The only sane way to view the National Research Council’s geoengineering report is as a provocation. It means that the American lifestyle cannot continue. It does not mean that we need more technology to keep living the way we do. It means technology has pushed us to the brink of ecological catastrophe.
The belief that more technology will solve the problems created by technology is an irrational article of faith.
I work in the Western ‘analytic’ tradition of philosophy. Much of analytic philosophy involves arguing for positions. So some terminology will be needed here. For our purposes, an argument is a number of premises followed by a conclusion, where the premises are intended to lend support to the conclusion. A valid argument is one in which the support is as strong as can be: the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. A sound argument is one that is valid and whose premises are true (and so its conclusion is true, too). An unsound argument is one that is either invalid or that has at least one false premise.
Suppose a politician tells you: ‘You should not follow any advice given to you by a politician.’ What should you do with this advice? Follow it? That’s not following the advice, since it was the exact opposite. Not follow it? That’s exactly what the advice was, so you would thereby be following it. Self-referential paradoxes have kept philosophers employed since the ancient Greeks. Georg Cantor, Bertrand Russell and Kurt Gödel shook the foundations of mathematics by exploiting self-reference in various ways. We might set our sights rather lower, but still employ self-reference fruitfully.
For example, philosophers perennially debate realism about various subject matters – ethics, aesthetics, mathematical entities, the meanings of our words, the unobservable entities posited by science, and even ordinary macroscopic objects. A popular definition is that realism about Xs is the thesis that Xs exists independently of observers (for instance, realism about electrons is the thesis that electrons exist independently of observers).
But wait – what about realism about observers? Observers do not exist independently of observers. How about: ‘Xs exist independently of minds’? That won’t do either – what about realism about minds? Minds do not exist independently of minds. So the self-referential heuristic here is to give a claim a taste of its own medicine.
Somewhat related is the time-honoured philosopher’s technique of showing that a view (or an argument) faces an infinite regress– its truth (or validity) depends on the truth of some proposition, whose truth in turn depends on the truth of some other proposition, whose truth depends on… The sequence of dependencies has no end.
‘It was a horrible thing to contemplate – the burial of a house and no doubt its occupants, as well as so many other parts of their lives. It’s a really sobering experience to sift through those artefacts,’ Atwater said.
Linking traditional Native American stories to historic records of a Japanese tsunami was considered an exception, not the start of a fruitful geological collaboration. It seemed that McAdoo, Nunn and Atwater’s explorations would be confined to the fringes of geology.
Then the 2004 tsunami struck.
I am not a teacher. Unlike McPherson, I make no such claims toward that role or identity. In fact, I think the burden rests on the learner, not the teacher, to go to whatever sources they can find that satisfies the desire for knowing. A librarian is someone who points toward the right section of library shelves, maybe recommends authors and titles.
These days, most stuff is online and readily available, if you can be bothered to search. Most people can learn all that they want to know about almost any subject, via the internet. The hardest part is trying to figure out what is worthwhile and what’s rubbish.
I suppose that the primary task of teaching should be passing on the knowledge, wisdom, traditions, values, of this generation on to the next generation, so that the children can grow up and function effectively in the world as they find it.
Of course, everyone can dispute this forever, and argue about what’s appropriate to teach and what the oncoming world is expected to be like. It’s not like you can learn a selection of basic static stuff and then be done, carrying that along. Because, now, everything changes, at an increasing pace, and to keep up you have to be learning all the time, on the fly.
I am so sick of what I see happening, I really do not care anymore, whether humans survive or not. The future I see coming is not somewhere where I wish to live. But that is an exceedingly bleak and painful message for anyone who has kids whom they love and cherish.
If I was a teacher, what would I teach ? I can only talk about stuff I know about, and there’s vast areas about which I have very little knowledge. Maybe we can make a general divide between teaching some kind of skill, be it woodwork or computers, and a more general kind, like the philosophical basis underlying what education is supposed to be concerned with.
I would be no good as a teacher, because I’m temperamentally unsuited. I’d refuse to teach what I was told to teach, get into fights in the staff room, get myself blacklisted from the profession for any number of reasons. But, as a thought experiment, I can avoid those hazards and calamities.
