Saturday, April 30, 2011

dimming of the globe...,


Video - City lights from space

FCNP | Late last month a newly enhanced web site, www.energyshortage.org, dedicated to collecting articles concerning energy shortages around the world reappeared on the web after an absence of some months. The stories deal with coal, electricity and natural gas shortages as well as oil. In the course of the past month the web site has located and linked to nearly 200 stories that deal with some aspect of the developing global energy shortage. Most of these stories come from local paper and taken together paint a distressing picture of looming societal breakdown in many parts of the world that is not as yet generally appreciated by the public.

Most of the problems reported on deal with electricity shortages - which in several countries have deteriorated to the point where economies are threatened with collapse. In South Asia - Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and later in India - a combination of too many people, hydro-power reducing droughts, depleting fossil fuel reserves and inadequate investment in infrastructure raises the possibility that many urban areas may soon be uninhabitable.

In Pakistan the electricity is now turned off for 18-20 hours some days in many cities and 20 hours in rural villages. The onset of summer temperatures, shortages of fuel oil for thermal generation and falling water levels have increased the power shortfall to record levels. Without electricity to run the pumps urban water supplies quickly shut down. Without power to run the mills, exports are falling, leaving the country without money to import oil. In short we are seeing a classical downward spiral. The lack of electricity to sell is creating serious hardships for electricity companies which can no longer afford to pay for energy - coal, oil, or natural gas - and are being shut off by suppliers.

Pakistan is hoping that increased imports of liquefied natural gas which is for now is relatively plentiful, transportable, and affordable will be a short term solution for economic survival. Over the longer run natural gas pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan may help someday provided the numerous dissident groups in the area don't blow them up. Demand for electricity in Pakistan is growing at 6-7 percent a year and all agree that building more dams is the best long term solution. This of course requires prodigious amounts of capital and the cooperation of Mother Nature to supply the necessary rains in an era of rapidly changing climatic conditions.

At the other side of the subcontinent is Bangladesh, a country of 158 million people and minimal natural resources. The country is currently generating 4,000 megawatts vs. a demand of 5,500 resulting in rolling blackouts across the country. The real problem however comes in keeping the fresh water flowing. Only half of Dhaka's 577 water pumps are equipped with back-up generators. Falling water tables and falling energy supplies suggest that major humanitarian disasters are not far away.

In the center of the sub-continent lies Nepal. Here the problem is 14 hours a day without power coupled with the inability to pay the Indian oil company for imported oil and gas. The Indians recently reduced fuel supplies to Nepal by 60 percent until the 1.25 billion rupee fuel bill is paid. There is no obvious way out of this situation.

Finally we get to India with its 1.2 billion people and 8 percent annual GDP growth. Although the country has sizeable reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, these are not adequate for a country of this size and rate of growth. Domestic coal production is not meeting the needs of a rapidly growing economy. This year the coal shortfall may be as much as 142 million tons as compared to needs. A few years from now it could be 250 million tons. Rolling blackouts have begun in some parts of the country and the projected demand for ever increasing amounts of expensive imported coal extends into the indefinite future.

China too seems to be facing coal and oil shortages this summer. Despite coal production of 3.2 billion tons a year, this is not sufficient to support the demand for electricity which is increasing at circa 11 percent a year. Beijing, of course, can afford to import all the coal, oil, and natural gas it needs and probably will. The problem will come with local shortages that may force companies to resort to emergency diesel power generation and thereby increase China's demand for imported oil.

america's worst nuclear power plants

Friday, April 29, 2011

a guide to looting

NoBSSurvival | If you’re a law abiding citizen I suggest you don’t read this section. In some historical instances extraordinary measures have been taken against looters during times of crisis. It’s not uncommon in some countries for looters to be shot, either by police, army, or business owners. Some governments will justify the shooting of looters with the excuse of “preventing further damage to the economy”. I suggest you get out of countries that value the economy over your life.

Warnings aside… Let’s get down to business!

What is Looting?
Looting is essentially the act of stealing goods during a catastrophe, riot, war, or natural disaster and can also be referred to as sacking, plundering or pillaging. Looting is almost always opportunistic and usually occurs during a collapse in authority.

Looting can be justified in many ways. Some people may feel that if the goods are not stolen, they will be wasted. Another common belief is that if they don't steal the goods, it will be stolen by someone else. In the aftermath of a large disaster, these beliefs both hold credence and are good reasons for you to be looting!

Preparing
As with any endeavor, preparation is the key to success. In order to take optimal advantage of a disaster and loot effectively you’ll want to get several things handled ahead of time. The next few pages will cover all the information you need to become a master looter.

Make a Looting Kit
There are a few items that will make looting a lot easier. You’ll want to keep these items ready and on hand for when shit hits the fan. They should be kept together in the location for easy access so you just pick them up and go when it’s time.

Crow bar
The ultimate urban survival tool! A nice, heavy crowbar can be used to break into stores, clear your way through rubble and it can be used as a weapon! Don’t underestimate the crowbar. There are a million things you can do with a crowbar, just use your imagination.

Bump keys
These are keys that have been grinded down in such a way that they can be used to open almost any lock. Bump keys are used by locksmiths and they’re relatively easy to use. A crowbar will get you through any door or window but a bump key will get you through without making a mess.

Laundry bag
A strong, large drawstring bag is a definite must for looting. Laundry bags are great for the purpose of looting. They have a large carrying capacity and when empty they can be folded to fit in your pocket. You can always go for a large backpack, duffle bag or rucksack but they’re cumbersome, expensive and made for looks more then anything else.

A dollar coin or quarter
You may be wondering… a dollar coin or quarter? What the hell for? Well the answer may be a lot simpler then you imagine. The coin is for a shopping cart! Just make sure you get one before the other looters! If you don’t want to use a coin, you can always use the crowbar to break the chains holding them together.

Flash light / Lantern
It’s very likely that if the situation permits looting, the power is probably out. Good luck getting over fallen shelves and getting food in the dark. Looting with one hand will also be difficult but there are a few methods around that. I suggest placing the lantern or flash light in the shopping cart, get a head lamp, or just bring someone along to shine the light and push the cart.

Make a Looting Team
Find several friends or family members and make a plan! It’s all about leverage, you can get a lot more done if your work as team. Get everyone together in a room and discuss a plan of action. Here are the questions you’ll want to have answered:

* Under what circumstances will looting take place?
* Where will the goods be kept?
* Who has a vehicle for transportation?
* What are the best locations for looting?
* Should each individual go to a different store?
* Should everyone go as team?
* What goods have priority?

If each person focuses on acquiring a certain type of item, you’ll collectively save a lot of time and effort. What I mean by this is that one person will collect water filters, one person will collect rice and beans, and the other person will collect fuel. That’s just an example and should be customized to fit your team needs.

