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01/04/2017

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Mike Cooper

I'm lovin' it Dave :/

A couple of juicy quotes from the transcript caught my eye:

GILBERT: Why is this remarkable talent hidden from our view? Why are we all surprised when people who lose a child or lose a job or lose their vision, a year or two later, are doing pretty darn well?

RAZ: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yes. Right. Why? Like...

GILBERT: Well, I think there might be two reasons. First, the processes that enable us to be resilient and recover are often invisible. There are things our minds are doing behind the scenes. And because we don't see our minds doing them, we don't know that we're capable of it. The other possibility that philosophers and psychologists bandy about is that it's important that we not know this about ourselves.

And also:

GILBERT: Because happiness can be synthesized. Sir Thomas Browne wrote in 1642, I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity. I am more invulnerable than Achilles. Fortune hath not one place to hit me. What kind of remarkable machinery does this have in his head?

Well, it turns out it's precisely the same remarkable machinery that all of us have. Human beings have something that we might think of as a psychological immune system, a system of cognitive processes - largely non-conscious cognitive processes - that help them change their views of the world so that they can feel better about the worlds in which they find themselves. Like Sir Thomas, you have this machine. Unlike Sir Thomas, you seem not to know it.

There, he's done it. He's discovered Flatland! Except: no, he's interpreted it at exactly 180 degrees from reality. Humans have an unconscious ability to filter bad experiences, distort memories, and convince themselves that they are happy and that everything is good - and this is a GREAT THING.

So basically, whatever happens, we'll all just carry on regardless like the unthinking idiots we are.

Amazing.

rumor

Those are some choice quotes, Mike. Christ.

Apparently flatland processes can filter out an understanding of flatland processes even when staring them in the face.

I mean, that's pretty amazing, but it just goes to show you, is a given person - even a given researcher - more concerned about being happy or understanding the truth? If the former, then Gilbert's book is cause for excitement, because it gives one hope of always finding happiness regardless of the circumstances. If the latter, then Gilbert's book is terrifying, because it describes humans as blithe idiots smiling their way thoughtlessly into the future, bouncing off every negative event unscathed and unaffected.

It's not that one has to choose one or the other. It's not an interpretive problem. It's that both are true and it's revealing which aspect a person focusses on.

knoelle

Surprised to see so few comments on this post. It helped me understand your thought on a deeper level. As a member of the apparently tiny minority who has experienced trauma beyond my ability to adapt/filter, this is quite disturbing to me as well.

Gilbert's work not only describes our inherently nihilistic nature, but I think it also reinforces a human tendency of apathy and even hostility toward suffering. "Oh, humans are adaptable. They'll get over it." "He's not happy? It's his fault, everyone can adapt to their circumstances."

Slightly off-topic, but Gilbert's talk also disturbs me because of a glaring omission: developmental trauma. Unlike adults, young children who are abused cannot "return to a happy baseline," because their upbringing, especially the early years, contributes to establishing this baseline! I could see Gilbert's line of thought enabling people to ignore or minimize the low "happiness baseline" that abused children frequently suffer throughout their lives. Unlike adults, the vast majority of children who are severely abused do not just move on and get over it, and it is these wonderful adaptable adults who often do not see or care about the harm they inflict on those who are more vulnerable.

jay moses

"lay on macduff, and damned be he who first cries hold, enough!"

Jim

I didn't respond to the last post, Dave, but that sounds like a great plan. Whether or not you are unique or different amongst the sea of humanity, it is fair to say that only YOU can write it, and even though 99.9% of other humans will probably ignore it, there are a few out here who eagerly look forward to it.

Anything else, like this post, is gravy, and greatly appreciated.

I agree with your thoughts above except for one, and that's just three words - "Does not exist". I do think we have an experience simulator. It's just that we usually ignore it, or it's a crap simulator to begin with, as in:
http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2016/07/notes-on-poor-human-risk-assessment.html

It allows us to "imagine" (ha ha) the results of, on a personal level for instance, robbing a bank, or on a group level, initiating global thermonuclear war. In some people, these might be good things, and perhaps they are imagining something like being rich afterwards or catching the Russians off-guard, in which case their simulators suck. But, the simulator has also probably prevented or aided the chances of several things that did or did not occur - good, bad, or mixed.

