Archive for September, 2015

Ahura Mazda, ENLIGHTENMENT, Details, DARK Side

September 29, 2015

We are all, not just Greco-Romans, but Mesopotamians. (Just in case you wonder why we have, not just a right, but a duty to re-establish the Pax Romana there!)

We are genetically Mesopotamians: long ago, more than 7,000 years ago, farmers from the Fertile Crescent travelled West, bringing not just their know-how, and their domesticated plants, but themselves. Apparently the migrant habit has a prestigious past.

Millennia after this first genetico-cultural invasion, another followed, starting 5,000 years ago. Sumer, Egypt and associated civilizations, invented an entire cultural panoply we use today, from the alphabet, to representative regimes, to mathematics and irrigation.

Enlightenment Philosophy & Monotheism Come From Ahura Mazda

Enlightenment Philosophy & Monotheism Come From Ahura Mazda

Four thousands years ago, Sumer and its fellow cities having been eradicated by colossal desiccation, salinization, flooding, and other man-made disasters, the more enlightened Babylon, and Iran, propped by Sumerian refugees, rose to the north. Mesopotamia and Iran, abstracted their truth-heavy metaphysics with Ahura Mazda (the chronology is the object of wild debates, and the proposed dates differ, widely, by a millennium; I am on the side of the early dates, 1750 BCE, and not the late ones, 600 BCE, for linguistics reasons, while suspecting Judeo-Christians lean towards late dates to diminish the debt they owe to older mythologies).

Mesopotamian metaphysics is a fundamental part of our cultural inheritance, and it is much older, and much more important than its famous celebrity descendants, uppity Judeo-Christianism and its fellow desert mutant, Islamism.

Ahura Mazda was not the only god in the universe, not the sole creator of the world. Ahura Mazda was the father of two twin spirits, Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu. The former is the holy spirit, the latter, the destructive deity, or spirit, and is also called Ahriman.

Later Ahura Mazda came to be identified with Spenta Mainyu, and the old duality turned into monotheism.

Mesopotamian-Iranian religion, later known as Zoroastrianism, had it that the cosmos was a war between light and dark. Truth and lie. Arbitrated by man. Light was good, and Enlightenment, even better. Nearly three thousand years later, European philosophers hijacked the notion (in their struggle against the obscurantism of Christianism).

But is not the Devil in the details too?

Certainly.

You see with enough details people cannot follow, reality becomes obscure, dark, controlled by uncomprehended forces. Conspirations can rule, and, hidden by thick clouds of details, their existence is not even suspected. Darkness is not just the friend, but the primary tool of oligarchies and plutocracy.

Mastering the details does not guarantee that one will see through, but it is a necessary condition for higher morality.

Thus the moral question is always: did you think of that? Did you know about this?

And the correct moral attitude is: are you sure you brought all the inputs in? Do you have the global picture? Did you take all emotions into consideration?

This is, by the way, why Political Correctness is not Moral Correctness: political correctness confuses, and reduces, morality to politics. In the USA, it means that PC politicians who, coincidence of coincidences, made immense fortunes while politicking, define morality.

Now, even better, Vladimir Putin defines morality at the United Nations, and, for him, it means one ought to support dictators (such as Assad).

But let’s backtrack: what are the “details”? Where do they come from? Am I asking everybody to learn mathematics and physics? The Will to Knowledge does not just come from details. It also come from the will to find out about the details. Hence the necessity to come equipped, or, rather, to want oneself to be equipped with an excruciating exquisite Will to Knowledge. To develop that proclivity means, first of all, to view with suspicion any will to find pleasure as herds animals do, by all emoting, feeling, thinking and acquiescing to the same.

To exert the mental muscle, one has to exert the emotional muscle as a free spirit. Only then can Enlightenment appear.

Patrice Ayme’

Ode To The Moon

September 28, 2015

Oh Moon, not just for lovers,

You shine for us all lifers

That beauty you fill us blunt

Not just for the hunt

But for humane seasons

In the end we grasped with reason

The Moon holds our hand

Across space to no end

Our celestial mate

Our own hand of fate

No Moon, No Trees? 4 Billions Year Ago, Moon Was Red Hot Liquid Rock

No Moon, No Trees? 4 Billions Year Ago, Moon Was Red Hot Liquid Rock

***

Earth’s Moon is most peculiar. It is large relative to the planet it orbits around. Nearly as large as the three largest satellites in the Solar System: Ganymede, Titan, Callisto. Those orbit giant planets.

The Moon has made advanced life on Earth possible. Maybe if Mars had a large moon, it would enjoy obvious life now: a moon would have made super summers impossible.

No Moon, No Sentience?

No Moon, No Sentience?

If one considers Mercury, Venus and Mars, there is something very wrong with their diurnal rotation: it is either way too slow, or way too wobbly, in the fullness of time. Even if Venus did not have a killer CO2 atmosphere, it’s very slow (counterclockwise) rotation would have scorched, half freeze life there, on a perpetual basis.

Mars rotates on itself in roughly one Earth day, but the axis of rotation does not just precess (as it does on Earth). It also changes inclination on the plane of rotation of the planets (the “Ecliptic”). And does so wildly. This means that, periodically, Mars has super summers (and super winters). During super summers, a lot of water vapor appears in the atmosphere, and that’s a powerful greenhouse gas (actually more powerful than CO2).

The Moon-Earth system has one global angular momentum: as the Earth’s rotation slows down, due to the friction of the tides, Earth’s angular momentum goes down, so the angular momentum stored by the Moon has to go up. That’s mostly stored in the product of the distance of the Moon, times its mass, times its speed. The only of these three factors which can go up is the distance of the Moon: so the Moon, which used to be very close to Earth, is now roughly at one light second.

Water Streak In This Martian Crater Are Hundreds Of Meters Long, Five Meters Wide

Water Streak In This Martian Crater Are Hundreds Of Meters Long, Five Meters Wide

NASA confirmed today what we already knew: there is briny water flowing on Mars. It’s liquid at minus twenty degrees Celsius (being full of anti-freeze). It’s exact origin is still unknown: deliquescence, melting permafrost, watery reservoirs?

