Monday, December 12, 2011


More on this picture below.

from Murph
I am going to propose a different perspective on our society today that I have not come across before. It has been an idea in the back of my mind for a lot of years now. It is the concept of the progress of western civilization and probably most of the world toward personal convenience.

It appears to me that most people are very happy to have much more convenience, which is in reality, less physical expenditure for a given goal. I realize that I indulge in this myself. There are several ramifications to this. Less physical and/or mental output for any desired goal means one more step toward physical atrophy and in many cases, mental atrophy.

Let’s examine the mental atrophy first.

When I was doing my practice teaching at the university, I noticed that the classrooms were filled with students happily punching in 2 + 2 into hand held calculators to get an answer, literally. Frankly, I was appalled. When I had my chance, I asked the classroom how many people thought that every time they punched in a request for an answer to an arithmetic problem that what the calculator told them in the readout was to always be assumed to be correct. Every one of them affirmed that it was always correct. At the time I was fresh out of classes engaged in all kinds of math problems and it was so long ago that I don’t remember the examples I used to show them that it wasn’t always true. I do remember asking them to give me an absolute number for pi. Of course this is not possible. For most hand held calculators, you get only 8 or so numbers that represent pi. I got some varied responses to this.

But, one of the results of students at the grade school level using calculators was that very simple arithmetic problems, (like multiplication) were seemingly beyond their abilities, same with simple addition, subtraction and division. I am forced to call this a form of mental atrophy.

Further, I found this to be true in other areas. Discernment, critical thinking, and logic were lacking, even at the university level of study. The convenience of calculators, computers and experts’ pronouncements on anything were accepted at face value rather than expend the mental energy to determine a truth for oneself. This mental atrophy can show up in some of the most obtuse areas. When we moved here to north central Oregon the “experts” told us that raising our own food was impossible, don’t bother to even try. Well, we found out that wasn’t a true statement, but most of the residents accepted it at face value. We and a very few others had to demonstrate that it was not a true statement and call attention to that fact. In the last couple of years, there has been a flurry of gardens and greenhouses in the area and the raising of small livestock for food.

I am sure that all of us can point to physical atrophy through convenient tools and gizmos that reduce our physical expenditures of energy. Otherwise there would be no reason to have workout gyms or home workout gadgets. Interesting, that sports do not fall into the concept of convenience but most of our daily lives do. It’s as if we are encouraged to make up for the convenience of daily life functions by being very extreme in our inconvenience of non-productive physical exertions. We are constantly being admonished to get off the convenient sofa and walk, run, go to the gym, whatever. And of course, there is the age thing to deal with; as we age, the ability to engage in non-convenience diminishes. I find interesting the proliferation of extreme sports activities that in actuality are quite dangerous. It’s as if the extreme convenience of modern life for most of us has to be compensated for by risking life and limb on dangerous sports.

In my younger days I participated very little in dangerous sports. Not that I wasn’t fascinated by them and wanted to, it just seemed that I never had the time or the money to participate. I was too wrapped up in expending energy on just living. Things like making money cutting, splitting, hauling and stacking firewood for the folks that would never be bothered with doing that. Or the making of things by hand for sale.

One of the themes running through the Archdruid posts is that convenience entails complexity, and that appears to be true to me. He further asserts that complexity also entails fragility, which also appears true to me. Complex technology has increased rather dramatically, in the last 200 years, the convenience of daily living. It would take very little to completely interrupt this technology and convenience. If a person has no idea how to make things, or how to maintain simple technology, and the complex technology is interrupted from whatever source, how would that person have a chance to survive? Examples; what percentage of our adult population knows how to either produce their own food or to even prepare it if they had it? Prepared boxed food that is tossed into the microwave or heated in a pan on the complex technology in the modern kitchen is the norm. I lived for a while in a city where almost without exception; the people I knew didn’t even have food in the refrigerator since they ate out at every meal.

IMO, we have carried the technology of convenience to such an extent that any interruption of this technology means a distinct lack of survival for most. It has also promoted the mental attitude of dependence and disdain for those that chose to not live that way. I’m a lazy old cuss, I want to find the easiest way to solve problems, and I have to admit that if I had the money to compensate, I probably would indulge in complex technology more than I do. You know, the bigger, better, more powerful machinery to accomplish a given task or to hire it done. I have to ask though; are we actually better off for it?

Let’s take a look at just one example of what is lost from a hi tech society with lots of convenience.

Only a few generations ago, we were predominantly an agrarian society wherein most families produced their own food. The extended family normally lived fairly close by. In the fall when the harvest came in, everyone got together and helped in the harvest and also got to share in the harvest. Also, fall was when the butchering of animals took place to supply winter meat, the steer, the hog, the rabbits the goose, etc. Everyone from toddlers to the oldsters took part. This is a far cry from going to the grocery store (the convenience) to doing it yourself. Without even touching on the quality of food difference, it did make the extended family all have skin in the game. In this only one example, convenience has an impact on social structure. I am sure all of you could come up with other examples that illustrate how convenience has affected social structure.

