Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Could Veganism Cause Extinctions?

June 7, 2016

For millions of years, hominids evolved as ever more efficient killer apes. This allowed entire human races or subspecies to live off meat. Such as the Homo Sapiens Sapiens variant Cro-Magnon, or Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis. Meat was a hyper concentrated energy source. just ask seals, dolphins, killer whales, humpback whales, polar bears and walruses.

East Africans, tall and lean, evolved to run down exhausted preys in the mid-day sun, they became ancestral to many people today (most of all of them, according to the “Out of Africa” theory). Cro-Magnon looked like ancestral Scandinavians, tall and strong, ready to fight the fiercest lions, wolves and bears. They are ancestral to many people today. They long lived in present day France, when France was landlocked by enormous glaciers on towering mountains, all around, or the giant ice sheets form the north, and the icy seas, west and south. Then non-glaciated Europe was a land of tundra, and enormous herds of often gigantic beasts.

Hunting is our past, how we evolve, and so was war. Vegans want to change all this. They claim that the future is not to touch adversely the smallest hair or feather. Thus they suggest to not use any animal product whatsoever. Instead, one should go fully agricultural. Agri-cultural means to cultivate the ager, the field. Hence the question: Vegans say they are friendly to beasts, they want to live off fields they cultivate, but are fields friendly to beasts?   

Pure Veganism Would Lead To The Extermination Of This Species

Pure Veganism Would Lead To The Extermination Of This Species

This is the paradox: is one friendly with others, when one exclude others? (The question is not just for Brexiters) When vegans exclude all animal species, are they friendly to animals?

Nature is good and evil. Gods stand above nature (supernatural), they don’t exclude it. Could it be that, when vegan want to exclude evil, they want to exclude nature?

How so? Very simple. Contemplate the world we have. Look at the Auroch. The last auroch died in a royal preserve in Poland in the Seventeenth Century. Europeans domesticated aurochs perhaps 25,000 years ago. Through a careful mix of natural and artificial selection, over 10,000 generations, Europeans created the European domestic cattle (meanwhile Indians and Africans were doing the same with their own breeds; the African zebu was probably evolved in India first; it resists well to African diseases such as sleeping sickness, malaria…)

Or consider sheep and goats: millions live today. They are descendants of their wild ancestors.

What do vegans want to do with all those animals? Through these millions of these domesticated animals survive the ancient species which graced the Earth for tens of millions of years.

This is not an idle question. Take chicken. The rooster was made by the Romans into the symbol of Celtic lands (which they called “Gallia”, the land of chicks…) In the wild, chickens, initially from South East Asia, are basically extinct. By refusing the presence of chicken inside plates, and in the fields, vegans condemn the species to terminal extinction.

Does hard core veganism allows to ride on horses and run dogs?

Conclusion: hard core veganism would lead to the terminal extinction of the most megafauna. They claim to be friendly to the individuals, but they will kill the species.

Solution: keep on using animal species, but do it in what is, ironically enough, called a “humane” way. If a rooster has a beautiful, easy, comfortable life, and then loses by surprise its head in a laser explosion, is it so bad? Would this sudden death be worse than enjoying life prior to this impromptu, sudden, unforeseen and painless demise?

Is veganism, pushed to extreme, the psychological equivalent of a brat who declares to his mom that he will refuse to breathe, rather than to eat its vegetables? Mummy here, being nature herself?

There is an extremely powerful metapsychological objection to veganism: we have seen that story, the story of renouncing life, many times before. Periodically, a slave religion arises, and recommends to us to lay prone, refuse life, reject even self-defense, accept to live small, barely eating, afraid to bother others in all and any way. This apparently bizarre cult is only natural, and is an evolutionary selected mode of operation: that of the prey which surrenders to those red in fang and claw.

When an animal of one of these species which get preyed upon, is surrounded, and death is unavoidable, it is often seen surrendering to its fate: this is part of the co-evolution of ecological systems (something not well-known, but still a fact). Not the evolution of the fittest individual as the naive evolutionists of the 19 C had it, but the evolution of entire ecological systems, as individuals made of multitudes. Is the vegan is a beast which wants to die and disguises this as a lofty language, while dragging hundreds of large species in its hateful discourse? Hateful of what? Hateful of life itself. Life is about living, thus suffering and dying. Not that the latter activities are necessarily something to look for, just the opposite. But mitigating and escaping them, is the spice of life.

Thus it is not excluded that the rise of veganism corresponds to surrender to mighty plutocrats: instead of tearing and shredding plutocratic substance, vegans decide that broccoli is all the protein they need. ‘They are starving? Let them eat grass!’ Say these new Marie-Antoinettes of the abysmal age.

Thus we have seen that story before. Whenever great plutocrats rise, We The People tends to roll on its back, presents its belly, and waits for horror, persuading themselves that horror is all what they ever wanted. Buddhism preaches that it is better to give up on life in full, rather than indulge into giving and receiving suffering. After its creation by a Princeling (not a coincidence), Buddhism took over most of India. But the predators laid in wait. They re-took all of India.

