Practically Dis-Educated

I’ve had a question nagging at me for a while, and I think I may have a clue about it now.

At the Stanford presentation yesterday, I’d once again been “nose to nose and belly to belly” with “clueless academics”. Folks who where physically endowed with the hardware for getting clue, and even to some extent ‘had clue’ and sometimes a lot of it, but in a very narrow silo domain of expertise.

The old joke is that an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows practically everything about nothing.

I think that, as a society, that is what ails us.

So we get a “community organizer” as POTUS who has no clue how anything practical works, listening to a failed D- science student who similarly has no clue about how things really work, deciding how to restructure our power grid “for the good of the planet” that they also do not understand how it works…

But why?

That part had me hung up for a while.

Historical Momentum

I think it is an artifact of our historical momentum through change. We had 2 world wars. During them, huge numbers of folks had to learn how something worked. You had to produce. Prior to those wars, most folks lived on farms. On farms, you know a lot about how things work. Life. Death. Cooking & Cleaning. Birthing animals and people. Fixing tractors and planting seeds. Even that manure makes some folks sick BUT is necessary to produce food. (So some of the nutty ideas about how farms ought to be regulated would be laughed out of the room before even being voiced…)

During the World Wars, many folks left the farms, but many more were either working in factories actually making things; or using those things on the field of battle where a “big thinker” who was having “big stupid thoughts” got weeded out pretty quick.

At the end of that period of history, we had a population where pretty much everyone had some practical reality based understanding of things. Chastened by “reality discipline”. They had killed or seen killing up close and personal. They had to figure out how to build a bridge in the middle of nowhere while someone else was trying to kill them. Housewives had to figure out how to weld up airplanes and children learned to cook or not eat. We exited that period of time with a large stock of folks with intense practical experience and a whole lot of respect for reality constraints.

That “Greatest Generation” is now largely gone. The few that are left largely in nursing homes.

After that generation, increasing numbers of kids were sent off to college. Increasing “regulation” and work rules have lead to the notion that the only folks competent to do some particular job are folks who have sat at a desk while someone talked at them about it for months, or years. My high school offered ‘shop’ with full lathe and machine tools, along with welding ( I learned both gas and stick arc welding in shop). Now it does not. There was a classroom that was equipped with stoves where folks (mostly girls) could take “Home Economics” and learn not just how to cook, but how to plan meals and budget. That, too, is gone.

Academic Nation

Essentially, we have become a rule driven academic nation with no practical wisdom.

Today most of us are expected to spend 12 years sitting in rows parroting what is chanted at us. Not having practical work experience. I helped build a restaurant at age 7, then worked in it for years after. Now completely illegal and my folks would likely be arrested for “child endangerment”. I used a butcher knife to cut up raw chickens, likely with some salmonella on them, by the case. Yes, at 8 years old. But now I know how to use a knife and I know what they do to the stray finger and I know just how much no rules will help. Ever fewer folks have that kind of experience. Ever more have never touched a raw chicken, nor used a knife, and think fried chicken comes from KFC in a box.

This is especially severe at the executive level. Where Henry Ford and Edison had a lot of practical hands on background in their operations, today more management comes from MBA programs. There are fewer Steve Jobs and Woz these days. Most managers have spent 18 years sitting in rows being very good parrots. They have not had time to learn how welding can go bad, and why it’s a bad idea to put the gas tank on the outside of the frame. They are “idea guys” and not “detail guys”. They can hire “detail people” for that kind of thing. (Or so they think…)

Our politicians have not just returned from leading a squad on a slow walk across Europe, or figuring out how to get a boat back from Asia to Hawaii without being sunk. They have not spent 20 years making a farm produce enough not just for the family, but for a dozen families. They have never had to tell the dozen closest friends that the company they were building was being beaten by another company and it was time to find a new job; nor made that new company from the ground up and hired them again.

No, most of them have graduated Law School after 18 years sitting in rows being parrots, but 2 of them learning to lie, mislead, entrap, and impress others with posturing. Now they know they are a very crafty “big idea” person. Suited to decide how others ought to live; having no practical understanding of what it takes to make their “big ideas” function. No idea how the collateral damage will cause more hurt and damage than benefit. They have been schooled in “positive thinking” and that would be “negative thinking” and is to be avoided. It’s all about the Big Win and playing the game well. There’s little room for negative introspection in that world.

We have vast numbers of Financial Experts who have never learned the value of an hour of hard labor, and certainly don’t understand the concern about the “value of a dollar”. Yet they are empowered (and certain in their special ability) to make decisions that control those very things they do not understand at any real visceral level.

So we have slowly become a society of Silo People knowing more and more about less and less. Being ever more hypothetical and ever less practical. Focusing by deliberate act on the “Positive Big Idea” and just as deliberately avoiding the “negative vibes” of considering what damage they do in the process. They have “detail people” for that… but ever more of their “detail people” are just interns who have spent 17 years sitting in rows being parrots…

Things Decay

The end result is that things decay. Slowly at first, then ever faster.

There are fewer places that can fix any but the most direct problems with cars. The cars have become much more complex. There is no need for them to be so, but the “Big Idea” folks said that it would make them self actualized, so it was done… Now the folks who have spent 12 years sitting in rows being parrots and 2 years at Technical Trade School can follow the directions in the Repair Guide, but not figure out what is really wrong when that “by the rule book” doesn’t work (and are likely forbidden from straying from the book anyway by THEIR lawyers who are in a pitched battle with the other lawyers looking for anything not in the rules to hold as a cause for liability suit.) So cars become more disposable (and the embodied wealth in them too).

There are fewer people who really understand what it takes to stabilize an electric grid. Not enough to matter in a vote. And the Big Idea folks have the Big Idea that they can save the planet by putting solar panels up everywhere and shutting off coal generation. They have no clue about the economics of it, nor the technical and practical reasons why it can not work. Those are “negative thinking” and have no place in the “power of positive thinking” world they inhabit. Besides, that’s “detail” so ought to go to someone else to “work it out”. Don’t tell me it can’t be done, tell me how you will do it… So we get a destabilizing grid and no one is to blame.

There are fewer folks who had to foreclose a mortgage making the rules about to whom a mortgage ought to be made. We get politicians demanding that loans be given to bad neighborhoods to people unable to repay them. Then they are astounded that the bankers sell off those loans and, what a great surprise, they are not very good loans and subject to not being paid back when the economy has a negative cycle. “Don’t tell me it can’t be done, I’m a Senator and I’m telling you it’s the law!” After all, I’ve learned to win the argument. So there.

But fewer folks know that winning the argument often comes just before you get the tractor stuck in the ditch, or the engine seizes because it didn’t know you won the argument about not needing to check the oil; it only knew it was running out of oil… That practical experience of running into a few walls and getting a few scars is ever more forbidden.

Teachers used to enforce discipline. Now they are forbidden to touch a child. In our local schools, if 4 kids are kicking and beating another, the teacher is forbidden to break up the fight. They are to call the police and wait. Asking nicely if the children would please stop… We are training generations that “acting out” has no effective consequence other than satisfaction at “self actualization”. (One local kid was beaten to death at a football game. Another girl was beaten in a library and the librarian waited for the police. She recovered, but the 4 girl-thugs were not identified. Can’t harm the self esteem of their developing souls and can’t put the organization at risk of a liability suit… after all, the Police are trained to deal with it, not you. Never mind that a couple of whacks from an adult at some point in their lives would have saved many others from greater harm. Never mind “in loco parentis”. Never mind social order.

We slowly decay back to gangs and tribal warfare.

Now what happens when that kind of personality discovers the power of being mayor? Or even Senator? What moral compass will tell them that they are likely to be whacked by Mom, or the teacher if they act out? None. They KNOW that being self actualized even if it harms others has no consequence. So, too, do the ones that only watched (and the ones beaten).

In Conclusion

So that’s my thesis.

The elimination of practical consequences and practical experience. The substitution of hypothetical and theoretical academic values. The emphasis on rule based behaviour and rule based action and the loss of “life experience” and moral compass. These are the root of the evil.

Basically, we need more kids to have a few hard knocks (and NOT the ones being attacked but the ones doing the attacking) and we need more folks who have had to actually make or produce something before they can take positions in management. More politicians with grease under their finger nails and hay in their hat; fewer with a law degree and ‘good contacts’ – but little else. There’s a crying need for folks to have been up close and personal with the hard reality of life on the street; and a lot less familiarity with the Ivory Tower, even by proxy from sitting in rows for 18 years being parrots and following all the rules.

We need to learn that living life for 18 years is in many ways far more valuable than sitting in rows learning to self actualize at the expense of others. We need to value ability to function with practical skills at least as much as being enough of a suck up and paper gamer to get handed paper endorsements and ‘credentials’.

(Realize I don’t say this lightly. I am one of those with a ‘paper trail’. College degree. Professional certification. State Teaching Credential and the mandatory Grad School work for it. I did a decent job sitting in rows being a parrot once I caught onto the gig in about 8th grade… But I also grew up in Farm Country with a very practical skill oriented family, so I don’t think it damaged me much ;-)

How will it end?

Sadly, I think we’re going to go through a collapse phase, forcing many folks back to that “learning to do for yourself” process before things can get better. Worse, I suspect that many of the “Academic Style Gamers” will have managed to financially insulate themselves well enough that they will not be part of the process. It may not be possible to effectively “fix it” in less than a generational collapse.

We have a large cultural investment in the idea that everyone can go to college and get a great job doing something clean and easy and very un-practical. But everyone can’t. We have a large cultural investment in Rule Based Behaviour (the legal system acting to spread it far and wide). That will not go quietly.

Perhaps it is just in the way of things for humanity. The Soviet Apparatchiks didn’t see it coming. The Chinese Mandarins didn’t step aside with wisdom. The Roman Emperors led the empire to collapse. Prosperity leads to complacency and lack of practical experience. Then things decay and fail and nobody knows how to fix it. Gaming for position to the end.

Then a new empire rises on the ashes as an external folk, often well schooled in practical arts and real world hard knocks, come in and take over. Resetting expectations of privilege, rank, hypotheticals and academic considerations. Removing ‘self actualization’ from the daily concerns and substituting things more based in what works.

Is there some way off this wheel? I hope so, but I’m not seeing it.

And that, I think, explains why folks like Obama, Baby Bush, Little Chucky Shumer, Arnold the Governator, et al get power, and do so much ill with it. It’s not just them, it’s also the folks voting for them and their “Big Ideas” with little concern for negative thoughts or negative consequences. Less understanding of the practical aspects.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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111 Responses to Practically Dis-Educated

  1. I have yet to meet a person with big ideas who had no practical experience, but if you dwell on resentment, your own big ideas aren’t going to be heard. Thanks for the history lesson, it was surprisingly inspiring, but I teach young people, so I still have hope!

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    In essence, folks can make logical syllogisms that are self consistent, and often self gratifying, and can even learn to “win the argument” with or without fundamental merit. It is the moral compass and the practical experience of “reality constraints” that keep that ‘error path’ in check. As the bulk of society gets less and less of that “reality constraint” skill, the former tendency spreads until the point of ruin.

  3. Sandy McClintock says:

    Well said. :)
    The lawyers have gone mad.
    In Australia, we have to do a course for everything – e.g. :-
    to put up a ladder to retrieve a lost ball at a playground.
    to act as a parking attendant at a community event
    to change a light bulb
    Failure to do these O. H. and S. courses (or other risk avoidance behaviour) can be punished by up to 20 years in jail and a $600,000 fine if there is an accident.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Pathological liers can always win an argument and promise the most wonderful outcomes. They can not change reality, they can not deliver on their promises. They can only deliver more and grander promises. The reset is beginning as the old ways die. Schools were once created and funded locally. Government controlled funds must be ended as well as government controlled operations. Responsibility for outcomes can only be done at the source. pg

  5. hillrj says:

    EM, you sound just like Jerry Pournelle from Chaos Manor. Jerry points out that despair is a sin. I personally believe the market will fix things (eventually). The problem at the moment is that people think that the income of the average college graduate is greater than that of the non-graduate. The market is just beginning to realise that this is not so. It applied when the top 20 percent of the Bell curve went to college. It fails when 50 percent of the population are graduates.

  6. Sera says:

    “Essentially, we have become a rule driven academic nation with no practical wisdom.”

    Kinda describes the EU, and everyone in it. Also, replace the word ‘nation’ with ‘world’ and you have another winner.

  7. Bruce Ryan says:

    My dad said basically the same thing (90), and he was visibly sadden that the new generations couldn’t fix something that was broken. That WW2 saw a mass of young farm boys who could make something with bailing wire into something of action. That feature of America is gone.
    Even among the most ingenious and practiced Macgyver types though, I see a failure to question AGW. Its as if questioning authority is upside down, authority has successively rebadged itself as being anti-establishment. In a way it is, authority is anti establishment. It certainly is undermining the facets of life that made America wonderful.
    I still have hope America has enough momentum and heart to live though this cultural swing we see now.

  8. George says:

    We have people who have been born and raised in urban areas with no understanding of how those policies impact rural populations. For example, they talk about making gasoline prohibitively expensive and putting people on public transit. Tell that to someone in Podunk, South Dakota that lives 40 miles from town. People who have only seen the inside of a factory in books are making policies that impact industry. Rather than getting together with people who know the businesses and explain what their ultimate goal is and listen to ways they might come up with, they take the output of some computer model and attempt to dictate “one size fits all” policies out of Washington DC that might not even make sense in many places.

    They’re often too clever by half.

  9. Jeff says:

    re: George says:
    23 May 2012 at 6:05 am

    The sad part is that the current administration wants the folks living in Podunk and similar
    places to move to the city (less energy usage, probably more controllable, etc.). I think
    the term is “re-wilding”. And those people who have only seen the inside of a factory
    in books are not only making policies that impact industry, they are also writing the
    (sometimes huge) software packages that run these industries, and doing support
    for them. The lack of practical experience coupled with the ignorance of cause and
    effect (and downstream effects of software changes, for example) leads to
    stunning, if not downright dangerous problems.
    Time to bring back the school of reality…

  10. Another Ian says:


    Yes! And I’ve done my bit to spread your wisdom. And I span the era and have done my best to pass these traits on.

    Software! We have a huge “government software upgrade” problem here. A payroll system where the “new super system” was switched on without parallel checking against the old one. Major FU.

    As I recall the initial system was to cost around $40 m. System and attempted fixes appear to have cost around $400 m so far and doesn’t look like a fix is in sight so it is bleeding $ that you and I could retire on in style!

  11. Another Ian says:

    Sandy M

    Like this?

           By Peter A Barton
           Huntly Clermont Qld

           There’s a blight upon the country that’s really quite degrading
           Invented by the bureaucrats to stop their jobs from fading
           A nasty imposition that now has been put in force
           It’s become an obligation to attend a two day course.

           There are courses by the hundred to improve your education
           It’s now become essential that you get accreditation
           You will need that piece of paper or you’ll really be in strife
           Although what you’ll be learning you’ve been doing all your life.

           In the drought of ’69 I cut scrub from dawn to dark
           And fence posts by the thousands I have hewn from ironbark
           Now it’s hard for me to fathom that I could break the law
           If I dare to start the motor of my trusty old chainsaw.

           Take chemical application, that’s something I know best
           By now I must have sprayed every single living pest
           From cattle ticks to buffalo fly, from burrs to rubber vine
           Now a course must be attended or I’ll risk a whopping fine

           Just ask those who know me if I know how to use a gun!
           From every sort of weapon I’ve shot bullets by the ton.
           Though I’ve been proficient since I reached the age of ten
           It seems that this is something that I have to learn again.

