Tighten Those Chin Straps Folks Because Here Comes a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD)


Cognitive Dissonance


Please stick with this piece dear reader for it does not end on the same path from which it starts.

Being a child of the 50’s and 60’s, it comes as no surprise to anyone from that era that I’m a bit of a space buff. From the moment I saw my first televised rocket launch I was hooked and have never fully recovered from my childhood obsession. Beginning with Project Mercury and the suborbital flight of Alan Shepard in 1961, followed shortly by the three orbits of John Glenn, then progressing through Project Gemini where America practiced the space skills needed to eventually land on the moon and culminating with the Apollo Program and (supposedly) several trips to the moon, one thing they all had in common was the seriousness of everyone involved. Going to space was serious business performed by serious people. There was no joking around because failure wasn’t an option.

Who can forget the early years watching stern (mostly baby faced) engineers hunched over their monitors at the Launch Control Center in Cape Canaveral (Kennedy) and Mission Control in Houston, nearly all wearing the standard dress uniform of white short-sleeve shirt with tie along with the mandatory plastic pocket protector, headsets firmly affixed to one ear while the other was left open to hear those around them.

There were always several huge loose leaf binders at their side, dog-eared and well thumbed, complete with handwritten notations and addendums. And of course, endlessly pacing the back of the room or moving from one monitoring station to another, there was the Mission Director riding herd over his minions. There was no doubt by anyone in that room who the man in charge was and where the buck stopped.

For the Apollo flights a new Houston Mission Control was constructed, complete with a huge front wall covered with screens to display various flight parameters and video, along with a special VIP viewing area in the back sealed behind glass. At that point in the space race NASA had firmly grasped the use and abuse of public relations and propaganda to mold (and hold) public opinion. NASA understood all too well its huge budget depended upon public support, so the launches had become spectator sport and the best ticket in the house was to be seated behind the rocket scientists as they lit off another Roman candle.

Yes sir, this was cutting edge rocket science where nearly everything they did had never been done before. The entire US space program was infused with a can-do attitude where anything can be done if enough brains, brawn and money were thrown at the problem. Failures, while initially expected during testing and development, were not taken lightly and most certainly not joked about. While I feasted on the machines and technology (and still do to this day) it never ceased to amaze me what type of person would willingly strap themselves atop a glorified firecracker and wait for someone else to light it for the ride of their lives.

With this in mind it was extremely refreshing to hear (read actually) Elon Musk’s quip (tweet actually) that his recent attempt to safely land an expended first stage booster (something no one has ever done before) from his SpaceX Falcon 9 International Space Station re-supply rocket ran into difficulty just before touchdown on a drone barge out in the ocean and suffered a RUD, short for a ‘Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. In other words, it crashed and burned before sinking beneath the waves. Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark, though apparently not much of a mark on the barge itself.

Landing Barge - Clean

Say or believe what you want about Elon Musk (and there seems to be a huge audience out there who hate Elon Musk for various reasons) but the man is a true innovator and pioneer, someone who radically changes everything about anything he puts his mind to. What he tried, and almost succeeded in doing for the first time the other day, was to launch a rocket and then bring back to Earth (safely and completely intact) the spent first stage.

This is no small task since we are talking about a fragile empty tube (the full fuel tanks add structural rigidity which is no longer there) essentially shaped like a cigarette over 160 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter, and land it intact on its business end on a ship the size of a football field out in the middle of the ocean. And he very nearly did it on his first try. If nothing else the man has balls.

There is a shared understanding in engineering that speaks to the relationship between potential disaster and the complexity of the engineering attempted to solve a complex problem. Essentially a low tech solution has a lower propensity for disaster than high tech when applied to the same problem. While this is a gross oversimplification of a complex situation, you get the idea. Keep it simple stupid (KISS) is a perfect example of this principal.

If you examine some of the methods Elon Musk uses to solve complex problems, clearly he and his engineers understand this principal and practice it in all their endeavors. Outside the box thinking, combined with the hiring of non mainstream consensus thinking indoctrinated talent, consistently puts Elon out in front of the pack. Plus an obvious willingness, and even an affinity, to laugh at his ‘self’ in public when most other professionals would be hiding under their desk or pointing fingers in order to shed any blame for failure. There is no doubt who is in charge here and where the buck stops.

Elon clearly recognizes he is in a high risk business. Rather than fear failure or avoid it like the plague, Musk embraces it for what it truly is, inevitable and survivable if approached in the proper manner and with the correct mindset. What makes a true and consistent winner is honesty first, beginning with the self and radiating outward from there to all s/he touches.

