The Scariest Story in the World

This is a story about an aquarium that is 512 feet tall and as big around as a football stadium. In this story, you and everybody you love is handcuffed to seats installed 12 feet below the top of this aquarium. The cuffs are programmed to release everybody at 1:00 pm just as the seats collapse a dump everybody into the aquarium.

At 12:00 noon the man you know only as The Invisible Hand places a single drop of magic water at the bottom of the aquarium. He explains that it is magic because it doubles in size every one minute.

He also explains that an alarm will go off when the aquarium is 0.75 inches (three fourths of an inch or 0.01%) full.

Now you are left wondering. Will there be enough water at the bottom of the aquarium to survive the fall when the cuffs and platform release an hour from now? Let’s see…

At 12:01 there are two tiny drops of water.

At 12:02 there are four tiny drops of water.

At 12:06 there is enough water to fill a thimble.

At 12:07 there is enough to fill two thimbles.

At 12:20 you can finally see a tiny puddle of water at the bottom of the aquarium.

At 12:21 you can’t really tell that it has changed much.

At 12:30 you can finally see a pool of water that seems to be growing very slightly.

At 12:31 you are positive that you can visually see it getting bigger.

At 12:38 the puddle takes up half of the bottom of the aquarium.

At 12:39 the puddle fills the entire bottom.

At 12:40 the Alarm goes off.

So here you sit 40 minutes into this horrible experiment and there are only three fourths of an inch of water at the bottom and you are 500 feet up.

Are you relieved that you have 20 more minutes in the handcuffs? What particular worries are going through your head right now? Should you be worried?

Well let’s count it down (or up).

At 12:41 there is 1.5 inches of standing water at the bottom of the aquarium.

At 12:42 there are 3 inches.

At 12:43 there is half a foot of water.

At 12:44 two halves of a foot (so one foot).

At 12:45 there are two feet of water sloshing the sides of the aquarium.

At 12:46 there are four feet.

At 12:47 there are eight feet.

At 12:48 there are 16 feet.

There are only twelve minutes left before you are released. Are you relieved or panicked? 16 feet of water will not break a fall from your height. Are you going to live?

At 12:49 there is 32 feet of water standing in the aquarium.

And at 12:50 it has risen to 64 feet.

You’re still 500 feet up but 64 feet of water should do the trick. Maybe panic isn’t necessary. Maybe…

At 12:51 there is 128 feet of rising water.

At 12:52 there is 256 feet of water.

At 12:53 the 512-foot aquarium is full and everybody is drowning.

Now why is this the scariest story in the world?

Because this story is about the exponential growth of our industrial economy.

The empty space in the aquarium represents the resources available for consumption on this planet.

The magic water represents our growth based economy and the limits of the aquarium represent the

Limits to Growth

One minute in the story represents 23 years for us, but where are we in this story?

It turns out our economy zoomed past the 12:50 mark sometime around 1940 which puts 12:51 at 1963.

This means that 12:52 passed by around 1986 and we hit the 12:53 mark around 2009.

2009 marked the halfway point of the Great Recession.  Since then we’ve seen resource wars, food price inflation, food riots, the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, The Bundy Ranch, the rise of Daesh (ISIS), the destruction of Syria, mass immigrations out of the middle east and now a return of nationalism. Growth is over.

Fun Fact: To make it alive to 1:00 the aquarium would have to be more than 12 miles tall.

This is an adaptation of a story told by Chris Martenson in The Crash Course

The Disconnected Checkbook Fallacy

This fallacy is named after the childish and incorrect belief that a check can be written for any amount that the check issuer desires, without consequences. It stems from a fundamental misunderstanding about the way in which checkbooks and checking accounts work.

Example
The Question:

“How can we possibly keep a fossil-fuel-addicted industrial economy growing and functioning without fossil fuels?”

The Fallacious Answers:

“The Free Market can solve any problem so long as it has enough freedom.”
“Science & Technology will solve these problems if we just invest more in those fields.”
“The Human Mind is the most powerful resource there is. Ingenuity will solve these issues.”

Journal 1/8/2017

The more in the now you are the more powerful your magic will be.