Mapping and Creating a List of Target Addresses
Get a detailed map of your city and mark off important looting locations. Make a legend with symbols to represent different types of locations, for instance, use a circle for food stores, triangles for hunting/outdoor stores, squares for hospitals and pharmacies etc. A good resource for finding addresses and locations is Google maps, just type in a store name and Google will give you all the addresses for that store in your area. Copy and paste the results into a .txt file and print it out for future use. This map is extremely important and should be kept in a safe area. The map should be copied and distributed among friends and family. Here’s a list of some locations to keep in mind:

* Hospitals
* Restaurants
* Grocery stores
* Large stores and warehouses
* Police stations
* Fire stations
* Factories
* Shipyards
* Pharmacies
* Liquor stores
* Malls
* People’s houses
* Schools
* Sporting good stores
* Outdoor living stores
* Garden stores
* Hardware stores
* Military / Armory bases
* Gas stations
* Air ports
* Shipping container sites
* Hotels

What to Loot
Some items are important to loot and some aren’t. A wide screen TV for instance will not contribute to your chances of survival. The highest priority should be on food and water but depending on location, finding water may be a problem. Water is too heavy to move around so instead of looting water bottles the focus should be on buckets and water filters. The value of money may be worthless in a disaster situation and therefore should not be a high priority. The most important items to loot are as follows:

* Personal medicine (if required)
* Water filters and water
* Rice
* Dried lentils, legumes, beans
* Salt
* Oatmeal
* Whole wheat flour
* Sugar
* Cooking oil
* Coffee
* Money (preferably in change)
* Alcohol
* Cigarettes
* Energy bars
* Coo laid/ electrolytes
* Fuel/oil

Places to Avoid
The family run corner stores should be avoided as the owners actually have an interest in the store. The best historical example to illustrate this point occurred during the LA riots... remember Korea town?. Go for the Walmarts and Super stores as the employees could care less about you looting (they have no vested interest in the store).

Looting When Shit Hits the Fan
You have a plan and you know what to do but now we’ll going into the details of what happens next.
It’s my personal belief that violence will not break out in the first stages of a disaster since food and supplies are still in relative abundance and people have what they need to survive. This has been proven during hurricane Katrina and many other disasters. The first few weeks of a disaster should be spent looting and acquiring resources. Everyone in your team should loot the area and acquire as much as a possible. It’s only after several weeks of looting that gangs and groups will have formed and violence will erupt. Fighting will most likely occur over food and resources. All looting from that time on should be executed with extreme caution.

33 ways to encourage atlas to shrug


Video - Koch funded tea party randian high camp.

Survivalblog | Ayn Rand's 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged" is enjoying renewed popularity following the release of the new Atlas Shrugged movie. Rand's story describes a group of American industrialists that lose patience with onerous regulation and taxation, and "shrug"--disappearing from their normal lives to relocate to a hidden valley called Galt's Gulch. While this tale is fictional, it has some strong parallels to modern-day America. And despite the fact that Ayn Rand was an atheist and favored legalized abortion, she was a good judge of both character and the inevitable tendencies of elected governments. When I consider the regulatory and tax burdens that have been implemented in my lifetime--I was born in 1960--I believe that Rand had amazing prescience. Let's face it: We no longer live in a free market capitalist nation. At best, it could called a "mixed" economy with statist tendencies, and verging on socialism.

Reading the news headlines in recent months has led me to believe that the Galt's Gulch concept has a lot of merit. If The Powers That Be wanted to encourage the Atlases of the world to shrug, they couldn't have done a better job. What is the best way to get the most productive Citizens of our nation to go on strike, and retreat to "gulches"? Consider the following "to do" list for those whom Ayn Rand called "The Destroyers":

corporate america's war on political transparency

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Jeffrey Toobin
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Corp-Focus | Companies that bid for government contracts should disclose their campaign spending, in order to diminish the likelihood that contracts are a payoff for political expenditures.

The Obama administration has indicated that it plans to impose such a rule, through an executive order. Ideally, the rule would prohibit contractors and lobbyists from campaign spending, but a disclosure standard is a very positive if modest step.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the trade association for big business, however, takes a somewhat different view.

"We will fight it through all available means," Bruce Josten, the chief lobbyist for the Chamber, told the New York Times. "To quote what they say every day on Libya, all options are on the table."

Other business lobbyists use less charged rhetoric* but echo Josten's stridency. "The President and his administration seem to be using the executive order powers for political purposes," says John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, an association of major company CEOs. "The suggestion that federal procurement choices are the result of contributions is being seen as discouraging free speech by intimidating business donors."

Gosh, is it really a stretch to suggest that contractors think political donations help them obtain contracts? Did Lockheed really spend $16 million on campaign contributions over the last two decades -- divided fairly evenly between the two major parties (55-45 split for Republicans) -- for any other reason? Heck, the company spent $60 million over just the last five years on lobbying, primarily to affect how the government spends money.

This is a case -- there have been precious few -- where the President is going head to head with the Big Business lobby. It's up to us to help him stand strong for what's right. Go here to sign a petition urging President Obama to ignore the business pressure and issue the executive order requiring disclosure of contractors' election expenditures.

The need for such action is directly traceable to the Supreme Court's decision Citizens United v. FEC, which lifted restrictions on political spending by corporations, and paved the way for companies to make massive expenditures from their general treasuries to influence election outcomes. While companies are prohibited from making direct contributions to federal candidates, and while direct contributions from individual managers and employees of companies and their political action committees are publicly reported, it remains nearly impossible to trace most of the corporate political spending designed to curry favor and access with government officials. After Citizens United, corporations can now easily make secret and unlimited donations directly out of their corporate treasuries to "front" organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that then use the money for campaign expenditures.

Not only did Citizens United badly damage the functioning of our democracy, it invited a major uptick in corruption narrowly defined.

While government corruption comes in many forms, nowhere is it more prevalent than in government contracting. "Pay-to-play" deals are a form of government contracting abuse in which a business entity makes campaign contributions or expenditures on behalf of a public official in order to obtain preferential treatment in receiving government contracts. Occasionally, pay-to-play constitutes outright bribery for a government contract. More often, pay-to-play involves a contractor buying favoritism. The practice is widespread in local, state, and federal contracting but is usually kept well hidden due to inadequate monitoring of government contracting procedures. The pay-to-play system encourages fraud and abuse of power, prevents contracts from being awarded to businesses based on merit, wastes taxpayer dollars, and facilitates privatization and contracting out of services that otherwise could or should be provided by government agencies.

deficits don't matter?


Video - George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both declared that deficits don't matter.

Globalresearch | “Deficit terrorists” are gutting governments and forcing the privatization of public assets, all in the name of “deficit reduction.” But deficits aren’t actually a bad thing. In today’s monetary scheme, in which most money comes from debt, debt and deficits are actually necessary to have a stable money supply. The public debt is the people’s money.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously said, "Deficits don't matter." A staunch Republican, he was arguing against raising taxes on the rich; but today Republicans seem to have forgotten this maxim. They are bent on stripping social programs, privatizing public assets, and gutting unions, all in the name of "deficit reduction."

Worse, Standard & Poor’s has now taken up the hatchet. Some bloggers are calling it blackmail. This private, for-profit rating agency, with a dubious track record of its own, is dictating government policy, threatening to downgrade the government’s long-held triple AAA credit rating if Congress fails to deal with its deficit in sufficiently draconian fashion. The threat is a real one, as we’ve seen with the devastating effects of downgrades in Greece, Ireland and other struggling countries. Lowered credit ratings force up interest rates and cripple national budgets.

The biggest threat to the dollar’s credit rating, however, may be the game of chicken being played with the federal debt ceiling. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are said to be in favor of a freeze on May 16, when the ceiling is due to be raised; and Tea Party-oriented politicians could go along with this scheme to please their constituents.

