Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Proxy Power, Pandora hopes, debacles and memes.


Before diving into some important intellectual content, let's briefly contemplate one moment from the past and one vastness of future. First, it's exactly 50 years since the most exhausting and scary year any Boomer ever experienced – 1968 – started drawing to its fervently-welcomed close. 

You think 2018 was rough? Any single week of 68's relentless assassinations, invasions, ructions, riots, wars, marches… and unbelievable artistic/musical/scientific fecundity… woulda killed any of you young snowflakes! But I’ve written elsewhere -- in one of my best essays -- about how 1968 ended with a wonderful gift. The very last news item – Apollo 8’s first human visit round the moon – gave us one of the most important works of art in human history -- our first full image of this gorgeous oasis planet, our Earth. 

I was reminded of the story of Pandora’s Box, which unleashed upon the world so many ills, and yet there, at the bottom, was the gift of hope. Here's another writer's fond memory of that wondrous end to a hard year. 

Now Robert Picardo, Star Trek actor and my fellow member of the Planetary Society Advisory Council, presents a survey of the mighty accomplishments that your civilization achieved this last year, in space alone. Culminating in the exciting flyby, almost exactly at the tolling of New Years, of our faithful New Horizons probe past faraway Ultima Thule. Tune in! When we apply ourselves, with confidence, we achieve miracles.

 Which brings us to my annual appeal. You can be part of every good trend taking place on this globe. You can be part of fighting every bad one. 

The greatest western invention of the second half of the 20th Century... and the one that Vladimir Putin openly hates more than anything... is the NGO or non-governmental activist organization. NGOs are the great equalizer between average citizens and the world's titan elites. And here's the deal... 

...pick any six issues you care about, and there's probably an org out there for each one! A group that would pool your annual dues with a million others, letting them hire researchers and lawyers on a par with the biggest corporations and the richest moguls!

Yes, I count the Planetary Society on my list. (I hope you will, too.) And I've been with the Sierra Club and Greenpeace each for more than 50 years. (Hey, I wrote EARTH!) 

Even disagreeing with some prescriptions, I send money to the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation and urge you to send a piddling membership to help them fight for all of us. (It's not just the money, but also strength in numbers.) Emily's List helped elect enough women so that Nevada's State Assembly is the first with a female majority!  Lawrence Lessig's Equal Citizens is nonpartisan fighting to end cheating in politics. But make your own list.

You can see (and get others to link-to) my main article about The Power of Proxy Activism. Tis the season? (Note that your charitable contributions might have more tax benefits this year, than next.) But it's always time to save the world. Seriously. If you can't bring yourself to do this much, then stop spouting opinions all over; it's just hot air and noise. Put a little money where your mouth goes.

Key point: this method requires almost none of your precious time... and very little money... while you go about your busy lives, knowing you have hired others to save the world for you!  

What a deal.


== Dichotomies and memes ==  

Memetic Tribes and Culture War 2.0” by Peter Limberg and Conor Barnes describes how the old left-right dichotomy no longer provides a sufficient map of the political territory we find ourselves in. It’s a fascinating and perceptive piece, though I feel it misses core points. 

First, much of the current culture war is about elites persuading large numbers of Americans that their most basic reflex – suspicion of authority (preached in every Hollywood film) -- should be aimed at just one set of figures, and not at others. We all view ourselves as heroic members of an in-the-know resistance!

Can I make that clear for you? Left or right used to be less about economics in the U.S. than about where you feel Big Brother is rising.

To a person of the "right" -- the Orwellian elites are snooty academics and faceless government bureaucrats, or

To a person of the "left" -- those conniving to end freedom are aristocrats, oligarchs and faceless corporations.

But in the general sense, aren't both sides correct to worry?  Don't cheaters drift into every niche of dogma, hoping to exploit it for power?  Shouldn't we be wary in all directions?

In “normal times" we are! A liberal might admit “in theory tech people or bureaucrats could be dangerous, so you conservatives watch them while we target those who would re-establish feudalism.” And decent conservatives would avow the reverse. Synergy!  

Alas, the main purpose and aim of our enemies has been to get Americans targeted ONLY at their bĂȘtes noir, and never to turn their heads!  That synergy hasn’t worked in a very long time.

Here’s the deal. While the entire American right and much of the far-left may now be in tunnel vision mode, only able to see enemy-action in the direction their noses are pointed, this is not true of the vast majority of American liberals, as shown by the story of MSNBC. That network tried to imitate the fantastically successful profit plan of Rupert Murdoch, to create an obligate Nuremberg rally for one third of the American populace to zombie stare-at, 8 hours a day.  MSNBC tried a left wing version of Fox... and almost went bankrupt, because most liberals simply wandered away, not wanting to be led in chants.  

Yes, that network still caters to an anti-right stance. But it never could copy the Fox business model of staring-chanting drones. For survival, they backed off and chose instead to maintain journalistic standards.

Yes, the generally “left-moderate” or Democratic coalition contains sub groups who behave in ways that fall under Limberg-Barnes models. Social Justice Warriors? Sure, they exist. That does not even imply, let alone prove equality of tribalism. ‘Contains’ is not the same as ‘consists.” Nor is ‘far-left’ equivalent to ‘entire-right.’

Another test is whether a “tribe” preaches positive, zero, or negative sum messages. The former -- rare across human history -- predisposes a person or group toward negotiation, even compromise. The latter would include those like Steve Bannon who call for a violently cleansing world crisis. Or dominionists who seek a prophesied end of the world. While there are small groups of Earth fanatics on the left (I portray this in my novel EARTH), negative-sum is not common in the American center or moderate left. Nor even much zero sum, as I describe in my article Altruistic Horizons & our tribal natures.
  
What does it take for an American faction to be passionately motivated but not be a “tribe” in the Limberg-Barnes sense?  How about willingness to use and adapt-to fact based modification?  When the far-left and the entire-right in the US are waging open war against every single fact-centered profession, what remains is a center and moderate-left to which nearly every scientist, teacher, journalist, law professional and “deep state” member of the fact-using protector caste has fled.

So no, sorry. This is not simply about degree of vehemence and opposition to perceived dangerous foes. There are verifiable parameters that illuminate the degree to which a ‘tribe’ is monomaniacal or tunnel-visioned in their opposition to perceived threats. Those parameters amount to what's called "evidence."

And hence, opposition to an overwhelmingly-proved oligarchic-feudalist putsch is not “tribal.” Not when it is utterly blatant.

And finally...

I was among the earliest calling this a phase of the American Civil War… Phase Eight, to pin it down. The same anti-modernist, confederate culture romanticism that helped Cornwallis in 1778 and rampaged across the North from 1852 to 1860, and fought for slave-killing plantation lords in the 1860s, and raved to defend lynchings, smog, tobacco, Jim Crow, casinos, carbon lords and the Kremlin have now taken Washington and made “facts” the ultimate emblem of demonic possession. Now see a list of early “battles” in the last two years, as the heat builds and violence accelerates.

