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On Leaving | Part Two

In my last post, “On Leaving” I talked about the sociological aspects of leaving something behind and the five adaptation strategies, or options you have when you've started to question whether or not something is right for you.

The question you ask yourself before coming to the adaptation strategies can vary. However, they all have one thing in common, you are asking whether or not something still serves you. This can be applied to people (within reason), ideas, software applications, communities, and even entire societies.

Here's some examples.

  • A person you've known for a long time no longer is taking your calls and starts acting aggressive.

Your best options would be retreatism or innovate and find out what is wrong.

  • A social media platform has been run down with advertisements and the algorithms are becoming more aggressive. You feel it is no longer a good space for communication.

Several options are available.

  • You are forced into poverty and cannot get ahead no matter what you do. The society is no longer serving your needs.

You can leave. Innovate and make society better for more people. Rebel and start an activist group. Or even leave the society all together and start over somewhere else.

Whatever you decide, you have to remember that you have just one life to live. Changing your situation for the better is always a better solution than waiting for something to change and doing nothing.

Sometimes that means walking away from someone, something, or someplace. ...

“living people can sometimes change their situations, while dead ones can’t change a fucking thing.” ― Cory Doctorow, Walkaway

On Leaving

Travis Hirschi created “Control Theory” or the idea that social control is directly affected by the strength of your social bonds. Put another way, whatever holds you to a platform, location, etc. controls you. ...

What are these social bonds?: – Attachment (Connection to others). Family, Friends, Co-workers, Community etc. – Commitment (Personal Investment in Conventional Behavior). Commitment can be to a social media platform or even a lifestyle. – Involvement (Participation in Socially Legitimate Activities). The time you spend with people, on a network, at work etc. – Belief (Agreement on Common Values in Society). Are you values the same as those in your society? Do you have different ones?

Robert Merton created “Strain Theory” or the idea that access to socially acceptable goals (college, a decent paying job, or home ownership etc.) plays a part in determining whether or not a person conforms to society.

Ask yourself: Do I have the same access to things as others in my society?

When you have a socially acceptable goal but no way to attain it due to inequality you have five options. ...

5 Adaptation Strategies: – Conformity (Don't deviate) This doesn't solve the problem but allows you to put it off for as long as possible. – Innovate (Pursue the goal through other means) Attempts to solve the problem through loop holes, creating something new, bending of the law, or breaking it. – Ritualism (Lower your standards) Wait for change to happen. – Retreatism Walk away from it and start fresh somewhere else. – Rebellion Activist for changing the current social structure and replacing it with a more fair system.

To be continued. ...

This is Not Normal

I just read, “The Insect Apocalypse is Here” and these are my comments about it.

Where have all the bugs gone? That’s what this post tries to answer and if you’re like me and hadn’t really noticed the lack of bugs recently, you’ll understand why this is such a big deal after reading the article. However, before we dive into this article, I want to share with you what I’ve noticed.

I’ve lived in Missouri for almost 19 years now, about a decade ago I remember windshields so full of bug splats that you couldn’t see out of it while driving down the highway and cringing at the thump of especially large bugs when they hit. I remember a season where when I rode my bike around town I couldn’t not hit a grasshopper because there were more than I could count all over the roads and fields. Last summer however? I remember pulling a single butterfly from the grill of my dad’s truck. That’s it... There were no more bugs. ...

Here’s how plentiful our world used to be. We tend to think that the environmental conditions that we are born into are normal, but it is anything but normal.

“In “The Once and Future World,” the journalist J.B. MacKinnon cites records from recent centuries that hint at what has only just been lost: “In the North Atlantic, a school of cod stalls a tall ship in midocean; off Sydney, Australia, a ship’s captain sails from noon until sunset through pods of sperm whales as far as the eye can see. ... Pacific pioneers complain to the authorities that splashing salmon threaten to swamp their canoes.” There were reports of lions in the south of France, walruses at the mouth of the Thames, flocks of birds that took three days to fly overhead, as many as 100 blue whales in the Southern Ocean for every one that’s there now. “These are not sights from some ancient age of fire and ice,” MacKinnon writes. “We are talking about things seen by human eyes, recalled in human memory.””