Vegans can preach. The only way what they preach can not lead to mass extinction, is by reserving around half of the land mass to total wilderness, in all and any ecological zone. That could, even should, be done. However, refusing the essence of life, preferring non-existence to death, is another matter entirely.

Patrice Ayme’

Rousseau’s Infamy

May 5, 2016

Jean-Jacques Rousseau famously started his treatise “The Social Contract” with: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are.”

Rousseau claimed that man was naturally good but became corrupted by the pernicious influence of human society and institutions. French sailors implemented Rousseau philosophy in Tasmania: they went swimming in the nude, to show the natives they had nothing to fear. Hundreds of Natives attacked the French, who gathered a vivid impression of Rousseau’s wickedness.

Rousseau’s beautiful tweet is only true as a poetic metaphor, a helpful bleating to a despondent sky. Otherwise, it is erroneous in roughly all ways. Man is not born free, but fatally dependent upon others, and especially lactating human female(s). (Until very recent technological developments.) The one who thought of himself as the master often was, or is, really the master, whose very mind had been made by an ideology of mastery. And thus, cannot be otherwise. Even more surely than Rousseau advanced by seducing judiciously chosen wealthy women. (Say Jean-Jacques: “To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.”)

I Strike, Therefore You Die. Nature Is Not About Goodness, Just Balance

I Strike, Therefore You Die. Nature Is Not About Goodness, Just Balance

[Natural Quantum Supercomputer At Work. The latest on rattlesnakes show them capable of foresight and engineering, in preparation for a strike… a few hours later.]

As New Scientist puts it, April 13, 2016: “It’s a premeditated attack. A deadly rattlesnake seems to be planning attacks by clearing a path for its strike in advance.

Northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) have been filmed manipulating vegetation near the burrows of ground squirrels. It’s the first time they have been captured on video moving grass in such a way, says Breanna Putman at San Diego State University in California.

Putman and her colleague Rulon Clark recorded two instances of hunting rattlesnakes pushing away grass around them at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in California’s Santa Clara County.”

If rattlesnakes can premeditate and prepare their deadly attacks, so can humans. (In particular, plutocrats.)

Chains, around ankles, are a rare sight. Yet ideologies, stunting minds, are common. Actually, the word “ideology” comes short: minds go deeper than ideas. Ideas are anchored in moods. Mentalities are ecosystems for ideas. Rousseau’s basic axiomatic mood, anchoring his entire critique, was anti-civilizational. (He got carried away from the Ancient Regime, not understanding that was not civilization, but plutocracy run amok.)

Rousseau preached returning to nature to live a natural life at peace with neighbors and self. He heaped scorn on civilization: “Civilization is a hopeless race to discover remedies for the evils it produces…Trust your heart rather than your head… What wisdom can you find greater than kindness… The truth brings no man a fortune… Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Maker of the world, but degenerates once it gets into the hands of man“.

Returning to nature is fundamental, agreed, because that is where the deepest structures of our minds come from. Yet lives in the wild were short, brutish, and cruel. Civilization is a remedy for nature.

We are made, evolutionarily speaking to handle the short, brutish and cruel. Paradoxically this may be what is missing now. Instead, we are slowly been overheated like the proverbial frog in an increasingly torrid bath.

Similarly, too much politeness can kill a proper debate. Calling fools and their stupid ideologies for what they are is a preliminary requirement to think correctly.

Even more paradoxically, politeness can be a diabolical weapon against those who do not expect it, especially our greatest enemies. Had I met Bin Laden, I would have been polite. I would have asked what exactly happened. Bin Laden was initially recruited by the CIA and SIA, to lead an Arab mercenary army against the Afghan Republic. The latter initially had a defense accord with the USSR, but also intended to develop Afghan geology with French expertise. All this became impossible as the White House conducted a secret war, using Pakistan. As that was not enough democratic president Carter gave a secret order of attack, July 3, 1979.

So politeness can be appropriate, or not. In the case of Rousseau, the answer was clear. Rousseau sent Voltaire a copy of his “The Social Contract” and Voltaire wrote him the following:

“I have received your new book against the human race, and thank you for it. Never was such a cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit for more than sixty years, I feel unhappily the impossibility of resuming it. Nor can I embark in search of the savages of Canada, because the maladies to which I am condemned render a European surgeon necessary to me; because war is going on in those regions; and because the example of our actions has made the savages nearly as bad as ourselves.”

De Sade coldly observed that Rousseau had no idea of the nature of nature (paraphrasing). The argument can be made, and has been made, that there is a direct filiation between the philosophers Rousseau and (the quite similar) Herder, and the Prussianized Nazism which disfigured Europe, after Metternich and Bismarck launched their conquering ways.

Voltaire said that “one must crush infamy!”. But infamy is clever. Even rattlesnakes are clever. Just as it was recently documented that a rattlesnake, preparing for an ambush, will clear its strike trajectory, so it is with most thinking beings, and not just predators. Elephants and rhinoceroses have been observed attacking with enormous fury and persistence even innocent calves. Surely, indeed, the nature of nature is not to be strictly cuddly.

In the end, Jean-Jacques himself had to admit the truth: “All my misfortunes come of having thought too well of my fellows“. Well, after behaving all too long like a rattlesnake of love, striking here, and there, lying in ambush… no wonder.