Economics wonks! A new book by Ray Dalio called Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises examines those debt cycles and what we can do about them, examining 48 modern debt crises, sorting them into different types and then analyzing each type.

Impeachment junkies, have a closer look at what is waiting on the wings. Donald Trump would be vastly more dangerous as a martyr, high on daily rallies, no longer constrained by office. Trump would embrace and be embraced by the Dominionist-Christians, determined to bring the world's End Times, ringing down the curtain on all freedom, diversity, curiosity, progress... and an end to the United States of America... and an end to all future generations of children. 

Put it that way to them! There is no purer definition of treason than the scenario that these folks openly and proudly avow that they pray-for, every single day.


73 comments:

Mike Will said...

NGOs will save the world. And the benefit to society pales in comparison to the benefit to the participant. I'd like to hear Bill Nye and others say as much. It's all too easy to become consumed with the Cause(s) and not the beating heart of Humanity.

“Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
- Marley's ghost

matthew said...

Ah, bullshit incantations about the younger generations being "snowflakes" and not being able to deal with the chaos of '68? I'm so disappointed in your ideas and phrasing here. And, *you* also have praised the young for their wisdom, tolerance, and and resilience. And you have consistently pointed out the bankrupt ideas and hatreds of the boomer generation. Sad to see you fall back on a lazy trope, diametrically opposed to the reality that *you* Dr. Brin, have so often espoused. What's wrong, Doc? Got up on the wrong side of the bed, or just being contrary to yourself?

This whole business of building up the "far left" as an opponent to burnish your centrist cred is also pretty damn tiresome. You can appeal to the middle without tearing down liberals, you know. You even argue against yourself on this matter. But to claim that the "far left" is "waging war against facts" is utter bullshit. Prove it. You cannot without resorting to the same argument by anecdote that you so often rightly decry. This is because your "Far left war on facts" does not, in fact, exist.














Duncan Ocel said...

Can the Cold War be attributed in any part to the Eastern-Western Christianity schism? I don't want to put in the research necessary to make a cogent argument for myself, but has anyone thought of or encountered this idea before? If so, is this phase of the American Civil War due in part to the same religious schism? Thoughts?

jim said...

Phase 8 of the civil war?
Sounds like we are (or someone is) stuck in cyclical history ;-)


On positive , zero and negative sums in society-

If you take Surplus Energy Economics seriously ( basic idea - prosperity is a function of surplus energy per capita.) We have moved from a positive sum situation in which surplus energy ( the energy left after you subtract the energy consumed in obtaining the energy) pre 2000's to a roughly zero sum situation in the early 2000's and have now entered into a negative sum situation in which surplus energy per capita (AKA prosperity ) is now falling.

Check it out if you dare

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/



Larry Hart said...

jim:

Phase 8 of the civil war?
Sounds like we are (or someone is) stuck in cyclical history ;-)


More like "It never ended."


...and have now entered into a negative sum situation in which surplus energy per capita (AKA prosperity ) is now falling.


I'd invest heavily in guillotine futures.

David Brin said...

Bah, matthew, you reeeeelly gotta chill and let an old fart have his grouchy “get-off-my-lawn” moments! Crum! I considered putting a smiley sarcasm emoji in that moment, then thought: “Geez, no one will be so dumb and sanctimonious not to get the sly wink.” But I was wrong.

jim said...Phase 8 of the civil war? Sounds like we are (or someone is) stuck in cyclical history ;-)

Feh! A persistent feudal-romantic personality trait is more like a dormant-outbreaking chronic disease than “cyclical history.” See my two Civil War postings and get educated:

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/02/past-keeping-faith-with-future-and-day.html
And
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/09/phases-of-american-civil-war.html

David Brin said...

And I have no right to talk about our side's fanatics? Sanctimonious bullying is a HUMAN trait that suckers in people at all ends of every spectrum, including the political. And that personality type infests every faction.

I desperately want the enlightenment - which includes general progressivism and science and ever-widening horizons of includion -- to win this desperate struggle.

matthew would have you beleive my only reason for dissing our side's far wing of dogmatic bullying assholes is in order to gain "centrist cred." Sure, that is part of it, for reasons of very practical politics. If we don't win... the Earth and all our children will die or return to feudal slavery or at least lose the galaxy!

See how these impractical jerks threaten everything. Not by pushing progress, but by unnecessary bullying, thus driving away potential allies and deliberately trying to narrow the wide coalition tent we need, in order to overcome gerrymandering.

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/19/677346260/warning-to-democrats-most-americans-against-u-s-getting-more-politically-correct

But it goes beyond that. I have lived and worked on university campuses. I know the bestiary. I was chairman of UCSD Democrats and Progressives, all through graduate school. I fight and continue to fight. And I had constant run ins with savagely nasty-vicious far-left asshole sanctimony junkies. My dad knew people killed by Stalin. And far-lefties nurse an abiding hatred of science fiction.

No, no. If you cannot see the assholes and bullies, the BEST possible interpretation/theory is that you are blind, sir.

Mike Will said...

"to win this desperate struggle ... or return to feudal slavery or at least lose the galaxy!"


That is some gooooood Asimovian. I was waiting for, "a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity"

Finally got a copy of "Foundation's Triumph". Now fighting with my (too) old Kindle.

David Brin said...

;-) enjoy

locumranch said...


Our resident progressive now claims that the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is the "greatest western invention of the second half of the 20th Century", even though the term 'non-governmental' is synonymous with unauthorized, extralegal, illegitimate & unconstitutional.

This delegitimisation of the 'Will of the People' amounts to a progressive feudal putsch & an attempt at nullification.

It is also a bare-faced admission that the progressive elite has abandoned the principles of democratic, constitutional & legal due process in favour of extralegal vigilante activism, so that it may "win this desperate struggle" by any means necessary.

This pro-NGO position allows the progressive (1) to claim that a democratically elected US president is 'not our president', (2) to nullify the 2016 Brexit referendum as 'not legally binding', (3) to further globalism by violating national & international immigration law, and (4) to force the disempowered masses to prioritise unpopular climate change policies for 'their own good'.

And, what's the difference between the NGO funded by Soros & the NGO funded by the Kochs?

None as there is no difference between one billionaire who exerts his will by purchasing extralegal vigilante NGO justice and any other billionaire who exerts his will by purchasing extralegal vigilante NGO justice.


Best

David Brin said...

skimmed. Still a no-vitamins loonie. Most NGOs pool citizen memberships then act within the mechanisms of due process and law, allowing those citizens to match the expertise and legal skills of pooled oligarchs or pooled stockholders. In other words, a lying, loony hypocrite... again... yawn.

Jon S. said...

Loco? Not "again", but "still". It's his default state. That's why I gave up reading his screeds years back.

locumranch said...


Morally-motivated NGOs often violate international and national law if & when those laws appear to conflict with their stated missions.

NGOs routinely violate international & national sovereignty in their attempts to prosthelytize. This is especially true of religious NGOs.

