Posts Tagged ‘progress’

El Autismo d e l u x e

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Emil Cartwright scanned the horizon for clouds. He had been working from his home in Mexico as a computer programmer for about six months now, and he had learned that the locals had an indifferent attitude toward planning, so if he wanted not to get stranded in a storm, he had better predict it himself.

Satisfied, he climbed into his dune buggy and raced off into the sands that surrounded the mid-size city he had chosen as a retreat. Every day, he got up and fixed web sites and point of sale systems for his clients, working remotely for up to four hours. Then he had the rest of the day for himself and, like today, he often explored the surrounding land, similar to that of his native Arizona.

It was nice to get outside of the disorder of the city. Unlike the city he grew up in, this one was marked by disorganized and apathetic activity. Construction work happened while people still occupied the building being altered. Some buildings were simply abandoned, rotting away. Theft was common. Open sewage streamed through the street.

Being a libertarian, Emil saw the situation differently. Everyone had to go to work anyway, so they should set up society based on transactions. People could pay more to live in nice places and the disorder would not exist there. Since people are rational, he reasoned, they would work harder and earn more to have a nice place to live, and soon the disorder would disappear.

The free market fixed things. He knew that soon technology would make so much suffering obsolete the way it had removed buggy whips, whale oil lanterns and rotary phones from our lives. He had faith in the rationality of people, and looked forward to the day that humanity woke up and stepped into the glowing world of progress.

Today he felt good about his situation. He ventured far beyond the city, relishing the full tank of gas and moderate cruising speed of his vehicle. As the day warmed up, he wanted to get out of the sun, so pulled into one of the antiques shops that dotted the countryside, flypaper for tourists. But today it felt right to stop here.

“Desk, sewing machine, desk, sewing machine,” he muttered under his breath. This particular store was less interesting than he had hoped it would be. Most of this stuff was junk, old furniture that had never seen maintenance and so was falling apart at the touch, or recycled technology from the past decade. But something caught his eye in the corner.

1950s styling distinguished the red metal case. At first he thought it was a refrigerator, but then looked inside and realized it was some kind of radio or computer. He tried tracking circuits, but could make no sense of it. The bottom was badly corroded but the circuit boards intact.

“$25,” he said to the man behind the counter.

“The price esays $50,” said the fellow, a middle class Mexican mix of Spanish and Asians who had been here since before the formation of Europe.

“I want to pay $25,” said Emil.

“Whatever you like,” said the man. “It seems like it has always been yours anyway.”

As he roared back into the city that night, the heavy machine strapped between the seats of his spare parts dune buggy, Emil reflected that this might have been his first impulse purchase ever. With the help of the night porter, he struggled to get the thing into his apartment. There it sat for the next two days as he answered calls and fussed bits into place to make machines far away work.

When he did turn to it, he first vacuumed it out, then disconnected the rusty base and corroded power supply. He did not recognize this old style of parts despite it being only six decades old, but he was able to remove the rust and oil the base, then went hunting for a power supply. He found one at the end of the day, dusty in a corner of a typewriter shop.

“$5,” said the owner. “It hasa been here for years. Just take it away, please.”

When Emil got home, he made himself a light risotto with Chianti for dinner and watched the sun set. Then by the flicker of old incandescent bulbs, he got to work bolting the base back into place and then screwing the new power supply into place. He cleaned the face, watching the logo gleam back at him: El Autismo d e l u x e.

He searched for some way to interface with the device but found only two RCA ports like he would use to connect it to an old television. These were made of cardboard, wax and lucite and looked old fashioned in their handmade, slightly off-center way. It took some calling around but he was able to hire a personal assistant for $5 an hour to find him a converter to hook the thing up to his monitor.

All plugs attached, he flipped the switch on the front of the device and watched as his screen flickered to life. The circuitry looked advanced; surely it must be some kind of radar, or a really fancy television? His spirits fell as he saw the picture on screen which was barely as good as the three-dimensional viewers of his childhood. But he soon relaxed and found himself simply watching.

It seemed he was receiving a television broadcast, but not from any time he recalled. A hand-lettered 1950s style sign proclaimed THE SINGULARITY above a building of a strange modern architecture, based on curves and not cubes, that he did not recognize. People filed in wearing the attire of earlier ages that always struck people from his time as oddly formal, but they carried cell phones.

He saw a woman wearing an elegant summer dress that came down to below her knees, talking on what looked like a thinner iPhone, resting her arm on a Packard in the parking lot as another pulled in. People filed into the lecture hall and the camera followed without a single shake, revealing a gleaming glass tower of octagonal shape rising above the audience. It pulsed with a grey-violet light.

There was no sound, but a balding man in a suit was speaking, gesturing toward the machine. Emil could see more of the strange hand-lettered signs around, talking about processing capability (“one trillion UNIVACs”) and memory (“seven billion LOCs”). Then from the way the man gestured, Emil could tell that he was talking about joining these units together… many of them.

More 1950s hybrid 2020s imagery passed: nuclear tests, wars he did not recognize, space flight from a strange glider plane, telepathic imaging. Then, soldiers in the awkward old uniforms and carrying old-fashioned looking guns jumped into some of those tiny Jeeps to go up a winding mountain road. They went deep inside the rock, and through the darkness ahead he could see light.

A city, he thought. No — some kind of crystalline nexus. As the lead Jeep rounded the final bend, he saw that it was neither. Instead what lay before him was a city block or more worth of these octagonal towers. The cave pulsed with their light. Then the Jeep drove down a tunnel carved through rock, past nuclear reactors, bomb shelters, small factories, hospitals, schools, control centers filled with flashing lights and what looked like streamlined, more powerful versions of 1950s computers…

He dozed off. He awakened to images of flying through clouds. The plane landed outside Los Angeles, or what he imagined was a city like it, and then white-coated scientists hopped onto ten-ton military trucks to drive into the mountains. There, he saw another crystalline city of supercomputers, but this time the film emphasized the thick cable running off through the mountains.

New Year’s Eve. Champagne was poured; chorus girls in red, white and blue danced to what he imagined was the national anthem. At the stroke of midnight, a portly boffin strode purposefully to the center of the stage and threw a lever. The lights dimmed and flickered. Then on the wall, a screen came to life. It showed nodes across the United States coming online.

