It’s… Well, It’s Really Just The Absolute Inevitability Of It All…

Sharing a most revealing exposition (Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse – The 4th R of Deep Adaptation)… with lines of enquiry that I have personally long awaited. The time is now. Get real…

https://jembendell.com/2019/01/09/hope-and-vision-in-the-face-of-collapse-the-4th-r-of-deep-adaptation/

Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria (UK).†††

I have extracted a few notable quotes from this article but there is much more to be gained by reading it all.

On Currency:

“Last year it was unusual to claim that it is too late to stop runaway climate change damaging our agriculture to such an extent that it will lead to the breakdown of our societies within the next ten years.” – Jem Bendell

My view:
Not so now, this year, reading the signs. I have also claimed, frequently, that it will not take ten years, but only two years (this and the next), before we witness this for ourselves. I am prepared of course to possibly extend that to ten, but at this stage I don’t think that will be necessary. Not at all. I also take into account that this process of collapse is not playing out evenly. There are nations and regions that are already in collapse (mostly from external instigation) and others (mostly less developed societies) for whom collapse may not even be noticed for quite a while longer. A general rule to watch for is the complexity of a society – where more things can go wrong more quickly, compounding as collapse develops.

On Hope:

“When people say “we need hope” they might be expressing their assumption that they themselves need a pleasant story of the future in order to avoid their own emotional pain – and avoid witnessing it in others.” – Jem Bendell

My view:
“…we need hope…” (for a continuance of the way things are), but, brothers and sisters, let me tell you – there is none (for that).

On Inevitability:

“People may want to avoid believing societal collapse is inevitable in order to provide themselves with a psychological escape, so that they can still hope that someone or something will stop it happening somehow.” – Jem Bendell

My view:
That is wishful fantasy on people’s part. We have been brought up on a cult of Super Heroes. Super Heroes don’t exist. But even if they did, they can’t (stop it), and it won’t (not happen). 

On Unavoidability:

“Looking at the current climactic changes, the rising emissions and habitat destruction, the biological impacts, the warming feedbacks, the agricultural impacts, the slowness of response, the intransigence of capitalism and its client politicians, and the cultural dependence on ideas of progress and control, and the rise of stories of blame that avoid reality and foster ignorance and hate, I think that “inevitable” societal collapse is a more accurate way of communicating my view that it is now unavoidable, than saying collapse is likely or near certain.” – Jem Bendell

My view:
Totally agree.

Advertisements

Reasons to Hate America: ‘Despicable’, ‘Inhuman’, and so much more…

“Given this information, it appears that crop fires are part of Washington’s next phase of economic warfare/terrorism (in addition to the existing harsh sanctions), being imposed on war-ravaged Syrians who have courageously fought against western-supported global terrorism, within their borders for over eight years.” – Sarah Abed 

https://sarahabed.com/2019/06/20/daesh-like-scorched-earth-terror-policy-sets-syrian-and-iraqi-agricultural-land-ablaze/

A fine new piece by Sarah Abed, plumbing the depths that US warmongers will seek in pursuit of their (what Iran’s President Rouhani recently describes as) ‘ominous goals’.

Northern Syria and northern Iraq are burning – crop fires, started by the minions of you know who. Only occurring in US controlled areas. Only on Arab owned farms. And known to have occurred after farms are visited by a US ambassador offering money to farmers in return for allegiance against the Syrian government. And only after refusal of such offers (See linked article for reference).

What can I say? The word ‘despicable’ does not come anywhere close to what it is. Same for ‘inhuman’. I don’t think there are words that can adequately express my hatred for America and all it stands for. 

See also this FB link referred to in the article:   https://www.facebook.com/laith.marouf/posts/10161766769475065

Seeing the West as the New (Worse Than) Nazis

While I am sure that many would attempt it, there is actually no-one who could successfully raise a fact-based, logically sound argument against that premise.

If the West, led by America, has its way, the planet we now live on will be turned into a vast prison system where numbers will be forcefully kept down to only sufficient slaves to adequately produce the resource needs of the ruling elite.  There is only one nation, possibly assisted by a few others, that stands solidly in the way of the realisation of such a nightmare.  That nation is Russia.

This would more than adequately explain the exuberant posturing and rabid polemic (mostly false) railed against the Russian Federation by Western government and media alike in recent times.  And, of course, the vast sums the West is prepared to spend (a loosely defined term for ‘raise debt to buy’) on military manpower and munitions to back up (another loosely defined term for ‘use coercively in a threatening way or for sabre-rattling maneuvers’) their attacks on Russia.