So, when you read the above article, please understand how dire these circumstances are for us and our planet. Ok, so what are the highlights of the article?

“A 2013 paper in Nature, which modeled both natural and computer-generated food webs, suggested that a loss of even 30 percent of a species’ abundance can be so destabilizing that other species start going fully, numerically extinct — in fact, 80 percent of the time it was a secondarily affected creature that was the first to disappear.”

  • Drastic drops in insect populations have been recorded globally.

  • World’s largest king penguin colony shrank by 88%.

  • Blue-fin Tuna populations have shrunk 97%.

  • 60% decrease in total wild land animal populations.

  • 96% of the planet’s biomass now is humans and livestock. Wild animals represent less than 4%. ...

  • 10-60% less arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico.

  • 50-80% drops in partridges from France due to the lack of insects they eat.

  • 50% of all farmland birds in Europe are gone.

  • Birds which rely on insects may be starving to death due to their collapse.

These are some drastic decreases and we tend to forget that all species are connected. When we loose one species, we can loose all the species that rely on it. We need to recognize what is happening around us with our environment and our planet. We need to know, that what we are seeing today, isn’t normal.

Unsustainable Systems

Human society is a series of conflicts, Trotsky said, “Every state is founded on force.” and if we use ancient Rome as an example, we can see this idea's progression through time. Ancient Rome moved rapidly from warring clans, through kingship, to a revolution that lead to the rise of an aristocratic class that divided their society into one of haves and have nots. Those who were so poor that when they went into debt, they had to sell themselves just to stay alive. They were also the ones who made up the majority of Romes' army and the first to get attacked outside of Romes' walls if they were farmers, which led to the entire army leaving Rome defenseless at least twice in protest. But let's get back to the analysis shall we?

Both Karl Marx through his creation of Historical Materialism and Conflict Theory, as well as, Aristotle, through book I of “Politics” prove that the state and society have formed in this way.

Aristotle theorizes that once currency is created, individuals begin to want to accumulate as much as possible, with the fastest ways of doing this being taking advantage of his fellow men through low wages, lending, and interest rates, as well as, through investment (money making money) and commerce. Marx moves this theory further along by saying such economic activity is the very foundation that shapes society and a major driver of inequality and injustice.

The state then, or its interpretation thereof throughout time has been one of legitimizing authority and power. Currency by it's very definition enables the wielder more power over one who doesn't have as much. Thus, those with the most have the most to loose, if they don't tie their power to that of authority. By making up the rules, they secure their position and that of everyone else.

Aristotle said currency was the cause of inequality and greed. Marx says its our domination by the state and economic structure. Moving forward Max Weber states that it's rationalization devoid of values originally found in religion and ethics that causes disparity and dehumanization over time.

If I was to add to this I would say that they were all correct and noticing different aspects in an unsustainable system. From the moment we as a collective species decided that some people were better than others, by not having a set of ethics in place to prevent it (greed and a lust for power), we have been trapped within an advancing system that reinforces these divisions until it has encapsulated all life; human and non on a planetary level.

Plato said it before in his theory of five regimes that where democracy ends, tyranny begins. Once we hit that limit where we no longer recognize each other as being human beings, we've lost. We are reaching the end of our current systems ability to maintain itself. The only thing left for us to decide is whether or not we want to form a better system or accept imminent collapse. Because unlike all the other times in our history as a species, a habitable environment was never on the line. ...

Climate Change Report: U.S. Edition

If you haven’t gotten to read about the new climate report that just came out after Thanksgiving, here’s some of the highlights.

  • Low Income and marginalized communities, including reservations, women and people with mental illnesses and/or disabilities will be hit the hardest.

  • Temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather events are on the rise and will hinder trade. So, production, manufacturing, and supply chains will be hit.

