The Center Does Not Hold

Deja vu all over again

Things are feeling...strange. I've written about the strange resurgence of the Flat Earth Theory, a revival that seems more vigorous than anyone could have predicted. I heard someone theorize that movements like that were an outgrowth of reality television, a raging misnomer that has led everyone to question the reality of everything they see.

And since everything everyone sees now is on a screen of some sort it all feels fake, varying degrees of Honey Boo Boo Chile. Everything is a sideshow, everything is CGI.

A few years back we heard a lot about Transhumanism, which according to sites like H+ was a fait accompli. Now instead of robot bodies, Silicon Valley is talking about Timothy Leary's old life extension technology, promising that people will live to be 1000 years old. In fact the first generation of Millennarians are already being born.

This depresses the shit out of me. First of all, I don't believe it. I don't believe we're anywhere near dealing with the normal degradation of biologic systems that determine our mortality. Where are the experiments? Where are the real world examples? Right now, it seems like somewhat desperate wishful thinking on the part of fundamentalist materialists, not real science.

I've often said that Science will really impress me when they do something about the tragically short lifespans of dogs and cats. It seems to me that would be a great place to start with this immortality program. The fact that we're not seeing biotech doubling our beloved companions' lifespans is a pretty strong indicator they're nowhere near doing anything about our own.

It just feels like more empty Tomorrowland promises, meant to take our attention away from an increasingly turbulent geopolitical reality.

NO WORLD ORDER

One of the shortcomings of Conspiricianity, meaning the metastasis of conspiracy thinking into cosmology, is that it doesn't account for the reality of human error. I keep seeing conspiracy gurus who are invested in the selling of Globalist conspiracies insisting that the increasingly aggressive moves by Russia and China, both militarily and economically, are all part of the conspiracy, that they're just playing "bad cop." But I don't think I believe it.

I think the generation of decision makers nearing retirement age- meaning those in charge of the Globalist project in the West- have been outfoxed and were totally unprepared for China setting up its own World Bank, for instance. And since there are so many entry points left unattended because of the assumptions of Globalist idealism-- vulnerabilities that the Russians and Chinese are taking full advantage of-- there is considerable alarm and consternation within the halls of power.

I can't offer much in the way of concrete examples at the present, besides the almost daily incursions the Russian Air Force is making into NATO airspace, or various rumors at sites like ZeroHedge, it's more a instinctual perception.

But there is a definite possibility that Greece will exit the Euro and enter the BRIC orbit, a victory of almost incalculable symbolic importance. The cradle of Western civilization throwing in its lot with the new sheriffs? That far outweighs Greece's negligible economic power.

And the simple fact is that there hasn't been a genuine economic recovery for the overwhelming majority of Americans and to say the social fabric is starting to fray is being extremely polite. Of course, the Globalists don't want a social fabric, but what happens when it becomes a divided world again? Could the US mobilize a serious military force in the event of a major land war in Asia? I doubt it, but you can ask people more tuned into these kinds of things. I think they'd probably agree with me.

China can probably put a million men anywhere on the ground tomorrow in Asia- or more ominously- Europe, while the US Army is falling apart after a decade and a half of quixotic adventures. China and Russia are developing a generation of weapons that make the US Navy's ace in the hole- its aircraft carriers- obsolete.

Russia is sending a fearsome arsenal of anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, a system that negates almost everything in the sky but expensive stealth bombers. Most serious observers say a nuclear Iran is a done deal.

Bye bye, Pax Americana.

We're all used to the assumptions of Globalism, but there are those of us who remember a world before it. And I could be wrong but it seems to me like the BRICS countries are already planning for a world after it. It could be that had been their plan all along, and were simply waiting for a generation of "We Are the World" 60s idealists to leave the barn open wide enough to get what they needed done.

In that context, thinking it's all some grand theatrical performance is a lot more comforting than thinking  world war is around the corner, yet again.

37 comments:

  1. All the idiots in the USA want is planetary tribal war. With them selling weapons and ammunition to the natives. They would even like to see the USA broken up so they could promote tribal warfare there as well. Profit is all there is on their minds if they really have any to begin with.

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    1. Well, there's certainly enough of it going around these days. And the AWC did wargame a second civil war...

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  2. Canada's supposed to be nice this time of the century. Hell, there's even been a movement of intellectuals and artists to Mexico

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  3. We can't deal with the common cold but will live to be a thousand years old?

