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Wade Frazier

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  1. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: I finished Noam and Ed’s The Washington Connection last night, and I am off to reread their second volume, After the Cataclysm. Then I will be writing the Wikipedia article, updating my bio on Ed on my site, and then tackling Ed’s bio at Wikipedia. I have more plans for my Ed bio project, but once I get those little projects done, then it will be on to the long-overdue update of my big essay. It may be the most significant revision that I will ever make or, at least, the most significant that I will make in the decade after I first published it. Again, no changes to the essay’s basic thrust, but I will be putting more meat on the bones, to help my readers attain the comprehensive perspective that is needed for my plan to work. I am going to provide an example of the problems that I will likely encounter when I rewrite Ed’s Wikipedia bio. Ed’s first collaboration with Noam was subjected to one of history’s most spectacular instances of censorship. One facet of my reread of The Washington Connection was realizing how right Noam and Ed were in their writings about communism, especially in Southeast Asia and Vietnam in particular. What Ralph McGehee was finding out the hard way in Southeast Asia, Noam and Ed had discovered through their scholarly work. During my studies, especially my studies since 2007, as I prepared to write my big essay, it became obvious that no life form likes being coerced, and that applies in spades to humans. Nobody wanted to become somebody’s slave, and in Fourth Epoch societies, the idea of slavery is evil, whereas slavery was a hallowed institution for the entire Third Epoch, only ending when the Fourth Epoch began, and slavery no longer made economic sense. The Han Chinese are to China what white people are to North America, Australia, and elsewhere: invaders who displaced the natives and form the dominant population today. China’s history is a rich one, and during my studies, it became clear that places such as Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia had long resisted China’s domination. Korea, like Tibet, Japan, and Vietnam, had long resisted being incorporated into China, and Korea was known as the Hermit Kingdom. The International Communist Conspiracy is one of the wildest and most untenable conspiracy theories of all time, but it was an official theory of the American government’s for generations, which Ralph discovered was an elaborate lie, used to justify imperial behavior. To the colonized peoples of Earth, communism had great appeal, but what they really wanted was simply freedom from white people’s domination. Their crime was wanting to be free, and the USA has murdered millions ever since World War II, when the international colonial order began unravelling, especially as the UK and France were so weakened by World War II, as the USA became the new imperial overlords. In Vietnam, communism was part of the revolutionary ideology to throw off the imperial shackles, and throughout the colonized world, it was really about the rise of nationalism, not the capitalist versus communist false dichotomy that the USA sold to its population. The benefits of industrialization were obvious to all colonial nations, and the first thing that they all did after winning at least formal ending of colonial status was attempting to industrialize (but you need cheap energy to do that, which they usually did not have access to). The Soviet Union sold itself to former-colonial nations as a friend who could help them rapidly industrialize, and their motto was industrializing within a generation. But while Vietnam pursued communist ideology and methods, the last thing that they wanted was Soviet or Chinese domination, and the USA’s Big Lie of the Cold War was that those colonized peoples yearning for freedom were Soviet or Chinese pawns. JFK well understood what the colonized peoples wanted and took a very different path, quite different from all presidents that preceded or succeeded him, which was partly due to his Irish roots, as they were among the first peoples to feel the English boot across their necks. JFK was a decidedly reluctant imperialist, which had a lot to do with his murder. All subsequent American presidents have been puppets and know it, although Trump may just be waking up to that fact. For the peasants of Vietnam, communism had great appeal, and the USA knew full well that if the free election called for, when the French reconquest effort failed, would have been held, that Ho Chi Minh would have won 80% of the vote. So, the USA prevented such an election and continually escalated its tactics of thwarting the Vietnamese desire for freedom, leading to one of history’s most evil deeds, and we even outperformed the Nazis at times. Although Noam will disagree, maybe even violently, JFK was planning to withdraw the American military from Vietnam, and as with Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK’s stance on Vietnam may have been the last straw for those who had him murdered. So, Vietnamese communism had great appeal to its peasantry. The peasants formed the communist “base” in Vietnam, and the last thing that the communists were going to do was alienate the peasants through violence. They didn’t need to. Perhaps the biggest of the Big Lies that the USA told about the communists of Southeast Asia was that they terrorized and coerced the peasantry. The opposite was true, as Ralph learned in Thailand. One the other hand, the regimes that the USA installed and propped up in Vietnam