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AI and the new kind of propagandaSome dystopian nightmare fuel

AI and the new kind of propaganda

Some dystopian nightmare fuel

Do you remember how the unconstitutional, pastel-authoritarian and totally batshit insane “Disinformation Governance Board” – with its Mary Poppins-cosplaying, Monty Python level of unintentional self-satirizing department head – was rolled out two years ago like a half-joke, half-beta-test of a version of the 1984 Ministry of Truth?

Well, kids, I wouldn’t really call this 4D chess or anything, but of course this was just bait. This parody and its rapid withdrawal reassures us that nothing of the sort could conceivably take place, while also seeding a visible, red-herring template for how we should expect heavy-handed, overt propaganda efforts to look in this day and age.

Meanwhile, there are currently massive efforts in the background and below the surface, all across the playing field, towards implementing big data and AI technology for not only the purposes of classical, increasingly obsolete propaganda or simple surveillance. No, this time, we’re exploring entirely novel methods of behavioural modification and narrative control intended to GET OUT AHEAD of the crystallization of discourses and even the formation of identities and worldviews.

They want to control the formation and reproduction of “social imaginaries”.

So the idea is to use massive data collection and AI pattern recognition to preemptively disrupt the formation of behaviourally significant narratives, discourses or patterns of information.

With these tools of “early diagnosis” of information that potentially could disrupt the power structure and its objectives, it then becomes possible to nip it in the bud incredibly early on, way before such information has even coalesced into something like coherent narratives or meaningful models for explanation or further (precarious) conclusions.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LVIII–Magical Thinking to Help Avoid Anxiety-Provoking Thoughts


Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LVIII

July 6, 2022 (original posting date)

Arles, France (1984). Photo by author.

Magical Thinking to Help Avoid Anxiety-Provoking Thoughts

Today’s contemplation shares a comment I made to a Facebook Group a number of days ago in response to an article by Dr. Ugo Bardi — whose writing, especially around limits to growth and his proposal about the Seneca cliff decline we are likely to face as we bump into the biophysical limits imposed by a finite planet, I have enjoyed and greatly learned from. While we agree on much, we have a definite disagreement regarding the role and potential of non-renewable, energy-harvesting technologies (what most refer to simply as ‘renewable’ energy — a powerful marketing twist of language given the actual technologies required are in a very limited way ‘renewable’ (i.e., recyclable/rebuildable) and are not energy sources but technologies to harvest ‘renewable’ energy).

Dr. Bardi posted the article I responded to in reaction to another article that was penned by The Honest Sorcerer that I had shared on one of the several Facebook Groups Dr. Bardi hosts. My original comment is in bold below with some links/charts to articles/research that support my perspective and some concluding remarks.


Whether the article is ‘peer-reviewed’ or not (and there are certainly issues with the ‘gold standard’ of peer review), the fact remains that non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies appear to be an extension of our fossil fuel-based energies relying upon them significantly in both the upstream and downstream industrial processes necessary for their production, maintenance, and after-life reclamation and/or disposal.

Ideally, peer review is an objective and forceful gate-keeper that serves to eliminate poor ‘science’ prior to it being widely distributed but the process is certainly less than perfect and has it criticisms, even from within academia (in fact, the mainstay of gate-keeping — that is, repeating the experiment — is rarely, if ever carried out; mostly because there is not one to replicate):

British Medical Journal — https://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1409; https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/10/e020568
National Library of Medicine — https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25675064/
Mayo Clinic Proceedings — https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025619618307079
The Seneca Effect — https://thesenecaeffect.blogspot.com/2021/11/when-science-speaks-in-tongues-how.html
Utah Valley University — https://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=21706

While there exist some small-scale examples of ‘renewables’ producing needed industrial products and ‘fuelling’ heavy equipment (and lots of marketing propaganda by vested interests around these; mostly, I would argue, to attract capital), the scale and cost are prohibitive, especially for a world already drowning in debt — to say little about the finite resources required to ‘convert’ the processes necessary. The bottom line is that in the present, and forgoing some miraculous as-yet-to-be-discovered technology, fossil fuel-based industrial processes are required for energy-harvesting technologies:

Cement, Steel, Aluminum production— https://energyskeptic.com/2014/alt-energy-too-much-steel-cement-aluminum-but-little-power/; https://grist.org/politics/cement-has-a-carbon-problem-here-are-some-concrete-solutions/; https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/Is-It-Possible-To-Make-Steel-Without-Fossil-Fuels.html; https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=7570
Mining — https://grist.org/article/report-going-100-renewable-power-means-a-lot-of-dirty-mining/; https://energyskeptic.com/2016/when-trucks-stop-running-table-of-contents-preface-references/;
In General — https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/15/4508/htm; https://phys.org/news/2021-10-net-policies-emperor-academics.html; https://medium.com/politically-speaking/when-renewables-are-not-renewable-8369808a7cea

These processes also add significant pollutants to a world already experiencing overloading of its various compensatory sinks, to say little of the reality that fossil fuel use has seen little if any contraction in demand despite decades of exponential increase in so-called renewables.

