Thursday, January 31, 2019

France & Germany: "We Are Committed To The Emergence Of A European Army"

It is a start.  Or a start in working out all the emotional issues.  The need is real though for a lot of good reasons.  We face a future that is not the same as the past.  War itself is economically obsolete, but preparation investment is never obsolete as both a standing deterrent and a training ground for young people that itself needs to be optimized.  It is also the backbone of any form of so called national identity.   A European Identity needs a European army.

Strategically we also need a united front to deal actively in what is best described as the Great Confrontation between all cultures including Muslim and  the Anti Christ also called Radical Islam.  Military superiority will not actually win this war but it will allow by confrontation for winning solutions to be imposed.

Before you question my use of the phrase Anti Christ, please explain what aspect of their doctrines are acceptable to Jesus?  Use that same rule with the Koran and you suddenly have acceptable teaching.

The Great Confrontation can avoid a  global bloodletting but it can not avoid targeted  surgery and complete reeducation in preparation for modernism.

France & Germany: "We Are Committed To The Emergence Of A European Army"
  • "Populism and nationalism are increasing in all our countries. For the first time, a country - Great Britain - is leaving the European Union. Worldwide, multilateralism is under pressure...." – German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • "Converging this much with Germany is an abandonment of sovereignty — a betrayal. If we had not alerted the public, this text would have been signed on the sly. The text provides in particular for the need to legislate in the event of obstacles to Franco-German cooperation.... I do not want more convergence with Berlin, be it in social or security matters, or in closer consultation in the UN Security Council." – Marine Le Pen, Le Temps.

  • "Emmanuel Macron is calling for a grand debate to involve citizens in the public life of our country. At the same time, however, the President of the Republic negotiated a treaty on the sly even though it concerns conditions essential to the exercise of our national sovereignty. Neither the French people, nor the Parliament, nor the Constitutional Council were consulted... For many reasons, this treaty undermines our national sovereignty." – Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, leader of the party Debout La France! (Stand Up, France!).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that a new pact between German and France aims to build a Franco-German "common military culture" and "contribute to the creation of a European army." Pictured: Soldiers of the Franco-German brigade, a military unit founded in 1989, jointly consisting of units from the French Army and German Army. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have signed a new Franco-German friendship treaty aimed at reinvigorating the European Union, which has been buffeted by the European debt crisis, mass migration and Brexit — as well as innumerable conflicting interests and priorities among its 28 member states.

France and Germany, the self-appointed guardians of European integration, have said that the new treaty is a response to the growing influence of populists in Austria, Britain, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland and other European countries who are seeking to slow, and even reverse, European integration by recouping national sovereignty from the European Union and transferring those powers back to national capitals.

The continental showdown, which threatens to split the European Union down the middle between Eurosceptic nationalists and Europhile globalists, will heat up in coming weeks, ahead of elections for the European Parliament in late May 2019.

The "Aachen Treaty" [Traité d'Aix-la-ChapelleVertrag von Aachen], signed on January 22 in the German city of Aachen, consists of 28 articles organized into seven chapters; both states commit to closer cooperation in a series of policy areas. The first eight articles, which encompass bilateral foreign and defense policy as well as the European Union, are the most ambitious and consequential items in the treaty:

  • Article 1 commits both states to deepen their cooperation on European policy by "promoting an effective and strong common foreign and security policy and strengthening and deepening Economic and Monetary Union."

  • Article 2 commits both states to "consult each other regularly at all levels before the major European deadlines, seeking to establish common positions and to agree coordinated speeches by their ministers. They will coordinate on the transposition of European law into their national law."

  • Article 3 commits both states to "deepen their cooperation on foreign policy, defense, external and internal security and development while striving to strengthen Europe's autonomous capacity for action." The two states also pledge to "consult each other in order to define common positions on any important decision affecting their common interests and to act jointly in all cases where this is possible."

  • Article 4 commits both states to "increasingly converge their objectives and policies on security and defense.... They lend themselves to mutual assistance by all means at their disposal, including armed forces, in case of armed aggression against their territories." They also "commit themselves to strengthening Europe's capacity for action and to jointly invest to fill its capacity gaps, thus strengthening the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance." They "intend to promote the competitiveness and consolidation of the European defense industrial and technological base...they support the closest possible cooperation between their defense industries on the basis of mutual trust...both states will develop a common approach to arms exports with regard to joint projects. The two states will "establish the Franco-German Defense and Security Council as the political body to manage these reciprocal commitments. This Council will meet at the highest level at regular intervals."

  • Article 5 commits both states to "extend cooperation between their foreign affairs ministries, including their diplomatic and consular missions" and coordinate action at the United Nations and NATO.

  • Article 6 commits both states to "further strengthen their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, as well as their cooperation in the judiciary and in intelligence and police matters."

  • Article 7 commits both states to "establish an ever-closer partnership between Europe and Africa...with the aim of improving socio-economic prospects, sustainability, good governance and conflict prevention, crisis resolution, especially in the context of peacekeeping, and the management of post-conflict situations."

  • Article 8 commits both states to "cooperate closely in all organs of the United Nations." They will "closely coordinate their positions, as part of a wider effort of consultation among the EU member states sitting on the UN Security Council and in accordance with the positions and interests of the European Union." They will "do their utmost to achieve a unified position of the European Union in the appropriate organs of the United Nations." The two states also "undertake to continue their efforts to reform the United Nations Security Council." The admission of Germany as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council "is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy."
The remainder of the treaty pledges closer bilateral cooperation in the areas of artificial intelligence, climate change, cross-border issues, culture, economic affairs, education, energy, environment, health and sustainable development, among other issues.

