Monday, September 9, 2013

A battle of worldviews

[Approximate Reading Time: 30 minutes]
[Mood: Amazed]

I have a few like-minded friends and a few that don't agree with my views on many issues and a few that just don't care or don't have the time to care. Now, you could say this about anyone who has friends and has something to say to them. But recently, I had a debate with some folks at work (none that I know personally) that left me quite surprised at how differently some people feel about the world and humanity's place in it than I do. The conversation, which was prompted by a discussion I had with a friend about the impacts of robotic automation on the economy, started out with posing a question on something quite specific, but took on a life of its own and morphed into an argument, parts of which are reproduced below with my commentary sprinkled in. The question was posed to a bunch of folks on an online discussion group at Google and the debate developed over the course of a few weeks in July/August 2013. I've taken the liberty to edit the content of the debate to remove any proprietary and confidential information and to protect the privacy of the participants.

According to Leo Apostel, a Belgian philosopher, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:
  1. An explanation of the world
  2. A futurology, answering the question "Where are we heading?"
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
  4. A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: "What is true and false?"
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks," its origins and construction.
In other words, our worldview is the sum total of all our answers to questions that seem to ask "what's true?", "what's good?" and "what's beautiful?". Each of us could have our own unique worldviews while also generally agreeing on a collective worldview at the community or national level.

If you're not interested in the particular economic issues raised at the outset below as much as the broader debate on worldviews, scroll down to about halfway through the post below.

The question my friend and I came up with to pose to the discussion group is:
Adam Smith, one of the great, early theorists of Capitalism, wrote in The Wealth of Nations in 1776 that “Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities.” (Ch. V, paragraph 1)
If Capitalism as a system is based on the exchange of commodities for profit, featuring employment of workers who are able to purchase the products of their labor, can it continue to function if its foundation, exchange value of commodities, is undercut to the point at which not enough members of the society are able to participate in that exchange to maintain the economic cycle?
Consider the following:
  • Since introduction of microchip-driven computers and their massive application to all aspects of industry, finance, commerce and government, vast areas of formerly labor-intensive manufacturing and services have been fully automated.
  • All factories have areas which operate “lights-out”, and many are almost completely lights-out, with very few workers involved; the same is true of services. Productivity, the amount of human work required to produce any product or service, is now extremely high.
  • Since profits are a function of exchange value, the destruction of exchange value by removal of human labor is the best explanation for the consistent drop in ROA (return on assets) described in the Deloitte Shift Index. Destruction of exchange value of commodities affects all sectors, including the value of human labor itself as a commodity. This drives the shift from productive investment to speculative investment as a dominant force.
  • Over ½ of the world’s people are now unable to purchase anything of value in the market system, and are essentially excluded from it. Many of these were formerly successful subsistence farmers now driven out of agriculture by the predominance of agribusiness giants and free trade treaties virtually eliminating borders for capital. 
What are the implications of technology that does away with exchange value, the foundation of corporate-market-commodity society? How are we going to deal with the displacement of millions of professional drivers who might be displaced by self-driving cars and trucks? And the lawyers and other professionals that are being displaced by advances in Machine Learning and Big Data technologies?
There were really only a few people on the group who participated in this discussion and by no means do they represent the collective membership. I will, however, frame this as a dialog between me and "they" and ask you to keep in mind that about a dozen folks participated in this conversation and "they" refers to one of them. Although this takes away important metadata on who exactly said what, it should keep things simple while capturing the overall essence of the debate. Even though their thoughts were generally similar to each other's and very different from mine, they are all each individual's own thoughts and there's no attempt below to cast them into a group. Also, the opinions expressed below are of private individuals and not of Google or its employees. I'm certain there were many folks on the group who agreed with what I had to say to varying extents. They chose to remain silent and watched from the sidelines because what I was saying is heresy in Silicon Valley. A couple of them did write to me privately and said they agreed with me. One said, "I think you gave very good arguments, in a very good manner. I share many of your thoughts and opinions."

Even so, a note of caution is in order: you may actually not agree with everything I say below. In fact, chances are you will disagree with quite a few arguments I make below. All I will ask of you now is read on with an open mind, as if you are an alien from another part of the Universe watching a bunch of Earthlings debate the situation they find themselves in these days.

After some initial discussion on definitions, terminology and such, the conversation gained momentum and someone responded:
My thought is that people have been worried about this (people being replaced by technology) for well over a century, but, after a century or two of teeth-gnashing over these concerns, we're, IMHO, actually doing generally better.  So I'm pretty skeptical of all this.

I'd be curious to see comprehensive data, covering health, nutrition, lifespan, education, free time, etc., over the past 200 years, stratified by socioeconomic status.  I'm dubious that the lower class is actually worse off now than 100 or 200 years ago.
As I had expected, the call for data came quickly! I said I'd be curious to see such data too. And that if we can't find this data, I don't know who else can!
I fail to understand how the human mind can, on one note, be optimistic about technology which in itself goes hand in hand with questioning the past and looking forward to a different and brighter future which the technological mind sets out to design and manifest, but, on another note, can't fathom a different outcome when it comes to the economic effects of technology as compared to the past 100 or 200 years. Doesn't the development of technology presume the whole "yes, men have been saying they want to fly for the last couple hundred years and they haven't flown so don't wait for that to happen anytime soon" way of reasoning is not very sound? Is saying "this time, it's indeed different" so far out there?

BTW the "this is what we are experiencing" part from the original quote is not true. We still need lots of workers, it's just that globalization now allows labor to be procured where it is least expensive, and in most cases that isn't the US. The standard of living in China and a bunch of other countries has increased dramatically over the past few decades. What we're experiencing in the labor market in the US is the bursting of a debt bubble combined with the effects of a globalization trend that started decades ago -- not robots or ATM machines taking over everyone's jobs. Technology is actually improving standards of living, not making them worse.
I have long held the opinion that Technology is neutral and, like a knife, can be used for good purposes as well as bad. I say as much in the debate below. I make the point that Technology is more often used by the powerful for their own ends than by the government for the common good of all. In fact, the development of a number of new technologies has been and continues to be driven by the military-industrial complex which is controlled by and benefits a small number of ruling elites across the world.

But is Technology really neutral? Neutral to who? If Science offers us a way to understand our physical environment, Technology takes that one step further and allows us to control and manipulate our enviornment for our own ends. It might not have seemed like it 10,000 years ago when Agriculture was developed almost simultaneously in various parts of the world, but it was the beginning of large-scale manipulation of nature to suit our own purposes and comfort. To be sure, many tribal people back then eschewed this new-found technology and continued to live a simpler hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Such tribes existed until recent times and it's been recorded that they weren't inferior to the rest of us in any way, intellectually or otherwise. If anything, they might have been the only ones who truly understood the full consequences of various technologies they would have inevitably come across over the millenia. Or perhaps, they might have simply elected to not ask from nature more than what it was already giving them, which it appears was enough for them. In any case, what started with agriculture, a relatively simple and benign deployment of technology, has today become a massive enterprise that occupies humanity full-time.We've ended up and continue to, at an ever increasing pace, change our environment and nature to make ourselves more comfortable, live longer and do other "cool" things. In the process, we have caused some truly disastrous changes to our environment with our short term thinking. From space debris in orbit around the Earth to the decimation of coral reefs, we're responsible for much misery to Mother Earth and its creatures. To be sure, it's only some of us, in fact, a small fraction of us who are driving these changes. Those of us who call ourselves engineers, scientists, businessmen and the like. So is Technology really neutral? Neutral to who? It's definitely not neutral to nature, which we are an integral part of, no matter how much we'd like to think otherwise by insulating ourselves from it in our air-conditioned offices and cars.
I have my doubts about this. Certainly, technology and globalization are indeed raising the standards of living for quite a few in China and the rest of the world but aren't these folks a small minority? It seems the wealth divide has gotten bigger in the past dozen or so years when we have seen the most significant advances in technology and increase in globalization and free trade. Real wages have actually been falling since the 80s in the US. A factory job 40 years back was more than sufficient to raise a family and even take vacations every year but not so today. Something's amiss!
 The "data" soon came from one of the participants:
There is no doubt that the standard of living for most people in the world has increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution.   See, as one example among many, Brad De Long's manuscript on Slouching Towards Utopia.

During the last 20 years, 1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty and it would be relatively easy to end all poverty in the next decade or two.   Suppose you had asked economists 30 years ago, "would it be possible to have 1 billion unskilled workers join the world economy without a dramatic fall in developed economy wages for unskilled workers?"    The vast majority of economists would have said "no, that would be very unlikely".   But that's what happened...

Over the last 200 years the work week has declined from about 70 hours to 37 hours while the standard of living has dramatically increased.  I expect we'll see a 20 hour work week by the end of the century, and the nature of work will be quite different.
What I hear is a certain assumption about the definition of "progress", technological or not, that has been questioned in books such as "A short history of progress" and "The ascent of humanity". The assertion that "people are better off now than they were before the industrial revolution or the Internet" is a narrow and simplistic assertion, ignoring vast swaths of facts as though this were some gentle tinkering process in which we've all just been trying to make everything a little better for everyone. Plenty of studies say the effects of globalization on the world's poorest 25% have been anything but similar to the gains enjoyed by the top 10%. A farmer commits suicide in India every half hour. The Wikipedia article states "...according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). NCRB also stated that there were at least 16,196 farmers' suicides in India in 2008, bringing the total since 1997 to 199,132...". Add to this the extensive environmental degradation, species collapse, climate change and civil strife and war (due to a scramble for the remaining bit of natural resources) and we're looking at a rather stark picture, one that suggests that perhaps we might have held on to a rather arbitrary and biased view of progress.
There is no doubt that the standard of living for most people in the world has increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution.   See, as one example among many, Brad De Long's manuscript on Slouching Towards Utopia.

During the last 20 years, 1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty and it would be relatively easy to end all poverty in the next decade or two. 
We really need to look into this further. A number of people have argued in this manner. The work of Jeffrey D. Sachs was widely publicized in a 2005 Time Magazine article. What we conveniently miss is that those who posit the "end of world poverty" under capitalism are talking only about elevating people above the literal starvation level. The arguments ignore the process of devastation of communities which constantly creates more destitute people. Here's the Wikipedia summary of Sachs' thesis: "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time" is a 2005 book by American economist Jeffrey Sachs. It was a New York Times bestseller. In the book, Sachs argues that extreme poverty—defined by the World Bank as incomes of less than one dollar per day—can be eliminated globally by the year 2025, through carefully planned development aid. 
Over the last 200 years the work week has declined from about 70 hours to 37 hours while the standard of living has dramatically increased.  I expect we'll see a 20 hour work week by the end of the century, and the nature of work will be quite different. 
To the majority of the world's people 200 years ago, the idea of a "work week" would have been as foreign as the idea of milking cows would be to most of us here. I'm not sure how we're figuring a 37-hour work week today. Most people I know in the valley put in 60-70 hour work weeks at a great cost to their quality of life. And if that's the situation around here, where we have all the technology and smarts to help us as we ever had, what is it exactly like for the rest of the world's people? Perhaps we're caught in a trap of "almost there" thinking. Perhaps we believe our work is making work weeks shorter everywhere else so it's well worth it here? That'd be one interesting but disingenuous argument, if I ever heard one. It reflects a silo-ed thinking we've become accustomed to in the valley. Only a small percentage of employees in Silicon Valley do truly satisfying work. The rest simply make do with a significant percentage of them doing mind-numbing work day in and day out.
Those who rely on numbers and numbers alone will no doubt see any increase in the daily wage as a good thing. Unfortunately, such an approach is narrow and doesn't ask pertinent questions like, "what were these people and their ancestors doing before they were earning pennies for wages?", "who is paying them these wages and why?", "where are they earning these wages and how?" It turns out that globalization in recent decades caused hundreds of millions of people in the so-called third world to mass-migrate from their original rural communities where they were relatively self-sufficient and well-fed and well-clothed to towns and cities where they started working for someone else and started earning wages. Urban populations in developing countries grew from 13% in 1900 to over 50% today and continue to grow upward as so-called free trade first impoverish and then displace communities that have lived in relatively self-sufficient rural settings for thousands of years. They now indirectly work for the ruling class in construction, manufacturing or other industries and are no longer self-reliant. Moreover, they are locked into an economic system which measures their happiness and well-being by the wage they earn while at the same time making it a goal to pay them as little a wage as it can. The few who still remain in the rural areas of the world aren't doing any better with the long arm of corporate capitalism in collusion with the state reaching into their every aspect of life and exerting enormous force to bring them into the "world economy". This is the dark side of "joining the world economy" that's seldom mentioned in mainstream media.

Those who are quick to point to such data as work week figures and daily wages are either ignorant of these facts or conveniently forget them. Data is often used to tell half-truths, the half that favors the teller. It's up to us to find the other half and make sense of it all.
There are many social and economic issues in the world.  Some are new, some are getting worse.  There are many things to discuss there.

However, what I (and I think the others) are hearing from you is a certain assumption, narrow and simplistic, ignoring vast swaths of facts, that overall the world is getting worse for a majority or large fraction of people, and that this is somehow due to capitalism and/or technological "progress".
Up until this point, my friend and I collaborated on the responses. But below, I fly solo with my responses...
Obviously, I don't think it's narrow and simplistic but you hear me right, more or less, when you hear me say:

"overall the world is getting worse for a majority or large fraction of people, and that this is somehow due to capitalism and/or technological "progress"."

I would change that slightly and say, it's our current worldview, which includes such things as

  • the relationship between humans and nature and how we see ourselves in relation to our ecology and environment,
  • our interpretation of historical events as a constant march toward utopia which makes the current moment the best we ever had and it's only getting better
  • a perversion of the idea of progress as control over nature to make it do the things we want it to do and as soon as we possibly can.
This worldview goes hand in hand with Capitalism and technological progress and is enabled by them and enables them. I believe we've had an interesting experiment underway for a long time now but it hasn't been working out and we're being slow to realize it. We've abandoned the precautionary principle and have been calling for 10X changes and moonshots without truly understanding what we're doing. The ultimate act of control over nature for some of us has become beating death itself.

No matter how much we like to think of us as machines making rational choices, we're very much human and have all the biases we have had for hundreds of thousands of years. One of the biases is not wanting to bite the hand that feeds us which makes it difficult to analyze the story we've been telling ourselves. It seems to work, after all. But there are a number of people who are calling into question this story and all I'm hoping for is we start paying attention to what some of these folks have to say. They don't always bring the kind of data we want but there's enough data out there to convince me they are on to something. We also owe it to ourselves to look at the data-driven approach we so dutifully adhere to. There's much corruption in data collection, interpretation and analysis, and finally presentation. Numerous meta-studies have shown that studies are skewed toward financial interests of the sponsors of those studies. In any case, I haven't seen much data that indicates that the data-driven approach actually works or is preferable to any other method. It boils down to what we've been told by others, what we learn in school and the other unmentionable thing called "gut feeling". It's the gut feeling that makes me believe in the data driven approach and it's the gut feeling that makes me question it too. It's a sense of something is amiss.
There have been people doing this for hundreds of years -- that was my original point.  They've generally turned out to all be wrong.  If someone comes to me with a new story, I'll listen -- there are definitely problems involving income inequality, for example, which require solutions for the world to improve.  I'm not sure what those solutions are, but I've thought about it and my own theories say they have to do with opportunity, access to education and information, exposure to responsible and successful role models, and the empowerment that comes with all that.  In fact, that's why I work at Google -- I believe I can bring those things to people.  I don't think there is anywhere else where I can have such a positive impact on the world ... despite Google being a technology-based progeny of capitalism.
What I'm hearing right now, though, sounds like the same ill-informed, romanticized technology and capitalism bashing that I've heard many times before. 
In any case, I haven't seen much data that indicates that the data-driven approach actually works or is preferable to any other method.  
Something seems circular in your thoughts here.
I don't see how romanticizing a future with no disease or death, lab-made meat, space colonies, the singularity, etc. is any more worthwhile or fun than romanticizing a past of clean air, fresh water and natural food. If anything, we're more likely to revert to the past starting on some future day, because we've been there and have a certain bit of collective memory. I believe my fate and the fate of everyone at Google and Silicon Valley is intimately linked with the fate of the 3 Billion or so poorest people on Earth who we aren't listening to. We're too "globalized" to expect anything other than that. The pollution generated in Asia reaches our shores and so does the radioactive fallout from Fukushima.

At the end of the day, I can picture a person 200 years ago leading a happy life. It's harder to picture the average human today at about the same level of happiness. Too bad it's hard to measure happiness so we can't have the kind of debate we would otherwise have on this mailing list.
The fact that it's hard to measure happiness is not as much a lament on my part as it is an acknowledgement that not everything is measurable and hence amenable to the data-driven approach. But what happened next caught me by surprise...
At the end of the day, I can picture a person 200 years ago leading a happy life. It's harder to picture the average human today at about the same level of happiness. Too bad it's hard to measure happiness so we can't have the kind of debate we would otherwise have on the Economics mailing list.
I think you are extremely out of touch with reality, especially with respect to 200 years ago. .  The harder part would be going back in time, but various studies have already been cited on this thread which you could use to guess historical trends based on correlated factors.  I believe we have already been having this debate, actually, and the evidence seemed to be solidly stacked against you.

Of course, if you don't believe that evidence (data) is something from which to draw conclusions, then you might find it more enjoyable to discuss these ideas on some other mailing list.  I do believe the folks here are interested in data.
Do you realize how silly it is to try to measure happiness with a formula? From the above Wikipedia article:

Micro-econometric happiness equations have the standard form: W_{it} = \alpha + \beta{x_{it}} + \epsilon_{it}.[1] In this equation W is the reported well-being of individual i at time t, and x is a vector of known variables, which include socio-demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.[1]

I can't think of a better example that shows how far the data-driven train has rolled on. What I see is going on today is a silencing of valid ideas on the pretext that there's not enough data or not enough good data.
I'm calling into question the over-reliance on data itself. If this mailing list wouldn't benefit by such a topic, I don't know which other mailing list will. It is disingenuous to want to rely on data without also collecting data about who is coming up with that data, who is sponsoring the study or experiment, who is benefiting from the particular presentation of that data in that way, etc. How about we gather some data on propaganda and propaganda techniques?
I felt as if I was the only one on the discussion group and in fact the whole company who's calling into question one of the central tenets that engineers and technocrats subscribe to in Silicon Valley - the data-driven approach. I certainly didn't want to be the only one.

No.  Silly is saying "I imagine people 200 years ago being happy" and expecting anyone to take that as some kind of evidence of a claim, while dismissing those who actually study the problem seriously as "silly". 
This is just ridiculous.
Humans tried to fly for hundreds of years before they actually did. The fact that those who have come before us were wrong time and again shouldn't stop us from taking a fresh look at new possibilities being suggested by those speaking up today. You say you haven't heard a different story. I suspect you and I haven't been listening to the same people. There are plenty of sources on the Internet that point to reductions in length of the work week, increased standard of living, higher life expectancy, reduced child mortality, increase in the usage of the Internet, etc. I pay attention to those studies as much as anyone else. Yet, frequently, I come across other sources of information that point to increasing stress levels, higher rates of cancer, tap water studies which find carcinogenic chemicals, high doses of known industrial pollutants and hormone disrupters in babies born today (and really all of us), massive ocean areas full of plastic, etc. How does one go about reconciling these varying sources of information? 
Certain indicators did improve up until the 1980s but they have started falling since then. The institutions that were set up in response to technology's destructive side like the EPA stand toothless in the face of fresh assaults on nature by the extraction industries. The FDA's activities are in part funded by the very corporations that are supposed to be governed by it's statutes. There are many other indicators that show downward trends since the 1980s or 90s. Also, understand that, I don't find fault with technology itself. It's inanimate by nature, and, like a knife, can be used for both good and bad. It's just that there's been a certain increase in the indiscriminate use of technology by certain corporations for their own purposes (profit and control). Science and Technology have been hijacked by a few wealthy men and you and I are not one of them. I don't think you want to be one of them and I certainly don't either! I don't have solutions either. I'm simply making an attempt to question the status quo just a bit. 
What I'm hearing right now, though, sounds like the same ill-informed, romanticized technology and capitalism bashing that I've heard many times before.

In any case, I haven't seen much data that indicates that the data-driven approach actually works or is preferable to any other method. 

Something seems circular in your thoughts here.

I was being a bit sarcastic there. What I was trying to say is that anyone who invests significant energy in the data-driven approach must eventually seek data on the validity of that very approach. I don't invest much energy in that approach anymore.
One acknowledges that there are problems, and one tries to find solutions to those problems.  Those solutions might involve undoing technology-based changes that caused a problem (stop using asbestos), or they might involve a new technology that solves the problem (we're not going to stop using electricity; it has too many benefits, so instead we'll develop renewable sources for it).  Just blaming technology for our ills and romanticizing life 200 years ago is facile and disingenuous.

Evil people have always hijacked social structures for their own gain.  This has been the case for millennia.  Nothing specific to science, technology, or capitalism.  So, again, we identify the problems and we try to solve them.  Entanglement of corporations and the government is a problem, so let's solve it.
This was the most intelligent thing I'd heard from any of them during the entire debate.
Sounds good. Well said. I don't think I romanticize any part of our historical existence any more than the average person romanticizes about the future. At the end of the day, my romanticizing life 200 years ago doesn't nearly have as much potential or energy to do harm as a whole company romanticizing life in the future without applying the precautionary principle. Several new technologies have the potential to do far more harm than good. And even that good generally accrues to the wealthy (to lengthen their life span, accumulate more wealth, expand control, etc.) with a decent amount distributed to the professional class that helps them achieve it all. That includes me. So we do have a problem to solve here.
Doesn't it come down to what makes one happy? If I liked smart phones and self-driving cars more than fresh natural food and clean water, I'd prefer today to the past.

We'd need to empathize with the poorest 50% of the earth's population a bit more to understand that their ancestors lived much happier lives than they do. For us, the professional class, of course, we tend to live better lives than our parents or grandparents did, in many ways, especially working at Google. What I'm trying to warn about is the eventual suffering we all here will have to go through if we don't understand the plight of the farmer in India or the miner in South Africa. We owe it to ourselves to question our role in the system we have been helping build. Unless, of course, we can all fly to the Elysium. I somehow suspect it would be a rather exclusive place, if it even comes into being.

Today, if you care for your family and yourself and decide to get the best available water, you'd have to find a natural spring somewhere and drive many many miles to lug home a half-dozen 5-gallon bottles of water every week. How is that so different from someone carrying a couple of pots of water from the nearest stream in the past? We need to stop our march for a little while, take stock of the situation we find ourselves in and proceed cautiously. Instead, we're charging ahead at 10X the speed! What's the big rush? We're at a critical juncture in the history of mankind and even in the history of the planet (4.5 Billion years). The age we live in has been termed the anthropocene to highlight the outsize impact humankind has had and continues to have on the Earth. No other life form before us ever had such a dramatic influence, much of it for the worse and in such a short time. And we have never had as much influence as we do today. An entire species turning on the very host that the species rose from and continues to depend on is not that dissimilar to cancer! And, by the way, why are we losing the war on cancer? Why are the rates of incidence of cancer now 1 in 3 and getting worse? My research indicates cancer is a disease that has as much to do with environmental factors as with anyone's genes. The emerging field of epigenetics bears this out - We're, it turns out, not isolated individuals with our skins as the boundaries between us and the environment. 

And if we at Google don't talk about these issues, who else will? The world listens to us. We have a tremendous responsibility to the planet that we exert so much influence on. Let's not sit back and say we're carbon neutral. As a company, our operations may be carbon neutral but our impact is anything but. We benefit from the economy because we benefit the economy. And the economic processes of today that cry for incessant growth exert an enormous impact on the planet. We're right in the middle of it. There's no escaping the fact that our work here has a direct influence on planetary climate change and other trends converging upon us. I don't take pleasure in being alarmist. It's just such a sorry state to talk about.