So, what does this mean?  What action will Russia take?   What does the West expect  Russia to do?  Capitulate?  Surrender?  Accede to the West’s expectations to rule the world and shape it as it sees fit?  Or call the West’s bluff, as being only a fanciful notion?  Steel its reserve for possibly bolder moves by the West?  How far is Russia prepared to go to preserve its identity?

Someone has already written about this, and no, I don’t mean George Orwell, someone more recently, in the last few days.  And someone else has collaborated to translate that into English to help inform us poor citizens of the West – if we are willing to listen.  You will find this enlightening or simply confirmatory (to already held thoughts) article here: ‘Why Russia Has No Right To Surrender To The West’, or as Google Translate would put it (from the original): ‘Why Russia Does Not Make Sense To Capitulate To The West’

 I will entrust to readers intelligence what they make of that, but I will just make a couple of further statements. One is that I don’t believe, even for a second, that Russia, under President Putin (and for as long as he holds the reins), has any intention of capitulating to the West in any way whatsoever.  I believe he has made that abundantly clear.  The West then has two main options:

  • Continue the overt baiting and demonisation of Russia while waiting for, and covertly working towards, a more opportune moment for a takeover/capitulation.  The downside to this plan is that such a moment may never happen.
  • Push for a flare-up (actually ‘keep’ pushing for a flare-up, since provocation is one of their main games) that will ensure and in their own minds justify a move to open armed conflict, relying on their massive military to somehow bungle and bruise its way to gaining them a superior position (not hopeful, based on their past record – Russia is not Iraq).  The downside of that unlikely outcome is that they could easily end up with nothing – a pyrrhic victory.  President Putin has already made it abundantly clear that, and I paraphrase, “If there is to be no Russia, there will be no ‘anywhere’.” – and he, of all people, has the power to make that happen.

So, where does the ‘worse than Nazis’ thing come into this?  Well, you wouldn’t be asking that question if you had read the linked article.

But, stepping back a little, is this all leaning too much on the worrying side?  Did Solzhenitsyn have the West truly pegged?  Or should we all be ‘ready to die’?

To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being.

Squaring Up To Face The ‘Ancient Covenant’, or Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?

l return to my blog site, after a rather long break, in order to attempt to answer a self-imposed question that I had no hope of adequately tackling in a social media post.  Have I bitten off more than I can chew?  I can’t answer that until I reach the end of this story but, having now more or less been forced by my own arrogance to face my own inadequacy in the contemplation of deep issues and the shallowness of my own depth of knowledge, coupled with the potential shattering of my own cherished illusions, we shall see.

I will give it my best shot, because the subject, it appears, has far reaching consequences, not only for anyone who may read this, but for my own personal view of myself and the world into which I was born and which we all inhabit.  A world of so many questions, and a search for answers that have largely been obscured by illusions of our own making.  All of  us, throughout time.

So, let’s make a start.  And this all really started with a quotation by an eminent person of the last century, actually a Nobel Laureate, which I read in a book by a prolific author of the current century, actually written in the current year.  Something about that quotation made me jump up and begin to question its basis, little knowing where it would lead.  Here is what it said, and its source:

“The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.” —Jacques Monod: Chance and Necessity

This quote represents the final words in the final Chapter of that book, so they were obviously meant to be taken seriously.

Now, Jacques Monod (1910-1976) was a highly respected Nobel Prize-winning French Bio-scientist whose thinking and studies obviously went far beyond the boundaries of Biology and Evolution, the subject of his book – Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971).

I specifically use the term ‘the subject of his book’ because, having read it (I will explain that in a moment), I get the feeling that he was merely using what is the basis of his life’s work – Biology and Evolution – as a familiar medium to convey and explain his profound ideas on the condition of mankind in the context of, to pull in another quote from another author’s work, ‘life, the universe, and everything’.  I love thinking on that level.  It beats by far being caught up and enmeshed in the trivia of everyday life and the idiosyncratic melodramas of personal issues that many of us fail to escape and untangle ourselves from.

Having claimed to have read ‘Chance and Necessity’, a book I was unfamiliar with until the past few days, let me explain.  As with most books that are written with the object of conveying a particular idea which this one, while coevally being a scientific treatise, obviously was, a short-cut to understanding the conveyed premise can usually be utilised.  It is this: A reading of the author’s Preface, Chapter I (to gain a view of the book’s tempo and direction – though in this particular case I would impress the non-technical reader to skip Chapter I in favour of Chapter II), and of course making sure to read the final chapter – where all is usually revealed.  By all means skip lightly (unless enthusiastically intrigued with the subject matter) over the intervening chapters (in this case lingering for a while at Chapters VII and VIII) will usually suffice.