This also applies to the broader society, not just those in an extended family. The Amish are a good example of this cooperation between the whole community in projects that benefit everyone in the community and that group certainly cannot be accused of living with a whole bunch of technology to make their lives more convenient.

The top photo of a log building that encloses our wellhead is a personal example. We had loaned some money to a couple that were just flat out desperate. They reciprocated by helping us build that building. Now we could have bought sized lumber that probably would have been a lot easier to build, or even bought a pre-made small building and just had someone drop it on a rough foundation, a lot more convenient. But I had the small logs on hand taken off the property several years ago and a pretty good pile of reject lumber and roofing. I figure we have forged a much more lasting relationship doing it the less convenient hard way. Now believe me, I understand that our modern day life of long work hours to make the money to buy the convenience gizmos is the standard today. I spent a lot of years on that treadmill.

For the most part, it sure appears to me that the convenient life style has encouraged divisions between the populace rather than closeness and cooperation. I also think it has made our society a lot less resilient. Cripes sake, I live in a community of several thousands of people but yet there is only maybe a couple of dozen or so that I see face to face to exchange ideas and thoughts and to help each other out when there is a need. Depending on what value system you hold close to your heart, you can answer the question; are we better off?


freeacre said...

I think convenience really got underway after WWII. It was to seduce women out of the factories and back to the home front. Heck, it'll be GREAT! You'll have vacuum cleaners, electric refrigerators & irons, Windex, electric stoves, washers and dryers, etc. Then, later, it began to take 2 paychecks to get by. So, to make it seem less horrible, they began to provide us with the "convenience" of fast food, TV Dinners, Supermarkets, cell phones, and on and on. Everything supposedly more convenient so we can be "free" to work our ass off all the time for somebody else, and be dependent on commerce for everything.
It really comes down to time. How do we want to spend our time?

rockpicker said...

Fully implemented, Agenda 21 should allay any fears we might harbor for Americans becoming any more reliant on convenience in the future.

rockpicker said...


"It began to take two paychecks to get by," because of the devaluation of the currency.

My mother bought a 140-acre "farm" in upstate NY, in 1950, for $3,600.00, and raised six kids there on a school teacher's salary. According to her, my father's monetary contribution during those years was negligible.
But we lived well. And, we didn't grow a garden or raise our own meat.

A few years ago, I made the claim to her that America's standard of living has steadily decreased since that time, and when I used this information as an example, she said, "Huh. I never thought about that..."

Our demise inched up on us with stealth, lost in the tumult and exhilaration of changing times. Wars, and the protests they fostered, drugs, assassinations, sexual liberation and the music, (still killer,) those heady times consumed us, held us spellbound while the machinery of our existence quietly retooled, upgraded and amended itself, as if self-aware and determined to stymie any such future cultural distractions.

It plied us with contraptions and condescension. It praised our productivity, while poisoning our water with neuro-toxins and exporting our manufacturing base. In the midst of obvious deterioration, it promised all would be okay. It laughed all the way to the bank, which it eventually looted.

And now, with its Terminator Horror State in place and running, it's convinced most of us that resistance is futile. Why worry yourself about things you can't change? Go with the flow. Enjoy what little time you have left. A few creature comforts, rewards the State allows you, are really the most you can hope for.

For me, it's a question of the spiritual versus the material. The New World Order rationale is that the material 'here and now' is all there is. No afterlife to consider. Morality is a curious artifact from a bygone era.

rockpicker said...

Ah, the information age, how convenient...

murph said...


Interesting links you put up. The first about the UN agenda 21 we have been hearing about in various forms for a while now. Gun freedom sites have been warning about it for over a year. Notice how the emphasis is on sustainable growth and development which I insist is an oxymoron. The leveling out to the same living standard throughout the world is not sustainable at present population levels, at least if we are not content to live in mud hovels and starvation food supplies.

The second link seems to be pointing a finger at IBM as a major component for the new globalism. The narrator does mention that money was the prime motivator which seems to me to be self evident.

I will assert that, on the whole, humans on this planet are not really interested in freedom. Instead, they are interested in personal security with no risk and want to be taken care of by the state. Real freedom entails a whole lot of risk. One bad decision and it can be all over for the individual. On the whole, humans want to have that risk taken away. It also relates to this posting.

It appears to me that we are in a time of great transition, from what to what is argued about interminably. The effectiveness of what ever idea presented is open to question because it deals with the future. But, it does appear to me that change is accelerating and I suspect that some monumental event is on the immediate horizon.

I do admit that much of the changes seemingly coming at us is not to my liking because it all implies a vast reduction in freedom of choices and actions. It does appear to me that the generations following us old timers are not particularly upset by it. It also appears to me that those objecting to these perceived changes consider themselves mostly impotent to stop them.

Before I cash it in, I really want to see how this plays out. We are so doomed! :)

Hotspringswizard said...

This may go along with the link I posted earlier about Isreal moving missiles around. There is a video link too:

US Troops Begin Operations on the Jordan-Syria Border

Hotspringswizard said...

