Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Broken Link

I often mention our ancestral past in my conversations with friends. I talk about the things we used to have, the things we used to enjoy and the vastly different circumstances we find ourselves in today in the modern world. One of the problems the modern civilized human faces is being surrounded by strangers. This may not sound like much of a problem at all. Most people, especially urbanites, love the diversity that the city offers. And yet, there is a certain simmering tension underneath the appearances when a variety of cultures mingle. These tensions are kept in check in times of plenty, when the gravy train runs, doling out goodies to everyone along the way, With ample resources to feed everyone, fault lines become almost invisible. Even with the differences in worldview and thought, since everyone believes in the stories of civilization, progress and technology, we get along. But during times of scarcity, or during difficult socio-politico-economic conditions, tensions along cultural, ethnic, religious, geographic and other fault lines flare up. We see this happen from time to time in countries and regions across the world. People who are different from each other in one or more ways who have otherwise lived in relative peace for long periods of time nevertheless clash during stressful times when resources become scarce and competition for the limited pool of resources arises seemingly out of nowhere.

Did I say "people who are different from each other"? Why would anyone say such a thing? Aren't we all the same? All one? One species. One world? Coexisting?

We're often presented with a liberal worldview that calls for unity among all humans irrespective of their origins, belief systems and appearances. So how come we haven't figured out how to live in peace with each other? How come we keep fighting with each other, disrespecting one another and calling into question another's belief system, religion, or culture?

If we take the long view, if we consider our past spanning 200,000 years, we'd realize that this is a brand new problem in the history of humanity... for 99% of our time on this planet, we lived in situations where we knew almost everyone we interacted with on a daily basis. We grew up and lived in tribes which were basically extended families and we knew most of our fellow tribespeople very well as a matter of fact. It's not that our tribal ancestors never saw a foreigner. Perhaps once in a while when someone from a faraway land or a neighboring tribe passed by, we'd run into a stranger. In Native American powwows that happened regularly and periodically, neighboring tribes got together and celebrated their connection to one another and to the lands they inhabited. Neighboring tribes intermarried. Tribes traded with each other as well. But the interaction was largely occasional and limited by geography. Moreover, tribal people, wherever they lived on the planet, shared similar worldviews, and in that sense, even the occasional foreigner that passed by was not really a stranger. They all had a shared sense of reality, a shared foundation upon which their respective creation stories were built.

It's only recently, in the past several thousand years, that humans have been forced to deal with strangers from far away lands or with people with wildly different worldviews. It's only recently that humans have been living in close quarters with people who look very different, think very differently and believe in very different things. This is a very unnatural state of affairs. The calls from leaders and gurus alike, picked up and repeated by the idealist urban progressive liberal, the calls to get along because we're all one species are actually calls to adapt to an unnatural state of affairs, one that is relatively new in our history on this planet.
I realize that this assertion on my part that mixing with people that are different from us is unnatural is very uncommon in the modern world where one daily hears talk about tolerance and unity and the exhortation to "live and let live". Such a position might even bring up memories of the segregation era and worse. I ask you to suspend your judgment for a few minutes and hear me out...

When I take this position in conversations with friends, they often tell me about all the amazing things that have come out of this worldwide blending of people from everywhere. Just look at New York or Los Angeles, the lively profusion of cultures and traditions that make such cities global in nature, truly cosmopolitan cities that offer something for everyone. Here's a response I received from a friend recently:

"But I don't regret my exposure or access to the rest of the world. I love knowing people and what they do and believe and how they eat and love. I like that I can search for my personal truth through the full expanse of human culture and thought. And my favorite music and dancing outside of ballet is definitely not from around me or my people -- And I am made so happy by the amazing fusions of music and dance and food vocabularies that I've experienced. Those things are only humanity made better as long as we continue to value the traditions upon which they are built."

Here was my response, expanded and edited for clarity:

You described the aspects of civilization that we have come to enjoy. No doubt we have wonderful art, music, cuisine, etc. I'm not denying that. But when we ask ourselves how we got ourselves into an existential crisis, one for which there appears to be no solution within our reach, we are compelled to trace back our history all the way back to our origins on this planet and we end up with the realization that says we were once tethered to land and now we're not.

Consider this narrative of how a human body is made up of smaller building blocks...

There are all sorts of particles in the Universe. The nature of creation around us seems to be one where some particles get together and create larger constructs. Whether the particles do this voluntarily in order to be part of something bigger than themselves (as in a cooperative organization), or they do it because they are forced to come together by a force stronger than themselves, it's as if the will or essence of the larger construct directs (for a finite period of time) the essence of the smaller ones. The latter eventually come together to form certain shapes with certain properties. The smaller individual particles might be replaced over the lifetime of the larger construct, but the latter retains an essence of its own as it is built and rebuilt throughout its lifetime.

So, we have subatomic particles like electrons and protons coming together to form atoms. These particles are held together by a certain force that gives the atom its shape and properties. That force is part of the essence or spirit of the atom. Atoms are more than the sum of the electrons, protons and neutrons that make them up. They have unique properties. Atoms, in turn, get together to form molecules...

Molecules get together to form cells. The cell has unique properties and functions that are a result of the molecules coming together for a specified period of time, the lifetime of the cell, to build something larger than themselves.

Cells get together to form tissue of various kinds.

Tissue constitutes organs, like the stomach, the heart, etc. It's as if the heart knows how to exist and knows what it needs to exist and to function and it recruits what it needs from the nutrient supply coming its way and rebuilds and maintains itself. The same applies to all other organs in the body.

All the organs come together to make up a human body, a human being with properties and aspects and behaviors and characteristics that are more than the sum of the parts. This process of building a human body is not chronological. The organs evolve together just as the body acquires its shape and behaviors.

So now, we have a fully functioning healthy human body with a unique set of characteristics that we call a human being. We came up the chain from subatomic particles to atoms to molecules to cells to tissue to organs to the human being. What next? Here is where the trouble starts :)

Back in the day, the chain of constitution continued upward...

Human beings came together to form a tribe. Just as the organs in the human body work together to maintain and continue the evolution of the human body and the human being, the human members of the tribe worked together to nurture and sustain the tribe. Individual humans may come and go but the tribe retained its unique identity. The tribe was like a super human structure with characteristics and properties that were more than the sum of the human beings that were its members. The members were well aware of this arrangement. This is the same pattern our tribal ancestors saw in the creation around them.

Lest you think I'm making this up, here's an excerpt from the excellent book, "Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning the Universe":
With individualism, a lack of responsibility is supposed. The idea of hierarchy, upon which the scientific classification system is arranged, echoing in kingdoms and governments, creates an imbalance. Many modern-day relationships are Koyaanisqatsi, a Hopi word meaning "life out of balance."

In contrast, tribal societies placed the group (tribe, or nation) kinship first, the individual, last. Young Bear stated, "what is so different between Indians and non-Indians is that we are members of a tribe, even if we do not always show it." And then, she goes on to explain: "Our 'hierarchy', if one must think in those terms, places the tribe at the top, then the clan, extended family, natural family, chosen family, and the individual at the bottom. This does not mean that we have low self-esteem. It means the opposite, that we value the well-being of the people and our psychology and philosophy is all-inclusive, not segregated into pieces of the whole of our lives."
For any individual tribesman or tribeswoman, the prospect of their death didn't worry them or cause them anxiety because they truly saw themselves as the natural building block of something bigger than themselves, contributing to their family and tribe that would go on with all its traditions and culture. The life of the tribe was more important than the life of any particular human being... just as the health and longevity of the human body is more important than the life of any individual cell in the liver or the eye. This is the pattern we still see in nature, in the animal and plant worlds. Wolves come and go but the pack lives on. Trees come and go but the forest lives on. When a tribe member fell sick, it was as if the entire tribe was sick. Just as when the liver falls sick, the entire human body suffers. The members of a healthy tribe worked well with each other just as the various organs of a healthy human body work well with each other, passing messages between themselves, warning each other of foreign objects and threats, maintaining a healthy immune system, etc.

The next level of aggregation, up from the tribe, is the land they were part of. In fact, the very word "indigenous" means "of a particular region or country; native to". From Merriam-Webster:


Recently, a number of US Marines joined the Water Protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. One of them was Wesley Clark Jr., the son of General Wesley Clark, who apologized to Leonard Crow Dog. The Lakota chief accepted the apology and proceeded to say that the Lakota tribe doesn't own the land, but that the land owns them. This statement by this indigenous person may appear metaphorical to civilized people, but he meant it quite literally. The tribe is well aware of its relationship with its land. Our ancestors knew they were part of the land. Even as humans migrated gradually from place to place, they became part of the land they called home. They learned about the land's other residents, the mountains, the waters, the rocks, the animals, the plants and the birds. They figured out ways to listen to their land and serve it and help it thrive. They were minimal in their needs, often using less than 1% of the energy flow in their ecology. What they took they gave back in a different form. They maintained their numbers through natural methods of contraception so as not to overwhelm their land. These are the signs of a healthy tribe. Our indigenous ancestors worked very well with the land that owned them!

The land, of course, is part of the Earth. All ecological niches and subsystems interact with each other and maintain a certain balance. The Earth, as a living organism, has all these organs, the oceans, the poles with their massive ice sheets that regulate temperature, the deserts, the plains and the mountains. All of them work together to keep the climate system and the energy flow going. The flow of water, of energy, and of atmospheric charge and atmospheric gases are similar to the flow of blood and electric signals and energy coursing through the human body.

As long as we humans lived in tribes all over the Earth, in balance with our respective lands, there was this continuous chain of progression from subatomic particles all the way to the Earth itself. Human beings were part of the tribe, the tribe was part of the land and the land was part of the Earth. In other words, the Earth itself is a large conscious living body made up of constituent organs. These organs, the lands all over the planet, are in turn made up of further smaller members, the animals, the plants, the rivers, and more recently in the history of the planet, human beings.

The Earth itself is a functional member of the solar system... and the aggregation continues: star systems, galaxies, etc. So we had a continuous and healthy chain of connections and aggregations going from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest arrangements of heavenly bodies that our best telescopes tell us are out there.

Let's come to the present moment... what we have today is not quite the same as what we had in the past. There's been a rupture in the chain of connections. Something went haywire at a particular linkage. Tribes lost their connection to the land. Tribes increasingly began dissolving, their cultures, traditions and languages vanishing, with their members dispersing, rootless, homeless human beings. That's us, after some 10,000 years of such dissolution, civilized modern people, having spread all over the planet, having increased in numbers beyond the carrying capacity of the planet, drawing down on the ecological capital, the interest on which used to nourish our ancestors aplenty.

Exactly how this rupture came about is not very clear. Several theories have been put forth by researchers. One even alludes to alien interference in Earthly matters and consequent corruption of otherwise healthy humans. Whatever the cause or causes, it must have started with one or more tribes somewhere on the planet going out of balance and overrunning its land. The connection between the tribe and its owner, the land, was severed. This tribe had now turned cancerous, to use the analogy of cancer in the human body. Earth started having a cancerous growth in one of her organs. Normally, just as in the healthy human body, such growths are dealt with... the immune system responds and kills of the cancerous growth. The healthy tribes surrounding a cancerous tribe normally realize what's going on, since they are keen listeners and observers, and kill off the cancerous tribe and restore balance to the land. But sometimes, just as in a human body, the growth overwhelms the immune system and takes over the body. The cancerous tribe overran neighboring healthy tribes and began spreading. This is the story of civilization. Civilization is the name we give to this human cancer on the planet. Civilization is unsustainable, is a heat engine, a massive energy consumer, a pyramid scheme, full of inequality and unnatural hierarchy, puts out massive amounts of waste products and if not checked in time, generally ends up choking and killing off the host, which is the planet we call home.

So when we talk about the prospects of nuclear war and the ongoing sixth mass extinction due to habitat collapse and abrupt climate change, they are simply the results of the uncontrolled growth of the human cancer on the planet. This perspective, of course, is not palatable to us civilized humans. Who would want to be called a cancer cell, after all. But that's what we civilized modern humans are behaving as, as little cancer cells, with no connection to land, not being a part of any healthy organ, not being part of the continuous chain of linkages that have long constituted a healthy Universe. We run around, try different cuisines, listen to world music, fly to and from the other side of the planet (that's me :)), sample various cultures, meet different people, but all of that is simply part of the story of civilization. It's the kind of temporary luxuries that humans, as adaptable as we are, get used to liking and enjoying. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But I have a need to put it all in the larger context and this is what I come up with... based on my reading, listening and pondering over the human condition in the present time.

Whether or not all of the above makes sense, a key takeaway from the story of humanity is that we lost our connection with land. People were as happy or happier living on their land. They had much fun, enjoyed productive time and leisure time, made art, played sports and games, sang and danced into the wee hours of the night, talked with spirits and lived long joyous lives. Anything we hear to the contrary is made up by modern civilized humans to make ourselves look better than our ancestors. Believe it or not :) Our ancestors did not die young, they did not live penurious lives full of misery and shortage of food, they didn't display savagery like we do today, they didn't have depression, cancer, suicide, etc. the way we have, and they weren't sub-human. Look at the work of revisionist anthropologists such as Marshall Sahlins.

