Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.

Posts Tagged ‘Alaska

Breaking news!

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Recent news items reinforce messages from yesterday’s book review.

In my review published yesterday of Martin Lack’s book Denial of Science, I wrote, “the continuing and accelerating loss of the Arctic ice-cap“.  Back on the 22nd in More new tomorrows, I included:

study published in 2012 showed that by changing the temperature balance between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, rapid Arctic warming is altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the northern hemisphere. The Arctic has been warming about twice as fast as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, due to a combination of human emissions of greenhouse gases and unique feedbacks built into the Arctic climate system. The jet stream, the study said, is becoming “wavier,” with steeper troughs and higher ridges.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters shows that reduced sea ice cover can favor colder and stormier winters in the northern midlatitudes. [my emphasis - UK readers will need no reminding of this!]

So bear those references in mind as you read:

Breaking News (Literally): NOAA Video Confirms Early Breakup

March 23, 2013

Compare to our recent discussion of these developments in the Beaufort Sea.

NOAA Visualizations:

Published on Mar 22, 2013

A series of intense storms in the Arctic has caused fracturing of the sea ice around the Beaufort Sea along the northern coasts of Alaska and Canada. High-resolution imagery from the Suomi NPP satellite shows the evolution of the cracks forming in the ice, called leads, from February 17 — March 18 2013. The general circulation of the area is seen moving the ice westward along the Alaskan coast

“Intense storms” are not an unheard of thing in the arctic. What’s new is that the ice is so fragile that normal storm activity is breaking it up much earlier than has been seen in the past.

Arctic Sea Ice Blog:

To recapitulate: It is normal for the ice to crack and for leads to occur. However, this is very extensive cracking and there are some very big leads, and all of it seems to come earlier than expected. Given last year’s melting mayhem and the low amount of multi-year ice, it makes one wonder whether this early cracking will have any effect in the melting season to come.

There are still several weeks to go before this part of the Arctic is going to start melting, up till then the ice will actually thicken some more, even when the Sun’s rays start to reach the ice. But the ice is already getting broken up in smaller pieces, which means that 1) the pack becomes more mobile (like we saw last year), and 2) the thin ice that now grows to fill up the leads will go first when the melting starts, potentially leading to more open water between floes to absorb solar energy and convert it to heat.

But maybe not. Maybe this will have zero influence. We don’t know. That’s why we watch.

Nothing more to add except to ponder on what strange weather we will be experiencing this year!  Actually, no need to ponder.  The UK Met Office issued a weather warning last Sunday that included this sentence, “Cold easterly winds will persist through the coming week with bitterly cold conditions.”  That came on the back of a blog entry from the Met Office that same day that included:

Many areas also saw strong winds, with a gust of 61 mph recorded at Shap, Cumbria and 48 mph recorded at Machrihanish, Argyll . These winds have caused even deeper drifts of snow in some areas. [my emphasis].

61mph?  That’s Storm Force 10 under the Beaufort scale and 3mph under the lower boundary of a Violent Storm; Beaufort Force 11!

oooOOOooo

The next item that caught my eye was some ‘goodish’ news from the US Senate via a recent post on 350.org.

Bill’s Response to the Senate Vote Today

Posted by Duncan Meisel – 03/22/13, 4:51pm

Friends,

After a very chaotic week on Capitol Hill, I wanted to write you with an update on what just happened in the Senate today.

First and foremost: the oil industry’s Senators did not manage to pass legislation that would force President Obama to build Keystone XL.

Because you — and people like you, all across the country — jumped into action this week, they backtracked and instead held a vote on a nonbinding resolution that says it would be nice to build the pipeline, but doesn’t actually do much about it. For that vote, they got the stomach-churning number of 62 Senators to vote with them. As usual, the ones who had taken the most money from the fossil fuel industry lined up to cast their votes—the cosponsors of the bill, on average, had taken $807,000 in dirty energy money.

Now, this amounts to symbolic chest thumping by the oil industry: showing just how many Senators they can get to jump when told to. It’s not the worst thing that could have happened, but it reminds everyone why, in one recent poll, congress had approval ratings lower than head lice and colonoscopies — even on the symbolic stuff, they can’t get it together to stand up to the oil industry guys cutting them checks.