           I’ve studied on computers, learnt how to market crops
           Benchmarking and QA, I’ve been to those workshops.
           Breedplan is something I now understand in full
           It took two days to learn how to scrotum test a bull.

           My stock are getting poorer from general lack of care
           And all my bores and fences are in sad need of repair.
           You might think me lazy but that simply isn’t true
           I’d go to work tomrrow but there’s another course to do.

           The bank would like to see me for the funds are getting low
           And I’d like to get the time to plant the crops I need to grow.
           My wife and kids all miss me ’cause I’m hardly ever there
           I’d love to stay at home but there’s this course in Cattlecare.

           If I continue in this vain I’ll surely end up broke.
           All these accreditations are really just a joke.
           I’d rather wrestle with scrub bulls or ride on bucking horses
           Than be subjected to all these two day f*****g courses!!

  12. philjourdan says:

    As College gets more and more expensive, and as they become more of an indoctrination factory instead of teaching students how to learn, there will come a time when there is a snap back. And the house of cards will crumble. The Technical schools will still do business – and probably do very well. But the liberal arts are going to wither (they will never die). The time for spending $200k+ on an education that you can have for a fraction of that is rapidly approaching. Already there are reports of 15% of graduates STILL have college debt into their 50s.

    It no longer is worth it.

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. The old joke is that an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows practically everything about nothing….or, A SEA OF KNOWLEDGE AN INCH DEEP.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: That “Greatest Generation” is now largely gone. The few that are left largely in nursing homes…..or in blogs like this one :-)

  15. Jason Calley says:

    Difficult to find anything to disagree with in your post. E.M.!

    I am a very strong supporter of free market capitalism and of technological development (they go hand in hand) but there are dangers even in free markets. Free markets create prosperity in large part because they drive division of labor. We all know the example of how one man working by himself can make perhaps a few dozen straight pins per day. That same man, by working in concert with a few other men, each performing smaller, individual actions repeatedly, can help to make a thousand pins a day. Viola! Instant prosperity, and that is a good thing. It does, however, create just the situation you describe, where more and more people know less and less outside of their own narrow specialty. Even a half century ago, a well educated person was expected to have a broad range of knowledge; perhaps not to be a Renaissance man, but to at least have a working knowledge of history, or the arts, of the sciences or of technical matters. Not today, at least so it seems. I have met specialists who did not even have basic knowledge within their own field except for the narrow part of it in which they specialized. I met a historian who had never heard of the Greek Herodotus; he specialized in US history. I met a man who helped manage USAF satellite program which specialized in stealthy satellites who did not realize that on a dark night you can see many satellites naked eye as they pass overhead. Our level of specialization has become like a tall unsupported tower. Even a child knows that a tower of unsupported blocks will fall over, but our educational system today turns out graduates who have no flying buttresses supporting their expertise. They have no braces to outside fields to temper and steady their ideas. My guess is that the CAGW crowd (not counting the outright liars and scoundrels, but rather looking at the honestly self deceived) form just such an insular group.

    Like you, I see no solution — none, that is, other than the traditional solution of collapse and reboot. Not a reboot in a sort of Mad Max situation, but more a reboot in a sort of Argentina-fiscal-collapse sort of way. When the system no longer functions well enough to produce prosperity and surplus, bare cupboards will force people to rethink the wisdom of funding academics with no practical experience of the world.

  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    My dear E.M.Smith: I´ve told you: It all began when Moses came down from Mount Tabor, and the taboric light which was surrounding him, suddenly went off, when he found that a few and faked members of his tribe had convinced the rest to worship the “Golden Calf”…..then it followed the french revolution: These, by profession, “lenders” thought they could increase their turnover by directly, or rather almost directly, taking governments all over the world. In order to get this goal they decided to start several “esoteric societies”, where the then displaced members of the society, middle and lower class men, which among some unbecoming particularities for a decent man, had the innate tendency to be capable of killing their own mother and say, afterwards, it was done in “self defense”, in exchange of a few coins.
    As power was in the hands of the church and the nobility, they managed to teach these people how to become “free” and attain “liberty” from those traditional laws and principles, then it began “illustration”, the “secularization” of the world, the “separation” of the church and the state.
    Of course, long before that, the church, had abandoned gnosticism, or the possibility of “gnosis” (knowledge) by man and took the official policy that men could only be “saved” through the intercession of the church´s “politicians”, the church´s hierarchy.
    They have succeeded in dismantling education and, if Agenda 21 fulfills its goals, all the world will be as “intelligent” as the “gringos academicians”.
    Nevertheless nature has its hidden resources, and from time to time, there appears the possibility, through what is called an “apocalypse” (“an illumination from above”), or as any electronic engineer could say, a source of electromagnetic emissions, situated somewhere above our heads, increases its power, so as to allow more brain-receivers to acknowledge some laws regarding the functioning of the universe. This is why it is appearing in our surroundings some folks who suddenly begin to question the “truths” taught to us by our “superiors” (schools, academia,etc…or simply Daddy and Mommy) and , like our dear E.M.Smith begin “musing”, and what is worse: Begin realizing we have been cheated from a long time.
    Thus, if these times are to be “interesting” the only thing to do is NOT TO BELIEVE in such “holy” and untouchable names we were taught they were superior and “wise” men, and NOT TO BELIEVE, ALSO, THEIR PSEUDO KNOWLEDGE, and use not only “doubt” as a method for acquiring knowledge but straight DISBELIEF about anything they did or said. They were nothing else but “products” for “marketing” wrong ideas. Then, we must “separate the wheat from the chaff”, and let us not be afraid of knowing, though this knowledge, these convictions, which suddenly appear in our conscious minds openly conflict with those “dogmas” concocted with the purpose of achieving the goal of a “New World Order”.

  17. adolfogiurfa says:

    As an exercise start with this one, from I.Velikovsky:

    Click to access cosmos_without_gravitation.pdf

  18. Pascvaks says:

    “The old joke is that an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows practically everything about nothing.”

    Hadn’t heard that one in a while, always thought the corollary said a lot too: “The __ is someone who knows less and less about more and more until he knows practically nothing about everything.” In the blank I’ve often put in ‘wise man’, but maybe ‘wise senior’ would be more socially acceptable and accurate these days, I’ve found that wise old women can be just as wise as wise old men if they want to be;-)

    There’s something very difficult about reversing ‘degeneration’ (or whatever one wishes to call it), be it physical, spiritual, social, political, ethical, legal, theatrical, moral, industrial, scientific, etc. As we age we grow slow and usually gain a little weight, given a little more time, we get a little older of course, and we usually start thinning down a bit, and slowing down more and more; we get weaker and more frail. There really aren’t many 400 pound 82 year old guys in a nursing home these days, nor many 82 year old 88 pound weaklings that are as sharp as a tack who can still lift their own weight and run forty miles with a loaded musket, etc., etc. Age make idiots of us all, even the corporates among us who can theoretically live forever.

    Antidisestablishmentarianism applies to more than just a couple folks who don’t want to do away with a state sponsored church in England, we’re all guilty of having and playing favorites with this ‘law’ and that ‘benefit’, and this ‘custom‘ and that ‘goodie‘. Is there a way to keep us the way we are, or take us back 50 years to the Glory of Yesterday? I don’t think so. If there were, I think we might all still be speaking Latin now.

    I just came back from a nicotine break, I tend to think better while killing myself, but… maybe it’s not the nicotine but the ’view’ — anyway… to plagiarize a thought , ‘look at the lilies of the field, the birds of the air’, when you do, you realize that a pine tree may live long and prosper, as will lilies of the field, and it/they will eventually die, but it/they will give birth to another just like it, etc. The key seems to be ‘Re-birth”. And, given that little thought, there just might be a way to keep a ‘good system’ going if it were possible to go back to it’s roots, so to speak, or re-start from seed stock. Hummmm… how to go back to seed? .. to basics? …to Re-Boot? Ahhhhhhhh… Nope!!! Won’t work!! You can’t take the “Americans” or “Germans” or ’Whatevers’ alive today back to some date like 1776 and re-boot the system. I guess the long and short of it is, “We’re Toast!”


    (where there’s life there’s hope?;-)

    OK, assuming the US Constitution is the primary software of the system many here are familiar with, how do you get rid of 200+ years of malware, spyware, junk-mail, and thousands of little pop-ups, and hundreds of viruses? Can this re-boot really re-motivate the people to get off their dead asses and rebuild their little country? I think we’re still missing something.

    PS: FWIW- Local paper today had a piece about the school system buying computers for all students, the writer –given the spiel from the school board– is all a’twitter about how this will help the kids. A question came to my mind as I read, what about the software, what software is going to make this ‘better’ for the kids? Nobody thinks about the software, they let some software guru dream something up for a pretty penny and then they’ll try to shovel it down the kids throats on brand new computers. The new super of the city system meanwhile fires some, moves more, and gets a handle on supplies and maintenance; nobody’s talking curriculum. We’re toast!

  19. Jason Calley says:

    @ Pascvaks “There’s something very difficult about reversing ‘degeneration’ (or whatever one wishes to call it), be it physical, spiritual, social, political, ethical, legal, theatrical, moral, industrial, scientific, etc. ”

    True, and actually, it makes a lot of sense. Consider a baby human. Babies, as we have noticed, tend to grow old and die. Why is this? After billions of years of evolution, why isn’t the human animal better adapted to staying alive? Why do we not all live to be ten thousand years old? instead we get heart disease and cancer! The truth is, many of the things that eventually kill us are because of characteristics that allow us to survive the rough years of youth and adolescence. Our cells are good at multiplying, so we heal faster — but eventually some go rogue and we get cancer. Our teenagers are rebellious and adventurous — but that gets them out of the house and off settling new territory.

    Same with cultures and nations. The attributes that help to make us successful eventually help to kill us. Our potential to be self destructive is often the direct outcome of our great creative abilities. Can we solve this problem as a society? Probably not, not this time. We do not yet have a real science of human psychology or of national or cultural functioning. Maybe with the growth of digital information technology we (humans) can find a solution — but probably not quick enough to save the US or Europe, not as they are now.

  20. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks & J.C.: The answer is a question: What did kids study then at the schools?. Then the answer is to get the ORIGINAL SOFTWARE, and there is no problem as we have it in our “bones”, we are made out of it.
    The next question arises, for sure more intensely for our dear E.M.: But, where can I get it?…well, the answer is: It is EVERYWHERE, I cannot dare telling it because many would reject it. However SYMBOLS are the CODE and the software ITSELF.
    Then, let us get back to the basics: arithmetics, geometry, music, and why not some greek and latin too (as learning old languages do the trick of conveying to our unconscious the feelings and knowledge of old).
    We have been deprived of TRADITION, FAMILY AND PROPERTY (google this) by the BANKS, and Agenda 21 is depriving us of Nationality and Knowledge.
    Right now, there in the US, it being forbidden for kids to help working their parents at farms….etc.,etc.

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    @J.C. probably not quick enough to save the US or Europe, not as they are now.
    Never is too late. Find those devils NOW!

  22. Pascvaks says:

    Top Down Revolution – get elected by saying and/or promising anything that will bring in the votes, once in, appoint idiots to run and undermine every aspect of the current system, create havoc and chaos via BIG programs and HUGE economic policies, do not enforse laws on immigration or market management or this or that or anything you think will cause order and normalcy, advocate programs and controls that will increase government programs and controls, attack other branches of government as reactionary and disruptive, pit mano e’mano, and religion e’religion, and science e’science, and union e’ non-union, etc., etc.

    When you need to reorganize anything call an expert. Preferably someone who speaks the lingo and has a piece of paper saying he has a law degree from a brand name university.


    When people play with fire anything can happen.

    Caveat emptor!

  23. gscspirit says:

    Thanks E.M. for another great analysis of an aspect of our society that most people are unaware of. I ran across another essay by John Taylor Gatto on the school system written in 1991. It describes precisely the parameters under which our current school system operates under (broken up into 6 simple lessons), and the expected results. As dreadful as the state of affairs is, this essay is nn enjoyable, fun read:

  24. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Definition of expert:
    x is the unknown quantity
    and spurt is a drip under pressure

  25. tckev says:

    Definition of expert:
    ex is a ‘has been’ or ‘not included’
    pert is ‘cocky’ or ‘active’ .

  26. p.g.sharrow says:

    I kind of like ex spert as in “has been drip, under pressure’ 8-) pg

  27. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. Kind of Sh**?

  28. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. I have just added to my web page the spanish (you will like it) version of Immanuel Velikovsky´s “Cosmos without Gravitation”:

    Click to access cosmos_sin_gravedad.pdf

  29. Randall says:

    Maybe the Amish will take over.

  30. omanuel says:

    Thank you, E.M. Smith, for your excellent analysis. You have been blessed with a keen analytical mind, and you have attracted many other talented folks to your web site.

    You and the others have probably side-tracked from having any influence on government policies by those who are more clever in manipulating people.

    We each have our own opinion of the problem, shaped by events in our journey through life.

    From my perspective, most of today’s problems stem from decisions made by world leaders and leaders of the scientific community in 1945 to save the world from the threat of destruction by “nuclear fires by:

    a.) Uniting Nations to end nationalism,
    b.) Directing future advancements in science in order to
    c.) Obscure information on energy stored in the cores of heavy elements, stars and galaxies.

    Seventy-seven years (67 yr = 2012-1945) later, our society is Practically Dis-Educated in very field of study.

    Restoring integrity to government science is probably the only way to reverse this dangerous trend before total collapse of our social and economic structures.

  31. Thanks E.M. Your thoughts are clear and on target.

    It has taken me over a half of a life time to learn that ALL rules based systems fail – eventually. This is because by following the rules you change the context in which the rules were constructed. When enough changes accumulate, the rules no longer work. We have past that that point a long time ago. The mechanism we call civilization is unraveling with increasing speed.

    It has taken a good portion of another half of a life time for me to understand clearly that the mess we are in is on purpose. Our political and intellectual leaders WANT the system to fail and to fail catastrophically. This is because they resent the responsibility for being human in that one must use reason to know and then one must act consistently with that knowledge. They want reality to be subject to their whim and they are willing to destroy modern civilization in their attempt to make it so. If they can’t have their whims fulfilled without thought or effort, then no one can!

    Is there an out? Yes, a very small one. As long as we are alive we can choose to think and act differently. It is possible to make better choices and bring about better results. Will we? It is possible but only slightly so.

  32. George O'Har says:

    I read this the other day and I read it again today. I’m an academic myself, but I spent four years in the Air Force and nine more as an electrical engineer before the job blew up. What you say here is correct. I now get to listen to folks with degress in psychology and sociology and diversity studies quack on about solar and wind power. These same folks couldn’t install a new switch without setting the house on fire. You are exactly right in what you say. You need to gather your thoughts as expressed on this blog and on this sort of topic and put them out in a book, E.M.

  33. adolfogiurfa says:

    @omanuel: It all began long before 1945. Have you realized that during WWII there were two “physics” and one of the two was promoted-that of the “winners” side, changing the paradigm and mentality of the immediate generations. In a few years nothing will be left from such a concoction, it will disappear in one of those “dimensions” then invented by them.

  34. omanuel says:

    Please elaborate: “during WWII there were two “physics” and one of the two was promoted – that of the “winners” side, changing the paradigm and mentality of the immediate generations.”

    My research mentor was at that time at the Imperial University of Tokyo and their A-bomb project seems to have been competitive with that of the US/UK/USSR.

