Weekend Open Thread

Here's a place to post some ideas, suggestions, or whatever...Enjoy!

... and the many implications of these ideas on politics, economics, and our daily lives.

Mr. Barton is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and thus has great influence over energy strategy, which badly needs updating to address issues like warming. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mr. Barton has also been a leading beneficiary of campaign funds from the oil, gas and utility industries, which have belittled the warming threat and resisted regulatory efforts to control the burning of fossil fuels. Mainstream scientists believe such fuels are responsible for the warming trend in the last century.

... from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/23/opinion/23sat1.html

censorship is the signpost of Democracy

no censorship intended, SB...I was trying to delete a double post in there, and I think I deleted them all. My mistake.

OK. Thanks. I thought the deletion might have been intentional and that "What" had won that poker hand by making himself the self-annointed group leader with an invisible silent majority to back him up. Maybe the What entity thought the same thing.

For readers interested, a book that explains what happened (False Authority ploy) and many other manipulation ploys is Valerie Pierce's 'Quick Thinking On Your Feet'. I have no personal stake in her book. http://www.clearcriticalthinking.com/quick-thinking.htm
Highly recommended though for people who have had something like that pulled on them at a business meeting.


nope, wouldn't play it that way SB. Not my style. Type to your heart's content. :)

I see Step back is using the typical tricks of lawyers and those in power. Accuse any one who disagrees with you of being a non-person ("entity"), confuse specific criticism of one of your points with some larger non-exstent issue ("self-annointed group leader with an invisible silent majority"), and avoid the point by naming it as some trick ("False Authority ploy").

The fact is your first post (now deleted) was about a some deranged man who had killed his family that you heard about on Court TV (which you linked to). I said that it was irrelevant and suggested oil might be a more appropriate topic. I think if you reposted your original message with the 8:27 pm hysteria under it, even you would see how foolish you look.

Instead you use Bush's tactics of attacking those who say anything against you. If you oppose Step back you oppose peak oil and must be the enemy. If you are not with Step back you are against the Oil Drum.

Here is Step back's original link.


Dissidents held in Cuba crackdown
By Stephen Gibbs
BBC News, Havana


Thank you for coming out in the open and expressing your views.

I accept that you sincerely believe in "the facts" as you see them.
Unfortunately I did not save my original post.

You are probably right to suggest that for people who are not atuned to the mind control game, my original post went too far out on the limb.

It was an allusion to "Fight Club" (both a book and a movie about mind control: http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/russkafin/fcrules.html )

Given the above, please pay attention (close attention) to the facts that:

1) In my response to you, I *expose* the "ploy" rather than using it.

2) The name of the ploy comes from Valerie Pierce's book. It is the number #1 ploy in her book. She details roughly 10 ploys.

3) Our discussions about "oil" here are subject to mental manipulations just as are any free society discussions.

Just because you (we) learn about ploys, that alone does not make you (we) *immune*. But it makes us more wary, more alert to what might be going on. I for one am not 100% sure that Peak Oil is for real. There is great danger that we may evolve into a cult without even knowing it if we do not "step back" every so often and re-examine even our most basic tennants of belief. Personally, I prefer Matt Simmon's approach. He talks about probabilities rather than definites. In truth, we do not know what lies under the ground *everywhere* in the world.

4) The reason (my internal reason) for referencing that news story about the guy on trial for murder (I was not able just now to find that link) was to introduce the "possibility" --just maybe, just maybe-- that people can be brainwashed (which is different from the 10 power "ploys" of Valerie's book). Here is another link regarding the "brainwashing defense" as used in trial: http://www.cultnews.com/archives/000429.html

5) My original posting asked: How come those guys in London are blowing themselves up?

Many on the Peak Oil side believe that it has something to do with oil.
Many on the Peak Oil side believe that the USA is in Iraq purely for the oil.

Therfore, the issue of suiciding human robots is related to oil.

I'll accept that you are a person with feelings and not "an entity" and I apologize if I said anything untoward.

What happened above is a GREAT EXAMPLE of how,
just like lemmings, we all can easily jump to bad conclusions.

I, for one "assumed" that Prof. Goose had sided with What and had removed my original posting as being "inappropriate" for discussion at this site.

Then, I began to harbor bad feelings about the Prof for having intentionally censored my thoughts (weird as they might be).

I'm not sure what What was feeling. Maybe glee at having won the debate about not allowing alternate thoughts to appear on this site?

Then the Prof. explained that the deletion was a mere accident.

Of course, it was all to easy to leap to wrong conclusions.
It was all to easy to start developing negative thoughts (feelings) about other human beings.

Is any one here immune from doing such a thing? For example, how many of you out there harbor ill feelings about "those who control the flow of oil"?

In your opinion, who are those "those"?

I briefly succeeded in getting beyond the ploy, breaking the bonds of mental manipulation and freeing myself from mind control.