(1) Christian NGOs routinely smuggle bibles & other prohibited materials into non-Christian countries like Iran, China, North Korea & other protected locations;

(2) Queer-friendly NGOs push their LGBT agenda hard to nations that have specifically outlawed LGBT behaviours;

(3) Immigrant-friendly NGOs routinely violate immigration law & engage in behaviours that meet criteria for 'human trafficking' as they smuggle refugees into Greece, Italy & the USA; and

(4) Environmental NGOs like Greenpeace routinely interfere with legal hunting, fishing & mining operations which they deem 'immoral' (as in the case of whaling).

So just cut the crap about how 'law obedient' NGOs tend to be, unless you feel up to justifying the abhorrent behaviours of non-governmental organisations like ISIS, Hamas, the IRA, the Red Brigade & the KKK.


Best

yana said...


Not quite crotchety, but in one way, the generational identity shows. There never were any "normal times" with unicorny synergy or a happy balance of gentlemen agitators. People who say "they don't make 'em like they used to" never seem to have a quip about how only 20 years ago the roadsides were daily littered with broken-down cars. Folks who whist for "good old days" can magically forget polio and dysentery and doctors prescribing mercury. Lead and asbestos and rape all over the place.

Don't be one of those. There were no Golden Ages, ever. Greece 2500 years ago? There were smart old philosophers who got their stuff written down, but the only old people back then were the smart ones. Wiser people look for chariots when crossing the road, and 2500 years ago if you got a deep cut, it was 50/50 you're gonna die.

Watch vids of Tea Partyers in 2010. The kids who did NOT go to San Francisco with flowers in their hair. None of that hair is getting less gray. Look what they did 6 years later. See who is graying now, who will replace the Tea Party and live longer while doing it? Those kids had a black friend in 5th grade, took a year of Spanish at Central High, couldn't care less when 1:10 of their heroes come out gay.

Today's political tiffs are only a burp, no matter how urgent and un-normal they seem. Even now, when more and more of the unwise are living longer, it's because the only Golden Age is, always, in the future.

Tomorrow is the good old day, so encourage readers to give $9 a month to Doctors Without Borders (.org) That's a hundred a year plus a few clams for overhead. They have the strongest irony in their mission, which is the only way to defeat absurdity.

porohobot said...

\\and the one that Vladimir Putin openly hates more than anything...

Not hate. He just do not understand it. How there could be FREE initiative of a people.

And have clever use of it by making puppet-NGOs in RF
and trying to impose as it inside West countries too.
All that Russian-(name your country) Collaboration offices... etc.


\\But in the general sense, aren't both sides correct to worry? Don't cheaters drift into every niche of dogma, hoping to exploit it for power? Shouldn't we be wary in all directions?

Be advised. You are cought virus PutIn, if you ask those questions...
because ITS EXACTLY what his propaganda trying to ensure people -- with dr.House words -- "everybody lies" and "never ever we'll be able to know (all) truth".
Its exactly HIS talking point when he mention:
Crimea,
MH17,
Novichok,
etc.


\\Alas, the main purpose and aim of our enemies has been to get Americans targeted ONLY at their bĂȘtes noir, and never to turn their heads!

Yeah. You need to be confused, detached, singular and fearing to trust any other people.
It exactly like russian feel and think.
And HE need all people of the world and US people in the firsthand -- feel and behave themself.
Divide and Conquer (c)

porohobot said...

\\appeal to the middle without tearing down liberals

\\we are stuck in cyclical history

\\wide coalition tent we need

\\delegitimisation of the 'Will of the People'

\\difference between the NGO funded by Soros

Uti Put In... is pleased. %)


\\NGOs routinely violate international & national sovereignty in their attempts to prosthelytize.

Oh... big pat on the back for this one... From Russia. With Love. %)))

\\unless you feel up to justifying the abhorrent behaviours of non-governmental organisations like ISIS, Hamas, the IRA, the Red Brigade & the KKK.

The Last one... but NOT the least one, isn't it? %)))

"Do you know... that on other side of Earth... they hanging niggers" (c) old USSR saying. %)))

A.F. Rey said...

Trump's latest tweet on the Wall has got me mad.

"The Democrats, who know Steel Slats (Wall) are necessary for Border Security, are putting politics over Country. What they are just beginning to realize is that I will not sign any of their legislation, including infrastructure, unless it has perfect Border Security. U.S.A. WINS!"

I've had it, having Trump blame Democrats for border security. I say we give it to him.

The Democrats should create an Emergency Border Security Bill that authorizes the President to spend up to an additional $10 trillion over the next 10 years on border security, to use as he sees fit. He can build the wall if he wants.

The only caveat is that, being an emergency measure, all monies spent must be paid by the end of the next fiscal year by additional taxes, with an extra line on the tax forms that spells out exactly how much money is going to the emergency funds. The Republicans have already blown up the deficit with the last tax bill. Not this time. And no cutting other vital programs for it. If a program can be cut, Congress can cut it and decrease the regular, overall taxes. But every citizen gets to see just how much they are personally paying for the wall.

If Mexico pays for it, Trump will have to have the funds allocated directly to the program. But any deficits at the end of the year must be paid by the end of the next year.

Let's see just how much the American people really want "perfect" border security!

David Brin said...

Putin thinks he understands NGOs. He views them as agents of hostile powers who give those hostile powers a figleaf of deniability for hostile action. Hence Clinton and Obama could "steal the whole Ukraine" because NGOs like the Soros Foundation helped democracy movements there to topple their Moscow puppet. From Putin's perspective, that was an open act of war! From ours, it was the Ukrainian people getting a smidgeon of help from other world citizens to get free. Ours is a saner and vastly better view... but we need to understand Putin's view.

"Okay, two can play this deniability game!"

Se he sends soldiers without patches into Crimea and Georgia and threatens the same to Estonia and then... ah... use deniability attacks to task America!

Pretty bold, I do admit.

matthew said...

David, your examples of the far left "war on truth" are anecdotes. Point to a policy change from our government, or other significant institution, to make your point, not the presence of post-moderninsts in English departments. We understand that some campuses have lefty-flake professors. Plenty of campuses also have fascists or Dominionists in their departments. These facts do not constitute a "war on truth" by both sides of the political spectrum.

Show me where lefty-flakes are "warring on truth." And while hating SciFi shows a remarkable lack of curiosity about possible futures, it is *not* a War on Truth. SciFi authors do not have a lock on "truth" as much as I like them.

If I were trying to make your point, I would point at how the anti-vax movement has united the far left and the religious right, and some of the law-making that has sprung from that movement. It is still weak sauce. Berkeley-area Oakland still requires school kids to get vaccinated. I thought about counter-examples before my OP.

porohobot said...

\\From Putin's perspective, that was an open act of war!

More like usual modus operandi of a Great Nations.
"You have CIA, we have FSB/KGB. Bear with it."
And what must make you think hard about it -- that your establishment ARE strangely content about it.
Maybe because they knew their sins too damn well.


\\Ours is a saner and vastly better view...

