141 Replies to “Dog Days 2015 Post”

  1. to me, even zizek misses the mark. while it’s true that regulations are being used to mask an ideological power play, the real game, that both greece and the eu are playing, is the game of “pretend and extend”. no matter what might happen, greece will never repay it’s debt and the eu will dissolve in one fashion or another. there is no winning strategy within, or for, industrial civilization…


  2. i think the original game was a greek-eu extend & pretend, but that show seems to be getting overshadowed by a chinese economic implosion. out in California, if you camp at the beach parks past 15 July, you will have to bring your own fresh water for showers or get used to being salty and sticky after an ocean swim. may be a long, hot summer.

  3. perhaps sponge baths or commercial pay-by-the-gallon shower stalls? next up, pay toilets on the airplanes and trains. swipe (your CC) before you wipe (your behind).

  4. those yahoos in the boat luring the pigs out in the alligator-infested water with marshmellows knew exactly what they were doing. i feel sorry for the poor duped pig. it was just hungry. i’d much rather hang with the innocent pigs than with those assholes.

  5. dave, maybe you should get one for a pet. back in the day, they used to sell baby alligators at the county fair (wot were they thinking?). i guess if they get too big, you can always make a handbag or pair of shoes outta him, or find a nice lake or river…

  6. The wild pigs are actually exotics which are said to do a lot of damage to the ecosystem. The alligators are native critters…so there’s a little justice there.

  7. Okay, I guess. Keeping busy. My mother is pushing 90. Guess who primary caregiver is? Yeah, me. If either of us makes it to 90 do you think anyone would feel obligated to take care of us? We’d be on our own. Keep doing those sit-ups and push-ups, eh?

  8. hey gb, the real exotics doing a lot of damage to the ecosystem were those marshmellow-tossin yahoos in the boat. too bad they got away from the alligators, so far…

  9. eh, my end of life fantasy is to be kicked into a drainage ditch, while i inaudibly mummer, “not yet. not yet.” my last sensations consist of the smell of mud and taste of fetid water. if i’m lucky, maybe someone will throw me to the pigs. something like that.

    as far as my workouts go, i have really picked up the pace lately, after a brief respite. i was having a lot of low back pain. just needed a break from everything.

  10. yeah, the problem with humans is that they’re never an exotic, no matter where they are, except like under water and up in sky, real weird places like that. they’re some kinda super weed species that just mows down everything in in its’ path. it all started with controlling fire, something like that. i guess.

  11. the problem with leapards and pigs is their size. leapards are taking on a similar-sized prey that can inflect mortal damage with one bite. both are fast, but cats are agile. i don’t think lions would take that kinda shit from those pigs.

  12. i guess we’re beginning to see the edge effects of human conquest of the planet going bad. hubris may become extinct along with the species.

  13. when the financial game is to gut the middle class (offshoring jobs, providing low-interest loans to jack up debt, blowing real estate bubbles, higher ed bubbles, etc.), then it’s no surprize that demand and consumption will drop, lowering the price. marginal high-cost production is the first to go, and the frackers will drop quickly because of their production gambit. the OPEC competitive talk is just bullshit. another wall st. bubble bursts.

  14. Hey Doom,
    Anyone getting rid of any microscopes from your faculty?
    I wanna get a good second hand one for one of the kids.

  15. All the microscopes i know of here are Karl Zeiss quality transmittance that cost $1500 up. But I’ll keep an eye out for you.

    Perhaps you’re looking for a lower power reflectance scope? Next time I win the grant lotto, I’ll see what I can do.