  35. adolfogiurfa says:

    No, it was between M.Planck undulatory vision and Einstein´s “pebbles´gravity universe” vision.

    Click to access cosmos_without_gravitation.pdf

  36. omanuel says:

    Thanks, adolfogiurfa, for the link. I will need time to read that material.

    I plan to print a copy and take it with me this weekend. – Oliver

  37. Curt says:

    The Australian geologist and climate skeptic Ian Plimer has often said that a key reason so many people, particularly urban dwellers, believe catastrophic climate claims is that they are so divorced from the implications of natural climate swings. In a farming family/community, there is lore about how they survived the drought of ’36, or the heat wave of ’57, or the late frosts of ’73. There are strategies passed down as to how to cope with dry/wet, hot/cold variations.

    In a city, these types of events really just mean slight variations in the heating/air conditioning bills, which are quickly forgotten, and it is easy to come to believe that things have been pretty constant over the years.

  38. Petrossa says:

    The main reason imo for this decline is actually public schooling. As society got fixated on ‘having an education’ this caused a vast influx of just about adequate students.

    When education got too expensive and schools had to work with budgets and where accounted for by their ‘succesrate’, i.e. number of graduates, schools changed from institutes of learning to graduation mills.

    This necessitated lowering standards. So over time the lowest common denominator became in reality the mean. Which on turn unleashed a torrent of clueless graduates with good retentive memory but devoid of any talent.
    They became teachers themselves and the downward spiral we are in now is it’s inevitable result.
    As it becoming apperent, the movie Idiocracy was a profound work of insightful prediction.

  39. gregole says:


    Great post – I agree and feel your pain, but I would predict that good people will foil the Idiocracy. Here are my arguments 1, 1A, and 2:

    Argument 1 – Natively Intelligent People That Never Went to College
    Experience (dropped out of high school, joined military, took classes in military, got out got engineering degree, had career, started and run a company now) has shown me that people can be surprising. There are a lot of natively intelligent people. You spoke of some examples in your post. My friend, there are still natively intelligent people and I run into them in my business (I have a manufacturing business) frequently.

    One fellow, a little older probably than you or I, Mexican national, born on the border in Texas from a family of ranch hands. He’s an expert welder. If he had the chance for an education, he would have made a first rate engineer. One of the smartest, most ingenious people I have ever met – a true legend. He doesn’t work for me any more, but he’s still active.

    On the other end of the spectrum a young man – no college. Was stocking shelves in a grocery store and one of his friends worked for me and recommended him. I had him start in mechanical assembly and cleaning up the shop. In less than a year, he is our lead technician. The guy has some kind of weird genius. Apparently he did spend something like a year or so as an electrician’s helper and he is just amazingly sharp with wiring, troubleshooting, and has phenomenal hand skills like as in bending sheet metal to get it to “look right”, that sort of thing.

    1A – Not Everyone Academic is an Idiot
    We have a consulting PhD. Not an idiot. Owns a ranch (for fun). Owns a tractor. And a full machine shop. Welds. Is a bee keeper. Is a master carpenter. (You should see the stuff this guy builds…amazing). Very sensitive when I tease him about being overqualified.

    We hire interns over summer. Some are useless. Some are quite good (meaning organized, cooperative, and show initiative). Some are brilliant. One we have rehired now for the third year is just super sharp. She is majoring in optical engineering – and we do little of that at our shop. She is just super sharp. I remember showing her how to solder surface mount components. In ten minutes she was better at it than me. There is just nothing she can’t learn; works diligently and never complains. An absolute sterling human being. As far as I can see, school hasn’t ruined her yet.

    Argument 2 – Polymaths, Geniuses, The Self Taught
    EM – we will not be suppressed. You are one bright guy love your blog; but you are multi-talented with a broad range of interests well beyond your education. Personally, not bragging, I’m just familiar with me, I dropped out of high school, graduated BSME with a 3.3 average, I am a musician (professional for over 25 years – last gig was last weekend) play guitar, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, and drums; arrange and compose music and am currently active in both fields. Recall that Eric Hoffer (wrote “The True Believer” amongst other fine books) was an “uneducated” longshoreman.

    And let us not forget this chap:
    “Michael Faraday, FRS (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was a British scientist, chemist, physicist and philosopher who greatly contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include that of the Magnetic Field, Electromagnetic Induction, Diamagnetism and Electrolysis.

    Although Faraday received little formal education and knew little of higher mathematics such as calculus, he was one of the most influential scientists in history; historians of science refer to him as having been the best experimentalist in the history of science.
    From Wikipedia.

    A lot of those academic types get under my skin in a big way. We do all kinds of development work and on rare occasions have had to deal with professor this or that as a project lead. Always ends in disaster. Always.

    I had to drop out of school. I could not stand one more day of the charade. An excellent read on how a modern education system destroys the spirit of a young man is the Hermann Hess novel “Beneath The Wheel”. Another great book that IMHO captures the mechanistic stupidity of higher education is “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plaith – although it is not explicitly a send up of higher ed, the backdrop is the “smart set” produced by soulless academia and the descent into madness.

    EM, there is definitely something very wrong with our system. I don’t know the answers (I used to think I had some ideas…) but I believe people are resilient, smart, and tough and the world has changed; it’s a technological world now and there are lots of systems and gadgets to build, fix, maintain, and lots of stuff still to work on. People one way or another, will rise to the occasion.

  40. Petrossa says:


    Problem is that when i was young if you hired someone who was schooled it was almost guaranteed to be a intelligent, diligent en knowledgeable person.

    Nowadays it’s the luck of the draw with the deck stacked against you. Unfortunately you won’t find out till you hired them, and governments mostly hire the ones spat out/unfit for real work.

    So we are stuck with highly qualified (on paper) but otherwise incompetent burocrats which run the countries. And the effects show all over the western world.
    The number of mindboggingly stupid decisions made by governments all over is really scary.

  41. Pascvaks says:

    @gregole –

    You remember “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good people do nothing”?
    It is easier for evil to succeed than most good people realize.
    Your examples sound more like survivors than El Cids.
    There is something of a “life force” in civilizations, when a great many things are in sync they grow, when a great many things are out of whack, they die.

    Pictures: “1801- The World”, “1901- The World”, “2001- The World”.
    Prediction: The World in 2101 will be as different from the above “Worlds” as they were from each other; and, as ever, it will come about through great pain and incalculable cost.

  42. Pascvaks says:

    PS: @gregole –
    In case I didn’t paint ‘the Worlds’ clearly – I’m speaking of every minute aspect that made up each of those worlds, not some pretty National Geographic thing showing only international borders;-)

  43. adolfogiurfa says:

    After the darkest of hours there comes the light of dawn. What @Gregole says it is true, fortunately those self designated the wisest, the leaders, the “winners”, the “chosen ones”, the “coolest” are but grown up childs who will feel at loss if the surrounding conditions change, then, they will have to resort to those “pesky and ugly commoners” who, so disgracefully have such a “despicable characteristic” called “common sense” and an inherited intelligence, which is closely connected to the source of all knowledge.
    About “Agenda 21”: It is already a binding agreement and its application, as happens in my country, it has evolved in its gradual enforcement, reaching a step where private schools are not allowed to define its curriculums: The number of hours dedicated to courses privately defined is decreasing, thus sciences, formerly divided in physics, chemistry,etc. have been turned into a single course/subject of “environmental sciences”, local history and other courses has almost disappeared and been reduced to marginal references within a bigger new subject called “social personnel” (why it has such a name nobody knows) which includes hints of history, geography,etc.).
    Every country is applying this, perhaps with the exception of China and Russia (though in Russia even Putin could not stop the NGO´s meddling into local affairs).
    Any government of any party will apply it, differences are but mirages for the people to see, all, all serve the same masters.
    Our only hope is that nature, our earth, begins to feel uncomfortable and will decide to take a drug for its ailment, like an antibiotic for example, and all these little devils suddenly begin disappearing in great numbers….

  44. Pascvaks says:

    I wonder.. Is there more of the cut-throat philosophy of “Jihad” on Wall Street, and similar ‘Western’ venues, than in all the Muslim world? True, one wants your money, the other wants your soul (or life force), but the ethics and end results seem very similar in a way. Ideas! They’ll be the ruin of us yet! Especially if the only rule is “Win!” What a world! The more people, the more ideas; the more ideas, the more dangerous life gets; the more dangerous life gets, the less value people place in it.

    It’s like –
    Time’s Money! (or Jihad or CO2 or whatever) Money Talks! Nobody Walks! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

    “The” problem is people.
    That is, people who don’t live in the same cave you and I do.
    I’m beginning to understand why the biblical winners used to slay all their enemies sometimes, including the aged, sick, women and children, and whoever, it was just good business. (SarcOff;-)

  45. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: The problem, if people, starts with “me”. But all that´s wrong. The members of the banking elite are just a few, perhaps less than ten jewish families, who paradoxically, are not believers in their religion, but confessed atheists. They flew out of Germany when the commoners of their creed were left to suffer Eichmann´s “Final Solution” (the holocaust), where millions of innocents paid the bill of such an elite of “Golden Calf” worshipers, as they have flown out now from the US to live in Shanghai or Pekin, as things begin to have a very peculiar “smell”. Old Abraham should come down from Mount Tabor again.

  46. omanuel says:

    1. I am not yet convinced that differences of opinion between M.Planck and A. Einstein have anything to do with the 1945 decision to obscure information on the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of:

    _ a.) Heavy atoms like uranium and plutonium that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    _ b.) Perhaps some planets like Jupiter and Saturn
    _ c.) Ordinary stars like the Sun
    _ d.) Galaxies like the Milky Way

    “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012). or

    2. This Memorial Day week-end, as we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms, it is fitting to consider the most recent remarks by Czech President, Václav Klaus, regarding Climategate: or

    “It is evident that the current temperature data confirm neither the GWD alarmist and apocalyptic views, nor their quasi-scientific hypotheses about the exclusivity of relationship between CO2 and temperature.”

    “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? There is no doubt that it is all about freedom. We should keep that in mind.”

    In November of 2009, no one suspected that Climategate emails and documents were the tip of a cancerous growth that developed on government science out-of-view for sixty-four years, since

    a.) A-bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945
    b.) World leaders agreed to obscure nuclear energy information
    c.) Established the United Nations in October of 1945 in order to:

    _ i.) Unite Nations
    _ ii.) Promote world peace
    _ iii.) End national boundaries
    _ iv.) Avoid the threat of nuclear war

    A-bombs confirmed Einstein’s 1905 prediction that energy (E) is stored as mass (m) and released as E = mc^2.

    “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content; if the energy changes by L,” [L = E (initial) – E (final)] “the mass changes in the same sense by L/(9 × 10^20), the energy being measured in ergs, and the mass in grammes.”

    The agreement to obscure knowledge of energy (E) stored as mass (m) at the cores of heavy atoms (like uranium and plutonium) and stars (like the Sun) was implemented in 1946 by publication of two papers in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

    Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” MNRAS 106, 255-59 (1946); “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” MNRAS 106, 343-83 (1946)

    The “Cold War” between capitalism and communism immediately after WWII delayed other parts of the 1945 agreements until Henry KIssinger secretly flew to China in 1971 and convinced US President Richard M. Nixon to end the space race in 1972 by canceling the Apollo Program that US President John F. Kennedy started in 1960 in response to the USSR’s launch of the Sputnik I and Sputnik II satellites on 4 Oct 1957 and 3 Nov 1957.


    Today, “the ‘plot’ is really about preserving freedom and libertarian values.”

    I.e., restoring constitutional protection of citizens’ unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happinesswith access to factual information – so they can abolish any Form of Government that becomes destructive of these ends.


    “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? There is no doubt that it is all about freedom. We should keep that in mind.” – Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, 21 May 2012

    With kind regards,

  47. Mark Miller says:

    Thomas Sowell’s book “Intellectuals and Society” seems apropos to what you’re talking about.

    He just recently released a 2nd edition of the book, BTW.

    I reviewed this interview again, and what this brings to mind is that one reason for the decay is we as Americans have disempowered ourselves. What we strive for mastery is over our own lives, but when it comes to the rules we live by, we do not control the environment of opinion, how issues are framed. Encouragingly, I have heard some others talk about this over the years, saying, “The news media does not control what we think, but it does frame the debate; what we talk about.” That is still an unwarranted power it has. What I have not heard anyone ask is, “Why should that be?” We have been taught and taught and taught by our schools and particularly by our news media that the environment of opinion is always controlled by our betters, and it always comes from somewhere else, not from our neck of the woods.

    The great talisman of our betters is statistics, numbers. Numbers given by people with impressive sounding credentials are as good as facts. Too many people, particularly intellectuals, believe statistics like they’re a message from the Almighty, though not from Almighty God, but from “the almighty mind” of intellectuals. And they can justify anything if they have numbers on their side, no matter how they were derived (which often goes unnoticed in popular analysis, unless the numbers say something that contradicts their beliefs).

    What I’ve seen again and again is this fallacy promoted by our betters that “since we see these statistics, what we should do is X,” and there’s often a moral undertone to “what we should do.” Wait a minute…How does one thing lead to the other? How do the statistics justify this program you want to implement? “It just makes sense. Since there’s this problem, we should do X to correct it.” Oh….Really? Hmm… Have you tested the effectiveness of X in solving the problem? (no response) Either that, or we get waved off, “It’s been tried with great success in city A, city B, etc. They have more jobs, rising incomes, housing prices are going up…” Snow job. The analysis is like “Before” and “After”, but no causal link is established. It just looks like it has to undiscerning eyes. I hear this all the time about how the New Deal and WW II got us out of the Depression. “Buy a Thigh-Master. Your thighs will lose their flab and look sexy!”… You know, those ads would disappear if they didn’t work…to sell product.

    If you choose to ignore the analysis, and speak from experience, you’re talked down to by these people, saying in the most alarming tones, “You don’t care,” and, “You’re not intelligent.” Well, we Americans don’t like to be considered uncaring, backward, and stupid. So we buy in, uncritically. Even if we present alternative data, our betters will find some reason to dismiss it out of hand, unworthy of consideration and debate. We cede the field to them, based on what, because of their opinion of us? What about our opinion of them? Does that not matter? “Oh, they have all these credentials. They’ve worked for the government. They’ve done these studies. They know a lot.” Really? Sure, they know a lot of factual information, but that doesn’t mean they’re right (though they could be). It’s just that I’ve seen conspiracy theorists that can snow you with facts about how we never landed on the Moon. They know their stuff, but that doesn’t make them right. Maybe these people have been wasting their time, and ours. Maybe they think too highly of themselves. “Well, if they weren’t legit, no one of importance would listen to them.” Really? My, the confidence we have in our “people of importance.”

    I’m not saying that people who have a high level of knowledge and experience should be ignored, but they should not be listened to uncritically. Thomas Sowell gave a saying in his book, “Experts on tap, not on top.”

    I think our decay has come from a majority of people not understanding what has real value, not looking at the world and each other critically, and not understanding what real knowledge is. We have been taken with a dream, that reality is what we want or need it to be, that words have the power to change reality, and numbers give us that confirmation. The shaman and numerologists of old believed the same. We have descended to the level of primitives who believe in cargo cults (this goes for some of our influential intellectuals as well), that if we just believe in the right people and things, manna will drop from Heaven and bless us.

    The most recent example of this is the recent trend toward spending a lot of money to bring flashy technology into the schools. I heard from a Chinese immigrant recently that he learned more math in his home country in a school that was just a mud hut than many children today get in these flashy, new, technology-laden schools.