Exhibiting extraordinary openness, the author encourages readers un-engaged with the rather dry subject matter, to do just that – skip over the boring bits.   He really wants more than just scientific minds to get his message.

OK, so now I feel a little more competent to tackle this task.  Let us begin.  At the beginning.

Well, not quite at the beginning but in the latter half of the first sentence of which this quote comprises:

“…man knows at last that he is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance.”

‘Man knows that he is alone in the universe’, the immense, unfeeling, bereft of life universe, in which he is the sole sentient denizen, and that by a complete and unrepeatable fluke of nature.  Does man really know that?  Well if we for the moment accept its truth, and the logic of science would indicate that it is true, then why are scientists still looking for life elsewhere and not only that but continually striving to extend their search range further and further out into that immense universe?  I hope to answer that question later.  Meanwhile, it is without doubt that the fact that we are even here at all, even that the whole universe is here at all, or indeed that life chose to spring up on planet Earth, is nothing more than pure chance and that the probabilities of it ever happening are negligible.  Here is some of what Monod says on that:

“Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among other possible or even conceivable hypotheses.  It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition  – or the hope – that on this score our position is ever likely to be revised.”

Later he says:

Monod4 Monod5

Monod has hit on something there – symbolic communication – our learned ability, unique among the life-forms we exist among, although not necessarily unique among the potential capabilities of some of them (so why us?), to communicate ideas between individuals (now so refined that I can talk in this way to you though I may never know who or where you are, or even potentially use the same symbolic language that you do) was the beginning of the end (of the importance at least) of human physical evolution in favour of what is now undoubtedly the major evolutionary driver for humanity – cultural evolution.

I have long thought that we may have passed the pinnacle of our physical evolution and be on the downward path to a physically degenerate species, needing mechanical or automated machine parts to replace some or, eventually, potentially all of our physical frame.  Humanity lost to the machine.  It’s already in some people’s  minds or imaginations.  Is that the way we will exit?

So, the science says that we were not destined to be.  The universe, nor even the world, was designed for or around us.  We, it, that, were all a complete, unexpected and un-forecastable accident of evolutionary nature.  And we, our ancient forebears, somehow managed to rationalise all that under the sheltering umbrella of a covenant of animism (more on that later) which for a long, long time served us very well and formed a basis for our survival.

Then, one day, as Monod suggests, that all changed when:

“Australanthropus or one of his kin managed to express the content of a subjective experience… On that day a new world was born, the world of ideas; and a new evolution, that of culture, became possible. From there on and for a long time, man’s physical evolution must have been intimately connected with and profoundly influenced by the development of the linguistic capacity, which so thoroughly changed the conditions of selection.” 

With the arrival of cultural evolution our cosy (meaning well wrapped up against the harsh realities of life) world of the safety and comfort of the ancient covenant with nature was forever turned upside down.  Man was now able to formulate rules and laws for social cohesion – and also to express questions.

“We are the descendants of such men.  From them we have probably inherited our need for an explanation, the profound disquiet which goads us to search out the meaning of existence.  That same disquiet has created all the myths, all the religions, all the philosophies, and science itself.   (emphasis is mine)

That this imperious need develops spontaneously, that it is inborn, inscribed somewhere in the genetic code, strikes me as beyond doubt.”

Monad has much to say on man’s cultural evolution, mostly in his final chapter which I will include in full at the end of this piece. [Edit – I didn’t do that, but I do provide a link.]

It is important here to realise that with mankind’s evolutionary progression from ancient hominids to modern man, that progression somehow uniquely on Earth drew out in man this ability to express ideas among themselves and the capability to raise, discuss and perhaps answer their own questions and, for those more difficult or unanswerable questions, to set up methods of inquiry, methods of study, to bring more and more understanding around these issues.  Man’s disquiet with lack of knowledge and the growing culture of inquiry came, over time, as Monod says, to create “all the myths, all the religions, all the philosophies, and science itself.”