If they get what they wish for, the party could be over for the whole economy. The Chinese are dumping U.S. Treasuries, and the Fed is backing off from its “quantitative easing” program, in which it has been buying federal securities with money simply created on its books. When the Fed buys Treasuries, the government gets the money nearly interest-free, since the Fed rebates its profits to the government after deducting its costs. When the Chinese and the Fed quit buying Treasuries, interest rates are liable to shoot up; and with a frozen debt ceiling, the government would have to default, since any interest increase on a $14 trillion debt would be a major expenditure. Today the Treasury is paying a very low .25% on securities of 9 months or less, and interest on the whole debt is about 3% (a total of $414 billion on a debt of $14 trillion in 2010). Greece is paying 4.5% on its debt, and Venezuela is paying 18% -- six times the 3% we’re paying on ours. Interest at 18% would add $2 trillion to our tax bill. That would mean paying three times what we’re paying now in personal income taxes (projected to be a total of $956 billion in 2011), just to cover the interest.

There are other alternatives. Congress could cut the military budget -- but it probably won’t, since this option is never even discussed. It could raise taxes on the rich, but that probably won’t happen either. A third option is to slash government services. But which services? How about social security? Do you really want to see Grandma panhandling? Congress can’t agree on a budget for good reason: there is no good place to cut.

Fortunately, there is a more satisfactory solution. We can sit back, relax, and concede that Cheney was right. Deficits aren’t necessarily a bad thing! They don’t matter, so long as they are at very low interest rates; and they can be kept at these very low rates either by maintaining our triple A credit rating or by borrowing from the Fed essentially interest-free.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

u.s. nuclear reactor evacuation zones

PSR | Do you live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor? One third of Americans do. Property contaminated by nuclear materials is not covered by insurance, so if your house is affected, you could be displaced permanently and lose everything. Use the tool below to find out if you are within an evacuation zone and are at risk. Also notice the number of people who would have to be evacuated if there was an accident at the plant closest to you. Do you really think that is possible? We don't.

The 25th anniversary of Chernobyl and the continuing crisis at Fukushima -- both Level 7 nuclear disasters -- are clear reminders that standard evacuation zones cannot protect the public from a nuclear accident. Current NRC regulations stipulate a 10 mile evacuation zone around nuclear plants. This is clearly insufficient and 50 miles has been recommended.

radiation readings at highest level since crisis began

Gundersen Postulates Unit 3 Explosion May Have Been Prompt Criticality in Fuel Pool from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Bloomberg | Radiation readings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi station rose to the highest since an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, impeding efforts to contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.


Two robots sent into the reactor No. 1 building at the plant yesterday took readings as high as 1,120 millisierverts of radiation per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said today. That’s more than four times the annual dose permitted to nuclear workers at the stricken plant.

Radiation from the station, where four of six reactors have been damaged by explosions, has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and contaminated farmland and drinking water. A plan to flood the containment vessel of reactor No. 1 with more water to speed up emergency cooling efforts announced yesterday by the utility known as Tepco may not be possible now.

“Tepco must figure out the source of high radiation,” said Hironobu Unesaki, a nuclear engineering professor at Kyoto University. “If it’s from contaminated water leaking from inside the reactor, Tepco’s so-called water tomb may be jeopardized because flooding the containment vessel will result in more radiation in the building.”

culture of complicity

NYTimes | Given the fierce insularity of Japan’s nuclear industry, it was perhaps fitting that an outsider exposed the most serious safety cover-up in the history of Japanese nuclear power. It took place at Fukushima Daiichi, the plant that Japan has been struggling to get under control since last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

In 2000, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese-American nuclear inspector who had done work for General Electric at Daiichi, told Japan’s main nuclear regulator about a cracked steam dryer that he believed was being concealed. If exposed, the revelations could have forced the operator, Tokyo Electric Power, to do what utilities least want to do: undertake costly repairs.

What happened next was an example, critics have since said, of the collusive ties that bind the nation’s nuclear power companies, regulators and politicians.

Despite a new law shielding whistle-blowers, the regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, divulged Mr. Sugaoka’s identity to Tokyo Electric, effectively blackballing him from the industry. Instead of immediately deploying its own investigators to Daiichi, the agency instructed the company to inspect its own reactors. Regulators allowed the company to keep operating its reactors for the next two years even though, an investigation ultimately revealed, its executives had actually hidden other, far more serious problems, including cracks in the shrouds that cover reactor cores.

Investigators may take months or years to decide to what extent safety problems or weak regulation contributed to the disaster at Daiichi, the worst of its kind since Chernobyl. But as troubles at the plant and fears over radiation continue to rattle the nation, the Japanese are increasingly raising the possibility that a culture of complicity made the plant especially vulnerable to the natural disaster that struck the country on March 11.

Already, many Japanese and Western experts argue that inconsistent, nonexistent or unenforced regulations played a role in the accident — especially the low seawalls that failed to protect the plant against the tsunami and the decision to place backup diesel generators that power the reactors’ cooling system at ground level, which made them highly susceptible to flooding.

A 10-year extension for the oldest of Daiichi’s reactors suggests that the regulatory system was allowed to remain lax by politicians, bureaucrats and industry executives single-mindedly focused on expanding nuclear power. Regulators approved the extension beyond the reactor’s 40-year statutory limit just weeks before the tsunami despite warnings about its safety and subsequent admissions by Tokyo Electric, often called Tepco, that it had failed to carry out proper inspections of critical equipment.

The mild punishment meted out for past safety infractions has reinforced the belief that nuclear power’s main players are more interested in protecting their interests than increasing safety. In 2002, after Tepco’s cover-ups finally became public, its chairman and president resigned, only to be given advisory posts at the company. Other executives were demoted, but later took jobs at companies that do business with Tepco. Still others received tiny pay cuts for their role in the cover-up. And after a temporary shutdown and repairs at Daiichi, Tepco resumed operating the plant.

In a telephone interview from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Sugaoka said, “I support nuclear power, but I want to see complete transparency.”

something odd at reactor 4 spent fuel pool...,


Video - Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen notes that the spent fuel rods in reactor number 4 have no water, and the rods are exposed.

Washingtonblog | The Number 4 spent fuel pool stores 1,535 fuel rods, the most at the nuclear complex. (Bear in mind that the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl.) As I noted on April 2nd.

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is carefully monitoring the situation at the Number 4 spent fuel pool, where the water temperature is rising despite increased injections of cooling water.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it will inject 210 tons of water into the pool on Monday, after finding on Sunday evening that the temperature in the pool had risen to 81 degrees Celsius.

The utility firm had earlier limited the amount of water being injected into the pool to 70 tons a day, saying the weight of the water could weaken the reactor building, which was already damaged in last month's hydrogen explosion.

On Friday, TEPCO found that the pool's temperature had reached 91 degrees, so it began injecting 2 to 3 times the amount of water.

TEPCO says the pool's water temperature dropped to 66 degrees on Saturday after water was injected, but started to rise again, to 81 degrees.

The operator says the water level in the pool was 2.5 meters lower than normal after 165 tons of water were injected on Sunday. It is carefully monitoring the water level and temperature to avoid further troubles.

The Number 4 spent fuel pool stores 1,535 fuel rods, the most at the nuclear complex.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

drum is the ear of god

Richard Hodges | Every culture lives within the interplay of two movements, an outer movement of performing the activities necessary for the continuation of physical life and an inner movement towards relating to forces, being and intelligence beyond and above that life. The music of a culture is a measure of the relationship and balance between these two movements.