In a certain way though, this vote couldn’t come at a better time. Congress is going on break, and for the next two weeks, these 62 Senators will be back in their home states, doing things like meeting with constituents — people like you.

Home states are where some of the most heroic work took place the last week — in Minneapolis, say, where 150 350MN.org activists showed up on very short notice at Sen. Klobuchar’s office in a snowstorm to tell her to vote no on Keystone (and she did, it should be added).

If you’re interested in following in the fine example of those leaders who held actions at their senators offices, you have a chance in the next two weeks.

We’re looking for people who can step up to lead, and then we’ll put the 350 network into action to get people to join you. If you want to lead an action, just click here to tell us when you’d like to do so: act.350.org/survey/kxl-senate-accountability-2013/

Look, there are two ways to react to a democracy for sale. One is to walk away in disgust, which is what the Koch Brothers count on. The other is to stand up and say: no more. If you visit your Senator, take some pictures or some video so we can share them around. It’s time to build this broader fossil fuel resistance.

And remember, Capitol Hill is not the center of the world. Around the country this week our friends at Tar Sands Blockade have been actively targeting Keystone investors; faith groups have been hauled off to jail in front of the White House to protest the pipeline; and the divestment campaign has expanded off college campuses and into municipal and state governments.

The movement is doing amazing stuff — we just need more of it. We can’t outspend the oil industry, but we can out-organize them. In fact, we have to.

Forward,

Bill McKibben

oooOOOooo

the cosponsors of the bill, on average, had taken $807,000 in dirty energy money.”  Words utterly fail me!

Funny old world!

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Togo, the heroic dog

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A wonderful story that mustn’t be allowed to fade away.

Togo

A week ago, I wrote a post called Sticks and Stones.  Towards the end of that post, I mentioned Togo,

In 1925, a ravaging case of diphtheria broke out in the isolated Alaskan village of Nome. No plane or ship could get the serum there, so the decision was made for multiple sled dog teams to relay the medicine across the treacherous frozen land. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. The sled dog who did the lion’s share of the work was Togo. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes.

and added that I would write more about Togo.  Here it is.

The Wikipedia entry reveals:

Togo (October 1913 – December 5, 1929) was the sled dog who led Leonhard Seppala and his dog sled team as they covered the longest distance in the 1925 relay of diphtheria antitoxin from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, to combat an outbreak of the disease. The run is commemorated by the annual Iditarod dog sled race.

Annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Togo was a Siberian Husky, his coat was black, brown, and gray, and he weighed about 48 pounds (22 kg). Seppala’s lead dog during the 1914 All-Alaska Sweepstakes, and was a precocious leader. At the time of the serum run Togo was twelve years old.

Within that entry, under the sub-heading of the Great Race of Mercy is this,

The first batch of 300,240 units of serum was delivered by train from Anchorage to Nenana, Alaska, where it was picked up by the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the serum a total of 674 miles (1,085 km) to Nome.

Togo and Seppala traveled 170 miles (274 km) from Nome in three days, and picked up the serum in Shaktoolik on January 31. The temperature was estimated at −30 °F (−34 °C), and the gale force winds causing a wind chill of −85 °F (−65 °C).

The return trip crossed the exposed open ice of the Norton Sound. The night and a ground blizzard prevented Seppala from being able to see the path but Togo navigated to the roadhouse at Isaac’s Point on the shore by 8 AM preventing certain death to his team. After traveling 84 miles (134 km) in one day, the team slept for six hours before continuing at 2 AM.

Before the night the temperature dropped to −40 °F (−40 °C), and the wind increased to 65 mi/h (105 km/h). The team ran across the ice, which was breaking up, while following the shoreline. They returned to shore to cross Little McKinley Mountain, climbing 5,000 feet (1,500 m). After descending to the next roadhouse in Golovin, Seppala passed the serum to Charlie Olsen, who in turn would pass it to Gunnar Kaasen and Balto.

A web search for ‘Togo’ including a mention on a website called Find A Grave that has this,

Birth: Oct., 1913

Death: Dec. 5, 1929, Poland Spring, Androscoggin County, Maine, USA

A sled dog for Leonhard Seppala. In 1925, When a diphtheria out brake happened in Nome Alaska. Seppala, Togo and a team of dogs ran to Nenana. He ran 10 times the distance of a average sled run. However another dog named Balto got nearly all of the fame. After the run, Seppala sold Togo to a friend in Poland Spring Maine were Togo was euthanized on December 5th 1929. He was stuffed and was put on display at Yale University. He was eventually moved to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Museum in Wasilla Alaska, where he is today.

