Oil Shock ands the Long Emergency

Currently readung a superb book called The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler. It is an extremely well written and cogent exploration of the horrible fate awating humanity in the 21st century becuase of the covergent threats of oil depletion, climate change, resurgent diseases, water scarcity, global economic instability and clash of civilisations.

One of the authorities cited in the book, Princeton University emeritus professor and renowned oil analyst, Ken Deffeyes, is speaking on the topic tonight.

He famously predicted that the Oil Shock would occour on Thanksgiving 2005 – that is today.

Here is an article about tonights speech:

Oil Expert To Address Theory That Peak Oil Has Arrived

I strobgly recommend that everyone reads this book. As regular reader will know I am neither an alarmist nor a catastrophist environmentalist, but this book is utterly brilliant and sobering.

Prepare to be roused from your concensus trance and act now…or join the 5 billion who may be lopped off the worlds population this century.

Yugoslavia’s Strange Love Affair with Mexico

From Netsurf Digest:

At the end of the 1940s, Yugoslavia’s relationship with the Soviet Union was so strained that it nearly erupted into outright hostilities. Yugoslavians turned their backs on Soviet movies and music and looked elsewhere for entertainment. They found it in the most unlikely of sources. Mexican movies, with their revolutionary themes and ideals, fired the Slavic imagination, and before long Yugoslavians were donning sombreros and forming mariachi bands, which they called “Meksikanski ansambl”. Don’t believe us? The Yu-Mex site has scans of dozens of old record covers and even some (poor-quality) MP3 files of the bizarre Yu-Mex music. The lyrics of these songs were something else: – “Carbine you old gun, tell about your glorious days, all heroes remember you, many of them carrying the wound you gave them. If somebody wanted my hot blood, I would shed it gladly!” Ole!

Yu-Mex Webiste with covers and posters

Phrase: Dark tourism

From World Wide Words: Dark tourism

This term has been around at least since 1996, when it appeared in a special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies; it gained wider public notice in 2000 through the publication of a book with the title Dark Tourism by Professors Malcolm Foley and John Lennon of Glasgow Caledonian University. Dark tourism is the visiting of sites of tragedy, such as Auschwitz and New York’s Ground Zero, or historical battlefield sites such as Bosworth and Gettysburg, or trips to Whitechapel to the home turf of Jack the Ripper. Profs Foley and Lennon point out that the custodians of such sites have responsibilities both to their visitors and to the victims commemorated there to tell a truthful and rounded story.

This is not always possible in an excursion that may have been designed as entertainment rather than remembrance and in which voyeurism and exploitation for commercial or propagandistic ends may distort the message.

* From Midstream, 1 May 2005: When you visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, you are engaging in what specialists call “dark tourism” – travel to a site associated with atrocity or public tragedy.

* From the Observer, 23 October 2005: “Dark tourism” sites are important testaments to the consistent failure of humanity to temper our worst excesses and, managed well, they can help us to learn from the darkest elements of our past.

Tinfoil hats attract mind-control signals, boffins learn

The Register confirms our worst fears!

Tinfoil hats attract mind-control signals, boffins learn, government conspiracy suspected

Wearing a tinfoil hat to deflect government mind-control radio waves is even more foolish than most people think. According to several (apparent) students from MIT who tested several hat designs, there was “a 30 db amplification at 2.6 Ghz and a 20 db amplification at 1.2 Ghz, regardless of the position of the antenna on the cranium.”

Our defences are breached!

Myth Busting – Getting at truths in the war on terror

Richard Miniter on Disinformation & War on Terror interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez on National Review Online:

“Everything you know about the war on terror is false? Well, not quite. But Rich Miniter has homed in on 22 myths, which comprises his new book, Disinformation : 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror.”

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Lopez: Still, aren’t you just a little bit paranoid to blame myths on anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism?

Miniter: C.S. Lewis once said that the greatest advantage that the devil has is the belief that he doesn’t exist. We need to realize that anti-Semitism, which has been declining for decades on these shores, is making a comeback on campuses, websites, and even in Upper West Side dinner chatter. As these views become acceptable — as they already have in Europe — they threaten to divide America against itself. Much of the disinformation spread by Arab state-run media is basically an appeal to anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment. We have to be honest about the threat we face. Or as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace said the other day, in this war, ideas “are as important as bullets.” That means we have to knock down even the nutty ideas of our enemies.

Lopez: Iraq isn’t Vietnam? But 2,000 of our military men and women have died.

Miniter: There are so many differences between the Vietnam War and the Iraq war that I had to write a 10,000-word chapter just to present all of the evidence. Basically, Iraq is Vietnam in reverse. Vietnam began with a small but growing insurgency and ended with tanks and division-strength infantry assaults on our forces. In Iraq, we destroyed the tanks and vanquished the army in a few weeks. The insurgency in Iraq is estimated today at 20,000 men. In 1966, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regulars had combined troop strength of 700,000. By 1973, they had 1 million men under arms. North Vietnam had two superpowers supplying cutting-edge weapons; the most the insurgents in Iraq can hope for is car-bomb expertise from Iran and Syria. Ho Chi Minh was a compelling leader whose propaganda promised a better life for peasants. Al-Zarqawi is a Jordanian street thug who gets no respect in Iraq and offers no vision of a better life. I could go on and on about all of the important differences. Once you read this chapter, you will be able to shoot down liberals at cocktail parties for the next 20 years.