Next came a news report showing the outside of a brick building that was both ornate and stately, suggesting a university or a church. The video cut to a huge immaculate room in which young men in lab coats were feeding books into ports the size of a microwave oven. The books went in, and a light flashed, producing the shadows of moving pages. Then the book slid out the other side.

On the screen, a hand-drawn illustration popped up, showing stacks of books increasing by the millions. Then another room: photographs were offered on one side, and on another, video and audio were being screened. Intermittent shots of giant memory units, apparently using a solid-state technology, showed how much information went into the machine.

Finally it seemed over. Some years had gone by; the narrator looked slightly older. As he spoke, the camera moved to five scientists in oily lab coats smoking pipes over coffee in a kitchen somewhere. The lights dimmed and flickered again. They looked up, with joyful expressions. The next scene showed more military activity.

Emil lost track of the progression here. The phone rang; he checked email on his laptop; later, he ordered some food. But he caught the scenes of electronic equipment being installed in planes and tanks, submarines taking on new computer units, and then a completely automated factory churning out a car every thirty-eight minutes by the stopwatch of the narrator.

Munching down Chinese food, he lit a cigarette and watched more. The first scene showed the distinctive architecture of St. Basil’s Cathedral against a grey Moscow night. A brightness formed on a nearby building, which then vanished in billowing smoke as multiple additional bright spots struck. As twilight deepened he could see laser beams striking targets across the landscape.

The next news report covered first a charred city somewhere in America, with bodies carried from homes. Since he had no allegiance to America, Emil paid little attention. But other shots showed tanks, more like futuristic versions of present tanks, cruising through snow and mud to attack a clearly panicked enemy. He slowly realized that the computer — whatever it was — had made them, or thought them up. They moved faster and more lightly than other tanks, and fired missiles and shots too quickly for a human.

In the next clip, Soviet flags were dragged across the pavement in Washington, D.C. The film cut to an open ditch dug in frozen snow by what looked like a radio-controlled bulldozer. Soldiers herded several hundred civilians to the edge. Tanks moved from outside the woods, and fired a rapid valley of machine gun fire, puffs of smoke cresting the ice and snow. Bodies fell into the grave, and another group were led out to the same fate.

Other images flashed across the screen. The Eiffel Tower, collapsed. The Brandenburg gate dynamited. Bombers with graceful lines dropping scattershot bombs that erased buildings from the landscape. They looked like traditional Chinese architecture. Again with the mass graves and tanks firing impassively, never missing. The scene repeated in multiple countries.

The camera switched to a university classroom. The narrator stepped up and pointed to a population chart. It showed a prior year list of billions, then a present year number in the low tens of millions. The camera panned to the class, and he saw a sea of white faces, attentive. There were no blacks, Mexicans or Asians present.

Another shot showed these same students studying, quickly marking answers down a page in a physics class, or building complex electronic devices in shop class. In the corner a short octagonal computer stack hummed, pulsing as it assessed answers. The children with the good answers went to meet the principal. The others went to another mass grave scene.

“It worships intelligence,” said Emil. He stared deep into the pulsing machine as the camera zoomed in on it, but just as he seemed to feel a sense of its personality, the scene cut to another setting. It showed people out the in fields, cultivating crops. Then a bell rang and they all ran inside to study. Then another bell, and they were practicing martial arts.

His breath slackened as he watched the incredible vitality of these people. A machine checked test scores; the narrator, quite an old man now, nodded approvingly. Emil saw the new master race emerge from the tutelage of the machine: dark-haired, rigid-featured, a mixture of European ethnicities. From the charts he saw, each one crushed him in educational, athletic and martial abilities.

“Way to make a guy feel inferior,” he said, and started giving the movie half of his attention. He snapped to however when the war films resumed. Tanks surged into foreign lands, their guns seeming to fire indiscriminately, but then enemies — civilian and military — fell in heaps, like reaped wheat. Emil realized that a powerful post human intelligence was at play here.

The Singularity, he thought. The moment when humanity finally got its act together, fed all of its knowledge into a supercomputer, and found some ultimate answers. The charts flashed on screen showed even fewer survivors this time. The computer was saving those who had intellectual possibilities and worked hard, and filtering out the rest.

A new video came on. The narrator was very old and looked barely conscious. The new generation of geniuses was about to enter university. The camera panned over the group, and Emil noticed how similar they looked. Not Nordic, but a generic round face and dark hair and eyes, almost Asiatic.

The videos after that showed the expansion of society. Everyone worked in the fields, then worked at a desk, then exercises and practiced fighting. Society was rigorous, orderly and scientific. Standards prevailed: now any one part of the world started looking about like any other, with the same safety rules, signs, roads, houses, shops and cars.

Emil nodded off again. When he awoke, he saw a new video. It described the glorious merger of East and West, since both were high IQ societies who engaged in the same behavior. Now the parents of college students were all mixed partnerships between Asians and Caucasians. The students looked Eurasian, smooth square faces with narrow eyes.

The camera hovered over the machine. Now it took up dozens of caverns, each pulsing with the same glow, and every aspect of life was managed by the machine. Literature, philosophy and music had vanished; instead, only STEM fields were pursued, and every person lived this regimented life, ruled by the Constitution, the philosophy of Karl Popper, and the inerrant machine.

As the video faded out, Emil saw what society had become. Apartment blocks, each distinctive in architecture, and private plots of land. These covered almost the entire globe. Every person was intelligent, studious, hard-working and rigid in focus. All extraneous activity had been lost. In fact, life had become… mechanical.

The screen quirked and then faded out with the pulse of blue light that happens when analog machines lose power.

“No,” said Emil, pounding on the cold metal face. “No, it can’t be!” He had spent his entire post-teenage life hoping for the Singularity, but now that he saw it, he was unsure. Rather, he felt ill.

As it turned out, his cries had alerted some nearby criminals. The doorframe exploded apart near the lock. Two men, squat and Asiatic in the style of the region, burst in. When they saw Emil’s meagre possessions, they cursed. One of them raised the shotgun and Emil had just enough time to register the burst and think that it must be buckshot. Then his body stopped working, became immensely cold, and he fell to the group.

His eyes unfocused and then came back again. He could feel something leaving him, an event like the shattering of hope. From where he was on the floor, he could hear people arguing in a foreign language. His last vision was of the metal frame before him and the cryptic words which now he understood:

El Autismo d e l u x e

Leave Progress Ahead Of You

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

I knew a very intelligent man who loved what feminism was originally about. He would do this thing where he talked about first, second, third, even fourth wave feminism.

