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David Laskaris
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Well, Dave, that's that, huh? It was a good run I must say. What are your plans now?? Will you be starting another blog concerned with another topic? For some reason you do not strike me as the type of person who keeps things to himself, and when you have something to say, Hell or high water you say it. Whatever you do, I wish you luck. I also sincerely find some peace somehow. That angst will eat you alive, and without DotE to relieve the pressure occasionally I kinda worry about ya. I just do not see gardening doing it for you. Last thing: As we say on Facebook whenever somebody says they're done and deleting their FB account, "You'll be back." Peace to you, Dave. And thanks for all the fish. ;)
@ Dave: Pins & needles!!
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2017 on Commute To Work By Boat at Decline of the Empire
"But this is not an ideal world, is it? What we've got here is a bunch of big-brained, highly social, story-telling monkeys." Ahhhh, like breath of fresh air, Dave, you always pull me out of Flatland and back down to Earth. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2017 on March For Science? at Decline of the Empire
Hey, Dave, hope you're well. Have you heard about the new savior technology, "metallic hydrogen"? Yup, some exotic man-made metal that requires a shit-ton of energy to create just a few atoms worth is going save us from ourselves. Save us from all of the other crap we pull off on each other and the planet. Yep, it'll only take decades that we don't have before this miracle metal is made in large enough quantities to make a minuscule dent in our consumption of life on this planet. Ain't you just thrilled?? I know that I sure as hell am. Be well.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2017 on Inauguration Day at Decline of the Empire
Dave, imho, you're a great philosopher for our age, one that is direly needed. Your blog here always being one of the first websites I visit daily, it's always a pleasure to read your writings. I hope that someday you publish some of your material in actual book form, as I'd bet there are more folks out there than you realize who share your point of view, but have difficulty voicing it, or are fearful of voicing it because of the Flatland backlash against ideas that threaten the status quo. I'm also curious about the writing and notes that you never publish; I bet there's some real gems in those. Maybe someday you'll share them with us? Happy New Year, Dave. I'm looking forward to reading your take on the upcoming bullshit as it unfolds. Blessed be, brother.
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2017 on This Blog's Future at Decline of the Empire
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...
Toggle Commented Dec 24, 2016 on Catch-22 at Decline of the Empire
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,
Toggle Commented Dec 24, 2016 on Catch-22 at Decline of the Empire
On his hipster-esque "Funky Science" blog retort Grinspoon wrote, "I am prepared to be challenged by intelligent and insightful critiques of my work." Just as long as those critiques jive with his own point of view, I'm sure. Otherwise he'll get all arrogant and huffy by crying about one's "negativity." Seriously, for an "astro-biologist," that dude is hugely disconnected from reality. @Robert, I had the same picture in my mind when I read that line; a little girl, fingers in her ears, screaming "LA LA LA LA LA....."
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2016 on Our Foolish Species at Decline of the Empire
"Everything you read on the internet is true." ~~President Abraham Lincoln Ol' Honest Abe must be rolling in his grave these days. Thanks for chiming in on the "fake news" fiasco du jour, Dave. Now I must go do some research to find out if your blogpiece here jives with my confirmation bias. ;-)
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2016 on Fact-Checking In Flatland at Decline of the Empire
Ahhhh....., while reading those descriptions of the Authoritarian Personality I felt like I was reading about most of my friends and all of my family; people who just so happened to vote Republican and Democrat.
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2016 on Ah, The Good Ol' Days... at Decline of the Empire
Hmph, other than the occasional acid reflux, I've been sleeping great lately. Let our Reptile Overlords run the show for a while, eh? I mean, they can't really fuck things up too much more than the rest of us have, right?. Or can they? And why should I care since I have no real influence on my fellow human's bonehead actions? Seriously, other than for entertainment purposes, I'm pretty much finished with giving a fuck what my fellow humans do.
We broke-ass folks prefer to live in the grittier, rough and tough ghetto called "The Comfort Zone." Screw those rich-as hipsters in their damned Bubble.
This is a great article. "But as with before, most people cannot see it because: 1. They are only looking at the present, not the past or future 2. They are only looking immediately around them, not at how events connect globally 3. Most people don’t read, think, challenge or hear opposing views" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I see this constantly these days, not just online, but from friends and family. "Don't worry," "It'll work itself out," "He can't be that bad," etc., etc. It really peeves me. Even my mother, who was born during the Great Depression, tells me that things will be o.k., not to worry. Now, maybe she has a point, but I don't think we as a nation have ever come upon a collusion of events and people in power quite like we have now. I see her and other's reactions as like what we see in climate change, a form of "tactical ignoring." They know or suspect that it's happening, but find it easier to turn a blind eye and hope for the best as events pan out. Imho, this is the path that leads to a lot of pain and suffering; and the longer action is delayed, the worse it will be. Unfortunately, without a much higher percentage of people willing to work in a reasonable manner to mitigate the circumstances; not losing their collective heads with crazy protests or rioting -which we are seeing now- the situation will become self-perpetuating and only get worse. This is why I am personally "battening down my own hatches" and watching out for me and my own. I know that sounds selfish, but until a better, more realistic option presents itself, that's the way it's going to be.
If I play long enough will I be comped a free lobster dinner?
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2016 on Thanks For Playing! at Decline of the Empire
Dave, I so want to give you a bro-hug and share a few beers with ya. Though you may think otherwise, you're not alone in your frustration.
