Archive for May, 2021

Tribalism Is Only Common Sense For The Meek. The Mask Example.

May 28, 2021

Real common sense is uncommon. What’s common is tribalism masquerading as common sense. Tribalism is only common sense, because if you don’t sense and go with the commons, it’s common sense to be scapegoated, ostracized, hated, alienated and ridiculed. If you don’t want to get stoned, go with the commons.

A striking example has been the mask masquerade, which had plenty of scientific anti-sense associated to it. (BTW I have been fully vaccinated against COVID ASAP, for many months, early on, and I have a high, not to say superb, science education, so no trying to torpedo me that way., one would risk utter mental destruction…)

COVID viral particles are the same size as cigarette smoke, 100 nanometers. If you smell cigarette smoke, you can smell COVID (and indeed dogs do that very well). Only HEPA filters can intercept COVID viruses floating in the air (by a form of quantum gluing).

Worse: Masks transform covid viruses inside 3 micrometer droplet into aerosol virus (by stopping the water droplet, and evaporating the water of said droplets). So, far from being barriers, masks transform wet, ballistic medium carrying COVID, which would have fallen quickly to the ground, into aerial aerosol too small for masks. Masks should be COVID DIFFUSERS, not COVID barriers. There, the mystery of how the pandemic got out of control in countries full of masks, has been solved.

(It gets even worse than that, when one goes into the details: masks slow down airflow five times, giving a better chance to SARS CoV2 viruses to latch onto olfactory bulb neurons which they can infect directly…)

So people, common people, think masks protect against COVID GAS, because they wear paper on their face, that’s only common sense… Then they gather in mobs, all breathing the same gas… COVID GAS if one of these persons has COVID already. What could go wrong? I am not saying that masks are worse than useless in all situations, certainly not for a surgeon, but worse than useless in common group situations involving SARS CoV2.

But most of the tribals have not caught on that common sense yet, because, well, it’s common sense science to wear paper against cigarette smoke, the great male white chief said so, and that makes us democratic to believe him religiously. It’s only common sense: right or wrong, the tribe is always right.

Humanity progresses because of heroes, not because of the commons, who are all too common to be anything but weak, scared, vulgar and irrelevant groupies.

Today’s common sense is yesterday’s infamy.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/mask-masquerade-kills/

SARS CoV2 (yellow) infecting a human cell.

Wuhan Made Pandemic Plutocracy Produced, Same As Hitler 

May 28, 2021

WHY THE POSSIBILITY OF FABRICATION OF A WORLD PANDEMIC BY THE WUHAN VIROLOGY LABORATORY MATTERS

There is a world elite. It jets around the world, flaunting laws, taxes, jurisdiction, labor regulations, and basic human decency (US high tech companies enabling genocide should be immediately indicted). World plutocracy instigated, encouraged, financed and enabled that moron, Hitler… who was nevertheless smart enough to deduce that was the case. Hitler said so, and now there is even a book detailing the case: Hitler a Global Biobiography by historian Brendan Simms. The thesis of the book, which will be familiar to those who read me for a long time was that “Hitler’s principal preoccupation throughout his career was Anglo-America and global capitalism, rather than the Soviet Union and Bolshevism”.

Do we have a similar situation today? Fully! The US dominated plutocracy did not change, it just procreated, and Hitler is replaced by Xi (Putin’s role is another wild card!). The general manipulation is the same, and COVID has made it blatant. 

Henry Ford gave a huge and crucial support to Adolf Hitler. Not just ideas, and an aura of respect, but huge amounts of money and later technology. Bill Gates, a friend of Epstein, even after he had been convicted of child abuse, gave a somewhat similar support to Xi Jinping, probably helping his rise through the Politburo… And Bill Gates and Xi met, several times. The support for genocide has been direct, as Microsoft provided equipment and trained Xi’s goons… even on US soil…

One thing the elite does is “enhancement of function” of viruses. I am not saying it should not be done. But it is extremely dangerous, and it should be done transparently. Stupid pseudo-ecologist freak out because of a bit of radioactivity, because it could kill somone in ten years… But do not freak out when labs enhance deadly viruses… Because they never heard of that. All they know is that Godzilla was irradiated, and became monstrous, they saw it in a movie.

***

So of course the elite is protecting itself. As The Atlantic points out:

“Last summer, Michael Imperiale, a University of Michigan virologist and 10-year member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, published an essay on the need to “rethink” some basic research-safety practices in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But he and his co-author—another biosecurity-board veteran—did want to make one thing clear: There was no reason to believe that sloppy or malicious science had had anything to do with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; to suggest otherwise was “more akin to a conspiracy theory than to a scientifically credible hypothesis.”

That was plain dishonest. 

The closest wild relatives of the COVID virus are found 2,000 kilometers from the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology). One can also measure how far apart they are, evolutionary speaking, by looking how much spontaneous mutations separate one from the other; this is the genetic clock, and it works with DNA and RNA (COVID is RNA).

It turns out that there are decades of evolution between them and the original COVID 19 (which has since naturally mutated with various variants). So the first obvious conclusion is that the evolution of COVID 19 was artificial (you will not find that argument in the elite media; not yet…)

WIV had some of these bat coronavirus since 2012. After a mini pandemic in south west China killed three miners (out of nine), WIV got plenty of samples of new bat coronaviruses… of certified lethality… 

Then the Atlantic explains that suddenly there are doubts that WIV is innocent; see Note 1 below. 

But then it adds: “To say that we’ll need to know the exact origin of SARS-CoV-2 in order to set policies for staving off SARS-CoV-3 commits us to the path of hindsight bias: It’s a pledge to keep on fighting the last war against emerging pathogens, if not a blueprint for constructing the next Maginot Line.”

The Maginot Line analogy is false, it is always false, because… the Maginot Line did not fail as a concept. The Nazis were able to use their Siegfried “West Wall” to great effect in 1944, completely blocking the 5 million men Western Allies army for months … Although the Nazis had mostly dismantled the West Wall relative to what it was in 1940… to construct the “Atlantic Wall” with its big guns and mines… What went wrong in the French strategy in 1940 was something else: lack of recent battlefield experience. 

However then The Atlantic recognizes that See Note 2. 

***

Finding out whether the Wuhan Lab fabricated Sars-CoV2 does matter to know how low dictator Xi and his worldwide elite accomplices, sink in denying it. Can the planet go on without a massive war when, confronted to a situation as dire as COVID, a government obfuscate all and any efforts to find out what happened on its territory?

Some professional dissemblers allege that finding out if the Wuhan Virology Institute invented COVID is fighting the last war, and compare that effort to building another Maginot line. 

However, the Maginot Line worked. To a great extent: the Nazis turned around it, so they should have been easy to channel and ambush. Unfortunately the French commander in chief was an hubristic complete idiot (that’s the charitable case; in the uncharitable case, he made it so that the Nazis would win; Gamelin was actually tried for treason…). He lost the war in six days (by launching the armored reserve into the Netherlands). The Nazis attacked in force May 10, and May 16, Gamelin announced to PM Paul Reynaud, that « l’armée française est battue ».

What did not work in the second week of May 1940, was that the French and the British warriors had no fighting experience with modern strategy, modern tactics and modern weapons in a modern war. The French and British learned quickly, in a week. By then, though, although Nazi losses had been great, the Battle of France of 1940 had been lost. Meanwhile the Maginot Line was impervious, functioning as intended.

The Nazis had fought a three year war in Spain, and had the important details pat down, for example reconnaissance, radio equipped tanks, tank-bomber coordination, and using amphetamines. The Nazis also knew they had a very narrow path to victory, just around the Maginot line, and focused on it. The French commander in chief, Gamelin, made a huge mistake, although his second, general Weygand, pointed out to him that if the Nazis broke through at Sedan, the French were toast. Gamelin, and the British, full of hubris, assumed that they would see the Nazis coming, if the Nazis went through the Ardennes. Well, indeed, one RAF pilot saw the entire Nazi tank army sneaking through the Ardennes. The Spitfire pilot was not believed, and relieved of duty… considering his obviously deranged mind, and need for a rest. 

So what’s the moral of this story? If the emperor is nude, we will notice it, say the elite used to sleep with the Chinese emperor. They are so used to see him naked, will they notice when emperor Xi gets dressed up? They will not see what they do not want to see. What they see is that Xi means business. What Xi sees he that his mighty friends can get away with anything. Microsoft, led by Epstein friend Bill Gates, furnishes Xi with his Uyghur genocidal machinery. Nobody seems to notice, although it’s in plain sight. OK, Melinda Gates just divorced Bill because of Epstein… But how long did that take? Twenty years of Epsteinism, while disingenuously claiming to be feminist and for world peace?

The entanglement between Italian Fascismo, Nazism, Hirohito and US plutocracy made the butchery World War Two possible. Aren’t the same exploiters, or their grandchildren, or the same abusive mood and culture playing the same game again, this time with Xi? 

Before they started World War Two in full, the Nazis had already killed around 300,000. Yes, I know they did it deliberately, and I know that technically it is the French Republic which attacked Nazism, and not vice versa… However, those 300,000 were killed by a system. That, hiding behind a system, was basically Hermann Goering’s defense at Nuremberg. Rightly, the tribunal condemned him to hang, because he had set-up that system.