    It reminds me of something Carl Sagan said years ago: “We live in an age of science technology in which nobody understands science and technology … Sooner or later this is going to blow up in our faces.”

    Since we are hard wired to be religious in some sense, it would behoove us to adopt some healthy religious principles, like, “God helps those who help themselves.” Most knowledge that is worth knowing is not on the internet. It’s still in book form, though I hear “that’s being worked on.” I know, but I think the job of digitizing all our books of value is still far from done. In the meantime we have libraries. I think we should avail ourselves of them more.

    I heard of a book recently called “Blue Collar Intellectuals,” by Daniel Flynn. I think it gives a clue of a way out of our morass. Yes, we need people to get back to things that produce tangible, positive results, but we also need to get back to real knowledge. Flynn used Ray Bradbury as one of his examples.

  48. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Mark Miller: I have just heard through cable TV a discourse of the President of Argentine, Cristina Kirchner, talking about the choice between a “production economy” vs. a “global financial economy”, one producing goods and the other being just speculative. She said that there is nothing bad or wrong with production economy but the problem was the globalized economy of speculation. In other words the same opposition about which talks Thomas Sowell between making “intellectual products”(worse if financed by the same speculative elite) and real “goods”.

    That is the problem I have talked about many times: The lending elite were quite smart choosing “intellectuals” (those who believe themselves to be intelligent) and cheating them just by “initiating” them in “secret societies” where they fell prey as silly carnage. They were then absolutely convinced of how unique they were……if they follow the indication of their “masters”, thus all this story began.

  49. Pascvaks says:

    While I was making my ‘observation’, above, this thought occurred to me regarding The Old Tower Of Babel Story- now we’re told ‘you-know-Who’ got angry with the Great Things humans were doing (especially the Tower) and decided to scatter everyone and confuse their tongues because if S/He didn’t they would become as great as S/He was, right? Welllllllllll… maybe it wasn’t really like that at all…. maybe, it was something like this: the larger the population got the less cohesive it became, and one day folks just generally didn’t get along with anyone except their own kind anymore, and everything that they’d built together as a nation just didn’t mean what it used to mean and folks just began to leave in dribbles and drabs until there wasn’t anymore Babel anymore.

    Imagine China and India have a hell of an identity chrisis, and we don’t seem to be doing as well as we used to. Maybe modern technology isn’t a glue but a high pressure hose blasting us all apart. Herself was saying earlier how different we are today from the way things were when we were kids; I thought a moment about what she said and pointed to the TV as the guilty party, and thought about lawyers and worthless politicians and the Federal Government, etc., etc., but I couldn’t get away from the people. We’re all rather different, and there really are only certain kinds that like each other. Didn’t mean to get too deep into WW2 and those intellectuals we all hate;-)

  50. adolfogiurfa says:

    There is a single word which defines dis-education: Onanism.

  51. Mark Miller says:


    I have kind of had that sense about it, that the intellectuals who put forward the crackpot theories are benefiting somebody with clout. Otherwise they wouldn’t get far. CAGW being one example. Enron and investment bankers on Wall Street were all hoping that CAGW would be accepted, because there would be a huge windfall for them if cap and trade got implemented. Instead it seems the Chinese have been the biggest beneficiaries. From the beginning, all of the CFLs that people have been buying to be “green” have been made in China, no matter the brand. There seems to be some legitimacy to the idea put forward by “green” energy analysts that the Chinese are building up their alternative energy sector. China has been ramping up its solar industry, and I heard Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service say recently that the reason we’ve seen this spate of solar company bankruptcies is because the Chinese have been dumping solar technologies into our market, trying to monopolize it. The only reason they’d do that is they anticipate it being a growing market. What’s interesting is not even our subsidies, competing with China’s no less, could help our solar companies compete. I don’t like what was done to finance Solyndra, and such, but that was an interesting bit of news.

    A point that Anderson made is that we have never treated U.S. corporations in international trade the way the military treats national security assets, but perhaps we should. The U.S. has been dealing with the problem of dumping, foreign corporations selling products at below cost to put domestic competitors out of business, since the 1980s. The FTC’s defense against it has always been feckless, and too late. It seems to me our defense against dumping would be more effective if we had corporate intelligence. I’m guessing there are private firms that do this sort of thing, but there’s no means for them to cooperate with the federal trade regulators to head this stuff off at the pass.

  52. omanuel says:

    I appreciate most of the comments and analysis above.

    From my perspective, our social and

  53. omanuel says:

    From my perspective, our social and economic systems are in almost free-fall collapse now, caused primarily by almost sixty-seven years (2012 – 1945 = 67 yrs) of government deception about energy (E) stored as mass (m) at the cores of atoms, planets, stars and galaxies.

    Within the year, I expect the heads of NASA, DOE, EPA, DARPA, etc to be testifying before Congressional panels or Military Tribunals about their role in promoting misinformation that prevented political leaders from adopting realistic policies to sustain and advance society.

    The five videos and ten publications listed in my abbreviated profile document the history of these distortions from the end of World War II to the present.

    This Memorial Day week-end, as we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms, it is fitting to consider the recent conclusions of Czech President, Václav Klaus, regarding Climategate:

    “It is evident that the current temperature data confirm neither the GWD alarmist and apocalyptic views, nor their quasi-scientific hypotheses about the exclusivity of relationship between CO2 and temperature.”

    “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? There is no doubt that it is all about freedom. We should keep that in mind.”

  54. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Mark Miller: There is nothing bad about global markets and competition, as far as it involves REAL GOODS AND SERVICES not IMAGINARY ONES, these should be absolutely forbidden; however this will be very difficult to enforce as this is precisely the core business of the speculative elite, they do not produce any goods at all, they use a virtual vacuum machine, which sucks money out from working peoples´pockets, by “pouring the empty into the void”.
    An example for clarification: If “Sustainability” is approved in a few days in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 2012 Earth Summit,the amazon jungle, now a property of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, will become a “world heritage” making possible for the speculative elite to give the amazon aborigines´tribes US$3.- per year/hectare and sell it at an expected price of US$150,000.- per year/hectare. How much will they invest?: Nothing; how much will be their profit?: The difference: US$149,997.- per year/hectare. But, wait, this is not all, as this amount of money, of cash comes out from the world´s currency stock (from you and me), they will be, in practice, STEALING this money from YOU AND ME, from everybody who WORKS producing real goods for making a living!.

  55. Mark Miller says:


    The main reason imo for this decline is actually public schooling. As society got fixated on ‘having an education’ this caused a vast influx of just about adequate students.

    Not quite accurate, from what I understand, but you have a point. What I’m going to say is based on limited knowledge so far. This is something I’ve been meaning to research further. I think this is closer to the truth, but take it with some advised grains of salt…

    Public schooling got started in the early 19th century here in the U.S. At first attendance was totally voluntary. There were community schools that towns had started up, with people just pooling their resources together to create it, as well. And with this we had widespread literacy. When one thinks about incentives, this makes sense. Most parents want what’s best for their children. People recognized that in order to function in their society, and to be able to read the Bible (a Protestant ethic, and America at the start was primarily Protestant in its religious makeup), children had to at least learn to read and write. They could either learn that at home, or from a neighbor, or at school. In order to conduct business one often had to be able to work with numbers, do arithmetic. So there ya go: readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic, the “3 R’s”. Math and science were taught somewhat well, but they were given short shrift, because most educators understood the classical importance of these subjects, but didn’t understand their importance to cognitive development. Math and science were seen as vocations, not an integral part of the academic educational experience. In a way this pedagogical legacy is still with us.

    History has shown that it’s a myth that if we didn’t have public schools that most of us would become illiterate and stupid. Even so, not everyone was literate. There were cases in 19th century America where there were communities of subsistence farming where people didn’t know how to read, or read that well, and couldn’t write, but this was primarily because labor was more valued than education in those communities. Or, there was the problem of slavery as well, where literacy was vigorously discouraged for blacks. People got the idea, though, that if they wanted to get out of subsistence farming, or out of slavery, that education was the key, and so they pursued it, even by stealth. It was a choice. I cannot stress that enough.

    If we didn’t have a public school system today, I think most people would find a way to educate themselves and their children. Hence the reason I stress libraries. It’s a public resource that I think is far more valuable to people’s education than our system of compulsory schooling. The biggest loss I think would be to science education, however, since labs are capital-intensive relative to family incomes. Perhaps, again, communities would pool their resources to create “educational labs”, but of course, one would expect this only in communities that value science and engineering. So I’d expect this would be relatively isolated, but I’d nonetheless expect certain communities to pursue this with vigor.

    There would also be communities where you’d have illiteracy, pretty much like you have today even with public schools in those communities, because they don’t value education to start with.

    Getting back to the historical point, I talked with an education reformer about this a few years ago, who had researched this issue. He said that the decline in public education began in the late 19th century, first with the populist notion of “universal access” to high school. Originally, what we call high schools now were called preparatory or “prep” schools. I don’t know if you heard this term when you were younger (I did), “preppie”. (It was derogatory for someone who was “too well dressed”. Trying to put on airs, I guess.) Not everyone got to go to prep school. You had to test in to them. Most students got up to about 5th or 6th grade, and that was it. I know, there’s a gap there. Maybe prep school went down to 7th grade? Only the people who had gone through some sort of prep school made it into college.

    This changed in the late 19th century. It was pretty much the same refrain you hear now about how, “Everyone needs to go to college.” Then, it was, “Everyone should have a high school education.” This ended up doing to high schools what we see happening to undergraduate education. It dumbed it down to the common mean. I imagine that prep schools stopped having the prestige of preparing students for college, because the proportion of high school students who would have the financial resources and academic background to test into college dropped, though many high schools have long had a “college track” where the focus has been “preparation for college,” what used to be high school’s sole mission.

    Another thing he said was that education reformers in the early 20th century turned schools in a destructive direction, away from teaching disciplines to teaching a mode of working according to a schedule, with a task master, teaching skills, rather than developing cognitive ability, and teaching the modes of thought that built our civilization. From what he said, there was a battle where Dewey, influenced by Montessori, preferred some of the latter (cognitive development and “life skills” training), but Thorndike, Judd, and Francis Taylor preferred the former (industrial pedagogy and skills), and they won. In this reformer’s mind, neither side in the battle was totally “right” in their approach, though it sounded like if he was forced to make a choice between Dewey/Montessori and Thorndike, et al., he would’ve sided with Dewey/Montessori.

    My understanding from reading other sources is that universal compulsory education didn’t begin until 1890, forcing kids into school who didn’t want to be there in the first place. The reason I heard was it came about because of pressure from the elite in our society. The military had entry requirements that most common people couldn’t meet, because of their lack of academic background. So most of the time the people who were recruited or drafted into military service came from the elite. They didn’t think this was fair, that the majority of the population wasn’t pulling its weight in our wars, and so wanted the government to force kids of all socio-economic backgrounds to stay in school up to a certain grade, so that more of the common people would qualify for military service.

    It was an egalitarian, inclusive impulse, combined with a value system that preferred “school to work” rather than “school to civilize”, that chopped off the high end of the academic attainment scale. The effect was cumulative. The people who went through that system became the teachers, school system administrators, textbook writers, education reformers, etc. of the next generation. And so it went…

  56. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Mark Miller: The natural sciences course book I learned at 2nd.grade, back in 1947, would be impossible to understand even for a high school student now.
    Information, knowledge is as material as anything else in the universe: You cannot divide such a “cake” indefinitely, as we see each one receives a nano sized part of it. If we could make a real statistics we could find that the percentage of really educated people has not increased.
    There is an old spanish proverb, which says: “Lo que Natura non da, Salamanca non presta” (What nature does not give, Salamanca-the university. does not lend it)

  57. Streetcred says:

    23 May 2012 at 4:12 am Becoming a Teacher says:
    I have yet to meet a person with big ideas who had no practical experience [ … ]

    I’m in property development … I interact with these kinds people every day … the vast majority of them go bankrupt before the first “big idea” comes to fruition, to the loss of their investors “who sat in rows being parrots”.

  58. Mark Miller says:


    I meant to add that the same education reformer I mentioned earlier said that a “second wave” of degradation in education quality came in the 1950s, as the Baby Boom generation entered the schools. The population increase was so great and so sudden that the only way the schools could accommodate it was to lower the academic standards for teachers. There were still great teachers in the system, but they could only reach a small number of students.

    He’s said that our method of education does not scale, and has put forward an R&D proposal to develop a “software tutor” that would be better than our current computer-aided education which is just pre-programmed to give canned instruction, and to expect canned responses. The purpose of the proposal is to get across the critical ideas to students that are hard to learn, I imagine through a system of adaptive response. This doesn’t just mean, “math and science,” but what’s cognitively difficult to get about these disciplines. I think one counter-intuitive thing about the proposal might be that students would need to get away from the computer to try some things out in the real world. After all, you can’t do science on a computer. You can only use it as a tool to model what you’ve observed.

    Obama actually mentioned this idea in a 2009 speech before the National Academy of Sciences, and there’s been a proposal on the table to create an ARPA-Ed program under the Dept. of Education, which it sounds like would include such research. I realize that the Dept. of Ed. is a beast that should die, given what it’s done, but this could be a way for it to redeem itself, at least in the short term.

    I have no idea if the ARPA-Ed proposal has gotten through anywhere. I realize that since Obama and the Democrats have irresponsibly “blown the wad” that the chance may be lost. It wouldn’t surprise me. This administration has shown no consideration for the future, as far as I’m concerned.

  59. Pingback: Beer (cans) Will Save The World! | Musings from the Chiefio

  60. JP Miller says:

    My grandfather, 30 years ago, would say, “Just a bunch of over-educated know-nothings.” He was speaking about his in-laws who all had advanced degrees of one sort or another but couldn’t reapir a lawn mower. He taught electronics in high school (radio and TV repair). Think they do that today? Computer repair? Ha. It is sad and I agree, there’s nothing like being hands on with the world to have an intuitive sense of what makes sense and what doesn’t.

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    To fix education is easy. Abolish ALL Federal involvement. Somewhere in the 50 States someone will get it right, then others will notice and emulate in the competition…

    (Better yet, eliminate State depts of Ed too and let it be very local… “Scale”? In Education? The spouse has a “One Room Schoolhouse” certification. All it takes is ONE good teacher to cover it all. Loads of well educated folks came from one room school houses with only one person in charge. Dump the bureaucracies and let the teachers teach.)


    In high school I had “radio class”. We built a radio up from parts, one stage at a time. At the end, unsoldered the parts and put it back on the shelf. Tube radios too ;-) Learned most of what I know about electronics in that class (even though I was taking a ‘semiconductor electronics’ class at the local Community College while finishing my Senior year at high school… Yeah, I was one of those kinds of kids… just wanted to know about semiconductors so went to college in addition to my ‘day job’…

    I can still visualize how to build one from scratch. We had “cotton wax pushback” insulation on the wiring, so I also learned how to make insulated wire from cotton weave and wax by inspecting it. Not very useful now, but “after the fall” who knows ;-)

    Oh, and got pretty good at soldering.

    When the shop teacher (a Ham Radio Operator) retired, I’m sure his collection of tube radios and other gear left with him and they likely don’t allow lead and hot irons in school…

  62. p.g.sharrow says:

    As you know about triod tubes for amplification and oscillators you should have a good idea on how a LENR reactor should be designed. pg

  63. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes. Been pondering a bit. I’m doing everything I can to not start building one ;-)

    Spent a while tonight talking with the E.E. Old College Roomie about it and getting him up to speed a bit.

