Babyboomer Passions - 100% Free Babyboomer Dating & Social ...
Baby Boomer Online Dating Resource Site Where Boomers and ...
20 dating tips for baby boomers - MSN
BabyBoomerPeopleMeet.com - The Baby Boomer Dating Network
1 If it isn't 100% clear yet, Babyboomer Passions has been designed specifically for the Babyboomer community. While Babyboomer Passions is part of a much (much) larger network of niche dating sites, it is a stand-alone Babyboomer Dating Site and members CHOOSE to join this site. This section includes Boomer Dating Articles, Mature Singles and Tips, Senior Single Advice Videos, and Baby Boomer Singles Resources, and Mature Dating Resources of interest for single Baby Boomers. The generation who brought us the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s is now finding itself dating again as widows or after divorce. 20 dating tips for baby boomers Dating these days can be complicated—that’s especially true if you’re older and used to dating in a world without technology. But that doesn’t mean the ... When you are in the boomer age range I know you wonder if online dating would work for you at this stage of your life. My answer is a very strong YES!! One of the great aspects of online dating is the ability to find people who have experiences like you as they are from the same generation as you are. About Baby Boomer Dating Welcome to BabyBoomerPeopleMeet, a focused community dedicated to single Baby Boomers. If you're single, and seeking over 40 dating for friendship, pen pals, romance or marriage, look beyond your regular routine and generic online dating sites. Discover why an online dating site catering to the Boomer community is the ... Baby Boomer Dating Tip #5. Put some time into it. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do planning their dating lives. And they get great vacations and little-to-no love life! So if you want to date, get out your calendar and set aside 8 to 10 hours per week to spend on going to courses, working your online dating program ...
Navigating those Weeklies for Women... even the monthly ones...
2020.04.08 12:33 ConMcMitchellNavigating those Weeklies for Women... even the monthly ones...
Just in case you happen to be confused by the panoply of Weeklies that exist (-ed?) for Women (putting their Days as well as their Ideas which never fail to impress with their Newness to one side)... The Australian Women's Weekly went monthly in the '80s and has come to be aimed at an older demographic (women in their sixties). It 'aged' or 'matured' with the babyboomers and had kind of stuck with them. It had to, to remove itself in the Australian market from the 'tabloid/gossip' fray of New Idea (itself actually very ancient) and Woman's Day, and chose to be more relaxed and 'high quality' and (to a degree) philosophical. It turns out that Bauer owns or controls the New Zealand edition of the Aussie Women's Weekly, as well as our own native Woman's Weekly. (Note the plural and singular used in different ways to denote the female of our species - do Aussies view women as an amorphous collective, rather than individuals?) Anyway the New Zealand Woman's Weekly and the Aussie one were very similar publications, launched 1932 and 1933 respectively, completely independent of each other but serving similar markets in each country. At some point the Aussie one made its way here as a lot of foreign magazines did, and acquired a following. There was no such thing as a New Zealand edition of any of these things, they usually arrived a couple of months beyond publication date by boat (and nobody cared). Here, it was common for all these magazines to do rounds from household to household. For example, the bundles of various magazines that my Nana got from her friend could be anywhere from a year to a decade old and no worries. Curiously, there is also the English Woman's Weekly. (You'd think two would be enough). That has a New Zealand Edition now. And its the only one left, suddenly, it seems!
2019.08.01 01:21 XeroMiedoMy age [26M] doesn't really match up with who I identify as, but other love interests [21F] (typically) treat me like I'm 40, or something and it really bothers me.
So admittedly, this is a really stupid problem and honestly I even wondered if I should make a thread about this. Basically, I'm 26, about to be 27. I suppose you could say I have my finger on the pulse of internet culture, memes and Gen Z slang, or w/e you wanna call it. Anyway, the last three girls I dated were all 21. And all of them have used slang like "fam", "bruh" or "sus" which aren't even like ... as prominent as they once were, if you know what I mean. These are kinda on their way out or have been around forever. I do not use this slang with my older friends, but I have a lot of friends that are 20-23 that I do act and talk differently around. So anyway, three girls ago I was eating sushi w/ this chick I met online. Are we are eating, she says something akin to .. "So, yeah, he was just acting hella sus" And I smiled and said "yeah". And she goes, "Do you even know what that means?" And I said yeah I do. She goes no you don't. I said I do. She says no you don't. I repeated I do, who doesn't know what hella sus means. She goes then what does it mean. I was like he was acting really suspicious. She laughed and said yeah, that's it, but the way you said it sounds so ... "professional" I guess. So then I was like ... does it sound funny because I'm 26 and you know, older than you? I don't even remember what she said. Then another girl I dated said, "That's some good shit". And I said yeah, good shit. She was like the way you said that is as if you use it commonly. I was like yeah, when something goes well I just say good shit. I use good shit a lot, actually. and this girl, also 21, was amused by it as well. Eventually, she broke up with me because she said she has no problem dating a 26 year old but that she just felt like she was talking to an actual adult whilst dating me. Her reasoning honestly made no sense. So anyway, I guess my question is ... how do I like avoid shit like this? Like, I'm not 40. I'm literally 26. And these 21 year old chicks are treating me like I'm some baby boomer or something. Or is it inevitable because I'm 26? I don't even look old. Most people guess that I'm 18-22, but I guess these people said these things with the context of knowing I was already 26. That, and I feel like people my age, like 25/26/27 ... just aren't on my same wavelength. I feel like I click more with younger people in general, which is why I try to make younger friends and date younger women. One last example was when I met someone from online, they were also 21. I said something like yeah I play Fortnite and I watch Ninja/Poki streams. This person was extremely amused and even said I wouldn't have expected that from you. I was like why? They said you're 26, but I watch them too. And I was like, bro, we aren't that far apart in age. I grew up with the internet prominently in my life. TL;DR: Gen Zers treat me like I'm a babyboomer but I feel like I identify more as a Gen Zer than a millennial and I feel like this interferes with my relationships to some extent.
2019.01.05 00:08 nukak00pa[FS][CAN] Blancpain Villeret 6654 Complication OMF - Brand New With Tag
https://preview.redd.it/8a9vhgphx1921.jpg?width=4032&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a387aaeb1046bb6042bd3a4c9b9911a7cbc7bbc3 Hi everyone, I have a brand new Blancpain Villeret 6654 from OMF. It has never been worn, and is in brand new condition. The watch is so new, the leather is stiffer than a babyboomer on Cialis. This to me is the ultimate in luxury dress watch. Leather? Check. Roman Numerals? Check. Open back that's elegant yet restrained? Check. Day/Date Complication? Check. OMF managed to make a movement where all of the functions of the complication works like the gen. For an industry where they can't even get the date-font right sometimes, this is an amazing feat IMHO. Gallery Original purchase link Location: Vancouver, Canada Retail: $428 USD Asking: $400 USD shipped 3 days to anywhere in CONUS, Canada. International shipping extra. Payment: Paypal, private no notes. or Bitcoin. Thanks for looking! edit: new tagged pic uploaded
2018.12.12 01:09 nukak00pa[FS] CAN - Blancpain Villeret 6654 Complicated Function
Did you know the annual calendar on these are functional?!?! Hi everyone, I have a brand new Blancpain Villeret 6654 from OMF. It has never been worn, and is in brand new condition. The watch is so new, the leather is stiffer than a babyboomer on Cialis. This to me is the ultimate in luxury dress watch. Leather? Check. Roman Numerals? Check. Open back that's elegant yet restrained? Check. Day/Date Complication? Check. OMF managed to make a movement where all of the functions of the complication works like the gen. For an industry where they can't even get the date-font right sometimes, this is an amazing feat IMHO. Gallery Original purchase link Location: Vancouver, Canada Retail: $428 USD Asking: $400 USD shipped 3 days to anywhere in CONUS, Canada. International shipping extra. Payment: Paypal, private no notes. or Bitcoin. Thanks for looking!
