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View Diary: GOP Wants Nothing We Dems Have To Offer In Trade... (44 comments)

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  •  fwiw your posts on the subject over the (8+ / 0-)

    past few days have been eye opening.  Thanks very much.

    •  Sometimes Occam's Razor is very blunt (6+ / 0-)

      It's astonished me how blind so many smart people are to the clues.

      They honestly can't accept that so many of their countrymen have no use for so many of the blessings of civilization and in fact despise them.

      They want the barbarian horde. The want to feel righteous not ashamed in their Conan-like wishes for enemies.

      They want validation and then expression of long-suppressed grievances.

      That these grievances are largely imaginary is not the point. They want the scores settled.

      And they want those scores settled yesterday.

      What's quite alarming is that NONE of the current Tea Wee leaders strike me as the type of leader that this undercurrent of violent reaction is really shopping for.

      Someone worse, vastly worse, vastly more ruthless and capable, is coming. A man - almost certainly - who will stand forward, humbly raised his hand, and accept the necessary task of returning this country to basics.

      He's coming. We just haven't been introduced to him yet.

      But I assure you, that man will wipe out every single so called Tea Person in Congress as one of the first steps toward a grasp for power.

      And he'll do it because they are wild, crazy embarrassing trash...that just happened to open the door to real tyranny.

      •  blessings ... or ... curses? of civilization (4+ / 0-)

        With your background, it can't have escaped your notice that there is no escape from civilization any more.

        I am one of those who sees (or used to see) ways to make common cause with the tpers. (Not any more, they are dead to me). Patriarchy, forced religiosity, and the war on women,  that's enough reason for me to reject their fundamental fundamentalism. But you bring up interesting points.

        I can write with certainty that the tpers (since I read rw blogs) are easily as concerned about the US retrograde to corporatism and fascism as are many on the left.

        Big difference is that they see POTUS Obama as the shadowy figure you write of, and when you think about his role in promoting the espionage activities of the NSA, lack of promised transparency, and his grand bargain quest. More generally there is the evolution of our privatized prison state, police state, killing mentally disabled people (who, granted, do seem to want to go out in a blaze of confused glory), retract funding for science ed, willful ignorance of environmental issues, yada yada. I think the tpers fear POTUS Obama because he's part black and they're racist, furthermore I think that Obama's grand bargain quest may be rooted in his certain knowledge of genuine waste fraud abuse that he'd like to eradicate. Streamline the govt, that's what he likes to do. imo, we don't have as much to fear from a grand bargain as many around here seem to believe, but I'm only stating that because this is a really long, tedious sentence in a hideously long paragraph in a pointlessly long comment, and I am fairly certain no one will actually ever read it.

        "Civilization" is a blessing if you want freedom from fear of bear/lion/tiger attacks (I actually fear bear attacks, but that's from living in bear country), and in exchange for the benefits are willing to put up with crazy gun toting neighbors in a right-to-shoot-first state. Bears scare me, but lions and tigers, do not scare me as much as crazy neighbors.

        It must be nearly every night. Somewhere in this country some civilized person doesn't make it home from a quick run to the store.

        I'm on a very different page from the teahadis, but I visited the library and read the book, and some parts of it make a horrible kind of sense to me. Something has gone frightfully wrong with our grand experiment in democracy ... and equally wrong with our even older, even grander, experiment with civilization.

        Our fault? Complacency? Inattention? Overpop?

        •  First, I read the long sentenced in paragraph form (6+ / 0-)

          Second, the experiment in (modern) civilization is fading because we are falling back to a pattern of low population growth, low wealth growth and low rates of advancement in practical scientific knowledge.

          Just as societies accommodated the (temporary) surge in increases in all three, now they're adjusting to declines - first in growth rates, later in absolute levels of population, of what I'll call communicable wealth (oh, that's right it's called money) and the advancements in basic science then engineering principles and then goods and stuff that people can use to make war, make love and make pizza.

          We've just begun the adjustment. We have no idea what it's going to be like socially only that it will look very different from the world in which the Constitution was written, and the imperatives for founding a new country that would then need such a new basic document were very different.

