By Mike Darwin

Have I got your attention now?


Most people say my writing here is far too long and not nearly to the point. Today I’ll remedy that. [Though you’ll still have to read this http://wp.me/p1sGcr-1h for what I going to say here to have much credibility. Read, read it carefully, and note when the contents were first published on-line.]

A couple of readers have also noted that I “seem to be in a hurry” with whatever my agenda is. Today, in part, I’ll explain why.

Over the past few days the true state of the global economy has started to be unveiled. It is going to get a lot worse. I’m no prophet or seer; would that I were. Because then, I could quantify it all for you and spoil the ending by telling you how it’s going to turn out; for you, for me, and for everyone else on the planet. But the truth is, I have no crystal ball and no metaphysical “inside track” on the future. I had hoped, fervently, that I might have some more time, that we might have some more time – perhaps as much as a year or two, before this global economic decompensation occurred. Well, no such luck. What is happening now is the beginning of what is going to be a very bad time. I have been back and forth over the skin of this earth these past 6 years, and I can tell you that much of the world has been precariously balanced on a knife’s edge of instability, fear, hopelessness and simmering rage for onto to a decade, now.

When the French Revolution arrived, Louis VI and Marie Antoinette could hardly have been more surprised. Hosni Mubarak, lying in his hospital bed in a cage Cairo, must certainly feel a similar sense of disbelief and disorientation. To be plucked from his villa at Sharm el Sheik, after he surrendered the Presidency? Incredible! The difficulty for many of you reading this (in the Developed World) is that you have lived like Louis, Marie and Hosni for the last few decades – completely out of touch with that segment of the world deemed both untouchable and insignificant. It’s not that you’ve actively avoided them, but rather than you could not even see them, and if you did catch a glimpse of them from time to time, out of the corner of your eye, you not only had no opportunity for discourse with them – you lacked the language – you literally lacked the language – both symbolic and visceral – to communicate. You might more easily have communed with an ant, or an apple tree.

Now, regrettably, many of you are about to join them. Do not worry about any lack of knowledge of their linguistics. The lingua franca of fear and disenfranchisement is one that all but the Doctor Panglosses, and the Wickens Micawbers of the world, learn with astonishing speed. Chances are, you will too.

I don’t know how much ‘play’ there is left in the system. That means I don’t know when the futile and irrational wars the West is currently prosecuting will be replaced with much larger, more costly and absolutely essential conflicts. It means I don’t know exactly when healthcare expenditures are going to decrease from 17.6% of the GDP, to somewhere in the single digits (and all the grim statistics that implies). It also means I can’t tell you exactly when the currency is going to start really inflating – in part, because I don’t know to what extent deflation from lack of demand for major commodities will occur – or when – although I note that oil prices have already dropped.

I am an expert, a bona fide expert at watching things die and observing, in order to understand the mechanics of that process, even to the point where it has proceeded well into decomposition. Human and non-human, I’ve observed so many deaths I long ago lost count. This has made me wise enough to ‘know it when I see it,’ and wiser still, to know that I lack the tools to bring precision to my understanding of the process. I can tell you when it is underway, but I cannot tell you the appointed minute, the appointed hour, or even the appointed week, month, or year of its arrival.

I said I’d keep this bearably short, and I will. We’ve been fucked. It happened quite some time ago, but in the daze of the booze and drugs, we simply didn’t feel it – until now. My message, here and now, is to first be aware that this has happened. You have no time for denial, or for recriminations. Second, neither panic nor abandon hope in the months to come. Third, immediately stop all non-essential expenditures and save everything you can. When you need to convert those savings into non-cash commodities, of one kind or another, will become apparent in due time. If you have modest and manageable debt, pay it off. If you have large debt, begin to position yourself to walk away from it with as little injury to your assets and psyche as possible. Much of the work of doing this in the US is psychological. In other places, more material preparations will likely be required. Finally, if you are a cryonicist and you want to continue to be one, be prepared to relocate. It is very likely that cryonics (biopreservation) is going to require the support of an active, cohesive and geographically united community.

I am sorry for this message. I hoped to have far more time to sieve a working group of good minds, with good hearts, to confront what is now upon us. No such luck.

This entry was posted in Cryonics Philosophy, Culture & Propaganda, Economics, Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Fucked.

  1. unperson says:

    The end is nigh?

    Doomsaying becomes you, Mike. And I daresay you have had a fair bit of practice at it.

    I fear not the coming apocalypse, myself. I work for a government agency involved in the handing out of welfare benefits, so for me, the worse it gets, the busier I will get. And as a veteran, I am immune from layoffs.

    The real question in all this is whether the american federal union–the USA– will survive. I have a completely different take on the whole situation. If it gets really bad, there will be a defacto break up of the federal union, the usa, because a govt without $$ has no power.
    I think that will be a good thing overall, in the long run, for the american majority. A great thing, even.

    What I am seeing here on the part of the media is a complete misunderstanding of what is really happening vis a vis the debt ceiling and the intentions of the tea party grassroots. I think the tea party grassroots is a major factor in the recent stock market sell offs. The thing that is being ignored by the media (and thus also being ignored by the lockstep internet forum aficiandos, such as those on DU, et al.) is that the grassroots goals for those in the general tea party movement is to shut down the federal govt by defunding it. They feel that the federal govt is against them. It is and it alway has been. The federal govt was specifically designed from the very start to disempower the majority. That is exactly what was spelled out in the seminal documents associated with the formation of the federal govt over 200 years ago. The federal govt was designed to be the enemy of the majority and the protector of the wealthy. That is a paraphrase from those seminal docs. And the tea party base, i.e., the majority, has finally figured that out. This is the culmination of a political journey for them that began in the late 60s when the effects of the so called civil rights movement began.

    And the recent debt ceiling and federal budget brouhahas are merely foreshadowings of the populist earthquakes yet to come down the road.

    I suspect that the think tanks and the polling outfits have started to ask the sorts of questions that address the questions raised above–is it right to defund the federal govt? And the answers that are coming back are disquieting, at least for those who buy and sell stocks. Because THEY know that the federal govt is their protector, and the so-called ‘educated’ american agrees with them, although the tea party base now does not.

    The end result of all this playing out over the next decade or so will be to effectively make each state more or less independent, at least to a significant degree. The breakup of the soviet union, redux. For them, the long period of low oil prices was the straw that broke their back–they could no longer afford to finance their outlier states. With the USA, the straw is the loss of the ideological grip of Capital propaganda on the white lower middle class, the majority bloc. I suppose that globalization and the consequent loss of jobs is the american analogy to the soviet loss of oil revenue in the 80s. That loss of jobs combined with the popping of the tech and housing bubbles are the keys. Without that money coming in, the propaganda has no backing. Hence the tea party movement.

    With the collapse of the federal union, Capital cannot depend on its protector and funder–the federal govt. Hence the stock market collapse.
    The white working class majority will be the main beneficiary in all this.

    Look at the small nations of western europe such as austria, denmark, sweden etc. Most american states will eventually become like them. And that will be a good thing for those citizens. The highest quality of life for the majority. A good thing.

    The Tea Party is leftist because the ultimate effect of their victory will be to turn most american states into sweden.

    • admin says:

      Well, its nice to know that you can see what is coming in such detail,. I can’t, and truth to tell, you can’t either. The geopolitical situation is one I’ve become well equipped to understand by virtue of seeing just how far organizations with diverse resources and interests can walk off the edge of a cliff, like Wylie Coyote, before they look down and fall. Poor people can’t do much when they get in such a fix because they have so few resources, and so little ability to shift, bury and distort their core financial data. Complexity is the greatest ally of delusion and corruption – as are long lag times before the consequences of bad actions must be faced (think credit cards and bad mortgage paper).