and throughout the colonized lands were murderous dictatorships with no allegiance to their populations. Ed and Noam called those “leaders” “denationalized,” and their allegiance was to each other and their American backers. There was no way that any of the USA’s puppets could ever win free elections in their countries, and the USA specialized in what Ed termed “Demonstration Elections,” which were free in name only, and were basically PR stunts designed to delude the American people. The American slaughters of Vietnamese peasants, who comprised 80% of Vietnam’s population, a typical proportion in agrarian societies, reached into the millions. The My Lai massacre was only unusual in that it got publicity in the USA, and in its wake, the USA’s propaganda machine went into overdrive, trying to downplay My Lai as an anomaly, when it was really just a day at the office for the American genocidists. The media not only tried to portray the My Lai slaughter as an anomaly, but they played up Nixon’s “preventing a communist bloodbath” Big Lie for the USA’s presence in Southeast Asia, which brings me to a Wikipedia article which shows what a chore I will have on my hands with Ed’s bio. The article is on the so-called “communist massacre” at Huế, which Ed and Noam called a “mythical bloodbath” in The Washington Connection, which built on their earlier writings on the subject. The main thrust of the Wikipedia article on the subject is pure propaganda. It is true that during the American bombardment of Huế, which was perhaps the most vicious and destructive of all of the USA’s attacks on Vietnam, and that is saying something, communist battle leaders did execute prisoners as they withdrew from Huế (easier than evacuating them, which is not unusual in warfare situations like that) with credible estimates ranging up to 700, which was likely fewer than the executions committed by the American-led forces after they conquered the city, which their bombardment largely reduced to rubble. Also, the communist military leaders were reprimanded by their leadership for executing prisoners, which was something that the USA never did, at least unless they were goaded into it with the My Lai incident, so they put Calley’s head on a platter while exonerating the system, as usual. Those “captured documents” from Huế were all either fabricated or mistranslated, such as the one that states: “We eliminated 1,892 administrative personnel, 38 policemen, 790 tyrants, six captains, two first lieutenants, 20 second lieutenants, and many NCOs.” Noam and Ed wrote about that sentence: “…nowhere in the document is it claimed or even suggested that any civilians had been executed. Furthermore, the quoted sentence was taken out of the context of the document as a whole, which had nothing to do with the punishment of individuals, but was rather a low-level report, describing the military victory of the NLF in a particular district of Huế. But the press was too interested in reaffirming the cruelty of the Viet Cong to pay attention to such fine distinctions.” Noam and Ed wrote that the French word in the document, “diet,” which Americans translated as “eliminated,” had no relationship to violence or executions. The “translation” of the document was a creative writing exercise by American propagandists. If you read that Wikipedia article, Douglas Pike’s work is given prominent weight on the “massacre,” but he eventually admitted that his job was being a propagandist. He was one of the greatest promoters of the “communist terror” Big Lies, as Ralph discovered. Also, a Rand Corporation study is treated like the definitive document on the “massacre” in that article, when Rand’s role was largely providing imperial disinformation, which Noam and Ed noted in The Washington Connection. So, outright disinformation and propaganda dominates the article, while at least there was a section for “dispute,” which presented some of the facts that make a “communist massacre” problematic at best. But at the top of the article, the “massacre” count is 2,800 – 6,000, which is a wild exaggeration, off by about an order of magnitude. I have experience with how Wikipedia’s “editors” deal with massacres: if they are “ours,” they are simply erased, but if they are “theirs,” then any rumor will do, and outright disinformation is prominently used. I could go on about the disinformation in that article, and the jingoists that are readily seen holding forth in the “talk page” on the article, but that is enough for now. When I see tripe like that parading as an encyclopedia article, I know that I will have my work cut out for me with Ed’s Wikipedia bio, which today is basically a propaganda piece, as it alleges Ed’s “genocide denial” regarding Cambodia, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. In one way, it is a confirmation of what the Propaganda Model predicts for “nefarious bloodbaths,” and when I write Ed’s Wikipedia bio, I will be stating that calling Ed a “genocide denier” is just what the Propaganda Model predicted. Best, Wade