Here are a handful of ‘academic’ articles on how the industrial processes necessary for ‘renewables’ impact negatively the environment. They are neither ‘clean’ nor ‘green’ but are almost always referred to them as such (again, a marketing ploy):

University of Queensland studies — https://phys.org/news/2020-09-renewable-energy-threat-environment.html; https://phys.org/news/2020-03-renewable-energy-threaten-biodiverse-areas.html
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology — https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281550386_Environmental_Impacts_of_Renewable_Energy_Technologies
National Academies Press — https://nap.nationalacademies.org/read/12987/chapter/6
Nature Communications — https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17928-5

Here are a couple of charts to demonstrate that fossil fuel use has not decreased as ‘renewable energy technologies have increased in use (and significantly increased the past two decades). As this article highlights, the increase in ‘renewables’ has not detracted from our fossil fuel use (our dependence upon fossil fuels has continued to increase), it has simply offset the decline in nuclear-powered energy:

Highlighting the negative aspects of these technologies and the observation that they do not seem to be actually ‘solving’ in any way our fundamental predicament of ecological overshoot, or reducing our dependency upon fossil fuels, or reducing our destruction of the planet, is not ‘a mission received from God’; it is about challenging a narrative that seems quite problematic but is being marketed by many as the ‘solution’ to something that is increasingly looking to be a predicament that cannot be solved — and as William Catton Jr. pointed out in his 1980 text, we seem destined to experience the collapse that always tends to accompany overshoot because: “..habits of thought persist…people continue to advocate further technological breakthroughs as the supposedly sure cure for carrying capacity deficits. The very idea that technology caused overshoot, and that it made us too colossal to endure, remains alien to too many minds for ‘de-collosalization’ to be a really feasible alternative to literal die-off. There is a persistent drive to apply remedies that aggravate the problem.”

*****

My ‘motivation’ for sharing the above is to provide the opportunity for the reader to decide thru their own reading and ‘research’ which story appears more believable. As The Honest Sorcerer recently wrote in this article (and others have similarly argued[1]), it takes some ‘magical thinking’ to believe that non-renewable, energy-harvesting technologies are any type of ‘solution’ for the predicament of ecological overshoot and for attempting to ‘sustain’ our globalised, complex society.

The widespread adoption of magical thinking to avoid anxiety-provoking cognitions is in no way surprising. It is perhaps, as Ajit Varki argues, that “Some aspects of human cognition and behavior appear unusual or exaggerated relative to those of other intelligent, warm-blooded, long-lived social species — including certain mammals (cetaceans, elephants and great apes) and birds (corvids and passerines). One such collection of related features is our facile ability for reality denial in the face of clear facts, a high capacity for self-deception and false beliefs, overarching optimism bias and irrational risk-taking behavior…”[2].

The allure of non-renewable, energy-harvesting technologies is that they can create a story in which a transition to a ‘green/clean/sustainable’ future with most (all?) of our current complexities is not only possible but assured; in fact, for some, it is the only future we should be pursuing if we are to avoid civilizational ‘collapse’.

Such a future may be possible, I suppose, if ALL the right conditions are met — the most significant that I can think of off the top of my head are being far fewer people, far less imperial endeavours by our ruling elite, and the acceptance of far, far lower living standards by those in so-called ‘advanced’ economies.

Revealing the impediments that exist in such a narrative is not a God-inspired mission as Dr. Bardi accuses. But it can create both anxiety and significant uncertainty for those who have hooked their wagon up to the ‘renewable’ horses and are hoping to get to the big sustainable city on the horizon. So it’s not surprising that many (most?) rail against the argument that our current complexities can in no way be sustained via non-renewable, energy-harvesting technologies and our future path is likely going to be far more chaotic and problematic than most imagine — at least for those that ponder such a predicament, since most actually tend not to think about it.

A book I highly recommend to help in one’s understanding of our penchant for clinging to stories that appear ‘certain’ but very often are not is Dan Gardner’s Future Babble (my personal summary notes can be found here).

As he argues:

It is more often than not the confident, self-assured voice providing a simple story (regardless of ‘evidence’ to the contrary) that is the most persuasive and influences beliefs more — one told by the ‘hedgehogs’ as Gardner calls them. Contradictory evidence is rationalised away and certainty assured.

Given our predisposition to avoiding uncertainty and wishing control (to avoid fear and anxiety), we search for certainty, employ magical thinking, and see patterns where none exist; and someone who sounds like they are sure of their story (and especially if they are an ‘authority’ figure or ‘expert’) is preferred to the ‘foxes’ who will acknowledge complexity and uncertainty about their narrative with warnings and unsureness. Research demonstrates, however, that it is the enthusiasm and confidence more than the expert status that persuades people. It instills a sense of trust. Unfortunately, such overconfidence can lead people astray and into accepting false beliefs.

Further, Gardner argues that human cultures have always created stories about themselves and their world. This allows knowledge to be passed from generation to generation, strengthens social bonds, and allows possible outcomes to be practised. These narratives also function to explain and make sense of phenomena but if such stories are left unresolved, we are unsettled and search for resolution. And if the narrative doesn’t fit into our prior beliefs, we tend to ignore it or deny its implications. If we happen upon a ‘trusted’ expert’s story that resonates with our beliefs and values, we cling to it regardless of their prediction record (usually by forgetting failures but celebrating successes).

Misremembering and hindsight bias not only contribute to the illusion that the past was not uncertain but lead us to be less sceptical of prognostications about the future. We don’t recall that we worried about an uncertain future previously and that most predictions never materilaised. We seek certainty about the future and find it in trustful ‘experts’ and their forecasts.