It has long been known there is plenty of water on Mars. It’s just frozen in the ground, and at the poles. During super summer, the poles probably disappear, and there is much more water and warmth on the planet. It’s not excluded that life blossoms then.

Super seasons would have been be a killer for Earth’s advanced life, periodically over-heating or freezing the ocean.

Where from this orbiting celestial miracle?

The Moon is made of Earth. Science does not explain that yet. The main theory’s base state claims that the Moon is collision debris: Earth would have collided with a third body, Mars size, and the orbiting debris would have gathered into the Moon.

I even have my own theory, both outlandish and Politically Incorrect: a succession of nuclear-assisted explosions would have lifted material at the Roche limit, where it would have gathered, forming the Moon.

Angular momentum would have done the rest. Pro my theory: we have a massive, life-giving nuclear fission reactor below our feet. It rotates an iron ocean which in turn generates a life saving magnetic shield. It also generate plate tectonic and mantle subduction, which burrows all nefarious fossil fuels, and excess CO2. (That worked well until the oil devils took over!)

Could we have life on Earth without our large Moon?

This is not clear. Not at all. Having a stable rotation axis is primordial. One of our Solar System gas giant’s rotation axis is nearly within the plane of the ecliptic. Something happened to tilt it. Gas giants can be tilted. Yet, the Earth would be hard to tilt, because of the Moon.

Patrice Ayme’

Destroying Civilization, Stone By Stone

September 27, 2015

Civilization is under attack. By some measure, the holocaust of the biosphere, the greatest attack ever.

Putin has a solution: follow him, he is our new guide. Civilization is under attack. Actually, it is being invaded, and the plan (unsaid) is to occupy it. No, not “Occupy Wall Street”. Instead, it’s the obverse: “Wall Street Occupy Everything”. All successful invasions are heralded by a diversion. When Genghis Khan decided to utterly annihilate Khwarezmia, he made a diversionary attack, in the obvious place, while his main field army went all around through thousands of miles of desert. The invasion of France in May 1940 was also made possible by a diversionary attack on the Netherlands. Christianism itself can be viewed as a diversion organized by Rome’s greatest plutocrats, to anchor their rule in God (by the Fifth Century the wealthiest, that is, tax-free, families all had a bishop in their ranks). The Christian God’s Heavens was the ultimate fascist instate. And the emperor its servant on earth.

This 2,000 Year Old Temple Was Destroyed By Islamism.

This 2,000 Year Old Temple Was Destroyed By Islamism.

Islamism was established by mimetism from Christianism (mimetism from Greek mimētēs, imitator). As Islamism was directed towards less civilized people, it was much more primitive than Christianism. Christianism had to bend over backwards to seduce the semi-intellectual class, and the New Testament started by pretending that the “logos” itself was “god”.

(Even then, the counter-attacks against superstitious Christianism by secular Parisian and Athenian philosophers nearly succeeded as soon as the Fourth Century; see the story of emperor Julian.)

Christianism destroyed the largest temples and public buildings of the Greco-Roman empire. It was important to claim there was nothing before Christ. Islamism has long done the same. The so-called “Islamist State” can only do the same.

There is no history, but the history of Islam, and Muhammad is its prophet!

ISIS representatives say they are combating “shirk”—the sin of idolatry or polytheism: in this case, reverence for something other than Allah. The Qur’an punishes idolatry with death.

The apologists of fanaticism claim Islamism says no such a thing. Fanatics are always saying that reality is different from what it, obviously, is. This is the definition of fanaticism (fanum being the temple, fanatics come out of the temple).

Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the tax, let them be.”

(This ayah is, chronologically, from the penultimate sura (At-Tawbah) in the Quran.)

This is clearly about planning future lethal attacks. Not self-defense. It’s about killing, ambushing,  recalcitrant pagans (‘idolaters’). But, if they’ve already truly converted (‘keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate [zakat]’), then leave them alone. (But let them beware: if they are thought not to be believers anymore, the Qur’an orders to kill them, for apostasy.) Assuming the Quran is the word of God, faithfully related, this murderous aya, known as the verse of the sword, is plenty enough proof that Allah commands conversion of Pagans by lethal force. (In context of sura 9 (Al-Tawbah), Meccans weren’t fighting Muhammad: they were merely resisting his authority. Yes that contradicts  the Quranic injunction against compulsion in religion. This is an example of Quranic abrogation: a later revelation contradicting earlier ones.  Allah is not always rational. He changes his omniscient mind, and becomes very angry if asked about his murky relations with Djinns and Satan (he actually threatens in the Qur’an those impertinent people who would ask such questions).

Allah is much more murderous than Muhammad. At some point He gets angry against the Messenger, who has been too lenient with the enemy:

Qur’an (8:67) – “It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land.”

Qur’an (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

Qur’an (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more fitna and religion should be only for Allah”

‘Fitna’ is disbelief. Muhammad by that time is in power, and prior injunctions for self-defense and having no coercion in religion are not needed anymore.

Qur’an (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”.

A natural question arises:

Chris Snuggs: (September 21, 2015): “Has any member of the establishment facilitating the takeover of Europe by Islam actually READ the Koran?

Patrice Ayme: Non-Muslims who read the Qur’an, the establishment tells us, are full of prejudice. Why don’t you read the Bible or the Torah, the establishment points out: they have their Dark Side. As if we were presently still threatened by a take-over by the Catholics, Lutherans, and Orthodox Jews.

The establishment rules over us, having grabbed all the levers of power, while continually increasing said power by gathering ever more money through (legal) tax avoidance by all sorts of tricks (anonymous trusts, etc.). The establishment is afraid that we will find out, in a timely manner, that it has organized the greatest theft of all times (by capturing the money machine). The establishment is afraid we will realize it is the greatest Mafia ever: the Mafia of all Mafias. That we will realize this, before its take-over is irreversible.