  2. Hi: This post starts a new thread titled: “Orthodoxy, the Fringes, Structuralism, Conspiracism, Materialism, Mysticism, Sociality, Enlightenment, and Comprehensive Thinking.” All of these topics are covered in my work, usually in a great deal of depth, but I’ll be bringing it all together in a way that I have not quite done yet. I suppose that working on Ed’s bio project helped inspire it, along with being regularly approached by people with lopsided perspectives, as they grind their particular axes. Developing a comprehensive perspective that will be useful for this Epochal task cannot omit any of those issues: each forms part of the whole for the big picture perspective that is vitally important for an effort like mine. Long ago, I wrote an essay on orthodoxy, alternatives, and the layman’s quandary. Orthodoxy has its virtues and limitations, just as the fringes do. It takes honesty, a willingness to lay aside what we think we know, keen discernment, and a lot of work to navigate those areas. This section of an older essay, on structuralism and conspiracism, is what brought Brian back into my life after our disaster of an NEM experience. In my big essay, I touched on the materialistic perspective of orthodox science, and how the greatest scientists did not buy it, and I write plenty on mystical perspectives. I have written at length on sociality and the pursuit of free energy. There are some very enlightened materialists, but theirs is a difficult walk. I found that materialist perspectives usually prevented the “smart” from seeing the big picture. So, this series of posts is going to wind all of those topics into a whole, in a way that I have not quite done before. This will take some time, as I will likely go deep on some topics in a way that I have not done before. Best, Wade
  3. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: As I read Ed and Noam’s early work in The Washington Connection, in parts of it, they throw in a little ironic humor on nearly every page. I think that it must have helped them deal with such dark material, and I think that I can usually tell what was Noam’s and what was Ed’s. In later years, their work was more refined, with fewer ironic asides, and just better writing. Ed often went straight for the humor, such as in his Doublespeak Dictionary (his Great Society Dictionary was a precursor). Ed was a better writer than Noam, IMO, but that is quibbling. They are two of the greatest scholars of conscience that the USA has yet produced. As they finished The Washington Connection, they presented a prelude to After the Cataclysm, as American writers began spinning the wars in Southeast Asia as a noble cause gone wrong, full of “tragic errors,” not something that was criminal from the outset. One day, I may have to write more on Noam, Ed, and the JFK hit. I rarely found scholars whom I entirely agreed with on the matter, but there have been some, such as Mike Parenti’s take on it and Peter Dale Scott’s work, although neither one of them dealt with Gary’s testimony. A writer who I think is pretty good on the JFK hit failed rather badly, IMO, in this critique of Noam and the JFK hit. Noam and the JFK hit is quite a subject. Ed gave Gary’s story some thought, and a LOOT issue’s cover story was on the media establishment’s attack on Oliver Stone’s JFK before it was even released. Ed had some good JFK-related terms in his Doublespeak Dictionary. Best, Wade
  4. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: I am finishing my reread of The Washington Connection, and then it will be the second volume. From Ed and Noam’s first political writings onward, they always stood on the highest ethical ground, of taking the polity that they were members of to task for its behavior, and it quickly became a two-pronged approach. In Ed’s first political work (written before Noam’s first), the focus was on American government’s foreign policy in Vietnam, which it had invaded, and Ed noted that its rhetoric was Orwellian from the beginning. In their first (censored) book together, they acknowledged the propaganda role of the press, and in their first books that weren’t censored, they were explicit on the media’s role, and the outlines of their propaganda model are clearly seen. Their theme from the beginning was the accountability of the American government and their sponsoring interests, and the media’s enabling role. The Washington Connection is a harrowing account of American imperial efforts around the world. Their After the Cataclysm is about reconstructing the imperial ideology that got a dent in it during the Vietnam War era. They repeatedly emphasized that their emphasis was on the behavior of their nation, as it interfered in other nations, from CIA interventions to outright invasions. There is no way that an honest and sane person could read those books and conclude that Noam and Ed were flacking for the Khmer Rouge. You would have to be an idiot, insane, or a knowing imperial hack to write that Noam and Ed were doing that. It was all about our crimes, no somebody else’s. That is what high ethical ground means. But ever since they managed to publish those books without being censored, the drumbeat lasts to this day of how Noam and Ed were Khmer Rouge apologists. If you ever want to understand the depths of evil and insanity that motivates imperial apologists, digest the literature that accuses Noam and Ed of being Khmer Rouge apologists. Virtually without exception, the attacks on Chomsky either avoid the entire thrust of his work, or lie about it. Ed was relatively unscathed, because Noam was the most prominent member of that partnership. Best, Wade