In the end, we all believe what we want to believe; ‘facts’ be damned…


We could ‘debate’ the ‘facts’ forever and in reality be no closer whatsoever to the ‘truth’ as to whether ‘renewables’ could support a complex society, for only the playing out of the timeline can determine which perspective is ‘correct’. From a scientific method standpoint, we would carry out a number of experiments where significant variables would be controlled (hopefully) and eventually reach consensus on an interpretation of evidence.

Obviously, we cannot do such reality-testing for many (most?) of the narratives we create in our attempts to understand the world and sketch a rough picture of the future, so we continue to debate with the psychological mechanisms that impact our perceptions and beliefs influencing us constantly. While it is one thing to recognise that we are affected by these psychological phenomena, it is quite something different to be able to shield ourselves from them no matter how much we try.

In addition, we often have little to no idea about the eventual consequences of a remedy for a perceived problem, especially if it is a relatively newly recognised one — let alone a predicament that has no ‘solutions’. One of the things I have argued about complex systems is that with their non-linear feedback loops and emergent phenomena, they are impossible to predict (let alone control). Even with the most sophisticated models and the most powerful computer systems, the tiniest of errors in baseline assumptions can result in predictive trajectories being completely off-base from what may eventually occur.

I raise the above point because one of the arguments against pursuing non-renewable energy-harvesting technologies is that their production would bolster our overshoot by further withdrawing finite resources and overloading compensatory sinks. It would put us in even worse peril then we already seem to be in. Is this assured? Obviously not since the future is unwritten and unknowable but the danger remains. To argue there is no danger requires some significant denial, bargaining, and magical thinking.

Regardless of the real dangers and the accumulating evidence that our technologies have in fact created our overshoot and pursuing more of them will result in significant ecological damage, I have a feeling that attempting to create more of them is exactly what we will do. For it is the ruling elite who tend to be the ones who steer our economic policies and decisions, and they stand to profit handsomely from the production of such technologies due to their ownership of the industrial processes and financial institutions required for their production and distribution.

The notion of a managed ‘collapse’ which some advocate for is anathema to those that sit atop the power and wealth structures that exist in our globalised complex society. Better to advocate for and cheerlead confidently a path that can be packaged in a shiny techno-box of hope and certainty for the masses while ensuring revenue streams are maintained or even expanded.

Damn the consequences. Full speed ahead.

[1] See Erik Michaels and Charles Hugh Smith.

[2] https://carta.anthropogeny.org/events/sessions/mind-over-reality-transition-evolution-human-mortality-denial

Disease X and the Corrupt Lancet

Disease X and the Corrupt Lancet

The globalists launch their new weapon to take over the world

It is Davos (World Economic Forum) week and the MSM hysterical propaganda push from the globalists regarding “disease X” is in full swing. Just take a gander at a few of the Corporate Mockingbird Media headlines today.

Almost every major news outlet in the world has run black propaganda pieces about disease X. Why do I write black propaganda – because the “experts” aren’t actually named, the peer-reviewed papers supporting the thesis of “a deadly pathogen causing 20 times more deaths than COVID-19” or “killing 20 times more people than COVID-19” or “killing 50 million people” are non-existent. Yet these narratives are all headline news in main stream media.

This is just another exercise in globalized messaging to support the WHO (World Economic Forum) and WEF pushed narrative that governments must pour $billions into the largest transnational corporations in the world to “cure” a non-existent disease.

What isn’t black propaganda but rather grey propaganda is that this fearporn is being pushed by the WEF and the WHO. WHO officials are most of the featured speakers and panelists on “Disease X” at the Davos meeting this week. From the WEF website:

World leaders are set to discuss preparation for the next pandemic at the World Economic Forum in Davos…

Officials from across the globe will be heading to the annual meeting in Switzerland, with the risk posed by what’s known as Disease X one of the key items on the agenda.

The meeting will address new warnings from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the unidentified disease could kill 20 times more people than the coronavirus pandemic.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Dr. Mattias Desmet: Technocratic Totalitarianism

Dr. Mattias Desmet: Technocratic Totalitarianism

The Importance of Truth Speech. The parallel Rise of Propaganda-dependent Elites and Lonely Masses, and need for a new type of politician.

In my opinion, one of the more important speeches provided at the recent Fourth International COVID/Crisis Summit, held last November 2023 in Bucharest Romania, was delivered by my friend and colleague Dr. Mattias Desmet. Many but perhaps not all readers of this substack will be familiar with his groundbreaking synthesis published under the title “Psychology of Totalitarianism”. Others may recall my discussing Mattias’ theories and insights on various podcasts and with Mr. Joe Rogan, and the subsequent censorship response by Google and others when the terms “Mass Formation” and “Mass Formation Psychosis” were suddenly and explosively trending.

Dr. Desmet, Dr. Jill Glasspool-Malone and I have spent many hours together since then, in our home, in his home, in Spain shooting the “Headwinds” films which were broadcast by the Epoch Times, visiting mutual friends, and in conferences such as ICS IV. I worked hard to make it possible for him to attend that meeting while maintaining his teaching schedule. He writes to me that there has been a concerted effort to convince him that I am “controlled opposition”, and to convince that he should disassociate from me. But, unfortunately for the propagandists and chaos agents, that is unlikely to happen as we have spent these many hours building a collaborative friendship and have been through thick and thin together. I steadfastly supported him through the academic attacks he has had, helped him build his substack following, and defended him when the Breggins maliciously attacked and defamed him.

