Saturday, December 17, 2016

When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 6

Fig. 1 Hey! PEOTUS, remember You Are Here
On the popular front inhabited by the masses, whether or not a slice of science is interpreted as an 'exaggeration' or even an 'underestimate' to us, turns out to be, for the most part anyway, an emotional, subconscious feeling masking itself as intellect.

That feeling, to be sure, is produced with the ingredients of various segments of information, however, when that information happens to invade our 'comfort zone', i.e. a number of feelings in a subconscious inner-group of feelings, produced by our 'world view,' we are prone to consider that disturbing information to be an 'exaggeration' or something similar to that.

A word for those who engender the feeling we call 'exaggeration' is the word 'alarmist'.

Those descriptive words vary from place to place, and from person to person, but the deep down-under-the-hood reality is that we are substantially composed of fear circuitry that has a profound influence on what we call consciousness:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about
Fig. 2 "Let's spray chemicals in the clouds to stop global warming"
global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death
, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(The Technological Stairway To Heaven?). This portion of reality is exacerbated by another portion of reality: some 98% of our cognition is subconscious (The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere).

We see this reality coming to life now in the minds of the president elect and his followers, because of their denialist world views (Hey! PEOTUS, Fig. 1, Fig. 2).

Another world view in play in Port Authorities, cities, counties, and other segments of everyday-reality officialdom, is pragmatism:
"A growing number of public and private entities, including port authorities, are evaluating potential impacts from climate change and are developing procedures to incorporate the financial and other risks into their investment decision making processes.
Based on the Port’s location, operational activity, and on planning work conducted to date, SLR is the primary climate change impact which will affect the Port.
(Sea Level Rise Impacts At Ports). Yes, there are many responsible people in the U.S. who govern more responsibly than denialists can (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44).

The gist of it is that when fear-based denial renders us unable to analyze a threat with the full power of intellect and knowledge, all we have remaining is emotional "thinking" which we use to run from the problem.

In the our divided government mirrors the subconscious struggle, within us all, between fear and awareness of reality.

The previous post in this series is here.

A panel with various social backgrounds discusses the denial issue:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Awe Topsy - 2

You too can have our oil under your land.
The first post of this series was an autopsy of sorts on the interlude we take from time to time.

I mean the quaalude inspired megablather interlude.

We spend billions of dollars, hours, and invoke other treasure-able trances to elect someone to continue the ongoing (for a century) oil wars that maintain the great quaalude dispensary (The Universal Smedley - 2).

There is always a peak and always not a peak in those quaalude wars (The Peak Of The Oil Wars, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

Those jihads are fought to maintain our innerquaalude (Choose Your Trances Carefully, Myth Addiction Is Establishment's LSD - 3).

One old timey writer noticed the impact of the religion which demands oily quaalude sacraments quite often:
"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells."
(Doing The Right Thing - Mithraism - 2). A recent addition to the quote infested aftermath of the recent electocution:
"If we didn't live in this topsy-turvy world where Donald Trump is President and naming people to run agencies who are anti-everything the agencies stand for, it would be ridiculous."
(Dr. Joe Romm, physicist and former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Dept. of Energy). In the election I am writing about, the quaalude peddler, Oil-Qaeda, finally came out.

"The coming out" was done altruistically and specially for those who were unaware of who ran the state of mind department:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

MOMCOM's Daddy
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4). By finally appointing one of Oil-Qaeda's princes to the State Department Secretariat, Quaalude The Third was emphasizing how transparent MOMCOM freedom is (MOMCOM - A Mean Welfare Queen, The Virgin MOMCOM).

Knowing little about that themselves, in retaliation The Prestitutes demanded lower quaalude prices so as to impress the electorate, who collectively did not know that OIl-Qaeda runs that show:
John D. Rockefeller, in his 1909 Random Reminiscences of Men and Events, recalled, "One of our greatest helpers has been the State Department. Our ambassadors and ministers and consuls have aided to push our way into new markets in the utmost corners of the world." But he left out a key explanation for the government's interest. Standard Oil [Rockefeller's domain] was the biggest U.S. company, putting a hundred ships to sea, buying and selling oil in Latin America, Germany, and the Far East. It also operated a global intelligence system. "By 1885," according to one historian, "seventy percent of the Standard's business was overseas and it had its own network of agents through the world, and its own espionage service, to forestall the initiatives of rival companies or governments."
(The Private Empire's Social Media Hit Squads, emphasis added). Yes, the state department is but one of the "helpers" of Oil-Qaeda.