  5. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: I plan to slow down on my normal posting while I work on my Ed bio project. Something has to give. My study of Noam and Ed’s Political Economy of Human Rights is for writing this article. My chapter on it in Ed’s bio will also get an overhaul. After that, I will take on Ed’s bio at Wikipedia (after making some changes to other articles), and will likely have to battle the hacks. We’ll see how it goes. There is a series of concepts in Political Economy of Human Rights worth a post or two. In Latin America, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and elsewhere, the USA installed and propped up murderous regimes that tortured and slaughtered their domestic populations. Noam and Ed described those “leaders” as “denationalized,” in that they had no allegiance to their citizenry, but were completely beholden to foreign interests, primarily American, who funded, armed, and diplomatically supported them. Noam and Ed compared them to Nazi Germany and other fascist states, with one important exception: Hitler at least had allegiance to his “volk,” however extreme his views and genocidal he was to “inferiors” (communists, Jews, Gypsies, Slavs), and he could hold Nuremberg rallies, with his mindless adherents gathering in huge crowds. The dictatorships that the USA installed had no such allegiance to their “volk,” but saw them as the enemy. Those regimes were purely comprised of military elites and a tiny urban elite who were usually landholders that milked the peasants, and their allegiance was to each other and their foreign sponsor. The 80-90% of the rest of the population was regarded as the enemy, and it can mess you up just to hear about their evil activities. Noam and Ed called them “subfascist,” as they did not have the popular support that fascist regimes enjoyed. Noam and Ed ended one section on such activities with this observation on the USA’s popular image in the West: “It is the ultimate Orwellism that this same superpower is thought in the West to be fighting a noble battle for ‘human rights.’” Ed and Noam cited Orwell plenty in their work, as Orwell was a prophet. Best, Wade
  6. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: I doubt that I can overemphasize that people cannot wake up with my work, or any body of work. People can only awaken through experience. As I work on my Uncle Ed bio project, in which I am also carrying Noam’s spears, of all people, I think of my many years of digesting their work, and I know that if I had not already had my rude awakening on how the world really works, if I ever encountered their work, I wonder what I would have made of it. I had to be made ready for their work before I encountered it. Otherwise, it probably would not have meant much to me. And my work is vastly more radical than theirs is, so much so that I had to come up with a new term for it: epochal. Theirs are the last spears that I plan to carry in this lifetime. Not only have I done enough of that, there is nobody left in my life that I am willing to carry them for (other than my wife’s :) ). Uncle Ed’s death marks the end of an era for me. I carried Mr. Mentor’s, Dennis’s (with Mr. Professor), then Brian’s, (even Ralph’s a little) and now Ed and Noam’s. That is enough spear-carrying for one lifetime, and I can’t think of people more deserving of having their spears carried. What a blessing to have done that. There might be one last person whose spears I would consider carrying, Peter Ward’s, whose work had a bit to do with how I wrote my big essay. I could not seek a more informed opinion on the first half of my big essay than his, and it was a delightful surprise to have him spend the day reading it, and it told me that I was on the right track. But as much as I would like to help him on his noble mission, I have to work on building that choir. Ed’s bio project has been a detour on that, but it is a labor of love and an honor. I am constantly approached by the unawakened, who think that they are awake as they drag their baggage to me. IMO, they should not read my work, but search elsewhere. When the unawakened encounter my work, there are a number of possible reactions, but waking up is not one of them. I often see the opposite, as it drives them further asleep, as they build a bunker around their awareness, to more heavily entrench it, as they see their very survival at stake. The sleeping cannot achieve the epochal perspective needed for my approach to work. These are lessons that I learned the hard way over many years, and they have been teaching me patience, as I walk my own journey. All that I am interested in anymore is for the people I seek to do the work to hit the notes, my big essay is the hymnal, and I am here to help them. I know that I seek needles in haystacks, but they are out there. However, they are not going to be found by chatting up one’s social circles. It won’t work that way. Best, Wade
  7. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: This post will be about what a heavy lift my Uncle Ed bio project is. I will beef up that Wikiquote page before I write the article on Noam and Ed’s first books that were not censored. Then I will make changes to the Manufacturing Consent and propaganda model articles before I take on Ed’s bio. I have had my fair share of “fun” with Wikipedia’s “editors,” and look at this article on one of Wikipedia’s “editors,” who is also the most prolific editor of the hack bio on Ed. Once I read that article on him, his edits to that CRV article confirmed my suspicions. It was an artful bit of deception, quoting a publication far removed from the issue, to provide spin that made the censorship seem more reasonable. I am going to have my work cut out for me. Dealing with the “editors” will be a heavy lift in itself, but the material is a heavy lift. I am currently rereading the “constructive bloodbath” chapter of The Washington Connection, and what grim subject matter. The genocide in East Timor was a “benign bloodbath,” while the simultaneous one in Cambodia was a nefarious one. Closely comparable genocides, which happened at the same time, were treated entirely differently by the media, depending on their political-economic utility. The slaughter in East Timor was perpetrated by an ally, using American weapons and diplomatic support, so