True Philosophy is this: In a great storm in the wild, a pyramid occurred. This pyramid no bigger than your head. The pyramid being recognized, it grew. All the birds of the air & the beasts of the wild brought a single stone, each stone of all sizes & types, and for no stone was there a place on the pyramid that could not be found. The pyramid continued to grow. Of all the birds of the air & the beasts of the wild, there were none that could not find shelter there.

It seems like I need to post something funny on this blog, to balance out certain recent posts. So I share this joke I heard from my oldest child recently. She got it from the Internet someplace. And it is:

“Welcome to this meeting of Plastic Surgery Anonymous! I am happy to see so many new faces.”

(I chuckled.)

The old revelations are dead. If there is a God, if It wishes to be known, It must give us a new revelation. There must be APOKALYPSIS, Unveiling of the Mystery.

Which is exactly what is happening.

Have you ever read Genesis and wonder what methods of evil those of Noah’s time must have practiced, to draw such wrath? Have you ever read Revelation and wondered what new ways of sin must be discovered, to draw a contrast with all the horrors of human history?

Well, guess what–you’re living it! The past century has been that laboratory of evil. The Holocaust, the Gulag, the Cultural Revolution, the world wars and the ravaging of nature, the grasp on the hilt of the nuclear sword–this is it. These are the abominations that herald a new message from God, come in wrath.

The Unprecedented Era is the Apocalypse, the Unveiling. The powers of God and Devil have been placed in the hands of humanity, and we tremble at the opportunity. God has hidden His Face on purpose, to test us. From this trial will burst forth fearsome equations, the final Knowledge. We live in the End Times. We are the End, each of us. We live the End. We plunge forth towards our Ordeal, our Harrowing.

(And the wonderful thing is that this works in both religious and secular sense. In the religious, if there is a cosmic truth, it will be revealed. In the secular, if there is no cosmic truth, it will be found anyway. Some system will be proclaimed as truth.)

(This is gonna be a bit of a grim one, folks. Don’t let it spoil your Monday)

Went to the museum last week. They have an exhibit on global climate change. Quite a relevant topic this summer.

The Holocene appears to be upon us. The energies we have unleashed in the past two hundred years are, outside of our intentions, warping the very earth on which we stand. The Earth’s atmospheric conditions now resemble those of several million years ago, prior to human existence. Seven billion people and more, growing constantly, shoving aside all else for our cities, our fields, our mines, disrupting all ecosystems. If all turns out for the worst, we face the Sixth Great Extinction.

And it won’t be any different from the other five.

Every so often, there’s going to be a mass extinction. It’s just how the dice tumble. It makes no difference if the medium is bolide impact, supervolcanic activity, or one oversuccessful species. All are the same thing, patterns of matter and energy.

There is nothing supernatural about humanity. We are the same, in essence, as bolides and volcanoes. The same rules of reality govern our biological behavior as govern astronomy and geology. If we put ourselves in a different category, it’s just pride talking. Our consciousness is not special.

Whatever might get wiped out in the coming centuries, life will go on. It’s difficult to sterilize an entire planet. Something will be left and it will evolve and things will continue, just like after the dinosaurs. The sun has about five billion years before it turns into a red giant—that’s enough time to replay the entire history of life. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. Don’t let pride of species fool you.

I’m hoping this isn’t the case. I want us to find another way as much as anybody else. But if it does happen or if it doesn’t, it will be according to the arithmetic of nature.

(It’s fascinating to think of another intelligent species, a billion years from now. By that point, there were be no identifiable trace of human culture. World geography will be completely different. But the geological evidence will be there, bizarre anomalies in the rock record. Perhaps their scientists will learn to look for it, will come to identify our population centers and perhaps a few other choice points. Perhaps they will wonder what we did, and what happened to us.)

Saw on Twitter:

If you want to find the history and book nerds in a room, just say, “It’s a shame about the Library at Alexandria.” The noises of anguish that erupt will ALWAYS give them away.

To be honest, on those occasions, I do make noises of anguish, but for reasons opposite to what most folks imagine them to be.

I once intended to write an essay about the truth of the loss of the Great Library, but then Tim O’Neill went and did so. I heartily urge all readers to peruse O’Neill’s work, and be relieved of the idea that there is anything enlightened about being upset about the Library.

A harbinger of an article in the The Atlantic today.

If you support marijuana legalization, as I do, it’s important to be straightfoward about this: the end of marijuana prohibition is likely to see a rise in marijuana consumption at all levels, including, as the article describes, addiction. Illegality, even ill-enforced illegality, has some limiting effect on an activity. When a ban is lifted, all else being equal, the banned activity will increase.

This is not a reason to not legalize marijuana.

After alcohol prohibition ended, the nation went on something of a fifty-year binge. In the Sixties, the Mad Men era, practically everyone had a cocktail in their hand. Drunkenness meant Dean Martin, and Dean Martin was funny. The old American tradition of temperance was dead. And so it went until the extent of alcoholism wrenched its way into public consciousness, via Betty Ford and many others, and our society started grappling with how much is too much (a conversation yet ongoing).

There’s a sea of agony concealed in the above paragraph. Bodies destroyed, accomplishments demolished, families rent apart. Alcoholism is a quiet, pervasive killer. That was the cost of Repeal.

And it was worth it. Because the problems of alcoholism are least out in the open, where a solution is possible. You’re not going to go to jail for having an illness. Organized crimes is not running rampant because of an illness; police and the judiciary are not being corrupted because of an illness. Legalization allows people to speak openly and honestly about what is happening. Prohibition merely conceals it.

There was one line that really stuck out:

Others mentioned the common belief that you can be “psychologically” addicted to pot, but not “physically” or “really” addicted.

Now this is true, to a certain extent. Marijuana does not have the same effect as opioids or alcohol, where the body begins to have a chemical need for the substance. But to say, as many might (not the author–she’s referring to others) that psychological addiction is not real addiction is to ignore the reality of the human psyche. The working of our habits is what makes us who are. The denial of that irks me in the same way I see “socially conditioned” used to mean “malleable.” Pleasure and pain, drip by drip, day by day, shape us. If we grow used to a way of life because it brings us pleasure, it’s very difficult to escape, even if it brings a high cost. We are material creatures, but we have a hard time accepting that. I think that as the decades go on, we are seeing a slow dialectic about the reality of ourselves and our relation to pleasure. The question of recreational substances is an important sector of that process.