" It is a sign of just how fast the police state is advancing that drones in American skies have gone from conspiracy theory to admitted fact in about a year "

Drones Officially Take Flight For Domestic Law Enforcement

And here is a short excerpt from a comment Dennis Kucinich made on the subject, listed near the end of the article:

" we have slipped into spooky new world where joystick gods manipulating robots deal death from the skies and then go home and hug their children "

Also see discussed in this article the " Sovereign Citizen Movement " family on a 3000 acre ranch where drone technology was used in recent law enforcement actions.

Anonymous said...


Ha, lets hear it for mental atrophy; mental atrophy rules OK. Well that sure seems to be the case these days. Jeez; I remember the days during my life as a chemist when I had to do quadratic equations with natural logarithmic functions. Could I do it now if I had to, well maybe. And then there were those who don't know what long division is let alone how to do it. We have long bemoaned falling standard in education and the simplification of dictionary definitions over time, all part of the dumbing down of society in general. Regarding pi and other surds, the obvious question is how accurate do you really need them. How big a circle do you need before seven decimal places is not good enough. I remember about a year ago my son in law who worked for the nuclear industry at the time asking me the same question of how to get pi to more than seven decimal places. I said “Multiply your other function by 22/7 it's the same thing.” “Huh, what” was the answer. Two things come from this. Many people are not taught the basic relationship between numbers and the other is that the decimal system has so completely taken over that people no longer think in fractions. There is a good reason why the imperial system is full of peculiar numbers. I used to goad the decimal advocates by saying “Do you think we should go to a ten hour day with a hundred minutes in each hour. Is a ten day week with a three day weekend better or worse than what we have now?” Well it was fun for a while as it was with with the guy over here who was trying to fit a door. I told him that he needed to take three sixteenths off the top. I knew what reaction I would get before I said it. I know, I really should try to restrain myself better. Yet how many people mentally tot up the rough price of items they throw in their trolley as they are going around the supermarket? I know it is unusual to get things double scanned but at least you should know if you are going over budget before you get to the checkout. Personally, I do it sometimes but not always, usually towards the end of the month.

Good point Freeacre about the erosion of double incomes, I sure agree with that.

Another thing I agree with is that community has deteriorated over time. I remember as a kid playing all manner of street games. Nowadays kids stay at home with their gaming machines and that is how society becomes fragmented and as grown ups many have trouble relating to each other. The question should be, is this a planned consequence?

People lead such busy lives these days with the result that time for necessary things like cooking are cut to the bare minimum. Convenience meals has allowed the food industry to poison our diet whilst we are engaged somewhere else giving a long term boost to big pharma.

By the way, I guess you didn't think too much of my tepee idea for your well head, well see if I care ;-) Ha, ha. Your solution is pretty neat although I was expecting you to tell us that the roof section was a solar panel.

Anyway, to answer your final question, why should we feel better off when we are having it worked to us every which way round?

Anonymous said...

Great post, Murph.

I hear that kids nowadays can't read regular clocks because they're so used to the time in digital format. For me, hell, when I see a digital clock saying 4:38 P.M, I have to sit decypher, "What does that look like on a clock? -Can I go the hell home now?"

I also heard that young people don't know how to drive cars with stickshifts. A couple of years ago, my car was stolen right out from one of the main university parking lots. The police called the next day to tell me that they found it about 8 blocks away with no problems. I have an old Honda Accord with a MANUAL 5 speed transmission.

Went to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago to meet-up with my brother and his brood of 4 kids who are all teenagers now -and jeezz, the only thing they talked about was their wide variety of video games. Oh, and they used this "Wii" thingy -which means you can do EVERYTHING from your living room! That's right -you can bowl, ski, play golf -hell! No need the outside anymore, man!

Your mentioning the Amish reminds me of the movie, "Witness." By the end of the movie, it had me wondering if the Amish lifestyle was more "normal" than our modern "English" lifestyle.

Hey fa, I remember watching an interview of Aaron Russo talking about his relationship with one of the younger Rockefellers. He described this Rockefeller bragging about the Feminist Movement being devised by TPTB to get more women working for "The Man" which meant that prices could go up, wages can go down and more money can go up to TPTB.

YES -I think everything is a conspiracy.

Because everything IS.

And "Extreme Sports" is proof that guys will do ANYTHING to get laid.

Ok, I THINK it's time to home now.



nina said...

A great, great post and structure. I've always felt, deep down, the Amish would be the last ones standing.

rockpicker said...

Gold is tanking! WTF?

murph said...


The news that a police dept is using drones has suddenly surfaced and getting a lot of play on the web. I find it disturbing too.

murph said...


I suspect that a pretty hefty amount of us old duffers see it the same way. Then the question; how much atrophy can occur before a critical point is reached for the ending of a culture? And, have we reached that point?

murph said...



I remember back in the 90's I was staying with a friend who had a young grade school kid. One day she wanted to know what time it was. There was an analog clock on the wall. I said look at the clock. She didn't know how to read it or what it meant. It took about 10 minutes to teach her. What in hell is wrong with our schools today?

Of a more technical nature, I know a bunch of people that cannot read an analog calipers or an analog micrometer or an analog scale. Incredible.