These many concerted censorship and defamation attacks have taken a toll on him, as they have on me, but we both remain standing and continue our efforts to discern truth through the fog of the psychological war, the fifth generation warfare, which swirls around us.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVI–On Narrative Control and ‘Fact Checking’


Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVI

December 21, 2021

Tulum, Mexico (1986) Photo by author

On Narrative Control and ‘Fact Checking’

One of the areas of interest for me as I weaved my way through my ten years of formal post-secondary education (yes, I spent the entire decade of the 1980s pursuing four degrees at several different universities; some of it part-time as I waffled between education and full-time work for relatively good pay in a grocery store) was that of epistemology (the nature and origins of ‘knowledge’). It was likely the result of some of my required readings: Stephen Jay Gould’s Ever Since Darwin, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Clifford Gertz’s The Interpretation of Cultures. Regardless, I ended up exploring (outside of my regular classes) such topics as deconstructive criticism, hermeneutics, and philology; interesting topics for someone who ended up teaching elementary school students (10 years) and as a school administrator (15 years).

Upon reflection, this exploration of how humans come to ‘know’ what they know (or at least what they believe) has led me to be rather skeptical of dominant narratives, especially of ‘authority figures’. My challenging of ‘authority’, as it were, may have come somewhat ‘naturally’ given I grew up in the household of a police officer. Not that I consider my dad to have been ‘authoritarian’, not at all, but the somewhat ‘natural’ pushback children can give to parents was slightly coloured in our household by the simple fact that my dad was a sociocultural authority figure on top of his role as a father.

Anyways, I believe I have always questioned to a certain extent the ‘popular’ stories we are exposed to. And as I’ve read more widely over the years, I’ve come to hold that these stories tend to always play to the pursuits of the people that dominate society’s economic and power structures. Reading Edward Bernays’ Propaganda, Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State, and Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance has certainly solidified that feeling. In fact, I’ve come to believe that the primary motivation of our ruling elite is the control/expansion of the wealth-generating/extraction systems that provide their revenue streams. Everything they do serves this purpose in one way or another. Everything.

As Chomsky makes clear in Hegemony or Survival, one of the dominant concerns of the ruling elite is controlling the masses. Without such control, their power and privilege is at risk since the masses far, far outnumber the elite.

Rothbard argues in Anatomy of the State even just simple, passive resignation by the people that the status quo structures are inevitable is enough to sustain them. To ensure such acceptance, the State employs ‘opinion molders’ to justify/rationalise/persuade the population of the beneficence of the ruling elite and that some alternative is far worse.

In Propaganda, Bernays sets out arguing that democracies being so complex require an unseen group of people to guide their ideas and beliefs so as to ensure cooperation. It is this special cadre that directs what stories/narratives are to be believed that is the real ruling power in a society, not its politicians. And, of course, Bernays became an important part of the US Empire’s storytelling to market geopolitical ‘interventions’ as adventures in nation building and spreading democracy.

So, narrative control is essential to maintaining power and privilege. One of the growing ways of controlling the narrative in a world of social media and non-mainstream/corporate digital news is to ‘disprove’ alternative stories. One of the more recent forms of such control has been the phenomenon of ‘fact checking’. Fact checking has been marketed as a form of objective and investigative research into claims disseminated by others. If one can ‘check’ the ‘facts’ and show them to be biased, prejudiced, misinformed, misguided, purposely false, etc., then one’s own narrative can be shown to be ‘true’ and ‘factual’.

It would appear, however, that the ‘fact-checking’ narrative itself is beginning to fray quite openly, perhaps reinforcing the accusation by some that the process of ‘fact checking’ is far more about giving the appearance of objective support for dominant/mainstream storylines (virtually always in favour of the power and economic structures that favour the ruling elite) rather than actually providing ‘factual’ buttressing of well-documented and evidentiary arguments.

Although you will have some difficulty finding the following stories in most (all?) mainstream/corporate media outlets (this is one of the ways legacy media censures stories; they simply don’t report on them at all or very marginally— see the organisation Project Censored for ongoing examples), there is increasing exposure that ‘fact checking’ is nothing more than another tool in the toolbox of narrative control/propaganda used by the ruling elite.

In a lawsuit by journalist John Stossel, Facebook has defended its ‘fact checking’ by claiming that the third-party fact checkers it uses are merely the ‘opinion’ of the fact checkers it depends upon and thus protected under the U.S.’s First Amendment. It’s ‘opinion’ not actually ‘factual’ so the lawsuit is frivolous.

In another accusation of wrong-doing, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has written an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook/Meta calling the censorship and flagging of some of their work very problematic. In fact, the editors of the journal called Facebook’s fact checking: “inaccurate, incompetent, and irresponsible.” Facebook/Meta has yet to reply.

We have a long-time journalist standing up to the fact-checking process and Facebook defending itself by stating these ‘fact checks’ are really just the opinion of others. Followed by a well-respected medical journal challenging Facebook’s fact checking as completely off-base and unfounded. Two pretty strong strikes against a powerful media’s supposed objective ‘fact checking’ and increasing censorship of non-mainstream stories.

I could go one with example after example of such blatant manipulation of narratives by our ruling elite and their so-called ‘fact checkers’ but what else is there to say? Except, if the mainstream/corporate media and/or government/politicians are pushing repeatedly a narrative (or purposely censoring one), then it likely serves the purpose of manipulating what you believe so as to maintain/expand the status quo power and/or economic structures of our society. Their stories, no matter the rationalisation/justification for them, should always be viewed critically and questioned. Chances are they are serving their narrow purposes, not the wider society’s.