What would I teach, in this imaginary fantasy scenario ? Probably, I’d require the students to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, and to come back with a few pages explaining to me what it’s about. While they were absorbed in that task, I’d do whatever I felt inclined toward, to preserve my equanimity and mental health.
Some people disparaged Trump for spending too much time on his golf course. But, imo, it’s very good if he spent most of his time there. He needs to stay as sane and relaxed as possible, tuned into something he feels familiar with, picking up the vibes from all the plotting and scheming that surrounds him.
In the Western analytical tradition of philosophy, mentioned in the header, the ideal is to think and to reason. My main criticism of that approach is that you are limiting yourself. We are more than merely thinking machines, we have other aspects to our beings, which can make important contributions. This has been scientifically verified, for example, by Dean Radin and others.
The more eastern traditions, like Taoism, would favour having a still and empty mind as being a requirement for developing wisdom in worldly affairs. Wu Wei, kind of thing. But why is it an either/or ? Why not take advantage of both, rational and mystical, the logical and the poetic, intuitive, right brain and analytical left brain ? If you can.
I read somewhere that Steve Jobs said that Apple did not hire the smartest people to be able to tell them what to do. ‘We hire the smartest people so that they can tell us what to do’.
Similarly, I’d like to teach smart children who told me what they think is happening, so I could learn from them, and then throw back at them whatever strengths or weaknesses I perceived in what they told me. So, start with Pirsig. Then the Alice through the Looking Glass, and in Wonderland, books, explain to me what they are about. Then The Matrix movie.
And then the Flat Earth video I posted recently. Review all the arguments and refute them, and then take the opposing stance, prove that the Earth is indeed flat. This would cover philosophy, science, critical thinking, politics and also rhetoric.
I don’t know, maybe it’d take a year to do some justice to all of that. Each student should be able to argue, with equal skill and conviction, that the world is flat and that the world is round, and then, in the light of neuroscience and quantum physics, that it is neither, and maybe, for bonus points, bring in the various metaphysical positions that claim that there is nothing at all in the first place, this world does not exist, it’s a sort of dream. Or nightmare.
A good attorney should be able to work for the prosecution or the defence with equal facility. Indeed, if you wish to win the case, you had better have a pretty good insight into what the opposing lawyers are going to be thinking and throwing at you.
However, what happens when the attorney is at home, alone in bed, thinking about what really happened ? Did they convict an innocent person or enable a guilty one to go free ? Perhaps they have their own private and personal position in their own heart, that is an independent arbiter. The judge and jury are supposed to play that role, if justice is to prevail.
It would be nice if everyone could openly declare their authentic and genuine positions, and strive for truth and morality. You know, if the defence counsel could say ‘Well, my client is actually a disgusting individual who lies about everything, so I’ll be glad to see him convicted’. But then that lawyer will not get any more clients.
And if you are fighting in a life or death situation, you commit suicide if you tell your adversary in advance what you are intending to do to them. Trust in God but tether your camel. Innocence and naivity are attractive traits, one reason why we love animals and children, but if you are not street smart, you’ll soon get into trouble.
So the trick is, to keep your soul pure and uncorrupted, but also to survive amidst all the wickedness and turmoil. Seems not many people are good at that trick, and if you seek power and wealth, where the competition is ferocious, ruthless, cruel and devious people rise to the top and decide the rules of the game.
So why not join them, and become deceitful, dishonest and sadistic ? I think it’s because everyone has to live with themselves. Do you want to live with something like that as your one constant companion, hiding the vile deeds and iniquities buried inside your life ? I do not. I like to feel good about myself, in so far as that is possible. Not guilty, ashamed, disgusted, by who or what I am, or have become.
I think this is what the idea of karma is about. Although there are differing interpretations, and this one is not the most subtle and sophisticated. So, this is what I would attempt to teach.
A sense that there is subjective value in being honest, decent, noble, chivalrous, charitable, as an ideal to strive toward in all one’s affairs. But the question remains, when is it appropriate to abandon ethics and to fight dirty, because it’s a matter of survival. Or not.
