damage became too severe. 
    Now, in 2019, I’m not so sure. Projecting forward climate and environmental data leads me to conclude the most likely scenario is human extinction this century. A month or two ago this thought provoking link  was posted(I think by Robbie Robinson – thanks Robbie) http://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/
    So how does one come to a place of peace in the face of these conclusions? One factor is taking out the blame. For example, what if this predicament has always been baked in to the planetary cake. Was there ever a time that catastrophe could have been averted (given that humans are humans) or was the fate of the planet sealed when fossil fuels deposits were laid down and pre-humans still scampered about in the trees.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 7:26am

    Reply to #12
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 334

    The Climate Desk

    At the Times,led by Hannah Fairfield is extraordinary.She uses graphics,data visualization and mapping as tools to teach and inform the public.You also have names like Vox partnering with major universities as well.When you have climate denying lunatics occupying cabinet positions to loot our natural resources on behalf of the Mercers and Kochs,education is a good thing….Always…

     

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  • Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - 1:44pm

    #24

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    credible sources

    Doug-
    Definitely back in the days of Nixon WAPO was credible – but these days, they might as well be the mouthpiece of the CIA, FBI, and NSA.  Perhaps that’s because WAPO has changed owners – it is now owned by Bezos, who is in bed with our fine intelligence agencies.  The TLA’s wanted to stomp Trump, and they used the Russiagate hoax and the willing media – who wanted to overturn the results of the 2016 election at all costs – to do it.
    Are some individuals at WAPO good?  I’m sure there are fine people that work for CIA too, but I don’t trust anything that comes out of that organization.  I read history.  They haven’t changed since Vietnam.  Nor do I trust what comes out of WAPO.  They now – from what I can tell – are doing the Agency’s bidding.
    Clapper, Brennan, CIA, Strzok, Page, NSA, “we don’t collect data on Americans”, Assange should be arrested (for having the effrontery to report the facts), FISA warrants based on fabricated political opposition research, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, and yes, WAPO.  They’re all reading from the same playbook.
    Those agencies have way, way, way too much power.  Anyone aligned with them is automatically suspect.  Thank the Patriot Act – we now have turnkey high-tech tyrrany.  Russiagate was the first time these abilities were publicly unleashed on a political actor.  One wonders how many others have been coerced with information gleaned from TLA sources.
    Again, I stand by my friendly advice.  If you want to persuade more people here, you might consider picking more credible sources.  Assuming persuasion is your goal, of course.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 12:11am

    Reply to #12

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    fair enough

    After reading a “real summary” of Clapper’s book, I can see your point.  He said a lot more in his book than you commented on.
    There is always a struggle between those whose actions destroy liberty “for all the right reasons”, and those who expose such conduct to the light of day – at the cost of their career and liberty.  In that struggle, I side with the Snowdens, the Mannings, and the Ellsbergs, and I do not side with the Clappers and the Brennans.
    The very fact that CNN chose Clapper as one of their paid contributors tells me where they stand, too.
    Going back to the genesis of this thread – I believe the three I mentioned are “living in integrity” at great personal cost, while General Clapper managed to do quite well for himself lending his resume to the now-debunked Russiagate hoax for the past two years.  Is he “living in integrity?”
    Here, just in case you haven’t seen it, is the James Clapper Reality Check: under oath, testifying before Congress.  Watch the full minute-long replay.  Is Clapper “living in integrity?”  To me he looks like a total weasel – like a dog caught by his master after having done something bad on the living room floor.  He could not even meet the eyes of Wyden, the Congressman asking the very simple yes-or-no-question.  Now, apparently, he says he “was confused” by the question.  CNN apparently accepts his explanation.  Do you?
    FWIW, when I found this clip a year ago on youtube, it was easy to locate.  Today, this clip was hard to find.  Tomorrow, it might be be impossible to find.  I wonder why that is?


    Apparently, this was the decisive moment that convinced Snowden to throw his career away.   “Sort of the breaking point was seeing the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress. … Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back.”
    So no.  I didn’t read Clapper’s book.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 1:10am

    Reply to #12
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1377

    Some sacrifice

    Quote:

    There is always a struggle between those whose actions destroy liberty “for all the right reasons”, and those who expose such conduct to the light of day – at the cost of their career and liberty.

    I assume you’re referring to Binney again.  It’s hard to cry crocodile tears for someone who retired after 31 years with the NSA and four years with the Army Security Agency before that.  And then he retired because the NSA chose someone else’s software package over the one he helped develop.  It’s hard to know the truth when you’re dealing with spooks.
    https://www.expressvpn.com/education/biography/william-binney
    Any bets on whether he sacrificed his pension?