    I’m pondering a couple of approaches. One with a high frequency high power narrow pulse power supply on the “driver” side (along the electrode length) and a low voltage bias H- loading current normal to the electrode surface. KOH or 2KCO3 electrolyte and variety of anode materials ( nickle first, but maybe things like lead or even silver “just for fun” ) with initial electrode formed by electrodeposition with H codeposited (so as to avoid needing powdered electrodes or sintering).

    Another a bit more along what I think you are pondering per your question… Think “Beam Triode” but with a hydrogen gas fill into a metal plated carbon screen. Ought to drive H- at speed into the metal. Keep it e- rich, but still positive with respect to the cathode. (so, say, -30 vdc while the cathode is at -200 vdc) That keeps the electrons and H forming H- and whacking into metal hot enough to be above the Debye limit. I would expect to see fusion evidence. (though probably hard to get usable power out unless you water jacket the tube and use that… )

    Why use the carbon? As it is formed with a rough surface and / or has crystal non-conformity with the metal, it ought to cause a highly textured finish with lots of crystal boundaries and ‘powder like’ defects for H- to enter.

    Then there is just the idea of using the “Tungsten in 2KCO3 solution but with a non-aqueous solvent so that the Debye temp can be reached without boiling solvent and cavitation. Yeah, probably easier to just use water in a pressure vessel but …. I’d also us very high frequency low pulse width power to drive it.

    There are other ideas kicking around too… basically get the metal above it’s Debye temp, get the H formed into H- ions and headed toward the metal. Have a high e- density in the metal with rapid narrow pulses (lots of phonons). After that mostly just ideas about putting easily fused or fissioned atoms nearby as breeder blankets or power multipliers. Like Li or K on one end or U and Th on the other.

    Also some ideas about what might optimize for “heat and He, no neutrons / gammas” vs “more neutrons and gammas”..

    Liking the idea of an H gas filled beam Triode and metal target, though…

    (Oddly, the spell checker for this browser is happy with Diode but not with Triode… guess it is part of a dying language…)

    Well Damn! i WAS about to put a link to a page about what a gas triode is so folks from the semiconductor generation could have a clue what I’m talking about and ran smack into this:


    Deuterium is used in ultraviolet lamps for ultraviolet spectroscopy, in neutron generator tubes, and in special tubes (e.g. crossatron). It has higher breakdown voltage than hydrogen. In fast switching tubes it is used instead of hydrogen where high voltage operation is required. For a comparison, the hydrogen-filled CX1140 thyratron has anode voltage rating of 25 kV, while the deuterium-filled and otherwise identical CX1159 has 33 kV. Also, at the same voltage the pressure of deuterium can be higher than of hydrogen, allowing higher rise rates of rise of current before it causes excessive anode dissipation. Significantly higher peak powers are achievable. Its recovery time is however about 40% slower than for hydrogen.

    Neutron generator tubes! And nobody thought to ask what those neutrons might do next? Or where the protons end up?

    Oh Dear… I think I’m about to lose a couple of days trying to learn what the failure modes were and gas consumption rates were for H2 and D2 loaded gas triodes… It would be Very Annoying to find out that, oh, they had “problems” with overheating and helium build up…

    I hate it when this happens… in a compulsive OMG that’s interesting historical perspective kind of way… ;-)

  64. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like crystals making neutrons is demonstrated and used as well:

    In April 2005 a UCLA team headed by the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of the Royal Society James K. Gimzewski and Professor of Physics Seth Putterman utilized a tungsten probe attached to a pyroelectric crystal in order to increase the electric field strength. Brian Naranjo, a graduate student working on his Ph.D. degree under Putterman, conducted the experiment demonstrating the use of a pyroelectric power source for producing fusion on a laboratory bench top device. The device used a lithium tantalate (LiTaO3) pyroelectric crystal to ionize deuterium atoms and to accelerate the deuterons towards a stationary erbium dideuteride (ErD2) target. Around 1000 fusion reactions per second took place, each resulting in the production of an 820 keV helium-3 nucleus and a 2.45 MeV neutron. The team anticipates applications of the device as a neutron generator or possibly in microthrusters for space propulsion.

    A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, led by Dr. Yaron Danon and his graduate student Jeffrey Geuther, improved upon the UCLA experiments using a device with two pyroelectric crystals and capable of operating at non-cryogenic temperatures.

    Nuclear D-D fusion driven by pyroelectric crystals was proposed by Naranjo and Putterman in 2002. It was also discussed by Brownridge and Shafroth in 2004. The possibility of using pyroelectric crystals in a neutron production device (by D-D fusion) was proposed in a conference paper by Geuther and Danon in 2004 and later in a publication discussing electron and ion acceleration by pyroelectric crystals. None of these later authors had prior knowledge of the earlier 1997 experimental work conducted by Dougar Jabon, Fedorovich, and Samsonenko. The key ingredient of using a tungsten needle to produce sufficient ion beam current for use with a pyroelectric crystal power supply was first demonstrated in the 2005 Nature paper, although in a broader context tungsten emitter tips have been used as ion sources in other applications for many years. In 2010 it was found that tungsten emitter tips are not necessary to increase the acceleration potential of pyroelectric crystals; the acceleration potential can allow positive ions to reach kinetic energies between 300 and 310 keV.

    So looks to me like folks are making free neutrons and seeing fusion happening in all sorts of places.

    Now just why, with all these other places happening without a load of doubt; why are the “Cold Fusion” folks getting the cold shoulder?

    Looks like a lot of existence proofs for the general idea. So it ought to work in water based systems too and likely in deep hot rocks in the ground. Just with different degrees and exact processes.

    If whacking D into deuterated targets makes neutrons in air or partial vacuum, I’d expect the same thing to happen in liquid solutions or solids. Just with a load of differences of parameters. (How much, what context, quantities).

    Perhaps even at much lower initiation temperatures…

    Wonder if one can make a vacuum tube / gas tube analog in the liquid phase…

  65. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Just put a small pebble in your microwave oven :-)

  66. p.g.sharrow says:

    The liberation of free neutrons has been an easy to detect marker of fission/fusion since the 1940s and was used in backyard experiments in the late 1950s to early 70s when radiation hysteria put an end to non professional work. This is why all professionals are so loud that LENR can’t work! NO firestorm of high energy free neutrons. High energy fusion gives off a firestorm of high energy neutrons.
    The conversion of hydrogen to neutron and neutron to hydrogen is a very energetic event that gives off a large EMF pulse and kinetic movement at the speed of light. If you use accelerators to achieve fusion you will get a firestorm of high energy neutrons and the accelerators will require too much energy. 60 years and hundreds of billions of dollars have proved that that way doesn’t work for practical power output.
    LENR uses metallic affinity for hydrogen to get the atoms to cozy up so that a bias and a bump will cause the electron shell to deflate to the surface of the proton and allow the semi neutral “neutron” to fall inside. A relaxation of the bias and bump will allow the “neutron” to return to its’ proton with electron shell inside the parent atoms shell. NO free neutrons flying around and a lot of Gama activity. The way GOD builds the universe, one atom at a time, hydrogen to neutron pushed into another gently, NO atom smashers. pg

  67. adolfogiurfa says:

    Nuclear energy was born on the fact of spontaneous emission from heavy elements, where energy is “too crowded” where a limit of “accretion” has been reached as to provoke a natural decomposition, and because of this everyone has sought to use uranium or, better, to obtain plutonium. This is the way of “disintegration”. As everything in energy there is a way up, negentropically, to higher “pitches”, and a way down, entropically, to lower levels of energy, to lower pitches, frequencies. But, as it is noticed, there are “limits” both ways: perhaps, philosophically, the vacuum and the void.
    It is interesting to notice that none has tried to manage “space”:

  68. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. Blacklightpower ( ) uses the obtention of sodium hydrine through a reaction between Raney Nickel (an alloy of Ni and Al), really in an intermediate reaction of sodium with aluminum, where the end product usually would be NaAlO2 (sodium aluminate) of the known exothermic reaction. Thus LENR reactions occur between hydrogen and a metal. The trick to understand all this is to change our concepts from a “pebbles” universe to an all waves universe, where it works the laws of three (pythagorean triangle between electricity and magnetism) and the law of the octave (the oscillatory development, described as sine+cosine waves- really a projection of a developing spiral-, which would make us understand that any wave can be “transformed” an in any electric transformer. Thus a “neutron” it is an “hydrogen” with higher energy.

  69. adolfogiurfa says:

    So, you see, the making of atomic bombs, “a la Hiroshima” it is an “antique” procedure.

  70. omanuel says:

    The science of making atomic bombs was well know on both sides of the Second World War.

    The invisible wall of deceit constructed in 1945-46 was, and is today, a greater danger to basic freedom of mankind than the highly visible Berlin Wall of 1961-89 !

  71. Kent Clizbe says:

    Thanks for your thoughts and observations.

    Unfortunately, your observations (decay of education and culture) are right; but your analysis of the causes is lacking–because of the silo-like nature of your experience!

    Some of my experience and training was in espionage. With this background, I researched and analyzed the slow-motion death of traditional American culture. What I found was that, unlike your apparent diagnosis, it is not self-inflicted. The seeds of destruction of traditional American culture and values were deliberately planted by KGB covert operators. Once they were called back to Moscow by Stalin “for consultations” and executed, their American Willing Accomplices have continued the operation, unitl today.

    The Politically Correct Progressives (PC-Progs) are the instruments of our destruction. Their agenda/belief system was planted by communist espionage agents of influence, from around 1918 to about 1938.

    The genius behind this was a German communist friend of Lenin, and master of espionage, Willi Muenzenberg.

    Muenzenberg, at Lenin’s behest, organized and implemented the message, the attitude, and the dissemination of the message that became PC-Prog, beginning in the early 1920’s. He conceived of a simple, direct and powerful marketing message that was at the core of his influence operation: “America is a racist, sexist, foreigner-hating, capitalist hell-hole that must be changed.”

    Willi then combined that payload with an attitude that his operators perfected in their numerous front organizations: “We are caring, kind, considerate, intelligent, humane, and civilzed humans. You normal people are all hating racist, sexist, xenophobic worms unworthy of living.”

    Combining the payload message with the attitude, fermented for 80 years, and you have PC-Progs today. Directly from the mind of Lenin, via the genius of Muenzenberg, and the operational skill of case officers like Andre Simon, Alex Gumberg, Nucia Perlmutter Lodge. The most successful espionage operation of all time. Slow motion, and much more slowly than the KGB envisioned, but powerful and successful nonetheless.

    The goal of the op was to destroy normal American society, values, and culture.

    The targets of the op were the transmission belts of American culture: education/academia; the media; and Hollywood.

    As you’ve explored here, the op was fantastically successful at destroying our K-12 education system, and our social sciences in undergraduate and graduate school. It is slowly destroyed the hard sciences (Global Warming cult, for example).

    Muenzenberg’s case officers targeted and recruited or co-opted Americans in each of these target domains. These Americans, who I call Willing Accomplices in the destruction of America, reveled in the aura of the specialness of being all-caring and uber-intelligent. In each of these domains, the attitude grew like a cancer. By the 1960s, the traditional American point of view in these cultural domains was drastically weakened. Today, the traditional American point of view in these domains is destroyed. All due to Muenzenberg and his Willing Accomplices.

    Full details are in my book: Willing Accomplices: How KGB covert influence agents created Political Correctness, Obama’s hate-America-first political platform, and destroyed America.

    The website, , provides a solid overview and is a substitute for reading the book.
    Any questions, drop me a line.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kent Clizbe

  72. Petrossa says:

    “So looks to me like folks are making free neutrons and seeing fusion happening in all sorts of places. Now just why, with all these other places happening without a load of doubt; why are the “Cold Fusion” folks getting the cold shoulder?”

    It does have a big perpetuum mobile feel to it. A kind of energy for free. And that makes it hard to accept as a valid solution to energy production. I’m not saying that it is so, i just advocate the devil.

    Anyroad in my personal opinion, in view of the enormous energy needs, high yield devices are most logical to follow up on. And high yield implies high input to preserve the laws of nature.

  73. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Petrossa: There is nothing of perpetual mobile in transmutation of one element into another. Of course, until now the simplest have been used, the heavier elements which spontaneously disintegrate into lower heavy elements, and it does not mean that the inverse reaction is impossible, what is being talked about here, for example the addition of, say, a hydrogen to sodium or any other element, releasing the differential energy. We can use either the way down or the way up in element´s number. (To lower “pitches” or higher “pitches” of frequency or vibration). This happens all the time and everywhere, in any chemical reaction, where there is either an exothermic or an endothermic process. LENR is but the utilization of intermediate reactions under conditions as to optimize the process in yield and in release time.

  74. Doug Proctor says:

    I’ve had a nagging question for a while, also.

    I look at the historical temperature curves, the sea-level curves, various other of the “signatures” of climate change, and each one has two common features. The first is that as we go back in time, the error bars widen, equally up and down. First, it seems to me that errors do not occur equally, that bias always occurs in one direction, i.e. you are more sensitive to variation one way than the other, so the “median” should really be off centre. Second, the “median” looks like a long-period smoothing function, a rolling function, has been applied. As we approach the present, however, the error bars narrow and the frequency of the “median” increases, but so does the range of the median.

    The conclusion that the temperatures etc. are higher than every are determined on both the position of the median and the highs and lows of the median. The error bars, on the other hand, have highs as high as today, and a high-low range much greater than today. If the median is actually a long-period smoothed pattern, then all we can say about the past is that the actual highs and lows are higher and lower than the median.

    Apples and oranges: are our past-present comparisons in fundamental error? Should we not reposition the median and add a high-low frequency more representative of probable reality?

    I’ve asked this question before without receiving an answer. That reaction always suggests to me that the question is legitimate but too disturbing AND difficult to answer for a response, as it would throw the statistical claims into a big mystery bucket.

  75. John Q. Galt says:

    I think this is about Bimbos vs. Nerds.

  76. Mark Miller says:


    I agree with you to the extent that “federal involvement” means, “You’ll get our money if you agree to these rules.” Get federal money out of the schools, and therefor release them from the federal mandates. As for state Dept’s of Ed., in principle I agree with local control.

    From my reading of history so far, it seems like the way in which the federal government has had the most constructive role in contributing to the betterment of society is when it has provided a public resource. So it’s not dangling money in front of people, and when they bite, saying, “Now you have to do what we say.” In these cases the government is actively involved in creating something that didn’t exist before, and to get access to it requires some participation, some buy-in, on the part of companies, states, and/or localities. In these cases these entities had to contribute money towards these endeavors, but interestingly, the government is actually producing something of value, which is quite different from what we’ve seen lately.

    I thought of another aspect of the decay: the belief that money will cure all ills. This goes along with the idea that we’ve come to value (informal) abstractions too much, feel-good ideas that don’t work in reality. It seems to me it comes from a period where people could get rich without understanding what was going on, where “miracles” happened. So people saw that you didn’t have to understand something to benefit from it. Ideas ruled. “Just think of the possibilities!” Then the bust happens where “the miracle” doesn’t produce the expected wealth anymore. Since people didn’t understand where it came from, but just had ideas about it, they expect that new ideas will restore “the miracle.” The objective becomes to maintain their standard of living. In an environment of dwindling value-generation, people try to grab from any “honeypot” they can find. The focus becomes about “redistributing wealth.”

