Archive for April, 2017

Dragonflies Play Dead, So Do Our Masters

April 30, 2017

Animal behavior can be extremely intelligent, even in insects. Being an animal means being intelligent. (I was once nearly pushed off a mountainside by a giant sheep which looked innocent, cuddly, thoroughly unawares and stupid enough, until it deliberately, smartly, shoved me downslope.)

A study from the University of Zurich, published in the journal Ecology, reveals that the moorland hawker dragonfly plunges at high speed, a risky maneuver, and then pretends to drop dead, upside down, to escape aggressive males (sometimes, the hovering male inspecting the belle from above, is not fooled, though…) There are instances of other animals faking their own deaths to avoid being killed, for example opossums, who look thoroughly disgusting, foaming at the mouth, as if they had a terrible disease (the disgusted predator, not wanting to catch something, generally walks away).  

I see, therefore I think. And I think playing dead works.

Playing dead is a well documented strategy (even in dragonflies). Yet, this is the only study of female animals faking deaths to avoid mating. 

Researcher Rassin Khelifa was collecting insect eggs in the Swiss Alps, something he had done for ten years, when he noticed that a female dragonfly would fake her own death by falling from the sky and then lie motionless on the ground until the male dragonfly leaves the area.

“While I was waiting at a pond near Arosa, at about 2,000 meter elevation,” he wrote, “I witnessed a dragonfly dive to the ground while being pursued by another dragonfly… the individual that crashed was a female, and that she was lying motionless and upside down on the ground. Upside down is an atypical posture for a dragonfly. The male hovered above the female for a couple seconds and then left. I expected that the female could be unconscious or even dead after her crash landing, but she surprised me by flying away quickly as I approached. The question arose: Did she just trick that male? Did she fake death to avoid male harassment? If so, this would be the first record of sexual death feigning in odonates.”

This is when the philosophical method has kicked in: the mind has one example, a single example, and builds a (putative scientific) theory from it. We know that’s how the visual system itself works (the visual system is mostly stimulated by itself: information from the eyes is less than 10%!)

The human mind is a philosopher.

After making this initial revelation, Khelifa spent the next few months documenting instances where a female dragonfly would crash-land and play dead while being pursued by a male dragonfly. He observed that when female dragonflies arrived at the pond where male dragonflies were “constantly patrolling looking for a mate”, the females would be intercepted mid-air. After copulating nearby, the male dragonfly would fly away, leaving the female unprotected while she laid her eggs.

In 86 percent of cases that Khelifa observed, the females would crash to the ground and fake their deaths. “Those that kept flying were all intercepted by a male but if they were motionless, 77.7 percent of the dragonflies were successful in deceiving the coercive male,” he wrote.

This behavior could have resulted from exaptation, a term in evolutionary biology to describe a trait that has been co-opted for a use other than the one for which natural selection has built it. “Since death feigning already exists in the behavioral repertoire of dragonflies, females of the moorland hawker expanded the use of this anti-predatory function to avoid male coercion,” Khelifa wrote. “On the other hand, the origin of this exaptation is probably sexual conflict where each sex adopts reproductive strategies that best serve its own survival and reproductive success.”

Plummeting to their fake deaths appears to help female dragonflies survive longer and produce more offspring by avoiding coercion. “Sexual death feigning is one of the rarest behaviors in nature, and due to its scarcity, it has received little attention in behavioral ecology. Currently, it is restricted only to arthropods. It would be interesting to know whether this scarcity is true or just an artifact related to the lack of behavioral investigations or difficulty in detecting this behavior.”

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Playing Dead, and Playing Dumb: How Plutos Rule:

Thus, when I argue that human history is much subtle and infused with human will and machination than official history has it, remember the dragonflies! If they can be so smart, so can we!

My Machivellian philosophy and vision of history extends in many dimensions. Not just Islam, plutocracy, democracy, civilization, and the evil nature of the best humanism. Fortunately, it is gaining credence.

For example, the Egyptian ambassador to France, Ehab Badawi, a self-declared “moderate Muslim educated by Jesuits“, and was once punished by a Father for not having studied the Qur’an well! Ehab Badawi argues that the West is the main sponsor and enabler of terrorist Islam (he puts it a bit more diplomatically than me). Badawi says this: Western satellites carry TV channels which incite to evil interpretations of Islam, and make propaganda for the worst Islam madness. Thus, instead of accusing the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia, the ambassador accuses the Western plutocrats (who launch and operate the Islam propaganda satellites).

I have explained that the rise of fundamentalist Islam was a deliberate ploy by US  and British plutocrats (more exactly, initially, oilmen). The de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the 31 year old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, picked up a nearly three-quarter of a billion dollar yacht in south France last year (previously owned by Russian plutocrat). At the same time, he was imposing fierce austerity in Saudi Arabia. The Serene yacht was made in Italy.

Saudi Arabia is a dollar recycling machine which sends billions to Wall Street in a somewhat similar fashion to the European Central Bank sending 2.7 billion Euros a day to the world’s wealthiest entities. Smart. And when you ask the right questions, they play dead (that’s why I am censored by the New York Times).

Our masters and attending plutos would have to play dead, if one asked them the proper questions (fortunately for the plutocracy, in the USA, the democratic establishment is thoroughly pluto, and craftily replaced intelligent debate by racial and racist invectives, and other posing ways…)

The propaganda has been so intense, all values have been inverted. For example Paul Krugman is viewed as “left”, “liberal”, conscientious, an intellectual, look at him, like Obama, another deep thinker out of that shallow pond, he got a Noble.

Actually, as I have said for years, Krugman is nothing of the sort: he preaches disorienting venom. And this is now slowly starting to be understood by really deep thinkers. In light of what I said above about Muslim Fundamentalism (a plutocratic device), Krugman style thinking is just another plutocratic device. (And even the lukewarm critiques of the ilk of Sanders and Warren can be viewed as suspiciously mild posing…)

Similarly, in France, to block all changes, one accuses the National Front to be fascist. But surely the national Front is not causing the sinking of France? It was never in power. More generally, “populism” is accused of fascism (basically, following the model established in France, in the last thirty years, of calling the National Front, fascist and populist).

Meanwhile the European Union did its best to block in Turkey those who wanted to block Islamism (see Wall Street, above). Conclusion? The Sultan Erdogan has censored Wikipedia, blocked it, just as the New York Times blocks me. (It’s true that lies about Turkey, if outrageous enough, should be blocked; however, that should be done publicly, punctually, and debated. In a case like that, the state should be able to go to the Justice system, something that already exists for books. Worldwide.)

If the masters play brain-dead long enough, imposing their example, the brains of the rabble will atrophy, just as intended. Of course, to start with, a democracy with masters is a contradiction in adjecto. When one starts bad, and deny it, it can only get worse!

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocracy Banking On Obama, Macron

April 28, 2017

Finance Self-Finances By Financing Your Leaders:
Obama won’t go to Wall Street he certified to “60 Minutes” just before leaving the White House. He may as well: when lying is one’s speciality, one has to practice all the time, and break the lying sound barrier. This is what happens when as critics focus to yesterday’s lie, one has moved to the next one. Adulated minutes with Wall Street powerhouse Cantor Fitzgerald will bring Obama $400,000.

As Obama wrote a greatly fictionalized autobiography. However he let slip as an important slip, his greatest philosophical principle: the important thing in life is how to navigate. This is certainly the case for the puppet leaders we enjoy nowadays. It’s actually their definition: they would do anything to exert power on other people, and, as they start with nothing, they are ready to do everything.