    You know I think the positive side of the rise of Asia is that it's a bipolar system, with Russia and China tending to keep each other in check - they are too culturally different to form a homogeneous bloc. The snake that bit America's ass was that it went unchecked for decades, allowing corruption to fester from the inside. Until nations can genuinely compromise and become partners, they will forever be dealing with open enemies.

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    1. Yes- it's pretty clear that about the summer of 1919 Europe took its gaze from its own navel and realized that across the ocean was a monster they had all helped create and it had most of them on a short financial leash.

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    2. Well, I think unipolarity is usually a bad deal. But at the same time global poverty has been dramatically reduced since the end of the Cold War. But perhaps a little competition will improve things for the average citizen. At least until the robots take over.

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  4. It's embarrassing to read the crap that Leary was writing and saying about life extension back in the early 70s. To hear wealthy and intelligent people from Silicon Valley repeat it more than 40 years later makes the term "embarrassing" seem inadequate. The earth's ecosystems are beginning to fail with the population we have now. We need shorter lives, not longer, or else fewer of them. The Immortalists of the 70s are mostly taking dirt naps now, and what few remain soon will be.
    I take that as a positive development. All we need now is a pole shift to reduce human population by about 90-95% and give the earth a chance to hit the reset button without resorting to nuclear winter to achieve it. I feel more optimistic day by day. If America's evil empire collapses before the shift, that's even better.

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    1. I'd prefer interstellar travel to shorter lives.

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    2. But are you willing to be culled yourself?

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    3. I don't like hearing this talk about reducing the population, it's the kind of thinking that the elitists believe. Our problem is resource management and allocation, which is a top-down problem. I don't worry about the population because nature will decide when there are too many people and will handle the problem. I think the reality of that kind of catastrophe is a lot more sobering than making bold statements on the Internet may lead one to believe.

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  5. Our society's relationship with death (and it's younger sibling, grief) is extremely dysfunctional. I have been thinking a lot about it lately (and ways to constructively engage with it, which I am actively pursuing) after my mother died 18 months ago and more recently my dog. What I notice is that there are realities unavailable to us except through grief and death. I would not be the person I am today without the recent losses and some big ones earlier in my past. While I miss my mother and my dog every day, I treasure what I've learned from their deaths, which were in a way gifts.

    The fact that our society cannot acknowledge those realities and those gifts says quite a lot about how weak and impoverished we really are.

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    1. While I guess it all depends on your view towards death. I'm a firm believer in reincarnation- in fact when you talk about pets it's something I believe I've been able to witness in action. When I was young I had many of the symptoms of what people might call past life memories though I didn't recognize them as such until fairly recently.I guess if I were a materialist reductionist death might trouble more than it does. We are part of a much greater whole and death is a natural part of that being.

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  6. I unfortunately have to agree with the side-line by Anonymous, though not with so much force behind my agreement. There's just too many people, life extension? Immortality? gtfo here with that starry-eyed nonsense, getting an endlessly increasing population under control, along with many other more immediate problems, yes, problems, just makes so much more sense.

    This post brings up a couple things that have been on my mind of late, oddly enough I was thinking of that Yeats poem earlier in the day before seeing the title.

    And in the past few days have been realizing just how much time I, and many others these days, spend in front of a screen of some kind or another. This disconnect and lack of understanding the real consequences of behavior, I have definitely observed. It's quite disturbing, and even for all that, a part of me wonders if its just another example of getting older and not understanding the current trends of younger minds.

    Fortunately I have not forgotten to look up at the night sky and have managed to learn a bit about what I am looking at. And dont pull out the phone to use the star map app all that often =)

    I see we have both lived long enough to not trouble our minds overmuch with the promises of tomorrowland, the endlessly spouting optimism about the amazing advancements just around the corner that have been going on for decades, with little actually coming to be realities.

    The social fabric fraying I have been noticing mostly on a subliminal level, more of an anticipation than a direct perception I can call out with specific events. I hope that turns out to be more paranoia than eventual reality. Sometimes I look around at the total bullshit hypnotizing carnival going on and get this idea that when, that is, IF, things do finally fall apart, it would probably happen very quickly, and I wonder how long it would take for a great many to truly understand just how real it is.

    It certainly does seem as if the usual moves made by the US are being seriously countered and negated, I suppose nothing lasts forever...

