Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hope 7 ~ It Is Futile

Series Overview Part 1 ~ Inherited Energy

Hope 1 discussed the hyperabundance of light ("energy") available from Sol ("our solar system alone"). Hope 2 developed our exploration of said abundance by discussing the exponential power of embracing ("capturing and utilizing") said energy.

Taking consideration of our available energy and resources is important because it is to those assets we are entitled. If you are an orphaned maiden being raised in a large house by a cruel guardian and his children, it may be your right, by virtue of blood, to inherit your parents' mansion and investments. However, a clever guardian may trick you, in order to gain the investments for himself. By letting the house fall into disrepair, and spending years feeding your stories of bad prices and your parents' idiocy, he may send you out the door at 18, with 80 pounds 2 pence in hand, believing that the sum is all that is left--and that you are lucky to have only that. You would need to examine the accounts, going years back, to realize that you had been tricked. Accordingly, whenever you tried to examine the accounts, your guardian would mock you: his sons would beat you for trying to pick the lock into the upstairs office; the guardian would insult you when he found you practicing your sums in the study, telling you that girls were no good at math; he would bring accomplices by the house to put on acts, telling you about problems with "the lumber market" and "your parents' overseas ventures," trying to build within you a sense of foreboding and dread. He would want you to believe that you were too stupid to understand your inheritance, and that you were cursed with nothing, so that you would go out into the world and starve, rather than come into what was yours, and force him to ply his trade of hopeless lies elsewhere (or to work honestly, which would require work).

The early portions of the Hope series examined the resources available only in this solar system to counter a narrative carefully built up by elites since the industrial age. Prior to industrialism, elites had perverted concepts of spirituality to make people afraid of communication, exploration, and technology, hoping to keep them in thrall--in developmental stasis, as it were--to elite power. By lying to people about God not wanting them to read, to sail too far, or to look into telescopes, elites were able to prevent technological discoveries that resulted in people being able to communicate with one another across wider areas; to entrap and use more of the Earth's stored energy; to build all sorts of cool toys.

Capturing Industrialism

When people finally broke past the explicit barriers to technological progress, elites captured the industrial age. Warning people that their inventions would be stolen by others if they didn't sell their inventions to elites, intellectual property was further developed to lock up new scientific breakthroughs in the hands of the ancient, inherited titles and capital that had stymied social and technological development for eons. As always, elites could rest on their laurels throughout early industrialism, using their control of governments, mass communication, land, aggregated labor, and armies to ensure that new technologies would be controlled. Inventors were occasionally granted a place in recorded history, while robber barons "owned" the "companies" that told workers how to think up, develop, and build new products using new technologies.

The advances of industrialism were infuriating to elites because they represented a chaotic breakthrough. After centuries upon centuries of starvation and war, travel and communication threatened to unite humanity. Even controlling technologies, enough traveling by commoners not under military control might break the idea of formal "states." Most formal "noble" distinctions had already been downsized during earlier phases, but enough communication and technology could have entirely eliminated the real barriers that kept the show going.

The World Wars were able to kick in and save elites from industrialism. By commodifying inventions, placing them under the control of corporations and governments, and using them to extract rents ("profits") from people, technology came to be seen (in many aspects rightly, though misplacedly) as a bad thing. Older generations sneered at younger generations' excitement at goodies, saying "We did without ______," not because they actually hated the product itself, but because they hated the way it was being used to re-deaden and exploit people. For a modern example, consider the internet, e-mail or Facebook--at their essence, they're really, really good venues for communication, but turned into a cheap commercial venture, they actually augment the stupid of the available zeitgeist (sic), possibly making things worse than they would've been without the availability of said technology.

The World Wars took the consumer tricks to the logical next step. Once people had been encouraged to identify with specific types of products, and to hoard, rather than share, them--as had been done so successfully with land, agriculture, animal husbandry, alloys, architectural techniques, and languages (e.g. Greek, then Latin)--those products could be used to frighten. Once you have an aeroplane or a machine gun, if you are not sufficiently developed and integrated with your planet, you begin to worry about the aeroplane or machine gun owned by someone in another "country." Like so many professional wrestling grudges or NCAA Final Four tournament build-ups on late-twentieth-century television (owned and operated by the children and grandchildren of the original Great Warmongers), elites were able to coordinate loyalties, alliances, rivalries, and costumes, and drive the industrial nations to war with "one another."

The result was, of course, World Wars I and II: the introduction of "total wars," where it was no longer sufficient to send a bunch of ignorant grunts to raze foreign cities. Instead, entire populations now needed to become part of the war through their cultural participation and production of weapons of mass destruction.