      The financial situation has nothing to do with the Tea Party, except that the intransigence they injected into Congress resulted in REALITY being unveiled, now – the Emperor has no clothes AND his household is in disarray. Without them, it might have run on longer, but not much longer. The looming and inevitable collapse of Eurocapital markets is so vast that it would have ricocheted back to the US soon. You are correct that the goal of the Tea Part leadership is to starve the Federal government to the point that they can drag it into a backroom and strangle it to death. However, they themselves are unlikely to be able to do this. To the extent misery, and more importantly, fear and uncertainty, eat at the lower class and lower middle class, there will be increasing militarization and proliferation of militia groups. Their actions will provoke some strong response from the Feds. But the real drivers of events are likely to be global, because this is not just about gross fiscal mismanagement, but about FOOD and JOBS. Climate is driving the former, and if the weather improves for several years, that will take some of the pressure off. Ditto Russia, if they so choose, because they can feed a staggering number of people. Personally, I doubt they will, but my doubts aren’t facts. — Mike Darwin

      • unperson says:

        I thought I qualified my statements enough to make it clear that it was speculation. I really do think that the federal union will be brought down within a decade or two. And if I am not in the dewar when that happens, I will be popping that champagne cork for sure. Even though I work for the federal govt. But you see, I think that once the fed govt has been stripped of its power and money, and that money is available to the states, that the states will take on their duties, at least most of them. The ones that do not will be the ones that are the most large and diverse. Diversity breeds mistrust. CA may be an exception due to the makeup of its populace. And a distrustful electorate makes for a poor welfare state.

        But back to the issue of this blog and what it is for:
        You don’t like me, do you? Few people do…
        I am a cold fish.

        I just wanna say that I love you, Mike, for all that you have done for cryonics.

        I love you. If you are ever homeless, let me know, and if I can convince my wife, you got a couch to sleep on.

        Now that I have said that, is what you are trying to do yet another attempt at Cryospan? I was a member of cryospan. I believed in you and your acolytes then.
        But it failed. I got the “cryospan failed” email from Charles, if I recall correctly.

        Why him and not you? Cryospan was really about following you.

        Do you expect us to risk our life insurance again? You failed then. Why try again?

        I say, keep your powder dry. We may yet need you. Is it really so desperate a situation at this moment?

        • admin says:

          OK, thanks for clarifying that it was speculation. You, in particular, have to do that, since you post dogmatically about cryonics as religion.


          There’s a person who posts here using the handle “gwern” (I don’t if male, female or other). One thing that impresses me about gwern is not that he likes to make predictions, but that he publicly posts them, time stamps them and does statistics. That’s just brilliant, and it is something I started doing privately in March of 2006. Within a year I found out that I was useless at predicting the kinds of events I thought I would be best at – such as, say, developments in the drug treatment of diseases which I knew a lot about. What I turned out to be really good at was anything to do with failure analysis, where there was a lot of both quantitative and qualitative data were available. For reasons I’ll mention only elliptically here, I became interested in econometric data, and I also had the opportunity to travel the world specifically for the purpose of doing “failure analysis reports” on various kinds of infrastructure: the health care system in Mexico, food distribution and pricing in North Africa, the viability of the cruise (ship) industry over the period from 2010 to 2010, potential problems with automated, transoceanic container shipping… The template I was given was to collect data from a wide range of sources – some of which no self respecting academic would, or could approach. There were lots of other people in the study doing the same thing, sometimes in parallel.

          I got “recruited” because “the designer” of the study had a difficult problem he and his chosen experts could not solve, namely, how to encode vast amounts of information in a substrate that would, verifiably, last tens of millions of years. One of the participants in this working group brought me along as a guest to one of their sessions. There were all kind of proposals, from the L. Ron Hubbard-Scientology one of writing text on stainless steel plates, to nanolithography using gold… The discussion went on for hours and what impressed me was that no one had any real data or any demonstrated experience with (or for) their putative technology. At lunch, I was introduced to “the designer” and his first question was, “What are you here for?” I told him I was there to solve his problem and that, if he liked, I could tell him how to do what he wanted absent any wild new technology or accelerated aging tests. I said one word to him: GLASS. Organisms trapped in amber are, of course, the demonstrated proof that even a very fragile and perishable substrate can be stabilized and retain the information encoded in it for tens of millions of years, if not longer. Pick a stable glass, protect it properly, and any reasonable information containing substrate will be stable over geological time periods. There were a lot of pissed off people who didn’t get to stay for the expected (and elaborate) evening meal. As it turned out, “the designer” had another passion, and that was that he collected and used people whom he deemed (and ultimately objectively tested) were “brilliant” at failure analysis. Failure analysis can be either prospective or retrospective, but what it consists of someone telling you what’s likely to go wrong with whatever it is you are doing, or why things went wrong after they already have. Turns out, I’m good at both, but I’m especially good at the former. I have a very high aptitude for being able to enumerate possible sources of failure in a system (that I both understand and have broad and robust data about), and a moderate degree of aptitude at being able to predict specific failure modes.

          That experience led me (quite naturally) to consider cryonics in this context. And as I did so, I realized that there were fundamental problems with cryonics that will cause those practicing it to FAIL and to FAIL OVER AND OVER AND OVER; possibly on larger and larger scales – or until the idea is discredited or prohibited. The nice thing about much of this analysis was that it was post hoc, it was based on multiple instances of failure and some of the causes of failure were so obvious, and so major that there could be little dispute that they were worthy of consideration, if not action. You’ve seen some of those mechanisms detailed here and there are many more in the three “Failure Analysis Lectures” on CryoEuro.

          You ask: Now that I have said that, is what you are trying to do yet another attempt at Cryospan? I was a member of cryospan. I believed in you and your acolytes then.

          This is just all wrong. First, I have no interest in, and no intention of, either starting “another CryoSpan” or another cryonics society. For the record, I didn’t start CryoSpan and I’ve never had much interest in storage as personal pursuit in cryonics. I was certainly material in starting CryoCare, and that may be what you are referring to. I also was the standby/transport/overprotective perfusion service provider for CryoCare and ACS in the form of my company, BioPreservation. That may also be what you are referring to.

          I think unseen by most was that at this time I was working very hard, along with a half a dozen others, to create a company called 21st Century Medicine (21CM). This involved extensive research with animals, and in particular dogs, in a variety of models. During that period I was focused on developing drugs and techniques for recovering dogs with no brain damage from 30 minutes of cardiac arrest at 37.5 deg C. We got ~16 minutes when the work was discontinued. In addition to the research I had a truly staggering burden of physical animal care (we had an in-house breeding colony of dogs), paperwork, regulatory compliance, and housekeeping – yeah, that’s right, we cleaned our own loos, vacuumed, mopped, and waxed about 1,200 sq. ft. of VCT flooring. My focus had to be either on the research and the company (21CM) or cryonics, but not on both. There wasn’t enough of me to go around.

          CryoCare never reached escape velocity. To do that, to get the point of a viable, self-sustaining organization with a broad base of members and robust support, takes about 5 years – that is, IF you are going to succeed at all. When CryoCare began to have serious dysfunctions, and it was clear that there was no one around who was going to put the effort in that was required (and who also had the aptitude), I pulled the plug on BioPreservation. I was sick and tired of dealing with the headaches of running cryonics organizations, and I was having the time of my life waking up dogs after quarter of an hour of being “warm and dead” on the OR table. The ischemia-mitigation drug protocol used by Alcor today is the direct product of that research and I personally am responsible for discovering the profound cerebroprotective effects of melatonin and N-tert-butyl-a-phenylnitrone (PBN) and of their synergistic action together: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=18&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=5,700,828&OS=5,700,828&RS=5,700,828

          Hindsight is always 20/20. However, I’m reasonably sure that continuing to pound away at cryonics, as had been done in the past, would not have allowed me to gain the insights that I now have.

