Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Why To Climb? Because It’s a Life Which Makes Us Gods

May 8, 2017

Climbing is hard, and it’s a life. That’s why it’s there. But it’s a there we climbers chose, not one we just submit to. Normal life, the life common people live through,  is something we have to submit to. Climbing life, and the potentiality of the death it is attached to, we chose.

God While You Last. South Face of Annapurna, Ueli Steck, Solo. He has a Rope, and A Friend Taking the Picture. Why so? It is often safer to solo steep slopes where one cannot the slightest mistake in the mountains, to go faster over dangerous terrain. I soloed faces nearly that big, up, and down, in the name of… safety. After nearly dying in two pesky avalanches, I have discouraged the habit by encouraging less adventurous climbing…

Climbing is a chosen life-universe. This is why, deep down inside, more than for simple bragging, people pay $65,000 to drag themselves up Everest. They are helped by countless servants, and various technical devices, from gel insulated boots to carbon fiber axes, bottled oxygen, dehydrated foods, bottled methane, fixed ropes, and looming helicopter service and rescue. Still more than 400 climbers have died in the giant horseshoe formed by Chomolungma (Everest), Lhotse-Nuptse horseshoe. Many of them most famous, and the best. My best friend, also at the time the best mountaineer, died not too far from there, when part of a mountain he was doing the first ascent of, broke. Climate change can strike the heart.

The 2017 climbing season in that highest of all horseshoes, was inaugurated by the death of Ueli Steck, 40 years old. At the time he started to careen down that icy abyss, Mr. Steck, a Swiss, was viewed by many as the greatest living mountaineer. One of the many greatest living mountaineers to die within a few miles of there.

All true and genuine breakthrough philosophers are solo climbers, they risk death. And if not death from their contemporaries, they have to create the threat, because menace is the essence of human existence.

Nietzsche was climber, and a solo climber. He would regularly climb Corvatch, a peak which is still glaciated, from the Upper Engadin valley floor, a mile down. I have skied there in summer: a cable car brings the modern faineant up there. When Nietzsche was climbing alone, it was clearly dangerous: no helicopters at the time.

The extremely gifted Ueli Steck fell a full kilometer on Nuptse, a peak on the Western side of the horseshoe-shaped Everest-Lhotse-Nuptse CWM. Steck was apparently within 200 meters of the summit, and had climbed up there, starting at 4:30 am, with astounding speed. The face is very hard, very steep. During such solo climbs, if one slips on an ice lens, or one is hit by a fist size rock from up high, one will fall, and, most probably die (although some have survived falling all the way down the Matterhorn, this sort of feat is rather rare).

Dangerous physical activities such as climbing require full cerebral engagement. Paradoxically, although such tasks look like the less intellectual, they are exactly the opposite, the ones where the intellect is fully engaged in a massive way, which no sedate activity ever brings.

Climbing often requires full neurological mobilization, especially when soloing is involved. This is an important aspect of its charm. It makes one feel fully alive as nothing else does!
This full neurological mobilization is all too often the only way to avoid death.
Once I complained, while climbing, to two female mountain guides in the Alps that so many of my friends died climbing, and they scoffed that, once one reaches 40, many of one’s climbing friends are dead.

Yet, feeling that full neurological power, is feeling divine.

The climber, especially in a desperate situation, especially when falling towards certain death (as happened to me once after being hit by a rock avalanche) has incomprehensible powers. Those powers come from a fully mobilized brain, all neurons firing out commands with superhuman power. It has to be experienced, to be believed.

As part of the Dru spire fell on me, and I therefore thereafter tumbled down an ice chute, I was able to stop myself. However, should anyone else tell me the same story, I would not believe it (being short of believing in God-ordered miracles). Without any question a philosophically stimulating experience.

Climbing is not a game. Or then, it is the game of life. Each Climb is miniature life, but with the climber free to select it, as she, or he, were God. Each climb is an entire life, an entire universe, in miniature. It starts with hope and power. It ends with fatigue, accomplishment. Yet, all along, death can strike said life

Aristotle claimed that man was a political animal. Whatever. In truth, Aristotle was the animal, an animal, a ravenous beast, whose friends, the worst of the worst, fed out of politics, like pigs out of a through. Aristotle didn’t know that Polis, the City, Civilization, was less than 10,000 years old, and humanity, millions of years old. All Aristotle wanted is to foster monarchy, especially when, as was the case, those monarchs (Alexander, Antipater, Craterus, etc.) are family.