We know this sort of creature. History has seen it before, especially when called upon by a corrupt state of affairs. Even Elizabeth Warren, who likes to pose as a far-left Massachusetts Democrat, had taken Obama’s $400,000 contract to speak at the big-money Wall Street firm.
‘I was troubled by that,’ she said during an interview about her latest populist book (is she still troubled by it, no more, the next day?).
‘One of the things I talk about in the book is the influence of money. I describe it as a snake that slithers through Washington. And that it shows up in so many different ways here in Washington.’

Obama the slithering snake, in many different ways, and that is the truth?

A creed for our degenerate, abysmal times. Obama: ‘I Slither, Therefore I Am. What’s your problem? That I am a winner and you are a loser? Faust was just a book, losers! There is no nefarious pact with the devil, any devil, when there is no soul to lose! Enjoy staying ahead while you can! If nobody makes you gifts, ain’t my fault!’

Cantor-Fitzgerald is not any financial firm: it’s one which profited handsomely from 8 years of handsome giveaways from the US government, trillions of dollars of them, during the gigantic “Quantitative Easing-Twist” programs. Those programs were the essential stimuli of Obama’s reign. Instead of financing We The People, or the economy of the entire USA, those programs financed the wealthiest financiers and their managers.

Understanding this is beyond the reach of the media, even the smartest (New York and its ilk, The Economist, Financial Times). And if it’s somewhere in the Internet, besides yours truly, I am not aware of it. This is deliberate, because that’s how the owners of these media are getting ever wealthier, powerful, and mind controlling. The end result is that 99% of the population have no knowledge of the fact that the government which nickle and dime them, gives trillions to the wealthiest. Actually those trillions have been stolen, because it is the agent of the wealthiest (like Goldman, Cantor, etc.) who gave that money to their masters.

Victor Hugo wrote about these things, nearly two centuries ago. In “Les Miserables”, Jean Valjean steals a bread and is sent to hard labor. In 2017 France, a man was condemned for having stolen 20 Euro CENTS. With 20 Euro cents, one can buy just not even a fifth of the cheapest bread. That man was sent to prison. This is Macron France.

The USA is not any better: California has sent people to jail forever, for stealing a pizza slice, and stealing $31 of candy will accomplish the same.

At the same time, Macron says, Obama like, that, “France has no culture” and “colonialism was a crime against humanity“… Meaning that Julius Caesar committed a crime against humanity, when he made the more than 60 nations of Gaul into one? Money is, for the elite, the only culture worth having.

One has to remember that the inherited feudal system which grew out of the early Carolingian empire, appeared exactly that way: government positions turned into inherited, ever richer families
.
The only thing Obama knows really well about finance is that if you finance the wealthiest finance, as a great leader of the so-called free world, finance will finance you. This is not just the past, but the present, and the future. Just as self-described American democrats voted for the Goldman Sachs bank by voting for Obama, self-described French socialists are getting ready to vote for Banque Rothschild.

Have we ever seen more ridiculous times? As the other one would say, at least the Nazis tried to hide what they were doing. But now no more: the leading candidate to the French presidency, 39-year-old, used to be a banker, making millions of Euros a year, merging companies, firing workers. Guess what? He does not know, nobody knows, what he did with all this money. Guess even better? The plutocratically owned French media don’t care, and when Macron says his many millions are now just 300,000 Euros of total property, they don’t smell a rat.

Obama went to a private island resort next to Tahiti where it costs $11,000 a day. So in 4 days, Obama spent more on his leisure than a median family of four in the US earns in a year (post-tax). And he probably paid nothing, just as he paid nothing frolicking on a 500 foot yacht afterwards, or on Branson’s private isle (there, a retinue of 100 people accompanied him, also at taxpayers’ expense).

Cantor Fitzgerald specializes in the sort of investment the Obama presidency made, with Quantitative easing, so we can view this as a quid pro quo. In 100 days, the Obamas already piled up 61.9 million dollars in payments I know of. At this rate, it will take 15 years for Obama to become as rich as Trump. Not a bad deal, for the wealthiest, as the wealthiest never got as rich under a leader, as under Obama, in the entire history of humanity.

This is a time of progress, down the abyss of inequality, and the flaunting of corruption. We are led by greed machines, obsessed by power onto other people, and otherwise vacuous: Clinton, Obama, Trudeau, Macron, Putin, May, Renzi, etc.

Trump? Of course Trump is a will to power machine, but he can afford a soul, a will of his own, something the ones I just mentioned could not, and cannot, afford, otherwise they would not have been selected to lead us all, in this mesmerizing puppet shows, while, behind the thrones, feudalism keeps on growing, like the metastatic cancer that it is.

It is easier to  change things, to confront an opponent (like Trump) when one knows what said opponent really believes in. Authenticity is an asset for progress. When the opponent is maximally lying (as Hitler or Mussolini, or Stalin and Mao), the task is more difficult.
Patrice Ayme’

Tribes, Tribute, Attribution, Scapegoat

April 27, 2017

Human beings are fundamentally tribal. Without a tribe, survival was unsustainable. A father baboon, with mummy and the kids, is just food, for a leopard. However, a large male leopard going to drink will be attacked by a mob of baboons, and will have to flee for dear life. The power of the tribe is how baboons survive: they need to get to very dangerous water holes and rivers, every day, in scorching hot Africa. Baboons also learned how to conquer the savannah, and they can do so, only because they are military.

It’s not any different for human beings. True human beings are larger than baboons (but not larger than the giant baboons who used to roam Africa, before humans extinguished them). But human beings’ only defense is weapons, best used as a fighting army, not the giant, lethal canine teeth of baboons. Moreover, human beings have higher metabolic needs than baboons, not just from larger size, but also vertical posture, running and sweating (not just sitting in trees when threatened, waiting for danger to move on). Most importantly, human beings have large brains which are so energy greedy that human had to eat flesh, muscle, animal fat, replenishing marrow and the rich brains of prey.

A tribe of 100 humans, comprising 20 warriors, had supremacy on the savannah. All animals knew this, from hyenas, to buffaloes, down to crocodiles and snakes. Only another tribe could stop it. 

Sacrificing the occasional scapegoat makes the tribe stronger, more unified, better fed, cognitively satiated. By the way, those obsessed by God, may, thanks to God, engage in criminal behavior, and this all the more, the more vicious and violent the so-called “God’ is. Just ask Erdogan.

Thus fascism (obeying the alpha males strictly in case of conflict) and tribal hatred became fundamental in human ethology: they made humans, and even proto-humans possible. That’s why we share these traits with chimpanzees.

So now, here we are. All human endeavors are influenced by the  tribal spirit. Yet we are 8 billions, our tribe comprises eight billion, not just 100 individuals.

Indeed, we have solidarity, whether we like it or not. If one billion died off on the other side of the planet, it’s extremely likely that our own fates, our entire species, would be threatened by the same menace which killed our fellow-men, far away. Far away is not what it used to be. Our ancestors threw a rock 20 meters, now it takes 20 minutes to hit anywhere significant, with the Sun’s own thermonuclear fusion.

Of course, the formation of tribes, and achieving a sense of existence, thanks to tribes, is not the only concept which characterizes humanity. Intelligence is even more so. Searching for truth is formalized as “science”. Now a massive economic activity.