          You write: Why him and not you? Cryospan was really about following you.

          Charles was the President of CryoCare and he was the person who was directly responsible and the proper person to write that letter. BTW, I also wrote a letter explaining what my position was and why I was withdrawing. If I can find it, I’ll post it here.Perceiving CryoCare as “all about Mike Darwin” was a mistake and really, makes no sense. How COULD it be all about me, or any one man? We’re not in a trench in Afghanistan; this isn’t a battle, it’s a LONG, LONG TERM WAR.

          You go on to say: Do you expect us to risk our life insurance again? You failed then. Why try again?

          Your life insurance was never at risk, nor was anyone else’s. Plenty of notice was given, and people either switched to CI, ACS, or Alcor, as the personally decided was best. CryoCare didn’t take anyone’s life insurance and the two patients it was responsible for were handed off to Alcor; something that was absolutely assured before the decision to cease operations was made.

          Several people have told me that Max More has said that I am intent on starting another cryonics organization, and that’s what Chronosphere is REALLY all about. I chuckle when I hear that for a number of reasons. First, why would I start another cryonics organization? At last count by me, there were at least 5 extant cryonics organizations (6 if you count service providers) that are clearly “operational” and none of them is a dynamic success, or an inspiration to success. What, we need another one? I don’t think so. I am already worried sick about the problem of the long term survival of the PATIENTS of those organizations. In no way am I anxious to create more of those problems to worry over. — Mike Darwin

  2. zarzuelazen says:

    The UK has erupted into chaos starting with London, with mass rioting in multiple locations.

    “An enormous blaze has engulfed a Sony warehouse centre at Waltham Abbey in Essex after locals reported rioting thugs looting the building. The fire has caused much of the 70m long warehouse, which reportedly stores a large proportion of England’s digital media, to collapse inwards.”

    “Violence has escalated across London and at least three other cities overnight as police fought thousands of violent rioters and looters who took to the streets.”


    Cobra! emergency meeting chaired by the Prime Minister. All police leave cancelled, 16000 police called into London from elsewhere to try to contain the situation there, leaving all other cities vulnerable.

    European and Asian markets are plunging severely, with the break-up of Euro imminent.

    “However, there was better news on the bond markets where the yield on both Spanish and Italian government bonds fell for the second day.

    The European Central Bank (ECB) has begun intervening in the markets to try to keep the cost of borrowing down for the two countries, which are struggling to avoid a Greece-style bail-out by the authorities.

    Major crisis

    The head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, defended his institution’s decision: “It is the worst crisis since World War II and it could have been the worst crisis since World War I if leaders hadn’t taken the important decisions,” he said in an interview with the French radio station, Europe 1.”

    “And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

    Eve of Destruction – Bob Dylan

    • admin says:

      Please don’t take this the wrong way. I was supposed to be in London until the end of this month. I am royally pissed that I am not there for the current troubles, as I am losing valuable information. I was nearly certain that civil unrest would erupt either this summer, or next summer. That it would occur was not in doubt, and I was pretty sure that it would happen during warm weather, probably during the hottest part of the summer. The question was, what would the nucleating event be? I knew that whatever it was it would have to intersect with and “ignite” the Yobs. Not the students or council house poor, but the young, disenfranchised males that I spent so many wee hours with talking with, while they smoked spliff and vented. And especially the minority Yobs. I was betting that one location for violence would be the Peckham-Lewisham area, where I have spent a fair bit of time on the streets. I see it was Lewisham, and this makes a great deal of sense, since Rye Lane, the high street in Peckham, is mostly devoid of the kind of envy-provoking enterprises that Lewisham has. There is also a violent undercurrent in Lewisham that is almost completely absent in Peckham. Lewisham is the only place in the world that I have ever seen gay men beat each other to a bloody pulp.

      The violence will be quickly contained and will stop. The civilized British public, including most of the poor, will be clueless as to why this happened. They will have a very hard time wrapping their minds around the emotional ground state of RAW HATE and DEEP RESENTMENT borne of disempowerment. They will look at the magnificent social welfare system and they will say, “But no one is hungry here. No one is homeless on the street here, unless the very actively choose to be. No one is without medical care here…” They will simply not get that “THEY HATE YOU and THEY ESPECIALLY HATE THAT YOU HAVE DONE THOSE VERY THINGS AND MADE THEM DOGS IN A WELL KEPT KENNEL. The next wave of grief comes when entitlements are severely cut and the people affected become angry, but more importantly, become uncertain and fearful. — Mike Darwin

      • unperson says:

        yeah, look at the milieu in which we evolved–the San-Bushmen type of situations, the Andaman Island situation. Strictly small tribes. Humans did not evolve in situations where there were great and prolonged differences in social status between large segments of society.

        As for males of that age, I guess that they were evolved to fight for the tribe. Maybe there are not enough slots available in the military for them over in the UK.

        • admin says:

          It’s really complicated (see my reply elsewhere). The Yobs are testosterone fueled teen and twenty something males who have few prospects, have been raised on TV and instant gratification, and are brimming over with HATE and ENVY. That can be a hateful age for young men under the best of circumstances. The only significance of the Yobs rioting is that it is a sentinel event. It didn’t just happen and it would not have happened except that …. People will complete that sentence in many ways, but to me, it wasn’t hard to see it coming if you had contact with them, because they are in a condition of chronically having a massive chip on their shoulders, looking for someone to blame and are very, very touchy about there entitlements. As soon as there was any cut in the entitlements it was like taking a bone away from a dog. And yes, we were evolved to live in a pretty equitable society with competition mostly at the top for the top. — Mike Darwin

          • Mark Plus says:

            In the empire days, the British ruling class had ways to get many of the yobs off the island and make life more feasible for the people who stayed behind: Put them on ships and send them to wreak havoc in other parts of the world, like the Americas, Australia, southern Africa and India. It doesn’t have that option now.

          • admin says:

            The Empire was a nasty affair, to say the least. The deportations that I think you are talking about were mostly debtors – or starving people sentenced to exile for stealing food. Dickens gives a pretty good account of the tail end of this period. It is a cliche that also has great truth to it that Australia was the recipient of some of this British human largesse. As I often say, the US got the religious crazies and Australia got the poor and those down on their luck, aka “criminals.” Methinks Australia got the better deal, by far. The UK exported its fanatics to the US, thus depleting its gene pool of religious zealots. Australia has a significant population of Roman Catholics, but this is as a result of a much later wave of Italian immigrants. — Mike Darwin

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        I don’t think the violence will be contained and stopped quickly. It might burn itself out. But it will flare sporadically for years. The problem is the hollowing out of U.K.’s economy. I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that all kinds of regulation were implemented under Blair/Labor that made it difficult for manufacturing to operate. At the same time, they created all kinds of exemptions and perks for the London financial industry, then milked it as a cash cow to finance an ever growing social-welfare state. Then the game was up with the finance industry’s crash in ’08.

        Also, I suspect Labor hid a lot of the government debt “off the books”, just like the Greeks (probably with the assistance of Goldman Sachs) and that their government finances are far worse than anyone is willing to admit. This is why they have to do austerity, without much private industry to pick up the slack.

        I think the problems are long-term and, hence, the violence will be long-term as well, if sporadic.