I see this all the time in many of the energy/resource stories I read and the domineering economic paradigm through which the ‘facts’ are viewed at the expense of an ecological lens. And while there has been a growing incorporation of environmental/ecological concerns in the energy/resource narratives, it seems to me it’s more about crafting storylines that serve to leverage concern about natural limits to further expand wealth and control, and certainly not to address the notion that we can’t continue to pursue growth in any form in perpetuity without doing irreparable damage to the natural systems we depend upon for our very survival.

No, we can chase growth, employ everyone, and forever raise our standards of living by constructing ‘Net Zero’ buildings and electric vehicles, all powered by ‘clean/green’ energy, and living happily ever after. Comforting stories to be sure, but also ones that feed the insatiable profit-seeking of the ruling elite at the expense of the natural systems that provide our ability to be alive.

Infinite growth. Finite planet. What could possibly go wrong?



Some Call It Conspiracy Theory – Part 1

Some Call It Conspiracy Theory – Part 1

There are certain assumptions that are applied to anyone labelled a “conspiracy theorist”—and all of them are fallacies. Indeed, the term “conspiracy theory” is nothing more than a propaganda construct designed to silence debate and censor opinion on a range of subjects. Most particularly, it is used as a pejorative to marginalise and discredit whoever challenges the pronouncements and edicts of the State and of the Establishment—that is, the public and private entities that control the State and that profit from the State.

Those of us who have legitimate criticisms of government and its institutions and representatives, who are therefore labelled “conspiracy theorists,” face a dilemma. We can embrace the term and attempt to redefine it or we can reject it outright. Either way, it is evident that the people who weaponise the “conspiracy theory” label will continue to use it as long as it serves their propaganda purposes.

One of the most insidious aspects of the “conspiracy theory” fabrication is that the falsehoods associated with the term have been successfully seeded into the public’s consciousness. Often, propagandists need do no more than slap this label on the targeted opinion and the audience will immediately dismiss that viewpoint as a “lunatic conspiracy theory.” Sadly, this knee-jerk reaction is usually made absent any consideration or even familiarity with the evidence presented by that so-called “lunatic conspiracy theorist.”

This was the reason why “conspiracy theorist” label was created. The State and its propagandists do not want the public to even be aware of inconvenient evidence, let alone to examine it. The challenging evidence is buried under the “wild conspiracy theory” label, thereby signalling to the unsuspecting public that they should automatically reject all of the offered facts and evidence.

There are a number of components that collectively form the conspiracy theory canard. Let’s break them down.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXII–‘Net Zero’ Policies: Propaganda to Support Continued Economic Growth

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXII
June 22, 2021
Knossos, Greece (1993) Photo by author

‘Net Zero’ Policies: Propaganda to Support Continued Economic Growth

A personal view of the ‘Net-Zero’ policy being implemented by governments around the world, particularly those of the ‘West’.


As happens so often (always?), the ruling elite are manipulating what is possibly one of our more (most?) existential dilemmas so as to have their cake and eat it too. The chicanery that takes place within statistical calculations is widespread and occurs in virtually everything they touch but of course gives the impression of ‘objectivity’ and ‘transparency’ because figures can’t lie (although liars can figure, simply take a look at the statistical manipulations that take place in determining a nation’s consumer price index). The trickery goes far beyond numbers, however, for the use of statistics is just one of many narrative control mechanisms used to support the stories they want citizens to believe.

They have leveraged carbon emissions as THE most pressing environmental/ecological issue (even though it is only one of many predicaments resulting from humanity overshooting its natural carrying capacity on a finite planet) and have presented a variety of ‘solutions’ from carbon taxes to widespread ‘electrification’ of society to ‘net-zero’ policies. I would argue all of these ‘solutions’ derive from their primary motivation: the control/expansion of the wealth-generating systems that provide their revenue streams. From ever-increasing taxation to capital reallocation towards ‘green/clean’ technology to increasing curtailment of once-expected liberties and mass surveillance, the ruling elite are enhancing and consolidating their grip on wealth and power but marketing it as a necessary societal shift to ‘save’ humanity from itself.

There is certainly a grain of truth in all of the efforts to shift society away from fossil fuels. Apart from the fact that fossil fuel exploitation has encountered significant diminishing returns on its investments, I am increasingly convinced humanity has blown past several very important biophysical limits that exist on a finite planet and if it wishes to make it out of the other side of the very narrow bottleneck we have created for ourselves some very difficult choices need to be made. The ruling elite, however — as they always do — are taking advantage of various crises for their own self-serving ends. They are selling a ‘Build Back Better’ narrative to the masses — as snake oil salesmen do — as beneficial for everyone while accruing the benefits to themselves that may come from this shift in what remains of our dwindling resources, especially energy, for our use.

There is massive evidence that we have reached significant diminishing returns in our exploitation of fossil fuels and there exist no comparable replacements. This has gargantuan implications for our exceedingly complex and global industrial world. The energy decline it portends CANNOT, with current technology, be offset. Yes, there are ‘potential’ alternative energy sources but none are currently available at scale or cost, or offer the energy-return-on-energy-invested that fossil fuels have — in fact, many are just concepts on paper or test projects and critical views of them show they offer little if any surplus energy; to say little about the hard fact that they all depend upon the fossil fuel platform from the mining and processing of raw materials to the construction and maintenance to the after-life care and disposal of waste products (resulting in further environmental/ecological distress).