Patrice Ayme’

Beyond Cynicism, Reason

October 27, 2015

We have a lot to learn from the history of ideas and moods in Greco-Roman antiquity, and how it was entangled with the history of battles, empires, and the near destruction of civilization. We are clearly in a similar scheme. Except now it’s the biosphere itself, not just civilization, which is in peril. So let’s have no pity for our so-called “leaders”, and those who admire them.

In that light, Diogenes and the mental topology around him ought to be contemplated. The founding cynic Diogenes of Sinope, was of the opinion that people ought to behave more like dogs (or, even, mice). To this, I would add baboons. Understand what moves a baboon, shine a light on the human soul.

In particular, Diogenes’ followers would have sex in public. This was viewed as a much ridiculed oddity at the time. But Diogenes persisted loud and clear, even in the marketplace, responding: “he wished it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 46).

Diogenes believed that each individual would either be guided by reason, or, like a domesticated animal, she would be led by a leash. Diogenes, did not despise knowledge per se, but spited pretensions to knowledge which serve only domestication. He had the intuition that the logic of behavior (human and animal) was the master wisdom. And more can be said. Why don’t human beings poop in public? (Aside from “Sun King” Louis XIV, but he was certainly not human.)

A dog has got to do what a dog has got to do. However, the point of human, is that human does not have to do what a dog has got to do. A human ought not to do what a human ought to do: this is the difference with dogs. We are free, free to go against the grain, and that’s all the freedom we have, as free human beings.

Diogenes was labeled mad for acting against convention to the extent he did (allegedly by Plato). To this, Diogenes retorted that conventions often lacked reason: “Most people, are so nearly mad that a finger makes all the difference. For if you go along with your middle finger stretched out, someone will think you mad, but, if it’s the little finger, he will not think so” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 35).

For Diogenes, reason clearly plays the central role. There is a report that Diogenes “would continually say that for the conduct of life we need the right reason or a halter”.  (Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 24). A halter is something one puts around the head of a dog or horse to lead them around. So either the truth will make you free, or you are just cattle. Cattle ready to trample over civilization.

Diogenes’ influence was deep. He started a line of argument which denied motion (it evolved into Zeno’s paradoxes which have caught a second wind with Quantum Physics; Zeno founded the philosophical school known as Stoicism; probably being a stoic was best when subjugated by the “Hellenistic Kingdoms”, the dictatorship Antipater imposed by naval battle).

Diogenes was a harsh critic of Plato, disparaging Plato’s metaphysics and breaking away from theoretical ethics which only justified oligarchy.

“Plato had defined the human being as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, ‘Here is Plato’s human being.’ In consequence of which there was added to the definition, ‘having broad nails’” (LOEP, chap 40).

Diogenes insisted that true human beings lived in accordance with nature. He lit a candle in broad daylight, and proclaimed he was searching for a human being, as so few lived in accordance with nature. Life in accordance with nature made human beings fully rational.

This was indeed true. Plato the chicken let to Aristotle, who was worse: that famed philosopher played a direct role in the destruction of civilization, and why there are still “royals” in England, leading, at least symbolically, the worldwide plutocratic charade.

That Diogenes had an anti-plutocratic bend is clear. He was captured at some  point by pirates (long story), and ended his life in Corinth. Alexander so-called the Great, was thrilled to meet the famous philosopher. The thinker was basking in the sun. ‘Could I do anything for you’, asked Alexander. Diogenes replied to the exterminator of cities and states alike: “You could stand out of my sun”.

Not easily defeated, Alexander tried the rejoinder: “Were I not Alexander, I wish I could be Diogenes”. In answer, Diogenes stared at a pile of bones: “I am looking for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave.”

You have to understand that this was the turning point of civilization in Greco-Roman antiquity: Greek philosophy, at its sharpest, was meeting the fascists, wealthy savage gangsters from the north, the Macedonians, rich from horses and gold mines. Macedonia was the world’s foremost sophisticated military.

Yet, the Greeks, led by Athens and Corinth, had the brains. Alexander, taught by Aristotle, was not too sure where he was standing. In the east was monstrous Persia, a hyperpower made of an archipelago of plutocracies (satrapies).

Alexander was hesitant about which course to follow, clearly. Alexander respected demographically vanishing Sparta, and fully resurgent Athens. Yet he annihilated Thebes (a move that would have helped Athens, actually, had a mild Alexander stuck around). Alexander went on to destroy Persia. He gave up on his attempt to reach the Pacific, after he discovered that India’s kingdoms could defend themselves.

Alexander then died, all too soon (a conquest of Arabia was being prepared). Alexander was perhaps assassinated by Antipater, Aristotle’s estate executor. Antipater, senior even to Alexander, certainly replaced Alexander and encouraged by Aristotle, destroyed Athenian democracy, replacing it by a plutocracy (only the rich could vote).

Antipater and the world Aristotle created, that of monarchies, thereafter ruled for around two millennia (although the Franks allowed small republics here and there, starting with Venice, then Firenze, Genoa, Switzerland, Escartons, Netherlands, etc., the first big break was the French Republic, a full acknowledgment that the Roman Republic was right all along).

