Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Are Billionaires Criminals? Is A Wealth Tax Needed To Save Civilization?

November 16, 2019

Jesus, the Christian superhero, is very clear: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God…” Matthew 19:23-26 Just to make sure, it’s repeated in Mark and Luke. 

More can be very different: excess in anything, even good things, like water or oxygen, kill. Those who drive with grams of alcohol in their blood are criminal. So are those who drive countries with billions in their blood. It’s high time to understand the emotion underlying this. In the first century of the American Republic of United States, there were no billionaires.

What’s money? Power. A quiproquo of power. Once in the mountains south of the Caspian, I gave money to a baker I had just met, after a long run in the jungle, and he gave me in exchange a hot delicious nān. I got the life sustaining energy of his oven, skill and bread preparation in exchange for pieces of paper representing worth. The problem with billionaires is that there is no more quiproquo: they have it all, we have it none. There is none of the minimum equality necessary to constitute a human society. Our interaction with billionaires is fundamentally inhuman.

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The Power of Plutocrats Can’t Be Measured by Wealth Alone: they control the media, hence minds:      

Plutos control the media, hence minds. As they control all the media, they control all the minds. Minds so controlled, they don’t believe they are controlled. In the last week, each time I tried to publish a comment on public media, I was blocked (I am not even sure my own Twitter and Facebook account work, as posts get individually blocked, unbeknownst to me: I think my post are posted, but only me see them!) That censorship includes my 30+ year old subscription at the New York Times (which, like Facebook, the NYT doesn’t like Elizabeth Warren at all, and has run extensive articles on how good plutocrats are; my comments were blocked; the NYT ignored my protests). Search engines also get controlled: Google. according to the Wall Street Journal, controls even inflammatory titles. The title of this essay could get the site blacklisted, according to the WSJ:

WSJ INVESTIGATION
How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results
The internet giant uses blacklists, algorithm tweaks and an army of contractors to shape what you see
By Kirsten Grind, Sam Schechner, Robert McMillan and John West
Nov. 15, 2019 8:15 am ET.

More on this in another essay. I have been saying as much for many years, from personal experience with personal banning, personal sudden disappearance from search engines, etc. Gates of Hell’s search engine has completely blocked me off, long ago. Hey but those are great, remember, they get the Medal of Freedom (for caging us all?):

One of whose who caged us all, rewarded for caging us all. Is a bribe a bribe, when it has not been received yet? Gates of Hell rewarded for being thieves who made it so that thousands of tons of carcinogen were spread in Africa? That would be business as usual. (Gates financed Monsanto, the glyphosate/roundup maker, and used their foundation for leverage.) In a future, more ethical society, this will be viewed as a criminal act. And also as bribery. Plutocrats get honored for stealing ideas, conspiring to own the world, investing in industrial biocide carcinogenic production (glyphosate), and being friend with whom they sponsor, will provide for, and for giving their non-college educated advice in matter of national education…

All these MSM media are owned by plutocrats, and they exert their power. The old retort plutocrats have trained their little dogs to bark back, is that I can subscribe to something else. Not so: all the Main Stream Media (and its alter ego on the Internet) is owned by plutocrats. All of it. Even PBS and NPR are under Pluto influence and financing (they crowe about it).

Now the ownership of the media by plutocrats doesn’t contribute much to their financial wealth. So why do plutocrats own media, MSM or Internet? Because plutocracy is not just about wealth. Plutocracy is about power. Pluto-Kratia: Evil-Power. Because, like Satan of old, what interests Pluto-Krats is the satanic power they exert on minds. By owning media, plutocrats infantilize humans, mold their minds, whichever way they want, make them engage even in self-hurt, and  thus, they own minds, as others owned pets, before animals had rights. When the Gates (of Hell) and their Pluto peers pay for Project Syndicate, a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-rebellious Internet media company, it enables them to control a FAKE OPPOSITION founded on fake news, fake opinions, fake emotions. Thus they such all the oxygen.  

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 12: Bill Gates (R) and Richard Branson leave after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron as he receives the One Planet Summit’s international philanthropists at Elysee Palace on December 12, 2017 in Paris, France. Macron is hosting the One ClimateSummit, which gathers world leaders, so-called philantropists (actually the executioners of planet and civilization)and other committed private individuals to discuss climate change. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images). One of my personal enemies was there, he intervened to kick my daughter (successfully) out of school, since. When Obama finished his presidency, he climbed with his wife into a persoanl jet of Branson (to the left). Then the two corrupt ones spent weeks on the private island of Branson… Said tax free island enables Branson, owner of Virgin, to pay very little taxes. It’s cool with Obama, Obama, like Biden, is a cool guy, no billionaire he doesn’t love. Love makes the cash go around… The US economy loves these two guys. No tax loophole is big enough…

Our elected leaders favor the hyper wealthy, and honor them, and get them to lead, or go tax free, or present tax loopholes which will enrich them and their descendants, for ages to come. 

Look at Gates getting their medals: identical scenes are found all over the planet. Facebook guy, another NON college educated Pluto has been received in presidential palaces all over, including the French one. A hyper powerful man decorates another. What are they congratulating themselves about? The state of the planet? Think of it: computer science professors consider Gates hijacked a software developed in universities (that is with public money, public power), and then “developed” it for IBM because his influential mother, daughter of a banker was sitting pretty on the IBM board (a company which should be most famous for helping Hitler be all he could be).  

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Rome collapsed because it became stupid, whereas degraded ecological, economic and military circumstances required it to become smarter. That stupidity was imposed from the top: emperor Domitian, for example, tolerated only stoic philosophers, because those teach the sheep how to be kicked everyday and take it with fortitude. The Roman Republic fell into chain reaction plutocracy from a failure of its wealth tax caused by globalization, which enabled the wealthy to escape the (now) local wealth tax [1]. 

Sharp thinking became the enemy in Rome, it’s all too often the enemy now: when I say something real intelligent and uncommon in the New York Times, it censors me (I am a long term subscriber and use the paper as a lab on Demoncracy).

The New York Times is of course opposed to Warren’s program… Her program is very similar to what I have proposed for more than 12 years…(Although I viewed the imposition of Medicare For All a mistake made to make the program fail; instead, I believe in the “Public Option” which is M4A by choice, operating as zero cost… it will kill for profit basic health care).

So the New York Times came up with a flurry of studies pretending that the wealth tax will reduce economic activity as it will be used to reduce the national debt. And to accuse Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two economists at the University of California, Berkeley, who advise Warren, to not have considered how it would affect growth. 

Now, of course, the whole idea of the wealth tax is to augment growth. As Rome fell into plutocracy, ever deeper, it shrank intellectually, sociologically, economically, politically and finally collapsed demographically. All this, from no wealth tax…

And the worst is that recent detailed studies show that Rome was no more of a plutocracy than the modern USA… The present situation of course is worse: in Rome, plutocrats didn’t own media, and thus didn’t forge minds. Now they do.

Rome collapsed from plutocracy, because plutocracy is entangled with the stupidity which enables it to exist. Too much stupidity, and civilization dies. Also, this time, the biosphere is dying too.

So yes, we need a wealth tax to save civilization. And behaviors of our elected representatives pandering to whom are arguably the world’s most powerful criminals and destroyers of the biosphere is bribery, at an apocalyptic level. Jesus would not have been amused and history shall be less forgiving.

Patrice Ayme

“Neoliberalism” Is Neither Liberal, Nor New. Plain Old Plutocracy.

November 12, 2019

“Neoliberalism” is neither. It is not attached to liberty, but to slavery. And it is nothing new. Plutocracy is the cancer of civilizations, and kills them readily. But this time, the entire biosphere is going down.