Burial: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Museum, Wasilla, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, USA

Magnificent!

Moved to help?

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A plea to take action to preserve the Western Arctic Reserve in Alaska.

I received the following email from the Center for Biological Diversity the other day.

Dear Paul,

caribouThe Western Arctic Reserve, also known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, is the largest tract of unprotected, relatively pristine public land in the United States. But Big Oil has the reserve in its sights and will not hesitate to turn this vast wilderness into a sprawling industrial complex to drum up massive profits.

The 23.5 million-acre reserve is home to imperiled polar bears, seabirds and one of the densest populations of nesting raptors in the world. Its shores and lagoons harbor beluga whales, seals, walruses and other marine mammals.

In the rapidly warming Arctic, short-sighted oil and gas development will further stress the remarkable wildlife that lives and breeds there.The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is now collecting comments on a planning document that will set the stage for oil and gas leasing in the western Arctic for decades to come.

You can help save this national treasure: Take action to tell the BLM to protect the Western Arctic Reserve from dirty fossil fuel development.

The action that is requested is to email or mail the following to the BLM  (the link is here.)  The email address for Bob Abbey, taken from the relevant BLM webpage is Director: Bob Abbey E-mail: Director@blm.gov

Director Bob Abbey
Bureau of Land Management
NPR-A IAP/EIS Comments, AECOM Project Office
1835 South Bragaw Street, Suite 490
Anchorage, AK 99508
US

Subject: Comments Regarding the BLM’s National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Integrated Activity, DEIS

The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or Western Arctic Reserve, comprises the largest unprotected tract of public land in the United States. It provides habitat for a wide variety of Arctic species, and its wilderness values are second to none. While the most environmentally protective alternative analyzed by the Bureau of Land Management (Alternative B) is an improvement over previous plans, it still allows over 11 million acres of ecologically intact wilderness-quality lands to be leased for oil development. As the BLM develops the “integrated activity plan” and “final environmental impact statement” for the reserve, I urge you to provide maximum protection for areas with high-value habitats by designating all of the Special Area contained in Alternative B, and to create additional protections for all other areas in the reserve that contain ecologically intact and/or wilderness-quality lands.

The BLM must also consider the long-term impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas development, and any future impacts of climate change on the low-lying western Arctic. Arctic animals are already stressed by a melting and warming Arctic, and none of the alternatives considered go far enough to protect these species from the wide array of impacts from oil and gas development.

Among other things, the BLM must account for sea-level rise due to ice melt, permafrost collapse, coastal erosion and increased high-energy storm events that will degrade, or wipe out, critical coastal habitat, including the Teshekpuk Lake area. The BLM must also consider the impacts of ocean acidification, changes in circulation, increased freshening due to sea ice melt, and shifts in productivity to the marine environment and to marine species, including polar bears, ice seals, walruses, bowhead whales, and beluga whales.

Congress has required that “maximum protection” be given to Special Areas in the reserve. I encourage the BLM to adopt an alternative that provides protections for these areas, which include Teshekpuk Lake, the Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and the Utukok River Uplands. The BLM must also protect the Dease Inlet-Meade River area, Peard Bay and adjacent wetlands, and the Ikpikpuk River and adjacent wetlands.

I implore the BLM to adopt a management alternative that includes the strongest possible protections for the Western Arctic Reserve. This means designating Alternative B as the preferred alternative, and adding additional protective measures for important wildlife habitat and wilderness areas so they are not destroyed by ecologically devastating oil and gas development, or from the long-term impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Thank you.