when the slaughter reached genocidal levels (at a far higher proportion - the greatest since World War II - than happened in Cambodia), American media coverage actually fell to zero, while the media had a constant drumbeat on the Cambodian slaughter. Those kinds of behaviors inspired Ed to coin a new term to describe the performance: chutzpah. The genocide as Suharto came to power was a “constructive bloodbath,” as it made for an attractive investment environment for American interests. The media literally treated that genocide in “constructive” terms, calling it a “gleam of light” and other approving terms. In their chapter on “constructive terror,” Noam and Ed showed that far from an unintended consequence, torturing dissidents to the neocolonial order was the essence of the endeavor. You can’t enslave entire nations without resistance, so torture was part of the array of strategies to keep the populace cowed. Torture and kill enough prominent dissidents, and the rest will fall into fear and apathy. Noam and Ed devoted sections of their constructive terror chapter to Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, and they also covered the trends in Latin America before Reagan was elected and the rise of butcher-dictatorships in places such as El Salvador and Guatemala, which they covered in Manufacturing Consent. I want to cover the Philippines in particular. It was one of the USA’s first colonies, the USA’s actions there inspired Kipling’s White Man’s Burden, and the Marcos regime was notable. Noam and Ed wrote about Trinidad Herrera, a community leader of a slum in Manila who openly defied Marcos’s martial law. She was seized and tortured, including electrodes to her nipples, which was one of their specialties (genital torture was also one of their neat tricks). Her seizure and torture was so high-profile that even the USA had to say something (when goaded into it by global outcry), so she was released (but unable to speak for days). Marcos’s torture victims living to speak out about their treatment was a PR problem, so Marcos’s goons then just began disappearing people. When people are “disappeared,” they don’t get to tell about their treatment. Noam and Ed discussed a similar situation in Thailand, where the authorities disappeared people (protesting students were one of the Thai government’s favorite targets) by incinerating them (while still alive), to remove the evidence. They were writing about the exact situation that Ralph McGehee encountered in Thailand, as he crafted a “gentler” strategy to keep the communists at bay. Ralph did not publish his book until several years after Noam and Ed’s books were published, he contributed an article to Lies of Our Times (LOOT), and it was an ad in LOOT where I discovered Ralph’s book. A close friend has visited the Philippines a few times and has friends there. He asked one of them what the best times were in the Philippines, and the reply was during the Marcos era. The rationale was that under Marcos, the Philippines made the global news regularly. It was the Philippines’s day in the sun. My friend was stunned by that reply. Today, the Philippines has a leader as colorful as Marcos was. In the 1980s, before I met Dennis, I recall reading about children assassins in the shanty towns of Latin America, who would murder somebody for as little as $5. My friend told me that in the Philippines today, under the “drug war” and other initiatives by the Philippines’s president, hit men working for the government are paid $50 a pop. Maybe that is inflation at work, but also those are grown men who have to feed their families. As I stated, this is going to be a very heavy lift, to finish Ed’s bio project, not the least of which is the subject matter. Time to start my busy week. Best, Wade
  8. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: I have a little time to write this weekend, and want to cover a topic near and dear to me. Making that Wikiquote page for Uncle Ed is just a prelude to some substantial Ed work that I will do at the Wikis. My first effort was on the censorship of Ed and Noam’s first work together, and a lot more is coming. I am finishing my Ian Morris detour, and getting back to Ed and Noam, and I needed a break from it – it is harrowing stuff. While making Ed’s Wikiquote page, I looked at Noam’s. The quotes about him were largely about American hacks defending their imperial turf. Here is an example, from Daniel Flynn’s Intellectual Morons: “Chomsky blasts the United States for having supported (post WWII) internal movements to liberate Eastern Europe from Soviet totalitarianism. "These operations included a 'secret army' under U.S.-Nazi auspices that sought to provide agents and military supplies to armies that had been established by and which were still operating inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through the early 1950s." This U.S.