AuthorTopic: The Future  (Read 16613 times)

Offline JRM

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The Future
« on: January 04, 2014, 11:14:59 AM »
Let's talk about the future.


(Yeah, I know. I'll try not to start any new topics any time soon.)


In the Leonard Cohen song*, The Future, Cohen sings:

Quote
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned
The order of the soul

Those of us who like to think and talk about the future may have noticed the tendency of events or processes to "slide in all directions," but the thought that there'd come a time when "there won't be nothing you can measure anymore" leaves us almost silent.  Some things in the future, after all, must have some sort of handle, some stability, something to get ahold of, lest the reeling mind be forced out of the future and back into the almost equally messy present.

In the not so distant past, some things you could count upon. Like climate zones. Climate zones weren't sliding in all directions. And a man (or woman) could count on a dollar being a dollar, and savings being savings, ... and otherwise the world would retain more-or-less the same basic shape and structure, though with fewer rotary dial pay phones about. Changes, we knew, were more or less linear and predictable. And while changes were afoot they were relatively few in number and small in nature. So it seems we're already watching things  slide in all directions -- with almost nothing holding still enough to measure the motion of yet other things. Are we, then, in the future? Are we there yet?

Not so long ago we knew that if the Arctic sea ice should ever disappear in summer, it'd be a hundred years in the future -- and only if we continued with Business As Usual (BAU) regards our fossil fuel habit. We knew the forests in our mountains would always be there. And we knew that we were heading right on into a collective awakening. We were about to enter the Ecological Age and dwell in a culture that cared more for Life than for piles of money, things, property, power....

It's so very strange this Future. (We are in the future we never quite imagined would come.) The big Wake Up never happened. In fact, most people seem pretty much oblivious to the fact -- even -- that the Arctic nearly entirely melted recently. Or what that might mean. And the people in this cafe around me right now don't appear to worry much about things sliding of in every direction. They are not wobbly on their knees the same way I am.

Which brings me to another of the soundtracks for this thread. This one's from Sting (and The Police):

    
Quote
First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live you life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

You say you want to spend the winter in Firenza
You're so afraid to catch a dose of influenza
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine

Life in The Future is Short But Meaningful (But the air in the future is thin, so we have to come back into the present now and then.)

Quote
"Life for an actual canary in a coal mine could be described in three words: 'short but meaningful.' Early coal mines did not feature ventilation systems, so legend has it that miners would bring a caged canary into new coal seams. Canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, which made them ideal for detecting any dangerous gas build-ups. As long as the bird kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. A dead canary signaled an immediate evacuation.

Even as gas detection technology improved, some mining companies still relied on the canary method well into the 20th century. Other animals were used occasionally, but only the canary had the ability to detect small concentrations of gas and react instinctively."

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-canary-in-a-coal-mine.htm


I keep singing.

But the question remains, how are we to have an immediate evacuation? Things are gonna slide, slide in all directions. There won't be any things we can measure anymore.

But at the moment some things are just stable or slow-moving enough for us to plan an evacuation. There has got to be a plan. The air in the future is thin. We're going to have to get our boots on the ground. We'll be needing shovels. Right?

The Butterfly Effect

Quote
How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly?

To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=caterpillar-butterfly-metamorphosis-explainer

We are digesting ourselves. No wonder things seem so chaotic and messy.

Our stories about ourselves, about our past, about our future -- everything -- is in hyperflux. Some cells survive. The rest becomes soup. We are growing new eyes -- and wings!

Before we wandered beyond the prosaic we found ourselves dissolving into poetry
We found ourselves out beyond the beyond
in a world neither pure dream nor pure fact
Where fresh new possibilities
Cling to the branches
Beside a swift river
Some of us sought gold bullion
Others -- canaries --
Warned of Midas'
Slow starvation
Long hunger
How in his later years he feared soup
Even as much as he longed for
Soup.



 * (Well, I had thought it was written by Cohen, not just sung by him. But some say it was written by Marco E. Beltrami)

« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 11:21:13 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Future
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 11:21:24 AM »
It's so very strange this Future. (We are in the future we never quite imagined would come.) The big Wake Up never happened. In fact, most people seem pretty much oblivious to the fact -- even -- that the Arctic nearly entirely melted recently. Or what that might mean. And the people in this cafe around me right now don't appear to worry much about things sliding of in every direction. They are not wobbly on their knees the same way I am.