Humans are creative, labouring, and this thanks to hard and very deep thinking, the essence of humanity.

The point of life is to survive it. Day to day. We, and who, and what, we love. Such is the engine of human motivation. But “life” itself has to be defined. The discovery of those who seriously climb is that they are the ones who define what life is. In climbing, it’s the climber herself, or himself, who decides what “life” is going to be: climbing this, or that peak, or this, or that route. Climbing with this, or that, companion(s). 

The mountains are there. More exactly, the potential lives they offer are there. They are there for us to pick. If we so decide, as if we were gods. Which we are, in a deep sense, as far as climbing is concerned. We may be the only free agents in the universe, and we are free, because we chose what the universe is. And this is what the climber does. Hence the fascination and importance of climbing, which is found in all civilizations, from South America, to Africa, to China.

We can’t yet reach for the stars, but we can reach for the peaks, and this is what humanity has been about, all along. Going where no stupid animal would ever go. Precisely because their brains are too stupid to make the universe what they want it to be. Climbers make universes as others make pizzas, just because they can, and no other agent in the universe is crazy enough to do so.

Patrice Ayme’

Truth Is Not Politically Correct

November 15, 2015

Truth is not Politically Correct. Denying this, pretending that truth is Politically Correct, is the mother of all problems with the present management of the entire planet. And that’s the first thing which is wrong with today’s political practice. And this is what leads to war and terrorism, let alone biosphere devastation, as observed today.

So why do we have this mood hostile to truth? Because it profits the powers that be. Hostility to truth makes people stupid. Stupid animals can be led by the nose more easily that those who are very clever. When a male shark wants to plant his flag deep in Ms. Shark, he grabs her in its powerful jaws, by a fin or another, flip her on her back, until she gets into a trance, and stops moving. This is similar to what the fiercest rulers do to We The People.

So our leaders are playing dumb. Are they as dumb as they look?  The four sacred months expired at 12pm, Mecca time, on Friday. Refer to Sura 5, verse 9: …”when the forbidden months are past, then fight and SLAY the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush.”

9pm in Paris, 12 pm in Mecca, on November 13, 2015, was now time for “every ambush” on the pagans.

Three teams of fanatics attacked in Paris, within 33 minutes. Three individuals tried to get in the Stade de France (with 80,000 inside, plus the French president and the French and German national teams). The first kamikaze was detected at 21:20. He had to explode himself before he could get in, making only one victim (there was only security outside of the stadium, minutes after the match started).

At 21:25 a terrorist team of three attacked the restaurant “Little Cambodia”. 21:32 they attacked the Cafe’ A La Bonne Biere. At 21:36 “La Belle Equipe”. Their weapons and car were found in Montreuil, but they ESCAPED. That team killed at least 39 people.

At 21:40 another fanatic sat at a cafe’ on boulevard Voltaire, then exploded himself. Meanwhile, still another team of three kamikazes attacked the Bataclan theater. The raid was organized in Belgium, in the same zone as usual. 12 accomplices have been arrested so far.

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in Paris.” is the way Islamist State (ISIS) called its mayhem in Paris. Two sisters of the Saadi family, both young mothers, got killed leaving orphans behind. Both were of a French “Muslim” family. Many Muslims were killed in the attacks, but, as ISIS would point out, they were assuredly “depraved”.

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Friendly Californian Children Left This, Lighting Up the Night, In Front Of My House

Sacred raid (razzia)  against the crusaders in New York and Washington.” is the way Al Qaeda called its mayhem in the USA. The same words, the same sentence exactly were used in 2001, with “New York” and “Washington” in place of Paris. So, in that sense, the latest mayhem is exactly a “9/11” in France. Not the first, nor the last. (That there were only 130 killed and 100 extremely gravely injured, with “life prognostic engaged” is not really a miracle: the explosive vests were detected at the Stade de France; thus, instead of killing hundreds, the kamikazes at the stadium killed just one besides themselves; inside the Bataclan, the kamikazes detonated themselves while fighting the police in the dark; strikingly, no police of the SWAT teams in the BRI and RAID was injured).