There are other things that will make it more powerful too. Basically anything that supports your belief that the magic will work will help make your magic work.

Right now the Now is important because when I live outside of it I really can’t type that much of anything. Sitting here with my fingers flying is only possible because I’m in the now. If I go into the future or the past I’ll start editing what I wrote and the amount of writing will decrease.

Reading what I just wrote is going into the past. Imagining how an invisible audience will perceive my words is going into the future. I have to stay between them. That is where the power is. That is where the message can be modified. That is where the mind can have its greatest impact on reality. Right now.

 

My Uncle the Landlord

I have an uncle. His name is Sam.

Sam owned an amazing apartment building on a highly productive piece of property.

Thirty years ago the most wealthy residents convinced Sam that they could take better care of the property than he could if only he would reduce their rents by 50 to 110 percent.

Sam, in exchange for the rent reductions, agreed to hand over a lot of responsibility assuming it would be a win-win situation for everybody involved.

Today…

The roof is leaking.

The ground floor apartments are flooded.

The plumbing is so bad that some residents are poisoned by their tap water and some can light their tap water on fire.

The floors in the hallways are crumbling and often cause harm to the people moving along them. There are even large holes in places.

The security systems have all mostly failed or are inadequate so there are dozens of people living in apartments that aren’t on the lease and strangers seem to come and go as they please.

The building’s wiring is old, under-maintained and can barely support the load that the increased number of residents put on it. There are power outages often.

The productive property around the building that used to provide much of what the residents needed has been paved over for parking or taken over completely by the enterprises of the wealthy.

People live in the stair wells.

Screens are torn.

Carpets are stained.

Walls have angry holes in them.

The wealthy residents only spent the money to maintain their own apartments which are even more exquisite now than they were thirty years ago.

Sam has done what he could (sometimes some really shady shit) to keep things going but is struggling so much that he has to apply for low interest credit cards just to pay the interest on the building’s second mortgage.

Now, after having failed to follow through on their promises, the wealthy residents blame my uncle Sam for all of the problems. They spend a not-so-insignificant portion of their gigantic incomes convincing the not-so-intelligent portion of the residents that the lies about Sam are truth.

Some are even suggesting that the only way out of the mess is if Sam is fired completely so that the enterprises of the wealthy residents (the free market) can take on all of the responsibility.

What would you do if you were my uncle Sam?

Introduction To Nopotu

We begin from the stance that the atheists and skeptics are right. This is all based on the premise that everything that exists and occurs is a naturally occurring part of the universe. Nothing is supernatural. Nothing that exists or occurs breaks any law of nature. If it seems to do so then we simply haven’t understood the nature of that phenomenon yet.

Nothing can escape that description. See a rock? It is a naturally occurring part of the universe; also known as Nopotu*. That tree? Also Nopotu. Streams and lakes? Obviously Nopotu. Dogs, cats, cattle, mushrooms and fish? Must be Nopotu.

Are people Nopotu? It would be irrational to believe otherwise.

Even artificial sweetener is a naturally occurring part of the universe. Bricks, pistols and iPhones too.

Governments, ecologies and economies are all Nopotu.

But how about anger? How about hate? What about love or fear or anxiety? Technically all Nopotu.

Consciousness itself must be Nopotu as well along with the entity that experiences it; the self.

Anything in the universe, including the whole universe its self, is Nopotu.

This is the line of thinking that led Carl Sagan to write about the fact that we are conscious star dust.

But we’re more than that. The, “I,” reading this is also Nopotu. Since you’re reading this, Nopotu is aware that it is Nopotu. Beyond that, your understanding of these facts means that Nopotu is aware of its own self-awareness.

Nopotu is self aware.

*”Known where as that?” you might ask? “Known here as that,” is how I would respond.

Reason: An Ephemeral Luxury

Reason holds little social power or influence on its own. It becomes powerful amidst prosperity where well rested people with full bellies can use evidence and logic to settle disputes or invent the next best thing.

When civilization begins to crumble so too does the power of a well-reasoned argument.

Civilization is the only thing that grants the pen more power than the sword. When the dark age comes (and it always comes) the power increasingly lies with those skilled with a blade.