Only... not vastly. Marshal Plan for Ukraine could be "vastly better".
You still have on your negative side "Chicken speech" and Budapest memorandum.
As well as Georgia war 8/8/8 and current pushover attitude in Siria, N.Korea, etc.


\\but we need to understand Putin's view.

Understanding can turn into admiring.
As in Putinferstaina-vers. Previous FRG.


\\"Okay, two can play this deniability game!"

Isn't CIA played it all around and all the time?
I'm just asking.
Because my knowlage about it is based mostly on Hollywood movies. Where its successfull plot in every second blockbuster (with Cruise or without)...
And possibly some shady news.(like spying for germans)

So... what's your plan to outspy The Crook?


\\Se he sends soldiers without patches into Crimea and Georgia...

Sorry. But you remember it all wrong.

Into Georgia they came under their unfolded flags and parade uniforms...
and even named it akin to US Pentagon operation naming schema -- operaton "Enforcement to Peace"(sic!).
(to say truth -- your marines was good and saved Tbilisi... your politics -- not... and still are not...)

See... its exactly THAT mind tricks I'm talking about...

matthew said...

Ok, enough criticism on the host for a day. I recognize that we have the same goals (mostly) and think I've gotten my point across. Time to post something valuable.

This is a thoughtful discussion regarding social media vulnerability to bad actors like Russia or Israel. Worth your time to read.

https://slate.com/technology/2018/12/facebook-social-media-russia-election-meddling.html

porohobot said...

\\to bad actors like Russia or Israel.

Heh?

locumranch said...


"Ours is a saner and vastly better view"[DB].

What an astounding display of sheer arrogance, this WEIRD assertion that 7% of the world's human population is far "saner and vastly better" than the normative 93% majority.

Was it David or Dick Cheney who once said that the West would, "in fact, be greeted as liberators" rather than invaders ?

And who gave the West the moral license to play World Police?

I think I already saw this Science Fiction film:

Released in 1969, it was a satire called 'The Monitors', starring Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver & Larry Storch, and it told the progressive tale of a humanity oppressed by prissy self-righteous alien weirdos.

In its entirety, 'The Monitors' is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz4IoF2U_DI


Best
___

The above message was brought to you by SCRAG, aka 'Secret Counter Retaliatory Group, a non-profit NGO dedicated to sabotaging the progressive agenda for the duration of this conflict.

porohobot said...

\\"Ours is a saner and vastly better view"[DB].

\\What an astounding display of sheer arrogance, this WEIRD assertion that 7% of the world's human population is far "saner and vastly better" than the normative 93% majority.

Yet one big pat on the back for this one... from Putin.

I admit. There is some self-blinded exaggergation.
But... as White Queen would said: "I heard THAT exaggergations. In compare to which this is just a humble statement of truth"


\\And who gave the West the moral license to play World Police?

And it plays its role?

To what degree? In your imagination. 10%? 20%? 1100%?

raito said...

All:

(from last time) Thanks for all the suggestions for books for my children. I'll look into them. I also need to go over my own inventory and see what's there for them.

Darrell E:
Along with the Stainless Steel Rat stuff are Laumer's Retief stories. Apparently, he wrote the chronologically last story first, then wondered how the heck the guy got that way.

porohobot:

One of the results of stress is that one's horizions (spatial, temporal, personal, social) shrink considerably. I recall a conversation with a previous boss where he said that I was looking 3 to 5 years ahead on the projects I worked on. I thought that finally someone got it -- these projects had decades-ong lifespans. Then he burst my bubble by saying he wasn't able to look more than 6 weeks ahead. I though that doomed us, and it did..

Much of the current generation is under considerable stress, and it's hard to look far ahead when the near needs your full attention. I don't see them fear globalization at all. It's the last generation that (mostly) fears it. I find yana's description of the current generation quite apt.

And incidentally, somehow some of us gray hairs somehow learned it right. My elementary school was entirely white. Until 4th grade, when a black family with a son my age moved in. I vaguely recall some adult talk about the ramifications and so on. All us guys wanted to know was whether he liked to play baseball, or football, or the other games we'd play on the playground. In short, the same things we wanted to know about anyone new at school. (And since you're wondering, he did. He fit in quite well.)

That stress is part of what the overlords want. If people have to scrabble every day, they don't have time to contest how the future is being decided for them.

porohobot said...

>> raito said...

\\Much of the current generation is under considerable stress, and it's hard to look far ahead...

All is much worse then you say.
But I dare not to say it here aloud.


\\Until 4th grade, when a black family with a son my age moved in.

That part about color... is part of a blessing you americans have.
Old World need to cope with situations when children are identical by face and color... but still different...


\\That stress is part of what the overlords want.

As Lem said.
Governmanets... its organizations which need to cope with troubles...
they create itself... in previous times.

matthew said...

porohobot - Israel has interfered with our elections 1000% more than Russia ever has. The simple fact that *every* politician in the US tiptoes around even the mildest rebukes of Israel, the harsh penalties being levied against anyone suggesting that divestment is a legit path. Netanyahu giving the most openly partisan speech by a foreign leader in US history while speaking to the Congress, the long history of Israeli spying on us... Israel is a bad actor.

Oh, an let's not forget that Israel is *heavily* implicated in the Mueller probe along with Russia, Turkey, the UAE, the Saudis, and other rightwing autocrats.

Anyone that thinks Israel is *not* a bad actor in American elections is blind.

jim said...

Larry Hart
I encourage you to spend some time on Surplus Energy Economics. There really is something important there.

If you look at the industrialized world Prosperity (surplus energy per capita) it has been declining in every nation expect Germany sense 2007. And if you look at places with greater loss of prosperity you see more political unrest. And now declining prosperity is a trend on the global level.

If the Surplus Energy Economics view is correct the coming recession will be substantially worse than the Great Recession of 2008 because now the entire global system will be declining in Prosperity (falling per capita surplus energy) and the truly massive debt that the system has taken on sense 2008 can not be repaid.

jim said...

Mathew
It seems that the only Politian on the left that is calling out Israel is Bernie Sanders. I guess only someone who is Jewish can call out Israel and not be called an anti-Semite on TV day in and day out.

( but I would not put it past someone like Alan Dershowitz to call Bernie a self-hating Jew who wants to destroy Israel.)

porohobot said...

>> matthew said...

\\porohobot - Israel has interfered with our elections 1000% more than Russia ever has.
...
the long history of Israeli spying on us...
\\Anyone that thinks Israel is *not* a bad actor in American elections is blind.


I am sure... you do know a (good) Reason behind it. Yourself.

matthew said...

More asymmetrical warfare - drone shutdown of UK airport. Someone is testing their capabilities and the response.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/19/gatwick-flights-halted-after-drone-sighting

porohobot said...

>> jim said...
\\I encourage you to spend some time on Surplus Energy Economics. There really is something important there.
\\global system will be declining in Prosperity

Aha... except it all was predicted around 60x-70x... Peak Oil and all that staff... %)

matthew said...