Staying with the space theme for now, let’s briefly look at three examples of RUD within the NASA space program and see if we can find a common theme other than it being serious business. In 1967 three Apollo 1 astronauts died in a fire inside the capsule they occupied during training. While you are welcome to read the entire ‘official’ investigation, which cited all kinds of contributory factors, bottom line the capsule was pumped full of pure oxygen which tends to make nearly everything extremely flammable. While technically not a RUD, that fire was not an accident but rather a certainty just waiting to happen.

The second example; on a cold Florida morning in late January of 1986 the shuttle Challenger suffered an extremely violent and very public RUD shortly after liftoff. While nearly 30 years have done wonders to sanitize the explanation for this disaster, when the decision was being made on whether to launch or not the next morning (there had already been several delays) it was understood it was going to be very cold and the people in that meeting who were responsible for the solid fuel booster rockets (Morton-Thiokol if memory serves correct) clearly stated in the presence of the NASA decision makers there might be problems with seals because of the cold and they urged extreme caution.

They, meaning those who worked for the booster company, were overruled via conference call by those higher up in the company. The pressure to keep the schedule (and the government contracts) was a higher priority than any ‘potential’ problem. The results of that decision, and more importantly everything leading up to that point, are now very well known. The interesting thing about collective decisions and group failure is no one wants to point incriminating fingers since everyone had their fingers in the pie. Such was the case here and the investigation exposed all this in glaring detail.

Challenger - Clean

Finally, space shuttle Columbia suffered a RUD upon re-entry from Earth orbit in 2003. While this was a somewhat less public spectacle than Challenger, the root (human) cause was quite similar in nature. While the official explanation was a large chunk of foam insulation detached from the main external fuel tank during the early stage of the climb to Earth orbit, with the foam punching a hole through the thermal shielding on the leading edge of the shuttle wing thereby exposing it to devastating heat during re-entry, the fact is beginning with the very first test shuttle mission chunks large and small had been coming off the external fuel tank and smashing into the orbiter.

This was a very well known and obviously not well understood problem with the space shuttle system. While there were all kinds of issues with this problem, beginning with the original design of both the external fuel tank and the fragile ceramic thermal tiles on the shuttle itself, if you read the actual report (and I did shortly after it came out) in my opinion it all came down to a passage I remember reading. One engineer interviewed by the investigating committee basically said since there had not been significant damage from foam before (Columbia was the 113th flight of the shuttle system) no one considered the real possibility there would be one in the future. It was an ‘acceptable’ risk. Besides, we’re talking about foam insulation here. How bad could it be?

Obviously very bad.

While some might call this a failure of imagination, particularly by those who wish to sanitize their own involvement or that of the institution they are/were involved with, just as it is nearly impossible to get someone to do ‘A’ if they are paid to do ‘B’, so too is it nearly impossible to get someone to critically think about adverse consequences when they are conflicted, subverted or consumed by their own dependency or greed. Which brings us full circle to the coming national, and more likely global, RUD.

Plenty has already been written about the insanity of attempting to rectify a global debt problem with even more debt. Or the stranglehold the wolves have upon the construction of the dinner menu featuring sheep as appetizer, entrée and dessert. So there is no need to repeat it all here. The global economic system is in deep trouble and getting progressively worse.

Of course this doesn’t mean the global economy is doomed to suffer a RUD simply because it is in terrible shape. There is still time to avert complete and utter disaster, though there is no denying we are headed for significant pain and suffering even if ‘they’ somehow manage to avoid the iceberg dead ahead. But of course ‘they’ aren’t trying to avoid the iceberg, just delay the collision in order for the elite to prepare for, and prosper from, the consequences.

And here is where we recognize the true commonality in all the RUD’s described above. While the immediate cause of each disaster is unique in each situation, and the circumstances of each incident are also entirely different, the commonality lay within the organizational cause of each ‘accident’. And by organizational I do not ‘just’ mean the fact NASA was involved in all the above mentioned RUDs.

Step away from the NASA examples and look at any RUD, for instance the breeching of the dikes around New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, and you will find while the trigger for each is unique, the organizational cause for the incident all follow the same basic blueprint. Greed, self interest, broad assumptions, indifference, turf battles, CYA and so on all play a role in creating the organizational circumstances that enable, and even promote, disaster rather than prevent it.

In other words with regard to organizations, particularly public organizations, the cure becomes the disease.