When my daughter was old enough to get her driving license, she took the mandatory school driving course, and of course on an automatic transmission. It taught her next to nothing about safe driving and control of the vehicle. So, I told her if she wanted her license, she had to take my driving course. Had an old Honda with stick shift. Made her learn how to use it, be able to stop in the middle of a steep grade gravel road and then start up again. Made her learn how to back up at 30mph and be in control of the car. Made her learn how to control a car on a slick road. Made her come out and help with minor maintenance on the car. She sweated bullets learning it all but her classmates were dumbfounded at what she could do. What in hell is going on in our schools?

Now I'm not advocating classes in how to drive a team of 4 carriage or how to plow a field with an ox or how to make a wagon wheel, but geeez, they are not being taught any versatility at all.

We are so doomed lol

murph said...


Thanks for the compliment. Appreciate it from a fellow blogger that writes so well. I do think that perspective is worth consideration.

Anonymous said...

When I went to school, there was no drivers ed. I learned to drive on a tractor at 8 years of age and from there my dad taught me to drive a car at 9 years old.
I don't believe schools are equipped to teach drivers ed. I believe it should be the parents responsibility, then they could see what their children are in need of.
Perhaps I'm old fashon, but that's what I believe.


Hotspringswizard said...

Murph, I agree with the various points you made in your post. Right now we all enjoy various conveniences that do make our lives easier, less arduous, but we also understand clearly that the arrangements in the structure of our societies that allow for this are beginning to crumble in myriad ways. The vast majority of people will continue to cling to " their " coveniences until they are no longer realistically available. Like for example you Murph have a small but handy roto-tiller that makes tilling the soil in your garden much easier than doing the same with a shovel.

We will all go down this road of hanging on to conveniences to one degree or another depending on the person. How many would willingly give un their refrigerator/freezers to go back to old ways of preserving foods. Of course the examples of this go on and on.

I work in my life to use the modern conveniences to the greatest benifit, without overcomplexifying by the incorporation of too much of anything in my life. In saying this however I fully reckcognize that as the greater systems of society break down conveniences we once took for granted will be lost along the way. We here know our societies have become fragile systems that are completely unsustainable.

I look at reports from around the world and see people's general behavior and actions, and their attempted continuance of the status quo as far as convenieces go is the sought for game plan. People's that want a comfortable house, a car, a refrig, heat, plenty of food, etc, etc and these interest will make for even greater dire consequence when humanity has pushed things to the various breaking points of the systems.

Also I think there is the reality that as the crumbling builds life is going to get harder in very many ways. When you can't just go to the store anymore and buy a months worth of food and be done with that, freeing you up to do other things, but are left perhaps with a day to day struggle of trying to figure out how to get enough to feed yourself and your family, just for that day, that is not a representation of going back to an easier life.

I even look at the details of ones who have " prepared ", and see the very many ways they are still greatly dependant on the greater current paradigm being intact. Not saying its bad to do, but having bullets, gold, some tins of dried food squirreled away, etc does not make you sustainable for the long run. Of course this does not mean I think that folks should not try and do these and other things to get a more solid footing, at least for a time, and that may give them the leaway to make other adjustments as this great unraveling unfolds in the way it will.

Hotspringswizard said...

Murph, that shed you just built kinda reminds me of a memorable time I had one summer living with my first wife and her two children out in the forest about 20 miles southeast of Mt Shasta up in Norhtern California. I was working as a Forestry Fire Fighter and we got married in a simple ceremony ( only six people present ) on the Mc Cloud River.

I was 24 and didn't have much money so I built a camp out hidden in the forest. A side stream coming out of the mountains split and came back together with a strip of forest land in the middle. I built a trail from where we parked our vehicles, rocks across the creek for crossing, and then to the campsite with flowing water on all sides from the streams.

I made the frame of the main structure we stayed in out of pine logs with thick black plastic forming the walls and roof with laced wire to hold the plastic in place. There was a covered area ( plastic ) in front and under it near the edge was our fire pit. Another path led to the creek nearby where I built a small pond for the kids to play in and there was a pallet there where we washed our dishes.

There was ample fish in the streams so we ate them often. A big green meadow was nearby which was wonderful to walk through. It was a great summer of living a simpler life for a time, easier to do in my younger days with the strength of youth :-)

I went back there 25 years later and it was amazing to see how any evidence that we were there was grown over by Mother Natures ways of change. I found an old aluminum pot that we used to cook spegetti in while living there. I still have a photo of that pot sitting on the ground at the camp one night when our spegetti came out wrong, so stiff that we stuck a fork in it and it just stood up straight :-)

Another day the kids went out exploring and then we heard them coming back screaming and they had made the unwise choice of hitting a big hornets nest with a stick to see what would happen! Lots of fun we had that summer long ago :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Murph -that's MY line!

Ok, so my Ma or my older brother is out with the Impala which is an automatic, but the little Chevette (piece of shit) is out front and I want to see my girlfriend. It's a stickshift, right, and I just got my driver's license a few months earlier so I ask my Dad how to drive it. He gives me a little ABC information on how a clutch and stick works -in the living room (he was reading a Louis Lamour book) and told me to go ahead and -oh, be carefull. Well, after a few stalls at a several stoplights, I got the hang of it -and liked it a lot. Been driving a stick ever since. Having a hot girlfriend helps you (desperation? horniness?) take a few leaps, I think.