Not sure what you are getting at here porohobot. Please rephrase your response to aid my comprehension.

jim said...

porohobot

I would encourage you to actually pick up a copy of the Limits to Growth and read it. We have actually followed the base line projections fairly well. The study's base line expectation was things turn bad sometime around the second quarter of the 21st century. And yeh, that is what is happening.

You may not realize this but the companies that do fracking for oil have lost over 250 billion dollars over the last 10 years. Oil wells use to make people filthy rich (see Rockefeller) now it is a money loser.

David Brin said...

By his fruits you will know him. The Putin-led world mafia is evil and wrong on a dozen levels, like tactics and inability to engage in self-accountability. But the biggest is that a return to feudal-oligarchy is guaranteed to kill us all. The model had 6000 years of experiments on 5 continents and every single one failed amid pain and flames and catastrophic mal-governance. Take any decade on any of those continents... even historically Great Kings... and hand them modern technologies, and everyone is toast.

Hence this is not a matter of my preference for freedom, accountability, social mobility, merit, investment in all talent and so on. Those are all great. But it is the sum that made this experiment vastly more creative and just and fun and that may give us the galaxy. This is not a reflex preference. It is about choosing between returning to the shitstorm of 60 centuries or boarding a luxury starship.

We truly should set aside a realm for shitstorm lovers. But in fact, these exist.

Move to Libya. Move to the Congo. Move to Guatemala. Seriously, your social security check (irony!) will go a long way there! You can live like a lord.

matthew said...

Trump informed Netanyahu about his "plan" to pull out of Syria before it was announced. But not his own Pentagon or State Dept. Gotta report out to his boss(es) before year end.


https://www.axios.com/trump-briefed-netanyahu-on-syria-pullout-iran-a8b6f9ae-69b9-45b2-b4f9-169bea303bbc.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twsocialshare&utm_campaign=organic

David Brin said...

Netanyahu is not a mafiosi or member of the putin cabal. But he has many overlapping interests in an Iran-US war. His personal-legal problems could do with a distraction.

David Brin said...

BTW matthew, you are all wrong. Just because a cult has been powerless to institute policy through law, I should not notice the wing who are stalinist bullying assholes? Relentlessly they harm us by girding wavering Republicans into muttering "I know my side is insane... but these guys are worse.

I'm not demanding they stop being themselves. What I do insist is that the vast majority of progressive folks loudly tell Hannity he's a liar when he says "All liberals are like this left-freak bully flake I just showed you!"

No, we're not.

Oh by the way, the assholes who helped Nader to give us GW Bush and Jill Stein to give us Trump and who assassinated Al Franken, the one Democrat with quick enough wit to slay every and any debate opponent... the maniacs who crowed "VICTORY!" after trashing the campus offices of conservative academics like Paul Wolfowitz, driving them into the arms of the Heritage Foundation and AEI where they lost all contact with reality and gave us neoconservatism... those bonafide and purely distilled assholes may not be directly enacting laws, but they are partners with the enemies of civilization.

I'm from the sixties. I've known would-be stalins all my life. The kind who would "hijack the starship!" without a thought to the men and women who built it. Oh, we have our own monsters. And it is not my fault that you are a tunnel-visioned dogmatist. Don not think for an instant that if the right-wing madness collapses, we will ease a path into power for your kind.

We'll have our eyes on fanatics of all kinds. Bet on it.

matthew said...

You are wrong about Netanyahu. He is *exactly* a member of the group that made the "grand bargain" to put Trump in power. See:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/01/michael-flynn-israel-lobbying-russia-united-nations

By definition, that makes him a member of the "Putin cabal."

Russia
Israel
Saudi Arabia
UAE
Turkey

All bad actors in US politics. All involved with unlawful schemes to put Trump in power. All doing the bidding of oligarchs. All under investigation via Mueller.


"Ease a path into power for your kind?"
Pretty funny, since I tend to define myself as "Dr. Brin's kind." This is pretty much the only place where I discuss politics, after all. Been doing it here, what, a couple of decades now?
Yes, I'm more progressive than you on equality issues but that is a matter of age and a more-diverse background, I suspect. I'm not uneasy with LGBTQ folk, for instance, whereas you often comment on how you are uneasy with them. Age and acclimatization.

But if I were to talk about "ease a path into power for [my] kind" I'd be thinking of folks that resemble the heavy majority of the folks here. When I'm asked where some of my more radical ideas come from I tend to point people in this direction.

I criticize your ideas when I think they are not perfect or lacking or just plain bullheaded wrong. Someone, I forget who, made up a slogan all about that. It's printed on my cubicle wall.

Honest criticism is a gift. Thank you for your gift to me.


Mike Will said...

matthew: A possible addition for your cubicle wall:

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”
― Johannes Kepler

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Netanyahu is not a mafiosi or member of the putin cabal. But he has many overlapping interests in an Iran-US war.


Iran's role in all this confuses the heck out of me. Netenyahu hates Iran with a passion. So do all of the war hawks among Trump's staff. John Bolton can't be in favor of handing Syria to Iran. Neither can Lindsay Graham. So how is Netenyahu on board?

Larry Hart said...

matthew to Dr Brin:

I criticize your ideas when I think they are not perfect or lacking or just plain bullheaded wrong. Someone, I forget who, made up a slogan all about that. It's printed on my cubicle wall.


I even came up with a corollary. Actually, that's not the correct word--more of a "homage", I suppose:

Boredom Is The Only Known Antidote To Procrastination.

David Brin said...

Good lord. You who are American citizens must read the letter of resignation submitted by Defense Secretary James Mattis. Both the timing and the policy specifics are fierce repudiations, though couched in polite and professional language. Only note what's missing -- even a single word of appreciation or respect to Donald Trump himself. Circumspect and professional... and devastating. And come March 1st - with Mattis gone and with the confederate-mafiosi in panic -- we will all be in even greater danger.

Any of you at the left wing of the liberal coalition who give in even slightly to antipathy toward the crewcut men and women of the military, I beg you to squelch the reflex. Reconsider, and not only because some of the best democratic candidates in November were veterans. We need these skilled and loyal people desperately during this full-bore assault upon our institutions and nation and civilization, as during any war. Their Marshallian dedication to civilian rule is unique in the history of the world, and the mafia-oligarchy knows this. That is why our enemies have declared those dedicated officers to be "deep-state" demons.

Don't just stand there, befuddled. Confront your mad uncles or wavering Republican friends with this. Tell them the first step to recovery is admitting their faction has been suborned and gone mad. The midterms were our Gettysburg. But there is a long road to retake Washington. And then to chase traitor hands off the wheel of our future.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics/james-mattis-resignation-letter-doc/index.html

David Brin said...

matthew I apologize for the "your kind" snark. It was entirely uncalled-for. Tunnel vision is not the same thing as complicity and anyway, it was rude and undeserved.

porohobot said...

>> jim said...
\\porohobot
\\I would encourage you to actually pick up a copy of the Limits to Growth and read it.