    In addition, as an after-effect of achieving wealth without really understanding what produced it, people feel an ironic sense of powerlessness. They fear the effect of what they have done, though they don’t want to give it up, and a sense of guilt that they didn’t really deserve what they got. So we get the rise of “green” environmentalism, which provides an opportunity for them to waste their wealth, and everyone else’s.

  77. omanuel says:

    @Mark Miller

    Today Nature and NewScientist report experimental observations of an abrupt increase in high energy radiation coming from the Sun in ~775 AD that produced excess C-14 in tree rings and perhaps Be-10 in ice cores

    The latter includes this quote on the historical record of unusual events at that time.

    “In the Year of our Lord 776, fiery and fearful signs were seen in the heavens after sunset; and serpents appeared in Sussex, as if they were sprung out of the ground, to the astonishment of all.” – 13th-century English chronicler Roger of Wendover

    Such candid reporting of experimental data and observations may finally end sixty-six years (2012-1946 = 66 yrs) of misinformation on Earth’s heat source – the Sun. This sad tale of deceptive science is documented here:

  78. @Kent Clizbe

    We each occupy our own silo-like nature of experiences

    I would appreciate your comments on information and conclusions in the above link:

    Derived primarily from information shared by two talented scientists that worked on opposing sides during WWII.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  79. Mark Miller says:

    @Kent Clizbe:

    There is some reason to believe that what you talk about was an influence on the U.S., but I’d temper that by saying progressivism in the U.S. goes back further than the Soviet Bolshevik revolution. So the Soviet influence is not causal, but I think a contributor, more of a feedback effect. As E.M. documented earlier, there’s reason to believe that Wall Street had some role in the formation of the Bolshevik revolution. Influence, cultural and industrial, from the U.S. also played an important role in the rise of the National Socialists (Nazi) movement in Germany.

    To back up your point, I found this video on YouTube a while back. It was originally made in 1983. Yuri Bezmenov, a.k.a. Tomas Schuman, explains how Soviet subversion of the U.S. occurred.

    There are other videos of him going into more depth on his time as a cultural subverter, working for the KGB.

    Yuri said in a different series of videos that the Soviet Union had a global campaign of subversion. It wasn’t just in the U.S. He illustrates as well that subversion does not have to be planted, but rather you can take destructive movements that arise naturally in a free society, and encourage them.

    He asserted that “the Soviets cannot be subverted.” Well, that was what he knew back then. I think it’s been documented since that there was a kind of cultural subversion, at least in the Eastern Bloc countries, but no one’s talked about it being deliberate. Niall Ferguson has talked about it, that blue jeans and rock ‘n roll music, which was just trickling in, were very subversive, at least from the Soviet POV. They cracked down on this cultural influence in the late 1960s. From their POV the subversive message was about rugged individualism. Pope John Paul II was also very influential in the Solidarity movement in Poland.

    I definitely get the impression from watching this that we can see the effects of this program Yuri talks about, and that even though the Soviet Union fell some 23 years ago, we could still be experiencing the after-effects of that program, and will continue to experience them for years to come. I’ve also heard tales that even though the Soviet Union fell, obviously the same people are still around, and they’re still trying to implement a collectivist program, though as “freelance” activist organizations.

    Historically, the activities of the Frankfurt School are fairly well documented. There’s been some talk about this on the political Right lately. I wish this was given more attention. This video explains the rise of Marxism in academia in the U.S. The Frankfurt School successfully translated Marx’s philosophy from economic into social terms. From that we got all of the “studies” programs in American universities, talking about how American society “oppresses” women, minorities, and foreign cultures. The video seems to be incomplete. It gets cut off at the end, but it seems like it gets all the main points across.

    Progressive influence in academia goes back to around 1920, from what I’ve heard, close to the time of the Bolshevik revolution, though in the accounts I’ve heard about it, it doesn’t sound like it was influenced by Marx. It was more influenced by figures like Woodrow Wilson, and Henry Ford (through the Ford Foundation), people who were nonetheless inclined to be sympathetic to the socialist movements in Europe. The progressive movement of the time was a statist ideology, though I’m not real clear yet if it was influenced by any European political movement. It was certainly a rebellion against the Founders, and the traditional, limited interpretation of the Constitution.

    As Thomas Sowell has said, the thinking that goes into progressivism is as old as the ancient Greeks; the constrained vs. the unconstrained vision. What we’ve seen are just the modern renditions of the unconstrained vision.

  80. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Mark Miller: A real Master Class. So you know WHO WERE THE FOOLS who swallowed that IDEOLOGY…..
    BTW: Who won the cold war, then?

  81. Mark Miller says:


    Good question. What I’m seeing is it’s the same thing as the battle with the jihadist movement in Islam. The government only deals with the military threats. What bin Laden, et al. never understood is what the communists know, that the best way to subvert us is through our cultural institutions. There are islamist groups who are pursuing this strategy. It’s my understanding that as we beat back the militarist jihadist movement, the more peaceful islamists are moving quietly, using some of the same strategies as the communists to wedge their way into influence. Due to the Constitution, our government is hands off re. ideology.

    What I think this sort of thing exposes is we take our country for granted, and by and large we don’t know what makes it work. Yuri Bezmenov called for restrictions on propaganda. That rubbed me the wrong way. If we as a society are not mentally strong enough to resist propaganda and destructive ideologies, we deserve the oppression that will follow.

    The Tree of Liberty needs tending very badly, not necessarily with the blood of patriots, as Jefferson put it, but we’ve allowed it to decay quite a bit.

  82. Mark Miller says:

    Bill Whittle gave a talk last year that was along the lines of what we’re talking about here, so some of this is review. As you watch, you can see (or at least I could) how the “sword” and “shield” he described applies directly to what we’ve seen from AGW alarmists: Criticism proves the theory, character assassination of critics of the criticism defends the proof.

    What’s nice is he added a little more detail to what I discussed, and he briefly describes a solution, which some conservatives have been banging the drum about recently: You’re not winning the argument for preserving the principles of this country with rational arguments, charts, and data. One could say this is just attacking the symptom of the problem, because many people just use charts and data to validate what they already believe, and cannot relate to rational argument. People learn through cultural avenues, especially stories. This is something the Frankfurt School academics realized. Socialists have understood this for many years now, but conservatives have not. It’s about time we did.

  83. adolfogiurfa says:

    But…..have somebody asked why such an illness called “progressive mania” is so pandemic?. When you hear any of the infected people there is a strange look in their eyes. Have you observed it?, it´s a kind of “robot” like behavior. This is real: I am remembering now the expression of a young lady, who was the vice-minister of health, passionately speaking about the prohibition of smoking at open street cafes,…..I thought if she had somebody normal caring for her she would not have behaved like that, perhaps she had a Cool-Gay companion, as green as her, ….
    It is really a very contagious sickness which affects selectively to not so clever people. Tell me your observations in this respect, perhaps it is some external influence, who knows…

  84. Jason Calley says:

    @ adolfogiurfa “But…..have somebody asked why such an illness called “progressive mania” is so pandemic?. When you hear any of the infected people there is a strange look in their eyes. Have you observed it?, it´s a kind of “robot” like behavior.”

    Here is a theory of why this happens. I suspect that it will sound familiar to you, Adolfo, but for anyone else who finds this fantastical, no offense either given or taken, just think of it as a simple speculation. Consider a human and three basic aspects — the physical body, the emotional structure and the intellectual (rational, one hopes) structure. Rational, intellectual analysis is wonderfully powerful and useful — but emotional is faster. Note also that I am not saying that emotions are always better or worse, just different, and one of the major differences is that they can happen very quickly. Various manias like CAGW or Progressivism continue because they are formed with automatic emotional responses. The automatic emotional responses happen so quickly that the intellectual, rational apparatus are never allowed to come into free usage. A confirmed carrier of CAGW will not respond rationally when he hears you say something like “the temperature records have been altered.” Instead his emotions will very quickly kick into gear and he will experience a feeling of scorn and distrust about what you said, such that his immediate response will be “you only say that because you hate science and scientists!” If you tell a Progressive that we should cut various welfare payments, the quick emotional response is “you want people to starve in the streets!” The rational part of the CAGW enthusiast, or of the Progressive enthusiast, is never allowed to become fully active because is it being highjacked by a quicker emotional response, a response which puts strong limits on what the rational mind can consider. This emotion is always the basis for a personal feeling of “I am a good person. I want to do good things for other people. I want to spread what is good and true.” This good feeling is the reason why this emotional response is so difficult to break. Each time it happens it strengthens its hold on the person infected. This is the same kind of scenario which allows a drug addict to choose drugs even when he knows that it is literally killing him. With drugs you can even have cases where the physical body responds so strongly and quickly (even quicker than the emotions) that the emotions are over-ruled. We call this physical addiction.

    Of course right wingers have their own set of parasitic memes, ideas which remain in place by emotionally limiting rational thoughts. The easiest way to find what emotionally biased ideas have parasitized you is to ask yourself, “Who would I never criticize? Who do I automatically believe or respect? What subjects do I get angry about if someone disagrees with me? What ideas (not actions, like murder or rape, but ideas) or words are so wrong that someone should be punished just for spreading them?” If you find such subjects, then they are not automatically memetic parasites, but they are certainly worth examining closely.

    “Climate denier! Anti-semite! Communist! Flat-Earther! Jihaddist! Peacenik! Bomb-throwing-anarchist!” There is nothing wrong with experiencing emotions, but when they control what you think, they need to be reconsidered, otherwise, yes, you become a robot like the vice-minister of health, a robot who is controlled by an automatic response which bypasses rational thought. How to break these cycles? Certainly pain works — either physical pain or unpleasant emotions can overpower these responses and reprogram a person — but that is not a commonly possible way of curing someone. The best way can only happen when a person is young and still malleable, when it is possible to start a “seed” of personality which has very strong principles of thought which create a habit of looking for what is true regardless of what is pleasant. For adults the most likely way is to create a secondary, less threatening response which can gradually grow over a period of years to displace the bad response. For example, with the CAGW crowd, they are certain that CO2 is destroying the world. If you tell them it isn’t, they will believe you are anti-science. With my friends who are CAGW supporters, I do not try to contradict them, instead I plant the idea (a true idea) that “Climate is complicated, very complicated, chaotically complicated, and there are a LOT of factors which influence climate. Certainly CO2 is one of them, but there are a lot more.” My hope is that as the world does not careen into oblivion, they will find it simpler to slide their beliefs over to an emotional response of “not everyone understands as clearly as we do how dangerous CO2 is” and eventually to “other factors have mitigated CO2” to finally “catastrophe was averted because other causes cancelled out the CO2 effect.” Will this approach work? Time will tell, but it is looking promising, I think.

  85. Jason – very nice post. Someone said “give me someone before they are 11, and I’ll have them for life”. OK, somewhat paraphrased, and he wasn’t a very nice person. Unfortunately we’re going to have a LOT of people who’ve been brought up with the idea that CO2 is baaadddd, and it will take a while to change their minds.

    EM has pointed out elsewhere in his posts that plants actually work better with more CO2, which means they’ll grow more quickly and thus reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. Pointing out this inbuilt negative-feedback in the system may help your AGW friends to lose the paranoia a bit. The IPCC models contain positive feedback, which is why the film “The Day after Tomorrow” was made, since the people in Hollywood believed the models (it’s a computer – it has to be right…) and wanted to tell the world before it was too late. Such visual images, together with the scientific backup and the wish to believe anyone who wears a white coat, are powerful things to come up against.

    I’m not worried about the CO2 level – EM’s analysis of the figures proves to me at least that it’s not going to be a problem. Pollution of the air is a problem – look at the satellite images of Beijing where you can’t see the city on a “cloudless” day. Pollution causes ill-health, apart from not smelling nice. For this reason we need to stop burning low-quality coal. Although a lot of our Oxygen is produced by photosynthesis in the oceans, trees still produce a large amount, and we really do need that, so protecting the oceans from poisonous additions and the forests from being killed or chopped down is also useful for our survival.

    The world is such a large and chaotic system that we can’t model it anywhere close to reality, as you can see from the difficulties in weather-forecasting more than a day or two in the future. Historically there have been slow shifts in climate and rainfall patterns, and I’d expect those to continue. Any geoengineering idea may produce more problems than it solves, and it may be safer to adapt to the way the world changes than to try to risk the Law of Unintended Consequences. It can be seen from history (since we’re still here) that most of the climatic modifiers have negative feedback associated with them. There is no “tipping point”, just times when it’s too far from our comfort zone.

  86. adolfogiurfa says:

    Yes, it is emotional, however they should be informed that some are being PAID to defend what they just defend for FREE. This would probably touch their emotions too…

  87. Mark Miller says:

    @Jason Calley:

    Re. planting the idea that the climate is complicated

    I’ve found that word and concept choice are important in this regard. I tried telling a CAGW believer that “the atmosphere is a chaotic system” to add to my point that we do not have the capability to understand what the climate will be 10 years from now. His response was, “If it was chaotic we wouldn’t have the same seasons repeat over and over.” Interesting how he misunderstood the concept of chaos theory, and yet illustrated it, given the context of what we had been talking about (seasons which are warmer or cooler than “normal,” or than “trend,” from year to year).

    I think you are right that emotional response overriding rational thought has a lot to do with this. When I see what you describe, it also displays for me a lack of education on the part of these people. What drove me up the wall for a few years was realizing this, and perceiving (perhaps mistakenly) that these were the people in authority, with power over my life! The reason I believed this was I was seeing their agenda play out, but I’ve since come to question that. It appears their agenda is playing out, but I’m beginning to suspect a lot of them are being used.

    I believed growing up that smart, educated people were generally recognized and respected in our society, and would “rise to the top.” It’s not true. They’re not even necessarily respected by the people most would think are smart and educated! I’ve also discovered that usually when Americans describe someone as “smart,” they mean emotionally smart, not intellectually. I heard Alan Kay make an allusion rather recently to, “a smart person living in the age of cave men,” and that they’d have to use their wits to avoid getting clubbed. That’s kind of what it feels like now! He was making a larger point about smarts alone not being good enough to create and maintain modern civilization, but I think he was also making the point that a smart person’s intentions are often misunderstood, and so such a person is prone to attack from most people around them, who don’t think so much.

    There are many important concepts that I think are necessary for people to understand more completely what’s really going on in the science of climate, though I’ve found that at least as a defense against bad ideas, one idea prevails in this matter: Just because an authority figure tells you something doesn’t make it true. This is the dividing line between skeptics and warmists. It’s difficult to generalize this concept, since warmists worship the words and deeds of (certain) scientists, and hold them in higher esteem than people in other professions.

    In reality what you’re doing is trying to convince someone that their religion is based on a lie or misconception of reality. That is a huge barrier to overcome. Their last bastion is, “You cannot say we don’t have an impact on the environment.” That’s the crux of it right there. The idea that environmentalists and those who’ve wanted to stop industrial development since the 19th century have had is that our impact on the environment grows with our development, and that we have the potential to “destroy the earth.” Of course we have an effect on the environment, but what I think is interesting about the issue of AGW is it seems to show that our impact is limited in some regards. That’s a new and challenging idea to these people. It’s a reassuring concept to me, but it’s alien to them. It means, yes, we should be mindful of what we’re doing so that we don’t destroy ourselves, and that there is value in preserving sanctuaries for Nature to exist without our interference, but what it also means is that we are quite incapable of “destroying the earth.”

