The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


The UK Continues Its Decline


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 5, 2023


  1. mutitude of poors


    While the thread is fresh I wanted to thank you so re your DSM Manuals input the other day, don’t know if you saw my prior comment regarding it on Eric Anderson’s post, but likely we think exactly alike on it and the life destruction they’ve wrought on the powerless, way too many times.

    Also, I thought your fairly recent comment:

    I don’t know what to make of a country and culture that despises the homeless more than homelessness

    was flawless, as regards the US Government and the I’m okay you must deserve your fate culture™, which predominates on the internet—whether conservative, by their commissions; or supposedly liberal, by their omissions and stunning commissions even— , and the mainstream newz; thank you again for it.

    Horridly, I guess we’ll soon see homeless people with please don’t give me any Narcan signs on their persons, particularly when they’re older (as they are increasingly are) and know they won’t survive the cement being past the average street lifespan. A boatload of Narcan is being given in Silicon Valley due to its ‘coincidental’ Fentanyl Explosion.

    (Too bad there are no Gary Webb’s left to dig deeper into the Fentanyl explosions. I put nothing past the monsters that be, at this point, including the sadistic Tranq, which, of course, has made it’s way into the Fentanyl supply here. In passing. I’ve always been bleakly amused that Fentanyl was originally labeled China White (not at all that I think China’s powers that be are angels of any sort), versus USA White, when it killed so very many in the late seventies and eighties, in ironically BLUE™ CITIES like: Philadelphia; Oakland and Pittsburgh PA; Oakland ,Los Angeles, and San Francisco CA; Miami FL, etcetera;.)

    anon y’mouse,

    I left a response to your comment to me on the Fuck Suffering thread, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

    be well also!
    (note: there were no comments showing when I wrote this comment at 7:30 PM PST, so I’m not ignoring anyone’s comment that I would have otherwise responded to.)

    gotta run ….

  2. Willy

    Billionaires financing influencers seems to be a hot topic these days. And so is CPAC having turned into a grifters informercial. Also hot is that covid may have started at the lab in Wuhan after all, a clear indictment of the folly of outsourcing technological development just to save a few bucks. I think all three topics are related… that being a billionaire really does causes insanity.

  3. anon y'mouse

    an article you all may have seen that touches on recent convos around here.

    i posit that there is a certain point at which human ingenuity reaches a diminishing returns type situation. when you have to take over ALL of the over ecological functions to grow a plant to feed yourself by inputing energy, technology and other inputs, that may well be it. hence my offense at the idea that these “automated” farm boxes will in the end be more helpful to humans than just letting dirt and sunlight do what it it does.

    unfortunately, considering how poisoned the ground and water are, how depleted the soils are and how the bees are dying, we seem to be quickly painting ourselves into the corner of not having any choice.

    it’s not good to occupy the ecological niche of every other thing on the planet. it requires more work and more energy and more attention than letting nature do it for us. just that some people do not view the new labor as work, or they can make sure other, lower people end up doing it.

  4. Curt Kastens

    How Erdogan and Turkey fit in to the grand scheme of things has always been a black hole to me. Anyone have a insights that they would care to share about the subject?

  5. Chuck Mire

    ‘Very precarious’: Europe faces growing water crisis as winter drought worsens:

  6. mago

    From age 5 on through the decades I was a voracious reader across genres—fiction and non. Multiple books in progress on the bed stand, the kitchen table and couch end stands.
    Now? Zip. Nada. Read a novel or short story? Nah.
    Online essays, comments, opinions and reviews? Yes. Too much.
    I have theories about the switcheroo, but this isn’t the format.
    Seems like a slow thread so I’m just filling space.

  7. mutitude of poors

    Oh shit, in my as yet unposted (along with any other comments), I hope you’re ok Ian?) I notice that I wrote that I posted it at 7:30 PM PST, but it was actually 7:30 AM PST

    Sigh, yes I am anal about time, and dates that successful communications are made, as I think it can, many times be extremely important, and always will be, as to timelines. E.g in a corrupted court of Law™.