A better name for “Neoliberalism” would be “plutophilia”, the love of the darkest passions, the love of plutocracy, which is etymologically and in reality, the rule of evil (as this is exactly what pluto-kratia means: the rule of wealth being a particular case of Pluto’s propensities).

“Neoliberalism”, was initially called “trickle down”. One of its axioms was as professor Stiglitz says: “the credibility of neoliberalism’s faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity[1]. However, by “markets” one really meant “merchants”.

When only a few have all the disposable cash, they have all the power, It’s not just bad for ethics, democracy and the sense of fairness we primates all share. It’s also terrible for incentive, motivation, and the blossoming of ideas.

Indeed, what is a market? Who dominates a market? Well, those with enough capital to do so. In other words, the wealthy, or those that banks have decided to lend to… typically, again, those with collateral, namely the wealthy. So the banking system, if it looks for a profit, makes the wealthy wealthier. Hence the so-called “unfettered markets” were, in truth, the unfettered wealthiest, while the fetters were put on everybody else.  

But, unfettered, wealth grows exponentially (as the wealthiest have nearly all the money and lend it, leveraged, to the wealthiest, namely themselves). 

This is exactly what happened: the wealthy got wealthier. And what is wealth? It is power onto others. So the powers of a few grew, onto most people, helped along by a government by “representatives” which learned to act in its own best interest, serving power, that is, wealth. 

“Neoliberalism” fostered, in turn, other myths, first of which was that, unfettered globalization, worldwide, was good for the Republic. Actually, globalization was a disaster: it undermined social rights and taxation. 

The most spectacular example of the disaster engineered by unfettered globalization was the Roman Republic. The Roman REPUBLIC, which lasted 5 centuries, had an absolute wealth limit. And the Roman Republic lasted 5 centuries because it had an absolute wealth limit.

One could argue, and it was argued at the time, that the Res Publica kept on going, in many ways until the end of the “Principate” Diocletian insisted to be called “Dominus” and be considered a living god; in any case, the political regime inaugurated by Augustus should be called a “plutocratic Republic”, and there was a famous dinner, under Domitian, circa 80 CE, where the principal plutocrats of Rome, Domitian among them, argued just that!)

The Florence Republic fell to plutocrats, the Medici, a family of bankers, after exactly 417 years, precisely because it had no wealth limit. (In that case the collapse into plutocratic dictatorship was more brutal than with Rome.) 

There was an absolute wealth limit, because the wealth tax, during the Roman Republic, was 100% above a  threshold (the threshold was pretty low, at most 30 million 2019 dollars, and maybe as low as ten million). Above that threshold, 100% of the property was transferred to the Ager Publicus.

After 200 BCE, and the Second Punic war, having had to fight extremely hard, at immense cost and sacrifice, in Greece, Spain, Africa, the Roman republic became global. Yet, taxation was still local, so wealthy Romans were able to escape the wealth limit, by residing overseas, and Roman billionaires appeared.

The plutocrats immediately started to plot against the Republic. The best way to do that was to corrupt it, by buying politicians. It took many generations, but the Republic declined and collapsed, in spite of the life endangering efforts of many heroes, including the Gracchi brothers, Marius, and his nephew Caesar (Caesar passed a wealth distribution law in 59 BCE).

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Plutocracy expects We The People to believe that a few know best, and deserve all the wealth, all the powers. As a result calamitous policies are engaged into, because only a few brains, without debate, devoured by greed, don’t think too well. Moreover, plutocratic policies look accidentally bad, but they are actually so by design: the worse things get, the more the worst gets going. The more evil things get, the more at home plutocracy is, the more evil can rule… 

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A particular example of these satanic policies is the climate catastrophe, which is part of a mass extinction, the likes of which have not been seen in 70 million years. There were technologies, at the ready already in 1990, to prevent the CO2 catastrophe: in 2019, France pollutes 5 tons of CO2 per capita (the world average), California 9.2 tons, the USA 16 tons, Canada and Australia more than 16… So France knows how to do it, and the others chose not to (the UK, Spain and Italy are around 6 tons; whereas hysterically pro-coal Germany is at 10 tons…) The mood in France is more ecological, more egalitarian, more social… All this is related: respect the environment, just as, and because, you respect your neighbor. Disrespect the environment, as countries like the US, Australia and Canada do, disrespect the neighbor.    

The global plutocracy is indeed intensely related to its fossil fuel component: fossil fuel money is recycled through Wall Street. US President FD Roosevelt set-up that system, meeting with Ibn Saud on the Great Bitter lake in Egypt, shortly before his death. Similarly, when Obama became president, he presented fracking as “the bridge fuel to the future”, and Wall Street, applauding, made massive fracking investments on the lands and water Obama put at its disposal. Thus, once again, the US is the world’s greatest fossil fuel producer: alleluia, say the “America First” crowd, and one expects them to make dark secret masses to their hero Obama, who made fracking into the lifeblood of the US.

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Plutocracy rules through minds. Careful disinformation, and lack of significant information needs to be fed to the masses. Here is an example: 

The New York Times just woke up to the fact that climate scientists systematically underestimated the gravity of the climate crisis we are in. The paper couldn’t explain why this happened, but showed with great clarity how much it happened. I sent a comment basically explaining that the “Neoliberal” regime paid the salaries of those scientists, so they couldn’t be too alarmist, if they wanted to be employed. 

The New York Times apparently found my explanation alarming, a danger to the elite, and refused to publish it. Just as, over the years, much of the MainStream Media has found any discourse against the “Neoliberal” order deranged and alarming (and censored thousands of my comments). Here my comment explaining why scientists were not too alarmed by the climate catastrophe:

The problem has been that scientists are paid by governments which are manipulated by plutocrats, most of them part of the establishment… And the establishment is fossil fuel plutocracy dependent (say, Wall Street, as an example).

So scientists do not want to bite the hand that feed them. And this is still true. The real truth is that the giant masses of ice of Antarctica will melt with a warming of just a few more degrees. I have explained the exact mechanism in essays on my site, in great detail, for more than a decade. The reason is that half of Antarctica is under water… And the densest water is at 4 degrees Centigrade (roughly 40 Fahrenheit)… 

Thus a hyper catastrophic melting is entirely possible… Millennia before what the old, baseless, “scientific” analyses pretended. 

Also a serious diminution of the oxygen content of the atmosphere, ridiculed by well-fed scientists, is actually entirely possible under very plausible (yet complex) scenarios. And so on.

The plutocracy which rules over us is mostly fossil-fuel based. Any plutocracy knows that it needs to control the minds. Nowadays this means controlling the scientists. The gross attack, “climate denier” style, are there only to confuse us.

The real danger is the subtle disinformation that the situation is not dire, that we have time, it’s a question for the grandchildren. I have lived in smoke for weeks on end in the tech metropolis of the San Francisco Bay Area: the burning climate catastrophe is upon us now. One can see it very clearly when one looks outside, and all one sees is smoke.

To free ourselves from “Neoliberalism”, which is economic neofascism by another name, will require a great intellectual effort. I don’t see our schools, including universities, committed to it.

Patrice Ayme

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[1] The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History
Nov 4, 2019 JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ
For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?

NEW YORK – At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called “The End of History?” Communism’s collapse, he argued, would clear the last obstacle separating the entire world from its destiny of liberal democracy and market economies. Many people agreed.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, open societies were triumphant and international cooperation became the dominant creed. Thirty years later, however, nationalism has turned out to be much more powerful and disruptive than internationalism.

Today, as we face a retreat from the rules-based, liberal global order, with autocratic rulers and demagogues leading countries that contain well over half the world’s population, Fukuyama’s idea seems quaint and naive. But it reinforced the neoliberal economic doctrine that has prevailed for the last 40 years.”