To a modern person, this sounds silly, because it sounds like a given--of course every citizen is, in some small way, a part of war, right? That conception, though, is quite new. The ignorant masses used to be largely unaware of war. A lord might impress his serfs into service, and whispers might spread that they were going to have a battle, but the mass cultural passion, down to the lowliest peons, was not present. Battle was something that some of the men sometimes got dragged off to, but for everyone else, the harvest continued as normal. War was just something the lords did, or later, something that lords and trade guilds did as part of colonialism.

"Industrialism," then, became a bad thing. And, as Jon Lovitz would say, "as far as periods go, oh, it was a mother!" It was terrible (and still ongoing, though it can be reasonably subdivided into a "post-" phase). It was not, though, because of the technology itself: the elites have always hated and resented anything that diminished, or made more difficult, their direct control over everyone. Invent cars, and they will invent speed limits and highway patrol departments; invent televisions, and they will invent commissions to imprison those who broadcast without a license; discover oil, and they will kill six million of you to ensure you don't try to sell it on your own.

We Have Sinned

In preparation for a mass die-off, Earth's elites have laid the sociocultural (and, certainly, economic) preconditions to acceptance of austerity. The "shared sacrifices" of the Obama administration, which are being coordinated by elites worldwide, are based on the following myth:
Industrialism was so traumatic and sinful that we are left running low on resources. We must punish ourselves. We must deny ourselves, hurt, and become weaker and smaller, if we are ever going to survive the terrible situation we have gotten ourselves into.

This is why focusing on energy is important. The potential energy easily and readily available to us, as covered in parts 1 and 2, is so astronomically (sic) high that we have, in many ways, not even taken our first breath.

When they told us, before the end of the dark ages, that we were too stupid to read the Bible, it was not true. It is similarly not true that we should be wetting our pants because we are running out of the oil they never wanted us to combust anyway. The sins of industrialism were theirs: the exploitation of workers happened in order to consolidate profits in the hands of elite owners, and not because it was necessary in order to make new products. The wretchedness of consumer culture was designed to keep things hovering in planned obsolescence and superficiality, to avoid real advancement, and not because giving gifts or delighting in art or artifice is a bad thing. The pollution of the planet was caused deliberately. It was a creature borne of both the short-sighted greed of industrial overlords, the harried struggle of industrial middle-managers, and, most importantly and influentially, the deliberate strike against technological advancement carried out by the elites themselves, who needed plausible evidence to justify stopping human growth and development.

All of the landfills, chemical runoff, misdirected solvents, and atrociously bad choices in materials and chemical engineering were caused in order to make technology look bad. In short, Megacorp, Inc. dumped the junk into the river, rather than cleaning it, so that later on, it could use the polluted river to justify laying off lives.

To the western mind, this may again seem stunning: why would anyone pollute a river? The easy answer is, "Because polluting the river was cheaper than treating the waste." If you can draw this conclusion, then you are willing to recognize that it is possible for humans to deliberately pollute in order to obtain profit.

Move, now, to a more advanced form of the same conclusion. Perceive that the river was polluted not merely for short-term profit, but for long-term profit. By polluting the river, and making industrialism look bad, environmental ravages could be used as justification for impoverishering billions of people across the entire planet, thereby increasing the purchasing power of the wealth held by elites, and their control over society. If you can accept the short-term conclusion--Megacorp poisoned the river to increase its profits next quarter--then you can understand, and accept, the long-term conclusion--Megacorp poisoned the river to massively increase its profits a hundred years later. (The ability of elites to think and plan in a selfish, inter-generational way is, in many ways, a trump card they have over the shortsighted, death-terrified masses.)

The environmental pollution we see is not because technology is inherently sinful. (Right now, we are seeing the deliberate seeding of profane genes into the food supply in order to cause similar tragedies generations later, setting the stage for the claim that genetic modification is, in and of itself, bad.)

The Fall

We now see in austerity rhetoric a return to the Fall from Eden. Elites, who have always hated the free use of power and energy (e.g., antilife standing contra to light), have finally polluted, ravaged, and dumbified enough to gain broad acceptance of the condemnation of industrialism. While old holdouts used to scoff at the idea that technology was bad, enough of them have now died out, and generations of propaganda has convinced people that every aspect of industrialism was bad--not merely the bad aspects. Our sin--whether it be building the Tower of Babel too high, tasting the apple of knowledge, flying too close to the sun, loving too much, having homosexual sex, or whatever stupid "sin" you prefer--has come back to haunt us, they say, because now we are "running out" of energy, and we must, therefore, perish.

Ergo backlash is necessary. The great punishment they have wanted to inflict for so long--a killing-off of the human populations that have been increasing ever since agriculture and animal husbandry replaced the following of the herd (which isn't to disregard the associated negatives and positives of either method in that phase, either; that phase went through its own shades of gray that merit separate explanation)--is the prize for which they can use the post-industrial age. Concise, easily-understandable, well-marketed, occasionally-alliterative tropes like "peak oil," "climate change," "greenhouse gas," and "shared sacrifice" are all "true" in the sense that they're happening or going to happen, but not true in the sense that they mean "inevitable calamity justifying a reduction in the Earth's population."

