Peak Consensus Reality

rage_against_the_machine_1280x960gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of tdOs

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
aFriend us on Facebook

Published on Pray for Calamity on January 23, 2017

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

Slow crunching of gravel beneath my tires and the hum rattle of my Jeep engine are all I hear as I pull down the long driveway across my land to the front of my house. The world outside the grasp of my headlight beams is deep blue and black. There is almost a hush of relief exhaled by the forest when I turn the key to shut off the car. With a breath, I exit the vehicle, and when the door slams behind me the echo dies quickly, absorbed by the trees and hills around me.

I take a few steps towards the front door, then stop to lean on a maple tree. As my fingers drag down the surface of the tree they find grooves to run like tracks. The night sky is a dark and formless navy color, betraying no stars or planets above. When I get home late on a Saturday night after closing down the bar where I work part time, I need this. I need to breathe and to embrace the silence. A night of so many human voices yammering about so much nothing at all has my brain and my posture suffering a vast weariness.

So I stand and I stare at the night. I listen hard for the creaking of tree boughs, for the tapping of twig on branch. In a world so thoroughly crammed to hilts with noise, with voices, with opinions, silence and calm are a drug. The light chill of the air, not nearly cold enough for January, graces my skin, and I am happy for it.

What does the world itself want?

The last three years in a row have each in their turn broken the record for being the warmest year yet. Donald Trump’s Whitehouse removed all mention of climate change from the Whitehouse website. When Donald Trump’s inauguration did not host much of a public turn out, his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway defended the White House Press Secretary’s claim that it was a record turnout by claiming that the secretary was offering some, “alternative facts.” Despite my lack of social media participation, what conversation I do have on the internet and in person has made me keenly aware of just how divisive the language of the present political and social climate is.

There are so many people airing their opinions so constantly, and doing so in such a manner as not to be offering a discussion of ideas, but rather treating each dialog like they need to break the defensive line and run fifty yards to the end-zone before spiking the ball, doing a silly dance, and bro-hugging all of their teammates.

Everything is competitive. Discussion and conversation have become battlegrounds and everyone has joined a team. Listening is no longer required because a few keywords clue each participant in to whether or not the person they are engaging with is an ally or an enemy. Unfortunately so many of these keywords are used in a fashion that either completely eviscerates them from context, or even uses them to mean something that is diametrically opposed to their dictionary definition. Good luck finding more than a handful of adults who can accurately define socialism or capitalism, and further, good like finding adults who have a functional grasp of the history behind these systems.  Of course, finding someone to express their heated opinions on them should be no challenge at all.

If you were trapped on an island with a person and you had no common language between you, learning to communicate would be an arduous effort. For instance, if you find a banana on this island and show it to the other person and say, “Banana,” that person might think you are saying “Food,” or “Fruit” or “Yellow” or even “What’s this?”

Today we exist in a complex civilization that is held together by an interlocking web of systems and agreements and the whole thing is made to function with the application of complex technologies, some mechanical, some human. As a society grows more complex, the language needed to explain and understand the society must axiomatically grow in complexity. As the society moves over the arc of time and generations of people are born, live, breed, and die the history of that society grows in breadth and depth and complexity.

I have a lingering notion that the level of complexity and the depth and breadth of the historical knowledge required to grant proper context to that complexity has far outpaced the average person’s linguistic ability to keep up adequate comprehension.

Everywhere we hear arguments between people who might be using the same basket of words but who are ultimately speaking different languages.  When one person says “market” or “right” or “freedom” the other person is not receiving a clear signal as to what the speaker is actually referring to.  Of course, in the best of times verbal communication has its lackings, but with the added politicization of language and the increased complexity of how much one must know to understand the terms being used in current political discourse, we have found ourselves in an era where quite frequently we cannot communicate clearly on issues of current relevance.  We try, but too often our meanings are lost in translation.

So language is breaking down, and where complexity outraces ability, people have installed a host of shortcuts. No where is this more evident and more devious than in the realm of politics. It is in this realm that the centuries old history of a nation’s rise, expansion, plateau, and decline — all of which were affected by various international factors, energy factors, financial factors, and beyond – could be boiled down into a simultaneously meaningless and majestic combination of four words: “Make America Great Again.”