Monarchies make no sense: if anything, being just the brain of one, they are dumb and weak against democracies (as the Swiss Canton demonstrated when they rebelled against the (Germanized)Roman empire ). So, for peoples to accept to be subjugated by individuals and their families, one has to make them stupid.

According to Diogenes, nature makes intelligent.

Thus, to reign monarchs (the Roman emperors in this case) had to fight nature and its gods. Switching to the fascist, cruel, demented and jealous Christian god was not enough. One had also to destroy the interface with nature, the body. Making it gross and smelly, reeked with lice and infections, was a good start.

In the fullness of time, the Catholics decided that anything having to do with the body was dirty. Some woman became a saint just because she never washed, and waited for her clothes to rot of as she piled more clothes on top. Her face was black with grime: she was lauded for that.

The Catholics were after the entire mood of the Greco-Roman civilization, and kept at it for more than eleven centuries: when they took the last Muslim kingdom in Grenada, their very fascist, cruel and demented majesties, Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, inventors of the Inquisition in Spain, closed all the 2,000 or so baths therein (disclaimer: an ancestor was ennobled by the Aragon king, 12 centuries ago).

So Diogenes was right: if one wants unreason, behaving unnaturally is a good start.

But now let’s go further than Diogenes: what is the interest of a sharp dichotomy between the public and private spheres? It enforces a morality, a sort of hygiene: just as it is good to wash one hands. Recent studies show that just washing hands would cut down child mortality by 40%, in the most destitute countries  (diarrhea kills more children than all other diseases combined). Symbolically, preserving a private sphere is a king of conceptual washing: it keeps some bodily functions and activities out of the public morality, thus segregates and hence weakens their influence, allowing for a more elevated society, let alone diarrhea free..

Any question?

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

Non-Linear Us

October 22, 2015

Nature is not nature, ever since there are humans, and they think. Earth has been terraformed, made into a garden, a human garden, in the last few million years. By ours truly.

Neanderthals started to used coal (lignite), 80,000 years ago.They also domesticated (that is, modified) European wolves, and invested in real estate, by exterminating Cave Bears.

Thus, following “nature” is a non-linear activity, as, by following nature, we also follow the new nature we deconstructed and rebuilt, that is, we follow ourselves.

Linearity Is The Penultimate Mathematical Simplification

Linearity Is The Penultimate Mathematical Simplification

The simplest thing is to view all causes as constant. The next simplification is to view them as linear. After that quadratic, cubic, and all powers etc… The exponential, an infinite sum of powers with fast decreasing coefficients, grows as fast, at any point, as its own value. So it’s all over nature.

“Following nature” thus does not just mean hugging trees. It also means dealing with trees the old fashion way: cutting and burning them, to favor plants and animals human beings were involved with (fires in Indonesia are contributing at least one gigaton of carbon to the atmosphere in 2015, making them an appreciable source of CO2). “Following nature” also means using genetic engineering on plants and beasts alike.

Nature has been artificial from even before the rise of civilization. Prehistoric men in Europe already conducted advanced and successful surgeries, from trepanations, to amputations, complete with anesthetics and antibiotics (parts of that knowledge got completely forgotten during the European Middle Ages… to this day!) “Facts” nowadays are all what influences humans, because they, in turn, change nature. Including hopes, systems of mood (“austerity!”, “Islam!”).

The fundamental calculus assigned to (say) Stoics, is the fundamental calculus of humanity. To mostly quote Massimo P’s “New Stoicism, Part IV”:

“physics” (i.e., natural science and metaphysics), “logic” (i.e., logic, epistemology and psychology), and “ethics” (i.e., ethics)… the first two are instrumental to the third one: one cannot decide how to live (the proper domain of ethics) if one doesn’t know how to reason well (logic) and doesn’t also know whatever we can know about the reality of nature (physics). This implies that whenever our understanding of physics changes we need to update our beliefs accordingly, and then examine (via the use of logic) whether and to what extent that also affects our ethics.”

Human evolution discovered, so to speak, this virtuous spiral of understanding and behaving. The species modified itself accordingly, it became that spiral. it is now more energetic than ever.

One cannot read morality straight out of scientific facts, because facts are about the world, and the world is about what we constructed. Thus the calculus of human hope, desire and risk evaluation has to be factored in… And it keeps on changing, the more it reflects on the agitated waters of its darkest soul.

Fundamentally, then, the human species is immensely adaptative (see future Martians): to act, human agents consider human minds, and what their activities wrought (nature). We can call ourselves new names, but our new game is the same as our old game: changing the rules as we see fit, the more we learn, and the more we change nature.

There is no general theory of non-linear mathematics. How could there be? It would be as having a theory of us. Yet we are all about the changes we decide. And how do we decide? This is not an obvious question, it has hounded fundamental physics, ever since the EPR paper of 1935. It is so non-obvious that it is the last loophole to check in the Non-Local aspect of the universe. See the New York Times, October 21, 2015: “Sorry, Einstein. Quantum Study Suggests ‘Spooky Action’ Is Real.”

