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"Die shall I in order to live." it says in Mahler's second symphony. Goes to show how deeply the theme of resurrection is embedded in our culture. Everything on this planet is mortal, especially our civilizations. This particular one too will perish over the course of many decades and centuries due to a confluence of problems, of which climate change is one.

There are three 'channels' of climate change: mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. I'd place a heavy bet on the latter two. Everything that can be burned will be burned because it is just so convenient. The only 'hopes' are (1) there isn't that much left that is practical to burn (which brings its own problems and is unlikely) and (2) that changes will be slow and non-catastrophic enough for civilization to successfully adapt.

As to a new consciousness evolving before disaster strikes: don't count on it. Humans only learn through pain and lessons are easily forgotten. Grabbing short-term opportunities and inertia are hard-wired in our brains. Remaking human brains [consciously] seems to be a difficult prospect.

This diary's mention of the nexus of natural disaster and violence brought me back to an interview from a few years ago. The subject is Dr. Thomas Mller, a prominent forensic psychologist, who had talked to scores of serial killers. (Watch the interview here in German) After holding forth on mass murderers and the mental mechanics of crime, he is asked the following:

Q: If you look at our blue planet, macroscopically, where are today's, the 21st century's biggest sources of crime?

A: In the destruction of nature. But humans don't think long-term. Usually, they think very very short-term, in fact, extremely short-term. And let me conclude this with a single sentence: Even the longest human life is only a blink of an eye of nature, but don't forget how much a single human can wreak during the course of his life.

Don't worry about nature and 'the planet' though. They will survive and adapt. And mankind will survive too. Just how many of us?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Nov 11th, 2013 at 07:44:48 PM EST
The Mahler that leaps to my mind is Das Lied von der Erde. A housemate had a copy of the Bruno Walter recording in '62 or 63 and we played it over and over on a pretty good sound system. It also made me a fan of Li Po's poetry, such as it is in translation. I memorized much of Das Trinkleid in German from the recording and the libretto and still (mis?)recall it. It seems appropriate to this diary.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 11th, 2013 at 08:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sound quality is not as good but this one has everything:



Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Wed Nov 13th, 2013 at 06:08:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
epochepoque:
Humans only learn through pain and lessons are easily forgotten. Grabbing short-term opportunities and inertia are hard-wired in our brains. Remaking human brains [consciously] seems to be a difficult prospect.

painfully self-evident your point is. great comment.

nature should be offering an antidote to such a poison.

oh, wait...

science is just figuring out how our gut has a kind of intelligence of its own, the corner will be turned when we realise the same thing about our hearts.

after millennia of religions telling us how powerless we are, (and such a relatively small number of souls who unstuck their heads from the interior of such boxes), i deduce that we cannot rationally work our way out of an irrational problem, let alone multiples of such.

the concept that our actions, en masse, can alter the biome is perceptually -and thus cognitively- dissonant with the learned helplessness induced by mentally subjugating ourselves to superstition, learned race-hate and better-than-they-are programs that have gulled the many to benefit small sociopathic, thanatic groups skilled in the dark arts of guile, who then attempt to upend, overturn and reverse-engineer natural impulses of collaboration into ego-jockeying contests by sheer force of robotic repetition at impressionable age backed up by implied and often overtly institutionalised thuggery.

this incorrect and abusive use of the intellect to separate more than unify has sliced a hemorrhaging wound into our collective psyche that will take much collaboration to heal.

collaboration that has been discouraged in our hyberbolic quest for randian heights of individual-uber-alles accomplishment, our 'education' a factory for devo freakshows like cheney, rummy, dymon and diamond.

this atrophy of compassion has left us ethically rudderless, easy prey for hucksters promising us the Next Big Thing while selling us the handbasket we ride through hell in.

these aberrant social, even institutionalised forces have left us cerebrally weak, our critical faculties cauterised instead of nurtured to the point where we have trouble wrapping our heads around this global responsibility, that our otherwise insignificant lives, magnificently banal in their apparently granular, atomised pointlessness, might conceivably not have to be that way for ever.

enough people getting that memo will introduce a new Fitness Landscape more closely patterned on observable reality.

shorter version: we need to grow up out of our evolutionary adolescence stat and get over blowing shit up and puerility aka epochepoque:

Everything that can be burned will be burned because it is just so convenient

stewart brand used to say "we are gods, we may as well get good at it", which when confronted with the climate conundrum could be a mantra we need to hear, tallying nicely with that other saliently hardwired feature of ours, megalomanic grandiosity to the point of mythomania.

except this time it ain't no myth...

as for the human race diminishing in quantity, i'd say there is an even greater risk of diminishing returns in quality. nature overcreates, why shouldn't she seeing how time and biodiversity are on her side at least for a few billion more years? i am all for numbers once we rechannel the distribution of goods and services to benefit the common weal more um, serviceably... eliminationism is the lowest form of species self-hatred, but nature culls all herds somehow, sometime, no harm preparing one's psyche for that horrible possibility, hopefully not dwelling there too long.

because equally possible is a global urge to re-collaborate when in the face of a previously unimaginably powerful counter-force to our hubris, the anger of an ecosystem hacked by pubertal idiot geniuses. a fly tured of its wings being casually pulled off that morphs into hypercane Godzilla on steroids.

a good drama that leaves you cheering both sides.

if cockroaches turn out to be the 'meek that inherit the earth', it will be because they were less bloody-minded than we were. we seem to have needed such a fat dose of mental perversity to get this far, but as models for development go, sustainable it ain't.

time to shed some ( a lot, maybe most of our collective) cultural ballast if we want to get to higher ground.

epochepoque:

There are three 'channels' of climate change: mitigation, adaptation, and suffering.

there is a fourth subset of the second: migration.

thanks for a thought-provoking comment, epoque-to-the-power-of-two.

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 01:35:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
epochepoque, i understand (i think i understand) that humanity is hard-wired to not change, to remain asleep to the wonder surrounding us. That the current neo-feudalism prevents awakening, and we're back to adaption and suffering.

I'm not at all sure that "the changes will be slow and non-catastrophic enough for civilization to successfully adapt." Right now i'm watching a glorious mottled red sky at sunrise, the fast moving speckled clouds turning toward stormy pink and yellow and back to red. (red sky at morning, sailors take warning.) i do see catastrophic changes coming.

The military harbingers in the NYT opinion piece saw it coming as well, as in water wars. Bechtel Corp. saw it coming, as they go around the world buying up water rights. I see the future as Mordor bringing it's belching industrial poisons into the Shire, and I see it already here, since decades. (Watch Home.)

But I also saw a mass rebirth of higher consciousness take place in my generation's coming of age. I saw new tools developed, which directly stimulated higher consciousness. And there are now many more, specifically tailored chemicals available. They build strongly upon the shamanistic experience of the history of humanity, but with modern precision.

So to me, the possibility to change consciousness does exist. Because I've already seen it.

I've worked hard my entire life to try and become mature without losing the childhood sense of wonder. Some would say I worked hard trying not to grow up. (Both likely true.)

There's already too much suffering, especially when compared to what else is possible. So let's end it.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 01:56:36 AM EST
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humanity is hard-wired to not change, to remain asleep to the wonder surrounding us

Those are products of civilization and culture. They're not intrinsic.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 03:33:36 AM EST
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Good catch, thanks... as i show later when discussing entheogens.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 05:18:59 AM EST
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