He would say, for example, “Third wave feminism is simply about arguing that gender is a social construct and nothing more.” He saw no problem with feminism itself, but would localize the problem to third or fourth wave feminism as a means of exonerating the original “true” feminism.

To my mind, this is trickery because it does not recognize the continuity between the original feminism and the version we face today. One develops into the other. Perhaps “decays” is a better word as things which may have been good in moderation or at certain times turn into societal decay.

As long as we ignore calling third or fourth wave feminism actual feminism, we may still hold some belief that it is actually a beneficial thing, that the core is golden, that some parts of it is good when in actuality all that we have is a version of it that went bad — or just “worse” — because as an inconsistent ideology, it naturally breaks down into something simpler and less sane.

We witness the same process in other areas where what starts out as one thing turns into something far worse. Eventually all societies decay. What was one law soon became a myriad of laws to micromanage the people for there is no end to how many laws that can control us, it all keeps on going until society self-destructs.

There is no end to the number of laws or rights created as each person wants a rule for their specific circumstance. There is no end to making comparisons and attempting to equalize different people within society, because jealousy goes on looking. There is no end to such madness while people are looking for benefits for themselves, which they will keep on doing.

This is why at the heart of it conservatism is a very limited way of life. The conservative is careful not to do or say too much, and keep to the traditional ways for any and all things will develop into something else. The most dangerous societal concepts, like rights, are so useful that they proliferate like crazy: everyone wants one.

The first to the fourth law of conservatism ought to be: avoid progress, because it will start out innocently and become a monster. Because defensive ideas like “rights” mutate, we should simply not go there. Do not be progressive; stay normal, and you will avoid the forces of decay that turn our good intentions into nightmares.

The Leftist Idea Of Endless Progress

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

The ideas of both continuous progress, and the impediment of progress by the forces of “reaction” — on a level similar to that of the progressive Leftism from which it borrows its name — are motivated by excessive belief in scientific advancement and the ability to indefinitely regulate the behavior of the undifferentiated human biological mass.

At the core of the science of Leftism lies the idea that upon that which we find in the manifested World, one can continuously add more value, and hence forever retain the optimism about the prospects of the future even in face of all the apparent and alarming deficiencies, surfacing problems, deteriorations and degenerations. At its core, the idea of Leftist “scientism” is not the idea of perpetual perfection of the one and the same principle, but of the perpetual need for expansion and management.

The Left’s response, globally speaking, to the problems that “Humanity” (the abstractly conceptualized identity crafted through observations in biology) faces is not to study and address the root causes, but simply to export humanity to another universe via Science.™  In order to prove the root of the problem is not the failure to comprehend the immutable laws of all of the manifest World, but simply the failure to manage and expand, the Left then promotes and propagates the idea that the crisis will be solved if we could just make yet another breakthrough, or yet another regulation. We are thus always borrowing from the future to pay for today.

The fear that we will fail in our grand task of quantitative expansion is mirrored also by the Cuck-o-sphere, which laments those days when Man™ walked on the moon and his progeny strolled ‘round the endless expanses of featureless consumer neighborhoods. The greatest fear that a Progressive harbors is characteristically voiced by spokespersons of the Pop Science TV shows. They despair how “petty” disputes and lack of consideration and scientific awareness (or enlightenment) of mankind impedes the important task that lies in discovering new fuel sources and searching for ourselves a new homeland among the stars. Because, as is quite evident, on the subconscious level, even a Progressive acknowledges the fact that humanity, as is, faces only one direction, and hence, that the marvelous answer lies in the most absurd idea possible – that so called humanity shall save itself by running from itself – from the products of its own devices. This is apparently, the scientific-consumerist end game: devour and run, like a parasite moving between hosts.

The greatest fear of the Progressive in fact, lies not in the possibility that we will not  explore the stellar expanses. It lies in the fact that we will not find anything unique there. It is disturbed by the possibility that whatever we do find there will be of significance only in a purely quantitative sense. And hence, that the answer lies in the most dreadful place possible – in front of our own noses. In other words, the riddle of human survival can be solved through means available at every moment and at all places – through understanding.

This understanding is not conditioned upon geometric and taxonomical observations, but upon that quality which gifted individuals, those upon whom the keys of the Tradition and of the Regnum were once bestowed upon possess – the quality of insight. In the end, in fear of the consequences which necessarily must arise from it, the Left and its immanent science declared war on fundamental understanding itself, replacing it only with the most superficial type of knowledge, the one that is limited only to apparent expressions which can therefore be calculated and managed.

Work Destroys Wisdom

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Conservatives — caught up in trying to compete with the socially more popular Left — have forgotten their original position against “Progress,” or the thought that humans can improve upon the order of nature by using human intent. Conservatives prefer time-honored methods guided by eternal principles to a search for “new” methods which are designed to impose the human will upon what nature has done, without regard for the order of nature.

As part of the original drive against progress conservatives opposed the notion of modern work, or employment to a limited series of functions instead of the more holistic question of role and purpose. Work replaces purpose with satisfaction of the demands of employers, and so detaches task from result. From this, much neurosis arises.

While conservatives have shrugged off much of their anti-work outlook, the fact remains that in the modern time, work is seen as part of a Utopian vision of all workers of the world united in a classless society which is a “meritocracy” meaning that anyone can rise if they are willing to spend the time memorizing the right things, and spending their irreplaceable time on projects others define.

If this time has a sacred cow, it is competition, which is seen as the way that the best rise, but as all things in this time, it has been inverted. Where best once meant “most competent,” now it means “most obedient” first with competence defined solely in terms of precedent and the acts of others. This means that on an individual level, people compete for the proxy of the employer, not a goal or qualitative assessment.

This competition makes people unstable. They start out with nothing, and must jump through many hoops in order to get ahead, which rewards those who have nothing else to do with their time and penalizes the most creative, active and intelligent.

Work defined by competition expands to fit the needs of its workers to jump through those hoops instead of being limited to the amount of actual work that must be done. As a result, people invent new work in order to demonstrate competence and get ahead, effectively burying others under the non-necessary or “make-work.” This causes jobs to be miserable and makes people vicious, resulting in the “crab bucket” mentality of rising by pushing others down.

On the other hand, aristocracy saw work as what it was: a means to an end. They also recognized that ability was innate and did not need to be proven, but required shaping by those who were experienced in a field, or had been recognized over time as excellent. This meant that everyone had a place and these places were stable. The crab bucket was unnecessary.