Wolf in Sheeps Clothing - Clean

Wolves Hidden in Sheep’s Clothing

Our socioeconomic system, while purported to have been created in order to benefit all (though not necessarily equally) is in fact used to subvert, exploit and enslave the general population for the benefit of those few at the top of the heap. While the vast majority of us ‘know’ this statement to be true, our conditioning as a slave to the system informs us there is (or at least was) a real chance we can buck the system and ‘prosper’, even if never reaching the highest level of the elite.

The dream of potential ‘freedom’ (ultimately meaning financial freedom for the vast majority, not self rule and determination) motivates us slaves to endure our drudgery. We work and are paid ‘money’, thereby enabling us to eat, sleep and play with a reasonable degree of comfort. The puppet masters make sure just enough crumbs are left on the floor so full scale revolt doesn’t enter the equation. Can anyone say ‘social safety net’ or ‘minimum wage’, both of which support subsistence slave existence?

As I discussed in detail in my “Perception, Inception and the Trojan Horse Money Meme four part series, the money meme distorts our reality and corrupts the mind and soul to such an extent that for all intents and purposes we become addicted to the pursuit, generation, accumulation, growth and consumption of ‘money’ in all its forms and functions. For those who wish to control the population, the lever effectively used is to control ‘money’ and let the pursuit of the addiction enslave the population. While certainly this is another broad statement which fails to accurately describe anyone in particular, thus enabling all of us to claim ‘I’ am not one of the addicted, the sad fact is much (I would say nearly all in one form or another) of our everyday lives revolve around ‘money’.

None of these concepts are new to those who are most likely reading this and really not the point of this article other than to reiterate the basis for my thinking. While an entirely competent, and most certainly compelling, argument can be made supporting the notion those who administer the socioeconomic system are promoting, or simply enabling, a future RUD as a means to the end of consolidating power and further enslaving those they no longer wish to bestow crumbs upon, a complimentary point of view might be organizational rot and degradation is simply an additional spark to propel the approaching RUD. Houston, we have a problem……and it might just be us.

Those in power set up and/or modify political, economic and social systems to enable the elite, and those who support them, to remain in power. While the narrative we are taught, thus the stories we tell each other, are about truth, justice and the American Way, the ‘truth’ is the American Way is just another experiment in plantation farming following a long line of experiments going back thousands of years. Only ‘ours’ was brilliantly designed to leverage, while simultaneously reinforcing, the master/slave relationship. But of course that doesn’t fit the conditioning, and comforting, narrative we tell ourselves now does it?

While there is no doubt present day living conditions, along with the accompanying bread and circuses, are significantly better than found on 1st Century Roman slave labor farming villas, the Feudal social order of the Medieval Manors or the 18th Century cotton plantations, our productivity, and thereby our profitability to the elite, are also orders of magnitude greater today than the old school plantation slave. A happy self deluded slave is a massively more productive slave. “Sign me up,” begs both master and slave.

Reeve and Serfs - Clean

This glaringly obvious ‘fact’ doesn’t alter the reality today’s ‘free’ mind is just as constrained, if not more so, as the mind of the beaten, bloodied and broken plantation slave. Just because we do not acknowledge the binds that tie us to our servitude does not invalidate their existence, but rather significantly strengthens them.

The same can be said about Socialism, Communism, dictatorships, monarchies, the police state and every other modern day plantation hierarchy. The soothing labels we choose to appease our feigned ignorance, if not outright denial, do not shield us from the effects. Rather they wonderfully illustrate our thoroughly broken minds and spirit, with our rapidly decaying bodies the last roadside sign warning of the looming bridge abutment and total systemic collapse.

The present day belief held by many in the alternative community (and increasingly in the mainstream) is ‘Capitalism’, that bastion of free market economic growth and prosperity, has been distorted and hijacked over the last several dozen years or so. This belief implies there was a period of time when ‘Capitalism’ was pure, or at least more pure than it is today.

Believing this forces us to ignore our own history (altered and distorted as it is to help support the narrative we are taught) which shows us corruption, abuse of power, self dealing, manipulation and so on are as much a staple of the American Way as apple pie and Chevrolet……and always has been. While these abuses, along with their duration and intensity, rise and fall over the decades as social awareness and outrage ebbs and flows, the wheel eventually completes its turn and we find ourselves back where we started. While ‘history’ does not repeat it most certainly does rhyme. This is not by accident.