Fukuyama, a Fukushima of the intellect was, and is an idiot, as a would-be master thinker, but extremely intelligent in the satisfaction of his greed, and a very useful idiot for the global plutocracy. Yes, an idiot: how can one be more idiotic that claiming nothing new will happen in history ever again, because “Neoliberalism” was , and is, the best of all possible worlds? The best of all possible worlds for Fukuyama himself, yes. Of course. As for many idiots, the rule of one, the rule of the self, is the rule of all.

Fukuyama is swimming in a sea of honors (…or horrors, depending upon the perspective). I am surprised he didn’t get a Nobel yet, considering how useful he is for the establishment.

Recently Fukuyama/shima was, among other things, “Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law” at Stanford University. A rattlesnake teaching medical care. In August 2019 he was named director of the “Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy” at Stanford. (That Ford plutocrat, aka “philanthropist” seems to have no relation with the original sponsor of Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford… I perfidiously checked, already chuckling…)

Before that, he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Yes, there are plutocratic universities (I used to teach at Stanford, by the way…)

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/tag/plutocratic-universities/

We Exist To Think (Dostoevsky Implicitly Observed).

November 6, 2019

Let me do what I don’t usually do: comment on a drab and ridiculous novel from a degenerated aristocrat, with philosophical pretense. But here the target is Dostoevsky, and, differently from, say, the nearly as famous battleship Bismarck, Dostoevsky makes a few valid points, that should be obvious… But are not, apparently as most famous thinkers of the last 150 years missed them. So as to not waste the reader’s time with Dosto, let me point out some of those points I have made in the past: Human beings are thinking machines. And the meaning of life is to live. Remorse binds it all together. This is the essence of what Dosto has his protagonist say in…

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, Dosto’s penultimate work, is philosophically similar to Dostoyevsky’s 1864 novel Notes from the Underground. Such writings led Nietzsche to claim he found a “fellow soul”. Personally I always found Dostoyevsky’s gloom and doom drably suicidal and not joyously satanic enough to make his novels worth reading. I prefer a more vigorous mix of good and evil, such as authentic stories of people in combat. For example elite Soviet girl sniper shooting down a colt so she and her team can eat for the first time in three days (that particular book of  military stories got the Nobel prize, thank Stockholm; but nearly any war book, even written, especially written, by a war criminal, will do better than Dostoevsky). However, most people love a tale, however dismal, and decrepit creeps, however unsavory, probably feeling thus relatively elevated, so Dostoevsky is popular. Nothing like writings by another decadent plutocrat of noble descent, not liking a bit a world were serfdom threatens to disappear…

Dostoevsky: It’s hard to degenerate ever more…

… Except in real life, he became a complete success, even internationally…

Dostoevsky begins his Ridiculous Man with the narrator wandering the streets of St. Petersburg on “a gloomy night, the gloomiest night you can conceive,” obsessing on how others have ridiculed him all his life and haunted with the “terrible anguish” of believing that nothing matters (“nihilism”) [1]. Gazing at a lone star, and he contemplates suicide. Two months earlier, he bought an “excellent revolver”, but the gun had remained in his drawer since. As he is gazing at the star, a little girl of about eight, wearing ragged clothes and clearly in distress, grabs him by the arm and inarticulately begs his help. The protagonist, disenchanted with life and its creatures, shoos her away and returns to the squalid room he shares with a drunken old captain, furnished with “a sofa covered in American cloth, a table with some books, two chairs and an easy-chair, old, incredibly old, but still an easy-chair.”

He sinks into the easy-chair to think about ending his life. Yet, he is haunted by the image of the little girl, leading him to question his nihilism. Dostoyevsky writes:

“I knew for certain that I would shoot myself that night, but how long I would sit by the table — that I did not know. I should certainly have shot myself, but for that little girl.

You see: though it was all the same to me, I felt pain, for instance. If any one were to strike me, I should feel pain. Exactly the same in the moral sense: if anything very pitiful happened, I would feel pity, just as I did before everything in life became all the same to me. I had felt pity just before: surely, I would have helped a child without fail. Why did I not help the little girl, then? [REMORSE IS CAPITAL FOR THINKING] It was because of an idea that came into my mind then. When she was pulling at me and calling to me, suddenly a question arose before me, which I could not answer. The question was an idle one; but it made me angry. [NOT ANSWERING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IS A GREATEST SOURCE OF THE ULTIMATE PASSION, ANGER] I was angry because of my conclusion, that if I had already made up my mind that I would put an end to myself to-night, then now more than ever before everything in the world should be all the same to me. Why was it that I felt it was not all the same to me, and pitied the little girl? I remember I pitied her very much: so much that I felt a pain that was even strange and incredible in my situation[REMORSE; FAILURE TO PROTECT The HUMAN SPECIES]

It seemed clear that if I was a man and not a cipher yet, and until I was changed into a cipher, then I was alive and therefore could suffer, be angry and feel shame for my actions. Very well. But if I were to kill myself, for instance, in two hours from now, what is the girl to me, and what have I to do with shame or with anything on earth? I am going to be a cipher, an absolute zero. Could my consciousness that I would soon absolutely cease to exist, and that therefore nothing would exist, have not the least influence on my feeling of pity for the girl or on my sense of shame for the vileness I had committed? [PERSONAL SURVIVAL LESS IMPORTANT THAN SURVIVAL Of The HUMAN SPECIES]

It became clear to me that life and the world, as it were, depended upon me. I might even say that the world had existed for me alone. I should shoot myself, and then there would be no world at all, for me at least. Not to mention that perhaps there will really be nothing for any one after me, and the whole world, as soon as my consciousness is extinguished, will also be extinguished like a phantom, as part of my consciousness only, and be utterly abolished, since perhaps all this world and all these men are myself alone.”

Beholding “these new, thronging questions,” the would-be suicide contemplates free will. And then finds the obvious: what gives meaning to life is life itself:

“One strange consideration suddenly presented itself to me. If I had previously lived on the moon or in Mars, and I had there been dishonored and disgraced so utterly that one can only imagine it sometimes in a dream or a nightmare, and if I afterwards found myself on earth and still preserved a consciousness of what I had done on the other planet, and if I knew besides that I would never by any chance return, then, if I were to look at the moon from the earth — would it be all the same to me or not? Would I feel any shame for my action or not? The questions were idle and useless, for the revolver was already lying before me, and I knew with all my being that this thing would happen for certain: but the questions excited me to rage. I could not die now, without having solved this first. [ULTIMATE RAGE: NOT FIGURING OUT IMPORTANT ISSUES Extremely RELEVANT TO The HUMAN SPECIES SURVIVAL] In a word, that little girl saved me, for my questions made me postpone pulling the trigger.

Then he falls asleep, and mulls upon dreams:

“Dreams are extraordinarily strange. One thing appears with terrifying clarity, with the details finely set like jewels, while you leap over another, as though you did not notice it at all — space and time, for instance. It seems that dreams are the work not of mind but of desire, not of the head but of the heart… In a dream things quite incomprehensible come to pass. For instance, my brother died five years ago. Sometimes I see him in a dream: he takes part in my affairs, and we are very excited, while I, all the time my dream goes on, know and remember perfectly that my brother is dead and buried. Why am I not surprised that he, though dead, is still near me and busied about me? Why does my mind allow all that?”