I understand about unconscious drives affecting actions before entering consciousness afterwards, but what about cases of premeditation? A bank robbery is usually planned. Surely, the robbers are unconscious as to their deeper motives, but they are also visualizing some future of riches as they plan. To the case of Wall Street, the current reptiles in charge believe they are taking steps to ensure a prosperous future. It's complete shite, it'll have the opposite result if anything, but they are simulating.

I think you are saying in the preponderance of cases, humans just act on impulse and ignore that experience simulator, or else their unconscious drives affect the imaginings of their experience simulator in the first place, and yes, absolutely, that's right. But, it doesn't exist? I think it is there, as weak as it might be.

And, of course, the impact bias effects on that simulator make a weak and faulty ability even weaker and faultier. We think that's adaptation, but on a collective level, for our species as a whole going into the future rather than on an individual basis, it's anything BUT adaptive.

People like Gilbert are siloed in their particular fields. He's looking at the psychology of the individual, but he isn't looking at the broader implications for the collective. On an individual basis, sure, it's a good thing. We'd be dropping like flies if we didn't have the ability to shrug off past events. On a collective level, though, there's horror there that isn't grasped by Gilbert himself and most other humans.

Dave Cohen

@Jim

OK, sure there is an experience simulator in some trivial sense, but as you said, emphasis added--

I think you are saying in the preponderance of cases, humans just act on impulse and ignore that experience simulator, or else their unconscious drives affect the imaginings of their experience simulator in the first place, and yes, absolutely, that's right. But, it doesn't exist? I think it is there, as weak as it might be.

OK, let's say the simulator exists, as in your nuclear war example -- nobody wants that future. Gilbert has noticed impact bias, which is a

tendency for the simulator to work badly, for the simulator to make you believe that different outcomes are more different than in fact they really are.

Well, if that theoretical simulator is making you believe that future outcomes can indeed be very different, then that simulator is doing a good job.

Because future outcomes can diverge wildly. Some scenarios really do suck as opposed to others.

The problem comes after the fact (sigh) when the mind "decides" that the current shit you're experiencing isn't so bad after all.

You will live another day. Whoopee! Best of all possible worlds!

It is at this point that human life becomes a meaningless farce.

best,

-- Dave

Dan S.

I agree with knoelle, this post shined a light on Flatland reasoning that's especially clear, and the contrast between Gilbert's approach to happiness and yours, Dave, is one that I can use when I try to explain your concept to others.

Tom

I knew about this research for a while, and I devoured a lot of books/blogs/research about it. It made me feel better, but why?

I now figured it out. I was delusional. I am one of the few people that cannot return to the baseline. I cannot ignore the destruction and suffering I see around me while at the same time continue to discuss the 401k or politics with my rich friends. I had a happy childhood because I did not know. Now I know and what I am feeling is not wrong, because the reality is what it is.

So I was lying to myself that, if other people can get back to the baseline, I can too.

Thanks for the incredible post, and for the dissection of another human mental bug (or like you say, a feature).

I wish you could teach a class about this, our minds are working hard to ignore what you write. That's why I need to keep rereading until I get it...

AssemblyLineHuman

See the happy moron,
He doesn't give a damn.
I wish I was a moron,
My God, perhaps I am!
- Dorothy Parker (?)

And there it is, in this post the first clear explaination of one of my major problems with people. The happy-go lucky, always smiling people. The people who say rubbish like "You,ll get over it", "Just accept it", "We'll be OK","It will all work out in the end", "its not that bad". The smiley drooling optimists who can shrug stuff off and see opportunity. The grinning frog in the jaws of a crocodile who smiles and says "Look in the bright side, at least now I'm in the shade".

What makes me mad, is these are adaptations to HUMAN fuck ups. I can't do it. I can't just sit and "adapt" to a HUMAN fuck up. People never got this about me. They never could understand why I'd be pissed at out situation as a species and NOT consider just going with it as the best thing to do. I could never understand why adressing the core issue isn't on everyones minds. Whether its climate change or a dud economy, people seek to adapt and be happy. Thats not adaptation, its denial. Its justification for letting the dogs roam free in our society. Its surrender.

Its not even that this kind of adaptation is a last resort, its the first.

One then has to ask, are all these talks from scientists about happiness themselves just an adaptation to an increasingly unhappy society?

Marcus

"On reflection I realized that I was in exactly the same predicament as every other human being alive: We don't know who we are, or where we came from, or why we are here."
--Robert A. Heinlein, 1984. "JOB: A Comedy of Justice," p. 48.