As Osama Bin Laden said: You will lose this war, because we love death as much as you love life.” This rather deleterious idea of Osama was quoted approvingly by the Islamist State.

ISIS, the Islamist State, said it struck in Paris “The DEPRAVED”, those who listen to California music, or watch soccer (because those “Depraved” went to a concert by rock group from California, or to a soccer match France-Germany). It did not matter if they were Pagans, Muslims.

25% to 30% of the French population descends from relatively recent immigration (and nearly 100% of the French population descends for foreign stock, if one goes back 3,000 years, as the Celto-Germans invaded; only the Basques are very ancient stock). Probably a majority of French have partial Jewish and Muslim ancestry (Jews have been in France for more than 2,000 years, Muslims for more than 13 centuries; contrarily to legend, under the Franks, there was total religious tolerance. That means for a duration of seven centuries. Then unfortunately Catholic fascism got increasing respect, and thus powers, resulting in the rise of religious terror and intolerance, which became full bore after a crusade conducted WITHIN France killed around one million (a huge number at the time). After that the religious terror, on and off, lasted until the French Revolution, when the Jews and Protestants were given the rights which they used to have, long ago, were given back to them.

An important difference between what is going on in France with 11 September in the USA was that the USA was attacked by 15 Saudi kamikazes, and five other foreigners. (Only one was “French” and was arrested.) So “9/11″was completely an aggression by foreigners. (The USA, though, had, since, pure Qur’an motivated hate crime attacks, the foremost one by a military surgeon who went Qur’an nuts and killed a dozen other soldiers. So the Quranic cancer in France can, and has metastized in other parts of the West.)

In the attacks in France most of the attackers are French who learned the most striking parts of the Qur’an. The most striking parts being those which ORDER the top followers of Islam, those who want to get directly in paradise to go out and attack, or even kill, non Muslims. No, I am not making it up: “Violence in the Holy Qur’an” can be consulted. And more quotes are coming by tomorrow, making these order explicit.

The Qur’an is viewed by Muslims as a set of explicit orders from God. In particular God gives explicit order to kill, attack, and submit entire categories of people. Not bad, in the way of war, for a book which is only 80,000 words long. Most of humanity falls into those categories to kill, attack, submit, oppress, diminish, tax, subjugate. What are the faithful supposed to say? What are the faithful supposed to do? Go along with the program? The Qur’an is a program. Not just a “religion” (whatever that means).

The first religion of a Republic, is the Republic. Superstitions can be accommodated, as long as they do not disturb the primary religion. 

Well, they should do exactly what the Catholics did, in a country such as France: stop believing in all the garbage. And that’s the truth. Yes, it’s not politically correct. However, the philosophically correct should bulldoze over the politically correct. Always has, in the long run, always will.

Last, but not least: human beings, like baboons, know how to make war. It’s in their genes, so to speak. When attacked, baboons make a military formation, and predators flee. more than 70 million of French baboons have been attacked, and they clearly need to adopt a military formation, and get smarter. The Paris are has been under Franco-Celtic control since at least the early Third Century , when Paris got is name (changing back to the “Parisii“, the old Gallic name, from the Roman Lutetia). Every since Paris was named, there was not one decade when France was not at war. 17 centuries of war, and counting. This is a stunning fact.

As the concept of “Jihad” has it, war and maximum effort is a generalized attitude necessary for the fulfillment of hope, let alone life. It’s the exact attitude, for bad or good, which made, in the end, our species master of the Earth. War should give peace a chance. But war never should keep on giving peace a chance as if there were no tomorrow.

Patrice Ayme’


We Are All Martians

November 6, 2015

The Life Giving Nuclear Reactor within Earth protects us with the magnetic field it energizes. The idea is that, otherwise, the atmosphere would be torn away, as it was in Mars. Or, if not the atmosphere, at least the hydrogen (and thus the water), as happened for Venus.

At least, such was my philosophy of the rocky planets’ atmosphere (exposed in prior essays). “Philosophy” can be educated guesses based on lots of physics and mathematics, intuitively understood. Philosophy can stand just at the edge of science. But then it’s good to have a scientific confirmation. Here it is. NASA’s MAVEN (= Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) in orbit for years, has measured that Mars loses around 100 grams of atmosphere per second, due to impact from the Solar Wind (protons going at 400 kilometers per second).