  • The Midwest will see a 75% reduction in corn production and 25%+ reduction in soybean yields. Other foodstuffs were not listed, but you can assume they will be hit hard as well and that E.Coli contamination will only get worse with rising temperatures.

  • Air pollution and ozone will skyrocket along with the health issues they cause.

  • Food and water-bourne diseases, as well as ticks and lyme disease will skyrocket.

  • Asthma and allergies will be on the rise.

  • The Midwest alone could see at least 2,000 premature deaths per year due to temperatures by 2090.

  • Annual GDP loss will be in the hundreds of billions per year.

  • Half a billion work hours will be lost due to rising temperatures by 2100. I’m assuming this is per year.

  • West Nile, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya cases are expected to rise with West Nile cases doubling by 2050.

  • 6x more forest area burning annually by 2050.

  • Dependable water will be iffy.

  • Dependable electricity will be iffy with rolling blackouts and power failures.

  • Real estate will skyrocket due to migrations caused by rising sea levels.

  • The Midwest will start to resemble Las Vegas or Phoenix when it comes to days over 100 degrees in the summer. On average at least two months with temperatures over 100 in the summer.

  • Permafrost melt will cause carbon dioxide and methane to significantly amplify climate change.

  • No sea ice for the Arctic in summer.

Stuffing Recipe:

1 sesame baguette 2-3 cups of broth 1/3 cup of herb mix ½ cup cranberries ¼ cup slivered almonds 1 dash of salt

Herb Mix: (Dehydrated & Ground) Basil Celery Leaf Sage Savory Rosemary Chives Thyme

Directions: Slice up the baguette, add herbs, slivered almonds, salt, cranberries, and broth. Mix well and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until slightly browned.

Butterfly Friendly Trees & Shrubs

I came across an article today that detailed a bunch of trees and shrubs that are beneficial to butterfly and moth species that I wanted to share with you. These trees and shrubs are specifically beneficial to Missouri, so please check that they are not invasive species where you live before planting.

Small Trees: (Up to 30 ft. tall)

Downy Hawthorn - Beneficial to 150 different species

Downy Serviceberry - Beneficial to 119 different species

Flowering Dogwood - Beneficial to 150 different species

Large Trees: (Up to 90 ft. tall)

Shagbark Hickory - Beneficial to 200 different species

Tulip Poplar - Beneficial to 368 different species

White Oak - Beneficial to 410 different species


American Hazelnut - Beneficial to 31 different species

Arrowwood Viburnum - Beneficial to 104 different species

Ninebark - Beneficial to 40 different species

Other Beneficial Plants & Trees:

Pin Oak

Rough- Leaved Dogwood

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Prairie Rose

Not only are the above mentioned trees and shrubs good for butterflies and moths, but they are also beneficial to song birds. An average chickadee clutch can eat 6,000-9,000 caterpillars before leaving the nest. Let’s also not forget that butterflies are pollinators and trees are carbon sinks. The benefits of planting a few shrubs or trees can be pretty big in the long run.

*These trees and shrubs were included in an article “Bring in the Birds” by Jan Wiese-Fales in the October issue of Missouri Conservationist.

What is Bokashi? It's a compost bin that works through fermentation. Unlike other compost systems it can compost the following: – Fruits – Veggies – Meat – Dairy – Mystery leftovers – Cardboard – Paper and much more. ...

DIY Bokashi Compost Bin

You can create a two part system, one under your kitchen sink and a larger one in your yard to transfer it to.

For your kitchen, the simplest method is to use a punch dispenser with a spigot. Add your compostables and cover in a layer of bokashi medium. Every once in a while drain off the liquid through the spigot and dilute with water for a potent fertilizer.

For an outdoor bin, you can use a plastic container (though I don't personally recommend them), or diy a wooden bin with a sealable lid. Whatever you use, make sure it has holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

DIY Bokashi Starter

  1. Create the lactobacillus bacteria. ½ cup rice 1 cup water Mix vigorously, drain. Leave in a dark space for 5-8 days. Then pour into a larger jar and add 10 parts milk. Allow to ferment for two weeks, then strain.