But if that doesn’t work then there is a full webpage offering detailed information and which also has links relevant to letting the BLM know your views.  That webpage starts,

ARCTIC OIL DEVELOPMENT

Alaska’s north coast and ocean waters are teeming with species found in few other places, and many of them are now under threat. The Western Arctic Reserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provide critical denning areas for polar bears, support vast caribou herds and are essential nesting grounds for thousands of bird species, including threatened eiders and yellow-billed loons. The sea ice of the Arctic Ocean is hunting and denning habitat for polar bears and a foraging platform for Pacific walrus and numerous Arctic ice seal species. Under the sea ice, endangeredbowhead whales and other whale species live off the biological richness of the Arctic Ocean.
Nearly all Arctic species are at risk from global warming. But that’s not the only problem: In a drastically changing environment, Arctic species must now contend with dirty, industrial fossil fuel development.

Please go here, read the the full information and do your little bit.  It all makes a difference.

Pebble Bay in Alaska

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The challenge of what to ‘farm’ from our planet.

Last Sunday, after the mid-morning service, one of the congregation passed me a letter she had received from the Natural Resources Defense Council.  It was all about the proposed mine in Alaska known as the Pebble Mine.  She asked if I might write about it on Learning from Dogs.  WikiPedia introduces the project thus,

Pebble Mine is the common name of an advanced mineral exploration project investigating a very large porphyry copper, gold, and molybdenum mineral deposit in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska, near Lake Iliamna and Lake Clark. The proposal to mine the ore deposit, using large-scale operations and infrastructure, is controversial. Proponents argue that the mine will create jobs, provide tax revenue to the state of Alaska, and reduce American dependence on foreign sources of raw materials. Opponents argue that the mine would adversely affect the entire Bristol Bay watershed; and that the possible consequences to fish populations, when mining effluents escape planned containments, are simply too great to risk. Much of this debate concerns the tentative plan to impound large amounts of water, waste rock, and mine tailings behind several earthen dams at the mine site.

Proposed mine location

My instinct is to join the side of those protesting because, once again, it seems like another example of mankind working hard to exhaust every natural jewel in the planet’s crown.

Yet, I was also conscious that I’m sitting in front of a computer that will have it’s fair share of copper inside it and that we, as in Jean and me, use a whole range of sophisticated materials in our daily lives, ergo leading a life that genuinely reduces our footprint on Planet Earth is easier said than done.

Here’s one ‘protest’ website that sets out the reasons for not proceeding with this mine,

1. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.
2. Pebble mine would generate toxic waste in a seismically active region.
3. A majority of the people of Bristol Bay do not want the mine.
4. Native people live in Bristol Bay, and they subsist off the land.
5. Bristol Bay is home to an abundance of animals that need pristine habitat.
6. Bristol Bay has thousands of rivers and streams that would be degraded.
7. Commercial and sport fishing jobs would be jeopardized.
8. Wild salmon provide us with omega-3 fatty acids.
9. The Pebble Limited Partnership is untrustworthy.
10. Future generations depend on us to protect their most important and lasting legacy–the land.

There is a website that supports the project, where you will read their ‘core value’ expressed as, “Responsible mining technologies that actively support a healthy, respectful and sustainable co-existence with the environment and Southwest Alaska culture.

Ultimately, it all comes down to there being too many people competing for too few resources.  Nay, worse than that.  It comes down to too many people living on this small planet, over-consuming what the planet can deliver and running out of time.  There are millions who instinctively feel very uncomfortable about the future but, as yet, no global movement with real political power to make a difference.

That, I regret, is the core issue for humanity.

Truths for January, 2012.

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Institutionalized insanity versus intelligent thinking – a reflection.

This appeared on Patrice’s Blogsite on January 11th and is republished with his very kind permission.   You may want to bookmark Patrice’s blogsite, which is here.  The sub-heading of his blog is ‘Intelligence at the core of humanism‘ and, trust me, that is not an overstatement of the wisdom that is contained within his blog, as the following nobly illustrates.

Thinking Man (portion of), by Rodin

Aphorism January 2012

***

Species Shifting North, Intelligence Left Behind:

Nothing like raw numbers. In the last twenty years, Europe warmed up by one degree Celsius (about 2 degrees in the primitive, less meaningful Fahrenheit system). That’s equivalent to a thermal shift of 249 kilometers north.

Insects responded by an average shift north of 114 kilometers, and birds by only 33 kilometers. This is creating imbalances (fully obvious in Alaska, and high altitude North America, where the insects move faster than their predators, killing entire forests, which then burn).