All of these things, I emphasize, were and are the creation of man, gradually informed by and through his ‘covenant’ and affinity with nature, that being the only point of reference and experience that he had.  And therefore these creations of man were imbued and permeated with those ancient subjective ideas, even those ideas which may have been, in its infancy, labelled as science, until his enquiring and enculturation brought about the formation of objectivity in the scientific method.  Such things persisted, not just ‘until’, but ‘well beyond’ that scientific breakthrough, and are even still very firmly in evidence today.  So strong are those comforting subjective influences and so deeply ingrained into human culture that, generally throughout the world, even among the vast majority of  people in populations which can claim to be educated and living in modern advanced societal cultures, people still prefer to trust in the old forms of animism, broken as the ancient covenant now is in the light of scientific objectivity, than to fully accept the new alternative and all the ideas that it both closes off or offers to open to the receptive mind.  This is one of the major problems facing our world today.  And so intransigent is the issue, that it may never be solved.

With that said, let’s go back to the real beginning, with the phrase, actually the quite explicit statement that:

“The ancient covenant is in pieces”

This, the use of the word ‘covenant’, is the what first drew my interest and raised the first question.  If man is truly alone in the universe, then what is this ‘ancient covenant’?  It takes two parties to make a covenant.  Often such things are recorded to be between gods and men, regents and their subjects, legal contracts between parties.  On the face of it, this doesn’t make sense.  Until we read further – and this being the final paragraph, ‘reading further’ means starting closer to the beginning – actually back to Chapter II.

Dealing with Vitalisms and Animisms, of which for our current purposes we need concern ourselves only with animisms, Chapter II relates how our early ancestors, having found themselves quite by unpredictable accident living in a strange world of nature and looking around them, while trying to understand that world, they saw that every living thing – plants, animals, humans, all had the same major purpose – the need to survive, which of course includes the need to reproduce themselves.  They therefore felt a natural affinity with all of nature, to which they also ascribed the same purpose.  This was the birth of Animism as a comfort and refuge for mankind.  A form of covenant which Monod describes as the ‘Ancient Covenant’:

Monod1Monod2

“Primitve animism,” the author goes on to say, “formulated this hypothesis with complete candour, frankness and precision, populating nature with gracious or awesome myths and myth-figures which have for centuries nourished art and poetry.”

Monod3

“Animism established a covenant between nature and man, a profound alliance outside of which seems to stretch only terrifying solitude.  Must we break this tie because the postulate of objectivity requires it?”   These are the key words here.  Objectivity forms the basis of science. It has no place in an animistic paradigm.  But science was not yet born, and the ancient covenant reigned supreme and embedded in the hearts and minds of mankind for countless millennia, uncontested.  And it firmly remained so, even after the birth of science.  Even largely also today.  Even, I dare say, though in a more or less weakened form, within my own heart and mind and also those of most all of anyone who reads this.

Yes, while we can acknowledge that with the knowledge we have today, the knowledge brought to us by scientific discovery, that “The ancient covenant is in pieces,” we cannot tear ourselves away completely from, or give up the comforting assurance gained from  the myth, religion, philosophy, of our long time and deep-rooted covenant with nature.

Why?  Because science offers none of those things in return.  No comfort.  No assurance of our own value as a living person.  No separation of brain and mind.  No me.  No expression of hope for the future, no continuance of life, no hereafter.  Not much of a choice.  What hope does science have to gain the hearts of men and women for whom these things are important – whether that importance was gained and garnered as a direct result of the comforting musings of ancestral animism entrenched deep within our collective soul, or through some later arising of mythical, religious, or philosophical concepts still operating under the aegis of that ancient covenant?

Jacques Monod too saw this.  He says of objective science, after the statement that any acceptable explanation as to why science needs replace the ancient tradition:

“…if to appear genuine, meaningful, soothing, the ‘explanation’ must blend into the long animist tradition, then we understand why it took so many thousands of years for the kingdom of ideas to be invaded by the one according to which objective knowledge is the only authentic source of truth.”

Monod6

I think I have almost said enough here.  Let me quickly move onto the last two sentences which complete the original quote which both started this discourse and ended the author’s book.

“His (that is ‘man’s’) destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.”

This passage raised the second question that sparked my interest in Monod’s words, and it really is an offshoot of my first question.

If man is alone in the universe, where on Earth (or anywhere else for that matter) does this concept of a ‘kingdom above’ or a ‘darkness below’ arise from?  What else is there apart from the cold, heartless, hostile universe and the tender, frail life-forms sheltered beneath the Earth’s shallow band of protective atmosphere?  What else is there?

Is the author revealing that he himself is still, at least partly, under the enchantment of the ancient covenant?  Does he explain further?  Well, as a matter of fact he does.

