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Why there will be no meaningful social response in the West by wisconsin_cur on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:23 pm
True Story:

A friend of mine once went to a "company meeting" where many many cuts were announced. The presenter from the front office brought charts and graphs. My friend brought a legal pad, a pencil and a basic understanding of math.

After the presentation, when all of the cuts were announced, my friend preceded to ask questions. The questions were good. The questions illustrated that neither the truth of the cost to the employees was made clear nor were the reasons given forth-coming. Through the use of percentages (instead of whole numbers) and vast oversimplfications ("this part of the budget includes things like the Christmas party" when it is 10% of the budget being cut and no one would say what else was in that part of the budget and being cut). The fact that the employees were not being told about many cuts to their insurance and salary and that there were to be salary increases for top management was met by crickets.

After my friend's presentation...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 53233 times
Climbing a wall of flak by wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:56 am
Bring up the idea that the century will end with 5-6 billion fewer people on the planet in polite company and you will hear a quiet before a storm of personal attack. The average person seems incapable of distinguishing between an evaluation of what you think will happen from what you want to happen. I have a theory about this is a result of catagory mixing which has taken place in our culture over the last century. We have, for so long, enveloped ourself in the notion that if you want something to happen you have to believe it will happen that we automatically assume that if someone believes something will happen they want it to happen. I remember getting the same flak when I openly discussed the possibility of a mass casuality terrorist attack with family in the 1990's and complained of the dangerous state of New Orleans' levees three years before Katrina.

If you want to escape a life of responding with the herd it is important to develop your own worldview, your own perception...

[ Continued ]

3 Comments Viewed 56048 times
Mexico: A black swan in the making? by Jack on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:28 pm
From FM 3-24/MCWP 3-33.5:

1-33. Phase II, strategic stalemate, begins with overt guerrilla warfare as the correlation of forces approaches equilibrium. In a rural-based insurgency, guerrillas normally operate from a relatively secure base area in insurgent-controlled territory. In an urban-based insurgency, guerrillas operate clandestinely, using a cellular organization. In the political arena, the movement concentrates on undermining the people’s support of the government and further expanding areas of control. Subversive activities can take the form of clandestine radio broadcasts, newspapers, and pamphlets that openly challenge the control and legitimacy of the established authority. As the populace loses faith in the established authority the people may decide to actively resist it. During this phase, a counterstate may begin to emerge to fill gaps in governance that the host-nation (HN) government is unwilling or unable to address.


Let's take a l...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 7792 times
If AGW is a hoax, by wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:41 pm
we will all, after a fashion, be worse off.

It has long been my contention that homo sapien will respond to a return to the steel grip of scarcity by turning on one another: nation against nation, tribe against tribe, a father against his son, daughters against their mothers. This may be unavoidable but we each have an individual interest in seeing this manifestation of scarcity postponed as long as possible.

While there are thing that an individual or family can do to insulate themselves from the social cannibalism to come, no one is truly safe. The greater the distance between the breakdown in civility and the new equilibrium which will emerge the greater our exposure to risk. We will be thrust into a game of Russian Roulette. We are fools if we think we want to play any longer than forced to.

If anthropological global warming turns out to be a fatally flawed premise we can expect the forces of anti-intellectualism to strengthen their hand and it will...

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4 Comments Viewed 56995 times
A trip to the library by Jack on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:36 pm
Sometimes, mundane changes illuminate underlying reality in a way no collection of numbers can.

Today, I drove down to the public library with several boxes of old magazines. The library can sell them for a pittance and add a small sum to their funding, and it gets the magazines off my hands. It's been about a year since I went there last.

I noticed several men standing around outside. It's 11 AM on a Tuesday, and 6 men - three individuals, one group of three - are hanging out. One looked to by fortyish, the others younger - mid to late twenties. They were just standing, doing nothing in particular. The group was talking between themselves. They were dressed in the modern urban costume of athletic shoes, dark t-shirts, and casual pants.

They didn't have the defeated look of the homeless about them, nor was there any tell-tale cart of junk. Oddly, they weren't inside the library, which had seating and other amenities. No, they were just watching the comings and goings. I was...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 9518 times

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