Thus the establishment is afraid to be turned into the number one target of a revolution to save civilization. So the establishment needs a scapegoat, and one that will allow to foster the security state: Putin showed the way on how this is done: he wasted Chechnya, imposed his own men, and an increasing control on Russia, in complicity with his own selected plutocrats (“oligarchs”). Thus the establishment has no interest to read the Qur’an. Even better: he has every interest that we don’t read the Qur’an and thus we are told that reading the Qur’an in a critical fashion (like noticing the death threats against various categories of people) is RACIST.

Chris Snuggs:  (Sept. 27): “None of the religious lunatics you mention are like Islam, which is a totalitarian and murderous sect.”

Patrice Ayme’: Far from it. Christianism in its heydays killed tens of millions. Just one million killed during the Crusade against the Cathars/Albigeois. According to the English historian Gibbons (and I concur… with a twist) Christianism killed the Greco-Roman empire. See Theodosius’ murderous laws of 381 CE and his “war against the philosophers”.

Two centuries later, the intellectuals and their books had to flee the Greco-Roman empire. And so on. Fanatical Judaism caused the two terrible wars circa 70 CE and 139 CE, which brought the destruction of Judea, and its semantic and demographic replacement by what the Romans named “Palestina” (to forget about Judea). Later the Romans nearly annihilated  the last the “Samaritans” (2,000 survive today).

The religious wars which affected Europe (including England, Italy and Germany) between the Twelfth and the Eighteenth Centuries killed well above ten million. In France alone, there were  seven religious wars in quick succession at the end of the 16C before Henri IV put an end to it. In France, there are precise statistics. In 1580 there were 20,000,000 inhabitants in France. In 1594, mostly due to religious wars, between Catholics and Hugenots, the population had dropped to 18,500,000. Nearly a century later, when the genocidal dictator Louis XIV tortured, killed and expelled the Hugenots, the population of France dropped by two million around the time of these “dragonnades“.

Saying that the religions Islam was educated by were terrible does not excuse Islamism. That does not mean that Wahhabist Islam is not murderous, totalitarian, intolerant, fanatical. Actually that’s so well known there is another 100 Islam sects (many under the qualifier “Sufi”). Many of these are extremely aware of what you say, Chris, so they changed the teaching of “Islam” completely. That’s why France has put Morocco in charge of teaching Muslim priests (they don’t like to be called priests, but that’s what they are going to become).

Since the USA’s government made a deal with the Devil, at Great Bitter Lake, in 1945, though, the Saudis and other Emirs, flushed with Petro-Dollars, have used Islamism (of the Wahhabist type) as a ferocious beast with which to terrorize and kill their opponents. Then it dawned on them that they could make it the new normal, so Wahhabism has been devouring Sufi Islam, all over the world.
The Islamist diversion is the best distraction world plutocracy could profit from, as it grows, undisturbed, basically tax-free. Better: it will allow to pretend that those who oppose it are Jihadists (this has already been tried!)

Patrice Ayme’

Ice Sheets Melt: Academics Waking Up; New York Times In Denial

September 25, 2015

There has never been a more important moral, philosophical, military, civilizational, psychological, sociological and economic issue than the concerted holocaust of the biosphere by Homo Sapiens, presently passing one tipping point after another. Thus I will not present excuses for keeping abreast of any advance in understanding in the field. Even if it is just to confirm what I have long said.

The first scientific paper including computerized models of ice sheets melt predicts the obvious: if we burn all PROVEN fossil fuels reserves, ice will completely melt, all over Earth. Yet, it is a big surprise to most scientists.

This is humanity as a geologic force,” said Ken Caldeira, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, an author of the paper. “We’re not a subtle influence on the climate system – we are really hitting it with a hammer.”

Nice to read. Nietzsche was doing philosophy with a hammer, we went further: we are doing climate with a hammer. Hopefully, it will crack soon: nothing like a great catastrophe to bring further fascism. Nihilism is bad thing, naivety, even worse. To please the powers that be, and thus to be taken seriously, serious climate scientists have made unwarranted, profoundly unscientific, over-optimistic declarations about the ice sheets. Now they time is up. In truth the GreenHouse emissions are completely out of control, and still increasing… At a geological scale, every year:

50 Gigatons Per Year: This GreenHouse Is Bigger Than CO2 Alone

50 Gigatons Per Year: This GreenHouse Is Bigger Than CO2 Alone

“I didn’t expect it would go so fast,” Dr. Caldeira said.To melt all of Antarctica, I thought it would take something like 10,000 years.” Didn’t they all. Why? Because only then would one be invited at the White House. Thinking correctly means, first, to think in a way that pleases those with power.

“Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet” [Ricarda Winkelmann, Anders Levermann, Andy Ridgwell, Ken Caldeira]:

“The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 meters in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 meters per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.”

The famous Doctor Hansen and his collaborators upset the establishment two months ago by predicting a rise of three meters within 85 years (they use the reasoning I have used before, namely that paleontological data show sea level rise of 5 to 9 meters, with a rise of just one degree Celsius; actually the reasoning was obvious since 2009, when I pointed out that “2C Is Too Much“). The new paper potentially confirms Hansen’s findings. As I said, the new paper tries to NOT upset the powers that be (differently from yours truly, who views most individuals and institutions in power more than suspiciously, and it shows).  Thus, one has to read between the lines to deduce that, from the paper itself, interpreting it optimistically is completely unwarranted.

The paper says: “Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions.” Hmm… Let’s see, how long would that take, at the present increasing rate? Now emissions of CO2 itself are around 35 Gt, per year (35 billion tons of CO2, per year). That’s a number often brandished, but, left at that, it’s disinformation.  With other GreenHouse Gases, we are at 50 Gigatons of CO2 equivalent emission, per year. Sorry for taxing the mathematical capabilities of our great leaders:  12 x 50 = 600. This fits perfectly my “Ten Years To Catastrophe” essay. Thus, the West and EAST Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable in TWELVE YEARS (according to this paper; I obtained the same rough estimate with a paleoclimatic approach).

The United Nations has said that the rise of the sea would not likely exceed three feet in this century. Some island nations will be wiped out (oops). Yet experts officially hope that major cities could be protected from it, in the richest countries that is (re-oops), though at a cost in the trillions of dollars (contemplate the enormous works to protect London or Venice).