    As I wrote this, by 6:24 PM PST (I swear, sigh), the days comments were posted and thankfully Ian is at least well enough to have posted them.

    Hang in there, all of good intent!

    gotta run…

  8. mago

    My comment was sent before others were posted, so the board spontaneously awoke with diverse views.
    As an addendum to my post on reading, I once subscribed to periodicals such as the Atlantic and the New Yorker, which are now bastardized versions of their formers selves: reactionary, repugnant and repetitive.
    The decline, the descent.
    “One grows weary of the madness, can there be no peace?”

  9. Chuck Mire

    mago, this may help:

    When critical thinking isn’t enough: to beat information overload, we need to learn ‘critical ignoring’:

  10. Trinity

    I really enjoyed the Aeon article that anon posted, thank you.

    It’s easy to see the wetiko disease in the Batek’s plight, going from being surrounded by abundance to being surrounded by a “desert” of palm oil trees (usually clones, so not even resilient) and forced to work for “the man”. “The water is dirty, the forests are logged, and villages are isolated, surrounded by large tracts of oil palm where there was once forest.” The farm manager insists that the Batek are “better off”, but that’s the same lie we’ve all been sold.

    I disagree with the author’s suggestion that this is due to “society’s fetish for innovation and our faith in progress contains within it” and ‘a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free.’ That’s like saying we’ve evolved into rebellious teenagers for good reasons, and ignoring that rebellious teenagers, facing the dreariness of capitalism, inequality, and a rules-based order, the 60-hour work week without even a gold watch at the end, are the smart ones to rebel. And it also ignores the fact that we’ve been taught to hate the past, to malign the indigenous as backward, dirty, and stupid, and also to believe we instead are making “progress”, the biggest lie of all. The only thing progressing these days are extremely large offshore savings accounts.

    The article also includes a story of the wetiko disease, attempting to gain power and influence over others in the group: “The anthropologist Jerome Lewis described a Mbendjele forager who would have made an excellent capitalist: this man worked hard, too hard. He hunted all the time. He hunted so much that it started to bother his campmates. By hunting so much, it was said, he was elevating himself above others. He was eventually ostracised from the group.” Good riddance.

  11. Trinity

    Footnote: I’m reading the suggested article by Sahlins titled The Original Affluent Society (1972). He defines affluent: “An affluent society is one in which all the people’s material wants are satisfied”. So I looked up the definition of affluent, and sure enough Google (Oxford Languages) states the definition is:

    adjective: affluent

    1. (especially of a group or area) having a great deal of money; wealthy.
    “the affluent societies of the western world”
    Similar: wealthy, rich, prosperous, opulent, well off, moneyed, cash rich with deep pockets, well-to-do, comfortable, propertied, substantial of means of substance,
    in clover, plutocratic, fat cat … (the list of synonyms is lengthy)

    Scrolling down for other dictionary definitions of the term reveals they all have the exact same meaning: affluent now means “lots of money”.

  12. Art

    Two comments:
    An interesting aspect of Brexit was the extent to which the pro-Brexit side was propped up and financed by Russian Oligarchs. One of their motivations was to maintain banking centers free of EU rules that make it easier to link bank accounts to individuals. Which makes money laundering and tax avoidance much more difficult.


  13. Joe

    If one wanted to design a society to actually cause mental health problems the USA would be a perfect model. Each person, demographic and group conflicting and vying in an undisclosed all out war for the most necessary resources. A shame based code of gaslighting and avoiding accountability along the way; cover thy ass and little else.

  14. mago

    Thank you Multitude of Poors.
    Without knowing your situation, I sense a good heart beleaguered.

    Thanks for the link Chuck Mire. I’m not certain that critical thinking is taught so much these days outside some rarified classrooms, but the article contains good counsel for navigating the overwhelming bs that confronts the curious.