2018.08.21 02:36 ScatterYouMonsters[SocJus] Oxford prof sues, claims he was forced to retire for sake of diversity
Thought I'd do a thread on this... basically, professor John Pitcher, who teaches Shakespeare, Elizabethan and Jacobean literature and poetry, has worked at Oxford for 36 years and wanted to continue as a tutor and official fellow. Although retirement date was set to be September 30, 2016, he became a "Founder’s Fellow," the term which expires in 2020, and he presumed he would be allowed to continue teaching until then. However...
Oxford kept the original date, however, citing the need to “safeguard the high standards of the university,” to “refresh the workforce,” and “inter-generational fairness.” Oh, and diversity, of course.
So, he's suing the university now. His lawsuit alleges “unfair dismissal” based on age discrimination.
[Pitcher claims] ‘There is no evidence to support the need to “refresh” the academic workforce in terms of turnover. ‘The university is effectively seeking to justify discrimination on the grounds of age in order to promote equality and diversity of other protected characteristics. ‘I fully accept the importance of equality and diversity. I am myself from a working class background and the importance of these kinds of social aims weighs strongly with me. ‘I did not wish to retire, as I did not see the relevance of my age to my ability to carry out the duties of my post in research or teaching for the duties of the Founder’s Fellow.’ Professor Pitcher claims he was let go despite raising more than £1 million in donations for the college. Since the decision to enforce the initial retirement date, Professor Pitcher said he was removed from the university website and does not feature in online directory, and was offered unpaid Emeritus status.
Meanwhile, Maggie Snowling, who chaired the panel that “retired” Pitcher, said:
... The decision indeed has helped the university: “It is a proportionate means of ensuring increasing diversity and inter-generational fairness.” Pitcher is seeking £102,000 in lost wages. Oxford counters that the prof still gets perks “such as paying below market rent at college accommodation, college lunches and dinners as well as access to the library.”
I had to look it up. "Intergenerational fairness," refers to:
Intergenerational Fairness is one of the issues of the moment. There's a prevailing narrative that babyboomers have benefitted from free education, generous pensions and the housing boom, while millennials have little hope of getting on the housing ladder, let alone saving for retirement. Are things as simple as that and what do people really think?
60% Senior singles kissed their partners for the first match
This is hard to believe,seniors are more active than before when first meeting.Maybe that's why there are much more successful stories on senior dating sites now.
38% Senior singless have sex with their partners in the first week
It seems that senior singles have more passions than they used to be on senior dating field.The ratio is higher than young daters in 2017.
56% Senior singles are looking for a long-term relationship
Unlike in the past 5 years.A long-term relationship is not that important for seniors.Lots of senior singles are looking for casual dating and short-term relationship.More and more senior singles like living in the moment.
42% Senior singles are using multiple senior dating sites
Senior dating sites are subdivided now.Some dating sites focus on over 50 dating,some dating sites are over 55 dating,some dating sites are over 60 dating,some dating sites are over 65 dating,some dating sites are babyboomer dating...a singles senior dating site can hardly meet all the needs.So a large number of senior singles tried multiple senior dating sites. If you are looking for free senior dating sites,we can always help.Do remember read our free senior dating sites review before making your decision.
2018.03.20 22:44 ConfidentConiferCMV: TRP's analysis of modern female behavior is way out of line with factual reality
I was reading this post on TheRedPill and was fascinated by how factually incorrect and feels-over-reals it is. It reminds me so much of my idiotic babyboomers who are convinced that "today's youth" have turned America into a venerable satan-worshipping Soddom and Gomorra where one can barely step outside before becoming the victim of a violent crime. alphasquatch50 writes:
When I started dating my wife in 1985, a 16 year old girl who was known to be promiscuous was a social pariah. Make no mistake, many went to great lengths to conceal their promiscuity, but most girls tried to save themselves for marriage, or at least until they had a committed relationship
I hear 16/17 year old girls in my classes bragging about their conquests and even comparing notes. I heard one pretty little blond Junior girl last week talking about her boyfriend who goes to another school and how he couldn’t “bring it” like her “other” boyfriend.
I'm not doubting Mr Squatch's personal anecdata, but I take issue with factually incorrect boomeresque "kids these days"ing. The numbers paint a completely different story. For example, annually conducted federal research has found that today's teens are actually the "best on record". Kids these days "smoke less, drink less, and have sex less than the previous generation." Teenagers today are 46% less likely to binge drink than teenagers 20 years ago, and in fact are 21% less likely to have ever tried alcohol at all. Violence is down across the board, and teen offenders are no exception, committing far fewer crimes than their parents and grandparents did in alphasquatch50's heyday. But what everyone cares about is the sex, so let's look at that. Back in the 80's, when Mr Squatch was in highschool, close to 60% of teens reported having had sex at least once. Today that percentage is down to around 40% - drastic decrease, and sheds a lot of doubt on our favorite alpha's anecdotal doom and gloom. Research finds that young millennials "are more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s as gen X-ers (Mr Squatch's generation) were". Teen pregnancy has completely tanked, and abortion rates have plummeted. The unexpected trend has taken many by surprise, triggering an avalanche of articles written by mildly scandalized older reporters. "Millenials are having way less sex than any generation in 60 years" notes that "compared with baby boomers, millennials look like nuns and priests". This article points out that an emphasis on safe behavior may play a role, noting that " underage drinking is at an all-time low, and protests on college campuses often call for safe spaces and safer sex." I think that alphasquatch50 may be out of touch - don't worry, it happens to the best of us. He writes that:
I gave this talk to my own son when he was but 14, but I think he wanted the relationship he saw at home. By the time he was 16 he was in a committed relationship with a cute little 16 year old classmate. They married at 22. She seems nice, and I have heard nothing negative about her, but I couldn’t help looking at her in her beautiful white dress wondering if my boy hadn’t fucked up.
I am rather curious whether he hoped to never have grandchildren or leave a family name legacy at all? He's more than free to his own ideas but as someone who loves being part of a big children-loving strong traditional family, this mindset is beyond foreign and baffling. As a 22 year old myself, engaged to be married in a couple months to the only man I've been intimate with, I wish Mr. Squatch's son the absolute best and hope he has many happy years with his wife and future family. The falling divorce rates are also a nice cherry on top of my optimistic pie. I don't think he's completely wrong though, it's an easy misunderstanding. A lot of traditional attitudes toward sexual activity have been under fire, as homosexuality, transgenderism, interracial relationships, etc., receive more mainstream support. Modesty has also continued its standard trajectory - just as I'm sure patriarchs of 1935 would have been absolutely scandalized by Mr. Squatch's wife's outfits in 1985, so too is Mr. Squatch scandalized by young lady's outfits in 2015. Social media also encourages attention-whoring behavior in the virtual realm, even if it seems to discourage actual risky sexual behavior in real life. So, CMV?