The dog eat dog, or more accurately slave eat slave, adversarial system we are indoctrinated into, and enslaved by, all but assures its eventual organizational RUD. While common sense appears to indicate this makes no sense from the Powers That Be (PTB) point of view, after all stability would seem to be their goal, ‘they’ more than anyone else understand the flaws, intended or otherwise, which are built into this type of socioeconomic system, including its eventual RUD, and assume they will be able to handle just about any eventuality. Besides, it is always better to keep the slave population on edge and fighting among themselves over crumbs and distractions then firmly focused on their true tormentors.

While this might appear to be a huge leap of faith by the elite 1%, a long history of minority rule by generation after generation of elites informs us otherwise. While there are dozens of contributing factors to the elite’s success, their primary strength is their willingness to do ANYTHING required to maintain control, including eating their own by offering up a few sacrificial elite lambs to be burned at the stake.

This effectively serves to sate, even if only on a temporary basis, the angry hoards’ blood lust for someone (else) to be held responsible for their own willing participation in economic and social slavery, thereby enabling the vast majority of the rebellious slaves to return to the more comfortable emotional state of conditioned slavery.

Stated simply we do not cast off our deeply embodied conditioning in a few short days, weeks or even months, thereby freeing our ‘self’ from ourselves. In the ultimate expression of psychological self destruction “We the People” will do whatever it takes to dispel any lingering cognitive dissonance. Above all else, we fear the pain of knowing ourselves. We are only as sick as our deepest darkest secrets and those can only be found, and confronted, deep within.

Inner Demons - Christian Hopkins - CleanPhoto Credit - Inner Demons by Christian Hopkins

This is one of the primary reasons revolutions rarely succeed. Or if they initially do, the revolution itself quickly becomes worse than what it superseded under the guise of carrying out social and political ‘reforms’. If the elite have not already co-opted the leadership of the ‘revolution’ they will soon do so while the revolution struggles to convert to civilian rule. Those who are effective revolutionaries are not necessarily well suited to confront and reform social inequality and strife or create a functioning bureaucracy from scratch.

Knowing this, let me count the number of ways the elite can (re)establish control over the ideologically blind (the revolutionaries) and the emotionally stunted (the recently ‘freed’ slaves) who have now returned to their cages trailing a revised narrative to sooth them back to sleep. It’s like red meat to a starving hyena and the elite are always ready to pounce.

If anything the elite welcome the occasional revolution because it acts as a psychological re-boot for the affected slave nation, encouraging the conditioned to return to their slave quarters while the promised change is never delivered, all while enabling a frenzy of looting by the elite and the revolutionaries while the social and financial order is being restructured. Essentially the conditioned are encouraged to endure even more suffering in the name of change, and many will willingly do so in their desperate pursuit to dispel their recently enflamed cognitive dissonance. The con game changes, but the players remain essentially the same.

While we slaves are preoccupied with local, regional or ‘national’ concerns, the elite see no substantial borders and almost always think and act globally. This is how the 0.1% rules the 1% who rules the 20% who rules the remainder. I do not fear the King as much as I fear all the King’s men, ultimately the better kept and more powerful house slaves who dole out the actual punishment you and I receive.

I am not as concerned with the approaching RUD and the devastation it will bring, for this is inevitable and beyond my ability to control. What concerns me deeply is what will follow. The most powerful opiates and sedatives in human experience do not spring from the labs of Pfizer, Merck or Johnson & Johnson, but rather are produced within the deeply conditioned and pacified minds of the Slave Nation.

The controlling narrative, combined with the need for the conditioned mind to rid itself of all outstanding cognitive dissonance, virtually assures the elite the upper hand regardless of the appearance of revolution, mindless anarchy and mob rule. Rest assured there will be blood, and plenty of it, before the re-boot is complete and the new patsies storm the stage proclaiming ‘our’ victory.

Political Posing On Stage Early 1900s - Clean

An animal caged all its life rarely ventures outside for long regardless of the ease of egress or the pleasures that beckon beyond. The emotional discord that erupts when the familiar confines are removed is simply too powerful for the vast majority of captive minds to push through, thus the urgent need for control to be reasserted, corralled if you will, if only by a new set of accommodating elites. Power, and a recently ‘freed’ mind, abhors a vacuum.

Therefore, for the elites at least, a RUD, inevitable as it may be, is entirely useful as a reset mechanism and herding mechanism. Put a can of familiar Spam in the back of the cage and the hungry and emotionally distraught will quickly return to the familiar confines of their mental and emotional cages.

