How Does the World Work?

  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« Are You Witness to the Beginning of the End? | Main | President and Congress, Thanks for Proving My Thesis »

July 29, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Georgi Marinov
But what I am interested in is the behavior and thinking of the participants. I hope you are watching this as well. Our species has reached its level of incompetence! What the circus in Washington is demonstrating, better than anything I could have come up with, is just how insanely incompetent our leaders are. And since we put them there, how incompetent we are!

That's the key really. The "leaders" have no clue. The rest of the population has no clue. With respect to everything that really matters, there is no difference between the leaders and the rest of the population, they equally don't get it, even if the former have Harvard and Yale degrees in their CVs and the latter spend their time eating popcorn and watching idiotic TV shows. So it is really pointless and counterproductive to focus on the divide between the people on top and the rest as so many people do. It is a division of wealth and power, but when it comes to understanding it is equally lacking everywhere.

Which is why we are doomed. There is a very small number of people who really get it, and "getting it" consists of things that the rest of the population that does not get it has absolutely no desire to hear. So the large portion of the population that both does not get it and is poor and powerless will continue to elect as their "leaders" members of the small portion of the population that also does not get it but has wealth and power (real or imaginary) and noting will change. Until the proverbial substance really hits the fan...

The thing that continues to mystify me about the Obama administration is what people who, given their biography should be definitely getting it, are doing there such as Holdren and Chu.


Maybe we didnt think it was possible, but the tragi-comic act both sides of the Atlantic has reached new levels at the moment George.
Your comment about voting prompts me to ask why you bother at all? I have never voted for the simple reason that I do not believe in mass-scale democray. Of course criticising this sacred cow invites charges of elitism, fascism and stalinism but that only from those dullards who have never thought it through. It is utterly irrational. Participation in voting legitimises the zero-choice real system in which only political parties with sufficient funding from corporations/big business and media can win.
At any level of rationality it fails all criteria; Be they electorate, citizens or subjects THEIR majority legitimacy rests on the assumption that a majority of human beings in whatever social group are autonomous rational beings capable of independent thought and decisions.
I have never been able to find any evidence in the scientific psychological or anthropological fields to support such an assumption. Do you know of any George?
Democracy can only work at less that approx 150 group the 'monkey sphere scenario' (backed by considerable anthropological evidence BTW)
If this is true then participation in national voting is legitimisation of institutional paralysis- nothing will ever change save the name of the parties in government.
True, my single vote is neither here or here and totally insignificant(as is everyones in national elections error threshold is several hundered at least) but what would happen in a mass voting abdication and the ruling party only got 5% of votes?
They could not claim to be 'acting for the people'
Not that they ever have.....

step back


I'm appreciative that in real life you are an educator.

But consider nonetheless that maybe our biggest problem is the way we "educate" ourselves.

The so-called "clowns" of Wash. D.C. and the "fools" on Main Street who vote for them are all edge-a-kated to think and speak within the square box framework of "economics".

Any suggestion to them that questions their unshakeable faith in the Invisible Hand, The Market and Free Enterprise (the Holy Trinity) is considered sheer blasphemy. (Where in saying "them", I also include "us".)

This is the framework from which they/we all operate. It began when they/we were educated. They/we are only doing as their/our teachers instructed them/us to do.

You will never convince them that 2+3 can be anything other than "5". (Although of course, 2+3=11 , IF you can count in base 4.) Thinking outside the "economics" square box is not an option.

Ergo, we default.


voting for Michelle Bachman!

I'm not sure you're not kidding...

Sounds soo American. Plus, such an attitude might explain why the clownerie got worse and worse over the decades: The binary voting system enforces a tertium non datur, and if folks vote out of frustration for the worse politician instead of the non-perfect politician, then the system might easier tilt towards the hilarious stupidty it exhibits today.

The U.S. desperately needs a 3rd party (or more). Do folks get this - and is there any chance to get one?

-- Martin Gisser (Germany)


George, this is perhaps the most astute and accurate article you have ever posted. As they say down-under, Good on ya', mate! (Disclaimer: I have, alas, never even visited 'Oz.') I'm tempted to add there might be hope for you yet... except I am certain there is no hope for any of us. A very bleak future is approaching at warp-speed.