2017.03.21 22:52 iuseupyourusernamesThe dysfunction of civilization
The collapse of civilization quite frankly isn't half as interesting to me as the dysfunction of civilization is. The main elephant in the room is that this drastic increase in our standard of living might have led to material wealth, but it has merely lead to an epidemic of miserable dysfunctional people, kept alive by a government that's expected to use technology to fill the gaps created by a society that has started to fall apart. I think rather than staring ourselves blind at oil decline rates and sea ice statistics, we have to consider the possibility that civilization may fall apart simply because it manages to make people so miserable that they refuse to participate. You can look at the suicide and drug overdose rates to see that our society is not functioning well. The terrorism and mass shooting epidemics we face are simply subsets of the suicide epidemic, expressed in a different cultural framework. In some subcultures you post on 4chan before you go out and kill yourself, in some you write a manifesto, in others you imagine yourself to act out on a religious obligation. It used to be the case that when you got sick, you got better again, or you died. Today people get sick and spend the rest of their life in a state of impairment. They might have missing organs, they might be stuck in a wheelchair or they might be in chronic pain. A cynic might say that the solution we found to the technological unemployment crisis was to make people so sick that they can't work, thereby creating jobs for the rest of us who need to take care of them. In the old days, you found a boyfriend or a girlfriend, someone got pregnant, a shotgun wedding resulted and you spent the next sixty or seventy years together. That's how my grandparents were married, the marriage might not have been perfect, but I can't say that I'm under the impression they were worse off as a result. If the relationship really wasn't satisfying, you'd keep it up for the outside world and you'd secretly agree to have an extramarital affair. If you had some very unfortunate health condition you might spend the rest of your life alone, but most people managed to get their shit together. Even my grandfather who lost his leg as a kid in an accident simply managed to get married, had a bunch of shitty jobs that required zero education and could afford a nice house with a garden where he raised three children and lived out the last sixty-five years or so of his life. Try doing that now. Look at today's society and you'll see young people have sex with the same person for a few months, anxiously making sure that no pregnancy results with state of the art contraceptive methods, move on to the next partner because the previous one didn't work out, then eventually find themselves unable to genuinely fall in love again and spend their days alone. Others are for whatever reason unable to enter a relationship. Many grow up staring at smartphones and other screens and as a result never learn to interact with others. If you read Michel Houellebecq's book "Whatever", you'll notice his thesis that our society is saturated with sex because we're secretly tired of it. I'm friends with good looking girls in their twenties who spend their weekends poledancing. You'd imagine these would be loose girls perhaps, but nope, I had one of them admit recently that she's never even had a relationship and fills that gaping hole in her heart with this girl-power clique of superficial hypersexuality. I'd love to say this is a joke, but it's not. Go to Japan and you'll find record numbers of people in their thirties who have simply resigned themselves to lifelong celibacy. These are people who would have been married with children fifty years ago. We think of pole-dancers and girls in thongs, covered in tattoos and piercings as hypersexual beings, but they're the opposite. People puff up their emptiness. Even if they still have sex, they separated sex from the consequences and unequal power dynamics imposed upon us by nature and as a result it can no longer be called sex, it becomes something entirely different. It has as much to do with sex as a plastic Christmas tree has to do with photosynthesis. The new image of hypersexuality is not Miley Cyrus, it's Michelle Duggar. Women like her live lives drenched in a kind of sexuality that permeates throughout their lives rather than being confined to the bedroom, whereas the women I date are forced to dress like men due to hygiene requirements in their workplace. Birth rates are falling because young people today are completely unable to enter functional relationships with each other and develop a sense of financial stability. In the world of upper-middle class young white people, you spend until your late twenties "studying", with a year or two in between where you travel around the world or visit Africa to help out the orphans there because you need something on your resume. Then eventually, you just dedicate yourself to your career. Children? You get a Chihuahua to fill that vacuum and you tell yourself some convenient story you read on some hip online magazine about how children are bad for the environment. The future was supposed to be exciting, but I can't reach any other conclusion than that most people I see are thoroughly bored with the world they live in. They tell themselves that they're "busy", whereas in reality they spend five or six hours a day watching TV/Netflix/some other screen because they're emotionally exhausted from profoundly boring jobs. Your grandparents had to keep themselves entertained through social activities. They might visit the local pub, they would go fishing, they would play card games with each other, they didn't have a TV to keep themselves entertained with. In the 90's young people still went to clubs, but most discotheques in my country are now struggling to survive. You remember your grandparents with the aura of respectability they had when they were old, but they lived wild lives when they were young too. Wilder than yours, I'm willing to guess. That's another thing worth noting. In every aspect, Millennials like me seem extremely well-behaved compared to generation X and the Babyboomers. Teenage pregnancies are at record lows, alcohol use by teens has gone down, crimes committed by young teenagers have gone down tremendously too. How did that happen? Well, in reality, we just had the life spirit drained from us. That primal will to live and thrive that leads us to violate social conventions is gone. The friends I talk to are depressed and will claim that they don't want relationships with others, that they're happier single than they ever were in a relationship. The girls I talk to are frightened by the prospect of going out to a club to dance, because they envision the girls there will be better looking than them. They'd rather sit at home and stare at cat-pictures on the Internet than act like young people. Generation Y is doing pretty terrible, but generation Z seems to have hit rock bottom. You can read the news about eating disorders, self-mutilation and all these other problems, but I'd like for people in their sixties or seventies today to simply tell me if this is how young people were back when you were young. These problems are not a normal part of youth, they're new. The studies we have show that mental disorders like anxiety and depression are far more common than they were in the thirties to fifties, when we still had a functional civilization. Look at teenagers today and you'll see how they seem to think it's hilarious to send me_irl memes back and forth about how they think of themselves as pathetic losers who would rather be dead. Again, that's not normal. Today's young people spend until their mid-twenties jumping through hoops, with the message in the back of their head that if they miss any of them, they're fucked. Bad grade in high school? You're fucked. Dropped out of high school? You're fucked. No extracurricular activities to put on your CV? You're fucked. It continues all the way as they try to get into the most prestigious unpaid internship. Meritocracy has turned your life into a never-ending rat race. Regular normal children today suffer more anxiety than psychiatric patients did in the 1950's. If you think it's bad now, wait until the next step follows, where we start genetically testing children to figure out where their skills lie, like they do in China. In the old days, you could accept that you're born as white trash and that you'll live an average existence similar to that of your parents. If you were born wealthy, nepotism would ensure you wouldn't be publicly humiliated if you failed to get your shit together, you'd have an uncle in management somewhere or your father would know someone who can set you up with something. Today everyone can theoretically accomplish anything and as a result nobody can ever be content with anything. In the words of Sylvia Plath: "Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing."
I have always found it hard to believe that the Netherlands, along with Scandinavia, could genuinely be among the happiest societies on the planet. By now, I realize that there is no real point to denying it. We're actually doing reasonably well for ourselves over here. The rest of you just have an even worse mentality towards life than we do. Allow me to explain to you why that is. If a Dutch girl is aged around sixteen, chances are she will come to have a boyfriend and chances are she will try to get laid. The parents will generally know who her daughter is dating. It tends to be the girl's mother who will go out to buy condoms for her daughter. The two might sleep over at her house, or his house. The parents know about this and the parents are fine with it, provided that whatever mate their child has found is not overtly dysfunctional. We generally don't have an interest in "hooking up" or using "dating apps". I'm sure it happens, but I can't think of anyone within my circle of friends who engages in it, not even friends I no longer see had an interest in it. In nations like the United States, the norm seems to be lifelong monogamy, but it becomes unreachable for the majority. Teenagers there can't wait to head off the college, not because they're looking forward to learning stuff, but because they can easily have sex when they're no longer living with their parents. In addition, because inequality is much bigger than in the Netherlands, teenage boys who do manage to bring home a girl risk having her frown on their standard of living. So, your child is going to spend twenty or thirty thousand dollar a year, to be able to have sex without you being able to judge them for it. Because studying is of secondary importance, the child will probably choose an easy major, ideally one with plenty of people from the opposite gender. If things go wrong and the girl ever gets pregnant for whatever reason, what do you do? You could insist that all life is sacred, as long as it grows in a human womb. This means that the girl could drop out of college and become a social pariah, seen on the one hand as a slut because she had a child at a young age, but unable to enter a stable relationship or provide for herself on the other hand. The child who was born against her mother's will then grows up with the experience of being a burden, rather than a gift. So, this leads to one ruined life and one life that should never have come into existence in the first place. Teenage childbirth is practically non-existent in the Netherlands, at least among indigenous Dutch. Do all these women who suck embryos out of their wombs feel guilty about it? I've never heard of it, I can say that much. The difference might be that when you visit an abortion clinic in the Netherlands, you won't be met by a group of bitter middle-aged people with signs who will try to chastise you for it. If you walk outside over here, you won't see trucks driving around with splattered bloody baby parts either. A Dutch woman will also generally have at least a basic understanding that whatever she aborts has roughly