  16. dave, most of my old HS friends also think I’ll end it all by being kicked into the ditch. maybe we can be ditchmates? partners to the end…

  17. i’m in washington, DC at a science & technology panel full of other ph.d.s reviewing proposals for oil spill environmental work extending out to 2019. these proposals are training post-docs and graduate students for careers that wil extend into the next few decades. the funding source is the BP “blood money” from the ill-fated deep water horizon (DHW) event. no one in the room asks or apparently acknowledges why this source of funding was made available. why did such an event occur in the first place? could it be that our society was pushing the limits to technology so hard that such an unfortunate event was bound to occur? will these post-docs and graduate students be working hard on oil-related environmental problems in the next few decades?

    there is tacit acknowledgement that such an event will occur again, but the cognitive dissonance is rife and the denial strong. most are apparently thinking about the strange weather but I’m worried about the climate. i regret that i should have studied psychology instead of geology. geology is actually easy, because it follows the laws of physics and is logical. the human mind, on the other hand, is a fascinating thing to behold and study.

  18. Yarra. Shoot, I got two old microscopes at Cornell but recently gave them away. One was actually a dissecting scope. Great gift idea for kids of all ages.

  19. if you cleick on the small blue box with the question mark, it will take you to the site where you will see the airplane video. i suspect it runs well on a PC, but not of course on a mac. shit.

    dave, yah, you could have had dinner with me and EE. it looks to me like a well-kept shit hole around these parts.

  20. Doom,
    yeah, that’s the prices I’m finding.
    That’s exactly what she wants it for. Like the old Surfer’s comment, “you shoulda been here yesterday…”

  21. yeah, i was fucking around in richmond, va. for a couple of days. large parts of the town are still very bourgeoisie. other, large, parts of town are kind of overrun by homeless people, hobo camps and everything. kinda cool, if you like that kind of thing. i guess.

    sorry that i missed you in dc. i was just on the highway going through there. didn’t go into town. the smell of the politics was too repulsive. kinda like driving through newark. do you really want to stop there without some kind of pretty good reason? i guess.

  22. anyhoo, it’s a beautiful, cool crisp, new england morning this morning. more like september, my favorite month, than july.

  23. cities with mixes of bourgeoise and hobo camps. i guess they’ve been like that for decades, it’s just the growing number of homeless people, and of greater variety, these days. the EEO people should be proud of that achievement.

  24. probably the grossest thing i saw this week was catlin jenner all dressed up in a white gown and gloves addressing some gala audience bout somthing he/she thought was important and all serious about sexual development or not, or somthin. didn’t listen to “it”.

  25. there’s probably a pretty racy mind trapped in that aging body.

    i have the same problem…none of the young women take me seriously…until i start pulling out $100 bills…need to go back to the phillippeans, i only have to pull out $10 bills there.

  26. it’s just a matter of time before they’ll be marching the vagrants and other homeless people off to the soylent green factory. springtime for hitler. we know the royals will salute him.

  27. looked like about a 12-14 foot long tiger or great white, probably a white. mick did a good job defending with the board. appears the shark hit him with a clean left jab to the head at the end. i guess mick was giving too much resistance, so the shark gave up. i’d call it a draw.

  28. yeah, ike shoulda warned about the militaryindustrialgovernmentscientificeducationalagriculturaletc. complex. every fucking asshole out there has been more than happy to jump on the band wagon. me too. so there ya go…i guess.

  29. that whole ‘collapse of civilization” story…same old same old…pull the right thread and watch the whole thing unravel…eh.

  30. so, i thought that orlov’s article was pretty good today. anybody who thinks that “democracy” is anything more than a shit stain on a worn out rug, just needs to take one look at what happened in greece. i guess.

  31. i think of the possibility of revolutionary “cadres” in the usa. about all i can do is blink my eyes and shake my head. nothing comes to mind. eh, sometimes shit changes quickly…but you never exactly know how it might change.

  32. what i cannot quite figure out is all the race bating by the MSM. maybe that’s what sells? do the PTB really want america all torn up with waves of race riots in the cities? seems to me that once you get ’em riled up and into the streets flinging molotov cocktails, it won’t take too much moron to get ’em organized. i guess it fits into the fear agenda. an excuse for moron repression. civil liberties? wot dat?

  33. yeah, china could have gone out with a whimper, but instead has decided to go down in turbo-charged capitalist industrialization flames with both barrels blasting into the dirt. good for them. should be quite a show, assuming it’s televised.