Kudos, too, to the above commentators! I'm nearly giddy that I have apparently found a small pocket of sentience in this otherwise moronic, self-deluded and self-destructive civilization. We have, since birth, all been subjected to the abject programming and pigeon-holing the education system was designed to achieve. As a result, the monied-class, otherwise known as the feudal overlords, have been able to play us for the fools and tools they intended us to be. Far too few of the alleged 'human' life-forms on this rock have been able to learn enough, see clearly enough and reason well enough to discover the errors of our ways. I'm delighted to have found a few such enlightened creatures here. My guess is that our numbers, globally, amount to no more than 1 in a million, at best.

For more than a decade I have been trying to inform everyone I know or meet that we are, and have been, "programmed, pigeon-holed and played." (Apologies for the repetition.) Moreover, I also have been asking those same 'individuals,' "What happens in a society governed by the majority when said majority is UN-educated, ill-informed and utterly irrational? Do you think we are finding out now?" Virtually 100% only respond with condemnation and 'looks' much like I imagine witches witnessed just before they were torched.

I, too, am 'guilty' of voting for Barry, but to refer to him as "disingenuous" is, itself, disingenuous. Personally, I call a 'spade' a spade, not a shovel. (If you incorrectly assume that is a racial slur, perhaps I was incorrect in my presumption of finding sentience here.) Obama, like every other politician since time began is no more than a lying, manipulative hypocrite and utterly unworthy of respect, much less reward. I, too, am considering casting a vote in 2012 that will accelerate the collapse and decimation of most of the living things on this rock. The 'speed of dark' is proving to be much, much faster than that of 'light.'

Speaking of light, here is some 'outside' perspective with an excerpt...

Annihilating Democracy with the Tea Party

...Members of the right-wing conservative Tea Party movement, which is well represented in Congress since the last elections, want friction. But at the expense of results.

These lawmakers no longer view themselves as part of the political system. Instead, they identify themselves as its enemy. They see themselves as outsiders, even as they sit in Congress and enjoy the kinds of job benefits they would like to strip from their fellow Americans.

Amusingly of interest, not only is it valid that "2+3=11" in base-4 but the base-4 number '23' equals '11' in decimal! :D


Why did my above comment become italicized in its entirety? I did not construct it that way and was not revealed that way in my own, "off-site" preview in a Firefox tab. Is this a "problem" with TypePad? I apologize if some of my meaning was lost for the inaccurate interpretation of the embedded HTML-tags.

Paul Yarbles

Am I italicized?

Paul Yarbles

Ah, it was worth a try!

Martin K

Hi Gorge,

Thanks for another nice post. I practically lost any hope. Watching what is going in Washington and any other debate on TV or in newspapers on economy and debts etc. is just terrible frustration. They do not have a clue what is going on and why. Those endless stupid empty talks. Just words without any meaning. Same clichés repeated again and again and again. They are so detached form reality.
I always recall your graphs about net energy production. It well visually illustrates situation and well illustrates where it will inevitably end. And it is so unbelievably. There no answer to when and how collapse will happen but there is certainty it will happen and it will happen relatively soon. There is no way any decision and agreement will prevent it. Neither in Washington or Brussels or Peking.
I feel so sorry for people around me at work etc. they naively think some kind agreement and rearrangement will keep economy running. So sorry about young people with false hopes about their future. So difficult to impossible to explain them.
More and more I watch what and how it is going on I am realizing that number of people “who know” is not anymore increasing. I am almost giving up from trying to gibe hints, trying to help people to see reality from other angle stepping out the sand box. It seems majority does not want to know. They will never see the train, which will hit them. They do not want and they cannot.
It is a dare and sad situation but as you correctly wrote - “ .. Homo sapiens, self-named and inappropriately so..”. I read somewhere (was it in another post from you?) that those “who know” are “illuminati”.
My potatoes are growing. Soon I will be harvesting them. Many other plants. It is really fun.



Hi George. The only advantage of an enormous great age is having seen it all before (also a disadvantage and very depressing). The situation on your side of the Pacific in 2011 seems to me to increasingly resemble 1968. Trouble is I can't see where the 21st century Bobby Kennedy (or for that matter Eugene McCarthy) is. Someone who can se that the Democrats have lost their way and a challenge from the left needs to be mounted.

Trouble is you might end up with a HHH and, as a consequence, a Nixon (way too far left for today's Republicans). Gloomy eh?

David Horton

Hmm, the sign-in behaved oddly and created a "microblog" in TypePad. Corrected here.


