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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Creating 2028

Villagers,

Where Are We Going? asks Nate Hagens
The future exists as a probability distribution of: very bad, bad, so-so, benign and very good futures.  But people dislike uncertainty...  The reality is that future is not yet determined and exists as a constantly shifting probability distribution based on events, technology, wisdom, risk and the actions of individuals and communities.  We need more people to avoid the two poles of denial and nihilism and stay in the center, own a bit of dissonance, and engage...  We have financialized the human experience, parsing everything of substance, depth and meaning from our tribal past into electronic/linen markers.  Once our basic needs are met we don’t really want more, we just want more than the guy/gal next door...  What we lack amidst this smorgasbord of riches is a feeling of community and a true sense of purpose.  Inferred by all the other points in this presentation is the obvious fact that the future needs our help.  Yet most people have no concept or even belief in ‘the future’.  Perhaps from awareness of our situation, the stakes, and the possibilities there may emerge a (very large) tribe connected to Tomorrow...  As our fossil slaves cease to be woken, we will increasingly have to resubstitute human labor for carbon – and it would behoove each of us to learn a physical skill. Or three...  We cannot know the future, but we have reasonable confidence of what it will not be.  The peak in fossil sunlight flow rates and resultant higher costs will mean major changes in our lifetimes. We can be reasonably sure the average energy/material throughput for Americans – and global citizens, particularly in advanced economies, will decline in coming decades.  It’s important to point out that a 30% drop in material wealth per capita (for those in the United States and Canada) though sounding draconian, brings us back to 1993 levels – a 50% drop would bring us back to 1977 levels– both periods nobody considers economically challenging.  How we respond to this energy descent as individuals and as a culture will be a deciding moment in our history...  We are capable of much more, but are unlikely to alter our current trajectory until we have to. And when we add in the economy and environmental points: we will soon have to.  Recognizing this, the next step is urgently discussing and cataloguing what initiatives might be worked on by small groups using intelligent foresight nationwide. 

Pat Buchanan looks at President Trump's upcoming visit to Singapore, to meet Kim Jong Un. There has been lots of chatter about this, but there are rational goals that need to be negotiated even-handedly, or they won't get negotiated. How is the "Trump Doctrine" of "America First" developing? Multipolar world or dead world? What's looking good?

There is one Korea. The 1953 armistice between the US, China, and military forces of both parts of Korea, needs to become a peace treaty all around. What stalls that is that South Korean military forces are under the command of a US General, not the South Korean President. This remnant of war would change with a peace treaty. It was rigged through a crooked Korean President before he  was impeached, anyway. As long as denuclearization is proceeding, this can be presented to Americans as a "peace dividend". United Korea will need to be free of foreign occupation forces and nuclear weapons at the same moment in time. Other interested parties would like very much to help.

"The Friendly Mask of the Orwellian Oligarchy Has Fallen Off", Caitlin Johnstone, Thanks Cat
The real currency of this world is not backed by gold, nor by oil, nor by bureaucratic fiat, nor even by direct military might. No, the real currency of this world is narrative, and the ability to control it...  The only thing keeping money and government moving in a way that benefits our current rulers is the fact that those rulers have been successful in controlling the narrative. They’ll never get that cat back into the bag once it’s out, and they know it. We the people will be able to create our own narratives and write our own rules about how things like money and government ought to operate, and there is no way that will work out to the benefit of the ruling manipulators and deceivers. So they fight with increasing aggression to lull us back to sleep, often overextending themselves and behaving in a way that gives the public a glimpse behind the mask of this entire corrupt power structure. Someday soon that mask will slip right off and come crashing to the floor. That crash will wake the baby, and that baby will not go back to sleep. 

Israel and Egypt prevent Turkey from airlifting thousands of Palestinians, shot and wounded bu Israeli snipers, following orders, to Turkey for emergency surgery and other medical care.

President Trump tells Chancellow Merkel to stop the Nordstream-2 gas pipeline from Russia or face trade-war from the US. Merkel fidgets and makes diplomatic sounds. A lot of parties are committed to this, and it would be semi-suicidal for Europe to stop it. Europe really needs natural gas. Russian gas has been cheap and reliable.

The Atlantic Alliance may actually be splitting this time...  
Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU Commission, believes that “Europe must take America's place as global leader” because Washington has turned its back on its allies. Washington “no longer wants to cooperate.” ...  The EU is to ditch the use of the US currency in its payments for Iranian oil. It can be done. Russia and Iran have already launched an oil-for-goods exchange program in order to leave the greenback behind...  Iran and Nord Stream 2 unite Moscow and Brussels in their opposition to this diktat.  On May 17, Iran signed a provisional free-trade-zone agreement with a Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)...  If Europe is resolved to fend off US attempts to dictate its policy on Iran, why should it reconcile itself to the pressure to keep the sanctions against Russia intact?

Look at this article for details about the critical dependence of humans in our world, upon subsistence staples like wheat, corn and soybeans getting through these 3 critical choke-points of shipping. The article is sort of glibly globalist/neoliberal, but the facts are useful.

Agricultural commodity maritime chokepoints

Trade volume, in millions of tons, for 2000 and 2015

8 / 75
Turkish Straits
57 / 91
Panama Canal
28 / 108
Strait of Malacca
Source: Chatham House
Bitcoin is projected to use 0.5% of total global electrical generation by the end of this year. (It grows exponentially, too, as you'll recall.)

Definancializing

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