        • admin says:

          My statement was about the current round of Yob violence. Actually, the clincher for me was the violence that occurred in December, when students angry over major cuts to tuition support rioted and attacked the Rolls limo carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla. That was an ugly bit of business, because despite the perceived ambivalence about the Monarchy, the overwhelming majority of the British are proud of it and consider it a great asset in terms of allowing them to dissociate the actions of their politicians from the UK itself. The Royals carry their own cachet of goodwill (if all goes well) which is independent of Parliament. Charles is generally well regarded in Britain, and especially so in London, and he is certainly not the focus of contempt. Both William and Harry are also well regarded. To see that kind of flash-over violence spill onto the Royals in those circumstances, with largely educated protestors, was chilling.

          The UK is arguably less corrupt than the US. It is important to understand that London & England are somewhat synonymous. It is a geographically small country, and London’s influence is huge. That;’s something that Americans often don’t understand. And London is the financial capital of the world. The psychology of London thus has a disproportionate effect on all of Britain. I can’t agree with the capitalist v. communist interpretation of events in the UK. The social welfare system expenditures were far more efficient than ours and they got much better value for their money. Their unemployment rate has been ridiculously low for a long time. It went from 10% ~ 1991 to around 5% a year or two later, and that’s where it bounced around until 2008. It has doubled since then, and was around 8% when I was there in June. The era of of lots and lots of people on the dole has been long gone. The country is completely transformed (comparatively) to the place I visited in the 1980s. The UK was a prosperous country.

          Having said that, there have been a lot of really serious economic stressors that are probably invisible to most non-residents. The Irish economy completely tanked in the ’08-11 interval; the “Irish Miracle” turned into a nightmare of burst bubbles and bad debt. Eastern Europe was hit hard as well. All of this contributed to England’s problems. Like the US, the UK has been slipping in education and there are serious problems with literacy and numeracy. Compared to the US, the average UK secondary school graduate is a genius, but it that is hardly a recommendation. The upshot is that a lot of young people who do finish school are not going to be able to compete globally. Multinational corporations want the best minds, and they have resources to import them economically, and at will. Similarly, the EU opened up cheap Eastern European labor to a comparatively lazy UK manual labor market. If you want a plumber, carpenter or builder in any large city in the UK, you say “I need a Pole.” And it is not derogatory – Polish construction workers and handymen were predominant, and still are.

          Thus there are a lot of native sons (regardless of their racial heritage) who are not that competitive and who are paying an unsupportable and unrecoverable amount for their higher education. They were already angry and resentful. Then came a huge spike in food prices (all out proportion to the US) followed by the first round of serious cuts in government sector jobs and in entitlements. The psychology of the UK is radically different than that of the US, and I tried to explain to people on both sides of the Atlantic what was going to happen. The folks in the UK would have gone barking mad and killed the Prime Minister long ago if they had to put up with what the US has taken with hardly a peep. There are millions of people in the US with no proper healthcare, no prescription glasses and no dental care. There are armies of aggressive, disheveled and thoroughly unpleasant homeless people in San Francisco, DC, Atlanta… When people from the UK or Western Europe come here and see this they are disgusted and outraged. And it is embarrassing – I’ve been with professionals in big US cities who have put up homeless people in hotels and bought them expensive restaurant meals. The idea that THEY might have to live that way is repellant. It’s a lot like the smoking ban. Wow is it nice! When I go to Vegas or to countries that don’t restrict smoking, I really suffer. One of the reasons I prefer London to the US is because it is a SAFE, CLEAN, PROSPEROUS and EQUITABLE city. It has all the wonderful advantages of a metropolis without the disgusting, and often frightening downsides. Come back to San Francisco, and all you want to do is to “get out the smoke.” The environment of mentally ill, impoverished and desperate people on the streets 24/7 is wearying and demoralizing. And if you really think, “Well, six months from now, that could be me,” it is terrifying.

          I watched my flatmate struggle over whether to buy butter or not. However, since he refused to eat perfectly lovely (and thoughtfully plastic bagged) food from the Co-Op and M&S Simply Food dustbins (among others) that I brought in daily in abundance, my sympathy extended only so far. Social inhibition and the inability to break the rules are huge barriers to survival under adverse circumstances. — Mike Darwin PS: No small mater is also that UK along with Germany and a few others have been pouring money into Greece, and trying to prop up the banking industry in Spain & Italy. — MD

          • unperson says:

            mike wrote:
            “The psychology of the UK is radically different than that of the US, and I tried to explain to people on both sides of the Atlantic what was going to happen. The folks in the UK would have gone barking mad and killed the Prime Minister long ago if they had to put up with what the US has taken with hardly a peep. There are millions of people in the US with no proper healthcare, no prescription glasses and no dental care. There are armies of aggressive, disheveled and thoroughly unpleasant homeless people in San Francisco, DC, Atlanta… When people from the UK or Western Europe come here and see this they are disgusted and outraged. ”

            I started to write a book about 6 years ago explaining these differences. The book is still in progress.

            Basically, it comes down to culture. But why the difference in culture? Look at nature vs nuture. The dominant population of the USA is based on England, Ireland and Germany for the most part. But why is the american culture so different? One reason for the difference is that the american culture was born of a certain set of circumstances. The british colony in north america was set up as a cheap labor camp at its very start–a place where the british could exploit cheap labor. Much of that cheap labor was the poor and dispossesed of the british isles, many of them children of the british isles, “kid-nabbed” by knocking them in the head and dragging them aboard a boat and then selling them at auction on the east coast of Northeast America. The rest of the cheap labor consisted of poor people who were kangaroo courted for minor crimes and ‘transported’ to north america to be sold at auction. Others sold themselves voluntarily, indentured for a period of years, although once over here, many found it difficult to ever get free.

            Then the black slaves were brought over and exploited. The property owners, who were the only ones allowed to vote, divided the white slaves and black slaves via miscegenation laws etc., in order to keep them from uniting against the masters, as they did in Jamestown in the 1670s, when a mixed race revolt burned jamestown to the ground.

            It was this cruel slave labor camp that was the genesis of this american culture.
            From 1600 till around 1920, america was a playground for the rich–chattel slaves, indentured slaves, child labor, mass immigration of ever cheaper and more desperate labor.

            Little wonder we have little social capital.
            America was at its beginning a profoundly dysfunctional ‘society,’ and that start is the foundation of our culture.

    • Abelard Lindsey says:

      We have our own version of this in the form of “flash mob” violence in cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Milwaukee. I expect this to increase as well. Fortunately, I seem to be well-placed as I live in the most SWPL* city of all, Portland Oregon.

      *SWPL – Stuff White People Like

  3. I have been following your lucid take on things and have exchanged ideas on this with a good common friend we share, and yes, I feel fucked too.

    I am on disability, in rent-controlled housing, with very little change to work, with a diagnosed PTSD that emerged because of constant fear over parental abandonment and abuse. I am dependent on fairly expensive ‘life or death’ medication and not taking it translates to pain comparable to that you feel when receiving root canal with no anasthesia. Worse, I have ADHD, CFS, a sleep disorder and a bipolar disorder. And oh right, some transhumanists call me ‘lazy’. Worse, I have zero social network where I live. None left, they all went away or died. In the city I live there are three friends I talk to with any regularity.

    Ages ago I was involved with some tough crowd people, some of them these fitnessers and others cage fighters, ex soldiers, ex cons, the works. In the 90s these people had this ‘the collapse is imminent’ attitude. I complained to them this summer about feeling depressed. Someone of this crowd left three strips of Luminal with a friend and they didn’t even adding bother a letter.

    The upside is I am very credible when I talk – I can rouse crowds when I have a good day – and I am quite well-informed about this whole Orlov vybe. But otherwise, yah I suppose the next year I may find reasons to want to die. Cryo? Can I eat that? I barely have an effective income of a few tens of euro a week, Cryo is like this outlandish fantasy for me.

    So Mike, what is my best course of action?