However, science, even science is still informed by the tribal spirit. This is why various tribes, even scientific tribes, can, and will, take violent, aggressive stances. Far from being a secondary characteristic, an anecdote, the aggressivity in science is front and central. One way to do this, is to steal others by attributing tributes falsely. This has real consequences on the evolution of science, and of thinking in general. For example, my misattributing the heliocentric theory, inertia, the theory of relativity and evolution, the subtleties, or depth, of the real creators was forgotten (the real creators being respectively Buridan, not Copernicus and Newton; Jules Henri Poincaré, not Einstein; and finally Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, not Darwin).

Buridan anticipated Riemann’s description of force, the meat of “General” Relativity. Poincaré, creator, with Lorentz of local space and time theory, anticipated it was not the end-all, be-all (as Quantum Physics says). And Lamarck, well, turns out to have been much more right about evolution, than even his most determined supporters anticipated…  

Notice this: the concept of “tribe” brought that of tribute, attributing, even “peer” as in “peer review”. Science is all about tribes… from the very language it uses! (I am aware of “Science Wars”, “Postmodernism”, Popper, Kuhn, etc… But, in some ways, I am going further, and I do know science quite well.)

So what of the concept scapegoat in all this?

Scapegoatism holds the tribe together by example.Here I will refer to Girard, long a professor at Stanford (a place I graced with my presence too). I have generalized the Scapegoat Theory (which is thousands of years old), by a more general form, Moral Displacement Syndrome. But let me give here Girard’s simple minded description.

René Girard was born on December 25, 1923, in Avignon, France.

Whereas the philosophers of the 18th century would have agreed that communal violence results in a new social contract, Girard believes that, paradoxically, the problem of violence is frequently solved with a lesser dose of violence, a sort of vaccination.

When (Girard’s concept of) mimetic rivalries accumulate, tensions grow until they reach a paroxysm. When violence is on the verge of terminating the community, very frequently a bizarre, but well-known, psychosocial mechanism arises: communal violence is all of a sudden projected upon a single individual (or a group, for example, the Jews in Europe; an example the Catholic-by-avocation Girard would have noticed, is the legend of Jesus, the mythical founder of Christianism, who ends and is reborn and brandished, as the eternal scapegoat).

Thus, individuals who were formerly struggling this way and that, now unite their efforts against someone, or some group, chosen as a scapegoat. Former enemies now become friends, as they communally participate in the commission of violence against a specified enemy.

The scapegoat re-activates the fascist instinct, satisfying the tribal nature. The scapegoat is also cognitively satisfying, as the scapegoat’s alleged crimes provide with a theory of the adversity which unfolded, now supposedly solved with the punishment of the scapegoat.

It can happen in all sorts of weird ways: for example, the “democrats” rule, under Carter, Clinton, Obama (and even G.W. Bush whom the so-called “democrats” supported in his invasion of Iraq) was completely disastrous. Actually under Obama, inequalities reached a new peak, never reached before, and officially 23 millions, under Obamacare, have strictly no health insurance (according to the Obama administration itself), and so on. Whose fault is that? Donald Trump, a racist xenophobe busy marrying foreign women, they explained.

The same happened in France: if all is terrible there, a “Republican Front” will rescue the nation by opposing scapegoat Marine le Pen, and alleged anti-European who is a European Member of Parliament. Similarly, in Great Britain, if the country became so rich, so fast, it’s all the fault of the European Union and its millions of immigrants.

A concept can become a scapegoat: if Germany was bad, the Nazis explained in the 1920s, egged on by plutocrat Keynes, a British economist and propagandist, it was because of the Versailles Treaty.

In North Korea, the entire planet is a scapegoat, thus the necessity to prepare nuclear Armageddon ASAP. 

This being said, there are other ways than finding a scapegoat to unite a people, such as a common project involving the power of the entire group, united (exactly what baboons do, several times a day, foraging together, or marching to and from water, both under military watch).

If one wants to understand people, their ideas, their feelings and their moods, one has to understand tribal effects.

Patrice Ayme’

Truths May, and Will, Vary

April 25, 2017

“Arum Lily”, Zantedeschia Aethiopica is a species of flowering plant in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. Here it is, south of San Francisco:

Arum Lily. In California, authorities hate French Broom, a very pretty and soft plant, which often displace the horrendous native, Poison Oak. Poison Oak can kill. However, Californian authorities believed it was moral to use poison to eradicate the French Broom and a species related to artichokes, with enormous ecological damage. Just because of the erroneous belief that immigrants have to be eradicated, even if they looked innocuous.

This is a perennial plant from South Africa, an immigrant to California (and much of the rest of the temperate world). A vegetal Elon Musk which has taken root, literally (Musk is from South Africa).

Some hate immigrants. It was long an obvious ecological truth that immigrant species were necessarily evil. However, the most recent scientific studies show that immigrant life forms are not necessarily bad. Immigrants can help the ecology by replacing disappeared taxa. An example is Tasmanian Blue Gums giving shelter to Californian Monarch butterfly (endangered).

Just as with artichokes and French Broom, Californian authorities embarked on an eradication campaign of giant Blue Gum Eucalyptus, without planting other trees to replace them. Result? Poison Oak, which grows extremely fast in any place disrupted by human activity, exploded, and a drought occurred (one could argue). Another result is that the Californian Monarch, which had learned to reside in the immigrant Blue Gums, is now nearly eradicated… Some will point the finger at Neonicotinoids, no doubt responsible, as was a de facto eradication campaign of native “Milkweed”. Neonicotinoids, a new type of insecticides, eradicated bees worldwide (and were outlawed in France in 1999…)

Wherever Europeans went, they brought European fauna and flora with them, displacing and replacing local species (even indigenous bees). This curious superiority of all things European is no accident: immigration to Europe has long been massive, it has been extremely diversified, for millions of years. As Nietzsche, said, Europe could say:’What does not kill me, makes me stronger!’ Europe is actually a cocktail of immigrants (even the Celts are immigrants, even much European agriculture, let alone Cro Magnon Man descended from immigrants, and… so did Neanderthals…)

In matters scientific, truths are often rendered quite different, under closer inspection. Although the scientific method didn’t change since there are humans, and they made tools, scientific truths continually evolve significantly. The concept of time itself has endured enormous changes in the last 140 years, and there are two of them, quite different and opposed, as we try to think today. The principle dogmas of biology have been shown to be just this, obsolete dogmas (cephalopods modify their genetics in real-time, and there is evidence that’s connected to their intelligence: the more intelligent a cephalopod, the more it can modify it’s RNA).

Truth in some textbooks, lies beyond them. Science is not a cult with dogma, aside from the obligation of thinking anew.

Patrice Ayme’

March For Science, Humanity, Sawing From Saturn.

April 23, 2017

Nietzsche “made philosophy with a hammer”. Yet science was always made with a saw, literally cutting, and not just through crap:

Today is “Earth Day”, in the USA, the most significant country, at least in the sense of most polluting, per capita (except for critters such as some emirates, Canada and Australia). Self-admiring herds of hollier-than-thou posers proclaimed the “March For Science”. Those herds marching around the US, with herbivorous intelligence, claim science is in danger. I agree, there is never enough science. 

Ironically, it is the ability to make distinctions which is in primordial danger. The inability to make distinctions proliferates in the rabidly anti-Trump, and PC crowd which tends to be marching quite a bit these days, flaunting its rage, and lack of foresight. Yet the “March for Science” is not per se anti-Trump (although the censoring, manipulative and partisan New York Times claimed it was).

Political Correctness certainly rests on the false pretense of not making distinction between being right, and feeling good. PC is driven by moods, not careful, painstaking analysis, and this is fundamentally anti-science. No distinctions, no science. (But certainly plenty of racism, tribalism, nationalism, fanaticism.) As we will see.

