Friday, 1 May 2015

SPRING-CLEANING TIME


Those  Nuremberg Meme Funnellers  have a lot to answer for –
    


                         
There are not only my own memes needing scrutiny, but a general vogue of meme reviews appears to be happening.  Here is a more or less random selection that recently gave me rise to reappraise some earlier adopted views, and some views I see being scrutinised by others with suggestions for consideration, or which also caused me to take note of what’s going on.

1.     I have adopted the concepts of Clean Energy and Sustainability as my main areas of study and would, therefore, like to begin with these connected selection of memes as first in this listing.  I have already stated bluntly that I regard the fable of man-made global warming as the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever, giving my reasons at http://tinyurl.com/naexuho.  

1.1.   Considering Clean Energy it became apparent early on that (similarly with Sustainability) the energy under consideration is not only that measured in physical terms – e.g. energy work = quantity of heat, measured in joule (J), or more familiarly in kilowatt-hours (kWh – the units in which our energy bills are invoiced, where 1 kWh = 3 600 000 or 3.6x10^6 joules), but also needs consideration in terms of ‘social energy’  measured economically in terms of money – say, US dollars, or in political clout through elected or usurped political offices.

1.2.   As I had the privilege of meeting President Dwight D Eisenhower in the Oval Office in July 1953 [as part of a small group of American Field Service sponsored exchange students] he comes first to mind when US Presidents are mentioned.  Much so when quoting his Farewell Address of 17 January 1961, quoted in http://tinyurl.com/pddpshy, part of which bears repeating here:  Two warnings struck a chord:
" ..... threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. Of these, I mention two only.....
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment..... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ...We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.  In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity".
 Full text at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/dwightdeisenhowerfarewell.html 
        In similar terms, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt berated the Max Planck Gesellschaft with his lecture The Responsibility of Research in the 21st Century, related at.  http://tinyurl.com/p7p5tp6

1.3.   The last two items now appear inadequate when related also to ‘social’ energy (political clout and/or money power).  President Eisenhower in his farewell address could rightly blame the ‘military industrial complex’ for distorting science research and teaching, but we now have President Obama as Chief Lysenkoist of the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – i.e. the UN/IMF/IPCC fairy-tale of man-made global warming (now also declared through the EPA as virtual state religion).  And there is surprise that not all of the rest of the world no longer buys that dead horse trade?  New Scientist reports in its 28 March 2015 issue under the heading Secret Science (p.17)  “…The Secret Science Reform Act…would prevent the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] from issuing regulations of information that has not been made public – ‘secret science’…The bill will need President Obama’s approval, though.  His office said earlier this month that he would be advised to veto it because the bill could ‘impede EPA’s reliance on the best available science.’ “ And now another head of state – Pope Francis of the Vatican  – threatens to chime in along similar Lysenkoist lines.  Political clout powered Nuremberg Meme Funnels in action, methinks.

1.4.   Not to forget that other ‘social energy’ which powers lysenkoist Nuremberg Meme Funnels – money.  Substantial reference to such sources has already been mentioned in  http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/west-is-facing-new-severe-recession.html .  More recent estimates are staggering: “The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year — about 12%-14% of GDP, and half of the $3.456 trillion Washington is currently spending. The Competitive Enterprise Institute believes the annual cost is closer to $1.8 trillion when an estimated $55.4 billion regulatory administration and policing budget is included. CEI further observes that those regulation costs exceed 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.436 trillion; tower over estimated individual income taxes of $936 billion by 87%; and reveal a federal government whose share of the entire economy reaches 35.5% when combined with federal 2010 spending outlays.”  And that’s just the US – never mind the rest of the world wasting similar amounts of money. Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/23/the-alarming-cost-of-climate-change-hysteria/ , or http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/07/on-global-warming-follow-the-money.php or http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/MKTNews/Global-Warming-climate-change/2014/11/17/id/607827/