Today, with the cultural rise of individualism, our end point in the chain up from subatomic particles is the individual human being... with our massive egos, we are no longer part of a tribe and no longer connected to the land our ancestral tribes were connected to. All of us descend from tribal people. All of us have indigenous ancestors... there's not a single exception... mathematically. But today. we are no longer concerned with the land our ancestors called home. We run around all over the planet in our fancy jet planes. We are born on one side of the planet and live on the other side... such a thing has never happened before in our history... we call it progress but it's actually a kind of devolution. Our condition is not unlike that of the sea life that gets lifted from waters in the Atlantic by a ship's ballast system and gets dumped in the Pacific. Suddenly, it's a whole new environment. Suddenly, the native species of sea life, plants and animals, are confronted by foreign species and it's a big mess for both native and foreign.

We don't belong to a tribe anymore. We look for community but have a difficult time finding like-minded people. This is the result of thousands of years of devolution. We are confused individuals, with no proper knowledge of where and how we fit in into the larger picture. The indigenous person had no such confusion. She knew her place and she educated her children about their place... and so they continued for 200,000 years. We civilized people, on the other hand, are barely able to last a mere 10,000 years since agriculture began. The tribe has been dissolved. Human beings no longer have a tribe and are no longer connected to land. There is no such thing as a global tribe. There is no such workable concept as a global human family. Without connection to the land, we are simply living in artificial constructs and mental notions of unity and oneness. Sure, we're all related but our relationship to each other ought to be through our lands and the Earth. Yes, we are spiritual beings, but our spirituality ought to arise out of our connection to and respect for our sacred land and our Earth Mother.

Today. the lands suffer everywhere because we mine them, drill into them and exploit them. We blow up mountain tops, throw nuclear waste into the ocean, litter the rivers and seas with plastic, emit carbon and methane into the atmosphere, hunt to extinction hundreds of animals, enslave fellow humans, manipulate culture and generally make a mess of it all.

It is time for us, in the next few years or decades, to take stock of the situation and come to terms with it. We have the brains to process this information, to understand it, and we have the capacity to empathize with our ancestors and today's indigenous peoples and to see through the sick culture that we were brought up in. I know this is not a fun way to become more conscious of the world around us and our place in it. As they say, expanding one's consciousness is not necessarily a fun process. We need to become more conscious of our situation here and now. This is what I'm called to do. Your mileage may vary...

83 comments:

  1. Hi Satish,

    Before I forget, I'll note the "I" vs "you" trap that OGF alluded to, for that seems to be at the core of the individuality trap too. We systematically invert your pyramid and put the individual at top instead of bottom. Maybe, then, the apex of the pyramid, being a point at the base, would be beyond unstable. So I'd like to know how you see the pyramid analogy.

    Otherwise, I don't know where to begin. You join things up in a way that is knowledgeable, analytical and coherent (AFAICS). To compare myself, I'm always trying to be coherent (have been told that my "program" is about coherence) but still must be failing to join things up other than in my own mind. So few people get what I'm trying to lead to, though some of it (that I've mentioned in dribs and drabs over time) overlaps with your thesis above. I'll list some of the overlapping themes: individualism, land being first, our land owning us, etc...

    Where we have concurred before but you don't emphasize here is land being sacred. You said something about the spirit in the atom that I had expected you to elaborate on and make a theme. I hope we can get to that in the discussion.

    For now, I'll begin at the end (although I think you have a year's worth of discussion here):

    "It is time for us, in the next few years or decades, to take stock of the situation and come to terms with it. We have the brains to process this information, to understand it, and we have the capacity to empathize with our ancestors and today's indigenous peoples and to see through the sick culture that we were brought up in. I know this is not a fun way to become more conscious of the world around us and our place in it. As they say, expanding one's consciousness is not necessarily a fun process. We need to become more conscious of our situation here and now. This is what I'm called to do. Your mileage may vary..."

    You may be right about the time scale we have to work with, although *my* time scale is in the "few years" category. Next, there is a whole army of bright people who are fixated on thermodynamics being everything to the exclusion of human volition or intention. You and I don't believe this, but it seems we have to convince or neutralize that army to some extent. They are not helpful to our "program," although most seem able to "see through the sick culture that we were brought up in." They have convinced themselves that it's human nature to burn through energy as fast as possible, that there is nothing nuanced about the human proclivity to wage war and conquer spoils till we extinguish ourselves. I also don't see our challenge as being not fun. The alternative would be mindlessness and the curtailment of genuine experience, IMO.

    Other things I hope we can discuss include: Dmitry Orlov's championing of the 150-strong principle (as a way to re-root ourselves to a place and a community that includes the land); the literal way in which we emerge from the land--in which the land is an ancestor--over eons; the universal belief in ancestor worship among indigenous people; the potential to jump right in and reconnect right where we are; the need to reconsider and aggregate power and hegemony to the non-human realm--even as a corrective measure; the desperate need to work constructively toward common goals... More soon.

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  2. I'm with you all the way. We all try to build coherent narratives about why humanity is faced with its present predicament. But for the sake of pragmatism the narrative has to recognize that our predicament is also that we can do nothing else than observing ...and surf on the waves of reality.

    Like electricity, generated by the contact of its 2 poles, the reality of any living species is generated by the interactions between its polarities the individuals and their societies:
    - individuals evolved biologically and are the actors of biological reproduction (masculine, active or positive poles, generators of increased complexity)
    - societies are the representatives of species and act to ensure their preservation by coalescing the individuals in cohesive groups (feminine, passive or negative poles, generators of conservation through "belonging")

    The biological evolution of the individuals went through countless mutations that concluded some 200,000 years ago with the genie Homo in its present form.

    The organizational evolution of societies underwent 3 great transitions:

    - from small bands of individuals under the authority of an alpha-male to "non-power tribal groups" counting on average 150 individuals who, anywhere on earth, shared a common worldview called animism. Tribes were egalitarian societies, disposing of economic abundance, that took decisions following the principle of the unanimity its members... Individualism was unknown the individuals realized themselves through the group.

    - from tribal groups to kingdoms and empires. A warming climate between 20 and 12,000 years ago unleashed the agricultural revolution which destabilized the tribal organizational model. The empires stabilized when the men of power enrolled the men of knowledge to glue the minds behind a common worldview called religions or philosophies. These power societies consecrated economic and social inequality

    - from kingdoms or empires to Nation-States whose citizens gradually converted to an unconditional belief in the 4 principle of the quasi-worldview of Modernity: - the reason at work within their invested capital, - the extension of that reason to everything also called philosophic rationalism, - science/technology and the industrial revolution, - and finally hyper-individualism that atomized societies which meant the death of these societies

    In retrospect it appears that tribes were the most pragmatic of societies: - no need for power, - economies of abundance, - worldview based on the idea that all parts are interconnected and interdependant, respect of the systemic complexity of the universe and practice of prudence in the introduction of innovation,...

    Tribes were destabilized under the pressure of the climate when humans followed the animals to the alluvial plains that were rich in flora that soon taught women how to help mother nature to spread the seeds of their preferred plants and ... soon agriculture was born. Population growth was the real destabilizer of the tribal organization and once the tribal model of organization was destabilized it had to be replaced with another model ... power took care of that... and after less than 5000 years humanity is falling into the abyss...

    If someone is going to survive the great convergence of side-effects of the scourge of power and of Modernity (population explosion, climate change, peak everything, poisoning of oceans, air, land, and so on...) in all probability it will not be urbanites in advanced countries... it will be people living with the land in some remore area that miraculously escaped the rape of Modernity. What I mean to convey here is that human willingness does not help...





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  3. Lao Dan,

    Grateful for your grasp of large historic trends. I like the idea of putt5ing all the "takes," some based on study, others intuitive, others imaginative, etc., is a rare gift.

    Here's another take from . This is by someone who has great respect on that blog. I can see many holes in his arguments over time, but later for that. I just want to introduce him here:

    Norman Pagett says:
    January 8, 2017 at 6:43 am

    if a foreign bacillus, whether flu or bubonic plague, invades your body, its intention is to overcome your ”home” bacteria for its own purposes—these are many and varied.

    in the ensuing battle within your puny body, you might overcome them and spend a few days sneezing and coughing over everyone you meet——which is what the invading bacteria wants, or you might be dead in a few days, which also what the invading bacteria wants.
    The invading bacteria or virus or whatever seek to appropriate the energy resources (which happens to be you) of the incumbent bacteria

    either way, you are a battle ground for invasive species, because that is the purpose of all invasive species of whatever size or shape. The purpose of that lethal combat is to spread their own kind
    Humankind just fools itself into thinking it’s the dominant species, but the purpose of our lethal combat is to spread our own kind.—we just dress it up as religion or politics.

    it is what we are intended to do, to acquire the energy resources of others.
    The steak on your plate is the energy resource of a cow or pig, the cereal in your bowl is the energy resource of plantlife
    it is called survival, and we are all engaged in survival whether we admit it or not. We have no choice in energy resource acquisition.
    We just deliver it on plates, while somebody else does the messy bit in an abbatoir. In previous eras, to acquire the meat resource of another animal meant betting your life in the struggle.
    Now we’ve domesticated our food sources so that they submit meekly to the butcher’s knife.

    In this period of of history, hydrocarbon fuel has made our survival easier, (give or take a war or two) we have overcome our bacterial invaders for the time being.
    The wars of the 20th c were made possible by readily available fuels.
    We can no longer afford to put armies of millions in the field to go head to head with each other, but we still involve ourselve in resource acquistion by trade and commerce.
    This will go on until there’s no worthwhile energy resource available, then our civilisation will come to an end.

    Which is exactly what infection does inside your body. The world recognises humanity as a plague species consuming her resources, and is using natural forces to get rid of us."

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  4. Satish, North American Amer-Indian tribes in general LOVED the earth. If you have not, I really recommend that you try to obtain a copy of Touch the Earth. It is beautiful. It will give you so much insight. I used to quote from it all the time at NBL.

    Hello, Lao Dan. Actually, I don't think most tribal people were led by alpha males at all. In general, tribal people were much more egalitarian, and typically matriarchal and matrilineal, as is a Jewish tradition - a person is Jewish if their mother is Jewish. You know for sure who your mother is. Satish is correct, and their connection to the land dictated their way of life and living, and it wasn't stratified, it was anarchical. Many Native American tribes shared a saying ~ no person can tell another what to do.

    It's supposed to get to -20F next weekend. Yikes! The poor chickens! I'm getting an average of three eggs per day, and it's the bomb. I'm looking forward to hatching some this year.

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    1. "Many Native American tribes shared a saying ~ no person can tell another what to do."

      That's somewhat my code too. I do things the way I feel like doing them, whether anyone thinks they are right or wrong. But in the spirit of anarchism, I give people leave to sound off on what they think I should be and do. Especially on the internet separated by thousands of miles. I find I can even learn from communication I dislike and am close to rejecting. It's a funny world that way.

      One thing I object to is when we tend to push a point of view without making its source intuitive and transparent. Most people online will never read recommended books, however good they might be. Information overload is a serious issue society faces. Millennials don't read and can't write. Even the POTUS doesn't read and can only tweet. I fear we're well past the time for reading...except when, by chance or grace, we happen to read. Reading happens when it happens, if it happens. It may change your life, but it's not a prescription for changing your life. How weird that we can say, based on the above quote, that individual conscience and volition rules, while commenting on, and agreeing with, an article about the destructive inversion of the group to low status and the individual to high. Truth is paradoxical, I suppose.

      So we get nowhere at all just declaring what we believe, if we can't get our thoughts to converge somehow. I had hoped that this article would mark a turning point where we methodically examine each poster's writing and see how we can come to some common purpose. For instance, Lao Dan has this idea about alpha males. Where did he get it from? Can he cite sources (bearing in mind that sources can be simply uninformed opinion). And what if he doesn't have sources? Fine. What led him to his POV. It doesn't matter where it came from; it's just important to say what the source is--personal preference, misinformation, scholarship, somebody told you so. Then look at Norman Pagett's post and the thermodynamic doomer meme. What does that have to do with Satish's POV, yours, mine, anybody's? I'm pretty sure we can't get anywhere if we can't at least neutralize people like Norman. We have to get in there and take all these points of view apart. There is little chance that anyone will change their mind based on what another person (even with citations) say is true. If we can't get on the same page, it's hopeless. Might as well retire from blogging and...well...read a book. Just kidding. -20F is an extreme hardship. Hope you'll find some comfort in the midst of it.

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    2. @ oldgrowthforest

      I did not write that "most tribal people were led by alpha males".