the intellectual complexity of a shrimp, rather than being an essential part of God's divinely ordained plan. So, moving on, by the time a Dutch woman enters her thirties, she will generally have settled on a mate. She probably won't bother with a big expensive marriage that blows her boyfriend's savings. My mother never has much to say on her own marriage, other than "it was fun, but it was rather expensive and I wouldn't bother with it if I had to do it now". If you're not a Christian and you plan on marrying here, most of us will think it's rather outdated. We might even think you're trying to save a failing relationship by solidifying it with old rituals. Granted, people here might have a civil marriage, often this is done after a child is born and the parents have a vague idea in the back of their head that they don't want the kid to grow up a bastard. What happens when a Dutch woman is pregnant? She receives 16 weeks of paid maternal leave. Because it's very difficult to become very rich here due to our socialist economy, most people are not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, especially women tend to have no such desire. As a result, the difference in fertility between smart and dumb people is not very large. Because we have an income tax with a highest bracket of 52% and plenty of government subsidies for low incomes, people with a high income will tend to reduce the hours they spend working, from 40 down to 32 perhaps. As a result, we have more work available for other people, thus keeping unemployment low. I personally work around 20 hours a week. For a woman to work full time is very rare here. Because people don't work long days, or very hard for that matter, work related stress tends to be low. Dutch people have time to go exercise and produce healthy meals. Obesity is rare here and frowned upon. We're the tallest people on Earth, because we're the healthiest people on Earth. We don't fluoridate our water, don't eat genetically modified food and don't administer hormones to animals. Because drug use and prostitution are legal, people visit our nation from around the world, creating plenty of low-effort jobs for us in the tourism industry. Admittedly this comes at a slight cost to our national dignity, but we historically never cared much for that anyway. More importantly, legal drug use and prostitution creates a few advantages. When you know who the prostitutes are, you can make sure that the spread of disease is limited. In addition, you can tax it. Legal drug use has tremendous advantages. When people can smoke cannabis, they're not going to bother trying to manufacture meth in their own kitchen sink. Rather than being a gateway drug, legal cannabis ensures that people who seek out cannabis don't enter into contact with people who also happen to sell meth, heroin, crack or anything along those lines. When people do feel miserable, they don't have to resort to alcohol or prescription painkillers. Instead, they can resort to cannabis. This is not devoid of side effects, but it is much preferable to all the alternative options people tend to resort to. Admittedly, we have a problem with teenagers using nitrous oxide, but this is largely caused by recent changes to the law that raised the drinking age from 16 to 18. If cannabis ever loses its charm, there are plenty of other options available. If I wanted to, I could go out today and legally buy Syrian rue, Psilocybe mushrooms, Ayahuasca, Kratom or anything along those lines. I take a microdose of Psilocybe mushrooms a few times a month when I practice my painting skills. As a result, I rarely feel as miserable these days as I would three or four years ago. What happens in the Netherlands when you get chronically ill? You're given treatment of course as in any other nation, but when your disease has no realistic chance of being addressed, you have the means to euthanasia available to you. As a result, we see relatively few traumatic cases, of people with untreatable illness who choose to kill themselves by whatever crude means they might have available to them. In addition, by making sure that people can opt out of existence when they develop dementia, we manage to reduce costs of healthcare. There have also been cases of people with severe mental illness, with anxiety disorders, treatment resistant depression or severe autism, who were allowed to end their lives. We also have cases of what I will call "gray euthanasia", where institutions help severely mentally ill people by giving them information, telling them what medicines they need to end their lives. These institutions will also send someone to sit by your bedside if you happen to request it. Something else worth mentioning is that I don't need a car. A car in the Netherlands is a status item, or an ancient memory cherished by babyboomers, depending on how you wish to define it. The right wing tries hard to keep cars relevant, but even local municipalities run by right wing parties eventually figure out what a delicious cash crop the car is, it's irresistible. If you have a car, it's clear that you're at least middle class. This means that we can easily tax you blind, through parking tickets, speeding tickets, petrol taxes (highest in the world), road taxes, etcetera. In contrast, my bicycle and public transport can quite readily get me just about anywhere I want. With most work now taking place on computers, people figured out the advantage of being able to work in the train too. It's only difficult when I go out to catch oysters in Zeeland, but how many Dutch people go out to catch oysters? Not too many. I still have plenty to complain about, but I have come to accept that it's probably hard for me to find a society out there somewhere that doesn't have whatever faults I might recognize in Dutch society. It's difficult for me to come to term with this, but we're actually doing relatively well for ourselves, compared to other nations. I might be willing to swap with Iceland, Denmark or Norway, but it's hard for me to think of any countries that have their shit together better than we do, except immigration-wise perhaps. I'm relatively lucky to be born in the Netherlands but it's often somewhat hard to recognize this, as for Dutch terms, I did grow up in poverty. This brings us to the next issue that I wished to discuss today, the mystery why most societies work so poorly. The answer is that this is ultimately a cultural problem. There are today roughly two types of societies, those that emphasize pleasure and those that emphasize power. Some societies take the latter orientation so far that they actively remove parts of children's bodies that are solely meant to generate pleasure. I could easily solve all of Africa's problems, if I was given the power to change the mentality that people take towards life. Step one would be to legalize abortion and make birth control available to everyone. Then I would outlaw polygamy. When all the men have women available to them, they will see less of a reason to fight or rape. That might not be politically correct to say, but it's nonetheless how the real world works. Population growth would stagnate, which would allow the standard of living to rise, as parents would be able to invest all their resources and attention in one or two children. So what's the fundamental problem then? It seems to me that people make a philosophical mistake, or perhaps a theological mistake if you will. People have this strange idea in their head, that life is not supposed to be pleasurable. Rather, they look at pleasure as a kind of seduction, a test that God puts them through. The pleasure they deny to themselves now is pleasure they expect they'll somehow receive after death. In reality, pleasure is healthy and people who pursue pleasure tend to have a far less damaging impact on the world than those who strive after some higher notion of good based on abstract moral codes. I reject all ideologies that deny that humans are innately good. Within our deepest essence lies a portion of divinity, spoiled only by the cold and lifeless environment where God is absent that it enters into contact with, whether that might be the Arabian desert, the surface of the moon, or a cubicle in Silicon valley. There are of course those who seek out pleasure for themselves in a way that is damaging to themselves or others. The people who do this, often tend to have underlying mental problems that have gone unaddressed. As an example, consider pedophilia. For whatever reason, pedophilia is extremely common in authoritarian contexts. It seems to me that it's not just an innate desire to have sex with children that leads people to pedophilia, but rather, underlying mental disorders and societal structures contribute to it. People seek power and find that whatever power they have doesn't satisfy them. To sexually abuse others, reinforces the notion in their head, that they are powerful and in control. As a result, pedophilia is very common among politicians, hence we see scandals like Pizzagate and the Thatcher cabinet of pedophiles. In highly authoritarian cultures like Yemen and Saudi Arabia, pedophilia is not just the rare mental disorder we imagine it to be here in Europe, but rather, it becomes an endemic issue. The reason people desire such control in the first place, seems to be the fact that they live lives in which they do not feel treated with genuine sympathy, but rather, feel treated in a cold manner. When people around you are genuinely nice to you and love you, rather than bossing you around, you have less of an innate yearning for power. Look at hazing rituals in college fraternities, as an analogy for pedophilia. The reason these people humiliate each other, is because they participate in an authoritarian structure where they themselves first go through humiliation before being allowed to humiliate others. They join the fraternity because it is a necessary aspect of the social position they have within society. The relationships between the fraternity members themselves tend to be cold and inauthentic. There are shared experiences which create a bond, but there is no genuine deeper sympathy. People always tend to imagine that hedonism must mean promiscuous sex, rampant drug use and violent crime. I'm sure it can mean such a thing for people who suffer underlying mental problems, which are generally a product of how you yourself have been treated by others. When you're genuinely happy and mentally healthy, you don't desire to do things that make other people miserable, such things don't bring pleasure to you. I see hedonism as an intrinsic aspect of my heathen philosophy. Rather than interpreting life as a kind of challenge placed on us where we earn a chance to enter heaven, I see life as God's supreme creation. The best way to glorify God is by reveling in His creation. To reject life by denying ourselves its pleasures, to waste away our time doing things we don't genuinely enjoy out of some vague concept of the greater good, is to spit in the face of God. We don't have to die to enter into deeper more intimate contact with God, rather, we have to learn to understand and appreciate this world and its underlying order. The dumbest thing I've ever heard was found (where else could it be?) in the Quran, it's the term "slave of Allah". God isn't looking for slaves, but for friends, playmates, muses, anything but slaves. I am a hedonist, I actively seek out pleasure to the greatest extent possible. This means that I climb mountaintops, descend down stormy rivers in small boats, eat wild mushrooms and oysters, grow potatoes, tomatoes and oyster mushrooms, climb into abandoned buildings, read classical literature, study philosophy, draw paintings, watch birds, go out dancing to EBM until 4 AM in the morning, visit museums and make friends. If it ever seems as if I withdraw from life, then it is only because I harbor more life within me than the world around me does. I only withdraw from situations that are cold and lifeless, to protect the flame that burns inside me. And when I die, I hope to be rewarded, not with heaven, but with reincarnation.