Hey HSW, that life in the forest sounds very interesting -would make a great post.

Man, the DOOM is getting thick! I wonder if the sheeple will awake once we attack Iran. They might -IF it pushes gas prices to the sky they might. But that's the really sad part. They'll only care because of how it affect THEM. NOT the US goverment sanctioned murder of hundred of thousands innocenet people.

I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that said, "I support whatever Fox News tells me to -baaa baaa." But I've taken all of my political stickers off my car. I didn't want some "Officer of the Peace" to taser my ass for going 3mph over the speed limit.

Man, we





Anonymous said...

Some day we may wish we had someone to teach us about plowing with animals or driving a carriage. Of course that is if some of us live long enough. I do believe my grandchildren will live to see those days come to pass. I have been putting aside resource materials that explain how to put in a garden, build structures, make medicines from plants, cook and how to make stoves to heat and cook with. Now, they may not take interest with this at this time in their lives, due to all the "conveniences", but I bet when the time comes, they will do something to learn to survive.
Randy- I myself have just about given up on getting the message to the sheeple. I'm more and more just going about making the changes I need to do in order to adjust to the downward changes. I'm not looking at it as doomed but as more of exciting times and challenges.
One thing I would miss though is my chainsaw. It will take a lot more work and time to cut, split and stack fire wood. However I am looking into a rocket mass heater to replace the wood stove. Just small branches and wood to make them work. I've seen them and took a work shop  too. Impressive!


rockpicker said...

Cause for concern, or just another layer of the onion?

Anonymous said...


Hey Bexar, You reminded me of something the BBC put out in the late 50's early 60's. It was a series of about 10 minute shorts made by a amateur camera man on super 8 film. It was quite unusual for the Beeb to do this sort of thing. Each film was intended as a historical record of a craft the film maker regarded as dying. I can't remember them all now but the ones I do included throwing a pot on a wheel; making a cartwheel; making a wooden barrel; making a horse shoe and fitting it on the horse. Thatching a roof was another one. He seemed to be a very enlightened man for his times. It must have cost him a fortune in those times especially with the stuff that has to be edited out. I wonder what happened to those wonderful films?

Funny you should mention a chain saw. Last night I saw a film on the Canvas Channel by Werner Hertzog called A Year in the Taiga. The film crew went to a small village which sits on a river deep in Siberia and followed life through the four seasons. It revolved around village life in general and one hunter / trapper in particular. It was fascinating to see all the primitive tools they were using especially the hack axe they were using to make a dug out canoe. The hunter said many traditional skills were being lost but the two modern inventions he would find it very difficult to live his life without were his snow mobile and his chain saw. He had a base hut and a series of smaller outpost huts which were regularly damaged by snow or bears and he needed to quickly fell small trees to repair these. He also used the chain saw for making fall traps which was the type he preferred. All in all it was a fascinating film.

Anonymous said...

Sats- Yes I would say we have lost a lot of past skills, but there are some who seem to keep the arts and crafts going.
I do have several hand saws. I use a couple every day when prepping wood for the stove. I rather enjoy working like this. I also use an 8 pound maul and wedge for splitting rounds. It's hard work at times, but that's one of the things I do here on our place.
I keep thinking about that video Murph posted by Chris Mertenson. My wife's cousins husband is a geologist for Exxon-Mobile. Seven or eight years ago I remember asking him how much time he thought we had before the world would begin to have problems with oil. He said under twenty years. So, that gives us another ten years or so, or less. I read this from a couple biking across the nation this year. They stopped in western North Dakota, out where the oil fields are, and had this conversation.
"At one point, we stop adjacent to an oil well being drilled and two of the workers come over to the fence. They tell me that they're drilling 10,000' down, then another 10,000' horizontally into the oil-bearing layer of rock. The drill head is computer controlled and makes the bend from vertical to horizontal by drilling in a 500' radius, which the heavy steel drill stem can bend through.
I ask what has caused the recent boom and one of them tells me "It's money. When crude is $20 a barrel, we cap 'em and when it's $100 a barrel, we drill like crazy."
They tell me that each well costs about 16 million dollars to drill and the expected yield will be about 200 barrels of fluid per day, about half water and half crude oil. If this is a really good well, it may produce up to 200 barrels of crude per day.
Later, I do a bit of online research and crunch the numbers. At the current daily rate of US oil consumption, every day we'll use the 200 barrel output from a well like this in less than 1 second."

Not very encouraging, but that's what we are facing.


Hotspringswizard said...

Bexar, regarding the oil supply, there were two reports out last year from the US military and another earlier this year from the German Military that discuss " severe oil supply constraints " beginning to occur in the 2012-2015 period. That to me is consistent with all of the other various credible information I have seen on the subject. The occurance of some dramatic event, like an attack on Iran would change this situation for the worse immediately of course.

Hotspringswizard said...