And even if by some miraculous turn of events we were to discover a truly ‘green/clean’ new energy subsidy to replace the relatively inexpensive and easy-to-access/readily-transportable fossil fuels that have allowed almost all of our expansion and ‘progress’ the past couple of centuries (but especially the past 100–150 years), this would do little to address the variety of other negative consequences of humanity’s spread and impact across the globe (e.g., biodiversity loss, soil fertility issues, etc.). Powering all of our technology and complexities does NOT address the underlying cause of our dilemmas: ecological overshoot.

Rather than acknowledging our plight, our elite are actually doing the exact opposite of what very likely needs to be done to address overshoot. They continue to pursue the perpetual growth chalice taking humanity even further down a path that is becoming both narrower and far more dangerous for most if not all.

The elite are well aware of the human tendency to defer to ‘experts’ and ‘authority’ (think Stanley Milgram’s shock experiments) and think in ‘herds’ so as to go along with the ‘mainstream’ narrative even if it goes against our own experiences and observations, so they dispatch their narrative managers/propagandists. These people have been working overtime crafting comforting and cognitive dissonance-reducing tales to overwhelm the contrarian evidence that shows the emperor has no clothes. To say little about Big Tech increasingly censoring alternative narratives.

The ‘net-zero’ propaganda is a perfect example. It continues to push expansion (the very cause of our dilemmas), particularly of certain ‘solutions’, while marketing itself as the road to sustainability because, you know, it all evens out in the end. Sit back, relax, fire up the Netflix, watch another sports event, your ‘leaders’ have everything under control. Pay no attention whatsoever to the kerfuffle behind the curtain over there. We can have our cake and eat it too!

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIII–Electrify Everything: Neither ‘Green’ Nor ‘Sustainable’

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIII

Tulum, Mexico (1986) Photo by author

Electrify Everything: Neither ‘Green’ Nor ‘Sustainable’

Electrifying everything has become a rallying cry for many people concerned with the ecological/environmental impact of humanity. But do such attempts to mitigate/solve such problems/dilemmas actually do what they claim to? I would argue no. They are simply substituting one set of problems for another set of problems and completely avoiding the underlying causes. They are primarily about creating the idea that they are a solution, not that they truly are. They are a marketing scheme to sell products and gloss over using language the problematic issues they prolong or create. It is fundamentally about propaganda, not addressing the plight that human expansion is.

In this vein, here is my comment on an article that looks at substituting electric long-haul trucks for internal combustion engine ones.

We really do need to stop using language that does not reflect reality. Electric vehicles are neither ‘green’ nor ‘clean’. A shift to them is not in any way, shape, or form helping us to address the various ecological/environmental dilemmas humanity has created in its endless expansion and exploitation of the planet’s limited resources (and that go far beyond carbon emissions).

Narratives that use the small Overton window of internal combustion engines vs. electric vehicles completely disregard the underlying issues of our dilemmas and avoid the hard choices that need to be made — to say little about the fact that they mislead and propagate false beliefs. They do, however, help significantly in reducing our mass cognitive dissonance that is created from our pursuit of the growth chalice on a finite planet with hard, biophysical limits.

The question that needs to be confronted and at the forefront of hauling goods around is why we continue to pursue an energy- and resource-intensive approach to living and should real sustainability not be primary in our thoughts? We need to not only be discussing fervently the concept of degrowth and how we can implement it equitably, but focusing our energies and finite resources on localising everything so such wasteful pursuits are curtailed significantly, not attempting to use up the remaining resources in some hollow pursuit to hold on to unsustainable practices.

Electrifying everything is not a panacea. In fact, I have increasingly come to view the entire idea as primarily an attempt to shift capital from one unsustainable, ecologically-destructive enterprise (fossil fuels) to another equally unsustainable and ecologically-destructive one (all the alternatives). It is a marketing scheme concocted to ‘sell’ the idea that we can seamlessly transition to other energy sources and address our toxic legacy. All it is doing, however, is substituting one problematic technology for another (and that still depends upon and requires massive amounts of fossil fuels from the mining for resources to the processing of minerals to the manufacture of products…to say little about the impact of the toxins that must be considered in the after-life of electric products and alternative energy sources, especially the batteries necessary).

We have been increasingly propagandised through repetitive sloganeering that electric vehicles and alternative energy sources to fossil fuels is our saviour. They are not. They are snake oil from salesmen whose primary purpose is to generate wealth and profit regardless of the cost. We would do well to stop listening to such nonsense and shout as often as possible “the emperor has no clothes!”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh X–Who Do Representative Governments Actually Represent?

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh X

April 29, 2021

Monte Alban, Mexico (1988) Photo by author

Who Do Representative Governments Actually Represent?

Circumstances have kept me sidetracked from writing for a few months. As life has settled a bit, although the spring weather keeps me busy working in the food garden, I felt it time to post again. Here is a comment I wrote this morning in the Tyee in response to an article on corporate bailouts and a call to give government more power.


Almost all of us live within a narrative matrix that we exist in a fair and transparent world where the ruling class exists to serve the people of a particular territory, that government and its efforts/energies are directed primarily towards benefitting the citizens it is supposed to represent, and that the resources of the nation will be distributed in a way that is equitable and just. We are taught such a world exists through our government education systems and repeatedly told this via our corporate media. If glitches in the matrix occur, it’s because of some particular individual’s defect but never a systemic problem.