    • admin says:

      The most honest and direct response I can give to the question: “what is my best course of action?” is that I don’t fully know; and that anyone who says they do is either a liar or con artist. The behavior of very complex and dynamic systems is hard to predict at all (witness your disappointed doomsday friends) and impossible to predict precisely. My philosophy is to plan for the moderately bad with the understanding that if that proves to be the case, most of the strategizing and the actions taken will likely be done on the fly. The important thing is to have set goals and very clear priorities. I also think that any action taken should be commensurate with the associated risk. What that means at this point is that he advice I’m about to give you hopefully passes the Hippocratic test of “first do no harm.”

      My first suggestion is that you take a thorough and honest inventory of yourself. What are your assets and you liabilities? Not just chattels, cash, and the like, but also skills, friendships, family and anything else you can think of that might help you to survive in a pinch. Then do the same with liabilities. Be sure to include things that you would be unwilling to give up in the liabilities column, such as a particular kind of lifestyle (I have friends who would rather die than leave London), family, pet(s), culture, and so on. Quite a number of people will simply not go to a place where their language isn’t spoken… Probably one of the hardest things to do is to evaluate your ability to do productive work. By that I mean predictable, responsible labor, intellectual or manual, such that your presence is a net benefit.

      Once you have a picture of where you are, you need to think about where you want to be, or where you want to go. In your case, you clearly need to decide whether life is, or can be, worth living. I can tell you that I think it (almost) always is, but that doesn’t decide the question for you. If cannot do work, then your options are greatly reduced. I can give you considerable advice about how to possibly improve the material quality of your life, but beyond that, I don’t have much to offer at present.

      The next thing to do is get Mobility Money. That means you need to have saved at least enough money to take you anywhere the major carriers routinely go and to keep you afloat on the street for ~ 3 weeks. Whether you ever use it or not, this emergency reserve will serve you in good stead. Depending upon your temperament, I may be able to give you some information on how to reduce your baseline expenditures for food, clothing and other things, so you can free up cash to save.

      Finally, the thing that makes it so hard for people to understand what has happened is also the same thing that provides a lot of cushion. The day after the 1929 crash that kicked off the Great Depression, everything looked just the same as it did the day before. There was no damage to the infrastructure: not looted homes, burned buildings or blown up bridges. The situation is analogous to that of a man who is bleeding internally. He looks a little wobbly, but he is still walking. And if you give him just a little bit of fluid volume IV – only a tiny fraction of what he has lost – say 100-200cc to replace 1.6L, he will pop right back to normal within minutes. It’s absolutely amazing; you have to see it over and over again to believe it. Of course, in a little while he will need more volume. Ultimately you will end replacing the lost volume of blood 10 times over, and if you’ve delayed too long, he will recover acutely, only to develop a downward spiral of multiple organ failure and death (i.e., the Golden Hour).

      Markets behave analogously, and even very slight infusions of confidence will cause a rally. In fact, there is currently no way to determine from the pattern of rallies and fall-backs what the outcome will be. But you can be pretty sure that even at this late date, there is a year or two of responsiveness to resuscitation left in the system. Certainly there is no frank multiple organ failure yet, and no gross signs of economic extremis: money still buys things, people aren’t hungry or without shelter, and the recent riots in London were sentinel events, not terminal ones. The Yobs are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. They are the most socially dis-inhibited and disenfranchised minority. They were raised by television on a diet of violence and white trash bad behavior. They will act up first because they can, and because they have been socialized to have no patience, no capacity for delayed gratification, and an enormous capacity for envy. We can only covet that which we do not have and yet surrounds us every day. That pretty much describes urban life anywhere. – Mike Darwin

  4. Abelard Lindsey says:

    I just read a really good book by Mark Steyn called “After America”. I highly recommend it.

    • Rick says:

      Why? Does he point to how to avoid collapse? What’s so good about it?

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        No, he doesn’t. However, collapse is not necessarily a bad thing, even though he does not say it in his book. Several of the chapters are about how government regulation is strangling productivity and technological innovation. If that strangulation went away (as in a collapse of the government), is it not likely that economic productivity (hence growth) as well as technological innovation rate would increase?

        • Rick says:

          No regulation is not the answer to bad regulation. Good regulation is. Do you believe that good government is possible?

          • admin says:

            Truly good government requires intelligent, educated, reasonable and long-term thinking people. This is a way of politely saying that such is not possible for any long period of time absent substantial alterations to BOTH the hardware and the software of people. One of the most hardware changes will be practical immortality since it will broaden the experiences base and increase the time span over which people plan and in which they live (psychologically and practically). However, I think that this change alone is unlikely to be sufficient and that alterations to how we think and behave will be necessary to build a robust system of self regulation that is at once rational and just. — Mike Darwin

          • Abelard Lindsey says:

            Here’s the reason why Mark Steyn’s collapse scenario is more of an opportunity than a disaster:


            For every person the world ends for, another person the world begins.

  5. Mark Plus says:

    I meant that the British empire managed its yob problem by absorbing a lot of them into the army and navy, which kept them under harsh discipline and put their violent impulses to use against the peoples who resisted the empire’s agenda.

    • admin says:

      More the British Navy than the Army. As the famous quote goes, “The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash.” While the quote is often attributed to Winston Churchill, Churchill’s assistant, Anthony Montague-Browne said that although Churchill had not uttered these words, he wished he had. — Mike Darwin

  6. Geoff says:

    The following can probably be thrown into the above mix (It is from memory so may need modification). The British Empire at the height of its power had a two navy policy. That is, it had a navy that could defeat the third most powerful navy (The most powerful single country navy other than its own) in the world and another navy (equivalent) that could defeat the fourth most powerful navy in the world.

    • unperson says:

      yes, it had a great navy, but at what cost? That navy was often built on abduction of young men who were forced to serve at sea and other atrocities.

      Our current sick american culture is the bastard child of the cruel mercenary/military culture of british military power of 300 years ago. A sick culture in many ways.
      For more background on this read the book THE MANY HEADED HYDRA something something REVOLUTIONARY ATLANTIC.

      • unperson says:

        PS, that book is available on library.nu

      • Rick says:

        Um, no. America’s military tradition isn’t British at all. America’s West Point was based on France’s Ecole Polytechnic. The only sick element of America is British infiltration. You guys really ought to read Larouche. Mike, with your Catholic history, your reading of Larouche would be definitely a step in the right direction. Start here…


        • unperson says:

          british infiltration? I once had a crush on a british girl who moved to the states. She was six feet tall and a vegetarian. She had long black hair, but I think it was dyed.

          I assume this is what you are referring to when you say british infiltration? They come in here and steal our hearts. If you mean something, please expound, by all means!

          • Rick says:

            British imperialism is in the form of public debt to the central bank, for example, as opposed to be public credit issued by a national bank. I’ll leave it at that. If you can learn to make the distinction between public debt and public credit, you’ll discover the “British” are behind the “public debt” and the Am. revolution was to install “public credit” instead. Suck on that for awhile and then get back to me.

          • admin says:

            Please pursue this dialogue with Rick somewhere else. — Mike Darwin

        • admin says:

          Rick, no more on Lyndon LaRouche here. I’m not inclined to ban topics outright, but La Rouche, Scientology, and a number of others fit the bill for discussion that is not useful here. You get one mention and that’s it; anyone interested can click on your name and continue the madness on your time & space, not mine. That’s about as fair as I know how to be, under the circumstances. — Mike Darwib

  7. Rick says:

    Here’s a relevent article on Wiki on how Hamilton solved the debt problem with credit… it’s a short read but it will literally change your life from being a dupe to one of my own stature.


    • unperson says:

      Rick says:
      “…. it will literally change your life from being a dupe to one of my own stature.”

      aren’t you like 5 ft 7 inches?

