Monthly Archives: June 2019

Why do some care, and some do not?

Tree.  commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tree#/media/File:GemeineFichte.jpg; Public Domain.

A retweet over at Cererean’s feed had this:

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” Boomers cut all the trees down, and then said “I’m gonna die soon anyway, so what do I care? Go f*** yourself” Don’t be like boomers. Plant trees. Ensure your kids have it better than u did.

Of course, this was a bit generalized; some boomers do care, and have cared (and we’ve got a lot more trees in the US, so someone must have been planting trees!).  The bigger question is why do some people care, and some do not?  Some people who have kids are in the camp of “I’ve got mine, so I’m not worried,” and some people who don’t have kids are the very folks who plant lots of trees (literally, or figuratively).

What makes people take one path or another?  And even more amazingly – admit that they don’t care about the future or future generations?  How do you get people to care about future generations?

 

The fourth E

Another E?

Chris Martenson’s Crash Course gives a great summary of our troubled future.  In it, he breaks things down to Economy, Environment, and Energy.  The YouTube version is here.   All are interrelated, and all point to a difficult future.

This is relatively straightforward stuff, but there’s a fourth E that might be added, and that’s Existential.  Last weeks topic on UFOs is the part of the existential strangeness that might accompany (or upset) the applecart of our world, and as odd as may seem to some, let’s not count it out.  The fourth E might also encompass other existential events, such as the discovery of an alien radio transmission, or a worldwide change in outlook by humanity as a whole, or another bunch of ‘black swan’ events that might make any of the other E’s seem trivial.  I’ll admit, these seem to be long shots, but that’s why are lumped in with the big E of existential issues.

Talking about these existential issues (like NDEs, which point to a continuity of consciousness after death) may seem silly, as the other three E’s are far more concrete.  The other E’s have rational mainstream science behind them (well, perhaps except for the Economy, which is the provenance of economists who don’t believe in limits on a finite world). In spite of things like wars, and various glitches in our societies, we really haven’t had a big ‘E’ event that says ‘all bets are off’, and ‘now things are different’.  Even the attacks on September 11, as horrible as they were, didn’t fundamentally change the worldview of many, nor did they change things for humanity so radically.

And yes, as always, all of this could be wrong.

Questions:

  • What other things besides energy, economy, and environment would you add to Chris’s Crash Course?   If not an ‘E’ for existential, what other things are on the radar that seem to be important?  An ‘E’ for epidemics (for which we are surely overdue)?  Or is this just a side effect of economy/environment?  How about an ‘E’ for Earth changes (like the shifting of poles, or series of possible ‘big bad events’, such as tsunamis, massive solar flares, and such, noted previously?)
  • Should we file this ‘E’ as a little ‘e’, since it may appear more tenuous?
  • What would make this proposed little ‘e’ become capitalized?
  • What would you consider ‘radical’ change?  As the old saying goes, a recession is when your neighbor loses their job; a depression is when you lose yours.  Are there some folks who are so well insulated that they might never experience an existential crisis (even though we all will meet one on our deathbed)?

 

The tickle of alien space bats

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ufibeamup2.png; Public Domain

The “Ask Me Anything” section of Reddit has a wide range of folks who have notoriety in a diverse range of fields, and as the name says – you can ask anything of the person of interest.

A few days ago, Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian cabinet minister of Defense and Transport did an ‘AMA‘, and naturally, folks asked him about the UFO issue.  For those of you late to the party, in the UFO world, Mr. Hellyer is famous for being one of the highest members of any government to admit to the UFO phenomenon as being something real, and something involving extraterrestrials.   The Canadians seem to have been quite blunt in this matter (see documents on Project Magnet). In the AMA session, he states:

Governments, especially the US government, have been working with several species for decades and knows an incredible amount about them. They have spent billions denying the existence of UFOs, ETs and their incredible characteristics.

Dang.  It is stuff like that might be called the ‘tickle of alien space bats‘ – a slight suggestion that there might be something very strange going on behind the scenes of the ‘normal world’, that would have vast implications for humans, humanity, and the environment.  This is something that seems to be gathering steam; a recent Fox News piece mentions that an American DoD official has been saying something similar, and revelations by US Navy pilots are starting to get serious notice (in the NY Times as well), rather than becoming career ending.

This doesn’t mean humanity and its odd way of doing things is off the hook.  If you were a representative of an advanced civilization, would you “bail out humanity”, without first putting it through some sort of rehab program?  Most of us will help friends who are in a bind, but if a friend continually trashes their personal life (and those around them), how willing are you to throw ‘good resources after bad’ if they continue to behave in a self-destructive way?  No matter how you slice it, the way we are living probably isn’t long for this world.

Questions:

  • Alien space bats – nuts, or is there something to this?  Someone in my world, when asked about the reality of UFOs, simply and bluntly said, “All those people are crazy,” without wanting to listen to any bit of evidence, even when put forward by folks like Hellyer or even Mercury or Apollo astronauts.
  • Is there a middle path on the UFO issue?  Between “nothing at all/nothing to see here” and “extraterrestrials”, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room.   If these things are made by humans, there’s a lot of hidden stuff out there that is just as maddening.
  • One wonders – if an advanced civilization was to help us out, what would they ask us to give up?  Nuclear weapons? Fast food Capitalism? Nationalism? Religion?  Most of the scenarios where advanced civilizations meet less technical ones don’t end well for the less technical ones.

 

Grifting and Civility

The shell game of politics… (Own work, Public Domain)

With a generally centrist worldview, you can sometimes see a bit more of the hypocrisy in politics, and (of course!) wonder why folks can’t see how folks in their respective camps have seemingly lost their minds.   It was a pleasant surprise then, when someone in my world (a bit more to the right of my sensibilities) sent a few notes over on grifting from both the right and the left:

The best part about these articles, is that the folks doing the criticism were from their own sides.  When that happens, you know that some people have not abandoned their senses, and are ready to call out stupidity and greed, even when it emanates from their own part of the political spectrum.   Grifting is a parasitic behavior that does not help anyone except the grifter.  When it is political grifting, it also gives ample fuel to your opponents.  The real opportunistic grifters, when cornered, can also call their critics (depending on their location on the political spectrum) racist, inhumane, socialist, unpatriotic, evil, and/or depraved, ramping up the rhetoric.

In reading the article on grifting from the right, a piece appeared on civility.  As grifting (and inciting one’s base) has increased, civility has declined.   The article does a good job of showing how bad things are, and mentions a new book by Peter Wehner, The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic after Trump, which might give us a way out of this mess we are in. From the list of people mentioned who have read the book and put their name forward, giving it their blessings (from many parts of the political spectrum, right and left; from the cabinets of Bush and Obama, Democrats and Republicans), it seems like he might be on to something.