There is a music, nowadays practiced mainly in certain places where the traditional spirit has not completely given way to modernity, that uses its power over the feelings to cut through the self-absorption of everyday life and bring one to an experience of communion, the sense of being part of the vast play of forces that encompass and connect all beings. In Africa music and dance evoke a sense of communion on many levels in a rich tapestry that includes spiritual aspiration, religious experience, evocation of deity, psychic and physical empowerment, enactment of myth and history, teaching, healing, courtship, cultural assimilation and solidarization, mutual criticism, celebration, entertainment and exercise.

Traditional Africa maintains a distinction between religious music and social music. This distinction corresponds to the widespread understanding that spiritual life and material life are on different levels. While many processes of a secular nature may take place in a religious context and vice versa, this is felt as part of the unique drama of each situation, not as an undesirable contradiction. In effect, this ambiguity represents an affirmation that spiritual life and material life are inseparably united as constant reciprocal movements of the human spirit.

In Africa, as in many other traditional cultures, religious music and dance play the central role of invoking possession-trance. In possession, the person loses consciousness of himself as an individual and becomes the vehicle or mouthpiece of a "deity," a personification of one of the great forces of the inner or the outer world. The actions and speech of the person possessed are regarded as those of the deity and are looked to for advice, healing, prophecy, and magical power.

The deities in whose service music and dance are performed are traditionally understood not as being divine in themselves-rather, their divinity is a particle of the Divinity of a higher principle, the creative principle behind the Universe. But this principle is already always everywhere and in everything and hence needs no service to call its presence. No special temporal material condition, such as a temple, ceremony, or artifact, can concentrate its force. Its action at our level is non-action. Its symbol is silence. In music, it is expressed by the rhythmic pulses that are heard innerly though the instrument is not played; through their silence, these pulses give shape and meaning to the rhythm that is heard outerly.

The Great Principle is too far above the level of man for him to relate to It directly. The deities are necessary intermediaries through whom man and God address each other. In some traditions the drums themselves are also specially invested as divine intermediaries. The Dogon say that Drum is the ear of God and one must beat it with the attitude that one is speaking to God on behalf of mankind. This attitude requires respect, but also great force. In the words of a religious song of the Blekete cycle (Blekete is the name of a deity of the Ewe people of Ghana and also the name of the principal drum that is used in this cycle): "A feeble effort will not fulfill the self."

why the west wants the fall of gaddafi

DissidentVoice | It was [Mouammar] Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas.

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn’t finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves,
seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.

African Monetary Fund, African Central Bank, African Investment Bank
The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African
Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only US$25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatisation like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations.

It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around €150 billion. This is what lures the countries that are bombing Libya and they all have one thing in common – they are practically bankrupt. The USA alone, has a staggering debt of $US14,000 billion, France, Great Britain and Italy each have a US$2,000 billion public deficit compared to less than US$400 billion in public debt for 46 African countries combined.

this will be the arab world's next battle

Guardian | Population growth and water supply are on a collision course. Hunger is set to become the main issue. Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water shortages, and growing food insecurity.

In some countries grain production is now falling as aquifers – underground water-bearing rocks – are depleted. After the Arab oil-export embargo of the 1970s, the Saudis realised that since they were heavily dependent on imported grain, they were vulnerable to a grain counter-embargo. Using oil-drilling technology, they tapped into an aquifer far below the desert to produce irrigated wheat. In a matter of years, Saudi Arabia was self-sufficient in its principal food staple.

But after more than 20 years of wheat self-sufficiency, the Saudis announced in January 2008 that this aquifer was largely depleted and they would be phasing out wheat production. Between 2007 and 2010, the harvest of nearly 3m tonnes dropped by more than two-thirds. At this rate the Saudis could harvest their last wheat crop in 2012 and then be totally dependent on imported grain to feed their population of nearly 30 million.

The unusually rapid phaseout of wheat farming in Saudi Arabia is due to two factors. First, in this arid country there is little farming without irrigation. Second, irrigation depends almost entirely on a fossil aquifer – which, unlike most aquifers, does not recharge naturally from rainfall. And the desalted sea water the country uses to supply its cities is far too costly for irrigation use – even for the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia's growing food insecurity has led it to buy or lease land in several other countries, including two of the world's hungriest, Ethiopia and Sudan. In effect, the Saudis are planning to produce food for themselves with the land and water resources of other countries to augment their fast-growing imports.

In neighbouring Yemen, replenishable aquifers are being pumped well beyond the rate of recharge, and the deeper fossil aquifers are also being rapidly depleted. Water tables are falling throughout Yemen by about two metres per year. In the capital, Sana'a – home to 2 million people – tap water is available only once every four days. In Taiz, a smaller city to the south, it is once every 20 days.

Yemen, with one of the world's fastest-growing populations, is becoming a hydrological basket case. With water tables falling, the grain harvest has shrunk by one-third over the last 40 years, while demand has continued its steady rise. As a result the Yemenis import more than 80% of their grain. With its meagre oil exports falling, with no industry to speak of, and with nearly 60% of its children physically stunted and chronically undernourished, this poorest of the Arab countries is facing a bleak and potentially turbulent future.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

fukushima cannot be sealed like chernobyl


can japan get off the nuclear pipe?

Counterpunch | To stabilize not just Fukushima, but Japan itself, the disastrous and irresponsible decisions taken by governments over the past half-century to pursue nuclear energy as a sacrosanct national project, have to be reversed. The immediate priority must attach to close the Fukushima and Hamaoka (and other extreme high-risk sites including Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata prefecture, the world’s largest nuclear generation complex);5 to secure, stabilize, and remediate the Fukushima sites, resettling and compensation the refugee population and rebuilding shattered infrastructure; to cancel all planned and under construction reactor works (including Hamaoka Number 6 and Kaminoseki in Yamaguchi prefecture); to suspend all existing and experimental projects for uranium enrichment, plutonium accumulation, use, and fast-breeding; to stop the planned export of nuclear plants to countries such as Vietnam (personally promoted by Prime Minister Kan as late as October 2010); and to adjust public and private investment priorities to a completely different vision of energy production and consumption.

What is called for, in short, is the reversal of a half century of core national policies.6 Such a strategic decision, turning the present disaster into the opportunity to confront the key challenge of contemporary civilization, amounts to a revolutionary agenda, one only possible under the pressure of a mobilized and determined national citizenry. At this crucial juncture, how Japan goes, the world is likely follow. The challenge is fundamentally political: can Japan’s civil society accomplish the sovereignty guaranteed it under the constitution and wrest control over the levers of state from the irresponsible bureaucratic and political forces that have driven it into the present crisis?

On such a trajectory, instead of a subordinate and secondary role in the current (now stalled) global “nuclear renaissance,” and the continuing feeble presence on the world political and diplomatic stage as a US “client state,” Japan could become a world leader. It is the sort of challenge to which Japan’s best and brightest might rise, and around which its people might unite.

March 2011 is set to mark a caesura in Japanese history comparable to August 1945: the end of a particular model of state, economy and society, both marked by nuclear catastrophes that shook the world (even if the present one seems likely to be slightly muted and the meltdown kept to partial, the regional consequences may be broader, the number of people disastrously affected greater). Where the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki signalled the end-point of the path chosen by the young officers of the Kwantung Army in the 1930s, the chaos and apocalyptic apprehension of post-quake and tsunami Fukushima in 2011 is the end-point of the path chosen by senior state bureaucrats and their corporate and political collaborators in the 1950s and steadily, incrementally, reinforced ever since then. Their legacy is today’s nuclear state Japan. 1945 was a purely human-caused disaster. 2011 differs in that it was occasioned by natural disaster, but human factors hugely exacerbated it.