Monod7

What Monod is saying here, well one of the things he is saying anyway, is not that mankind has a choice – although I suppose that we do, in that we could choose to abandon objective science altogether, as a concept, which is no choice at all really – but that the ‘kingdom above’ is really the pie-in-the-sky ’empyrean noon hour for mankind’ which was the delusional vision of 19th century scientism – again no choice at all really.

The ‘darkness below’?  Well that is simply the only future that awaits us – the ‘abyss of darkness’ we see opening before us today – and again, no choice at all really.

And why is that?  Monod provides the exact answer to that supplementary question.  At some point in the last three (now approaching four) centuries, humanity, our species, made the choice which is “…binding upon its entire future,” and that choice “unconscious in the beginning” has “launched” our culture “on a one-way path” toward that “abyss of darkness”.

The choice we made? “Scientific practice“.   In short – Applied science.  The application of science in manufacturing, mining, commerce, business, chemistry, resource utilisation, health (so called), warfare and weaponry, and every other activity involving the plundering and rape of the very planet, the only planet, which we could ever contemplate as being our home.   It’s the old Petrie dish syndrome.

We made our choice.  OK, it may not have been ‘us’ in person, but we have gone along with everything it means, lately in an orgy of profligacy.  The consequences will soon be due.

Whoever said there is no justice in this world, well, they were wrong.

This is the story of our lives, in just over 2,800 words of mine and a lot more from someone who I think knew what he was talking about.

I have gone along with what he said, because I think – in fact I am fairly sure – that this is a reasonable account of how our story began, has played out over time, and how it will end.  It was going to be that, since I am not in total agreement with the whole of objective science (and neither is science, or they would not still be searching for knowledge to confirm, expand, or alter their findings to date), I would offer some of my own subjective views on some of the glaring gaps in current objective knowledge.  Maybe another time.

There is a lot more useful information in Monad’s final chapter, which is well worth looking up, and also throughout the whole book if you are a biology or evolution nerd. If you find it difficult to obtain a copy of the book, here is a link to a photographed .pdf version (it’s where I obtained the images used here, and it’s in the public domain and downloadable, so why not?):
https://monoskop.org/images/9/99/Monod_Jacques_Chance_and_Necessity.pdf

I think I am done here.

Age? Eve? (Either/or) – of Destruction.

I remembered it as ‘Age of Destruction’ (well, it was a long time ago, and my memory has seen better days, and I was looking for a way to tie it in with my previous post), but in fact it was ‘Eve of Destruction’.

It is a song, an anti-war song, penned in the Vietnam war era, 1965, by Pf Sloan but made memorable by Barry McGuire.  I am going to feature versions by both men here.

Why should I want to do that?  Well, it seems to me that we have not learned anything from the mistakes of these past days and, if anything, we are moving backwards away from civility, caring, virtue and honour in our societies, towards the sort of barbarism that has always lurked somewhere within our roots.  It doesn’t hurt to reflect on that.  Mind you, it doesn’t help much either.  At least not enough to matter …and, as time marches on, whether it is an age or the eve, the destruction (and our own ability to ‘bring it’) looms ever closer.

Onward…

If there is any one thing I hate in the world, it is whooping Americans who, it seems to me, and this is obviously generalising a bit in order to make a point, have little understanding or capability to understand just what it is they are whooping about.  It seems to be a group phenomenon.  Nevertheless, I can get past that, and can see the value in what the song’s author has to say in this presumably quite recent, cosy, home or community fireside version of his own song.  It is an introductory commentary on current American culture and a little of his own history.

Next, and I’m sure that if you are of a certain age, this will be somewhere in your memory, a still moving and confronting version of the song, even though some of the lyrics are now dated, and the images historical but which should never be forgotten, by Barry McGuire.

Syria War Diary: Order Returns To Western Cities, Civilians Recount Horrors Of “Rebel” Rule

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on In Gaza:
After reconciling with the Syrian government, former militants clear debris as they rebuild their homes, and their lives, in al-Waer, Homs. (Photo: Eva Bartlett/MintPress News) In revisiting Madaya and al-Waer after their reclamation by the…

Time-Line Relevance to a Clear View

I  spent a lot of time today writing a piece on my Facebook page which is where I do most of my work these days.  I thought I would share that here verbatim other than tidying up the links.  I hope it may help someone who may be struggling to come to terms with the issues covered.  Here is a link to my Facebook page.