The failure of the spirit of the Nuremberg trial was to not have punished the worldwide conspiracy of plutocrats which had fostered fascism worldwide, for its own profit. The Nuremberg prosecutors had only one international plutocrat in the dock: Dr. Hjalmar Schacht… And they let him go.  

So the idea that global plutocracy enabled fascism worldwide was let go in 1945-1946. Thus global plutocracy has been freed to repeat that strategy of using vicious foreign, anti-democratic potentates against the Republic. And it is nothing new. This is how the Roman Republic went down, and how the Roman empire itself went down. They used different alien powers; distant provinces for the Republic, the Huns and the Germans for the empire. But each time, powerful plutocrats allied with enemies to destroy We The People at the core…

US President Biden finally ordered a formal inquiry on the origins of COVID 19 from the Intelligence agencies. The idea of even inquiring was disparaged as a conspiracy theory by multiple plutocratic outlets last year — not just because its loudest promoter was then-President Trump, but because a revelation that Xi’s China, itself the major US (and EU) plutocratic outlet did bad would be an attack against the entire plutocratic system, by revealing how vicious that system is.. 

Thus the stakes are much higher: democracy is in question [1]. 

So let’s find out how vicious the powers behind the Wuhan Virology Institute are, and how extensive their networks. Go for it, Biden boy! We will see. It has been known (and published!) since February 2020 that the COVID virus was probably a human engineered: the CGG-CGG insertion is not found naturally in that clade, French researchers found! [2]

Patrice Ayme

***

[1]: Hitler himself was obsessed by Anglo-Saxon powerHitler was in excellent position to know about said power, as that power put him in power. Not only Hitler was financed, and most probably spurred, early on by Henry Ford, a US plutocrat who hated “Wall Street and its Jews”… But then the Ford support turned into a flood of help from all sorts of Anglo-Saxon plutocrats, and the “rescue plans for Germany” coming out of… Wall Street “and its Jews”…. 

***

[2] Viral Warfare? It was known since February 2020 that the mutation of the spike protein in SARS-Cov2 had been probably human engineered from the CGG-CGG insertion: that particular cleavage site is ABSENT in CoV of SAME CLADE (but human researcher always use the CGG-CGG)! A French paper Aix-Marseilles-CNRS (very serious people); paper was accepted following day: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339153857_The_spike_glycoprotein_of_the_new_coronavirus_2019-nCoV_contains_a_furin-like_cleavage_site_absent_in_CoV_of_the_same_clade

***

Note 1: The Atlantic: “Nine months later, Imperiale has a somewhat different view. “In my mind, the preponderance of the evidence still points toward a natural origin,” he told me earlier this week. “But that delta between the nature evidence and the lab-escape evidence appears to be shrinking.”

Indeed, the slow sedimentation of doubts about COVID-19’s origin—whether the virus that causes it jumped directly from bats or other wild animals, or made a pit stop on a lab bench in Wuhan, China—has lately turned into a flood. In just the past two weeks, deltas have been in flux not just among the nation’s leading biosafety experts but also among public-health officials, pundits, and journalists at major dailies. The assertion by World Health Organization investigators in February that a lab-leak origin for the pandemic was “extremely unlikely” has since been challenged by the WHO director general, Tedros Ghebreyesus; a May 14 letter to Science magazine, signed by 18 scientists, called for “a proper investigation” and “dispassionate science-based discourse on this difficult but important issue”; David Frum suggested last week in The Atlantic that the Biden administration should “take possession of the truth about the virus”; and the election forecaster Nate Silver declared on Sunday that his estimated likelihood of a laboratory origin had increased by half, to 60 percent. Today, President Joe Biden said that the United States intelligence community still hasn’t decided which hypothesis is likelier, and that he wants to get “closer to a definitive conclusion” by the end of August.

***

Note 2: The Atlantic: “we might be due for a far more substantial inquiry into the risks of scientific research. If we’re ready to acknowledge that a lab-induced pandemic is possible, and that we may be seeing the result, then “we’ll need to understand that the next major threat to public health could come from something else in biology—something that destroys crops, or changes the ocean, or changes the atmosphere,” Sam Weiss Evans, a biosecurity-governance scholar, told me. “This could be a moment of reckoning for the much wider biological community.””

…. Stanford University microbiologist David Relman… a former colleague of Michael Imperiale’s on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity—[said] that the research community already accepts that natural spillovers occur, and that they can cause dangerous outbreaks, so it doesn’t need any further proof. Scientists are bound to push ahead with efforts to prevent and anticipate human encounters with animals that harbor potentially dangerous viruses, he said. “That will happen almost regardless of what we learn now.”

Relman isn’t expecting a similar approach to laboratory safety. The idea that a lab accident might cause a pandemic “is a very difficult, uncomfortable scenario for many scientists to accept,” he said. Without more specific evidence in favor of the lab-leak hypothesis, “people will wring their hands and talk about it, just as they have since 2012, but I don’t think a lot will change to reduce the risk.”

So the elitist Stanford professor believes it’s not a problem that dozens of millions died of COVID 19, and hundreds of million damaged (because this is how this is going to end up; in the republic of India alone the New York Times estimates already a potential of as much as five million dead…)

Analyze Wisdom… As Annihilation

May 27, 2021

Human interactions vary. Reasons vary. Webs of reasons vary, and get entangled. However, we will get a better society when we get the habit of trying to tell the truth, no matter what, in most circumstances.

But for doing this, we need to be able to analyze.

Wisdom is often evoked. Humans are supposed to have it, to the point it defines our species: Homo Sapiens. But what is wisdom, what does it rest on? Wisdom comes from Old English wis “learned, sagacious, cunning; sane; prudent, discreet; experienced; having the power of discerning and judging rightly,” from Proto-Germanic *wissaz” (source of Dutch wijs, German weise “wise”), from the Proto Indo-European root *weid- “to see” (hence “to know”). It is impossible to be without wisdom. But wisdom varies, just as reasons do. What passes for wisdom in a chipmunk is different from its equivalent in a wolf.

***

Why would a perfect world come with a heavy price? If it is perfect, it is very worthy, thus pricey

Human beings need contrast to distinguish, we expect pain, we need pain, to help distinguish between alternatives. Rampaging against pain, as if extinguishing pain was the end-all, be-all of all and any wisdom, is traditional, but not wise. Pain is a propellant. Shall we complain against rocket propellent just because it is hot? No. Heat is the point, and how it impacts. Pain helps get us where we can see…

***

In emotional discourse, passions themselves are words. Common words cannot replace emotional words. An emotional discourse can go where words can’t. At least not that fast and that thoroughly.

Thinking discriminates. Being attracted to discern inequality is intrinsic to higher mental pursuits.

Wisdom appreciates beauty. Wisdom is beautiful. But all that is wise is not just colorful and gentle. Wisdom does best, deployed in scary, gory situations, not pleasant fields of flowers…

***

Time, as measured by light, is local (relative to place and speed; Henri Poincaré showed)… whereas objectivity, the very existence of objects, is nonlocal (yet not absolute, being consciousness dependent). Thus spoke Quantum Physics. This is what studying Physis shows (also known as Physics, Nature in Greek). More exactly, this is what studying light shows… That objects are non local, starting with the photon… Let the sparks fly… What does that have to do with wisdom? Everything! If nature is that subtle, to be local or global when we expected it not to be, and as we just found out, we should emulate her consciously, and become equally subtle; nature teaches us. Thus it is wise to very global, or very local, depending upon circumstances.

***

Sometimes I dare to suffer to make myself better (a bit but not too much). I think that makes me morally superior (to what I would be otherwise). Leveraging the enlightenment brings pain , elaborating a morality impervious to pain.

Don’t laugh… Serious sport and serious thinking always require pain. Pain is relative, like localism, and needs to be delocalized, as objects are, when they move, or simply are.

***

“Analyze” means total destruction. Wisdom harbors mayhem. Because wisdom rests on analysis.

Not kidding… How could we be wise without analyzing? Here are the origins of the concept of analysis, from the Etymological dictionary:

analysis (n.)

1580s, “resolution of anything complex into simple elements” (opposite of synthesis), from Medieval Latin analysis (15c.), from Greek analysis “solution of a problem by analysis,” literally “a breaking up, a loosening, releasing,” noun of action from analyein “unloose, release, set free; to loose a ship from its moorings,” in Aristotle, “to analyze,” from ana “up, back, throughout” (see ana-) + lysis “a loosening,” from lyein “to unfasten” (from PIE root *leu- “to loosen, divide, cut apart”).

Meaning “statement presenting results of an analytic process” is from 1660s. Psychological sense is from 1890. English also formerly had a noun analyse (1630s), from French analyse, from Medieval Latin analysis. Phrase in the final (or last) analysis (1844), translates French en dernière analyse.

Thus analysis is closely related to annihilation, from nihil, nothingness, and Latin annihilare “reduce to nothing”.

Wisdom did not arise to be exclusively nice, cuddly, seductive, amorous, gentle, giving… Wisdom may advise to indulge in these behaviors… But ultimately wisdom makes most difference when handling ultimate situations.

Wisdom arose as a supremacy mechanism. No supremacy as in “racial” supremacy, as there is no such a thing as “race” (once one has put aside the race of the imbeciles, of course). But wisdom promotes biological supremacy, in the sense of superior ways fostering best survival of given species. (This is already implicit in conventional Darwinism which posits that animals select superior mates to optimize the species.)