As the CO2 rises and Earth's climate heats up, the ices melts which shielded the ocean's in the extreme northern and southern pole areas causing sunlight to enter the darker waters, heating up the ocean temps.

Frozen layers of Methane on the ocean floors that have been sealed there during the thousands of years of humanity's time of more complex civilization is now turning back to gas and coming to the surface to enter the atmosphere as a greenhouse gase that is 23 times more potent than CO2. Whats discussed in this article could portend a dire climate tipping point:

Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas

Russian research team astonished after finding 'fountains' of methane bubbling to surface

....Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed....

Hotspringswizard said...

Randy, Regarding that dwelling that I built out in the forest, I forgot to mention that I found a spot where four pretty tall live pine trees were situated in a rectangular shape, maybe 20x15, and I used them as the four strong and stable corners. I didn't use any nails on the whole stucture, just utilizing wire to lash the frame of pine logs to the trees so that I could easily take it all down when I was finished, leaving the live corner trees unharmed :-)

The children, Gabe and Bianca built camp spots for their tents on our little " island " surrounded by the split stream. They remember those times fondly, an extended campout adventure in the forest :-)

The big Grey Squirrels in the area got pretty tame and would come for a visit and sit for a bit on big downed tree trunks that lay next to the main camp area , looking for us to throw them a snack from time to time. There were abundant deer in the area and we would see them alot too :-)

Hotspringswizard said...

More good points from Greer on " bankable projects " in steep decline, and its affect on the industrial economies:

The Future Can't Pay Its Bills

Anonymous said...

I see where the six Waltons combined wealth is only $93 Billion.

Over at Club Orlov, Dmitry thinks Europe will have perhaps a decade of petro left after the U.S. runs out. Does that mean that the U.S. will invade Europe for the rest of their oil?

freeacre said...

Ha! The bank of England wouldn't allow it. Plus, the Chinese probably wouldn't lend us the money to do it. By then, we may have more severe problems - like from the tons of radioactive debris arriving along our coastline from Japan, the death of much of the Pacific Ocean, and Monsanto poisoning our food. Just sayin'...

Hey, Bexar, where in Oregon do you live again? Maybe we could all get together next year. That would be cool.

Anonymous said...

We live on an island in Puget Sound of Washington. It's called Vashon.
We are planning a trip to Frenchglen, Oregon next April. I want to go over to Steens mountain and poke around, look for wild horses. Saw some last year, but they cut out before we could stop and get pictures. We will be coming down Hwy 97 through Bend and onto US 20 to Burns and then south to Frenchglen. Don't you and Murph live aroun Bend?

Anonymous said...

Let's try this again.


rockpicker said...

Say what?

I want a copy of that.

from Caroline said...

Murph, Isaac Asimov wrote a short story about some time in the far future when people were absolutely astounded at some young man who could actually do arithmetic IN HIS HEAD! He was considered some kind of freak. Everyone else used calculators and had no idea how to do it without. I think we might be getting there sooner than he thought.

Another story of his had a young man banished from the planet because, in a cooking contest, he fed people garlic, which they all thought was wonderful -- til they found out it grew in dirt! They only ate chemically-produced foods -- anything that touched dirt was abhorrent.

I would have said we’re rapidly getting to that point, too, but I’ve very recently come across several books on what one terms “food sovereignty”. One _Reclaiming our Food_ is about all of the urban and community garden groups being formed in the US. An amazing number -- at least one in Portland, in DC, St Louis, Boston, Detroit, Madison, WI and many more. The one in Boston is interesting in that they deliberately mix suburban and inner-city kids to help out in the summer. The one in Madison mixes community gardens with plots for the low-income housing that is on the same site.

They all start out differently, addressing local problems, but they say that the experience spreads far beyond growing food, to establishing communities of neighbors. I haven’t finished the book but it sounds like it may be something that may make it thru the coming chaos and help those who are still around get reorganized -- on a better basis. Sort of like specific examples of what Greer is talking about.

I found it quite encouraging -- these people are not confronting the establishment head on, but have more or less given up on it, turned their back on it and are organizing themselves to be healthier and almost self-sufficient.

I just got two more books on the people in other countries trying to re-establish their local agriculture against agribusiness -- definitely an uphill battle, but I think they’ll be helped by oil getting too expensive fairly soon.

But my point in all of this is that by your seeing only the overt protest, you might be missing a groundswell of “below the radar” opposition that may get so pervasive before the governments notice that it may, just may, win out in the end. We can at least hope.

murph said...


I think your comment was appropriate. So I posted it for you.
Sorry you are having problems posting comments.

Here is my reply.

Interesting, I have read (some time ago) both of the stories by Asimov that you mentioned. In fact, I have referenced those stories quite recently in discussions.

I see a distinct problem with the near self sufficient groups coming up that is being evidenced in the news. Big business can't stand the competition and will do almost anything to end it. The closing of food co-ops and closing down of some of the organic growing operations and the co opting of organic labeling, the closing down of independent local money, etc.

The problem with these groups is that they are attempting to operate within the system legally. What they don't seem to realize is that the legal system is largely being ignored by the big money people, or simply changing the laws that make the competition illegal. I think they have a very rough road ahead as long as the state is proceeding toward a fascist dictatorship.