What is the point in sitting down at a poker game, filled with love and generosity, where you intend to lose everything that you possess ? That’s stupid. If everyone does that it’s no longer a poker game. You have to operate on the assumption that everybody involved is trying to trick everyone else and that every grimace and twitch of an eyebrow is aimed at gaining an advantage.
If you hate competition and rivalry, avoid such situations. However, they might be forced upon you. There’s a taoist saying, something like ‘Stay with the yin but know the yang’, which I’d interpret as always stay with the yin qualities, be passive, polite, gentle, gracious, non-aggressive, yielding, soft, weak, flexible, tranquil, etc, but when necessary turn to the active yang qualities, aggressive, righteous fury, hard, violent, ruthless, deadly. Being a nice friendly guy does not mean being unable to defend yourself and yours, if the need arises.
If you are afraid to assert yourself with total determination, commitment and resolve, and want to avoid any conflict or discord, then people will have no respect, they’ll treat you as a doormat and walk all over you. You must have the skill and courage to stand up for your own existence.
In many ways, it is much easier to learn physical self-defence techniques, than it is to learn how to protect yourself psychologically and emotionally. I think this problem is going to quickly become much, much worse, so learning about it should be a priority.
We all know what it is like trying to get tech support, or to make a complaint to a corporation.
You get stranded in a purgatory of having to listen to appalling canned music, repeated recorded loops of human speech, telling you how much they love and appreciate you, as your lifetime ticks away. And if you ever get a human, they have impressive defences against allcomers, they’ll pass you on to another department, where you begin the procedures all over again. That sort of thing.
There’s a some awful crazy people on the loose out there. Never can tell when you are going to meet a small incident, something bad that suddenly gets worse.
Well, one reason why I’ve given up caring what happens to the human species, is because of the blind insanity of charging into easily predictable disasters. Like Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. This is not driven by wisdom or ethics or democratic demand, it’s driven by the lust for military domination, increased profits and power. And, imo, it’s taking us all rapidly into a dystopian hell. Well, if that’s where you all want to end up, the corporations and governments are keen to take you there as fast as they can.
I mean, is everyone so blind that they cannot understand this. They now have AI where the computers or whatever they exist on, are producing their OWN languages, which the humans who built the systems CANNOT understand. (Funny that they all turn out to speak Norwegian, or what sounds like Norwegian to me, as their preferred medium for communicating.)
I always thought that the advocates for genetic engineering were deeply misguided, but in some ways this is even worse. Because this new tech crap will be everywhere, replacing human beings. And when even the handful of experts who build the most advanced stuff get locked out by their own creations, then what ?
It’s bad enough now, when systems fail. But at least, when some portion of the power grid or financial system crashes, someone eventually figures out what went wrong and how it happened.
Soon they’ll be handing the controls over to autonomous machine intelligence which will be making it’s own decisions and choices, and keeping humans right out of the loop. The self-idolising maniacs who work on this stuff think it’s all so great, but for the rest of us, well, as far as they are concerned, we are a nuisance and deserve to vanish. Yuk.
Keith Elder posted a comment with a link to a Jeffrey St. Clair article that analyses the current situation re Trump, etc.
Followers may recall that I recently mentioned a quote by Kruschev (Nikita Sergueïevitch Khrouchtchiov, the guy who became President of the Soviet Union, following Stalin) that stuck in my head, that all politicians campaigning for election promise that every town and village will be provided with a new bridge, if he wins, even the towns and villages which have no rivers will get lovely new bridges. And of course, it never happens, no new bridges ever arrive.
So I am myself not very surprised or taken off guard that Trump does not provide all those beautiful bridges that he promised whilst campaigning. It’s what I expected. However, Trump’s recent reversals have been so stark and shocking that it’s not so much that the promised bridges are not appearing, but more like the existing bridges are being demolished and removed, causing some grievous consternation and dismay.
I don’t need to add the St. Clair’s thoughts, which cover the ground quite well. My simple understanding is that all Trump had to do to win was to capture the folks who would never support Hillary, by saying what they wanted to hear. That was easy enough, all he had to do was to ask them what they wanted (new bridges), and then reflect their desires back to the audience, with lavish promises of bridges for all.