Wisdom requires to deconstruct, analyze and annihilate hopelessly mistaken ways… And, if need be, wisdom impels annihilation the way Nazism was annihilated, through sheer physical destruction, (nearly) no holds barred, of all its beholders who stood in the way, so be it.

Wisdom means supremacy of better, higher reasons. Wisdom does not have to be nice to all and sundry… And never was. Those who don’t like this don’t like Homo Sapiens. Or so they claim.

Patrice Ayme

Ultrarunning, As Competition, Is Unethical And Defeats Communion With Nature  

May 25, 2021

I run all by myself, thus I think better. Or how an ultrarunning tragedy makes one think:

May 21, 2021:  172 Lycra-clad runners launched in a one hundred kilometers mountain race race at Yellow River Stone Forest Park in Gansu Province, China. There was wind from the start. Whipping rain turned to hail and temperatures plummeted hours into the ultramarathon on a Saturday in May 2021. A group of survivors were rescued when more than 1,200 rescuers were dispatched to find bodies in the storm. Twenty-one runners died, most of them from hypothermia. One fell unconscious and woke up in a cave, and woke up in a cave, wrapped in a quilt next to a fire built by a shepherd who had found him and carried him to safety. “I owe him my life,” Mr. Zhang wrote.

Mr. Zhang had overtaken Huang Guanjun, the champion of the men’s marathon for hearing-impaired runners at the 2019 Chinese National Paralympic Games. As Mr. Zhang was passing, Mr. Huang pointed to his ear and waved to indicate he could not hear Mr. Zhang.

Later I found out that he was deaf and mute,” Mr. Zhang wrote. Mr. Huang died on the same mountain pass not long after the encounter.

Ultrarunning and trail racing became fashionable during the past two decades. Professionals of the sport are upping the ante, with increasingly difficult and longer races, sometimes for several days and hundreds of miles and including both high-altitude climbs and extreme temperatures. They are also cheating a bit, with enormous support, some even taking cold baths in ice to cool down while being fed sweets by their attendants. The funny thing is that one knows what happens:; professional military runners in Greece, twenty-five centuries ago, would cover comparable distance, in astounding times, with no support… but would also drop dead, quite often. 

The genus Homo runs naturally. Running enables to see, and experience more landscape than crawling one one’s belly while sunbathing, say. Getting immersed in nature is the point. Only then can the human mind interconnect if full with the whole of what is out there. Natural beauty is part of it.

Now I am in no position to criticize recklessness… I have made a philosophy out of it: since life ends up pretty badly always, we may as well live it to the full. That doesn’t mean being a drunk, like Socrates, but being a general, like Xenophon (who successfully extracted a Greek army from the middle of the Achaemenid empire). As I have been reckless hundreds of times in my life, and even quite recently… Involving precisely this sort of activity. When I started mountain running, a very long time ago, I was viewed as a lunatic… who was damaging the snow (I was once beaten up for “damaging snow”… As I said, long ago…)

There are several things ethically very wrong about this sort of long distance competition in nature the way they are presently organized. First, they don’t respect nature, they are “sponsored” events organized by wealthy companies. Second, they teach people not to respect nature, by focusing on the lycra rather than nature. Indeed, why do these competitors run? Greed for money and greed for fame. And that’s why those who succeed best are most admired. So, instead of a communion with the cathedral of nature, competitors extoll the rat race of common life, and violate the former with the second, by insisting that competition matters, and nature doesn’t. 

Once I was engaged in one of my ultra runs around Lake Tahoe. Unbeknownst to me, the trail had been taken over by an ultramarathon. Participants had paid to participate and were wearing advertising and numbers. All along the “race” there were personnel, food stations, some involving several trucks serving hot food which had come through fire roads usually closed to the public. There were also aid stations, and roaming pairs of security personnel on mountain bikes. Although I was obviously not a competitor, they kindly insisted on serving me food and drinks. I usually run with nearly no water and food (I drink water from snow and streams). Running on a non-empty stomach with spectators and helpers every few miles changed the nature of the run completely from something done within nature to cityscape. 

When I run, it’s me and nature. I always carry warm clothing in a backpack (also useful if I fall on my back). Last big run I did in the mountain I got caught in a thunderstorm with dangerous hail. I went into a cave. After that I met no one for the next 15 miles, and three passes up to 10,000 feet… 

Running hard for hours in the total wilderness, solo among peaks, snakes, lions, bears, dank cathedral forests, hunger, thirst, exhaustion and thunderstorms, high on courage, smarts and willpower, I didn’t meet god, but myself, certainly.

***

We live in a systemic world. Major issues are systemic. The devils are in the systems. Most systems are not so innocuous looking, such as the USA, Russia, or the People Republic of China (love China, love “We The People”, but then be careful with emperor Xi!)… An innocent looking system such as single housing zoning in the USA is key to systemic racism (OK, I don’t live in one). Many supposedly innocuous activities  are conducive to fascism and exploitation. Spectator sports are a particular strong example: Roman critiques, two millennia old, pointed out that fascism ruled with “Panem et circenses” (Juvenal). Modern circus is when young, naive but greedy idiots climb without a rope, but with a dozen cameras focused on him, on a giant climb they have fallen on dozens of times before… with a rope (including in very easy sections). Or Ueli Steck, running up the Eiger, but nearly falling in the summit snowfield (I saw it; that’s how he seems to have died on Nuptse, strangely surprising Messner…)

This all starts with a perverse relationship with nature, as Native Americans pointed out long ago.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” [Chief Seattle.]

*** 

I run in the wilderness alone, to make nature real; running with a herd would defeat much of the purpose. But I run with a hefty well tied-down backpack, full of fluffy clothes, lamps. One cannot always go down, especially in unknown canyons (been there, done that, not keen to do it again, and I am a sometimes solo climber). Generally it’s way better to stick on the trail, even if it means going up, and always keep on moving (falling asleep in warm and cuddly snow is the signal of fatal hypothermia… I knew about it, from books, so when it happened to me, I knew what it was, and woke up… in a timely manner…) Ah, did I mention matches? More than once to save lives, I had to make a fire in a national park in the wilderness…

So can I make an effort to say something positive? After all, I launched the sport… As I said, my activity was per force, different: I practiced alone, being first. And I always ran. When my left foot got caught in a little arc of metal used by the French to limit public lawns, I shattered my left elbow. I was six. Once, facing the Matterhorn/Cervin, in Switzerland, running down the Gornergrat, I didn’t see a wire which caught me in the throat. I was nine years old. The same exact adventure happened to me in Africa two years later. Very disagreeable…  

Ah, yes the positive… The more people go to nature, the better… But all these competitions with professionals flying around the world to flaunt their drug and recklessness propelled careers of fame and greed, I am against… OK, don’t I love to read adventures of mountaineers and be mesmerized by sailors on video feed among 50 foot waves in the Antarctic? Sure. And, as I said above, I saved my life from culturally knowing what to expect in some situations. Not just hypothermia (don’t fall asleep), but also deadly snakes (jump above if no time to brake), or even wasps and bees swarms (run like hell), or wind slabs (learn to recognize them, and take a wide berth), or avalanches (stay calm and move laterally to higher ground).

So it’s good to have professional heroes, a few of them, to find out and spread the word.  

***

ALN, USA commented:

@Patrice Ayme: thank you for sharing your story. I sign up and pay for these races run by small companies because I want someone to know where to come look for me if I get lost. I completely hear you about big race companies not respecting the nature.

Thanks ALN! For what it is worth, and it’s far from perfect, I look at the site “Alltrails” (the free part) Reading lots of comments one can get pretty good ideas…

For ultra runs, the old fashion way is just to look at maps. I run sections of multi day backpacking, in one day, like on the Pacific Crest Trail. In mountain running, one has to be careful of the early season, because one can come across lots of old snow suddenly, which can be very dangerous in several ways (suddenly losing trails completely unexpectedly, a severe problem if in a forest, miles from roads; subjacent torrents and deep holes; old slippery ice making mini-mountains between trees). I fear spring snow more than winter snow, although it can also provide great running and glissading… but never above where the torrent runs…

In the late season, the problem is short days, partly solved with several lamps… There are also now alert systems by satellites. I don’t have one (yet)… although I had several close calls, including one with an enormous rattlesnake last summer, above 8,000’… Dangerous, but the danger (controlled!) is part of the vacation away from an all too restrictive notion of the human condition which ultrarunning can provide like nothing else can (including climbing)…

***

Patrick Cavanaugh, Silver Spring, MD, USA added:

This tragedy might not have been so bad if the race really had turned into a “cityscape”! The competitors were hit by extreme weather in a region that there were no race support personnel. Respect to your desire to run the trails solo, but a properly run event could also be a way for individuals to enjoy the wilderness with more support and help available in case something goes wrong.

@Patrick Cavanaugh Personally, I have been hit by atrocious weather, more than once, and had to do (not so) intelligent things like clinging to a cliff, or standing below a tree, with rivers of water around, dangerous hail, and lightning bolts all around. Bad weather is characteristic of mountains, even in the middle of the Sahara (sudden storms with flash floods, rarely, but often lethally, from distant flooding).