For what purpose? To make sure yet one time that Mankind as a whole are plain idiots?
Being wanting different outcame of scientific prediction.
Then about non-indefinite amount of natural resources.
Now about climate change and biodiversity shrinking.
???


>>David Brin said...
\\The Putin-led world mafia is evil and wrong on a dozen levels

He thinks he is smart. And ready to dogfight because of resources and staff.
That's all.
Just the man of his time. And place.
Not "evil till the end of the world" for sure.

\\feudal-oligarchy is guaranteed to kill us all.

That is... real exaggeration.

\\boarding a luxury starship.

There need to be someone who'd built such ship.

And no... its not Elon Musk. He is not enough...


>>matthew said...
\\All bad actors in US politics. All involved with unlawful schemes to put Trump in power.

That's real life for you, pal. That's c'est la vie.
Its a pendulum. Oscillatory process.
One cannot stop it in one of high points he do like more.

porohobot said...

\\letter of resignation submitted by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

That's sad.
But its never a bad time to understand value of something one been taking for granted all the time.

the hanged man said...

Do you recall when Russian officials met with Trump at the White House in May 2017 and no Americans were present?

Do you recall when Trump, on his first overseas visit, met with the Saudis and participated in a ceremony involving a glowing orb?

Do you recall Trump dining with several military leaders in October 2017 and hinting at the calm before the storm?

Our world is in free fall while we debate, and Putin smiles.

Check.

Ilithi Dragon said...

Regarding the assholes on the left:

A couple anecdotes:

About a decade ago, before I enlisted, I was living in an apartment in a suburb of York, PA. I had a roommate at the time (second of three I had while living there, and worst of the lot) who was a self-avowed "feminazi." Took a certain amount of pride in the term, in the way people often take pride in an insult to turn it around against those insulting them (nothing wrong with that, but it shows a bit how committed she was to that as her identity). She was vehemently hostile to men, much of the time, particularly straight men (which had a certain amount of irony, given my gender and sexual preference (for the record, our relationship was strictly platonic)), and even casual conversations frequently (spoken: almost every single conversation) were quickly routed onto political subjects or turned into political rants (there were multiple times when she would turn a passing conversation into a rant about a particular guy in one of her classes, turned rant about all straight men, and then all men - this was particularly amusing/disturbing when it would happen while she was slicing veggies and had a knife in her hand).

One particular conversation is particularly memorable. This was back when abortion was THE hot-ticket discussion, during Obama's campaign, and she was particularly sensitive about it. I had just come home from work, and sat down in the living room for a friendly "how was your day" conversation, which of course turned political somewhere between 10 and 15 seconds in. The subject of the day was abortion, and while I largely agreed with her pro-abortion position, I have a tendency to play devil's advocate and always strive to see things from all sides (something my mother pushed very hard when I was young). As such, I made the mistake of daring to suggest that, from their starting premises and stated perspectives, the pro-lifers had some valid points. Talk about triggered (and in proper hipster fashion, before "triggered" was a properly recognized concept). She went on a ten-minute long rant about how dare I, and how wrong the pro-lifers were, and culminated in her telling me that if I really felt that way, then she would withdraw the financial support she was providing me by living there and paying rent.

That's the point at which the conversation/rant ended, because I couldn't help but laugh out loud at that point, because she was two months behind on rent, and the only reason I hadn't asked her to move out yet was because I was working 7 days a week and could afford the place easily with the overtime, and I knew her job frequently screwed around with paying her on time.

The holier-than-though, I-can-do-no-wrong-but-my-opponents-are-evil-or-literally-Hitler vitriol and mindset that she had was by no means unique to her, and while I haven't suffered such proximity to it since, I have encountered it many times. Back then, she was an extreme fringe, but the tone and mindset she had have since become much more prominent on the Left (in no small part because of the stonewalling and hostility of the Right, which has resulted in increasing frustration and loss-of-temper on the Left, which then just feeds the paranoia on the Right...)

Ilithi Dragon said...


One of the friends I regularly play video games with (we're actually idly chatting in TeamSpeak as I write this) is a very staunch and trollish conservative, who is as staunchly conservative and hostile towards the left as he is precisely because of his college experiences, where he found himself demonized for being a cis, white male.

Then you have people who post things like this lovely little gem:
https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/48407373_2290490011168901_6418996741776867328_n.jpg?_nc_cat=1&_nc_ht=scontent-lga3-1.xx&oh=77e5281852847e4f6775176f4556d6a9&oe=5C8FFA27

The crazies on the Left that Dr. Brin talks about are not some abstract, obscure, barely-noticed fringe. They are very real, and very loud. The attention that they get is disproportionate to their numbers, but the more-sane majority on the left do not do enough, if they do anything at all, to distinguish themselves from their insane-fringe cousins, and allow those crazy fringes to control their tone and messaging (which is especially problematic when you consider, as Dr. Brin has previously pointed out, our intel agencies are reporting that at least 20% of the crazy-fringe internet postings are from Russian troll farms).

The left needs to start getting very loud, proactive, and firm in distancing themselves from their crazy fringes. One, because they need the moderate votes, and two, because embracing the fringe promotes the divisive, internal conflicts that undermine our democracy and favor our enemies.

That, and if they follow their fringe and somehow manage to gain political clout and will to act in accordance with their fringe, terrible things could happen.

porohobot said...

\\The crazies on the Left

That exactly what Putin use in his propaganda.
"They want to give your children to pedophiles and make them gay" (tm)
and all such staff around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ3M71zTufk

Kal Kallevig said...

Surplus Energy Economics --- Past, present and future, LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD

The good news is that we’re not going into this new era wholly lacking in knowledge. The trick is to understand what that knowledge really is. Keynes teaches us how to manage demand – or can teach us this, so long as we don’t turn him into a cheerleader for ever bigger public spending. Likewise – if we can refrain from caricaturing him as a rabid advocate of unregulated and unscrupulous greed – Adam Smith tells us that competition, freely, fairly and transparently conducted, is the great engine of innovation. More humbly, or perhaps less theoretically, but surely more pertinently, experience tells us that the “mixed economy” of optimised private and public provision works far better than any extreme.

This quote might actually have been written by Dr Brin.

Check out the site - lots to think about there.

matthew said...

Thank you for the words, doc. I apologize for my tone earlier. "Tunnel vision" is something for me to mull over. Again, thanks.

Mattis is doing his nation a great service right now. I suspect he'll do his nation a great bit more service before 2/28. I fear he will yet have a vital role to play. Mattis has done a great job in sometimes slow- walking orders.
His letter is one for the ages. Precise and very well done.
If we get through this (and I think we will), it will be taught in the military academies as how to disagree with a commander.

porohobot said...

Generals always fight the last war. (c)

Greg Byshenk said...

Ilithi Dragon wrote:
the more-sane majority on the left do not do enough, if they do anything at all, to distinguish themselves from their insane-fringe cousins, and allow those crazy fringes to control their tone and messaging (which is especially problematic when you consider, as Dr. Brin has previously pointed out, our intel agencies are reporting that at least 20% of the crazy-fringe internet postings are from Russian troll farms)

I guess the question I have is: "what, exactly should the rest of the left actually do to distance themselves from the crazies - apart from what they already do, which is to advocate sane left policies and reject crazy ones?"