To quote from there: “the National Science Foundation has financed a group of physicists led by Dr. Kaiser and Alan H. Guth, also at M.I.T., to attempt an experiment that will have a better chance of ensuring the complete independence of the measurement detectors by gathering light from distant objects on different sides of the galaxy next year, and then going a step further by capturing the light from objects known as quasars near the edge of the universe in 2017 and 2018.”

Translation: our presumed influence on the universe is so vast, subtle and pernicious, that quasars apparently receding much faster than the speed of light, are called to the rescue of physicists who want to make sure they reach beyond man, to an unspoiled universe.

We are everywhere we look, at least in our terrestrial neighborhood. Everywhere we reach, human influence has already changed everything. It’s not just about the melting icecaps.

Patrice Ayme’

Save Species By Exploiting Them

August 16, 2015

BETTER CYNIC THAN DEAD.

It’s Not Just A Question Of Saving Them, But Saving Our Mental Potential.

Ah, Cecil the Lion, this blood thirsty monster, with giant fangs, was slowly and cruelly assassinated by an evil American dentist. Let’s cry, say the politically correct. Hypocrisy and false reality are the gifts which keep on giving.

A few days ago, a “Mother Bear”, called “Blaze”, in Yellowstone National Park killed and ate, in part, a 63 year old hiker. When she, and her brood, came back for more choice morsels, inhuman, or all-too-human, rangers shot her to death. Her cubs were sent to Toledo, presumably to learn the Flamenco. Let’s cry, it’s the politically correct thing to do.

Rocks @ High Velocity Is The Compassionate Way To Handle Attacking Predators

Rocks @ High Velocity Is The Compassionate Way To Handle Attacking Predators

[Years ago, the recommendation was to lay prone in case of predator attack; this is wrong: predators don’t like to be hurt, a fortiori crippled. By the way, the largest bears are much larger than described above; some subspecies can reach a ton.]

I read some of the “Compassionate Conservationism” press. They are all over the Internet, including the Huffington Post (of course). The comments posted are bloodthirsty against the killer species, man. If only people stopped killing, everything would be great, they scream.

The “Compassionate” ones are against all and any killing. They are also against all and any suffering. As if suffering was the exclusive invention, and province, of human killers. They are completely hysterical about it, forgetting the following: part of wisdom is learning to not be too easily offended.

The problem is not just that suffering is part of the world, and thus, the mind, in full, as I have argued in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/why-killing-beauty-makes-sense/

The problem is that the best way to insure no animal suffering in a given species is by killing the species. Thus the truly compassionate are terminators. As all good terminators, they don’t have any inkling of the horror they are visiting on the world.

Where is this going?

Last time we had frantic animal rights people in power, they called themselves Nazis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany

This made sense: the Nazis tended to hate human beings. To show that, nevertheless, they were good and their hearts were pure, they disingenuously claimed to love animals to death.

People who are so sensitive and unreal to believe that if only people stopped killing animals, the world would be set right, are neither very capable mentally, nor capable of defending themselves.

But there is even a deeper analysis: remember that death, nirvana, annihilation, is the best way to terminate animal suffering. Thus those who advocate stridently to terminate animal suffering are actually advocating annihilation.

Philosophically, I disagree with them. Socrates said that the unexamined life was not worth living. Indeed. But what is the examination made of? Of the mind, applying itself. And what is the mind made of? Of the world. The fuller the world, the fuller the life. Hence the interest of REWILDING US. It’s not just about them, it’s even more about us.

A life less full in less worth living. The examining mind fosters, and is fostered, by surviving the world in full.

Ecology, in full, is the ultimate capital given to us by nature. It has to be protected, and, in particular, the species do. This means finding them economic utility.

Man-eating bears roaming national parks is no way to encourage other human beings to visit the parks, or making people feel warmer and cuddlier about bears.

The 63 year old hiker was “experienced”, said the National Park Service. Although he did not carry bear spray (so the “compassionate conservationists claimed he was at fault).

I carry bear spray when in grizzly country, and nearly used it once against a charging moose (with calf). Charging moose with calf kills more people than grizzlies in Alaska. The calf slipped and fell, and I was able to skirt that unbalanced duo through small diameter trees (having made the theory they would hinder those gigantic quadrupeds). I was not at fault: I had stopped, one hundred meters away, and waited calmly for those ferocious beasts to get off the trail. But, half an hour later, they did the Mohican hairdo thing, lowered their ears, both well-known ominous signs, and charged me casually.

In most of the Alaskan temperate jungle, the safety bear spray provides with is illusory: vision is extremely limited by an exuberant vegetation, with giant leaves, you would smell the bear before you see it!

Half-Ton Bear, Flying To Your Annihilation. No Beast That Could Survive The Genus Homo For Millions Of Years Is Easy Game

Half-Ton Bear, Flying To Your Annihilation. No Beast That Could Survive The Genus Homo For Millions Of Years Is Easy Game

Bears charge at 20 miles an hour through thickets, that’s a problem. Bear spray also has a guard and is cumbersome: one cannot spent hours with a finger on the trigger. (Bear hunters in the past used dogs, who provide warning, or stick to open country.) Black bears are also very dangerous: they can kill and eat humans, where they think they can get away with it. I have been charged by black bears more than once, and had to go full prehistoric, even hitting a bear with a large rock, with drastic effect.