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  7. Well, fortunately, I don't see life extension becoming a real thing any time soon. While it is true that we will gain ground in treating/managing certain diseases (notably CHD and many cancers, indeed we have had great success over the last 4 decades in treating many of these diseases), it is unlikely that the aging process itself can be overcome any time soon. To do this you would need to substantially lengthen the telomeres in all stem cells, which is virtually impossible in a mature organism. It may be possible to interfere at the blastocyst stage, but that is likely to be quite risky and error-prone. I wouldn't want my zygote-children to be subjected to that kind of thing, even if I believed that life-extension were desirable.

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    1. LIke I said if we were anywhere near physical life extension we'd see some kind of evidence of it. I wonder how much of this is the power of Ray Kurzweil's phobias and his godlike position in Silicon Valley. But it's an old story- materialism leads to skepticism which leads to nihilism which leads to oblivion. All the skepticism and atheism and scientism we see now is nothing but dried weeds awaiting the scythe of nihilism, which will take it all down. Nilhilism itself will give way to a kind of philosophic catatonia or a radical break back to fundamentalist religion. I just read an article saying the next great religious awakening in the West could be Islamic. It's only as unlikely as the Romans adopting Christianity in the Fourth Century.

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    2. OK, I think I have to backtrack a little. Since having learned a bit more about the CRSPR/Cas9 editing system,I think it might actually be feasible to edit the genome of an embryo in such a way that the aging process is significantly slowed (e.g. by causing the telomeres to be lengthened).

      See this: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13238-015-0153-5

      Still, it is an abomination. I agree with Michael below, that even if the technology were desirable on an individual level, it would never be distributed in an equitable fashion. Indeed, "A $5000 Italian shoe, stomping on a human face, forever..."

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  8. Chris

    I have enjoyed your blog for several years, thank you.

    Regarding pets....aye.

    Mellon Thomas claims to know how to reincarnate them... o.O.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnvor20d-D4

    pax americana ...wtf is that?... the usa® having the monopoly on beat downs?

    Mahalo

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  9. I don't know whether life extension technology is viable or not, but assuming that it is for a moment, I expect that it would arrive hand-in-hand with the collapsing birth rates in Western and advanced Asian countries - so it would be more a case of a steady state population (in terms of numbers) rather than an "ever increasing population".

    It is also worth asking ourselves if this technology did exist, would we know about it? Certain billionaires could be having treatments/procedures right now and we wouldn't know. It is unlikely that it would be made available to the masses today.

    Where I think that could change is when the population of workers drops close to or below a given "critical level" for taxation, debt service, welfare state purposes etc. Then I can imagine "a new, miracle technology" being suddenly revealed to us all, with the associated marketing to encourage our enthusiastic take-up.

    And it would need marketing - I would be pretty happy to live 500 or a 1,000 years if I was a billionaire but would not be so keen if I had to spend the whole time working at the same crappy office job. If biological immortality does ever become a reality for the masses, I fear that we might well end up regretting it and, eventually, death might not look so bad after all.

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    1. Well, like I said I just don't see it. I think the entire discussion is based on a SV PR campaign. Why and what for is open to debate. Maybe it's just meant to quell the growing criticism of their rapaciousness.

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  10. I dread the possibility of practical life extension. There's just no way it'd be shared (or financially accessible) to the masses.

    Neofeudalism is bad enough. But neofeudalism, with a near-immortal overclass? No thanks.

    A $5000 Italian shoe, stomping on a human face, forever...

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    1. Reminds me of Andrew Nichols' movies Gattaca and In Time.

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  11. A society can only be judged by the average longevity of it's citizens. However, I don't think Chris is writing about Malthusianism. Nor did he state that life-extension is undesirable.

    The point of the article is that the irrational exuberance of global utopianism has led us to the brink of war. That same exuberance leads people to buy into implausible ideas. The other manifestation of that impulse is that the failure of that utopian vision results in many of it's adherents embracing a historically unprecedented nihilism.

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    1. Nihilism is the inevitable result of materialism. The next step is suicidalism. The materialism thing is two fold- a result of consumerism and the kind of atheism type thinking that certain players in the power structure are using for propaganda reasons. And more importantly, social engineering reasons.

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  12. Not that life extension can't be done - it probably can - but consider the consequences - it would immediately become a status symbol - there would be an insurmountable barrier between the haves and have nots. This already exists in the form of what kind of healthcare one can afford, where the poor are relegated to whatever healthcare the government deems they can have (gotta protect those profit margins). As well, an unintended consequence of near immortality would be an increasing fear. If one has decided to cheat death, and one is a materialist, I can see the ever increasing fear of a dirt nap that every day of a thousand year lifespan would create. And the response to that fear would be equally bizarre, with precautions taken every step of the way. Interesting thought experiment.