Marching is good, science even better. Without science there is no humanity. Literally and figuratively. Science is not a choice humanity makes, but its essence..

Humanity colonized the planet, and is now colonizing the Solar System. Colonizing: that’s what humanity not just does, but is. Starting 50,000 years ago, humanity colonized Oceania. Actually all of planet Earth, and its oceans were conquered from very small human populations. (In a very complicated spatio-temporal pattern, with select interbreeding of long isolated populations.)

***

Forecasts are that, thanks to automation, robots, Artificial Intelligence, 60 million jobs will be lost in the USA within 20 years. The solution? More science. More scientists, and artists. More high level science and other high level creative jobs. As robots crawl all over, creative thinking will be needed more than ever. For example, the mathematician of the future will coach her office AI into producing thousands of theorems, after tweaking some axiom(s). And then she will ponder how useful, or pretty, those theorems produced by the AI, look.

Homo SAPIENS, comes from Latin sapientem (nominative sapiens), present participle of sapere “to taste, have taste, be wise”. Homo Sapiens is a creature of wealth and taste. Wealth from capital, even simple obsidian blades and fire cages. 

Very pale tiny blueish dot: Earth as seen from between Saturn Mighty Rings. Shot By Cassini, April 12, 2017

Cassini/Huygens is the NASA/ESA robot sent to the Saturn system, nearly 20 years ago. It established the nature of Titan’s atmosphere and surface, and that life could exist on Enceladus. Enceladus has plenty of water and hydrocarbon molecules. Now, after using Titan to change its orbit completely, thanks to five close encounter with the mighty satellite, from various position, Cassini has switched to a semi polar orbit which allows it to squeeze between the giant planet and her rings.  In case it would collide with a grain of sand, or ice, the nuclear-powered spacecraft is advancing antenna first, using it as a shield.

Cassini was a Savoy-Italian-French astronomer, born in Nice (where now Islamist immigrants kill people by the dozens, in the name of the “Islamist State”). Cassini was first to find the Cassini division of Saturn rings and was the first to measure (using a 220 feet high church roof to set-up a camera obscura, with agreement of clerics) the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun was found to vary on the ground of the church during the year, as predicted by Kepler’s ellipse theory of planetary orbits. Cassini helped set-up the Paris observatory, and worked as an astronomer under a Louis XIV grant, for the last 43 years of his life. His son succeeded him as astronomer and geodesist (measuring the Earth).

***

Why does humanity need taste? To be able to distinguish: The word “Science” appears in mid fourteenth century English meaning “what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;” also “assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty,” from Old French science “knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge“.

In the twelfth century, the French, having the taste for simplifying the lives of their lips, transformed the Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” into something easier to pronounce (most of French is simplified Latin pronunciation… and grammar).

The original Latin “scientia” is the present participle of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from Proto Indo-European root *skei- “to cut, to split”. In French : “scier” (to saw). This is the source also of Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate;” itself related to schizo…

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Want to Save The Earth? Institute a Carbon Tax!

Trump came out with a pro-science and pro-Earth statements, so the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd will punch the air, once again. Right Trump at some point was one way, and at other points, the other. Trump and three of his children signed a  2009 letter to President Barack Obama calling for a global climate deal. “We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today,” That was before Trump discovered, as I did to my sorrow, that Obama’s aspiring mood seems to have bee that of one of these Kenyan boys helping the big white masters of international finance, in a typical picture of colonial Kenya.

Later the weather got cold when Trump was trying to golf, or enjoy balmy weather in Los Angeles, and he called global warming a hoax. Nobody seems to have shown him the graph of the deep ocean temperature, steadily going up.

“My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.” Trump’s statement added that environmental protection should not come at a cost to working families, and that the White House was focused on “reducing unnecessary burdens” on American workers while working to protect the environment.

Trump insisted that his administration would work to achieve the “twin goals” of environmental health and American economic growth, noting that “we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate… Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.”

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

Thus the usual sea of words from the US government, same as all the ones before. For 24 years, three US administrations, preciously nothing important has been done to reduce the CO2 crisis, at the US government level (whereas all European government, including fossil fuel wealthy Norway, put a 400% tax on fossil fuels).

So far, for the USA, it has been mostly words (the gasoline tax established by Eisenhower, as many good, effective, progressive things, was not really indexed on inflation, and has become ever more irrelevant). All most of the significant progress done in the US was from scientific and technological advances to which the government contributed only indirectly. For example the government contributed to PhotoVoltaic (PV) research. PV is changing the world: by 2020, the total Earth PV production will be at least 500 Gigawatts (500 standard nuclear reactors).

Human technology is improving ever more. The tech found in the 20-year-old  Cassini/Huyghens is already amazing. And we are much further. But weneed to accelerate, lest we perish. Here are the “Grand Finale” orbits of Cassini, after having used Titan’s attraction to get a completely different set of orbits.

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

There is only one policy which can seriously help: a carbon tax. Or more exactly a GreenHouse Gas tax, a GHG tax. It does not have to be punitive, vengeful. Just compute the damage particular emissions cause to the Earth, consider those to be part of their cost, and require the perpetrator to pay for that damage they cause. Those who march together, bleating together about supporting Earth, are finding all too much comfort in their lack of data gathering, thought, and will. If they want to save earth that much, they should campaign for a GreenHouse Gas tax. A GHG tax. The more GHG is used in making a product, including produce, flowers, air travel and  ship transport, the more it should be taxed (the WTO authorizes this sort of tax, at any level… while limiting other taxes at 3%. So a 35% GHG tax is WTO, and UN legal! Installing it would dramatically favor the non-carbon energy production, from PV to electric hydrogen cargo ships pulled by sails or kites…)

***

Of The Ecological Hypocrisy Of The Obamas, Oprah, Springsteen, and their ilk:

Obama is great leader of the hollier-than-thou, we-don’t-need-to-think-too-hard, as long as it looks good on TV, crowd. Obama is widely and wildly admired, by the PC throngs. Although my flesh and blood friend, he was captured by the establishment, even before he became president. Much of the rage against Trump is actually subconsciously displaced from a severely suppressed, denied rage, against Obama, changing mirage! This all needs some fresh air.

Obama sold Federal coal, one of the highest quality low sulfur coal on the entire Earth, for 20% of its real environmental cost. That in turn depressed coal prices everywhere. But don’t worry: last week, the Obamas were in Tahiti, and Moorea, on a plutocrat’s 140 meter super yacht, celebrating the sucking dummies who vote “democratic”, and want to save the Earth. The Obamas were celebrating Earth Day their way, polluting massively, for all to see, with Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, David Geffen. After an incredible performance in not appearing to be what they really are, the Obamas have revealed to be some of the greatest stage artists, and deserve to share in the .001% lifestyle. 

What will Trump do about the climate disaster? We don’t know (all the noisy measures he took so far are devoid of much impact, they satisfy the deniers, but that’s it). I advise a massive carbon tax, as usual.

***

One has to take decisions, to make distinctions: Considering the danger of Earth’s microbes spreading to Enceladus’ water ocean, or Titan hydrocarbon atmosphere, the decision was taken to crash Cassini into Saturn, where it will burn up. (Maybe Earthly microbes will survive and thrive in Saturn clouds, oops, haha…)

Yes, there is a dark side to colonization, including space colonization, and there is a dark side even to cognition itself. But not to worry: our species is fully equipped to handle the Dark Side, with a determined smile! That’s part of our charm.