      What I mentioned was the transition from the societal stage of small bands to the societal stage of tribes and so I wrote "from small bands of individuals under the authority of an alpha-male to "non-power tribal groups" counting on average 150 individuals"...
      Tribes were indeed non-power societies. No chief, no boss, "no person can tell another what to do"...

      As you state this was successful anarchy and it was matriarchal. But what made tribes successful anarchies? It seems related to the quantity of people in the group. Robin Dunbar was the initiator of the "small group hypothesis" that got confirmation from many other researchers and is now a recognized fact. Small group theory says that humans naturally assemble at an average size of 150 individuals... At this size the group maximizes its work efficiency without any need for institutions of power. The reason for that is that at 150 each individual member knows each other individual. And while in small bands grooming was done physically one on one, in tribes grooming was done by exchanging knowledge through visual signs...

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    3. Thank you for your reply, Lao Dan, and excuse me for misreading your comment. You lost me with the "grooming," etc. stuff. Not sure what you mean there.

      Artleads, even though traditional Native Americans were anarchists, don't confuse that with an anything-goes society. They had extremely firm, non-negotiable moral and social boundaries, and saying anything one feels like saying isn't included in the personal freedom agenda they had. Anarchy is not, as Guy likes to say, a society without "rules," but rather, a society without rulers. There were a number of rules that were expected to be followed, and failure to do so frequently brought swift correction and/or retribution. No one can tell another what to do is in connection with our most important choices in life for ourselves - who we marry, what we do and care about, etc. But that's different from how we treat others and the shared world. Lack of respect for others, for elders, for Nature, stirring up trouble, lying, being a bully, and other antisocial behaviors could and were met with firm resistance from others, including physical punishment and restitution, and banishment or execution for the worst offenses.

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    4. OGF,

      I TOTALLY get what you say about rules to be obeyed in the tribe. So there's a difference between how I proceed in industrial, individualist (western liberal?) society and what tribal behavior sanctions. Rastafarian society seems quite tribal, and some sects can have very strict rules and severe consequences for breaking them. I didn't think that through or express it well before.

      I'm a completely acculturated creature of the west. I would be banished, punished, or worse, by any self-respecting tribe. It reminds me a little of J.P. Sartres, a communist party member, saying that if communists came to power, he'd be the first one they'd come for. (Not to necessarily imply any similarity between tribal culture and communism--or me and Sartres!!!!!)

      It's a question of being simultaneously a creature of liberalism and seeing its gross defects. Were he alive today, Sartres might have seen the problems with industrial society differently, and not considered industrial communism as its solution. I don't know though. More and more, as the people of my dying case disappear, they are replaced by people with such different education and cultural expectations that I decreasing see any possibility for common cause between us. It's better to keep my distance while trying to do no harm. Better to be around people closer to me in those cultural expectations...or maybe even to be a recluse.

      At the same time, in my own western way, I see the need to put the land first, and the group
      (however defined) before the individual. I welcome the push to think this through better.

      Delete
    5. Lao Dan: Is the number of people the cause for the "success" of anarchical societies? I don't understand what you mean by "successful" anarchies.

      Satish, I very much agree with you and I don't think the way we push people into our alien and stranger-lade processes brings much happiness. It is a bizarre, anti-organic way to live in the world. I've thought that for a long time.

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    6. Hi, Artleads. I'm glad you're pleased with thinking this through. Good for you.

      Living in the world while living an indigenous worldview is so different from the EuroAmerican cultural worldview that it is very close to living on two entirely different planets. They are irreconcilable perspectives for the most part, and in truth they are so incompatible that the vast cultural differences cannot be explained, but must be lived to be understood.

      Later, gator.

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  5. Satish,

    What I tried to convey in my last comment is the following:
    1. biological evolution eventually resulted in the genus Homo Sapient
    2. after the transition, from small bands to tribes, societal evolution took over the leading role in the evolution of the human species.

    You write
    1. "Human beings came together to form a tribe"
    2. then "Let's come to the present moment... what we have today is not quite the same as what we had in the past. There's been a rupture in the chain of connections. Something went haywire at a particular linkage. Tribes lost their connection to the land".
    3. from then on "The cancerous tribe overran neighboring healthy tribes and began spreading. This is the story of civilization. Civilization is the name we give to this human cancer on the planet"

    I agree with your categorization. But I think that we have to put all this in the larger perspective of the long haul story of life. That's why I started with biological evolution and societal evolution. What I mean to say is that the human species is part of an evolutionary continuum. In other words we are nothing exceptional. For various reasons we got bigger brains than our cousins the chimps and this gave us access to abstract reasoning which helped us to transition from small bands of individuals to, a more efficient form of societal organization, the tribe.

    But the tribal societal model was somehow destabilized and it is here that I personally find that you ask the most interesting question: "Exactly how this rupture came about is not very clear. Several theories have been put forth by researchers. ... Whatever the cause or causes, it must have started with one or more tribes somewhere on the planet going out of balance and overrunning its land".

    Yes there was indeed a rupture. Some tribes went out of balance and overran the land. But what was it that disturbed the balance?

    I find this question fascinating because I feel that it could procure us something akin to an aesthetic illumination that could awaken us to our real potential to act the butterfly effect that was popularized by quantum physics which teaches that the future is the probabilistic outcome of the balancing act between a given set of determinant factors. SO perhaps... if we were living in the present, according to our dreams and ideals of the future, this could act as the butterfly effect ...by adding our infinitely small force to the determinat factor that would materialize these dreams and ideals in the future. This idea was developed by Illia Prygogyne the 1977 Nobel price in Chemistry for his "contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures".

    To be followed in the next comment...

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  6. Second part.

    Back to your question what is the most plausible answer? The following are generally accepted facts:
    1. from climate studies we know that the climate was warming between 20,000 and 12,000 years ago.
    2. archeological studies show that the agricultural revolution started sometime between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago in some isolated spots in Anatolia and in Bawangdian.
    3. climate studies show that the climate was particularly stable from 12,000 years ago till the last decades... which without any doubt must have been helping the spread of agriculture.
    4. archeology and the texts left over from the first written languages show that empires started to stabilize their unstitutional build-up sometime around 5000 years ago.
    5. what happened exactly societally between 12,000 and 5000 years ago is largely a mystery but what we know without having hard archeological or textual evidence is the following:
    51. agriculture increased the availability of food
    52. the euphoria experienced by accessing an increased availability of food caused an increase of tribal populations which was answered very differently in the Middle-East and in China but more on that a little further.
    53. the increase of tribal populations destabilized the tribal mode of societal governance. Dunbar's golden number of 150 was exceeded and decision making at the unanimity became an impossibility.
    54. the strongest man started to compete to impose their authority on the other members of the tribes by the use of brute force and by controlling the grain reserves which created dependance relations...

    About the increase of population:
    - an increase in the population of tribes was traditionally answered by splitting the tribe in two once the head count reached between 180 and 200.
    - the mother tribe kept some 120-150 individuals which left some 50 to 80 individuals who were encouraged to create a new tribe. That new tribe then eventually associated with the members of a neighboring tribe that had reached a too low headcount to survive...
    - how do we know all this? Not from archeology nor texts but from the sociological studies about "small groups" that were initiated by Robin Dunbar who was then followed by researchers around the world who confirmed Dunbar's experimentations.
    - here is where things turn to be particularly interesting...

    To be followed in the next comment...

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  7. To understand why the European and Chinese civilization are so otherworldly I studied the differences in the context of the Middle-East and China. Demographic studies estimate that the world population at the start of agriculture was of the order of 1,000,000 people and we also know that the agricultural revolution took place in alluvial plains. So the size of the alluvial plains indicate what was the potential of each of them to solve the population increase within the sphere of the tribal societal model before power took over by societal organizational necessity.

    1. the Middle-East has two alluvial plains: - Nile valley totals approximately 40,000 km2, - Tigris and Euphrate valleys total some 15,000 km2 (this is where Sumer emerged...). The rather small surface of these alluvial plains led me to conclude that the absortion of the population increase by the tribal societal model was very rapidly exhausted which by necessity led to an early transition to the model of power governance. From carved texts on clay tablets we know that the Sumerian empire was institutionally stabilized sometime between 6000-5500 years ago.
    - in China the Yangzte Valley and the Yellow River valley total some 2,000,000 km2 of fertile alluvial plains... This suggests that the tribal societal model survived a lot longer than in the Middle-East ...and the fact is that the Chinese empire stabilized institutionally between 4000 and 3600 years ago. But archeological finds show that animist cultures were thriving over expanding territories till the power imposed the imperial model of governance.

    2. a second factor pushed the Middle-East and China apart. It is their neighborhood.
    - The Middle-East was a narrow strip of land where Europe, Asia and Africa came into contact. This immediately evokes the idea of passage and traffic from one area to the other. Such traffic inevitably forces dialog, discussion, and exchanges between different views. This also evokes the idea of rupture... and the destruction of animism (the worldview of tribes) and the knowledge base, that tribal men of knowledge had accumulated over the tens of thousands of years of tribal societies, was thus replaced by a new narrative...
    - Chinese society emerged and developed largely in isolation from any other centers of civilization and developed thus by continuing to follow its own internal existing path. In other words there was never any pressure to reject animism in favor of any other kind of knowledge which explains why the Chinese empire adopted animism... and why the Chinese worldview remains animistic till this very day.



    I personally find that by combining:
    - the idea of the long haul societal evolution
    - the idea of a future generated by living our ideals and dreams of it in the present as was exposed by Prygogyne
    - the story of the tribal answer to population growth that characterizes the transition from tribes to empires
    we possibly gain a different outlook on the present.
    There is something aesthetically pleasant in knowledge that helps us forget the human predicament...

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    1. "I personally find that by combining:
      - the idea of the long haul societal evolution
      - the idea of a future generated by living our ideals and dreams of it in the present as was exposed by Prygogyne
      - the story of the tribal answer to population growth that characterizes the transition from tribes to empires
      we possibly gain a different outlook on the present.
      There is something aesthetically pleasant in knowledge that helps us forget the human predicament..."

      I took classes in Cultural Anthropology for a year, and it was indeed a great relief to take the long view of "cultural evolution." A great calm and peace resulted.

      "--the idea of a future generated by living our ideals and dreams of it in the present as was exposed by Prygogyne"

      I find the sentence construction here to set up obstacles to my cognitive wiring. But I suspect this is the crux of what I have been trying to say about anarchy and individual volition. If you try you will succeed (although not in a way that you can understand, so many other complex, unknowable variables being involved in what eventually results).

      Now, in a world where the mega city has dominated while currently running out of energy, a new version of 150-strong might be called for. Although our highly mobile civilization spreads families and communities apart, it's not clear yet as to the possibility or efficacy of maintaining a 150-strong network at far distances, or how a combination of that spread-out community and the local one where you live in a geographic place can be effected. A lot has to do with the vagaries of the global oil-economic system that runs he world. (This is what blog is set up to study).

      It seems worth studying how an urban block--or a smaller unit in the largest cities--might become a kind of small-band community that is highly self-sufficient. So we go all the way through hyper urbanism (not turning back but going through), using its infrastructure to return, as with a spiral, to an earlier state of pre-tribal organization.

      Delete
  8. "Living in the world while living an indigenous worldview is so different from the EuroAmerican cultural worldview that it is very close to living on two entirely different planets. They are irreconcilable perspectives for the most part, and in truth they are so incompatible that the vast cultural differences cannot be explained, but must be lived to be understood."

    Correction of something above: It's "dying caste."

    I know I can't understand tribal society. I come from a caste society (although no one uses the term there). The people with the strongest retentions of their indigenous culture belonged to the underclass. That class was historically marginalized by the absence of any opportunity for a secondary education. The caste system was further maintained by exceedingly strong, often subtle, social distinctions, customs and manners. I'm sure anthropologists have studied that class structure and that I would learn a lot by finding the studies that might exist. I don't know if the possession or absence of a secondary education has been studied for how it distinguished the classes. It should say a great deal about the mechanism of upholding and promoting the western-civilization value system. Insofar as I'm able to shake the cluster of programming that is a kind of brainwashing along western lines, I may well be irremediably sick, separated from any form of indigenous root system that might have conferred health. Such a person, I think, has to figure out what elements of his background are healthy to spread and which are disease ridden and should be quarantined.

    Indigenous people tend to see the land as sacred. And if I say that the land is sacred, I probably (most likely) am not saying anything close. The land near where I live isn't part of My heritage. I can intellectually project onto the land the notion that it owns me. I can intellectually assess that the western, secular way of seeing the land is sick. I can come to the realization that it's practical and good for America to return stolen land to native people. These values of mine stand apart from the EuroAmericans around me. Although I'm comfortable around them, I stand separate in the above ways. I certainly feel very remote from Native culture, even as I can share in promoting some non-specific values about the land. So I'm separated from EuroAmericans and from Native Americans. But I'm not equidistant from both; I feel infinitely closer to the (culturally) European.