This is why time after time I always return to the same beat of the drum. The only way real change will ever be effected is if “We the Slaves” first change our selves. And this can only be accomplished by way of a fearless and thorough examination of our inner fears, triggers and conditioning. To paraphrase Bill W., half measures avail us nothing. To scratch the surface of the ‘self’ and then pull back, either out of fear or shock, only sets us up for more of the same servitude. One must dive in and go deep, returning to the surface often for air and perspective before once again submerging for another scouring of the deepest darkest reaches of the mind and soul.

The next RUD, intentionally planned or organizationally birthed, is just around the corner. Of this I am quite certain if for no other reason than history shows us the well beaten path to the next bridge abutment. Rather than scream my loudest while beating my chest in frustration at my impotence and my fellow slaves’ willingly ignorant servile prostration, I must ready myself and those who wish to join me for the coming winter.

I cannot stress enough the fear and panic which will permeate the global community when the next RUD commences. The herd’s instinct to riot, run and then retreat will be incredibly powerful and will overwhelm all of us even from a distance if we enter the next disaster unprepared mentally, emotionally and physically. And by prepare I do not just mean stacking PM’s, stocking food and strengthening the fences.

The only way to weather the coming storm is to first look deeply within, clean house, become settled with the things we cannot change and busy ourselves with those we can. It all begins with the demons within.


Cognitive Dissonance


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24 thoughts on “Tighten Those Chin Straps Folks Because Here Comes a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD)”

    1. Morpheus,

      Thank you.

      I sure hope these articles don’t come off as too depressing for this is not my intent. There is always hope. BUT…..false hope binds us to impossible situations, and for the most part when I look around and survey the situation false hope is what I mostly find.

      Not only do we actively seek out those who will tell us what we want to hear, but we also tell ourselves precisely what we wish to hear in order to do…or not do…exactly what we want. We avoid unpleasant ‘truths’ precisely because they are painful. Just as we cannot build muscle without first breaking down the muscle tissue to prepare the path for growth, so must the same process be followed if we are to grow emotionally and spiritually.

      The ugly truth is the pacified minds of the slave nation have been conditioned to be cowards. I know of what I speak because I am the king of cowards, for there are many areas where I still dare not tread. Thus I throw the first stone at my own glass house.

      Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Ok, second try at my comment. I am working on a laptop that has a super-sensitive touch pad that wants to rewrite my sentences, delete and even post before I am ready.

    As I tried to state, you are always one to eloquently describe and accept responsibility for your actions and thoughts, a rare trait amongst most I encounter except here on TIF which is a haven for me where I can be honest and receive the same feedback in return. Something I truly value.

    I just spent several painful hours with work colleagues telling me how great Obama is and how bad and authoritarian Putin is as a leader and that those foolish Russians prefer their authoritarian leader. I tried to point out some of the propaganda that demonizes Russia at every chance especially when they quote the New York Times for their source of information. All I got in response was that Obama is good because he has done more for Global Warming than any other president in history. Given the facts and not fantasy, all I could do was quietly smile and accept the ignorance of the conversation. Some minds are not ready to accept any truth, no matter the subject.

    Thank you for putting your thoughts into essays.

    1. The habitually blind are always so certain of their perfect vision they must gather in groups to recite their ignorance to each other in order to dispel the stench of denial. If I say it often enough, and then hear it repeated by all those around me, it must be true.

      It is said the greatest pleasure experienced by the ignorant is the endorphin rush received from hearing their words repeated to others by others as if it were the gospel. Each time a lie is repeated a little of the grime is removed until finally it stands reformed into a truth able to bear the withering glare of sunshine. Or so “We the Ignorant” wish to believe.

      Group denial runs silent and runs deep, and is the great sanitizer of personal dishonesty. I suspect the reason so many people are so terrified of being alone with their ‘self’, and the accompanying thoughts that come with solitude, is that there’s no place to run, no place to hide.

      The urgent need by so many today to constantly be engaged in social contact, even if only via text or twitter, while actively avoiding just sitting in quiet contemplation, is because doing so bars the door to our inner demons. But eventually we are alone with our ‘self’ and the truth can no longer be avoided. What a living nightmare that is.

      I vividly remember what that feels like and I never wish to return to the abject terror of being alone with me, myself and I.

      Cognitive Dissonance

  2. Hello @Cognitive Dissonance:

    Thank you for this really great essay. I enjoyed it a lot and hope others do too.

    A couple of comments of my own.

    In one of your comments on TIF you said:

    The ugly truth is the pacified minds of the slave nation have been conditioned to be cowards. I know of what I speak because I am the king of cowards, for there are many areas where I still dare not tread. Thus I throw the first stone at my own glass house.