The Blight

Energy does not fail us. Resources do not fail us. The lie that there "is not enough" is an old trick of the western monotheistic empires. The Irish Potato Famine, for example, brought to you straight by the inbreeding capital of the world, spent decades being considered by all respected historians to be a "famine." That's why it still has the name, even though it wasn't a famine. Like the ongoing African Genocide or Arab Genocide, there never was any "famine," or lack of resources; the Potato Famine was caused by British financial manipulation of Ireland, wherein the claim "there isn't enough [resource]" was used to murder over a million people. (Yes, over a million; no, there are no current plans for construction on the Washington Mall.)

The British, about whom enough bad things cannot be said, invaded and conquered Ireland, doing all the normal conquering stuff that it, and its bastard child America, are doing in Somalia right now--putting babies to the torch, gang raping and killing women, clubbing lines of people into mass graves and stealing their stuff, et cetera. In 1801, they appointed a few of those ugly, pasty, mixed-gene praetors ("viceroys") to act as localized tyrants, breaking up common land and shifting the Irish population into slave labor. Like an early Monsanto combined with the IMF, the tyrants then replaced all local crops with potatoes, made the economy artificially reliant on them, and then introduced a potato "blight" that wiped out the system. The troublesome colonized population of former rebels then lost to death a million potential resistance fighters, as well as another million that left the continent to become--surprise, surprise--low paid wage labor in British factories, who knew they had nowhere else to go.

The "famine" was not a famine because there was a shortage of available food; despite the potato blight, there was always enough food being produced, right there, by those very people. The food was simply being sent away to the pieces of indescribable noble filth that populated England, based on the colonial structure of resource extraction. There were, even, enough potatoes, but those had to go keep little Harrys and Georges and Kates farting through silk so a million Irish babies could die and not regain independence. The potato blight helped out by making it appear that (1) the Irish farmers themselves, and (2) natural disaster, were responsible for the mass starvation. Blights are caused by singularities in supply. Like centralized networks of all kinds, creating centralized food structuring is a way of setting up dominoes so that they all fall at the push of one. Food singularities share vulnerabilities, so that a failure in one form of the system cascades to the rest of the system.

Causing Blights To Wipe Out Subhumans

The French have pulled this kind of crap on Indonesian and southeast Asian colonies, too, by restructuring rice-farming under the singularity model, making it vulnerable to single-cause cascades and causing mini "famines" that weren't important enough to mention in western history books. When the French would invade, say, a Laotian village, they would kill the loudest troublemakers, terrify the others with a police state, then promise to use advanced technology to help increase food yields. The French would then destroy all the old style of rice, which had been sustaining people for generations, wipe out rice paddies, and use slave labor to build new, improved rice paddies. Resource extraction would be ramped up, and all paddies would be linked together under the same seeds, de-weeded, and put on fixed watering schedules for reasons of efficiency.

Things would work well in the village for a year or even a few years, and the people would believe that the French were, indeed, benevolent scientists helping them out. But then, problems would happen: a single crop failure would become a total crop failure, as the incestuous strains would all prove themselves vulnerable to the same kinds of weather conditions, where in previous generations, only a few paddies would die, while other, different paddies would survive. Plagues of rats came, also: the "inefficient method" of the villages' forebears--of having un-centralized water distribution systems which resulted in water pooling in some paddies and drying up in others--turned out to be a way to keep rats and other pests from thriving. Once the colonial invaders had provided constant, efficient water sources, great plagues of rats and beetles would have full-time water, breed in unnatural numbers, and wipe out whatever crops that plant disease hadn't already finished off.

Nach, the British understood this when they starved Ireland; it had been a trick used by Kings and Queens in India for dozens of years. Singularity cascades are one of the most efficient ways for elites to wipe out "excess" populations, weaken defending armies, and make the survivors reliant on the "charity" of the colonists.

Not Enough To Go Around

The key thing to remember when looking at all of these Resource Murder models is that, no matter how bad things get, there is always enough. The deliberate "poor planning" of environmental destruction and fossil fuels is not, no matter how much it seems when you are facing it, either inevitable or honest. The resources are there. Ireland net-exported food to the Hanoverian scum during the Great Hunger, just as Nigeria now net-exports billions of dollars of oil while its people starve under the control of American-backed warlords. The resources are there. They are there for all Earthlings. If they appear to be not there, it is because elites, and their priestly sycophants, are funneling them away to somewhere else, so that you will starve.