-Nazi army is so "secret" that only Chomsky knows of it, and he has thus far kept the documentation of it to himself, lest his secret get out.” Chomsky was referring to the well-known Operation Gladio, Christopher Simpson’s Blowback has a chapter on the “Guerillas for World War III,” the Gehlen Org was deeply involved in those events, and so on. Some secret that only Chomsky knows about. Brad DeLong has long been one of Chomsky’s chief assailants, and he wrote: “PUH-LEEAAZE! Chomsky did not write that Faurisson was a Nazi sympathizer whose right to free speech needed to be defended on Voltairean principles. Chomsky wrote that Faurisson seemed to be "a relatively apolitical liberal" who was being smeared by zionists who--for ideological reasons--did not like his "findings." Herman then repeats the lie by claiming that Faurisson's critics were "unable to provide any credible evidence of anti-Semitism or neo-Naziism." Feh!” Of course, it is easy to see what Chomsky actually wrote and compare it to DeLong’s characterization of it. Chomsky wrote long on the issue, which, along with the Cambodia fabrications, was his biggest source of grief as a public intellectual. Ed wrote on DeLong’s smears of Noam. It is really something to study for writing Ed’s biography and being struck by how clear Ed and Noam’s work is, to see how the hacks misrepresent it while attacking it. I almost wonder who put up those quotes, Chomsky’s supporters or attackers. If it was the attackers, what a statement, to publish such easily disproven, even libelous, attacks. If it was his defenders, they had to be showing how credible the attacks on Noam were. Those attackers fail on the integrity or sentience issues, or both. As Orwell said, the biggest violators against clear thinking and common sense are usually “intellectuals.” It is really amazing how the most irrational writings often come from the “smart.” The attacks on those great men strongly remind me of the attacks that I have seen on Dennis over the years, as his critics vie to tell the biggest lies about him, which easily dupe the credulous and, to be frank, the credulous lap it up because it aligns with what they want to believe. As I look back at my life, carrying the spears for Dennis, Brian, Ed, and the like have been among my life’s greatest honors, greater than I could have imagined when I met Dennis. Those are some of the greatest humans to walk the Earth, and I was able to carry their spears, for a task that can help right humanity’s ship, and quickly. On one hand, it has been anything but an easy ride, but on the other, I don’t know of a higher calling. That damned voice knew what it was doing. Best, Wade
  9. Hi: Some odds and ends from recent reading… I recently read The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, and I am going to compare it to another book I have been reading, Gaining Ground, on the migration of fish to land. Both are fine books in their own ways, but both are difficult to recommend for what I am doing. I have seen Gaining Ground described as popularized science, but it really isn’t. It is highly technical, suitable for graduate students. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs has kind of the opposite problem. It is popularized science, but almost too much so for what I am doing. It is written by a young scientist in the field, and is written almost like a “Dear Diary” account of his career so far, as he breezily describes his adventures (which admittedly are pretty amazing for a man in his mid-30s). That book has no footnotes, but has sources at the book’s end. I like notes, and rarely recommend books without them. The author of Gaining Ground actually helped coin the term Romer’s Gap, and her recent findings are closing that gap. She also takes on Peter Ward’s ideas of oxygen’s role in evolution, particularly at the Devonian Extinction, as her evidence does not show an oxygen-drop event associated with it, although it likely was a low-oxygen time on Earth. Fascinating material, but her work is not really popularized science. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs covers interesting recent findings (that author wrote an article that is the cover story for the current issue of Scientific American, which is why I got his book), but the book is almost more about his journey than it is the findings. For the record, the two key takeaways from his book (and recent article) for me are that dinosaurs evolved in moist temperate lands and were confined there as relatively marginal beasts, to only conquer Earth when its competitors died off in a mass extinction and Earth got a lot wetter, and that it was definitely a bolide event that did them in. There are still many lively controversies about dinosaurs, and many will outlive me, but there is going to be a very high hurdle for those who argue that the bolide event did not wipe the dinosaurs out. Mammals were never going to rise and overtake them. Rats and raccoons were never going to displace T-Rexes without that bolide event that wiped the slate clean. Dinosaurs were doing fine until the very end. I have also been diving into that great controversy in anthropology: the Hobbes versus Rousseau views of early humans. It looks like that controversy will not stop anytime soon. That controversy is part of Uncle Ed’s work on Pinker’s imperial apologetics, and I found myself rereading books in my library, such as Demonic Males, the Anthropology of War, War Before Civilization, and other works, as well as plenty of Internet surfing and Douglas Fry’s Rousseauian work, which Frans de Waal wrote the foreword to. Richard Wrangham and de Waal are the most prominent chimp researchers in the West, after Jane Goodall, and both say that for human traits found in chimps, the rebuttable presumption has to be that those traits were passed down the human-line split from chimps. It did not have to be that way, but that is what likely happened, such as chimps’ kissing and their politics, which are crude versions of human politics. After a career spent studying chimps and bonobos, de Wall put chimp social intelligence on par with humanity’s, which is an amazing statement. Only two animal species have patrilocal, male-bonded territorial dynamics that launch lethal raids on their neighbors, to steal territory and females: chimps and humans. They also have a direct evolutionary relationship, and Rousseauian theorists have a big task ahead of them, to make the case that the