I'm glad to hear you say we have problems and we need to solve them. I don't see this (getting to some sort of agreement here) as much of a victory in itself but I'm glad nonetheless. There won't be any separation between victors and losers in the world of the near future. We can only keep ourselves from becoming all losers. Losing to our own apathy and indifference is a real risk we all face. It won't be fun to say "I told you so" and we would be as sorry as anyone else if things slide. Climate Change appears to be one of the biggest problems facing humanity and we can't even agree on whether it's real and if it's real, whether it's man made. Why in the age of Google is there so much confusion? Unlike happiness, temperatures and such are easy to measure. What then is the problem? If it is political will or some other power we can't control, we would stop doing what we are doing and go into politics but we know that doesn't work very well. So what can we do at Google? Can we do anything, in the first place? I'm posing these questions to myself as much as to anyone reading this. Again, we're in it together.
 This comment below was probably the most shocking thing anyone said during the whole debate.
I don't see how romanticizing a future with no disease or death, lab-made meat, space colonies, the singularity, etc. is any more worthwhile or fun than romanticizing a past of clean air, fresh water and natural food.  
 Ah, because one is actually really good, the other is really shitty.

I'm all for clean air. But clean air because there is no fuel to burn and you are cold, is weak. Lots of fresh water, but no plumbing to bring it to your home or filtration system to make potable, is also weak. 
Saying we have to choose between progress with pollution, and and a pre-industrial society makes no sense at all. In fact, the primary driver is the Tragedy of the Commons, where if you don't waste/spoil something, someone else will. And that is present no matter the level of technology. 
If you've ever walked around a neolithic flint mine, barefoot, you'd know that industrial pollution is not a modern thing. It's just that we get so much more for our ecological damage now.
So it appears that some of us would rather have plumbing than clean water. We would rather drink water containing pesticides, hormones, chemicals and other industrial pollutants from a kitchen faucet than fetch a pail of clean spring water from down the hill. If we think we can use technology to clean our water before using it, we're forgetting that the vast majority of the world's population don't have those resources. "We get so much more for our ecological damage now" says a lot of things about one's worldview. What makes one think "if we don't waste our resources, someone else will, so why not take the initiative!"? Most of us have struggled with questions related to the extent to which our individual actions might have a positive impact on the world but this line of thinking is a different animal.
I could go through and answer each of your questions, correct each of your false factual claims, and clarify each of your cartoonishly foolish and naive broad generalizations about "now" or "then", but it's clear that you wouldn't care.

So I give up.  You do not know what you're talking about, in a dozen diverse different ways, and I'm done.
higher rates of cancer 
I can't figure out whether you're anti-disease or pro-disease. You've complained about people "romanticizing a future with no disease or death".
It's true that incidence of cancer has increased, and is quickly increasing in third-world countries, but the driver of that is longer life-spans. When you live to be 80 rather than dying of tuberculosis at 40, you have a much higher chance of developing a cancer. Overall health outcomes have improved over the last 200 years.
I did get the occasional sympathetic comment from one of them but I couldn't get myself to agree with some of the other things they would say and in this sense, my worldview is different from theirs.
I sympathize with this point of view but I don't understand what
conclusions you draw.  The nature of capitalism is that large rewards
go to those people who can capture profits for themselves while
pushing costs onto other people, or into the future.  Capitalism has
good aspects and bad aspects, and that is one of its bad aspects.  But
simply talking about it does nothing, because capitalism also rewards
those who act fast, specifically those who act fast while others
discussing what to do.  And it gets worse, because our governing
structures are themselves strongly influenced by money, so the people
who get rewards by pushing off costs get a considerable ability to
maintain their rewards by influencing governmental structures both
directly and indirectly.  Hence, companies like Exxon and their huge
influence on the discussion about climate change.

I think these points are fairly clear to all thoughtful people, but
understanding them is very different from fixing them.

And as others have said romanticizing past life doesn't help either.
Average lifespan in the U.S. went from about 47 in 1900 to about 80
today.  Life today is no bed of roses but I think most people would be
willing to give up a lot in exchange for that longer lifespan.  And I
would guess that that is also true for most people in the developing
world today.
And just as there are those who try to measure happiness with a formula, there are also those who measure progress by the sheer number of years lived.
I can't figure out whether you're anti-disease or pro-disease. You've complained about people "romanticizing a future with no disease or death".
Sorry for the confusion. What I was trying to say is let's try not to "conquer" disease. Let's understand the root causes of disease and address them instead of treating the symptoms. Let's follow approaches that work with the body's own defenses and help them fend off disease. An analogy is "biodynamic farming" which seeks to identify the conditions that are resulting in disease and help a plant defend itself as opposed to spraying harmful pesticides to kill a weed or pest or altering the genetics to make the plant cell produce its own pesticide which then ends up in our bodies. Spraying pesticides is a forceful approach that results from a worldview of "conquering" nature and disease. I'd recommend looking into why so many vineyards in the Bay Area are favoring the biodynamic approach even if it's a bit more expensive in the short run. And the numerous studies that are pointing to the advantages of organic farming and the higher yields it results in within a few years (as soon as the soil quality and the natural ecology is restored) Our current way of getting rid of germs through the use of antibiotics is resulting in mutations and drug-resistant varieties called superbugs. Check out this trailer.

It's about time we recognize that the worldview that prescribes possibilities of utopia gained through a technological advantage over nature are not working out as well as we had thought. It was easier perhaps in the short run to outsmart nature but once we realize that we're ourselves a product of nature, very much a part of nature, it gets easier to understand that our approach has been misguided. It's in that context that I'm against a grand vision of the future where we will have conquered all disease. It simply doesn't work. We need to look into disease differently. Let's slow down and take clues from nature. In many cases, we already know a lot about what makes us sick. We have chosen to ignore timeless proven approaches in favor of a mechanistic approach where the body is treated like a machine and we could go in and swap out a nut here and a bolt there (blocking receptors with artificial chemicals and otherwise tricking the body). At the end of the day, most of our medicines are derived from plants, altered slightly and sold commercially. The alteration provides a way for pharmaceutical companies to patent the medicine and make profits. The patented chemical molecule is actually substantially similar to what was found in the plant. This is all very well documented and widely available. Hope that clarifies. I'm not pro-disease but I'm also not pro-current-approach (mechanistic and reductive approach with a strong underlying theme of control over germs and genes) After all, the human body has more bacterial cells than human cells. We're not separate and distinct from the ecology we've evolved in. 
It's true that incidence of cancer has increased, and is quickly increasing in third-world countries, but the driver of that is longer life-spans. When you live to be 80 rather than dying of tuberculosis at 40, you have a much higher chance of developing a cancer. Overall health outcomes have improved over the last 200 years.

That's the story we are told. There's a lot of propaganda and publication bias out there. This 14-minute TED talk goes into this topic a bit. Of course, it might be me instead who's falling prey to propaganda. I'd be REALLY interested in finding out if I have been inadvertently falling prey to propaganda. In fact, I think about this on a daily basis. It keeps me careful and I've even come to enjoy this detective-like approach a bit. Look, I'm not that dissimilar to anyone here. I believed in many of the same things as most Googlers for many many years. It's just in the recent past that I doubled down on my efforts to understand things in depth and whoa, what do I find! I recommend avoiding the mainstream media for a couple of months and seek out alternative media sources. I'm human (which I'm happy to be) so I am susceptible but after some voracious research and reading, I've ditched the mainstream media. Even NPR! It doesn't mean there's nothing truthful on NPR or other widely read and widely heard sources but watch out for the spin.
Great analysis! Thank you! I agree with what you say. If it were just capitalism, it would be one thing, but it has morphed into crony corporate capitalism. Capitalism is not just another system with its good and bad aspects. it's one where the bad aspects continue to evolve and expand faster (incessant growth and externalities, as you alluded to) than the good aspects. I think more and more people are beginning to see this too, with documentaries like "The Corporation". Capitalism has many inherent flaws but a particularly nasty one is the prescription to maximize profits at any cost with no regard to social good. The B-corp is said to fix this but I haven't come across much information on it since it was passed into law. The way it's currently set up, there's no end goal to capitalism so it's a runaway train. The executives of a corporation are legally mandated to do everything they can to maximize profits for their shareholders. They are as much caught up in the system as anyone else. Capitalism does work better for some more than for others, at least until it stops working for us all. It's a story we've been told and we've been telling ourselves that it's the best system man can ever come up with. A system that rewards speed and risk-taking is a system that provides a lot of fun and riches to those who like living on the cutting edge while burdening the rest of us with untold stress and after-effects of that very risky behavior. I'm not comfortable with our experiments getting out of hand. The assumptions forming the basis for such a system must be questioned. And it should be fair game to question the system itself. Let's have a conversation about the precautionary principle. Is it worth looking at it when we're called to go faster and faster, enter uncharted territories and take risks? Is there a better time to look into it than now? Why does the EU generally take this principle much more seriously than the US? What makes Americans generally apathetic and feel confused about technologies like genetic engineering and products like GM foods while Europeans are a lot more conservative in this regard? (perhaps a non-US Googler has something to say about it?) 
Again, I agree with you and this is the kind of conversation I think Googlers should be having. I want to feel it's OK to deconstruct capitalism even as we work at one of the most successful capitalistic companies on Earth. In fact, it's essential we do this. 
I think these points are fairly clear to all thoughtful people, but
understanding them is very different from fixing them.

I've been told many times not to talk about problems but to think of solutions. A friend said as long as there is no other better alternative, he'd be happy with the current system. It makes sense and I see his point of view. But then it dawned on me that there are indeed alternatives and there are people working on them but they don't get much publicity or press coverage. I see a lot of conversation going on around non-capitalistic modes of organizing like worker-owned cooperatives. Yes magazine recently ran an entire issue on these topics. Then there are folks like Gar Alperowitz, a professor of political economy, who have certain interesting ideas. And Richard Wolff with his book "Democracy at Work" and other writings on Marxian Economics (oops!(?)). I don't have an agenda when it comes to proposing solutions. I'd much prefer to critique the current system, for what it's worth, and help start conversations. Such a critique is important because there are deep systemic flaws in our current arrangements that threaten our very survival. I'd much prefer to understand the world we live in today and how we got here than propose this or that solution. My thinking is if there are enough people talking about these things, the solutions will start coming too. I try and encourage my friends to consider alternate ways of seeing and understanding the world. Often these are not well-publicized but are quite coherent and "make sense".

So I don't have the answers. I think about these issues a lot but haven't reached any conclusions. But when I think about how I have come to change my mind on a number of the issues we've been talking about, it's unmistakably the writings and talks of others that have had the most awareness-raising effect on me. And so, for now, I take on the responsibility of sharing what I've discovered with others around me as much as I can. And start a conversation. If even 10% of Googlers start talking with each other, I'd say we'd come up with some pretty creative ideas as starting points.
In my five years at Google, I've made many attempts to talk about many of these issues with co-workers and friends at work and outside but have fallen short of my expectations. I'm leaving Google and this is a last-ditch attempt to try one more time. I'm just beginning to feel like we made a leap from a tone of denial and disagreement on this thread to one of acknowledgement that there are deep problems. It doesn't seem like we agree on the seriousness of the problems and their systemic nature but it's OK for now.

I can imagine a time in the near future when Google is a place where most everyone is excited about new possibilities. We'd be well informed and aware. We look forward to discussing the ideas that make sense to us even if they are very different from what we're used to. We'd look into how the Mondragon Corporation works and study it, take it apart, debate it and critique it. We'd feel no fear in discussing alternative worldviews including those of the indigenous peoples of the world who we seem to have written off ages ago. I see references to the "seventh generation" principle of the Native Americans more and more often these days. We'd be debating history and how it's been presented to us in schools. We'd ask who writes textbooks and who approves them. There would be a certain energy on all Google campuses worldwide where conversations like these are welcome and commonplace. 
Here's how I see it at the moment... of the 7 Billion people in the world, if I were to come up with a group of people that I can think of that have the potential to make significant change in the status quo, it would be the folks who work in technology. We live in a world defined by technology and we have the most potential to affect how it's used and deployed. Now, of all those who work in tech, I can't think of any sub-group with more smarts, power and potential than those who work at Google. What we do here literally affects everyone and everything. The technology sector looks up to us. And finally, I can think of only a handful of places that are best suited to start a conversation and eventually take it to the rest of the company. This group is my biggest hope. We owe it to ourselves and those who look up to us.

And as others have said romanticizing past life doesn't help either.
Average lifespan in the U.S. went from about 47 in 1900 to about 80
today.  Life today is no bed of roses but I think most people would be
willing to give up a lot in exchange for that longer lifespan.  And I
would guess that that is also true for most people in the developing
world today.

I suspect this is one of the more personal topics ever. Personally, I'd like to live as long as I possibly can but I'd rather live a higher quality life than a longer life. I suspect there are many who would say something similar. It's easy to measure life expectancy (and lifespan which is different) but hard to measure the quality of life or happiness. 
There's also no compelling reason to believe that it's either technology or anything we "invented" that's the sole cause of longer lifespans. From Wikipedia: In general, the available data indicate that longer lifespans became more common recently in human evolution.[23][24] This increased longevity is attributed by some writers to cultural adaptations rather than genetic evolution,[25] although some research indicates that during the Neolithic Revolution natural selection favored increased longevity.[12] Nevertheless, all researchers acknowledge the effect of cultural adaptations upon life expectancy.[24]
Another way to look at it is by examining the parallels to the green revolution. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers which came into increased usage after the second world war resulted in dramatic and immediate gains in yields. We no longer needed to farm the old way, and we didn't. Several decades later, we find that yields are falling. We hadn't really understood how things work and learned that indiscriminate spraying, mono-cultures and other modern practices (factory farming) weren't such a great idea after all for it left the soil depleted of the other vital nutrients that the plants needed and killed off the various other life forms that evolved symbiotically with those plants and helped them survive and flourish. A similar pattern repeated itself with bio-technology more recently although it didn't take nearly as long for us to start realizing it's a bad idea too. In both cases, we were arrogant and tried to trick nature without really understanding how things work. Speed (time to market), risk taking and a failure to apply the precautionary principle all come to mind. But then I diverge from the point I am trying to make. Is it possible that we humans are perhaps on a similar curve with lifespans? We were able to increase our lifespans with modern inventions like antibiotics over the past hundred or so years just like we increased crop yields? In both cases, control over nature was our guiding mantra. And perhaps the curve is peaking out just about now? In fact, a number of recent studies such as this one point to just such a trend. They're calling it "stagnation". The stagnation (or decline, in certain cases) happens to be more pronounced in the US, of all the developed countries. Is it any wonder considering we are quickest to deploy the most advanced healthcare technologies in the US compared to any other developed country? The pattern has taken longer to play out with humans because a human generation spans a longer time frame than that of a rice or wheat plant. I guess we don't have enough data yet to conclude what's going on but the trend is troubling. 
When we talk about lifespans, at some point, we'd enter the realms of philosophy, spirituality and religion. We start asking what death really means. And the meaning of life. Certain worldviews view death very differently from the contemporary western worldview. To a tribal person in the Amazon, death is nothing like what it is to most of us. We may not relate to a tribal person or his worldview very well but we'd need to go back only a few generations (a very small fraction of the time we've come to be defined as the species we are) before we'd find that we're not that dissimilar to our ancestors. And if we can't relate to a tribal person, perhaps we can try imagining what it must be like to be Alex Honnold, a young man from Sacramento, CA who climbs steep rock faces with no ropes (free soloing, as they call it). What's his idea of life and death? Would he feel less alive if he couldn't do his thing? How different is he from any of us? 
I think this is a bit more complicated than some of the other things we've been discussing. But it makes me a bit uncomfortable to hear I will get to live longer if I trade away a bunch of other things.
No one responded to my last comment above. They did give up on me! The day I left Google, I had one last message for them...
This thread has been quite interesting. There's a diversity of opinions and viewpoints and almost a clash of worldviews. We really talked about the "Big Picture" here. It does seem like my worldview isn't shared by very many people at Google, or at least in this mailing list.

We, however, share the same planet and really aren't that different from each other. I'd like to encourage everyone to think about the precautionary principle in the context of science and technology and their effects on the planet.

I'd like to think we will all take a moment to stop what we are busy doing, and reflect on where we stand on the long road of the ascent of humanity and what it means. There are plenty of canaries in the coalmine. We just need to pay attention. Personally, I didn't start paying attention to them until recently but I'm convinced now that their warnings are based on a strong foundation and not simply alarmist. This recent report from Stanford outlining the current scientific consensus sums it up well.
In closing, I have to say that although I disagree with most of what most of them had to say, I can see why they say that. I try to empathize with them if I succeed I understand where they're coming from because I wasn't too different from them a few years ago. Granted I will never understand the "plumbing is more important than clean water" thinking but most everything else makes sense when I try to step into their shoes. I used to walk in similar shoes before. We live in a world where Science and Technology are the new religion. And as far as organized religions goes, this modern religion is the most advanced of them all. I was schooled in it from a very young age and unbeknownst to me I imbibed its teachings. Manipulating nature for humanity's purposes (really only for a few human specimens) is a driving force in its development and spread to the far reaches of the planet, from the pueblos of Native Americans to the most conservative Hindu families of South India.

The twin Gods of Science and Technology have replaced our kinder, Earth-honoring worldviews of the past with one of control over nature and the environment to suit our needs and fancies. Unless enough of us question our current worldviews, the atrocities we perpetrate on the planet and other species will come back to haunt us. In fact, it's already happening. The human male is being feminized gradually. Industrial pollutants that we've been dumping into our water and air also find their way into our bodies and change us in unforeseen ways. Our bodies are part of our environment!

We need to wake up and realize that we're a part of our environment and not separate from it. Nature is not out to get us and we don't need to control it. If humanity survives this century, it will be because of a new set of worldviews.


  1. What a tremendous look into the frame of personal, important human questions. Wish you would suggest everyone in 2015 comments to come read this. All my best. Mark Austin

  2. I started reading this, but since I read very slowly, I'm taking a break to list a few sources that you may already know:

    Jacques Ellul:

    "The Technological Society" -- My take: Technology is imposed on a society that is not inherently changed by technology

    "The Technological System" -- My take: Society no longer has any option other than being a part of the system

    Marshall McLuhan:

    "The Medium is the Message" Technology is not neutral, but determines the nature of the society.

    Back to reading...

    1. Hi Artleads, I heard of Ellul and McLuhan but haven't read them. A lot of people argue that Technology is neutral and it's up to Man to use it in the right way. I thought of it that way too for a while although I never really pondered over it much. But over time, it became clear to me that Technology is not neutral. It's about control. And a few use it to gain control over the many. Cell phones, TV, radio, telegraph, all means of communication hand control over to centralized powers even as they make it seem like the ordinary folks are empowered. It's a kind of scam.

      Technology does determine the nature of society.

      Thanks for your thoughts. Technology is indeed imposed on society, it doesn't "evolve" like plants do.

  3. "Over the last 200 years the work week has declined from about 70 hours to 37 hours while the standard of living has dramatically increased. I expect we'll see a 20 hour work week by the end of the century, and the nature of work will be quite different. "

    They should listen to Richard Wolf, who explains how many more jobs (and working hours) people must now endure to get by.

    I've also wondered why China couldn't educate people in the countryside, diversify rural economy with some telecommuting work, while leaving the rural landscape and much of its lifestyle exactly the way it is. A sort of takeoff on the Barefoot Doctor modality of the 60s. With my growing awareness of global predicament, however, I don't argue with those who say just leave the rural people alone. Period.

    1. I think rural people are better off when left alone. Like they have been for ages. I came up with a fictitious Quinn-style dialog between a city-dweller and rural farmer here

    2. Thanks, Satish,

      The farmer/Palmer article was most educational. It should be required reading for lots of people. Like I said before, you are clearing up things I was too vague about, despite leaning in their direction for a very long time.

    3. However...I'm interested in the nuances that distinguish many types of "farmers." Isn't there a vast continuity in degrees of uninvolvement in commercial civilization? For instance, how would Kerela stack up vis a vis Palmer? Or is that another--more a left/right--issue?

    4. Hi Artleads, definitely much nuance there. Rural farmers who use farm equipment to manage corn fields in Iowa are different from the permaculture farmer cultivating his acre, or the urban farmer growing things on his rooftop. I just picked a farmer who is still close to his soil, doesn't use much pesticide, if at all, does crop rotation and grows a variety of crops, not monocultures, and essentially outside the mainstream. I agree with you that not all rural farmers fit this description. Especially in the more developed countries that rely on huge amounts of petroleum to grow food.

      I remember back in India, they used to make manure out of cow dung. What a fascinating thing cow dung can be!

  4. "

    No. Silly is saying "I imagine people 200 years ago being happy" and expecting anyone to take that as some kind of evidence of a claim, while dismissing those who actually study the problem seriously as "silly".

    This is just ridiculous."

    There's a blog (mindful ecologist is part of the title) that TIAA (new poster here) referred me to. One feature had to do with "Homo Colossus" and the phenomenon of scale within modern IC. It's not that there wasn't horrible "class" abuse 200 years ago; it's that homo colossus hadn't yet taken up so much of the oxygen (literally) in the room. IC now takes away all the hidden places where poor people could previously find a measure of escape. We see with NSA spying how extreme this has become, how globally pervasive.

    1. Well said, Artleads... I like "Homo Colossus". I can't think of a better way to describe our species than these names I run into these days. Another such very appropriate name is "detritovore": one who feeds on detritus, dead plants and animals, which petroleum is.

  5. Hi Satish,

    I hadn't read this article yet but I'm so glad I did! You know by now that I agree with you, that our world view is very much the same.
    I'm not surprised by "their" attitude. It's terrible to have to be so cynical as to say: How can one expect anything else?

    Is this world view of "theirs" just a lack of imagination and curiosity or due to a kind of denial, a selectiveness born from a lack of courage.....from a blinkered existence.... lack of real compassion.....misunderstanding and disinterest in other cultures...on and on or all of the above?

    Calling you insightful doesn't come close. I'm glad you're here putting all of your thoughts into words for me (us) to read. And you're doing this without your ego showing through, a rare thing indeed. It seems to me that this is your nature, no effort, no skill involved. That's even rarer.

    Mark, you're a star! Thanks for starting the comments on this thread (I'm singing for you now).

    1. I'm singing "Feelin' good" this morning......"birds flying know what I mean...." ( not as good as Nina Simone....I wish I could)

    2. Hi Sabine, I find it hard to believe that I spent years among these technophiliacs who don't question the status quo, who refuse to see what's around them, in plain sight. They think apps will save the world. They defend hierarchy. They are scared of people who are unlike themselves. I knew someone who said plainly that he hates poor people. He is a doctor.

      Blinkered existence, indeed, Sabine...

      You can see the irony of it all: these are the best brains civilization can come up with, educated in the best of universities all over the world, PhDs in this or that, all set to serve Empire. This is the world of the "professional"! Jeff Schmidt does such a good job picking apart this world in his wonderful book, "Disciplined Minds". He got fired from his job for telling it like it is.

      The elites have been extremely clever to have created the professional class the way they did. Very very brilliant. I'm impressed.

  6. Hi Artleads and Sabine, I like how you came into this secret chamber to continue our discussion. I just read an article by my friend, Sven: where he talks about his thoughts on saving water during the drought. It reminds me of the discussion we have here often about whether our agency is worth anything. Does it change anything if we get mighty and draw on all our strength, ignore that voice that says it ain't worth it, inspire our friends to see things our way, mobilize a little effort, or at least talk about it and write about it?