Thanks, Dave, for another enlightening analysis. I make it a point to avoid TED talks, with a few exceptions that have justified my dislike, although I do enjoy a good synopsis of them occasionally to keep myself current on the latest promulgated bullshit. They generally represent ideas that are being artificially released into the zeitgeist by the faux intelligentsia, the corporatists, the technopians, et al. to keep the rest of us in thrall to their supposedly superior knowledge. In other words, we are taught not to trust our own instincts and judgments. The more unbalanced and insecure we are in our perceptions, the more the Money Machine can progress unhindered in eating the planet.

In this episode, we are taught that we are weak and defective if we allow traumas and setbacks to stave off perpetual happiness and productivity. We are being subtly instructed to consider anyone who questions or becomes depressed as an evolutionarily defective sample of humanity, an idea massively convenient for the sociopathic engineers of our trajectory. And the instructor himself has an interesting background, starting with a B.A. from UC-Denver, a school lacking in prestige, then leaping to Princeton and Harvard. One doesn't just land in those positions by having a few creative ideas and maintaining good grades. One gets there by promoting the interests of the power structure.

TED propaganda consists of short episodes because of the lack of attention span in current society and an effort to be light entertainment. After all, TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design, with "design" containing some especially dark connotations and with all three representing our worst attributes. However, the ultimate reason is that there is little to no genuine foundation to many of these presentations. Elon Musk is a popular presenter, for example, and he is a Zero Man of no actual concrete achievement, helping Bill Gates, the main backer of TED, pretend that the answers are at our technological fingertips.

NPR was bought out years ago, so the fact that this "ground-breaking" information is being presented is no surprise. I'm certainly not a fan of humanity in general--far from it since I'm a misanthrope--so that is not swaying my viewpoint on this talk. I believe with all of our complications and sufferings and denials and egos that we have never had the ability to avoid our extinction. However, I have simply met too many people who are irredeemably and permanently damaged by childhood and adulthood abuses and setbacks by both family and the system, yet they keep plodding by pretending, consciously or not, that their lives have always been fine and by maintaining a glowing public face. So what else is available to average people? Suicide is too terrifying for most, the life force is too strong, and there are always drugs, booze, food, and sex available to mask any discomfort. Self-hatred , limited options, and social censorship create ever more reasons for a nihilistic response to life. And the hierarchy will always have its whores telling us that we should bounce back like a machine (within 3 months!) from any small or large tragedy, and if we don't, we are to be blamed, certainly not the hierarchy itself.


Mike Roberts

So, Dave, you're angry because life is essentially meaningless? But you already knew that, right? However, you've accurately seen that Gilbert's view of flatland is a flatland one, even though he seems to get the essentials right (apart from the simulator - Jeez, I can't simulate the experience of liver and onion ice-cream at all!).

Gibert's insights can't have any impact, though, since Homo sapiens is a species. We are what we are. Our behaviour does make me angry but perhaps more anger comes from the fact that we can't do a fucking thing about it.

Brian Sheller

Hi, Dave

I was wondering this morning if you think much about the potential to exploit for one's own ends the flatland tendencies of humans.

(of course humans are easily and widely manipulated in the first place, but not necessarily in a scientific manner in most cases)

If you and colleagues, for example, possess this, or a further developed description of human nature backed up with experimental results I think you would be in a position to design reliable systems of control for human beings. Granted, these control systems might only serve flatlandish ends of the designers, but that wouldn't make them any less effective in any case.

There's a scene from The Animatrix detailing the rise of the machines and the design of first version Matrix. It seems to me the machines in this clip are poking and prodding around the same place you are with your Flatland hypothesis.

https://youtu.be/7X0m40dBPAI?t=1m54s

Have a great day!

BJ

The thing that I see missing from the discussion is that happiness doesn't change for even good events, such as winning the lottery (studies done in both 70s and 00s). No matter what we experience good or bad, we return to baseline brain chemistry or programming or what ever you want to call it. That is true nihilism.

Our inability to change our happiness is to a large degree a seperate matter than our imaginations being limited or having a faulty experience simulator and the two should not be conflated . There seems to be too high of expectation that we can accurately predict the future (for far too many reasons to list here, some of which are our own doing), so it is said we have faulty imagination or experience simulators. Evolution, sans a few higher level organisms like humans, is not predictive for good reason. Having said that, our ability to predict is almost certainly a factor in humanity being the dominant species on this earth for better or worse.