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  9. @ oldgrowthforest

    "...though traditional Native Americans were anarchists, don't confuse that with an anything-goes society". Yes absolutely and the reason is simply that "Anarchy is not, as Guy likes to say, a society without "rules," but rather, a society without rulers".

    "A society without rulers" is synonymous to what I personally call "non-power societies". I agree with the reasoning of Robin Dunbar that the group's size automatically gives its governance model. The only societies that thrive without rulers are those that average a head count averaging the golden number of 150. Dunbar and many others have shown that various groups in very different contexts are thriving without rulers. Go over that kind of a headcount and the necessity of institutional mechanisms emerge that consecrate leaders...


    @ Artleads

    "I'm separated from EuroAmericans and from Native Americans. But I'm not equidistant from both; I feel infinitely closer to the (culturally) European."

    I feel the same as you.
    - the tribal model of society attracts me intellectually
    - culturally I feel European simply because I have lived there during the first 35 years of my life
    - where I diverge perhaps is that my intellectual attraction to animism brought me to China 30 years ago.

    As I stated in an earlier comment, for various reasons:
    - China's civilization adopted animism as its worldview which fostered the legendary pragmatism of its daily culture
    - but under necessity of population size it also adopting power...

    I understand and deeply feel the same as you when you write "I know I can't understand tribal society". Yes it is as if after reaching a certain threshold of consciousness, about what reality is all about, the mind were spontaneously attracted by the holism of the animistic worldview of traditional tribal societies.

    Tribal societies willingly ignored the notion of individualism. Their men of knowledge clearly understood that this was the key to ensure strong societal cohesion which is the condition for the life preservation of the species. And so the group was indeed viewed as bestowing its meaningfulness to the self which resulted in "gift economies" that are antithetical to the later "take economies" that started to be imposed by power societies (societies with rulers).

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  10. Some sources:

    - about the golden number, or the 150 headcount, and "the social brain Hypothesis" or grooming: see Dunbar's articles available for free at https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/publications

    - about Prygogyne and living our ideals and dreams of the future in the present see http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/2004_fall/01_prigogine.html

    - about the differentiation that took place, between China and the Middle-East (and later Europe), during the transition from tribal societies to empires see the first draft of book 2 in the series "From Modernity to After-Modernity" and more particularly Chapter 4 "Societal Evolution and Governance" at http://laodan.weebly.com/-from-modernity-to-after-modernity-Book-2.html

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  11. "Living in the world while living an indigenous worldview is so different from the EuroAmerican cultural worldview that it is very close to living on two entirely different planets. They are irreconcilable perspectives for the most part, and in truth they are so incompatible that the vast cultural differences cannot be explained, but must be lived to be understood."

    Thanks so much oldgrowthforest for driving this point home for me. You've helped me to understand why it is that I'm finding blogging to be a pointless endeavor lately. To me, it's almost as though these two wroldviews work in the reverse of each other. The EuroAmerican worldview being an outside->in perception, and the indigenous worldview being an inside->out perception.

    Your comment ... "no person can tell another what to do." provides an example.

    Lao interpreted it as ... no leader, so nobody telling people what to do. That's not what this wisdom means. That's outside->in thinking.

    Artleads seemed to think, ya ... nobody should walk around telling other people what to do, so there. That's outside->in thinking too.

    Both of these views were reflecting on a mechanism of outside forces impinging themselves onto the self.

    I always heard the phrase as ... "nobody makes you do anything." It's an inside->out perspective.

    An example is ... nobody 'makes' you angry. You are the one choosing to react with anger. It's like when someone holds a person up, and then the person 'blames' the person, saying 'that person made me be late.' No, you could have disengaged ... YOU made yourself late. Nobody makes you do anything.

    Nobody makes someone leave a blog (that's why I was so sarcastic about blaming Artleads in the last thread.) People CHOOSE to leave a blog ... another person can't MAKE them do that.

    That's what is meant by that indigenous wisdom. It's about taking responsibility for yourself and not being stuck in blame.

    Curiously, I think this different functioning of the mind is also expressed in the conversation I see on this thread so far. Western thinkers always love looking at causes, such as for our current human predicament. Causes, causes, causes ... all day long. It's that same fixation on blame. However, never a solution.

    I came along with an indigenous solution in the last thread, one that returns the indigenous mind to a westerner, and it was like I was asking people to drink poison.

    The western mind seems to look for blame and feel comfortable there. Causes, causes, causes. That's a perception of the outside influencing the inside, almost like an oppression. Causes, causes, causes ... blame, blame, blame.

    The indigenous mind seems to look to take responsibility and seeks solutions. That's a perception of the inside influencing the outside. It makes a big difference. It's almost the exact opposite perception and impulse as from the western mind, which is forever identifying scholarly causes, and yet never gets around to proposing any solutions. It often doesn't think a solution is even possible.

    I still assert this schism in thinking can be healed though, provided people don't knock the glass of water you're offering them out of your hand while proclaiming their thirst to you, lol.

    I am going to withdraw from to blogging about such things though. My choice. Nobody's making me. Just like nobody made mo-flow leave, he chose that for himself. I just wanted to drop one final comment and thank oldgrowth for solidifying for me how this stuff can't really be explained in text anyway, it can only be experienced.

    Hugs for you oldgrowth. It's plenty cold here too.

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    1. Oh, one more thing. In the last thread, when Artleads said:

      "The Native people in my state, with all their faults, talk about the land as sacred."

      I think he should not make a sweeping statement like "with all their faults" without also having to explain exactly just what he means by that. That would be an interesting comment to read. And "all their faults" implies a lot more than just one or two as well.

      I, for one, would be interested in reading such a comment from him. It would even be worth coming back here for.

      ;)

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    2. oldgrowthforest@mtaonline.netJanuary 9, 2017 at 10:15 PM

      Boy, is indigenous wisdom about taking responsibility! It's, take responsibility for yourself, for getting grandma a plate of food, for helping your mother, for taking care of your little cousin, for cleaning up, etc., etc. And don't wait to be told, either!

      My misery over cold temps loves your company, LWA. I went out today to plug in my car and my plug was chewed off!!!! That puppy did it! If it does get down to -20 this weekend, I won't be going anywhere. I better plan ahead.

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    3. It's -18F here overnight. Today I was shoveling snow, and it was so cold that the red handle broke on my 40 year old snow shovel. It's not supposed to break, it's 40 years old! It was my dads too, from when I was a kid. :(

      There I was shoveling with this stick with a shovel on the end of it. Dagnabbit ... I'm gonna tape that handle back together. It's still a good quality item.

      Your puppy. Causes as much trouble as me I think. I'm still just a puppy too I guess. :D

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    4. LWA,

      With all their faults was an evasion...right or wrong. Not wanting to get bogged down with the thermodynamic argument that all humans are essentially predatory, and can only dissipate energy till the point of extinction. (That's the prevailing wisdom over on where I spend a lot of time. I don't believe in that, and want to get on with other things. But I also don't know much about Native people.)

      So I'm very shy about seeming to say that Native people are perfect. I was going in the opposite direction so as not to get into a discussion that I consider futile.

      Lao Dan,

      Just dropping this here for now. I'd like to go int it further:

      "On the scientific side, our project is perhaps to build a kind of fundamental theoretical structure that serves to unify rather than alienate man from nature. As a theoretical physicist I want to see what the rules of unification are. But unification also requires a better understanding of diversity. Once we see chaos as playing an essential role in the basic laws, we see that the basic laws are probability laws, and from there a whole spectrum of possibilities emerges."

      I've been concerned with removing the human from center stage to back stage, while putting all the attention on the non human, so-called animate or inanimate. That might be an unconscious way of getting to the method implied here: "But unification also requires a better understanding of diversity." Going in the seemingly opposite direction of where you want to arrive. But not quite. It's more that I follow intuition, a feeling, the best guide I have as to good or bad. It feels right, good, enlightening to put humans at back stage. But the above quote makes me now see how that could lead to a better perspective on the human eventually.

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    5. Is that the baffle them with bullshit answer or what?

      An evasion, because you didn't want to clarify your thermodynamic conclusion, even though you don't believe in that conclusion, but it's what gets talked about on some other site you hang out on (not here), so you supposedly alluded to it here by slandering the Natives in your state ... on a site that does have focus on indigenous cultures?

      Come on dude. Bullshit. The rationalizations you give are as fake as they come.

      "So I'm very shy about seeming to say that Native people are perfect."

      Leaving out what sounded like a racist slur wouldn't be calling them perfect. It sounded to me like you just couldn't bring yourself to say something nice about natives without also negating your comment by slamming them at the same time. That's what I think. You should be more careful with your words.

      Right or wrong, you say? And you mean you can't tell?

      (Sigh.)

      So that was one fault. What were the others? ... you said 'all their faults.'

      (And your talking to Lao in my comment by the way.)

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    6. LWA,

      You make a good point. I shouldn't have said what I said about Native Americans. Certainly not on a site where there is no need to be defensive on the subject. I won't do that again.

      As to mentioning Lao in "your comment space<" you probably won't believe that I hardly know what the fuck comment space I'm in at any time. I'm a total technical klutz. And I didn't think it mattered in the big picture of things. I'll try to be more discerning, but I can't promise.

      Delete
    7. He just might not see it is all. It's for your benefit, not for mine.

      You know, Artleads, all I've actually been doing here is demonstrating a part of the wetiko therapy process to you, both here and in the last thread, and with several other people too. It's done by raising people's awareness of their own wetiko behaviors, by pointing them out to people. It forces them to become aware of them, which is what loosens and eventually eradicates the behavior (well, if the person is humble enough to take responsibility for those behaviors and not play avoidance games.)

      It's similar to how public awareness about incest makes it harder to get away with incest, because it's not being ignored and just swept under the carpet by everyone anymore ... often with the full support of all the other wetikos.

      It's required that a therapist point these behaviors out to the person, because they won't be able to see them for themselves. It's all subconscious. The rationalizations that you dish out excusing your behavior, especially accusing your therapist of being a bully, are just ways of avoiding taking responsibility for them. It's your ego protecting itself. You dismiss or chase away the person reflecting your behavior to you. I wonder if that's all that uglvlov guy was doing, was pointing out behavior? I don't know, I wasn't there.

      ...

      When you refer to the prevailing wisdom on a site, that's always just going to be the person with the worst case of wetiko ... because that's the inverted hierarchy wetiko creates for its culture, in order to move in the opposite direction of detection and healing. The word 'prevailing' says it all there. Highly respected, in a wetiko culture, always means the biggest wetikos. 'Prevailing wisdom', in a wetiko culture, always means wetiko wisdom. Citations and appeals to authorities are a western cultural fallacy that just perpetuates the sickness. And logic and reason are often just symptoms of the disease.

      You yourself said:

      "Such a person, I think, has to figure out what elements of his background are healthy to spread and which are disease ridden and should be quarantined."

      See, I think your starting to get this a little bit here. So some day, with someone else, don't resist and throw up all these diversions to halt the process of becoming self aware.

      You know, I reviewed that discussion with mo. I didn't do anything except recommend mo ground himself a little. He was the one telling Satish 'tough shit' for not blindly accepting what mo was trying to insist we all agree to, and then threw up a bunch of religious scripture for us to wade through. He even tried to say he knew his claim was true because he had some sort of direct link to god or something. I just disagreed with him was all, and suggested he would get better results from his metaphysics if he grounded himself a little.

      You definitely were trying to pull a fast one by misconstruing that in the last thread. This is obviously a tactic you use, maybe so you can get rid of people and keep posting on sites telling everyone how much you know about all the topics that come up. It's been eye opening watching you reverse a few other people's criticisms of you, and think they were talking about the other person, and also to watch you take bits of wisdom, one's that were meant for you to gain insight into yourself from, and just attribute that wisdom to also being your own wisdom, as if it was meant for someone else.

      Dude, that's some huge ego you got there ... some big wetiko. I won't send you a bill for the bit of therapy I've put you through though ... because there hasn't been any healing. You're one tough nut. But I know it's from your damaging youth. Still ...

      I'll let you off the hook. Look into it sometime if you want. I understand why you rejected the therapy, called it a religion, and then buggered off. It's a messy business, and not a very fun process at all. It takes courage.

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    8. Artleads, I understand. The "noble savage" backlash is difficult. In anticipating contempt from the noble savage contingent, you attempted to preempt such a response. However, as you can see, in the opposite camp where indigenous traditions are respected by a few people, myself, LWA and Satish, such a statement presents difficulty.


      So, I get your rush to defense against what you thought might be coming. That, in and of itself, is a huge sign of the racism common in the US. You're correct, and a person cannot show any respect or admiration for Native American cultures or societies AT ALL, I mean ZERO appreciation, without being attacked verbally by other Americans, especially among those who consider themselves educated and scholarly. All that "noble savage" stuff, which is itself a myth.

      Welcome to my world.

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    9. And Artleads, I really admire that you showed humility about what you said. From a wetiko perspective, that's a huge breakthrough moment you know. Instead of just throwing up another ego defense, you were authentic. Good for you. See, even us illegitimate kids can heal from these wounds and from this culture. Awesome work! Gold star for Artleads!