The New York Times mentioned the paper above, which say the ice sheets will start melting irreversibly within a decade, to argue, in Politically Correct fashion, that ice sheets respond slowly enough to changes in the climate that it simply takes longer than a century for large-scale melting to begin. As if that notion was in the paper. It is not. Far from it. As I have argued before, that notion is ridiculous.

Indeed, warm water will rush below the ice sheets in West Antarctica, and East Antarctica’s immense Wilkes and Aurora subglacial basins.

Subglacial Basins Are The Achilles’ Heel Of The Biosphere

Subglacial Basins Are The Achilles’ Heel Of The Biosphere

{WAIS = West Antarctica Ice Shelf; WB = Wilkes Basin; AB = Aurora Basin.]

Yet from that (tipping) point on, the paper found that thereafter, the sea would rise at the rate at a foot per decade, ten times faster than now, the New York Times admitted.

However the real text is much more alarming. Here is an extract:

“The Antarctic Ice Sheet is severely affected by high carbon emissions through both the marine ice-sheet instability and surface elevation feedbacks. On the time scale of millennia, large parts of the ice sheet melt or drain into the ocean, raising global sea level by several tens of meters. Most of the ice loss occurs within the first millennium, leading to high rates of sea-level rise during this period (Fig. 3; for more details, see also fig. S6). Our simulations show that cumulative emissions of 500 GtC commit us to long-term sea-level rise from Antarctica of 1.15 m within the next millenium, which is consistent with the sensitivity of 1.2 m/°C derived with a different ice-sheet model (33, 34). Paleo data suggest that similar rates of sea-level rise have occurred during past warm periods (35). If the 2°C target, corresponding to about 600 GtC of additional carbon release compared to year 2010, were attained, the millennial sea-level rise from Antarctica could likely be restricted to 2 m. In our simulations, this would keep the ice sheet below the threshold for the collapse of the Wilkes Basin. However, if that threshold is crossed, the Antarctic ice cover is significantly reduced in thickness and area (Fig. 4). If we were to release all currently attainable fossil fuel resources, Antarctica would become almost ice-free. It is unclear whether this dynamic discharge would be reversible and, if so, on which time scales.”

As I already said, since 2010, we have added another 230 Gigatons. So we are within eight year of the Wilkes ice sheet, the largest in the world, to become unstable. The paper admitted that about half the Antarctic ice sheet would melt or fall into the sea in the first thousand years.”

The New York Times’ interpretation  that it will take nearly a century for dramatic melting to start was obviously tainted. It is just driven by political Machiavellianism: let’s admit there is climate “change” just as there is sea level “change”, and misinform about the unfolding catastrophe (although Main Stream Media had to recently admit the snow pack in California last April was the lowest in at least 500 years). How do I know this? The scientific paper used computerized models of the huge ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland. It is the first paper to do so. Yet, according to the biased New York Times, it would have found exactly what the UN found, during this century… Although the UN did not incorporate the ice sheet melt models.

Once the ice sheet melting is incorporated, faster melting ought to have been predicted, for THIS century. However that grim prediction would have upset the powers that be. We don’t want that to happen. Now that they have the drone habit, killing throngs of people they know nothing about, who knows what’s coming next if one disparages them? Beheading and crucifixion at the most esteemed Saudi plutocracy?

For plutocrats, the Saudis are a model of Human Rights: thus they elected them to head the UN panel on Human Rights. And ice sheet melting is perfect: all great catastrophes call onto lining up fanatically behind whom Obama celebrates as our “leaders” (our masters). If a bit of engineered inflation could bring Hitler, imagine what an inflating ocean can bring! A great future for the few who rule us, tax-free.

Patrice Ayme’

Evil Mood Propagating: Our Lords Are Too Big To Jail

September 23, 2015

Volkswagen (VW), for a few months the world’s largest automaker, installed a software that enabled a car to emit much less pollution when a test was conducted than it really did when it was operated for real. Out there on the streets the cars in question were emitting 40 times more pollution. There are at least 11 million such cars (11 x 10^6).

It was not a victimless crime: the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution from fossil fuels kills seven million people a year. In France alone, the government, which has favored polluting diesel cars (after making a scientific mistake, it claims) admits that 40,000 people die, each year from pollution caused mostly by cars.

Adolf Hitler (Sitting) Created Volkswagen

Adolf Hitler (Sitting) Created Volkswagen

Logically, the boss of VW, or those responsible (if they lied to their boss) ought to go to jail, for many, many years. Letting it happen that people would be gazed in extermination camps was often punished by death after World War Two (eleven thousands Nazis were executed in Germany). On the face of it, I have a problem seeing a distinction between that, and the behavior of VW. In both cases, it’s all about killing people, deliberately, to augment one’s power.

So why did the leaders of VW sink so low?

It’s the mood of the times. If Obama sees a wedding in Yemen, and he is told that has the “SIGNATURE” of a terrorist gathering, he orders to execute the wedding crowd, with remotely piloted bombing robots. Nobody “serious” sees a problem with that. Why can’t the boSS of VW do the same?

The mood of the time is that, when a big bank launders money for drug trafficking, it is told, if caught with enough evidence, to pay a fine, and the charges will be dropped. Excuse me? There would be no drug trafficking if the money could not be transported, and laundered. In other words, no big banks, no big drug trafficking. The first drug lords to jail ought to be the big bankers who partake in the activity. The boss of VW knew this: I am sure he read the papers, occasionally. So why can’t he do the same?

Surely, to spew lethal gases in the streets of the world, is not much worse than financing terrorist Islamist  networks, as some big western banks such as HSBC more or less did not have to admit they did, once they paid a few billions of official blackmail. A few months ago.

Meanwhile some hedge fund managers made billions, in just one year, paying no tax to speak of. These billions were stolen to everybody else. Why can’t the boss of VW steal billions too? Is not his company more important?

The mood of corruption has been propagating worldwide: after all, if you spend nearly as much as the average family income in the USA, and IF (a big if) the plutocrats invite you, you can meet with the president of the USA. That’s corruption. And they call that “democracy”, piling up corruption of the soul on top of corruption of the pocket-book.