Particularly in the light of the fact that the crazies will be continually amplified and promoted by both troll farms and right-wing "news" sources (and the anti-leftists who are that way because someone was mean to them when they were a sophomore, which is something that no one can do anythign about), what can people actually do?

porohobot said...

Plead to Putin for saving them. He likes that.
Under his reign quite a lot intellectuals/inteligentia subverted.
And they feel thmself quite happy.
Without that nasty thing called moral and self-conscious... %)))

Mike Will said...

"what can people actually do?"

Read this very topic in this very blog. Embrace Asimov's ideals. If not us, then who?

porohobot said...

Yes. That one. I totally forgot about it.

Its caled "internal immigration" among sane non-subverted russians.

locumranch said...


In regard to crazies of all types, domestic & abroad:

Those who abuse our friendship forfeit our protections.


Best

jim said...

I am not sure that the "Proxy Power" works well.

I am most familiar with the environmental movement.

When it was run by amateurs they got the Clean Air act, Clean Water Act, TOSCA, The Endangered Species Act, Created the EPA, and banned leaded gasoline. Then the movement was given to ( or was it taken over by ) "The Professionals" the massive victories ended and we settled into a kind of trench warfare with at best some incremental improvements.

With proxy power environmentalism a guy can think that he is a good environmentalist if he writes a big check to the Nature Conservatory just before he jumps in his brand new Suburban SUV, drives to the Air Port and flies to New York just so he can qualify for more perks from Sky Miles.

David Brin said...

jim, were are talking different demographies. You think joining Greenpeace and WWF and the Sierra Club might make a few hundred active-caring persons complacent about participating in marches. I think getting several hundred THOUSAND new members into those NGOs would both empower more NGO action and get those hundreds of thousands thinking of themselves as "activists."
Build the base of the pyramid.

Yes, Ilithi moderates need to make clear that : "Hannity pointing at some flake and shouting "All Democrats are like that!" is a damned lie."

On the other hand, we don't need to hurt our coalition by offending allies.

"Yes, all political factions will attract a wing of sanctimony junkies and screaming bullies. The difference is that - despite Hannity's lies - our broad coalition only INCLUDES a small noxious fringe and the rest of us want to negotiate progress with respect for facts. Today's mad confederate right is ENTIRELY dominated by its crazies and by worldwide oligbarch-mafias. That's one helluva difference."

jim said...

Well environmentalism may be a difficult problem for proxy power sense it goes to the need for basic changes in how people live their daily lives.

I do not think that the environmental movement needs more professionals talking the talk, we need an ever growing portion of the amateurs environmentalists in the population to start trying to walk the walk. You know actually reduce their carbon footprints and increase their positive interactions with the rest of the living world. Now of course individual actions are insufficient to solve the problem but they can be a sound foundation for further collective action.

locumranch said...


Those who abuse our friendship forfeit our protections.

David believes that we should support NGOs because NGOs are our friends. So, exactly how have those friendly NGOs proved their friendship to you & I ?

How has PETA, Planned Parenthood, NOW, Amnesty International, the OSF & the Danish Refugee Council improved my life? They haven't, even though optimists argue otherwise.

Why do we intervene in Iraq, Afghanistan & Syria when none of the combatants are our friends? Assad is a murderous bastard, the Sunnis support ISIS, the Shiites support Al-Qaeda & the Kurds are the enemies of our despicable Turkish allies.

The same is true for our false & fair-weather friends in NATO & the EU.

Let those smooth smiling parasites who abuse our friendship protect themselves.


Best

David Brin said...

I confess an ulterior motive for praising this cogent article by Tim Morgan. It begins with daunting news -- it's not only in the developed world that prosperity growth has stalled. The fast-rising upper half of the developing world has been the engine of the world economy for 20+ years, but that boiler is apparently cooling. And when you lack growth, then the fast-rising rate of debt - fueling rentier asset bubbles - becomes more than just a problem. It becomes a poison.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/142-past-present-and-future/

(To be clear, the Republican Party raved that Supply Side ("voodoo") tax gifts to the rich would both stimulate growth and reduce public debt. How many times must you prove 100% diametrically wrong before you lose credibility? Apparently, it can go on and on, if you are running not a political party, but a cult.)

Morgan is not without hope. There are ways to fix this, and they are rooted in what's worked ever-better for 200 years... entrepreneurial enterprise that is kept truly competitive by thoughtful-adaptive regulation that limits inevitable oligarchic cheating, of the sort that Adam Smith denounced and that our parents in the Greatest Generation wisely outlawed. And so we get to my favorite paragraph:

"The good news is that we’re not going into this new era wholly lacking in knowledge. The trick is to understand what that knowledge really is. Keynes teaches us how to manage demand – or can teach us this, so long as we don’t turn him into a cheerleader for ever bigger public spending. Likewise – if we can refrain from caricaturing him as a rabid advocate of unregulated and unscrupulous greed – Adam Smith tells us that competition, freely, fairly and transparently conducted, is the great engine of innovation. More humbly, or perhaps less theoretically, but surely more pertinently, experience tells us that the “mixed economy” of optimised private and public provision works far better than any extreme."

Several members of my blog community have linked to this, asking if I wrote it originally, so consistent is it with my own drums -- the study of Adam Smith and fiscally responsible Keynsianism, along with the spectacular success story of public investment in research, education, health and infrastructure, which can only be denied by the hysterically delusional.

No I didn't ghost write that -- (I lived in Britain for a couple of years, but would never spell "optimised" that way, shudder.) But I do recommend having a look. Tim Morgan continues:

"Going forward, we should anticipate the collapse of the “everything bubble” in asset prices, and should hope that we don’t, this time, go so far into economic denial as to think we can cure this with a purely financial “fix”. I’m fond of saying that “trying to fix an energy-based economy with financial fixes is like trying to cure an ailing pot-plant with a spanner”. We should understand popular concerns, which seem to point unequivocally towards a mixed economy, extensive redistribution and an economic nationalism that needs to be channelled, not simply vilified."

None of this will happen unless the last remaining Knowledge Castes who cling to the mad right finally acknowledge what the scientists, teachers, journalists, civil servants, skilled workers, and almost every fact-using profession - including the maligned "deep state" protectors - all know. That the worldwide mafia-oligarchy is not friend of anything we value. They are the Olde Feudal Enemy of every type of freedom and progress. And it will take all of us to achieve what the Greatest Generation did, a whole human lifetime ago Save civilization.

yana said...


jim thought:

"we need an ever growing portion of the amateurs environmentalists in the population to start trying to walk the walk. You know actually reduce their carbon footprints and increase their positive interactions with the rest of the living world. Now of course individual actions are insufficient to solve the problem..."