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 7:21pm

    #25

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    least untruthful answer

    Yoxa-

    What I’m seeing in that video clip is an awkward answer to a poorly worded question. The question asked whether info was being collected about “millions or hundreds of millions” of Americans. To that he said no.

    It feels right now like I’m actually speaking with James Clapper.  Remarkable.
    The question was not poorly worded.
    Wyden:  … So, what i wanted to see is, if you could give me a yes-or-no answer to the question, “does the NSA collect ANY type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
    Clapper:  No sir.
    Wyden: It does not?
    Clapper: Not wittingly.  There are cases where they could, inadvertantly, perhaps, uh, collect, but not wittingly.
    So Yoxa, at that very moment, NSA was collecting data on all Americans that owned telephones.  Wittingly.  The program was designed to track who called whom in America.  Clapper’s testimony was a lie.
    Rand Paul thought it was a lie.  Wyden thought it was a lie.  Snowden thought it was a lie – he knew exactly what NSA was collecting, and why, and he threw away his career over this particular lie.
    And even Clapper himself, said the following two things.  First, in an apology letter to Feinstein AFTER Snowden’s disclosure proved that he lied, he said he was confused by the question, that his answer was “clearly erroneous” – but it was just a big misunderstanding. He was sorry.  But then later, to MSNBC, his story changed.  Instead of being “clearly erroneous” and apologetic, he now felt that Wyden’s question was a “are you still beating your wife” gotcha question: to which he answered “no”, as the “least untruthful answer” he could give.
    This wasn’t a gotcha question.  Wyden was trying to see if there were any broad-based, indescriminate collection programs.  Clapper said no, there weren’t.  Then Snowden leaked, Clapper got caught, and so Clapper apologised after being caught.  But then when he wanted a job at CNN, he was no longer apologetic – it turned into a gotcha question.
    You may trust the guy.  I don’t.  I think he’s a lying weasel.  He presided over egregious violations of the US constitution, and (today, at least) is completely unapologetic about it.  CNN approves of his conduct.  So do you, apparently.
    I do not.  I think he, and people like him, have systematically constructed a technological panopticon in the United States that will, at some point in the future, be turned against us in ways we cannot fully conceive of at the moment.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 2:33am

    Reply to #25

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    interpretations

    Common usage of the English language tells me that:
    1) Given that the metadata collection program collects data on all Americans who have phones, and
    2) Given the number of Americans with phones exceeds 100 million, and
    3) Given Wyden’s question: “does the NSA collect ANY type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?”,
    4) the answer to that question is clearly “yes”.  Yes, NSA does collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans – in its metadata collection program.
    Even if we decided to overly-closely parse Wyden’s question to make a computer be able to answer the question – and making computers answer questions has been my job for many years – the python 2.7 expression boils down to:
    if americansWithPhones >= 2000000:
         print “yes”
    else:
        print “no”
    Wyden’s question, even when handed to a computer, was fairly simple to comprehend.  Apparently not for General Clapper though, who worked for 30 years in our intelligence services.  Nor to you.
    Are you and the General related, by any chance?  🙂
    I think at this point we’re at an impasse.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - 10:12am

    Reply to #12
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Snowden could not have

    Quote:

    Well for me, I don’t need to read his “explanations.” I saw what I saw.  My primary source was the video tape of the interview. His expression said it all.  He was lying, he was extremely uncomfortable doing it, he did it poorly, and this was the act that caused Snowden to throw away his career. 

    I don’t consider a person’s expression to be proof of anything, one way or the other. Clapper was being asked about a classified matter in an unclassified context … that alone would cause discomfort and hesitation.
    What I’m seeing in that video clip is an awkward answer to a poorly worded question. The question asked whether info was being collected about “millions or hundreds of millions” of Americans. To that he said no. I don’t equate that to saying that no info was being collected at all. Too bad the clip cut off when it did. Did he say more to clarify what he meant by “wittingly”? In the book he certainly did.

    Quote:

     Snowden didn’t think he was telling the truth, and he was deeply involved in the field.