Patrice Ayme’

French Presidential Elections, First Round

April 21, 2017

Eleven candidates for the first round of the French presidential elections. Each of them has some good ideas. Meaning, all of them have some bad ideas. Four of them may hope to reach the second round.

The usual classification is this: Marine Le Pen, extreme right, Francois Fillon, right, Emmanuel Macron, center, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, extreme left. Well, I don’t agree with that classification. I have another, founded on different criterions. Let me give an example.

French Guyana is on strike: people there are asking for two billion Euros to put universities, schools and the health care system (hospitals, etc.) up to the average of the rest of France. However the (“Socialist”) government declared that there was no money. Reality check: the European Central Bank (ECB) is giving 2.7 billion Euros a day to some of the world’s richest banks, day after day, month after month, year after year. Guyane: zero. Richest managers in the world: all the gifts they can dream of.

France is not just a country, but a civilization which needs to be defended. Actually the one and only civilization we have. Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerant, just conducive to terminal abuse.

The ECB is duplicating the policy of Quantitative Easing of the Federal Reserve bank of the USA, under Obama. Such a policy only augments inequalities, because its aim is to make the wealthiest wealthier. The establishment will deny the obvious, yet, that’s what is going on: the money could be given to We The People directly (Quantitative Easing For the People).

Certainly, money should be provided for modern services to Guyane. But no, money is only for the hyper rich. Those who govern have interest to make the rich richer, in the hope the rich will remember it later.

Meanwhile, as I explained, the bankrupt small German banks are used as a vehicle to provide to German industry with massive subsidies.

Ironically, I used to trash Paul Krugman for being against the Euro. But, like Trump, I am ready to change my mind. Actually I didn’t really change my mind: Paul Krugman and other Euro-phobes were anti-Euro for the wrong reasons.

Paul Krugman and company are complicit in the Quantitative Easing way applied in the USA, and now the EU. So they could not have the correct objection. My own objection is different: the ECB (just as the Fed in the USA) has been helping the rich get richer (be they plutocrats, or the entire German economy).

Marine Le Pen and J-L Mélenchon have the same position about the Euro: re-negotiate, submit the accord to a referendum. I approve.

***

Islamist Judges and Their Ilk:

The other dimension which I find crucial is the will to defend civilization against fanaticism. We have seen it all before: starting shortly before 1100 CE, a new barbarity rose in Europe, the Crusades. The First Crusade was to some extent justified, however it was conducted under completely atrocious conditions, including cannibalism, from Alsace, to Jerusalem. It got even worse later, with ever worse crusades, including the extermination of millions of Cathars, the ejection of Jews, and the apparition of the so-called “Inquisition”, one speciality of, was to burn people who dared to bring books. This ever greater degeneracy culminated in outright “wars of religions”, which cursed through Europe for two centuries. By 1700 CE, Germany had lost a third of her population, the dictator of France, not content with kicking out the Jews, had tried to  kick out the Protestants, and so on. In the Eighteenth Century, all this was reversed… At least in France and Great Britain (Prussia/Germany and Austria was a very different matter: except during conquest by the French, Jews were racially excluded).

Now we have a similar development of intolerance, propped by Fundamentalist Islam, in both its Shiite and Suni variants. The degree of intolerance is considerable, as works of Voltaire on Islam cannot be shown today. The engine of the Islamist invasion is a whole class of intellectuals… But they actually do exactly what the great masters of plutocracy who lead Washington and New York want them to do, namely propped anti-intellectual, inhuman obscurantism, favorable to their own machinations. Melenchon said part of this. Le Pen and Fillon have claimed they would take much stricter stances against Islam.

(I didn’t mention Macron, a French Obama who studied philosophy: it’s indeed the same as Obama, a candidate of the financial statu quo ante, let’s tweak here and there. I may have to talk about him more, as he has a high probability to make it to the secondround…)

Human beings are naturally abusive, especially when there are too many of them. Tribal effects is how they get stronger. At some point, some tribes can go very wrong: consider Stalinism, Nazism, Spanish fascism, Maoism, Khmer Rouges, etc. Each killed millions, even dozens of millions of innocent people, just because they could, and to encourage the others.

***

Many say: “Oh, but Fillon is corrupt.” The same would admire Obama. Obama is dozens of times richer than Fillon, for a much shorter political career. And it’s not because the USA is dozens of time richer than France. Others will say:”But Le pen is racist.” No, Le Pen is not racist. Not anymore than Trump. Some fear that Mélenchon is a great danger. Well, he cannot govern along. Parliamentary elections are coming, they will determine the Prime Minister, who really govern. The President is more into directing nuclear fire where needed….

***

Time to stop the way the Euro is abused, time to stop Islamophilia. That’s what I recommend. That leaves few candidates to chose from. There is only so much abuse a civilization imbued Republic can take before reacting, lest it wants to be destroyed.

Patrice Ayme’

Another Islam Attack

April 20, 2017

Why to use the neologism “Islam attack”? Because one talks of a “heart” attack. One does not talk of heartist attack. Killing the unbelievers, pagans, polytheists, apostates, homosexuals, unfaithful, and those who sleep around is ordered in the Qur’an, it is intrinsic to the Qur’an, it’s the most significant part of the Qur’an, and the absolute proof of this is that the calls to murders of the Qur’an formally abrogate the calls to peace and love therein: please read it before converting…

So Mr. “Mohamed”, shouting “Allahu Akbar”, after the police grabbed him in Fresno, before he could reload, killed four white people two days ago. (In both Paris and Fresno, California, police intervened quasi-instantaneously, limiting the number of dead; Fresno has a gunshot detection system, a sort of sound radar for gun firing… However this means we live in terror; I was actually personally threatened 2 days ago, while with my family, and left the area ASAP… In what I view as a terror incident…)

Some commenter on this site, an exiled French French hater called Francois Luong, told me it was “uncouth” to read the Qur’an, and to quote it. Islam was a religion of peace, that’s all he needed to know. To think otherwise, to think one could quote the Qur’an, was “racist”.

Well, facts are facts. Hitler used to call Nazism a religion of peace, anxious to help minorities (not kidding; OK, it’s Himmler who dared to say that Nazism was a religion). Those who defend an ideology, however criminal, will present it as most attractive. And the more murderous a religion, the more attractive one will try to present it. This was true for Stalinism, as it was to Jonestown cult.

Paris Islam attack, April 20, 2017. Recognized by Islamist State. Those who tell us to “respect” Islam, are the ultimate terrorists. Islam does not have to be respected anymore than Christianism ordering to bring the unbelievers in front of Jesus to kill them. By the way, the Qur’an refers explicitly to Lot in the Bible for the killing of homosexuals (“with a rain of stones“)

Mr. Luong, the pseudo-intellectual above, a self-declared “poet”, considers himself to be, and calls himself, on the Internet, a “terrorist”. Methinks that, as long as this sort of violent nihilistic discourse is tolerated on the Internet, the fight against terrorism, and not just Islam terrorism, will be a leaky ship. One cannot condemn uneducated losers to drift towards violent terror, when haughty pseudo-intellectuals thinks it’s fashionable to preach activities conducive to violent Islam all over the Internet. (Luong made a campaign against me, contacting my contacts, in media or academia, calling me “racist”, “colonialist”, etc., and urging them to block me and vilipend me. He told me he had to say all these lies, because I “had to be stopped”, and that was the only way to do it. Thus, reading the Qur’an and quoting it, has to be stopped… even through unlawful defamation; in the EU, or the USA, defamation to injure someone is unlawful…)

Attacks in Paris weaken the French Republic, thus its socialist, egalitarian tendencies, hence reinforce the Republic’s natural enemy, already obvious in the 1930s: international plutocracy. Some of these plutocrats were decorated both by Stalin and Hitler, and were the highest authorities of the so-called “democratic” party of the USA (I am alluding to the Harriman Brothers here; but not just them!).