  8. Rick says:

    Mike wrote above
    Truly good government requires intelligent, educated, reasonable and long-term thinking people. This is a way of politely saying that such is not possible for any long period of time absent substantial alterations to BOTH the hardware and the software of people.

    Mike, that’s rediculous. Obviously, you’re off the rails politically speaking. And furthermore, comparing Larouche to Scientology is absurd. Obviously, you need to widen out your understanding of the world at large. Gestalt is a big concept that tries to integrate everything. You call blog Chronosphere.. everything that will be or ever was, but you’ve proven that you’re not going to cover that. The coming ice age will kill mankind off if we don’t prepare. Consider that and see what you can write about the ice age. I’ll look for that. Other than that, bye. No more valuable contributions from me.

    • unperson says:

      to find out what truly good government requires, perhaps we should look at the world around us and infer some general principles from that? Let’s try it!

      As far as western nations are concerned, what are the most well-run nations? How about Denmark, Austria, Switz, Norway?

      That would be the first tier.

      Here is the second tier:
      sweden, finland, netherlands, iceland.

      Here is the third tier:
      France, Germany, UK

      Here is the fourth tier:
      Austral, New Z, Canada. Italy,

      Fifth tier:

      7th tier:
      Spain, Portugal, Greece. Czech.

      Hey, I think I am starting to see a pattern here! Small, parliamentarian, Nordic is best.

      Large, federalist/separation of powers, checks and balances == bad.

      So, if you want to make a western that is NOT near top better, make it like those at the top!


      • Mark Plus says:

        Un, I hope you don’t mean you have a problem with racial mixing in your “well-run” polities. I happen to feel comfortable with nonwhites; my parents, despite their white trash backgrounds, had the good sense to see the trend in the country in the 1960′s and not bring me up as a racist hillbilly like my mom’s father.

        • unperson says:

          I am just pointing out empirical data. If you don’t agree with my specific points, just have at it, and please be specific….

    • Mark Plus says:

      Rick, look at it this way: If you stay alive for the next few thousand years, some day you can tell much younger people about how you foresaw the new ice age and what you did to survive it. The experience would give you a lot of status in that era, making you a kind of Lazarus Long character; and they would look to you for guidance when the next ice age comes after that. You might even have a career as a consultant to help people survive ice ages on the exoplanets they’ve settled in the far future.

      • unperson says:

        When did rick get on this ice age kick, anyway?

        It is a new one for him.

        • Mark Plus says:

          I’ve noticed that people who believe in conspiracy theories and fringe world views tend to load up their trays from a whole cafeteria of them. The internet provides supernormal stimuli for people like that:


          • Rick says:

            Un, try the empirical data you get when you look at potential population density in your list above. That’s the measure of true economics… the ability to create livable conditions for greater numbers of human beings.

            Obviously, the US beat all your countries listed above on that empirical data alone. Therefore, the US wins highest ranking– in that list that is.

            And Mark, the ice age is upon us now. Conditions are getting dryer, the heliosphere has been shrinking since 1957 letting in more cosmic rays increasing cloudcover which will lead to colder conditions. Ice ages set in fast– in a generation or two. We’re at the end of the 12,000 year warm period and facing at least 100,000 years of ice age. Agriculture is wiping out now and civilization will starve to death if we don’t do something about it. But what? Unless you quit reading amateur psychology and start reading real astrophysics, you may be nicely cryopreserved, but you and all cryos will never be recovered.

            We’re not only facing a regular ice age, but a super ice age that might go 26 million years. Has Alcor planned for a 26 million year cryotank with no attendants? I don’t think so.

            The coming ice age is the blind spot in cryonics that proves beyond any doubt that I am the most powerful visionary in cryonics today– right now. None comes close to the power of this insight I have… None. No amount of scorn, ridicule or rejection affects me. None. If you read up on what I’ve read up on, you will discover that I’m absolutely 100% right about this.

  9. Mark Plus says:

    Mike writes:

    One of the most hardware changes will be practical immortality since it will broaden the experiences base and increase the time span over which people plan and in which they live (psychologically and practically). However, I think that this change alone is unlikely to be sufficient and that alterations to how we think and behave will be necessary to build a robust system of self regulation that is at once rational and just.

    I’ve wondered if radical life extension will change the “scale” of what we have traditionally considered “wisdom.” I can see how Future People could react to the knowledge that we once sought leadership & advice from people they would consider callow and inexperienced. “Wait a minute. You elected people in their 40′s as your presidents?” Many influential philosophers have also died at relatively young ages, for example Descartes & Spinoza. (Jesus reportedly “died” in his early 30′s; but his religious believers attribute supernatural wisdom to him despite his biological youth and limited earthly experience.)

    Perhaps 40-50 years sufficed to become “wise” in the simpler conditions of the past; at least you could bluff your way through with your learned heuristics and do well enough as a tribal or village elder to whom the younger people in your community deferred for advice about a recurring number of problems with tradition-tested solutions. This just seems inadequate now, given that we have a whole lot of new problems and not enough knowledge or experience to know how to deal with them.

    In my own family, three of my grandparents seemed like basically decent people; but I could tell even as a child that they didn’t have much going for them, and they never impressed me as “wise.” We don’t all have fathers, uncles or grandfathers like, say, Warren Buffett. This seems like a ripe field for cognitive training, assuming that neuroscience can shed light on how people develop good judgment and whether we can make this teachable instead of leaving it to the haphazard.

    • Rick says:

      Increasing cosmic rays from CygnusX-3 will boost mankinds intelligence and wisdom as we descend into the ice age over the next 100 to 200 years… or less. Increased exposure to cosmic rays causes ice ages as well as increased intelligence in lifeforms. One reason we’re so collectively stupid as a species right now is due to low cosmic ray penetration. That will be changing soon. I’m already feeling the change coming on myself.

      • Mark Plus says:

        Won’t the fluoride in our tap water counteract the effects of the cosmic rays?

        • unperson says:

          the chemtrails will counteract global cooling. that is their purpose.

          • Rick says:

            I think the way it works is that the cosmic rays act as centers of condensation for water droplets thereby increasing cloud cover. A chemtrail would do the same thing, I think. Both contribute to clouds and thus to cooling but the cosmic ray effect is by far the larger component, as already evident in ice age history. Man’s influence over the coming ice age event, even with chemtrails, is negligable.

        • Rick says:

          True. Don’t drink fluoridated water.

  10. Mark Plus says:

    I have a new surname for Rick: Poe-tvin.

  11. Geoff says:

    (One word like the title.)

  12. zarzuelazen says:

    Markets really taking it up the arse again now. Stock market crash plunge now vertical, DOW graph actually falling below the level shown in Mike’s illustration.


    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Wall Street got socked on Thursday as renewed concerns about the U.S. and global economies sent major indexes plunging and pushed gold to a new high and bond yields to a record low.

    Stocks were hit with bad news on multiple fronts. Morgan Stanley put out a dismal forecast for global economic growth. A key reading on U.S. housing came in worse than expected. And a report showed a significant slowdown in the domestic manufacturing sector.”

    • admin says:

      Yes, we are now well nigh into the evening. The large dinner party, all of whom have dined on steak and lobster, has just realized that not only is no one stepping up to pick up the check, but that no one can pick it up. And so the chairs begin to edge away from the table and a guest or two has made a move to go to the loo. — Mike Darwin

      • zarzuelazen says:

        The big thing that has to be pointed out here is that governments have already used most of their ‘bullets’ to fend off financial collapse in 2008. First, interest rates can’t be made any lower and all the money printing can’t go any further. Second, the earlier huge bail-outs have already exhausted the coffers. Third, this time the situation extends to Europe, leaving few places left to turn to draw further liquidity.