2016.07.22 04:34 trigger-expertHow the gradual end of civilization will unfold
When you're lying in the sun, what do you think about? I think about how I'm going to explain the ideas I have in my head. We were born in a very unique period to be alive and it happens to be a period that inevitably isn't going to last very long. In spite of its short length, it feels like the default mode of operation to us, because we were born into it. As a result, we struggle to conceive of how it could come to an end. We know that it's not permanent, but the main source of that knowledge is intuition. To live in concrete blocks stacked on top of each other and attempt to push ourselves through giant herds of top-level predators like us without seeing anything non-human in the vicinity that looks alive feels like an aberration to us. Thus we feel in a deep guttural level that it's going to end, we just don't know how yet. This is an ongoing top of serious discussion between people, that has led to a false dichotomy, between those who envision a long descent, like John Michael Greer, and those who envision that everything we've built comes crashing down very rapidly, like Gail Tverberg. In reality both are right, but they're looking at different aspects of the same elephant. The long descent that the Archdruid talks of is going to happen, but the sudden catastrophic unwinding that Gail Tverberg talks of is also going to occur. I've been thinking of a metaphor that best illustrates what I mean. Imagine a mountain range, where you are standing on top of the tallest mountain. If you're going to descend down the mountain, you'll find yourself descending very rapidly at first. As you descend down the mountain however, the rock is increasingly covered with layers of soil that even out the extremities and as a result your descent becomes more gradual. Even so, the journey isn't over and this long journey that follows still takes you through a visibly changing environment, as trees emerge and you eventually find streams of water. It might even be that as you travel down the mountain, you find yourself climbing back up for brief periods, to follow a trail that ultimately leads downwards. The period we're in right now is one where we are nearing the end of a plateau. You can look for yourself here, to see our energy use per capita. You can see that our energy use has effectively stabilized in the Western world since the 1970's. What happened since then is that we had to work increasingly harder to maintain the same standard of living. Some of you might remember the old days, when a man who graduated high school could marry, have a wife who stays at home, buy a house and start raising children in their twenties. Contrast this with the current days. A man today can't find a job that could sustain a family with merely a high school degree. He has to graduate college and his wife has to graduate college too. Then they spend their twenties paying off their debt and holding onto a variety of unstable short-lived jobs for different employers, before they'll ever get around to having children. If we look at the Babyboomers, they actually had more children than their own parents and reached all the markers of adulthood earlier too, because society was economically expanding very rapidly at the time. Equally worth noting is that most people in their twenties today probably aren't emotionally mature enough to raise children. A man today in his twenties wanders around town trying to catch Pokemon with his cell phone, a woman in her twenties today is so insecure that she's not mentally ready to accept the loss of physical beauty that would accompany the birth of a child. Neither feels ready to grow up, a feeling that's not entirely unjustified. This is not a choice that millennials made. Society can barely manage to deliver the wealth needed for them to live as chronic teenagers, it can't afford turning them into adults. As I walked around town a few days ago, I realized that my great-grandparents would look at today's society as already being in some strange form of collapse. Anywhere they look, the schools are closed. Instead, poor adults live in these abandoned schools as anti-squatters, a peculiar Dutch phenomenon. These anti-squatters live in a building to prevent it from being squatted. They often have no means to wash themselves and can be evicted within two weeks if the corporation wishes to get rid of them. Instead of having children to send to school, the young adults go to school themselves. My great-grandparents would come to believe that the labor movement had been crushingly defeated. Instead it had simply been rendered irrelevant as there were far more people who wanted work than there were employers looking to employ someone. They'd be surprised to find that even married women have to work outside the home, as the first thing a family did back in their days when they had entered the middle class would be to relieve a wife from the burden of having to supplement her husband's income. The churches my great-grandparents once attended now stand empty and abandoned. Children hold dancing performances there and in weekends there's a market where antiques from dead parishioners are sold, the proceeds of which are used to help maintain the church building. Instead, they would find a peculiar foreign religion had settled in their midst, that they recognized only from tales of horror in the newspapers. They would similarly be quite shocked to discover that their country and neighboring nations too had voluntarily imported millions of people from former colonies, which somehow had attained independence. To hear that a Caliphate had reemerged and that European leaders are pleading to the Turks to stop sending their people into Europe would have them wonder what on Earth could have happened to us. Even if these great-grandparents were flappers or progressive radicals in their own era, they would appear as right-wing populists to us if we could hear their judgment of our situation. Of course there have been areas of progress, but just as we have a habit of staring ourselves blind at the things that we've improved, our great-grandparents would be horrified by the things that have slipped into a state of decline. Twenty years from now we will probably have genetically customized pets, cars that drive themselves and fruit that doesn't rot. We'll point at those improvements when anyone would dare suggest that our society has declined. Those who would point out that only rich people own their own cars these days, that our water and electricity use are rationed during parts of the year, that we're legally forbidden from gathering in large crowds and that it's unsafe for women to go out on their own without being accompanied by men would be accused of being old-fashioned or a racist. Rome continued to get new aqueducts too after its population had peaked and the barbarians began to invade the empire. But what has gone wrong then, that led us into decline? There are a multitude of issues that occur here. Europe's decline began much earlier than you would directly recognize. The British empire peaked in the late 19th century and sustained a plateau that lasted until around the first world war. A few years later, its coal production began to decline too and the glory days were definitely over. Power is a zero sum game, so as soon as the American rise to power began, the sun began to set on the European colonial empires. After the second world war, the Americans successfully forced the Europeans to give up their colonies. The last remnant of imperial glory faded away during the Suez crisis, in which the United States joined forces with the UN and the Soviet Union in forcing the UK and France to withdraw. This thus ended up rendering Western Europe entirely dependent on the United States. Today however, we see that not just Europe, but the United States are in decline too. This particular issue runs deeper. What has happened here, in addition to the issue of rising costs of resource extraction, is that inefficient sectors of the economy that don't genuinely produce anything have begun to gobble up a growing share of resources. For example, consider that the average life expectancy of children with Down syndrome was just nine years in 1929. Today their life expectancy is around sixty years. Those represent an extra fifty-one years during which society has to take care of individuals who can't contribute to society themselves. A similar transition has developed in old age, where we find enormous amounts of money are spent to sustain people with a very low quality of life, who can no longer contribute to society. It would be a mistake however to assume that this is merely an issue of a growing number of people existing who can't be productive. We face a similar issue in a variety of other sectors. The finance sector employs a large number of people, whose day to day contribution to society consists of rearranging abstractions. This is a parasitical economic sector, as it doesn't produce anything tangible but does suck up wealth that is extracted from the rest of the economy. Similarly parasitical is the education sector, as it is engaged in a zero-sum game, whereby handing people college degrees reduces the value of high school degrees, thereby forcing people to spend increasingly longer periods in education. I'm sure that people working in mature companies and government departments encounter similar oddities, where activities that are inefficient grow at the cost of those that are productive. Management teams of a department may become convinced that they have to engage in business journeys to tropical islands, to gain "experience" or "network opportunities". In other cases, the burden of paperwork increases to give management more oversight over your activities. This then leads to a decrease in productivity, which management wishes to resolve with more meetings, surveys and what-have-you-nots. Managers may also end up hiring friends and family members, who end up with their own management jobs that are invented on the spot but mostly amount to bossing other people around. A popular term for such people is "consultant". Eventually organizations like these succumb under their own bloat. Our civilization is not very different. When you work in a company or other organization that is drawing its final breaths, you tend to find yourself noticing that most of what you do simply is not an efficient use of your time. Wise people have started looking for a new job by then. If you look around today, you'll similarly find that most of the things people do don't seem to be very productive. The government in my country forces people on welfare to