    To any random reader that may be viewing these words please stand up straight and don’t let “nobody bring you down, turn you round . . .”

    Can you hear the wind in the water?

  15. multitude of poors

    Joe, re:

    If one wanted to design a society to actually cause mental health problems the USA would be a perfect model. Each person, demographic and group conflicting and vying in an undisclosed all out war for the most necessary resources. A shame based code of gaslighting and avoiding accountability along the way; cover thy ass and little else.

    Yes, it’s certainly in the top five, the unmitigated malice the US is increasingly ‘golden’ showering down on its own vulnerable citizens is terrifying to behold, as they play the most venal version of Round Off/Musical Chairs, I’ve ever witnessed.

    E.G.: When this news outlet allows this kind of expose, anyone paying attention knows things are really bad, given California’s vast, undistributed wealth: 03/04/23 By Grace Hase ‘It’s going to be devastating’: End of emergency food benefits expected to impact millions of Californians—Nearly 3 million receive CalFresh benefits each month

    A gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, a pound of chicken: That may be all the groceries some Californians can buy each month with their CalFresh benefits now that emergency federal pandemic funds that boosted food benefits have ended.



    Thank you for the gentle words, they’re a true comfort, I sense the same of you and others here.


    (As I write this @7:01 AM PST, mago’s comment is the last showing, there may be other’s following that I would have responded to, my limited time allowing.)

    Embraces to all with good intent.

    gotta run ….

  16. multitude of poors

    Adding to my above comment, the part the Mercury deliberately edited out: millions who inexplicably don’t qualify for CalFresh benefits (PG&E discounts, Lifeline discounts, gas rebates etcetera) are also witnessing the same terror.

    gotta run

  17. Trinity

    Just found this today, a different perspective of the same wetiko disease. Quick read, and a 15 minute video, more or less:

  18. Mark Level

    So I posted this on Naked Capitalism just now under my nom de plume over there, but am sharing it here as many times my posts over there just disappear into the Aether . . . It’s a response to a post about Biden rejecting the Chinese peace plan (more like outline) to end the Ukraine failure wit a negotiated peace. I’m responding to a poster who specifically mentions Biden’s absurd detachment & ignorance— “I heartily agree. I thought Trump was a ridiculous, shambling disaster & I expected no less. (Full disclosure: the last time I voted for a Duopoly Pres. candidate was for O’Bomber in 08, naively imagining he would run something different than a 3rd and 4th Bush term given the “change” meme. Well, more fool me, I gave up on the Dimmies as being remotely “left” a couple months into the Obama clvsterfuck.) So I though President Bidet might make a “few” marginal changes to Trumpist rule (still didn’t vote for him, voted 3rd party), but he’s continued privatizing Medicaid, absurdly kept Cuba on the list of “State sponsors of terrorism” despite the utter lack of any evidence to support such a designation. And even Trump & his bully boy Pompeo only did that designation the last week of his “presidency” just to stir up shit & throw red meat to the paleo-Neocons . . . Keeping “kids in cages” like Trump did! Check! I just loved a few months in when faux “progressive” AOC condescendingly informed the proles that the kids in cages now are more comfortable, it’s not AS bad as prior (again, no supporting evidence.) For banality, stupidity and senility, & gut reactionary instincts and policies, Bidet is even lower than Trump was. Of course I would still never support Trump, however his tiny, random brain will occasionally make his logorheaic mouth spit smart ideas like “I want to pull the US out of Syria” or “The government should provide affordable health care to people.” He won’t get those things done but he at least pays lip service . . . Anyway not even registered to vote since moving to a new state in 2021, would never vote for any D or R except strategically if I did bother to vote. No point in doing so at present, however. I’m pretty sure if the Biden clowns don’t incinerate the world over hellhole Ukraine (seems a 50/50 likelihood at the moment), Biden will go down in “history” as a leader on the level of Napoleon III, who his contemporaries called “The Sphinx” due to his intellectual and political nullity of thought, ideas or purpose.”

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