The protagonist then dreams that he takes his revolver and points it at his heart — not his head, where he had originally intended to shoot himself. After waiting a second or two, his dream pulls the trigger quickly. Then:

“I felt no pain, but it seemed to me that with the report, everything in me was convulsed, and everything suddenly extinguished. It was terribly black all about me. I became as though blind and numb, and I lay on my back on something hard. I could see nothing, neither could I make any sound. People were walking and making a noise about me: the captain’s bass voice, the landlady’s screams… Suddenly there was a break. I am being carried in a closed coffin. I feel the coffin swinging and I think about that, and suddenly for the first time the idea strikes me that I am dead, quite dead. I know it and do not doubt it; I cannot see nor move, yet at the same time I feel and think. But I am soon reconciled to that, and as usual in a dream I accept the reality without a question.

Now I am being buried in the earth. Every one leaves me and I am alone, quite alone. I do not stir… I lay there and — strange to say — I expected nothing, accepting without question that a dead man has nothing to expect. But it was damp. I do not know how long passed — an hour, a few days, or many days. Suddenly, on my left eye which was closed, a drop of water fell, which had leaked through the top of the grave. In a minute fell another, then a third, and so on, every minute. Suddenly, deep indignation kindled in my heart and suddenly in my heart I felt physical pain. ‘It’s my wound,’ I thought. ‘It’s where I shot myself. The bullet is there.’ And all the while the water dripped straight on to my closed eye. Suddenly, I cried out, not with a voice, for I was motionless, but with all my being, to the arbiter of all that was being done to me.”

“Whosoever thou art, if thou art, and if there exists a purpose more intelligent than the things which are now taking place, let it be present here also. But if thou dost take vengeance upon me for my foolish suicide, then know, by the indecency and absurdity of further existence, that no torture whatever that may befall me, can ever be compared to the contempt which I will silently feel, even through millions of years of martyrdom.”

I cried out and was silent. Deep silence lasted a whole minute. One more drop even fell. But I knew and believed, infinitely and steadfastly, that in a moment everything would infallibly change. Suddenly, my grave opened. I do not know whether it had been uncovered and opened, but I was taken by some dark being unknown to me, and we found ourselves in space. Suddenly, I saw. It was deep night; never, never had such darkness been! We were borne through space and were already far from the earth. I asked nothing of him who led me. I was proud and waited. I assured myself that I was not afraid, and my heart melted with rapture at the thought that I was not afraid. I do not remember how long we rushed through space, and I cannot imagine it. It happened as always in a dream when you leap over space and time and the laws of life and mind, and you stop only there where your heart delights.

Through the thick darkness, he sees a star — the same little star he had seen before shooing the girl away. As the dream continues, the protagonist describes a sort of transcendence akin to what is supposedly experienced during psychedelic drug trips or in deep meditation states:

“Suddenly a familiar yet most overwhelming emotion shook me through. I saw our sun. I knew that it could not be our sun, which had begotten our earth, and that we were an infinite distance away, but somehow all through me I recognized that it was exactly the same sun as ours, its copy and double. A sweet and moving delight echoed rapturously through my soul. The dear power of light, of that same light which had given me birth, touched my heart and revived it, and I felt life, the old life, for the first time since my death.”

The dreamer finds himself in another world, Earthlike in every respect, except “everything seemed to be bright with holiday, with a great and sacred triumph, finally achieved” — a world populated by “children of the sun… whose eyesshone with a bright radiance” and whose faces “gleamed with wisdom, and with a certain consciousness, consummated in tranquility.” The protagonist exclaims:

“Oh, instantly, at the first glimpse of their faces I understood everything, everything!”

Conceding that “it was only a dream,” he nonetheless asserts that “the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people” was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life:

“Oh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live…”

Dostoevsky concludes with his protagonist’s reflection on life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness:

“All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years… And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.”

Ah, the Golden Rule, so silly and so hypocritical. Such an excuse for decadent aristocracy, such a change of conversation… So unreal. So this was Dostoevsky. Thank Beelzebub, Nietzsche was not as trivial…

And what of Descartes’ “I think therefore I am”? Well, whatever. Now Amy Robach, a blonde ABC news anchor came out with stunning accusations about plutocrats connected to Epstein, including Prince Harry and Clinton, etc. This was three years ago, and the rapes went on. Fortunately for the plutocracy, Epstein was (probably) assassinated…

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Nihilism is unknown to those fighting off a lion, or chasing dinner. Nihilism, caring about nothing, is what happens when one is not hungry enough and the dishes are too uninteresting. Nihilism is a modern condition, unknown to prehistoric man, the anchor of all our considerations.

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Burn California, Burn… The Price of Hypocrisy?

October 30, 2019

Obama (rightly) just lashed out at “purity”, observing that “casting stones does not get you very far”. Hopefully, I will dig in this opinion of the former Commander in Chief a bit more. However, casting stones on those ho cast stones goes only so far too: to be wise means to be more wise, and that addition of wisdom requires some demolition of old logic always. The following essay is about having a correct urban culture, but that requires to demolish the opposite mentality.

Some who believe they are clever and are believed to be clever, pose and deny the enfolding Climate Catastrophe: there is a lot of fame and money to be gathered that way. However, fires are happening all over, including in one of that pole of opinion, California… And it’s no accident my power was not cut: instead of living like a hog in a giant mansion (that could have been organized), I long opted to live correctly (not torturing the biosphere with extravagant energy spending… as the most successful US academics tend to do, with self-glorifying trips all over the planet…)

The problem in a nutshell: giant mansions and giant flames. California’extravagant lifestyle is greatly at fault, helping to cause the greenhouse calamity and making its consequences worse. [Malibu, 2018; but mansions like that are all over California, it’s not just a few celebrities getting roasted…]

California makes a lot of noise about “Climate Change”, and pretends to be leading the way, and, for the US, it is: 9.2 metric ton CO2 per capita per year (more than double France and the world average). 

https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-center/carbon-dioxide-by-state/

However considering the overall situation, this is rather mediocre. California has lots of advantages: an ideal Mediterranean climate covers most of the state, which gets lots of wind, lots of sun and lots of water falling down from high mountains which cover most of the state. Moreover, the state packs more intellectual, and engineering power than any other US state, and its semi-direct democracy and size enables it to behave as a semi-independent country, brain and engine of the USA, if not the world.  California’s CO2 production is not decreasing fast enough.

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So what is wrong?

California cities. They are too spread-out in the wilderness. California has three huge metropolitan areas. The San Francisco Bay, including Sacramento, has a population of twelve million and a GDP of the order of the Netherlands. It is also 250 kilometers across, and the public transportation system can only cover a very small part of it. OK, there are mountains, bays, parks, even two large national parks (Point Reyes and Marin Headlands/Golden Gate) in the middle of it all. 

But the fundamental problem is a flaw in the Californian character. It’s not that the Californian race is a bad sort: there is no such a thing. Minorities are a majority in California, and 25% of the population was not even born in the USA. However, as soon as aliens land in California, they wiggle their antennas, and immediately adopt Californian ways, some of which are not just ridiculous, but offensive to the planet.  

OK, now for a bit of comic relief:

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The Qur’an says Allah found fire to be the solution to hypocrisy:

Sura 9, At-Tawbah (Arabic: التوبة‎, “The Repentance“),

68. “Allah has promised the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women and the infidels, the Fire of Hell, to abide in it forever. That is enough for them, Allah has cursed them, and for them is a lasting chastisement.”

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California talks big and lives even larger, hence the big flames. In the Golden State, to be inhabiting high density  living is generally viewed as low class, a failure, nearly immoral if pursued too long (except for a few luxury apartments in downtown San Francisco lots of them bought by Chinese who don’t know any better). A real Californian is supposed to move to the leafy suburbs, conducting there the Californian dream, a car life according to which a family has an entire fleet of electric cars plus a few gasoline SUVs for longer trips (60% of California CO2 emissions are from transportation).