Don't assume that I don't approve of such moves toward more self sufficiency, because I most certainly do. But, until the state becomes overwhelmed and ineffectual, they are going to clamp down on these moves with a vengeance.

The problem that I see with these groups is that they are attempting to form centralized large distribution of commodities, principally food. That attracts the attention from the powerful groups when then attempt to shut them down. The way that I see to defeat this is make so many small individual moves in this direction that the PTB cannot possibly police them. Yes, examples will/would be made of individual examples, but if enough were involved, stemming it would be next to impossible.

The problem I see relates this this posting. Most people simply are not ready for the inconvenience of doing it yourself, and it is inconvenient. Freeacre and myself often talk about whether we want to continue in our endeavors in this self supporting paradigm. Age and energy level are part of it. My observations and talking to the younger folks is that they have little interest in such activities. It seems to me that until the younger generations get the idea that the present paradigm isn't going to continue to supply them with the resources of convenience will they turn to some other way of doing things.

One other situation I see happening is an attempt to make this movement into another business as usual model, a bottom line continuance of the paradigm.

The de-centralization of essential parts of our lives I think is where the answer lies, which implies a radical change from the status quo. We individually have to walk the talk

Hotspringswizard said...

Global Economic Crisis: The USA, An Insolvent and Ungovernable Country

....As announced in previous GEABs, in this issue our team presents its anticipations on the changes in the United States for the period 2012-2016. This country, the epicentre of the global systemic crisis and pillar of the international system since 1945, will go through a particularly tragic in its history during these five years. Already insolvent it will become ungovernable bringing about, for Americans and those who depend on the United States violent and destructive economic, financial, monetary, geopolitical and social shocks....

Hotspringswizard said...

RP, That last link you listed shown below does not work:

rockpicker said...

It works for me. It's an article on Rense entitled "Major Publisher Releases Conspiracy ESL Textbook."

rockpicker said...

Wouldn't this blow your mind if it happened to you?

rockpicker said...

Palooka, here's a little Christmas gift.

Anonymous said...

It seems that flying drones is beginning to have effects on the crews that fly them.


Hotspringswizard said...

Check this out, either the Big Banks screw us with plan A ( big bailouts and massive austerity for the 99% ), or if that doesn't work out this author presents a plan B he thinks the banks will utilize to plunder us in another " legal " manner. MF Global may be the first sign of this plan B:

Plan B – How to loot nations and their banks legally

....if I am not wrong, then the banks have created a financial Armageddon looting machine. Their Plan B is a mechanism to loot not just the more vulnerable banks in weaker nations, but those nations themselves. And the looting will not take months not even days. It could happen in hours if not minutes. Our leaders would have only a few hours to decide who they would side with: the banks or us. The past four years give me no faith they would chose us....

Hotspringswizard said...

I've seen the commercial for this the last couple of days. The War Profiteers/Military send men and women off to wars based on lies to be fodder for corporate plunder and power, promising the soldiers that they will be fully taken care of when they come back home. But the soldier realize when they get back that they have been lied to, with the recruiters selling job showing itself to be a big farce.

Now it appears to me with this " Joining Forces " campaign that the responsibility for what has been promised by the military is being directed back into the public domain for us, the american public to solve because the military has no intention of doing so, and really can't with the drastic economic conditions unfolding. And now many soldiers are coming home from Iraq to a decimated economy with a declining future.

This also strikes me as haveing the sense of putting military personel and families above the interest of the general public, as in this line at the site, " Taking action to SERVE american's military families ". The banks want us as their serfs and now the administration wants us to serve the interest of the military, like this line " Creates greater connections between the American public and the military". Just more moves to me of the US becoming a nation that exist and thrives on war and plunder for most of how it gets by. Here is the link to this new program.

....Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned....

Anonymous said...

Re: dumbing down. See Agenda 21.

"generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes. In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability"

Can you believe these people?


freeacre said...

Kunstler's "Clusterfuck Nation" is interesting this morning. It relates handily with murph's post on convenience.
"Hugo worships at the altar of his father's broken automaton, just as the American public at all levels worships at the alter of technology, and it is sure to disappoint us. So great are the comforts and conveniences of our time that we are terrified by the prospect of losing them and, as the hyper-complexities around us unravel, we Americans are willing to believe any preposterous story that promises to keep the cars moving and the lights on. I call this state of affairs technological narcissism. The leading current expression of it can be seen in the incessant propaganda from politicians and the corporations telling the nation that we have "hundreds of years worth of oil and gas" available in North America and that we can easily become "energy independent" if we only drill-drill-drill. The public will at first be disappointed by these lies, and then they will become murderously enraged. Just watch. How it unfolds will be a story really worth telling generations from now."

Well said, I think.

freeacre said...

Take a look at this pathetic politicain run out of the room by a high school kid interviewer.

What an asshole. Should go viral.

Anonymous said...

Send In The Drones: The Predator State Goes Domestic

highlighting some of the issues facing "sovereign citizens" and anyone else who might think butting up against the system a good idea; which is clearly the whole point of terrorising this family.