Robert

"Ignore it and it will go away" is a phrase I remember from childhood put forward as a means of coping with the unpleasantness of the various and sundry "not nice or to my liking" things encountered while engaging with an occasionally uncooperative reality. Gilbert seems to be fond of a more updated and "sophisticated" revision of this idea, elevated to a normative reactive mode allowing a Positive Outlook-the current fashionable sang froid-to remain undisturbed.

How we feel about a thing has become more important than the thing itself. (e.g. the recent pervasive idea of being "offended" and the expressions of hostility toward those guilty of said "offense") It is an expression of solipsist narcissism that while dysfunctional in terms of dealing with Things As They Really Are is nonetheless emotionally soothing and comforting to a species which, with rare exceptions, has shown itself incapable of moving past the thumb-sucking petulant spoiled child stage of emotional development.

Having been in college in the late 1960s and early 1970s many of my friends, busily trying to accomplish this end through the ingestion-via various means-of various substances, naturally occurring as well a laboratory produced, could have been saved effort, large amounts of money, and-in some cases-jail time, had Gilbert and wonderful advances in the field of reality-avoidance been available.

Alex

Life is short. Might enjoy it no matter how stupid fellow humans are.
We are all dead in the long run.

Keep it up Dave!

Brian

It seems to me that this entire line of thought is really just an extension, or maybe just another facet, of the internal representation of self that your model describes.

To the extent that our mind (or an unconscious or semi-conscious mind) has this ability to "simulate" or "imagine" a future, why wouldn't such an imagination be subject to all the same biases and filters as other inputs to our conscious mind? We experience our imagination only as those ideas that have already been processed by our biases and filters. That output necessarily is congruent with a narrative of self that we accept.

So, our imagination works to fit in with a story that works for us, filtered unconsciously. We can imagine bad things happening in a couple of contexts. Potential immediate threats (don't go down that dark alley) are allowed in by a filtering system that evolved to make sure we paid attention to the jostling in the bushes or the shadows near a watering hole. Long term threats are allowed in because we don't really take them seriously due to things like optimism bias and discounting, etc. We can create a narrative where we "solve" those problems, even if the narrative is completely disconnected with reality. In between, there are a host of other things we can imagine that we can fit into our narrative because we can internally rationalize them to a story that makes sense. We imagine possible future things that can be made to fit our existing narrative. Other things are simply "beyond our imagination" because they are, literally, just that, beyond our imagination. Our imagination cannot produce them because they are filtered or twisted by the internal "safeguards" of the unconscious mind. They are too scary, too out of sync with our narrative or would provide too much cognitive dissonance. So they are blocked or replaced with more palatable imaginations.

This all seems entirely within the scope of the Flatland model. The disconnect we see is in our analysis of the results. Why is it that our imagined disasters do not seem so bad after-the-fact? This also seems, to me, to be largely within the scope of the model. For the same reason that our imagination is made to fit within our story, the results are likewise made to fit within our story. The results become the present circumstances and are experienced, as always, through the filtered lens of our conscious mind. The story our conscious mind gets is one that the unconscious mind provides, filtered and positioned such that the conscious mind can fit it into its limited narrative as easily as possible. Having imagined a bad future, and having now had that imagination come to fruition, the current situation must be filtered so that it can fit within our narrative. Our biases help us in this regard, allowing us to adjust our narrative so that things aren't as scary. And so we "adapt" and return to our baseline level of existence.

I'm not sure what this really implies for our ability to deal with problems that we did not already know. It seems very clear that major problems or predicaments will largely be ignored until moments of crisis, at which time humans can change their behavior, at least temporarily, in ways that previously had not been possible. Whether those changes will beneficial or permanent is, at best, an open question. I suppose one could argue that this information suggests that we are likely to respond to our changing environment only with a series of responses to crisis events, rather than to any underlying, slower-moving, longer-lasting drivers (like, for example, human behavior ;-). This, in turn, implies a general trend of treating the symptoms rather than the disease. We adjust and adapt to a new normal, all the while fighting the next "fire", without being able to really understand the nature of why the fires are burning.

I am reminded of the backhanded toast, "May you live in interesting times." In the same vein, humans are an "interesting" species, are we not.

Ben R

@Dave, really great post...