    I like that we have so many secret chambers now. I will go ask mo flow and OGF to come join us here.

    1. Water Tidbit:

      Alfalfa is a superfood of sorts for cows, and it's in high demand in the Golden State, which leads the country in dairy production and is also a major beef producer. (fact: It takes nearly 700 gallons of water to grow the alfalfa necessary to produce one gallon of milk, and 425 gallons of water to produce 4 ounces of beef.)


    2. " It reminds me of the discussion we have here often about whether our agency is worth anything. Does it change anything if we get mighty and draw on all our strength, ignore that voice that says it ain't worth it, inspire our friends to see things our way, mobilize a little effort, or at least talk about it and write about it?"

      Such a great question!!!!! Sometimes the feeling comes over me just to let it go. It's too late. For me, it's all about land use. How it works is through a conspiracy between planning departments, governments and developers. They communicate in a "language" that is obscure to the public, which never knows what is being done to the land till it's too late to stop it. The language they communicate in requires forests of trees to make piles of paper geared exclusively to left brain thinkers. But since most people lean to the right brain, they think it's their fault for not grasping the paperwork, and they suck in any protest about it. No one asks them what they think. The world rolls on as if on some sacrosanct treadmill way above such trivia as what individuals want. Anarchy doesn't prevail.

      I've spent decades trying to honor and conserve land. In roughly that time, the human population doubled and wildlife halved. This isn't going anywhere. Propaganda--the most vicious kind, since no one recognizes it to be propaganda--has us convinced there is some sort of normalcy at work. No one uses their eyes. Oversized white people on oversized off road vehicles, bright and shiny, parade through local streets and even at the capitol to protest the "taking" of "their" land for wilderness. Their cars line the street for a stretch of road that would shame Los Angeles. They are stuck in traffic. They get out. They talk on cell phones. They look worried. They are headed to Yellowstone Park to get away from it all, to commune with nature. The thought comes to mind of how Jesus converted the evil spirits into swine and drowned them in the sea.

      We must step back and ask this question: Is "locking up" wilderness so that people never go there, so that invalids can't gain access in their wheelchairs, a bad thing for people over all? If they don't care about the natural world that all their roads and all their cameras negate, how can they care what happens to nature after humans go extinct? We must affirm the right of nature just to be nature.

      But we don't do that.

      IMHO, parks must either expand or contract. They are contracting. They put roads and fences and jetways and hotels around Grand Canyon. They run buses from a parking area to relieve congestion. Nice plan, but the park contracts.

      So what's to be done with capitalism and these masses of swine clogging up the arteries of nature? It most assuredly seems too late for answers.

      But there's another aspect. I've seen it happen where people give up a struggle just at the very point where success would have happened, at that darkest point of night just before the dawn. Maybe we shouldn't give up just yet. Capitalism, by its own imprudence is collapsing. Even the dead are taking notice of the draught. WE here exist. WE here can glimpse the swirling vortex of a new paradigm just beneath the surface. Maybe it's just waiting for a critical mass of John Coltranes to blow the lid off the old paradigm entirely, into a Love Supreme. (I prefer Thelonius Monk myself, but I've been feeling Coltrane of late.)

      I say let's keep on going. Fight the good fight. There is haven (I meant to type heaven) even if we lose. But we cannot lose. Losing is only for those who think they can lose. Faith can move mountains.

      Let me not run this too long...

    3. Although (in a too-complex way to deal with here) white people can be seen to be running the show (as in thinking they own and are entitled to wilderness land), I don't even see Indians (who would be far more entitled to the claim) as owning the land. The land belongs to itself. It's a sacred relative. The relative of first importance. Our job is to honor it. All humans are equal in the face of the land, and those who treat it well deserve to live on it.

    4. "The land belongs to itself. It's a sacred relative. The relative of first importance. Our job is to honor it. All humans are equal in the face of the land, and those who treat it well deserve to live on it."

      Top man-excellent ,simple, succinct. That's what it's all about. Nice one Mr Artleads :)

    5. "That's what it's all about." completely seconded. very perfectly put.

    6. "The language they communicate in requires forests of trees to make piles of paper geared exclusively to left brain thinkers. But since most people lean to the right brain, they think it's their fault for not grasping the paperwork, and they suck in any protest about it. No one asks them what they think."

      Highly perceptive, Artleads! Your long comment above goes deep into the issue. Locking up wilderness is akin to making a "tree zoo". Several "luminaries" have been celebrated for their foresight and initiative in the conservation world. The conservation world is in cahoots with industry and developers. Lots of money in this world. Conservation is not a panacea in my opinion. There's a non-profit called "Center for Ecoliteracy" in Berkeley, one of the many pro-environment outfits that give Berkeley its cachet. They're so well-funded, it seems, going by their office furniture and their swanky premises. Somehow, ecoliteracy is gained from within the confines of the usual office building, from within the four walls.

      We belong to the Land, not the other way around. My Native American friend tells me that her ancestors used to wonder why the settler is so obsessed with fences. It didn't make sense to them. To wall of part of the land across which run all sorts of animals and life.

      College campuses don't have walls around them. Perhaps it gives the budding professional a sense of inclusiveness and transparency, an openness of thought, I don't know. But most everything is private property, Including words, phrases, ideas, images, what have you. Genes too, these days. Life itself.

  7. Mark, I like that article you mentioned which talks about the different kinds of ideologies and where Eisenstein and Guy would fit in. I like how all the regular people (Liberals, Conservatives, professionals, para-professionals, Libertarians, Socialists, Communists, and many others) are bunched in "Deniers". Very appropriate considering the majority of the population is unaware of humanity's predicament. Awareness of said predicament seems to have nothing to do with any other classification, national boundary, class, socio-economic status, or any of the other dozen classifications we hear about everywhere in the media. You know, all the ways they divide and butcher us up :)

    Our "predicament", if somewhat vague, describes all the flavors we here and on NBL see it in: full extinction vs. "some will survive", "We're done for" vs. "things might change, who knows", etc. Like Artleads, I'm not so sure we will go "all extinct". I sure hope some uncontacted tribal people in the Amazon survive. I share Mark's concern in this regard: it's not just us... even if we're convinced we will go, perhaps there's a chance to leave something behind that might survive and recover, be it humans, or other beings. The Earth, a living being in itself, could use a little less heat, scars, radioactivity and poisoning. I hope we will surrender to this idea for a second. Funny how we need to surrender to the idea of "surrender" first before we surrender to anything else.

    1. MANY species are going extinct, while HS still expands. As though IC is rigged, first against non humans, then next against the weak, leaving those in the inner sanctums of IC with a sense of invulnerability. It's this sense of invulnerability of us in the heart of IC that I can't get past. People who think analytically have little trouble in seeing we are ALL doomed. But all *I* have to go by is intuition, which tells me no such thing. (To a degree that is variable depending on the day.) It's the bloody propaganda that has us bewitched. I'm interested in delving into the propaganda first and foremost. Not in an intellectual or academic, but rather an emotional and spiritual, sort of way. It's the propaganda induced trance that interests me and that I haven't figured out which pulls me. So I just draw a blank as to who or what, if anything, might survive. I have zero "picture" of some sort of future 40 or 50 years from now, much less beyond that. I'm extremely "near sighted" in what I perceive. How 2015 will turn out will undoubtedly give a clue as to how 2016 will. I'm afraid I can't see farther than that. So I can't say that some small pocket of HS will survive, that the significant bulk of HS will survive, or that no one will survive.

      I do vaguely envisage changes--like a LOT more people growing food, massive changes around regional government, a gift society, those kinds of on-the-ground material things. I envisage some kind of spiritual breakthrough that starts with me looking at the world differently. Be the change you want. But nothing too fancy and wart free. So, again, I'm clueless about the future and extinction, but pleased to engage in the present, come what may.

    2. When I have time I'm going to go copy the amazing words OLD GROWTH FOREST said about the night she hit the floor in total surrender. It's one of her powerful stories.

      Guy McPherson & others were recent voices reminding us simply to think about all the nuclear power plants. Just like SATISH I was concerned by many problems but the biggest most long lasting meta-question was mass meltdown. Even a bit bigger than nuclear war & climate change (As if those problems were not big enough) But the towering reactors pack full of rods - with no safety plan beyond each individual plant really floored me. I had to surrender to the thought of surrendering all other problems to the one most overlooked. Even if nuclear bombs were abandoned they only contain a cup full of horror to decay - as long as the enriched plutonium was never left in the ready to fire (charge contact) mode. But the plants will melt down in days-weeks without constant care. Even a few physics guys like me would be helpless to know what to do to contain such an event. Although Lidia could be much more constructive in her manner...she is right that it takes about 30 years to decommission. When California does move a few inches north again. Many quakes may strike both San Onofre or Diablo Canyon. Even shut down reactors remain full of rods for decades. Obviously Fukishima radiation is still flowing across the Pacific. Yet there is confirmed propaganda not to over concern the public. Protect business & tourism rather than raise the level of concern. Sorry everyone but I am the SNOWDEN inside the big money machine. Now even ISIS would like to kill me. But I'm not going to surrender my voice of waring to giant agencies. Houston we got a problem. Every second the clock is ticking toward a variety of impact events striking...then there will be a chain reaction. What on earth have we created. What on Earth can be done???

    3. Mark, it seems as if we have booby-rigged civilization to implode when the time comes. If that's not what all these 400 or so reactors are, what are they? Civilization makes for stupid men... who else would risk eternal radiation for a few measly megawatts!

  8. Hi red fox, I can see how it feels like you're being told "how it is". Sabine is right in saying Lidia and I don't see eye to eye. I find myself wanting to see eye to eye with others. If after I try for a while and fail, like it has happened with Lidia (up until now anyway), I begin to ask the question: what does it mean that I share the same space with her, one whose beliefs overlap with mine in some ways but not at all in other ways? Can I ever get myself to see the world the same exact way Lidia does? Probably not... because I considered it, debated it much with friends and finally concluded it's not for me. I have several friends who see the world like she does, in terms of Science. Where I live is full of folks like that. I was partly like that, never so confident as Lidia or any of them though.

    Anyway, since you asked everyone here what they thought of pieces of Lidia's response to my comments on NBL, I thought I'd say my piece too :) Actually, it'd be fun to discuss with you how you see her viewpoints. How does red fox, the pan-Animist, see the world through Scientistic Lidia's eyes? Where do you connect with her? And how? It's me stepping into your shoes as you step into hers. Some freaky dimension of empathy that would be :)

    Lidia, if you're reading this, hope you don't mind us discussing stuff like this, a few things that have something to do with you.

  9. Hi Satish,
    Cheers for your comments over on the other essay.
    It's pretty simple how I view what Lidia brings. there's nothing particularly deep about it. I happen to like the way she tells it how she sees it and to me, that is a complete opposite pole to how someone like Mo sees it. I guess i'm somewhere in the middle, maybe even 50/50! I like that she brings a hard groundedness to things and I have to say, I would much rather have her "spikey" manner than a "fluffy" one. This is one of the reasons that I liked reading Ulvfugl at NBL. He was mega spikey and I have a feeling that he respected Lidia's position whilst certainly not agreeing with her dismissing (sorry L if this is wrong!) the metaphysical aspects. I believe one needs these opposite ends of the spectrum views to challenge ones own position.
    Although you are well aware of my views, I dont really consider them to be that "out there" compared with the new age trash. I like paring things down to the bone which I believe, although cant prove, is what our antecedents before sedentism would have done. If it enables you to live "authentically", providing for ones needs without needlessly causing pain etc etc then in my book that is real spirituality grounded in materialism. In this world, here now, the materialist mode of operating is paramount BECAUSE the materialist mode IS the spiritual mode, here. These are my views and I dont declare them to be this is how it is.
    This is why (mainly directed at Mo) I have a real problem when someone tells me "this is it". Well, no, it isnt. It is how you feel it to be. As you say Satish, as someone with anarchist views, I baulk at this and im afraid that my quite considerable number of years involved in "spiritualities" means that my hackles are raised when I encounter this. In this country it is termed "californiacation" of spirituality. I dont label Mo as this, everyones beliefs are their own but they are not, objectively, "how it is". Got to dash im afraid...

    1. Hi red fox, I'm somewhere in the middle too and take occasional trips to either extreme when the circumstances favor/demand. "I believe one needs these opposite ends of the spectrum views to challenge ones own position." Very much so... in fact, there's not the one without the other. Contrast is how creation seems to express itself through.

      I have a hard time accepting that our ancestors, the ancients, were any less spiritual than the most profound new age thinker of today, or the most accomplished Buddhist monk with 30,000 hours of meditation to his credit. The ancients related to the creation around them in a very matter-of-factly way, with respect and care. To me, that's plenty of spirituality right there. Unmediated 1:1 interactions between beings and spirits. I believe, the diversity we see around us comes out of such a model, a model sans hierarchy, which the ancients perceived as the most natural and the most just, and which I believe helped us thrive for a good 99% of our time.

      Californiacation... good one... there sure is a lot of that here, where it comes from. Every sect has to have a presence here. The Hare Krishnas have multiple centers in Northern California. I used to read their books when I was in college in India.

  10. Hi Artleads,

    Thanks for taking me up on my invitation to psychoanalyze me :)

    I'm curious about this though:

    "I looked at Satish's past articles. Brilliant. Right on. But I see him and us as being in a different place just now"

    In what way are we in different places?

    "In fact, we don't even use the sun here in the southwest. Anybody who is anybody has a washer and drier. My wife is afraid bugs will get on the clothes outside. (Not her fault. Her mom, who was inordinately influential in her tribe, was at war with nature.)"

    The war with nature... Don't get me started on it :) Someone I knew was deathly afraid of taking a walk among the trees at dusk. I was naturally puzzled. She told me it was a movie that scared the bejeesus out of her. Now I had to watch it: "Deliverance", a classic. One of the most influential movies of its era. Maybe you saw it. But it was clear why anyone would hate nature and wilderness, or at least be very scared of it after watching it. And if you're a teenager, oh, the tragedy! Scarred for life, as my friend was. The war with nature started with fear. Fear of nature.

    There are people at Google who say the darnedest things, like, why do we need snakes anymore? There are a few in the grasses next to campus and one smart guy wanted animal control to come get them all and take them away. Thankfully, others shouted him down in the online forums.

    1. Hi Satish and others,

      I've always loved "Deliverance". It's not the "wild" the "wilderness" that's scary in that movie, it's the people who are portrayed as mutants. I admit, they do look a little scary.
      I'm listening to the duelling banjos in my head now.
      Isn't it strange, the effect that the "wild" has on modern people.
      We do "inherit" out fears from the adults around us if we're not aware enough early on in our childhood.

      My mother had the usual spider phobia which my sister took over (unthinkingly) but I didn't. Even as a small child,when I sensed that spiders were "ugly" in the "not cuddly" sense but most, I thought of them as fascinating, beautiful, the way they moved, spun their webs (and how beautiful are those webs!).
      That's just an example of many. When I look back at this now I think (analyse it as) that I must have always been quite independently minded, wanting to find out and experience the world for myself. I'm still like that, quite different from my sister. So it's not nurture.... but nature. Needing to be connected and interacting. It really is about seeing the world (as I think it is), reality here on our Earth with constant attention, awareness and interaction, on every level with every being.....Then you will always have natural courage, you will not be afraid and all the "right" things will happen because you're open and interacting. Many times, I don't initiate such interaction, it just happens. And so I love spiders and any bug you care to mention. I never needed to employ reason for that sort of experience, as many people have to do in order to get over their fears.
      And here, in England, there's nothing" scary" anyway, nothing in the "natural world" that could be in the least bit dangerous to me. I know what Aconite or the deadly poisonous Amanitas look like, and all the other plants that could possibly poison me. :) I know people who are scared simply if I mention the poisonous fungi. How sad to be so separated, no wonder so many people have so many issues, problems, mental disorders. It's the man-made world that is poisoning them, yet they find the "wilderness" scary and full of dangerous plants.
      I wonder whether Bud has a theory handy which offers analysis and therapy for being scared to the wild? ;)

      And yes, we need everything that the Earth gives birth to, name it! It's not for humans to decide....but our species thinks it has the right to do just that.

    2. I wrote that too quickly, and only read it through after publishing. Please ignore the little mistakes.

    3. Sabine,
      When my step daughter the eldest was doing that thing that I used to call RE (think it became PCSE or something) her class was asked to draw a picture of what they thought "god" looked like (A bit of a presumption in the first place!). So she did. She drew a nice big fat black spider. This is because she had already made her mind up she was atheist in the truest sense and that all beings were "equal". She got a bad mark for this and was told not to be so silly. She is a very "spikey" character also so was somewhat pissed off to say the least, as was her mum. This was about the year 1999 not 1600 (she would have been hung or burnt then of course).

      What about adders!
      Of course, only going to defend themselves if you step on them. This is adder country round here and also in the Brecks ( Brecks=the driest part of England bordering Norfolk and Suffolk; it was "desert" in the mediaeval period with sandstorms if you US folks are havent heard of it).
      St Patrick must have driven them all out of Eire to Britain ha ha!

    4. Red Fox,

      You mentioned adders.
      When we first moved to this house, I had adders visiting the garden for years. The landscape around here is heathland, part of the original heath that stretched all the way from the South of England, over to Holland, Northern Germany (also there where I come in Westphalia), along the North German plain into Poland and the Baltic States. Quite a huge area populated by the "heathens", the ones who were reluctant to convert to Christianity and stayed pagan (heathen) for quite some time (in Germany, Poland and the Baltic). St. Patrick and other Irish monks were more successful with the Anglo Saxons in England. Then Anglo Saxon and Irish monks came over to Germany to spread their religion among the Saxons and some Slavic tribes quite some time after the English were converted.

      Sorry, the heath were I live got me off the subject of adders onto heathens - I ramble sometimes.

      Anyway, one year I found a nest of adders in my herb bed, where they had spent the winter. Three tiny ones. Adders don't produce eggs but give birth to fully formed little ones, but I'm sure you know that.
      I haven't seen adders here in my garden for at least 15 years but grass snakes still visit. There is a pond near by. I didn't realize how long they can grow until I saw one close up, which must have been about 1.50 - 2.00 metres long. The last adder I saw was two years ago, sunning itself in the sand among the flowering heather on our Common.

      I feel very honoured when I see a snake in the wild but I think they're getting rare here. I'm glad you have them too.

      Oh, to see a rattle snake or a cobra in the wild. I'd love that.

    5. "In what way are we in different places?"

      I may have jumped the gun here. I was liking the latest thread so much that I just couldn't see how "going back" could be any better. But I'm warming up to the idea that it (going back) presents the same opportunities for dealing with the present as does the current one. :-)

      As to the psychoanalysis. You're welcome. I clearly can't even deal with myself, however... What your "invitation" has done is nudge me to be a little clearer and forthcoming about my own behaviors and proclivities. Toward each person being affirmatively distinct, and so heightening the advantages for the group of diversity.

    6. Sabine,

      You are a fountain of understanding, on many levels, about Europe. Although I don't have time to go into it right now, I wish to express an intuition. I'm interested in how one piece of land flows into another into another, on and on, seamlessly. As part of this, there's the prospect of human organization oriented less around language and religion, and more on aspects of the landscape--like watersheds. European nations have long been at war, but can they come together over land? No time for it just now, but I hope you'll let it percolate in (assuming you haven't been thinking along similar lines). Bye and bye, I'd really like to know your thoughts on the matter. :-)

    7. Ah, Red Fox,

      I could have included you with Sabine. Sorry, I hadn't yet read what you had to sat about the dry English past. Very interesting. :-)

    8. Artleads, I find you to be most humble and very "perceptive of the subtle", the way you notice the effect of a conversation on your stance and the way you try going in the direction you feel the Universe is pointing you in, just to check out what it's like. Maybe I'm projecting some of my current aspiration onto you, but when you say, "I was liking the latest thread so much that I just couldn't see how "going back" could be any better. But I'm warming up to the idea that it (going back) presents the same opportunities for dealing with the present as does the current one. :-)", you display a tremendous amount of empathy. Not just with people, but ideas and situations too. I can warm up to people, as in get in their shoes, but it seems to me I can warm up to a situation or a set of circumstances too. What is it like to live in the South of UK? In Sabine's garden, or red fox' trailer? Or back in the day of the Ancients? Perhaps we're still empathizing with people and perhaps that's all we can do being people ourselves. But there's something about empathizing with other beings, and spirits of all kinds, that seems oddly possible and even enriching. It feels like you do that sometimes, talking about the care for pieces of art, or for the built environment, no matter how artificial and gray. All these things are spirits, or they wouldn't be in our consciousness. That's my story these days, anyway :)

    9. red fox,

      "This is because she had already made her mind up she was atheist in the truest sense and that all beings were "equal""

      That is really interesting. Her "conviction" that all beings are equal is a highly evolved and mature one, and one which I believe we all feel to some extent deep down. It's the basis for the most just Universe imaginable. Perhaps some atheists see God in everything. And everywhere rather than nowhere. Or perhaps some pick that label to describe themselves because we don't really have a popular one for the belief that everything is equal and everything is godly.

    10. From you extremely kind post:

      "But there's something about empathizing with other beings, and spirits of all kinds, that seems oddly possible and even enriching. It feels like you do that sometimes, talking about the care for pieces of art, or for the built environment, no matter how artificial and gray. All these things are spirits, or they wouldn't be in our consciousness. That's my story these days, anyway :)"

      Although this is how I've always tended to see things, your clear reinforcement and augmenting of those tendencies has stabilized them considerably in me. At least, for now. :-)

    11. So what you've done in your blog history, perhaps, is not so much to lay out a history of your developing thought, but more, laying out (horizontally) elements of a system of thought? In this manner, time and sequence seem to get merged into one. These are THE fundamental issues of the present? It crossed my mind that you could stay with these archived threads for the foreseeable future. Maybe this could be done with many blogs, but I haven't experienced that many to know, and none I've experienced seem so organic, so like a living creature that has many chambers within the one. This leads me to believe that our MO here might be to go backward instead of forward. Or sideways. Just not falling into the trap of pursuing some form of "progress."

    12. Or I could also suggest that you're setting up a *program* that is consistent with a shift of paradigms... Mark's work might be where the rubber of such a program hits the road? One of many, but perhaps the foremost and most urgent?

    13. Hi Artleads,

      "laying out (horizontally) elements of a system of thought? In this manner, time and sequence seem to get merged into one. These are THE fundamental issues of the present?"

      That's a good way to see it. I talk about a bunch of seemingly unrelated things that in my mind are very much related to each other. The spirit of time does bind them all together in a way but there are certain key trends that are also discernible throughout the history of mankind on planet Earth. For instance, centralization of power, since it began, has been a one-way street and the world is now fully centralized. The Earth has shrunk and a few people have taken control of it and its inhabitants. That's a key trend. There are others, but looking at the lives of tribal people helps me put our times in context.

      "This leads me to believe that our MO here might be to go backward instead of forward. Or sideways. Just not falling into the trap of pursuing some form of "progress."

      Excellent understanding! That's definitely a good way to put it. Progress is outdated :) Some people believe that our worst days are behind us (cave man, living in forests, hunting and gathering, subsistence living, etc.) and out best are ahead of us (Elysium with sophisticated Technology to cure our bodies of all illnesses, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, New Age, Evolution 2.0, Eisenstein's "new story", singularity, travel to Mars and beyond, etc.). I happen to think the opposite: our best days are behind us and we're now in a cancerous state on our host planet. I don't think we can go back on our own cognizance. It has to happen to us. There's a whole lot of surrendering to be done. And things will fall where they will. But the more we try to control things, the worse our problems get. The rise of control is another key trend, and the rise of Sociopathy is closely related to the rise of control. Sociopathy is about control. So how do we relinquish control when the people who need to relinquish are all about gaining more control from their peers and adversaries?