Once I was on a climb in the Alps in the middle of summer. I started to lead a pitch in lycra and tank top, under a scorching sun, clear blue sky, with plenty of chalk on my hands to ward off the sweat. I was climbing fast, all the more as suddenly there was a discombobulating blow of icy wind. I finished the pitch in a snowstorm and lightning: the storm came from behind the peak. We rapped like lightning, leaving all the gear behind. Still my partner passed out from hypothermia when we reached timberline (and we had storm gear). This has happened to me several times (during which time one has the impression one is going to die, or one is already half dead, one does not even remember normal life, it’s pretty disagreeable, but it makes all and any life pleasant afterwards…) This happened although I always check on the weather very carefully…

I do agree that, if one organizes a run, there should be a minimum of security.

Nature doesn’t just define being and nothingness. It also teaches what superior thinking is, the type which enables surviving… But for nature to teach us well, we have to experience it in full, not assisted by people or machinery. We have an advantage on other forms of intelligences, such as cetaceans: we have hands, arms, legs and feet, so we can actually manipulate the world (manipulate: man comes from the PIE root for “hand” and pele, for “fill”; in Greek hand is mane, and it’s manus in Latin… So “man” itself, as in gentleman, is defined by the hand…)

Some may sneer that running does not need hands… But actually feet are quite a bit like hands, especially when running, see chimps, and of course arms are used for balance, hands for climbing, landing on when falling (rare but important)… And then, most of all, hands make weapons platforms easily recognized by a variety of beasts out there, so that they do not have in general to be used… And, in any case are reassuring to have: the mountain runner, or coureur des bois, is not just another beast, running, but a creature the beasts recognize as a predator, master of the universe [1]. And that has to do with arms… which animals recognize carry arms, thanks to the hands.

Last but not least, the brain gets better oxygenated when steps and heartbeat go up to 120 per minute, studies have shown. Anyone exercising intensely knows that the brain acquires different perspectives on old problems: because it gets activated differently and also because it has no time for anything but barebone logic, thus eliminating superfluous logical traditional traps…

Human beings were made to be super brainy endurance athletes dominating the landscape and nature by understanding them. Solo running in the wilderness provides this, rat races don’t. Notice also that many philosophical influencers of modern times, in particular the influencers of so-called “French Theory”, whose influence is right now quite dominant in the pseudo-left, were absolutely not endurance athletes (although my frenemy Simone De beauvoir did a lot of extended solo hiking in the Provence wilderness before she became famous, so she says). When one looks at history one sees that many of the most influential minds, mythological or not, were highly athletic and, or, adventurous: they clearly loved to live dangerously, starting with the women bullfighters of Crete, the likes of Nefertiti (who may have died from her attempt to sort out Egyptian religion), the heroes of the Trojan war, Solon, Themistocles, Pericles, Socrates, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotles, Demosthenes, Archimedes, Caesar, Hypatia, Boetius, Abelard, Buridan, Villon, Dolet, Rabelais, etc. Of course all thinkers under Islam lived below the threat of summary execution, if one of their fellow believers determined they did not “believe” anymore.

Human life is a serious thing, and serious thinking is how it is best managed. Full immersion, thus loving confrontation, with nature requires us to fully use the owner’s manual (notice the concept of “man”, hand, resurfacing again…)… and thus to get reacquainted with full humanity!

Nature teaches us that it is wiser to turn tragedies into philosophies.

Patrice Ayme

***

[1] I have been attacked by all sorts of animals, though, from bears to wasps (animal attacks are rare but always serious). I am the only person I know who charged mountain lions several times (twice by accident) and hit a charging bear with a (large) stone… I am not trying to hurt the animals, BTW, and I am not a hunter.

Are Many “Liberals” Hiding Their Segregationism With Loud Vociferations?

May 22, 2021

Anti-apartheid laws in housing, education, health, security and schooling have repeatedly failed to be passed, although extremely loud pseudo-liberals control California. It would seem that the extreme pseudo-liberals are too busy raging against “Conservatives” to have time to elaborate progressive laws!

It is not just that leaders such as Pelosi and Newsom became filthy wealthy while engaged in politics, the filthy wealth of segregationist type is also a mass phenomenon among the millions of pseudo-left “liberals” of places such as California. It’s so blatant, the New York Times just had to notice it. Most Californian pseudo-liberals are very loud, but when one listens carefully, one realizes that their discourses leave untouched any pretense at compromising the apartheid in California they profit so much from. Same with illegal aliens: they are so happy to have them around, serving wealthy liberals, that they forgot to pass laws effectively getting rid of them.

New York Times is starting to recognize this, perhaps thanks to my thousands of censored comments; so they wrote an “opinion”, going my way (for a considerable change! But then of course they censored my own comment. Here is most of it, immediately following:

They put “Black Lives Matter” on the lawns of their multimillion dollars homes, hiding behind a sign the fact they live in segregated areas of extremely wealthy single family homes. Many so-called “liberals” are just hiding practical reforms under outraged discourses on issues of no relevance (if “Black Lives Matter” why don’t you live with “Blacks”?) Many, all too many of these loud “liberals” are class segregationists, through and through.

A practical proposal to reduce segregationism would be to do away with zoning laws: the latter prevent to build reasonably priced housing anywhere next to the loud BLM “liberals”. Zoning laws are sheer apartheid...it used to be called “Red Lining”. Nowadays, nobody calls it anything, lest people notice that it exists.

One should build low income housing right in the middle of the wealthy zones: let the servants live with the masters! Imagine Atherton (next to Palo Alto) FORCED to build low income housing for the poor! Median house price in Atherton is around seven million dollars.

Instead what happened is that in 1983, the low income part of Palo Alto was cut off, so that low income servants could be segregated there. That part was called “East Palo Alto”.

Forcing low income houses among the wealthy would force the wealthy to look everyday at the segregation they exploit. It would also make the excellent schools for the wealthy accessible to the children of the poor. Real liberals should be for such a law. But, in reality, the loud anti-”Republican” “Democrats”of California howl against “conservatives” all day long… so they have no energy to pass any really progressive laws with really effective progressive effects. It is all a conspiracy, whether conscious, or not  

All censored, of course. Reminder: con-spirare means “breathing together”… Which is exactly what the wealthy do: together they breathe. They can call themselves “democrats”, as Bill Gates long did… while associating with industrial child rapist Epstein. But what matters is what they do, not what they say they care about.

On such issues fascists have expertly turned the obvious racism around, calling common sense racism, and racism common sense, the way Nazis used to do it (Nazis used to accuse “Black” French soldiers of racism, and also accuse the Jews of racism, and all who tried to oppose them, etc…). For example the accusation was made that those who wanted public schools to reopen were “white supremacists”. Consider Sacramento Latin high school teacher Damian Harmony a massive white male with blue eyes and red beard accusing all and sundry of white supremacist racism because they want California public schools to reopen. All the more striking as all teachers have long been vaccinated…

When madness and hypocrisy become pandemic, civilization collapses…

Patrice Ayme

East Palo Alto was created and separated from Palo Alto in 1983. At the time the crime rate was very high. However the general gentrification of the area lowered it. The low life area moved further away from the white and wealthy.

***

The preceding was a comment sent to the New York Times’ NICHOLAS KRISTOF in his “If Only There Were a Viral Video of Our Jim Crow Education System” (May 21, 2021). That Kristof essay seems to have influenced heavily by preceding essays of mine, complete with Palo Alto, and that’s a good thing. A proof is that Kristof did not publish the comment above: it cut too close to the bone, the bone of segregation and apartheid. Hey, speaking of ethical, Nicholas, don’t you think that’s unethical? Anyway, here is some of Kristof:

We in the commentariat have leapt at covering police violence against Black citizens since George Floyd’s murder a year ago, but I don’t think we’ve been as good at responding to other inequities that cost a far greater number of lives…

One of the challenges for those of us in journalism is to do a better job highlighting these inequities that don’t come with a viral video.

Since Floyd’s death, we’ve focused on racial inequities in the criminal justice system, and it has been easy for liberal white Americans — my tribe — to feel indignant and righteous while blaming others. But in some areas, such as an unjust education system, we are part of the problem.

***

I have mentioned that the Closing of US public schools while private schools were kept open was sheer racism, of an intensity and violence even not seen in apartheid South Africa at its peak. And that’s the truth that US pseudo-liberals keep on denying, because they are not just racists, but liars. Governor Newsom of California a corrupt who made nearly 2 million dollars last fiscal year (2019), sent his 4 children to the privates while keeping the colored public out of schools. Without having thoughts as clear, and incisive, Kristof dares to utter the obvious:

At the very time that America was having a racial reckoning about criminal justice, Democratic states were closing in-person schooling in ways that particularly harmed nonwhite students. Race gaps increased, according to research by McKinsey & Company, and a Federal Reserve study suggests that higher dropout rates for marginalized students will have long-term consequences.

More broadly, we in the United States embrace a public education system based on local financing that ensures that poor kids go to poor schools and rich kids to rich schools.

Yes, it’s a “public” school system with “free” education. So anyone who can afford a typical home in Palo Alto, Calif., costing $3.2 million, can then send children to superb schools. And less than 2 percent of Palo Alto’s population is Black.

Rucker Johnson, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that since 1988, American public schools have become more racially segregated. Roughly 15 percent of Black and Hispanic students attend so-called apartheid schools with fewer than 1 percent white students.