In the few fleeting moments of cognitive freedom, I came to the conclusion that Step back is just a plot by the great cult of oil owners. It was all perfectly obvious. The multiple messages full of inane and senseless babble could only be seen as a devious plot to shut down all conversation on this site and convince visitors that "peak oil" is synonymous with “conspiracy mongering" and lunacy. And it has worked spectacularly.

I then drew upon earlier suggestions to look at the result, and reverse engineer a cause. It was clear Step back is a plot to ruin this site.

But then it all faded and I am now back to just thinking Step back is a moron.

Name calling is the most reasonable of all "rational" ploys.

God be with you my friend ...

What to do ... What to do. step back has an interesting perspective on things. What seems to have no perspective on things.

If What can't play well with others, What should go home.

I saw the originial comments before they were deleted and felt What's response to step back to be far more inapropriate than the possible irrelevance of the link step back had posted. step back's original followup to What was interesting and grounded.

Anyways, step back asks an interesting question -- who are we mad at. I'm not mad at oil people or the oil business. I'm mad at the money system that finances it all, and the support given to that money system by the people. Without our collective faith in the money it would be worthless and it would not be well funded capitalists who decide what gets done. Oil might not have ever taken on the role it did in our society had it not been for the money system and the perpetual yet unsustainable growth that this capitalism requires. And yet paradoxically "our society" as it is and as what we could call our own probably would not exist without the money system and more recently oil - it would be a different society altogether.

What's not on second?
No, he seems to hang out here.
Someone call Abbott!

As for who to be mad at....  I'm mad at the Republicans on this issue (and at the Democrats for indulging in enough stupidity to make them unelectable, but that's another story).  Even James Woolsey knows that we've got piles of options that we aren't pushing for, and the Republicans in 1980-88 and since 2001 have killed many of our best prospects.  They've also gotten stupid, misdirecting money and and even deployment effort to things like hydrogen which are not ready for prime time.

There are still good options out there, but many of the less-ready technologies which could have benefitted from more scrutiny in the laboratories never got it because there was no money.  The hydrogen budget should be redirected to batteries and photovoltaics, and the oil-production subsidies should be eliminated entirely (we don't need them at $60/bbl).

What should stay in the game.

His perspective is realistic. It is realistic to him and to many like him. We need to understand why each of us thinks the way we do. Why are we mad? Who are we mad at? Do they deserve the ill feelings we harbor towards them? Do they know there is wrong in what they do? Should we try to forgive and educate them? How do we educate them? How do we get them to understand things more fully?

I whole-heartedly agree with E-P that "something is wrong in the system" (paraphrasing him here).

Our economic system is not behaving in a rational way.
It is behaving in a mindless self-serving way.
Our herd is marching toward the cliffs.
We're yelling at them to stop, to turn around.
They do not heed our calls.
We are being swept along by the momentum of their movement.

"The markets will provide," they say.
We nod in agreement by talking about how "the money" is not there. If only "the money" was there, everything will be good. Will it?

A number of critics argue that photovoltaics consume more energy in the production of such systems than they pay back in reasonable time after installation. IF (only assuming here) that is true, we are in deep doo doo.

A number of critics argue that nuclear plants consume more energy in the production of such systems than they pay back in reasonable time after installation. IF (only assuming here) that is true, we are in deep doo doo. (Besides, it takes 10 years to build a nuke plant. We may not have that kind of time.)

Knowledgible people know that "hydrogen" is mostly hot gas. It is not a pre-stored source of energy and it is very hard to containarize the gas. GM is betting America's future on hydrogen. ("What's good for GM is good for America" remember?) How does such behavior come about in a corporate organization that is supposed to be behaving rationally? If a microcosm in GM behaves like this, what does it say about the bigger picture, the whole of corporate America?

The faith-based leaders of our country deny the reality of global warming. Maybe that's what the GW in Bush's name stands for: Global Warmer Bush. Why do our leaders behave this way? Calling them names won't help. There are many who feel just like them. There are only a few who feel like us. Why? Are there "external interests" influencing our leaders to behave as they do?

As you can see, lots of questions. Not too many answers. We are all still in uncharted territories.

Just occurred to me:
What called me a moron
I called Bush a moron

How does that make me different from What. It doesn't.
You don't call a Texan a moron.
Something about Texas culture that somebody explained to me once.

A different kind of dialog has to be developed. One where the Texan wins and the world wins. Everyone saves face. Must be a way.

"A number of critics argue that nuclear plants consume more energy in the production of such systems than they pay back in reasonable time after installation. IF (only assuming here) that is true, we are in deep doo doo."

The unstated assumption there is that the energy is from petroleum; that assumption is false.

I recently calculated that the energy required to make the concrete for a nuke plant (assuming some pretty hefty walls, like 4 feet thick) could be re-created with the energy output of its first few hours (that's hours, not years or months) of full-power operation.  The steel wouldn't take much more, and even the enrichment of fuel via gaseous diffusion takes maybe 3-5% of the plant's output (gas centrifuges are 50 times as efficient).  Anyone who tells you that nuke plants are energy-negative either hasn't run the numbers or is flat-out lying.