Having a day off from bashing America I thought I would revert to one other of my favourite memes.  One that I have not recently visited.  Time for a refresher.

The problem, whether considered to generally be a problem or not, is the issue of over-population.  My mind was focused on this through a post by my FB friend Bev here (which is also very worth reading): Bev’s FB post    That story contained a statement that the world would pass 9billion population by 2050.  True, but not the whole truth.  I have previously shown that there will be more than 10billion souls alive in 2050 (barring nasty but real events that could well quickly reduce our numbers drastically).

I will get to that in a minute, but Lo and Behold, while I was thinking about this I opened this post: A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature Since the Last Ice Age Glaciation    This is an amazing timeline of human existence which shows that our current world climate conditions have never been as extreme as they are today.  It is not a complete history of mankind, in that it does not include our origins and I would argue some of the time points but that it not my focus today.

One thing it does show is the very small period of time in which man has had the capability to engineer his own destruction, and the consequences of following that path projected a little way ahead.

All of that is interesting in itself and you could spend all day looking and thinking about that yourself if you had a mind to, but my purpose here is to overlay (in words) the timeline of human population growth on this fascinating picture.  It won’t take long and I don’t mind if you ignore what I have to say and just take some time to consider what is already there.

First I need to rework the figures to bring them right up to date.  For this I use as a basis the data from the Worldometers website (very interesting).

The current annual population growth rate is taken as around 1.13% with a net annual increase of around 86million folk and a period of 11.6 years to add the next billion people. Let’s see how that is going.  Take the current net increase so far this year given as over 58.7million.  We have just passed the 2/3 point in the year so if we add half of the current growth that should give us a rough figure for the whole year.  It comes to 88million which gives us a period of just 11.36 years to add the next billion.  Does that look like a decreasing population.  Well, if you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope it might.

One step further – has the annual growth rate changed based on that figure?  OK, 88million into 7.45billion (current pop. count) as a percentage is 1.18%.  It does not sound much when you consider that in the 1960s the growth rate peaked around 2% but in terms of the absolute number it is a considerable increase on recent figures.  All of this demonstrates that if anyone tries to tell you that the population will stabilise around 2020 they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Here are the historical facts and my calculations for the future (again barring any unfortunate ‘accidents’ that may occur).

From our earliest historical beginnings, way back in the mists of time (did you follow that time-line through slowly to get some sort of feel for that?), our numbers never, as far as we know, exceeded 1 solitary billion right up until the year 1804CE (Current Era).  Just 212 years and probably less than 10 generations of your ancestors ago.  Make a mental note of where that position is on the time-line.

From that point, 1804, go forward 123 years to 1927.  That is the period when population growth began and it took those 123 years for it to reach the next billion mark.  When I was born in 1945, just 18 years later, the figure was ~2.5billion and it took just 37 years in total – that is to 1960 – to reach the next billion milestone.

Those post-war years were the period of our greatest percentage growth (but the actual numbers were minuscule compared to today’s figures – because total population was still quite small – but growing).

The move from 3billion to 4billion took just 14 years to 1974.
The move from 4billion to 5billion took just 13 years to 1987.
The move from 5billion to 6billion took just 12 years to 1999.
(Are you following this on the time-line?)
From that point it has taken just 12 years to again add the next billion.
The move from 6billion to 7billion took just 12 years to 2011.
We now stand at 7.45billion just 5 years later and it looks like we are moving to an eleven year period for new billions to be added.
Let’s project that into the future.
By 2022-3 the population could be 8billion.
By 2034-5 the population could be 9billion.
By 2046-7 the population could be 10billion.

And finally, by 2050 the population could be well on its way to 11billion.

Get the picture?

So, that’s it.  That’s what faces us.  And if you don’t see that as being a huge problem then I feel sorry for you.  I make no representations as to what this means, action it may call for, or likely consequences.  Those should all be fairly obvious.

I’m done now.  Need a cup of tea.

Speaking My Mind

Pretty much everything I write here and elsewhere, is designed to make people aware that the world we have now, the kind of society we have grown to know, the ongoing progressive advancement of our cultural, scientific and technological achievements, leading us to a better world in which everyone can share and enjoy the benefits of our endeavours (or somebody’s endeavours, foresight, organisational skills and wealth), are merely temporary illusions subject to change and decay, simply because of the basis on which they have been built.

Further, the purpose behind the things I write, is to hopefully make it clear that there can be no such thing as endless progress, endless growth, endless achievement, endless wealth, even endless debt.  All of which are again simply temporary illusions (except for endless debt, which is just a fools paradise).