1.5.   Lysenkoism, Climate Models and Gleichschaltung are referred to at the end of  http://tinyurl.com/p9brr9e

2.     As it happens, the same issue of the New Scientist already mentioned [28 March 2015, p.5] shouts in its top leader under the headline “Thank god for civilisation – The idea that religion led to modernity is gaining strength”:  “About 10,000 years ago, our ancestors began the greatest transformation in human history, abandoning the nomadic lifestyle that had long served them well in favour of permanent villages… In recent years this model has been challenged by archaeological discoveries. The most important is Göbekli Tepe in Turkey: a cluster of 11,000-year-old buildings with spectacular statues and other monumental architecture… a ‘cathedral on a hill’, as one [archaeologist] put it. Yet the people who built them were nomads, not farmers. So the radical suggestion now is that it was not agriculture that drove the revolution, but religion… Now comes news that another ancient civilisation – the Maya – may also have had spiritual roots… Some secularists dislike the idea that spiritual needs drove the rise of civilisation. They fret that it will reinforce or restore religion’s central place in society. But just because spirituality may have led to civilisation, it doesn’t follow that it should lead it now. If religion did have an early founding role, we must acknowledge this, learn from it – and move on.”

2.1.   ‘Learning from it – and moving on’, i.e. grandiose reviews of ‘god memes’ and their multifarious religions which sprouted from them, is in vogue on many fronts (though with many more in need of similar Learning). In http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/brainology-101-midwives-hold-thenewborn.html I already cited Sir Karl Popper’s account of god-meme ordained tribal genocide (Exodus 32:26-28). A long distant past – best forgotten?  No way – thanks to Karlheinz Deschner’s 10-volume “Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums” [The Criminal History of Christendom], Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 8. Auflage [eighth edition] 2013 – 1014 (incl the additional Index volume). [in need of translation]; 



2.2.   Deschner’s English book GOD AND THE FASCISTS has already been referred to in the bibliography of the link in 2.1. above.

3.     Some quotations from the introduction to Zen and Zen Classics by R.H. Blyth, The Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1960 appear apposite not only in relation to Buddhism but to religions generally; short memes without comment for consideration:
3.1.    “What was, is, and always will be wrong with Buddhism is the –ism. A system of doctrine, rules of morality, and above all the Sangha [order of monks] itself means religious mass suicide.  The great mistake of Christ was to found a Church, if indeed he did so."  [he didn't -  cf. Karlheinz Deschner: DER GEFĂ„LSCHTE GLAUBE (THE COUNTERFEIT FAITH), Knesebeck, Munich, 2004]
3.2.   “Asceticism, found in every religion, is seen too often in people who were pretty bare and empty from the beginning. The desire to be nothing is particularly common among those who are already practically nothing.”
3.3.   “Christ and Buddha were fanatical, pettifogging, women-hating, fig-tree destroying people.”
3.4.   “Zen [or any form religion, for that matter] has not yet taught us how to be fathers and mothers and citizens.”


4.     I have already referred to various cries for reform of Islam in the link already referred to, be it Egyptian President Al-Sisi at Al-Azhar,  or as summed up by Aayan Hirsi Ali: “We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.”  e.g:

4.6.    And here is Aayan Hirsi Ali’s new book: Harper Collins Publishers, New York. 
               First Edition printed in the UK, 2015




5.     Now that the AGW fraud and its Lysenkoists, Gleichschaltung-machinery and finance are in the open for all who care to look, we are – like China, India and other countries with similar energy shortfalls – free to burn fossil fuels where economically opportune.  But Clean Air Acts and their enforcement remain conditiones sine qua non, of course, i.e. SOXs, NOXs, OBNOXs (everything else obnoxious) and above all particulates need to be kept out of smokestacks or other discharges and made safe.

6.     In regard to more CO2 reaching the atmosphere, that can only be good to help plants to grow more vigorously or where they otherwise wouldn’t.  In essence – only CO2 in the atmosphere fosters active regrowth not only of trees, but of all Flora in order to produce enough oxygen on which we, and the whole of Fauna depend.  

6.1.   To wit, Vaclav Smil in his Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspecitves and            Uncertainties [MIT Press, 2003] provides this comment on CO2 : 

 “The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide abundance in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes. If the air were not constantly stirred by convection currents and winds, the corn would not be able to grow.”

7.     To stay with Vaclav Smil, my often quoted TYGER reads provider, e.g. in http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/tyger-tygers.html I offer two of his comments for consideration: 

7.1.   “Russia, too, is part of my Europe. Arguments about Russia’s place in (or outside of) Europe have been going on for centuries… I have never understood the Western reluctance or the Russian hesitancy to place the country unequivocally in Europe… its history, music, literature, engineering, and science make it quintessentially European.” p.93

7.2.   “Russia has another strength in its intellectual capacity. The country has always had many highly creative scientists and engineers, whose fundamental contributions are generally unknown to the Western public. How many people watching a scanner toting up their groceries know that Russian physicists, together with their US colleagues, pioneered masers and lasers. (Nobel prices in physics were awarded to Nikolai Gennadievich Basov and Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov in 1964 and to Zhores Ivanovich Alferov in 2000.) How many people seeing the images of the US Air Force stealth planes know that this class of aircraft began with Piotr Iakovlevich Ufimtse’s (1962) equations for predicting the reflections of electromagnetic waves from surfaces?” 

