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Kurtzs
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To Brian: Were you being sarcastic or serious here?: Oh well, looking on the bright side, at least we have free will and hope...
Toggle Commented Dec 23, 2015 on The Meaning Of Life at Decline of the Empire
Spot on, Dave. I can't help critiquing what I see as BS. Neither can you! I consider myself a 'mutant' of sorts, or at least far out on a tail of the Bell Curve. We have company, but it is unlikely to ever reach a critical mass or tipping point to reverse overshoot and crash. If you're not familiar with Reg Morrison's work and his book _The Spirit in the Gene_ here are links to my review of it from 2000, and another to his excellent website. http://www.peakoilandhumanity.com/kurtz_folder/steve_kurtz_page_main.htm (second item) and http://regmorrison.edublogs.org/articles/ Free Will is 'vastly overrated' ;-) Cheers on the downslope, Steve kurtzsATncfDOTca
Toggle Commented Dec 23, 2015 on The Meaning Of Life at Decline of the Empire
Your pessimism matches mine nearly point for point. But..I've been a fatalist for well over a decade after realizing that in the 25 or so prior years I'd been a population-environment activist Earth has added net 2 billion humans. The population has tripled in my 70 years. The natural 'pie' has continually shrunk and become moe toxic to us. This is not solvable by distributing the hoarded lands, money, gold, jewels, art...of the wealthy. That is largely not energy-matter throughput. If the poor converted what they could into buying power, mining, production, consumption, pollution...would all rapidly increase, and we'd hit 'the wall' even sooner. Now it is like water torture...but it is heating up as you say. Cheers on the downslope, Steve Kurtz
Massive overpopulation - 300% increase in my 70 years - is the primary driver. Climate has always changed and will always change. Humans are part of the current drivers in my view. Technology greatly increased leverage while population grew. We will likely hit the growth wall this century. It won't be nice for our grandchildren. Yes, try to find a resilient place.
Unfortunately 99.9% (my guess) do not realize that human numbers increased by around 700% in 200 years. If we were at 1 billion instead of 7.3, nasty feedback would be 1/7th of the present rates. We are in plague phase, and are both depleting our resources and toxifying our nest. All the talk about smart growth and techno-fixes is a pipe dream. Jevons Paradox demonstrated that a long time ago.
Rob, Can't agree that perception is all. Humans are physically able to perceive/sense an infinitely small % of reality which is best assumed to be boundless as no beginning can be evidenced. Even a big bang is not a beginning according to cosmologists today; big bounces and crunches of infinite multiverses is said likely. See Sir Martin Rees, past pres. of The Royal Society, and Cosmologist Royal. It is hubris to think that a plague mammal that has tripled its numbers in our lifetime can plan itself into a sustainable future. We have greatly overshot long term carrying capacity, and are diminishing the requisite variety and robustness of a biosphere suited to our kind. Nature will probably put things back into balance despite our best efforts to thwart that. You can bet on this in my opinion.
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I'll be 68 in 18 days, and I can't recall what I posted here a few days ago...It went into cyberspace, that stardust you mention I suppose. As a skeptical agnostic, uncertainty is the most comforting position for me. While I agree with the 'luck' of things falling into place necessary for our existence, I chalk it up to a numbers game, with infinite variables and possibilities. It may subjectively seem miraculous; but given infinite space-time in unbounded reality - earth, life, and humans were bound to come into being. Why? Because they could. If the potential did not exist amidst infinite variables, we wouldn't be here/now! And I too value our new twin grandsons more than anything. They are the future. We are wired to perpetuate. Why? Life has a vector to expand niches and persist. Embrace uncertainty, and keep putting one foot in front of the other!
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Right you are, Rob...on all counts. Culture counts for a lot, but biology more. Have a blast with the new kitchen! Steve
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Beautifully stated, Rob. Unfortunately we are among the estimated 1/3 of humans who claim to follow no religion. That number has recently been revised up from 20% some decades ago. That is a positive trend. Now if population growth would hurry up and reverse its growth, there might be some nature left in 50 years for our great grandchildren to enjoy.