    Personally I agree that the conditioning of this place at this time creates cowards. It is all about making people dependent on the very lies imbedded in the conditioning. Lies can never make a person strong and brave.

    But I do not agree with your assessment of yourself as a coward. Of course it is basically wrong of me to disagree with you in this matter, but I can not call a person a coward who has consciously made the life changes in themselves and their family that you have made the last several years. No coward could do the things you have done. A coward could never do this thing.

    Secondly, your image of our coming lives as part of a ‘RUD’ seems to be a change in your view of the future. I have always been under the impression you thought our future was a slow crumble and not a ‘rapid disassembly’. I would characterize a ‘RUD’ as a collapse. I’ve always been of the opinion that the more developed areas of the world would experience terrible catastrophic collapses, disassemblies of the very worst sort involving many aspects of life in those places. Am I right in thinking you have had a change in your view of the future?


    1. OtB

      You said…..

      “But I do not agree with your assessment of yourself as a coward………..No coward could do the things you have done. A coward could never do this thing.”

      We tend to think of being a coward as an on/off condition. Meaning you either are one or you are not. In my opinion it is actually a relative condition or at least a sliding scale.

      Understand too I fully utilize literary license to be dramatic when making my point. I do not wish to be perceived as a God like voice booming down from Mt Olympus, but instead entirely human with the same doubts, foibles, confusion and fears as everyone else. So I will greatly emphasize my own shortcomings in an attempt to keep myself and my readers grounded.

      My comment about being a coward was conditioned. I said there are many places where I still will not go. From my point of view this is a glaring defect considering all the personal work I have already done. However I keep one thought first and foremost in my mind, if for no other reason than to rationalize it. Progress, not perfection, is the way forward.

      You also said…..

      “Secondly, your image of our coming lives as part of a ‘RUD’ seems to be a change in your view of the future. Am I right in thinking you have had a change in your view of the future? “

      Yes….and No. :-)

      While I posted the Perhaps a Crumble piece in Jan 2013 I had been thinking about it for well over a year before I actually wrote it. So the thinking is now three years old. I have been rethinking my thinking in light of new information. :-)

      The world’s rubber band has continued to stretch and stretch well beyond what I thought it could withstand before subsystems would begin to seriously erode, particularly confidence. So there is even more energy stored which will be released.

      But…..in my Crumble piece I was careful to explain that when something crumbles there are periods of time when large chunks fall off and structural integrity quickly declines before stabilizing again at a lower potential energy state. I still feel this will happen.

      So while I used the RUD example I was once again using literary license to make my point. In fact there will be several RUDs, one after the other, with short and long periods of time between. But the high potential energy state that currently exists will dissipate, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Cognitive Dissonance

  3. Thank you so much for these answers CD.

    Personally, I would not want to use the word ‘defect’ to describe events so scary or painful in a person’s life they are almost impossibly difficult for anyone to face. Our care and compassion with each other in these terribly difficult times should include the understanding that we all need to support each other in our struggles to progress through these most difficult events. I think that is exactly why you created this TwoIceFloes space for all of us.

    I was not really able to think of possibilities of differences in quantity and quality of collapse scenarios until I personally lived in a developing country. I had my developed country observational blinders firmly fitted and all those biases deeply in place. I think fortunately for me, I no longer hold those beliefs. As you say, places of more complexity will have big energy issues to face when that energy goes away. It will be catastrophic here in PI. But underlying the complexity issues here are the deep family and tribal connections that everyone falls back on in time of stress. I think this characteristic of deep family and friend care will actually be more important than anyone can understand who has not experienced it before. And it’s so difficult for anyone to appreciate and understand the importance of something they have never experienced. I certainly know it was for me.

    Still, I think maybe 50% of everyone here in PI will die within 6 months of no oil and coal deliveries. The Green Revolution agriculture of Modernity based on oil has guaranteed that outcome. And 50% will survive in terrible conditions only because of the family’s ability and great willingness to share what they have. I can’t imagine this number of dead being less than 80 – 90% in America if a collapse happens that cuts off al oil imports. Starvation is such a cascading event. I hope I am very wrong about that.

    Is it bad to say these things? Probably, but probably a realistic discussion that is important to have when trying to think about what a collapse event will really be like to experience.


    1. OtB,

      It appears you expect the/a collapse to be much more severe than I am if you are thinking it will cause the death of millions upon millions. Personally I don’t see that, at least not to that magnitude……at least not yet.

      I do understand the potential and possibility. And as the just-in-time delivery system the world works on begins to erode I do expect severe stress and even death. But not 80 – 90% in America.