This differential adaptation also illustrates an important point the stupid partisans of the “market” always neglect: being more intelligent can make you slower. Birds are more intelligent than insects, so they find harder to leave their families, friends, habits, and landscapes they are familiar with behind. (No, I will not say that insects are more like Americans, driven by the market, and birds more like Europeans, driven also by broader values. I shall resist, lest I move too fast, like an insect, and outrage part of my brainy readership…)

Thus, as the market dominates, so does the stupid.

Adaptation is not always a manifestation of intelligence, and inadaptation often a sign of intelligence. A well known experience is to put a fly, or a bee, inside an open bottle, with a light source opposed to the opening. The bee will search intelligently the bottom of the bottle, where the exit ought to be. The less intelligent fly will buzz around stupidly, and exit first.

It’s no wonder that the partisan of the markets, who are richer and thus more influential, are for something stupid, as they are faster, precisely because they are more stupid, with fewer values, besides the colossal greed which dominates their psyche. So there is a non linear vicious loop, the more the market dominates.

Thus, next year the candidate historically financed by Wall Street will confront the extremely wealthy businessman cum politician, son of his father, also a governor cum businessman. Market against market: the market should not lose. The birds will be left behind by the fast moving insects, once again. Change you can’t believe in.

***

Where is everybody?

Lord” (!) Martin Rees, “Astronomer Royal”, Nobel laureate, etc., complete with pretty pictures and beautifully spooky music, speculates it’s teeming with aliens out there.

But as Enrico Fermi quipped:”Where is everybody?

The situation is not helped by us understanding very little about what the universe is made of. In the latest numbers I saw the universe was made 4% conventional matter, and the rest was… Dark. Mostly Dark Energy, with some Dark Matter. Who said the Dark Side was not important?

There are no dominant theories of what the Darkness is made of.

CERN should be able to find stuff below its energy reach. So far, nothing.

We have detected more than 150 planets. It seems one star out of ten, at least, has planets. Some have been detected in the habitable zone, where liquid water is found. But the water has to be continuously present for billions of years. Continuously (which did not happen on Mars and Venus).

400 billion stars in our galaxy. The big question is how many planets can harbor advanced (=oxygen breathing) life. No inkling of that. There are plenty of planets out there, indeed, but most hostile to life. So far. How Much Intelligent Life Out There? On Earth, it took 1.5 billion years to go from advanced life to intelligent, civilized life. A lot of things can go wrong in 1.5 billion years.

That advanced life did not develop on Mars or Venus is not an accident: although on the outskirts of the habitable zone, either planet did not have what it took. Mars was too small, and, just like Venus was not protected by a powerful plate tectonic, with accompanying magnetic field, among other problems (so the solar wind blowing the top of the atmosphere stole the hydrogen, hence water, etc.)

My hunch is that most planets in the hospitable zone, when found, will be bereft of advanced life, although primitive life may be quite frequent. Reason? Too many miracles at work for billions of years in the solar system. Especially in light of what we find out there (We see plenty of Jupiter size planets in close orbits around their suns, presumably after sweeping their entire system clean; OK, that’s partly a result of the method used to find planets presently, but the fact is, we find such situations aplenty! The presence of Jupiter out there, as our guardian protecting Earth from comets looks quite miraculous…)

***

If You Want To Save the Biosphere, Push Tech:

Some people in the Netherlands have suggested building an artificial mountain. It’s feasible, and would be smart to do, not just there, but say in a place such as Saudi Arabia (technical variations on the theme could collect water, as in cloud, or fog forests found in California or Peru).

Another point is that artificial mountains could help protect biological diversity from the greenhouse heating. Cynics would point out that it would take an enormous amount of energy to build them. True, with present tech, and the energy would be dirty too, presently. But that would be another motivation to go green. Green and big.

***

Wind Fall-Out:

Most wind-driven energy system in Europe? Denmark. Most CO2 polluting country in Europe? Denmark. Coal power plants pick up the slack when the wind falters. Another case where nuclear offers its smiling face. Future nuclear that is. Not your great grandfather’s nuclear. Past nuclear tech should be terminated, just like coal. However, there are 100 unexploited, un-researched nuclear energies out there, and only those with insignificant waste will be acceptable. (Nobody would accept a fossil fuel system where only 2% of the fuel would be burned, and the rest allowed to pollute all over!)