We really are fucked and there's nothing you can do but but be an observer:,-Debt-Ceiling-is-Meaningless?via=blog_798221


Why are my comments deleted? i provided a source for on-going investigation into Americans Elect but now it's gone.



The US can 'borrow' infinitely as show recently by the Federal Reserve's recent purchase of treasuries.

George Mobus


Your mystery is my mystery. I just can't imagine what it must be like to be a physicist by education and still think clean coal might work.


I've certainly come round to seeing democracy the same way. You are right about it being a matter of scale. As a younger person I guess I didn't really understand this. From then on it was more habit. When Obama came around I was already skeptical but looked at him as "maybe this one is different". Now I no longer have any doubts that your analysis is the right one.


Hence the subtitle of my blog! This is a reason I hate the word 'training' as a synonym for education. Every day I stand in front of a group of students, the majority of whose faces tell me that they expect to be trained. It is disheartening to say the least. But our society has decided that job training is what it is all about.


Thanks for the comment. I will see if I can fix the italics.


Great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment. BTW: I've been harvesting Yukon Golds already. Mostly new potatoes but some good sized ones too. Got three gigantic cabbages, two cauliflowers, several heads of lettuce (mix), and lots of sugar peas! The cold weather plants did the best this year as we have been at record cool temperatures all spring and July. Meanwhile you guys got the hots. Hope it wasn't too bad.


Great to hear from you too. Been a while I guess. Hope all is well in Oz. Are you still herding sheep???

What is there for one to do but chronicle the debacle? And complain, of course. But I am convinced there is no way to shake up the Democratic party because most of them really buy into the growth of the economy model as much as the Republicans (who are way beyond help). Since so many of the people here do relate to either of these models, the viability of a third party that could actually stand on a rational platform is nil. The only independent movement that seems to catch is something like the Tea Party (wing of the Republican party).

No, I think the system has to crash and reboot. The only problem is that there won't be the availability of cheap energy to boot the system on. Permanent crash?


Yes but only in the sense that we would like to see the world as we have known it continue, at least to the extent necessary to prevent our pain and suffering (the being f****d part). As long as there is sunshine life will rebound with or without our particular species.


I haven't deleted any comments. I do tag obvious spam comments, but if yours was legitimate I would not have deleted it. My only policy is to withdraw comments of an obvious commercial intent.

Thanks for the link.


Was the sarcanol tag set?


George Mobus


Sorry, I missed your comment first time through. I am kidding about voting for Bachman, or any Republican for that matter. Nor will I vote for Obama again since he is doing more harm than good at this point. And I don't see any independent candidates that either look viable or knowledgeable.

I'll probably just write in my own name as I suggested in the above. I would really like to know what others think about possible candidates, though. Somebody has to take the job of holding the tiller when the storm hits. Who could do that?


David Horton

Hi George
I wasn't thinking about a third party candidate, I realise that is doomed to just hand the presidency to the tea party on a platter under your system, but about a challenge from the left from within the Democratic Party like the one that unseated LBJ.

Things not great here this year.

step back


The cake and circus show gets better and better every day.

Now that "we" have avoided crisis, we need to focus our energies on helping the job cremators do what they do best: create jobs by destroying jobs.

Gym Equipments Bangalore

I'm tempted to add there might be hope for you yet... except I am certain there is no hope for any of us. A very bleak future is approaching at warp-speed.

George Mobus


Sorry to hear. I'll contact via e-mail.

Challenge from within the Democratic party? Who? I honestly don't see anyone who actually has a sufficiently broad and deep picture of reality who I would support. Virtually every pol has the same basic ideology re: growth of economy is the only way out. And there really is no way out. There is only the need to lead the people through the future struggles in powering down.


Honestly I just don't think there is anything anyone can do at this point. We have passed the point of no return vis-a-vis net energy into the economy. There is nothing on the horizon even remotely capable of replacing the high power net energy we have been using to power the economy and, as a result, create and maintain jobs (mostly making trinkets or McMansions). The wealth disparity that has grown certainly hasn't helped, nor have the effects of financialization (which is responsible for the so-called gains in the GDP). No one can really do anything at this point that would have the slightest semblance of boosting BAU and a return to a growth-oriented, consumer-based economy.

If you see someone who actually does have the answers, shout out their name.


Your pseudonym and web site smacked of commercial, so I have edited out the web URL. If you are making legitimate comments, I suggest you use a less commercial-sounding handle.


The comments to this entry are closed.