    I don’t have enough knowledge yet to see a way through to these people. I suspect if any way is found it will be through understanding their emotional lives, not through trying to reach them intellectually, though as PR people have known for almost 100 years, an intellectual message can be a pathway to the emotions. adolfogiurfa’s suggestion sounds like a good start, though It would really help to have some documentation that shows it, from a source that cannot be immediately swept aside as politically biased.

  88. Jason Calley says:

    @ Mark Miller “I believed growing up that smart, educated people were generally recognized and respected in our society, and would “rise to the top.” It’s not true. They’re not even necessarily respected by the people most would think are smart and educated! I’ve also discovered that usually when Americans describe someone as “smart,” they mean emotionally smart, not intellectually. I heard Alan Kay make an allusion rather recently to, “a smart person living in the age of cave men,” and that they’d have to use their wits to avoid getting clubbed. That’s kind of what it feels like now! He was making a larger point about smarts alone not being good enough to create and maintain modern civilization, but I think he was also making the point that a smart person’s intentions are often misunderstood, and so such a person is prone to attack from most people around them, who don’t think so much.”

    One of the more thought provoking things I have read for as while, and yes, I think you are correct! In the old Tarzan books, young Tarzan finds himself as a child adopted into a troop of gorillas. By virtue if his great human intellect, he prospers and rises to be the leader of the clan. That is the myth which our teachers taught us was true. Be the brightest, most creative person around and the world will beat a path to your door. Sometimes that happens, but more often not. Why is that? The average person does not (can not?) understand someone who is seriously brighter than himself. My wife’s family, (composed of lawyers, judges and other venomous insects), used to talk among themselves about “poor, foolish cousin Juan.” Yeah, “poor Juan,” the brilliant Doctor of History who was regarded as one of the most outstanding academicians in two continents. They had no idea, no comprehension of how bright he was; to them he was the idiot relative who luckily had found a job at some university.

    In the mean time, we are governed by this:

  89. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Jason Calley: It would seem that they are chosen just to fill a gap or a place while the real government, in such a case, would be invisible. Do you think this is so?

  90. Jason – that is priceless. Thanks for the video. Maybe if we moved everyone out of California it would ease the pressure on the fault and it wouldn’t have the risk of breaking off and sinking.

  91. Pascvaks says:

    Intelligence is one of the most difficult things to accurately assess; and it’s nearly impossible to guage wisdom. Too many variables in both areas, and the folks with the yardsticks are almost always judging everyone against themselves; now that’s rich. I know I sound like I just crawled out from inside a collapsed cave, but I’ve met an awful lot of very smart cavemen, farmers, and shepherds, factory workers, and truck drivers, and very few water-walkers, mountain-movers, and intellectuals, that I’d put in the same category in terms of overall intelligence and wisdom. (-;Yes, you guessed it, I’m using my own yardstick to measure them all;-)

  92. Jason Calley says:

    @ adolfogiurfa “It would seem that they are chosen just to fill a gap or a place while the real government, in such a case, would be invisible. Do you think this is so?”

    Well… yes, I think you are absolutely correct. I think that most of the people who are holding high Federal offices in this country are there for two reasons: First, they will willingly vote whichever way they are paid to vote, regardless of the will of “We the People”. For example, the 2008 TARP bailout bill was rejected by something well over 90% of the people here in the US, and yet it was passed with support from both major parties and the President. Second, I suspect (but this is only a strong suspicion and not something which I could ever prove) that most of the people who are holding high Federal office have at least one well documented flaw in their past so that they can be blackmailed or removed if they suddenly get a conscience and attempt to vote for the good of the country instead of how they are told. When I was a child in school, I used to wonder how the great kingdoms and empires of the past would end up with Kings who were basically idiots from good families. I think that I see a pattern here.

    @ Pascvacs While I have a high regard for the well educated (whether they are credentialed or self-taught) I have come to a very similar conclusion to what you wrote. I was blessed while still in my early twenties to work with a woman who was not very bright. In fact, she was (as we say here in the South) “as dumb as a bag of hammers.” I was all full of the burning hubris of high intellect and youth (dangerous combination!) and it would have been very easy to look down on this woman, and yet…she was kind, she was polite, she had a sense of humor, she never spoke ill of other people. I realized that while intellect is a wonderful tool, it is only one tool, and a real human needs to have a much larger tool box than one tool. In many ways this decidedly un-bright woman was a much better person that I was. I am lucky I met her. Since then I have met people who could barely read, but who were tremendously wise, people who I admire but who nonetheless could not tell the difference between Shakespeare and Mozart. The world is a funny place, and I am beginning to think that we humans are the punch line. :)

  93. Mark Miller says:

    @Jason Calley:

    The average person does not (can not?) understand someone who is seriously brighter than himself.

    This made me think of an editorial that was written by a lady a couple years ago in my local paper re. Climategate. It said what you said, but used it as a defense of Mann, et al. in the e-mails; that the critics who were crying, “Looky, looky! They’re frauds,” were misinterpreting what they were reading, were not smart enough to understand what they were looking at, and went on to say that it’s often the case that the intelligent among us are misunderstood. I was fuming by the end of it. I wanted to smack her upside the head, “Seriously?! You expect me, and the scientists in this town to buy this??” It’s another version of a feint I’ve seen liberals use for years of, “You’re not seeing what you think you see,” as a way to confuse the audience, challenge the credibility of their critics, and at the same time bolster the belief of those who “dream the same dream.”

    Even after scientists, statisticians, and mathematicians have thoroughly discredited the “hockey stick,” there are still people around here who swear by it. Nothing will convince them otherwise. That’s what pissed me off about this. It is rich that these people are incapable of listening to a rational argument and understanding it, but they are the ones who were saying, “You’re not smart enough to understand what you’re seeing.” Like hell I’m not! Look in the frickin’ mirror at yourselves!

    Re. Rep. Johnson

    Yeah, I saw that video. I was incredulous. Now that I listen to it again I’m thinking he was just trying to throw up any objection he could, well…imagine to block the use of that island by the military. I’m thinking he just didn’t want them to do it. I noticed he brought up “the environment” and “global warming” as well, realizing that his “capsize” comment was a flop…

    For the people who espouse CAGW, I’ve found that it’s really a proxy for an aesthetic concern for “the environment.” It’s become almost code for environmentalists. They can tell instantly who’s with them, and who isn’t, by what someone says about it. Once you wipe away the CAGW argument, what you find behind it is, “I’m concerned about what we’re doing to the environment,” or, “I think we have too many people on this planet using too many resources.” I haven’t gotten behind that, to find out “what lies beneath.” Maybe I don’t want to know… They use CAGW as a bulldozer to not discuss what is in fact an opinion, which they don’t want confronted. It’s like when progressives charge “racism” when conservatives discuss how to free people from government intervention, and keep the government fiscally sound. They can give you chapter and verse about how racist America has been in its past, and how it still lingers today, and try to make it somehow relevant to a discussion about human liberty. The reality is they are just a wall. They don’t want a discussion. Why? Personally I think it’s because they’re incapable of having one that involves higher principles than their self-interest and their self-aggrandizement, which is expressed as “how much they care.” Maybe this is what Americans expect of politicians now. We’ll see.


    Sir Ken Robinson I think makes a good point that there are many forms of intelligence. Our educational institutions tend to recognize only one kind, and encourage that. The lawyers and judges Jason described have, I presume, some intelligence of a certain category. Otherwise they wouldn’t have qualified for their positions. I think it’s more a matter of a lack of a well-rounded education, and I don’t necessarily mean more schooling. Even if you put a student in a school, they may have an academic environment that’s not conducive to deep and meaningful learning. It’s more a matter of understanding and respecting the different academic disciplines, understanding their value, even if one doesn’t want to pursue them to the fullest.

    @Simon Derricutt:

    That’s a great line. :) I’m sure if word was spread around by the Union of Concerned Scientists after the next sizable earthquake in CA, there are many who would believe it. Heck, it could even become government policy, “We’re overpopulated. You see, it’s just like we’re all on a plank hanging over a cliff. If you have too many people on it, it will eventually break. Some of you need to leave the state for the good of the rest of us. We will choose a population number that need to leave based on our estimate of the pressure that each person exerts on the earth, and then we will do a random drawing based on categories of people who are most harmful to this situation. The obese among you will be prioritized, as they exert greater pressure… Those who need to leave will receive a notice in the mail. You will have 6 months to leave. If you refuse to leave, we will tax you at a higher rate to pay for the damage to infrastructure and the health care of the people you hurt when ‘the big one’ comes.”

    Just think. It’s like the cigarette tax. It would be a way to attack obesity!… Truth is already becoming stranger than fiction in our politics. Go for it, CA! This one’s on me!

  94. BobN says:

    I find people making some of the biggest noise about some issues to be the biggest offender or Hypocrite. Al Gore has made a living preaching Global warming, but he lives in the big house and travels by private jet. Ted Turner recently came out and said he supports agenda 21 and the population reduction plans. Some how I think Ted doesn’t see himself reduced in the plans.

    To take any of these people serious they must walk the walk, few do!

  95. Pascvaks says:

    This occured to me while reading the comments since my last post. I toss it in the ring for your consideration:

    Everyone on planet Earth feels they have a flaw. Many think they have many flaws. Many think that because they are so flawed they should defer to idiots and self proclaimed experts about everything.

    People are funny! Someone with a beautiful face will get operations (or injections) to fix things that were perfect, and evermore look like a zombie. Girls with ‘average’ this or that think they’re ugly and will never find their better half; some take to the bottle or drugs, some take to the fridge. I think you’re all old enough to have heard and seem the same in your lifetime and know what I’m talking about. People are funny! And, not always in a nice way. Especially about themselves. They dwell on their ‘perceived’ faults and never realize how truly gifted they are in so many other ways. They’re blind to their strengths and the remarkables they have.

    It may be the old problem of the over populated Bell Curve (the more people there are the bigger the problem seems), and the new problem of instant world-wide News, that the problem of self image seems so bad today; and, we don’t have the powers of observation we did back in the Cave days, that’s true too. But, damn it, it sure seems folks are getting dumber by the day, and they think they are the only ugly, stupid person that’s ever walked the face of the planet. If this will help them I say loud and clear: “Hay! Look at me! I’m no better than any of you! Get over it! Relax! Have some fun! Stop kicking yourself! You’re just as good and smart and beautiful as anyone!”

    Will it work? Naaaaa… they’re too damn boneheaded, they can’t see or hear or feel anything but their own pain. They’re just like me sometimes.

  96. p.g.sharrow says:

    Back in the late 1950s I remember some of my elementary school and then the Jr high school teachers insisting that only those that accepted Liberal Progressive view points were intelligent and that I should change to be accepted as an intelligent person. I guess I was too hard headed to buy their crap, so I got the Manual labor track. I was lucky that I got the tail end of the best schools in the world before they were fixed by the professional administers and unions. pg

  97. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. Any course book from that epoch used by 7 years old kids then, would qualify now for PHD level. :-)
    This is real because what is needed now it is just to repeat what the consensus says.

  98. philjourdan says:

    @Pascvaks says: 10 June 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Wisdom is the subjective, while Intelligence is the objective. I agree that intelligence is difficult to measure, and wisdom is impossible to measure. But your response made me remember an issue that I have with both the Media (in America) and the left. They do not try to measure either, instead using the yardstick of how much you agree with them as the gauge of Intelligence. That is why we are always regaled with how smart liberals are and how stupid conservatives are. When just the opposite is true. Objective measures of intelligence always show the liberals to be less intelligent than the conservatives, but since they “believe” the same things as the host, they are perceived as intelligent. And wisdom is a foreign concept to the left. Wisdom tells you things like if your plan has failed 20 times, it will fail 21 times. So liberals have to reject wisdom because it does not fit their perception of the world.

  99. philjourdan says:

    @Mark Miller says: 11 June 2012 at 12:55 am

    Someone once told me (I think it was in one of those Dale Carnegie courses) that if you cannot explain your thought on the back of a business card – you do not understand it yourself.

    It is not that scientists are smarter than the rest of us, it is that they do not understand what they are supposedly experts in. And that lady you were referring to was pretending intelligence as well. She did not want to be perceived as stupid, so she pretended she knew what Climatologists were talking about when even they do not understand it.

  100. adolfogiurfa says:

    @philjourdan: instead using the yardstick of how much you agree with them as the gauge of Intelligence…
    But, the fact is that they end being “useful fools” (when not paid for) of the “New World Order” elite. The involved “ideology” is nothing else but a means to “fool” people, most of them “good hearted people” who fall prey of fallacies like “social justice”, “redistribution of wealth”, etc.
    Literally: They are tailless “devils”, who, as described by tradition, fool people by cheating them with supposedly “good intentions”.

  101. Pascvaks says:

    Isn’t it strange, how little we’ve changed. Go back in history as far as you want, we seem to be the same people, with the same problems, with the same way of coping, with the same way of thinking about things we don’t really think about. Our priority in life is not the world but the moment; but, given enough time and wampum, we like to sit back and tell everyone else how to be like us. It seems like just yesterday that whats-her-name picked that fruit the Voice in the Garden said not to. Nothing’s changed! Nothing important.

    I wonder. If it’s taken 6MYr to get this far, and we really haven’t come that far, how much longer we’ll have to keep coming back, again and again, before we can say we’ve come far?

    Oh the plight of the Fallen, the Killer Angels.

    This is like watching “Ground Hog Day”, over and over again.

  102. philjourdan says:

    @adolfogiurfa says: 12 June 2012 at 1:05 pm

    But how many are simply “useful idiots” and how many are really “good life”? (reference is to the Beserker Series by Saberhagan).

  103. Mark Miller says:


    They do not try to measure either, instead using the yardstick of how much you agree with them as the gauge of Intelligence. That is why we are always regaled with how smart liberals are and how stupid conservatives are. When just the opposite is true. Objective measures of intelligence always show the liberals to be less intelligent than the conservatives, but since they “believe” the same things as the host, they are perceived as intelligent.

    I refer back to my comments about how it’s common in America for people to say someone is “smart” if they are emotionally intelligent. Never mind if they are intellectual, and are able to check their thoughts against anything. I acknowledge that there is such a thing as emotional intelligence. It’s just that it isn’t the full spectrum of intelligence, and that’s what I find the left misses. If they glom on to an intellectual, it’s usually in the sense of worship. They become disciples of a religious figure, not participants in a dialogue.

    The overriding sense I get from leftists is they want to know “the truth” from experts, and feel that they have done all the searching they need by doing that. If what they receive matches, explains their experience, then they believe it without question. Their experience is primary. Any ability to reason about what they receive comes a distant second or third. They generally receive this “truth” without question. They don’t ask, “Well, what does so-and-so think,” even though there may be many intelligent sources who offer different POVs on the subject.

    It’s always disappointing for me to see this. When I was in school, most of my teachers were liberals, but they were the ones who taught me to seek out multiple sources of information, and they accepted different points of view into an argument. To some extent they encouraged scientific inquiry, and allowed philosophical questions to enter into debates. They had a more “squishy” notion of truth, talking about the “gray area” of things. I remember that used to drive conservatives up the wall, because they had an emphasis on Christianity, and “one truth.” A different variety of the same disease, but on a different side…

    I made the comment recently on a local community forum that I used to feel more sympathy with the left, because it was the right who was “bible thumping” and trying to win converts to the “the one truth.” It was plain to see that they were trying to shape life choices and lifestyles, thinking that would bring about “salvation.” I was uncomfortable with that then, and I’m uncomfortable with it now. But now it’s the left doing that, and they’re “thumping” a different, non-Christian bible. The right has become more flexible. Strange how operating principles can switch sides with time.