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    1. There's a social engineering experiment going on. Or agenda, I should say. And there are groups of people who would have at one time been involved in certain professions who are being mind-fucked in a major way, with nihilism and materialism and anti-natalism and the whole nine yards. Think about it for a while and you can see the desired outcome here.

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  13. Thoughtful and timely work as ever, Chris.

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  14. All I'd like to say is it's worth reading George Orwell's 1984 if your a scientist and then look at where things are heading in the real world.

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  15. excellent read Chris, you are spot on with your feelings on the anti-natalism, when one considers that the population control meme has it's origin in the much overlooked Venice Oligarchy, this mantra has been around hundreds of years.I am working a paper right now on NSSM-200(something all Americans should be aware of) and most folks want to pin this population control on the UN, but that is not the case, as NSSM-200 has been official United States government policy now for over 40 years. As a start we need someone who will renounce this policy. Really appericate your effort Sir, take care

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  16. A slew of great stuff here.

    I believe social engineering is indeed the thing, beginning with conditioning & belief, which lead to the plausibility that it is desirable for our memory as we know it to live forever. It's like the final coup in backing up our materialist instincts, irrespective of what actual technology might bring.

    Likewise regarding the ruling class: For practical intents and purposes, they have long purchased their tickets to immortality. It would seem now that they just want it in better ink (maybe on all of our foreheads;-)

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  17. The whole Transhumanist/Kurzweil/Singularity/life extension crowd is deluded. We have a situation where the rich, technocratic silicone valley crowd are being guided by the likes of Google/Kurzweil/materialism and their inability to appreciate life as it is because they see it as a fault to be overcome by their genius. Their underlying, atheist programming steers the lemming followers toward the inevitable need to extend life of the body/vehicle whilst completely ignoring the possibility that the life force driving it is infinite in some form or fashion; reincarnation. But in order to realize the potential reality and science behind reincarnation, we need to be able to properly discuss it and to properly appreciate historical information on it without assuming our ancestors were dumber than us because somehow “linear” progress is a reality; hence we are the most advanced form of life, we know the most about everything.

    It's a sick world when the scientism that seems to know everything really just knows how to do things, NOT WHY things work the way they do. I often will tell my “normal” friends that the world is not linear, there is no beginning an no end. Everything operates in cycles and spirals in form and fashion. This alone proves that everything is just energy changing forms and somehow holding pattern in a “designed” way just long enough for us to sense it as solid.

    Once you see the connection of the whole universal system by this very method, you realize that our own “soul” or consciousness is just using this matrix as a playground for experience and growth. It's a perfect system as is. The persistence to prolong the body is just evidence that those who preach that are severely cut-off from reality and are projecting their self-hatred on the rest of us. Even the alchemists knew this to a larger degree than these “geniuses” today.

    If you want to see the mindset of the Google/Kurzweil/materialist crowd in action, just look up Michael Cremo Talks at Google. There are number of Google employees who bash Cremo for being pseudoscience nonsense “woo” (sic). They even went so far as to say: “I personally think that providing a venue for pseudoscience peddlers to spread their nonsense does possible harm to everyone in their (Google?) newly wider audience and I am an advocate for all speakers at Google having to go through a vetting process to specifically exclude this sort of garbage.”

    This is the kind of mentality spreading through the likes of these people. It speaks for itself.

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  18. Chris, I'm not a military expert, more like a self-taught hobbyist, but IMHO, the US Military is badly over-extended, the best equipment is badly worn out, and the latest gee-whiz stuffs are expensive junk like the F-35.
    While the M1 Abrams tank is still world-class, just how many could we get to say, the Crimea, or China, compared to how much armored firepower Russia or China have on hand? I think Aircraft Carriers are beyond hopeless for anything other than bombing helpless insurgents, and you see the US Navy moving to a new generation of cruise missiles.

    In short, I think the US military was essentially destroyed during the "War on Terror".

    And for those that advocate culling the populace, why not start with yourself? That kind of attitude makes you no better than the self-styled 'elite'.

    I don't pretend to know what the answers are, but more hate, more de-humanizing, will *not* help.

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    1. Exactly. There are a lot of people who are insensate to human suffering and see depopulation as some kind of mathematical abstraction. Unfortunately a great number of them seem to be in power.

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    2. Agreed. I think it's almost literally psychotic when people don't care about the suffering of others.

      I see so much now that parallels or echoes the rise of Fascism.

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