        This party is over. Definitely time for all these dinner guests to start shitting their pants, methinks.

        • Rick says:

          How about writing off bad debt? That hasn’t been done yet.

          • admin says:

            There are many problems with that – with doing it directly and “honestly.” One of the biggest is that some of our creditors have large standing armies and thermonuclear weapons. No, I don’t mean to imply that they would say, “Your money or your life,” not directly. However, the effects of sticking them with all that bad paper will be unimaginably bad for their economies and their peoples. It is foolish to ascribe all of WWII to the Great Depression, but it is equally foolish not to understand that the Depression was materially responsible for it. The US, primarily, created a bubble economy, the rupture of which plunged the whole world into economic ruin. Germany and Italy were devastated – thrown into essentially complete economic chaos. The attendant misery made people behave in angry and extremist ways.

            One problem with reading history, as opposed to living it, is that you often lose that all important sense of “reality” and proportionality that truly explain what happened. You can sometimes get a feel for it, and maybe even capture it, by reading a large and representative cross section of the ephemeral literature of the time. I have done this, to the extent possible for me as a monolingual reader. It has taken me countless hours sitting in libraries here and in Europe (mostly the British Library). What happens in such situations is that marginal, often insane alternate realities develop in the culture. Because they are insane and because they are not politically correct, they are almost invisible to the mainstream media (then and now). For instance, if the major newspapers, news outlets, blogs and websites right now were used as representative of the beliefs and thoughts of the whole culture, a very skewed and inaccurate view would result. The Tea Party is, of course, news and there is commentary and coverage. But this coverage is “removed” and “distant” from both the intellectual and emotional reality of how that demographic really feels and thinks. In Germany and Italy, as the Depression deepened an increasingly large segment of the population wanted to blame someone. They were mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore. Savings, homes, retirements – all were all wiped out by both WWI and the Depression. SOMEBODY HAD TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT!!!!

            You can see this now with the blame game here – particularly the blaming of Obama. When Obama was elected, I told just about everyone I talked to that felt really sorry for him because, short of being god almighty, he was fucked from the get-go. Nobody could be CEO of the USA now and not be anything but unable to deal with the problem. And I mean this literally, because a) Congress would not cooperate, and b) the President would be impeached. Lincoln had it easy by comparison, because the radicals who were frothing mad and willing to do anything, were on the abolitionist side, which is where Lincoln ultimately came down – mostly because he was unwilling to lose union and risk the Balkanization of the US. I’m not saying Obama would do anything effective if he could, just that he seems a nice enough guy for a politician and that regardless of whether he was empowered to do, he will be UNABLE to act. That’s why I said they will go on printing money. THEY HAVE TO. In a few months 16 million people will have NO INCOME. They alreafy have no savings and are at most 30 to 60 days away from being on the street. If they stop being able to buy food, shelter, the occasional movie ticket… then you will have 4 to 8 million MORE people out of work…and so it goes. I’s a vicious, vicious, cycle of unemployment and decapitalizatioin breeding more unemployment and decapitalization. AND SOME OF THEM KNOW THAT. So, they HAVE to print more money and they will.

            In Germany, the situation was made more complex and much worse by the facts that they had lost the war, suffered a humiliating and economically excoriating armistice, and were long afflicted with both a pernicious form of patriotism and a manifest destiny that included annexing half the world, for openers. All of that is evident in the primary media of the time. However, by the late 1920s the primary media no longer reflected the views of the people who were going ultimately going to matter. To get a feel for that, you have to look at issue after issue of the alternative newspapers of the time – as well as books and political pamphlets.,AND YOU MUST READ THE FIRST HAND BIOGRAPHIES ON ALL SIDES. Imagine, if you will, that in ten years, the ideology of Chronosphere (which actually represents a fairly deep and decades long ideology created by cryonicists thinkers from Ettinger to Perry) has become the ideology of the ruling party in the US, or in any of the great powers. You would see almost none of the events happening that made that possible until the very, very tail end of the process. If such a thing happened in the era before the Internet, all you would have would be the equivalent of things like Cryonics magazine and various ephemeral broadsheets and small newspapers – newspapers printed on horrible quality paper and that no one, including those who published them, took seriously enough to archive and preserve. In short, you lose access to the REAL dialogue and decision taking that actually shaped the cultural and ideological change. This would be much more the case with the personal correspondence.

            I badly want to meet Debo Mitford, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. She is one degree of separation from Hitler, and she is highly intelligent and socially acute. She is a tremendous Elvis Presley fan, and some years ago she was asked who she would choose to talk to, at length, if she had the chance, Adolph Hiter or Elvis Presley? Without a moment’s hesitation, she matter-of-factly replied, “Why Elvis Presley, of course.” She was not being clever or provocative (though she can be both). Rather, she was saying something really important: “I met Hitler several times, I had tea with him, I LIVED through his time and I understand it, I GET Hitler. I don’t GET Elvis Presley, I have a lot questions for Elvis Presley… Often the most valuable people to talk to are those who have no interest in talking about that time. They understand it, they find it unpleasant, and they know that the grasping and well meaning questions that almost everyone probes them with about that era are beside the point, and will never communicate what really happened. To understand this, all you have to do is wait until you find yourself saying . “Man, you really had to be there!” That feeling of helplessness about communicating what really happened is at the core of what really makes history tick. This is because the information is hard to come by, doesn’t make much sense out of context (and the context is gone) and most importantly, because you do not have the emotional or intellectual perspective to even SEE it, let alone understand its importance.

            The Germans had a long list of people to blame, and the Jews were understandably near the top of it. While it is horribly non-PC today, the fact is that the Jewish financiers and bankers in Germany, and more generally in Europe, did what any thinking businessmen would do: they got their capital out of Dodge! They move their assets first to gold and then out of the country. Just think about the seething anger in the US and the UK towards the bankers and investment firms today. I have seen people here red faced, with their external jugulars distended and about to burst, as those sorry fools continue to collect BONUSES, and have the government defend them lest they “quit their jobs and the extraordinary talent they represent become lost to us!” They enjoy (in part) one advantage that the Jewish bankers didn’t, and that is that they are “us” and not “them.” And of course, right now it’s still only just about the money. When the bankers, primarily the Jewish bankers, gauged that the war (WWI) was not going to be concluded in German’s favor, they moved their capital elsewhere and en masse. This undoubtedly hastened German’s loss of WWI. In pretty much any country, that is treason – and it broke the laws of the time – it was a criminal act. That the Kaiser’s Germany was a lunatic state and that you or I would almost certainly have done the same thing was IRRELEVANT to men like Hitler who had suffered unspeakable horrors in the mud of trenches – and been gassed, as well. These men were uber-patriots and they would have, and in fact DID give everything for their country, not once, but twice!

            Now, think about the people holding all that bad paper and remember that from their perspective, we are “them” and they are “us.” –Mike Darwin

          • Rick says:

            Bad debts include toxic derivatives issued by Goldman Sachs no longer payable. Goldman Sachs doesn’t have a standing army yet. The Fed and the treasury should not be trying to bail them out. There are many examples of bad gambling debts like that that have to be written off. It happens in bankruptcies all the time. The entire world’s financial system needs to be put into bankruptcy protection so that such unpayable paper can be handed back to the banks as theirs (not the governments of the world to cover or bail out). And the 1933 Glass Steagall Act needs to be put back in place to prevent this from happening again. It’s actually simple Mike.