Reminder: as the greenhouse heating proceeds, winds will falter because the heat differential between poles and equator will sink, thus shutting down that thermal engine known as the atmosphere (yes, hurricanes will be rarer, but fiercer).

***

Institutionalized insanity Versus Thinking Right:

In Switzerland a nuclear plant was built one kilometerdownstream from a dam, along the same river. None of those two could resist the sort of very strong quake happening occasionally in the Alps. A flood cum nuclear explosion is entirely imaginable. This sort of insanity has nothing to do with nuclear power, it has everything to do with lack of intelligence.

This is all the more strange since some Swiss cantons such as Valais get 20% of their GDP from research. By the way themedical drug sector part of GDP is twice the banking sector in Switzerland. For those who wonder why Switzerland is so rich (the same holds for Sweden and other Nordic company). It’s not (just) about the banks.

***

(More) Direct Democratic Keeps Bankers At Bay:

The weight of direct democracy has forced Swiss banks into reserve requirements twice those of the future Basel III regulations. (In other words, banks are many times tamer in Switzerland than in the USA, if one uses reserve requirements enforced as a measuring device; Basel III does not cover most of the enormous derivative trading, though.)

The scandal of the central banker heading the Swiss Central Bank buying dollars days before taking the decision of making the dollar explode up against the Swiss franc keeps unfolding. Yes, he knew about the trades, and yes, he had days to stop them afterwards.

It is dawning over Swiss society that those with privileged information should not be legally allowed to exploit them. The whole planet has to follow down that line. But, although it has been obvious for years that American and European politicians and central bankers are rich from insider trading, nothing has been done. Yet.

***

The Plutocrats Cash Out And Shame Does Not Count:

What looked to me as the immensely stupid and arrogant wife of the Swiss Bank President, explained herself from Singapore, where she owns an art gallery. If she really wanted to make real money out of her husband’s job, she knew how to do it, she asserted confidently. And there she was going through a list (a), b), c), d), etc… of things she would have done if she wanted to make more than the measly $75,000 she made. And how to make them secretly, she insisted.

Her name is “Kashya”, appropriately pronounced “Cashia”. In this case, Cashia said, in her native American English, they were in a rush, because they just had some cash from selling a chalet to store, so that is why she hid nothing.  That brings a few questions, such as whether she is used to exploit the mechanisms of further cheating she explicated so adroitly on TV. The central banker, the plutocrat Hildebrand, having resigned, will get a million dollar salary in the next year, from the People, while his fellow plutocrats will rush to propose him a much more protitable conspiracy to join. I propose to put him in jail, instead.

***

Another Claim Of Mental Decline. And The Agenda Behind It: There Is No Good Wisdom, Except Dead Wisdom, Say Plutocrats:

Supposedly some new test showed a decline in “cognitive capabilities” starting at age 45. Apparently people were asked to remember lists of words starting with some particular letters. It does not seem to have come to the mind of the experimenters that maybe older brains do not like to remember such stupid stuff.

Thinking means motivating. Without the right motivation, there is not the right thinking.

In the case of “IQ”, a decline is observed at 24, some say… Military officers would concur that it is better to send 18 year olds to die, because they are bright enough to execute orders well, but not so bright that they would know that they might die for no good reason.

A related point: no doubt a two-year old training to go potty remembers very well each time she goes. Whereas an adult tends to lose this facility of neurological retention for this sort of event. One generally observes. But it is not because adults have suffered mental decline that they do not remember every poop. Simply, they have seen lots of poop passing by.

Actually the argument can be made that consciousness and conscious memorization are needed to deploy automatisms, but once those are in place, they are not needed anymore, and so consciousness, and conscious recall should not be present.

When I was a young driver, I remembered everything I did when driving a car, but now I do it automatically, remembering very few of my gestures. When driving, my consciousness is mostly watching for the unforeseen.

Is there a political interpretation explaining such mental declines claims? Indeed, there is. As people get older, they elaborate higher wisdom. Thus, although the soldiers of revolution are typically very young people, because they have their aggression hormones less tempered by wisdom, the leaders of revolution are typically much older.

Let me explain this carefully: fascist and plutocratic leaders typically claim that they are “conservatives“. It means that they justify their mean rule by a refusal to adapt to changed circumstances.