In our time, we see vast incompetence just about everywhere. This is a consequence of telling people that they are equal, but that some are more equal because they earn more, so that to be accepted above the minimum, people must earn a bunch of money. This convinces those who should by ability be in much simpler roles to take on complex roles, which they “succeed” at through conformity, but do the minimum toward the actual task because they are judged less on that than obedience. This creates a wave of incompetence across our economies.

As a result, wisdom is lost; we forget why we do things, and how to do them well not just in the short-term for a singular goal, but in the long term according to principle. We devolve. Our civilization crumbles. And we work more, and love less, with every step.

In addition, people are existentially miserable. The time required to “compete” for obedience + minimal competence equals a greater amount every generation, it seems, and so people work more and delegate previous functions of the home to third-party labor like maids, daycare and entertainment. This detaches them from their lifestyle as connected to nation and land, and makes them into revengeful free agents who resent how much time they must spend, even if they will not admit this in surveys and cocktail hour conversation.

For the West to rise again, it must decide to reform itself not in defense of the current system, but so that it can reach for something greater, starting with the sense of existential pleasure that one finds in a stable society where competition is not needed and most of one’s time is spent on living, not working.

What Elitism Is Not

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

As part of the cultural revolution roiling the West, childhood heroes become adulthood heroes as Metallica’s James Hetfield lashes out against the Leftist elite culture of the San Francisco Bay Area:

Hetfield says that in the Bay Area, ‘there was an elitist attitude there – that if you weren’t their way politically, their way environmentally, all of that, that you were looked down upon.’

‘They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn’t fly in Marin County.’

Elitism is the philosophy of favoring quality over quantity, since quality and quantity have inverse relationships to one another. It means that instead of judging something for its social, emotional or political value, you look at how well it accomplishes what it purports to do. Elitists recognize that 90% of humanity are idiots and not surprisingly therefore that most human products are worthless.

An elitist will turn down a Big Mac in favor of a steak, but will not go to the new restaurant in town whose claim to fame is being ironic, hip or cute instead of having great food. For the elitist, the focus is entirely on food, and and he or she will sacrifice other things valued by everyone else — atmosphere, novelty, ironism — in order to pursue that quality.

This is why elitists are so rare. What Hetfield is describing in the Bay Area is the opposite of elitism; these people do not prefer time-proven quality, but socially-hip “progress” that is really just a way of virtue signaling how enlightened and wealthy they are.

In the meantime, here is all you need to know of Mr. Hetfield’s music:

The Limits Of Progressivism

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016


The world is limited and therefore self-regulating. Nature can limit itself, but humans with the largest of brains seem to be unable to do so.

Exposure to 99.99% of executive managers will quickly reveal that they hate being confronted by the fact that making money has limits. In fact they refuse to believe; they refuse to listen and would encourage (financially) anyone else (literally) but specifically academia, to propose the alternative of progress, of change and of hope for the password to Aladdin’s cave.

It’s in the genes as some would say –- children have the evolutionary need to verify the limits set by their parents. If Dad stated a limit, the child will verify that with the Mother and if for some reason that is not satisfactory, the child will ask friends or look at what other adults are doing.

However, when the child becomes an adult then the assumption is that after 20-30 years of learning, the young adult would have set his/her own limits, even if it is different.

Some people take an alternative route; they choose to live in a limitless fantasy land. These also start at a young age, with little boys dressing up as Superman and jumping off bridges to their deaths. Another example is to play video games resulting in a fearless attitude to combat burglars or school bullies ending up in hospital.

These people will always bend the rules, ignore them or make new rules, whatever is the coolest for their image. They will therefore hide their own limitations and become defensive. Initially it will be a reaction to prevent being shamed, but that will grow to become a fierce defensive attack mode typically visible in the SJW crowd today.

By the age of fifty most single progressives will come to realize their own mistakes and will proceed to live a quiet life within those self-realized (red-pilled) limits. But if they became part of a progressive organization, the organization itself will empower them to continue –- almost as a mob would –- in their quest to absorb, “eat” or destroy limitations at individual, organizational and even civilizational levels. The mantra they propose is; “who cares?”

Does that not sound like your kid?

The organization itself will become a “machine” bent on searching for and overcoming any barrier (or limit) whether it is a risk or not, just for the hell of it or, just because it can.

For example, if legal limits are experienced, then the law is changed, subverted or a friendly judge is appointed. Meaning the law still applies to “outsiders” but not to the “insiders”, thereby achieving the ideal state of invisible control. (Unaware voters)

Attempting to establish how organizations get from a good company to a virus (progressive) company is difficult. A few attempts are as follows:

  • Cash driven companies expose employees to enormous amounts of cash. This can easily lead to bank-rolling where employees are only checked on a monthly basis. They essentially have a month to take and do anything they want with what may be millions, ending up stealing it.
  • Every company has limited revenue and profit due to markets or resources. One example is a hospital with 100 beds – meaning a maximum of 100 patients per day. The manager may feel frustrated and will insist on expanding via more beds. Then he will attempt to expand every year after which he will expand every quarter. In the end he will marginalize equipment and medical staff in order to get his bonus.
  • Every company follows standard financial procedures resulting in yearly consolidation in order to pay tax. However, the one thing that does not get reconciled is asset procurement. This requires a capital budget motivated by expected life cycle benefits such as production and low maintenance costs etc. The end result is that the actual performance of that asset is never reconciled with the initial motivation. People can therefore procure and scrap capital assets with almost no oversight leading to the demand for re-capitalization which may bankrupt the company.
  • Intermediaries (people you give money to, in order for them to pay someone else, without your oversight), are popular for financial transaction such as property agencies or insurances. It is also used for buying vehicles where the vehicle becomes the property of the bank, while the bank pays the vehicle company (without your oversight). Companies can also hide money in an account held by the insurance company and it can bypass financial audits using undated resource reconciliations. For example, a manager can divert left-over building supplies to his own house (and use the same company builder).
  • The worst case to date is a dual-manufacturing process where every tenth truck delivers output to a different “buyer,” with every required signature part of the “deal”.

The above attempted explanations merely illustrate that if someone wants to “find a way”, then it is quite possible because regulations and procedures are quite porous. It also illustrates that using the company itself as a “resource” can be extremely effective for those “insiders.” For example, it is quite possible for a multi-millionaire not to pay a single penny in taxes (and I mean “nothing”).