The classic sacrament "All Hail Quaaludes" is being placed on billboards all around Oilandia, in towns everywhere, to signal the new whoopie! era:
As Nerosaki points out, New Werk was, during the interwar period, the most interesting and exciting city on Green House. A sublime and cutting-edge culture was combined with peculiar politics, skyrocketing inflation and a lot of kinky sex. The political drama was rendered all the more fascinating by the shenanigans of a clown called Wierd Reltih whom few observers took seriously. Amerryians were welcomed because they represented the New Wierd, a state of aspiration for Weird Reltih. Given the inflation, Amerryian
Quaalude II prophesied that one day he would be missed.
dollars were powerful, making the frolics these visitors could enjoy in this land of fantasy all the more intense.

Amerryians reacted to Wierd Reltih rather as any other nationality did. First they ridiculed him, then they expressed grudging admiration for the order he brought to New Werk. Later, they turned a blind eye to his anti-Sanoism, excused his craving for territorial expansion and doubted his appetite for war. A few warned of Wierd Reltih's threat, but they were largely ignored.

Most Amerryians tolerated New Werk racism precisely because it was directed at Sanotoids. The most striking feature of this book is how easily these visitors grafted themselves onto the prejudices of their hosts. Typical was Donald Waatt?, who arrived in New Werk in 1932 to organize a student exchange. He convinced himself, on no evidence, that “relatively few” Sanotoids were mistreated and decided that the main cause of anti-Sanoism was that “a large proportion of all business was in Sanotoid hands.” In New Werk, hating Sanotoids was the equivalent of high fashion.

The book’s best insights come not from Nerosaki but from the would-be journalist McTella, who arrived in New Werk in 1936, fresh from Donald Waatt? university. McTella observed four stages of Amerryian reaction. The first was admiration: Amerryians saw neatness, efficiency, prosperity and cleanliness. New to the country, they credited these characteristics to Wierd Reltih, instead of realizing that they were essentially New Werkian. Stage two brought a recognition of militarism — uniforms, guns, marching and "Hellyes Wierd Reltih" salutes. But since military pageantry was quite exciting, many failed to appreciate the threat it symbolized.

The problem, McTella wrote, was that the vast majority of Amerryians never progressed beyond stage two, either because their visit was so short or because they had “the sensitivity of a rhinoceros’s hide and the profundity of a tea-saucer.” A tiny few reached stage three, when they began to realize that millions of New Werkians “were being trained to act merely upon reflexes.” That should have spelled danger but often encouraged fatalism — an assumption that nothing could be done or a belief that the New Werkians should be allowed to find their own way.

The final stage was fear — a sense of “alarm that the rest of the world had no idea what was rising to confront them.” Only a small minority ever reached that stage. Perception was blocked by myopia, prejudice, inexperience or wishful thinking. Because Amerryians feared war, they refused to acknowledge the signs that war was coming.

“Wierd Reltih land” is a story of naivete, of wishful thinking, of omens unheeded. Strip away the trivialities and banalities that overpopulate this book, and what emerges is a chronicle of dangerous hypocrisy. Amerryians excused and sometimes celebrated crimes that they would have roundly condemned in their own country. Raised on MOMCOM liberty, they were incredibly tolerant of its destruction. This is a familiar story, but we should occasionally take the time to reacquaint ourselves with it.
(Oracle of Buddah Pest). It is clear, now that Quaalude The Third is empowering up, that Quaalude The Second was prescient.

When he put up his billboard to, in effect, declare that "one day you will miss me," he knew better (than we did).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Amerryian Mithraic Religiosity:

It's alt-right Ma, I'm only leading:

NeoGreen Planet: Maggie's Farm:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

Dr. James Hanson & Granddaughter Sophie

Beginning of the Hansen et al. transcript:
Jim: Hi, I’m Jim Hansen Director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program at the Columbia University Earth Institute, and this is my granddaughter, Sophie.

Sophie: Hi, I’m Sophie Kivlehan. I am one of the 21 young people who, along with my grand-father, filed a lawsuit against our federal government concerning human-caused climate change.

Our government has taken deliberate actions that violate the rights of all people to life, liberty and property. Young people will suffer the most from these actions of our government, but all people are affected, and it’s important that the public understand this situation.

Our democracy provides ways to fix problems, to find a path to a bright future for all people.

But a democracy can work only if the public understands the situation and supports effective policies that are designed for all the public.

Jim: Yes, let’s talk about two things. First, the lawsuit, because it illustrates how the judiciary, the courts, can be used not only in the U.S., but in most countries – how courts can help force the government to do its job --- protect the well-being of all citizens.

Second, let’s talk about actions needed by the other branches of government, which in the U.S. are the President and Congress. The public must understand what is needed and demand it.

Otherwise the swamp in Washington, the financial special interests, will make policy for us.

Sophie: So, starting with the lawsuit: it was filed in the United States District Court in Oregon, which is just one level below the United States Supreme Court.