I wonder if they had a blog weather it would have been used to beat them over the head in the MSM.

stay lucky!


freeacre said...

Hey, Bexar! Yes, we live about twenty miles south of Bend just a mile off Hwy 97. E-mail us and we'll give you exact directions. We'd love to see you. Our e-mail address is on the home page of the blogsite.

Anonymous said...

rp... thx. excellent info there including the 'rage (anger) protecting terror' line. should be linked at every 911 truth site in particular and beyond in general.

i'm convinced the twisted or 'excessive pride' (what we often refer to as arrogance), noted by both the griffins, is an acting out of various forms of rage protecting various forms of terror. certainly far less volital than the charge typically associated w/rage and/or anger. thus, 'acting out'.

as long as denial of the underlying feelings held in the will (emotional aspect) coupled with belief systems (judgememts along with the ... what did grifin call it? paradigmatic? world view) held in the spirit (mental aspect) we will continue to get experiences manifesting as reflections of it. movement (aka, vibration) along w/judgement release are the operative dynamics to softening of the emotional edge and broadening of the pov. thus real change and evolution is attainable. anything short of that is simply form change or, as we've often noted, swapping chairs on the titanic... p

Anonymous said...

Alan Sabrosky on 9/11...Worth saving.


Anonymous said...

Check this out.


Hotspringswizard said...

Will The Newly Created “Killer Bird Flu” Someday Be Used As A Bio-Terror Weapon To Reduce The Population?

Anonymous said...

here we go, how long do we think it will be before this happens? <6 months? place yer bets!


Anonymous said...

Interesting take on drones and the joystick drivers who operate them.

Hotspringswizard said...

New Bill Authorizes Rendition of American Citizens Living within the United States to Other Countries for Torture

....The Founding Fathers would not recognize this nation as America....

Anonymous said...

Happy hollidays everyone!

Every hear a similar story to this?


murph said...

For our European reader, hope you had a nice Christmas celebration. For the rest of us, today is Christmas Eve and hope you all have a satisfying and pleasant holidays.

Hotspringswizard said...

Are you ready for ubiquitous surveillance by Big Brother?

....“Plummeting digital storage costs will soon make it possible for authoritarian regimes to not only monitor known dissidents, but to also store the complete set of digital data associated with everyone within their borders,” the report says. “These enormous databases of captured information will create what amounts to a surveillance time machine, enabling state security services to retroactively eavesdrop on people in the months and years before they were designated as surveillance targets. This will fundamentally change the dynamics of dissent, insurgency and revolution.”....

Hotspringswizard said...

A Very Scary Christmas And An Incredibly Frightening New Year

....if things are going well for you right now, enjoy this little bubble of peace and tranquility while you can. Because while things may look calm on the surface right now, the truth is that this is a very scary Christmas for financial professionals and world leaders....

Anonymous said...


Ha ha Murph, We are a completely mixed up crowd here, we never do things when we are supposed to. Either that or we are easily confused.

For the rest of you we did Christmas on the 24th for family reasons:-)

Anonymous said...


I have decided to come clean and tell you what happened. We did christmas at Chris's daughters house on the other side of Belgium. We live about 400 yards from her husband's parents who were also going but where as we are prepared to take the train they do like door to door service and since neither they or us have a car that means Jan has to drive across Belgium to pick them up, take them to his place and do the same thing again the next day to take everybody home. Jan was free on 24 and 25 but has to work the early shift on 26 so it was convenient to do the whole thing a day early. Also Chris's younger daughter could make it for the afternoon of 24 but spends 25 with her husbands side of the family. So doing Christmas a day early suited everybody. I was having such a good time I forgot about the day early business and actually believed it was Christmas day. That was when I decided to call Murph and Freeacre and my confusion became glaringly apparent. All I can say in my defense is that when I have been drinking I am given to bouts of total stupidity. Not only in drink some would say. Anyway, I hope everybody had as good a Christmas as I did and you all got something that made you happy.

Not Chris though. When I got to the shop I couldn't remember whether she wanted an i-pad or an i-pod or an i-phone so I got her an i-ron, she wasn't as pleased with it as I thought she would be. These are the jokes folks, I'm still in a stupid mood.

freeacre said...

Talking to you, sats, was delightful yesterday with the family laughing and giggling in the background. Such a nice surprise. Thank you.

That alternative story was interesting. There probably isn't much truth to any of them, except the hope for most of us that we have peace on earth and goodwill for each other... and we treat others as we would wish to be treated. That seems to me to be the goal of most religions - and the one that usually disappoints.
So, maybe this year we can all think of our own story and glimpse a better world, even if it is just in our imagination. It all starts there.
Peace and love.

Anonymous said...

from the southern desert of arizona my companion (a five month old golden chihuahua)and i wish everyone a sense of peace and tranquility on this strangest of holidays.
the trout clan is one of the most excellent of experiences that has happened in my circling the sun to this day.
i love each and every one of you that attend this strangest of blog sites..
also informative i might add;;

Solar said...

That picture is powerful!

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