    Snowden could not have collected the files he did without telling lies of his own.
    That’s all I’ll say about that.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 5:53am

    Reply to #19

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1091

    Evolved "theory of evolution"

    Hi Robinson,
       Interesting article, thanks for posting.  Darwin’s Theory of Evolution never sat quite right logically with me -it seemed like getting an “improved survival-rate adaptation” would (in some if not all cases) take multiple mutations and generations.  So how then could adaptations happen if just based on improved survivability?  I like (find both interesting and personally pleasing) the ideas in your piece.  I guess I find it pleasing because, as you (?) say in the piece, the current theory of evolution makes life seem like it has less purpose, or per the article: “where the only purpose is to survive fighting all against all”.  The book “The Selfish Gene” expounds on that idea,  basically implying that all we are are carriers for genetic material.  It was one of the most depressing books I ever read!  So it’s nice to read another theory of evolution whose framework incorporates altruistic concepts as well.  Again, thanks for sharing,

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 6:45am

    Reply to #25
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Collection

    Quote:
     Given that the metadata collection program collects data on all Americans who have phones

    Please tell me how you know that.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 7:30pm

    #26

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    sugar-coating

    Yoxa-
    If you can tell me what I said that you found insulting – to you – I’d be happy to apologise for it.
    Certainly if your name was James Clapper, you’d have the right to feel insulted.  But I will not apologise to General Clapper, because he deserves my scorn.
    I must confess I was a bit surprised that Clapper left out this “minor detail” about just how massive that metadata collection program actually was.  But on reflection, it reinforces just how big a weasel he really is.
    And given the size of this program was a key point in our (somewhat lengthy) discussion of whether Clapper lied or not, I was also a bit surprised that you didn’t know how large it was either.
    I read a large percentage of the material that Snowden released (via Greenwald, and the Guardian), both to honor his sacrifice, as well as to see just how crazy my intel services had become.  And the answer is: really, really crazy.  Here are two minor examples:
    Item #1: if you order a computer online, the NSA has the ability to intercept the shipment, install some “special purpose” hardware of their own – into your newly purchased computer before you get it – that does who-knows-what but presumably allows them to easily monitor the box at any time, and then they forward the shipment on to you.  They have an entire organization dedicated to slipping hardware into people’s boxes en route.  They don’t do this by ones and twos, the capability is much larger than that.
    Item #2: they install malware on disk drive firmware.  Zero the disk, and the malware reappears.  There is literally no way to get rid of it short of throwing the drive away.  Genius.
    That’s just a couple of things among dozens, and dozens of things my government does.  CIA has its own programs too, equally crazy.  If we imagine they are just used on foreign targets – well, clearly they aren’t.  The metadata collection program is one particularly egregious example.  I really could go on and on.  Read Snowden’s stuff.  He tell stories of individuals within the agency who routinely used the agency’s capabilities to monitor girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, and so on.  Who would call them out for this?  Nobody.  The agency is unsupervised, unaccountable, and if someone tried, they’d see them as an enemy (probably in cahoots with Putin) and they’d use their capability to take them down.
    This is well known in Washington:

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/schumer-warns-trump-intel-officials-have-six-ways-from-sunday-at-getting-back-at-you
    The new leader of Democrats in the Senate says Donald Trump is being “really dumb” for picking a fight with intelligence officials, suggesting they have ways to strike back, after the president-elect speculated Tuesday that his “so-called” briefing about Russian cyberattacks had been delayed in order to build a case.
    “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday evening on MSNBC after host Rachel Maddow informed him that intelligence sources told NBC news that the briefing had not been delayed.

    FISA court judge, whose name escapes me, cited NSA for routine, egregious misuse of capability.
    Of course, nothing happened to NSA as a result.  Who would dare?
    What I’m wondering is, after getting that FISA warrant, just how much of NSA’s hardware hacking capability was unleashed on Trump and people in his orbit under the pretext of Crossfire Hurricane?  Will the answer ever be known?

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 3:52am

    #27

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 882

    It is poorly worded.

    The question is the outermost question: “what I wanted to ask you, could you answer…?”

    The answer was “no”.

    Statement: What I wanted to ask you was, [Q: could you answer{Q: does the NSA collect data on americans(modify: hundreds of millions)}]

    In fact, I called it a poorly worded question, but I am not a hundred percent sure that it wasn’t an excellently worded intentionally deceptive question.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 1:15pm

    #28

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Online)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3252

    thanks

    Thanks Mark for coming to the rescue. 

    Isn’t it interesting that, after reading Clapper’s book, Yoxa wasn’t aware of the extent of the metadata collection program?  I wonder why General Clapper didn’t see fit to inform his readers of that little detail.  Perhaps it would have made his ex post facto justifications just a teensy bit less compelling to his readers.