Gigantic houses cheaply built in wooden planks among the chaparral. That’s the bottom of the problem: the highly flammable character of this life of debauch and luxury spread from horizon to horizon among desiccating hills prone to annual fires can’t go on, its ecological cost is too great.

Just look at the San Francisco Bay Area: its real dimensions are astounding: it’s 150 miles from Santa Cruz to Sacramento, and there are houses all along the way, often mixed with dry grass and trees. Most of the landscape is covered by large houses if not mansions, separated from each other by landscape which has evolved to burn over million of years… 

Only high density living is easy to defend from fire, and that’s a small portion  of this urbanism. A change of mentality is needed: instead of living from horizon to horizon, horizon after horizon, California has to learn to esteem high density living. I am living in a small sliver of relative high density living where power was not cut, precisely because there is nothing to burn very easily. Even if lines get buried as in Provence, where the winds are more frequent, and stronger, the fact is, Californians have to learn to live in high density living if they don’t want to burn (and stop being hypocritical in ecology)… Once again, as in Provence (planting more Redwoods would also help, as they stop fire.)

Don’t expect Californians to change their ways soon: laws proposed by politicians to encourage high density living were beaten back by the enraged mansion dwellers, in their luxurious wisdom.

However, the problems with power supply (as perhaps 5 millions were cut of it in the last few weeks), will probably help expand the photovoltaic and battery industry…. And that is an excellent development, so burn, California, burn…since I am in an area protected from cuts, I can run my air filters, even when visibility outside tank… And this is not the nice smell of African savanna fires; in California smoke carries a whiff of scorched plastic…

Patrice Ayme

How Hedonistic Europe Sold Its Soul To America

October 29, 2019

Europe has all these socialist advances the US is deprived of. But then the US economy is vibrant, and provides Europe with goodies. Could both facts be related? They are! Europe’s comfort is the product of a social bargain: it sold its soul to the US Devil. The same bargain also happened, and happens, within Europe, and had huge historical consequences.

The New York Times made a little video of the sort U Tube and minds of superficial youth is infected by: How Europeans See America

We asked young, ordinary Europeans to take a look at U.S. policies on everything from food to guns. As they discover facts about America, they’re not impressed.

I am as “anti-American” as they come, but this video is silly. My comment below was censored by the New York Times, probably because it explained why and how European countries could afford their socialist policies, both in money spent and character weakened )once again, I believe sort of MENTAL STEERING BY DISINFORMATION SHOULD BE UNLAWFUL:   

“What the video doesn’t point out, is that Americans sell themselves to the US dream, the same dream Europeans dream of, and the price they pay is less socialism. The American dream? Americans live differently, often larger: larger homes, larger and more cars, larger pollution, more energy spending, etc. All this fancy way of life is fueled by debt burdens and then displacement of convenience. 

 

As Trump points out continually, Europe spends in other ways, but not to protect itself: the USA does that, with mostly, and only, the help of France. France is the only European country with its own military-industrial complex… and yet France can’t afford it, because the rest of Europe doesn’t pay France for protection, and pays the USA only indirectly (by not charging US multinationals with taxes commensurate with their sales in Europe). 

 

Practically this means gigantic economic means diverted for the defense of the West, not to say civilization, in the USA or France, can be focused instead on social services in a country like Denmark. Denmark was at war only six hours against Nazi Germany in World War Two (after a surprise attack, a few hundreds soldiers died). France and Britain were at war nearly six years after declaring war TO the Nazis. France and Britain paid a heavy economic, and human price for that war, so did the USA.[1] 

The picture is a bit misleading in several ways: France and Russia spend more than it looks, because they have military-industrial complexes attached. So, in particular they spend more than Saudi Arabia, which buys a fortune of equipment to the US and Europe . And good they do as the recent attacks on Arabia showed sophisticated US anti-aircraft weapons are useless against drones… This is the sort of nasty military surprises France got in May 1940…

In other words, it is the US’ expensive inhumanity which protects Europe’s delicate humanism. Same holds within Europe: much money is diverted from West to East by EU.

As I have explained in many essays, small, neutral, hedonistic countries, in particular Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden, were direct enablers of Hitler’s stunning victory of May-June 1940 against the French army seconded by Britain. If only one of the small hedonists had betrayed, Hitler would probably not have won, but the combination of the three was lethal. We have more of this now. France should somehow make it so that other European countries are forced to pay for the French military… just as they already pay for the US military (but not enough as Trump keeps on bellowing). A way to pay is to feed the French military-industrial complex by purchasing French military equipment as is done presently (why do you think so many European countries purchase some US equipment known to be inferior to their French alternative?)

Not that the French are all innocent: maybe fracking would work in France, but we won’t know, because fracking prospection was outlawed there, in spite of large possible natural gas reserves (the French consider obvious that the planet has to be saved, and that it is the US which, in this respect has sold its soul).

 

Some products enabled in the USA are known to cause all sorts of diseases, and that’s why they are outlawed in Europe. Generally because lobbyists have proven more efficient in Washington, and US politicians much more corrupt. Hence a question: is it more corrupt to be corrupt, or to sell one’s destiny to the corrupt?

 

So now here we are: thanks to Brexit, France can at last realize Napoleon, Charlemagne and Caesar’s dream, unify continental Europe. Actually all serious French kings, after 1,000 CE, realized that it had been a mistake to let go of the rest of the Renovated Roman empire. As the Bouvines battle, in 1214 CE, and countless other battles, demonstrated; the European Union needs to be unified, and that means military force, otherwise it’s an ongoing butchery (see German fascism to see what military force and abominable destruction was needed to win the 1914-1945 war…). Small remnants of once large empires, such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria can’t preach otherwise: this lack of military power is why they got small. 

 

France and Britain are poised to lead Europe again, as they did for most of the last millennium… And even to rule the world, with the child they have in common. OK, it’s all a bit incestual, as France had given birth to the present version of England earlier (not just in 1066, but in the following centuries when rambunctious French lords in England used Parliament to boost themselves).

 

But Trump is right: Europe has to spend more on defense… It shouldn’t be to the US to defend Europe’s backyard: Syria, Ukraine, etc. This doesn’t mean I am a Trumper. Trump just surfs there the wave of historical evidence, as presented her for ten years: one needs military force to have an empire… And if one doesn’t have the force of empire, one has nothing. In particular not the force of law. [2]

Patrice Ayme

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[1] France and Britain lost (as empires) around a bit more than three million dead in World War Two (2.6 million for the French empire, 500,000 killed for the British Commonwealth: the French had more military dead than the British). Entire cities were devastated, reduced to rubble. France had some point had only three railway engines left (the air forces and Resistance took care of the others). Normous debt were piled up. The USA actively, even militarily, under the guise of “decolonization”, deprived the Europeans of their empires and replaced them by their own, most juicy, while enjoying various rents from Europe…

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[2] Some may look at Sweden and say Sweden is neutral, bla bla bla… Well, Sweden gave Hitler all the high grade iron he needed and the 88mm gun… In May 1940, the Franco-British army, led by the French Foreign Legion was poised to cut Sweden in two. Now the Swedes look nice, and they can point at their jet fighter… But it has lots of US technology inside: more of selling one’s soul to the US.