The problem with organizations therefore is that it has no internal limit for self-realization of failure. Great companies (as described by Jim Collins) are regulated to produce consistent profits over the long term, while progressive “machines” always follow-the-profit in the short term abusing any limitation in the way of self-perpetuation. In other words, they destroy quality on purpose.

As companies spread across the world, they had to learn how to deal with multiple markets, peoples and cultures. Their short term experiential success led them to believe that they knew better than “those stupid elected officials” across the world. That they knew better is/was true, but not with respect to the long term. In fact they never learned anything about their own organizations.

Examples of multi-national companies making mistakes are never ending. Take Volkswagen building a car that could circumvent exhaust testing in America, in their short term quest to become the biggest manufacturer in the world. Take Toyota that grew so fast that they neglected to test the accelerator of their car. Take Siemens that bribed Nigeria to buy their telephone systems (year after year). Take Lafarge that smuggled weapons to Syria to keep their plant “open.”

The unbeliever should go to any Investor or executive and ask him/her one simple question:

What leadership book have you internalized?

There is common ground between the lower class progressives and the upper class globalist progressives. They do not have any limits and they will destroy such limits should they find them.

What the above illustrates is that organizations, while immensely effective, suffer equal porosity and that progressive policies increase such risk. But because these organizations do not monitor those risks, the limitations of being cool and of being popular is and will always cause them to eat themselves in the end.

Organizations by itself cannot eat a red-pill. By not accepting their limitations they become crocodiles eating anything to get fat and lazy, but although appearing to be quite indestructible, they will always eat their babies.

One cannot fix virus crocodiles that eat everything; you have to starve them through exposure and boycott.

The danger presently foreseen is that all these progressive organizations may have turned its civilization progressive, meaning that a civilization (without walls) will start to eat itself.

Amerika’s Planned Economy Will Fail

Monday, October 17th, 2016


President Woodrow Wilson was pivotal in the birth of The Amerikan Nation. One of the first all-in Progressives to gain power in the United States, Wilson wanted more and more aspects of life to be centrally controlled by the state under the excuse of ideological “good.”

One particularly nefarious aspect of his power lust was his desire to grab the joystick and play the economy like a cheesy, old Atari game. He passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and started the USSA down the road to serfdom and a planned economy.

In particular, the Federal Reserve Bank (AKA The Fed, AKA Bernanke’s Banksters) was granted four powers. They could print money, adjust the discount rate, buy Treasury securities, sell Treasury securities. All of these powers adjust the amount of money in circulation in order to control price inflation. The Politburo tasked with pegging this money supply is known as The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee). The money-printing route got a bad name under Weimar Germany, so the FOMC is less direct in how it turns the money supply dial. Usually, they control M1 and M2 via the Federal Fund Rates and security portfolio manipulation (tightening or quantitative easing). This was bad, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that they went full-metal Maotard.

If you’ve ever done Ops Research, even in the pathetically phony academic environment, you will quickly learn that models that attempt to simultaneously achieve more than one goal usually do not achieve much of anything. The US Congress made just such a stupid math error in 1977. They amended The Federal Reserve Act to become just as stupid as it was Stalinist by ordering the Fed to dial in an unemployment rate as well as a money supply.

In 1977, Congress amended The Federal Reserve Act, stating the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Reserve as:
“The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

A study of Multi-Variable Calculus can give you a sense of why it is worse than just twice as bad to have to control two parameters rather than one. You get a minmum of three different changes every time you touch one of the dials. You directly change Unemployment by dialing it. You also change Money Supply by changing unemployment. You then get the feedbacks. Changing Money Supply by changing unemployment then changes unemployment again.

Thus, any decision the Fed now takes first involves a transient state and then a steady state. During the transient state, any changes the Fed has made bounce around and are unpredictable. After this period, the economy then recalibrates at some point that is probably somewhat unpredictable from any point in the transient state. Therefore, the FOMC gets to push the button and then have to wait to determine whether it worked.

Another problem that makes this even more likely to fail. The manner in which we measure unemployment keeps changing. The Fed can neither be precise nor accurate if they keep changing how the scorekeeping works. If you except what the BLS counts as Unemployment, we’ve reduced the U3 rate by 50% from 10% to 5%. If you ignore the 1994 alterations to how the BLS measured unemplyment, you get 22% in 2010 and 23% in 2016. To quote Robert Plant, the song remains the same. For people who have given up any hope of finding honest and honorable work, it’s another record rice harvest in North Korea.

So once your results no longer even resemble your database that was originally used to calibrate your model, you no longer get predictable answers. Janet Yellen has to know three things in order to effectively control unemployment and inflation at the same time. Now that unemployment data has been rendered reality incorrect, she will know money supply — until it gets impacted by feedback from the deliberately obfuscated unemployment rates.

They now fly eyeless through space. It will eventually have to fail. This happens to planned economies because of hubris. This hubris takes two forms. They attempt to control multiple simultaneous objectives despite the undeniable fact that management science tells us this is stupid. They also attempt to disbelief unpleasant realities rather than seeing feedback as a gift. These two fundamental character flaws in the totalist are manifest in Amerika’s current FOMC. It will ultimately fail the way the Russian Politburo did in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Global Change Begins Locally

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016


Before changing the world, we have to change the communities in which we live. Through small steps to accrue consensus and line up inevitable conclusions, the future we dream of falls in line. I recently had a hard fought encounter with my town’s legislature that strengthened my relentless resolve to challenge the status quo.

For many years, the local dog park has openly espoused speciesism and speciation with signs and nomenclature denying other animals the right to use public space as they wish. This is especially problematic for my cat Rockwell, who is very energetic and playful, often identifying as a dog, but not when oppressive leash laws are enforced or rabies vaccine documentation is required.

My cat enjoys the dog park most of all when not chased by other dogs, which obviously for public order suggests a comprehensive restructuring so that no animals are encouraged to engage in conflict or annoyance. Calm and peaceful interaction must be upheld as the norm, never aggression that creates an environment of fear and intimidation.

When you think about community planning, you realize it’s not intended as a dog park so much as a walking park. All that’s needed is for it to be renamed properly to reflect a more inclusive purpose serving greater public need. Though only some people own dogs, many people enjoy walking and sharing quality time with their pet, no matter the so-called species.