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  12. Love reading EVERYTHING here. Puppies & all. Just want to add this about cancer crazy twists in biological evolution.

    As you all probably know the Earth has a pulse. Ancient tribes and animals navigating magnetic fields. For what it's worth in science terms back in 1951 Schumman and others figured that natural resonance in all life forms is 7.83 hz.

    The calculation sort of matters because now we can read that the natural frequency is actually shifting at an accelerated pace. Many studies at the NIH, NASA & other countries have extensive research that links this change directly to the increase in Microwave WiFi powers that penetrate vast areas. 4 billion cell phone uses and the leap to 4G networks in 2011-13 now correlates to a specific effect on 'natural' biological frequencies. Soaking in wifi. Microwave cooking all life in wifi. Darn it I'm conducting some of it right this moment. Have to sail pretty far out to sea to avoid it.

    Except for the Cell phone industry self regulated safety standards (set by Non-ionizing radiation panel) There is no regulation anywhere in the world against ever increasing microwave communications. And I bet my daughter would join billions freaking out if we tried to reduce their wifi coverage in any manner. We built it quickly with no safety standards. Is evolution in some sort of rush to cook our methane carbon brew? Beautiful, flourishing planet in some mad stew. Doubt it matters what I say or do.

    So let's end this with a twisted factoid. Plant & insect DNA samples kept in separate test tubes still communicate via 7.83 hz. Sensetive equipment in labs reveals these codes of communication. All sorts of tiny forms of "life" exchanging info via waves. One virtually undetectable planet in a giant universal body. Dreams of small tribes past, being present to this tribal moment now, mutating into something "alien" --- oh holy cow!

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    1. Hi, Mark! How nice to read you again! Very interesting about those hz.

      That puppy is a monster, bitey baby! It's the Viking in her, I swear. She goes raver on me on a regular basis. But she's wonderful, nonetheless.

      I hope you are well! My very best to you and your loved ones.

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    2. @ Mark,

      Never heard of 7.83 hz before. Very interesting. It's the kind of information that jogs the imagination and makes it leap.

      Now if you only could say what the "natural resonance" is in non life forms...


      @ OGF,

      Thank you for your patience. I can assure you that you've made the world of difference in my understanding of America. There's much work I see to do around that. Bless you.


      @ Lao,

      My DOM physician is grounded in Chinese medicine. I had not known about the degree to which animation distinguishes Chinese philosophy, although I could say lots about my informal work with feng shui. (I'm very brilliant in some ways, and it's easy, despite/because of the stupid and sick parts, to get full of myself and be a deceptive showoff.)

      Related to the issue I bring up with Mark re "natural resonance"...I am mulling over how living and "non living" things might be distinguished. And this is just lame, simple-minded speculation: Complex living forms have their own volition, and there may be a way to grade the degree and quality of volition all the way down to the simplest life form. Non living forms have no volition of their own. But they do respond to energy directed at them by reflecting it in kind. That could make them more reliable tools for doing certain kinds of metaphysical work. I'd like to know what you think about such things.

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    3. There was this passive aggressive guy I used to work with. He used to go get coffee's and bring them into the office for every single person there ... except for the one guy he didn't like. It was a pretty obvious snub. Funny how the guy who didn't get a coffee was the guy always having to do the other guy's work for him.

      Hahahahahahaha.

      ...

      I'd like to hear Lao talk about quantum physics. I used to talk all the time about it on NBL, and applications of it. Nobody was ever interested though. Not even Artleads. I had a very lengthy discussion about it with Satish awhile ago. I hope Lao shares more about that. :)

      Delete
    4. Artleads,

      You can look on the internet, I'm pretty sure, especially youtube, and pull up a Schumann resonance soundtrack. Depending on the technology and your sound equipment, you might be able to listen to one or two. Sometimes the sound-brainwave technology works without headphones.

      I'm glad I've made a difference in your understanding. I'm sorry you participate in a place where the ordinary and politically correct bigotry is the norm, but in truth, the unbelievable bigotry toward us Injuns is hard to avoid. It's everywhere. It's part and parcel of the entire EuroAmerican culture. If I wanted to avoid it entirely, I'd almost never get to talk to white people at all!

      Do one thing for me, if you will, and just always remember that there is no "myth of the noble savage," and the existence of such a myth is itself a myth. When people pull that nonsense, you can automatically know that they are idiots. They fit in my grandmother's two categories of people to avoid: "fools" and "crazy people." She said, never waste your time on them. :)

      Delete
    5. Hi Mark. Long time no hear.

      My piano tuning software picks up and shows the Schumann resonances. The fundamental 7.83 ... and also the harmonics 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.

      Here's a weird one. It picks up 60hz as well ... which is the electricity humming through your house, and the surrounding area even (power lines etc.) My software shows this 60hz as being louder than the loudest note I can even strike on my piano. What's weird is that our ears should be hearing that, very loudly (human hearing is 20 to 20,000 hz) ... but our minds learn to completely block it out (sometimes you hear it faintly.) We don't 'think' we hear it at all. Isn't that strange? The Schumann amplitudes (volumes) are much quieter than the 60hz hum though. Like, really quiet.

      Cool stuff. The song the earth plays. Ommmmmmmmmmm.

      Cheers Mark.

      I guess I should really keep my promise to myself and stop posting here now. :(

      Delete
  13. Satish,

    On this subject of the broken link, I am reminded of my subsistence dipnetting years. Fishing the Kenai and Copper rivers with dipnets in the 90s gave me some of the most thrilling, beautiful, and connected experiences and feelings I've ever had. It was gorgeous to stand in the river and watch it just boil with fish. There were over 50,000 fish coming in on the tide, followed by seals, gulls, and other marine life that trailed the salmon. They were met by people and bears on shore. There were so many fish, it would take no more than a minute or two to land one, and sometimes it was instant! We quickly became exhausted hauling these 8-10 pound fish from the river to our coolers several yards back from the shore. The abundance, the sense that the earth provided this beautiful bounty, and not just for humans but for many animals, was pure joy, and a sense of peace and security. It made life very, very beautiful, and it felt like love. The people show it, too. They love sharing this joy with their neighbors, and they will crack jokes as they stand in bitterly cold water and wait for the run to arrive with the tide. They howl with laughter at each other's mishaps, and when the fish begin to come in, someone will shout it out - Here they come!!! And everyone begins to fish!! We can catch enough for a whole year.

    And yes, it feels very different. Beyond different. And it feels joyous, instead of insufferable and artificial like most "work" is. I know for a fact that my tribal ancestors at least experienced great joy in both planting and wild harvesting their food, because I've done it for years, and people love that stuff. It is a wonderfully secure feeling that is missing in our culture because of the lack of contact with nature.

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  14. OGF,

    You spent a lot of time on the "noble savage" thing. I never really understood it. Without knowing better, I would take noble savage thinking as a way to objectify indigenous people and turn them into a myth. But that would also go along with killing them and stealing their land. I'm sure this is not what you're communicating. Please put it in the most basic terms--baby step terms--that you can.

    Lao,

    As hard as this is to read (the layout), I managed the feat. It deals with systems thinking on such a simple level that I felt I understood it. And that it was essentially what I was searching for:

    http://businessethicsweekly.blogspot.com/

    LWA,

    You have no idea how much I dislike dealing with you. I haven't even begun to explain. If you look with discernment at what I wrote while not specifically addressing you, you'll see that I was mindful of what you counsel. Maybe you are repelled by such indirectness. I'll look into it. If you feel you must counsel me, I can do nothing to stop you. I'll learn what I can from it. I didn't ask you to do it. But you're here, aren't you?, after promising countless times to go away. And you are fairly indirect yourself with the passive aggressive thing again. I do not hide my flaws, but this is a new one to add to the list, and I'm not sure it belongs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ". . . noble savage as a way to objectify indigenous people and turn them into a myth. But that would also go along with killing them and stealing their land."

      That certainly is what the "myth of the noble savage" is. The "myth of the noble savage" today is a response frequently directed at people who admire Native American culture, as in, "You have noble savage fantasies," or, "They were not to be admired for X cultural practice (like their greater respect for the earth), because that's just a noble savage myth."

      "Noble Savage" was a character in a play in 1672 by English poet John Dryden. You can imagine that in 1672 in England there was not a lot of solid knowledge about American Indians, but certain statements made by the earliest explorer/invaders/psychopaths routinely praised Native Americans' generosity, their sweetness, their "Christian" lives of caring for all, of honesty, and their lack of artifice and cruelty, as well as their love of nature. Dryden wrote a play, The Conquest of Grenada, and in the play was a character based on early reports of AmerIndian societies, and (and this is very important) as a counter foil to the injustices and miseries of Europe. In the play the noble savage character recounts the joy of the "natural" and "naturally noble" "man" - meaning people. In short, it was a way for Englishmen to philosophize and blather about themselves, as evidenced by noble savage's purpose in the play - to discuss the wrongs of European civilizations and European civilized people. There was some, but very little real knowledge of American Indians in Dryden's character or his play, but that's okay because it was never about them anyway; it was European naval-gazing and intellectual creativity, creativity that was never intended to represent reality.

      That was not what was going on here on this side of the pond, however. There was nothing but warfare, genocide, terror and contempt. You can trust me on this - early colonists and Americans were not discussing how noble the Indians were. They weren't philosophically criticizing European society, either; they were attempting to recreate it here. They were putting bounties on Indian scalps, and committing other atrocities. There never was a "noble savage" literary character in America, and there were no philosophical discussions about the higher qualities of Indian societies. There were many discussions about killing Indians and taking their lands, however.

      To be continued.

      Delete
    2. OGF,

      This is really clear. Thank you! I don't know if Dryden and his peers could be called romantics...like the English who made their landscape faux rural, or the continental Europeans who celebrated and even built ruins. The craze for Chinese furniture and tapestry. Marie Antoinette dressing up like a milkmaid comes to mind, though that was a century later. Meanwhile the savagery in the west was going full blast. Maybe these trends weren't related, but I get the drift.

      Delete
    3. Now we fast forward a century plus to the early 19th century. There is a United States now, a solidly populated east coast with cities, universities, shops, trades and services and professions and all, and the Indians are out on the "frontier." In the 1820s James Fenimore Cooper is publishing the Leatherstocking Tales, and the newspapers carry harrowing and highly politicized stories about the Indian removals and wars. These new settled Americans don't have the ridiculously idealized image of Native Americans that noble savage was in Europe. Instead, their literary Indians are full of blood and violence and war and romance and all the other things that make a good book. The American take on Indians was much more realistic than noble savage, drawn on real tribes and American history. But the novel, like all novels of the day, did and does have romantically ideal characters. The good guys are good, and the bad guys are bad, without a lot of in between. Some of these new Americans also had pangs of conscience as to what might be occurring out there on the frontier, and they weren't certain that killing more Indians and taking their land was actually Christian. Some of them argued against political objectives to continue to expand the frontier and exterminate Indian people, just like some early Americans were anti-slavery.

      This is where the "myth" of the noble savage is born, and appropriately it came from an Englishman, Charles Dickens, who for some reason wanted every last Native American to perish from the face of the earth so that "Christian" virtues could flourish. He wrote an editorial about the "myth" of the noble savage, saying that he did not believe in it or that Native Americans had any virtues whatsoever, and any assertion otherwise was nothing more than a myth.

      Since that editorial in 1849, Americans in politics and education in particular, have declared the pernicious influence of that fantasy "myth of the noble savage" on the minds of loser Americans everywhere.

      I have never found any scholarly effort to present this widespread "myth of the noble savage" anywhere that would require so many responses from so-called learned men to dispel it. I cannot find anyone promoting any idealistic, fantasy myths about Native Americans, and certainly not in American history. But I always hear about how prevalent those myths are. From my experience, the only "myth of the noble savage" that I have found anywhere is promoted by who trot it out whenever anyone says anything about Native Americans that is respectful, appreciative, or that shows admiration for them.

      And yes, the promotion of this myth, which is itself a myth, is all about stealing land, or as we would say - resources. It's really crazy. I mean, loco.

      Delete
  15. OGF,

    I looked at some links online--nothing on you tube so far--and listened some. Not sure what to make of it though. :-) I have absolutely zero learning about animism, and I was wondering if resonance would shine some light on the subject from a somewhat scientific perspective.

    Lao,

    I meant to thank you for the way you presented those links, including to your own publication. I don't know if you planned it that way, but it was very organic and intuitive to click on the links. As if the process of reading and clicking the link and reading something related was integrated into a flow.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Artleads,

    Of course my passive aggression coffee example WAS passive aggressive in they way I presented it to you. I thought you needed another example of just how subliminally mean you can be. What I left off was how your gold star has now been revoked and replaced with a sad face sticker.

