Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I don't think we should be in denial that the Earth is terminal; or that our civilization can't go on the way it's going. That's not Cause-of-the-Month; that's fact.
And I don't think we should lose hope. The Spirit which brings us this crisis can also turn our misguided, heedless species (and selves) around, and bring about healing even in terminal conditions.
Should we be talking more about this?
I advocate solar thermal electric generation for the world. Exceptions: above the Arctic Circle in winter and in Rochester, NY in the winter. Solar thermal uses local materials, rocks, soil and sand, to hold the heat for nighttime electric generation.
I'm not as much a doomsayer as some. I do think that the earth's carrying capacity will drop off for 2000 years.
Well, while I do not agree that the earth is terminal, I do appreciate the various imaginative alternative ways of existent (that is, Worlds within Worlds ) that have been suggested here. That we are imaginative and that there are others actively re-creating and not bond to current representational political, economic, and religious, forms is indicative of hope which precludes doomed existence.
It's important in this discussion to remember that God is in control. And efforts to extrapolate trends from the present to the future are notoriously unreliable. Doomsday scenarios regularly fail to deliver what they promise!
God certainly is in control; and doomsday scenarios come out pretty well overall.
Predictions of the destruction of the Tenple were certainly considered 'doomsday scenarios' by the Jews, both times this happened, accompanied by considerable destruction & ugly violence. New Orleans didn't get hit nearly as badly in as the scenario a previous Scientific American article had pointed out was possible, mainly because the wave that overwhelmed the place came down the river rather than from the sea -- but that doesn't mean we'd have wanted to be there.
Certainly there is room for hope.
It's like something the Russians said about the possibility of nuclear winter: ~to be certain of this, we'd need to run a vast and incredibly stupid experiment. For this particular scenario, however, we are running the experiment.
It does sometimes seem a chief motivation among the "God controlled" for expecting The End of the World is to be able to say "I told you so" and yadda yadda.
But then the track record of End of the Worlders up to now is nil, and that won't change retroactively -- acknowledging in advance that doomer-gloomers come in many species and true End Timers are relatively exotic.
The Club of Rome (Forrester et al, cover of Futurist Magazine when I was living in Rome, 8th grade) was only suggesting we were coming to the end of a Golden Age, not that true End Times (in any Biblical sense) were upon us.
On the other hand, just saying "something big and bad will happen" is a 100% certain to come true, so such bets (prophetic utterances) are worth under a penny and don't get one any notice in the Clairvoyants Club (very exclusive they tell me). I may outlive both Venice and Miami or if I don't my kids might.
That we made it this far, to 7.x billion hearts pumping blood even today, far exceeds the predictions of the original Malthusians, so I say "in your face" to those numbskulls, no matter what happens next. Their "dismal science" was just that, a kind of pre-mature senility.
I'm so glad we're not as ill-informed as people living way back then (almost as scientifically illiterate as people in the Bible!). Yet we still propagate their attitudes, by conditioned-reflex more than anything. It's not a product of reflection and prayer.
Have you ever noticed how doomer-gloomers seem less authentic, more robot-like in their attitudes? It should be an insurable clinical condition. I call it WMBS in this blog post (2008):
You should give Malthus a break; he was just trying to explain why the Irish were starving while the Brits were shipping food out of the country -- without mentioning that last little detail. Just couldn't stop breeding, the little devils...
There is, however, this commonsense notion that either food == mouths, or something bad will happen. A great many lifeforms start either loosing their breeding instincts or eating each other, or both, if they get more crowded than they're programmed for. Humans are a little better adapted to getting along in groups; not so rapid in our increases as, say, rats -- but I think we do feel the impingement when our mutual tolerance gets stretched, become a little less sensitive & not so good at mutual sympathy. Also, institutional arrangements that worked in other circumstances no longer apply; so more misfits get hurled out into social darkness... Admittedly we could get along if we could muster that sympathy, but some folks horde while other folks scrape; and that sets up psychological barriers on all sides.
Being able to say "I told you so" is a consolation prize at best. Ask Jeremiah.
Forrest Curo wrote: "...doomsday scenarios come out pretty well overall."
I don't think the flooding in New Orleans quite qualifies as a doomsday scenario.
I take "doomsday" to be an "end of the world" notion, and my verdict is that we are still here--at least I think I am, maybe! Not sure about our discussants on the Pacific Rim! Forrest, do you read me?? Kirby, does NPYM still have a living "Technology Clerk"? I conclude that the end has not yet come.
Now, don't get me wrong! I do believe that God will bring the world as we know it to a conclusion! "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." The Doomsday prognosticators will all be taken by surprise! "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." Watch and pray!
Since that "Day of the Lord" was probably a prediction that God was going to clean house in Israel, not the 'end of space/time' that moderns tend to read into it, there in fact were a few disasters that probably did mean 'end of the World' to the locals. Having somebody kill a pig on your altar, when you're Jewish, is a serious disruption to the order of the universe...
If anyone wants to tell me that bad stuff never happens, & therefore we shouldn't worry about the bad stuff that anyone with open eyes can see coming... tell away; but it doesn't change the situation.
Although it's fashionable to demonize corporations, especially for wanting "personhood" (poor legal fiction soulless zombies that they be) they do have the advantage of having many an interlinked "campus" minus any need for huge contiguous pieces of land deeded in their names.