8.     About half-way through working on this blog post I needed some light relief from Nuremberg-Meme-Funnel-stresses. What better than reading some A C Clarke or Isaac Asimov (whose robotics are becoming topical again, too) SciFi?  As it happens I picked Arthur C Clarke’s THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH [Grafton Books, London, 1987] and not read again since buying it that year.  Looking at the back-cover blurb, the note that A C Clarke took about twenty years to write this novel – “a blend of sound scientific speculation…”  choosing it for a re-read seemed a fitting diversion: 




8.1.   And so it turned out to be – except that far from being a diversion from Meme-Funnel immersion, I think it is probably the best overview of the importance of meme cleansing – and first published in 1986 (nigh on thirty years ago) – and then after a twenty-year gestation period!  WOW!

8.2.   Some quotes from this 230-page book may suffice to entice you to get hold of this gem:

8.2.1.  “ ‘I think that’s the way we run Thalassa…’ ‘But you have been lucky; you’ve had no real crisis for seven hundred years! Didn’t one of your own people once say – Thalassa has no history, only statistics?’ ‘Oh, that’s not true! What about Mount Krakan?’ ‘That was a natural disaster – and hardly a major one. I’m referring to, ah, political crises: civil unrest, that sort of thing.’  ‘We can thank Earth for that. You gave us a Jefferson Mark 3 Constitution – someone once called it utopia in two megabytes – and it worked amazingly well. The program hasn’t been modified for three hundred years. We’re still only on the Sixth Amendment.’ ‘And long may it stay there... [Kaldor, a visitor to Thalassa said fervently]… ‘I should hate to think we were responsible for a Seventh’ “.  p.71

8.2.2. “Moses Kaldor was happy to be left alone, for as many hours or days as he could be spared, in the cathedral calm of First Landing. He felt like a young student again, confronted with all the art and knowledge of mankind… And yet all this wealth of wisdom and culture was only a tiny fraction of mankind’s heritage; much that Moses Kaldor knew and loved was missing – not, he was well aware, by accident but by deliberate design. A thousand years ago, men of genius and goodwill had rewritten history and gone through the libraries of Earth deciding what should be saved and what should be abandoned to the flames… Only if it would contribute to survival and social stability on the new worlds would any work of literature, and record of the past, be loaded into the memory of the seedships…. They could not be allowed to reinfect virgin planets with the ancient poisons of religious hatred, belief in the supernatural, and the pious gibberish with which countless billions of men and women had once comforted themselves at the cost of addling their minds.” p.107f

8.2.3. “ ‘…and we have something to give you.’ ‘What, may I ask?’  ‘From us, if you will accept it, the final centuries of human art and science. But I should warn you – consider what such a gift may do to your own culture. It might not be wise to accept everything we can offer.’ “ p.46

8.2.4. “Alpha [the personal god] was inextricably entangled with religion – and that was its downfall. It might still have been around up to the destruction of the Earth if the myriads of competing religions had left each other alone.  But they couldn’t do that, because each claimed to possess the One and Only Truth. So they had to destroy their rivals – which means, in effect, not only every other religion but dissenters inside their own faith… Fortunately for mankind, Alpha faded out of the picture, more or less gracefully, in the early 2000s. It was killed by a fascinating development called statistical theology… as had long been suspected, the universe simply obeyed the laws of mathematical probability.  Certainly there was no sign of any supernatural intervention, either for good or for ill. So the problem of Evil never really existed. To expect the universe to be benevolent was like imagining one could always win at a game of pure chance….” p.187f

8.2.5. “Yet a few old faiths managed to survive, though in drastically altered forms, right up to the end of the Earth. The Latter Day Mormons and the Daughters of the Prophet even managed to build seedships of their own. I often wonder what happened to them…” p.191



9.     Why bother?  I chose http://tinyurl.com/q8wqosa – the Sisyphean reality of Life.