          What drives those changes? Why did they start when they did? Why did they peak in the 20th Century (In terms of basic science, Kurzweil's Singurality already happened and its sitting gathering dust on furloughed scientists' shelves right now)? How much 'stuff' can we mine from legacy research? How much spare intellectual and financial capital is available to turn these possibilities into things like Mars missions, fusion power and flying cars?

          Then the biggest question of all: What if people who have the power to decide to fund this or that project decide, meh, science. Meh, space exploration. Meh, fusion. Meh, flying cars.

          What if stasis is the way, for a very, very long time?

          So I think of this stuff a lot.

          I don't see the Tea Wees being part of that future ; they're retrogrades seeking a reversal of history.

          The new sparer future will use tools of the future to make its dreams real. And there will be competing dreams and some of them you'd find absolutely terrifying. We all would.

          And I can get the impulse to run screaming from some of the technologies coming down the pike. Things that make drones and online surveillance quite benign in comparison.

          And they're coming too, along with horrible uses, along with all the good things the same tech can enable too.

          Just as the 20th century tsunami of technology did as well.

          •  Resource wars (5+ / 0-)

            To me that's what it is really all about now and in the short term.

            Maybe there is some linkage between resource scarcity and the barbarian fundamentalists at the gate, bringing with them a new dark age. Maybe it's just that the Darwinian urge to survive is heightened for everyone in times of resource wars, driving acquisitiveness. Possibly it's up to us how we dispose of the barbarians at the gate or in Congress, as the case may be.

            To speak to your question, I don't know, and should think about it more before pontificating, but it seems to me that it all happened recently because so much energy (nat gas, petroleum, nukular) became available in the last century. Peaked, plateau'd, then someone noticed the climate change devilish detail. With the energy (which generally is just stored EM energy from the carboniferous age) came enormous population growth and unbelievable lifestyle changes, enormous pots of money. greed corruption cruelty competition. Just like old times.

            I'm an earth/environmental scientist so my focus on science is immediate and tangible, and probably explains my views on competition for dwindling resources. In some ways, it would be nice to make it to the comfort and security of neofeudalism, because that fantasy-future presupposes there will be enough usable water to make it happen. Not assured.

            Recently I became interested in the whale hunting of the 19th century, and studied up on it a bit. Innumerable whales were slaughtered so that people could stay up at night. And that was laudable back then, the whalers were considered to be heros. How far back in time do the fundamentalists want to take us? I like nocturnal illumination and sanitation. I like having potable water, I like pizza. I like having whales, but imo that should be left up to the whales. Even now at the wealthiest period of human existence, none of those things are assured.

            Now the additional 3-4 B people who weren't here when I was born have to find their way through this place of dwindling resources (including education, water, fuel for planting food crops), climate change, problematic energy reserves, hyper-competition, rising fascism and neofeudalism. I hope there's a way to optimize the possibilities, but I can't quite see it.

            (I'm amazed you actually read that long winded paragraph. You would have noticed I've been more careful in this reply).

            Very interesting conversation, thank you.

            •  In summer 2012 I gave an Ignite Talk (4+ / 0-)

              at Netroots Nation.

              And wrote a Top Comments diary about my prepping for it

              The diary contains the text of my talk and the slides via Youtube.

              The notes for Slides 11-13:

              11. Here’s a chart of Population and GWP growth over time. We see very little wealth relative to population in most of this chart. Yet by the late 1600s GDP accelerates upward and by the 1800s it is practically a singularity event. What happened?
               12. Let’s look in more detail at Wealth, Population and Emerging Techs. Generally, from 1840- 1990, growth in Emergent Techs faster than Population. But as of about 1990, new techs are emerging slower than population growth – and the slowdown started sooner. What’s up?
               13. Let’s Work This Out  with RPKT. Resources – we’re hitting real limits – not just oil but water! Population growth IS ending, be it planned or unplanned. Knowledge – we’re not sharing it and some of us are rejecting it. Time – we risk running out of it.

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