To find the criminal, find to whom it profits most.

Ironically, before the dictatorship of Muhammad, in Mecca alone there were 360 basic deities, and that does not count the Moon, and three main goddesses. Not at all like Islam, at first sight (although symbols such as the Moon, the Kaabah, a sacred meteorite, were kept). Yet, at second sight the most important character of the pre-Islam Arabic religion was preserved: blood, and thew spilling thereof. Too many gods, and they drank too much blood. Indeed, both in the Sixth and Seventh centuries in Arabia, huge wars were all about religion, about pre-Islam religions!

Thus the mood of religious mayhem pre-existed Islam, it was strong even before the birth of Muhammad. What was going-on? Clearly religious bellicism was all about unsophisticated birth control, and carried-on in Islam. This explains both the aggressivity of fundamentalist Islam, and why Islam tends to stay stuck to desertic regions.

When Islam got to sub-Saharan Africa, among the herders and peasants of the Sahel, much more pacific, than savage desert raiders, hard-core desert Islam was transmogrified. “Sufi” Islam was invented by the sedentary peasants, and thrived… More modern and less bloody characters than Muhammad/Mahomet/Mohamed became the most important prophets.

“Sufi” Islam prospered, until the flow of Wahhabist oil driven, Wall Street plutocratic driven propaganda in recent decades.

Patrice Ayme’.

Giving A Meaning To It All

April 19, 2017

Intelligence, A Religion For Our Times, Just The Same As In The Oldest Times:

Religion gives life meaning. But yesterday’s superstitious religions have become too implausible, even for modestly educated people in the developed world (to compensate, there is an increasing number of self-advancing cynics who make a profession of embracing completely idiotic religions under the umbrella of moronic “multiculturalistm”) 

Could we turn to public good as a religion? It was done, long ago, in the best republics, or even kingdoms. This is the way the Athenians, Romans, and the old Swiss had it. No such luck: the non-superstitious religion, the devotion to the Res-Publica, the sort of religion the Romans practiced 23 centuries ago, at the height of their Republic, is sinking in a sea of corruption.

Beauty. Something to understand, as it differs so much from the mundane. Do the esthetics of the rare and mysterious appeal to us so much because we are compelled to figure it out? Thus is it the desire to understand the root of the craving for the beautiful?

The corruption is not just by politicians and their friend getting extremely wealthy (exhibit number one here is the US “Democratic” Party, where a respected demoncrat such as Senior Senator Diane Feinstein made a billion dollars no questions asked, except yesterday, April 18, when some real democratic activist interrogated her directly something related; Feinstein took it really badly and told them that, if they didn’t like her, they could leave the meeting…).

The corruption to the “representative democracy” system is intrinsic from having too few people with way too much power.

So what’s left to venerate? Well, the very essence of humanity. The core, the essence of humanity, is intelligence. It should be an object of veneration, a cult (as I already argued). Praying to that god will mean thinking hard enough to stop believing in what one was believing before, to some extent, in many ways.

Some will scoff that my new religion does not answer the traditional metaphysical questions, such as:

Why is there something rather than nothing? What’s the meaning of life? Is there a god? Is there a notion of good?

But actually my religion answers the last three: there is no god of the type people believed in previously, not anymore that there is a god of a type the local chimpanzee troop believes in. God is a question of intelligence, yesterday’s god is not any smarter than yesterday’s society.

There is a notion of good, scientifically defined, because there is a notion of pleasure, and a notion of pain, and the gradient between them defines the well ordering of goodness (I just used mathematical notions from set theory and advanced calculus, to provide me with a semantic, harnessing the casual power of mathematics).

Scientifically defined” means that a theory can be made, and experiences conducted, confirming the theory. “Good” is not that relative. It’s absolute, given the circumstances.

The new religion, same as the oldest religion ever? Intelligence. 

Turn intelligence towards all metaphysical questions.

Example: It’s there an afterlife? Intelligence will turn the question around: Why don’t people ask whether there was a prelife? (OK, some Hinduists claim to remember when they were meritorious cockroaches… Intelligence will scoff with disbelief.)

The meaning of life? Figuring all out which is in the way. The fact there is something rather than nothing is not in the way, it’s no urgent problem which we need to figure out. Whereas we have countless dramatic problems to figure out, lest we want to become bad, rather than good! (Besides, contemporary Big Bang physics, takes for granted that one gets universes out of nothing continually, or, at least, once. I think that’s crazy, but that’s just me, and my opinion is little more supported than that of the herd, some will argue…) 

The preceding shows that striking a metaphysical pose can be highly practical. Oh, and then what is the common practical metaphysics of common people throughout NATO and the rest of the West? Doing the ostrich, head deep in the sand: warm and dark down there, a womb for the incurious.

Some will object that “my religion” the cult of intelligence, is not really new: didn’t Voltaire have Candide declaring:”Il faut cultiver son jardin”? (One must cultivate one’s garden, the fundamental cult of civilization, since, without culture there would neither cult nor food). However, the cult of intelligence is much deeper than agricultural imagery. Human intelligence is several million years old, agriculture, only 10,000 years old, at most (the first cities appeared in Anatolia… before agriculture…)

Intelligence yearns to make the universe into its garden. Instead of the inwardly mood of Voltaire, akin to putting one head’s below some of the green leafy vegetables in one’s garden, akin to putting one’s head in the sand, intelligence desires to fill space and the universe. Fundamentally, the cult of intelligence is the opposite mood, of just cultivating one’s garden. Even if that search for what makes the universe tick and what it’s made of, and how comfy it can be rendered, passes through the inner sanctum of why and how is it that one thinks, or feels, this way, or that.

Thus, the cult of intelligence has to cultivate one’s garden to, but to go “plus oultre“, as Charles Quint put it (Charles V stopped the Conquista of America, for committing a holocaust there; hence we see that Charles V’s intelligence extended not just in physical space, conquering the Americas, but also in ethical space, stopping said conquest! A nice example of the cult of intelligence in action; later emperor Charles V retired to a monastery)

The cult of intelligence was implicitly practiced by the greatest leaders, such as Akhenaten, Solon, Pericles, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, Otto I, even Genghis Khan, etc…

Time to go back to our roots; all-devouring intelligence, cult of the strong, the weak, the caring and the human. Civilization has to construct and deconstruct, with maximal intelligent design, anyway. One can argue that life evolved as the architecture of intelligence, even intelligent design, and so it was, long before nerve cells appeared. The teleonomy (managing at a distance) of Quantum Physics enables to see far out, and implement the smartest (lowest energy) outcomes. Life as intelligence: one cannot get more essential than that.

Patrice Ayme’

TRANSCENDENTAL INTELLIGENCE: SAPIENS’ ETHOLOGICAL LAW

April 16, 2017

IDIOCY VIOLATES HUMANITY ITSELF

A question pertaining to the survival of civilization: is transcendental animal not to be boxed in, finally?

A biology professor asked: how far do you intend to carry that project of founding morality on genetics? Well, far enough to show how human ethology transcends genetics and epigenetics:

If one uses enough intelligence, the means become the end. The paradox of the human species!  