    After we'd just come through the racism thing, at a huge social cost to me for being the one to take the uncomfortable risk of bothering to call you out on it ... to see you then gush all over OGF with thanks, as if SHE'D been the one to take the risk in getting you to confront your racism ... that was a slap in the face to me. I took the risk, not her.

    That's how mean passive aggression is, and you're almost continual with it buddy. And in that very same moment, to ALSO address the only three other people here, while thanking oldgrowth for what "I" did ... and leave me unaddressed like that ... dude, you need to go read online about passive aggression. That was a huge swipe at me.

    Yup ... confront someone about their racism ... and they'll pile drive you later on when you're not looking, and you sure didn't disappoint.

    So you need some other examples do you, of just how actually dismissive and rude you are to people with your subliminal little swipes, do you? Like the way 'all their faults' is a swipe at a native person who has to hear it coming from your mouth? You'll be wishing now you'd just left this alone and not called me back here. Because you do this continually to people.

    Just in the last thread alone ...

    "Many supposed ancient truths get in the way."

    For Satish, who's site is pretty much about that very subject, that's a pretty dismissive swipe at his passion. 'Supposed" ancient truths. I cringed when you said that.

    "The Native people in my state, with all their faults, talk about the land as sacred."

    Again, I took this as another swipe at Satish and his passion, not to mention noting how ogf would feel hearing it. Do you have an issue with Satish you'd like to get off your chest sir, or are you just a dick for fun?

    "Pure Wetiko? Who knows."

    Pretty flippant Artleads, after posting a post about violence. What the hell, now you're mocking me? Who the hell are you anyway? Robojerk?

    And then there's your swipe at me about mo. We've covered that. Is that why you came out all undercover asshole last thread from the start at me and Satish?

    Each of these things you do bites the person as certainly as that racist remark bites oldgrowth. It's hostile ... but subliminally hidden from public view so ONLY the recipient feels it. It's very confusing to people. That's passive aggression in a nutshell.

    And how about this classic.

    You're prescribing a "must do" program around some human's revelation or study of a phenomenon called wetiko. You must do it this way or be damned. Sounds rather like a religion, does it? It's hard not to peek at Kuku just so's not to miss anything. But then one gets roped in, trapped, sort of, and there goes other things we could be doing. I'll try to avoid taking that peek. :-)

    That was certainly hostile and sarcastic. Ya, how about you avoid taking that peek, jerk.

    And that's all from just one thread. Should I parse this thread now? No Artleads ... you do this in the sickest most hidden way there is, so nobody but the recipient, like oldgrowthforest for example, even feels it. You might just be the biggest asshole here ... and I just wasted my time to HELP YOU by calling you out on it, by dragging you over and showing you all the little shits you leave all over the house.

    But sure. You just can't fathom what I'm talking about can you. Because you're hopelessly unaware of what a huge asshole you actually are to people. And then you hang your lip out when somebody calls you out on your bullshit hoping for sympathy from others. Grow up Artleads. If you're angry about something, then just say so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and ...

      "But you're here, aren't you?, after promising countless times to go away."

      Yup. After you fucked with me through that whole last thread ... if you keep calling me out, I'll gladly keep coming back and pounding your empty head dude. Just keep it up. Cause I got more ...

      Delete
    2. I think that's what you like to do to get your jollies Artleads, is to walk around provoking people by poking at them, and poking at them, and poking at them. Then, when they finally turn around and tell you to fuck off ... you stand there in front of the rest of the social group and act all incredulous like you can't understand what the hell just happened.

      You even came on and mocked oldgrowth for recommending a book about native culture in this thread. Oh sure, you have this sneaky little way of pretending to wax philosophical about the person's topic you're shredding apart, or their suggestion you're mocking ... but that's just part of your tactic to hide your hostility from view. You did that when you started 'reflecting' about "gee, who's this LWA person anyway", I thunked to myself, "he's not any important blogger or any big name personality is he", I thunked to myself. That's just another veiled insult like the one's you're so good at dishing out to everyone, like you poking at Satish's topics with little slights peppered all through your discourse.

      And you even ended your bashing of oldgrowth's book recommendation by saying ... "Might as well retire from blogging and...well...read a book. Just kidding."

      Are you suggesting she retire from blogging too now? Or just making fun of her suggestion to read the book about natives again? Or is this just your racism again because it was a book about natives? Who would know what you really mean ... it's indirect passive aggression, which just leaves people scratching their head in confusion about what your veiled hostility was all about.

      And ending with ... "just kidding" ... does not negate your rudeness.


      Artleads is a rich little Jamaican wetiko kid from an upperclass family you likes to poke at and provoke people who he feels superior to until they explode at him, and then he acts all dumbfounded so nobody catches on that it was him who provoked the whole conflict in the first place by following behind and niggling at the person.

      "Oh, just kidding. Ha ha ha."


      Come on Artleads ... aren't you going to cry and accuse me of being Uglfuvl again now? After you sat there in that last thread and provoked me over and over and over again until I finally exploded at you?

      This was repetitive.
      How about we push pause on this topic and talk about land use.
      I think I'll have to stop peeking in here if this is the topics I'm going to find here.
      Hey, I sure didn't like you questioning my friend four months ago.
      All you do is just talk LWA.
      Is LWA even an important person? Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, I don't know.
      Isn't your topic just some dumb idea out of some stupid book.
      Pure wetiko? Who would know.
      Duh, what's up doc?


      Ya, you're just the inconspicuous type of bully is all. A shit disturber. A trouble maker. And I'm calling you out on it. Get a fucking head. And where's your snotty little retort to my last comment? You always have one.

      To copy a play out of your book ... "Hey, Artleads ... your still here. I thought you said you weren't going 'peek in here' anymore."

      By the way ... nobody 'makes' you be a racist. You either are or you aren't. You seem to feel superior to a lot of people, and it shows in the way you make your snarky little remarks to them. You're really just a wetiko jerk Artleads.

      Delete
    3. Come on dude ... you provoked me all through that last thread, so let's fight ... didn't you want to fight? Seems like it to me.

      Delete
    4. Maybe we should both take oldgrowth's gramndmother's advice.

      Maybe you should stay away from me and never make another comment about me again on the premise that I'm crazy. And I totally agree, I'm completely uncivilized.

      And I'll stay away from you and never make another comment about you again on the premise that you're an idiot.

      Delete
    5. It suddenly dawned on me Artleads, that you've dismissed first Satish, then me, and then oldgrowthforest ... the three people who oldgrowth senses identify with native cultures. Then you walk around so obviously trying to stick your nose up Lao's ass with his Oxford citations about native people grooming each other like primates some time in the not so distant past.

      Yes, this is about racism, and your deluded sense of social hierarchy Artleads. And it clearly affects how you feel about and treat other people. You should go join the kkk.

      I nailed it by forcing you to smell yourself there. An idiot, who shouldn't be writing another word about how to structure any aspect of a possible future civilization.

      Smell ya later gator.

      Delete
    6. LWA,

      I don't think I can win this. Anything I say makes you see and expose the veiled anger, deceit, viciousness and hostility behind it. You're right in many cases.

      When you say I've lost my gold star, that does me no good. I never felt secure having it. You might approve of me somewhat one day, and turn your awesome powers of perception against me the next. I always dreaded the day, always felt it coming, even at good times.

      I would like you to stay on kuku, for this blog is short on participants. (I wish EP had hung on, even for a while.) But Satish seems to be looking at how the individual has displaced the group in prominence, and how that is harmful. I will be focusing on the group for this article, not on myself or on you. If my sick state works against the group and you tell me that, I'll look at the post, and ask others please to weigh in too--since the others make up the group. Anything else from you I will ignore.

      Then there's the issue of my Jamaican racism. FWIW, I think Jamaica is the most racist country in the world. Because it is so subtle, murky and hard to pin down. I've never seen it written about the way I think it should. People who think Jamaica is all about Bob Marley and reggae are sadly mistaken. No wonder Rastafari originated in Jamaica.

      Delete
  17. 1.Some facts:

    - Homo-Sapients in our present form date to approximately 200,000 years ago (YA)
    - tribal societies emerged between 150,000 and 70,000 YA (guess-estimates by anthropologists, archaeologists, evolutionary biologists, Evolutionary Psychologists, etc... vary wildly)
    - all humans obtained their food exclusively by hunting animals or gathering wild plants until as late as 13,000 YA.
    - the agricultural revolution started some 13.000 YA in a few Independent alluvial plains starting north China, south China, sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, the Andes, and the eastern U.S.



    2. evolution of world population

    - world population grew extremely slowly prior to agriculture but exploded immediately after the transition. Check this evolution -- Short version: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HhCwxzuF_Cb9R-EhKUq7lG2rZH4bc-pxbxthNFnXEUU/pub -- Complete version 201 pages: http://www.scottmanning.com/archives/World%20Population%20Estimates%20Interpolated%20and%20Averaged.pdf

    - First expansion of population levels during the paleolithic (estimates by Carla Aime of the University of Paris 7 Diderot and other studies at Shanghai's Fudan University): 60,000-80,000 YA: 5,000,000. In all logic the result of that expansion is due to the emergence of tribal societies. This should ring a bell...

    ReplyDelete
  18. - Second expansion of Population levels during and following the neolithic (estimates from Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones, Atlas of World Population History (Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1978 as given in Scott Manning's tables):
    - 10,000 BC: 4,000,000 = total world population at start of agricultural revolution
    - 5,000 BC: 5,000,000
    - 4,000 BC: 7,000,000
    - 3,000 BC: 14,000,000 = start of imperial institutional stabilization
    - 2,000 BC: 27,000,000
    - 1,000 BC: 50,000,000
    - 500 BC: 100,000,000
    - 1 AD: 170,000,000
    - 500 AD: 190,000,000
    - 1,000 AD: 265,000,000

    Third expansion of population levels following the emergence of Modernity (estimates from Scott Manning's tables):
    - 1,200 AD : 360,000,000 = start of Early-Modernity (commercial capitalism)
    - 1,500 AD: 425,000,000
    - 1,600 AD: 545,000,000
    - 1,700 AD: 610,000,000 = start of industrial revolution after 1750
    - 1,800 AD: 900,000,000
    - 1,900 AD: 1,625,000,000
    - 1,925 AD: 2,000,000,000
    - 1,950 AD: 2,500,000,000
    - 1,975 AD: 4,000,000,000
    - today: 7,000,000,000
    - 2,050: 10,000,000,000


    3. Some conclusions about population:
    31. the transition from bands (20-30 individuals) to tribes (average of 150 individuals) resulted in a vast increase of the world population from somewhere around 1,000,000 to over 5,000,000 individuals.
    32. the agricultural revolution pushes the figures up but the 1st real demographic boom seems to be due to the institutional stabilization of power in empires.
    33. the 2nd real demographic boom comes with the industrial revolution

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  19. 4. some conclusions about the quality of life...
    41. small bands survived by working constantly ...to feed the group
    42. tribes were a lot more efficiently in term of work and estimates of weekly hours work per individual vary from 5 to 15 hours for economies that are now understood to have been "economies of abundance"... this means there was a lot of time to socialize and for leisure...
    43. the agricultural revolution can't be understood as societally positive see the evolution of average life expectancies and individual height in the following table http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/angel-1984/angel-1984-1a.shtml In substance:
    - average height of women was some 166.5 cm (5'5.6) 10,000 YA and it has still not revovered today at the average of 163.4 cm (5'4.3)
    - average height of men was some 177.1 (5'9.7) 10,000 YA and it has still not revovered today at the average of 174.2 (5'8.6)

    5. some general conclusions:
    51. progress is not what we are being taught. On the contrary the idea of progress starting with the story of agriculture was a complete negative story in term of health and quality of life... progress seems to have been nothing else than a propaganda trick of the men of power to preserve the peasants' consent...
    52. I think our discourse would have a lot more impact if it was based on these facts...
    53. try to imagine a world with only 5,000,000 people... it's for for nothing that Christianity speaks of the garden of eden...
    54. there is no other way to say this... the turning point of the agricultural revolution, that was followed by the emergence of power-societies, has been a disaster for humanity and the turning point of philosophic rationalism and the industrial revolution has been a disaster for the principle of life itself...
    55. societal collapse appears thus in a new light; it will kill the cancer... perhaps life will then have the chance to enter a new cycle of increased consciousness and of increased complexity...
    56. the question then becomes ...would our gathering of the necessary pragmatic knowledge possibly help eventual survivors? This question has been raised initially by George Mobus.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting info, LD. It's a disaster, all right. A mess through and through. You're correct: progress is an illusion. It's a con artist's story that allows humans to dissociate their present actions from the best of themselves in order do things they otherwise wouldn't. Like the Milgram experiment - "the experiment must continue." There are many lies like that in empire, from what I can tell.

      Delete
    2. "Focus[edit]
      It focuses on the energy cost of problem solving, and the energy-complexity relation in manmade systems. This is a mirror of the negentropic tendencies of natural evolution, according to ecological economics, notably the arguments of Donella Meadows and her colleagues on the economic constraints of contemporary problem solving.