As for the 2,000, why does the press treat brave men and women as mere statistics? Instead of merely telling us that they died, don’t we owe it to these fallen soldiers to say how they died? Many of them died heroically, saving the lives of others.

Read on here.

The Omnologist Manifesto by Howard Bloom

From the Omnologist Manifesto:

We are blessed with a richness of specializations, but cursed with a paucity of panoptic disciplines-categories of knowledge that concentrate on seeing the pattern that emerges when one views all the sciences at once. Hence we need a field dedicated to the panoramic, an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline whose mandate is best summed up in a paraphrase of the poet Andrew Marvel: Let us roll all our strength and all Our knowledge up into one ball, And tear our visions with rough strife Through the iron gates of life.

Omnology is a science, but one dedicated to the biggest picture conceivable by the minds of its practitioners. Omnology will use every conceptual tool available-and some not yet invented but inventible-to leapfrog over disciplinary barriers, stitching together the patchwork quilt of science and all the rest that humans can yet know. If one omnologist is able to perceive the relationship between pop songs, ancient Egyptian graffiti, Shirley MacLaine’s mysticism, neurobiology, and the origins of the cosmos, so be it. If another uses mathematics to probe traffic patterns, the behavior of insect colonies, and the manner in which galaxies cluster in swarms, wonderful. And if another uses introspection to uncover hidden passions and relate them to research in chemistry, anthropology, psychology, history, and the arts, she, too, has a treasured place on the wild frontiers of scientific truth-the terra incognita in the heartland of omnology.

Let me close with the words of yet another poet, William Blake, on the ultimate goal of omnology:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

A defeat for National Security

After the British government lost a a parliamentary vote on new police powers, then British press have been suggesting that Prime Minister Blair is damaged, doomed or in crisis.

A snap poll on one of my favourite mailing lists asked today:

How long do you give Blair

[ ] This week sometime
[ ] Within six months
[ ] This is going to creak on painfully to the end of his term

He does look terrible these days. Tony Blair, he’s not too healthy, is he?

I answered:

[X] Continue doing an excellent job until next year when he hands over – as planned – to Brown.

The man has just won an election with 60 seat majority! He has been one of the most successful and popular Prime Ministers in British history.

His popularity is still very high.

The British media are full of bunk on this. Crowing about weakened authority and humiliation.

We forget the last years of Thatcher and the Major years. This sort of defeat was commonplace.

Blair has reset the standard. It is only because of his incredible success that we have become so used to a government that never loses a motion.

He also happens to be completely right about this national security issue and it is a disgrace that the Tories played party politics on this.

The law was requested by the police & intelligence services and backed by recommendations by a cross party Commons Select Committee on Counter Terrorism.

Unlike the Terrorism Bill of 2000, which has grave anti-civil liberties elements, this was a vital enhancement to the police’s anti-terrorism armoury and it even had a sunset clause – It would have to be reviewed in a year to see if it was still required, and if not it would be repealed.

The old socialists of the left and the desperate Tories on the right chose the wrong issue to make their point.

This political posturing and one-upmanship may very well cost British lives.

I hope the smug pundits and politicians remember their voting record next time London get blasted. I will.

The city and its impact on our genes

INSTANT EVOLUTION: The Influence of the City on Human Genes by Howard Bloom, Visiting Scholar, New York University.

Howard Bloom is a genius. I rate him as one of the most interesting living intellectuals. He is an intellectual idol of mine, king of the The Omnologists, polymath, gentleman and scholar.

Just look at any of his many articles on http://www.howardbloom.net and you will see what I mean.

Isolation – The Ultimate Poison

Remove the sponge cell from the sponge, prevent it from finding its way back to its brethren, and it dies. Scrape a liver cell from the liver and in its isolation it too will shrivel and give up life. But what happens if you remove a human from his social bonds, wrenching him from the superorganism of which he or she is a part?

Wrestling with Mother Nature: Osama, Michael Jackson, and the Bungle In Iraq

What do Mother Nature, Osama bin Laden, Michael Jackson and the bungle in Iraq have in common?

They are all exercises for the animals in the brain- Nature evolved those animals and built our brains around an animal core.

Osama, Christian militia movements, and other militant belief systems tap those animals.

Timeline: Militant Islam’s War Against the World

Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism, And The Great Crusade Against America

Finally an exerpt from his forthcoming book: Reinventing Capitalism – putting soul in the machine: A radical reperception of Western Civilisation

You will thank me for this introduction. Bloom deserves widespread recognition.

Pirates foiled by sonic blast

Cruise ship Britons attacked by pirates -Sunday Times

A LUXURY cruise ship with 22 British tourists aboard survived an attack by Somali pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades yesterday as it rounded the Horn of Africa.

The 10,000-ton Seabourn Spirit came under fire at about 5.30am. The pirates approached in 25ft speedboats and shot at the ship with the grenade launcher and machineguns. Terrified passengers watched as the pirates tried to get aboard — only to be repelled by crew members who set off what one described as a “loud bang”.

…The liner used a sonic blaster to foil the pirates. Developed by American forces to deter small boats from attacking warships, the non-lethal weapon sends out high-powered air vibrations that blow assailants off their feet. The equipment, about the size of a satellite dish, is rigged to the side of the ship.