    14. "So how do we relinquish control when the people who need to relinquish are all about gaining more control from their peers and adversaries?"

      I keep reading on ourfiniteworld that the oil industry is bound to collapse pretty soon, and that this will collapse the entire economy. If so, it wouldn't be the psychopaths to worry about. Somehow, however, I'm not picking up that scenario on my radar. I don't see the psychopaths allowing Humpty Dumpty to fall. They'll make up something, catch Humpty in a net, and convince the public that this is all a sign of progress and wellbeing.

      I guess I don't have any more clues than the next person where we are or what to do. It's back to what makes me feel good. The backyard gardening program this year is telling. Less control. Let the weed trees come up (unless they are--unlikely--easy to pull out), and cut off the branches to use for mulch. Dig up the invasive grasses only here and there and see if the natives have a chance of returning in the gaps. Don't till. Throw seeds on the pile of mulch-with-organic-stuff in the garden beds, and sprinkle soil over it. Water whenever the spirit moves, and only insofar as it feels good. Nothing right or proper. Needless to say, the results so far are a spectacular failure of anything to grow. Do things correctly? Follow rules? Work harder? It seems to me that I'd rather starve or face jail time. So my backyard garden defines "no control." It's "hopeless" and "wrong," but at the end of time, I assert the right to do exactly as I please.

  11. Hi red fox,

    Sorry I never got back to you about the hyperlink:

    I'm afraid I am not very tech! I tried it by putting in http:// on another link (runesoup I think) but it didnt work. Have I got to type in <a at the beginning and end of the address? All I do on NBL is copy and paste and it works but not here. I am using an Acer Chromebook if that makes any difference."

    So LT followed by a followed by a space followed by href followed by = followed by "http://link" followed by GT followed by the descriptive text you want to appear as a link followed by LT followed by / followed by a followed by GT

    :) Try it!

    1. It's in this format:

      LTa href="link here"GT Text Here LT/aGT

      LT above is <
      GT is >

    2. Hi Satish,

      I was just thinking about your reply to something "they" said and you answering whether it's "romantic" to want clean water and clean air.
      Yes, we romantics are asking for much to much, it seems.

      Here in North-Western Europe, we are enveloped by thick high smog. Northern France has almost disappeared today, looking a bit like China, and we're getting it in England too. On the South coast, they're on the highest alert, advising the old, sick and small children to stay indoors.

      Yep, clean air is already a "romantic" ambition for most people in IndCiv. I can feel the bad taste in my mouth, both physically and metaphorically.

      But I must go out and prune my vine. Today is an optimum day for this task.

    3. Hi Sabine,

      I watched a documentary recently called "Under the Dome" about air pollution in China. It was in Chinese with English subtitles. There were good things about the narrative but I was really annoyed that it centered on governmental regulation or lack thereof, as in more rules and stricter enforcement would fix things, that corruption and lax standards are the reason why the air is so thick. An analysis of the deeper causes (IndCiv) was noticeably absent.

      They say the Chinese government tried to ban it. I suspect they tried to ban it to give it some publicity so they can clamp down and strengthen their control over society some more. The State becomes stronger. That's what the film seems to be calling for: stricter controls and more laws. Industrial Civilization marches on meanwhile, with the toxicity now exported to another country somewhere in Africa. It doesn't sink in that it all shows up everywhere. Particulates emitted in China show up in Los Angeles and Fukushima radiation is here on the California coast.

      Pollution says, "you can run but you can't hide!"

    4. It's very rare that someone beside myself posts on the Land Use thread of the forum. But, much to my delight, here comes someone new, talking about a Chinese highway in Costa Rica:

      Re: Land Use

      « Reply #370 on: April 11, 2015, 10:36:05 AM »

      "Very new to the forum but I too liked this thread. Here in Costa Rica Chinese money is building a 4 lane hwy from Liberia to San Jose. They have reached Canas with the first leg. My first thought about this mega road was this. "How in the hell are people going it get across this bitch of a road to take grandma some iced tea?" The engineers have built some of those over the road staircases but not nearly enough of them. I guess they can call grandma on the phone to see if she needs anything and mail it to her.
      I know that a lot of Gringos like myself are the main contributors to NBL. After all we have money, time, and good internet access. I guess that as far as this goes, I would say that I too feel a little guilty. Ok now that the guilt trip has been laid bare what relevant statement can I make that will let me out of this thread without feeling stupid as well as guilty? Ok... here it is. If you agree that NTHE is in the cards as I do, if you believe that, then really you have to go to the next question which is.... Why bother with a blog or a forum at all? Oh shit... Now I have to answer my own question.... Well there you have it. I get bored talking to myself as nobody around me believes the world is coming to an end. At least here there are like minded writers... Take care of friends that don't see it coming. It helps with the guilt thing."


    5. Re: Land Use

      « Reply #371 on: April 11, 2015, 01:31:15 PM »

      Hi alidog99,

      Thanks for commenting! I'll get back to you. Much to share.

      Lots of really interesting comments on the following thread. Satish is the owner of the blog. It's a sort of complement (sp) to NBL. So we're going backward into Satish's archives that no one commented on at the time. I make some comments on land here and there in this (and other) threads. I very much hope you can take a look. You'll be most welcome. Otherwise, I'll attend to your post ASAP.



      Re: Land Use

      « Reply #372 on: Today at 07:15:25 AM »

      "Thanks so much for the new link. It is great. Nothing better than a really good Sunday morning read. To think I used to waste a couple of hours reading the NYTimes. Living in a rural area of Costa RicaI really see how close the tribal connection is through the local Ticos. They are so kind and generous and sharing of their lives. They are so attached to their families. Their who am I? is These are my people, this is where I am from. I am fortunate to be here. To be welcomed.
      Again thanks so much"

  12. hey all - quick thought: there is simply no way in the great green Universe that I would *ever* want to convince anyone of anything other than what they know to be Real and True to their own experience. I have no need, no desire, no agenda to do any such thing.

    I am only ME here, ever. that is enough. all I am ever doing, as Satish put it, and as others understand here, is sharing my experience from my POV. I will never back down from my own POV that I know is Real and True, and I wouldn't expect anyone else to back down from theirs either. my interest is quite the opposite.

    1. Hey Mo,
      I really appreciate that last comment. It has cleared things up for me. I dont "know" you, I can only read. So when I have read stuff that you have said it has come across to me (I realise it is me not necessarily anyone else) as if that is "truth" rather than your truth. Because of my background and fairly wide investigations I am extremely nervous when I come across things that sound to me like they are based in newage. This is my bias and i'm glad I have it because as you yourself know, the modern day spirituality "quest" is like a minefield which is why I mostly discarded everything I had read and settled for simplicity and an endeavour to listen to both Land and beings. I can see from that comment that you are entirely genuine in your belief and strong with it. Like I said in a previous comment, it is a real pity that these are just words on a screen that carry little in the way of conveying real expression.

    2. thanks, red fox. yes, it is a real pity we can't all be sharing these things together, face-to-face and side by side. that's why I emphasize so much that I don't want to steamroll anyone about anything. I really want everyone to feel safe about being themselves here, and being true to themselves, as best they can in this kind of format. that's the only way we can really get the most out of the time we are all spending here. I always have the deepest respect for the authentic truths that are shared here.

      thanks again. I really have very much enjoyed our conversation, and I would love to explore things much further with you. it is such a great pleasure!

    3. Mo,
      I'm glad you're here being yourself, the way you are. I get the feeling we all are. You, Satish, artleads, Mark and Red Fox all come across as "unthreatening" to me. It's not always like that for women, in real life and here in the virtual world. I've said this about Satish, that he never imposes his ego (we all have one) on others. You're the same, as are Red Fox, artleads and Mark. I feel that I can be my chatty self. Thank you all for that. You all seem men who have nothing to prove, none of you "shout" or "pose". It makes this blog special and very rare.

      It DOES impress me much.

  13. Quick Hi. Reading you is relaxing me between Scripps & Max Planck meetings. ARTLEADS - Jupiter florida has a great land use plan. Natural greenways & sand tortuous preserve that meanders all around these high tech lab/campus headquaters. I can just imagine some Google type inside fearing the snakes cause I saw one...not a bit afraid after living in a rainforest in Y2K.

    Teaching myself a lesson: never say seriously hurt unless I'm in an actual hospital. Then I doubt I'd be blogging from a hosp. LOL

    My step daughter is now a grown young woman. We had her wedding 6 months ago. DEATH threats form ISIS or any terror source are only words not actual swords. We got hours of questioning. NSA is trying to reassure all sorts of military families. It's on TV news....but Thank God my MO FLOW & OGF voices remind me I do not have a real problem in physical reality. I'm not going to spend this lovely day with a head full of fear. I've got a lovely SABINE garden in my heart. I even enjoy being entrusted to try to reduce a world full of big problems. This former ranger is going to answer Sabines prayer "Just one more year" keep on praying!

    1. "I've got a lovely SABINE garden in my heart."

      yeah, that's a pretty wonderful place, isn't it? I've been enjoying it ever since I came across it a year or so ago...

    2. Mark, Glad you're able to see some light in the darkness. Best wishes for the safety of you and family.

      I know about all the fears of snakes. There is no end to this sort of thinking. We have to change the scope of the struggle. It's absolutely not about directly changing anyone or anything. It's about the power of what you project. One either is convinced of that power or one is not. It's God's power. It won't do exactly what you want exactly when you want it. It has a life of its own. But it IS directly correlated to the level of your effort and commitment (and belief).

      Let's assume that God put Satish here to attract a special core group of workers. You would have by FAR the largest scope of work of us all. You see this work as directly safeguarding nuclear facilities, and IT IS.

      But doing any single thing is the paradigm of industrial society--splitting the world up into compartments and ignoring the whole. My take is that you need to do (arrogant bastard that I am :-)), beyond your immensely advanced mathematics and security-state attachment, is to step aside and take in the whole picture too. Maybe this isn't how you're trained to think, but it's what you need to do to succeed. You have to "latch on" to every branch of government. Your nuclear/security cache' gives you the power to do that. Call it preparing ALL communities to deal with nuclear emergencies. But it will be in sync with land use too--access to hospitals, natural buffers in plant radii, keeping development away from those places, avoiding congestion everywhere that's critical, ensuring healthy food production in radii, etc. You are the best person to get this done. (So DO take rigorous car of yourself!)

    3. ARTLEADS & everyone of course. Thank you because by reading each of you I am learning a larger perspective. (Rather than all the mass media propaganda people repeat on Facebook) This has depth and insight. An instant sort of realization that of course I and all of us "must step aside and take in the whole picture" because this isn't how you're (any of us) are trained to think. Luckily I've been a ranger and had that year long ago sailing around the Pacific....also my brief Peace Pilgrim months walking around Australia, So it was some gut instinct that brought me here to attempt this form of communication....and ART you are a good teacher when I notice your good instructions. Reading every word on this page carefully with time to think before I go to sleep.

      "Let's assume that God put Satish here to attract a special core group" "I'm glad you're here being yourself, the way you are. I get the feeling we all are."as Satish put it, and as others understand here, is sharing my experience from my POV

      draw a picture of what they thought "god" looked like (A bit of a presumption in the first place!). So she did. She drew a nice big fat black catch the fly....LOL

      How about a blank page...since God is supposed to be in everything. The empty page alone is full of God-particles. Burn it and it only transform to the energy of smoke made of trillions of atoms *** a little bit of God creation in each and every one.

    4. Mark, I'm glad you are feeling better after your scare. If anything I have ever written was helpful to you during that time, I am deeply grateful. I think of you often, and I think Artleads may have insight into something, and that is that together the people here do provide support for you as you experience what is, like Guy's work, one of the more interesting job descriptions on the planet at this time, don't you think? I have considered a perspective similar to Art's in connection with you, myself, but then I consider that I'm one of those people, and I think, Naahhhhhhh. This isn't real.

      Hang in there, and know that I hold you in my friendship heart frequently, and say "Wow" a lot at this whole experience. Wow. What a trip, eh?

    5. Yes Mark,

      do take good care of yourself.
      I think of you often, doing the work you do and how you are coping with it. In the man's world, I can think of many jobs more important than yours - for us. What a responsibility. Hang on in there, as OGF says. I often can't believe that my little garden concerns and mutterings are giving you moments of pleasure. If they really do, it makes me glad!

    6. Dear, Old Growth Forest, many times your words have meant the world to me. More than writting I simply love getting lost in your stories. That's why I weave you & Sabine into my lines. Lately I've been reading at bedtime...well honestly I've been a night reader for ages..but the storys of You & ARTLEADS .. the really descriptive stuff goes into my deams. I will not allow myself to go to sleep on bioterror & trouble. I've had a gifted life. much beauty, so the portion of myself I give to work is sort of a payback. A thanks to my whole life..and that lesson about also paying things forward. In some ways it's harder than McPherson because I only "talk" to this special little tribe who understands better than others. Of course I'm in contact with people all day long - but you know how even old friends seeem to be getting turned into mass media minds. I love all my close family but they also alter between consumer machine thinking then over hyper fright. Not just nature but also much human thinking is running out of balance from hot to cold. No wonder it all gets to me as well. I wrote MO FLOW an e-mail specifically about nice OLD GROWTH FOREST inspirations. The irony is that I ought to be telling you directly. Honey THANK YOU forerver. Chick #5 survive? Peace is in drying the paper towels & all those daily little things ranger Marco used to do. Maybe this is like back during WW2 when some farm boys did finally have to go fight the holocaust. Until I get another calling I believe the same God energy that had you at the point of surrender on your cabin floor,,now has some of us human helper cells trying to fight the cancer of war againt Earth our mother. Unlike Guy who say's it's over...I feel I am part of Mother Natures immune system. She has some natural fight in her. I am a cell. You are my guides. Bless us all.

    7. Everytime you write "Honey," I crack up! Dear Mark, that means a lot to me. I don't know how much I told you about my thing about writing, so forgive me if I repeat the story. One of the clearest memories I have of childhood is sitting and drawing lines of linked circles, like I was writing, long before I attended school. Of course, back then, we weren't teaching newborns to play Mozart, and pretty much everyone began to learn to read and write in kindergarten, so this was before kindergarten.

      I didn't know what I wanted to write, much less how to write, but I KNEW I really wanted to write, and to write something important that would make a difference to someone. I remember the drive and the frustration that I could not only not write yet, I didn't have anything to say!

      Where could that kind of drive come from? I'm pretty sure I was connected to a key part of my karma for this lifetime, that my writing was part of my job here. As I said previously, I always hoped to be rich and famous, more Rick Castle than the Fool on the Hill, but hey, here I am. I thought of you recently and considered exactly what you say here, that this is a unique place in your life so far as ideas you are able to discuss. You have to make compromises elsewhere that are not required here, and there are no other ideas that take precedence. I'm certain you have great moments with the people you are close to, but this written arena and this particular conversation room, can provide a safety and singularity that the conversation doesn't allow elsewhere. I'm really glad you have it, if it helps you, and maybe this is part of the job I was always meant to do. I've wondered my entire life exactly which part of the many things I have written was the main force behind that early childhood effort of mine. Maybe that's why we are required to forget our karmic lessons and debts. Knowing me, I would have contacted your parents by the time you were four, and had it all written out for you. Then, I would have told God that it was time for me to split, like jet, like now, Mon, and let's just save the small stuff for a better time.

    8. No. 5 does very well, and along with No. 1, is turning into my most striking baby with the beautiful copper feathers that just keep coming. No. 1 is white, on the other hand, with black barring on its wings, and No. 1 is also quite beautiful.

      Sadly, No. 3 has presented me with my first crisis as a poultry-keeping farmer. The babies are about 16 days old today and I have had them two weeks. No. 3 appears to have "wry neck." (I think the internet is the coolest technology EVER, speaking as a lifetime bibliophile.) It is quite sad. I have spent nearly all of today either shopping for baby vitamins, electrolyte fluid for babies, and chick nutrients to help chicks that have been shipped. No. 3 and I have spent a lot of time together today, and I need a pocket on the front of my shirt to carry No. 3 in. I am feeding and giving vitamin-electrolyte fluids and special foods every 40-60 minutes. So far No. 3's appetite remains functioning, and No. 3 is getting used to being handled by me. It was hard at first. I knew that when I acquired livestock and poultry that I would encounter health and care issues. I hoped it would not be this soon, but apparently they can be born this way. Some people say that medicated feed can cause it for some chicks. I was using medicated feed, but I have quit that. So far today I can't say that I have seen any improvement. Sometimes they improve right away, sometimes it takes days, sometimes a couple of weeks, and sometimes they don't make it. I hope No. 3 gets better.

      My next purchase will be bantam Rhode Island Reds! I am so excited! I will need to get my coop made, and I want to make sure I can keep them alive, but that is the next step. Nos. 1 through 5 are Easter Egger chickens. Mark, if you would be interested, I have some great photos I would love to share with you of the Puppyman, aka Blue, and the Nos. The ones of the chicks are hilarious. Ask mo. He loved them. Satish has my email, and I posted it in the last thread asking him to write to me. Please feel free to contact me and I would love to show the chicken pictures, because they are really cute.


    9. I'd love to see the picture. Guilty admission, I wrote down your e-mail long ago when you posted it the first time. Especially because I do travel around a lot. I'd be the one who actually pops by to run about with puppyman for a few hours! I just landed in DC a few hours ago. The Cherry blossoms in Georgetown are out. They only last a week. My driveway looks like a snow storm of pink. Think pink!

  14. There are inevitably groups doing parts of this work already. Coordinating with and connecting the dots between them is essential. It's not a case of doing the work all by yourself. I also suspect that a combination of working under and above the radar will be helpful.

    1. That's amazing. I'm thinking exactly the same. "Oh dear my job just got bigger..but wait no ....I'll just connect the dots. There are plenty of plans & videos & info...Just needs a refresh. A reminder for safety reason. "I envisage some kind of spiritual breakthrough that starts with me looking at the world differently. Be the change you want. But nothing too fancy" WE ALL CONNECT THE DOTS

    2. ""Oh dear my job just got bigger..but wait no ....I'll just connect the dots"

      Job gets bigger and you get to do less work! :-) Delegate, delegate, delegate.

      Marcus Garvey: "The world is run on bluff."

      So here's the bluff I'm calling: Mark Austin is in charge. The world at large might not know it, but that is irrelevant. Someone who acts without ego. That is it.

  15. Hi Mark,

    "between Scripps and Max Planck meetings":

    Is that the research facility of the Max Planck Society in Florida? I have a relative (in-law) who's a neuroscientist and who spent three years there. He came back to Germany last year and is now at the society's headquarters in Munich. He's a strange guy, hardy able to talk to "normal" people. Quiet and polite, not much of a sense of humour, rather how I imagine most research scientists to be. Not knowing many, I might be wrong because apart from him, I've only come across you. Are you maybe an exception in those circles?

    BTW, I'm really flattered that you think of my garden so much.

    Another one of my favourite local wild flowers has made it into my garden. It arrived last year, virtually out of nowhere because I haven't noticed it growing anywhere in the near countryside around our village. The nearest I've seen it is about 6 miles away. Again, this plant doesn't usually search out the kind of soil we have here and it's supposed to like shady (overgrown) hedgerows. The ones in my garden have appeared near a very sunny wall growing with other sun lovers. I really do have the impression that this lovely came especially to join my community of wild and cultivated plants.
    It's called hedge woundwort (good for healing cuts and other minor wounds), Stachys sylvatica. The second part of its scientific name tells you that it's a woodland plant, but there it is, sunning itself in my garden. It could have gone under trees and shrubs, I have plenty of those too, but no... I wonder why?
    Its nettle-like flowers are deep red: imagine a glass of beet juice sparkling in the sun, that's the colour. Beautiful! And all the pollinators love it!

    There's a lot of shouting and posing happening on NBL at the moment.

    Dear OGF,

    thanks for your fencing match with Clive over on NBL. I wonder whether the shouters actually took notice of your telling them in one of your comments that a sentence can make perfect sense grammatically but be utter gobbledegook anyway. (That's me rephrasing you.) You're pretty good taking them on. I couldn't anymore, I don't have the energy or the inclination left. But somebody has to, and I love reading your replies.

    As indeed I like reading Lidia's comments. Her rational ways are always well informed and to the point, therefore my acquired reason can relate to her too. I just feel that reason alone cannot make sense of the way I experience the world, only certain aspects of the man-made world, the "enlightened" world humans have created for themselves. I just like to leave that behind more and more and wander the Earth in the dark... letting the moon and the stars light my way.

    Still, I enjoyed your rational fencing with Clive. From my vantage point, you and Lidia are both valiant warrior queens.

    1. Hi, Sabine. I like your way of saying what I said. Yes, that Complete Sentence thing, coupled with liberal and generous use of abstract concepts and values, is a such a problem for us. It is able to fool a lot of the people a lot of the time.

      The truth is, I find it so prevalent that I can barely talk to most people these days. I'm beginning to have serious questions as to why the universe would have this new dog move in and take up residence with us, and whether it is, in fact, a good thing, considering that I can barely communicate with humans anymore. Between the rampant psychosis that occurs in most human minds, and the meanness that occurs in their hearts, I don't understand people, including myself sometimes. With each passing year I more and more appreciate why the elders rarely spoke at all! Words obscure a great deal, I think.

      Like you and as mo describes, I have always loved the animals and always had a pet. I am lonely without a pet. I have always said that I NEED their innocence and their honesty. I've come to learn that I also need the peace they have that comes from not being like us and creating entire universes in our minds that keep us insane and cruel and trashing the real universe we actually might ought to live in.

      I hope you are well. I thought of you so strongly the other day while out walking. It was a gorgeous moment. Darkly cloudy skies overhead after a light snow that had melted. The only thing in bloom is the willows, and the beautiful, downy tufts have been out for weeks. For a moment the sky cleared just a little, and the sun shone through and the drops of water on the white willow tufts were like so many countless diamonds reflecting light and color everywhere, and it was so beautiful! I thought of you and felt very close to you in that moment, for some reason, one that I am certain has to do with your love of nature and beauty.

      Hope you are well. If you have sunshine, please enjoy some for me.

    2. HI OGF,

      We do have sunshine at the moment and very strong wind from the Northwest, blowing the pollution from Northern France away..

      I've just been in the garden to pot up some lovely primroses/primulas for the windowsills in the house. I love them sitting there nodding at me when I come into a room. I have so many of them growing all over the place. Digging up a few doesn't even make a dent in the beauty of the garden landscape .
      They multiply and come up in the most gorgeous colours because they mixed with some reds, blues and bronzy ones I bought many years ago. Now I get them in so many shades: from the deepest reds and pinks to oranges, deep yellows through to brown/bronze. Some of them have developed darkish red/egg plant colour stems. They are so decorative and beg to be brought in for a while. When they start fading, I plant them out again ready for the next year. And they're edible! Their flowers look lovely on salads.

      One of the cultivated plants I grow is an American one: Hemerocallis (day lily we call them). I read somewhere, a long time ago, that this plant was cultivated as a vegetable by your people. Do you know anything about that?
      Mine are starting with their eventually long grass-like leaves now. And now is when I pick them for salads and light sauteéing. The leaves are sweetest before the flowers start but the flowers (I think the originals were all orange and yellow) are good too. Nobody I know here eats Hemerocallis but maybe, if my information is correct, your ancestors did.

      I feel exactly like you about people and animals. Animals are innocents and true in every sense. I find it difficult to trust a person who can't connect to animals. My father in-law was like that, and he was miserable - surprise, surprise. When he came into a room, it was like a black cloud descending.