      The Limits to Growth, 1972, argued that "to raise world food production from 1951-1966 by 34%, for example, required increasing expenditures on tractors of 63%, on nitrate fertilizers of 146%, and on pesticides of 300%. To remove all organic wastes from a sugar-processing plant costs 100 times more than removing 30%. To reduce sulfur dioxide in the air of a U.S. city by 9.6 times, or particulates by 3.1 times, raises the cost of pollution control by 520 times." All environmental problem solving will face constraints of this kind, Tainter argues. It is not a question of expending a lot of energy to discover "more efficient" ways to do these things - that process amplifies the decline."

      "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity%2C_Problem_Solving%2C_and_Sustainable_Societies


      LD,

      I don't know what you mean by "increased complexity" under item 55. On people talk about the work of anthropologist Joseph Tainter relating to complexity. I just picked out that point from your long list. I believe Tainter is saying that complexity uses more energy. Are you saying more complexity is possible or good at this time?

      OGF,

      With my idiotic self, I keep trying to feel out a path to survival. I'm not even clear survival of what or who. It's hard to figure what the western world could do that doesn't make matters worse. But systems thinking impresses me greatly. Systems thinking requires laying out all the facts/issues side by side so you can see the big pattern. If this is done well, I don't see how it can fail. Was it LD or his linked Pyrigine (sp) that talk about the 19th cent European science establishment splitting the whole into separate parts, studying each without relation to the whole? At this moment sitting here that seems like the main problem we face.

      "AGAINST FRAGMENTS | The project for the new millennium is to go against fragmentation. I sense that this is true in all fields.
      When one thinks about the main problems in our world today one sees that the answers to them must be interdisciplinary. The technical decision a company president makes today has economic, political, social and environmental repercussions that must be taken into consideration.
      In the 19th century fragmentation played an important role in the establishment of separate disciplines for biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, etc. But when we consider the great challenges facing humanity today we see that we need an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore at this historical moment, I think it is really very important to emphasize the end of fragmentation, or at least the overcoming of fragmentation."

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately, Artleads, humans never have all the facts and issues. I doubt we have a small fraction of the facts and issues for us to get all creative. However, if this is what you wish to do is ponder possibilities, well, there you have it.

      Personally, I'm thinking a lot about some Buff Orpington bantam chickens. I'm enjoying my Brahmas so much, and the eggs are so awesome, that I think a lot about how I can configure the shop/barn I'm using to accommodate separate coops and separate runs for two breeds of chickens. On the other hand, Wyandottes come in so many beautiful colors and lacing . . .

      Delete
    4. . . . And an incubator. I think a lot about incubators. I actually have a used one that I purchased from a local, but I've never tried to hatch eggs with it. This pastime could be related to future survival, but I doubt it.

      I actually have very humble thoughts most of the time. Very humble.

      Delete
    5. I'd say do the best we can with looking at the whole when trying to solve problems. Trying to operate in this fractured way REALLY doesn't work, so why not try something different before throwing in the towel? And most important to assembling the known (or perceived to be known) elements of the whole is that we can leave a blank on the "earth map" where nothing is known. We need to know what we don't know.

      Beyond that (given my experience with land use planning) the evils of fragmentation are so huge that any reasonable effort to combat it is likely to make a huge difference. :-)

      I looked up Dryden, and see there is a link to romanticism if I want to dig deep enough to find it. Lots of indirect references come up in a search, but I bet what I want is hidden in the middle of some long article. So here's a quote that brings up individualism:

      "Restoration writers were strongly influenced by the Enlightenment, a period of scientific and philosophical revolution that lasted from the mid-17th century until the end of the 18th century. Writers during this time emphasized the potential of logic and reason and believed that individual experience was more insightful than tradition." The last line is key.

      You warn against too much creativity and ambition, the two traits that most define me. I'm listening, but I won't (or can't) change too much either. Creativity and vision are all I have. Not scholarship, knowledge, routine, custom, tribe. Not just by choice, but also due to the cards I was dealt. This conversation is suggesting to me that I belong, if anywhere, to the European romantic tradition: (Based on looking up Dryden--knew the name but nothing else, and thank you for that)

      I suspect that this "Restoration" period, taken together, was opposed to the industrial revolution in many ways, and may well have helped spawn the later abolitionist movement as well. It would make sense. And, in theory, extending that cultural thread would lead to seeing the sacredness of land, to advanced physics, to radical ideas for justice.

      Then we have to define what humble means. I'm trying to promote rain water catchment from off local roofs. My neighbor with a shitload of study and skills has a super duper water harvesting program, but is a little taken aback when I suggest that similar overall water conservation can be achieved if everybody had a simple program of their own, that being a humble approach. I'm also trying to concoct small structures using cardboard boxes. That is so humble that folks think I've lost my mind. I live on less than $650 a month. That seems humble. At the same time, I want to save the world, which is seemingly not humble. But the world, in my opinion, is only not saved by not trying. So what would be my alternative?

      Good luck with the chickens. Looks like you're doing something you deeply love. You and I can't save the world, but everybody doing a little good (in unison) can do it together. And then again, I think that a self organizing principle is also at work, and that what you and I are doing where we live is part of that. My two cents.

      Delete
    6. LD,

      This comment on ourfiniteworld dor com seemed relevant to your post.

      susuru says:
      January 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      There are movements afoot to create alternatives to the existing financial system which might enable some parts of society to continue after a major collapse when the main game will be over. Those populations will be the ones able to maintain some social cohesion and a level of communication with the past and within the society. Financial-innovation movements come from two perspectives. One, from the right, is the present IMF’s plan to issue global SDRs which can form a new global currency once too much destruction has disrupted national currency systems, and no political opposition exists. Another, from the left, looks to national central banks, neither private nor global banks, to issue new money, similar to QE, to be invested into the real economy to build climate mitigative and adaptive new human nurturance systems suitable to new conditions. Such systems could be either industrially or biologically based depending on what if any existing mechanical infrastructure and/or human labor resources survived to support new systems.
      Collapses are necessary cleansing operations once systems become too complex. They usually lead to new beginnings not imaginable before the collapse."

      Delete
  20. I don't think I did warn you against creativity. In fact, I think I wrote simply that it is what you choose to do. It was acknowledgement without judgment.

    I believe that thinking about little chickens is humble compared to considering the fate of the world, its entire history, how humanity got here, and what would work for the future after the final brick falls. Yes, chickens are pretty humble, especially since you can get as many as you want every spring for about $4 - $5 each. It's far from being a highbrow subject. That's okay with me if it's okay with you.

    But . . . I think that the general questions - how did we get here, and - is it the end? If not - then what. . . are natural questions. Humans are creative, that's for sure. Consciously and unconsciously.

    I'm not nailing down what is happening in any larger sense than is plainly stated. If I do, there's always another side, and something will change anyway. :)

    I don't know if I deeply love my chickens. I may. I know I deeply love my dogs. I do love the eggs! That part is fun and delicious.

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    1. "I may. I know I deeply love my dogs. I do love the eggs! That part is fun and delicious."

      Love this. I grew a lot of cucumbers last summer that I didn't know were cucumbers till we ate them. Not bad. The leaves curled around everything in a beautiful way. Eggs would have been nice to add to them.

      Delete
  21. LD,

    I can't make head or tail of anything to do with energy economics, but I keep browsing OFW FWIW (hoping something will rub off by osmosis).

    More on Prigogine on ourfiniteworld dot com by Gail Tverberg.

    "Another way of viewing energy needs comes from the work of Ilya Prigogine, who studied how ordered structures, such as biological systems, can develop from disorder in a thermodynamically open system. Prigogine has called these ordered structures dissipative systems. These systems can temporarily exist as long as the system is held far from equilibrium by a continual flow of energy through the system. If the flow energy disappears, the biological system will die.

    Using either Odum’s or Prigogine’s view, energy of the right type is essential for the growth of an overall ecosystem as well as for the continued health of its individual members."

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/?s=Prigogine

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  22. OGF,

    Forgot to suggest something. I'm having a hard time getting my writing project going too. But if I can converge anything I write with posting on kuku, I wouldn't hesitate. Have you considered using whoever here is game as a test audience for your writing? It could even converge with the article's themes?

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    1. Hi, Artleads. If I ever write anything again, I'll keep your idea in mind.

      The winter has been hard on my hands this year for the first time. I'm developing arthritis from years of typing. The cold this winter has particularly affected me in that way. However, it is beautiful here this year! I always have some dread knowing that winter is coming, but once it's here I enjoy it a lot.

      The full moon on the snow lights up the landscape and the last couple of nights I have enjoyed going outside with the dogs. Are you aware of the moon's phases regularly? From about April to late August I don't ever see nighttime. I miss nighttime in the summer more than I miss daylight in the winter. :)

      Delete
    2. Just got a referral to Kristin Neff from a friend...along with a really long video presentation link. I searched online for something shorter. You will be familiar with the issues, but I thought, maybe some synchronicity here, talking of pampering oneself. As well as about the strength the collective gives.

      https://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=webmail-hawaii1-basicaol&q=Self-Compassion%20with%20Dr%20Kristin%20Neff

      Delete
    3. OK, I scrolled through the longest video--over 1 hr--and I recommend especially from 50 minutes on. People who are familiar with the general field--you surely--know all this about self compassion, but the practicality of what she brought up with her autistic son's tantrum was a good confirmation and reminder of the phenomenon.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUMF5R7DoOA&app=desktop

      Delete
  23. I know (sort of) that places very close to the North pole don't see dark for a chunk of the year. I never knew how far north you were and how the phases of the (moon?) affected your light. I thought it was that the earth's pole(s) tilted away from the sun part of the year and toward the sun on the other. Didn't (don't) understand about the moon. So I guess the ground is white with snow where you are, and it get's dark very early. I greatly love the moonglow on the ground, on snow especially. I'm a moon-o-file. It's a shame about your arthritis. I believe most older people have some trace of it or other--some very much worse than others. When I'm being driven somewhere I obsessively massage painful spots on my fingers, as well as manipulate all the digits. It seems to help a little. Some pampering seems due. :-)

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    1. The phases of the moon have always affected light, and people are able to do things under a full moon that they cannot do at night when it is darker. There is snow on the spruce tree limbs, also, and ice crusting the bare branches of the birches. That adds to the light, too.

      I am not at the north pole, but I am northwest of Anchorage. Yes, when days are very, very short and nights are long, one is more aware of the moon and stars, and it is very, very beautiful. Full moon nights are beautiful if it is clear.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, OGF. I hate asking stupid questions, but I really know nothing about the issues of light due to phases of the moon. I'm getting the idea that snow and ice (occurring all year?) reflect more light there than occurs more to the south? And I've never had to be clear on how the moon cycles the earth as the earth turns on its own axis. How is the moon situated in relation to latitudes on the earth. I imagine I'll have to look online for visual charts. Otherwise, it might be too hard to use words to make me understand entirely.

      Delete
  24. The moon's latitudes change, as does its entire cycle. I am simply speaking of living with the moon and its cycles as being very prominent in my awareness at this time of year. Perhaps it is something you notice from time to time, but I see the moon several times a day/night at this time of year if it rises at all. I live in a rural/semi-rural area without much in the way of streetlights. That also brings the night sky closer to my awareness. The full moon was just a couple of days ago, hence me mentioning it.

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  25. Satish,

    This put me in mind of you
    -----

    [size=12pt][b]Roots of Psychological Disorder
    [/b][/size]

    (exceedingly long)

    J. Krishnamurti

    http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=1484&chid=1181%EF%BB%BF

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  26. Lao,

    I largely agree with your thesis... the one thing I am not certain of is this:

    "51. agriculture increased the availability of food
    52. the euphoria experienced by accessing an increased availability of food caused an increase of tribal populations which was answered very differently in the Middle-East and in China but more on that a little further."

    I tend to believe that agriculture is an unnatural practice on the part of man. Food was available in plenty and our ancestors ate with gratitude. They avoided digging into the soil because they saw it as hurting the Earth. They might have practiced some sort of shifting horticulture but ploughing the land is a recent invention that might have come about after a tribe was already destabilized due to the reason or reasons we are not sure of. At the same time, ancient peoples had excellent knowledge of birth control, natural and plant-based birth control, and kept their numbers in check. The increased availability of food should not in itself have caused their numbers to explode. In most places, there was already enough food to support much larger numbers but the tribes kept their low sizes. It is said that they extracted less than 1% of the energy flow in their environs.

    So it seems to me that the events or factors that led to a tribe going astray happened first and then their numbers exploded, along with their taking up of agriculture.

    The one thing that marked tribal people was respect toward the creation around them. They took pains to be as light as possible and be as harmonious as possible living amidst other creatures. To ask for more than they were freely given was unnatural.

    Anyway, thank you for providing the exhaustive references. We're generally in agreement around how things transpired.