We, the plaintiffs, allege that the federal government is taking actions to aid and encourage extraction and burning of fossil fuels, even though they are well aware of the consequences for climate change and the harm it will cause, especially for young people and future generations.

As Judge Ann Aiken of the Oregon Court summarizes in her Opinion and Order, we, the Plaintiffs, draw a direct causal line between the defendants’ policy choices and floods, food shortages, destruction of property, species extinctions, and a host of other harms.

We ask only that the Court direct the Defendants to develop a plan to reduce CO2 emissions, at a rate that science indicates will stabilize climate and preserve a planet that can sustain our lives.

Jim: The Defendants, the President, his Science Adviser, and various Departments of the U.S. government, were joined by Interveners, the American Petroleum Institute and other fossil fuel interests, in asking the Court to dismiss the case on various technical grounds.

Judge Aiken, in her Opinion and Order issued on the 10th of November, affirms an earlier rejection by Judge Coffin of the Defendants’ request for dismissal – but she does much more.

Judge Aiken’s emphatic Opinion and Order is remarkable for clarity and scholarship. It will be a landmark analysis of government responsibility, with implications that dwarf those of prior court rulings on human-made climate change.

We will not take time today to discuss all the issues and conclusions that Judge Aiken makes. We focus on two technical but important topics: Due Process and Public Trust.
(Complete Transcript here, PDF). There is another Dredd Blog post on their right-to-life lawsuit (The Authoritarianism of Climate Change - 2).

Obama takes daughters to Deepwater Horizon Waters
Obama Drinks the Flint Kool-Aid
Barack Hansen Replaces Barack Bush?
Barry & Oil-Qaeda vs. Arctc Wilderness, 2

Once upon a "kinder, gentler nation"  (following song lyrics here)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 10

Fig. 1
Today's graphs are puzzling.

In the previous post of this series I used a database from National Geophysical Data Center @ NOAA with about 6,000 quakes in it from a couple thousand years ago to our current year.

But I only selected years from 1800 to the present.

I added another set of data that brought the earthquake count up to about 30,000 quakes.

The 6,000 quake set only had the larger quakes, while the later addition contains many small quakes (that even fracking can cause).
Fig. 2

Fig. 3
The data contain the magnitude, so I am able to select data for graph material, as I have done today, based on various magnitudes.
Fig. 4

Fig. 5
All fine and good, except the bulk of these quakes show up in the past couple of decades.

That is what I mean by this being puzzling.

Fig. 1 - Fig. 4 follow the hockey-stick pattern, showing few quakes in the past, by comparison to those in more recent times.

The graph of the largest quakes (Fig. 5) shows a different pattern, with the number decreasing in recent times.

My premise was that as melt water from ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are relocated to the latitudes nearer to the equator, the change in pressures on fault zones could trigger some quakes (in 'weaker' fault zones).

It could be that fracking is causing a lot of the small ones to show up, but it could also be because of changing pressures due to ice and melt water having been relocated.

I will find more data and continue to build up a robust collection of earthquakes as we move along on this project.

As it is now, I can't say that the hypothesis is falsified or verified.

The increase in quakes in the mainly lower magnitudes is what the hypothesis predicts, but more needs to be done before it can be said to have been verified.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Professor McGuire (University College London):

Monday, December 12, 2016

Congratulations To Bob Dylan - 2

 It has been called anything from a great boost to literature to a failure of the Nobel Committee on Literature, which awarded Bob Dylan the 2016 prize in literature (Congratulations To Bob Dylan).

The event took place with one of the committee members, Professor Horace Engdahl (photo), giving the following lecture about the matter:
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

What brings about the great shifts in the world of literature? Often it is when someone seizes upon a simple, overlooked form, discounted as art in the higher sense, and makes it mutate. Thus, at one point, emerged the modern novel from anecdote and letter, thus arose drama in a new age from high jinx on planks placed on barrels in a marketplace, thus songs in the vernacular dethroned learned Latin poetry, thus too did La Fontaine take animal fables and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales from the nursery to Parnassian heights. Each time this occurs, our idea of literature changes.

In itself, it ought not to be a sensation that a singer/songwriter now stands recipient of the literary Nobel Prize. In a distant past, all poetry was sung or tunefully recited, poets were rhapsodes, bards, troubadours; 'lyrics' comes from 'lyre'. But what Bob Dylan did was not to return to the Greeks or the Provençals. Instead, he dedicated himself body and soul to 20th century American popular music, the kind played on radio stations and gramophone records for ordinary people, white and black: protest songs, country, blues, early rock, gospel, mainstream music. He listened day and night, testing the stuff on his instruments, trying to learn. But when he started to write similar songs, they came out differently. In his hands, the material changed. From what he discovered in heirloom and scrap, in banal rhyme and quick wit, in curses and pious prayers, sweet nothings and crude jokes, he panned poetry gold, whether on purpose or by accident is irrelevant; all creativity begins in imitation.