As the French revolution stirred, the most esteemed leaders were senior citizens such as Voltaire or Benjamin Franklin, and everybody looked up to them, from Louis XVI to Turgot; on the Dark Side, many of the leaders, such as the Comte d’ Artois, were barely teenagers.

Closer to us, in WWII, the SS seduced many a 16 year old. In the last few weeks of the war, many of the most enraged Nazis fighting to the bitter end with the allies in the mountainous heart of Germany were school children with heavy weapons. In more than one case, disgusted American GIs, reluctant to blow up some more enraged children to bits, sent their school mistresses to negotiate with them!

If the (plutocratic) establishment can claim that revolutionary wisdom is actually the fruit of mental decline, presto, no revolution. It will be “conservatism” all the way.

***

Why Do We Want To Always Support Winners?

Supporting the home team is easy to understand: this is the tribal instinct. Human beings are social, they have to love the group, thus dislike what hinders the group, namely, other groups.

One has to love the leader(s) of the group, the alpha(s). In general, to abate social tensions, an instinct has got to exist, which makes the oppressed love the oppressor, or let’s say, the inferior love the superior. or even love the winning group, to be motivated to join it. Something more plausible to females. Hence Beatlemania.

***

If One Wants Happiness, One Should Prepare For The Worst:

Pe Romaneste: So happiness must be an accident.

Alexi Helligar: There seems to be greater power in the accidental than we imagine.

Patrice Ayme: Indeed, to a great extent, everything is accidental. Realizing this means that those who complain that something happened accidentally, and, thus, was not expected, have not understood the first thing about causality. Accidents is how the world happens. Wisdom consists in anticipating their occurrence, and having a plan B, should they occur.

***

Brutality Is Friendly To Plutocracy, Long Life Friendly To Wisdom:

Only wisdom can allow long life. Really very long life, lasting centuries, for individuals or civilization. Short lives are brutish, and this has the consequence in many a perpetrator, to spurn whatever life is offered. Indeed a good way to spurn something is by devaluing it. The brutality of the human condition is self reinforcing…

This why human life extension is a necessity, a preliminary, for the extension of wisdom. Because as long as lives are short and brutish, the short and brutish way of life is all too optimal, for all too many people (although those with children, or grandchildren they love will disagree, but they are not necessarily a majority).

This is something that life spurning plutocrats such as Mr. Jobs have been busy not understanding, as brutality is their friend.

***

Plutocrats Love Death Indeed:

Steve Jobs, despite leaving Reed College after six months, was asked to give the 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. Why? Did Jobs invent anything important? (Disclosure: My Mom offered me an ultra light Mac Air, and I love it.) No, he was just an artistic technology integrator, but not necessarily as mechanically oriented as a car mechanic (his partner Wozniak was the programmer, but even this one finished his college studies in computer science, 20 years later, at Berkeley, and found them hard!)

In his Stanford address, delivered after Mr. Jobs was told he had cancer, but before it was clear that it would ultimately claim his life, Mr. Jobs told his mesmerized audience of naive sheep that “death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.”

In this light, the invasion of Iraq by Bush and his fanatical followers made sense: by visiting more than one million deaths upon Iraq, the USA brought the single best invention of life. Everybody, or more exactly 83%, including a majority of Stanford students, agreed, at the time.

Is this love of death why Jobs refused conventional medical treatment initially, until it was too late? Jobs insisted that the benefit of death, is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices. I guess that extended to the medical.

Verily, death came first, and was denied by life. Life is the denial of death. Life did not have to invent death.

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Hormuz Crisis Versus Suez Crisis: Spot The Difference!

Why did the USA not get upset when Nasser seized the Suez canal, in 1956? And actually why did the USA instead use the occasion to threaten Israel, Britain and France? Not just that, butpresident Eisenhower aligned himself with the Egyptian, and Soviet dictators. The Soviets, while invading Hungary, killing at least 40,000 Hungarians, threatened to atom bomb London and Paris. With the loud acquiescence of the USA… Which got France and Britain, not the mass murderous USSR, condemned at the United Nations’ general Assembly. What a crazy week it was.

And now, 55 years later, lo and behold, the USA is getting all upset as Iran wants to stop what’s going on below its nose in the strait of Hormuz? Just asking. Inquiring minds want to know.