  104. Mark Miller says:


    Isn’t it strange, how little we’ve changed. Go back in history as far as you want, we seem to be the same people, with the same problems, with the same way of coping, with the same way of thinking about things we don’t really think about.

    This is something the Founders of the U.S. understood very well, that human nature is immutable. It’s a major thing that progressives do not understand. They are distracted and bedazzled by our modern world, and think that because our external circumstances have changed, that *we* have changed, or at least evidence that we *can* change. Just as science applied to the world can change it, science applied to a human society can change us as well. What they miss is that, yes, our external circumstances have changed dramatically from what they used to be, but we are no different. We respond differently to our external circumstances, but these are just changes in habits. We are still the same in our nature.

    What’s really scary is watching progressives fall into the same behavior patterns that elites exhibited during the Dark Ages, and this ties right back into CAGW. Dr. Sallie Ballunas gave a speech several years ago in a presentation called “States of Fear” (I can’t find it now), where she recounted how the elites of society thought that witches could “cook weather.” During the LIA there were many bizarre, extreme weather events in Europe that wiped out crops, and killed people. People tried to figure out why this was happening, and found people that today we would diagnose as having “mood disorders” were “the cause.” They were suspected of sorcery, and the leaders of society tried various tests, from compelling confessions, to dunking them in water, to find the scapegoats. The accused were tortured, and burned at the stake. We see the desire to do much the same today on the part of some CAGW advocates.

    It’s my understanding that at some point the elites in Western societies realized our unchanging nature, and contrasted it against the knowledge base that they were able to develop, and the advancement that achieved, and understood that this would not do in maintaining modern civilization. If people were not brought to an understanding of certain thought processes, we’d always fall backward in the way we lived, because we would not understand how to create what had been created up to that point, by individuals who had managed to get through some common perceptual barriers. What these thought processes offer is a way to check our natural inclinations against a higher principle, to broaden the scope of what we think we know, and to approach an understanding of what’s really going on, as opposed to what our nervous system tells us. Schools have been slipping in this goal for a century, and it’s showing.

    From what little I’ve heard from educators, they are more interested in what’s easy to get across to students. This will not do, because what’s easy to get across just falls into “what they naturally know,” which feeds into our primitive nature, and does not really teach these valuable thought processes. By getting a positive response, the teachers think they’re making “progress.” It feels more like the blind leading the blind. The original purpose of school was to get across the hard concepts, because they are worth knowing. If schools just feed “what comes naturally,” then what good are schools, really? Kids get that at home all the time. The dirty little secret is a lot of parents use schools as glorified day care centers. Some educators are willing to admit they feel like they’re in that role, though they try to teach *something* during their care period.

    Unfortunately, as some educators have been willing to admit, a lot of our public schools are just a jobs program for adults. And as is the nature of a “jobs program,” people have to be made to look busy doing something “productive.”

  105. Mark Miller says:

    Ah, found it! Dr. Sallie Baliunas on the historical matter of “weather cooking”

  106. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Mark Miller….about “cooking”: There are many concoctions being “sold” at the market. Perhaps you do not notice many of them, as locals, but very obvious for foreigners. You are prone to believe in many things which have become to be wrongly perceived as true. In order to see clearly the only method possible to start with is to doubt about EVERYTHING, in special with those things we consider more dear.

  107. Pascvaks says:

    @ Mark Miller-
    Isn’t it curious, at least in the macro, that philosophy has not advanced an inch in a hundred years, and here we be with more ‘doctors’ of philosophy than ever. It’s like art and philosophy are linked arm-in-arm too, because art hasn’t been doing much either. A child’s mind is the pathway to the future and things down the road aren’t looking too clear for any of us at the moment.

    Ever watch a Supernova? Me neither. For every action there is an equal and opposite and different reaction? I’m told the end is the beginning. But the beginning of what? I have a feeling the Maya predictions had less to do with physics and more to do with human nature. Maybe we’ll see;-)

    Maybe we are seeing, but don’t know it, nor understand?;-)

  108. philjourdan says:

    @Mark Miller says: 12 June 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I think your problem is that you have bought too much into the left’s stereotypes. The left cannot deal with “individuals”, so they use stereotypes to compensate for that lack. And of course the stereotype of the right is bible thumper. While there is no question that many of the main line Christian sects are on the right, it does not follow – in any type of logic system that I am aware of – that all on the right are part of a mainline Christian sect. INdeed, for those who educate themselves (very few on the left ever do, as you noted, they merely seek out experts), they find that the right is comprised of all faiths (including atheism), and are diverse in virtually all respectgs save one – the ability to reason and learn.

    Several studies have shown that a conservative an easily impersonate a liberal, but a liberal cannot impersonate a conservative. This goes partly to your expert theory, but mostly to the left’s unwillingness to learn. It is easier to pigeon hole an opponent than to examine their position and seek to debate it. The left is good at the former, and a fish out of water for the latter.

  109. Mark Miller says:


    You’ve prompted me to go on a bit of search. Below are some links to what I’ve found on the subject. I could find no reference to “weather cooking,” but rather to “weather making” and “weather makers” during Medieval times. The Catholic Church did have trials of accused witches, but only for being unfaithful. It dismissed the notion that witches could influence natural events, and recommended against taking actions against them for it, as all of the known “remedies” were of pagan origin, and the Church considered it heresy to practice them. That apparently didn’t stop local lords and communities from carrying out their own witch trials for accusations of causing severe storms, as my sources indicate, though it’s said that the major cities and institutions of Europe all dismissed the notion of weather making. These trials took place in rural areas. It seems they started in Germany, and eventually spread to France, and England to the West, and to parts of Eastern Europe as well.

    The most fruitful search was on Johann Weyer, the Dutch physician Balunias mentioned. I found an article by Wolfgang Behringer from 1999 talking about many of the same details that Balunias used in her presentation. He wrote a book called, “Climate Change and Witch-Hunting: the Impact of The Little Ice Age on Mentalities” the same year. After seeing so many details match, I suspect Balunias used his book as her primary source.

    I found articles with differing interpretations of Weyer. Some said that he was a humanitarian who thought that witches were merely mentally disturbed old ladies, and were otherwise harmless. Others said that he believed in witches and witchcraft, but saw them as no great threat, that they were bad people, because they weren’t Christian, but that they did not merit the hatred they were subjected to during the 16th century.

    I found a sermon written by Johann Brenz, a colleague of Weyer, from 1539 talking about accusations of witches causing hailstorms, saying this was not possible, again for theological reasons.

    Very interesting what he says about the science of the time (he actually uses the term “scientists”) re. what causes rain and hail:

    “The scientists assert that hail originates when the sun draws up the humidity or moisture out of the earth and carries it through the air to the clouds. There it is turned into clouds because of the great cold of the air, but later, when it is warmed by the sun again, it is turned into rain or hail, especially during the summer. And the rain falls unless the drops freeze again because of the freezing cold air, and they coalesce. This freezing and coalescing are the origin of hail as explained by the scientists and naturalists.”

    He offered this explanation for the congregation’s consumption, but said immediately afterward that God is the true distributor of hail. Still, I was impressed with this flawed understanding of the process. He makes it sound like their concept was that clouds were a cooled “condensate” (accurate) that “froze” the water vapor in place until “heated again” at which time it was free to move in a liquid form. If his account is accurate, the scientists of the time were mistaken in this one aspect, but everything else they thought about the process was close to what we know today. I was especially impressed that they knew that hail was a coalescing of water droplets that freeze. It’s caused me to wonder how they came to know that much. They had no way to observe that directly. Maybe they just surmised it from seeing how much water was in hail stones, and compared that to the known size of rain drops.

    I found some material on Jean Bodin, who was a rival to Weyer, because he believed that witches were a danger to society, and were not merely mentally disturbed. I couldn’t find anything meaty online about him accusing witches of weather making, because most of the material which suggested this demanded payment to read it. Since I’m not going to make a major study of this, I declined. So there might be something to what Balunias talks about with this, but I can’t say for sure. There is material at Wikipedia, but since it sounds like this could be a matter of dispute, I decided to eschew it.

    There’s also this article by Emily Oster on climate and witch trials during the 16th and 17th centuries, written in 2004. She offers an interesting theory on the matter, though it’s purely speculative, saying that witch trials increased during periods of colder temperatures (she shows a strong correlation between the two), that accused witches were often killed by their own families, and that since the accused were old widows that needed support from their families to survive, perhaps what was really going on was their offspring were finding it hard to feed themselves, much less their grandmothers, and so found an excuse for offing them.


    Part of it is the media’s portrayal at the time of conservatives as Christian evangelicals, which I now know very well is, and was, skewed and distorted. The time period I referred to was the 1980s. I was a young ‘un at the time, so I was not so discerning. Nevertheless, I witnessed some of what I describe firsthand. Evangelicals were much more visible in politics than they are now. I watched them talk about what they believed without the media filter. I was speaking of them in my earlier comment, and I will not retract what I said about them. The ones I saw were disturbed by the “mushy” interpretation of “truth” that the liberals of the time were promoting.

    One problem I can point to with my memory of this is that conservatism of the likes of William F. Buckley was way over my head, so it just didn’t register with me as also representing conservatism. I knew of him, particularly with his show, “Firing Line,” but I couldn’t understand what he and his guests were talking about. I’m sure if I were to review his show now my view of it would be very different. And perhaps my view of what represented conservatism of the time would change as well. More to the point is my eventual realization that liberals are just as capable of the rigid thinking that I once observed with the more politically active evangelical movement.

  110. Mark Miller says:

    I came upon this today through the same person who produced a series of videos on John Galt’s closing speech in “Atlas Shrugged,” which I’ve used in past posts a couple times. He used a video clip from The Heritage Foundation where Evan Sayet was giving a talk on “How liberals think.” It was so enlightening to me I thought I’d share it. It does bear on the subject we’ve discussed here, but broadens it a lot.

    I got a sense upon watching it that here was an explanation I have long sought. Looking back at my comments on “how liberals think,” I feel like I was “in the ballpark,” but was only describing symptoms. Sayet says some valuable things here, because I get a sense from listening to him that he provides a rational explanation for liberal thought. You can take any subject, plug it into this explanation, and see why liberals react the way they do to them. Though, when you listen to the description, it’s kind of easy to fall into thinking that it contradicts itself. I think what you have to keep in mind as you listen is, “This is what’s on “their* mind, and reveals how they arrive at their decisions. Yes, it’s irrational, but this nonetheless describes their mentality.”

    His thesis is that what we see now writ large (though he gave this speech in 2007) is the result of a belief in non-discrimination. Not just racial non-discrimination, which I regard as good anyhow, but non-discrimination in *all matters*, and the people implementing this are thinking BIG, like global. How can this be, though, since we see liberals discriminating all the time. They will highlight certain people, events, and ideas who/that support their ideology somehow. He explains:

    The modern liberal will *invariably* side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that will lead to failure over those that lead to success. … So the question becomes, “Why?” How do they think they’re making a better world? Well, the first thing that comes into your mind when you’re trying to understand, as I’ve so desperately tried to understand, is that if they always side with evil, then they must be evil. But we have a problem with this, don’t we? We all know too many people who fit this category who aren’t evil. … So if they’re not evil, then the next place your mind goes is, “Well then, they must be incredibly stupid.” They don’t *mean* to always side with evil, failed, and wrong. They just don’t know what they’re doing. But we have a problem with this as well. You can’t say Bill Maher is a stupid man, my old boss. You can’t say Ward Churchill is a stupid man. You can’t say all these academics are stupid people. And frankly, if it was just stupidity, they’d be right more often. What’s the expression? “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.” So if they’re not stupid, and they’re not evil, what’s their plan? … How do they think they’re making a better world?

    What I discovered is the modern liberal looks back on … 50,000 years, 100,000 years of human civilization, and knows only one thing for sure: that none of the ideas that mankind has come up with–none of the religions, none of the philosophies, the ideologies, none of the forms of government–none have succeeded in building a world devoid of war, poverty, crime, and injustice. So they’re convinced that since *all* of these ideas of man have proved to be wrong, the real cause of war, poverty, crime, and injustice *must* be found–can only be found–in the attempt to be right. See, if nobody were right, what would we disagree about? If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight. If we didn’t fight, of course we wouldn’t go to war. Without war there would be no poverty. Without poverty there would be no crime. Without crime there would be no injustice. It’s a utopian vision, and all that’s required to usher in this utopia is the rejection of all fact, reason, evidence, logic, truth, morality, and decency; all the tools that you and I use in our attempts to be better people, to make the world more right, by trying to be right, by siding with right, by recognizing what is right, and moving towards it.

    You know, when this first started to dawn on me, I would take this out and question my liberal friends, and believe me there were plenty of them in liberal Hollywood. The thing about Hollywood is it is overwhelmingly liberal–upper-case “L,” not lower-case “l”–but there are a lot more of us than you would suspect, but they’re afraid, and it’s hard to come out, because it’s so Orwellian–and virtually everything about this philosophy is Orwellian. … The Liberals are as illiberal as you can imagine.

    What you have is people who think that the best way to eliminate rational thought–the best way to eliminate the attempt to be right–is to prove always that right isn’t right, and to prove that wrong isn’t wrong, to bring about a philosophy that–you see this in John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”: “Imagine there’s *no* countries (sic).” Not, “Imagine great countries.” Not, “Imagine, defeat the Nazis.” … And the key line is imagine a time when anything and everything that mankind values is devalued to the point that there’s nothing left “to kill or die for.” … Everything that they believe is designed–everything they teach in our schools, everything they make into movies, the messages of the movies, the TV shows, the newspaper stories that they pick, and how they spin them, have but one criteria for truth, beauty, honesty, etc., etc., and that is, does it tear down what is good, and elevate what is evil? Does it tear down what is right, and elevate what is wrong? Does it tear down the behaviors that lead to success, and elevate the ones that lead to failure, so there’s *nothing left to believe in*.

    He went on to say that their belief in non-discrimination means that they believe that all behaviors have *equal* outcomes. He said that, “Of course we don’t believe this, because we think.” We can actually look at cause and effect, and reason about what led to success, and what led to failure, but in their minds, if they see people who are successful, they think they got there by bad means. They got it by stealing, or by tricking people. Likewise, if someone has failed, it’s because they were victimized. He also said that the whole thing with global warming is to single-handedly turn America’s perception from a place that’s good for the world, and turn it into the most evil place in the world. The overall sense I get, even though it’s easy to think he’s saying, “They love debauchery,” is really what they’re saying is, “You think you’re SO right. I’m going to show you you’re belief in your correctness, your righteousness is WRONG!” They set up messages and forces in opposition to each other in an attempt to show that BOTH are wrong. The conclusion they want people all around the world to come to is there is no right or wrong. There is no knowledge. There is no reason. They want a “settling in the middle” where everything and everyone is equal. They’ll never achieve it, but that’s what they’re shooting for. He said that a lot of it amounts to nihilism.

    Interestingly, during the Q&A he talks about the fact that they have no end goal. He said, “In the end, they leave you with nothing.” It reminds me a lot of what Ayn Rand said, that they want nothing, and that their ultimate goal is death, because they hate existence, even though they deny this of themselves.

    Sayet mentions a book he said he was working on called, “Regurgitating the Apple,” which he said would explain all this, but I haven’t been able to find it. Here are the videos of him speaking. Unfortunately they were broken up into 16 pieces…

    Here’s the “John Galt” video where I found this. It’s another version of a video I posted in an earlier post, but it gets into this more.

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