Merkel, speaking in Aachen, noted that the city was home to Charlemagne (742-814), whom she described as "the father of Europe." She said that the new pact aims to build a Franco-German "common military culture" and "contribute to the creation of a European army." She added:
"Populism and nationalism are increasing in all our countries. For the first time, a country — Great Britain — is leaving the European Union. Worldwide, multilateralism is under pressure, be it in climate cooperation, in world trade, in the acceptance of international institutions or even in the United Nations. Seventy-four years — within one lifetime —after the end of the Second World War, what was seemingly self-evident is again being questioned.

"Therefore, first of all, this situation requires a new founding of our responsibility within the European Union — the responsibility of Germany and France in this European Union. Secondly, it requires a redefinition of the direction of our cooperation. Thirdly, it requires a common understanding of our international role, which can lead to joint action. For this reason, there is, fourthly, a need for shared similarities between our two peoples — in institutions, but above all in the daily living together of our peoples; and especially in the area close to the border....

"We are committed to developing a common military culture, a common defense industry and a common line on arms exports. We want to make our contribution to the emergence of a European army."
Macron, also speaking in Aachen, added: "At a time when Europe is threatened by nationalism, which is growing from within, Germany and France must assume their responsibility and show the way forward." He said that the agreement is an "important moment" for showing that the bilateral relationship was "a bedrock which can relaunch itself... in the service of reinforcing the European project." Macron defended the European Union as a "shield against tumults of the world."

The treaty, however, is short on details and may end up being more symbolic than substantive. Merkel and Macron are both facing waning authority and it remains unclear whether they will have the necessary political capital to jump-start European integration. Germany is now looking toward the post-Merkel era, after she announced that she would step down as chancellor in 2021. Macron is grappling with a nationwide wave of anti-government protests that may yet bring down his government.

The treaty has been met with a mixture of anger and indifference.

In France, Marine Le Pen, leader of the populist party National Rally (formerly the National Front), said that the treaty undermines national sovereignty and accused Macron of "selling off" France to the Germans. In an interview with the Geneva-based newspaper Le Temps, she said:
"Converging this much with Germany is an abandonment of sovereignty — a betrayal. If we had not alerted the public, this text would have been signed on the sly. The text provides in particular for the need to legislate in the event of obstacles to Franco-German cooperation. The French nation is one and indivisible and the law cannot be applied differently for the border regions with Germany. There is the letter of this treaty, but also the spirit. I do not want more convergence with Berlin, be it social or security matters, or in closer consultation in the UN Security Council. The permanent seat of France was hard-won during the Second World War and made France a major power. To call it into question would be to defeat what General de Gaulle did."
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, leader of the sovereigntist party Debout La France! (Stand Up, France!), said:
"In no case should this Franco-German friendship treaty be a pretext for submission. Yet this appears to be the case.

"First, the method of the treaty. Faced with the democratic crisis that our country is going through, Emmanuel Macron is calling for a grand debate to involve citizens in the public life of our country. At the same time, however, the President of the Republic negotiated a treaty on the sly, even though it concerns conditions essential to the exercise of our national sovereignty. Neither the French people, nor the Parliament, nor the Constitutional Council were consulted.

"Second, the content of the treaty. In concrete terms, many stipulations of the treaty aim to share with Germany the sovereign powers and prerogatives of France. Indeed, if mutual defense is integrated into the treaty, France offers Germany the benefits of its military assets, which are envied around the world: (the world's fifth-largest military power, nuclear deterrence, etc.) (Article 4). France offers Germany access to its diplomatic network, the third-largest in the world after the United States and China (Article 5). France offers Germany indirect access to its permanent seat on the UN Security Council by coordinating their positions and coordinating their decisions (Article 8). France wants to give Germany a permanent seat on the UN Security Council by making this objective a diplomatic 'priority' (Article 8). For many reasons, this treaty undermines our national sovereignty.

"Finally, the lack of reciprocity. While Germany is taking advantage of France's strengths as a world power in diplomacy and defense, Germany offers no real counterpart. This is why the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is not an act of Franco-German cooperation, but of submission of France to Germany.

"In reality, this one-sided treaty is an insult to the friendly relationship that France should maintain with Germany. In view of the concessions made by France to Germany, without compensation, the text signed today in Aix-la-Chapelle constitutes a true act of treason."
In Germany, Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel, leaders of the populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD), issued a statement:
"The Aachen Treaty is a step in the wrong direction. Under the guise of European cooperation, the treaty is the result of the French interest of transferring and redistributing German power, to the detriment of the German taxpayers. It would also create a Franco-German special relationship that would alienate Germany from other European nations.

"AfD federal spokesman Alexander Gauland explains: French President Macron is unable to maintain order in his own country. The nationwide protests in France are never-ending. This failing president is imposing visions for the future of Germany. The EU is now deeply divided. A German-French special relationship will alienate us even further from other Europeans. This torpedoes exactly those European thoughts that Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Macron summon so intimately. They seem to suspect that this EU will disintegrate in the current form.

"Leader of the AfD in the German Bundestag, Dr. Alice Weidel, adds: This treaty is a unacceptable submission of an elected chancellor to a troubled president. Macron gets what he wants: Germany is committed, in the first article, to strengthen and deepen the Economic and Monetary Union, in other words, to complete the transfer and redistribution of wealth.

"Macron promises better and faster access to German taxpayer money in order to be able to continue the French inflationary policy and to fund his election promises. He has already laid out concrete plans for this and has received plenty of applause from established German parties.

"France should also be the main beneficiary in the planned intensified cooperation of the armed forces for the purpose of joint operations and in the consolidation of the European defense industry, which is also envisaged in the treaty. Article 4 of the treaty opens the door to new questionable foreign deployments in Africa and the further sell-off of German technology under the umbrella of French-dominated joint ventures.