      Of course, if they go the route of nuclear war then……………………….

      Cognitive Dissonance

  4. Cog:
    Maybe I’ve missed it, but neither here, nor on ZH, have I seen you mention the notion of God, nor the transcendental. In my estimation, principled observation/action gets one so far; the voice inside one’s mind is not true consciousness, but rather an ‘earthly’ reaction to it. Just curious.

      1. It’s not a matter of ‘should’ you have mentioned God Cog, but rather, what are the foundational principals the guide one’s “mind and soul”. If you don’t mind, I would like to elaborate in a further essay.


        1. Hello @Stayfrosty:

          I for one am looking forward to your essay on foundational principles. That subject is of great interest to me and it is so nice to have this place to share such personal information and knowledge. The universe is large enough to encompass many such narratives of life.


  5. Hi CD:

    I know, I know, 80-90% loss of population is pretty shocking. I don’t like to say it at all.

    My guesstimate for America is based on the following scenario:

    1. Financial failure and major financial collapse of some sort. This is closer than most people are aware of.

    2. A limited regional war escalating into a limited nuclear war between the 3 major nuclear powers. This will happen as one group really tries to steal resources or force one of the others to do something not in their national interests. I don’t see any way this can be avoided now. In fact it is going on right now in several areas of the world, but just has not yet included an all out war with the use of nucs.

    3. Total collapse of the world financial system.

    4. Inability to import fossil fuels because there is no way to buy and sell anything on the international market, if such were even to exist at all..

    5. Agricultural failure, leading to regional separations based on availability of fuel resources.

    6. Major population die off from regional wars and starvation as the remaining population adapts to a fuel free agriculture and an almost energy free life in general.

    The underlying population is currently supported by fossil fuel. In the case of American food production this is D2 diesel and various agricultural chemicals, almost all derived from fossil fuels of one sort or another. I think the current estimate is that less than 3% of America food production comes from systems outside the use of fossil fuels.

    America has fossil fuels but how quickly can they be utilized into food production through the current system of fuel imports and refining? Most American produced fuels are sold abroad to yield the highest possible prices for the producers. How could that behemoth system be changed to produce food quickly enough to stop starvation? And does anyone think the oil producing regions of America are going to share their oil with anyone else? All the large scale mono-cropping agricultural systems will end in one cropping cycle. How on earth can they be replaced with a naturally sustainable system in time to save a majority of the population of a country whose food is based on foreign imported oil?

    There are no food or energy reserves in America that could be tapped quickly enough to save the population from starvation. I think it will be an enormous catastrophe, not counting what ever is destroyed by a few nucs being lobbed around. And you can count on the existing refineries being radioactive dust by then.

    I don’t see anyway out of this scenario or something very close to it. I would really like someone to show me how my ideas are faulty and why. I just don’t see the current actions by any of the major players that would lead me to believe this mess can be avoided. It seems to be cooked into the existing systems of complexity and empire preservation.


    1. I have just recently joined TIF. I live in central Canada. Our future is even bleaker because with no fuel we freeze to death before we can even think of starving…

  6. OtB:

    Could it be that this scenario that you have presented does not play out as you see it because not everybody, probably so few, really wants it to happen like that, – and it gets stalled and subverted in many ways and on many fronts by good people being major leaguers when required? And if not averted, alternate thinking prevails to substitute existing resources as supplements?

    Maybe I have been removed from the animal farm too long ;>).


    1. Hi @Glynn:

      I do so wish what you say were true, but the history of the last 100 years says that it is not true at all.

      And the history of the last 20 years for Americans says the majority do not care a bit how many people around the world are destroyed in their name as long as they get to have their exceptional privileges. This issue is the single most damaging issue as it will drive the big war as if by automation. Ignorant people who believe they have nothing left to lose are willing to gamble everything to maintain their beliefs, to maintain the lie they are living. It will not end well.

      My scenario is based on my personal involvement in financial systems that almost no one knows about. They are not special at all, just out of the ordinary. Everything is being done to maintain some sense of normal in the ordinary financial systems. The systems I work in are already broken, and they are part of the huge shadow system underlying the everyday banking and financial systems most people think of when they buy something or go to the bank. So for most people everything is kinda OK, some angst because there are too many people out of work and too many people slipping into poverty and too much chaos in the world, but as long as most people in Modernity are not in desperation the Lie can be maintained. But in the bigger underlying foundational financial world the system is already broken and barely working at all.