    OGF,

    Thanks for the book recommendation... I will check it out.

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  27. Another point I don't quite understand is the distinction between bands and tribes... we have always lived in families. Born to people and lived with people. Chimpanzees and Bonobos, our closest primate ancestors live with their families. When humans evolved, it must have been similar... they were born into and raised by families and extended families. Tribes were nothing but extended families made up of aunts, uncles and cousins, not to mention the elders, the grand parents and great grandparents.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just wanted to thank you Satish for a blog entry you cobbled together awhile back called 'What's Become Of Berkley,' where you exposed how the elite infiltrates NGO's in order to divide and conquer them through compromise, and by using them as catch basins for gathering up dissent, and diverts it to harmless activities that no longer threaten the establishment. Of particular interest was the animal rights link where a three step process was described for getting activist organizations to distance themselves from those the more radical dissidents among them. Also instructive was the link to the expose about the wall street underpinnings of 350 dot org.

    http://www.goingkuku.com/2016/01/whats-become-of-berkeley.html

    I just had my own exposure to this cycle of events through hanging out on Robert Scribbler's climate change blog. While he does gather together quite well other's research regarding the current conditions of the changing climate, I was recently exposed to how he will tolerate no criticism of the beloved American democratic system that he himself is so enraptured by. He truly believes that things like writing letters to politicians are effective paths to change, and thinks things like people standing on the street corner giving the finger to Trump as he passes by is actually going to make any difference to the establishment that drives us off of this cliff. He recently recommended I join 350 dot org, or the Sierra Club, and doesn't seem willing at all to even speculate how these organizations (let alone the entire democracy he lives under) are really just bureaucracies intentionally designed to wear down and channel dissenters opposition into less harmless, innocuous and meaningless watered down activities.

    This came about due to merely the slightest mention to him that maybe all of our democratic leaders, of all parties, have been intentionally forestalling us from taking any action on climate change all along. I suggested to him that when you lodge complaints against the system, through the system's constructed channels, that then they just have you where they want you ... because they know that they are providing you with the illusion that they're going to maybe listen to you after all (when they definitely aren't,) and that this was nothing more than an elaborate psychology being used to stall people ... our democracy.

    In the case of climate change, stalling to the tune of decades and decades, while people 'believed' G20 countries were actually going to ever do anything substantial to limit their addiction to fossil fuels.

    Well, don't go look for my comments, because there aren't any ... he wouldn't even let them seen by others, and then he asked me to leave his forum. He also admonished me to join someone on his site who stands in Florida by the street side giving the finger to Trumps motorcade when it passes, which I'm sure he just grins and chuckles at (knowing that it's better they are there, rather than out doing other more productive things with their time and energy.)

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you. I went back and read your blog entry about how radicals are expunged from these organizations if they aren't going to continue to support the very systems that actually do all the damage in the first place, and saw not only myself in that scenario, but also Robert Scribbler and how he's been compromised into beating a dead horse to death knocking at all the wrong doors and asking 'please.'

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    1. There's a lot of hand wringing going on there these days about 'how could it be' that Orwell's 1984 could have actually been so accurate, when they all thought it was just nonsense and fiction, something that could never really happen. It was then that I realized I've been reading sheep speak there all this time. I myself never thought that Orwell's 1984 was very far off from what I saw all our governments behaving like ... any of them, with any party in power. I realized then that I've been consorting with people who've drank the kool aid, and who continue to drink the kool aid.

      Roberts site is still a good repository for climate news ... but that's about it. When it comes to the egotistical hubris regarding his ideas about social activism, he's definitely reaching beyond his scope ... though he certainly doesn't think so himself. He's another one of these authorities on all things, at least in his own mind he is. (What's up with Americans and that anyway, their unshakable love and trust for their really terrible system ... and all that baseball and apple pie arrogance about their own stupidity? I don't get it.)

      It was definitely a disappointment to see how he's diffusing people and steering them right to their slaughter ... and how he's so arrogant about it too. I made me wonder if he receives funding for running that blog from one of these compromising organization. It sure is full of opiate, and rejects any criticism of 'the great American mindset,' of the ra ra ra for capitalism ideaology.

      Anyway, thanks for having that blog entry with all those links for me to refer back to Satish, you were right on the money with all that. I think I've just experienced the great NGO pacification swindle first hand for myself now. Ha ha ha ... join the Sierra Club. As if. I was always suspicious of marches and picketing anyway, it didn't seem like it accomplished anything much at all, and only just gave the illusion to the participants that now they'd really done something. I guess that explains why they allow them, it's all psychology.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. (Not!)

      Boo on Robert Scribbler. He's unwittingly playing right into their hands with these beliefs about lodging formal complaints through the system, and about appealing to political parties thinking any of them are really any different from one another deep down inside. Shame on him for not being smart enough to see it. But he does gather other's climate research well, which I think has sort of gone to his head.

      Delete
    2. I guess I should add that he definitely asked me to leave his site. He posted a blog entry stupefied as to how Trump could get away with this, about politics, and his fan club all started mussing over how they all thought Orwell's 1984 could never actually really ever happen, and always thought it was just fiction when they read it.

      So I spoke up (which I wasn't doing there before this), and kept it fairly light, and within the tone of what the others were discussing about politics ... and was promptly banished from the place for daring to have the thoughts I did about the psychology of manufacturing consent.

      I guess Robert just wants to build a wall around his ideologies, no different really than Trump does. He should just stick to re-posting other people's observations about climate science. What an idiot sheep he is.

      C'est la vie. (lol)

      Delete
    3. But it did make me angry, lol.

      Delete
    4. Ah, I'm glad you read that post... I spent a lot of time thinking those issues through and coming up with that post. And it had been on my mind for at least an year before it materialized so thanks for reading it. There is very little that is said critically about the NGO complex. They just have this stamp of approval from almost everyone. Like Sierra Club is the holy cow of NPOs, can't look at it critically. There's so much of that that goes on in Berkeley and the rest of the Bay Area too.

      Talking about Robert Scribbler, it continues to puzzle me how some people get a piece of the puzzle so well and yet phenomenally fail to put other pieces together. We have so many specialists who claim to be generalists and so few generalists who take an interest in everything and anything. In a way, it makes sense... in order to pass for an expert in one field, one has to invest all of their time in that one thing. Any less and they are not an expert in their field anymore because others are working 24/7 to top him. It's like a rat race of experts. Constantly update everyone of small changes and updates in that one field of study and ignore everything around it and yet claim to know it all.

      We need more generalists. Our culture is afflicted by specialists who claim to know a lot about something but in fact know neither their field nor the world around it. I really don't think one can gain expertise in anything while excluding from consideration other associated phenomena. People write off Climate Change as an unforeseen accident. They then claim that humans are imperfect by nature. One mis-assessment leads to another and soon we start believing all sorts of strange stories constantly fed to us by the media.

      It's so much about psychology indeed. Science minded people ignore this reality. It's as if the only thing that matters is large amounts of accurate data.

      Delete
  29. I only watched the first link...9+ minutes, but have no doubt the longer one is worth watching too. Whenever (if ever) there is time. :-)

    www.goingkuku.com/

    https://search.aol.com/aol/video?q=masaru+emoto&s_it=video-ans&sfVid=true&videoId=E73932144A83F835C806E73932144A83F835C806&v_t=webmail-hawaii1-basicaol

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    1. Masaru Emoto

      Sorry. This is the short link:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujQAk9EM3xg

      Delete
  30. Hi Artleads! Fun to see you back here to share a link. And perhaps more.

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  31. Thank you so much for your kind words in the previous thread, Artleads. So very appreciated! They warmed my heart.

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  32. Hi Satish,

    What a great forum. I agree with the point made above that you have raised important questions and musings that we all need to take some time to sort ourselves out about! I look forward to reading more.

    Mark

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  33. Hi Mark,

    We may know each other, but more on that later perhaps. As to sorting ourselves out, I found this (just posted on Facebook today) interesting. :-)

    https://search.aol.com/aol/video?q=Saying+YES%21+to+your+Weirdness+%7C+JP+Sears+%7C+TEDxCardiffbytheSea+%2B+you+tube&s_it=video-ans&sfVid=true&videoId=DEF7EA194B0724DFF78DDEF7EA194B0724DFF78D&v_t=webmail-hawaii1-basicaol

    "Art Leads"

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's interesting and different to have the same post up and open for comments over such a long period. It offers an opportunity, equally for the artist or the scientist, to experiment and observe the results.

    One observation is how my thoughts do or don't change over seven months of steady reading and commenting on ourfiniteword dot com blog which deals with economics and energy. That is a blog for hard headed materialists who brook no mysticism.(Why I find it appealing, and how I managed to remain there all this time is something of a mystery.) It has been a sobering experience, since I've had to come to the conclusion that humanity's best hope is to stay within civilization. As a practical matter, we having "broken the link" with any pre-civilized cultural or physical means to substantially survive as a species, having no option but to hang on to our civilization, however it mutates in an exceedingly opaque future. One does not see how it can continue. One does not see how it can end. We just seem (IMO) to be in a place where turning back or going forward are both foreclosed. We might as well observe where we are and what we are doing, since that is usually a good practice when we are stuck.

    Observing where we are and what we are doing seems to me not unlike what pre-civilized people did in order to survive. We find ourselves in a human-built world, with mere remnants of "nature" hanging on by its teeth. And here I draw a blank. I don't see our civilization, devoid of this small natural remnant, as being good, worthy or feasible. Equally, I see no remote option of ditching civilization, greatly reducing our numbers, and reconnecting to nature.

    The problem I'm looking into now is the absolutely inadequate way in which we look at civilization, looking at it as though it wasn't sacred, eschewing imagination and awe in the process. It means that we have a rote civilization of repressed ability for critical thinking, led by a psychopathic elite who benefit from that...or think they do.

    We have not, however, lost the same ability for animism that our "indigenous" ancestors embraced. I doubt that animism requires a separation between the dead and the living. Perhaps in animism, all is alive. It would then be possible to see the built world as alive, albeit a different kind of alive from nature.

    Following from this, there is need to look critically at the smart set's preoccupation with thermodynamics. Everything runs down and, and based on that, has a predestined term of existence leading to final collapse. I don't believe in that. And I don't see why, with all its obvious differences, civilization can't be run the way Australian aborigines have run their 50,000 year old culture. I know this is the point at which many might question my sanity, but never mind.

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  35. Part II

    Apparently, we live with an economic system that is like a game of musical chairs. We dance while the music plays, and someone gets left out when it stops. And the game keeps going till none are left. In other words, nobody's concerned with how to keep a living system going. That, to me, has nothing to do with whether things have been made by people or are natural. If we want civilization to be coincident with a living system, we have to observe it and see where and how that can work. Stopping to see civilization with non worshiping and fresh eyes means we do not follow it as a religion. We assess it scientifically, and here science and art seem to coincide. We might even turn it upside down and stand it on its head.

    Meanwhile, a very new hypothesis of mine is that, for it to continue as a life system, it must waste the minimum of energy. On every level, it must flow smoothly. It means that even bad things, as long as the system can withstand them for some time, should not be opposed. Opposing something because it is repellent could lead to disruption of the only system we have to sustain life. (If we plunge the world in darkness in order to cool the planet, we leave nuclear facilities unguarded, and we kill off all complex life. A direct assault on nuclear plants that are the heart of the problem means our electric grid get compromised, which, ironically, lessens the ability to safeguard nuclear sites.) Everything in globally networked civilization fits together like complex clockwork. You can't tinker with one discreet part of it and expect the whole to work. Everything is interdependent. And with such global-scale complexity to work with, "aesthetic intuition" is of prime value. You have to turn yourself into a mirror of the system and "feel" what can or can't be changed without harming the flow. And if you don't love it you can't change it. You can only destroy it and build something new, possible equally misguided.

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  36. Interesting comments, Trevor!

    "And if you don't love it you can't change it."

    Completely true. Loving the totality of the world, as it is, will be necessary to allow whatever organic changes ~ changes that would be truly living and lasting ~ to take root and grow.

    Loving what is includes ~ as the first step ~ learning to love everything about oneself. Being truly at peace with oneself. This of course requires compassion and openness to all the disgusting and terrible things within ourselves ~ including our feelings of disgust at so much of what the world is.

    How can we love the world as it is, if we are disgusted with, disappointed with, or afraid of it? First of all ~ by knowing, learning, how to love all of ourselves, and all of the "wrong stuff" inside of us. Being free from the inner war will allow peace on Earth. You will experience peace on Earth exactly to the degree that you are free of war, internally. The ideas of 'peace' and 'war' actually are left behind, and one lives 'at one' with what is.

    Whatever it may be. Perhaps harmony would be the better way to look at this kind of flow, as it is ever changing, non-conceptual and perfect in the moment ~ for whatever is required in the moment.

    Any changes on the outside ~ deeper growth into what is lasting and real ~ naturally follow, to whatever degree is possible, in the moment, from the reality of inner harmony.

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