Crashing Down

Coal production in Britain peaked in 1913. World War I began the very next year. This is also when the Reserve Currency status of the British Pound Sterling began to fade as the world began to prefer the US Dollar. This is also around the time that the Federal Reserve was created and the US went mostly off the gold standard.

Coal production in Britain decreased rapidly again in the late 1920s after coal miners went on strikes due to long hours and brutal work conditions. Only a few years later the world was sliding towards economic depression and another world war.

In 1971 US oil production came to a peak and began to decline. The following decade saw two energy crises and extreme economic stagflation. This is also the time when the US went off the gold standard completely.

In 1985 US oil production saw another small peak. The Savings & Loan crisis soon followed.

In 1987 oil production in the Soviet Union peaked and began to decline. By 1991, after political and economic collapse, the country became the Former Soviet Union.

In 1998 Argentine oil production peaked and began to decline. In 1999 the country experienced a violent economic and political collapse.

In 1999 UK North Sea oil production peaked and began a sharp decline. This was followed closely by the popping of the tech bubble, 9/11, a massive war for resources (oil) in Iraq and lots of money printing.

In 2005 global conventional crude oil production peaked (led by Mexico) and began to plateau. Since then we’ve seen a great recession, more resource wars, food price inflation, food riots, the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, The Bundy Ranch, the rise of Daesh (ISIS) and unprecedented amounts of money printing. At the height of the money printing The Federal Reserved printed more US Dollars in a period of 45 days than existed in 1980.

In 2015 US oil and natural gas production peaked and began to decline. If you’ve been following along here you can hazard a pretty good guess at what is coming our way in very short order.

Some say that our industrial civilization would fail to function without oil and other fossil fuels. That is true as far as it goes but leaves out one vital piece of information. Not only are fossil fuels required but they must be available in increasing amounts for our economic, political systems to remain healthy. When the available amount of fossil fuel stops going up (a plateau) or worse yet begins going down (a decline) the systems that support us begin to fail.

Some say that renewable sources of power can replace the role of fossil fuels in our industrial civilization. They couldn’t be further from the truth. The world consumes 54,400 TWh worth of oil every year. A typical wind turbine produces 0.006 TWh every year. Even if we tripled the output of the average turbine we’d still have to create so many wind farms that we’d run out of viable steel, lithium and copper long before the task were complete.

The industrial and high tech parts of our civilization are in decline. We must learn how to have civilization without all of the wondrous things that cheap oil and automation can provide. The economy is running out of fuel. Where will you be when it all comes crashing down?

Ahmunuma – The Weak Force of Earth

The Weak Force is the expansive and sometimes explosive force that leads to change. It breaks apart strong bonds so that more appropriate ones can be formed given current energy levels. Sometimes the results are more complex than the initial ingredients. Sometimes it goes the other way.

The Weak Force turns Hydrogen, which has but a single proton held together by The Strong Force, into Helium which has two protons. It doesn’t stop there. Every proton in the universe was once its own hydrogen atom which has been smashed together with others by gravity, blown apart by the weak force and then reassembled by the strong force.

The Earth archetype represents the life present in solid matter and the ability to perceive our surroundings and environment.

I see this archetype in the roots that push their way up through sidewalks and plants that grow up in the middle of streets.

In the soul this path is related to maintaining conscious awareness of the information we’re taking in through our senses.

Colors: Orange of Green
Phoneme: M

 

Ahiniha – The Weak Force To Air

The weak force is a force of change, dissolution and destruction.

Externally, tornados and hurricanes are examples of very destructive configurations of air. Wind erosion is another and less destructive option.

Internally this is consciousness of thoughts. Wherever consciousness is directed, things change. The observer cannot help but change the observed. The subject cannot help but change the object of attention.

If we imagine The Weak Force as leading to Air then we see Thoughts leading from Conscious observations.

If we imagine, instead, Air leading to the Weak Force we then see Thoughts leading to Conscious observations.

Both directions are valid at all times so this process continually cycles but at this time of year we concentrate on the first direction.

Colors: Orange of Yellow
Phoneme: H