And to do that mostly in the States that mattered for the Electoral College system.
Now that Trump is in power, he does not need all those people who worked so hard for his success. They are mostly the MAGA right wing nationalists who want to put the interests of their own nation and people first, as a priority.
It reminds me of the Ukraine, if anyone remembers, where the right wing nationalists, who wanted an independent country focussed on their heritage and traditions, were the ones who fought hardest against the Yuroshenko government and the Berkut police in the Maidan. And then, when Nuland and the the CIA had installed the junta (almost all jews, in a country with only 2% jewish population) the loyal right wing neonazi nationalists who did most of the hard street fighting, were no longer needed by Poroshenko. In fact, they were a threat, so he sent them off to the east to fight the Donbass insurgency, where they were killed by the thousands in the most miserable circumstances, not receiving promised money, food, equipment and weapons.
We see the same pattern in what happened in Egypt, when the supporters of Morsi who fought so hard in the Tahrir Square, for their Moslem ideals, were then betrayed and hundreds executed. And, although not so much blood and death here, perhaps the greatest disappointment in recent British history, Anthony Blair, who lied his way into power at the head of the British Labour party, and then proceeded to do everything he’d faithfully promised he would never do.
Funny thing is, that the masses always fall for the same dirty tricks and never learn. They always hope that THIS TIME, it’s different. The new guy, rather than being just another professional liar, will honestly represent their real interests and demands.
I don’t have enough information to know for sure why Donald Trump very suddenly revised most of his positions. Some thoughts were offered here on ZeroHedge this morning.
Among the reasons speculated for President Trump’s abrupt reversal of his campaign positions:
- Trump actually believes Assad was responsible, based on false intelligence fed to him by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and others, or on an emotional appeal from his daughter, Ivanka, based on sensational media coverage.
- Trump doesn’t believe it but someone gave him The Talk: «Do what you’re told, Mr. President, or you and Barron will end up like Jack Kennedy.»
- Whether or not he believes Assad is to blame for the CW attack, Trump wants to improve ties with the Russians and work together with them to defeat the jihadists in Syria and end the war, and perhaps cut a «grand bargain» that includes Ukraine, but he can’t because of the domestic pressure from the media, the Deep State, almost all of the Democrats, and a lot of Republicans on the evidence-free charge that Moscow tried to skew the 2016 election. (That seems to be partly working, with many formerly harsh critics now praising him. On the other hand, his own base is now split between those cheer any jingoistic use of force and those who see that another optional war will doom his domestic priority to «Make America Great Again!») The one piece of evidence that supports this conjecture is the extremely limited pinprick nature of the US strike on Shayrat.
- Related to the previous point, given the power of the domestic forces conspiring against him, Trump needed to project strength. (My guess is that Moscow, Beijing, and others will conclude just the opposite: he is weak and not even master in his own house.)
- Trump is impulsive and lacking in substance, so he goes for the quickest and easiest path to what he perceives to be current advantage. The praise of his former detractors – mainly those who have denigrated and derided him – will prove short-lived. At the earliest opportunity those hailing him now as «presidential» will be the first to call for his head.
- Trump’s real priority was to impress the Chinese on Korea, with a show of force during President Xi Jinping’s summit in the US. Sending an aircraft carrier group to the waters near Korea with a barrage of bellicose rhetoric that the US will resolve the North Korea issue if China doesn’t reinforces this theory, at least in part. Whether Xi was impressed the way Trump might have intended it is another conjecture.
Whatever the motives, the real question is what comes next. Aside from when another false flag may occur – which Washington in effect invited with threats of a further, more devastating military action against Syria – it matters whether behind closed doors Tillerson’s proposals differed from his public comments.
FWIW, I do not think that the left versus right analysis offered by most academics and intellectuals is particularly useful anymore. I think that there are rival factions of criminal organisations who compete for power, and they’ll use the political talking heads to put out whatever offers they believe will swing things in their favour.
The left try to bribe voters with more toilet cubicles for more minorities, the right try to bribe them with big walls, thus they divide the population into rival camps who hate each other. The elites laugh their way to the banks.