Welcome to the club. I don't get it either, the way almost everyone can ignore reality.

It is the exact future I thought would eventually come, though. I thought this in 1972. I just didn't think it would happen on my watch.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline WHD

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Re: The Future
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 11:38:12 AM »
Quote
Let's talk about the future.


(Yeah, I know. I'll try not to start any new topics any time soon.)


No worries. Welcome, btw, JRM.  :)

My theory is as follows:

The Mayan end/beginning of their 5126 year long-count is the end of the trajectory of command and control domination, brought on by the rise of ag, cities and the written word.

The precession of the equinox signals the coming of the Aeon of the Waterbearer (Aquarius), in about 200 years.

The interim will be the collapse of civilization, resulting in a considerable population reduction, ecological devastation, misery for many. It is the unavoidable transition.

Humanity will be more free then, than at any time the last 5000 years. A time of healing of the waters, the healing of the earth.

Our task now is to be the seed of that new Aeon.  ;) http://sun4living.com/  :icon_sunny:

WHD 

Offline JRM

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Re: The Future
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 11:43:34 AM »
Eddie,

Could our collective breakdown become a collective breakthrough?

Maybe the necessary preconditions for collective transformation of our culture / civilization is the dissolve, the "soup" -- the chaos and messiness? -- of breakdown?

I'm a hope junky, I guess.

In any case, perhaps a few people (and groups?) -- a small minority -- are like those cells which do not dissolve into soup, having seen through the illusions of the dominant / dominator culture, having and holding a vision of a butterfly?

......

I guess my own answer to this question is that there are pathways to a just and sustainable / resilient culture.  But the dominant culture refuses to dissolve, become soup. It wants to live on.  There are no pathways toward this better future that don't involve dissolve -- dissolution, dis-integration -- of the old (now obsolete) cultural structure.

And then there's the whole probabalistic game of crystal ball gazing.  The metamorphosis of a catapillar into a butterfly cannot happen too quickly. The old World Order cannot be abandoned too quickly -- or if it crashes of a sudden it cannot support the metamorphosis. The timing has to be just right.  It's like skiiing down the downslope of Peak Everything (Heinberg). We don't know if we're going to be able to ski so gracefully. It seems doubtful. But graceful skiing must mean we're already on the slope, going down.... Doubt and fear have no place in it, 'cause there are no brakes.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 11:46:14 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Future
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 12:11:57 PM »
My own doomer status is not fixed. I consider myself neither a full-doomer, an uber doomer, nor a doomer lite. All scenarios are possibilities. Along with the other possibilities, and the IMPOSSIBILITIES, which are just another class of possibilities.

It does give me something to do, collapse does. I do believe some kind of collapse is coming. I'm not so worried about me, but I care about my kids and their generation, and the ones that (possibly)  ;D follow. So I prep and read and think and plan...and execute the plan. "Breakthrough" is not word I let myself think. It's too big a word for me.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:15:06 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline JRM

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Re: The Future
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 12:46:20 PM »
"Breakthrough" is not word I let myself think. It's too big a word for me.

Is it? Hmm.

It helps me to place this thing we're all going through in a really BIG contextual container -- in terms of history, in terms of future possibilities, in terms of systems and such....

There are very practical / pragmatic steps we can take that -- perhaps -- don't require such a BIG container/context.  But I guess MY part, or the part I want to play, in this stuff, is largely theoretical.  I enjoy theoretical stuff, I guess. I like theorizing.  I'm not at all sure I'm any good at it. But I try.

Over the years I've discovered that a lot of people think they know all sorts of things which they simply do not, because they haven't really researched their topic prior to making up their mind about the thing at hand.  One important example, I think, is the "Peak Oil (& peak net energy) Situation Means There's Gonna Be A Mass Die-off of Human Population" -- a hypothesis based on the true observation that since the so-called green revolution in agriculture we've been "eating fossil fuels," so to speak.  Well, that's true. We've been eating food calories in the form of converted fossil energy.