stand around during the day and direct traffic in random places. Traffic there grinds to a halt as a consequence, causing angry commuters to press their horns and chasing away the people drinking coffee outside nearby restaurants. This is simply a waste of everyone's time, in a misguided attempt to force perceived freeloaders to contribute to society. It's not hard to think of numerous programs like these, that gobble up resources without producing any meaningful results. The war on drugs comes to mind. What follows when society succumbs under its own bloat is a period of stasis, followed by a crash. This crash happens during a crisis of faith, when people cease to believe that the variety of obligations we have written down for each other will still be fulfilled. A crash like this was nipped in the bud back in 2008, but the underlying problems were not addressed. As a result, it seems inevitable that a similar crash will soon occur, but this time governments will have run out of most of the tools needed for them to address the crisis. The results of such a crash will be catastrophic, as the economic system as we know it ceases to function. You won't be able to withdraw money from the ATM's, shops will be unable to purchase inventory and most of the general financial infrastructure that we have come to known will abruptly cease to function. This will probably be temporary, as governments will try to resume business as usual as soon as possible. The long-term effects will be more difficult to avoid however: Investments are lost, pensions are slashed, people and companies with large deposits at the bank will lose them. Perhaps most importantly, banks will be reluctant to lend money to new investments in sectors of the economy where a lot of bankruptcies happened. As a result, most fossil fuel extraction will grind to a rapid halt, with our standard of living facing a similarly rapid decline. Whenever prices will spike to levels that would favor renewed investment, we find that the price hikes prove unsustainable, as consumers simply reduce their consumption of fossil fuel products. For the people, none of this will be very pleasant. We will see a spike in death rates occur, likely to be combined with a sustained low fertility rate. Together these trends will combine to reduce our population. In the long run however, things look decidedly worse. We can expect to see starvation and genocide occur. The main reason for this is that the industrial food production system depends on the extraction of non-renewable resources. Without fertilizer, most of the extraordinary boost in food yields we've seen would disappear. It is inevitable that global food yields will gradually start to decline. Before that happens however, we can expect to see some other trends occur. It's likely that people will first simply change their diet, transitioning away from meat, particularly red meat. In exchange, an increasingly large portion of their diet will consist of bulk foods: Potatoes, rice, corn and wheat. I don't expect anything like global starvation to happen anytime soon. Most famines we've seen in recent history have been political. They've been caused by economic blockades, by food being redistributed by governments with a political agenda, by militias who drove refugees into a desert or prohibit aid from being distributed, etcetera. The food system has become international, so poor harvests in one place are balanced out by good harvests in another place. When people die from a poor diet, it generally won't be in the form of the bloated bellies we see on TV. Instead we may find that people develop tuberculosis or succumb to some other disease of poverty. What happens during poor harvests now is that people flee the countryside into the cities, abandoning their traditional lifestyle and becoming dependent on industrial agriculture. The switch back, from urban living to rural self-subsistence agriculture, is almost never made. To move back requires up front investments that only the rich can make. Those rich of course, have no desire to return to self-subsistence agriculture. If people around the world eventually find themselves without sufficient food, what I would expect to happen instead would be some form of pandemic. The 1918-1919 pandemic was as deadly as it was, largely because of the malnutrition of soldiers at at the time. Pandemics are likely to occur in the years ahead, as modern medicine begins to falter. An increasing number of bacteria are resistant to all antibiotics. Once this point is reached, there's no real way back. It's inevitable that modern medicine as we know it begins to falter. It will simply be too expensive for most people to receive treatment. As a consequence of these factors, the decline in human population is likely to be about as rapid as its increase was. However, what is important to recognize is that collapse does not mean the end of the world. There are societies with an intermediate level of complexity that follow a collapse. The degree of complexity that will remain after our society collapses will differ highly depending on the region of the world we are considering. It's possible that Russia will maintain some sort of primitive industrial society for example, while Japan and much of Europe return to living as they did during the 18th century. In Papua New Guinea on the other hand, people might return to living as hunter-gatherers. Globalization has synchronized the world, but resource depletion is quite capable of desynchronizing the world again. Why is that? The answer to this question lies in net energy. The resources we learned to use in the 20th century are characterized by the high amount of energy they deliver per unit of energy we invest. These resources were rapidly depleted, after which we moved on to resources of progressively lower quality. The resources we have left now are those that deliver a very low amount of energy per unit invested. As a result, there's relatively little that we can do with them. Note for example, that brown coal typically has to be burned at the location where it's found, as transporting it means you spend more energy gathering the coal than it produced when burned. We similarly have to understand that the world doesn't stop changing when our civilization collapses. We've set in motion changes that are going to unfold over hundreds of years. Note for example, the difference between climate sensitivity and Earth system sensitivity. The climate sensitivity is estimated at roughly 3 degree Celsius per doubling of CO2. On the other hand, the Earth system sensitivity is much higher. Over a period of hundreds of years, the global change in temperatures causes giant ice sheets to disappear, which raises the temperature of the Earth further. Similarly, by 2100 the methane released from melting permafrost begins to grow relevant and by 2300, it would deliver a significant contribution to the global temperature rise. It's similarly thought that sea level rise tends to occur in the form of pulses, as freshwater can build up in giant lakes in the ice sheets, that are suddenly emptied when too much ice is lost. This makes it very difficult for politicians to plan ahead for sea level rise. During meltwater pulse 1A, the sea level rose by 3 to 6 centimeter per year for 400-500 years, compared to the 0.2 centimeter per year seen today. These are problems that are probably not relevant for us. They're going to be quite relevant however for people who live at any time during the centuries ahead of us. If we can comprehend that the climate is going to change rapidly in the years ahead, followed by a long period of relatively gradual change, we can also comprehend that we may witness climatic changes in the future that will make the kind of agriculture we have practiced for thousands of years impossible to sustain. It's hard for me to put an exact date on this of course, as we don't know exactly how flexible agriculture really is, although we do know that it seems to have been impossible to develop agriculture during the Pleistocene, as the climate wasn't stable enough. In addition to the climatic changes that are going to unfold over a period of centuries, other changes are going to emerge too. The brief period of global exchange that we currently witness will be followed by a much longer period during which we will have to deal with the consequences of this global exchange. Note for example that HIV seems to have been stuck in Africa for centuries in its natural reservoir of apes. Today however, there are patients in every major country on the planet. To prevent them from passing on the disease they are kept on a strict regime of anti-retroviral drugs, without which this deadly disease would have continued to grow. It's not hard to see what will happen when we can no longer give everyone these anti-retroviral drugs. We have similarly seen other illnesses spread around the world. Malaria used to be unique to the old world, but Columbus discovery of the new world ensured that it soon settled in South America too, from which it will never be eradicated. In recent years, we have seen the spread of the Zika virus out of Africa to Brazil. It will probably fade out of public concern in the years ahead as vaccines are developed for it. What it won't do however, is disappear. Just as humans can get sick however, so can the animals we harbor and the plants we grow. These diseases are kept suppressed by pesticides, but the number of local plant diseases that have managed to jump species or cross continents thanks to modern trade and agricultural practices is enormous. As growing numbers of farmers find themselves unable to afford continually spraying their crops, plant pathogens will spread around the world and gradually cause a decline in yields. I'd like to finish off today by sketching what I consider to be a rough yet plausible picture that emerges now. A historian who would look back at us thousands of years in the future may divide the world up into the following different eras:
Information age 1990 - 2016
Characterized by dependence on global digital communication. Very little material produced during this era has survived, as almost all communication was stored in digital form. More is known about the era that preceded the rise of the internet than is known about the era during which the Internet had grown dominant. It's thought that electromagnetic pulses produced by nuclear weapons ultimately wiped out access to the internet for large sections of the world, along with large amounts of digitally stored information. Population, 7 Billion
Era of dissolution 2016-2030