Japan’s “Hiroshima syndrome” of fear and loathing for all things nuclear meant that cooperation with US nuclear war-fighting strategy had to be kept secret, in mitsuyaku or “secret treaties,” especially in the 1960s and 1970s that have only become public in the past two years. The nuclear energy commitment, also pressed by the US, had likewise to be concealed, never submitted to electoral scrutiny, and continually subject of manipulation (extensive advertising campaigns), cover-up (especially of successive incidents), and deception (as to risk and safety levels). The extent of that too is now laid bare.

The way forward out of the current disaster remains unclear. The debate over Japan’s energy and technology future will be long and hard, but what is now clear is that Japanese democracy has to rethink the frame within which this elite was able to overrun all opposition and push the country to its present brink. The crisis is not just one of radiation, failed energy supply, possible meltdown, the death of tens of thousands, health and environmental hazard, but of governability, of democracy. Civic democracy has to find a way to seize control over the great irresponsible centers of fused state-capital monopoly and open a new path towards sustainability and responsibility. A new mode of energy generation and of socio-economic organization has to be sought. Ultimately it has to be a new vision for a sustainable society.

really mixed signals from media, TEPCO, and government..,


Video - SOS from Mayor of Minami Soma City, next to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant

JapanFocus | Mistrust of the media has surged among the people of Fukushima Prefecture. In part this is due to reports filed by mainstream journalists who are unwilling to visit the area near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But above all it is the result of contradictory reportsreleased by the media, TEPCO and the government.

On the one hand, many local officials and residents in Fukushima insist that the situation is safe and that the media, in fanning unwarranted fears, are damaging the economy of the region.By contrast, many freelance journalists in Tokyo report that the central government is downplaying the fact that radiation leakage has been massive and that the threat to public health has been woefully underestimated. While the government long hewed to its original definition of a 20 kilometer exclusion zone, following the April 12 announcement that the Fukushima radiation severity level has been raised from a level 5 event (as with Three Mile Island) to a level 7 event (as with Chernobyl), the government also extended the radiation exclusion zone from 20 kilometers to at least five communities in the 30-50 kilometer range.

In recent weeks, many Fukushima residents who fled in the first week of the nuclear crisis have begun returning home and attempting to resume normal activities. For example, some local people in Iwaki city, 40-50 km from the Fukushima Daiichi reactor, are convinced that it is now safe to return despite the high radiation levels recorded. Here is one example.

In Japan, April’s cherry blossoms signal a symbolic beginning, a new stage in life. On April 6th, along with school children across the nation, Iwaki City, within the 40 km radiation exclusion zone, held many school entrance ceremonies for elementary, middle and high schools.

Iwaki's Yumoto Daini Middle School’s ceremony was a bit different: not only were there 33 new students, but refugees living on the school grounds and some members of the Self Defense Force also attended. Overall 107 people participated in the ceremony. Headmaster Sawai Shiro may have exceeded his authority in taking the humanitarian step of granting permission for the refugees to remain on campus as the school year begins, at the risk of being punished later for breaking rules.

Local sources report that in the first week or so after the nuclear crisis began, Iwaki City experienced difficulties in receiving supplies like food and fuel because many agents refused to deliver.Since early April, refugees who had evacuated outside the prefecture started returning. Restaurants in downtown Iwaki are reopening and many convenience stores boast reasonably well-stocked shelves, while gas, water and electricity have been restored. Iwaki City has repeatedly confirmed that “radiation is at a stable level which is not harmful to human health.” Iwaki officials explain that this judgment is based on figures provided by the Fukushima prefectural government regularly updated since March 11.

Principal Sawai began his welcome speech by saying, "I am glad to be able to confirm that all 33 new students are participating in this ceremony amidst a disaster that had forced many people to leave Yumoto.""In our district,” he continued,“some people survived by drinking water from their bath for weeks as there was no running water. I want you to care for each other especially for anyone who is in trouble." He concluded, "You young students, are the future of Japan. Now, we should be bound as one beyond differences in ideas, position or self interest."

Though all the new students attended, not all teachers were there. As a result of the catastrophe, personnel for the school was frozen and new teachers were not dispatched to the school, Sawai explained. As a result of the lack of teachers, there will be only one class run by a teacher for each grade.

School Doctor Informs Children “The radiation problem is already finished.”
Following the principal’s speech, the school’s doctor in his white coat stated matter-of-factly that, based on science, people should know that the worst of the earthquake damage had passed and that radiation leakages from the Fukushima Daiichi plant were decreasing and would soon fade away.

“The radiation problem is already finished,” he told the children and their parents. “You can go to school and go outside without any problem. You should not fear malicious gossip.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Conscious Language III - Redux

Whether or not we were once "merely" highly intelligent but automatically reacting animals - that communicated by talking - and that talking enabled us to cooperate well enough to build complex societies up to and including the AMP (African Method of Production) which is the basic organizing framework for modern civilization - we can leave aside for now. We have each of us witnessed ants, termites, bees, and wasps doing it, (complex social organization) and we do not image-in that on an individual basis these creatures are anything but "automatically reacting animals". (Not very much "questioning" going on in the hive, and consequently, not much possibility of psychological development)

There is no compelling reason to suppose that our collective anthropocosmos and the attenuated cosmos of these haplo-diploidy insects share any other exoteric organizing features in common - aside from our shared lunatical, intra-specific penchant for murder on a grand scale. So I'll leave off the speculative psycho-history and the hive-mind related epistemology of "Sarmoung" and "Beelzebub" (though the esoteric importance of this for "school" and "group" developmental processes may not be at all trivial given that we are Beelzebub's children's children's children) to refocus on the issue of conscious language.

Language is central to everything we do; therefore, a deep understanding of language is prerequisite to a deeper understanding of our "selves". It is language that has the power to make metaphors and analogies including "I" and "me". Since we know that natural language (along with a panoply of complex behaviours) is epiphenomenal to our genetically determined brain structure - and that language use itself is an automatic behavior - e.g., I am not now consciously selecting the words (still less the letters) that my individual keystrokes engender (or consciously governing the motor behavior behind the production of the individual keystrokes for that matter) nor will you be consciously reconstructing the phonemes and morphemes of which these written utterences are comprised. All very automatically and unconsciously, your organism will serve up the "meaning" of this writing (these symbols for phonetic events)

What if, instead of a metaphorical "I" embedded in the lexical field of subjective speech, (our nothingness) we instead had a system based on the direct apprehension of a material something; (that indefinable something that self-remembering helps us to sense and develop)

Could it be that by radically changing the lexical field upon which the automatic processes of language formation (illusory consciousness - sleep) occur, that the goal of metanoia could - at least in part - be obtained? Isn't this really what the "psychological" focus of the work is intended to accomplish?

In Beelzebub, Arousing of Thought Gurdjieff opines;
"it was customary in long-past centuries on Earth for every man bold enough to aspire to the right to be considered by others and to consider himself a "conscious thinker" to be instructed, while still in the early years of his responsible existence, that man has two kinds of mentation: one kind, mentation by thought, expressed by words always possessing a relative meaning; and another kind, proper to all animals as well as to man, which I would call "mentation by form."
Instead of viewing the legacy of pharaonic Egypt with an eye to heterodox psychological interpretation that would depend on a degree of philological and classical scholarship that would be confounding to most - let's instead look at something obvious, unmistakeable, and likely as not, - frustrating to many who have struggled with Gurdjieff's system - the law of three, the law of seven, where these came from, and what they are supposed to convey. It is here, I believe, that Gurdjieff sought to plant a specific seed in the mentations of contemporary humanity, a new set of "associations" by which the possibility of "mentation by form" might be reinstated.