See, for example:

10 Calories in, 1 Calorie Out – The Energy We Spend on Food
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2011/08/11/10-calories-in-1-calorie-out-the-energy-we-spend-on-food/

So many people look at Peak Oil etc. and conclude that there's no path into the future that doesn't amount to a mass die-off of human population through famine. But they're not looking at the thing in its full context -- historical or otherwise (e.g., biological). Often they even lean on completely false claims like "Industrial agriculture is vastly more productive per acre or hectare than non-industrial agriculture" -- and that's nonsense, of course, as any permaculturist worth her salt can demonstrate.  The only way in which industrial ag is more productive is in terms of production per unit of LABOR (measured in human labor hours). That is, it's more "profitable" and better able to compete in a market economy as compared with, say, permaculture.

Folks who worry about questions concerning how we're going to feed the existing population in the future should more or less forget about analyses based on fossil fuel prices or availability and take a look at soil, land, hand tool availability, land access by the economically ordinary, skill and knowledge dispersement....
And they should look at water questions and issues. But just as importantly is the matter of labor. For if the future is going to involve a lot less employment within the capitalist-industrial system, as it appears, then those who still want to eat might like to spend some of their hours working with soil and plants and water and such. Right?

So my Big Picture thinking is really pretty grounded and simple in essence.  I'm interested in seeing through the illusions we live by in the dominant culture.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline JRM

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Re: The Future
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 01:04:21 PM »
Speaking of breakdown vs breakthrough...

Quote
"As Robertson says, historically "the purpose of the money system has been to transfer wealth and well-being to rich and powerful citizens and countries from poorer and weaker ones." The problem is one of an abuse of power by a wealthy élite."

quote is from - http://www.renegadeeconomist.com/news/book-review-future-money-breakdown-or-breakthrough.html

This guy has written a book about "Future Money" with the terms breakdown and breakthrough in the subtitle.  I've not read the book, nor all of the article linked, but thought to share it anyway.

I think he's entirely correct in the part I quoted above!
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Future
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 01:11:56 PM »
JRM,
I think you can see the way to turn around and the reasons why t will never happen.
All nations must declare a worldwide state of emergency of the environment. Population increase must stop. Not 2 children per couple, to stabilise, or 1 to slowly bring it down, but no reproduction at all for 25 years. People who are between 1 and 10 years old now will be between 25 and 35 years old then to begin reproducing again with a sustainable number of people.

All fossil fuel burning must stop post haste. Private cars banned in favour of bycicle and public transport. If you are not up to riding to your workplace in that way then you should be forced to retire and give the young unemployed a chance. Stay at the place if you need to.

Banks abolished, all debt wiped out. People then dont need to burn fuel to pay debt can be more ecologically conservative.

Stop mining and manufacturing. There is enough stuff around already to recycle into basic needs supplies.

I dont really know how humanure works to be used properly, but all permaculturists etc believe in it so I say all the fossil ful fertilizer sustaining our food productionis replaced by humanure. For every tractor or harvester no longer burning fuel a hundred men need to be there to do the same work anyway. Theres a lot of fertilizer.

Reorganize for growing food wherever the water sources are without requiring pumping. Human bucket passing chains can serve as shorter distance pumping.

Everyone eat a minimum of food and not more than needed. Disassemble buildings to use the materials to build shelters closer to the food production.

Set up solar reflector metal melters to repurpose any steel into agricultural tools like shovels as required without burning fossil fuels.

It could be done. The earth would recover. Everyne would be fitter healthier and happier. Nobody at all is a CONSUMER of anything other than food, simple.

Shipping and seeing the world can be done with sailing, a traveller can be fed for free, everyone who loves travel should get a holiday to another country or continent every few years in this way. Lots of other sustainable fun to be had.

Imagine the gen next holding interests andattention on 100 or even 1000 pages of a book instead of 100 characters in pointless personal updates.

wheeled motorsport on steep downhill runs at speed.

All the usual sports, just not under lights for prime time.

Solar panels can be ammased to power in amps and speakers for daytime concerts, or home hifi or even ipods. I wont live in a world without listening to the great guitarists wail, keith richards, jimmy hendrix, angus young, eddy van halen, mark knopfler, edge etc.