That’s not good. Still, back of the envelope computations show Mars should still have a thick atmosphere. Instead, its density is only 1% of Earth, and few of Earth’s most primitive lifeforms are hardy enough to survive in Mars CO2 atmosphere (even neglecting UV and low temperatures).

Once the atmosphere was going, the water followed, and so did the considerable greenhouse water vapor brought. Water vapor (H2O) is more greenhousy than CO2, meaning the relationship CO2-H2O is nonlinear: higher CO2 on Earth means higher H2O, hence even higher greenhouse than the simple rise of CO2 would naively bring).

Earth Has A Powerful Nuclear Powered Magnetic Shield. Mars' Shield Was Too Weak. The Solar Wind Tore the Martian Atmosphere Away MCE By MCE.

Earth Has A Powerful Nuclear Powered Magnetic Shield. Mars’ Shield Was Too Weak. The Solar Wind Tore the Martian Atmosphere Away MCE By MCE.

So, if 100 grams per second was not enough to strip the atmosphere why did it escape Mars as much as it did?

The Sun is an hectic thermonuclear engine shaken by internal explosions. Occasionally a Mass Coronal Ejection (MCE) occurs. Then an alarming eruption of inordinate magnitude, violently flings material off the sun, in a particular eruption. The last one to hit the Earth was in the Nineteenth Century, and it caused severe disruption to the then nascent electrodynamic industry. More severe ones went here and there in the meantime (sparing Earth for now).

However, one hit Mars, and MAVEN was there to measure what happened. What happened? The MCE driven Solar Wind smacked into Mars with great force, and robbed the planet of five kilograms of atmosphere per second.

So what philosophy to extract from this?

  1. Thank our nuclear reactor at the core, which maintains an iron ocean, hundreds of kilometers deep, below our feet.
  2. Life is fragile: it can get started easily, but  can get killed easily.
  3. With at least two planets where life started, in the Solar System, life, basic life, probably started all over the galaxy.
  4. Earth’s life has a very high probability to be of Martian origin.

Why the last point? Because Mars cooled down at least four time faster than Earth. The very latest news show that life started on Earth within 500 million years of our planet’s formation. At that point, Earth became cool enough to sustain life (in spite of the formation of the Moon, which, whether from an impact or from my own nuclear eruption theory, was characterized by great heat, and worldwide fusion of the crust). By then Mars had been cool enough for four hundred million years, at least, to allow life (I get that working backwards from the geological date of life start on Earth, and the factor 4, from the surface ratios).

How did life bearing material go from Mars to Earth? Martian meteorites are found on Earth: an object crashes on Mars and debris flung into space (Mars has lower gravity than Earth). Some documented trips took no more than 15 million years, and temperatures within would have preserved life. More than four billion years ago, the bombardment was extremely intense, and Martian meteorites may have penetrated the terrestrial atmosphere continually. And it would just take one meteorite.

A baby was dying in London, from leukemia. All usual treatments were tried, and failed. The doctors proposed to try an approach so far only experimented only on mice. Collaborating quickly with the French company, CELLECTIS Paris, designer cells made to attack specifically Layla’s cancer were engineered. The treatment was an astounding success, so far. To make war against all diseases is not just fair, it is the war which has to be waged, paying our respects to Mars. In particular, I am certain that, when the choice is between death and trying a treatment which seems to have worked on mice, one should chose the latter. If nothing else, it brings hope, and the certainty one is contributing to:

  1. Fighting back (the most human thing to do, facing evil).
  2. Science
  3. Treatment to all of humanity (other babies, etc.), another most human behavior to engage in: giving one’s life for others.

So kudos to the doctors in London (and the British government for allowing experimentation, plus the two parents for having encouraged it).

Our species celebrates Mars as a god, because war is one of our oldest instincts. Anglo-Saxon media generally scrupulously avoided to mention that this was FRENCH technology (from a French start-up, of all things!). Not mentioning France is part of the war of Anglo-Saxon plutocracy against France. We are all Martians, in more ways than one. And yes, we need to cultivate the better angels of that Martian side of us.

Patrice Ayme’