          • Rick says:

            Before I depart, I should mention to Mike that the next cycle of 100,000 year ice age is 500 years overdue. We’re actually heading into it now. It can overtake the earth in a generation or two so it will, if not considered seriously, destroy all cryonicists, not to mention all agriculture, thus food and thus civilization. A good program to deal with the future is to install GlassSteagal to separate gambling investment banking from guaranteed banking, and then to engage in a crash program of indoor agriculture to defend against the coming ice age. Power systems would include thorium nuclear reactors and ionosphere tapping as Tesla pointed the way for that. Anyway, that’s how you would save “us” and civilization.

          • Fundie says:

            It can overtake the earth in a generation or two so it will, if not considered seriously, destroy all cryonicists

            Not if I drink enough cryoprotectant during the next couple of generations!

          • Rick says:

            Then drink up because as you can see in the chart below, we’re at the end of the most recent warm period. There’s not enough time for reanimation technology to occur– estimated to be around 600 to 1000 years.

      • Geoff says:

        Yes, but say a magician (Prestidigitation expert) goes to this large dinner party and puts on close up shows (I like close up magic best) for various groups at the dinner party. What effect will this have on the guests? Well consider what one magician who I had a workshop with said: “I love magic more today than when I first saw it. I understand what I am in the art form. I am the messenger and I am delivering entertainment . I am giving spectators a chance to forget their problems and take them back to a time when all things were magic. My job is to awaken the child in us all”. Just out of interest, this particular magician is only two handshakes away from Houdini – he worked extensively with a magician who left a very big impression on Houdini.

        • admin says:

          There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Unfortunately, it is lost n most people. People in the West are now busier than they have ever been. And they have engaged in a truly prodigious act of prestidigitation – unprecedented in all of history, in fact. They have managed to persuade perhaps 1.5 billion hard working people in the East to accept their busy-ness and all the attendant rustling of paper and waving of hands as VALUABLE COMMODITY in exchange for everything from tchotchkes to automobiles to a LOT of masterfully overpriced real estate. Methinks THEY are starting to wake up after a long, gin soaked night and realize that their arse is on fire, figuratively speaking. — Mike Darwin

          Oh yes, to zarzuelazen, you can almost always print more money. Framed above my bed I have the whole arc of the economic process that swept the Nazis into power in the form of German paper currency from 1929 to 1939. There is one pathetic scrap of paper in this lot that is barely more than rubber stamp on a piece foolscap. It does not even look so fine as a receipt from the till at Tesco’s or Walmart. It is for some number of BILLIONS of Reichmarks. Oh yes, they can print more money, and they will. They HAVE to; they have absolutely NO CHOICE in the matter. Printing money is the penultimate form of theft/taxation. In the past, I would have said that they can continue to print money until they are out of ink and paper. But today, well today ,I suppose it’s when they run out of electrons to send the bits and bytes around, or perhaps more accurately, when they run out of energy to make those electrons do their bidding. –MD

  13. Taurus Londono says:

    On a long enough timescale, bad things *will* happen. Bubbles *will* burst. Markets fall (and rise). Right now, we’re going through a painful socioeconomic paradigm shift.

    Nevertheless, nothing that’s happened regarding global markets should have been of very much surprise to any serious student of economics. Despite the hocus pocus of self proclaimed wisemen, market fluctuation is essentially random at the narrowest range; zoom the camera out, and you’ll see large peaks and valleys (sometimes there are sheer cliffs). Nevertheless, the long, gradual climb of indices is relatively steady *over the long term.*

    Perhaps you want to err on the side of caution, Mike…after all, you can’t score a run unless you get on base…but there’s something to be said for plate discipline, at not taking a swing at every pitch.

    You start this (mercifully brief) post with a picture of the Dow Jones Industrial Average; on the date this was posted, it closed at 11240 points. As of the exact time of my post, the Dow Jones is at 13065. That’s growth of a little under 21% over the course of the last year. If the picture you posted was supposed to be some kind of exclamation point to your vague warning, it seems to have flopped.

    “…immediately stop all non-essential expenditures and save everything you can. When you need to convert those savings into non-cash commodities, of one kind or another, will become apparent in due time. If you have modest and manageable debt, pay it off. If you have large debt, begin to position yourself to walk away from it with as little injury to your assets and psyche as possible.”

    It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that this well-meaning advice may have been injurious to anyone with substantial stock holdings.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but no non-idiotic financial adviser with a non-hysterical temperament would have given people similar advice in August of last year.

    A year ago, the advice I was giving friends was the same advice I was giving college buddies on campus in the early 2000s. NEVER *EVER* ATTEMPT TO PREDICT THE TIMING OF SIGNIFICANT MARKET FLUCTUATIONS. NEVER *EVER* BE LURED BY WHAT YOU PERCEIVE AS TRENDS. *IGNORE* individuals who appear to have divined some special or uniquely profitable insight into the markets. Acknowledge and accept the incontrovertible reality of your own IGNORANCE.

    Contribute regularly (as you can) to a diversified portfolio of index funds. If you do this, I can guarantee but one sturdy prediction from the crystal ball; given enough time and patience, YOU WILL be richer than the aspiring “failure analysts” around you; YOU WILL be richer when the market falls; YOU WILL be richer when it rises.

    The prediction racket is limited in its usefulness, perhaps, to systems no more complex than a professional baseball team. The only thing that’s doomed with any certainty is the application of your predictions to a system as complex as the entire human race. Like I said before, you have a bad track record on this front, Mike.

    • Taurus Londono says:

      Addendum; To anyone who’s completed primary education, the above “21%” looks (obviously) wrong. To clarify, the percentage is based on the previous day’s close; 10809.85 on August 8, 2011; it rose about 4% that day.

      • Taurus Londono says:

        Just came across this again after many more hours spent digesting your writing.

        I’m a stupid, small person, Mike. I don’t say that casually or thoughtlessly. That doesn’t mean that I believe that I can’t or won’t know more or become more than what I am at the moment. I have accomplished essentially nothing. I have essentially no meaningful life experience that I can apply to the interpretation of the broader world around me.

        But, at the very least, I know that I know a little more than some people about some things. One of those things happens to be the geopolitical assessments that you’ve made over the past decades, which are (thankfully) on the record and available for public dissemination.

        I agree that there likely a wealth of circumstances in which you would indeed “know it when you see it.” It does not seem to me that this is one of those circumstances.

        You’re not the first person to “figure it out,” Mike, and you won’t be the last. You see, there’s something to be said for ignorance; I can “call it like I see it,” too.

        I have no predilection for the status quo, and I’m not sure I am compassionate enough to worry about whether or not it withers and dies…were it not for the prospects of my own survival.

        Of course we’re fucked. No one who’s bothered to give a second thought to this century would deny that it’s going to be a fucking shitstorm (sadly, however, there are plenty who don’t seem to realize that the shitstorm has already begun).

        But it’s not going to happen exactly this way, Mike. Not in 2011, not in 2012, not in 2013. Your financial advice is not reflective of reality.

        I understand that you mean well (good God, do I know that).

        ….so anyway, how much time do you figure we have left? It’s been over a year, so I guess we did have “such luck” after all. Guess I’ll keep hop-scotching on in blissful ignorance towards doomsday while the credulous cap their video game purchases and hunker down for the “essential conflict.”

        Like I said, I’m fairly stupid. But that, in and of itself, has nothing the fact that, years from now, someone will look back and see that you were wrong; I only hope that the first person to do that will be you.

        • Taurus Londono says:

          On further reflection, I want to add that there’s something to be said for putting your cards on the table, for laying it out there to be scrutinized. I appreciate that about you. That’s no platitude.

          Look, it’s not that I *necessarily* think that none of this is true, or that your underlying thesis might not in fact be fundamentally correct.

          To state it more succinctly than the above reply, I guess I’d just be interested in an update, and if you concede the need, some scientific self-correction…

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