Tuesday, September 13, 2016

KunstlerCast Transcript

Transcript of James H. Kunstler’s Podcast 280: Kunstler talks with Dmitry Orlov about Rob O’Grady’s book 150 Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future

Kunstler: Hello and welcome to the KunstlerCast. Thanks for listening in. If you'd like to support this podcast, you can become a patron of the show by making a small monthly contribution through my Patreon page. To do that, you can either search for me on Patreon.com or use the link in the upper right hand corner of my website, kunstler.com. My guest today is Dmitry Orlov, an old friend of the podcast. He's been here many times. He's the author of Reinventing Collapse and many other books. He's also become a publisher lately. One of the books that he's published we shall be talking about today, 150-Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future by Rob O'Grady. I'm a long-time fan of Dmitry Orlov. He brings a clear eyed worldview and mordant sense of humor to the rather confusing and confounding events of our time. Listen up now. There will be a quiz as we discuss 150-Strong by Rob O'Grady. Tell the listeners, if you would, why I'm interviewing you about it and not Rob O'Grady.

Orlov: Well, Rob has sort of indicated that he's perfectly comfortable with having me do interviews on his behalf and I'm happy to do it. I'm not only his publisher, I'm also his publicist. That's suits both of us fine.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Hiatus

This blog is on hiatus until October, when it will blow your mind once and for all. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

KunstlerCast 280: 150 Strong with Dmitry Orlov

Jim Kunstler and I talk about Rob O'Grady's book, then spend some time trying to put it all into perspective.

Link to podcast

And here is a write-up that Rob O'Grady just sent in, responding to some questions Jim asked, which I didn't answer as fully as I should have during the podcast.

Self-organizing Systems – Reflections on 150 Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future


Nature is one great network of self-organizing systems. Always there is a tendency towards equilibrium. The antelopes that are slow and dull-witted are culled by the lions while the quick and sharp-witted ones survive to propagate the species. Bare rock erupted from volcanoes can become densely forested in less than a thousand years.

We might fret about climate change, but in a few million years the oceans and the organisms they contain will absorb the excess carbon we are venting into the atmosphere and plate tectonics will once again sequester it in the Earth’s crust.

There is beauty in these systems. They are efficient, and in this respect Nature, with its dynamic, constant rebalancing, serves as a model.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Thousand Balls of Flame

Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear.

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Werewolf Logic

This day a year ago the world lost one of its great minds: Dr. Jaakko Hintikka passed away in Porvoo, Finland, aged 86.

I studied epistemic logic and philosophy of language with Dr. Hintikka while a graduate student at Boston University in the early 1990s. He was a very impressive intellectual figure—the author of dozens of scholarly books and hundreds of articles. But I understood his passion in life to be rather simple: it was to teach people to think—not what to think, but how to think. As a logician, he could see how helpless most people are at the mechanics of thought, and he wanted to help them.

Today, on the first anniversary of his passing, I am honoring Dr. Hintikka‘s memory with the following comedic horror story. Its plot rests on one of his insights: that public knowledge is but the tip of an iceberg of confidential, privately shared knowledge. It’s not what you know that matters, but who else knows that you know what you know.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Announcing: Club Orlov Shirts!

Here, for your pleasure, are three shirt designs. They are nautical-themed, highly ironic, somewhat politically incorrect, and they feature pictures of fish and exceptionally witty puns. They are very reasonably priced and are available in every imaginable style, size and color. Free shipping on large orders! Get them for yourself or the whole crew! Please click on the pictures to place your order.

YOUR PLAICE OR MINE?

I HAVE A BREAM!

YOUR WRASSE ON A PLATE

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Furious Sheep

[Ovelha enfurecida]

In all my years of watching politics in the US, never have I seen a presidential election generate such overwhelmingly negative emotions. Everyone hates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or, increasingly, both of them. This is creating a severe psychological problem for many people: they want to tell their friends and the world that Clinton is mentally unstable and a crook, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Trump. Or they want to tell everyone what a vulgar, narcissistic, egotistical blowhard Trump is, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Clinton. Some are abandoning the two-party duopoly in favor of minor parties, ready to vote for Jill Stein the Green or Gary Johnson the Libertarian, but are conflicted because voting for Stein would take votes away from Clinton the crook and thus support Trump the blowhard, while voting for Johnson would take votes away from Trump the blowhard and thus support Clinton the crook. There is just no winning! Or is there?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Power of “Nyet”

[O poder do “não”]
[Het vermogen van “njet”]
[Síla „Nět“]
[Le pouvoir du « Niet »]

The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn’t work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Interview on Keiser Report Summer Solutions Series

Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert and I discuss two books which I recently published—150-Strong and Bureaucratic Insanity—as well my efforts to prevent World War III.