Is it that in 1956, France and Britain were viewed as preys of the USA? And now that the USA has grabbed everything from France and Britain, they want to be friends again? Because the rich need servants, maybe? In any case, the Suez Crisis was an incongruous reminder that, in 1939, the USA was allied with the USSR and Nazi Germany, against France and Britain (oopss, something one should never say!)

And my advice would be to be very careful with Hormuz. If one wants long life, one does not want long wars. And one does not want fossil fuels. The sooner we get rid of fossil fuels, the better, and if Hormuz helps that way, so be it. The messy Iranian theocracy will not win a waiting game.

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No Change, No Life!

What the USA needs to do is to do what all serious countries do, and have always done: change its constitution, since the changed circumstances require it.

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Cool Is Not Cool:

“Cool”. Why is “cool” such a popular word? Is it supposed to correspond to an attitude? Is it a mark of, and a tool for, our subjugation?

So Obama is confronted to the greatest financial thievery in the history of civilization, and that leaves him “cool“? Having rebooted the perpetrators with public money he goes to them to ask for a billion to campaign for re-election? Cool? I mean: we are not supposed to blow our tops when we contemplate such injustice in the name of change we can’t believe?

In Europe, pretty amazingly intricate financial and semantic engineering is presently deployed to save the banks and the sovereign states entangled with them. There again the bottom line is that the resources of the countries are deployed for the exclusive enjoyment of the few, who happen to be the greatest swindlers ever. Although they are presented as too big to flay.

Actually the same technique as in the USA, Quantitative Easing, is being deployed, and on a similar scale. But, as the head of the European Central Bank, an ex Goldman Sachs partner, pointed out sardonically, a scornful smile on the corner of his mouth, Europeans use a different semantic: they don’t call it Quantitative Easing.Therein the difference. Is not that cool too?

Is the greenhouse effect already that bad that cool is the ultimate state one ought to strive for with all of one’s being? Or are we supposed to reject our mammalian inheritance? Mammals, by being warmer, could do more. So, when climate change happened 65 million years ago, they survived (so did the very warm birds, who evolved from bird-like dinosaurs). Are we supposed to do less now, and not survive? Or then survive like crocs, deep in the mud, super cool, eating carrion?

Is “cool” imposed on us so that people know no higher emotional state than iguanas? Become cool like barnacles, as we cling to the existence the plutocrats condescend to leave us to enjoy? Being so cool we would not be like the American and French hot heads who came forth with new constitutions in 1789?

So is the celebration of “cool” what forces us to not be outraged, as plutocrats steal and burn the entire planet to forget about their megalomaniac angst? To forget they are just crazy critters in need of some restraint? Is “cool” the state slaves are supposed to be in to optimize the enjoyment of their masters? Is it only cool to be cool like corpses?

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France anti-genocide law denounced by Turkey:

Now this is hilarious. France passed a law punishing convicted holocaust deniers by up to one year in jail and 45,000 euros fine.

Fine, indeed. Who would turn into a partisan, a defender of holocausts? Is not holocaust denial a form of hate speech? Holocausts remain a problem, because when one has killed most of a human group, there is nearly nobody to complain on their behalf: other people move on, as herbivores do, once one of them has been seized and devoured.

France’s national Assembly passed the anti-genocidal law, with bipartisan support. And what do you think happened?

Erdogan, the three time elected Prime Minister of Turkey, had a fit: how does France dare make holocaust denial a crime? He forbade French fighter jets to land in Turkey (so I guess the no fly zone over Syria will be delayed), recalled the Turkish ambassador to France, and stopped all talks with France.

And the questions are: why does the present government in Turkey love holocausts so much? Are holocaust such an endangered species that Turkey has to protect them with all its might?

Why does Turkey consider that a general attack against holocausts is an attack against Turkey? Is it because holocausts are intrinsic to the Turkish character? Or is it because holocausts are mentioned positively in the Bible and the Qur’an, and the present Turkish government is obsessed with the religion of the child molester Abraham? Is this why Erdogan is angry?

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We Are Truth Machines.

That monkeys now build cities has not changed that truth. No hallucination added in the last 6,000 years has changed that truth either. Science is what we do, and what stands in the way of that fundamental truth, faces extermination.

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Patrice Ayme

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