"These policy points of French interests are embodied in the pathetic affirmation of obviousness and a plethora of symbolic measures and well-intentioned declarations of intent. Where this treaty, beyond general Europeanness, should also serve German interests, remains a mystery. This agreement furthers the breach with those EU member states that do not want a Franco-German 'European Superstate.' The Aachen Treaty is therefore not only superfluous, but counterproductive.'"

Railguns Stabiliize ITER Nuclear Fusion Plasma Three Times Faster than Gas Guns

 This should allow sustainable stability in the larger Tokamaks.

Yet i never had much faith in the whole design concept and it is a money pig that has gone on for fifty years. At least now a wide range of alternatives are been funded as well.  Unfortunately they all seem to get close, but never a tomato.

My own work is way to soon to address all this easily.  Yet our knowledge of the additional states available in elements is powerfully suggestive of resonance solutions been possible...

Railguns Stabiliize ITER Nuclear Fusion Plasma Three Times Faster than Gas Guns
One of the problems preventing the Multi-billion dollar ITER nuclear fusion project from scaling to provide commercial energy are disruptions of the plasma. Disruptions are sudden events that can halt fusion reactions and damage the tokamaks.

Princeton has developed an electromagnetic particle injector (EPI) which is a type of railgun that fires a high-velocity projectile from a pair of electrified rails into a plasma on the verge of disruption.

The projectile, called a “sabot,” releases a payload of material into the center of the plasma that radiates, or spreads out, the energy stored in the plasma, reducing its impact on the interior of the tokamak.

Current systems release pressurized gas or gas-propelled shattered pellets using a gas valve into the plasma, but with velocity limited by the mass of the gas particles.

The risk of disruptions is particularly great for ITER, the large international tokamak under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power. ITER’s dense, high-power discharges of plasma, the state of matter that fuels fusion reactions, will make it difficult for current gas-propelled methods of mitigation to penetrate deeply enough into the highly energetic ITER plasma to take good effect.

On ITER, mitigation is desired in less than 20 milliseconds, or thousands of a second, from the warning of a disruption, with 10 milliseconds as ideal. Tests of the EPI prototype show that it can deliver a payload of correctly sized particles in fewer than 10 milliseconds, compared with 30 milliseconds for gas-propelled systems.
Nuclear Fusion Journal – Electromagnetic particle injector for fast time response disruption mitigation in tokamaks

A novel, rapid time-response, disruption mitigation system referred to as the electromagnetic particle injector (EPI) is described. This method can accurately deliver the radiative payload to the plasma center on a  less than 10 ms time scale, much faster, and deeper, than what can be achieved using conventional methods. The EPI system accelerates a sabot electromagnetically. The sabot is a metallic capsule that can be accelerated to desired velocities by an electromagnetic impeller. 

At the end of its acceleration, within 2 ms, the sabot will release a radiative payload, which is 
composed of low-z granules, or a shell pellet containing smaller pellets. The primary advantage of the EPI concept over gas propelled systems is its potential to meet short warning time scales, while accurately delivering the required particle size and materials at the velocities needed for achieving the required penetration depth in high power ITER-scale discharges for thermal and runaway current disruption mitigation. The present experimental tests from a prototype system have demonstrated the acceleration of a 3.2 g sabot to over 150 m s−1 within 1.5 ms, consistent with the calculations, giving some degree of confidence that larger ITER-scale injector can be developed.

The Shale Industry Collapse Will Start in the Spring, and Take the Rest of the US Down With It?

Nancy Pelosi canceled the president's State of the Union address, so Mr. Kunstler offers his own diagnosis - what to expect in the coming months

The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster, and one of our all-time favorite pessimists. We carry his articles regularly on RI. His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile, along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive). These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.

You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here. To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. Here is a recent audio interview with him which gives a good overview of his work.

Ill winds sweep across the fruited plain in the cruel heart of winter. America can resolve nothing. The state-of-the-union is a kind of hysterical nausea, and the nation hunkers into its crib of toxic diverse identities waiting for history to bitch-slap it back on its feet. History’s big sister, Reality, stands by, witnessing all. Spring… is… coming….

Things break up in spring. Nature unlocks what was frozen. The bodies emerge from the melting ice and ripen. The air is electric and thunderbolts frighten the gathering mobs in the public square, the Walmart parking lot, with rumors of war. The earth shakes and monuments fall. That’s how it’s shaping up for 2019.

Sometimes nations just lose their shit. The complex collapse of American life proceeds as the public and its leaders fail to comprehend the forces in play. What the Federal Reserve actually accomplished with its ten years of extend-and-pretend policy was not an economic “recovery,” but a degenerative disease of the social contract. If you look more closely, you can sense what will be unleashed when the ground thaws.

There will be a reckoning in the financial markets. Something ominous is rumbling over in bonds. No more high-yield for you! Among the victims of a credit freeze in “junk” (high-risk) lending: the shale oil industry. Watch it start to roll over this spring as money becomes unavailable for the exorbitant operations that comprise fracking. The swift collapse of the shale oil industry will shock the country, but it is really just the downside of its improbably rapid and acrobatic rise since 2005 on the false premise that profits don’t matter in a business venture. Only the fall will be even sharper than the rise: a few measly years. And, of course, the bond market represents the supreme untruth of the age: that debts can be racked up forever and never paid back.

Mr. Trump will be left holding a bag so large that observers may mistake him for a Bizarro Santa Claus. But the baggage within will not consist of sugarplums. It is actually stuffed with bankruptcy filings and pink slips. A year from now, there may be no such thing as a hedge fund left on the planet Earth. Or a job opening, unless you’re really good at weeding or picking fruit. Mr. Trump will attempt a rescue, but so did Herbert Hoover, who had a good three years to try this-and-that while the Depression stole over the land like a deadly fungus. The difference, of course, is that Mr. Hoover was acknowledged as a most brilliant mind of his era, and yet Reality had her wicked way with him, anyway.