I collected my arguments and a map of the infringing area, and planned strategy with a friend who has professionally agitated by answering a Craigslist ad for protesters to hold signs and shout slogans at a rally. We began by making a presentation at my book club and then spent Saturday gathering signatures outside a grocery store until arrested for trespassing and public nuisance.

When you face entrenched power, they’ll always use nasty tactics like law and definitions to keep progress at bay. We were ready for it, and they weren’t able to take my signatures away.

We then called my District Selectman who advised us to reserve a speaking slot at the monthly town hall meeting. This was the big day where I would get to speak truth to power.

I was nervous when called upon, but looked down at my notes and began educating the board that the notion of a species was just a social construct, and an antiquated one at that. With my opening attack, I asked which of them wanted to look foolish by using ideas from debunked theorists like Darwin whose shoddy scholarship was ripe for being overturned by the brilliant academics of our present day.

Then I proceeded with a spotlight on the exclusionary aspects of the park, and bravely quoted community statistics about animal ownership, including rodents and ruminants to honestly pad the numbers in my favor.

I took the list of signatures out of my pocket, unfolded it, and laid it on the table to prove I was hardly alone. Almost a dozen community grocery shoppers had signed on in solidarity, and I added a few fake names to show still wider support.

The next wave of onslaught showed my vision for what an inclusive park would look like. I described how animals of all sorts could share space together in harmony, with none being denied or judged as unwelcome or undesirable. My friend Steve had illustrated this on a roll of butcher paper so everyone could see the future that was possible, as proven by his drawing.

I sensed I had drawn blood and now it was time for the finale. I told them unequivocally that this law must be stricken down and that the animals must be released from legal threats when using public land for which others had died. There were hundreds of us, people and pets, who could no longer tolerate be denied our right to use the dog park freely.

Having thoroughly dazzled them with this argumentation and my unwavering conviction, I felt like the culmination of my efforts was now about to be rewarded with victory, and maybe a statue so others would remember my fight for ages. The chairwoman looked quizzically at the other members and turned on her microphone to address me.

“I want to thank the sir/madam for their interesting presentation. As you might know, the is a community information exchange forum and no laws or resolutions are adopted in these sessions. We appreciate your comments.”

Though I wasn’t able to prevail this time, I’m working on a slogan and logo for next time to show them I’m dead serious about social change.

Liberal replacements for natural selection

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Over at The Conversation, an interesting introduction to “biopolitics” sensu Michel Foucault:

In March 1976, philosopher Michel Foucault described the advent of a new logic of government, specific to Western liberal societies. He called it biopolitics. States were becoming obsessed with the health and wellbeing of their populations.

And sure enough, 40 years later, Western states rarely have been more busy promoting healthy food, banning tobacco, regulating alcohol, organising breast cancer checks, or churning out information on the risk probabilities of this or that disease.

The concept of biopolitics is an interesting one because it entirely hinges on how one measures the health of a population. If it is measured from the individual perspective, each individual must be made healthy; if a Darwinian or moral view is taken, those who do good must receive good care, and those who act in a way that disrespects their own survival should face consequences of that act.

In fact, as the film Idiocracy raises, the question upon is is whether we want to protect and make healthy the unhealthy, because then we will get more of them. If people behave in a reasonable manner and take care of themselves, the healthy will survive and the strong will die out, eventually. If we insulate people from the consequences of their actions, and bail them out from bad decisions and bad genetics, those will proliferate and drown out the healthier.

That conflict shows us one motive latent within Liberalism: to replace natural selection. One method of replacing it is as described above, the socialist-style safety net being extended to preventative health care. Instead of allowing people to face the consequences of their actions, we are all exposed to the consequences of tolerance and egalitarianism as the lower replaces the higher.

Another Leftist replacement for natural selection is the notion of “progress.” In the progressive view, society changes over the years and we view each change as the new normal and an improvement over the past. By continuing the path of change, we eventually reach a Utopian state. But this both denies the actual history of humanity, and serves as a distraction from and substitution for natural selection.

If humans have never fundamentally changed, as seems to be true from the six millennia of recorded history, then all forms of government and social change were known at least in theory long ago. History shows us that other societies have experimented with liberalism, notably ancient Greece and Rome. This means that our “new” ideas are not new, and even more, they have already been tried, which means their consequences are known.

If humans, on the other hand, have changed in some fundamental way, adopting a type of society that was designed by past iterations of humanity makes no sense as we are then subjecting a new species to the rules of an older species. This fundamental logical trap eludes liberals, who want to believe that society does the improvement for us, so that we do not have to face evolution — the consequences of our actions determining whether we thrive or fail.

We can see the future of the Leftist program in Foucault’s coded warning:

Foucault never claimed this was a bad trend – it saves lives after all. But he did warn that paying so much attention to the health and wealth of one population necessitates the exclusion of those who are not entitled to – and are perceived to endanger – this health maximisation programme.

With the demise of natural selection, we no longer select who succeeds based on their actions in regard to health and life itself. Instead, we must select them by political reasons. Because Leftism is also a religion/morality replacement, this means that soon we will be choosing people by political allegiance, which means that Leftist states will import and protect all who claim to be Leftist, and drive the rest out.

What have we lost by replacing Darwinian improvement with “progress,” basically a political allegiance test? Among other things, as Outside In notes (quoting HBD writer Steve Hsu) we are missing out on a chance to improve our inner traits, including intelligence:

… the largest effect size [from a single allele] researchers have been able to detect thus far is less than a single point of IQ. Larger effect sizes would have been much easier to detect, but have not been seen. […] This means that there must be at least thousands of IQ alleles to account for the actual variation seen in the general population. A more sophisticated analysis (with large error bars) yields an estimate of perhaps 10,000 in total.*

Each genetic variant slightly increases or decreases cognitive ability. Because it is determined by many small additive effects, cognitive ability is normally distributed, following the familiar bell-shaped curve, with more people in the middle than in the tails. A person with more than the average number of positive (IQ-increasing) variants will be above average in ability. The number of positive alleles above the population average required to raise the trait value by a standard deviation — that is, 15 points — is proportional to the square root of the number of variants, or about 100. In a nutshell, 100 or so additional positive variants could raise IQ by 15 points. […] Given that there are many thousands of potential positive variants, the implication is clear: If a human being could be engineered to have the positive version of each causal variant, they might exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average.