  34. yah, giant battery, i like that.

    i may even take the time to read that paper. which is something that i very rarely do anymore, read papers that is.

  35. so, i’m about half through that paper. it’s interesting enough that i might print it out, sit down with a calculator, and run through its’ numbers myself. then again, i might just smoke some weed and drink a little vodka; which is probably a better use of my time.

    actually, i think i’ll make a meat loaf with a cucumber and tomato salad, then smoke some weed and drink some vodka, elements of a prefect day. i’d say.

  36. whatever happened to your case of this stuff?

    i actually paid $90 for a bottle of this stuff in Korea a couple of years ago. i can get the same for about $60 at Costco. it’s not as smokey as it once was, or my taste buds have changed. dunno which.

  37. there’s a photo of one of these lovelys reclining in bed with a pistol. so i’m wondering: “what on earth does she need the pistol for?”

  38. the oban was drank was up some years back at this point. i also gave away some as gifts. can’t drink whiskey or beer anymore, gives me gout.

  39. dunno, but zuma may have been peak neil. i used to smoke a lot of weed listening to this album, so perhaps my judgement was impaired. love that cover.

  40. my hero Fast Eddy over at OFW sums up our predicament:

    Fast Eddy says:
    July 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I watched the video … it doesn’t trouble me…. in fact I see it as trite.

    Contrast this with those millions who pick through garbage dumps in Manila… Jakarta … Cairo… or the thousands of other slums that exist around the world — for their next meal….

    They don’t make videos.

    We in the west are beginning to understand what it has always been like to live in the 3rd world — in the countries that we have pillaged with our armies so that we could live large…. we are all about to star in a global Oxfam commercial…

    But it’s a finite world… and when we were done pillaging other countries — as expected we are now pillaging what’s left of our own countries….

    We start with the soft targets… the poor… students… and so on ….

    I do not stand in judgment of the blatant hypocrisy on display (millions sang along teary eyed to We are the World and tossed spare changed into the charity box ad the checkout so as to feel good … and quickly returned to our 5 course meal…and our low fat lattes) …

    Because this is how it was meant to be — and I am glad I have lived on the winning side.

    I can see the future —- see the final point a prediction on how this ends:

    – The luckiest, fittest, smartest, with the capability for ruthlessness survive – always have – always will

    – Resources are finite and therefore ownership is a zero sum game

    – The strong always take from the weak – if they do not then that is a sign of weakness and a competitor will take from the weak and will usurp the formerly strong dropping them into weakling status

    – Humans tend to group by clan or on a broader basis by nationality (strength in numbers bonded by culture) and they compete with others for resources

    – Competition always exist (I want it all!) but it becomes fiercer when resources are not sufficient to support competing clans or nations

    – Tribal societies understand these dynamics because they cannot go to the grocery store for their food – so they are intimately aware of the daily battle to feed themselves and the competition for scare land and resources

    – Modern affluent societies do not recognize this dynamic because for them resources are not scarce – they have more than enough.

    – One of the main reasons that resources are not scarce in affluent societies is because they won the battle of the fittest (I would argue that luck is the precursor to all other advantages – affluent societies did not get that way because they started out smarter — rather they were lucky – and they parlayed that luck into advances in technology… including better war machines)

    – As we have observed throughout history the strong always trample the weak. Always. History has always been a battle to take more in the zero sum game. The goal is to take all if possible (if you end up in the gutter eating grass the response has been – better you than me – because I know you’d do the same to me)

    – And history demonstrates that the weak – given the opportunity – would turn the tables on the strong in a heartbeat. If they could they would beat the strong into submission and leave them bleeding in the streets and starving. As we see empire after empire after empire gets overthrown and a new power takes over. Was the US happy to share with Russia and vice versa? What about France and England? Nope. They wanted it all.