And why can’t Putin be corrupt too, and do like Hitler, and invade countries? Who is going to stop him? Corrupt plutocrats, his friends and mentors? This is exactly what made Hitler laugh, literally laugh, even using the word “plutocrat” between two bouts of laughter. It did not end up well. The plutocrats had the last laugh: playing with Hades, Pluto, Satan, one can get burned to a crisp.

(In his last few days, Hitler ordered the execution of Dr. Schacht, JP Morgan’s creature, who had done so much to put the Fuhrer in power; ironically Schacht was saved because he was going to be executed with Leon Blum, the Jewish French socialist PM: a Wehrmacht aristocratic officer berated the SS at the last moment).

Plutocrats are playing similar games nowadays. The West is supporting the Saudis plutocrats, who, at best, are bandits who ought to be jailed, and then judged. However Saudi princes would point out, they don’t see why they should go to jail if the big bankers don’t. Good point. We may as well  appoint the Saudi gangsters to head the panel which decides who shall be an expert for the Human Right Council at the United Nations.

So now the Saudi torturers, who allegedly decapitate more people than the so-called Islamist State, want to execute and crucify a teenager who heaped disrespect on them. Until his flesh falls off onto the ground in a rotten heap. Why not? After all, he is a Shia, a type of apostate Muslim as far as the Wahhabists are concerned. That he is the nephew of a major opponent is also as good a motive as any.

George W. Bush seems to have committed, in Iraq, a war of aggression. At least he was told some judges in European countries think so, and are ready to have him arrested. Thus Bush does not travel there.

At the Nuremberg’s trial, some Nazi leaders were condemned to hang until dead, just for having committed a war of aggression. Why can’t we keep on applying international jurisprudence?

In August 1924, the German imperial government attacked the world. The leaders were not hanged, as they should have been, in 1919. So the mood of aggression against the world was repeated in the years leading to the 1939 war declaration of the French Republic against the “guide” Hitler. What did the German leaders risk? They thought they were not personally at risk. They found otherwise in 1945.

Now, of course, the moral fiber was stronger in republics in the past. In August 1914, the French Republic welcomed, as war refugees, one and a half million foreigners (1.5 x 10^6). In two weeks.

Now we just have austerity, meaning that the have-nots are viewed as still having too much. Plenty of austerity, and no humanity: ce sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble.

Patrice Ayme’

Where Is Everybody?

September 22, 2015

Where Is Everybody? This is the question Enrico Fermi asked in the 1950s, referring to the little green men who were supposed to inhabit the galaxy. This question is still with us. Efforts have been made to search for extraterrestrial life. Science Fiction books are full of worlds peopled by clever creatures.

It would be reassuring to know that the galaxy is full of clever creatures. After all, if we, human beings disappeared, well, we were just not good enough, no big deal: those out there, better than us, would pursue the mission we are named after, wisdom (sapiens in Latin).

Yet I see plenty of reasons why Earth’s advanced biosphere is unique. I go even further. In my opinion, the fact Earth has a radioactive, high density metallic core is crucial. I will reinforce this argument today (in light of just published research).

Weirder Planets Than We Ever Imagined Are Out There. Yet, Weirdest Of Them All Could Be The Earth

Weirder Planets Than We Ever Imagined Are Out There. Yet, Weirdest Of Them All Could Be The Earth

Fermi, Nobel for discovering the neutrino (“little neutron” in Italian), discovered the Fermi principle and statistics (which posits that matter does not collapse because Fermions refuse to be in the same “state” in the same place at the same time). Fermi, who had fled from fascist Italy, was also the scientific head of the Manhattan project.

Fermi was both a theoretician and an experimentalist. Thus immensely clever, but yet down to earth. He obviously found that the obvious absence of civilization out there in space was a striking fact. And it is.

The idea that the stars had little Earths orbiting them, graced with little green men, with their own little green Christs, came all the way back to another Italian, Giordano Bruno. Bruno had lectured in universities around Europe, and was a friar. However, to suggest the world was not exactly as Christianism described it, was a capital crime in places ruled by Christianism.

To punish Bruno’s mental exuberance, the Vatican imprisoned and tortured him for seven years. Then the Vatican and its horrid Fundamentalist Jihadists stripped Bruno naked, pierced his palate with iron (so that he could not address the public), and burned him alive after he refused to submit to infamy. I am still waiting for the excuses from the institution at fault, the world’s oldest, the Catholic Church.

Yet, although he was a genius, Bruno was probably wrong about the little green men. Why? Where is everybody? Indeed. I argued that the nuclear reactor at Earth’s core has been crucial for plate tectonics, and preserving Earth from the runaway greenhouse which destroyed venus as a potential biosphere. I even argued that said nuclear reactor may have generated the Moon, by far the largest satellite in the Solar System relatively to the size of the planet it orbits around. (The Moon is larger than Jupiter’s third largest satellite, Europa.)

To generate a large radioactive core to a planet, one needs, first of all, metals. Actually metals enable to make very complicated molecules central to the wealth of biology. Hemoglobin carries iron which is used to transport oxygen.

Where do metals come from? Supernovae.

Which type of planets do we expect to observe in the Habitable Zone?

Vardan Adibekyan, Pedro Figueira, Nuno C. Santos

(Submitted on 8 Sep 2015)

“We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars. We confirm the previous results that super-Earths orbiting around metal-rich stars are not observed to be as distant from their host stars as we observe their metal-poor counterparts to be. The orbits of these super-Earths with metal-rich hosts usually do not reach into the Habitable Zone (HZ), keeping them very hot and inhabitable. We found that most of the known planets in the HZ are orbiting their GK-type hosts which are metal-poor. The metal-poor nature of planets in the HZ suggests a high Mg abundance relative to Si and high Si abundance relative to Fe. These results lead us to speculate that HZ planets might be more frequent in the ancient Galaxy and had compositions different from that of our Earth.”

So the (empirical) argument is that, if a planet has metal content similar to Earth, it orbits so close to its parent star that it will be too hot for life. Reciprocally, planets which orbit in the Habitable Zone are found to be metal poor.