The Democratic Party should have been tossed into the rubber room two years ago, but it’s still out there shrieking in its straight-jacket of bad faith. Kamala, Liz, and Kirsten will mud-wrestle for dominance, but so far, the only cards they can show are the race-and-gender jokers in the deck.

Meanwhile, the government shutdown standoff may not be the “winner” move that Nancy Pelosi thought it would be. Why do you suppose she thought that the voters would only blame the Golden Golem of Greatness? She could be gone as Speaker when we’re back in shirtsleeve weather.

Also in the background: the likely shocking reversal of the long, dreary, RussiaGate affair as about twenty-odd former officials of the FBI, Department of Justice, CIA, State Department, and other dark corners of the Deep State answer charges of sedition in federal court. Many of them are connected, one way or another, to Hillary Clinton, who may be targeted herself. Robert Mueller is also liable to be smacked with a malicious prosecution charge in the matter of General Michael Flynn when he withdraws his guilty plea in March. A significant moment will be when Dean Baquet is fired as editor of The New York Times, after years of running the “newspaper of record” as an exercise in nonstop PMS.

Financial crack-up and RussiaGate reversal will leave both major parties gasping in the mud as the tide goes out. And just in time for the Yellow Vest movement to cross the ocean and bring out the street mobs to slug it out on the National Mall in lovely weather. Finally, a protest you can believe in! By June, it will be clear that the old order is being swept away. The fight over the new order struggling to be born will be even harsher and deadlier. But we may not be as confused about what’s at stake.

Tuning Graphene Superconductivity

Interesting piece.  This idea can obviously be extended to other materials and much larger angles and then manipulated to perform.  Plenty of work to do, but we may also be surprised.
We have been tracking graphene from discovery through the present.  It is central to working with single layer material engineering needed for a large expansion of our manufacturing ability to match the obvious capability of observed UFOs.
all good.
Tuning Graphene Superconductivity

Brian Wang | January 24, 2019

A Columbia University-led team has developed a new method to finely tune adjacent layers of graphene—lacy, honeycomb-like sheets of carbon atoms—to induce superconductivity.

Above – Applying pressure to twisted bilayer graphene transforms the material from a metal to a superconductor. Image: Ella Maru Studio
 Graphene has been heralded as a wonder material. Not only is it the strongest, thinnest material ever discovered, its exceptional ability to conduct heat and electricity paves the way for innovation in areas ranging from electronics to energy to medicine.

Now, a Columbia University-led team has developed a new method to finely tune adjacent layers of graphene—lacy, honeycomb-like sheets of carbon atoms—to induce superconductivity. Their research provides new insights into the physics underlying this two-dimensional material’s intriguing characteristics. 

“Our work demonstrates new ways to induce superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene, in particular, achieved by applying pressure,” said Cory Dean, assistant professor of physics at Columbia and the study’s principal investigator. “It also provides critical first confirmation of last year’s MIT results—that bilayer graphene can exhibit electronic properties when twisted at an angle—and furthers our understanding of the system, which is extremely important for this new field of research.”

In March 2018 researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported a groundbreaking discovery that two graphene layers can conduct electricity without resistance when the twist angle between them is 1.1 degrees, referred to as the “magic angle.”

But hitting that magic angle has proven difficult. “The layers must be twisted to within roughly a tenth of a degree around 1.1, which is experimentally challenging,” Dean said. “We found that very small errors in alignment could give entirely different results.”

So Dean and his colleagues, who include scientists from the National Institute for Materials Science and the University of California, Santa Barbara, set out to test whether magic-angle conditions could be achieved at bigger rotations.

“Rather than trying to precisely control the angle, we asked whether we could instead vary the spacing between the layers,” said Matthew Yankowitz, a postdoctoral research scientist in Columbia’s physics department and first author on the study. “In this way any twist angle could, in principle, be turned into a magic angle.”

They studied a sample with twist angle of 1.3 degrees—only slightly larger than the magic angle but far enough away to preclude superconductivity. Applying pressure transformed the material from a metal into either an insulator—in which electricity cannot flow—or a superconductor—where electrical current can pass without resistance—depending on the number of electrons in the material.

“Remarkably, by applying pressure of over 10,000 atmospheres we observe the emergence of the insulating and superconducting phases,” Dean said. Additionally, the superconductivity develops at the highest temperature observed in graphene so far, just over 3 degrees above absolute zero.”

To reach the high pressures needed to induce superconductivity the team worked closely with the National High Magnetic Field user facility, known as the Maglab, in Tallahassee, Florida. “This effort was a huge technical challenge,” says Dean. “After fabricating one of most unique devices we’ve ever worked with, we then had to combine cryogenic temperatures, high magnetic fields, and high pressure – all while measuring electrical response. Putting this all together was a daunting task and our ability to make it work is really a tribute to the fantastic expertise at the Maglab.”

The researchers believe it may be possible to enhance the critical temperature of the superconductivity further at even higher pressures. The ultimate goal is to one day develop a superconductor which can perform under room temperature conditions, and although this may prove challenging in graphene, it could serve as a roadmap for achieving this goal in other materials.

Science – Tuning superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene

Materials with flat electronic bands often exhibit exotic quantum phenomena owing to strong correlations. An isolated low-energy flat band can be induced in bilayer graphene by simply rotating the layers to 1.1°, resulting in the appearance of gate-tunable superconducting and correlated insulating phases. Here, we demonstrate that in addition to the twist angle, the interlayer coupling can be varied to precisely tune these phases. We induce superconductivity at a twist angle larger than 1.1°—in which correlated phases are otherwise absent—by varying the interlayer spacing with hydrostatic pressure. Our low disorder devices reveal details about the superconducting phase diagram and its relationship to the nearby insulator. Our results demonstrate twisted bilayer graphene to be a uniquely tunable platform for exploring correlated states.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Why we need to be wary of narratives of economic catastrophe


Yes, the narratives are compelling and also nonsense. The all fail for one specific reason.  Money itself.  Money stores purchasing power.  Obviously seven billion people need to do this and the moment they have a pool of extra money, they are in the market for investments which cycles that money into immediate use.