The way to handle dangerous predators is to collar them with GPS, and have professionals track their activities. You want some employment for the future? Here is one of them! One should make an app giving the location of the ferocious beasts. The National Park in Banff, Alberta, already handles grizzlies that way when they approach inhabited areas.

If we want to save nature, we have to endow it with economic utility. This is the highest morality. Let me repeat slowly: if we want to save nature, all of nature, we have to endow nature, all of nature, with economic utility. This means, in particular rewilding. However, rewilding does not mean that human beings ought to be made fair game.

Quite the opposite. The essence of humanity is that human beings are not fair game.

We own this planet, all of it, and our minds depend upon that. Saving them is about saving us, but it cannot come cheap, so we have to redefine what is expensive, and compassion is one of those values which have to be redefined.

Those who claim animals deserve as much, or more, compassion than human beings are either not honest, or mental weakling whose logic will never stand the heat of reality. They bestow nature a disservice, by brandishing useless, self-defeating, narcissistic self-admiring considerations which aim at befuddling the cosmos.

Not feeling the pain we deserve to make us whole, is a pain we can’t afford.

Patrice Ayme’

With Physics Like That, Who Needs Reality?

June 9, 2015

The quest for reality has been exemplified by science. However:

From a recent New York Times op-ed, “A Crisis at the Edge of Physics:”

“DO physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

You may think that the answer is an obvious yes, experimental confirmation being the very heart of science. But a growing controversy at the frontiers of physics and cosmology suggests that the situation is not so simple.”

In December 2014 famous physicists George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published in the journal Nature…Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics…Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science.”

Science is immensely old. I pointed this out for dogs in “Very Ancient Relationships“. The Ancient Greeks had more than six breeds of cattle which had been evolved in Greece, specifically, to genetically modify them in a suitable manner:

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

[The Greeks were famous for their mix of natural and artificial selection of cattle.]

Ellis and Silk wrote that:

“This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific.

Actually, Ellis and Silk are completely wrong there. The theory that the Earth turned around the Sun, originated by Aristarchus of Samos (a Greek island in sight of Anatolia, presently swamped by refugees). Its competitor was the geocentric theory. However, there was a strong argument against geocentrism: it stretched credulity. Indeed, the Greeks could compute that the Sun was much much larger than the Earth. It made sense that the little thing turned around the big thing as Buridan pointed out (around 1330 CE). To this geocentrists could only reply with silly arguments such as: man and his creator are big, etc.

So Karl Popper was also wrong. In the most spectacular case.

The Heliocentric Theory was a full blown scientific theory, so was the Geocentric Epicycles. However only a careful study of the illumination of the phases of Venus showed definitively that the the latter was wrong. This happened only in the mid-Seventeenth Century.

Ellis and Silk: “Chief among the ‘elegance will suffice’ advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the ‘only game in town’ capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the ‘many worlds’ version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts.”

In other words, many leading physicists are arguing for leaving behind the search for evidence, the old fashion way, leaving no stone unturned, just like smart prehistoric men did. Instead:

“These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man’s-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any.

The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. String theory and multiverse theory have been criticized in popular books1, 2, 3 and articles…. In March 2014, one of the founders of inflation theory, theorist Paul Steinhardt wrote5 in Nature that “the theory of inflationary cosmology is no longer scientific because it is so flexible that it can accommodate any observational result”.

As I said above, Popper was wrong: falsifiability is neither necessary, nor sufficient to qualify a theory as scientific.

Another example of untestable theory was biological evolution through natural selection: they Greeks knew it to be true. One can read the theory explicitly stated in Lucretius’ giant poem about the universe. However the Greeks did not. know how to test it. The only tests they knew were indirect, they had to do with ARTIFICIAL selection.

Still biological evolution was a valid scientific theory, although untestable for millennia, and perhaps even hundreds of thousand of millennia. Many a shaman is bound to have stumbled upon it.

New York Times: “Implicit in such a maneuver is a philosophical question: How are we to determine whether a theory is true if it cannot be validated experimentally? Should we abandon it just because, at a given level of technological capacity, empirical support might be impossible? If not, how long should we wait for such experimental machinery before moving on: ten years? Fifty years? Centuries? …

Are superstrings and the multiverse, painstakingly theorized by hundreds of brilliant scientists, anything more than modern-day epicycles?”

Not even that. Epicycles were useful and observable. They actually are true in some sense, because they reflect Fourier Analysis of periodic motions.

Today’s most brandished “scientific” theories have nothing good about them, and worse of all, they don’t pass the smell test. Just as the Geocentric Theory did not pass the smell test. Just much worse. Theories were a gazillion universes get created in every cubic millimeters are just insane. Arguable even more insane as the worst from Daesh.

And guess what? Both insanities are related. If all what our supposedly best minds, our most rational, most scientific minds can produce, and brandish, is sheer insanity, why can’t Islam Fundamentalists, Saudi despots, North Korean dictators, and hordes of degenerated plutocrats not be crazy too?