It is fitting that the president who ran and won an election based on that slogan finds his favorite communicative outlet to be an internet application that limits user’s posts to a meager one-hundred-and-forty characters.   Such a format of course does not lend itself to completeness of full and elaborate thoughts, to be sure. ‘

Working at a bar I must endure all manner of people and of course, their libation liberated opinions. In this regard I frequently find that I can temper my responses and offer an appropriate level of contrarian thought, pulling back before offending, offering a joke before off-putting, and generally balancing the atmosphere before someone throws a pint glass at my head. However, my talents like my patience have limits, and after so many nights hearing such confidence and sureness behind declarations concerning the sanctity of free markets, the laziness of the unemployed or the lack of equality for men in our society, my shoulders slump and I just walk away.

The complexity of an issue like “free markets” would require that a person read a variety of books on the matter to even have a foundational understanding of what they are talking about. It is, of course, so much easier to pick a team, learn a few slogans, and take to the field to blitz one’s opponent with anecdotes, non-sequiturs, and out right fallacies.

Expecting the general public to have the knowledge and the language to adequately understand the great issues of our age is at this point foolish. And such an understanding is not rewarded anyway, as the media and the political realm utilize shortcuts, slogans, and a near disdain for intelligence like a sword to cut down anyone who tries to enter nuance into a complex discussion.   Nuance is bad for ratings, I suppose. It really diminishes team spirit.

So instead we have memes. And snark. And shitposts. Now go vote so the rich who have profited from the destruction of your schools and your bodies and your minds can retain their power and convince you to love and fetishize them.

The problems firing at civilization like shot from a double barrel are the products of generations of complex human activity engaged in before its ramifications could be understood. The decline in topsoil viability, the acidification of the oceans, the mass extinction of species, the body burden of toxicity in our blood and tissue, the decline in global net energy, all have a long and sordid history to describe their making. Solving any one of these problems would be a herculean effort at this point, and that is before taking into account the very inability of most people to understand that a problem even exists in the first place.

Listening to the public discourse it is evident that the narrative of our society itself has splintered into fragments, and when one takes that into account it is easy to understand why so much anger and vitriol floods all systems of communication. Each actor perceives themselves to be the good guy in a grand narrative of unfolding disaster. Of course, the various factions perceive that disaster entirely differently with conservatives, for instance, convincing themselves that climate change is not real and liberals convincing themselves that green technology can provide everyone on Earth with a constantly upgrading standard of living, forever.

The splintered narratives are many, and with every hollered bellicose opinion they fracture and mutate further.  Attempts to center the spinning gyre of growing confusion are liable to be upended by “alternative facts.” Contrary to common sense there are people who suggest that based on the media’s treatment of him, Donald Trump at least is not a puppet of the deep state, to which I must counter that the primary concern of the media and their paymasters is the narrative. They want to control the narrative of society because the narrative of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going is central to controlling people and exploiting them for capital gain.

Donald Trump does not threaten capitalism. He does not threaten the state. Perhaps he threatens a particular sector of either, but where he restrains one set of wealthy or powerful people he will reward another. The edifice is safe under his watch.  The living Earth which we all rely upon and which is daily being wounded by industrial capitalism, is not.

To be clear, declining global net energy is likely the penultimate cause of the crack up of various systems of finance and the societies that rely on them.  Not grasping that complex impetus, let alone the history of how such reliance came to be, has fractured the glass of the window through which people view the world.  As people seek answers to explain lost prosperity, diminished growth, lowering standards of living they are met by a many eager salesmen of truth, all offering different versions of reality to which they can subscribe.

It makes for a lot of noise and very little signal.

Sundays are good days on the homestead. My wife and I lay in bed with our daughter until we feel like getting up. We make coffee and breakfast. This Sunday our friend comes over with her toddler son, and we chat about life in our corner of the county.

Outside I do not need a coat for the high of the day is sixty-three degrees, an aggressively warm January day indeed. With a dull butter knife I drag and scrape the flesh and membrane from a goat skin that is stapled to a piece of plywood. My daughter runs around pulling her imaginary unicorns on her sled, which with no snow present, bumps and skips over the gravel driveway. As I draw the knife towards me in short, tight motions my mind wanders from images of black bloc participants rioting in Washington D.C. to the disappointing comments belched out by the previous night’s bar patrons concerning the women who marched on the capitol.