The era of dissolution is traditionally said to begin on 23 June 2016, when Great Britain decided to leave the European Union. Explanations given for what caused the exit from the European Union differ widely, but most historians believe that concern over immigration and pressure on wages due to free trade led a majority of British people to vote to leave a unique political project. Far more important than the exit itself, was the international precedent that it set for the dissolution of international agreements and nation states. Turkey was eventually thrown out of NATO, Hungary voted to ignore EU directives on refugees, Scotland left Great Britain, Italy voted to leave the EU, the remaining nations then agreed to phase out the former pillar of freedom of movement, Greece then held a referendum in which it voted to reject further austerity, which led to them being thrown out of the Eurozone. Eastern European nations then formed their own defense pact that functioned separately from NATO, while England formed a defense pact with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some other former colonies. In Africa, civil war broke out between Northern and Southern Nigeria, which led to millions of deaths before the United Nations intervened and Northern Nigeria was forced to recognize Southern Nigeria's independence. Israel upon being invaded by Egypt, Syria and a democratically elected Islamist government in the former kingdom of Saudi Arabia decided to push the red button. A number of tactical nuclear missiles were launched, that killed very few people but knocked out all communication abilities. Egypt was warned that in the absence of an unconditional surrender the next missile would hit the Aswan dam. This led Israel to win the war but suffer a diplomatic defeat, as they now faced isolation from all of their former allies. They returned to a predominantly self-sufficient agrarian economy and maintained cordial relationships with some autocratic governments in Europe. Most elderly were shocked to see that the pensions they had saved for were cut back drastically. There also emerged growing rumors that doctors practiced secret euthanasia of elderly dementia patients. More commonly however, patients who complained of vague pain or depression were given pills to cure their ailment, that were particularly easy to overdose on. Death rates began to climb rapidly as a result. Population, 9 Billion
Era of deindustrialization 2030-2080
During this era, the trend of urbanization that had been universal until then began to reverse itself. The demographically diverse cities of Europe became the site of escalating ethnic conflict, which culminated in a series of massacres. People who had the means began to flee large cities and settled in the countryside. The cities were increasingly faced with a policy of forced starvation, as vigilante groups seized any food that any trucks attempted to transport into the city. As a result, people who didn't have the means also fled the cities, but the degree to which they were welcomed differed depending on their ethnic background, with ethnic Arabs faring worst. Death rates were very high by now, as many places descend into total war. Nations have delegated most of their responsibilities to provinces and counties, while in practice armed vigilante groups patrol the streets. Although welcomed at first, these groups began to expect donations from local businesses and people found themselves increasingly afraid of saying no. It's also not uncommon by now for military equipment to "disappear" from military basis and find its way in the hands of groups like these. Many members of these groups are disillusioned former police officers, who left after feeling upset over their 1.8% success rate. Being led by former police officers gives these groups an aura of legitimacy. In most places by now, people had learned not to rely on electricity. Planned blackouts were increasingly accompanied by unplanned blackouts and people preferred to use their hands for activities. Without regular access to electricity, computers fell into increasing disuse too. Even if electricity worked in your area, there was no guarantee your internet provider or the server of whatever website you were hoping to access had electricity. The Amish have sustained their exponential population growth, against most predictions. Amish now earn a lot of money simply educating people on basic agricultural skills. Amish are also renowned for their success at building houses. The line between Amish and non-Amish begins to blur, as many non-Amish learn Pennsylvania German. Population, 6 Billion
Era of decay 2080-2120
The Era of decay is generally recognized as the period in which society lost access to many technologies that had until then been sustained in at least some form. Frugal use had enabled the maintenance of bicycles for example, for decades after they ceased to be produced. By now however, there were very few left, while the roads were so full of holes that there was no point in using them anymore. Many bridges and were similarly sustained for decades, but by now had fallen into utter disrepair, with no chance of salvaging them. This was problematic, as these collapsed bridges could make traveling the river by boat impossible, as well as crossing the river impossible. The last decent guns by now ran out of ammunition too. Climatic upheaval by now had become very intense, as the sea level rise triggered underground landslides that led to enormous tsunamis killing millions of people. Population, 2 billion
Imperial era 2120 - 2300
The imperial era is seen as a period during which new international empires formed, which emerged out of states that had survived the upheaval relatively unscathed. A merchant republic covered Iceland, Greenland, parts of Canada, parts of Norway, as well as Svalbard. Many people had fled to these islands and successfully assimilated into Icelandic culture. It's generally thought that Iceland's access to geothermal heat enabled the country to survive until this period with some semblance of order. Work began on the extraction of resources from land that once laid beneath Greenland's shrinking icecap. Similar successful states were formed around New Zealand, Japan and Alaska. Scrap metal was used to build new ships, that were constructed out of an amalgam of varying amounts of iron, copper, aluminum and various other metals. These ships were more fragile than modern ships, but enabled the maintenance of some imperial exertion over foreign territories. The empires eventually came to an end however, as a result of sudden releases of methane, that triggered enormous tsunamis that destroyed these coastal empires. On the other side of the equator, a similar situation emerged decades later, as people began to settle Antarctica. The Falkland empire was the center of the last of these various empires that had arisen, emerging around 2250 when raids in Argentina delivered a source of slaves that were sent off to Antarctica. These slaves would ultimately come to carry out a slave revolt that led to the foundation of an Antarctic republic founded on utopian ideals. Population, 1 billion
Neomedieval era 2300-3000
By 2300, the imperial era was drawing to an end. As a result of climate change, crop yields had declined too much to maintain all the excess layers of social complexity that were once sustained. Most of the world's people now worked in agriculture, with a small remaining elite that grew smaller every year as they embarked on violent raids against each other. In large parts of the world however, no remnant of civilization can be encountered. In Brazil, Central Africa and Indonesia, some people practice slash-and-burn agriculture, a dying practice as they find that their plants are too tormented by disease to make the effort worthwhile. These groups are routinely slaughtered in a brutal fashion by hunter-gatherer tribes that once were thought to belong to the dustbin of history. The Sahara has become more fertile again, now harboring a variety of nomadic tribes and their herds of camels, goats and other animals. In Northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Russia, the remnants of civilization cling onto life. Here people still sow their fields, dance around Maypoles and pray for bountiful harvests. More and more however they find themselves supplementing their diet with foods they find in the wild, as well as the occasional jellyfish or octopus found in the sea. The reason they have managed to hold on for so long however is because the climate is becoming more hospitable again, as the Earth gradually sequesters carbon dioxide that was emitted by people who lived long ago. Population, 1 billion (early) 200 million (late)
New paleolithic 3000-3.000.000
During this era, the population declines gradually, as civilization disappears. Some tribes living in forests still plant trees and fruits they happen to like better than others, but they don't dominate their environment in the way modern people do. As tribes live isolated from each other, genetic differences rapidly emerge. In tropical forests, a different species of humans evolves than in Greenland and Antarctica. Isolated island communities develop species that are smaller than the humans we know today, with mating patterns more akin to those of Bonobo's. Humans living in the desert become uniquely different from all other humans. They excel at persistence hunt and develop a physiognomy that allows them to rapidly disperse heat. Humans who happen to live in Antarctica on the other hand, develop a big fur again. Population, 50 million (early) 2 million (late)
2014.07.29 17:01 Bronco208Top Issues with American Government Disscussion
I believe that there are many issues with our current state of government, however I believe that within all of these issues there are 5 simple issues that spread throughout and are the major issues we need to reform within our government to fix the majority of government issues, not country issues such as immigration, but rather issues like a lame congress or lobbying buying votes. Here is my essential list:
Campaign Funding Reform; too much of our politicians effort is to get re-elected rather than to get issues fixed and laws passed. I recently read that on average politicians spend around 50% of their terms trying to obtain money for their next.
Lobbyists buy Votes; In general, Americans votes don't amount to anything, if you have money, you matter, the citizens do not decide what should be focused on or what matters, the companies with billions in their pockets tell the politicians what matters via legal bribery, which is insane in a "democratic" country. This also leads back to the first issue we have with campaign funding. We need to get money out of politics.