A look through pre/history and a gentle scratch at the surface of this general perspective, however, will show that this view is all bullshit. The ruling class exists to benefit itself, and this is always done at the expense of its citizens. They have created an elaborate narrative to market themselves as ‘representatives’ of the people in an ongoing and expansive attempt to legitimise their rule and power. And the vast majority of people believe the stories (primarily to reduce the cognitive dissonance that is created when the notion of living within a massive, propagandised world where one has little true agency in sociopolitical and socioeconomic matters collides with the sociocultural myths of ‘representative’ government and citizen participation).

Once you realise that the world you thought exists does not, you come to view situations such as corporate bailouts as part and parcel of the ruling class taking care of itself as they always do, and not in the least surprising. We can stamp our feet and shout as much as we want but such travesties of justice and righteousness have been going on since large, complex societies came into existence and it will continue to go on as long as they exist. Periodically a sacrificial corporate lamb is paraded out to demonstrate to the public the government’s not subservient to the oligarchs/elite, but this is all just part of the theatre. Occasionally a massive revolution comes along to try and shift the balance of power back to the citizenry, but mostly this simply results in one set of sociopathic elite being replaced by another equally sociopathic group of elite.

Giving government more power and control, as this author suggests, is not a solution by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it is probably the opposite of what we want and plays right into the hands of the ruling class (for example, the narrative that we can continue business as usual by electrifying everything and transitioning to non-fossil fuel alternative energies is mostly about shifting capital from one dead-end, unsustainable, resource-intensive, and ecologically-destructive industry to another equally dead-end, unsustainable, resource-intensive, and ecologically-destructive one so the financial/economic Ponzi we exist within can continue for a while longer and further enrich those at the top of our social power structures).

The best thing one can do is attempt to remove one’s family and local community from this delusional matrix as much as is possible. Yes, make your displeasure and contempt for the way things are known, especially at a local level, but focus on building your community’s self-sufficiency and -reliance. Reduce your consumption. Grow your own food. Re-localise as much as possible. Stop depending on both government and corporations. Stop feeding the beast for it will consume us all while selling us lies and stealing our ‘wealth’.


PsyOps, DeepFakes, and Character Assassinations 2

PsyOps, DeepFakes, and Character Assassinations 2

Global Intel Hub — 8.14.2023 – Knoxville, TN — Disclosure is pouring out like the three gorges dam burst, and it’s not only about UFOs it’s the whole enchilada.  In this article we are going to discuss some of the technical details which will help users to determine a PsyOp from a real genuine account.  Also, we are going to speak to the big question everyone has – if [person A] has real information, why aren’t they already hit by a bus?  (See Clinton Body Count).  The good news for whistleblowers, with the exception of government workers with Cosmic Top Secret clearance working on really deep dark secret stuff with NDAs that basically say if you violate it, you’re dead – mostly witnesses aren’t being killed.  The tools of the trade have evolved, look at the false flags of Pearl Harbor compared to 911, when 911 happened a few people had low resolution cameras, but now the quality of an iPhone 15 is so high that you can see fibers on the nose hair in a face shot.  But just as consumer technology evolves, so does CGI used to create deepfakes, holographic projection technology, and real-time AI that passes the Turing test easily.  Bottom line, if the deep state doesn’t like you, they will assassinate your character, they will harass you, intimidate you, humiliate you, but unless you have something of theirs, or really did something horrendous.

The FBI and the CIA have offices that monitor topics on their list.  They do listen to every single phone call, video conference, internet search, and it’s all saved in an NSA database, but no one has time to read it or listen.  They do however focus on hot button issues, such as:

  • JFK
  • UFOs
  • Pole Shift
  • Zero Point Energy / Water powered cars
  • ETs
  • COVID Vaccines and alternative treatments
  • ETC ETC

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Chris Hedges: They Lied About Afghanistan. They Lied About Iraq. And They Are Lying About Ukraine.

Chris Hedges: They Lied About Afghanistan. They Lied About Iraq. And They Are Lying About Ukraine.

The U.S. public has been conned, once again, into pouring billions into another endless war.
Preying for Peace – by Mr. Fish

The playbook the pimps of war use to lure us into one military fiasco after another, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine, does not change. Freedom and democracy are threatened. Evil must be vanquished. Human rights must be protected. The fate of Europe and NATO, along with a “rules based international order” is at stake. Victory is assured.

The results are also the same. The justifications and narratives are exposed as lies. The cheery prognosis is false. Those on whose behalf we are supposedly fighting are as venal as those we are fighting against.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a war crime, although one that was provoked by NATO expansion and by the United States backing of the 2014 “Maidan” coup which ousted the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych wanted economic integration with the European Union, but not at the expense of economic and political ties with Russia. The war will only be solved through negotiations that allow ethnic Russians in Ukraine to have autonomy and Moscow’s protection, as well as Ukrainian neutrality, which means the country cannot join NATO. The longer these negotiations are delayed the more Ukrainians will suffer and die. Their cities and infrastructure will continue to be pounded into rubble.

But this proxy war in Ukraine is designed to serve U.S. interests. It enriches the weapons manufacturers, weakens the Russian military and isolates Russia from Europe. What happens to Ukraine is irrelevant.

“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way — in both dollars and American lives — to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States,” admitted Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Fake News Curated by the Deep State: Government Spin Doctors Control the News Cycle

We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.”—Former New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg

Let’s talk about fake news stories, shall we?