Now also understand that money is created by the community, it is spent, and then it is taxed back over time.  It really is that simple.  It is also only inconvenient to eliminate one currency and to replace it with a second currency.  This often turns out to more than inconvenient for investments but not so for the normal turn of business.  Thus the effort is used rarely except as a tool to eliminate or sharply reduce the lending side of the general balance sheet.

Fortunately for Bankers, most politicians are profoundly ignorant when it comes to all this.  Off course the government would need to step up their spending on entitlement payments in terms of new currency in order to properly monetize the transition itself.

Why we need to be wary of narratives of economic catastrophe

Jeremy Adelman

is the Henry Charles Lea professor of history and director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University. His latest books are Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O Hirschman (2013) and the co-authored Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (4th ed, 2014). He lives in New Jersey.

edited by Sam Haselby

The 2008 financial crisis continues to plague the world economy and our politics. It’s also messing with how we understand our narratives of global integration. Until recently, going global implied exuberant stories about one-world connectivity and technocratic togetherness. Now, it’s the other way around: the stories of our times are consumed with collapses, extinctions and doom. It’s a playbook for nativists, who see interdependence as a recipe for catastrophe.

Our big narratives were once capable of more nuance than the pendular swing from euphoria to dysphoria. For every 18th-century Enlightenment story of hope, there was a shadow of decline; in the 19th century, liberals had to joust with conservative and radical prophets of demise. Some even saw crisis as an opportunity. Influenced by Karl Marx, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942 made a virtue out of ruin. There could be something creative about bringing down tired old institutions. The late German-born economist Albert O Hirschman thought of disequilibria as a potential source of new thinking. In 1981, he distinguished between two types of crisis: the kind that disintegrates societies and sends members scrambling for the exits, and what he called an ‘integrative crisis’, one in which people together imagine new ways forward.

Witnessing the catastrophes of the Great War and the rise of fascism in Europe imparted to Schumpeter and Hirschman a certain style. In spite of the horror and gloom of the 1930s, the Second World War had also prompted the hope that crises could be righted and societies could pull out of tailspins. People could manage economies and avoid ruinous cycles. When that war was over, the victors went on a global spree. They sent advisors and investors across Asia, Africa and Latin America to promote capitalist modernisation. The American economist who epitomised the bravura of the age, Walt W Rostow, wrote in 1960 of ‘the blessings and choices opened up by the march of compound interest’. So-called ‘third world’ clients often disliked Rostow’s script, but they shared his sense that the future was theirs to write.

Even in bad times, proponents of integration had to respond to rival appeals with renewed stories. When Western capitalism gave way to the malaise of the 1970s, the sunny, postwar stories clouded over. Dismal scientists fretted about collective action problems, social rigidities and free-riders. Others, however, saw this as moment of opportunity. This was a case, a partial one anyway, of Hirschman’s integrative crisis. For the developing world, here was a chance to right historic wrongs and draft a New International Economic Order. The gloom also bolstered cooperative management and multicultural exchange. While the idea of regulating the marketplace got sidelined, governments did restrain the furies of competition in other domains. Armed with dismal predictions about exhausted resources and overpopulation, environmentalists at the First Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972 advocated conservation and common purpose. In time, we got accords to cut chlorofluorocarbon use. Nuclear talks went into a permanent state of summitry to create a world arms-control regime. Eventually, there was a treaty to do something about our carbon addiction. The humanitarian, arms-control and ecological agreements now in peril have their foundations in legitimising the story of deepening integration at a time when world affairs were so uncertain.

The end of the Cold War in 1989 marked a break in the storytelling habits of global integration. Without rivalry from the East or challenges from the South, the big narratives of progress got flattened around a single plot. Talk of a new world economy gave way to the Washington Consensus; socialist integration lost its age-old appeal. The American political scientist Francis Fukuyama caught the Zeitgeist with his essay ‘The End of History?’ (1989) – though everyone forgot the question mark. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of neoliberalism launched a new story that championed market purity, visionary entrepreneurs and the liberating power of gadgets for a world ruled by a global elite nicknamed ‘Davos Man’. In The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (2005), the American journalist Thomas Friedman celebrated the glories of free trade, open communications and the bounty of global supply chains. There was, as pundits used to say with glee, only one game in town. Perhaps the last rendition of this have-it-all style was Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In (2013), a narrative based on her own manicured story of leadership at Google and Facebook.

There were challengers to this flat-world plot. It got no traction among peasants of Chiapas, demonstrators at the Battle of Seattle and scientists labouring behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who fought for alternative stories, pointing to dislocation, unfairness and spiking carbon emissions. But the power of flat-world storytelling asphyxiated the nay-sayers.

That is, until a financial crisis, the spectacle of crumbling glaciers and scenes of an Arab Spring gone horribly awry ended the triumphalist bender. Suddenly, the euphoric style gave way to a chorus of dysphoria.

Now, even the most sophisticated stories about capitalism and democracy see the two as threatening to part ways. The French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) put the spotlight on the vice of inequality and slow growth. It also advanced a wider claim: in historical perspective, the rapid growth of 1930 to 1975 is the aberration. By this analysis, we ought to see that the slow growth, stagnation and inequality of our age is the historical norm; what needs explaining is the prosperity of the post-1945 decades. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (2018) by the British historian Adam Tooze also leaves a sinking feeling: the 2008 crisis couldn’t even fail right! Instead, it left the world awash in more debt and concentrated economic power.