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Great find, Rob. If he hadn't been a marathoner, I doubt he would have tried it.
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Hi Rob & Robin, Looks great! Hope the new windows help as well. Cheers, Steve
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Best of luck, Rob. Our loft is 1850 sq ft as is our cottage on the sea. They are very spacious. You have a challenge ahead of you if your kitchen equipment and library are anything like ours!
Toggle Commented Sep 3, 2012 on Our new small home at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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No apology called for, Rob. Relax and post only when you feel like it. Cheers, Steve
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Kurtzs is now following George Mobus
May 28, 2012
Hi Rob, Good stuff. I suggest that most people are combos of 2 of your types. Just a hunch right now. Some design and make. Some connect and make. I suppose some design and connect. Some may be Renaissance people who do all 3. Cheers,
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You are a true romantic, Rob. ;-) Steve
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Hi Rob, Just now getting to respond to this wise and exploratory post. I too moved from a large city (NYC) in my mid 40s, leaving derivatives trading for nine years of organic gardening. Luckily I had a % of profits deal and didn't have to worry about money. Being careful with money and knowing how to manage it gave me more freedom than normal. We left NH for Canada in '99, at age 55 for various reasons. Ottawa was exciting for 7 years, but too big and far from our son who got married and is in western Massachusetts. Last stop, I think, is Maine, where we have 2 modest sized places, one in the Arts District of Portland, and one on the sea in Mid-coast where we took up very small scale gardening again. Life for me is an adventure. If I was destitute or seriously ill, I might be scared. As a skeptical agnostic, I have embraced uncertainty for decades. I suggest you rethink your fears re the unknown. That's all there is except for our current realities and relationships. If you knew the score, would you still watch the match? Would you still enjoy playing in a match? Lastly, re: "What is it like to become an elder? To give up on my sexuality?" I'm 5 years older than you, and I haven't given up yet! You sound fatalistic. The elder part is ok if you stay in shape and stay sharp mentally. Younger folks whom I select as interesting and responsible seem receptive to interaction. Those I find air heads (many) I just ignore. The future for civilization is dim in my opinion. But I hope I'm wrong. We might become grandparents, and I would want some years of more pleasure than worry! Best for 2012, Steve
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All the best for 2012, Rob. I expect a very difficult year geopolitically and in the global economy. I agree about the discipline and pleasure that choir can provide; but my preference is for mandatory physical training too. The time they are forced to sit in services daily (I know you lean towards Hitchen's views as I do) would be better by far spent in team and individual sport training. Obesity and poor health often are related to inadequate physical activity as a youth. Plus, some sunshine is now seen as very important all through life. Our son went to St Paul's School (Episcopalian, boarding, went co ed 5 yrs prior to his entrance) in Concord NH. There, both sport and the arts (some form) are mandatory. (age 14-18 ) A weekly service of about 1 hour was required. I viewed this as positive as he would have better knowledge of the society he would live in. He was a skeptic from his early years. His prior day school in NYC ( Allen Stevenson, age 6-14) had been all boys and had the same requirements of arts and sports. Both are considered elite academic schools. In fact Justin turned down two other famous schools to attend St Paul's as he thought the kids were happier. Some schools act like meat grinders. Lastly, I would never consider a religiously affiliated school where celibacy was the rule for the hierarchy. Predation is rampant, and always has been.