We Think, Therefore We Smear: Tulsi Gabbard A Russian Asset Says Clinton

October 18, 2019

Hillary Clinton knows all about Russia: Clinton accused Tultsi Gabbard, a US war veteran, who served 16 years in the US military, and did two combat tours in the Middle East, and is currently enlisted in the US military to be a “Russian asset”. One has to hear the tone of Clinton when she makes her claim: real spooky, incisive, pulp fiction B movie style. I empathize with Tulsi, as I have been called over the years a US agent, a Russian agent, a “agent provocateur” (guilty!), a Nazi, a Communist, a Muslim hater, a Muslim Fundamentalist, a extreme right wing leftist fanatic French nationalist Le Pen lover, a Jewish lover, etc. All of it without quotes nor a semblance of reasoning…

Tulsi was elected to various positions (state assembly, Honolulu city council), and is a fourth term US Congressperson (she won some of these elections with 80%+ of the votes). In 2017, Gabbard introduced the “Off Fossil Fuels (OFF) Act”

Hawai’i Congress Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Here is Clinton, an ex-Senator, ex-US Secretary of State  

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate… She’s the favorite of the Russians… They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far…”

Clinton went on accusing Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in both the 2012 and 2016 elections, of being a “Russian asset”. Clinton said: “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she’s also a Russian asset. Yes, she’s a Russian asset, I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate.”

Gabbard responded on Twitter Friday afternoon to Clinton’s comments.

“Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain,” she tweeted.

“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation,” she added. “We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”

Responding to Gabbard, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “Divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories? Can’t imagine a better proof point than this.

Gabbard tried to fight off the charge that she is being pushed by Russian interests. But it’s hard to fight off outlandish accusations. Their very existence makes the public believe there is something there.

“Just two days ago, the New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears… This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable,” Gabbard said, referring to a recent insinuation story, What is Tulsi up to? 

Here is the New York Times about Tulsi:

“Perhaps strangest of all is the unusual array of Americans who cannot seem to get enough of her. On podcasts and online videos, in interviews and Twitter feeds, alt-right internet stars, white nationalists, libertarian activists and some of the biggest boosters of Mr. Trump heap praise on Ms. Gabbard. They like the Hawaiian congresswoman’s isolationist foreign policy views. They like her support for drug decriminalization. They like what she sees as censorship by big technology platforms. Then there is 4chan, the notoriously toxic online message board, where some right-wing trolls and anti-Semites fawn over Ms. Gabbard, calling her “Mommy” and praising her willingness to criticize Israel. In April, the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, took credit for Ms. Gabbard’s qualification for the first two Democratic primary debates.”

Tulsi Gabbard promoted to Major (that’s above Captain).

I smear, therefore I think?

Today I wrote a comment to the NYT about an article it wrote about Brexit, where I explained, in particular, that UK plutocrats and tax evasion were behind Brexit. 15 hours later, the comment has not been published…

It is very important to NYT management that, at this point, NYT readers not know the truth about plutocracy and Brexit. Better accuse Gabbard to be a neo-Nazi (I can’t be far behind). Hurling outrageous insults removes the public from reality, diverting their attention from political significance, making them innocuous as far as oligarchic power is concerned.

To call thinkers names, agent of the enemy, or of foreign entities, to insult them, gravely and grossly, is the oldest trick in the book of oligarchic abuse. The sort of extreme accusations hurled at Gabbard are identical to the worst in McCarthyism. At least, we have to listen to Clinton’s song of infamy, from that bird of doom herself, to know the truth on the Clinton-Obama era…

Final point: that presidential candidates could be “agents”, “assets” comes naturally to Clinton. What about being simply an agent and asset of plutocracy?

Patrice Ayme

Ecological Devastation Proof of Corruption

October 15, 2019

Times have changed: Earth faces a mass extinction. And that mass extinction is man-made. Such an extinction is the ultimate corruption, and our corrupt politicians let it happen naturally, as they wallop in legal corruption with their families, and the plutocrats who feed them.

The way out is to tighten up ethics. All over. Let’s start with Biden, Trump, and their associates.

Corruption shows up on the largest scale. All the micro-plastics, all the insecticides, all the biocides, all the nitrates, all the catastrophe is our leaders doing. We should put them, and their system, on trial!

Reading this, a smart ass (asses are not smart, intelligence is relative) wrote back to me:

Kenneth
New York City

@Patrice Ayme Good idea. Tighten up ethics. That’ll keep Earth out of Jupiter’s way, and we will no longer face extinction.

@Kenneth

Yes, it’s true that, in some star systems, Jupiter like planets spiral down. However, that didn’t happen in the solar system, and only a star going through the solar system could cause such a thing. However, the sun is going to stay away from stars for millions of years on its present trajectory….

So let me please inform you. The man made mass extinction has to do with the CO2 catastrophe, which could have been fixed, starting in the 1990s, with a combination of photovoltaics, nuclear energy and building a massive hydrogen economy (to store renewable energy).

Jupiter will not spiral down to Earth before the Sun becomes a red giant in 5 billion years, well past your time. Meanwhile, fossil fuel companies, propped by worldwide corruption, keep on polluting in a life extinguishing manner… while solutions, non-fossil fuel solutions, exist.

It may sound smart to make fun of the viewpoint that the present ecological crisis was caused by the present oligarchic political system… and it is, as long as one belongs to it and as long as one has no moral sense. However, we pass a little time on this planet. Leaving only devastation and corruption behind us should be deeply unsatisfying, to normally constituted human beings. So I would recommend to forget about Jupiter, and concentrate instead on the corruption the oligarchic organization unavoidably bring.

Corruption is a worldwide problem: consider Turkey, its claims all politically active Kurds are terrorists, and add to this NATO nukes residing in Turkey… In this increasingly unstable world, a morality strong enough to save the biosphere should be our beacon. As I said in a preceding essay, individuals like the oligarch Duflo advised the oligarch Obama about what was the correct socioeconomy of the world. No more of this: great strategies should be debated on the public place, not just decided by a tiny oligarchy… It’s not just for moral reasons, but to insure survival…

And not just the survival of our grandchildren to come (or not!) No just our own survival… Let the likes of Kenneth, probably working in New York for the financial industry or its supporters, corrupt media or corrupt universities, chuckle away. Hopefully, their time has come, and gone. And their reckoning is at hand…

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: The head of (Central) Bank of England boss says global finance is funding 4C temperature rise. Mark Carney says capital markets are financing projects likely to fuel a catastrophic rise in global heating.
The governor of the Bank of England has warned that the global financial system is backing carbon-producing projects that will raise the temperature of the planet by over 4 Centigrades – more than double the pledge to limit increases to well below 2C contained in the Paris Agreement.

In a stark warning over global heating (the expression was first used by yours truly:”HEATING” instead of “warming”), Mark Carney said the multitrillion-dollar international capital markets – where companies raise funds by selling shares and bonds to investors – are financing fossil fuel activities that would lift global temperatures to more than 4C above pre-industrial levels.

World leaders agreed in the Paris climate accords to keep the temperature rise this century well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5C.

I was also the first to rise the alarm, as far as I know:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/

In a stark illustration of the scale of the decarbonisation struggle facing the world economy, Carney asserted that companies had already secured financing from investors in the global capital markets – worth $85trillion (£67.2tn) for stocks and $100 trillion for bonds – that will keep the world on a trajectory unavoidably bringing catastrophic global heating.

According to the UN, IPCC and other relevant scientific authorities, official risks associated with temperatures at or above 4C include a 9-meter rise in sea levels – affecting up to 760 million people – searing heatwaves and droughts, serious food supply problems and half of all animal and plant species facing local extinction. I believe that, potentially the sea level rise could be twenty meters or more.

Speaking to British MPs on the Commons Treasury committee, Carney did not give a timescale for the temperature rise, but said: “The objectives are there, but policy is not yet consistent with stabilizing temperatures below 2C. There are some companies out ahead, either because of stakeholders, or because they’re anticipating that that will change. But there are others that are waiting for the policies to adjust.”

Nobel In Economics Attributed For Rediscovering The Wheel, Trial & Error

October 14, 2019

Nobel committees are often moronic, or deliberately misattributing. For example they all too often insist upon the point that mostly only MIT and Harvard, two top plutocratic universities are capable of top thinking. 