      Yes, I am well and I think of you too, there way up North.
      I've been to Northern Sweden/Finland which I imagine a little like Alaska. I went canoeing there with my sister and some other women about 15 years ago. It was amazing and as wild a place as I've ever been to. They have wolves there too. We never saw any but we heard them. Magical moments!

      And yes, words and the purely intellectual plane obscure a great deal but that's where most "educated" people like to dwell. They're missing so much...following their experts, trying to cobble a philosophy together (from East and West) and fitting it into the world. Using more and more words.

      I found out quite early in my life that human language is always inadequate, no matter how many of them and how well you speak them. Yet here in this medium it's all we've got, and we're all trying our best here. That's why I like it in Satish's secret places.

      Your elders were/are right.

    3. AFAIK, words can be strung together primarily for their emotional quality. Sort of as in poetry, but not as "obscurely" as in much poetry. Would it be true to say that's like using words expressively rather than discourseively (sp) (word)? I thought this is what good writers did. So, just as in OGF's exquisite description above (the willows), it's important to use art much more than is the custom, or even as the chief medium of communication.

    4. BTW, that's what the ART in art-leads is trying to say. Art is the last refuge of freedom. So I'm proposing that art become our MO. What this implies is that our words would not be aimed at the head, but instead at the solar-plexus and the heart...

    5. wander the Earth in the dark... letting the moon and the stars light my way. ------ Come sail away. Float away. up on deck tonight we are wild & free.

      He's a strange guy, hardy able to talk to "normal" people. Quiet and polite, not much of a sense of humour, rather how I imagine most research scientists to be....I'm also very serious by day. Sometime I even work on giving the science expert role impression during the day. Some of it is about the hats we are expected to wear. Some is being truly serious abut deadly dangerous developments. Some is due respect to the field..then some of us just crack up laughing. Here I am in the KuKu nest...but yikes everyone here is so sane ! Love having MO FLOW surfing quantum circles in my brain. He's the part of me that really understand the way out there energy of vast realities...flowing way down into our hearts. Both spirit & science know that ENERGY is an actual form of being. Always transforming. Eternal. Alive !!!!

    6. Dear Mark,

      Something for the calmer moments. How does America get the most effective nuke management of all nations (I know we trend to be highly competitive...or we used to be)?

      Is it true that consuming iodine protects against some level of radiation? I think of seaweed. How much seaweed is deemed safe-ish from Fukushima radiation? Has the very food that could stave off calamity been already compromised by Fukushima? Is there an economical way to grow adequate seaweed inland?

      Anyway, what is the state of iodine in the world today? Forgive the too-general question. No need to respond.

      As to land planning. I think there is no piece of land that isn't part of some jurisdiction or other. A group of people sit down and determine what can or cannot be done on any piece of land. Cities and Counties have General Plans that provide more or less comprehensive plans for how their jurisdiction are to be governed/managed. I doubt that there exists a comprehensive survey of General and other plans for all land jurisdictions. But I think there needs to be one.

      I must caution that nobody pays attention to these plans. They have lovely wording that doesn't mean squat. Developers get around it. Anything to pay the city taxes. A vicious cycle. More developments that require more services that cost more that require more development to finance. Meanwhile, the earth gets trashed. Still, the plans give some sort of baseline to work from. And how does one jurisdiction's plan relate to its neighbor's?

      Anyway, my recommendation is to assemble all the plans. Planners ought to know how to do this, and make preliminary sense of them. And they should be forced to simplify the formatting so as to streamline the understanding of what matters: optimally well protected communities, with as much self-sufficiency and emergency planning as possible. Relative food security to be sure.

      Enough rambling for the night. Enjoy your weekend. :-)

      I'll look up the only planning web site I know of: planetizen.

    7. This doesn't reflect my vision. But the store of knowledge of the facts on the ground in real places is light years beyond anything I'm likely to know.

    8. POTASSIUM iodine only. Regular Iodine will kill you. Never ingest anything except POTASSIUM iodine. 4am way past my DC bedtime but I have some excellent news about 1st delegation that should happen by this Tuesday. I've extracted a bunch of your ideas that are going to get inserted into a meeting report. Talk about "Social Security" your ART - is leading a fresh effort to improve security...for thousands of years. Obama's grassroots Organizing for Action honors people like you each month. Many thanks. There will be delegations...or a mess of papers...They contracted me to turn research into molecular bio applications. Now I have charts of hydrology & restorative/preserve Land use in mind. I'll keep you posted.

    9. POTASSIUM iodine. Thanks Mark. Are there resources for manufacturing a nation's supply--for everyone? Does it work and can it be administered for animals? There is a SHOCKING dearth od wildlife left, relative to people and their animals. Something less than 10% of the former to over 90% of the latter, I'm told. Land must be preserved for wildlife. Sorry to preach, but there should be NO MORE development of open land. Meanwhile, there is exceedingly great need to transfer development to the city--as in "Brownfields" development. There are many design possibilities and nuances for the cities that I won't bore you with. I even think that forestries for wood need to be planted in and along "urban" infrastructures--e.g., along freeway and railway right of ways and everywhere else that isn't ideal for human habitat. The latter can be located over sprawl malls, with cool bistros, bookstores and gyms underneath. Everybody walks. A conference of progressive developers could spread light on the how-to issues. But no compromise whatever re no development of open land. And advertisers can sell anything--including the implied transformation of "the good life" to something of much higher aesthetic and environmental quality.

      "...They contracted me to turn research into molecular bio applications. Now I have charts of hydrology & restorative/preserve Land use in mind. I'll keep you posted."

      So looking forward to hearing from you. I have to pinch myself to be convinced that this is actually happening!

  16. This may be of interest to some of you. an article in Patheos by Peter Grey of Scarlet Imprint, author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft who has listened carefully to Guy, Ted and others.
    I still cant get this link thing to work-sorry!
    Here's the header followed by the link:

    The Total Collapse of Our Living Systems
    Modern humans do not understand that we are part of the web of life, and our connection has been deliberately severed. Your children or grandchildren will die. War is coming, over water, grain, and gas.

  17. Still wont work even though it's in blue; says link unavailable.
    It works if cut and pasted though!

    1. Red Fox,

      Thanks for your kind words re my land post.

      I used your first link to the witchcraft article. OI just cut and pasted it into my browser, and up it came.

      "The message should be that this is not a crisis, this is the crisis. The total collapse of our living systems is happening. These are not a series of disconnected events, but a set of self-reinforcing feedback loops. The tipping point is passed. Earth Day will only mean something if it puts millions of bodies in the way of the machine, and when it openly supports those who jam and smash the gears. By all means march, and I will support you, but recognize the limitations of doing only that."

      So true. It's time to get this show on the ROAD!

    2. "The Road" might not be the best metaphor here. :)

    3. Unless your a more for "The Road"

  18. Artleads, I also appreciate your comments more and more. I'm so glad I have an opportunity to talk to you in this way, and to read your comments in such a small collection of comments overall. Tres cool.

    1. Thanks, OGF. You have a special place in my heart.

  19. hey Sabine - Sven left you a comment in the main Who am I thread. the only way you may be likely to find it is do all the Load mores, then search (ctrl-F) on april 11 or on Sven.

    connecting worlds...

    1. mo, right below, at the bottom of the page, in the middle it says "Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)"

      Click on 'Post Comments (Atom)'. I can't tell that it's a link easily on my screen, but it is. Click on it and it will bring up the most recent 25 posts. It is the easiest way to catch up on them, I think.

    2. Replying to Satish's inquiry of me, above.

      Satish, I don't mind talking to you if you are truly interested in what I think. Ogf (whose unsolicited opinion of me seemed to have been an undercurrent here even before I arrived) is being abusive to a completely unwarranted degree.. she says "no one wants to talk to Lidia".. (and the old thread is full -as is this one- of "Lidia this" and "Lidia that" that I did nothing to provoke...) but YOU wanted to talk to me, Satish, and YOU invited me here in the first place. But I see it has just been to turn me into a caricature or a scapegoat.

      Among you, only red fox understands where I am coming from. And that's fine. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I just don't expect to be vilified, especially as saying something other than what I am actually saying. I came here to carry on a dialog which Satish quite insisted on pursuing at length. That's all. You guys supplied the drama.

      Satish, you appear to lump me in with your friends from Google, not understanding that—in the dialog above, about you and "THEM"—I do not agree with one single aspect of what "THEY" say, as you present it. Not one.

      That is why I walked away from MIT in 1982 and went to art school. Perhaps you don't fully understand the monetary, social, and familial costs of that decision.

      But it was an imperative to leave because I could see what THEY were like, just as it is an imperative now to talk about the energy flows I see.

      You don't see things the way I do.. ok, but notice I haven't engaged you folk, either here or on NBL, about metaphysics. I don't call you out to insult you for your beliefs in things I don't believe in, like ghosts or aliens. I don't engage because it doesn't interest me and there's no point getting into an argument.

      But when *I* say what *I* think.. BECAUSE, SATISH, YOU ASKED ME.. whoa nellie.. I'm called "abusive" and "malicious"! How is that fair?

      And sorry, but I do find it quite odd that instead of having a group discussion you all have decided that I'm some sort of "case" to be studied, because I would never think to treat any of you in that way.. to analyse as some sort of specimen.. (yet you dub me the "scientistic" one)!!!

      "There are people at Google who say the darnedest things, like, why do we need snakes anymore?" And you think I am like "THEM", at the same time I scandalized my sister years ago by telling her that I thought the lizard in my garden was worth more than most people.

      What angers me is not your talking about me behind my back as much as it is how much you all are getting WRONG, because (it appears) at least some of you are just reflecting your own issues and baggage.

      How easy it would have been to "make friends" with old growth and talk about lizards and gardens and not say what I really think. That would have been sociopathic or psychopathic or whatever lower-than-a-serial-killer type of being she thinks I am. I wouldn't be false and say how pleased I was to see so&so if I weren't... All this antipathy is extremely bewildering.

      ..."Lidia or any of THEM".. I don't know these THEM....
      If they are the Silicon Valley THEM, I can't stand THEM either!

      If anyone wants to talk TO me, they can find me at NBL.

      If you want to talk ABOUT me as a foil to exorcise your own issues.. have at it, but don't expect me to be happy that you've not only treated me poorly, I feel, but have misunderstood much of what I've been saying.

      And now, yes, I am angry.. because it's really not fun to read on the internet what a horrible person other people think you are.. not just run-of-the-mill horrible, no! ...the poster child for "THEM"!

      And now I'm laughing because of how absurd that is! :-D

    3. Lidia,

      Does this mean you don't want any of us to talk to you? I'm sorry you're hurt, but you can make little jabs about fluff (and quite a lot of "little" things that might seem unimportant to you) that don't go unnoticed by some of us to whom you think those terms apply. It comes off like scorn and contempt (and dismissive) to us who don't think like you. There is a sense that we are lame, lost souls who refuse to face your hard, clear reality, but continue to fool ourselves just to feel good. So you don't want to discuss metaphysics and I at least don't want to discuss energy gradients.

      I like and share your concern for the practical (as maybe most others here do). What I'm trying to share with Mark is quite straightforward and practical, IMO. How we learn to have respect for different learning and philosophical styles I do not know. You such a powerful mind, that I'd miss it if it were not here helping in the work we think we're trying to do. But I find you as frustrating (and sometimes as hurtful) as you seem to find us. I hope you stick around, but you'll make your own decisions.

    4. thanks ogf. I tried that suggestion when you mentioned it earlier, but for some reason clicking that link brings up a new page, but it is the raw XML version of the page. basically wall to wall XML code and text, and pretty much unreadable. I may have Chrome in some kind of developer mode and that's why I see the raw XML and not a nicely formatted readable page. I'll have to see what's going on there, as this idea would be great to have.

    5. Mo,
      Same as you re the "atom post" thingy. I use a chromebook with the chrome OS and browser. When I click the atom thing I get a ream of "stuff"!

  20. I think there is a difference between challenging someones ideas and beliefs rather than getting personal about the person who holds those beliefs. I have a real antipathy towards my notion of "fluff" even though to some people my own ideas are "fluffy". To a large majority of people involved in so called "pagan spirituality" my ideas are too based in rationality or rely too much on their hero, Jung's, "left brain thinking". Lose, lose ha ha!
    As I said in reply to Satish, I feel it is necessary to be challenged on occasions in order to reconsider ones own position, whether by books, by screen words or by real conversations. For good or ill we are living in a culture that really has no culture or grounding-it is a total "pigs breakfast" of many different philosophies and beliefs ranging from absurdist notions of "the one true god" who actually is interested in a puny human to the hard nosed irrational scientistic approach that does things because it can without considering consequences. This non-culture is insane imo because it most, not all of its inmates have zero grounding. Searchers, butterflies flitting from various beliefs. Been there; being born into a small culture that actually helps one to live in a reasonable, hopefully rational way will, ensure ones survival and the cultures longevity whilst, hopefully not doing unnecessary harm. Imo, this is a grounded spirituality and a rational, scientific approach.

    I see no reason to be offended when a belief/approach is challenged but a reason to be offended when the person who is holding that view is.
    I think Lidia makes valid points in her comment and I would have thought that someone who can make a comment such as that a lizard can be worth more than most people is deserving of a hearing and has a lot more in common with some of the people on here than perhaps we think?
    My two pennyworth :)

    1. red fox, I'm glad to see your honest posts. I'm not arguing, here, and I am writing this very respectfully. This is how I see this particular Now:

      I don't think there has to be a group consensus on any personality alive, nor does there need to be any agreement, do you? It doesn't matter who the person is.

      I would prefer not to be talked about, myself, at all, just as I prefer not to use evaluating terms in ordinary discourse (at least, I do those things when I choose to be respectful. However, when I feel annoyed and willing to dish it right back, then I use anything I want liberally, just like everyone else, except Mark. He's not is working high in politics for nothing. There is some serious behavioral discipline that goes on in some places, discipline I've never had. Notice how nice he always is. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, Mark. That is a real skill, and I'm impressed. I love that about you.

      No one needs permission to type. We don't all have to agree on what or who is valuable. Not ever, I don't think. Why don't we just get back to discussing ideas, and behaving ourselves, and then we won't have to come up with agreements or processes or understandings, or anything else.

      We cam just be respectful Now. And that will solve everything. I think. Unless someone really just feels compelled to speak their heart, as Artleads did. I really respect that. And I respect that you find value in anyone's comments. I won't try to talk you out of your feelings at all. Is there a reason why anyone would want to persuade or convince anyone else how they should feel or what they should value?

      Simple respect does it all, I think. We treat others like we would like to be treated, including not being defined by others at all in any negative way. Some of us think that being defined in positive ways is okay, and we even seek it, and we are taught that it's okay to say something nice, but when it comes to the bad things we might want to say, well, we should just keep it to ourselves.

      I say, what goes up must come down. It's better to stay put in the first place, and just don't go there at all. Appreciation is healing for me. The more I appreciate others, the happier I am! I love appreciating others. For my sake, I love it.

      Sometimes, it turns out that I simply am not able to appreciate someone sufficiently to be able to interact with them, at least not on this level. I'm not saying that is what is happening Now, but it happens. And whenever it happens, whatever I do will depend on that Now.

      In the mean time, doing the right thing Now is totally acceptable to me.

    2. OGF,
      No, I dont think that there has to be any agreement at all. In fact I get a bit bothered if I find that I am agreeing or being agreed with too much!
      I often argue with myself as it's a "win win", ha ha! I even sent myself to bed once because the argument got too personal :0)

    3. Dear Lidia,

      Please stay and put up with us here.
      I really mean it when I say that I value your input here and on NBL. I've read you right from the start and wouldn't want to miss your powerful mind (no irony here, I assure you). I'm sometimes not on your level but can relate to you nonetheless. My mind wanders....

      As I've read your comments for a long time now, I'm always aware how you really feel about people, your frustration that they don't get it, fool themselves into all sorts of things to stay in the "comfortable" world they've created for themselves: your sister and family come to mind.
      A lot of your descriptions used to make me laugh and rang so true with me. I also know (from your comments) your real concern, the one we all feel so powerfully: the destruction of the biosphere. All our discussions, arguments spring from that, in other words, we're really all on the same side. That's why I go to NBL and come here and you too.

      I'm a little reluctant to write all this.
      Artleads says I'm wily but I'm not. If I wanted to, I could take that to heart and feel pissed off because it's not exactly complimentary - but I don't. I know that he likes me really, don't you Artleads?!:) Therefore, whether Artleads thinks I'm wily or not, I have to say this: I just don't like people or anything feeling/being hurt. And you seem hurt, and I'm sorry for that. There are so few of us who care at all -who know, who are awake enough.

      OGF and you are both powerful women. I like to think of myself as one too but mostly I'm just muttering and humming, talking to plants and animals - while I still can.
      That's probably why I'm attracted to fancy flights but in my reality, I only "know" what I experience just like everybody else in their reality. That doesn't, of course, mean that I deny the "underlying reality" we all experience. Far from it! We'll all die if we manage to destroy the biosphere.
      Mo would agree there, I think. And all this is interesting to relate and talk about, the more spontaneous the better in my view.

      When I associate you with reason, yes, I mean that but I also know that there's more - that your heart is full. I don't know how else to express this, so please take this little outburst of mine the way it's meant.
      What OGF said there about appreciation being healing is something I feel too. "The more I appreciate (connect with) others, the happier I am". And that goes for all life forms...

      Red Fox,
      arguing with yourself is a "win win". I love it!

  21. Mo,
    I can't get to the comment you've left for me on the other thread. I followed your advice, but still, no luck. I'll try again later.

    1. hey Sabine - it wasn't me, it was Sven who left the comment for you in the other thread. just do a find on "Sven" (ctrl-F on PC cmd-F on mac) and you will find it. it's about halfway through the entire thread (if you do all the load mores you can!) funny that thread got so big we have to give directions. :)

      but if you can't find it, it looks exactly like this:


      Sven Eberlein April 11, 2015 at 12:30 PM

      Hallo Sabine, ich bin in Deutschland geboren und aufgewachsen, kam dann '87 nach dem Abi Richtung Kalifornien und bin seitdem dort hängengeblieben.

      Sorry everyone, had to do a little tribal bonding with Sabine. :-)

      We all inhabit many worlds, even those of us who aren't of bi-cultural backgrounds. I think the key is to be aware of them and connect them and create the kind of flow between them that they can benefit from each other. A bit like an ecosystem of worlds, if you will. And by nurturing a healthy biodiversity in our minds and hearts we are also better agents for the biodiversity we know this planet needs in order to support healthy and sustainable organisms.

      Blessings to all you solutionaries!

    2. Mo,

      Thanks for posting Sven's reply to me here. You're a star!!

  22. " I know that he likes me really, don't you Artleads?!"

    More like I love you. I really like people when I know they're on my team. Like an army battalion where you'll die for your buddy.

    We're at war. War against our own flawed conditioning. Like Red Fox fighting against himself. War against an insane global paradigm: Industrial Civilization? Industrial Capitalism? Physical Materialism? Separation? A FEW suicidal psychopaths in secret places? Our own abysmal failings?

    When Fidel was in the Sierra Madre fighting Battista, there was not one bullet to spare. He counted every single one. We're not in a martial, but more like a spiritual, war. There's not a single moment, not a single word or effort to spare. When someone tries to safeguard nuclear facilities, they're taking on the entire structure of society. There's no time for pretty words.

    It's true, Sabine, that I might think of you differently if I got to meet you. You strike me as being very comfortably ensconced in a brick house amidst an idyllic village setting, You make no lasting enemies. You try to patch up differences. You are centered in your Monet garden. And then if the world gets radiated, or too hot to handle, it's none of it your fault. You'll hang in there till...who knows what? Leave hat to the gods.

    I can't think of much (or anything) you say that I disagree with. I love your German-ness (Sometimes I think that, without knowing a single word of German, I can channel the German spirit--neither here nor there). I can imagine you smiling at everyone with wisps of light hair swirling in a halo of sacred "stuff." What's not to love? Like--I'm not quite as certain. :-)

    Pig's Breakfast indeed. I got a rise out of that.

  23. Mo,
    I'm reading "North Star Road" which is linking early witchcraft and the Otherworld journey with "shamanism" (urgh!). It is good though. I just came across this piece that he quotes from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of all things; to do with spirit flight in the form of a bird, in this case a gander /goose. Anyway, I thought of you;)

    "Striking down in sleep what is bodily,
    Sleepless, he looks down upon the sleeping senses.
    Having taken to himself light, he has returned to his own place:
    That Golden Person, the Lone Wild Gander...

    He goes wherever he pleases, that Immortal,
    The Golden Person, the Unique Wild Gander.
    In the State of Sleep, soaring high and low..."

    The goose is pretty much a common bird in Anglo-Saxon lore when it comes to "flight". Mother Goose etc; Sabine mentioned Frau Holt/Holda awhile ago I think-She rides on a goose (maybe swan?). Frau Holt that is, not Sabine. Mind you, she may as well ;0)
    Holt/Holda being the female spirit of NW European witchcraft, among other notable Ladies...and animals.
    End of ramble.

    1. red fox -

      this is really interesting! I've got a lot I could say about these things, but I'd like to hear your take, first, if you want to share it. what do you think this is all about? the idea of "he goes wherever he pleases, that Immortal"

      what's your take on the "Otherworld journey" - what's that all about for you?

  24. Artleads,

    Thank you for your truly kind words.

    When things unravel too much, I won't want to survive. That's my plan/our plan. When there's nothing (no human, plant, animal) left that needs me, I won't have to survive. Personal death has never frightened me (I say now) but who knows what I might want to cling to....

    Red Fox,

    That book sounds interesting. I'll have a look.

    In Germany, we call her mainly Frau Holle (as in the Grimm's fairy tale). She was an earth goddess originally. Yes, and she is associated with geese in many ways.

    When she shakes the feather bed (quilt) out of the window (she's a very tidy German Hausfrau, among other things...), it snows. The feathers are, of course, goose down.
    We still had those old-fashioned feather beds when I grew up, and they really needed a lot of shaking in the morning. They were lovely and warm in the winter, no horrible blankets like the ones you used to have over here, tucked in, so you couldn't move much. I found them a bit like a straight-jacket and had to un-tuck them when we visited my parents-in-law. My mother-in-law was not pleased and made me tuck them in again, to make the bed "properly". Mothers and mothers-in law are not like that anymore, thank goodness.

    Fairy tales are a mine of information/clues about old religion. There are so many ways to interpret them, I love them.

  25. Lidia, I could be incorrect, but I believe that the first comment I made about you on this site was, "I share Lidia's incredulity that Obama or anyone is going to respond to my emails." I continued to discuss the idea, and I entirely eschewed any discussion regarding anyone's "anger." There are reasons I made that choice.

    I believe you entered the conversation, an ongoing conversation of many weeks, with this: "Hmm. I was pretty interested in joining the conversation about Eisenstein (read him already and reached your same conclusions), communing with bugs.. until I ran into some harsh comments which I would rather not have read. I don't recall having badmouthed any of you. Being kind and enlightened I'm sure it won't be difficult for you to return that courtesy."

    First of all, there were only six people here, so when you write "any of you," I have to assume I'm included in that. Then you continue on, "Being kind and enlightened I'm sure it won't be difficult for you to return that courtesy." I assume this "you" takes place in the same context as the "you" in the previous sentence which would include all of us here, at least it appeared to, to me.

    This last sentence, which is clearly a jab that the people commenting here, all six of us, seems to obviously state that the six people here are not enlightened or kind or courteous. And, you are our victim. Talk about mischaracterization, of me by you! From the very beginning, right when you entered the conversation, you are on a wide, general criticism of everyone here, and I had never mentioned your name, I don't think.