@Marcus, I agree with you that excessive ego/self-awareness, eternal cluelessness about why we're here, and amorphous fear keep us in an unfixable tangle. We're not that nice, as a result, and the meaningless situation we've been placed into isn't nice either.

As one example that I've seen replicated continually, my mother told me that my father was completely different before joining the Navy in WWII. He was naturally curious, upbeat, and positive until his return from the war in his late 20s. His anger and cynicism were so palpable that she came close to divorce. He told me decades later that he learned quickly, and was thankful for the lesson, how powerless the average man is, how vile the average man is underneath the veneer, how omnipresent the sociopaths are since they're a natural and successful part of our species, and how a martini or three and some good books helped him remain sane, although unhappy, and capable of the good-citizen façade along with his peers. After all, as Marcus said, what could he really do? commit suicide? fight the system directly and go to prison? and, laughably, try to educate his fellow humans? about what and for what ultimate end?

He recommended Paul Fussell, a writer/historian who fought in the war, to understand this better.

“My adolescent illusions, largely intact to that moment, fell away all at once, and I suddenly knew I was not and never would be in a world that was reasonable or just.”

"Wars damage the civilian society as much as they damage the enemy. Soldiers never get over it.”

"Those who fought know a secret about themselves, and it is not very nice. They have experienced secretly and privately their natural human impulse towards sadism and brutality ... Not only did I learn to kill with a noose of piano wire put around someone's neck from behind, but I learned to enjoy the prospect of killing that way."

"I find nothing more depressing than optimism.”

Clancy

You've stirred up many thoughts, Dave, with your post. Thank you for it, and thanks to the commenters too.

Ah, yes, the intellectual dilution and general creepiness of NPR and TED... Dan Gilbert's PR machine has to keep selling books, and NPR has to pretend it's still relevant.

The set-point theory of happiness is still debated, of course, since the field of psychology is obviously not a hard science, not even close. For example, some studies have shown that the baseline can not only be permanently lowered but also be permanently raised. The catch to raising it? One supposedly has to be interested in altruistic goals, in helping others actively improve their lives. I rather doubt our corporate masters would want us working together instead of warring, so the likes of NPR will continue promoting Gilbert's viewpoint. Luckily for the PTB, humanity doesn't have a huge number of these saintly types anyway, and they're certainly not encouraged, so we're back to stagnant nihilism as our baseline...business as usual, as our instinctual goal of death moves forward.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201304/how-reset-your-happiness-set-point

@Ben, I'd put aside Freud a long time ago, but I'm now beginning to appreciate his brilliance again when he was at his best. Your soldier reference reminded me of the famous theory that he developed, in part, from working with traumatized WWI soldiers. Some quotes from the Wikipedia "death drive" page:

In particular, given that "a portion of the [death] instinct is diverted towards the external world and comes to light as an instinct of aggressiveness', he saw 'the inclination to aggression [...] [as] the greatest impediment to civilization.

Given "the ubiquity of non-erotic aggressivity and destructiveness", he wrote in 1930, "I adopt the standpoint, therefore, that the inclination to aggression is an original, self-subsisting instinctual disposition in man".[32]

In his last writings, it was the contrast of "two basic instincts, Eros and the destructive instinct [...] our two primal instincts, Eros and destructiveness,[36] on which he laid stress. Nevertheless, his belief in "the death instinct [...] [as] a return to an earlier state [...] into an inorganic state"[37] continued to the end.

-----------

I have always tended to believe that this innate desire to return to the inorganic state has been a driver behind our inability to change in meaningful ways. Our nihilistic tendencies will see that extinction goal to completion.

On my bad days, I feel the way Freud did in a letter to a friend:

"I have found little that is 'good' about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think."

On my more detached days, I remember what Bertrand Russell said:

"Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim."

Ed

I read this post and comments last night, and then I saw this thing this morning:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/the-consolation-of-philosophy

Clancy

From Ed's comic: "There's so much stuff that matters, but so little of it matters to my well-being!"

I first encountered the "flatland" concept in Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols" (1889), in which he was referencing only Germans as being selfish, stupid non-thinkers. I would like to think if he were able to observe the scene today that his label would encompass all of humanity. But I don't know...he was always way too positive for my taste.

http://existentialcomics.com/comic/161

[An aside from the cartoonist: "Eventually Nietzsche built his team of 100% Übermensches. It was a total disaster, of course, as everyone did their own thing. But obviously, it was all the fault of the slave morality of the consumers."]