I first saw the Outside article floating around on Facebook when it came out; it was shared on all the environmental, climate related, and doomer groups and pages. Not one to take things at face value I did a little investigating, first on a few search engines, then on Google Scholar and couple of other academic databases. Nothing about the GBR being "dead," but there are a lot of studies concerning how damaged it is. Over the next few days I watched with interest as all the same groups and pages posted follow ups to the article, most all of them being sensationalist click-bait articles and blogs preaching doom and gloom. More interesting was seeing all the comments by people who just gobbled it up, hook, line, and sinker. Nobody seemed willing to check out the info given to see if it was legit. At first I tried to be a voice of reason, but quickly gave up. The stupidity embraced by the Flatlanders was overwhelming...
I'm pretty sure most here know about or suspect these things, but I thought I'd share this anyways.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2016 on Lost In The Noise at Decline of the Empire
“Democracy has been less than a total success – and the intellectual’s half-shamed cynicism about democracy is justified – to the extent that traditional society did not need, could not use, and in many ways discouraged the development of high verbal (rational) skills in the majority of the population. That is, concretely, most people are not encouraged to be very smart, and are rather heavily programmed to be comparatively stupid. Such programming is what is needed to fit them into most traditional jobs. Their bio-survival circuitry works as well as that of most animals, their emotional-territorial circuitry is typically primate, and they have little third-circuit "mind” to verbalize (rationalize) with. Naturally, they usually vote for the charlatan who can activate primitive bio-survival fears and territorial (patriotic) pugnacity. The intellectual looks at the dismal results and continues to believe in “democracy” only by an act of Blind Faith similar to the way beliefs in Catholicism or Communism or snake-worship are maintained.“ - Robert Anton Wilson
"I've reached maximum disgust with our species." LOL, I've been there ever since the mid-80's, and the kicker is that the maximum disgust threshold gets pushed further out on a regular basis by the silly games that humans play. Laughing at our folly has become a mental defense mechanism. For what it's worth, Dave, I'm sending you a virtual hug. ...sings... "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round..."
I read this earlier today in the book 'C.G Jung Psychological Reflections,' "The Platonic freedom of the spirit does not make a whole judgement possible: It wrenches the light half of the picture away from the dark half. This freedom is to a large extent a phenomenon of civilization, the lofty preoccupation of that fortunate Athenian whose lot it was not to be born a slave. We can only rise above nature if somebody else carries the weight of the earth for us. What sort of philosophy would Plato produced had he been his own house slave? What would the Rabbi Jesus have taught if he had had to support a wife and children? If he had had to till the soil in which the bread he broke had grown, and weed the vineyard in which the wine he dispensed had ripened? The dark weight of the earth must enter into the picture of the whole." I thought about it after reading your post, Dave. I think it fits.
“In a sense we are like fruit flies, which live but a few weeks and cannot experience most seasonal changes, much less a year. We cannot know from experience the history of the planet Earth. Most of it is destined to be as abstract to the layperson as the dimensions of the universe.” ~~Paul Martin, 'Twilight of the Mammoths' In my humble opinion, the Anthropocene began long before our deep ancestors began the process of agriculture. As they (we?) began the long slog out of the African continent and encountered the megafauna that did not evolve alongside of us, we -through our hunting practices- pushed them into extinction. Whenever we moved to a new region, within a thousand or two years (a blip of geologic time) the magafauna in that area was stressed to the point that they died off. To say that the Anthropocene began with the advent of the nuclear bomb is quite foolish and delusional. Doing so indicates a complete denial of our long storied history of high exploitation of Earth and its systems. To be sure, that exploitation has grown exponentially in the last century or two or three, but still, it's a continuation of a long process in the growth of mankind's delusional belief in his supremacy over and separation from the natural world. It's just what we do.
@Jim And right below that article is a link to another article that starts off, "Between 2000 and 2012, the world lost more forest area than it gained..." WOOT, WE CAN DO IT!!!
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2016 on Susan Rice's Happy World at Decline of the Empire
Whenever I read about implants these days I am reminded that antibiotics are quickly losing there effectiveness in preventing infection. I've read that within a few decades any surgery other than the most mandatory will be a thing of the past. No more hip replacements for grandpa, no more face lifts for the aging starlett, no implants whatsoever. As for consciousness, I'm going to laugh when the neuroscientists finally figure out that the simplest explanation is the right one. My conjecture is that our consciousness is nothing special, just millions of neurons shooting neurotransmitters and hormones into each other in response to stimuli from a combination of external experiences, imprinted experiences, and some genetics. In other words, it is we in our Flatlandish egotistical self-importance and delusion of human supremacy that 'think' our thoughts are more than they really are.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2016 on Performance Enhancement? at Decline of the Empire
I don't hate either or any of the candidates. In one form or another they're simply doing what every other candidate for office has done: Say what they think the voters want to hear and beg for money to fill their coffers so they have a chance at winning the Golden Apple. After a candidate wins it is back to business as usual; maintaining the status quo, and catering to their biggest donors while occasionally throwing a bone to the unwashed masses groveling under the dinner table. This is part and partial to the human condition, only on a more 'Grand Stage' level. I will say this though; this election has by far been the most entertaining I have seen in my 52 years. It's like 24/7 professional wrestling without the body slams. Oh, I still stand by my assertion that if one could look behind the well maintained facade they would see that in some way Trump is (or was) a Clinton plant.