In his "law of three: and "the law of seven" (and by extension and application the table of the hydrogens) Gurdjieff presented the lexical field on which pharaonic Egypt (Khemit) based its "vocabulary" of objective construction. For purposes of this discussion, I am freely adapting the bewildering constructions of Egypt as overt expressions of the underlying mentality that produced them. (a la Schwaller de Lubicz) Kind of an inversion of Chomsky's premise that "language is culture and culture is language". At its heart, the core epistimology (lexical field) of Pharaonic mentality was based on a simple numerical progression beginning with the number 1 and elements that are all natural and real. In other words the direct response to the proportional laws of sound and form was the epistmological basis of the entire pharaonic cultural ouevre. Hearing goes directly to the emotional centre whose intelligence directly apprehends (and organizes) reality via harmony. It was by means of this mentality, this alien epistemology (lexical field) that the Egyptians constructed their cultural and technological complex (language-culture-technology)

It is quite simple: The inverse of every harmonic progression is an arithmetic progression, thus, 2,3,4,5 is an ascending arithmetic progression while the inverse series, 1/2, 1/3,1/4,1/5 is a descending harmonic progression. In music it is the insertion of the harmonic and arithmetic means between the two extremes in double ratios - representing the octave double - which gives the progression known as musical proportion, that is, 1,4/3,3/2,2. The arithmetic and harmonic means between the double geometric ratios are the numerical ratios which correspond to the tonal intervals of the perfect fourth and the perfect fifth, the basic consonances in nearly all musical scales.

Translation - The basic proportional structure which contains the axioms for our primary mathematical operations is also the basic proportional structure for the laws of music. Arithmetic proportion contains the law for addition and its inverse, subtaction, and describes the relationship which gives the natural series of cardinal numbers, 1,2,3,4,5,6,...etc. Geometric proportion contains the law for multiplication and its inversion, division, and describes the relationship which gives any series of geometric progressions. Addition and multiplication are mathematical symbols for patterns of growth. The harmonic mean is derived from a combination of the first two; it is formed by a multiplication of any two extremes (a,c) followed by the division of this product by their average or arithmetic mean (a+c)/2. For example, given two extremes, 6 and 12, the product of 6 and 12 = 72, the arithmetic mean between 6 and 12 is 9, and 72/9 = 8, so 6,8,12 is an harmonic proportion.

Each proportion has a number of characteristics that are peculiar to it. The arithmetic proportion shows an equality of difference, but an inequality of ratio, thus in the arithmetic proportion; 3,5,7 7-5 = 5-3 but 7/5 does not equal 5/3. The geometric proportion is the reverse of this - thus in the geometric proportion 2,4,8 4/2 = 8/4 but 4-2 = 2 does not equal 8-4 = 4.

The importance of the harmonic proportion is the fact that the inverse of every harmonic progression is an arithmetic progression. The progression 1,4/3,3/2,2 represents the frequencies of a fundamental, fourth, fifth, and octave. We then find the arithmetic and harmonic proportions between the string lengths 1 and 1/2 representing the division of the vibrating string in half which produces the octave increase in frequency. This gives the progression 1, 3/4,2/3,1/2 because the harmonic mean between 1 and 1/2 = 2/3, the musical fifth, and the arithmetic mean between 1 and 1/2 = 3/4, the musical fourth. In comparing these two progressions, we see an inversion of rations and a crossing of functional positions between the arithmetic and harmonic mean.

Musical harmony though directly accessible to the senses is esoteric because it develops out of a simultaneous inversion containing a simultaneity of addition and multiplication. (patterns of growth) The octave of a fundamental is achieved by the addition of the intervals: in string lengths the fifth plus the fourth equals the octave and the multiplication of the vibrational frequencies of the fourth and the fifth equals the octave (4/3 x 3/2 = 2). The combined effect of addition and multiplication produces the logarithm in mathematics. The Golden Proportion is the archetype for this form of growth.

Numbers considered as frequency ratios in a rising scale are equal to the string lengths for the descending scale. The law of musical harmony, when viewed from the idea of mediating proportion becomes the lexical field of the cosmos where simultaneous oppositional movements interact to create both sound and form. This numerical and harmonic principle can be represented geometrically. (Al-khemia)

The geometric mean corresponds to the formula b x b = a x c;

The harmonic mean corresponds to the formula b(a + c) = 2ac; i.e., the product of the sum of the extremes, multiplied by the mean is equal to two times the product of the extremes, or b = 2ac/(a+c). The geometric proportion is called the perfect proportion because it is a direct proportional relationship, an equality of proportion bound by one mean term. The arithmetic and harmonic medians work out this perfection through an interchange of differences in a play of alternation and inversion.

We can verify this in number progressions by examining a simple triangular array of numbers which crosses the geometric progression by 2 (horizontal) with the progression by 3 (diagonal). All the successive vertical numbers are to each other in the ratio of 2:3 which is the same as multiplying one term by 3/2 in order to obtain the term below. This successive multiplication by 3/2, the musical fifth is the method used for generating
the musical scale.

Thus:

1 2 4 8 16 32 64
3 6 12 24 48 96
9 18 36 72 144
27 54 108 216
81 162 324
243 486
729

In examining the table we can see that each square of four numbers, for instance 2, 4, 6, 3 contains within it two arithmetic progressions (2,3,4) and (2,4,6) giving us three sides forming the top of a square and one diagonal. We see in the same figure the harmonic progressions 2,3,6 and 3,4,6 giving three sides of a square, two of them overlapping with the first proportion, the other giving the fourth side of the square and the other diagonal.

Arithmetic
2-------->4
| / |
| / |
v / v
3/ 6

Harmonic
2 4
| / |
| / |
v / v
3/---------6



In Views From the Real World New York, February 20, 1924 Gurdjieff made the following remarks;
Last time we spoke a little about the Law of Three. I said that this law is everywhere and in everything. It is also found in conversation. For instance, if people talk, one person affirms, another denies. If they don't argue, nothing comes of those affirmations and negations. If they argue, a new result is produced, that is, a new conception unlike that of the man who affirmed or that of the one who denied.

This too is a law, for one cannot altogether say that your former conversations never brought any results. There has been a result, but this result has not been for you but for something or someone outside you.

But now we speak of results in us, or of those we wish to have in us. So, instead of this law acting through us, outside us, we wish to bring it within ourselves, for ourselves. And in order to achieve this we have merely to change the field of action of this law.

What you have done so far when you affirmed, denied and argued with others, I want you now to do with yourselves, so that the results you get may not be objective, as they have been so far, but subjective."