Even after fifty years of uninterrupted exposure, we are yet to absorb music's equivalent of the fable's Flying Dutchman. He makes good rhymes, said a critic, explaining greatness. And it is true. His rhyming is an alchemical substance that dissolves contexts to create new ones, scarcely containable by the human brain. It was a shock. With the public expecting poppy folk songs, there stood a young man with a guitar, fusing the languages of the street and the bible into a compound that would have made the end of the world seem a superfluous replay. At the same time, he sang of love with a power of conviction everyone wants to own. All of a sudden, much of the bookish poetry in our world felt anaemic, and the routine song lyrics his colleagues continued to write were like old-fashioned gunpowder following the invention of dynamite. Soon, people stopped comparing him to Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams and turned instead to Blake, Rimbaud, Whitman, Shakespeare.

In the most unlikely setting of all - the commercial gramophone record - he gave back to the language of poetry its elevated style, lost since the Romantics. Not to sing of eternities, but to speak of what was happening around us. As if the oracle of Delphi were reading the evening news.

Recognising that revolution by awarding Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize was a decision that seemed daring only beforehand and already seems obvious. But does he get the prize for upsetting the system of literature? Not really. There is a simpler explanation, one that we share with all those who stand with beating hearts in front of the stage at one of the venues on his never-ending tour, waiting for that magical voice. Chamfort made the observation that when a master such as La Fontaine appears, the hierarchy of genres - the estimation of what is great and small, high and low in literature - is nullified. “What matter the rank of a work when its beauty is of the highest rank?" he wrote. That is the straight answer to the question of how Bob Dylan belongs in literature: as the beauty of his songs is of the highest rank.

By means of his oeuvre, Bob Dylan has changed our idea of what poetry can be and how it can work. He is a singer worthy of a place beside the Greeks' ἀοιδόι, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the Blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards. If people in the literary world groan, one must remind them that the gods don't write, they dance and they sing. The good wishes of the Swedish Academy follow Mr. Dylan on his way to coming bandstands.
(The Academy Speaker's Transcript). Mr. Dylan could not attend, so he sent them the following letter:
Good evening, everyone. I extend my warmest greetings to the members of the Swedish Academy and to all of the other distinguished guests in attendance tonight.

I'm sorry I can't be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize. Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming. From an early age, I've been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: Kipling, Shaw, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck, Albert Camus, Hemingway. These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.

I don't know if these men and women ever thought of the Nobel honor for themselves, but I suppose that anyone writing a book, or a poem, or a play anywhere in the world might harbor that secret dream deep down inside. It's probably buried so deep that they don't even know it's there.

If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I'd have about the same odds as standing on the moon. In fact, during the year I was born and for a few years after, there wasn't anyone in the world who was considered good enough to win this Nobel Prize. So, I recognize that I am in very rare company, to say the least.

I was out on the road when I received this surprising news, and it took me more than a few minutes to properly process it. I began to think about William Shakespeare, the great literary figure. I would reckon he thought of himself as a dramatist. The thought that he was writing literature couldn't have entered his head. His words were written for the stage. Meant to be spoken not read. When he was writing Hamlet, I'm sure he was thinking about a lot of different things: "Who're the right actors for these roles?" "How should this be staged?" "Do I really want to set this in Denmark?" His creative vision and ambitions were no doubt at the forefront of his mind, but there were also more mundane matters to consider and deal with. "Is the financing in place?" "Are there enough good seats for my patrons?" "Where am I going to get a human skull?" I would bet that the farthest thing from Shakespeare's mind was the question "Is this literature?"

When I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffee houses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do.

Well, I've been doing what I set out to do for a long time, now. I've made dozens of records and played thousands of concerts all around the world. But it's my songs that are at the vital center of almost everything I do. They seemed to have found a place in the lives of many people throughout many different cultures and I'm grateful for that.

But there's one thing I must say. As a performer I've played for 50,000 people and I've played for 50 people and I can tell you that it is harder to play for 50 people. 50,000 people have a singular persona, not so with 50. Each person has an individual, separate identity, a world unto themselves. They can perceive things more clearly. Your honesty and how it relates to the depth of your talent is tried. The fact that the Nobel committee is so small is not lost on me.

But, like Shakespeare, I too am often occupied with the pursuit of my creative endeavors and dealing with all aspects of life's mundane matters. "Who are the best musicians for these songs?" "Am I recording in the right studio?" "Is this song in the right key?" Some things never change, even in 400 years.

Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, "Are my songs literature?"

So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.

My best wishes to you all,

Bob Dylan
(Rolling Stone).