human line lost that trait, to re-evolve it later. It is far more theoretically economical to argue that the human line never lost those traits. There is some evidence that maybe the human line became matrilocal again, like monkeys are, and reduced incisors in Ardi’s species is some evidence of it, but for what it is worth, while I definitely promote the bonobo way of life, it was economically conditioned by their food supply’s doubling (the human journey was economically conditioned the entire way, to today), and I think that Hobbes is still the victor. But I also make it very clear that the human journey had many golden ages, which were always about the early days of exploiting a new energy source. Then it was peace and plenty, for a time. In those early days of Earth’s conquest, and when Homo erectus lightly populated Eurasia and Africa, it was likely fairly peaceful, as territorial disputes were easily resolved by simply moving to the next river valley. It did not start getting violent again until the easy meat ran out, and the human line became fiercely territorial again. The Fifth Epoch would likely mean a permanent golden age, as the free energy technology that I am aware of won’t lead to exhaustion of the energy source, at least not anytime soon, and likely never. Time to begin my busy weekend. Best, Wade
  10. Hi: Before I leave Ian Morris’s work behind for now, some odds and ends. First and foremost, the human journey has been all about plundering one energy source after another, to exhaustion, and then plundering the next one, with collapses attending the inability to tap the next source, as the societies ran into energy-capture ceilings. Morris got that part right, but very lightly touched on what the environmental costs are for that undertaking. I found it odd that Morris used a lot of Jared Diamond’s work, and Diamond blurbed Morris’s books, and Diamond is big on environmental collapse while Morris really did not deal with the subject much. Morris linked societal collapses to climate change, which almost always was about droughts, but not how human energy practices contributed to it. The Mediterranean used to be ringed by lush forests (hippos lived on islands which are deserts today), which are all gone, as it has been all turned to desert and semi-desert, all the way to Afghanistan. That contributed in a big way to the aridity that has collapsed civilizations, along with soil loss, etc. Several times, Morris remarked on how what was once a breadbasket of farms is now a desert, such as what was Carthage. The human impact turned it into a desert. But Morris at least got it right that energy capture trumped all, for human social development. What he also got right, kind of, was that what is coming, if humanity survives the transition, is so mind-bogging that he could barely imagine any of it. Of course, he was completely trapped in conventionality, as only a Stanford professor can be (Brian sipped that sherry, before he woke up), and could not seem to imagine any energy sources beyond nuclear and solar, and he really could not seem to understand the transformative effects of absolute abundance, as he just saw novel war technologies, not an elimination of the very reasons for warfare. And very ironically for me, the energy technologies to usher in that hard-to-imagine future are older than I am. A lot of the development and organized suppression of independent efforts to develop such technologies happened in California, where Morris lives, for another rich irony. To be fair to Morris, his work is more about Eurasian dynamics than global ones, and his tome is devoted to why the West is more developed than the East…for now. What he also gets right is that while geography had plenty to do with explaining the West’s ascendance, today’s conceptions of geography will become meaningless in the Fifth Epoch. Morris is big into Kurzweil’s Singularity, but I am not a big fan of it. My vision for the future is along the lines of hewing toward this world, not some Borg-like human-machine hybrid. Territorial constructs such as nations will vanish in the Fifth Epoch, as will cities, races, and other aspects of the human journey that will pass into the dustbin of history. Morris does get some of that right, to his credit, and I suppose that for a college professor, when he is not doing imperial bootlicking, his work is not bad. I’ll use some of it in my big essay, mostly around Third Epoch societies, which is really the focus of Morris’s work, as he professionally excavated some of their ruins. Best, Wade
  11. Hi: As I have written, I’ll write more about Ian Morris’s work later, and I’ll use some of his work in mine, but I wanted to note something that he and others have long written about. In his view of the vast sweep of the human journey, he states that the primary motivations of humanity have always been: Greed Laziness Fear Not only that, he makes the case that psychopaths have made the world safer, as their “productive” wars brought more people under their rule, and enslaving humanity and skimming the cream is the most productive elite activity; dead subjects can’t be skimmed from. Those are literally the foundations of his arguments. I am not going to say that he is necessarily wrong, but that is not exactly a prescription for a future that I want to be part of. Adam Smith wrote similarly, arguing that only self-interest has made this world a better place, and all benevolent intent has been futile. How inspiring. Of course, that the GCs are psychopathy on a global scale, and capitalism on steroids, is something that Morris can’t even imagine. There is a path out of this mess, and it has to be based on love, not playing to the deadly sins and calling them virtues. I admit that until scarcity ends, greed and fear will generally be the primary motivations of humanity, but once scarcity ends, a lot can change, in ways that we have a hard time imagining. Uncle Bucky wrote Utopia or Oblivion, Morris’s theme for the future is Singularity or Nightfall, and I write of the Fifth Epochal event or the Sixth Mass Extinction. Morris’s prescription is supporting the American Empire until Singularity arrives. Again, not too inspiring, and for a Brit working in the USA, that is quite a conflict of interest. Best, Wade