  2. Innoculate your medium. You can use newspaper or wheat bran from an animal feed store. Use 1 part lactobacillus, 1 part molasses, and 6 parts water. You can freeze this serum for later batches.

Soak the medium and drain well. Put into an airtight container two weeks.

After two weeks you can use your medium in your bokashi compost.

Some Thoughts On Politics

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so. ~ Immanuel Kant

Fascism is capitalism in decay. ~ Vladimir Lenin

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. ~ Socrates

“All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.” ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg

Plato’s Five Regimes: Aristocracy Timocracy Oligarchy Democracy Tyranny

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Physiological Safety Social Esteem Self Actualization

There needs to be a better hierarchy of needs created in the future but for now this will be the one referenced.

Game Theory: “If there’s a disaster, do you go over to your neighbor’s house with: a) a covered dish or b) a shotgun? It’s game theory. If you believe your neighbor is coming over with a shotgun, you’d be an idiot to pick a); if she believes the same thing about you, you can bet she’s not going to choose a) either. The way to get to a) is to do a) even if you think your neighbor will pick b). Sometimes she’ll point her gun at you and tell you to get off her land, but if she was only holding the gun because she thought you’d have one, then she’ll put on the safety and you can have a potluck.” ~ Cory Doctorow, Walkaway

Tragedy of the Commons: ““Commons. Common land that belongs to no one. Villages had commons where anyone could bring their livestock for a day’s grazing. The tragedy part is that if the land isn’t anyone’s, then someone will come along and let their sheep eat until there’s nothing but mud. Everyone knows that that bastard is on the way, so they might as well be that bastard. Better that sheep belonging to a nice guy like you should fill their bellies than the grass going to some selfish dickhead’s sheep.”

“Sounds like bullshit to me.”

“Oh, it is,” Hubert, Etc said. The thing was moving in his guts, setting his balls and face tingling. “It’s more than mere bullshit. It’s searing, evil, world-changing bullshit. The solution to the tragedy of the commons isn’t to get a cop to make sure sociopaths aren’t overgrazing the land, or shunning anyone who does it, turning him into a pariah. The solution is to let a robber-baron own the land that used to be everyone’s, because once he’s running it for profit, he’ll take exquisite care to generate profit forever.””

~ Cory Doctorow, Walkaway

  • Fascism, bigotry, ableism, hate, learned -isms and phobic thought are not conductive to the individual nor society. We must strive to break down these ideological crutches.

  • Inner pain, learned behavior, apathy, greed, fear, and needs not being met (Maslow’s Hierarchy) are the root of cause of cruelty and evil.

  • A system that promotes financial gain at the expense of humanity and ethics is a corrupt system not meant to benefit the entirety of society and therefore cannot solve society’s problems.

  • An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable. In order to give the appearance of stability in such a system, groups of people will be identified as ‘other’ and wars created cyclically. This staves off total collapse temporarily.

  • Believing that a system that has caused catastrophic climate change will somehow create a way to save us from it, is suicide. …

  • If we are a divided people, democracy cannot be sustained. If democracy cannot be sustained, solutions to our current climate and environmental crisis cannot be passed. Divided we all loose.

*This post is a work in progress and may be updated in the future.

Beeswax Wraps

2 tbs of beeswax granules (per square of fabric) 1 square of fabric 2 binder clips 1 paintbrush (you're ok with destroying) 1 baking sheet

Sprinkle the beeswax evenly over the fabric. Heat in the oven for less than five minutes. Pull out and quickly use the brush to coat places that were missed. Then pull it out with the binder clips and wave in the air a few seconds until dry. If it hardens before you pull it out, pop it back in the oven a few seconds and try again.

When you're done, take a knife and scrape the hardened wax out of the bottom of the baking sheet and save for later.

To clean the baking sheet:

Scrape it clean Wash with hot water, soap, & steel wool.