    NSA is totally out of control.  That’s why Snowden did what he did.  That’s why he risked a supermax cell for the rest of his life to tell us what was going on – it really is just that bad.

    NSA has the capability to get “J Edgar Hoover” blackmail files on anyone they care to target – on anyone who stands in the way of their budget, or anyone who challenges the constitutionality of their activities.

    One of the most credible computer security professionals in the world, Bruce Schnier, said after reading the Snowden releases:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-how-to-remain-secure-surveillance

    TAO has a menu of exploits it can serve up against your computer – whether you’re running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, or something else – and a variety of tricks to get them on to your computer. Your anti-virus software won’t detect them, and you’d have trouble finding them even if you knew where to look. These are hacker tools designed by hackers with an essentially unlimited budget. What I took away from reading the Snowden documents was that if the NSA wants in to your computer, it’s in. Period.

    That’s way too much power for any organization to have – especially one who can and does lie to Congress with impunity.  Did Bush rein them in?  Did Obama?  Did Trump?  No.

    NSA is utterly out of control.  Anyone who gets in their way almost certainly finds themselves blackmailed (excuse me, I mean “coerced”) by an organization that can break into any computer anywhere.  That last bit is speculation, but – any org who would lie to Congress and suffer no consequences is able to act above the law.

    And Clapper?  He’s the lying weasel that was providing them cover.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 28, 2019 - 3:29pm

    Reply to #28
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    Sugar-coating

    Dave, I came across Clapper’s book by chance and thought it looked interesting … precisely because it was about a world I know little about.
    I’m enough of a grown-up to assume that anyone’s memoir will contain some sugar-coating. It takes deep knowledge to identify things that aren’t there. I’d have that in some topic areas but not others.
    So please treat my questions as genuine, don’t just riff on them as fodder for insults..
    As for the question of whether I’m related to Clapper, I’d say the odds that I share any genetic material with him are comparable to the odds that I share any with you: unknown, but probably greater than zero.
     

     

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  • Wed, May 01, 2019 - 6:33pm

    #29
    MatthewThornton

    MatthewThornton

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 02 2019

    Posts: 1

    Integrity

    I can really sense Mr. Martenson’s heart in this post and I respect his personal passion to encourage us to have “integrity” in our lives.  Yet I’m saddened by what I perceive to be his mishmashed focus on the trees (symptoms) while missing the forest (root causes).  Additionally, his arguments for living with integrity are based on assumptions that no longer have authority in the marketplace of ideas.  They have been cast upon the dustbin of history.

    Chris says, “Integrity would mean that we are operating in a way that is right for the other species around us, including humans.”  The concepts of what is right and wrong are entirely subjective and have no meaning in evolutionary theory.  There are no sources of morality which bind all humankind, much less the other species.  Survival is the primary goal, with reproduction the secondary.  Therefore, I will do what I have to do to survive, and to the degree that altruism helps me, I may choose to engage in it – but only for as long as I perceive it helps me.

    Chris says, “That we strive to do things that are right and good. [same point as above re: morality] That part of ourselves that’s calling for our hearts to be involved in the world and to believe in something that’s larger and more profound than ourselves is really an essential concept.”  To which I ask, what is more larger and more profound than ourselves?  The survival/reproduction of humankind as a whole, but not my own?  The survival/reproduction of all current species here on earth, but not my own?  I’m sorry, but screw that.  Chris’ argument of some “greater good” is a tautology – it has no logical basis, no foundation upon which it rests.  He is relying on residual meaning from the borrowed language of a bygone era when people generally believed there was a “higher power” who made such rules to which all people were accountable and who would reward altruistic behavior.  Wrong!  We are not the stewards of the world, nor of each other.  We are a Johnny-come-lately species who, through force and intelligence, has dominated other species and harnessed the forces of nature to carve out a space on this hostile sphere.  There is nothing greater to me than my personal survival/reproduction and your concept of morality may temporarily work in the 1st world where most of us don’t have to [literally] fight for our basic Maslow pyramid needs.  But when the oil runs dry and life as we know it comes crashing down, the emptiness of your high-minded words will become apparent.  The only overarching rule of the day is carpe diem.  In other words, you’re a sucker if you play nice hoping everyone else will join you in a quest for meaning where none exists.  Take the blue pill, Chris, and cease your flailing, desperate search for “truth” when the harsh truth is right before your eyes.  Why do you kick against the goads?

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  • Mon, May 06, 2019 - 12:03pm

    #30
    jbuck

    jbuck

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2010

    Posts: 2

    2+

    Moral Relativism

    <Reply> doesn’t seem to be working.