Conscious Language II - Redux

Julian Jaynes The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind;
"I have endeavored to examine the record of a huge time span to reveal the plausibility that man and his early civilizations had a profoundly different mentality from our own, that in fact men and women were not conscious as are we, were not responsible for their actions, and therefore cannot be given the credit or blame for anything that was done over these vast millenia of time; that instead each person had a part of his nervous system that was divine, by which he was ordered about like any slave, a voice or voices which indeed were what we call volition and empowered what they commanded and were related to the hallucinated voices of others in a carefully established hierarchy"
Technology, agriculture, astronomy, engineering, the infrastructural systematization of human life as we experience it today was established prior to and in the absence of subjective speech. Essentially Jaynes makes a compelling case that archaic man was possessed of a hive mentality. The human hive mentality was mediated by an archaic and non-subjective form of speech (gods) emanating from the right cortical hemisphere (instead of our contemporary left hemispheric subjective speech function). When the human-hives controlled by the voices of the gods became large enough and/or when they encountered one another and began trading goods, (before money or writing - symbols of energy and language respectively) then conditions arose under which some of the control mechanisms of the archaic hive mind (voices of the gods) were weakened and modified (hieroglyphics are replaced by hieratic and cuneiform writing) and a proto-subjective speech construct instantiated in this writing became gradually established in the left cortical hemisphere.
"What is writing? Writing proceeds from pictures of visual events (hieroglyphics) to symbols of phonetic events. And that is an amazing transformation! Writing of the latter type, as on the present page, is meant to tell the reader something he does not know. But, the closer writing is to the former (hieroglyphics), the more it is primarily a mnemonic device to release information which the reader already has."
In Views From the Real World "God the Word" Gurdjieff is recorded as saying;
"At the beginning of every religion we find an affirmation of the existance of God the Word and the Word-God. One teaching says that when the world was still nothing, there were emanations, there was God the Word. God the Word is the world. God said "Let it be so," and sent the Father and the Son. He is always sending the Father and the Son, and once, he sent the Holy Ghost."
Ibid; New York, February 20, 1924 the following remarks;
"It is impossible to be impartial, even when nothing touches you on the raw. Such is the law, such is the human psyche. We shall speak later about the why and wherefore of it. In the meantime we shall formulate it thus:

1) the human machine has something that does not allow it to remain impartial, that is, to reason calmly and objectively, without being touched on the raw, and 2) at times it is possible to free oneself from this feature by special efforts.

Concerning this second point I am asking you now to wish to, and to make, this effort, in order that our conversation should not be like all other conversations in ordinary life, that is, mere pouring from the empty into the void, but should be productive both for yourselves and for me. I called usual conversations pouring from the empty into the void. And indeed, think seriously about the long time each of us has lived in the world and the many conversations we have had! Ask yourselves, look into yourselves - have all those conversations ever led to anything? Do you know anything as surely and indubitably as, for instance, that two and two make four? If you search sincerely in yourselves and give a sincere answer, you will say they have not led to anything.

So our common sense can conclude from past experience that, since this way of talking has so far led to nothing, it will lead to nothing in the future. Even if a man were to live a hundred years, the result would be the same. Consequently, we must look for the cause of this and if possible change it. Our purpose, then, is to find this cause; so, from the first steps, we shall try to alter our way of carrying on a conversation.

Last time we spoke a little about the Law of Three. I said that this law is everywhere and in everything. It is also found in conversation. For instance, if people talk, one person affirms, another denies. If they don't argue, nothing comes of those affirmations and negations. If they argue, a new result is produced, that is, a new conception unlike that of the man who affirmed or that of the one who denied.

This too is a law, for one cannot altogether say that your former conversations never brought any results. There has been a result, but this result has not been for you but for something or someone outside you.

But now we speak of results in us, or of those we wish to have in us. So, instead of this law acting through us, outside us, we wish to bring it within ourselves, for ourselves. And in order to achieve this we have merely to change the field of action of this law.

What you have done so far when you affirmed, denied and argued with others, I want you now to do with yourselves, so that the results you get may not be objective, as they have been so far, but subjective."
Since most important and complex behavior (technology and civilizing infrastructure) was done prior to modern subjective speech - and this behavior was mediated by the gods - could it be that the "higher influences" always working within us and toward which the work seeks a path and a method for our reintegration - could these "higher influences" be anything other than the "gods" of antiquity?

Having realized our chattering nothingness, doesn't it become glaringly evident that the "gods" continue to work through, and one is inclined to say, despite "us"? Doesn't it lend a certain overwhelming magicalness to our world to understand it as the machination of an intelligence in us but not us? Taken as such, the manifold artifacts of "higher influence" are ubiquitous and hidden in plain sight all around us. You need only reflect on the vast "unconscious" machinery of the city in which "you" live to appreciate this fact.

Conscious Language I - Redux

[Gurdjieff] - In my opinion, what will be troublesome for you in all this is chiefly that in childhood there was implanted in you - and has now become perfectly harmonized with your general psyche - an excellently working authomatism for perceiving all kinds of new impressions, thanks to which "blessing" you have now, during your responsible life, no need to make any individual effort whatsoever. To speak frankly, I personally see the central point of my confession not in my lack of experience in the rules and procedures of writers, but in my ignorance of what I have called "bon ton literary language" required in contemporary life not only of authors but even of all ordinary mortals.


It must also be said that owing to all kinds of conditions accidentally, or perhaps not accidentally, formed in my youth, I have had to learn, very seriously and of course always with self-compulsion, to speak, read, and write a great many languages, and to such a degree of fluency that if in following this profession unexpectedly forced on me by fate I decided not to take advantage of the "automatism" acquired by practice, I could perhaps write in any one of them....if I take advantage of the mentioned automatism acquired by me through long practice, it will of course be very good for me personally, but according to this saying it will be just the opposite; and what the opposite of good is, even every nonpossesor of hemorrhoids can easily understand....In order to assuage the bitterness of my inner hurt owing to this, I must say that in my early youth, when I became interested in philological questions and was deeply absorbed in them, I preferred the Armenian language to all the others I then spoke, even including my native tongue (Greek).

In any case I repeat, and repeat so that you may remember it well - not as you are in the habit of "remembering" other things, and on the basis of which you are accustomed to keeping your word of honor to others or to yourself - that no matter what language I use, I shall always and in
everything avoid what I have called "bon ton literary language."

With regard to this it is an extremely curious fact, perhaps more worthy of your love of knowledge than you may suppose, that from my earliest childhood, that is to say, ever since the birth in me of the need to rob birds nests and to tease my friend's sisters, there arose in my "planetary body", as the ancient theosophists (Egyptians) called it, and moreover - why I don't know - chiefly in the right half, an involuntary instinctive sensation that up to the period of my life when I became a "teacher of dancing" was gradually formed into a definite feeling; and later when thanks to this profession of mine I came in contact with people of many different types the conviction also began to arise in what is called my "mind" that these languages, or rather their "grammers" are composed by people who with respect to knowledge of language are exactly like those biped animals whom the esteemed Mullah Nasr Eddin characterizes thus: "All they can do is wrangle with pigs about the quality of oranges."

People of this kind, who, due to rotten heredity and nauseating upbringing, on reaching a certain age have been turned into "voracious moths" destroying the good prepared and left for us by our ancestors and by time, have not the slightest notion and have never even heard of the blatantly obvious fact that during preparatory age there is acquired in the brain functioning of every creature, and thus of man also, a definite property whose automatic manifestations proceed according to a certain law that the ancient Korkolans called the "law of associations," and that the process of mentation of every creature, especially man, flows exclusively in accordance with this law.