    – Many of us (including me) in the cushy western world appear not to understand what a villager in Somalia does – that our cushy lives are only possible because our leaders have recognized that the world is not a fair place — Koobaya Syndrome has no place in this world — Koombaya will get you a bullet in the back — or a one way trip to the slum.

    – Religious movements have attempted to change the course of human nature — telling us to share and get along — they have failed 100% – as expected. By rights we should be living in communes — Jesus was a communist was he not? We all know that this would never work. Because we want more. We want it all.

    – But in spite of our hypocrisy, we still have this mythical belief that mankind is capable of good – that we make mistakes along the way (a few genocides here, a few there… in order to steal the resources of an entire content so we can live the lives we live) — ultimately we believe we are flawed but decent. We are not. Absolutely not.

    – But our leaders — who see through this matrix of bullshit — realize that our cushy lives are based on us getting as much of the zero sum game as possible. That if they gave in to this wishy washy Koombaya BS we would all be living like Somalians.

    – Of course they cannot tell us what I am explaining here — that we must act ruthlessly because if we don’t someone else will — and that will be the end of our cushy lives. Because we are ‘moral’ — we believe we are decent – that if we could all get along and share and sing Koombaya the world would be wonderful. We do not accept their evil premises.

    – So they must lie to us. They must use propaganda to get us onside when they commit their acts of ruthlessness.

    – They cannot say: we are going to invade Iraq to ensure their oil is available so as to keep BAU operating (BAU which is our platform for global domination). The masses would rise against that making things difficult for the PTB who are only trying their best to ensure the hypocrites have their cushy lives and 3 buck gas (and of course so that the PTB continue to be able to afford their caviar and champagne) …. Because they know if the hypocrites had to pay more or took at lifestyle hit – they’d be seriously pissed off (and nobody wants to be a Somalian)

    – Which raises the question — are we fools for attacking the PTB when they attempt to throw out Putin and put in a stooge who will be willing to screw the Russian people so that we can continue to live large? When we know full well that Putin would do the same to us — and if not him someone more ruthless would come along and we’d be Somalians.

    – Should we be protesting and making it more difficult for our leaders to make sure we get to continue to lead our cushy lives? Or should we be following the example of the Spartans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZeYVIWz99I

    – In a nutshell are our interests as part of the western culture not completely in line with those of our leaders – i.e. if they fail we fail – if they succeed we succeed.

    – Lee Kuan Yew is famous for saying ‘yes I will eat very well but if I do so will you’ Why bite the hand that whips the weak to make sure you eat well…. If you bite it too hard it cannot whip the weak — making you the weak — meaning you get to feel the whip….

    – Nation… clan … individual…. The zero sum game plays out amongst nations first … but as resources become more scarce the battle comes closer to home with clans battling for what remains…. Eventually it is brother against brother ….

    – As the PTB run out of outsiders to whip and rob…. They turn on their own…. As we are seeing they have no problem with destroying the middle class because it means more for them… and when the weak rise against them they have no problem at all deploying the violent tactics that they have used against the weak across the world who have attempted to resist them

    – Eventually of course they will turn against each other…. Henry Kissinger and Maddy Albright bashing each other over the head with hammers fighting over a can of spam – how precious!

  41. well, yeah, it’s a zero sum game; no 2 ways about that. but responses vary. for example, recently, both the british empire and the soviet union dissolved themselves with a minimum of trauma and drama. the problem for elites if they push too hard on the plebes, is that the plebes eventually resist. there has to be a core of people that benefit from any set particular set of rulers for those rulers to stay in power, even if it’s mostly just a matter of acting as an organizing attractor. something like that. it’s all a matter of energetics, being part of the “in” crowd of the moment, and, of course, luck. something like that.

  42. fe kinda portrays the competition for resources and energy as some kind of lock step, big fish eats little fish, type of process. it’s never that simple. there’s many forces in play.

  43. ya, don, one of my favorite movie endings of all time. a great supense movie from start to finish. for me, it was a real eye opener on how brutal CIA-DIA-NSA business operations can get on the street level. i do like my grilled steaks in the evening and pop tarts in the morning, however.