Maybe Homo Sapiens should be called the transcendental animal. Indeed what is wisdom, but for the ability to transcend problems… mostly by using physics?

***

Being right in matter transcendental, always starts as a first, not by following the herd:

Normal people indulging in mundane tasks feel that being right means to follow the ways of the herd, all over. The result is plain to see. The world is changing ever faster, yet the herd cannot follow itself out of the problems this generates. Going around news, media and Internet, I am amazed by the gullibility, stupidity, and the relish for the masses to indulge that way. Including masses of professionals paid to teach, or to act as medium (the so-called “media”). But what else to expect from the rabble? Supreme thinking was always from an elite, to an elite.

So much stupidity, and full of hatred too: all over. One can understand why so many gave full powers to Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan: out of rage, and the will to do something even more stupid, and more nefarious, yet, bearing the signature of their freedom.

Meanwhile Geneva and the Australia’s Great Barrier go topless. Desultory progress in the Alps, while uncomprehended tragedy is unfolding in the oceans. True human ethology should contest the legality of all what afflicts it: so-called “representative” democracy, which is truly plutocracy unbound, and its obnoxious little whip and distraction, Salafist Islam.

***

Wasteful GDP Corruption Flaunted:

Economists of the “Liberal” type crow that California’s GDP is larger than that of all but the Gross Domestic Products which the rest of the USA, China, Japan, and Germany are endowed with. Yes, of course: the more a country wastes, the higher the GDP. The USA averages 16 tons of CO2 emissions, per year, per capita. The European Union, only seven. Now that massive consumption of quasi-free fossil fuels in the USA has put it, and Canada and Australia, way ahead economically, as I showed.

GDP is not just an indicator of economic growth, but of massive corruption.

Also GDP is augmented when the world’s largest corporations sit in California and pay no taxes. Thanks to Obama, and, soon enough, Trump.

GDP should look as a defect, instead, it’s viewed as glorious. An ethical and intellectual failure. GDP is an indication not just of pollution, but of mental deliquescence, in those who laud it.

***

I was wondering why so many people hate to think. Is it because the Internet has made them increasingly disconnected with reality? Or is in part, because the Internet has made them suspect as they try to think, and fail, that they may feel they are coming short ethically. Hence all the hatred out there. And they are right (to hate themselves):

***

The Concept of Ethological Law: IDIOCY VIOLATES ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS

Ethology can be scientifically defined through experiments. Some will scoff that the human species is too clever to be defined by gene-given, epigenetic-given law, that the ultimate law of Sapiens is intelligence. And whatever flows therefrom. Fair enough.

This point of view has the consequence that any law which is antagonistic to intelligence is inhuman. Examples of this inhumanity abound. One can only conclude that the general tension obvious around the world, and especially in so-called democracies, originate from all too much of society been organized in systematic violation of the Human Intelligence Principle (HIP).

This was the situation a year ago, in 2016. This year the situation has got much worse. The quest for the Golden Calf of Australian GDP Supreme is the proximal cause of this devastation. More generally GreenHouse Gas warming, induced by a GHG density now probably around 550 ppm, the highest since the Jurassic, 100 million years ago. Time to think and sacrifice, guys, and yes, it means you!

***

Puppets owe everything to those who pull the strings:

I was struck by the picture of the National Security Council, with a mysterious lonely pretty woman sandwiched there.

Dina Powell, a celebrity for our times, the sort of people who owes everything to those who created her (as Obama was). Thus, very pliable. All the more with arguably with all too little formal education, here she is at the top of the defense establishment, including extremely educated generals.

The more a civilization falls victim to plutocracy, the more celebritism is pushed onto people. Plutocracy is a form of generalized fascism, and celebritism, intellectual fascism: they reinforce each other. Celebritism is not just a moral flaw, it is a crime civilization is led to engage in.

***

All progressives should be resolute anti-sexists:

Women In Geneva were already allowed  to sunbathe topless. However, a law from 1929 forbade them to bathe in lakes and rivers, in the same attire. This law has now been changed; in the Canton de Genève (total population metropolitan area, one million). As it should have; enabling only men to go topless, was, and is, obviously sexist, wherever practiced.

In Black African “Islam”, women used to go topless, for obvious reasons: heat, hygiene. Something to emulate, as, worldwide, the planetary warming is accelerating:

***

The Great Barrier Reef, greatest structure on Earth built by animals, is dying:

345,000 square kilometers (as big as Germany). It is 2300 kilometers long. Now 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) are white, distressed, much of it dying.

The Great Barrier Reef is overheating, going white. During overheating, algae within the corral get expelled. In 1998, a colossal El Nino made the Great Barrier white. There was another whitening in 2008, and in 2016. The 2016 El Nino was as bad as the one of 1998. Coral gets overheated, and weakened by toxins (from coal, phosphates from chemical agriculture). Algae dies off in the coral with which they live in symbiosis, the coral goes white (“bleaches”). If bleaching happens again and again, the coral dies.

The Coral Great Barrier reef is dying from human action. Or more exactly mostly Australian action, as Australia does in its pursuit of GDP with corral, the same as it did with aborigines: kill all what’s needed, to get richer. It’s smart of the criminals involved, but there are millions. It’s not smart for humanity at large. This sort of things is solved by another great die-off, this time of human beings.

Human species had evolved in such a way that their actions could not put an end to the biosphere. A virus which cannot kill its host, lest it disappear. Sapiens was a virus, and Earth the host. But now, in a few decades, Sapiens has mutated in an industrial form lethal to Earth.

***

Fracking is good for the ecology, say Plutos:

This is the latest from the fossil fuel Plutos: Ban Fracking? Bad economics, Bad Ecology? Following the more genera cynical argument the USA, Russia and Canada have long been making, secretly, that warming is actually a good thing. Except now it’s not secret anymore: Vladimir Putin has said warming up the north will be a good thing (for Russia). And indeed, it will be for Russia. Canada will be less amused when the USA will insist that Canadian coastal water are actually international waterways… with more than the present day smiles. 

Actually we are approaching 550 ppm of GreenHouse Gas (GHG) equivalent. As I already said, but it’s never repeated enough; it’s a number much more astonishing than anything, even the percentage of the human population deliberately assassinated in World War Two. An astounding number, increasing fast. Levels not seen for 100 million years. Spaceship Earth has been highjacked with raving maniacs.

When all hell will break loose, pretty soon, the Plutos will be at home.

They create their own, most sustainable environment.

This is why when real democracy failed in Athens, more than 23 centuries ago, not only it stayed failed to this day, but Greece knew 22 centuries of foreign occupation.

Nowadays, the stakes are much higher: the biosphere itself is facing its sixth massive extinction. The survival of wisdom is in play. It’s a game that was probably lost by wisdom itself in many a galaxy. Now our turn to show if transcendental intelligence can overcome amor fati…

Patrice Ayme’  

Flawed Philosophy Is WHY CARTHAGE FAILED

April 12, 2017

Remember Carthage!

Superficialists will tell you Carthage failed, because a Roman army destroyed Carthage in 8 days of door to door fighting. The real philosophical question is how did it come to that, all the more as the Roman imperator (general) commanding said army, devastated by the horror unfolding under the orders he got from the Roman Senate, was crying as his own troops engaged in the carnage. The answer is philosophical, yet of extreme importance, looking forward in the present situation of civilization.

Some Traits of Carthage’s Extreme Plutocratic Philosophy Were So Wrong, That Carthage Failed. A lesson to meditate!