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Nothing like an ad hominem when facts aren't at your disposal, Re: "First of all, Ron Paul says that the most important thing facing America is abortion. He is against it, from what I can tell, in all cases," I have read nothing like this. Please document. Re: "Secondly, he's a gold bug and absolutely crazy when it comes to all kinds of things in the monetary department." I am a self made multi-imillionaire who arbitraged the banks against each other in currency derivatives in the 80s. I own gold. I think debt money (all other forms currently, BTW) are the biggest fraud evr put on the general populace. Most in govt have no clue. Dennis Kucinich agrees with Paul, as does Nader. The protests in the US are partially about this to the extent it is understood. ..."he's really just another asshole Republican." Wonderful logical reasoning! ;-) What do you love about the Demothieves? :-) Re: "There is no shortage of money. It's just that since Ronald Reagan, Republicans have been making sure that government can't touch any of it. That's a political problem, not a financial one." You betcha! They print it by the billions! Perhaps you should learn something about the history of money. It has zero nutritional value, nor will it shelter you or keep you warm. Even gold is a last ditch insurance policy. Humans are hundreds of % overpopulated, with declining natural wealth. I suggest you learn about overshoot, and figure out how to protect your family. Stopping illegal wars, and re-localization are not a bad start.
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Hi Rob, At 66 and a dual citizen living in Maine, I've been following this for decades. The populace in the US has been polled by Gallup, and they/we are at record levels of disapproval of Federal govt. Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders think Ron Paul is correct on most issues. I disagree with Reason Mag. on overshoot and scarcities, among other things. But they are primarily reporting here. http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/28/ralph-nader-hearts-ron-paul-ha Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, one might assume that Nader has little to be cheerful about. Yet he says there is one candidate who sticks out—who even gives him hope: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. [...] "Look at the latitude," Nader says, referring to the potential for cooperation between libertarians and the left. "Military budget, foreign wars, empire, Patriot Act, corporate welfare—for starters. When you add those all up, that's a foundational convergence. Progressives should do so good." "Libertarians like Ron Paul are on our side on civil liberties. They're on our side against the military-industrial complex. They're on our side against Wall Street. They're on our side for investor rights. That's a foundational convergence," he exhorts. "It's not just itty-bitty stuff." [...]
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Rob, For sophisticated thinkers who are optimistic by nature, these approaches are seductive. For those like me who look at the macro picture, with global averages of 7 billion homo-superstitious (where 1 B. was the case just 200 yrs ago), declining well-being, energy, water, topsoil,biodiversity, etc. and increasing toxicity of the planetary food chain, air and water...it cuts no ice. History is a record of civilizations with hierarchy, overexpansion, and collapse. It is unlikely to change. See Wright _A Short History of Progress_ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7051/is_1_17/ai_n28373197/
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The link to other countries is tremendous. Thanks, Rob.
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I must be getting old, Rob. Too frenetic for me. After 66 yrs of typeA competitive living, I'm trying to relax more. ;-) It looks like fun, though. (mine is a composite of smooth rocks with minor veins and shades in them.) Cheers, Steve
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Edith and I feel for you, Rob. We've had 3 come and go during the past 4 decades and are enjoying Samson now. He was a stray a few years ago in Tennessee who was trucked up to New England like so many others from the South. Now 4, we expect to have him for the rest of the decade. I recall you had 2, so continue to enjoy the other one. They indeed are man's best friends. Steve
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Hi Michelle, After this, I think it best to communicate directly via email: kurtzs AT ncf.ca Re: But then I wondered if it could be a fractal pattern. Wouldnt it make sense that the same basic pattern of life would be at work at every level of the nested holarchy that is the multiverse (as you say)? Or am I mistaking the leap of faith that youre talking about here? every level ...that we are aware of given our sensory capabilities and instruments...is not necessarily an absolute truth about infinite reality. It does make sense to follow those patterns to the extent that it helps us better understand the (finite) realities we encounter. If I didnt appreciate your feedback and inclusivity approach, I wouldnt have bothered to respond. Personally I dont think any socio-economic engineering and/or memespread can stop a dieback in our numbers. We have quadrupled in a century...plague phase according to biologists. And we are trashing our habitat at increasing rates. Lets take this private if you dont mind. If Rob wants to be cc, he can ask us. Cheers on the downslope, Steve (Portland Maine)
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