  44. dave, agreed. in the case of the former british empire, it seems their PTB elite class just morphed into the USA wall street-military-industrialist camp. they lost their independent troops’ power, but are always more than eager to to send what’s left to help the americans, e.g., MENA wars. even the French go along aussies always do so.

    regarding the FSU, it was indeed a free-for-all for awhile after the fall, but thanks to Putin, they have some independence. so, some of their oligarchs are still doing OK, some of the apparently greedier or just non-PC ones (maybe pro-USA like Yeltsin was) not so, in jail, sent to the gulag, or dead. DO knows the score.

  45. see? that’s what my dad was saying all along about wearing seat belts. without seat belts, you’d be thrown clear. had that kid been strapped in, he would have been much worse off, i guess….

  46. it’s kinda funny. if you sit there and watch it over and over, you can just about make out the look of surprise on the kid’s face, a split second before he goes flying through the air….

  47. it was a (dark) comedy of errors. the family (mom, dad, and kid in buggy) would have been better off just staying put and letting the speeding car pass. instead, the father pushes the buggy faster into the oncoming car’s direction, then at the last moment, extends the buggy directly into the car’s path. the car driver had no time to react. had the driver reacted, he would have flipped the vehicle, hitting a lot moron stuff.

    many humans cannot judge timing or distances. this is a particular problem around trains.

  48. i met a “shark expert” once in the Marshall Islands, a michael degre. he had a video of himself wearing an anti-shark mail suit. he was filmed in the water, I think off Enewetak Lagoon, demoing the suit with a small grey reef shark that he had decided to antagonize (it doesn’t take much, they’re like junkyard dogs with fins).

    so old mike extends his arm and the shark swims up and bites it. the shark’s teeth cannot bite through the mail (success!), but what mike forgot is: (a) they can torque your arm and damage/dislocate it at the joints; and (b) they can still inflict a lot of bruising damage to muscle. of course, a bigger shark would have killed him, anyway.

  49. took another, closer look at that baby buggy accident. there were actually two kids in the buggy. one was thrown “clear”, and the other stayed in the crashed buggy. i wonder if either of them survived? besides the potential massive internal bleeding and shock, they could have died like princess dianne, from rapid acceleration or deceleration (in di’s case) of the aorta, etc. OTOH, kids can be tough to kill.

    is the scene from russia?

  50. RIP Mike.

    BTW, the part about the shark attack in the story is not entirely correct. he provoked the attack to test the shark mail he was wearing. I think the attack did leave him with only partial use of that arm, but he knew what he was getting into with the shark.

    fucking helicopters. flying bricks.

  51. yeah, somebody said it, can’t remember who: “the only thing better than dieing as an infant, is to never have been born at all.” i agree with that sentiment.

  52. flexible cooperation of large numbers of people through a common, fictional, narrative, i like that. even though i don’t usually like ted talks.

    as far as the creation of large numbers of useless humans, something of a tautology. one step short of saying: “large numbers of useless humans are useless”. something like that; i’d say.

  53. Madness, chaos, bone-deep mayhem,
    devastation of innumerable souls—
    while we scream and perish, History
    licks a finger and turns the page.

    one of the better sentences written, thomas liggoti

  54. “while we scream and perish, History
    licks a finger and turns the page.”

    you mean, there’s not a kind, wise old-man God up there taking special care of us humans? michelangelo got it wrong up on the sistine chapel? (he was probably only painting what he thought the clergy wanted to see.). why, that’s as bad as when daddy told me there was no such thaing as santa claus!

    great line.

  55. an obvious simple solution if too many humans are destroying the place for all, including other species, is to erradicate the “excess” humans. that would be step 1. step 2 would involve insuring that no moron population explosions of similar devastation occur in future. i think nature’s plan is on track for both steps, via resource depletion and climate change. that would be extinction of the species. if humans want to speed the process through WWIII, nature will go along with that.