Once we are on an even keel wrt the environment, we look at utilising resources in a sustainable way again.

Never gunna happen, for the same reason every environmental summit has achieved nothing at all. No country wants an economic disadvantage. Most citizens dont want any economic disadvantage. Govts rely on economic activity to raise taxes and might not exist as legitimate leadership with that economic disadvantage. Banks and corporations which really rule the world would certainly have an economic disadvantage.

Its too late to transition economies to sustainable and renewable existence. Only a complete cessation of pollution and singleminded pursuit of that could work. Current power structures and authorities become immediately redundant. They die anyway, so would rather die later than sooner, so will never bite the bullet.

Think about being the change you want to see to use a clich'e. Begin feeding yourself and living sustainably yourself and being independent of debt and even money as much as possible. Join and form a community of others doing it. Get ahead of the game or get left behind.

ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline JRM

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Re: The Future
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 01:26:38 PM »
JRM,
I think you can see the way to turn around and the reasons why t will never happen.

Uncle Bob,

Saying and believing that "it will never happen" sets up a self-fulfilling prophesy.

And setting the hurdle so high insures no jumpers.

I realize the situation is dire, and that's why I'm choosing not to be cynical or hopeless about it.

>hugs<
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Future
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 02:14:30 PM »
You can set up your own self fulfilling prophesies with your own actions and your own life. If I voted neocon instead of green as my method of getting govt to act, that would be true. I would be cynical and look after number 1 that way and pollute as much as everyone else waiting for govt to act.

Voting green and signing the odd petition are my token gestures at waiting for someone else to do it. Meanwhile our leaders argue endlessly over a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020 target is too hard on the economy. Even that insignificant bar is too high.

But how do you sell disolving into soup for the govts and economies and 100 men replacing every large tractor and harvester as the human labour replacement potential, which seems like the same thing? 

ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline RE

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Re: The Future
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 03:33:33 PM »
DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!

This will go up as a compilation Blog article under Guest Author byline next week.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

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Re: The Future
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2014, 04:11:03 PM »
My own doomer status is not fixed. I consider myself neither a full-doomer, an uber doomer, nor a doomer lite. All scenarios are possibilities. Along with the other possibilities, and the IMPOSSIBILITIES, which are just another class of possibilities.

Obviously we need a new category for Eddie.

FENCE SITTER OF DOOM  :icon_mrgreen:


RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Future
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 04:25:05 PM »
DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!

This will go up as a compilation Blog article under Guest Author byline next week.

RE

Post no 8080 at 3.33.33.

8 is sense of justice, judge & jury orkin man meme.  33 master number is strong family connection, double it and its the human family, RE's saving as many of his human family as he can LOL.

If you follow numerology.
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Future
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2014, 04:45:03 PM »
My technical scientific side leans toward uber-doom.

My CFS side leans toward Doom Lite, with occasional bouts of painful deflation (possibly followed by hyperinflation).  Rinse, repeat, for a long time. (See Diner Abbreviations for CFS definition, if needed.)

My Inner Warrior longs for Full Doom.

My spiritual, mystical side believes that all possibilities are ongoing in some parallel universe or another.

Does that make it clear? That is not fence sitting. It's admitting I don't know.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: The Future
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 04:58:15 PM »
DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!

This will go up as a compilation Blog article under Guest Author byline next week.

RE

Post no 8080 at 3.33.33.

8 is sense of justice, judge & jury orkin man meme.  33 master number is strong family connection, double it and its the human family, RE's saving as many of his human family as he can LOL.

If you follow numerology.

Weird stuff like this has been occurring to me more often lately. Several of the Music Vids I used showed up on the Playlist of the Radio Station I listen to in the car on the way to work the next day.  I'm only in the car for around 15 minutes a day each way.  Not commonly played songs either, even on a Classic Rock station.

The FORCE is getting stronger.


Sadly however, picking up the Louisville Slugger today after reading your post and making another try with

BEHOLD! THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD!

as far as I know the Mariner Eccles building in Washington and Goldman-Sachs Headquarters in NY Shity are still standing. :(

I'll keep trying though.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Save As Many As You Can

 

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