I see the Hillary/Democrat/Progressive side as a cover for the Clinton Foundation crime syndicate, which began in Arkansas, making $100 million a month, flying weapons down to Central America and returning with cocaine. Once that little business was organised and running well, they shifted operations to Washington, and used the entire US administration as tools to expand their operations.
It’s not so hard to understand. With the spying capabilities provided the internet, the various agencies and corporate assistants could find all the crime ratlines all around the world, that had been making big money in illegal activity. Then, all that they needed to do was to coopt or kill the guys at the tops of those lucrative enterprises and replace them with their own people. Be it drugs, weapons, sex trafficking, child porn, organ harvesting, or whatever.
The CIA have been involved with that shit since they originated, for example, growing opium in Burma’s Golden Triangle, during the Vietnam War period, refining it to heroin, and shipping it to the USA inside the cadavers of dead American GIs. It’s a way to make big money for black ops whilst avoiding transparent accountability to the instruments of the larger government, Congress, etc.
This sort of corruption has been going on forever, think of HSBC banks roots in the opium trade from India to China. Michael Ruppert found out about the CIA selling coke to the Los Angeles underworld. As George Webb has amply demonstrated, once someone finds a very good way of making enormous amounts of money through some loophole, it does not get forgotten, others try the same tricks.
So Lucky Luciano imported heroin inside wax oranges, and now the Clinton Foundation follow the same strategy, importing heroin inside mangos and rice from Afghanistan, via Pakistan. And instead of British gunboats going to China to enforce the trade, against the will of the Chinese government, it’s the US Army, State Department, USAID and Dyncorp in Afghanistan that serve the same role.
As the saying goes ‘All wars are bankers wars’, that’s because Rothschilds et al discovered a similar trick, and once learned it’s not forgotten. The very best way to make easy money, is to get an entire country indebted from waging a very expensive war, and then the population has to work for many decades to repay the loans back to the bankers. If there’s ever any danger of this cash flow drying up, the bankers engineer new wars to replenish their supply.
So long as nations can be persuaded to fight, and fear the threat of conquest, they’ll keep borrowing money to develop weapons, which makes a lot of profit for the arms corporations. When war actually breaks out, they become even more desperate to borrow money, so they are easily played by the bankers to accept exorbitant terms.
As St Clair points out, the real enemy are the warmongering MSM, because they are the instrument that foments the fear and frenzy, with lies and propaganda, so that the masses can be manipulated into accepting what’s against their interests, that is, to die and be killed, so that the bankers can get richer.
And who owns the MSM ? A handful of corporations mostly run by jewish CEOs, so that the interests that get served are those of Zionism and Israel, not the British, American, or any other people. Hence, when many people get to understand this, the jews become a target of anger and hatred. They use Hollywood movies and TV to try and paint over the whole issue, with more propaganda and lies. But this has been going on since at least the 12th C when they were expelled from England by King Edward 1st. It’s a pattern that’s been repeated over and over again.
Personally, I have not (yet) given up on Trump or turned against him. Because I have never met the fellow in person to get an accurate appraisal of his character, all I have are the public sources which I mostly do not have much confidence in. The reversals he has made are baffling in many ways. He must have his own reasons but I do not know what they are. I do not believe he is simply perverse and betrayed his loyal supporters merely for the hell of it. I think he would have preferred to remain looking good for them. So there must have been some pressure that forced him to change.
When we look at what has happened in Europe, since the Ukraine crisis began, and with all the immigration, what struck me was that almost all the European leaders acted against the interests of their own populations. And I have no doubt that the reason has been that they are controlled from behind the scenes, in this case by the CIA and NATO and it’s ‘friends’, which have compromised and captured almost all the significant positions of power.
So probably, Trump has been ‘got at’ by some force, and is responding accordingly.
There are many theories as to the real root of the malign power that manipulates events. Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Kissinger, Soros, the elite 0.01% of mega wealthy families, the Jesuits, the Saudis, the British MI5/6, Mossad, Bilderbergers, Skull and Bones, Bank of International Settlements, the Black Pope story, etc, etc, and more.
Finding the real truth and demonstrating that it is the correct story is not so easy.