Carthage was one of the most striking civilizations, ever. Differently from Sparta, which did not contribute much to civilization (even considering the 300 stand at Thermopylae, which was later thoroughly eradicated with extensive collaboration with fascist imperialist Persian juggernaut).

Carthage made present-day Tunisia bloom. It was never again so agriculturally productive. In 300 BCE, the part of North Africa Carthage cultivated was as great as the private farms, and the Ager Publicus of Rome, and all the area of Italy cultivated by Rome’s allies. In other words, Carthage’s resources were enormous.  

But not just that. Differently from a land power such as the richest of them all, Egypt, Carthage mostly lived of maritime trade. She controlled the Western Mediterranean, all the way to tropical Black Africa, except for Phocian Marseilles’ own little Greek empire, and Magna Grecia (Great Greece) in southern Italy. 

Partial view of Carthage’s famous Cothon: the commercial harbor is rectangular, the circular inner harbor is military, and could hold 188 trireme warships, each in its own shelter. Cap Bon at the horizon. Contemporary Tunis, population, one million, is to the right.

Carthage established far-out trading posts in Africa, starting the idea of the direct collaboration of Europe, and the Middle Earth collaboration with Black Africa (something idiots call “colonization”… All the more dumb as it went both ways, see the Almoravids.)

Carthaginian agricultural science was so advanced that it gave Rome the only book the latter preserved when insane, mass murdering Roman plutocracy annihilated the North African metropolis. if the West could colonize so well, thereafter, and even the Arabs, or Persians, it’s in no small measure thanks to Carthaginian agricultural science.

Carthage was much admired by Aristotle, for its “mixed constitution” (monarchy + aristocracy + democracy). That was viewed as an ideal balance bringing stability. Except for Sparta, Greek City-States were notoriously unstable.  Sparta, like Rome, and Carthage, also had a “mixed” constitution (and was much admired by all too many of the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle-Macedonia clique… which ended democracy in Greece).

***

If Carthage was so great, why did it fail? Too much oligarchy, not enough citizenship:

Carthage’s plutocratic oligarchy was avaricious with citizenship (so were the Romans, but not as much, by a very long shot; however, Roman avarice in the way of citizenship is why there was the “Social War” of the First Century BCE). Thus, although Carthage controlled a greater productive domain than Rome, Carthage had much fewer real citizens. Moreover the latter were city-dwellers, poorly trained in war.

Thus Carthaginian armies had not much in common with Roman armies, which were full of healthy Roman farmers. By 400 BCE, Roman farmers serving in the Roman army were paid a stipend; the end result is that Rome was able to field the largest national armies in the Ancient Mediterranean World; Persia could field larger armies, but, like the Carthaginian armies, they were multinational armies of mercenaries.

The all too small full citizenry of Carthage meant that much of the “Libyan” population Carthage administered did not have a full stake in the fate of the metropolis. Carthage drafted them during wars, but also paid mercenaries, many of them from Spain or Gaul.

After the First abominable “Punic” war with Rome (which started in 265 BCE), Carthage suffered a striking revolt of an army of its own mercenaries. By contrast, Rome’s core legions were made of full citizens, superbly trained and equipped. (Even when the Roman legions rebelled, centuries later, they rebelled against each other, to seize power, never the City of Rome herself.)

***

It was cruel to deny citizenship to stakeholder, so Carthage became ever more cruel:

Carthaginian cruelty was legendary. Crucifying generals, to encourage the others, was common (whereas Rome, in 22 centuries of Roman history, never crucified a single general).

3,000 years ago, human sacrifice of children was still practiced: consider the Bible and the famous would-be child killer Abraham. 2,800 years ago, queen Dido founded the Phoenician colony of Carthage. Phoenicia, the cities of the present-day Lebanese litoral (Tyr, Sidon, Byblos, etc.) was most advanced: it created the alphabet (and books, bibles, from the word “Byblos”). Phoenicia practiced child sacrifices. Thus, so did Carthage.

However killing children became uncool in the Middle Earth: it was a big civilization there, and some of the national civilizations, such as Egypt, had never practiced child sacrifice. Those nation-civilizations were in competition and trade with each other, and child killing was no advantage. In the end, Phoenicia dropped that monstrous religion.  

But Carthage kept it.

Why? Because Carthage ruled North Africa, and had no competitors (Numidian kingdoms were clients and supplicants, and allies against Rome). Carthage’s absurdly obsolete cruelty would have been a lethal disadvantage further east. But, in North Africa, overlording the savage Numids and Libyans, it was rather a way to awe them some more, and thus to rule them, sort of.

And Carthage kept killing more and more children.

Why? Because denying citizenship to stakeholders was cruel, and needed cruelty to keep on going. And the more it went, the more cruel Carthage got.

Thus the more wrong it was about citizenship, the more cruel Carthage got (to impose that inequality ever more). Doing so it weakened itself in two ways: too small a citizenry (especially with all those dead kids), and Carthage put herself in the moral crosshairs of Rome (which was notoriously antagonistic to human sacrifice religions).

In the end, Carthage became much more democratic, infuriating and alarming Roman plutocracy ever more. Out of this fury, Roman plutocracy got ever more mileage. Indeed, the annihilation of Carthage by an unhinged Roman Senatorial class was an unmitigated disaster. It’s not just that the greatest Semitic civilization which ever was disappeared. It’s also that Carthage gave an excuse for the Roman plutocracy to get completely mad, insane, unhinged, and thus able to vaporize Roman total democracy (which had been growing, prior to the Punic wars).

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Many are the lessons’ from Carthage:    

We saw above that the growth in inequality is justified, and accompanied by a growth in cruelty. This was true both on the Carthaginian and Roman sides. After 146 BCE, when Rome destroyed with extreme cruelty free city states in Spain and Greece, and annihilated Carthage, Roman cruelty turned against the Roman population itself.

This was of course insane, and the more insane it got, the more cruelty itself was used as an excuse and occasion for further madness. In the end, Rome found itself ruled by a plutocratic clique among which emperors were selected. This concentration of power among few hands and brains made Rome increasingly stupid (just as Carthage had become increasingly stupid). The result was a degeneracy of the state in a theocracy symbolically led by a crucified, and thus crucifying, messiah, Jesus his name.

Republics such as the USA and France also have a mixed constitution (the presidents have the powers of elected kings, the politicians, in combination with the plutocrats who feed them, make oligarchies, etc.) The US and France are the paradigms of today’s “republics”.

Still the same psychological laws which led Carthage and Rome down the abyss, are in place. Thus history can teach us how to avoid the pitfalls.

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What Should Carthage Have Done?

The Punic wars started as a three-way struggle for Sicily, between Carthage, Greek tyrants, and the rising Roman power. Retrospectively, after a Greek tyrant landed in North Africa on the prominent cape next to Carthage (Carthage got rid of him with difficulty), Carthage should have extended her citizenship to Libyans, and grow to cover North Africa, imitating the Roman Republic, which was closer to a total democracy, then, than to a plutocratic oligarchy as Carthage was.

Thus Carthage could have grown organically, as a civilization (as Rome did). In particular, child killing would have disappeared, because Numidians and Libyans would not have acquired with enthusiasm Carthaginian citizenship, if they thought it meant their kids may have had to be thrown in the fire.

Carthage: it is alarming to see that a civilization so splendid, so smart and so advanced could be so wrong, and so retarded. But cruelty has a beauty that the herd often indulges in.

Patrice Ayme’