As when the German Otto Hahn was given the Nobel for discovering nuclear fission, when it’s Irene Curie, a (French) woman who had already a Nobel prize, that one well deserved, who had discovered nuclear fission, at the latest in 1937… and wasted lots of efforts teaching this to Hahn)

So the Nobel in economics was attributed basically for discovering that, when you need to find out if a method work, you set up a controlled study. No doubt that is a great progress for economists. They apparently didn’t know, until it was pointed out to them a few years back, precisely by Ms Esther Duflo, a 46 year old French economist in a TED talk.  

Economic Theory has been, so far, a two dimensional theory biting its own tail, to better serve plutocracy. The idea of such a 2 dimensional one sided world originally came from the German mathematician Moebius.

Duflo, at age 46, is the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize in economics and only the second woman.

The three researchers work on global poverty, studying interventions in a range of areas: combating teacher absenteeism, direct cash transfers to the extreme poor, policing drunk driving, and studying the effects of access to textbooks on students, among others.

They’ve also made what is described as extraordinary (extraordinary, for complete idiots with no scientific, or even common sense training, whatsoever) contributions to developing the methods used to study these subjects, with a focus on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In a randomized trial, interventions are implemented in different ways in some areas, for example villages, but not to a control area, enabling researchers to identify which effects are the result of the intervention. This completely obvious work has been enormously influential, pushing other researchers in the field to conduct higher-quality studies… so dumb “economics”, the dismal “science”, has long been. By dummies, for dummies, so that the wealthy and powerful would get wealthier and more powerful. 

In 2003, Duflo and Banerjee (who are married) co-founded MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), now a global network for antipoverty research around the world. They also wrote the book Poor Economics (2011) about the choices people make when they’re poor, why those choices make sense, and how we can adjust policy to help address poverty.

Of course, human beings always make sense, even if official economics doesn’t. Actually the sense conventional, official economics makes is to serve the elite world oligarchy and its fossil fuel organization, hell bent to destroy the planet, as hell is Pluto’s abode.

As The Economist puts it in “The world economy’s strange new rules”: How economies work has changed radically. So must economic policy. (Oct 10th 2019)

Rich-world economies consist of a billion consumers and millions of firms taking their own decisions. But they also feature mighty public institutions that try to steer the economy, including central banks, which set monetary policy, and governments, which decide how much to spend and borrow. For the past 30 years or more these institutions have run under established rules. The government wants a booming jobs market that wins votes but, if the economy overheats, it will cause inflation. And so independent central banks are needed to take away the punch bowl just as the party warms up, to borrow the familiar quip of William McChesney Martin, once head of the Federal Reserve. Think of it as a division of labour: politicians focus on the long-term size of the state and myriad other priorities. Technocrats have the tricky job of taming the business cycle.

This neat arrangement is collapsing. As our special report explains, the link between lower unemployment and higher inflation has gone missing. Most of the rich world is enjoying a jobs boom even as central banks undershoot inflation targets. America’s jobless rate, at 3.5%, is the lowest since 1969, but inflation is only 1.4%. Interest rates are so low that central banks have little room to cut should recession strike. Even now some are still trying to support demand with quantitative easing (qe), ie, buying bonds. This strange state of affairs once looked temporary, but it has become the new normal. As a result the rules of economic policy need redrafting—and, in particular, the division of labour between central banks and governments. That process is already fraught. It could yet become dangerous.”

It is indeed dangerous to be led by imbeciles, even if they have Nobel Prizes, and especially if they gave Nobel prizes. 

The world is engaged in a mass extinction. And this is the fault of the fig leaf conventional economics gave to plutocracy. Giving the Nobel to Pluto universities specialized in the most perverse economics may be progress, like giving the Peace Nobels to Nazis plotting against Hitler. 

But is it progress enough?

The Nobels for Duflo and Al. are indeed glorious for those who don’t know how to add. This is how low this world has sunk. Meanwhile, Trump is finally ordering to remove US nuclear weapons from Turkey, as the nukes were held hostage there, for the last 50 years… Many wars out there, and economics is one of them…

PA

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P/S: Want to found economics on a scientific basis? Want non trivial economics from Pluto universities? Then one should consider my own AWE (Absolute Worth Energy). AWE provides with a strict definition of Worth according to how much energy it takes to generate it. For example a hyper intellectual is worth more than a plutocrat butt wiper…

Aspasia Greatest Philosopher of Antiquity?

October 10, 2019

What if we got the history of thought wrong? 

What if we present as very important, detached, cogent and deep, anti-democratic plutocratic cockroaches such as Plato or Socrates, not to speak of the pro-Macedonian agent known as Aristotle?

What if we don’t even understand the concept of great idea, let alone how one gives birth to it, let alone how a society generates great idea, and most societies, none?

Ideas are more or less significant. The most significant thinker is the one who thinks the highest significance first.

The case of Aspasia and her great ideas is striking. The lack of appreciation she received is not just an attack on all women, thus humanity, but also an attack against the all-important concept of spearhead of thought. Gedankenspitze (here, I created a German word! Did even Nietzsche do that? Let all those who accused me of Germanophobia shrink back in their tint slimy holes…)

I believe in the first creator system: the creator of an idea does the hard work. Being a parrot is easy. This is what the Nobel Circus often misses. An example is Poincaré‘s establishment in the Nineteenth Century, and teaching at La Sorbonne in 1899, with a wonderfully deep proof the relationship between energy and inertial mass: E= mcc. That’s viewed as so important it’s systematically to Parrot-stein (who reproduced, sort of, Poincaré‘s proof in 1905): as long as the discovery is not attributed to cheese eating French monkeys, the great Pluto Lack-of-Civilization, busy cooking the planets, and the books, is safe and sound.  

Doro Böhm wrote to me:

“The Greek democracy did have one major flaw: It left out women! In this aspect we could do better. No. We have to do better 👍🏼🍀🏆 We should not fall back but evolve 😉”

Teacher of the most famous thinkers: a woman, Aspasia of Miletus

Well excruciatingly scholarly books have been written in France about the weird relationship between Athens’ citizenry and feminism. It was an extremely complex situation. Athens was very sexist, in appearance, at first sight… maybe because Athena was her goddess, it should have been obvious to Athenians then, that Athens couldn’t possibly be sexist? One can one be misogynist in a society where the protecting God is not just female, but incarnates wisdom?

So Athenian women didn’t vote. How could they have done so? As Athens was a DIRECT democracy, fiercely independent Athenian farmers had to travel to the Ekklesia, a building in Athens, to vote. They typically had to pay somebody to help their wife at home, in their absence. After 400 BCE (and the half destruction of Athens, voters were paid, so they would come to the Ekklesia and vote). So having the wives do the trip too, was, too much, and actually, impossible. They didn’t have horses (only aristocrats and plutocrats could afford them). 

Sparta was NOT sexist (maybe because it was otherwise so racist & fascist?).

Nobody is suggesting to fall back into sexism, when adopting Direct Democracy, just the opposite. Now farmers and nursing mothers can stay at home, and vote with the Internet.

In truth, though, Athens’ most important philosopher was… ASPASIA, Pericles’ 2nd wife. She wrote Pericles’ most important discourses, invented the concept of “OPEN SOCIETY”, and the so-called “SOCRATIC METHOD”.

Like Poincaré with Einstein, she was Socrates’ teacher. However, Socrates didn’t hide his debt and admiration!

Ever since, sexist men have insisted there were only men in Athens, doing the thinking. Well, that’s vicious sexist propaganda.