Evolution is canny. A single gene for seemingly superhuman power would create people who, in one generation of bad breeding, might possess sociopathic personalities and superior abilities. This would be a disaster for the genetic group into which they outbreed, and would therefore self-destruct those traits. If instead of focusing on ideological conformity, humanity rewarded natural ability, we might be able to harness Darwin indirectly and by simply following Plato’s formula — good to the good, bad to the bad — make ourselves into Nietzsche’s supermen.

The reason for indirect use of Darwin is that our direct interventions are clumsy because they take into account far too few of the factors involved. Jim writes a convincing post about the evolution of female political inclinations:

In the ancestral environment, if you were a man and your in group was conquered, you were likely to be killed or enslaved, and thus be no ones ancestor. If you were a woman and your in group was conquered, you were indeed likely to be enslaved – to a successful man in the victorious group who would have children by you, and, knowing his children were his own, raise them well.

So we are in large part descended from men who conquered, and who resisted conquest with absolute determination, and descended from women who took to conquest, abduction, and slavery like a duck to water.

While that is interesting from a cyberdynamics perspective, in that it shows us a type of advanced sorting, it also fails to take into account the complexity of humanity. The Bell Curve has always been with us, even as cavemen, which we can verify because it can be observed in other animal populations as well. This means that not all women react the same way of have the same standards.

More likely, what we are seeing is an interaction of two factors: first, the huge boom in lower-rung populations in the West, and second, the defining attribute of femininity. Men are throwers, and women are catchers. Men must go out and force things to be right, where women exercise a singular capacity for gatekeeping — they decide what is let in and then make the best of it. This puts women in a role where the passive becomes the active.

As a result, the female mind is excellent at keeping together a group like a family or community — as is the traditional role of women; men just think they rule society, where women are the cornerstones of culture — but is in converse unsuited for the role of decision-making, because to a passive/active mind, the vital decision of inclusion has already been made: as in a family, all are included. This is unfortunate because the decision to exclude is the most vital choice any group has, and represents its only way of indirectly enforcing Darwinism.

In other words, war and rape — which tend to receive too much ink for how little they influenced us, relative to other factors — are not what make women into natural Leftists who make the dangerous choice to include rapists in our society. They are hardwired for this type of choice because their personality must be constituted on this type of accepting, active-to-passive mindset.

Factors like these influence our ability to preserve evolution among our people. Without a strong motivator toward quality, we become “tolerant” or “all-inclusive” and obliterate ourselves. That tolerance is the basis of the liberal myth of Progress, which is designed to interrupt natural selection in women and men alike, and replace it with a bigotry toward universal inclusion, which makes an obedient but low-quality civilization.

Progress is no longer an option

Monday, December 22nd, 2014


What happens when progress is no longer an option?

In 1968 Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb a book that opens with a prediction of hundreds of millions of deaths from starvation in the 1970s. Increases in food production as a result of new technology prevented a population correction, but the underlying problem has not been addressed. According to the World Wildlife Fund, a third of all global arable land has been lost since 1960. Soil erosion in Africa has increased thirty-fold between 1974 and 2004 according to the WorldWatch institute. By intensifying food production, we have prevented an immediate catastrophe, but the effect it has had is to worsen the eventual catastrophe that will occur.

The predictions Ehrlich made were premature, not incorrect. The underlying diagnosis fits the pattern we are now seeing emerge. Technologies can emerge that delay the consequences of a disaster and a patient can undergo drastic lifestyle changes. In most cases of cancer however, experimental therapies merely buy us time, the underlying problem is often impossible to solve.

The problem we face is that we are a severely overpopulated species, incapable of participating in an ecosystem in a symbiotic manner. To feed our monolithic species, diverse communities consisting of countless interdependent species have to make way for fields of grain and herds of domesticated grazing animals. We take the existence of soil for granted, but most of the remaining fertile soil we now appropriate for our own benefit is a product of the forests that are destroyed, it can not survive in the absence of the organisms that gave birth to it. This theft enables us to presently sustain a biomass of humans that is an order of magnitude greater than all wild non-human vertebrates on land put together.

But for how long can it be sustained? What will be left in its absence? These are more controversial questions, where different people defend varying perspectives. Gail Tverberg is one of the most prominent of authors who expect a significant contraction in energy consumption within years. Others, like John Michael Greer, do expect disruption in the near term, but as part of a sustained gradual decline to post-industrial conditions over a span of centuries.

My expectation that I wish to clarify here, is for a global collapse to occur within a matter of decades. As a result of the interdependent nature of our industrial economy, I expect this collapse to be global. There are no places that will be spared and no reason to assume that an intermediate level of social complexity can be sustained for a significant amount of time. In the long term, I expect agriculture itself to be abandoned altogether, with surviving human beings forced to return to a lifestyle similar to that of the nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers that preceded the rise of civilization.

In a previous essay, Why the Singularity will not happen, I clarified why further growth in complexity in advanced societies is unlikely to happen. The big issue we face is that economic growth is coming to an end. Deficit spending normally has the effect of increasing economic growth. In Europe however, between 2008 and 2014 we have witnessed our debt rise from 68 to 95 percent of GDP. In spite of this massive and unsustainable form economic stimulation, our economy has struggled to grow at all. A similar trend is visible in all developed nations, of rising debts without economic growth.

What we face is a prolonged decline in the size of our economies. The problem however is that economies are much better at dealing with sustained economic growth than with sustained decline. A long enough period of decline can lead to an acute collapse. Our pension funds can only be sustained because of the expectation of future economic growth. The same logic is used when we issue mortgages and engage in deficit spending. Debt with an interest of two percent stays the same as our income, if our income grows by two percent a year as well. If our income declines by two percent a year instead, after ten years the size of our debt relative to our income has grown by 49 percent.

For European nations to pay back their national debts, their economies have to grow. We have faced eras of sustained economic stagnation before, but government debts during those eras were lower. The US had a public debt to GDP ratio of around forty percent during the 1930s, compared to around 100 percent today. Governments are also dealing with debts they will face that are passed on by the public in case of sustained negative economic growth. The Dutch government has guaranteed a large amount of mortgage debt. The entire financial system is interconnected in ways that are not transparent, with effects that are difficult to predict in advance.

The problem extends not just to our economies, but to our own lifestyles as well. Contraction is difficult, because new technologies become essential as we adapt to their higher degree of efficiency. The classical example is that of hunter-gatherers who begin to practice agriculture. They can not return to hunting and gathering, as their population has increased far beyond what the original environment can sustain. In the case of resource extraction, the type of resources that are less dependent on complex technology have often been depleted. If tar sand oil turns out to be too expensive under present economic conditions to extract, there is no way for us to move back to less difficult sources of hydrocarbons. I am thus very skeptical of any suggestion that we can sacrifice some complexity.