Piketty and Tooze didn’t set out to explain how humanity climbed onto the doomsday treadmill. They do, however, contribute to a gathering impression of a new normal, one in which disaster becomes the default, and unequal, sluggish growth – the rule. The final section of Piketty’s book details feasible correctives to market fundamentalism. Despite the progressive vacuum that handed governments around the world to Right-wing nativists, Piketty’s discussion of possible reforms didn’t generate much discussion. If Schumpeter’s work pointed to crises as opportunities for movement and progress, Tooze tells the story of an establishment refusing to learn from the crisis it made. The real failure then of that financial mayhem was that its makers couldn’t see how their heroic story of decontrolled Homo pecuniaria was responsible for the crisis – and instead compelled bystanders and taxpayers to pay the price.

The beneficiaries of the doomsday narratives have been snarling nativists and populists, propped up by Fox News sages such as Jonah Goldberg and Yuval Levin who champion the old decline story: a dirge for ‘Western’ civilisation. The New York Times’ David Brooks weeps about America’s inescapable demise. For Donald Trump in the US, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Viktor Orbán in Hungary, there is only one, stark, self-serving choice: cosmopolitan catastrophe or rescue, with themselves as uniquely mandated to liberate us from an apocalypse designed by global plutocrats. Meanwhile, liberals and cosmopolitans feud over whom to blame – thereby further fuelling the crisis consensus.

It’s important to recognise one of the catastrophist’s rhetorical moves. Stories of doom thrive on turning a tension into an incompatibility. A tension implies two forces at odds – like hot and cold, like price stability and jobs, like helping strangers and assisting neighbours; while they pull in different directions, they can be mixed. Earlier big narratives used to explain choices in terms of tension and unstable compromise. In the 1950s and ’60s, debates focused on how much the developing world could advance while being part of a wider global economy. A decade later, the tension was how to co-manage a troubled global commons.

Nowadays, the chorus of catastrophe presents differences as intractable and incompatible, the choice between them zero-sum. It’s globalism or ‘nation first’, jobs or climate, friend or foe. The model is simple: earlier leaders muddled, dithered, compromised and mixed. In their efforts to avoid hard decisions, they led the nation to the edge of disaster.

Pessimism helped exorcise post-1989 triumphalism; Piketty and Tooze are right about structural features of inequality and how the makers of catastrophe became its beneficiaries. But we also need to see how the consensus of catastrophe that straddles the ideological spectrum – but grows more dire and menacing as one approaches the extremes – favours the politics of the strong man glaring down the nation-doubters.

The alternative is not to be wistful about flat-world narratives that find solace in technical panaceas and market fundamentalisms; the last thing we need is a return to the comforts of lean-in fairy tales that rely on facile responses to a complicated world. To learn from collapses and extinctions, and prevent more of them, we need to recover our command over complex storytelling, to think of tensions instead of incompatibilities, to allow choices and alternatives, mixtures and ambiguities, instability and learning, to counter the false certainties of the abyss. If we don’t, it really will be too late for many people and species.

Eyewitness Reports 2016 Pterosaur Sighting in Gary, Indiana


 Interesting.  The lack of a wing flap at all is puzzling and you really want to see the hardware of a modern drone.  Yet that also needed to been seen as well.  It could well be that the original pterosaur never actually flapped its wings except perhaps to launch and always depended on gliding.  Now think boomerang.  Side slipping could provide acceleration and possible lift as well and manipulating that may produce unexpected results.

We do have pretty convincing reports from other informants, but those do i think show wing movement.  Less though may be characteristic.

All good.

Eyewitness Reports 2016 Pterosaur Sighting in Gary, Indiana 

 Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I received the following report by email today (Wednesday, January 23rd). I followed-up with a telephone call:
Sir, I had the experience of seeing this big grayish prehistoric bird. It was 7:40 in the morning on a clear sunny day. I was driving down Broadway in Gary, right across from the gas station right before you get on the exit going I-65 South. I was shocked wandering why no one else notice this creature. It didn't have a man face. The beak was pointy, the wings were really long. The wings did not flap. The creature flew low enough for me to just look up, and there it was.
At first I thought that I was crazy, so I waited a couple of days before I told my husband. I don't drink, or do drugs, so I know what I saw.

After a couple of weeks, I saw it again in the same area, but not the same spot. Also this one was the same but smaller. It did not look like a bat, or a owl. So I googled prehistoric birds, and there I saw the best picture to describe what I saw. After that I looked up at the sky often, but hadn't seen it again. I also thought about reporting it, but people of course would think that I was crazy. It came to me that woody, dense areas is where they hide. PC

NOTE: I called PC immediately after receiving her email. She gave me the exact location of the sighting, an area near a gas station that once had a fairly thick grove of trees in the vicinity. The trees have since been cleared. This is in the area of W 37th Ave eastbound between Broadway and I-65.

This sighting occurred in the late spring / early summer of 2016. PC had just taken her children to school and saw the creature on her way home. She stated that the creature was quite large...the body was approximately the length of a van and the wings had a width at least double the length. PC is positive that this was a Pterosaur-like being, after looking for an example online.

A few days later, her friend also observed this creature. Her husband witnessed a similar creature several weeks later. I'm sure that other residents in the area were aware of the presence of these creatures at the time, but were fearful of reporting their sightings.

PC's husband's friend told him about the recent Gary, Indiana sightings, and she decided to contact me. I'm not discounting that this may have been a remote controlled device...though the size and the general socio-economic area is puzzling, if that is the case. My team is following up on this incident, along with all previous and subsequent encounters. Lon


8 Different Types of Love According to the Ancient Greeks

I was somewhat aware of this critical analysis, but only in part and never understood it as a useful working framework.  This should be shared with our youth as a matter of course, not least since all will abruptly be exposed to Eros and experience usually unwanted turmoil.