Planets are built from the same elements as their stars. Most of the properties of planets of different types strongly depend on their host stars’ chemistry, and chemistry varies. It seems Habitable Zone planets were formed long ago. After supernovae formed and exploded, spewing heavy metals such as Iron and Uranium, second generation stars such as the Sun formed, and were metal rich. However, the observations on hundreds of planets tend to show that metal-rich stars like our sun have large rocky planets wrapped in huge gaseous envelopes (caveat: it may still be a bit of a statistical fluke, at this point!).

If not a fluke (and that’s a big if), it gives a new reason to doubt that Earth-like planets are frequent in the galaxy: I argued that not just metal, but the very heaviest metals, the ones which have such large nuclei that they fission, are indispensable for life. Now it turns out that Earth orbits a metal rich star, but at a respectable distance.

So it may well be that Earth is a very special case. Maybe some day the Galactic Human Empire will be able to colonize habitable planets in various Habitable Zones, because thanks to human technology, humans, or, rather, transhumans, will capable of synthesizing metals, as needed (one could do this, if one had a mastery of accelerator technology to fine-tuned nuclear fusion as needed).

Philosophically, this rarity of Earth’s circumstances tells us, once again, that life is more precious that we ever imagined. It’s not just our unborn great grandchildren who will suffer from the holocaust of the biosphere we are engaged in. It’s the universe itself, because we may well be that unique.

Patrice Ayme’

Give War A Chance

September 21, 2015

John Lennon sang, with a smug attitude: “All we are saying, is give Peace A Chance”. It could be argued that was justified, when the matter at hand was just the taking over of Saigon by Hanoi. (And the resulting flight of a few million “boat people”.)

A few years later, a calm maniac, who would later declare the singer an hypocrite, fired 5 hollow point bullets at John Lennon. Four of these bullets hit Lennon. Lennon was not ready for this: he was neither wearing a bulletproof jacket, nor had he a bodyguard with him. He declared he had been shot. Later he acknowledged to the police rushing him to the hospital that he was John Lennon, indeed. Every one of the four bullet was lethal. Only making Lennon nearly as cold as ice could have saved him. (But that technique is not used yet, 35 years later.) Lennon had been “peaceful”. However, Lennon’s insane aggressor judged him aggressive: aggression is, all too often, only in the mind of the beholder. Peace did not give Lennon a chance. Had a well trained armed bodyguard been there, Lennon would have survived.

Since then, authorities have kept Lennon’s murderer in jail, trusting force more than the promises of the assassin. When serious mayhem arises, men and women of good will intervene. Such should be the case in Syria, a place ripped apart by a terrible war.

In the grander scheme of things, peace, love, just as war and hatred, come and go. All what matters is to encourage, or carry on with, the most appropriate behavior at the time, given the circumstances.

Two years ago, the dictator Assad of Syria, son of Assad Senior, another dictator, killed more than 1,500, in just one chemical attack, crossing a red line Obama had brandished. France and the USA decided to punish Assad.

The Assad family is the number one cause of the civil war in Syria. As Assad launched the civil war against pacific demonstrators, and then put in the streets the Islamists of ISIS (who were in jail), terminating his brand of power was entirely appropriate.

However, at the last moment, Obama mysteriously called off the attack. France backed-off. This time indeed France was not even supported by Great Britain,differently from September 1, 1939 (when Britain had joined France in opposing Hitler).

Now Putin has surged ahead, sending fighter jets to support Assad. The reason? Russia has its sole basis on the Mediterranean on the Syrian coastal strip. For some reason, Russians consider they have to have such a basis.

France and the USA had a chance to get rid of Assad, and finding somebody more reasonable, and cleaner to lead the secular Syrian government. Now they are in the strange position to have to tag along Putin. But there is no choice. So the Obama administration has made some openings.

Another aspect where the USA has no choice: the failure to act against Assad in a timely manner, besides killing another quarter of a million Syrians, has created eleven million refugees.

In the 1939-1940 period, the USA distinguished itself by refusing all genuine Jewish refugees (hundreds of thousands got stuck in France, which was not cool, because France lost the first round with the Nazis, and got half invaded). Anxious not to look as vicious as in 1940, the USA has now announced it would accept 100,000 war refugees… next year. One cannot stop progress.

What is the conclusion of all this?

Who is going to run the empire? Putin? Which empire, some will sneer? The United Nations empire, of course. It exists, and it even has a law, the UN Charter, someone has to manage it, and, more pragmatically, to impose it.

The problem with the UN is fundamentally the same problem as with Europe: the European Union exists, it has to be managed. It has to be led. France and Germany, when awake, make a reasonable, and just forceful enough, leader of Europe.

For the UN, the leadership has to come from the three permanent Security Council members which are also the leading Western military powers. At this point, it’s pretty much the USA, and France (as Britain is increasingly unwilling to spend money on defense). However, Obama “leads from behind”, and France is already running a deficit more than 50% above the Euro Group limit (and gets little help from Germany which is well below the minimum defense spending theoretically agreed to inside NATO).

How to remedy all this? The USA ought to cooperate more with France, which, not being an island, but, instead, at the crossroads, instinctively understand the necessity to go to war. A way to cooperate is to foster the French military-industrial complex, instead of viewing it just as a deadly competitor.

For example, the USA ought to give up on the worthless and dangerous F35 program, and, conceding defeat, just buy the French Rafale.

France has not remained completely despondent: an accord was just signed with Morocco to train Islamist preachers there. This is actually an astute move. A dance with the Dark Side. But this is a long story by itself, and better treated another time.

The Romans used to say: “Si vis pacem, para bellum!” (If you want peace, prepare war). We are beyond that point now: war is here. In 1936, the Western democracies stayed out of the wars Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy had launched. That enabled the dictators to train their armies, and gain unwarranted confidence. In the shock of one week in May 1940, the French and British armies found, the hard way, that the training of their air forces was insufficient.