Educated white Americans are now repulsed at the thought of systems of separate and unequal drinking fountains for Black Americans but seem comfortable with a Jim Crow financing system resulting in unequal schools for Black children — even though schools are far more consequential than water fountains.

Perhaps that’s because we and our children have a stake in this unequal system. Similarly, we accept that elite universities offer legacy preferences that amount to affirmative action for highly privileged children, with bonus consideration for big donors. This is one reason some universities have more students from the richest 1 percent than from the poorest 60 percent.

Likewise, wealthy white Americans benefit from single-family zoning laws in the suburbs around those fine “public” schools. The effect of this zoning is to freeze out low-income families and keep neighborhoods more segregated.

Tech Monopolies Killed The Patent System And Innovation

May 20, 2021

The tech monopolies sit in your frontyard, and sell lemonade, with your lemons. The tech giant oligopolies have killed innovation: they want to own everything, not just your soul and your passions. To insure their monopolies they have broken little inventors.
Small inventors are not rewarded anymore: the Patent System is broken, in the USA, and it was broken by the tech giants and their legions of lobbyists and lawyers.

The breaking of the Patent System started with an Ebay judicial decision: NO INJUNCTIVE RELIEF except if one practiced the invention 2006. That should be called legislating from the bench [0]. Of course the inventor of an idea cannot in general exploit that idea… Because s/he does not own a company. S/he owns an idea. To claim one needs a company to profit from an idea is to claim there is no such a thing as intellectual property. So giant US tech monopolies have succeeded to kill the very idea of intellectual property… or one could say they have monopolized it.

Specifically, a patent is supposed to be the granting of a monopoly by the state, for a number of years (20). In exchange, the invention is published. During that time, if someone uses the invention, without authorization and compensation, there used to be injunctive relief: the violator could be ordered to cease and desist. But no more.
The law, through a SCOTUS decision now requires in particular compulsory licencing (the statute and US constitution say the opposite). If a giant tech company wants to use your invention they can, and they do… compensation is under reasonable conditions. The tech giant decides what is reasonable and an armada of lawyers will block the small inventor if s/he objects.
Invention is central to progress, or even survival of society, as the ecology suffers, and we have to learn to do things differently. Interestingly, in Europe or… China, the patent system is intact, so we can expect them to become relatively more inventive. This is clear in the case of China (and a good thing! [1])

It inventors are not rewarded, there will be no more invention

***

The concept of economy was created by the philosopher Xenophon (400 BCE). There was never a market free from government. Laws decide what freedom means, and also what can be traded, and how. Intellectual property and freedom lost value, when emperor Vespasian (69-79 CE) forced an engineer to not divulge the invention of a machine which could replace the work of a huge number of people. Censorship of innovation went against the Roman Republic prior tradition of engineering creativity. One general had decided that Rome should stop innovating [2]. 

The main cause of the collapse of the Roman State was monopolist thinking, what one should call intellectual fascism. It means that a number of ideas and feelings are bundled together, and monopolitistically imposed. The powers that be then stay in power. 

However, any society is dynamic, even, and especially, if it is successful, causing ecological devastation [3]. Thus success of a society requires changing mindsets… the exact opposite of a society mentally dominated by a few persons. There is no stability of world society, so invention is mandatory. The world needs beautiful and powerful inventions, not world censorship, and the tragedy of the most common basic instincts.

Humanity has a strength: there are more human minds now than ever. We will innovate more if they can all contribute to the world’s mental debate… In a civilized way. This will not be achieved if only a few are in control… And motivated mostly by will to power and greed.

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: The first recorded patent for an industrial invention was granted in 1421 CE in Florence to the architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi. The patent gave him a three-year monopoly on the manufacture of a barge with hoisting gear used to transport marble. The first US patent was granted in 1790, to Samuel Hopkins for an improvement “in the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process“.

***

[0] A jury found that MercExchange’s patent was valid, that eBay and Half.com had infringed that patent, and that an award of damages was appropriate. Following the jury verdict, the District Court denied MercExchange’s motion for permanent injunctive relief. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed, applying its general, traditional rule, central to patent enforcement, that courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances.

Then the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) reversed the decision.

SCOTUS is endowed with nine permanent members supposedly only animated by the spirit of justice, yet, who are not separated from the influence of the most influential persons in the world. According to the US Sup Court, the decision whether to grant or deny injunctive relief rests within the equitable discretion of the district courts, and such discretion had to be exercised consistent with traditional principles of equity, in patent disputes no less than in other cases governed by such standards. Little guy against giant corporations and enormously malevolent plutocrats: this is what SCOTUS calls “equity”.

Some may say that robbing innovators is less dramatic a problem than systemic racism, social injustice, poor education, bad health care, etc. But such a position would be actually naive. After all, tech monopolies themselves depend upon innovation (at least at inception). Thus it is colossally hypocritical for tech monopolies to kill innovation: it shows them to be vicious ingrates, abysmally stupid, or both. Now one has to remember of their enormous influence on decision makers, worldwide. The end result is that colossal hypocrisy wrapped in hubris and motivated by greed is at the helm of the world. So no wonder we do not progress well on social issues the same leaders under the influence are supposed to decide.

In any case, a society can perdure with inequity for millennia. But without innovation, it will die, especially when the times are rushing by.

Patrice Ayme

***

[1] Many US inventors now file in Europe and China, because they have given up on the USPTO.

***

[2] Vespasian was a fascist general, and Rome was not a republic anymore. Thereafter, Roman creativity fell off a cliff, never to recover… while the crises piled up. One man had decided that Rome should stop innovating. 

Fascism comes from fasces, an Etruscan symbolism of a bundle of rods representing the people, bound together. Fascism is fundamentally a defense mechanism, making one mind out of many, to better react to aggression. It is crucial in war, but can be misused in peace.

***

[3] Success implies ecological devastation or exhaustion (today we have a carbon dioxide crisis, from industrial success, and a nitrogen crisis, from agricultural success, and a biological diversity and abundance crisis, from human population success, etc…). Rome became metal dependent in a systemic way as a socioeconomy, and then had a metal penury crisis….

Science, Philosophy, And That Necessity, A Potential Drug, Faith

May 19, 2021

Science is a body of (rather certain) knowledge, and a method, based on demonstrable repetitive truths. Philosophy is also a body of (more fuzzy, but indispensable) knowledge, and also a method, based on faith, emotions, and guesses, to guide us towards reality.

Philosophy without science cannot be, and science is always born from the philosophical method, especially when it jumps forward into new dimensions. Philosophy and science are the extremities of a spectrum of behaviors yearning at the truth.

A meta-truth being, of course that some truths are to be denied, because they do not enable us to build an effective field theory of optimal behaviors.

We all use faith, millions of times a day: how could we otherwise be sure what knowledge is? Faith insures that truth guides us. So faith was evolutionary invented to make science possible. Its fundamental architecture is set in neuronal networks. A marmoset monkey uses faith all day long. Faith is more than a method or an instinct: it is an architecture.

The fundamental faith-based system is the architecture of the brain itself. Every day we encounter the meta-truth that truth is most useful, and having faith in it, indispensable. Yet it is true that we can misuse faith, with the drug of superstition, an opium for the soul. Superstition, as its name indicates, stands above reality, as it is culturally created. And that truth, that abandonment to superstition works to give pleasure, often needs to be denied, as all it leads to is war… Which is often not optimal.

Too much faith in too many stupid, or highly offensive things. What happens when superstitious faith takes over, giving free reins to the basest instincts… some of them self-destructive, in the tribal version of apoptosis. Gaza under retaliatory Israel Defense Force bombing, May 15, 2021… A 3,200 years old story, newcomers beware of making fools of yourself, by looking at what just happened… and only that.

How are (pseudo-)philosophical concepts such as essence and existence defined? That’s ad hoc and mysterious. As Heidegger would complain, where is the hand at work? Tellingly, he was a heavy perpetrator of what he complained about. It is not just silly, but dramatic, when philosophy embraces the undefinable useless for a base. This is how individuals such as Sartre, De Beauvoir, embraced Hitler and later Castro and Mao… All along truly making a fool of the wisdom they claimed to embrace… Which was Sartre and De beauvoir market value, as far as plutocrats were concerned…

To see how definitions of the basics work, study physics, and its outgrowths, logics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology, engineering. There is No Alternative. Why? Because physics, mathematics and logics spend their main efforts on the foundations… And they connect to the proverbial hand… namely experiments. Yes, physical experiments in pure physics, but also so-called thought experiments… And experiments also exist in logics and math, namely by trying to construct explicit models.

Yes we need faith, but we also need to learn to keep it effective, and checked by reason. Yes we need science and philosophy and both, just as faith, are everywhere. None of these go without conscience. “La sagesse ne peut pas entrer dans un esprit méchant. Science sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme“. François Rabelais, twenty years a monk, then doctor, surgeon, writer, philosopher, and later highest level State Counsel in Pantagruel (his major work, 1532 CE [1]). (I disagree with the first idea: some wisdom can enter a vicious mind; but the second holds… A ruined soul can be wise in other ways, alas…)

Con-science, is what goes with a body of knowledge, the meta-knowledge all and any knowledge need (any logic L needs a meta-logic ML which defines what truth is in L…)

Science, philosophy and faith without conscience only ruin souls….