There’s the garden variety fake news that is not really “news” so much as it is titillating, tabloid-worthy material peddled by anyone with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and an active imagination. These stories run the gamut from the ridiculous and the obviously click-baity to the satirical and politically manipulative.

Anyone with an ounce of sense and access to the Internet should be able to ferret out the truth and lies in these stories with some basic research. That these stories flourish is largely owing to the general gullibility, laziness and media illiteracy of the general public, which through its learned compliance rarely questions, challenges or confronts.

Then there’s the more devious kind of news stories circulated by one of the biggest propagators of fake news: the U.S. government.

In the midst of the government and corporate media’s carefully curated apoplexy over fake news, you won’t hear much about the government’s own role in producing, planting and peddling propaganda-driven fake news—often with the help of the corporate news media—because that’s not how the game works.

Why?

Because the powers-that-be don’t want us skeptical of the government’s message or its corporate accomplices in the mainstream media. They don’t want us to be more discerning when it comes to what information we digest online. They just want us to be leery of independent or alternative news sources while trusting them—and their corporate colleagues—to vet the news for us.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century

A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century

Thirteen ways of looking at disinformation

Adam Maida

ADAM MAIDA

PROLOGUE: THE INFORMATION WAR

In 1950, Sen. Joseph McCarthy claimed that he had proof of a communist spy ring operating inside the government. Overnight, the explosive accusations blew up in the national press, but the details kept changing. Initially, McCarthy said he had a list with the names of 205 communists in the State Department; the next day he revised it to 57. Since he kept the list a secret, the inconsistencies were beside the point. The point was the power of the accusation, which made McCarthy’s name synonymous with the politics of the era.

For more than half a century, McCarthyism stood as a defining chapter in the worldview of American liberals: a warning about the dangerous allure of blacklists, witch hunts, and demagogues.

Until 2017, that is, when another list of alleged Russian agents roiled the American press and political class. A new outfit called Hamilton 68 claimed to have discovered hundreds of Russian-affiliated accounts that had infiltrated Twitter to sow chaos and help Donald Trump win the election. Russia stood accused of hacking social media platforms, the new centers of power, and using them to covertly direct events inside the United States.

None of it was true. After reviewing Hamilton 68’s secret list, Twitter’s safety officer, Yoel Roth, privately admitted that his company was allowing “real people” to be “unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse.”

The Hamilton 68 episode played out as a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the McCarthy affair, with one important difference: McCarthy faced some resistance from leading journalists as well as from the U.S. intelligence agencies and his fellow members of Congress. In our time, those same groups lined up to support the new secret lists and attack anyone who questioned them.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The 10 Rules of Propaganda

The 10 Rules of Propaganda

Lord Arthur Ponsonby was a British diplomat and politician, dates 1871–1946.

This keen and cagey fellow pinpointed 10 rules of propaganda. They are these:

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

3. Our adversary’s leader is evil and looks evil.

4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest.

5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes.

6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons.

7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big.

8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause.

9. Our cause is sacred.

10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

Just Look at the News

A daily scan of the newswires calls to mind three or more of these propaganda rules. On some days, six or seven. On others still, all 10.

We refer specifically to the conflict presently arage in the eastern European nation of Ukraine.

Let us now consider these rules. We will not take up each of them since some rules relate closely to others. We will instead weld these together. To proceed…

1. We don’t want war, we are only defending ourselves.

2. The other guy is solely responsible for this war.

On how many occasions have you read or heard condemnations of Mr. Putin’s “unprovoked” act of aggression?

To phrase it differently, when has it not been described as unprovoked?

Yet a man can argue very persuasively that Mr. Putin’s war was indeed provoked.

The Russian autocrat warned on several occasions that NATO expansion into Ukraine was a “red line.”

Russia would not abide the NATO dagger pressing against its vitals (parts of Ukraine actually lie east of Moscow).

Yet the NATO alliance had announced its intentions to incorporate Ukraine — despite Vladimir’s moans and grimaces.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Western Journalists Are Cowardly, Approval-Seeking Losers

Western Journalists Are Cowardly, Approval-Seeking Losers

Listen to a reading of this article:

Research conducted by New York University’s Center for Social Media and Politics into Russian trolling behavior on Twitter in the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election has found “no evidence of a meaningful relationship between exposure to the Russian foreign influence campaign and changes in attitudes, polarization, or voting behavior.”

Which is to say that all the years of hysterical shrieking about Russian trolls interfering in US democracy and corrupting the fragile little minds of Americans — a narrative that has been used to drum up support for internet censorship and ever-increasing US government involvement in the regulation of online speech — was false.

And to be clear, this isn’t actually news. It was established years ago that the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency could not possibly have had any meaningful impact on the 2016 election, because the scope of its operations was quite small, its posts were mostly unrelated to the election and many were posted after the election occurred, and its funding was dwarfed by orders of magnitude by domestic campaigns to influence the election outcome.

What’s different this time around, six years after Trump’s inauguration, is that this time the mass media are reporting on these findings.

 

The Washington Post has an article out with the brazenly misleading headline “Russian trolls on Twitter had little influence on 2016 voters“. Anyone who reads the article itself will find its author Tim Starks acknowledges that “Russian accounts had no measurable impact in changing minds or influencing voter behavior,” but the insertion of the word “little” means anyone who just reads the headline (the overwhelming majority of people encountering the article) will come away with the impression that Russian trolls still had some influence on 2016 voters.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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