    I do not subscribe to nihilism nor the idea that the individual is the most important or the only unit of analysis.  I get that other people do.  So in the interest of an exchange of ideas …

    MathewThornton wrote: “The concepts of what is right and wrong are entirely subjective and have no meaning in evolutionary theory.  There are no sources of morality which bind all humankind, much less the other species.”

    I quite disagree.  In fact, I believe that right and wrong are not subjective at all and that they are, in fact, central to evolution.  Get it right and survive.  Get it wrong and don’t.  That seems like an absolute truth to me.  It is true of individuals, groups of individuals, species, on up to whole living systems like the Earth.

    I understand morality as our reptile + monkey + fore-brains trying to make sense of all this and codify it for ease of reference and use.  As we know, ease of use opens the possibility for abuse and in a world populated mostly by unrestrained/unguided infant and young souls, it should come as no surprise that we look back at the sweep of human history and observe constant folly.  Evolving/growing up is neither smooth nor necessarily enjoyable.  Recognition of pain and suffering enables deeper learning.  We should do some now.

    As I mentioned in a post  that got buried in the beginning of the Clapper dust up (#15), I believe the balance has tipped.  Our species has entered its adolescence and adult and old souls will ascend to dominance.  To spin Chris’ catch phrase just a bit, the next epoch will look nothing like the previous one.  Whatever woo woo Utopian future this brings to your mind, delete it.  It’s almost certainly not what I refer to.  Except for the rare true visionary, I think we lack the imagination to really see the future, only permutations, extensions and modifications of what we already know.

    When multiple levels of a system are mostly getting it right (individuals doing well embedded in stable groups embedded in healthy ecosystems, etc.), we experience coherence overall.  When levels of the system are pulling or grinding against each other, like individuals and the main stream of society right now, we experience the chaotic transition to another stable state.

    Right now I think the majority of pressure comes from destructive rather than generative impulses (which I think usually follow destructive ones – the time of differentiation before selection), so I suspect it will be a lower energy, stable state.  But what do I know?!

    I recognize that if you do not share my spiritual belief in the transmigration of souls and the concept of soul age, this will sound like utter nonsense to you.  Know that nihilism and moral relativism sound like nonsense to me yet at the end of it, all I can say with certainty is I don’t know.  I remain open to exploring alternative avenues of thought and the underlying assumptions.

    PP is a special place and I would not share such thoughts in many other places, real or virtual.  So thank you all!

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  • Fri, May 10, 2019 - 8:10am

    #31

    pyranablade

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 08 2010

    Posts: 214

    3+

    Trolls

    I think we should be calling trolls out on what they’re doing and my impression is that MatthewThorton is a troll – or at least his attitude is trollish… even if he does believe what he’s saying. Ethics and morality? C’mon, he tells us, those are notions of a bygone era. According to Thorton the world won’t get better, so why try?

    “Mr. Martenson,” he says [and btw, it is Dr. Martenson] you’re wasting your time and so are all the people on your site. I beg to differ. Part of what is wrong with our world is that we’ve lost our sense of reverence. I’m not advocating for any particular religion right now and I agree that you don’t need a religion to have a good moral conscience. But so-called “primitive man” had a sense of reverence for creation the the cycle of life. And those “primitives” weren’t so destructive like we moderns.

    We believe in science and data now. In many ways that is a good thing. But we also recognize on this site the effectiveness of narratives. Let me assert that MatthewThorton’s “the world is getting worse so why try” narrative is not a good one. Thorton is a troll.

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  • Fri, May 10, 2019 - 9:58am

    #32
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 139

    2+

    troll indicator

    My troll indicator starts beeping wildly when I see a really long comment that says virtually nothing.  It’s the tried and true “Dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with bullshit” strategy.  What really impresses me are the comments by Einstein and Gandhi that says so much with so few words.

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  • Fri, May 10, 2019 - 11:54pm

    #33
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 217

    3+

    Just a sociopath

    Matthew Thornton is not a troll, just a sociopath.  To not care about those around you unless you derive benefit from that interaction is the textbook definition of a sociopath.  Though not all of us might take concern for others to the point that Kendrick Castillo and Riley Howell did, most people do recognize the value of altruism.  It’s often said that sociopaths make up approximately 5% of the population.  At that high of a percentage it’s not surprising that a few would be members of Peak Prosperity.

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  • Mon, Jun 03, 2019 - 6:55am

    #34

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 206

    2+

    Regenerative Farming

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