Since I have happened to touch upon a question that has recently become almost an "obsession" of mine, namely, the process of human mentation, I consider it possible, without waiting for the place in my writings I had designated for the elucidation of this question, to speak at least a little in this first chapter about some information that accidentally became known to me. According to this information, it was customary in long-past centuries on Earth for every man bold enough to aspire to the right to be considered by others and to consider himself a "conscious thinker" to be instructed, while still in the early years of his responsible existence, that man has two kinds of mentation: one kind, mentation by thought, expressed by words always possessing a relative meaning; and another kind, proper to all animals as well as to man, which I would call "mentation by form."

The second kind of mentation, that is "mentation by form" - through which, by the way, the exact meaning of all writing should be perceived and then assimilated after conscious confrontation with information previously acquired - is determined in people by the conditions of geographical locality, climate, time, and in general the whole environment in which they have arisen and in which their existence has flowed up to adulthood.....That my language, or rather the form of my mentation, can produce such an effect I am, thanks to repeated past experiences, as much convinced with my whole being as a "thoroughbred donkey" is convinced of the rightness and justice of his obstinacy. [Beelzebub]

[Aor] - To cultivate oneself to be simple and to see simply is the first task of anyone wishing to approach the sacred symbolic of ancient Egypt. This is difficult because the obvious blinds us. ....Instead of starting from an imaginary construction, instead of relying on intellectual speculation, ancient Egypt shows us the path of an infallible recognition of the forces and laws that rule the Universe....., pharaonic Egypt is essentially practical. One can study the symbolic of any time and any people. If I prefer Ancient Egypt to India, China, Babylon, or Greece, it is because it is more accessible to us by dint of the authentic "testimonies" it has left us, and because its entire culture is founded on a symbolic form of writing....Any manner of writing formed by means of a conventional alphabetical, arbitrary system can, over time, be lost and become incomprehensible. On the other hand, the use of images as signs for the _expression of thought leaves the meaning of this writing, five or six thousand years old, as clear and accessible as it was the day it was carved in the stone, for a chair, a falcon, a vulture, a piece of cloth, a
placenta, a leg, a human posture, etc..., will not change as long as there are men on earth. This concerns hieroglyphic writing.

This simplicity here relates to the fact of "being simple" and of "seeing simply" not to "simple ideas". Seeing simply comprises two stages (1) observing, (2) accepting - observing without prejudice, what the symbol is, and accepting what it has to say just as it is said, adding to it neither supposition or imagination. [R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz]
[Jaynes] - Introspect on when you last went swimming: I suspect you have an image of a seashore, lake, or pool which is largely a retrospection, but when it comes to yourself swimming, lo! like Nijinsky in his dance, you are seeing yourself swim, something you have never observed at all! There is precious little of the actual sensations of swimming, the particular waterline across your face, the feel of the water against your skin, or to what extent your eyes were underwater as your turned your head to breathe(self remembering)....you tend not to see, hear, or feel things as you actually experienced them, but rather to recreate them in objective (narrative, subjective, lying ) terms, seeing yourself in the setting as if you were somebody else. Looking back into memory, then, is a great deal invention (lying, false personality) seeing yourself as others see you. Memory is the medium of the must-have-been. Though I have no doubt that in any of these instances you could by inference invent a subjective view of the experience, even with the conviction that it was the actual memory. [Julian Jaynes]
Yesterday morning I asked my four year old daughter to recount for me her last experience of swimming. When we got past the "bon ton" about sharks and other narratized occurences, she described in boundless detail the sensations in her arms, her breathing, how cold the water was, etc..., after some dubious narrative "yadda, yadda" her recollections became REAL.
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you,Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. [Mark 10]
In Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, in the chapter entitled The Arousing of Thought, Gurdjieff wrote the following explicit and very illuminating comments about language, mentality, reality and the possibility for development;
"....during preparatory age there is acquired in the brain functioning of every creature, and thus of man also, a definite property whose automatic manifestations proceed according to a certain law that the ancient Korkolans called the "law of associations," and that the process of mentation of every creature, especially man, flows exclusively in accordance with this law.

Since I have happened to touch upon a question that has recently become almost an "obsession" of mine, namely, the process of human mentation, I consider it possible, without waiting for the place in my writings I had designated for the elucidation of this question, to speak at least a little in this first chapter about some information that accidentally became known to me. According to this information, it was customary in long-past centuries on Earth for every man bold enough to aspire to the right to be considered by others and to consider himself a "conscious thinker" to be instructed, while still in the early years of his responsible existence, that man has two kinds of mentation: one kind, mentation by thought, expressed by words always possessing a relative meaning; and another kind, proper to all animals as well as to man, which I would call "mentation by form."

The second kind of mentation, that is "mentation by form" - through which, by the way, the exact meaning of all writing should be perceived and then assimilated after conscious confrontation with information previously acquired - is determined in people by the conditions of geographical locality, climate, time, and in general the whole environment in which they have arisen and in which their existence has flowed up to adulthood.....That my language, or rather the form of my mentation, can produce such an effect I am, thanks to repeated past experiences, as much convinced with my whole being as a "thoroughbred donkey" is convinced of the rightness and justice of his obstinacy."
Addressing precisely the same theme - in the concluding chapter of Symbol and the Symbolic R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz wrote;

To cultivate oneself to be simple and to see simply is the first task of anyone wishing to approach the sacred symbolic of ancient Egypt. This is difficult because the obvious blinds us. ....Instead of starting from an imaginary construction, instead of relying on intellectual speculation, ancient Egypt shows us the path of an infallible recognition of the forces and laws that rule the Universe....., pharaonic Egypt is essentially practical. One can study the symbolic of any time and any people. If I prefer Ancient Egypt to India, China, Babylon, or Greece, it is because it is more accessible to us by dint of the authentic "testimonies" it has left us, and because its entire culture is founded on a symbolic form of writing....Any manner of writing formed by means of a conventional alphabetical, arbitrary system can, over time, be lost and become incomprehensible. On the other hand, the use of images as signs for the _expression of thought leaves the meaning of this writing, five or six thousand years old, as clear and accessible as it was the day it was carved in the stone, for a chair, a falcon, a vulture, a piece of cloth, a placenta, a leg, a human posture, etc..., will not change as long as there are men on earth. This concerns hieroglyphic writing.

This simplicity here relates to the fact of "being simple" and of "seeing simply" not to "simple ideas". Seeing simply comprises two stages (1) observing, (2) accepting - observing without prejudice, what the symbol is, and accepting what it has to say just as it is said, adding to it neither supposition or imagination."

Finally, in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind in the chapter Consciousness Julian Jaynes writes;
"Subjective conscious mind is an analog of what is called the real world. It is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world. Its reality is of the same order as mathematics....Like mathematics, it is an operator rather than a thing or repository....If consciousness is this invention of an analog world even as the world of mathematics parallels the world of quantities of things, what then can we say about its origin?

Consciousness come after language! The implications of such a position are extremely serious."
If there are any others who are not identified with the spectacle of those "who with respect to knowledge of language are exactly like those biped animals whom the esteemed Mullah Nasr Eddin characterizes thus: All they can do is wrangle with pigs about the quality of oranges." please respond to this esoteric question.

If, as I am persuaded to believe, subjective consciousness is an analog of behaviour in the physical world - and that by the work we can imbue this analogical "construct" (central nervous system state) with a more permanent physical substrate - of what is this more permanent substrate comprised?

The Senatorial Kayfabe On Mayorkas Changes Nothing - But It Is Entertaining...,

KATV  |   Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., chastised Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Thursday over his alleged mishandli...