Patrice Ayme

***

[1] Rabelais, long under a threat of heresy he escaped from his powerful friends, so his good friend, student and fellow anatomist Etienne Dolet burned alive at 37 years old. However Rabelais, living testimony that the scurrents of positive progress were strong in France at the time, ended as a Master of Requests (maître des requêtes), a counsel of the French Conseil d’État (Council of State),[1] the highest-level judicial officer of administrative law in France, This Supreme Court has existed in one form or another since the Middle Ages…. in 1302 CE, under Philippe IV Le Bel

Mispronouncing “Iran” Is Systemic Racism

May 16, 2021

Agreed, mispronouncing the names of those one wants to alienate is a small example, yet a basic trick, and needs to be extirpated. Indeed, small things can pile up considerably: in infinitesimal calculus, infinitesimals integrate into sizable effects: all modern science rests on this, integrating infinitesimals. Systemic racism is sneaky, as all neuro-emotional systems are. Even the way things are said has an influence on emotions, thus moods.

I had a little fight with my daughter, who goes to US public school, about the pronunciation of the word “Iran”. She insisted that I mispronounced the word, when actually she was the one who learned the wrong pronunciation, from the crazed imperialists. You see I have lived in Iran a bit, just before the maniacs crazed with dog, I mean, god, took control. In particular I climbed, among other things, Damavand, the highest point (endowed with half a dozen glaciers then). Mispronunciation of others is a way to humiliate and alienate them, and to force them to accept their misshapen and antagonized status, as part of their submission.

One way US white supremacist Anglo-Saxon express their mental imperialism by destroying the way their subjects use words. A classical case is the word “Iran”. Irān[ʔiːˈɾɒːn] (listen)). The French pronounce it correctly. But the WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestant Sadists) insist to pronounce it: AYE-rant: a rant that causes pain… Iran, pronounced in a racist way, that is mispronounced is a pain followed by a rant. The AYE sound is associated to pain in most languages… although, there again, the WASPS learned something else, involving a seriously more clenched jaw (ouch!), apparently from… German….

Now this is systematic. Systematic word salad and word disparaging and mangling, to convey emotional contempt. However in California if one insisted to pronounced Spanish names (which are all over) in a WASPS way, that would sound deranged…. and confusing. Imagine Santa Rosa pronounced “saytay rosay” and San Jose “sayn josi”… Now, granted, all this is not racism, but just lack of education masquerading as deliberate word kneading. As when President George Bush would invade “Aye-rack” because of “nukular” weapons.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pronunciation+iran+in+farsi&oq=pronunciation+iran+in+farsi&aqs=chrome..69i57.20836j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Now of course, the theocratic regime in Iran is in violation of much of the United Nation law (hence of US and European law, as UN law is in theory US and European law… Also Iranian law). But that’s a different subject. The inception of the Iranian terror theocracy was actually the CIA, who weaponize the Shiite against PM Mossadegh in the early 1950s: British and then US policy was to weaponize Islam, which is a stridently bellicose religion in most of its sects, against secular democrats in the Middle East. When one wants to exploit people, nothing like persuading them to follow an irrational superstition: Roman emperors launched that strategy, just around the time when they launched Christianism.

Yes I climbed that one too. Highest point of Iran, Damavand from the north (Tehran is in direct sight of the top of the volcano, south east of it). Once more than half a dozen glaciers, someday soon, probably none. The region between Damavand and the Caspian sea is endowed with a magnificent granitic range as high as the Alps, and, north of it, with a magnificent temperate primary forest (I ran through it, it had leopards and Brown Bears, and in historical times, tigers. I had an oral fight with a bear there (the bears are dangerous there because they are alienated from people with whom they have very aggressive relations as they attack domestic herds…)

Emotional tricks to subvert thinking into aggression is of course not specific to WASPS. It is probably as old as the spoken grunt. And there are more general semantic trick.

Dar al-Harb (Arabic: دار الحرب‎ “House of War”). Dar al-Harb is the expression classically referring to those countries which do not have a treaty of nonaggression or peace with Muslims (those that do are called Dar al-‘Ahd or Dar al-Sulh).[12] “The land (or domain) of war”: isn’t that pejorative or at least leading to a feeling of alienation? This is a term used to describe those territories held to be at war with Islam. For many this means any territory which is not in dar al-islam and includes the entire ‘West’ including the USA, Western Europe, the UK.

According to Majid Khadduri, the fundamental distinction between Dar al-Islam, the “House of Islam” the and Dar al-Harb was introduced after the crushing and devastating defeat of the Umayyad Caliphate by the Franks, at the Battle of Tours in 732 CE. This was the first serious defeat of the Muslim on LAND (Constantinople had crushed them at sea twice, thanks to Grecian Fire… so the Muslim strategists decided to go around). That defeat prevented the expansion of Islam to the north, while at the same time the expansion of the caliphate to the east had been halted. Soon after the Caliphate fell, and was replaced by the Abbasids, nominally Arab, really Iranian.

Verily, we have to be careful how we pronounce words, and which words we use, lest we want to be biased, and aggressively so…

Patrice Ayme

Sapiens, Master Of The Universe, Best When Mountains Fall

May 14, 2021

Climbing Is About Nothing And Everything, Just As Life Itself, Or Climbing can be viewed as an adventure in mastery between oneself and fate. 

Climbing, well done, is experiencing an entire life, in one, or a few days. Climbing, well done, does not murder the emotional lives of those who love us, by killing whom they love. Any climber of some experience had close calls. Reinhold Mesner, the first to climb all 14 8000 meter peaks, had many close calls (for example falling inside a crevice on Everest while completely alone). He climbed them without oxygen. Sometimes by new routes (Broad Peak, Annapurna, Everest), sometimes solo, even making probably what is, to this day, the only real solo climb of Everest without assistance whatsoever (it was August, during the warm and wet monsoon, nobody else was on the mountain besides a photographer girlfriend in base camp). 

Mesner was lucky: he made much of his own luck, sometimes (Nanga Parbat) waiting patiently for a slope to avalanche away before climbing it when it had been scoured clean. He knows luck was on his side, he wrote about it. 

Some love to compare today’s exploits with those of the past. In the past the equipment was not what it has become, and not what it will be some day. One can’t compare yesterday’s achievements with today’s, or tomorrow. A few months ago, in the solo sailboat race around the world, a rogue wave broke the boat of a famous sailor in two, in the middle of the southern ocean, far from any shore. He had the time to inform a satellite of what had happened, and got into a rescue device. The race center in France was then able to vector several other competitors to the area. With more electronic and human feat, the sailor in his shelter was localized and recovered by a competitor who then transferred him to a French warship. 

All the part delimited by the white line avalanched off 2006. A few years earlier, my partner and I, leading across a giant ice gully, a hundred meters below point C, below the picture. That’s when and where the huge rock avalanche struck, at the worst possible moment. It hit the ropes, when I was twenty meters out of a very bad belay (it was bad, because there was nothing else and I had set it up myself. It is extremely rare that I could not make a belay good by wedging various devices in cracks… Then, having miraculously survived the rockfall, I went straight up, a bit right of the Bonatti Pillar route, and more on the pillar than Bonatti. I had cams, which Europeans did not have at the time, so I could protect cracks, and also crack practice, from Yosemite… Amusingly the near death below propelled me to great heights (generally I am a very cautious climber… but not that day… because of the hubris effect I describe below…)

Someday, maybe everybody will be climbing solo with anti-gravity devices… Or some other way to prevent falls…

In the mountains what we are, and what nature is, is revealed. Including morally. 

Climbing can also be an adventure between oneself and companions who keep us alive. In any case, climbing, optimally done, should be about life. However, some went to the mountains as an alternative to suicide… As when Bonatti climbed the south west pillar of the Dru. 

I made a first ascent of a route on this one, after getting nearly killed partway up it, in a massive rock avalanche caused by the greenhouse heating most severe in the mountains and polar regions [1]. I was climbing extremely well that day, because I had just died, I could not believe I was still perhaps alive, and my miraculous survival made me believe God, or the effective equivalent of God) was on my side (or something like that). I took more risks that day than I ever had lead climbing. I would make enormous runouts, ignoring my bleeding arms. Pulled off the mountain by the avalanche, I had succeeded to wedge myself in a rock ice chimney as I fell into the half a mile high ice gully below. It was the most unlikely piece of mountain luck/exploit I had ever heard about. To this day, I can’t believe what happened.

Not that I could gloat about my route. There were other collapses in the same area. A few years after this astounding success, the entire part of this mountain collapsed (the entire Bonatti pillar). 

Avalanches teach in mysterious ways. There was justice in all this: the mountain does not matter, the exploit doesn’t matter. What matters is knowing better this life we are lucky to have. We climb the mountains to get to know ourselves better. Another gift is that we show fate, that we too can play with, and master, the universe, as if there were values greater than life itself.

It is not that we are control freaks, it is that, sometimes, we human brains need to express ourselves fully the way we are: masters of our own fates, awed by none, imposing our own values to all and sundry [2]. 

And did I learn something directly from my quasi-death on the Drus? Yes, I learned how (much of) the hubris mechanism works. When one looks at history on the largest scale, one often sees leaders taking crazy, very dangerous decisions, as if they were invincible gods. Stalin and Hitler are examples, but also Castro, Che Guevara, the Khmer Rouge, or various juntas all over, Maduro, numerous fundamentalist religious groups, Saddam Hussein, etc. Many of these leaders have this in common: they were nearly killed at some point prior. But they survived. Yet, as survivors, they probably felt like cats with many lives. Lethal risk taking is habit forming, and a drug.  