      I should write an essay describing exactly what trigger events I think will bring on each step of my scenario, but it would be really depressing to write and much more depressing to read. And I can not find a single way for it to be avoided given the current beliefs in place by the majority of people.


  7. OTB,

    Thank you for sharing your inside knowledge on the system. I think you should write the essay, I really do. The truth is what it is all about. No one else is writing stuff like that, it’s time to tell it like it is.

    You state: the history of the last 20 years for Americans says the majority do not care a bit how many people around the world are destroyed in their name as long as they get to have their exceptional privileges. I disagree with this statement for the mere fact that people just don’t know. I was one of those that didn’t know 4 years ago and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to finally see the system for what it is. It is a “machine” that runs 24/7/365 from the moment you take your first breath after the doctor smacks you on the ass.

    How do I know that it is a machine? I’ve been fighting the machine for years and the machine is running just fine. You know what the saddest part is, it’s when your own brothers and friends fight against you for the machine. I still talk about this stuff just a lot less often now.

    OTB, I really appreciate your essays, it took a lot of courage to share them with us. I just wanted to say thank you.

    Mr Pepper

  8. Wow Mr. Pepper:

    Thank you so much for the very kind words.

    I’m really wrestling with the idea of writing an essay on the financial world that I know. I don’t want to come across as a pompous know it all and since this world exists at a level most people do not know exists at all the story in its self casts me in a strange light. But I agree, it is a very instructive information.

    I do agree with your comment about most people now knowing about a lot of the stuff their government is doing in their name. But my question then would be how is a level of ignorance of that magnitude maintained without calling it willful ignorance? Without even getting the least bit into ‘conspiracy theories’ there is the outright admission by the CIA to the overthrow of various governments, the Pentagon Papers, the lies prior to the Iraq invasion, Iran-contra and on and on. In the light of all this public evidence it seems to me that anyone who is not seriously questioning their government in each and every action is not doing so because they don’t want to know the answers to their questions.

    And I know about the pain of your own family not wanting to even think about these issues and what they might mean to a person. I am here in PI and most of my family is in America exactly because of this issue.

    I remember once being a very idealistic young man wondering how a Brit could live with the knowledge that their own government carried out the Opium Wars against the people of CHina. What an embarrassment that must be. Then I discovered that one of the signatories to the second Opium War treaty was the USA.

    Thank you for fighting the machine in every way you can. And thank you for all your efforts at being part of Her would of Nature with your gardens and your plants.


    1. OTB,

      I second Pepper – let’s see the financial essay! A little depressing content now and then helps keep one from getting too complacent. Also, no need to worry about coming across as pompous… I doubt anyone who would make such judgments has wandered over here to Cog’s Country Club.

      I think you are spot on in that there is a ton of willful ignorance out there but at the same time I get the sense that many people know something is fundamentally wrong. With the flowering of the internet I think it is safe to assume that more people now understand the System is a fraud than ever before in modern history.

      Could there be a glimmer of hope if we arrive on the other side in one piece?

      1. Hi @Joegalt:

        Ok, ok, I will write an essay on this dark subject based on my personal experiences and knowledge of what is going on in the parts of the shadow banking system I am connected to and what the health is of that system right now.

        I think I will post it on the thread ‘Financial Truth’ but CD can move it where ever he wants.

        There is a very large glimmer of hope right now. Dark times always offer great opportunity to learn, grow and make changes based on options developed outside the Lies of this dark time. That is hugely optimistic and personally empowering. But lonely and scary dangerous sometimes.


  9. Hello U. Pepper, J. Galt, CD & OtB:

    Finally another spirited entre’ into controversy, many thanx 2 all. I just want to add 2 cents worth of living outside and looking in on what once was, for me also, the good life in it’s golden era – the 50’s and 60’s.

    From my perspective today, it seems to me that the reasons that our own friends and families seem so sheep-ish is the result from the subtle and totally sinister programming to not be ‘different’. I feel that this may be a key area of our, “humanities’ weakness, within our programming, that we are at all times open to suggestion, that has been exploited by those who want to see failure of this beautiful and majestic experiment that is what we know as ‘Life on Earth’. It is so pervasive that I don’t see it to be any other than this. Certainly no less, and probably much more. A failure that has co-opted those who found themselves somehow on the outside of where they wanted to be and have resorted to the psycopathy of greed and power to achieve their sense of being acceptable, if only to their fellow psychopaths.

    I see ‘shunning’ as the only sensible and responsible response, hence there seems to be no effective response and the circle continues to turn.

    For what it’s worth, a view from an outer edge of the Valdivian Galaxy.


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