  56. have you ever looked at the Triassic landscape in north america preserved in the red and white sandstones of the US southwest? the place looked like the sahara. tough times for anything made of water wishing to survive.

  57. always worth another look. what was jackie thinking she could do with that flying brain tissue? was she really thinking “oh honey, i got it from the trunk lid for you, so the doctors can sew it back”? i guess it takes the mind awhile to let it sink in that jack’s gone, in a flash. so much for camelot.

  58. never understood the kennedy appeal. just another dead rich white guy as far as i can tell…

  59. so, anyhoo, every thursday morning, for i don’t know how long now, i get up and look for the latest essay by john micheal greer, the archdruid. without fail, i read maybe the first 2 or 3 paragraphs, and then say to myself, something like: “god, this is fucking stupid.”, and stop reading. you’d think that at some point i’d learn…

  60. i get up and look for the latest essay by john micheal greer,

    i’m thinking that anyone with a full beard is probably a stupid blowhard. the archdruid certainly fits my bias in that regard, but i have a physicist friend who does not.

  61. yeah, the rockies and the sierra nevada, cascades came later. i was surprized to see how much shallow ocean extended into the west coast at that time.

  62. here’s a find from jay over at america2point0:

    i wonder how many of these will continue to be built and maintained when oil gets scarce? not that many all-electric tools being featured.

  63. it was a hell of a week’s work, but i think i got us closer to the isotope field detector. if we’re not wrong, there will be some suprized folks among the gas analysis experts. hope i get to deployment before the wheels come off BAU.

    i think the industry guys will like what we’ve found with their gismo. they like “gotcha” innovations, because they work in such a competitive environment.

  64. i liked this comment on your human history link: “morel of the story… mankind love to fuck each other and kill each other.”

    pretty much sums it up.

  65. it’s OK, i doubt our readership is going to say, “it’s him!” isotopes are 3He, 4He primarily. 3He is primordial and comes from the mantle. 4He is radiogenic (comes from alpha particle decay of U and Th, mostly) and is enriched in the crust. both are leaving the planet continuously, so reservoirs are in steady-state of loss-gain, 3He from mantle, 3He from crust. they are a unique pair among the periodic table.

  66. oops, meant to write “3He from mantle, 4He from crust.”

    you can do a lot with this pair, including dating rocks, but i’m interested in the earthquake precurory behavior found in monitoring groundwaters of deep fault zones, and as a monitor of magma movement near active volcanic areas. we’ve stumbled upon a few aspects experimentally that will make a field instrument possible. i’m working upon the patent application now.

  67. Does that mean I can fill up my party balloons for free if I get there just before an earthquake?

  68. the french–out in left field and about 30 years behind the curve.

    i was in new zealand for the first time in 1979, on my way down to the ice (antarctica). listening to the radio and the TV, my impression was they were about 20 years behind the US and western europe. they were still in the thrall of the Beatles’ early music, circa early 1960s. they even dressed like they were in the early 1960s. it was odd. they were odd. naturally, they thought me odd. we thought each other talked with a funny accent.

  69. Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science

    by Noah Smith, pot smoker

    “The first thing to consider is how to distribute the fruits of plenty. If we can harness renewable energy to ward off a collapse when fossil fuels run out, then it’s a good bet that increased automation, virtual reality and other technological advances will provide us with a world of plenty unimaginable in previous times.”

    A big IF. No fusion, no future for technology.


  70. never have much cared for star trek or star wars…or really any of that sciencey fictional type stuff…not my cup of tea.

  71. it’s just entertainment, but peole get carried away with the meme. also, i recall the alternatives on the telly at the time of the original Star Trek were prettty dismal, old tired westerns, 77 sunset strip reruns, cop shows, game shows, etc. it was different.

    also, popping some grub pills/paste with enough MSG to trick your brain into thinking it tastes good is not something to look forward to.

  72. yesterday, i put the finishing touches on the dataset that will prove the “gotcha” tech breakthrough. i’m hoping the industrial, competitive types will approve and send some sorely-needed development funds my way.

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