In previous societies, collapse was often a relatively drawn out process. People extrapolate from such cases to our present condition, but our present society is infinitely more vulnerable than previous societies, because everything we do depends on organization dependent technology. Organization dependent technology is not a very new phenomenon, but a situation like ours in which every aspect of the economy is dependent upon the continued functioning of every other aspect is unprecedented. Ancient Rome was dependent upon food imports from rural settlements, but the present situation, where rural settlements are dependent on soybeans imported from Brazil through a large harbor, then transported to their destination by truck drivers dependent on satellites for navigation is new.

We face a crisis that does not allow us to go back. Obvious examples are nations like Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a nation that imports eighty percent of its food, it can simply not return to a lower level of complexity. In the 1950s Saudi Arabia was still largely self-sufficient in food production, but oil has enabled such an increase in wealth that food could be imported. Much of the food we eat has been kept frozen for years before it arrives on our table, we can eat tropical fruit in the middle of winter. Before refrigeration technology, people in many places were forced to ferment food to eat during winter, but most people today have no knowledge of how to ferment food.

Our dependence on modern medicine guarantees disaster as well. Modern medicine has allowed us to survive ailments that would normally lead to our deaths. Nearly seventy percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug. It’s easy to introduce drugs into a population; it’s difficult to let go of them. Greece already faces significant problems with people for whom treatment can not be afforded. Sexually transmittable diseases become epidemic again when free treatment becomes unsustainable and whereas in previous times they were limited in their geography, today they have spread globally. Entire ethnic groups have gone extinct as a result of introduced venereal diseases.

Until not too long ago, much of Europe and the United States had hotbeds of malaria, which returned to Greece as a consequence of its economic situation. Malaria is growing resistant to currently used treatments and rats in much of Europe are growing resistant to widely used pesticides. A situation of economic decline is one in which investments in the future can not be made, because payoff is not certain, while people’s desire to posses immediately accessible cash reserves increases. Thus, a situation of economic decline is one in which we can expect pest species to return in high numbers, as the continual investments needed to exterminate them can no longer be sustained.

During eras of economic decline social instability increases, as the type of government programs that manage to keep the poor pacified are first to become obsolete. Crime does not pay under conditions where it is rare, because law enforcement agencies have the resources to address crime. Long term unemployed individuals with no job prospects have little to withhold them from criminal activity. There’s a growing list of crimes that law enforcement will not even bother to prosecute anymore, because resources are too limited. Thus the economic damage that is caused by criminal activity will inevitably grow during an era of economic decline.

Credit card fraud and VAT fraud are examples of criminal activity that perpetrators can generally get away with due to our ongoing economic crisis, as resources available for investigation are simply too limited. Technological progress led to the disruption of traditional communities, where the stigma of misbehavior ensured that crime remained relatively rare. Now that people don’t even recognize their own neighbors, law enforcement is increasingly forced to fill the vacuum. As Yugoslavia has shown to us, when social strife emerges between ethnic groups, it’s often impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

Chatham House released a report that looked at the impact of a week long absence of trucks on the UK economy, similar to a September 2000 strike which reduced commercial truck traffic by ten percent. The maximum tolerance seems to be about one week, after which disruptions to companies become so large that it takes at least a month for them to return to normal activity. For them to be able to return to normal activity would of course depend on other companies returning to normal activity as well.

We can thus conclude that cascading failure is a genuine possibility when a society is tipped into instability. A nation that collapses can in turn trigger significant instability in other nations, depending on its importance in global trade. Nations that are believed to be most central to the global economy are China, Russia, Japan, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium-Luxembourg, USA, and France. Instability would become a self-fulfilling prophecy, if actors respond by taking measures to protect themselves. As an example, if people respond to gasoline shortages by stocking up on gasoline, disruptive shortages become an inevitability.

Conditions that were once sustainable on a local scale do not necessarily have to be sustainable any longer under present conditions. The obvious issue is that population levels are now different. Many communities are dependent on food imports. Soil that was once fertile may now no longer be fertile at all, with farmers pouring fertilizer onto the land to make up for the fact that the soil is simply exhausted.

More insidious is the fact that climate change leads to changes in the relationship between plants and pathogen species. Certain insect species become far more destructive under elevated atmospheric CO2 conditions. Fungal pests also seem to become much more common in experimental studies. We haven’t noticed these effects, because farmers spray large amounts of pesticides. The climatic conditions under which our species developed agriculture no longer exist, but the effects are not apparent to us because our pesticides make us Gods over the new ecosystems we create. Animal husbandry is likely to be affected as well, as studies find that under conditions of high amounts of nitrogen in the soil, atmospheric CO2 enrichment to 450 parts per million causes endophytes to produce toxins in amounts that lead to reduced growth and milk production in cattle.

The Neolithic revolution is a relatively new development in the history of our species and the climatic window in which agriculture provides a survival advantage over tribes of hunter-gatherers may be relatively limited. Hunter-gatherers are after all more mobile, physically stronger, healthier, not bound to wheat fields and grain storages they are forced to defend against vandalism, more self-sufficient and less threatened by seasonal weather fluctuations.

It should be noted that the boundary between hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist can be vague. In Europe, cereals as a portion of the diet increased from one third in the eight century, to three quarters by the eleventh century. Even within agricultural societies themselves there are large differences, with East Asia as one arguable extreme, where rice agriculture gave birth to societies that require continual intense labor, whereas European societies up until the French revolution had long periods in which people were free to spend most of the winter procrastinating.

Overall however, we can expect to move away from our present conditions, simply because climatic conditions will not allow us to maintain the type of cereal based diets that our ancestors subsisted on for thousands of years. How far we will move away from those climatic conditions is difficult to state in advance, as it largely depends upon how much more greenhouse gases will be emitted in the coming decades, although some processes have been set in motion already that are now effectively impossible to stop.

The burden fell upon our shoulders to be born in an era where it is no longer possible to go further, but not possible to go back anymore either. We face a future that is fundamentally different from any conditions we have witnessed in recorded history. We have burned every bridge behind us and now face an enormous deep cliff ahead of us. Our only option now is to move sideways, into the unknown.

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