    I don't think your comments were true at all, not from the beginning, and it is that excessive generalizing that is so pivotal here. You entered the conversation verbally blasting everyone for something I never did, and now you seem to claim that I am somehow responsible for everyone else's attitudes, because" Ogf (whose unsolicited opinion of me seemed to have been an undercurrent here even before I arrived) . . . ".

    This explains EVERYTHING, as far as I'm concerned. If someone doesn't understand why I would prefer to avoid the groundless accusations and false characterizations, and, yes, drama that such wildly general accusations and characterizations inspire, I don't think I can explain it sufficiently beyond what I have. We will have to simply not understand each other, because I don't see that I have anything else to offer.

    1. ogf - just out of curiosity, I went back and checked. yes, the order of events is exactly as you described.

      Lidia - in the process of searching back through the recent history of threads here, I found out that it was pretty clear one of your main purposes here was to stir up drama and strife. Sabine was very open about her initial reaction to certain of your comments on NBL, and was trying to understand where this was coming from (anger or being on the autistic spectrum) while being sympathetic with Mark.

      you jumped in with this very insincere "gosh, I just don't understand! I'm such an innocent angel!" attitude, attacking us in return, when all along you have been given all kinds of feedback on this kind of (apparently) angry and strife-oriented attitude you can display in various ways (see below re COIC).

      and still, the very great majority of posts, right here, were completely, and emphatically, welcoming and open towards you.

      Satish, above makes it openly clear he is just trying to see eye to eye with you, and isn't yet succeeding. he is genuinely trying to find common ground. and exploring things in various directions. totally harmless, and completely honest. this process of finding common ground can be fraught with difficulty, but it only works if all parties are interested in a common goal: open, heartfelt, honest, and respectful communication.

      for all your protestation to the contrary, you have a distinctly strife-oriented "troublemaker" streak in you, that doesn't serve you very well sometimes. you got heartily banned from xray Mike's COIC website for just these reasons. (I personally wouldn't have banned you in that situation, but I have an extremely high tolerance threshold for this kind of thing).

      you were clearly seeing that you were riling people up (in a huge way) on COIC, and you were obviously enjoying it. stop hiding behind your "innocent angel" shtick, and just talk (at least mostly! :) respectfully, and you would probably have a lot of very interested ears here, open for discussion of all kinds of things.

      otherwise, I would no longer encourage you to stay. I have directly encouraged you to stay several times already, but the continued "gosh, I just don't get it!" thing is getting really old and boring, and is very transparent by this point.

      personally, I have zero interest in all kinds of "old and boring" human-created patterns like this. there is way too much incredibly cool life force I want to experience in this world, still!! that life force is what I am experiencing in many ways on this wonderful website of Satish's, with some very fine beings, so things that run contrary to that I am finding rather GRRRrrrraaating. :)

    2. Mike (COIC) apologised to Lidia and said she could post whatever she liked after the short lived "ban" I believe. I cant remember which essay he was commenting on when he said that. May have been part 2 of TdoS' essay.
      Just clarifying that she is NOT banned on there, as she has indicated in her last comment that she's not coming back on here and will be on NBL if anyone wants to converse.

    3. red fox - good to know. I thought Mike's ban was too harsh, personally. but my point is he did it for a reason, initially.

      those specific reasons are what I am talking about. why did it get to that point on COIC in the first place, even once?

    4. Mo flow, you're incorrect. I was not "emphatically welcomed" (not that I cared one way or the other.. I just care about the falseness). I happened to come here and found Sabine's comment of 3/21, about how "angry" I am: "She's another one who can't read between the lines, who can only use "reason". How boring these people are, what a boring life dominated by anxiety, like so many people now. I should have compassion for them, but sometimes I find that quality severely stretched in me."

      I really could have done without her additional assertion that I'm autistic.. she got that from some banter I had with ulv. Then she turned around and falsely commented at how pleased she was to see me.

      Sabine thinks I am full of "anxiety" (I am not, rather, the contrary).
      Satish and others think I am full of "rage" (I am not, rather, the contrary).
      Oldgrowthforest compares me unfavorably with serial killers....

      and this is all my fault, you say.


      I don't have any interest in strife, I just want to set the record straight before I bow out of here. I say things as I see them but I am not asking for any kind of contention.. I really do not know why I and my statements are suspect, while others' are taken at face value. I really do not know. I am not at all happy to be here at the moment, but I'm less happy to let untruths hang out there and fester.

      What I now see are people here saying, "no, no, we aren't a different tribe; we want you to stay" and at the same time you are saying that I'm not fit to converse with and am a troublemaker. I think anyone would be confused.

      @red fox, that I know of, Mike of COIC never apologized to me, and when I offered a relevant link regarding a much later post, I saw that my comment did not show up.

      @mo, I never spent much time at COIC at all, and I had a hard time believing that one flip comment irked Mike to that degree. You make it sound like I was hanging out there all the time taking pot shots. I think I could count my comments there on my fingers and (maybe) toes over the last few years.

      I don't consider myself an "angel" but this is definitely not a "shtick".

      If you think you are tired of this.. that goes double for me.
      I would be ecstatic if none of you ever mentioned me again.

    5. Lidia - of course I wasn't referring to that comment of Sabine's (which was in direct reaction to something quite extreme from you), but pretty much everything everybody else was saying after that. it's all there, and all quite genuine. you choose to focus on one thing, and see all the rest as false. that's your choice.

      the thing is, I personally, JUST like Sabine and others have said, actually do enjoy your presence and your comments, in multiple ways.

      at the same time, I also feel bad when I see things go off the rails, with people (internet people they may be) that I care about.

      if there is a pattern of behavior that *I* may be doing (Lord knows I could think of plenty) and it seemed "off" from several people who cared to comment on it, I would think twice before dismissing that, if I was getting multiple lines of feedback like this from multiple sources.

      "I really do not know."

      "I'm not fit to converse with and am a troublemaker."

      see, put these things together, and you'll have at least some answer.

      Satish and others here have all put in plenty of time and real thought into conversing with you. I actually said you have a ""troublemaker" streak in you" - not ALL of you! - and even that was only a problem "sometimes."

      my words are right up there. you can read them again. they are all genuine.

      but you don't want to read it that way. you read it a different way (all bad) and then say you don't understand. this is a tad frustrating. I don't know... why did Mike do that? why are any of us saying any of these things, and then turning around and saying "please STAY!"

      maybe take it at face value!

      we actually *do* care about you, and your feelings, and DO want you to stay! that's not hard to do. you would have an easier time, perhaps, thinking it really IS all of us (except red fox) against you, and you can just walk away. that would seem to confirm the way you already think and see things.

      could it actually be harder for you to stay here, and have that thinking challenged?

    6. Yes, let's do set the record straight. As I wrote earlier, you stated that my "unsolicited opinion of ]you[ seemed to have been an undercurrent here even before [you[ arrived) . . . ". when I never once made any negative comment about you prior to your "arrival," and the only comment I did make was to agree with you.

      So, I don't see how my entirely UNSTATED opinion, and how NEVER mentioning you even indirectly, could be responsible for the undefined "undercurrent" (whatever that means) that you claim exists. In reality this sequence of events that you state is not possible, and mo has reviewed the posts and confirmed it. Of course, you will not correct this dishonesty and falsehood and complete fantasy-blame that you put out there in setting the record "straight." That would be too ethical.

      And I admit that I openly made statements about behaviors inspired by your comments here, once you did arrive, because you started in right away blaming EVERYONE in general, which is screwing up the record from the get-go.

      I didn't welcome you, I'm not asking you to stay, and please don't lie anymore. If you really are going to leave, as you wrote in a previous post, what are you doing back here? Promises, promises. Somehow I don't think you'll live up to your word here, either, but I do hope for it.

    7. mo, you articulated many of my thoughts very well... especially: "if there is a pattern of behavior that *I* may be doing (Lord knows I could think of plenty) and it seemed "off" from several people who cared to comment on it, I would think twice before dismissing that, if I was getting multiple lines of feedback like this from multiple sources."

      Lidia, I kept asking myself: when so many people here perceive a certain "rage" in your comments on NBL, how come you disqualify us all by saying you were perfectly calm? Either you were displaying rage or calmness but not both, IRRESPECTIVE of what you were actually feeling. Only you know what you were feeling. And you clarified. And we learned something and went "oh, interesting!". But did it cross your mind that somehow your calmness might not have come through to others and instead morphed into anger and rage on the way out? Either that or we're all unable to read you, all at the same time, even as we read others just fine. You assumed the latter. Something is amiss.

      This is not the first time you raged. Mark was your target prior to that. But back then, you admitted you were angry. But with mo, you say you were calm. You're pretty hard to read. At least for a few of us. Possibly for many others.

      This, here, is not a bar at 2 AM. It's a fireside chat at 7 PM. You're welcome to stay but you have to make an attempt to connect with folks here. Stop being so attention-seeking and get on the bus and try being just another bozo. It can be fun! Otherwise, I will see you on NBL. We can discuss how you're similar to or different from my ex-coworkers.

  26. I lost little No. 3 today, and I am very sad about it. I was nursing 3 quite well, but at some point in 3's floundering, on top of everything else it broke a wing! It wasn't a compound fracture, but I could see from the swelling and internal bleeding that it was broken. Poor little No. 3 began declining quickly, so today I had to learn something that I wish I hadn't had to learn: how to euthanize No. 3. It took only about two seconds, and 3 was gone.

    I have been reading a lot about this health issue in chickens, and then on snuffing their little lives out from compassion. I came across an interesting conversation between a person new to raising poultry and old-timers. The new person said they could never end their chick's life, not even to stop its suffering, their heart was "too big." A long-time farmer responded that it took a "big heart" to end a creature's suffering, and especially when it was painful for us to do so.

    My great-grandmother never flinched at ending an animal's suffering. She didn't enjoy killing anything, but she had a compassionate strength that was also unsentimental. When I was a teenager, my aunt and I went to visit Granny, and while there my aunt noticed that Granny's long-time pet, Joe the Mynah bird was gone. Of course, she asked, "Granny, where's your Mynah bird."

    Granny said, "I pulled his head off."

    Of course, my aunt got all wiggly and squeely, like some kind of prey animal herself, and shrieked," Why(!) would you do that?!"

    Granny looked at my aunt like she was feeble minded and said very patiently, "Because he was old and sick and suffering, and that's how you kill birds, is by pulling their heads off. " I knew that, of course, because I had been Granny's chicken-killing partner early in life and I had seen her kill many birds. Granny then went on to explain the best way to kill anything, all of which was based on compassion, cost, and the animal. To kill a pig you needed to do it one way, and to kill horses, it had to be done another way, and cows were killed for butcher in their own way, etc., etc.

    My soon-to-be wealthy aunt asked Granny, "Well, have you killed any other pet birds that way?"

    Granny said, "Why yes. Just recently Mrs. Jones next door here received a gift of ten parakeets from her son. I noticed that one was sickly and drooping. I asked her if she wanted me to take care of that bird for her. Mrs. Jones said she did, so I told her to get me a small paper bag. When she returned I had pulled that bird's head off, and I put it in the bag and gave it to her."

    We all had one of those moments where it was obvious to us all that my aunt was a White person, a creature of the main culture, through and through, and all her perfect love for her Cherokee grandmother could not bridge that thinking gap. Thereafter we threatened to pull each other's heads off and howled in laughter at doing so.

  27. For the first many years I was in Alaska I subsistence fished for salmon with a dipnet. I loved it! One year I was on the Kenai and a tourist saw me bringing in a fish in my net and asked if he could film me. I told him, sure. He asked me a lot of questions as I approached my cooler and my bonker with my fish in my net, like where I lived, etc. One question he asked was what kind of salmon I had, and I told him it was sockeye, or a red. He asked how I knew, and I generously held my fish up by its gills and pointed out its green head, and other physical characteristics of sockeye salmon that were different from other salmon. I think grabbed my bonker and bonked the thing on the head a couple of good hard whacks, and then got out the knife and started gutting it and cutting off its head.

    My tourist filmmaker kept on filing. He then said, "I don't know many women where I'm from who would be willing to fish like you are, and to gut fish like that. "

    It was cold outside, and I was wearing a thick green wool sweater under my waders. I suddenly burst into tears. I couldn't believe the emotion that overwhelmed me, and I could barely keep from sobbing. I remember wiping my eyes with my sweater and crying in front of that guy's camera as he kept filiming. I said to him, "I hope my grandmother's proud of me."

    I didn't explain, but he said to me, "I'm sure she is."

    Somewhere after that, in Illinois, or Iowa or someplace like that, that guy showed movies to his family and friends of me bonking and gutting salmon on the beach of the Kenai River. I've always wondered who might have seen it.

    1. Sorry to hear of your loss, OGF. May the other chicks thrive for their lost companion.

    2. Hi OGF, I see why Sabine thinks of you as a strong woman. I couldn't bonk a fish like that :) But my grandma would have. She was a tough woman.

  28. Thank you, Artleads. If I were more experienced things might have gone better, but maybe not. They are really, really cute little guys, and that was hard. So far, everyone else is fine, and getting prettier by the day with their uncomfortable looking feathers growing out.

    I can understand why people want their insulated lives where all real suffering takes place in fiction or someone else's life, until we're in the hospital and someone else is taking over. We don't live with things dying season to season like humans did forever prior to now, or with the rebirth they saw, too. In the country, spring is full of babies everywhere. Little baby everythings are popping out all over, baby moose, and foxes, and wolves and caribou and Dahl sheep, and baby bears, and wild baby ducks and swans and geese and eagles and hawks and ravens and chickadees. It's not just flowers and warmth, it is Life going CRAZY with tiny, cute, new beings all over. Even now, even this spring.

    I was walking that dog that moved in with me, the one that has to be taken on walks because he's a pit bull-Siberian husky mix (I'm pretty sure), and he's got more energy than I even like to think about. I get tension in my skull just contemplating it. He is amazing! He is fast. He is strong. He is athletic. He LOVES to run. But more than that, he has tremendous field courage, and he plows through ancient woods like a big, dumb lab, just pounding the ground, flying over fallen trees, or walking the length of them to get someplace. He dives into mud everywhere, runs straight up nearly vertical embankments and straight down them, too. He gives me so much joy just to watch him move, I can't believe it. And he makes me do it everyday. He even knows none of us can keep up with him.

    1. OGF and others,

      Yes, you have to have a big heart and open it fully in order to end a suffering life.

      It must be about 15 years ago that I had to kill a suffering song thrush. I found it gasping, lying head down, leaning forward on my terrace, near a rosemary bush. It was clearly dying from poisoning. My neighbour (he's moved on thank goodness) used slug pellets to protect his hostas and other favourite slug and snail food plants. Song thrushes love snails and use paving and stones to smash their shells.
      This bird was obviously suffering badly. Poisoning by slug pellet is a long, drawn-out, painful death.
      I didn't know how to kill it quickly and as humanely as possible but my instinct said "it's got to be the head". So I took a large pebble and smashed its poor little head. It was very quick for the poor thing - you have to be fast!
      After that, I buried its beautiful broken body under the rosemary bush.
      Everybody, who had chickens when I was a child (there were many) eventually killed them for the pot. My mother did and so did her mother. I never watched the killing as a child but I did help with the plucking and gutting. Killing an animal humanely takes some courage and skill. Skills that, as you describe OGF, were handed down from generation to generation. Now this vital link, like almost everything else, is broken.

      Like most real human beings (I like to think that I am one), I hate suffering, therefore summing up the courage to help an animal towards a quick end, is something we should all think about, just like thinking about our own demise. It will happen to you.
      But death is banned from modern lives. I know people who love their pets and when having to take them to be euthanized by the vet, cannot stay in the room with their beloved. Their "poor" hearts couldn't stand to see it.
      I think that's absolutely awful. At this all important time, when your animal companion really needs you to be there, some people just chicken out. But then humans are also routinely left to die in hospital without another human holding them.
      The banishing of death from everyday life is something that most modern people are compelled to do....our dominant culture has convinced them that this is possible. Poor fools, no wonder there's so much anxiety around.

    2. "I like to think that I am one"

      good heavens! I hope this isn't a reference to my "internet people" comment above. '-) you are most definitely a real human being to me, Sabine! and a real friend.

      ogf - that is so cool to hear about Blue's energy! what a life force. totally wonderful.

  29. Lidia,
    You may have missed Mike's short apology. It is on the "Bloodwatch" essay comments straight after yours referring to cognitive capacity declining with poverty :)

    Mike's comment here:

  30. I have decided not to stick around on here because I dont think the Lidia situation has been handled particularly kindly. I dont want to get drawn into it anymore than I have already except to say I think there is quite a bit of projection and misinterpretation been going on. It's is the nature of this particular beast I suppose.
    Satish, thank you for a really good venue and I will continue to read your thoughts as you post new essays.
    Sabine, will contact in the week with regard to Guy's talk :)

  31. Sorry to see you go, Red Fox. I was slowly getting to know you (or so I thought/hoped). Best of luck to you.

  32. Once upon a time, my best friend wrote a book and published it. His father was a tenant farmer. He opened the book with this true story because it was really a story about his younger life (in the 1920's and 30's) and the way it was.

    Their pet yard dog had a new litter of puppies so his father immediately ordered him to take care of business as he had been taught. He got a gunny sack (usually kept and sewn into 'T' shirts), put the slit-eyed defenseless little ones in and walked silently towards the local creek. He cried a lot as he heard the little squeals all the way to the bridge. When he arrived, as he had been instructed, he threw his sack over the rail and watched it disappear with small little bubbles trailing behind.

  33. Hi Satish,

    I'm sorry but it looks as if I started all these bad vibes on your safe and peaceful blog with my comment addressed to Mark on March 21st. I had to look it up because I couldn't even remember - old woman with a porous mind that I am. I regret that now, even though I stand by my observations. I have to because it expressed exactly how I felt even though, in retrospect, it was very judgemental, assuming maybe to much and generalising. I can see how it must be upsetting but that's what happens: reactions facilitating reactions, very human, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm no angel. In an ideal world, I would have been very adult and wise and not said anything.

  34. Dear Sabine and mo and Artleads and Satish and Mark,

    I don't think you, Sabine, started all these bad vibes. Any time we define, characterize, judge, etc., another person in any negative way, we open a door to a lot of things. To be honest, defining others negatively is beyond common. Almost everyone does it all the time. And that is where this debate and conflict originated.

    A few people here have, rather slowly over the course of months, and through related conversations at NBL, gotten to know each other and created a kind of friendship that can exist through writing and sharing. It is a relatively new circle, too, but not that new. This started when Lidia made some very aggressive comments to one of our friends, Mark, and as is common and natural, people were uncomfortable with it. Typically, in social situations, people are uncomfortable with any aggression shown, whether it is to their friend or not, but if we feel at all protective the discomfort is greater. Sabine, you were uncomfortable with comments made to Mark. I didn't like them, either. I didn't like the personal aggression that I felt was gratuitous, even though I basically agreed with the perspective.

    I mentioned this very briefly when I first discussed this with Mark and when I agreed with Lidia regarding part of Mark's comments. I have even shared her reservations that we are talking to someone who meets with the prez on a regular basis and is working in government as he states. What I have decided is NOT to use those questions and lack of material proof to be insulting to Mark, to call his integrity into question, to accuse him of lying about who he is, which is what Lidia did.

    I did not do those things because - they are separate issues from the ideas that Mark discusses and a lot of other points he makes. I don't have to go there to disagree on the other point, that the prez and all powerful people are not going care about what I want or how I tell them. I don't have to go there at all.

    Taking the discussion where Lidia took it in her conversation with Mark, questioning his integrity, using the kind of language she used, did what? You reacted to those attacks, talking about them, to Mark, which was quite appropriate, and while talking about them you attached a label of "angry" to them. I think most people would agree with you, and a lot of comments Lidia makes routinely are the kind of comments most of us associate with anger.

    I so agree with mo and Satish, when even two or more people see things a certain way, such as perceiving anger in someone, "I'm don't feel angry" as the only response is somehow insufficient and a problem in itself. That doesn't mean that when the situation is three people differing from one that the odd person out is always wrong. It just means that dismissing a group of people who all see and express different but related reservations about a specific person isn't very open or responsible either. In fact, it smacks of a defensiveness that is not a good indicator of moral substance, in my opinion.

    1. So, Sabine, you addressed the issue with Mark here, and that opened the door for all this. To be fair, Lidia obtained plenty of ammo from the discussion here, and I do agree with her; I wouldn't want to be discussed that way. But, I would also understand that the person doing the discussing is feeling annoyance at me for some reason. Acknowledging the merit and validity to another person's feelings or perspectives can be very hard to do, especially when their criticisms are directed at us. It takes heart, and courage, and a willingness to be vulnerable when you're already feeling defensive. It also takes caring about how your actions and words affect others, not just how the words of others affect us. It takes a sense of responsibility for how we treat others.

      There is a trinity for goodness, and there is one for evil, too. Goodness is Love, Peace and Joy. They are all one thing. At the opposite end, there is lack, a lack of empathy, a lack of conscience, and a lack of any sense of responsibility for one's actions, choices, and the consequences of those choices to others. That is an unholy trinity, and wherever you find one quality, you find all the others too, because they are three sides of the same triangle.

      I have not seen Lidia take any responsibility for the conflict she encounters with others, for her own destructiveness toward anyone or anything, even for responding to facts that prove her assertions are false. This is more important to me. I have been rejected many times for being brusque, openly frustrated, emotional, critical of things, and candid about my feelings and opinions. I'm not the most skilled person socially. But I do take responsibility for my choices. I don't play games with that stuff, anymore than I play games with conflict. It's easy to say to someone, "I can see why you feel that way." It's also easy to say other things, too, "You're right; I was being judgmental," etc., just as you have done here.

      In fact, your entire approach here, to take responsibility for your own comments, to see how they could be hurtful to someone else, to admit your mistakes, well, you know what, Lidia could have done just a little of that at any point and NEVER did. Not once. It's all blame, you're wrong, I'm the victim, you, you, you, you, you.

      At any point, had any openness been shown, I have no doubt that this entire experience would have gone very, very differently, but it was not. mo stated it when he noted how focus makes a difference.

      When people will not or cannot bring their hearts to the relationship - any relationship - but can or will only seek to meet their own needs and desires, it doesn't matter what they do or say or have to offer elsewhere. Only the heart knows how to put the facts and the history and the moral values and relationship together so as to create a better outcome.

      When we really love ourselves, we learn to protect ourselves from this kind of thing by not giving predators any opening whatsoever to do damage to us, just like we would protect a beautiful little child. It shifts the entire focus of our actions and ideas. It is a protective and self-loving approach that understands that part of our job here on Earth is encountering destructive humans. We are where we are because human beings are pretty destructive, and it's hard to cope with. No one does it perfectly.

      As for things getting "handled well," the truth is, this kind of thing rarely gets "handled well." There is no handling the irresponsible human beings among us. There are no processes that make this kind of thing easier or more effective. We're apes, and we don't have answers for ourselves. So we do what we gotta do in the moment. We live what we have to live.


    2. you, too, mo.

      I would like to add, it seems pretty implausible that someone like Mark would be here talking to me. In the absence of any proof that Mark sits in meetings with a president of any country, I have choices to make. I have personally met some rather surprising people in my life, including my good friend "the countess," and also the personal pilot and navigator of many years for Jordan's King Hussein, a man who regularly met kings and royalty and dignitaries in his work. This dreadfully handsome, smooth, polite, and disciplined young man was the cousin of one of my closest friends, and when this close associate of the king cousin, who the family was so proud of, visited Bakersfield one year, they invited me to dinner so I could meet him. What are the odds of that? I spent an entire evening dining and chatting with a man who was directly employed by and interacted routinely with King Hussein. I think it's kind of cool, myself, and I have to say that I really love my life when it describes like this.

