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The nihilism label bothers me, too, and I'm glad you added it.

It's a blanket dismissal for someone who doesn't want to hear a threatening critique to their sacred beliefs, secular or non-, and that the person doing to the critiquing believes in nothing and has embraced some sort of self-pampering life based on selfishness. A lot of times, probably most, granted, the reasons for critiques can spring from a vacuum of idiocy, a need for negative attention and/or social acclaim, or an undigested bit of beef, bah humbug, but sometimes it is built on long and thorough processes of consideration, and in these cases the people behind the critique actually do believe in something, and have a decent reason for doing so. They often need to say it out of impulse, and usually that is because they actually DO care.

Try to enjoy the holidays, too, Dave. Thanks again.

Te Cho

Hello Dave,

Best wishes for you for an enjoyable weekend, thank you again for writing. Also to the fellow readers and commenters, I appreciate your thoughts.

I don't mean to upset you or any readers, but Trump is in the news, casually threatening to escalate nuclear arms race.


So... anyone care to speculate if nuclear war broke out with Russia in Cuban missile crises, would the 'environment' be better off or worse off now. Consider the Chernobyl region and proliferation of wildlife there. Also consider the North Korean DMZ. (Of course, a Nuclear war NOW would be catastrophic for the environment.)

Just trying to imagine the bigger picture on things, other perhaps equally or even more likely possible realities. Maybe we have been quite lucky avoiding Nuclear war until now, not just self congratulatory inevitability of 'progress' based on self-interest.

Flatlanders are trapped in 2D. Non-flatlanders are 3D, and can see from a larger/higher perspective the average human nature. But how about 4D? 5D?

Sorry if this upsets anyone, but a larger historical perspective or other possibilities- across many possible reality outcomes in the last 100 years - might yield nuanced insights. Gore winning in 2000? Germany in WWII? TMI meltdown? Lots of things teetered on edge, with chance playing a role. How about the last 1000 years? 5000 years?

Same human nature, different circumstances.

Best of luck to all in 2017. (2017 - wow time flies)

Jeremy MG

Happy Holidays!


This latest meme that Trump is setting out to unleash nuclear war is ridiculous.

In fact, it was Obama who budgeted $1TRILLION to develop a new nuclear weapons strategy.
This was done with little or no comment from the supplicant liberal press.





Kevin Paulsen

Hi Dave,
I don't comment often but I consider your blog indispensable.
I've seen the primates.
Thanks for keeping our eyes open.
Warmest regards,


Dave, I hope you and yours enjoy the holiday season.

Be well.


Alexander Ač

Probably impossible, but Merry Christmas to you Dave, and those few who can recognize non-flatlanders from anybody else. Tough job.



Happy holidays Dave.
Indispensable blog.
I am not alone!

J x.


Be glad you tried. What has occurred you know. Hope is lost. The false belief that humans would wake up in time, in sufficient numbers and with sufficient influence to avert disaster.

Yes, of course that day came and went long ago, but we tried (I've written thousands of articles on the topic). And I had the same, even lesser results then you did. Nobody gives a flying fuck.

It isn't nihilism, it is the realization that humans are totally incapable of doing the right thing. The insane insistence that this civilization must be preserved at all costs guarantees our extinction.

Nothing is going to change that now. You're dealing with morons. It's spreading.

So now, everybody has given up. It's not just you.

Mike Roberts

Yes, humans are the problem, in a world with 7.5 billion of them and with a powerful energy source able to provide them with huge amounts of energy to waste and trash the world. Humans would trash their environment no matter how small their numbers but I doubt the planet as a whole would get in such a mess if there were just a few million and no fossil fuels, though humans could still do (and have done) a lot of damage in that situation.

Hope you all have a good break, if you have one.


In the spirit of other marginalized, denigrated, officially proscribed communities, the term of condemnation should be embraced.
Face it, they, the Grinspoonite bigots, are going to call us a nihilist, they are going to reject what we say with the term nihilist, and they are going to sway others away from us by slapping the label on us.
It's the easiest, most effective epithet left in the intellectual lexicon, and has been for decades, particularly in the academy.

No getting away from it, so then "lean in" (oh god no) to it.

Comedian-actor-podcaster TJ Miller has. Some of those damned anarchist kids are self-describing with the term. That Hollywood/street arrival of "nihilism" a sign that a term of abuse is now being proudly worn (okay, only by a few, but it's a promising start).
Doomerism no, nihilism yes!

Alexander Ač

Hello again,

I guess some of you already noticed that astronaut Piers Sellers died at 61 of cancer. However, his optimism is characteristic. One can probably argue that the more successful people, the more optimistic they are (in general), at least if they enjoy the popularity from other flatlanders. Indeed their drive towards success is the very condition of the blindness towards Human Nature. Otherwise how to explain this statement?

"There is no convincing, demonstrated reason to believe that our evolving future will be worse than our present..."




David Laskaris

As I write this I'm sitting on the couch in the "living room" with my landlord who is watching adverts on the D.I.Y. channel. The 65" "smart" TV goes on at 7am, and turned off at 10 pm. My landlord's house is cluttered with stuff covered in dust that hasn't been touched in years. At times I feel like a lab psych tech who is observing a 24/7 Flatland experiment, and my lab rats are all too human. I do this until I can't stand it anymore and retreat into my room, the cleanest and only uncluttered place in the house; my sanctuary. No TV, lots of books, and a comfy reading chair. Sadly, I can still hear the TV as it blares through the walls, even if I wear earplugs. So, yeah, I understand the frustration that we who are aware of the human condition feel. There's no escaping it. Ever. Even when I go for a hike in the desert I am confronted with the trash of our species. It just is what it is.

With that I'd like to wish everybody here at DotE a happy Yule. May the next year be a good one, but I'm not holding my breath. Blessed be,

David Laskaris

Dave, I just read this article/study. Though it starts off pretty good, it naturally devolves into Flatland territory. I guess all that we need are hugs to help us feel better...



"Nihilists?", A more accurate term, given that the predominate perspective of humans toward themselves and their capabilities amounts to a religion-without-a-supreme-being, might be "Infidels." The speakers of things that must not be uttered; the proclaimers of ideas that violate the sacredness of Homo Sapiens; the deniers of the reality of ego-masturbatory imaginings; the foul creatures who demand acceptance of evidence that contradicts the holy word of collective narcissism; those whose existence threatens the very foundation of human hope and faith in our cosmic importance; those who should be shunned and driven from the temple of human megalomania.

Dave, have, as best you can, a happy holiday season. Take a respite from the futility of expecting a silk purse of humility from the sow's ear of Flatland "thought." Listen to some music, know you are thought of highly by those few of us who are in the same boat of rejected honesty and who commiserate with your dismay at the majority of what our crippled species thinks and does. You are an oasis in this desert and we are grateful for it.

david higham

'As it happens,most global,long-term trends have been positive.'
How come I don't get to live on the same planet as Steven Pinker?
The long-term trends on this planet don't look very positive to me.
I guess there must be rose-coloured windows in that treehouse he built.



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