I have no personal viewpoint that through my writing about these things anything is going to change about the way other people generally perceive the situation. Anything, that is, until the change and decay in the man-made world around us becomes indisputable or blindingly obvious.  And even then there will be those that will argue all of that can be overcome by human ingenuity or the decay itself is only a temporary setback to progress.

That people broadly do not perceive these things to be a problem requiring thought or attention, or that there is any sort of necessity for us to call a halt to progress or to change anything about the way we live as a society, is a dilemma.

There is no readily available or foreseeable answer to this dilemma.  Even though a growing number of people, many of them either disillusioned insiders or some kind of fringe-dweller, on a mission to promote some idea or other that will be the magic cure, if only everybody would see it and get on board, it’s not going to happen.  I have long realised that is the case.  The development of humanity doesn’t work that way.  It never has.

Oh, yes, I know there have been past revolutions of thought and deed that have sought to alter the way things are in some particular part of the world, and finding out that the revolutionary changes they were able to make, actually resulted in nothing lasting or even turned out to be much like what they had intended them to be.  There has never been, and I doubt there ever will be, a worldwide awakening that will join everyone’s hands in common purpose to solve a problem that is unsolvable by any other means.  By any other means at our disposal, at any rate.

Oh yes, I am sure there will be proposals from already rich and powerful organisations with solutions that would do the trick in their estimation or in their publicly declared position, when in reality their only abiding interest is to make more money and to prolong the current state of affairs or to turn those things to be even more in their favour, for as long as they can.  They are very good at doing that.  They have been practicing those tactics for several decades already, if not longer, quite successfully.

And so, what’s the answer?  And is it worth my while continuing to try to raise awareness in this way?

Well, whether it is worth my while or not, in terms of personal satisfaction nothing more, to keep on telling the story as I have been for a few years now, I will most likely continue to do so.  Though I confess to getting tired, weary, and increasingly saddened by the prospects of those things that I see unfolding for the generations now coming to maturity, those that are still embryonic and those as yet unthought of.  Still I expect that I will continue to try to tell it as I see it, as best I can, while I can.

The Answer?  Well, there is none.  At least not until the current world build has been destroyed, and a time of rebuilding commences.  That will be the time for the ideas of the fringe-dwellers and the disillusioned experts, if such remain, to come to the fore.  Otherwise it will be a case of starting from scratch and digging up past knowledge, just as we have done (perhaps with a little help), and as probably those bygone civilisations that came before us also needed to do.

There is not a single shred of hope that by thought or deed mankind can collectively change their world from what it has become to something better and hopefully more lasting and workable to the benefit of all nature, without such an upheaval as will be necessary to do away with all things both visible and invisible, which together form human culture and society today.  Not a single shred of hope.  There is ample evidence though that we can, intentionally or otherwise, make things much worse.

So, let’s look forward to, and perhaps lend a helping hand (for what that’s worth) to bringing on that breaking down period, before it makes a future rebuild all but impossible.

The only effective way that I know of to bring the current system down, is to shun it.  The system needs you and your input for its very survival.

Aarrgh!  Forget the previous two paragraphs.  I was just reverting to the sort of wishful thinking that I have been trying to dispel with this post.  A classical example of what will never work.  Forget it.  Well, you could do it if it makes you happy.  Better to do something than sit around moping about the situation.  But do it if you must, knowing that it will make not the slightest difference to the outcome.  It will take forces much more powerful than we can now or at any time in the past, generate by our own efforts, individually or collectively.  Our only hope is to rely on natural forces and the limiting factors of physical existence to come into play on our behalf or, more appropriately, to preserve nature.

Something That Naturally Follows

12314179_965746896793866_2908294857074724016_o

There is a corollary to this (something that naturally follows), and it is this:

Grandma’s descendants today would not have a hope of surviving the next Great Depression (coming soon to a nation near you).

Because their supply chain is anything but local, and they know how to do stuff-all.

You see, great depressions are very unforgiving, and mistakes can be fatal.  The ‘not knowing how to do stuff‘ is the worst part.  Now, is the time for learning, when mistakes are not quite so serious.  And the best way to learn is to do.

So, do localise your supply chain (and there is nothing more local than your back yard), make mistakes in the doing, and learn from those mistakes.