That two dimensional jig-saw puzzle we learn as kids (vastly changed), of fitting the almost 200 nations into place, is less a feature of Grunch geography (Grunch being shorthand for post-national civilizations), and less likely a toy for Grunch kids.
IBM is bigger than many nations if comparing GDP (somehow) yet IBM is a smattering of dots, a "diaspora" if you will. It has its own anthem. Logos are like flags (the US flag owes a lot to the East India company's corporate branding -- the red and white stripes predate 1776).
I've just been listening to Youtubes by Dr. David Neiman, heard of him? I bookmarked a couple, will be listening to more: http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2015/12/useful-youtubes.html He talks about the Jewish Nation quite a bit. I think of Python Nation (I'm a Minister, of Education, by some accounts, mostly mine), of Rogue Nation (a brewery)...
My anti-nationalism is less expressed by my sounding silly saying "nations must go away" than I'm about opening the floodgates to "virtual nations" (in cyberspace, we have room, space galore). Lets send in the clowns! I haven't even finished reading this yet, Googled up at random: http://bit.ly/1RohHEM (yet another example of how this thinking permeates the Zeitgeist).
I think about that poly-amorous (polygamous) Mormon compound that Texas invaded, seizing the children, and about all the deep reservations the Taliban had / have about schools. Sure, Malala's dad was English-educated and realized benefits, but didn't English use schools against the Irish in Cromwell's day, and against the N8Vs in the nascent USA.
Schools are quite often a tool of oppression, little more than brainwashing camps, a concept many Liberals with academic backgrounds seem to forget. Quakers created their own schools in part to counter the militarism of the ambient culture. We'll do our own brainwashing, thank you very much. Some things you don't outsource.
My point: we get claustrophobic when we feel invaded, our ways of life dissed, our hopes for the future dashed. This wish to defend one's "way of life" is not confined to those in suburban slums with garages full "stuff" (it's their "right" to have those jet skis, snowboards etc., however little used... it's a "way of life" after all, to suffer from Affluenza).
Proposed solution: New York City is a good example, not that it was always such a showcase. Many ethnic neighborhoods, close together, continuing the various traditions. Yes there's friction, ethnic strife, but in theory family A is free to light Hanukkah candles while family B (of two daddies and two mommies -- actually that's still illegal) is free to practice their Tantric Animism.
We have a smattering of Tantric temples in Colorado. We have a Vatican-run observatory in Arizona (VATT). That's more IBM-like, more corporate, less about claiming huge contiguous landmasses as "reserved exclusively for the practice of [whatever brand of governance]." Do nations have "personhood"? I don't hear Liberals raising that question. Nations don't but corporations do? How does it work again? English is soooo confusing.
Am I the first to predict the "withering of the state"? Of course not. The process of desovereignization is a natural consequence of our thousands of years of evolving technologies. "Diaspora" meant something else when it took months or years to traverse continents. Nowadays it takes hours. Mentally, we still live in that past, having inherited ancestral thinking, but I imagine our descendants will feel far less claustrophobic if we plan now to protect diversity, avoid mono-culture.
That's where Secularism comes in, as a positive, an asset. We want to protect the rights of ethnic Taliban, to their practice, free of imposed schools. We don't need to concede huge contiguous landmasses, so-called "countries" to make this happen. More, we need "theme parks". That's what we're planning ("we" being some post-national corporate cabal, naturally, who else, one of many).
Corporations are designed to be oligarchies or dictatorships. If you have 51% of the shares you are the king, and often as not the king can smuggle himself all sorts of financial boons.
I'm still waiting for a spread-out democratic alternative to a corporation. Yearly meetings aren't bad. They have their own Faith and Practice books which in practice have been pretty successfully binding on all members. For example, if and when the next oil war is declared I expect that all of my meeting's Friends will have feelings of anger, sorrow or maybe a bit of sarcasm about it. This wouldn't at all be true among the general populace.
The "corporation" is a contrivance in Anglo-Euro law, which has spread around the world. Its original purpose was to limit the liability of shareholders to their risked investment, such that families of the drowned sailors, the enterprise on which they'd bet, could not come after them personally i.e. for more compensation from their estates. "I'm in for $100 and that's the most I might lose." Nice contrivance.
I agree with Paul: Quakerism could source something more useful, using different boilerplate. Quakernomics. Just tweeted about it as NPYM Technology Clerk. https://twitter.com/npym_it
Um, as usual we've got a lot of trans-hat self-expression going on, so I went looking for a more accurate account of the origin of the corporation. The following seems to be accurate so far as I know, and includes many things I hadn't known about (but which do fit into place pretty well.): http://www.riskencyclopedia.com/articles/corporation/
But I don't know that the chronic misbehavior of corporations and governments is at all relevant to the subject, except for them being seemingly necessary to a better outcome, yet too corrupt to be anything but counterproductive.
Like computers, both of these institutions are excellent mechanisms for amplifying human mistakes, though they might be sometimes useful if applied to constructive purposes. William Stringfellow was undoubtedly correct in his observation that people believe they control such institutions, but are simply mistaken. Those are the forms of organization people usually rely on to organize any large-scale endeavor -- but barring a collective spiritual awakening, they can not be in any sense trustworthy.