Hanson

Great post and comments...

"The Guardian" apparently really, really likes journalists who cannot write or think, but Slezak had better be careful about admitting his lack of inner Ubermensch...that could get him fired!

"Until recently, like [sic] a sociopath might have little [sic] feelings when witnessing violence, I’ve managed to have relatively mild emotional responses to climate change." (I certainly have no difficulty believing that.)

"But in 2016, something changed ... maybe it was the very personal experience of impending fatherhood, with my partner and I [sic]preparing to bring a little girl into the world early this year. Suddenly the period of time that seems directly relevant to me is extended several decades into the future." (Too bad he didn't try thinking beyond his personal bubble long enough to spare his child...)

"While I can’t say with confidence that bringing a child into the world we are creating is the right thing to do, I maintain a hope that those children will find a way to undo what we have imposed on them." (Alrighty, then.)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2017/jan/20/writing-about-climate-change-my-professional-detachment-has-finally-turned-to-panic

Marcus

@Hanson, Slezak appears to be part of a growing cottage industry lately: grown "men," supposedly aware of the dying biosphere because they're in the biz, whining about how awful the future is going to be for the babies they've callously decided to fling into the ring.

Joe Brewer: "I say this as a man who is about to become a father. My wife and I chose — with eyes wide open — to bring a child into this world in the midst of great upheaval. We believe deeply and firmly in humanity and are investing our blood in the future. This is not something we do lightly. It is a great responsibility to continue the human race even as billions starve..."

His amusing bio: I am a change strategist working on behalf of humanity, and also a complexity researcher, cognitive scientist, and evangelist for the field of culture design.

732 Following 14.9K Followers

https://extranewsfeed.com/living-through-the-death-of-capitalism-94629d79f036#.dce1bit5a

Eric Holthaus: "How am I supposed to do my job—literally to chronicle planetary suicide—without experiencing deep existential despair myself? Impossible."

[Reddit comment in response: Holthaus wrote: "But what the hell am I supposed to do? Write another blog post? Our secretary of state is the fucking Exxon CEO."

I suggest a vasectomy. He's living in the Tucson desert, has been married 3 years, and has already pumped out 2 kids. How in the fuck did he get a Ph.D., write about climate change for over a decade, and still remain oblivious to human-caused planetary destruction?"

https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/817503888500633600

Cathal Haughian

You guys sound awfully like Christian priest Salvian, 450 AD Rome, who would becry the state of decay and demoralisation that he witnessed all around him. The loss of faith was followed by the fall of Rome and the death of his civilisation.

Rather than dwell morosely on the Fall; understand Reality in its totality and then everything becomes amusing--entertaining in an almost surreal way. Of course you can't define Reality so you need a community of men that administer the human life world to define it for you. That's what I did. Rather than wonder what The Powers That Be are thinking, or how they think, why didn't you just ask them? And your failure to ask is because you're afraid to question those in authority; because you recognise you're not their equal.

There is a tiny fraction of very smart people that do learn continuously and end up running everything; mostly from behind the curtain. Once you achieve enlightenment you realise why Buddha is always depicted laughing. Anyway, your agonized introspection is entertaining; so keep it up.

Dave, you may want to finish that last essay soon, I'm looking forward to it now, the collapse of the debt ponzi has been modeled and I'm not sure you'll have time to think about these issues after the crisis breaks.

Read beforethecollapse.com/about , the practical philosophy there may lessen the World of Pain you'll be surrounded by. You Americans think you know trauma because you study it; you guys write about trauma; I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Clancy

@Marcus,Joe Brewer's article was given the Hambone treatment after this comment was posted alerting him of its existence: "Let's see: Suzuki, 5 kids; Eisenstein, 4 kids; Abbey, 5 kids; Beckwith, 3 kids; Martenson, 3 kids; Grampa Paul Watson, another kid recently; 2 collapse bloggers I used to read, 3 kids each; 1 population activist, 6 kids between his wife and him; and this milquetoast 'climate scientist' whose wife probably threatened to leave if he didn't comply with the baby-making (and people ask why I'm cynical)..."
---
I can add 2 more bloggers of that ilk to the list and 1 old guy in his 70s who is always harping about overpopulation in the most painfully contorted verbiage, yet his 3 grown children are providing him with grandchildren as we speak, their photos prominently displayed on his FB page.

The moral of this? The human ego will never, ever be restrained.

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