We don’t want such a surprise again. Putin has demonstrated he was ready to invade countries. To accept to be led by him is troubling, to put it mildly. Especially as we have a precedent: in the 1930s, the Western democracies agreed to be led by Stalin against Franco and by… Mussolini, against… Hitler. What happened next is that both Stalin and Mussolini allied themselves with Hitler against… the French Republic (hence the fall of the latter).

One cannot “lead from behind”. Obama will stay an object of ridicule, in the eyes of history, and he has more than ten million refugees to contemplate.

All over, the West is cooperating with horrendous dictators: in Gambia (!), in Eritrea, in all places in Africa which contain precious ores, etc. In Libya, the liberation of the country from the bloody dictator ought to have been followed by a military and administrative occupation, with the aim of proposing an association with Europe (the same ought to be extended to Algeria and Morocco, or Egypt).

The empire exists, and it has to exist, lest war spread uncontrollably. Simply, it’s not Mr. Putin who should be left to administer it, because Obama leads from way in the hell back there.

When peace does not work, one has to give war a chance. The alternative is meaningless annihilation.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

Homo Naledi, Or What Does “Human” Mean?

September 20, 2015

What is it, to be human? Philosophers, prophets, priests, legislators, dictators and the sheep have been pondering the notion, since there are civilizations, and they wonder. Science, that is, facts, can increasingly contribute to the conversation. And it is taking surprising twists and turns, all the way into the bowels of the Earth.

Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger pleaded on social networks to find “tiny and small, specialised cavers and spelunkers with excellent archaeological, palaeontological and excavation skills”. Was the excavation of a mysterious hominin in the Rising Star Cave in South Africa more circus than science?  “Underground astronauts” had to squeeze through a long, narrow chute less than 25 centimeters wide, to drop 30 meters into a fossil-filled cavern.

At This Point, Homo Naledi Is A Striking Mystery In Many Ways

At This Point, Homo Naledi Is A Striking Mystery In Many Ways

1550 fossils representing more than 15 individuals of a strange new kind of hominin, named Homo Naledi were found in a nearly impossible to reach cavity. The fossils are still undated: there is no stratigraphy in a cave 100 meters in, past two siphons. However, they confirm spectacularly what we already knew:

  1. There were, many profoundly different ways to be human. (We already knew this from the existence of Homo Florensis, who is very far from Homo Sapiens in physiology, but not achievements: he came with lots of sophisticated tiny weapons.)
  2. The Eurafricasian supercontinent enjoyed many areas covered with extremely diverse species of hominins. Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the fruit of a huge amount of group selection among vastly different possibilities on how to be human.

Although the fossils are still undated, making it hard to know where they sit in the human family tree, and, in particular, if they are ancestors to us, they already reveal a profoundly different way to be a member of our genus Homo. More than 60 researchers agree on the picture of “a relatively tall, skinny hominid with long legs, humanlike feet, with a core and shoulder that is primitive,” Berger says.

Paleoanthropologist T. Kivell of the University of Kent (UK) found that bones in the wrist were shaped like those in modern humans, suggesting that the palm at the base of the thumb was quite stiff,  allowing forces to spread over a larger area of the hand than in more primitive hominins—a trait associated to tool use. However, H. Naledi had a weird long thumb and long, curving fingers, associated to climbing trees.

Hand Homo Naledi: Climbing Is What Humans Do

Hand Homo Naledi: Climbing Is What Humans Do

The foot is so modern, it may have been capable of not just walking, but running.

And what were those Naledis doing, so deep inside the cave? Datation is crucial. 300,000 years, or three millions? Were the Homo Naledi there for burial, caught there by a catastrophe, or carried there by other humans more recently? We don’t know. Only one owl and a few rodents accompanied the 1500 human fossils.

All we know is the big picture: that humans were all over, all over Eurafricasia, and all over all possibilities of what humanity could be.

Patrice Ayme’

What Do We Need Men For?

September 20, 2015

This is a philosophical question: I leave reproduction issues, those technical details, aside. The latter are in the process of being scientifically solved. We can imagine a society without men, so to ponder why we would need them is of the essence.

More urgently, the obverse problem has appeared: in many societies, boys are prefered to girls, and a vast gender gap of the most ominous type has surged.

However, in the self-doubting West, conflicts, for some reasons, is not as popular as it used to be, and men are supposed to be war-like and disruptive. Why not getting rid of them? (Whether this elimination has been proposed or not, is irrelevant. In the light of the campaign waged against many a virile personality trait, it is pretty obvious that the ideal of the Greek superhero of old, the hyper virile hoplite, is supposed to be extinguished.)

With Women Like That, Who Needs Men?

With Women Like That, Who Needs Men?

[Blue Mountains.]

I asked one of my friends, a mountain guide. She generally climbs, when not guiding, with two other very strong climbers, who happen to be women. As I contemplated them, I wondered, indeed, what we needed men for. Could not that trio prove that women could do all what men could?

The question is not new. In the 1950s, when the Himalaya was immensely dangerous, French women constituted an entirely feminine expedition to climb some unconquered summit. However, mother nature decided otherwise, and smashed the arrogant creatures’ base camp below thousands of tons of snow.

My friend the guide told me the most ferocious boss she ever had was female. Moreover, although she agreed that men were pretty useless, at first sight, and thus that women could do without men, there was nevertheless something good about having males around. Women were pushed to go further when men were around.

The reciprocal reasoning has long been made by the chivalry, and the nascent romantic tradition. The Sixteenth Century French poet Ronsard pointed out, by claiming that love for the other gender was most transcendental:

Et moi sans faire long séjour

Je m’en vais de nuit et de jour

Au lieu d’où plus on ne retourne”.

Si est-ce que je ne voudrois

Avoir été ni roc ni bois,

Antre, ni onde, pour défendre

Mon corps contre l’âge emplumé,

Car ainsi dur je n’eusse aimé

Toi qui m’as fait vieillir, Cassandre.

ODES, IV, 10

Trans PA.:

Without sojourning long,

I am going, night and day,

To this place one does not come back from,

Yet, I would not have wanted

To be neither rock nor wood,

Cave, or Wave, to defend

My Body against feathered age,

As thus hard I would not have loved

You who made me age, Cassandra.