It is not just that those who nearly died think they can get away with it one more time, or that the life they are presently enjoying is an after death experience. It is also that human neurology is made to take lethal risks, and fully expresses itself only when it does.

And this has a very practical consequence that strategists should keep in mind, when they ponder the possibility of war on a small planet.

War is not just the continuation of politics by other means, it is the continuation of domineering metaphysics by other means.    

Patrice Ayme

***

[1] Why more heating in glaciated mountains and regions? Because as the ice and snow decreases, the heat augments in the summer months, gets stored, released in winter, while the heating effect is augmented considerably by albedo decrease (if Greenland had no ice right now, it would not grow back). 

Tall mountains above the permafrost are cathedrals of ice. As the ice enters a cycle of thaw and freeze, not being permanently ice-strong all the time anymore, the cracks are continually pried ever more open, and the rock fails. The specialist Ludovic Ravanel, high Mountain Guide, Hut Guardian, and geomorphology researcher at CNRS says:

From 1855 until 1950, the situation stayed stable. Then in the second half of the XXth century the rock falls continually increased. During the two decades of 1990 and 2000, the warmest, “they exploded in frequency and volume”.

“The falls occur during the warmest periods or at the end of them”. 

“The permafrost is the triggering factor”. 

“The global warming +2 degrees Celsius in Chamonix since 1936 will increase the phenomenon”. 

“Most probably rock falls high in our mountains will occur more frequently and be bigger according to the increase of temperatures, even during the colder seasons”.

***

[2] All and sundry: This phrase dates from the 1300s and meant ‘one and all’, in the sense of both collectively and individually. The word ‘sundry‘ derives from the Old English syndrig, meaning ‘separate, exceptional or special’.

Understand, Predict, Innovate Judiciously or Die: Why The Maya Collapsed

May 12, 2021

Civilizations are dynamically technological, or they are not, and they fall, like a cyclist trying to stand on just two wheels without moving. It is actually worse than that: the man-made ecology, the bicycle any civilization is riding, is always changing, as the civilization depletes whatever it is exploiting.

And the more successful it is, the more the ecology a civilization depends upon gets depleted. It is not just a question of having limits to growth in general, but of a progressive collapse of the particular type of growth which brought success… to a given civilization, so far. When old growth is sick and exhausted, one has to get a divorce, and adopt a new growth model which is smarter. Staying faithful to an ecology one has killed, brings only more killing. We will focus here on the Mayan collapse which overall, lasted three centuries, and was characterized by a megadrought. Changes of Mayan behavior occurred during the collapse, but they proved insufficient to stop it. One can compare with other (partial) collapses, the most famous being that of the Roman empire in the Fifth Century.

The change from the Latin-Roman Catholic civilization to the Latin-Frankish civilization which succeeded it was primarily a change of growth model: the basic law, the spirit of Roman Republican law, was unchanged. The Franks adopted a superior growth model (in this order: religious tolerance, more secular education, no more slavery).

Eurasia and the “West” provide many examples of this, changing growth models in a smart way. This is why and how “the West” and East Asia came to dominate the world. A case in point is the contemporary rise of China, which, in light of full Chinese history and the secular technological-legal mood which often drove it, is more of the same “socialism with Chinese characteristics”… which is at the core of the Western success too.

***

The Maya provide a warning of what happens when one succumbs to hubris while lacking long duration smarts:

The Maya did not understand, predict, and innovate in a timely manner, and hubristically adopted an erroneous growth model, making a bad situation worse. By the Eighth Century, around 750 CE, Mayan society had thrived for more than 2,000 years. The population was at an all-time high: high-tech mapping suggests that at least 10 million people may have lived within the Maya Lowlands alone. 40 major new stone buildings were built every year (it used to be 10, it would fall back to zero after 900 CE). Mayans were experts in astronomy, mathematics, architecture, with a complex language of written symbols. The city-state of Tikal comprised more than 61,000 stone buildings.

Then a megadrought struck. It was the worst drought in 7,000 years, it lasted more than two centuries, and became terrible after 1000 CE (when most of the Mayan civilization had already disappeared). That megadrought was partly a consequence of human, Mayan, activity (greenhouse warming plus deforestation so drastic fundamental some raw materials were gone). Devastating wars of cities against cities, rebellions, killing of the incompetent elites, and the burning of cities followed.

Population collapsed. Less than 200 years later, the core of the Maya civilization (the southern lowlands) was no more (most of the rest would progressively go down in the next two centuries, as the drought kept on going). A civilization that had stretched across southern Mexico and Central America was nearly completely gone (the Conquistadores would meet its haggard remnants). 

The Mayan collapse was not caused by invasion (Toltec influence or not)… whereas Athens, Rome, Constantinople, the Xi Xia, and of course the Mexicans, fell partly, mostly, or completely, from invasion, the Mayan collapse is a study in self-generated devastation. (It is not that the Mayans were particularly stupid; just the opposite: they succeeded to create a massive civilization in an unlikely place, thanks to advanced technology, massively deployed; but that civilization was vulnerable: there had been a first collapse after a megadrought around 200 CE; see graph below.)

There are a number of theories to explain what happened to the Maya. However, from my point  of view it is possible to gather all these theories in just a single logic. The Mayan collapse was greatly an implosion of a highly technological society from ecological collapse with population, war and hubris loss of control as triggers: the social and religious implosions are consequences of the technological implosion

Graph from Professor Kennett, expert of the subject. Several things from it. Around 200 CE there was a first drought, and a first collapse. It is imaginable that the causes were the same, and that the absence of books and a strong intellectual class led to a repeat. When the late classic collapse started the drought was not that bad and just reflected poorly from the wet 2 centuries prior. However, the wars and the ecological devastation this relative difficulty caused made the situation way worse. Then the terrible drought after 1000 CE prevented any recovery.

There is evidence that the fall of Rome shares some of the elements of the Maya collapse:

Let me repeat this slowly: the Mayan ecological collapse started before the full impact of the mega drought. It was obviously caused by a population explosion in combination with mismanagement (namely Mayan wars; in the Seventh Century, Tikal lost its prominence thanks in part to an uppity warrior queen from a lesser city; Tikal would regain the upper hand, but with a mood that had changed towards more hubris than the climate could take).

Europe would experience something similar around 1300 CE. In the last two decades before 1300 CE, there were a few severe winters (foreshocks of the Little Ice Age). At the time, ushered by a technological and rational revolution, the European population was exploding, severely stressing the ecology. Successful intense agriculture and construction devoured the forests (a bit like Brazil nowadays)…

However, instead of sitting on their hands or going to war against each other, the European governments took ferocious countermeasures around 1300 CE, outright banning people from some mountainous regions to limit erosion and deforestation (Japan did something similar at the same time). When the Little Ice Age struck, followed by the Plague of 1348 CE, half of the population was killed, but society itself, give or take a few roasted noble families, and a few thousands peasants butchered, in the Jacqueries… society itself survived intact. Actually the economy rebounded and the Franco-French and Anglo-French gaily persisted into fighting each other for the control of France and Britain.  

Rome is another case of ecological implosion: clearly the metal mining of Rome collapsed a full century before the empire started to collapse socially, financially, militarily, and into barracks’ emperors anarchy. We know that Roman metal mining went down before anything else went clearly very wrong, by studying traces of metal in Greenland ice cores.

Why would the collapse of metal mining bring Rome down? Rome high tech society was extremely dependent upon metals. No more metal, no more economy, currency, military… or even roofs (!) When one reads Viking sagas, one is struck by the importance of mining, swords and forging. Superlative swords had names and were passed over the generations, and between clans. Rome had, by far, the largest army in the world all equipped with swords, helmets, armor, and other metallic objects. A Roman emperor would come to Rome in the Seventh Century to strip the metallic roofs, to make weapons to resist the Muslim invasion.

***

Often triumphant technology creates the conditions for its own failure. As shown by the Maya:

The Mayan irrigation system was gigantic. It used special materials. The Maya’s home was a tough environment plagued by droughts: what is called a seasonal desert. The land that they farmed was often porous limestone, rocky terrain with the water table often 100 meters below the surface, but also massive wetlands. How did they manage to feed their huge population in this chaotic environment?

It is estimated that the Mayan population may have been above 18 millions… Well, to start with, Mayans used the swamps, next to which their cities were located. About 40% of the Yucatán Peninsula is swamp today. The Maya mucked out the ditches, and tossed the soil onto the adjacent land, creating elevated fields which would kept the root systems of their crops above the waterlogged soil, while allowing access to the irrigation water. They also drained some land outright. That irrigated land is hundreds of kilometers across. Sixty or so cities each with a population of 60,000 to 70,000, sprouted during two centuries of abnormally wet weather, setting the Maya for a fall. 

On satellite pictures forests around Mayan sites look discoloured. On the ground remnants of orchards and edible plants are still in abundance.

Mayan lands are now a sea of green forest. However, their appearance in the Seventh Century was that of a man-made landscape. By 700 CE the Maya had completely run out of their main construction trees. It has been suggested that massive deforestation helped cause a megadrought. When the elites proved they had no solution but war of all against all, devastation followed.