  12. Hi: To Krishna’s observation that his peers are not interested in understanding how the world works, it took him years of dismay to finally understand, and that is normal. For those who awaken, it is a standard process. For those with a love of the truth and a desire to make the world a better place, and are willing to do something about it, it can be agonizing to discover that virtually nobody in their social circles cares in the slightest. They only care about their immediate self-interest, and by extension, their in-group’s welfare. This is just where the human animal is, in these days of scarcity and fear. Only extraordinary people are willing and able to break free of their conditioning and widen their circle of caring. That is just what it is, and I gave up judging the situation long ago, and the unawake challenge my work, with spectacular failures of logic and integrity. I found that it takes that realization for somebody to finally become useful for what I am doing. Again, my best students nearly always rush out and proselytize to their social circles, to get a very rude awakening, as they are ostracized and even actively attacked. People are social animals for reasons of survival and fear, not love and a desire to make life better for all. As I look at my site today, the 2002 version was largely about helping my readers get past their conditioning, so that they stop dragging around their baggage, because they can’t pursue the truth while dragging around that stuff. Only when freed from that ball-and-chain can they begin to truly understand how our world really works, not the Establishment version, which is based on lies, secrecy, and other elite-serving factors, none of which are about pursuing the truth, but are designed to keep humanity the exploitable herd that it is today. Ever since I found Uncle Bucky’s work, my work has been consciously comprehensive. The theme ever since has been developing a comprehensive understanding of how our world really works, and my big essay is the capstone of that idea and the hymnal for the choir. I’ll keep updating that essay until I can’t anymore. With a comprehensive perspective, people can distinguish the forest from the trees, stop hacking at branches, and aim for the root, which always has been and always will be the energy issue, particularly in our world of scarcity and fear. Next to the energy issue, everything else happening on Earth today is noise. But very few people understand that fact, and scientific literacy goes a long way toward understanding that issue, but the student has to beware of being seduced by the ideological baggage that can attend becoming scientifically literate. It is not an easy road to walk, but for those I seek, it is a requirement. But they don’t need to aspire to any more scientific literacy than is needed to digest my big essay, and it is not really a heavy intellectual lift. It is nearly all popularized science. People don’t need to be professional scientists to understand. They don’t need IQs of 160 to hit the notes. Best, Wade
  13. Wade Frazier

    My Edward S. Herman biography project

    Hi: My Uncle Ed project marches on. I just put up a quotation page at Wikiquote. It is a start…. Best, Wade
  14. Hi: To be fair to Ian Morris and his social development scale, urbanism is a proxy for organizational ability, which is going to radically change. Coercion or threats of it are not going to be how it works. Many channeled/mystical ideas became a lot clearer as I pondered the nuts and bolts of the Fifth Epoch over the years. Coercion, violence, warfare – these will become obsolete in the Fifth Epoch, which Morris hints at in his work, but he does not quite see the big picture, either, as he licks imperial boots and is trapped in his Epoch in ways, with the thought that he needs (such as materialism). Best, Wade
  15. Hi: To Krishna’s observation on the Scots-Irish, empires have always recruited the underclasses to do the dirty work, and my ancestors were used to populate the newly stolen continent. Those people were previously used to colonize Ireland. The English used the Gurkhas in India, the French and Americans used the Montagnards in Cambodia (they were used on that Special Forces mission that Dennis was on, and part of his job was injecting them with heroin, as part of their pay), the Nazis used kapos in the death camps, the Tutsis were used against the Hutus (already elevated somewhat, to be promoted to overseeing sub-elites) to the present day by various imperial players in equatorial Africa, and so on. As Ian Morris wrote about “people getting the thought they need,” the path to manhood in redneck America was becoming an imperial Stormtrooper. I was raised that way, and nearly went to the Air Force Academy, until my mother prevailed on my father to talk me out of it. Two years later, I was a confirmed pacifist, through my spiritual studies. The irony is not lost on me that I nearly became a military pilot, raining death onto our imperial targets. Best, Wade
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