In other words: love is what makes life worthy. We pay for love, with life. That sounds a bit crazy, thus having crazy relations with the other half of humanity may help. Courtly love, which was invented in “love courts” set by women around the Twelfth Century had made the most ethereal form of love the most valuable value to guide humanity with.

My friend the mountain guide made the same point pragmatically: inter-gender relationships are more stimulating than having them not.

What the two genders do, is that they force us out of our mental box, or more exactly, our logic.

Can we rephrase this more… logically? Yes! The (slightly) different neurohormonalities, and maybe even neurologies, of men and women give us different logics. Call them L1 and L2. So by having women we get L1 (say) and by having men we get L2. So, with two genders, we get two logics. At first sight, that’s already twice richer than just one logic.

Moreover, by making L1 and L2 interact, we get more than just one or the other. Actually we get more than the union of L1 with L2. What we get, at the very least is the smallest logic containing both L1 and L2. We get META(L1, L2), comprising the meta discourse of L1 on L2 and of L2 on L1.

This is the big argument for neurohormonal diversity. And it can be generalized: the main mental reason for having physical exercise, adventures, or simply dreams, or poetry is that they create different neurohormonal states, and thus different logics.

This general reasoning of neurohormonal diversity generating logical diversity extends also to hermaphrodites and so-called “transgender” creatures.

Some may object that I talked about “logic”, and not of what men and women differ the most about, emotion. But my notion of “logic” covers “emotion”. “Emotion” is what gives meaning to logic, by assigning “truth values”, which are defined by practice, to generalized semiotics (in particular generalized semantics).

But this is a subject for another time. Passions, the supreme emotions, propel reason beyond the reasonable, and in this progress, our ever more transcendental nature. We need men and women, because we need ever more, and never less. And maybe violence of men is part of these riches, and the softness of women what is needed to make the Dark Side sustainable.

If advanced animals can be characterized by their Machiavellian intelligence, nature’s wisdom can be even more so. To have two genders with different ways of looking at, processing the world, and even being with the world, gives us stereoscopic vision for the mind’s eye. The mind of our culture, our all encompassing world culture, which can even drive biological evolution itself (another subject for the future).

Vive les  différences!  

Patrice Ayme’

Ancient vs modern ethics: a comparison

September 17, 2015

Ethics As The Enlightenment Of The Dark Side

Morality is about the behaviors (“mores”; from “mos” genitive, “moris”; one’s disposition, manners, customs) which have long been viewed as best to the group. Thus morality is the software which (is viewed as) enabling group survival best. The word “morality” was coined by Cicero, and duplicated the etymology of the term used by the Greeks for the same purpose: “ethics”.

Ethics is the most important field for our times, as the power (kratos) of Sapiens is reaching some sort of singularity, from creating transgender people to wrecking the climate, let alone soon making quantum computers (and thus Artificial Consciousness).

All humans come equipped with an intrinsic, default ethics: human ethology, selected by millions, tenths of millions of years, of biological evolution. It’s the divinity inside. Still, culture enables it.

Our lives are influenced by, and, to a large extent made of, how we act. However, “life” is more general than just “acts”. It’s also all what was, and is experienced, felt, all what is imagined, dreamed for, and desired. Thus, our actions are often predicted by our inclinations. Indeed, one should go back to the Ancient Greek notion that philosophy and ethics are all about how we live. More than simply how we act.

Socrates is widely viewed as the father of, all too much of philosophy. All too much, indeed, because Socrates made a huge mistake. Socrates believed that lack of goodness was just about ignorance. Well, true, ignorance can cause a lot of evil. But was Stalin just ignorant? Ignorance is not what defined Stalin. Malevolence is more like it. Malevolent enough to crush Hitler, among other feats.

Hence malevolence does not need ignorance. It often does better without it. Had he been smarter, Hitler could have killed much more people: ignorance curtailed his achievements.

Evil is its own divinity, its own fundamental cause. Socrates, who valued knowledge so much, completely ignored the Dark Side. And that ignorance was, indeed, evil.

Ignoring the Dark Side is a mistake that neither Christianism nor Islamism committed… Perhaps to excess (as they both seem to laud it: both the Bible and the Qur’an have “verses of the Sword”, which, in both religions, required to kill “unbelievers”; see Luke 19; 27, and Sura 5 verse 9).

In any case, the Dark Side is real, and not very surprising in a species which reach supremacy by eating other animals. Ethics always ignored it at its own risk. As Socrates found out when he had to die, for his naivety in ignoring the Dark Side. Of his own students!

There are more comments to be made about the essay below:

  1.  Kant’s silly metaphysics of the “moral imperative“, up in the air, yet brought to ground as obscene submission to authority, helped to bring Nazism… In view of not just the blatant evidence, but according to what the Nazis themselves pretended (Nietzsche seemed to have guessed Kantian “morality” would lead to this unfathomable disasters, hence his wild attacks against what he condemned as German herd mentality).
  2. Not only did Nazism sink nearly all pretense to ethical authority that most of German inspired philosophy could have, but it revealed ethical problems similar to the famous Melian Dialogue, but writ much larger, and even more ominous.
  3. The discovery of ethology, and in particular human ethology, (ought to have) changed the entire field of ethics. No serious philosopher can pretend otherwise. And this brings us right back to the contemplation of the Dark Side, one of the two pillars human supremacy rests on, as if Atlas on two legs.

Patrice Ayme’

How to Be a Stoic

ethicsEthics — as a branch of philosophy — means a very different thing today than it did once. And that, perhaps, is a mistake. There is an excellent article over at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, by John-Stewart Gordon, discussing the topic, that is very much worth checking out. Here are the highlights.

The first, and arguably most important, thing to understand about how the Greco-Romans conceived of ethics is that they regarded it as the study of how to live a happy life, not (as in the modern sense) the study of which actions are right or wrong. Gordon mentions the example of “justice,” which the ancients saw as a character trait (a virtue), not as the idea of people having rights.

Accordingly, it is interesting to note that the words “ethics” and “morality” have revealing roots: the first one comes from the Greek êthos, a word related to our idea of character…

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