So why not go with the flow? There are jobs to be had there. Saudi Arabia is looking for more eight more executioners to execute those who “insult Islam“. No experience necessary. Just a willingness to whip and “amputate”.

Patrice Ayme’

Sting Operations

June 1, 2015

{Operating under deadline, and stress here; the post shall be modified extensively a bit later.}

Venom In, Real Philosophy Out:

The brain works under different laws, according to circumstances. If one lives only behind a desk, all the law a mind will know will be the law of the desk. To see how the mind works, I recommend wasp swarm attack. Painful, costly, scary? Yes. All enlightenment costs, and the more the enlightenment, the greater the cost.

Want To Change Perspective ("Theory")? Try this 40 times. Venom In, Real Philosophy Out

Want To Change Perspective (“Theory”)? Try this 40 times. Venom In, Real Philosophy Out

[Yellow Jacket Sting; in North America, They Make Ground Nests. And Defend Them With Lots Of Enthusiasm.]

Sting operations make a common tactic of law enforcement in the USA: a police organization sets-up a criminal organization, and invites befuddled citizens of dubious morality to participate. When they do, they may get arrested, and justice may, or may not, be done.

There is always an unreal character to sociology in the USA.

That unreal character, for example officialdom engaging in crime, supposedly to extirpate it, by itself is a manipulation, as it habituates the population to lose track of reality: one learns to feel that police which does crimes to find crimes is just, and, even worse, smart. The ensuing lack of respect for the police is no problem, as it was historically enough for police to pull out its guns, and start shooting, re-establishing an even more fearful form of respect (what the powers that be were looking for).

Stuff happens. Stuff happens which nobody predicted. When one looks at World War One, scholars tend to say that Europe was a powder keg, ready to blow, especially Germany, from hysterical militarism. They do not know, or understand, the details, where the devil lurks. Indeed, in the end, nasty, venomous stuff happened in the minds of mostly two individuals: the Kaiser, and Chief of Prussian Army Staff, general Von Molkte (with a little help from USA Colonel House, the devil’s crucial assistant).

So Secretary of State Kerry was biking in France, fell, and broke his femur. This is not going to make it easier for Iran, a theocratic republic of god fanatics. Obama absolutely wanted a deal with Iran. Sometimes an occasion is missed, and does not come back.

However, the world today is much more a powder keg than Europe was in 1914. The difference, so far, is  that there is no plutocratic conspiracy determined to have war, as the top Prussian leaders were in 1914 (or Bush and his goons were in 2003).

Catastrophic calculus say that whatever terrible which could happen, will happen. Nowadays this means fanatics such as ISIL/Daesh getting control of nuclear weapons (say in Pakistan), or North Korea nuking the USA (just because it can), or China going to war in the South China Sea (just because it can).

Only now is the USA waking up to the latter possibility. Seriously late.

I am a mountain runner. One would guess I am ready for an eventualities. But I am not, because there are no solutions to some of the dangers. What to do in the case of attack by venomnous creature? I have thought about that one a lot, and have no answer. (Aside from killing venomous snakes with an aggressive attitude; the ones with a good attitude, I let go.)

Once in Colorado, jogging on a flat dirt road, I was attacked by bees. I ran as fast as I could, leaving the noxious critters behind, and got away with a dozen stings.

I got less lucky this time. Amusingly, there was a warning from the gods. I had a shoelace to tighten up. While I prepared to sit on sequoia root, I noticed bees, real brown bees, coming out in a hurry from a hole, just next to where I wanted to settle. I quickly retreated, images of Africanized bees in my head. The bees were alarmed, and alarming, but not nasty. No sting. That was good because there was a bit of dangerous, exposed rock and tree climbing, in the next thirty feet.

I went on up a steep and messy slope I am familiar with, loaded with debris, branches, leaves, among the giant sequoias Suddenly I heard a high pitch whistle sound, and within a second, felt the stings, and heard the buzzing. Stings everywhere!

All of my brain instantaneously became one action machine. The first stings had been painful, the next ones became just slapping targets. Super-human power was mustered to run up and away.

Philosophers sitting behind their desks love to tell us what consciousness is, and what not. They talk, they talk, from behind their desks, enclosed in their little minds. However, as I have tried to explain, the brain works according to different laws. Different neurohormones, different laws, different brains.

The law sitting at a desk has nothing to do with the law of a brain under deadly attack. Perceived lethality and pain provides with a different universe. This is the main reason for the allure of dangerous sports, let alone war and mayhem.

The brain, all in command, and all about command, determined the general direction of attack: left, ground level and down slope. So the brain determined the way out was up and slightly right (everything else was obstructed by trees). Brain ordered to jump and run that way. The brain also determined that slapping deadly insects to death was in order (books say don’t do that, it releases pheromones but stinging also does; not running away from a swarm attack is purely behind-a-desk pontificating by complete idiots; if I had not run away, I would be dead).

After a mad charge of maybe half a minute or so, more than 500 feet (150 meters), most of the assailants were gone, and brain wondered who they were. I could still feel new stings, so I looked just before hitting some of them: they were clearly stripped yellow and black: wasps. The famous yellow jackets who nestle underground; I had been attacked from a ground nest once before, in Stanford park, and ran away with a few stings. I tore an elastic branch with wide leaves, and used it as an anti-wasp weapon, to threaten remaining hard core individuals (I have studied the intelligence of wasps: they are not suicidal).