Then I stop and breathe. I look out over the ravine to the leafless trees standing sentry over the landscape. My daughter giggles. In my head I ask, “I wonder what the world wants?”

Quiet, probably.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

https://www.rooshv.com/what-christians-can-do-as...

Sign inMARKETPLACESUBSCRIBE    Premium    My Portfolio    My Authors    Top Stocks    Latest News    Markets    Stock Ideas    Dividends    ETFs    Investing Strategy    Watch & ListenHelp & SupportShort IdeasNo Debate, Most Oil Shale ...

Quote from: Ashvin on October 27, 2020, 06:55:14 PMQuote from: Phil Rumpole on October 27, 2020, 05:43:12 PM"This is ridiculous and you know it. I dont think you even believe half the things you say here,...

Quote from: Phil Rumpole on October 27, 2020, 05:43:12 PM"This is ridiculous and you know it. I dont think you even believe half the things you say here, just coming up with absurd reasons to "gain your point" as it were."Eithe...

Quote from: RE on October 27, 2020, 04:14:24 PMQuote from: Ashvin on October 27, 2020, 02:54:55 PMWell humans have evolved for hundreds of thousands of years, and rationalism has been around for 500, so I...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on February 24, 2020, 06:23:52 P [...]

I wonder how much these coins have been debased? [...]

Precious tip of the day.....Buy silver NOW  She [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

I am OUT of Jury Service!  I got summoned to be a [...]

Quote from: Eddie on May 16, 2020, 10:30:30 AMQuot [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Getting Out of Dodge By Cognitive Dissonance     Recently I received an email from a reader who aske [...]

Penalizing Prudence By Cognitive Dissonance     “Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure m [...]

Harvest at Chez Cog By Cognitive Dissonance   It became obvious to Mrs. Cog and I by early February [...]

  Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse Chapter One By Cognitive Dissonance     “...we can endure [...]

The Flim-Flam Men by Cognitive Dissonance   I suspect if average Joe or Jane were asked to identify [...]

Event Update For 2020-10-25http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-10-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-10-23http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-10-22http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-10-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

And unless Australians ditch their faux multiculturalism for an authentic multiculturalism, the subj [...]

In other words, treat COVID-19 like a dry-run for the upcoming "big one" [...]

However don't expect strikes and yellow vests to fix underlying problems [...]

So how many more times are we going to hear that this is our last chance to take action in order to [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

The Great Pause Week 32: Deficit Spending"Many people reject the notion that we could already be beyond carrying capacity, but try to pi [...]

"This week I am starting to build raised beds from street rubble and found bottles."I gave [...]

The Great Pause Week 30: Dawn after Delta"The trick to mental preparation is to keep your focus when everyone around you is losing their [...]

"Once tribal loyalism was baked into our genes there were ramifications." The whole world [...]

"Einstein observed that great powers do not act on the basis of facts only but manufacture the [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Camus didn't predict Covid, but he studied enough about pandemics throughout history to depict [...]

Sarah Chayes spent decades studying networks of corruption in the Third World. Now she's findin [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

In reply to misanthropr#7. @#$%! I thought from the date that Russia must have intervened in the Kar [...]

This from 2017: https://www.theverge.com/.../self-powered-electronics... Your body is a big battery [...]

In reply to Dennis L.. I wish I were a whole lot smarter than I am, Dennis. I guess that busy hands [...]

In reply to Lidia17. You know the relationship between the Alpha and the group of males that he lead [...]

In reply to steve from virginia. Kind of like the opposite of, "Oops, there it is"? [...]

The President of the USA has the disease coronavirus. This disease is known to cause acute breathing [...]

I was born in 1947. Shortly several billion young people, around the world, will realise that my gen [...]

In reply to Bachs_bitch. Good points. If we have a debt jubilee here, only those who already are in [...]

In reply to Ken Barrows. Back to 10 mpb per day. Recovering from Laura, I guess. [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

This paper tries to shift the focus of research on the impact of natural disasters on economic growt [...]

The aviation industry contributes substantially to the global climate change, and, thus, airline com [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/