Great civilizations invent great ideas, that’s why they are great. That’s how we know they are great. And their great idea machinery is intrinsic to them. However, this is not all arcane posturing of a maniacal pseudo-intellectual. Far from it: finding great ideas is as practical as it gets. The Roman state collapsed, as deserved, because the situation had changed, militarily, civilizationally, geopolitically, economically, climatologically, ecologically, and Rome had run out of ideas. More exactly the Roman big idea machine had collapsed. Supposing it ever existed. Did it? No. Rome was practical common sense, grafted upon Etruscan (itself having greatly borrowed to the Near East) and Greek civilization (in Naples, just to the south).

Aspasia came from Miletus. So did  Thales. Thales, his student Anaximander, and the students of the latter: Aximenes, Pythagoras were some of the summities of the Milesian School. Miletus was as great as civilization goes. Before the Persian invasion in the middle of the 6th century BC, Miletus was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities. Then crushed by the all sorts of fascists, it disappeared from history as genius producing machine (so did the rest of Greece)… But it lives on, through its ideas: we all come from Miletus… Even Erdogan descends from “Milet”. [1]

Several of Aspasia’s ideas were the greatest. Too bad Pericles didn’t understand them well enough to abide by them. Some civilizations are great, others are small, too small to produce enough new ideas to survive. Survival is of the essence, especially when extinction rules

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: Aspasia c. 470 BCE–c. 400 BCE was the wife, lover and intellectual power behind the statesman Pericles. Pericles dominated Athens politically for decades, as he kept being re-elected (he was also tried when the Peloponnese  War went very wrong). The couple had a son, Pericles the Younger (a long story in itself with many twists and turns, as the son became victim of laws passed by his own father). According to Plutarch, Aspasia’s house became THE intellectual center in Athens, attracting the most prominent writers and thinkers, including the (then baby) philosopher Socrates. Aspasia is mentioned in the writings of PlatoAristophanesXenophon, inter Alia.

Though she spent most of her adult life in Athens, few details of her life are fully known. Many scholars have credited ancient comic depictions of Aspasia as a brothel keeper and a prostitute despite their inherent implausibility, and obvious defamation. Aspasia’s role in history provides a crucial hint to the understanding of the women of ancient Greece. Powerful, but hidden. Very little is known about women in her lifetime (except Socrates reveals he learned his theory of love… “Platonic Love”… from another expert woman, widely viewed as a philosopher. In “Prisoner of History: Aspasia of Miletus and Her Biographical Tradition”, Madeleine Mary Henry, Chair and Associate Professor of Classical Studies said: To ask questions about Aspasia’s life is to ask questions about half of humanity.

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[1] Present day Turkey occupies half of ancient Ionian Greece. Turks arrived in the area in the last 800 years. Greeks were there three millennia.

 

 

Antarctica Icy Locks Are Going To Give Way: Huge Sea Level Rise

October 9, 2019

Applying Basic Common Sense To Sea Level Rise

When talking Sea Level Rise, one has to think about what it would take to melt Antarctica. The answer? Not much. One has to look at the temperature map. In the temperate zone, surface temperatures lose roughly 20 Centigrades in 30 degrees. That is, at 30 degrees in latitude represent 3,300 kilometers, one loses roughly one degree Centigrade per one hundred fifty kilometer going towards a pole.

The Drake passage separates Patagonia from Antarctica, it’s 1,000 kilometers wide. One expects a drop of 6 C, going across. In Patagonia, glaciers melt as soon as they touch the sea.  

Temperatures are rising faster in Polar regions, probably because of the decreasing albedo (less sunlight is reflected back into space as ice and snow shrink… or become dirtier, or less covered with white snow, but dark ice instead, as is happening so obviously in Greenland, one can see it from planes flying over)   – around the Arctic Peninsula temperatures have risen 2.5 degrees in 50 years (twice the overall rise).

One needs to meditate this map. Its details contains a drastic message: it will not take much to melt Antarctica.

This may not seem a lot but it actually makes a huge difference: it is equivalent of making Antarctica slide more than 425 kilometers towards the tropics (from my little computation above). It’s likely we are going at least one degree C in the next twenty years, overall Earth temp, so that would correspond to a slip northward of 1,000 kilometers… for Antarctica. A casual look at the map show that thousands of kilometers of the icy continent’s margin will then be exposed to what used to be Patagonian conditions… So the glaciers will melt, as soon as they touch the sea. Problem: these are sometimes the mouths of icy basins the bottoms of which are a mile below sea level, and whose total area is probably around half of that of the USA. At least.

The situation with Greenland is paradoxically much safer: most of the world’s largest island is covered by an ice cap the bottom of which is above sea level (there are huge canyons, though, including one going all the way to the center…)

Here is an exchange with a reader:

Erik Frederiksen

Oakland, CA Oct. 8 @Patrice Ayme 

And there’s no need to lose the Ross ice shelf to lose the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Thwaites Glacier in the Amundsen Sea Sector drains around a meter of sea level rise equivalent of ice, but when it collapses it will entrain the rest of the ice sheet because it gets hit from behind.

The retreat rate of Thwaites Glacier is below, about 14 km in 19 years in the main flow.  Maybe 70 km until it gets deep and starts a rapid retreat.

https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt0wz826xt/qt0wz826xt.pdf

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See how much of East Antarctica hugs the Polar circle? That makes it nearly as far from the Pole as Iceland is… (OK, Iceland bathes in the Gulf Stream… However…)

Agreed, Erik. Excellent remark. I was space limited. I have a more robust list of melting horrors on the essay I wrote on my site, developing that theme (of which I have spoken for more than a decade). The Ross shelf melting 400K ago is new science  (2019). The gigantic Twaites glacier has long been known to be very dangerous: as the grounding line retreats, the bottom will fall off, warm water will get below, and the whole thing could collapse in a matter of years. See details in: 

https://thwaitesglacier.org/about/science

There is so much melting there that local gravity is going down, and satellites can measure that.

Even worse: the giant Wilkes and Aurora basin in East Antarctica, four kilometers thick, are in a similar situation, with their bottoms a mile below sea level. Also their outlet are nearly at the Antarctic circle, very north, so potentially very warm. If they melted, sea level would go up 200 feet… “Experts” used to say, not before 5,000 years… But, all well considered, melting very soon is entirely plausible. Actually a French scientific panels of all top French climate experts just predicted a possible seven meter Sea Level rise by 2100…

Erik Frederiksen

Oakland, CA @Patrice Ayme 

In support of that potential for a 7 meter rise by 2100, here is the most respected glaciologist in the US, Richard Alley last year.

“If we don’t change our ways we’re expecting something like 3 feet of sea level rise in the next century, and it could be 2 and it could be 4 and it could be 20.

The chance that we will cross thresholds that commit us to loss of big chunks of West Antarctica and huge sea level rise is real. So when you start doing “Well you’re not sure,” but there’s a chance of really bad things and the uncertainties are mostly on the bad side, could be a little better or a little worse or a lot worse, but we’ll be breaking things.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2yclMcDroQ&feature=youtu.be&t=47m4s

 

Once again, it’s very simple: there are icy locks to the icy bottom of Antarctica, which would appear as an archipelago if all sea level ice melted. Those icy locks are at relatively low latitudes, just 1,500 kilometers south of tree covered Patagonia (tree covered at sea level). Those icy locks are extremely sensitive to a temperature rise of a few degrees Centigrades, which we are sure to get. Sure to get there (even if we keep the overall supplementary rise at 2C, we will get at least 4 C there).

So a sea level rise of the order of twenty, thirty meters is guaranteed. Maybe as soon as 2100…

I am not saying it will, I am saying it’s entirely possible.

Like it should have seem entirely possible that there would be an iceberg in the way of the Titanic…

Patrice Ayme