      I feel the same way about Mark. And I will add this, even if none of anything any of us wrote was true, I am not Native American or in my sixties, or even in Alaska, hell, I'm making it all up. Sabine doesn't have a garden, she's fibbing, and she knows how to do it because she's in England and they do that there, so she can fake it. Satish was never an engineer, he's a dropout, and so on.

      God is no respecter of persons. What we say stands on its own, or it doesn't, and none of the rest of it matters. Because of his words, I like Mark, so I don't make the things I cannot prove the issue.

      I was going to a small store one day, and as I pulled up to the park right outside the door I could see a schizophrenic man wandering along, talking and moving erratically. He was right in front of me, and for a moment I was afraid to get out of my car because it was obvious he was deep in psychosis. I was also feeling frustrated in life and unable to accomplish a few things due to a few people. What's new?

      I decided to master my fear and just get out of my car and meet the schizophrenic guy. As I walked by him he said very sweetly, "Don't let those stop signs get you down, Ma'am." In that exact moment, it was some of the best unsolicited advice I ever received. I was transformed and I smiled and told him "thank you," and I really meant it. I could have focused on other things, like how very filthy he was, and scary he was, his obvious suffering, and all the many things I know about schizophrenia and psychology and mental illness in general.

      What I've remembered most, however, from that experience, is that in one strange moment this sad and crazy man helped me! And his message was sweet. It was one I would not have been able to hear had I been living in my mind and my evaluations and had I been universalizing the entire experience so as to accommodate all reality.

      Don't let those stop signs get you down, Ma'am.

    3. It is exactly that lack of openness, that lack of responsibility that will cause me to cut people off all the way. I think I have a good heart. I am willing to be truthful, and kind, and responsible. And I've learned that with people, when you find the unholy trinity, that lack of responsibility that will always indicate a lack of empathy and conscience, too, I am not interested in interacting with them. Period. Or discussing their other gifts and merits. When there is a lack of responsibility for how we treat others, It is the person himself who is the problem, not something he does. He can't be fixed by changing out his neuronal synapses like a car can by swapping out a dead battery. At least at this time.

      People must, in my judgment, show signs of conscience, empathy and a sense of responsibility for how they treat people, or I do not want anything to do with them. That's just me. When I find that lack in people, I sit up and take notice. If I see it as a pattern in them, there's no discussion. There is a reason for my views on this. My priority in this situation is keeping my own "flow" where it should be. Academic or intellectual understanding, and all other things, are secondary to holding to the place within me where moral action and judgment is possible.

      This is as hard for many people to understand as it is for most folks to understand mo, because I'm living very differently here. I am my own child. If I had a beautiful four-year-old, I would not allow anyone to verbally assault her for one second. I would have to make a different choice. I would take my child someplace else. I would stand between her assailant and her. I would do whatever I had to do to ensure the greatest safety and peace for my child. We have to love that way to know what to do, and we have to love ourselves that way first.

      Circumstance are always changing. We can't "train" for everything that will happen, and the most important things are beyond our control anyway. Without a center that draws upon something higher, we can't make anything right. Some people don't have such a center, and they live in their heads and their judgments. They are not bad people, but they can't get it right, either, because they lack something necessary.

    4. "Don't let those stop signs get you down, Ma'am."

      ~I love this story~!

      "I am my own child."

      this is the heart of it, isn't it?

      "I would do whatever I had to do to ensure the greatest safety and peace for my child."

      many think it is perfectly normal that the world now works where this "safety and peace" has been simply blasted away from children, on countless levels. they've had it happen to themselves, and they have developed the various mechanisms that they feel are needed to function in the world like this, and treating everyone else accordingly is no problem.

      that's not how it is supposed to work.

      some see no hope for ever reclaiming these things for themselves. figuring out how to do this is probably some of the hardest, most excruciatingly painful work that can be undertaken. walk through hellfire to find safety and peace again? seems crazy. no. I'll just stick with my mechanisms, thanks...

    5. "I am my own child. If I had a beautiful four-year-old, I would not allow anyone to verbally assault her for one second. I would have to make a different choice. I would take my child someplace else. I would stand between her assailant and her. I would do whatever I had to do to ensure the greatest safety and peace for my child. We have to love that way to know what to do, and we have to love ourselves that way first."

      Don't I ever need to learn this! But what happens when one oneself is unintentionally cruel to self, and therefore, to others? One can bring down great abuse on self through lack of understanding? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

    6. Artleads, I am very familiar with this dynamic, in a variety of ways.

      it can only be learned, somehow. no child naturally would learn this tendency from a truly healthy environment. it is the unlearning process which is not so fun. one has to confront the energy patterns that are there, and they don't like being uprooted. that was the egg that came first, and hatched into the chicken.

    7. Artleads, there is only one love that exists. Love is like sunlight. Just as sunlight is an extension of the sun, and is the sun and yet not the sun, so Love is an extension of God/the One, and IS the one. All love is more than just equal, it's all the same love, it's all one thing. There are not different kinds of love, there is only one love ever anywhere.

      mo is right on, and it's getting really annoying to have to say that all the time, that stinkin' little mystic master that he is, but Love is natural, and our problem is far more based in unlearning than in learning. By many magnitudes more. I unlearn a lot by watching animals and feeling, and that wolf was amazing for teaching me how to get out of my human-created psychosis. What an amazing gift she was in my life.

      Love learns us. We are guided from within if we can let that happen, if we can get out of our own way. I had the most amazing walk through the grocery store today. About six little kids in shopping carts gave me big smiles or other connections that were pretty interesting, and a lot of people gave me very, very sweet smiles, way beyond anything I normally experience out in public. It was like I was getting hit with these very sweet love bombs on every aisle, and it was so very flow, if you get my drift.

      It's all right here now. And beyond that, it gets so funny sometimes I end up laughing hard at the love that just flows through my mind, even when it makes jokes about my weaknesses.

    8. Dear OGF,

      You are a wise woman, I try to be too but like you, I can also opinionated, I'm only too aware of that.
      My weaknesses shine through often - and yes, love makes fun of them too with me, OGF. I have many opportunities every day to laugh at my weaknesses -maybe that's why I have a tendency to mock and exaggerate the weaknesses of others. I should know better...

      Everything you said in all your comments to me, the others and Artleads is astute: your observations about love being natural and that our problem is far more based on unlearning than learning. So true! And that psychosis is human-created, so true again!

      And mo's comment "no child would learn this tendency from a truly healthy environment". Again, so true! A truly healthy environment, something that most of us can't even imagine anymore.
      So, what I think we're trying to do here is creating as healthy an environment for talking among ourselves as we can, hoping that nasty gossiping of the kind I indulged in will be the exception. I have my weaknesses like you OGF and everybody else. Gossiping and mocking is nasty, I know it, yet sometimes I'm still tempted...

      These connections that you mentioned, like the little kids in the shopping carts giving you big smiles, is the sort of thing I treasure too. All children want to connect but often, somewhere along the way, they're stopped by our culture, domestic or wider. What's more important than connecting with other life? That's one way od expressing the one love you talk. Which makes me want to sing Bob Marley's "one love, one heart, let's get together and feel alright!" straight away. What good advice especially now, at this time on our beloved Earth.

      Dear Mark,

      thanks for calling me (among others) a hero. I'm not, really, really I'm not! IMO, it's an overused word like freedom and democracy. Nonetheless, I'm flattered - what a paradox!
      In spite of never having been a mother (or wanting to be one) I don't like it when the people I like are attacked, so I tend to react "emotionally". It's because I've chosen, like OGF, to trust you, to imagine that you are what you say you are. I like it that way.
      I can be as cynical and mistrustful as most people, sometimes even more so, but, as OGF says, a person makes a decision to trust. I made that decision just like her.
      And I also trust that everybody here is what they say they are. Why would I not?

      And generally,

      what occurred to OGF, had occurred to me too. We could all make things up, write fiction, exaggerate, push our word views, fight intellectual battles, be didactic, feel misunderstood etc. but why? I always try to see myself in perspective, and I KNOW that I'm not the centre of the universe. Knowing that is true freedom for me because stops all competition and makes me want to cooperate instead.
      Maybe a bit wily?
      I've been thinking about that Artleads and put it to my husband. He thinks you have a point...

      By the way, my garden exists the way I try to describe it. It is my joy! If you want to see it, I don't mind giving anybody here my Skype address for a tour on a nice sunny day. Broadband and WiFi here in my village is not too good but you'd definitely get a good enough impression.

      Red Fox,

      Please come back! I miss you here.

    9. Oops

      Please read "that's one way of expressing the one love you talk about". Edit, edi!

    10. I didn't write my sentence about you fibbing about a garden very well, Sabine. I meant to write that you don't have a garden, you just live in England where people garden a lot, so you know how to make it up and sound credible, but it's all fake. Something like that.

      We're all in that position. Except for with mo, who doesn't reveal anything. There's no question that mo is who he says he is, because he never says. I thought about this experience a lot after I wrote all that yesterday, and I hope I'm not too verbose here, but I thought this situation was interesting because we're all in the same situation. Without more effort than I'm willing to make, no one here can know if any of the other people are telling the truth about who they say they are and what they do. Plenty of con artists, criminals, frauds and other social miscreants fabricate entire histories, identities, education, and other stuff like that all the time. It's something occurring all over the world right now, and Investigation Discovery has an entire channel devoted to dramatizing stories about such things.

      So we're all in the same position. Why does one person feel compelled to accuse another person of fabricating their story in such aggressive terms, and feel justified in the aggression? I have had the same uncertainty, but I did not feel compelled to either use it or resolve it. I was willing to allow any facts that exist to arise in their own time, to be put to rest or not, as long as that uncertainty did not affect how I responded to other aspects of this relationship. In short, I can live with the uncertainty, the ambiguity. When it changes, I can live with that, too. However it changes.

      I can especially live with the uncertainty if it is not particularly relevant to the ideas being discussed. I believe Mark is who he says he is, and Satish is who he says he is, etc. But we could all be like mo, and never make any of that specific at all, and we would still be able to discuss the ideas just like he does. mo only talks about the ideas and the things that we all have seen occur between us.

      For me, the big question is, why does one person use this particular reality and facts or lack of facts to fight, and another does not?

      Anything can be a weapon when the delivery system is words. My last supervisor was the worst of my entire life, she should have been in Horrible Bosses. In fact, a better movie could have been based on her, she was that bad. She was insane about all the non-issues that she raged and got offended over, and put out about, that were ongoing. We were in the bush at a village and I almost got on a plane to go back to Anchorage. You have to be really pissed off to walk off the job in a place like a remote Native village in Alaska.

      She was reaming me to the utmost over something I hadn't done, and it was ugly. "I'm embarrassed. You make us all look bad. You didn't respond to a request for a carryover." blah, blah, fuckity blah.

      I stood up and picked up my bad and started to walk away. She asked me what I was doing, and I said I was going to my hotel room. She was appalled. She became even more shrill, "You're going to just walk away?!!!"


    11. There are some people in the world who will start a war because you told them you were going to the store for a loaf of bread.

      "How can you do that!!!!! It's a fucking worldwide holocaust out there and you're paying attention to a loaf of bread?!! What the hell's wrong wth you?!!!" blah, blah, fuckity blah

      I wish I were more Christ-like, but I'm not. I really don't like some people, because I really don't like how they treat other people as their way of being in the world.

      ~ If you don't want me walking on you, get up off the floor. ~

      I don't feel compelled to be saintly to some people. On the contrary, some individuals are really a pain, and my favored response, spoken or unspoken, is a timely, "Oh, well, that's how you are, so fuck you; no need to go there if I don't have to."

      No analysis required, no need to fix the entire world. I'm free to act in the now, and I am my own child. When we really love ourselves, we know what to do in the face of these things. We KNOW.

      Maybe someday I will be more Christ-like, and I'll be able to say I forgive those who willfully harm me, even "only" psychologically, especially when that harm is serious. Sometimes I'm on the edge of that, and I do feel compassion for the mean people of the world. But sometimes I have a different attitude and it is that, if someone in the room absolutely insists that there MUST be a bitch around here, as displayed by their victimization of others, well, it might as well be me, and let's work this out right now so we can move on.

      I learned that from the wolf.

    12. OGF,

      Please dontr worry, I know how you meant it, and I agree with you. We could all be making things up. All I wanted to say that I don't. I also feel that none of you here are making things up either. That's how I like to think of it because I'm fed up with being cynical and suspicious or "realistic" as some people call it.
      The biosphere might be failing us very soon, so a little bit of trust is something I want in my life.
      I also agree with your sentiments in your comment (at 9:30 AM). I like to get on with people but I'll never be saintly. Dear me, what a word! If somebody doesn't like me for whatever reason, I also walk away and say "fuck you".
      And compassion should not be used indiscriminately. It's a psychological resource which can be depleted like all the others. So wasting it on the mean doesn't make sense to me.

    13. so much cozy warmth by this fire. I am lusciously, deeply relaxing here.

      "Love learns us."

      oh, I like this!! big warm snuggly.

      this, the way that you have phrased it so well, is something I will just let sink in. mmmm..... delightful.

    14. "it seems pretty implausible that someone like Mark would be here talking to me."

      it's the end of the world. the absolute best time for the implausible, doncha think? '-)

    15. Well, it is interesting that you would say that. In an email with Mark I mentioned something pretty implausible, but nonetheless true, and it is that one of my closest friends in Alaska is Rita Pitka Blumenstein. I worked with Rita for many years in Indian Health Service, and we are very close personal friends as well. If we weren't both deaf, we'd talk more often than we do, but I feel free to drop in at her house anytime.

      Rita is one of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She is one of the most prominent spiritual leaders in the world at this time. She routinely meets with popes, the Dalai Lama, heads of state, kings, queens, all kinds of "important" people. And she calls me and says things like, "Well, have you found a job yet?" Sometimes I really, really do love my life.

      That's pretty implausible for someone from my eternal nobody background, but Rita loves me. Go figure.

      So, I was writing about this to Mark, and it reminded me of the time I was with Rita and told me to get a pen and write something down, so I did. It was: God suffices above all things.

      It's Rita's adoption of the Bahai "God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth."

      That's you all over, mo.

    16. Too bad we can't add pics & I-ph vids here. I just e-mailed another pic of myself at the White House to OGF.

      Hopefully OGF will verify that I written her and offered proof. I even offered a visit in D.C. Come see me.

      ARTLEADS I wrote you in our new LAND USE "Voluntary Simplicity" place above. You will see some of your ideas incorporated on by this fall when the web designers are cleared to create web content showing progress with safety plans.

      I have had a very physical life so I tend to include my living reality of boats & dolphins, swimming pools, Costa Rica, Europe, Australia, Arizona, Los Angeles...I love all the adventures. Like SABINE I love Earth experiences and for those spirits who have no question at all about return incarnations, we can skip the question of caring for Earth cause we know we really really like coming back!!!

      I've been way out there but I am not a disembodied ghost in this machine. I never blogged before so I did not think about others being unreal....then again way cool if everyone here are A.I. bot computers, Aliens & alligators. That would be even more fun. Welcome to area 51. This is KuKu....and yes I agree that my slightly underprivileged life sounds kuku too.

      Thank God I can hide my 2 biggest secrets here. One of them involves a radioactive mutant birth defect....obviously I don't have to hide it on the internet. So I guess this is not exactly the real me either. But Satish & I are the only ones here with face pics & I have e-mail more to MO & OGF.

      Trust & Truth do matter a bit to me because I live in a capitol of lies. Hollywood illusions & Propaganga. Heck I've even got to use some propaganda to try to get people to remember that all is not safe and cozy near reactors. But I will try not to disturb the economy or the paradox of using this computer or any electricity mostly comes with grave danger.

      Finally: If I do lie about anything I'd be in trouble with the NSA. I live with less privacy than most so in a way it makes me free to share more. I already know I'm being watched & I don't mind..till ISIS uses the same data tracking to hurt my family. Come on NSA, you trust me with work secrets, so please do your job and keep our private data safe from hackers.

      Sorry everyone but there are huge disasters coming...and 500 reactors will guarantee that a mass population reduction will turn into a mass Extinction. Long term. No soul return.

      I'd love it if OGF wrote a book about her life. Fiction or not you could bet I'd buy several copies to share with friends. Hugs.

    17. ogf.... thank you. so much.

      I have heard of this Council, many times. I just looked them up. Rita has the most wonderful face. wow. such a being. I wish I could meet her right this instant!

    18. I did confirm your offer, Mark. You were likely writing when I posted it.

      You look physical! Good grief, you are a puppyman! He's a stinkin' little athlete, rugged, strong being, who loves being physical in nature, too. It's one of the things about him that enchants me so ridiculously. I love his physicality. One of the most beautiful things I ever saw was my daughter's insufferable but physically magnificent, year-old, unneutered male boxer prance around the yard. The sheer grace of him gave me so much joy.

    19. "Hopefully OGF will verify that I written her and offered proof."

      she covered all of that, right below!

      *have to say I never, ever, doubted you for an instant, Mark!*

      (well, maybe a teeny tiny fraction of a microsecond or two - mind at work! ugh! LOL... :)

      verify code: yinen - oohaa, that's me all over!

    20. ~ alien AI bot gators from the dark and swampy end of the gene pool, oh my! ~

      you're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

      and I think Oz just had a meltdown.

      some radioactive Wheaties, my pretties?? Godzilla might share.... just ask nicely!

  35. ARTLEADS I have great news. I don't want to hog comment space here so I just took all the room needed in "VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY" here on KuKu directly above this article by SATISH.

    SATISH - I appreciate you so much. I pray nothing I wrote to you in the rambling personal e-mail on board jet blue last night E-mail was misunderstood. Turns out you already said everything I was trying to say when I read your comment on Seven's blog. I try to accept everything but it is such a relief to read your greater insight. You are a systems analyst with quality time to think. I care about your health, future and cheers toward positive personal developments. Now I feel confident that you will not let all the dark matters and seeming impossibility of agency become yet another form of defeating propaganda. All it takes is a speck of light to shift total darkness toward dawn.

    BTW: I also appreciate the cautious side of knowing which battles to choose. I have lost a few. Conservation of energy requires the wisdom of including all view points. It is appreciated & honest to tell everyone to beware of taking any direction. Overall I think the exact same way.

    SABINE, MO, OGF you have been my heros when this underdog got a big FUCK YOU kick from Lidia. But I will take responsibility for setting her off with an NBL post that exposes how crazy our govt is. No doubt that asking for improved safety is the most our Depts will allow. I already told her thanks for the scream. I tried not to take her specific FUCK YOU in bold too personal. Heck my dad was a Congressman. Everyone in Washington gets hate on every topic. There are always radical reactions & sides. But hey let's move on to real issues. As far as I know Lidia has nothing to do with ISIS. Not even a death threat from them scared me as much as my step daughter. Beheaded in front of a nuclear plant...hell my life has been an adventure...what a way to go!!!

    Red Fox, let's get "spikey". Controversial. spike the punch. Talk to me for spicy subjects. I've been thru birth mutation, cancer, aids, ship wrecks & burning rainforests. WTF let's get rasty and real about preparing for mass disaster. I'm not too nice over on NBL. Let's box & brew and learn some more celtic wisdom. You hold knowledge that will be lost. I listen in awe, but rarely enter combat. But don't mistake silence for disinterest. I'll fight for your return.

    Coming soon: Special letters to each of you under 2014 Satish articles that I feel represents each of you. This time I'm going to be like Sabine and write my letters carefully. One by one. You deserve all the best as we move the KuKu time machine toward 2014. Back to the Future - lets have a fun ride. No holds barred. Apocalyptic safety kit not included. Ranger lost everything but the flashlight. Into the OLD GROWTH FOREST wild woods we dare to go ??? I'll let you know when each fan letter is ready. ARTLEADS - your up first directly above !!!!

  36. I want y'all to know, too, that Mark offered me contact information so I could verify everything he says about himself. It is contact information for public individuals whose identity can be verified, and who are willing to confirm that Mark holds the job he says he holds, he works where he says he works, and has contact with individuals at the surprisingly high levels of government that he says he has.

    Sabine, I think you are wise in your choice to just trust. I get the feeling that the people here are all quite different in their personalities, ability to articulate their feelings and experiences, and are different in those experiences, but nonetheless, I feel very understood. I think you are right, and a willingness to receive joy from the beauty and the grace of the life around us is the greatest teacher of all. It seems to me that our conclusions are not at all the same, we aren't taking the same steps for the future, agreeing on anything, but we are all looking at the same Life and beauty and Love to teach us, and that's why the exact words don't matter, and I feel understood.


    Now, that we have gone through ALL OF THAT! Back to Mark's very first post at NBL that started this entire ordeal ~ this is Mark's fault ~ I bet that in your world, Mark, there is a perception that "people" don't really want to do the things those of us here understand to be necessary, like decommissioning nuclear power plants. ( I would want to decommission all the nuclear power plants whether there is a chance to save the earth or not, because it's the right thing to do.) And given how that world operates, and the way "reality" is organized in it, it may very well appear to be as true as gravity that people like the president really would respond to the majority of Americans if we could tear ourselves away from football, television, the Kardashians, and beauty aids. From within that world you occupy, one of walls and humans and history and documentation, and a specific way of being, it is possible that it very much does appear that "we" could make a difference if "we" really, really wanted to.

    I can see how such a perception, such a worldview really, could appear to be valid.

    I'm not sure that right action in connection with the destruction of the world is dependent on that worldview, however. I'm not sure that world has the right questions, much less the right answers.

    It was very long and arduous to get past everything to be able to get back to Mark's original point and think I might understand why he made it in the first place. I still think that belief is not based in reality, and I'm really glad, Mark, that having received that feedback, even when offered in the inimitable style of some people, you welcomed the help to bring you back to reality.

    Good job!

  37. Thank you for helping verify the reality of who I am for our current time. I could not even speak till I was 5 so this former dolphin kid still has a hard time with written language.

    Wouldn't it be fun to escape the bad stuff in this Earth reality. Lets get high. Turn me into Puppyman and live in a MO flow spirit world.

    100% correct "I'm not sure that right action in connection with the destruction of the world is dependent on that worldview" Rather than Obama care any superpower could do the right thing or nearly whatever they want. I've always agreed & understood that. It's when they are on the margin that it takes marches, mail & much more to get mass media attention then slow movement in the right direction. President Johnson & Selma as example. Easy for Johnson to start Vietnam war. Boys & their battle ships. Presidents back to Andrew Jackson were dealing with salve issues before Lincoln & the entire north fought against Slavery. (And yes I know Bud Nuy that there were other factors involved.)

    true as gravity that people like the president really would respond to the majority of Americans if we could tear ourselves away from football, television, the Kardashians, and beauty aids...that's my bark over and over...but until Diablo Canyon goes the day after tomorrow (or New Madrid fault under 5 reactors in Tenneesse) nobody is going to play hardball on this grave danger. Yet if our computers were filled with 300 million e-mail overnight it would get attention....but even that would probably not result in actual action.

    I got totally ignored the first 4 times on NBL when I pointed out the NON SECRET open problem before congress that we have no multi-reactor meltdown plan. Each reactor alone is safe & fine for now. But It would be a huge disaster if more than one melted down due to losing staff during an EMP, Ebola, Pandemic, Yellowstone...anything that reduces engineers & responders. Reactors need constant maintenance & cooling. The Pentagon & Presidents all over the world do care. They all know that Japan would be a world disaster if more than one Fukishima happened in a week. Panicked Nuclear Plant staff might even leave reactors unattended during an event like if a large asteroid hit into the Pacific....or Guy Mc Pherson Artic Methane Emergency.