Once compressed by the garbage truck, my monthly landfill contrib is less than a cubic foot, everything else gets recyc'ed or composted. But that don't mean shnit, because nobody knows that except my house (and now you.)

No, what matters is what they do at the jobsite. Now, they save plastic/glass/aluminium for me. And i get it into a recyc bin. All it takes is a sense of humor and a consistent message. Don't show it much here, but in f2f life constantly crack jokes. So when i say "tsk tsk, you filthy planet killer" and pull someone's plastic clamshell out of the wastepaper, rinse it and wash my hands, they take it as a joke because i'm smiling and joking all the way.

And it works. Now most coworkys save recycs for me, and because of the demeanor, they don't do it because "Yana will get mad if I don't," but instead they do it because "this will make Yana happy."

The ulterior motive is that they also feel good about themselves, a double-whammy of self-esteem. They do "the right thing" and make someone else's day brighter, all in one. Recycling is truly the gateway drug of environmentalism.

Of course if someone wants to talk deeper, i'm all about that. We might veer into how wind/solar is not just a good enviro thing but actually critical to national security, because decentralizing power generation makes it pointless to attack the grid.

porohobot said...

\\Today's mad confederate right is ENTIRELY dominated by its crazies and by worldwide oligbarch-mafias. That's one helluva difference.

One cannot sway hypocrite with such rhetoric.
Quite contrary -- he will be glad to return it into your face.


\\Apparently, it can go on and on, if you are running not a political party, but a cult.

Its exactly what party are needed for -- to indulge yourself into power, to seek political rent, to share and ditribute benefits among partisans.

That's why we need at least TWO parties to trade places.


\\entrepreneurial enterprise that is kept truly competitive by thoughtful-adaptive regulation that limits inevitable oligarchic cheating

Beware. You a petrocraty now too.
And your "unknown fathers"(allusion from Strugatsky's Inhabited Island) may like it much.


\\ locumranch said...
\\Those who abuse our friendship forfeit our protections.

Yes-yes. Stay without allies.

Putin... like it. It will make it more easy for him to collect "allies" to his EuroASES... %)))

Or EVEN BETTER -- make RFia your ally... they'd so like it. %P

Larry Hart said...

yana:

And it works. Now most coworkys save recycs for me, and because of the demeanor, they don't do it because "Yana will get mad if I don't," but instead they do it because "this will make Yana happy."

The ulterior motive is that they also feel good about themselves, a double-whammy of self-esteem. They do "the right thing" and make someone else's day brighter, all in one. Recycling is truly the gateway drug of environmentalism.


You touch on an important point. We've noted here how so many right-wingers are eager to do things that aren't profitable to themselves--even things that cause harm to themselves--as long as they get the satisfaction of upsetting liberals. The ability to turn that motivation around would seem to have a force-multiplier effect, encouraging the doing of good over evil and dissipating much harmful tension caused by resentment .

If it were up to me, I'd award you "post of the day" for that one.

locumranch said...


The ulterior motive is that they also feel good about themselves, a double-whammy of self-esteem. They do "the right thing" and make someone else's day brighter, all in one. Recycling is truly the gateway drug of environmentalism[Yana].

A smiley face sticker, a gold star & the 'good boy' feeling that society allows you when you've done as you've been told, these are all examples of indoctrination, operant conditioning & basic mind control techniques that have proven quite effective on lower animals.

Congrats, Yana. You've been successfully trained which makes you about as free, conscientious & moral as Pavlov's dog.

If you also aspire to be a 'Good Doggy' & a unfree cog in the technocratic machine like Yana, then read all about what you future holds in 'Beyond Freedom & Dignity' by BF Skinner (available for free below):

https://archive.org/stream/Beyond_Freedom_and_Dignity/Beyond%20Freedom%20%26%20Dignity%20-%20Skinner_djvu.txt

I know that David offers a repetitive chant that many of you will find comforting & reassuring which goes something like "I'm SO HAPPY to mind my place & obey my betters in this best of all possible worlds in which we live".

Do I get a doggy treat too, David?? Watch me separate paper & plastic. I'll be good. I Promise. Arf arf.


Best

Larry Hart said...

With the Trump Grinch stealing Christmas and all by way of destroying our economy, our alliances, and our national security, not to mention decorum and civility, I'm feeling less charitable than usual about our resident angry white man.

Instead of posting different things, loc, you might as well just repeatL

"Look at me. I'm an asshole. And according to your urban liberal sensibilities, I have every right to be an asshole. I'm not going to change, and you can't make me, so fuck you."


I mean, that would make the point without the bother of saying it in different ways.

locumranch said...


Instead of posting different things, loc, you might as well just repeat: "Look at me. I'm an asshole. And according to your urban liberal sensibilities, I have every right to be an asshole. I'm not going to change, and you can't make me, so fuck you."[LH].

You almost 'get it', LH, but not quite.

When Trump or I (or any human, for that matter) speak or behave in a manner that you portray as 'stealing Christmas', destroying 'our economy, our alliances, and our national security', harming our 'decorum and civility', or acting out in a manner of which your PC masters & you disapprove, it is an act of FREEDOM & SELF-OWNERSHIP.

It is a rather straight-forward way of saying that you & your masters DO NOT OWN US, just as your response (above) similarly demonstrates that you & your masters will not tolerate any disobedience, any non-conformity or any actual 'diversity' of opinion despite all your lip-flapping to the contrary.

All in all, your above summary is quite succinct:

We speak & act as we do (objectionably) because we have EVERY RIGHT to act & speak this way... we not going to change, and you can't make us, so 'f' you.

This is where BF Skinner & generations of Operant Conditioning fall short:

The behavioural changes that occur in response to environmental events (stimuli) can in no way alter what amounts to rational self-interest.

Thus, you can condition us to (reflexively; thoughtlessly) embrace your PC version of 'pathological altruism' as long as the conditioned behaviour does not require our demographic extinction, replacement or suicide.

What to do? What to do? What are those pesky white males to do if they choose NOT to participate in the socially-acceptable epidemic of white male suicide ?

Merry Christmas to all & to all a goodnight.


Best

David Brin said...

I'm getting way better as gliding past and ignoring, even the bold face shouts. Someone tell me when it looks as if locumranch is back on vitamins.

porohobot is serving us a form of blank verse poetry that I only sometimes understand. But at least it's kinda interesting.

David Brin said...

onward
onward

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re - Landfill

Here (NZ) and in Australia - modern landfills are effectively sequestering hundreds of tons of carbon that would otherwise go straight back into the atmosphere
And they are traping and using (or at least flaring off) the methane

It seems wrong but they are actually much better for the environment than most of the alternatives

porohobot said...

\\When Trump or I (or any human, for that matter) speak or behave in a manner that you portray as 'stealing Christmas', destroying 'our economy, our alliances, and our national security', harming our 'decorum and civility', or acting out in a manner of which your PC masters & you disapprove, it is an act of FREEDOM & SELF-OWNERSHIP.

Yeap-yeap... Putin which have you with his anal probe... ARE quitre HAPPy now. %)))