Putting labels on things is always helpful if only as a starting point for a discussion.

I do think that this needs to be put through the academic grind and introduced into our language as well preparatory to entering it into our educational system.  It is important and seriously useful and not particularly demanding in time, but always timely..

8 Different Types of Love According to the Ancient Greeks

January 25th, 2019

There are many paths in life. But the longest of them all is the path to the heart. If you resist this path, you will take lifetimes to find it again. If you surrender and embrace it, you’ll be home.
We’ve all been blinded by the blanket of emotions that comes from falling down the precipice of union into love. While we only have one word for it, the ancient Greeks in their pursuit of wisdom and self-understanding, found eight different varieties of love that we all experience at some point.
When we understand the different types of love out there, we can become conscious of how deep our connection is with ourselves and the other people in our lives.

8 Different Types of Love

What different types of love are you currently experiencing and how are they impacting your life?
1. “Eros” or Erotic Love

The first kind of love is Eros, which is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.
The ancient Greeks considered Eros to be dangerous and frightening as it involves a “loss of control” through the primal impulse to procreate. Eros is a passionate and intense form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings.
Eros is an exulted and beautifully idealistic love that in the hearts of the spiritually mature can be used to “recall knowledge of beauty” (as Socrates put it) through Tantra and spiritual sex. But when misguided, eros can be misused, abused and indulged in, leading to impulsive acts and broken hearts.
Eros is a primal and powerful fire that burns out quickly. It needs its flame to be fanned through one of the deeper forms of love below as it is centered around the selfish aspects of love, that is, personal infatuation and physical pleasure.

2. “Philia” or Affectionate Love

The second type of love is philia, or friendship. The ancient Greeks valued philia far above eros because it was considered a love between equals.
Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” Philia is a type of love that is felt among friends who’ve endured hard times together.

[ our term is comradeship - arclein ]
As Aristotle put it, philia is a “dispassionate virtuous love” that is free from the intensity of sexual attraction. It often involves the feelings of loyalty among friends, camaraderie among teammates, and the sense of sacrifice for your pack.

3. “Storge” or Familiar Love

Although storge closely resembles philia in that it is a love without physical attraction, storge is primarily to do with kinship and familiarity. Storge is a natural form of affection that often flows between parents and their children, and children for their parents.
Storge love can even be found among childhood friends that is later shared as adults. But although storge is a powerful form of love, it can also become an obstacle on our spiritual paths, especially when our family or friends don’t align with or support our journey.
4. “Ludus” or Playful Love

Although ludus has a bit of the erotic eros in it, it is much more than that. The Greeks thought of ludus as a playful form of love, for example, the affection between young lovers.
Ludus is that feeling we have when we go through the early stages of falling in love with someone, e.g. the fluttering heart, flirting, teasing, and feelings of euphoria.
Playfulness in love is an essential ingredient that is often lost in long-term relationships. Yet playfulness is one of the secrets to keeping the childlike innocence of your love alive, interesting and exciting.

5. “Mania” or Obsessive Love

Mania love is a type of love that leads a partner into a type of madness and obsessiveness. It occurs when there is an imbalance between eros and ludus.
To those who experience mania, love itself is a means of rescuing themselves; a reinforcement of their own value as the sufferer of poor self-esteem. This person wants to love and be loved to find a sense of self-value. Because of this, they can become possessive and jealous lovers, feeling as though they desperately “need” their partners.
If the other partner fails to reciprocate with the same kind of mania love, many issues prevail. This is why mania can often lead to issues such as codependency.

6. “Pragma” or Enduring Love

Pragma is a love that has aged, matured and developed over time. It is beyond the physical, it has transcended the casual, and it is a unique harmony that has formed over time.
You can find pragma in married couples who’ve been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades. Unfortunately pragma is a type of love that is not easily found. We spend so much time and energy trying to find love and so little time in learning how to maintain it.
Unlike the other types of love, pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It’s the love between people who’ve learned to make compromises, have demonstrated patience and tolerance to make the relationship work.

7. “Philautia” or Self Love

The Greeks understood that in order to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves. This form of self-love is not the unhealthy vanity and self-obsession that is focused on personal fame, gain and fortune as is the case with Narcissism.
Instead, philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, will you be able to provide love to others. As Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”

You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. Only once you learn to love and understand yourself, will you be ready to search for the spiritual freedom of the Self.

8. “Agape” or Selfless Love

The highest and most radical type of love according to the Greeks is agape, or selfless unconditional love.
This type of love is not the sentimental outpouring that often passes as love in our society. It has nothing to do with the condition-based type of love that our sex-obsessed culture tries to pass as love.
Agape is what some call spiritual love. It is an unconditional love, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion, an infinite empathy. It is what the Buddhists describe as “mett?” or “universal loving kindness.” It is the purest form of love that is free from desires and expectations, and loves regardless of the flaws and shortcomings of others.
Agape is the love that is felt for that which we intuitively know as the divine truth: the love that accepts, forgives and believes for our greater good.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the ancient Greeks, we can learn from all the different types of love in our lives. Because of these distinctions, we can learn that in order to truly enjoy eros we must also search for greater depths through philia and cultivate ludus, avoiding mania as our relationships mature. It’s through these efforts that we’ll find pragma in our soulmate or twin flame relationships.
Finally, through the power philautia and agape we can come to understand how amazing our human hearts really are. Our hearts are the only things in the universe that grow larger the more they give to others.

The Uncertain Future of Particle Physics

To put the problem of empirical physics into the proper perspective you need to understand that from my own understanding through my Cloud Cosmology derived from understanding the Space Time Pendulum, that it is correct to state that the electron has approximately 2400 vertices and by implication that the neutron around three million vertices.  Fortunately it is all internally symmetric except the foundational particle or neutrino does not allow perfect packing. Yet the sheer scale of three million vertices generates a simulation problem that will still boggle our best computers the moment i want to map curvature changes throughout the simulation.