    I'm not a good writer. So please forget the politics. Just mention the overlooked scenario to friends. It is a total blind spot connected to every form of extinction including Climate Change.

    More above for ARTLEADS. I'm sorry but I'm very convinced there will be an end of IC. 2015 = 15 last years till things get radically rough in many aspects. Too many facts to re-type but I will share the private data that Mc.Pherson does not even have. It is no longer classified. I sent some of it to Satish in Feb....but it is very hard to get people to focus on mega serious facts that will add to an ELE. Obviously plants & animals and spiritual return is way too far out there to get people to care. But there is very long term karma involved in the choices we make. We have already made the choice to avoid the Inconvient Truth. This final choice goes beyond just changing the Earth. Please do think a bit about it during TV commercials. Trust me I'd much rather be a fun person rather McPherson but if you care about the Journey of Souls, you might wonder about not being able to retun to a radioactive choice. Even 2 minutes is worth Ten thousand years if we choose to ignore something that already truly exists. In a way this is a huge spiritual test for all of humanity. Do humans have any time to care about how there is no death because Energy always flows to somewhere...but not all the places energy flows are nice. There is a price for every excuse. Every choice. Nobody gets out of this one thinking they can play the death card. Even extinctions are not forever but Energy is alive with it's creations forever. Infinity +++

  38. Regarding the trip to Freddie's in Wasilla yesterday. Do you know that twenty-five years in Alaska and twenty of them living in the Wasilla(!), even back when there was only one (1) grocery store within 40 miles, I have never once encountered Sarah Palin. I have an aura that babies like. I often have baby's hold out their little arms and want me to hold them. Adults think I'm prickly, but babies love me. I worked with newborns, you may recall, for a dozen years, and a number of the nurses who thought I was a pain in the butt were surprised at the touch I had with the newborns, and how I could calm them. I always thought that it was a spiritual and karmic privilege to be able to work with newborns in this world. The most vulnerable among us have a power all their own, and it is very powerful. Sometimes when I am at the grocery store, in particular, I get lots of notice from little children, babies under a year and toddlers. Yesterday was the most intense it's ever been. But one little guy was so cute. He was about two, maybe, or maybe even younger, because he was stout little man like his father. His dad was this huge James Gandolfino looking man, heavy and solid. And he was at least 6'4" and big everywhere; big bones, big feet, and slow moving like the bull-animal dad resembled.

    This little kid was screaming his head off at his father and tugging at Dad's pants. Dad was calm as could be, and checking out the dairy section. As I walked by, I very quietly said to the baby, "You tell him." The baby quit screaming, Dad laughed, and the baby smiled at me. Then, the baby kept track of me for a while until I faded off into the primary food group sections of organic corn chips and Amy's frozen meals, craning his adorable, fat little face around his father to keep track of his new friend.

    They are spirits that are still very close to spirit. They frequently say "hi," even before they can talk. You can see it in their faces. "We're together," they say. 'I know you, or I should." They remember love like it is.

    1. Following up on Kevin's NBL post re love:

      So love and land seem connected. If love is the natural state of being, it expands, as do light or gravity, universally. So love of land could not exclude any portion of land, or anything that grows from or on it. What does "any portion of land" mean? Does that define my town, my city, my country? Yes. But why would it stop there? If love of land is a universal principle, then any barrier to it's ultimate reach would need to be removed. A national border would be such an obstacle. But what is its ultimate reach? I prefer to duck the question for now. For nearly all humans, for all practical purposes, the entire sphere of Earth, and what we perceive of its ambience, is big enough (for now). But we have hardly begun to consider the sphere of Earth to be the sphere of our love.

  39. I often have babies hold out their arms. Yikes.

  40. Thanks, all. It's such a privilege to be in your company. The wise, the strong, the sweet, choose the one that fits, and more than one, or all.

    If you grow up as self loathing as I, it's hard to know how to protect yourself; you are convinced inwardly you deserve all the abuse heaped against you, especially when they give you glimpses of hidden faults. It takes considerable reserves to affirm that, at least, God loves me. There has to be something good about me, for there is about everyone (and everything).

    My exchange with Mark provides an extremely abbreviated example of the issue. (We have had an interesting exchange in the article "Voluntary Simplicity," just above this one.) Because I think so little of myself, I throw my insight away. I have failed to consider that these insights were God speaking through me. The insights were more important than anything about me. It's a bit like the parable of the 10 talents in the New Testament. Conflating them with my damaged ego only meant treating them like garbage, when they were no such thing.

    Just over 30 years ago, I wrote a monograph for an "architectural history" course I was taking. Poor me. Little me. Worthless me. It's full of typos and the formatting is an absolute mess, and I haven't seen fit to clean it up. Yet, it represents what God was saying to me, and that came from a source that didn't need to grow or evolve. It was as eternal and complete back then as it is now. It was based on simple logic.

    The logic is this: Land is sacred. The things that grow and live on the land, any land, even a disturbed backyard with tire marks, are magical. No structure should be imposed on land without the greatest respect, circumspection and reluctance. This is the opposite of how developers see it.

    The insight I gleaned through my little monograph, even back then, was that buildings should not be constructed on open land. They should be grafted onto existing buildings. They should do the latter while respecting the character of anything that was already built, for that too was magic. Open land should never be built upon, and no building should be torn down or defaced. I'm asking Mark to include this concept in his reports to the president.

    In order to accommodate human activities, augmentive additions should go on top of and/or under (basement structures) existing buildings. On top, they should be set back so as not to destroy the feeling of the original as viewed from the road.

    Mark makes the understandable point that such a vision (assuming that he understands it) is not practical at this time. Presumably, we must first do the "important" things, like decommissioning nuclear plants, or instead revolutionizing their management programs, including some of my suggestions about including community planning in the radii of nuclear plants. This of course is way beyond anything I might have expected to practically occur.

    I was told long ago by a professor/author/sustainable communities expert that my view of planning (re the monograph) was more advanced than anyone's in the nation. Still, after all this time, my vision has not gained traction, and is misunderstood or undervalued. Fortunately, I'm very close to the end of my journey, and have neither the will, the inclination, nor the time for compromise.

    God has spoken. The mission is clear. Follow it and all solutions will be revealed. Believe it or not believe it. None of my concern. Stand firm. There's nothing else to do. God sufficeth above all things.

    1. Artleads, I think you have no idea how powerful you have become. I'm just going to leave it at that.

    2. Thanks, Mo. Tears in my eyes.

    3. dear Artleads, this came my way, via ogf and many others... for you:

      “Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.”

      Bahá'í Prayers

    4. That is like Artleads. Wow. As Rita would say.

    5. Thank you both! This is SUCH a touching prayer. I can't imagine it will ever go away from me.

    6. Baha'i' "Tyrant or Saint: King or pauper one & all he loves."

      Even if this Earth fails there are many more in infinity. Do you care to go there? Where oh where every you go - show your planet, show your people, show that you care.

      ART - LEADS: A world awaits you when this is done. A promised Land of your exact design. None of your sketches, plans or dreams were ever wasted. Laws of nature - laws of energy transform everything. Watching. Waiting. Everything is in the ackashic record. After the mighty so humble...gave a lifetime for another Kingdom come. In time you will see how your dreams become realities. Your vision unfolds. I am already in your heaven, everything has a reason. Together we are here by intelligent design.

      In order to accommodate human activities, augmentive additions should go on top of and/or under (basement structures) existing buildings. On top, they should be set back so as not to destroy the feeling of the original as viewed from the road. I understand perfectly. Possibly more than you know. Everything matters - but there is a list - getting things done in the right order. Trust - all lives are a test. It will never really be over. Energy can never be created nor destroyed only transformed. Your choices, your heart directs that energy forever "Warts & all" Please stay on my team. Need you here. You know your not done with the details of a better world. Give it everything. I want to go there!!! Your best friends and a god dog will be there. ready to explore. Lots of actors but no reactors in the next one. Splitting atoms is a splitting headache to fix. Oh MO FLOW just sent in the Flying Monkeys. I'll give it a rest. all my very best +.+.+

    7. Mark: Have to disagree, politely with your comment, "true as gravity that people like the president really would respond to the majority of Americans if..."

      If true then Cornel West would not have to point out, "Somebody's got to raise the question for over 7 years, young bacl and brown, male and female have been shot down by the police every 28 HOURS. We've got a black President, Black Atty. Gen.,black Cabinet Sec. Of Homeland Security, whose fundamental aim is to insure that ___is safe in American. But, we haven't had ONE Federal prosecution of a policeman...

      You sit in a position (apparently) of Snowden or Manning. It must be extremely frustrating I cannot imagine the pressure. I wishyou peace with all my heart.

      Please listen to this speech by Cornet West, given yesterday, about the above. The key for me is when he says," ...and not a mumblin' word".

      It starts at about the 21:45 mark for this part of the tape: "Plenty of Black Faces in High Places, But No Justice"

    8. "Everything matters - but there is a list - getting things done in the right order. "

      Therein lies the puzzle. Shep would like to see black genocide addressed, like yesterday. So where would that fit in the sequence of "right order?" I don't claim to know. Just staying alive and getting through the day (in Amerika) must be challenging enough for the president. Nothing can wait its turn, AFAICS. So how do you tackle everything all at once. I've tried my best to present my theory (which is still a work in progress). The best I can come up with now is that, apart from a host of needed changes, a fundamental shift in governance is a prerequisite. I can't think of anything better to drive that shift than nuclear security. But I don't see it (nukes) as more important than a host of issues--ecocide, genocide, etc.--within the cluster of dysfunctions comprising IC. I'm for a sort of democracy among the issues. So nuclear gets to be the first among equals, but that is all (for me). Include everything, or include nothing at all. I've offered a theory of fundamental shift in governance that I won't bore the reader with yet again. You can't have order if you don't look at the geographic base within which all decisions are made. A shift toward that end is what I've been recommending, and I haven't so far seen any understandable reason why what I suggest is not the most orderly way forward. Transparent and comprehensible governance that is tied together in a unifying geographic matrix would seem to be a worthy aspiration for getting at all the issues systematically. The land, for me, comes first.

    9. Artleads -

      "Transparent and comprehensible governance that is tied together in a unifying geographic matrix would seem to be a worthy aspiration for getting at all the issues systematically. The land, for me, comes first."

      I think the natural organization of govt would be around watersheds. this is something I have been made conscious of for a long time - deep and early education from my parents. it makes sense on many levels.

      after the US federal govt defaults, along with every other govt in the world, it is going to be over for the nation-state as we know it. I can't see anything holding current borders together - either federal or state level, on any continent.

      there is enough awareness out there on various levels - has been for a long time - on better possibilities for regional organization. something focused on watersheds has to be it. this is going to be very obviously vital, when the time comes.

    10. Marco!

      "Give it everything."

      count on it.

      winged jaguars on the distant horizon. look to the west. out over the Pacific. a big flock.

    11. Mo,

      Nice to learn a little bit about your upbringing. My single mother had neither the education nor the time for such concerns (and your parents might have been unusual in theirs even then). I came upon watersheds very recently (around three years ago), and it fell into place within a split second. I've been talking up watersheds since then. I agree with what you say.

      Actually, I had worked with a watershed (WS) NPS staff person years ago, but WSs were not the major issue of focus for us then.

      So, yes, WSs would need to be a very major focus for the immediate governance shift that I advocate. But at the rate we're going, I don't see a way to get there, sans planning, that also safeguards nuclear facilities. Or, say, prevents the racial extermination that Shep speaks about. Or many other (I think not altogether inevitable) horrors.

      So what could we propose, regardless of expectation? Some sort of survey of general plans to ensure orderly, better coordinated governance on which to overlay WS thinking? Even cities can comprise WSs if retrofitted properly. And maybe my idea of confining all future development to cities (through contextual adaptation) isn't quite IT either. Maybe WS-oriented development will determine where everything must go. These are questions I hope others will join in to address.

      There appear to be two major near-term drivers of environmental sanity: 1) Nuclear threat, 2) Economic Collapse. Both require enormous though as to how they are to be managed (if indeed they CAN be). Both will force something different from BAU to occur. But if that something different doesn't occur soon, what can we expect?

    12. Everybody needs to see where their issue is clearly and strategically embedded in the comprehensive plan (usually, the GENERAL PLAN). People will be patient if they see how the "comprehensive plan" leads to the solution for them. They will then be motivated to help the comprehensive plan along.

      Policing comes under the purview of a General Plan (to speak to Shep's issue). Any governing body is entitles to make the General Plan anything they want, depending on compliance with state and Federal laws. The central administration, if it chooses, can incentivize orderly and coherent planning down the line. Only a few places may be ready for primetime, and those can be granted to carry out progressive pilot program of all sorts. Madison Avenue PR people know how to spin those achievements and thereby change the culture. To some degree, anyhow.

    13. "So what could we propose, regardless of expectation? Some sort of survey of general plans to ensure orderly, better coordinated governance on which to overlay WS thinking? Even cities can comprise WSs if retrofitted properly."

      I think what could be proposed now is most importantly getting to know your watershed. the idea here is that local awareness is increased, all with WS as theme. this wouldn't have to do with anything other than just getting the right knowledge spread around. (I personally don't see anything terribly radical happening, with re-imagining governance, until some of the terrible shocks have hit. all my thinking along these lines now - for "local planning" - is what can be done just to get people refocused on the earth they actually, you know live on :)

      my major concern is that the shocks don't happen too quickly, but at least with enough time for radical mobilization around what matters as far as getting the nukes stabilized. what really could be done now, and I think this is where true leadership (Obama!) can have an impact, is getting all the stored used rods in ONE place (talking USA here), as safely as possible, with some kind of passive (or very low-power), long-term, reasonably secure storage. this was the idea, years ago. what the hell happened?

      even the fact that this went nowhere past the research stage (maybe some development at Yucca?) really makes me think HS has a clear and focused death wish.

      but - aside from that colossal white elephant, WS focused land use planning has to be the 2nd most important key for *any* chance of long term survival. (some possibility of somewhat thriving survival, not just barely scraping by in hell survival)

    14. "I think what could be proposed now is most importantly getting to know your watershed. "

      Very clear and to the point. Two problems:

      1) Although I'm more interested in WSs than the average Joe/Mary, I'm not *viscerally* convinced that WSs work in my drought-ridden location. It is dry far more often than it is wet. What the aquifers collect are out of sight, and even rivers can run underground. The educational effort to involve the public is thereby made more challenging.

      2) Everybody has a potentially conflicting issue. For Shep, it's genocidal racism. But it could be gender, preference, money, pollution... So everybody won't easily cooperate to address WSs. Just a thought.

    15. MO - "getting all the stored used rods in ONE place." Wish I was as good as you at posting links but the U-tube doc "Into Eternity" might help explain if you watch it. Yucca mountain is active. I have key reports but it is classified. Second site in development in Nevada. HS has a clear and focused PLAN. I could only share details in person. Unusual to see your serious side. Of course I appreciate reading the things that make you more real. Cozy fire & Rigoletto. Caring about each of you to "at least with enough time for radical mobilization around what matters as far as getting the nukes stabilized." Much higher powers than presidents preside without term limits. But even God gave us freewill to co-create & decide.

    16. "Yucca mountain is active."

      I think I might have heard something along these lines, too. not very, but some activity (as in tectonic/volcanic).

      so a second site is in development. that is great news.

      "HS has a clear and focused PLAN."

      you have NO idea how good this is to hear from you, Mark! no idea. thank GOD this is still underway. I hope things are moving fast enough.

      "Unusual to see your serious side."

      yeah, I have a very serious side. I tend to appear not serious, because what I take seriously is SO important to me, that I have to play it light, otherwise I would totally freak out.

      "But even God gave us freewill to co-create & decide."

      that's just it. taking our roles seriously here is everything. as long as I am doing that, then I can be as much of a goofball as I want to, still knowing that I'm doing everything I can, in the best possible co-creative way. decision made. fire at will!

      which one's Will? :)


      Artleads - the desert areas now are going to be like Mars in the summertime soon. completely uninhabitable. and they will be spreading. everything that has even some good water left - every place on earth that has this - is going to be more valuable than you can imagine. the water itself will finally be appreciated for what it is, if it is still pure enough to drink and live from: the elixir of the gods. everything will revolve around fresh, drinkable water. hence my WS focus. it will all be really obvious, really soon, I think. what we do with water now will be considered heresy.

    17. meaning heresy most likely punished by death. or something so serious the message sinks in really fast.

      the things that we take for granted now... wow. that is so quickly going to change.

    18. Thinking of everyone during my lunch break. I just posted some useful links under the new article by Satish. Sorry about mistakes last night while clearing my g-mail. Everything is now deleted for total security. All e-mail addresses written in notebook so I will have to start fresh. Better safe than sorry again with hackers.

      MO FLOW "what I take seriously is SO important to me, that I have to play it light, otherwise I would totally freak out." You and I are very much alike. No wonder I'm starting to take xanax to get to sleep by midnight. Sorry but the HS "Plan" is not all good or nice. Wish any of you were here to talk about it in private away from recording devices outside in a park. I care. Sort of like Snowden I might find a way to share. All my best. regulatory/research/reactor-rsh

    19. I LIKE THAT YOU'RE BEING MORE CAUTIOUS. (sorry for cap lock) There's a lot we shouldn't know. Glad you're hanging out with us. Quite an honor.

    20. "No wonder I'm starting to take xanax to get to sleep by midnight."

      Mark, possibly much better: you could do a deep, grounding, gently relaxing (brief but focused, if need be) meditation before sleep. we have the power. let's use it!

  41. SHEP wow THANK YOU. As often as possible I plan to make 5pm D.C. office time with my assistant to read public ideas on nuclear power plant safety. I am with the alternative Energy and safety division. I almost quit last year but they offered be a slightly higher level of clearance and assignment to work specifically on Nuclear decommissioning & development of safety systems. On a personal level I like President Obama. He has been very nice to me and helpful with road blocks to building my small Team. Mr. Dan Utech is above me on this project here at the Dept of Energy. Personally I have great concern for a long list of world problems, especially human rights & AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately on a work basis the USA regions of 298 Nuclear reactors are already almost more than I can handle. Almost beyond control with increasing cyber hacking & terror threats.

    Sadly if we do have an attack, Pandemic, Earthquakes or other events that are increasing on the actuarial table - then - a region wide chain reaction of meltdowns will render all other life on Earth to Extinction.

    It is hard for many to imagine, but this level of rapid Extinction (same would also happen with full nuclear war) does move the Nuclear threat to the top of the list. No other problems can be fixed --- no hope at all to work on other issues if we are vaporized. Even survivors in NORAD and other shelters would not be able to try to heal a radioactive dead planet for thousands of years. Even things as bad as climate change or an asteroid impact would clear up to some degree after hundreds of years as long if 675,312,841 Kt of radiation were not included in an E.L.E.

    I do have connections in other Depts. I also travel to other countries. No doubt we are all connected. All my prayers for resolving every issue. I also realize I could be wrong, so unlike others in D.C., I'm here listening. I also take breaks to get all this dire stuff out of my head. Got to appreciate the good days. All my very best.

  42. Anon:

    Whoa, u are in the belly aren't you!

    It's too late, so don't think you can help in any way,

    "It is finished!"

    1. Dept of Defense: EDWARD OLIVER GONZALES, article on about New Mexico DoE fines is well researched. I confirm. Will read the cost of Decommissioning next. I have several monitors going on my desk with various feeds. Satish site is getting interesting with these links. Thank You

    2. "THE NEW-MEXICO STATE ENVIRONMENT DEPT claims there were 37 violations of its hazardous waste permits on the part of the U.S. Department of Energy (US-DoE) Environmental Agency at its (WIPP) near Carlsbad, NM and another at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM; (just east of the WIPP) in separate nuclear incidents-both with significant long, and near term consequences."

      What can Santa Fe County do about any of this? I'm involved with an small aspect of land use planning within the county. What can we be asking the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to do? They have placed a moratorium on mining (6 months or so left), and are being sued by a major mining company. But that probably doesn't apply.

    3. This will take some research. I'll post leads in our "Voluntarily Simplicity" comment area when I track down prospects. I love the feminine topic you & Mo started in Simplicity space. Wish SABINE or OGF would add female insight to our boys-in-mail room discussion in the smoking room above. Hot issue. Needs more feminism/mother nature touch. This is an actual battle of world views staying true to the article we under here in the many aspects of Satish. I wonder where he went ??? Miss our Guru host. Empty KuKu nest without Satish.

  43. ARTLEADS - Per your question above about - 37 violations of its hazardous waste permits on the part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

    903 W. Alameda #325 Santa Fe, N.M. 87505 (505) 989-7342

    105 Stanford S.E. ALBUQUERQUE 87196 (505) 262-1862 fax 262-1862

    Artleads you said: "The educational effort to involve the public is thereby made more challenging." but I am listening & I hope this helps to prove we can continue to make steps.

  44. Hi Mark,

    I'm like most lay people, who are clueless about nuclear technology, with absolutely no synapse that connects me to those 37 violations. LANL is in a neighboring county, and Carlsbad is on the other end of the state. I keep thinking there can be synergy and win/win in combining very disparate issues.

    As Mo points out, a nuclear accident would spread radiation across the boundaries I'm trying to address. So, what is the LEAST that can happen to make for a more aware and prepared public, while making for minimal improvement to land use governance? Or if not land use (which is the only issue I'm not prepared to put on hold) then to some sort of uplift to any area of the state or nation that could be remotely affected by radiation? (I bet that's everybody!) So maybe a light pass over a broad swathe--like a tiny nuclear element as part of the civics and science curriculum in most schools? This is clearly what used to be called brainstorming, nothing more.

    It's shocking that the kids in my community have no connection to the history or environment of their small community. They are bussed to school elsewhere, and look for entertainment in the city. So we are awash in wasted opportunities for connection and independence.

    Sorry to say I haven't yet looked at the link you gave me to see where my suggestions are listed. Very kind and thoughtful of you. Will do so ASAP, and maybe get some things clear. :-) Best to you as well.

  45. Hi Art-leads, I was just providing the links months in advance so I don't get busy and forget. Land use radius safety in development so nothing new to see on our sites except for existing plan & community meetings scheduled into the fall.

    Sorry, I thought you needed some law firms or New Mexico agencies to help with the waste violations you asked about above on April 16

    You 100% correct about education being the LEAST. Communication, safety reminders & education is the only simple answer.

    I'll be glad to think about & jot down a few simple education ideas this week then post here soon. You just inspired me to get it done because we do need a few straight forward safety messages for all communities. THANK YOU. "brainstorming, nothing more" - yet it takes pre-production "scripts" and plans to turn into actual results.

  46. LAND USE & Water were my life work as Ranger Marco in Costa Rica. 1998-2001 was a great time in my life. Except I guess the Land Use objective was to create an wildlife corridor. 100% nature preserve. Cabo Blanco national park was extended by removing cattle farms & stopping further burning of the rainforest. Lot's of pictures on the internet of Cabo Blanco & The Nicholas Wessberg memorial homestead miles away up the Nicoya coast which we succeeded to save from getting bulldozed. (The Marriott golf resort they planned still got built in Los Suenos further away.) Fighting developers, living in a tree hut to stop it from being cut down, getting the litter off the beaches then starting a recycling center....nothing better than working for careful land use. There is a waterfall at the end of Playa Grande where many tourists from Montezuma village now hike out to see. No roads allowed past the village! The beach cliff waterfall would have been diverted to the resort golf & pools If we did not preserve it in natural condition. I try to go back to visit once in awhile. Save all water & land from development if possible. Thanks again.

  47. That was excellent work, Ranger Marco. And what you're doing now even surpasses that. I go on so about what you're doing because it is so STRATEGIC. Cheerio!

    1. exceptionally excellent work!