The Mayan megadrought was caused mostly, or at least severely aggravated, by human ecological devastation. 

Not all megadroughts are that way. Across the Mediterranean and west Asia, the effects of the 4,200-3,900 years Before Present megadrought included synchronous collapse of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, the Old Kingdom in Egypt and Early Bronze Age settlements in Anatolia, the Aegean and the Levant. That megadought left marks all over the planet, including in Alaska and the Yukon. There was an estimated 30-50% reduction in precipitation delivered by the Mediterranean westerlies in the eastern hemisphere, where they provide for dry-farming and irrigation agriculture across the Aegean, Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Iran. There was a synchronous disruptions for the Indian Summer Monsoon. That was clearly a larger scale disaster where the human influence is not obvious… keeping in mind that a greenhouse caused by the rise of human agriculture, and herding which may have prevented what would have been otherwise significant cooling, 8,000 Before Present.

The Mayan megadrought was roughly coincidental with the “Middle Age Optimum”, when a warmer clime enriched Europe as glaciers retreated spectacularly (and the Viking got to Greenland and America). the phenomena are probably related (science to come). But the point is that Mayan agriculture made a bad situation way worse.

***

Agriculture Can Cause Ecological Devastation:

… This is something that the promoters of agriculture as a panacea keep on forgetting. Plants interact with the atmosphere and the climate. Large dark plants—such as dense tropical forest—absorb a lot of energy from the Sun. At the same time, they prevent much evaporation, thanks to their shade: a tropical forest is darker than a cathedral. Tropical forests restitute the sun energy, and the moisture, in the evening, making warm moist air rise high; it falls back as rain. 

Lighter colored plants (crops and dry yellow grasses like wheat) reflect some, and sometimes most energy. They act like snow, rising the albedo of the land, sending back sunlight energy to space. 

When a forest is replaced by thinner, less massive and less shady, lighter colored plants, the land reflects more sunlight, which cools the atmosphere (because the ground does not warm up, filling up with sun energy to give it back later). Cool air sinks, while water vapor needs to rise and condense to create a rainstorm. Without warm, unstable air rising into the atmosphere, rainstorms became less common. 

The lack of rain helps raise temperatures on land. When energy from the Sun reaches the ground directly, it either bakes the ground or it causes water to evaporate from the soil or transpire from plants. With forests producing less moisture and croplands holding less water, droughts deepened as more and more of the Sun’s energy heated the ground. Thus deforestation makes  droughts worse, and may even create a desert. An excellent example is an Hawaiian island which was deprived of its forest, and is now a baked red piece of land with low bushes, Kaho’olawe. 

In ancient times, the Maya had practiced good forestry management. They were not allowed to cut down the sacred groves. That changed during the Late Classic period with the adventures of Jasaw Chan K’awiil. The Tikal Maya had been defeated and had fallen to second-rate status prior to his ascendancy. Jasaw Chan K’awiil led an army to the competing city, Calakmul, captured its ruler, bound him, brought him back and sacrificed him. There was plenty of instability at the times, including the rise of ferocious warrior queens; one queen built the longest plastered white road going north among orchards and cornfields… to enable her army to go defeat a rising northern city, Chichen Itza.

In any case, Tikal had a one century hiatus characterized with neighboring competing cities having plenty of warrior-queens (at least ten). So agriculture can cause devastation and women can mean trouble… Queen Bathilde of the Franks outlawed slavery, successfully, not because she was weak, but because she was stronger than the (male) Chinese emperors who tried the same. Some of the pseudo-“woke” may be be rendered too awake from this essay….

Nice Quetzal hat… Maya Holy Snake Lord known as Lady K’abel who ruled El Perú-Waka’, a city-state one hundred kilometers west of Tikal…. for more than 20 years with her husband, King K’inich Bahlam II. She was the military governor of the Wak kingdom for her family, the imperial house of the Snake King, and she carried the title “Kaloomte,” translated as “Supreme Warrior,” higher in authority than her husband, the king. This representation is not a figment of imagination: we have actually ceramic figurines of her!… And much documentation besides. The exact chronology of what happened is not fully clear yet, but plenty enough for the theme of this essay!

After these wars between cities, the Maya rebuilt the city of Tikal in a way never seen before. They began building huge temples that required considerable resources, especially large, straight trees whose wood could withstand the weight of tons of stone. Their choices were limited to two types of strong trees.

Jasaw Chan K’awiil tapped into their sacred groves to do this. The stands of virgin timber were more than 200 years old in some areas. After building a few of the temples, the Maya ran out of timber from the Manilkara zapota (sapodilla) tree. That wood is easy to work, until it dries up and becomes very strong. It’s denser than water. Then they switched to an inferior tree —Haematoxylon campechianum, logwood or inkwood — which is found in swamps. This had adverse consequences on the maintenance or expansion of the irrigation system.

Tikal’s irrigation system was high tech. It contained at least eight large dams, the largest with 75,000 tons of water, was used as a causeway linking two parts of the city. Dams were equipped with filtration sand boxes, to produce clean water. The quartz sand is not found in the Tikal area; it was imported from more than 30 kilometers away.

How permanent was the change the Mayan civilization at its apogee inflicted on Yucatan? Climatologist Ben Cook from NASA compared climate conditions during the late Mayan era with conditions during the early colonial era (1500-1650 CE), when land use was at a minimum and forests had regrown over Central America. The warming and drying trend had disappeared. 

However the Mayan civilization had not recovered its splendor: after 1200 CE and until the Conquistadores appeared, it was a shadow of its former self, the population being perhaps just a tenth of what it used to be… But it was not for lack of aggressivity: a severe and vast ambush was set by Mayans for the Conquistadores who had to flee back to their boats… And the last free Mayan city, Nojpeten, would fall only in 1697. Some have suggested that the remaining Maya went to the coast, where the Spanish found them. It is fascinating to see that the Mayan civilization couldn’t get restarted: the numerous giant cities were gone for good. But this is often the case of civilizational collapses…

What probably happened is that the Mayan way of life was a huge system which needed a technological know-how which had been acquired during millennia, and then was lost. A broken system can’t be reinstated overnight: the system may have been elaborated over centuries (the case of Rome, Athens)… or even millennia: the case of Mesopotamia, Egypt… And the MesoAmerican civilizations. 

Moreover books are important, as they store information, and not just the concept of the proverbial wheel. This has long been known: when Rome annihilated Carthage, all Punic books were destroyed. Except one: a treaty on agriculture. And indeed the Romans would make Africa a Roman granary, the region became more productive than it would be until the arrival of French. 

The Greek dark ages after the adventures of the Trojan War lasted 4 centuries. However, Western Europe and China have proven quite collapse resistant, probably for having cultural systems smarter than most, thanks to all the books… and aware of collapse, thus keen to take resistant measures. For example when the “First” Qin emperor ordered books to be destroyed, especially of the 100 philosophical schools, many Chinese knew what to do: they copied and buried the books. 

In the 1970s, most Maya scholars concluded that the demise of the Classic Period Lowland Maya was the result of complex systems interactions. Another way to put it is that a civilization has a mind of its own

A civilization doesn’t truly collapse until its culture and know-how have been eradicated. In the case of the Maya remnants of the culture survived (they still knew how to write codices)… but what did not survive was how and why to make Yucatan work, as it did at the apex of civilization.

Could the Maya have prevented their collapse? Some will shake their heads and observe that Mayans would have had to understand science we are barely establishing now pertaining to drought and deforestation. Some of the conclusions above have a fair amount of guesswork, philosophy and modelling, and a few obstinate ones would disagree. However, this guesswork, this philosophy was done in Europe in 1300 CE, and a terminal ecological crisis avoided.

So let me tell a personal anecdote: the philosophical method rises the personal and anecdotal to the general and systemic. When I was in Africa I saw municipal authorities cut a number of magnificent trees. Apparently, inspired by a devious sense of esthetics, they had decided an immense plaza looked even better by making it more desolate. I was shocked, and revolted. How could Senegalese, in a country that was obviously desiccating, cut trees which provided shade, cooling and moisture? Tropical trees can have these huge, incredible thick oily leaves which block sunlight. For me it was glaring that this policy favored desertification, and I had seen many examples of it around Senegal already, so I viewed it as a systemic policy symbolizing a perverse mentality. I was ten years old. So if a ten year old can figure out, that cutting trees dries the climate, and causes a desert, no wonder more ancient Mayans protected sacred groves. And then the question becomes how come Tikal changed ecological policy? The answer is the war mood and the hubris it brings: flushed by taking enormous risks defeating their enemies, Tikal leaders kept on taking risks, this time with the ecology, flaunting, to themselves and others, their covenant with god(s). 

Human reality works that way: exaggerated behavior, thanks to hubris and provocation, fail, fix it, fly again. This is how humanity learns… in a tribal setting. Civilizations can also learn that way. In the best places of Eurasia, like the Fertile Crescent, the Latium, India, China. In such places of Eurasia, the collapse of one civilization taught others nearby: this is the story of the Middle East where civilizations kept on crashing and rising again, until the double headed shock of Islam, followed by the Mongols (after that it was pretty much all the way down)…

But it’s not how all civilizations can learn. A civilization can become such an immensely complicated systems, that, once broken, it can’t be readily reconstituted... Such is the sad story of the Maya.

Patrice Ayme


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Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

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Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

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Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism