Notre Dame Burning, Symbol Of A Degenerating Civilization, Where Expertise Has Collapsed

Completely incompetent leaders, and only them, decide what our world is. They take their little decisions in secret, among experts, unchallenged by the common sense of debate. They jet set around the planet and splurge.

Notre Dame catches fire. Where are the helicopters dumping water? Can’t have them say the experts, cathedral too fragile: a fire hotter than lava is more of a problem. Obviously an idiotic opinion (whereas planes have killed with the tons of water they suddenly dump, helicopters can be as gentle as needed: the water comes from a pail, and the pail could have filled up 100 meters away in the Seine).

The burning of Notre Dame tells us that the world’s “experts” are not what they claim to be. They are experts of routine, self-glorification, career building. Think about it: a roof with timber older than a millennium has burned. The “charpente” of Notre Dame was made of 1,300 oaks, each more than 1,000 years old. It was called “the forest”. Middle Ages engineers and firefighters took care of the cathedral, and its roof, for centuries, but their Twenty-First century alter-egos couldn’t.

Our civilization could go up in smoke even faster than that

Notre-Dame resisted 856 years, the Middle Ages, eight religious wars, the French Revolution, the Cossacks, the Franco-Prussian war, the Commune, WWI and the Kaiser’s shells, Hitler, V2s. But not Twenty-First Century arrogant incompetence! A warning for all!


Reactions on the spot:

Fire is out of control in the North Tower of Notre Dame (“Beffroy Nord”). Nobody told me this, I saw the flames on TV. The incompetence of “experts” is astronomical. The entire cathedral may well collapse.

Water dropping helicopters should have been used. No ifs and buts. Even Trump in his White House figured that one out right away. Trump was first to react, within half an hour:  

Donald J. Trump

Verified account

So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!

“Experts” begged to differ, and replied to Trump:

Sécurité Civile Fr‏  Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.

My personal answer: That’s hogwash, you are incompetent. Helicopter dropping water from the Seine would have made a huge difference, OBVIOUSLY. You were NOT ready for the worst possible case. There is a principle for all of humanity rising with these flames: one has to be ready for the worst.

Looking at the fire progressing on the roof, it is completely obvious that water dropping copters would have mitigated the fire. It may even have helped collapsing part of the metallic cover below which the flames crawled…  

Fleche collapsing

Of course, a sprinkler system would have stopped the fire right away. What do the French authorities say to this? We don’t do sprinklers in France, or something to this effect.

What has happened since Notre Dame was built, 856 years ago? Not much of planetary significance for centuries, until around 1850 CE, when the CO2 built-up stopped the Little Ice Age.

Now the entire biosphere is crumbling under various industrial assaults of humanity. We need expertise as never before. And what do we observe? Our “experts” are not up to Middle Ages standards.

Remedy? Always the same idea: publicly, transparently, thoroughly, debate, with peculiar attention to idiosyncratic ideas.

A public debate on fire security for Notre Dame (and similar buildings throughout the world) would have brought the question: why not a sprinkler system?

Sprinkler systems can release prodigious quantities of water. NASA uses water suppression to cut down rocket engine sound from 285 decibels (which would destroy everything when reverberating) to half that (142 decibels). To do this the NASA sprinkler system releases 60 tons of water… per second.

It’s not really new tech: New York skyscrapers had sprinklers, a century ago. Oh, by the way, 60 tons of water per second would have stopped the World Trade Center fires in… seconds. (So the WTC would not have collapsed; that happened because when steel is brought up to 500 degrees Celsius, it loses half of its strength… The steel in the WTC got progressively brought up to 500 C, after an hour, or so, from the burning of furniture… initiated by burning the kerosene of the planes… was there kerosene at Notre Dame? The French authorities decided, within minutes, that it was an accident, no Jihadist involved, they are like Allah, they know everything…)

Another question would have been: why not helicopters? The question was already asked for the World Trade Center.

Spaceship Earth is in the hand of “experts”, or those elected oligarchs we call politicians. The politicians are experts because they asked “experts”.  

Leibnitz, probably to please his Pluto sponsors, claimed we were in the best of all possible worlds.

Well, the worst possible worlds always follow the best possible worlds. Dinosaurs won’t confirm this, but they would, if they could..

Patrice Ayme



Notes: 1) In 1902, Rilke came to Paris to become Rodin’s secretary. Rodin was working on the “Gates of Hell”, a monument made for the entrance of the new Orsay Palace… which had been burned during the Commune of 1971. Rilke wrote:

“… because the great cities, Lord, are damned,

and the panic of fire simmers in their breasts.”

I saw Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”. even touched it, at a private Pluto event in Stanford University…

Where material wealth thrives, the art goes…


The French state of incompetency couldn’t find money to install a sprinkler system in Notre Dame… Or in another 2,000 historical buildings in France. Another cathedral burned last year or so. In Nantes. See the picture inside:

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27 Responses to “Notre Dame Burning, Symbol Of A Degenerating Civilization, Where Expertise Has Collapsed”

  1. brodix Says:


    The primary intention of those in charge is to stay in charge. Unfortunately more than Notre Dame will be destroyed, before this scab is pulled off.
    Though the symbolism runs deep. Nature plays a longer and deeper game.


  2. Cory Francis Says:

    I wonder how many molested catholic victims cheered the burning of that church in Paris? Doesn’t matter since it was Gods plan! Lol


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      With all due respect, you are making a fool of yourself. All churches in France belong to the state, We The People. In the Middle Ages, a lot of rebels also took refuge therein from state and police. Notre Dame was always about humanity, right from the start, not just Catholicism. Visit the gargoyles and tremble. Also intimately connected to Paris Cathedral school which, for centuries insured knowledge, laicity and finished as a completely independent university…. While being completely free, for more than a millennium. Better than Pluto US universities…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cory Francis Says:

        Kids were still molested there


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Maybe kids were less molested there than in many other places, as the cathedral was always a very busy and thoroughly inspected place. Kids were molested in South Lake Tahoe too, that doesn’t mean I will be happy, and LOL, the day the whole Tahoe basin goes up in flames. I am as anti-Catholic as they come, but to confuse the most noble aspirations and realizations of humanity with the basest sexual drives is a symptom of an obsession with the basest and denial of the noblest. I am not going there, because it’s unbalanced. I am also as anti-Islam as they come, nevertheless I would be pretty upset if some superb mosques I know were destroyed, for the same exact reasons (although mosques often basely discriminate against non-Muslims, preventing them to enter, which cathedrals never did…)


  3. Anonymous Says:



  4. Anonymous Says:

    When the news woke my iPhone’s screen, I knew you’d have the most interesting take. I am not disappointed.

    It’s true. Our elite experts are expert only in routine, self-glorification and career building. We see signs of lost knowledge, a break in chains going back tens or even hundreds of generations. Caltrans, inventor of the freeway, has forgotten how to maintain let alone build them. The institutional knowledge has been lost. Towns devastated by the Tohoku tsunami were built below ancient markers, showing the extent of past tsunamis. (Though Japan is a bit of an outlier, as evidenced by the ritual of the Ise Grand Shrine.) Progress does not negate the need for wisdom. Education does not render experience useless. Real experts are loyal to the ideas they serve, not to the status derived from serving them.

    A similar knowledge, passed down through the generations, allowed Notre Dame to be maintained and preserved. Until now. We are unmoored from our

    Trump’s response is revealing of his character. Crisis is not a time for solemn rites of self-importance; it’s a time for action. Yet his Tweet was repeated countless times by numerous media, eager for any opportunity to ridicule him.

    But what better symbol of Macron’s presidency is there than Notre-Dame in flames?

    Vive la France.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Oatmealactivist! You are ever more generous!
      Right the case of Fukushima/Tohoku quake is particularly spectacular: Japanese authorities took no measures whatsoever, although the warnings were all over the interior, for 12 centuries. better: many, if not most Japanese reactors were built in the best places… for tsunami. One of the plants closest to Tokyo is built on a sand peninsula jutting in the sea, and had no tsunami defenses until recently (now it has very modest ones). It’s at the intersection of the Eurasian, Filipino and Pacific plates, all of them on the go. At least two tsunamis above 100 meters tall (hard to imagine) have happened in Japan in the last 2 centuries (Tohoku was only 40 meters high in places,including Fukushima, but very spread out)

      Less than an hour after the earthquake, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan’s coastline. The tsunami waves reached run-up heights (how far the wave surges inland above sea level) of up to 128 feet (39 meters) at Miyako city and traveled inland as far as 6 miles (10 km) in Sendai.Sep 13, 2017…

      The reactors took days to melt and explode, and basic precautions (not taken) would have avoided that (like mobile appropriate electrogenerators and cables…)

      The question here is the catastrophic calculus… Assume that all which can go wrong does… Leveraging Murphy’s law.

      A careful inquiry will show water carrying helicopters would have mitigated the disaster, and maybe enormously so. To ridicule Trump, the French media translated erroneously his tweet into “Canadairs”, seaplanes which dump six tons in two seconds… Trump had just evoked “aircrafts”…. I think Macron perceived the metaphor the Almighty sent him, his presidency in flames, so he was basically crying… Since he wants to sell the (highly profitable) Paris airports, why doesn’t he sell Notre Dame to Disney???? Same general idea…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. brodix Says:

    The particular cancer eating away at that communal knowledge is the monetization of everything, so that it can be siphoned off.
    People are linear and goal oriented, which has been distilled down to this quantized value, yet it functions as a contract, with one side and asset and the other a debt, so in order to commodify it we need enormous debt. So those in control use the leverage they have to extract it from everyone and everything, including the state/public.
    Nature though is cyclical and those feedback loops, of collective knowledge, or collected wealth, have reactive, ie, non-linear consequences.
    Nature recovers from extinctions. It open new opportunities. Even the people who survive the coming reset will have options open to them. Remember a collapsing ecosystem is hell on the top predators, as well.

    I hadn’t clicked you are living in Tahoe. I have a cousin there. Tamara Mckinney. She and her brother Steve were professional skiers, back in the day.


  6. Kevin Berger Says:

    And a warning about much else – and I’m not even talking about some prophetic BS or such.

    Reminds me of a tidbit I read once, in an article about some US grunt in afghanistan; a satellite illuminating a whole region, to snap some finely detailed pictures, with a giant lightning bolt flaring up the sky, the night becoming daylight for a single heartbeat, and everything visible, unnatural and still, yet for all to see.

    And this fire is the same; it lights up everything; for once, les coeurs et les reins de chacun et des tous sont visibles, and it bodes badly for the future du “vivre ensemble”, global aussi bien que français.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      One can’t “vivre ensemble” “live together” when opinions are crucially different and opposed on many subjects where planetary health is involved and immediate action is needed to avoid catastrophe. At some point decisions have to be imposed, or nature will do it for us.

      The most obvious example is the present refusal of developing a hydrogen and nuclear economy. Most ecologists oppose it, stridently, which means they are objective accomplices of 93% of world energy from burning, making 33 gigatons of CO2 in 2018 alone. That’s extremely convenient to the fossil fuel fascist monopolists, because it means the entire economy they have set-up, enjoying the exclusive supremacy it provides them with, will perdure until global war… An event the wealthiest are best armed to survive… That’s why New Zealand had to restrict buying there by foreigners….


  7. Cory Francis Says:

    You may think my words are cruel about that church but child molestation, them not standing up for the Jews during World War 2, but even before all of this they were part of the killing of men, women, and children who didn’t submit to church! The Catholic Church were also responsible for the murder of millions of native Americans! I can’t and won’t be sorry for that church fire in Paris!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Cory: You identify Notre Dame and Catholicism, then you hate Catholicism. However, Notre Dame stands for humanity. Technically it belongs to the French state, not a particular religion. In turn the state uses Notre Dame for a number of function, some secular, and has done so at least since the French Revolution.
      In France, real Catholics helped the Jews in World War Two. Massively and in an organized fashion. One famous case if the enfants de Lisieux… The USA on the other hand, didn’t help against Hitler, until Hitler declared war to the USA, December 11, 1941. Instead, FDR sent his right hand man to France, to recognize the putsch regime of Petain/Vichy. Differently from the Vatican, the USA had the means to stop the Holocaust in a few days, but did not. The Brits dropped leaflets over Germany explaining their bombing to the Germans. But there was not one word about the Jews.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Accusing Catholicism of the massacre of the Native Americans is exonerating greed and biology from it. The latter two were much bigger factors. The first individual to violently, stridently, and mightily oppose the American Holocaust was Las Casas, a bishop. After a long trial, Charles Quint decided to stop the Conquista, and that’s why you speak English…


      • brodix Says:

        We will eventually need to understand that we are the emotions, not the logic, if we ever want to understand ourselves. Logic is feedback from our desire to expand and explore. All the emotions; curiosity, fear, greed, ego, etc, competing, to dominate.
        There is no supreme order, because order emerges from the dynamic. Math is the current God; The presumption of discovered ultimate order. Epicycles were brilliant math, because they modeled our perception of the cosmos, but lousy physics, because we are not the center. Spacetime is the current crystalline spheres, as time is only a dimension as narrative and spatial dimensions are a mapping device, like longitude, latitude and altitude.
        We have this ideals based culture, where we think that if we distill everything down to its essentials, whether of abstractions, or value, we have discovered the secret. Yet the secret is what we threw away. It’s like boiling a body to the bones and thinking you’ve found the seed from which it sprang.
        The point here is that we can no more control climate change, than we can control rampant greed, with top down directives.
        We have to understand the process, in order to even think of steering the myriad feedback loops.
        Look at society; Who has control? The universities, that provide our knowledge, or the oil companies and banks, which provide the energy and direct its application?
        Order is emergent from energy. Just as thought is emergent from emotion.


  8. Kevin Berger Says:

    Rien à ajouter au 2ème paragraphe, sinon que les fascist-fuel monopolists doivent être nommés (âge du charbon = UK, âge du pétrole = USA), et que, bien sûr, ils préféreront tout faire brûler plutôt que de lâcher la moindre miette; et comme c’est dans les vieux pots… il faut sans doute s’attendre à un remake de la 1Gm ou 2Gm, histoire de remettre une pièce dans la machine, grippée soit-elle (cf. les symptômes que sont le brexit &the Donald).

    Au passage, quid du parti majoritaire (sauf au congrès, petit aléa) ouèsse étant non seulement unique au sein de “l’Occident” par sa religiosité affichée et parfois réelle, mais aussi de leur parti-pris “anti-réchauffement” tout aussi religieux ? Et comme ils sont à l’image de leur base, les uns instrumentalisant les autres et vice-versa, à un moment, il faut bien se poser quelques questions fondamentales sur le Grand Empire Immobile – ils ne sont pas nous, et nous ne sommes pas eux, ils le savent, ils le revendiquent, ils en sont fiers, mais nous, nous sommes persuadés d’une communauté de civilisation. S’il y a des cons dans l’histoire, ce ne sont certainement pas eux.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed, the age of coal was mostly UK and Germany… But the USA also had plenty. Then, of course, oil arose, so did the USA…

      The USA are fully autonomous. The CO2 catastrophe, which they presently facilitate, as they have for 160 years, will bring another world war, hence another occasion for the USA to extend their empire. So a CO2 catastrophe is in the interest of the USA. Cutie celebrity Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her ilk have interest in this, and are helping it, by proposing a Green New Deal which will work, at best, just for the USA… It’s also unreal, as it forsakes the clean storage aspect (HYDROGEN), so it can’t work, anyway. But it enables to have the US politics establishment, the interface of its plutocracy, pose as Ecologically Correct…


  9. ianmillerblog Says:

    The interior of Notre Dame had a lot of wood, so it follows that if there is an ignition source, a fire is a fairly obvious consequence. I am not sure about installing NASA style sprinklers. If something went wrong and it went off by accident people inside could die from drowning after being knocked unconscious by the impact. However, yes a more modest sprinkler system was indicated. And I agree, Trump’s idea of helicopter water buckets, as used to fight forest fires, would have saved a lot. The idea of not doing because of structural damage is silly because fire actually causes structural damage too. High temperatures, and high temperature gradients, would be far more likely to cause damage.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Ian: I was of course not suggesting that a sprinkler system dumping 60 tons per second, as the one at NASA, should have been installed. A few tons per second would have been plenty. Sprinkler systems are sophisticated. They come in a number of fashions: copper, steel, CPVC (non spontaneously burning plastic) I am actually the chair of a sprinkler committee in a high rise with a volume greater than Notre Dame! A system as in the high rise I know very well, would have completely stopped the fire. The system I know is earthquake resistant (it has a back up everything, including a monster generator).
      Sprinklers have also manual shut off valves all over, so no danger of drowning. In that giant high rise, they already stopped a raging fire..

      Yes, Trump had it completely right on that one. A copter, let alone two, with buckets filled in the Seine could have mostly stopped the fire, as the water would have gone through the openings, and drenched the spire…. The wind was a problem, but weirdly, the fire initially went east, against the wind!!!!! (That is indicative of criminal action… except that the fire alarm launched 20 minutes before the fire was localized… supposedly!)


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ten gigantic wood beams twenty meter long, 1.2 meter across, cut to special dimensions, in a few hours, were then brought overnight from Belgium, escorted by police, and are already inside the cathedral to shore it up… Although the cathedral is still smoking…


  10. benign Says:

    this is a reputable source, very highly placed


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well… I would be surprised the secret services take Macron too seriously… The next video was even more amusing: firemen as actors, live streaming in place instead of sending firemen, etc.


  11. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The architect-engineer, who was in charge of Notre Dame during 13 years, from 2000 until 2013 is astounded by the fire: how so, and how could it have gone so fast? He calls this “incomprehensible… very old oak, and one gets the impression it burned like matchsticks”

    All the security was remade and the fire alarm system, and 2 employees were in charge of this, 24/7. He is adamant no fire could start, as the oak was so old and tough. and especially not propagate that fast. No fire during the 13 years he was at the helm.
    Mr. Mouton says that an accidental fire was not possible:

    The architect says that this sort of wood would never have burned so easily if the fire was accidental. All the electric installation had been remade, and was fire proof.

    PA: Personally, what struck me is that the fire progressed quickly, AGAINST the direction of the wind. I can’t envision the sort of vortices and aerodynamics explaining this. If a computer model can’t do it, then one will know it was arson.


  12. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to LfD]
    FTF: Fission, Thorium, Fusion…
    Are the only optimal solutions.
    Not what pseudo-ecologists want to hear.
    But it will be solved.
    And if not with new technology,
    Then the Old Fashion way.


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