That does not cover everything of course.  The next Great Depression may be due in part because your back yard (and the surrounding region) may be rendered useless for growing food (the actual reason for that occurring, is immaterial).  Your only hope then, will be to join the hordes of migrants from your street, village, town, city, or region, looking for somewhere else to put down roots.  I really hope that you are prepared to at least consider that prospect and not decide to simply stay put and starve when the time comes.

The way to learn, is to do.  The time to think about it, is now.

Added after publication:

Hmm… maybe people won’t know what I meant by ‘stuff-all’. Maybe it’s just an old pommy saying.  I googled it and it came up with nothing, but actually that’s exactly what it means; nothing.  It’s just a polite(r) way of saying this …maybe if I had stuck the word ‘sweet’ in front of it?

Taking The Piss Out Of Pomposity

Now, if I were mischievous, …oh well, let’s face it, I am, sometimes.  But there is always a serious side to my mischief, whether people get that or not, and they probably mostly don’t.

It’s 42°C (108°F) outside today (bloody hot), and the heat may have driven me to do this (a weak excuse).  I commented on this rather pompous over-declaration of human value post on a FaceBook page that streams to my News-Feed, not with the intention of promoting the post in any way but of putting some perspective on the subject.

The FB post featured the image to the right, borrowed without crediting the owner, as far as I can tell (the image in the post was clipped).

I have not reproduced the image very large as, once again, it is not something I strongly agree with.  In fact I think it presents a rather pompous, over-inflated view of human importance in the affairs of this planet on which we dwell.

But enough of that.  Here is the comment stream I promised.
changetheworld

On the face of it, that may appear to be a lighthearted jab on my part, and really that is what it was meant to be.  Of course there are always the Serious Sams, caught up in their own world view, who have to pass on their own usually irrelevant viewpoint.  Having said that, I know that whatever I say is also open to interpretation as well, and I do often struggle quite heavily with that burden.  None of us are perfect I know, so I am not going to get into cross-examination of replies here.  It is just sad that most folk think that one or two sentences make for a cogent argument about anything.  But then I expected that.

Like I said earlier, I always have a serious side to my mischief.  The comment I made, apart from the last sentence (since I have only vague ideas like everyone else does about how things will end for the human race) was meant to be a thought provoking history lesson of sorts.  I doubt if anyone really understood that, but I hoped as I often do, that what was said might raise questions in people’s minds.  There were six ‘likes’  and only two ‘replies’ so I have some hope (although I will probably never know) that some of the others could grasp what I was saying.

What questions did I hope might be raised?

Original purpose, serving gods‘?  What gods?  How did that come about?
Working in mines‘?  What mines?  Where?
The gods got fed up and left‘?  Why?  Where did they go?  What did they expect to become of us?  Are they coming back?

Good questions, assuming that any truth and importance can be assigned to the statements that raised them.  So?

Anyone with an understanding of ancient history, based on written records from historically investigated locations and the times of historical figures widely known to us, unbiased by any religion – ancient or modern, and presenting a complete account of prehistorical events (on which are based many modern religious creation accounts), would already know the answers to these questions.

Whether we believe the ancient accounts or the various interpretations assigned to them, is entirely another matter.  Many of us are gullible enough to believe the second-hand accounts derived from them, so why not the originals?

The accounts have been traced by various authors to physical places and locations as described in the accounts.  Sometimes a little sensationally and sometimes by stretching the imagination a little or a lot, depending on how stretchy your imagination is, currently.  This is why we need to have a good basic knowledge of history and science and, well, everything, really.  Too many of us are fooled into accepting what we were told from our childhood and have never questioned any of it personally.  That amazes me, given how the world (or should I say ‘society’, falling into my own trap) is turning out these days.

I have used this quotation, assigned to The Buddah, in another post recently, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it here:

Believe nothing, merely because you have been told it or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings, that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.

Unfortunately, like many hidden truths, unsavoury organisations including some with a Nazi bent, have inappropriately taken these historical accounts for their own in recent times, so a genuine researcher needs to beware of falling into those spheres by accident.  Where is Indiana Jones when we need him?

Added after publication:

Occasionally, just once in a while, one gets to feel some sort of deep satisfaction that some little thing that one has done has actually been worth it.  That means a lot.

I have added this extra bit (a post-post?) to show what I mean.  Here is a snapshot of the comment stream I posted earlier following on from where that ended.

changetheworld2

Who knows?  I may have helped start someone on a path of investigation which will, if nothing else, assuming they genuinely seek knowledge, expand their horizon of thought and open up their life to a rich world of possibility.  One cannot ask for more than that from something as simple as writing a few words.