The good news is actually Cloud Cosmology. It provides a clear starting point and allows the effect of symmetries to be predicted and studied.  It also explains the success of the ancients using their much more limited form of Mathematics using sound resonance.  The Great Pyramid could well have been their version of the Hadron Collider. 

My key point though is that the gross symmetric structure of a neutron is predictable and also that we can now use this knowledge to predict the best configuration for larger atoms allowing us to follow up on experiments now two thousand years old in which compounds were recycled over and over again in order to trigger elemental phase changes..  .
The Uncertain Future of Particle Physics

Ten years in, the Large Hadron Collider has failed to deliver the exciting discoveries that scientists promised.

By Sabine Hossenfelder

Dr. Hossenfelder is a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies.

Jan. 23, 2019

The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It’s a 16-mile-long underground ring, located at CERN in Geneva, in which protons collide at almost the speed of light.CreditLeslye Davis/The New York Times

The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It’s a 16-mile-long underground ring, located at CERN in Geneva, in which protons collide at almost the speed of light.CreditCreditLeslye Davis/The New York Times

The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It’s a 16-mile-long underground ring, located at CERN in Geneva, in which protons collide at almost the speed of light. With a $5 billion price tag and a $1 billion annual operation cost, the L.H.C. is the most expensive instrument ever built — and that’s even though it reuses the tunnel of an earlier collider.

The L.H.C. has collected data since September 2008. Last month, the second experimental run completed, and the collider will be shut down for the next two years for scheduled upgrades. With the L.H.C. on hiatus, particle physicists are already making plans to build an even larger collider. Last week, CERN unveiled plans to build an accelerator that is larger and far more powerful than the L.H.C. — and would cost over $10 billion.

I used to be a particle physicist. For my Ph.D. thesis, I did L.H.C. predictions, and while I have stopped working in the field, I still believe that slamming particles into one another is the most promising route to understanding what matter is made of and how it holds together. But $10 billion is a hefty price tag. And I’m not sure it’s worth it.

In 2012, experiments at the L.H.C. confirmed the discovery of the Higgs boson — a prediction that dates back to the 1960s — and it remains the only discovery made at the L.H.C. Particle physicists are quick to emphasize that they have learned other things: For example, they now have better knowledge about the structure of the proton, and they’ve seen new (albeit unstable) composite particles. But let’s be honest: It’s disappointing.

Before the L.H.C. started operation, particle physicists had more exciting predictions than that. They thought that other new particles would also appear near the energy at which the Higgs boson could be produced. They also thought that the L.H.C. would see evidence for new dimensions of space. They further hoped that this mammoth collider would deliver clues about the nature of dark matter (which astrophysicists think constitutes 85 percent of the matter in the universe) or about a unified force.

The stories about new particles, dark matter and additional dimensions were repeated in countless media outlets from before the launch of the L.H.C. until a few years ago. What happened to those predictions? The simple answer is this: Those predictions were wrong — that much is now clear.

The trouble is, a “prediction” in particle physics is today little more than guesswork. (In case you were wondering, yes, that’s exactly why I left the field.) In the past 30 years, particle physicists have produced thousands of theories whose mathematics they can design to “predict” pretty much anything. For example, in 2015 when a statistical fluctuation in the L.H.C. data looked like it might be a new particle, physicists produced more than 500 papers in eight months to explain what later turned out to be merely noise. The same has happened many other times for similar fluctuations, demonstrating how worthless those predictions are.

To date, particle physicists have no reliable prediction that there should be anything new to find until about 15 orders of magnitude above the currently accessible energies. And the only reliable prediction they had for the L.H.C. was that of the Higgs boson. Unfortunately, particle physicists have not been very forthcoming with this information. Last year, Nigel Lockyer, the director of Fermilab, told the BBC, “From a simple calculation of the Higgs’ mass, there has to be new science.” This “simple calculation” is what predicted that the L.H.C. should already have seen new science.

I recently came across a promotional video for the Future Circular Collider that physicists have proposed to build at CERN. This video, which is hosted on the CERN website, advertises the planned machine as a test for dark matter and as a probe for the origin of the universe. It is extremely misleading: Yes, it is possible that a new collider finds a particle that makes up dark matter, but there is no particular reason to think it will. And such a machine will not tell us anything about the origin of the universe. Paola Catapano, head of audiovisual productions at CERN, informed me that this video “is obviously addressed to politicians and not fellow physicists and uses the same arguments as those used to promote the L.H.C. in the ’90s.”

But big science experiments are investments in our future. Decisions about what to fund should be based on facts, not on shiny advertising. For this, we need to know when a prediction is just a guess. And if particle physicists have only guesses, maybe we should wait until they have better reasons for why a larger collider might find something new.

It is correct that some technological developments, like strong magnets, benefit from these particle colliders and that particle physics positively contributes to scientific education in general. These are worthy investments, but if that’s what you want to spend money on, you don’t also need to dig a tunnel.

And there are other avenues to pursue. For example, the astrophysical observations pointing toward dark matter should be explored further; better understanding those observations would help us make more reliable predictions about whether a larger collider can produce the dark matter particle — if it even is a particle.

There are also medium-scale experiments that tend to fall off the table because giant projects eat up money. One important medium-scale project is the interface between the quantum realm and gravity, which is now accessible to experimental testing. Another place where discoveries could be waiting is in the foundations of quantum mechanics. These could have major technological impacts.

Now that the L.H.C. is being upgraded and particle physics experiments at the detector are taking a break, it’s time for particle physicists to step back and reflect on the state of the field. It’s time for them to ask why none of the exciting predictions they promised have resulted in discoveries. Money will not solve this problem. And neither will a larger particle collider.