Do not be fooled by the latest famine ploy. Do not lose hope. There is, and always will be, enough energy. Even in the little Milky Way, there is and always will be enough energy to feed, house, and constantly entertain, more people than you can currently imagine. Anyone who tells you otherwise is short-sighted and frightened of life, or a malicious wormtongue who is keeping you distracted while his boss rapes your family, cleans out your fridge, and burns down your house.

The stars of your verse burn so brightly that there will always be enough light. It is futile to demean them.

Continued in Part 8.


  1. This is all true in principle, but the framing of the energy situation in particular is wrong, and it is not about propaganda, but basic physics: the fossil fuels are indeed running out (50-100 yrs. of liquid, 300-500 of coal), and solar energy, as a high entropy source, is fundamentally incapable of satisfying industrial and transportation needs. Even if you assume that magically every single residence is outfitted with solar panels, (and residential use is basically all that solar is good for), you only address about 30% of the energy consumption. (And it will have to be magic - producing this amount of solar panels requires so much toxic material and the cost is so huge, that it is never going to happen; this part has less to do with cunning elites, and more with hard physics).

    Nuclear energy however is indeed abundant and can take care of us for another 10,000 years (unless we burn the uranium -235 - on track to be depleted within 50 years - in which case these vast stores of energy will remain forever inaccessible)

    1. Those numbers are fairly accurate given our current use of technology. However, if we advanced only half as much in the next couple centuries as we did in the previous two, that picture would change drastically.

      If we think of ourselves as trapped inside a bomb shelter, trying to stretch the food we have left, things will always be grim--even if we find an additional crate of baked beans that we overlooked during the first inspection. What is more important than exploiting currently-available resources, though, is discovering new ones, and discovering new ways of using old ones.

      Our stunted version of "solar power" right now is particularly weak; it makes photosynthesis look fancy. A few simple advances in electromagnetics will make humanity's current solar panels look like a lectica next to a car.

      When we're talking about energy use, also, we have to remember that the bulk of the world's energy is expended on massive military transportation and construction adventures. Jet fighters practicing taking off and landing; naval fleets endlessly patrolling the oceans, while their own jet fighters practice taking off and landing; upper atmosphere surveillance and heavy air transport craft; massive commercial freighters carrying legions of tanks from one hemisphere to another, then back again...militaries use up most of our energy, and create most of our pollution. Even the penultimate American consumer, for all his waste, is nothing next to the energy wasted by a bunch of impotent man-child loons at Honeywell spending billions of dollars on retro ramjet-styled vertical-take-off project craft.

  2. No, I don't dispute a lot of the above, but it is irrelevant to energy availaility, where the key issue here the principal limits to obtaining usable energy, not any specific technology or material. The bottlenecks boil down to basic physical laws, not to technological limitations. Energy is not a technology or material which we can invent or reuse respectively - ergo no hopes of rapid progress can resolve that. The availability of usable energy is constrained by the laws of thermodynamics, which means, among other things, that the enormous total amount of ambient solar energy is not very useful unless we can find a way to make it do work (other than charging iPhones or powering residential lamps and appliances), which is virtually impossible in principle. Since solar energy is a high entropy source - i.e. it is very dispersed - you need to *expend* enormous amounts of energy in order to 'collect' it - the energy to excavate the minerals to build solar panels, the energy to build factories to produce them, the energy to transport them, etc. And even after all that, you still have the problem of intermittency and transmission.

    And photosynthesis *IS* fancy - it involves multiple processes and 200+ different compounds, and yet even with this fanciness it utilizes negligible proportion of solar energy to do the work - even as none of this work involves actually moving, welding, freezing, digging etc. anything

    It is certainly true that the bulk of energy used is wasted, but there are also limits to how much efficiency can be improved, and how much non-essential uses can be eliiminated. Even if we eliminated the military (which consumes about 1% of US energy output), and cars, we will still need to power trains and factories to produce the most important machines and materials. Also, don't forget population increase - expected to finally stabilize at 12 bln by mid century, the third world is primarily jumping into coal, which is understandable since it is easy, but not sustainable.

    1. "Naturally occurring" stellar energy is high entropy up until the point it is fully mined; before construction on that scale occurs, though, we'll probably see the creation of artificial stars as a more stable energy source than antimatter. Sol is an example from this perspective because it's easier for people now to imagine gathering loose Sol than developing independent generators. Remembering how much it can produce in such a relatively primitive way is an aspect of hope, even if it would be more efficient later to leave it there and produce moon-sized Dyson Spheres.

      Remember also that what we call entropy is relative to the system we're considering. Sitting here on Earth, we can consider Sol a high entropy source, because from this "selfish" perspective, we get so comparatively little of it. However, all of that energy does go somewhere, rather than being destroyed--it's universally available, in the sense of storing itself in planets and asteroids across a wide area. Most planets will turn to celestial mining before artificial stars for exactly that reason (as a variant on planetary mining that the culture can more easily accept than the creation of long-term batteries).