A few minutes later, I was back on a normal trail, for normal people, discovering to my amazement, that I was decorated with two dozen darts with venom pockets attached. Brain decided those darts with venom pockets attached made no sense (I thought only bees lost their venom innards, now I know better). I used Twenty-First Century technique, grabbing my supposedly smart phone, hoping for coverage, and organizing rescue.

Coverage there was, to my surprise, so I modified my trajectory into a bee line towards the closest road, 7 miles and more than two thousands feet lower. I followed hard single tracks, at maximum speed, which alleviated the pain. Brain had decided that getting to civilization before venom got to its central control system was the world’s most important thing.

So here I am, two days later, after various medical treatments, including a tetanus shot. More loaded with venom than ever.

Lessons? Stuff happens. Death also happens. If I had had a seven year old child with me, the child would have died. Any person with reduced mobility would have died. Even with my spectacularly fast egress (I can climb one mile up, in an hour!), I got stung maybe 40 times. So much about nature been good: one second before the first stings I had no idea that there was a wasp nest in the area. (And, because of the dangers experienced in the past, including grizzlies, lions, wolves, and especially degenerated scofflaw mountain bikers, I don’t wear headphones, and try to stay as aware as possible at any moment.)

Sting operations from the gods, we all have to fear. Hubris is the loss of that fear. The Greeks, rightly felt it as the greatest danger. Nevertheless, they fell into it. When they refused to unite against the looming fascist menace, in spite of philosopher Demosthenes’ strident warnings.

Our entire planet, at this point, is managed like an adventure. We may be, collectively, as clueless as I was a second before the first stings, in my latest misadventure. Like many an adventure, Human Earth could turn tragic, and very painful, all of a sudden.

Patrice Ayme’

[Even more full of venom than usual!]

Baboon Philosophy Needed

December 17, 2014

Many people hold a cynical attitude about Cynicism. They hold that it’s nothing other than an unwarranted, exaggerated, mostly negative attitude, non-constructive way to live, feel and think.

And, as Scientia Salon puts it “if they think they’re talking about Cynicism the philosophy, with a capital C, they’re dead wrong“.

I propose to go much further than simply rehashing cynicism.

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Cynics, kynikos, means “dog-like”. The main idea was for humans to live according to nature… And thus reject the “nomos” (the way things are managed), when it does not fit nature. In extreme form, it meant living like dogs (that Diogenes embraced, and so did the enemies of cynicism).

The question arises: what is it, to live according to nature? Rousseau thought it was to live like angels. Sade replied that Rousseau had no idea what he was talking about. Voltaire (a friend of Sade) told Rousseau that “jamais autant d’intelligence” had been deployed to make us all stupid, and he felt like “marcher a quatre pattes” after reading his book.

French sailors, fresh from believing Rousseau, discovered Tasmania. The French has dressed au naturel, as they expected that the Natives, being the most primitives on Earth, would be happy and welcoming. Instead, the Tasmanian tried to kill the French in a massive premeditated ambush, and the sailors came back to France, announcing Rousseau had been found incorrect.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/tasmanian-effect/

So is the nature of man that of a dog, or wolf? Is the famous Roman “Homo Homini Lupus”, true?

Well Ancient Greeks knew dogs, but not baboons. Baboons technical name is “cynocephali” (dog-heads). In more ways than simple appearances, they are half-way between dog and men. As I grew up in Africa, I observed baboons in the wild, or captivity. I was struck by their humaneness.

Recently the great apes were re-labelled as “Hominidae”, to remind us of their humaneness. However, in one important way, baboons are closer to man than to any other species. Both man and baboons have evolved to make a living in the savannah, instead of among the trees. This brought to bear on the species the same evolutionary pressures, hence the same solutions. Particularly in the realms of defense, attack, group-think (and specifically what I call intellectual fascism).

To do so, to live in the savannah, where they go drink everyday, in a killing gallery, baboons had to evolve not just an omnivorous way of life, but super-predatory ways, all the way to the fascist, military instinct some insist could NOT possibly be human. As they move about, baboons form well organized armies, and the fierce military spirit to go with them. The larger, the noisier, the more horrific the army, led by seemingly crazed leaders, mad with uncontrollable hatred and rage, the better, to put all predators to flight.

Back in Africa, it seemed to me that no philosophy that did not understand baboons could pretend to understand man. Thus a philosophy of origins had to encompass baboons. Conversely, baboons are easier to understand than people: people hide behind complicated cultures and their various make-belief “creators”, whereas baboons do not have this sort of arrogance.

The zoologist Buffon pontificated that baboons were “too obscene to describe”. Baboons were an experimental model contradicting Rousseau. A progress from the Greeks, I would respectfully suggest, would be to graduate from dog to baboon, as a philosophical paradigm, a simpler model of Homo Sapiens.

Once one has understood that people are super-baboons, one has made a gigantic step forward in the true nature of humanity, and its “nomos”. As we bring the greatest crisis in 65 million years, it’s high time.

Patrice Ayme’