Congress is run by Babyboomers; The average age of a House member in 2013 was 55 and the average age of a senator was 60! Not only are these the oldest ages in more than a century, or ever in the Senate, this puts most of them out of touch. These Babyboomers have all of the political power within the government, and although the age that you can start to serve is 25 and 30, rarely does anyone that age ever get elected. These older people live with older values and do not live have majority of the modern practices, but rather just control the ones they want. We need more diversity of age within our government. Link to the age article http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15348258/ns/politics/t/grayest-congress/
Two-Party System; The use of the two-party system is outdated for our modern views. Nothing is black and white, and neither should our choices for politicians. We need a strong third party to bring more choice and again diversity to the politics. If your choice's range from 1 to 10 but you can only choose 1 or 10 to vote for, that leaves a lot out of the middle that is necessary. With more middle party politicians there can be more partisanship for laws to be worked with and having no one be the majority forces issues to come to compliance, rather then yelling across the aisle and also prevents bullying your issues on the American public. I understand majorities are voted in and therefore that is what is wanted by most, however gerrymandering and corporation control blows that out of proportion from the American republic.
These are all my personal opinions, but let us discuss this issue. I would like to know your opinions on these issues and lets discuss it all, comment away!! Edit: The ages for running for Senate and House were incorrect. Sorry
2014.02.06 17:57 Enter_RealityAdvice for dealing with a Nmom
I'll start with a bit of background information: I'm 23 [M] and a narcissistic mother has raised me. For a long time, I thought, I was living two totally different lives, where one person was always afraid of the other. I was afraid that people would see me for who I really was; that I wasn’t the perfect, somewhat charmingly awkward yet reasonably popular guy who everyone thought I was. That beneath my smile there was struggle, and beneath my light there was dark, and beneath my big personality just hid even bigger pain. After years of verbal, and physical abuse executed on a daily basis; whether it be "You're Fat" (even though I was playing on several different sports teams), "You're Lazy" (Despite working long hours at mostly construction jobs to pay my university tuition), or "You're [insert random screaming rant about how I was the root cause of the worlds problems". The one that really got me, the straw that broke the proverbial camels back, the final soul-crushing blow was "You're the reason you're Dad and I are having marital problems, and are eventually going to split up. Yeah YOU caused this mess!" that one got to me more than the drunk dial about a week prior from my Nmom, when she admitted that I was a mistake and regretted giving birth to me. [She claimed she was drugged (yeah the date rape kind) at a bar that night and apparently has no recollection of ever saying that to me]. (I will post that story another time or in the comments if you guys want). At that time I had just been laid off, my parents were in the process of splitting up [they have since reconciled, however I could have stopped that and I really wish I did… again another story for another time], my sister was dying of sepsis in the hospital after a complication from a "routine" surgery, my girlfriend dumped me because she couldn't handle how stressed out I was, and then my Nmom dropped that bomb on me. Needless to say I cracked. Caved into a very dark place in my life, and so began my depression. Not to get into too much detail but after having some pretty dark thoughts, and coming very close to acting on them, I sought professional help. After several visits with the Doctor, he determined two things. The first being that my reaction to the situation was relatively normal and I was going to be okay (this was largely true however, even though I wasn't officially diagnosed, I believe I suffered from depression for a long time thereafter as well as other lasting effects such as generalized anxiety). The second was that from my account, my mother displayed narcissistic traits. I moved to a different city with a satellite school for my university, and got my own place the next month. A clean slate, and I was happier. Still very much fucked up, but away from the shit storm back home. After 5 months my money ran out, there weren't any job prospects in town (and the semester was over) so I was forced to move back home. While in school that term I learned several strategies to deal with problematic employees. So prior to leaving I decided to try some of them out with my mother, with the aim to improve my communication with her. I thought maybe if she could see what she's like from my perspective, maybe we could fix our relationship, or at least make it manageable. I called her to discuss my final marks (76% average in third year university) and the terms of me moving back in (she wanted me to sign a lease, and a very illegal one at that, which essentially signed all of my rights away as an adult human being. It had other stipulations that were unnecessarily inconvenient, including not being able to park my truck on their driveway which has a 4 door garage and space for a two trailers). So I began the phone call with random chitchat about the weather and how my finals went. Then I calmly and slowly started asking her questions about the terms of the lease using an "ADAPT" strategy. I tried to get her to answer my questions in such a way that she would see things from my perspective. She eventually caught on, calling it "psycho babble" then immediately started ranting about how I should just get a job, stop being so "lazy" and everything else that was "wrong" with me (including how my girlfriend at the time was "getting fat" because of me). It went from bad to worse and I couldn't take it. I hung up on her. She called back 26 times over the next 4 hours, and I didn’t answer. She texted me several times and they were laden with obscenities. I deleted all of them. Later, I decided to send her an email (which admittedly, probably wasn't the wisest decision): "Subject: I suck and I'm Sorry! Mom, I'm not the only person in this situation. Go watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4IjTUxZORE The video pokes fun at how people, namely babyboomers/ our parents, view Millennials as lazy, text thirsty and unemployed. However, the video isn’t just a joke, it genuine critique on the conditions previous generations created for us like you know, war, economic recession, environmental devastation and a horrid job market. Adding in snarky tidbits of info like college/university tuition has increased 600% since when the baby boomers attended and that the average student loan debt is $30,000, the video is funny, punchy and sad but so true. They drop knowledge about how the ’90s was awesome because there was Full House and, oh yeah, manufacturing jobs that have all been outsourced to other countries or replaced by new technologies. They slyly mention that 90% of the jobs made available since the 2009 recession have been part-time, which is great because Millennials are sooooooo lazy. Sound familiar? By the way, that little chat today, when I was extending an olive branch with what I perceived as good news, activated my anxiety and made it much worse. So I just want to take the time to thank you for your negativity, hostility, and rigidity, because in trying different strategies to communicate with you I can deal with almost any other situation that could be thrown at me with relative ease. But again, I beg that you can be self critical and try to adopt a different attitude towards me, and in the way you "communicate" with me as I am very much interested in improving our relationship and am trying to find a way to communicate with you. (Hence the "psycho babble" questioning as you put it today). But if you lack the compassion and empathy to understand that, it would only solidify my beliefs that WE should go to therapy/family counselling. Regards, Enter_Reality" This was her reply: "Enter_Reality" You are such a drama queen! You have to make a normal disagreement between a child and the parents ( as dad is on board here) into some psycho incident to push you over the edge or nearly!! Why don’t you stop manipulating us by expecting us to give you everything you want “ or else” you will name us the worse most failed parents in the world!! Are you nuts!! How old are you REALLY?? Those tactics have lost their sting with me …especially me! You are lucky you have a car…that we still support you financially and that we still care. YOUR THREAT TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE NO SAY IN HOW I LIVE ….OR TAKE CARE OF WHAT IS MINE …WILL NOT BE INFLUENCED BY YOUR COOMMENTS THAT YOU WILL FALL INTO A DEPRESSION AND EXPERIENCE ANIETY AT MY HANDS!! GROW UP!!…we have to put up with your assumption that we have caused you undue stress!! We have made it clear that OUR PREFENCE IS THAT YOU DO NOT PARK YOUR STUFF HERE….that may not coincide with what you think is reasonable…but your opinion really doesn’t matter here… Shock trauma I know…but instead of you giving us some leeway and realizing that your tract record of procrastination is too long!! You do not ever do anything when we ask you …unless it suits you at that moment!….…let’s just say you say to yourself…. Just RECENTLY….You parked the camper here for so long last summer….you missed two service appts….and then I had to get someone to move it just so that we could let the contractor get on with his job here!!! If we had left it to you to move the job would have been stalled and may not have been finished yet. You showed TOTAL disregard for our arranged schedule with the contractor! [At the time, they were in the process of renovating the landscape and exterior of the house, the driveway and parking space were already completed] Who is that you think you are ? …Now to suggest that the truck and camper should be parked here when you come back???!!! It is irresponsible ! and to still be calling me childish names just again to try to make me do what YOU WANT or there will be a temper tantrum…UNREASONABLE!! Now it is you who is being unreasonable and putting UNDUE stress on ME!! Your calls have made the last two evening miserable and have cast a cloud over us ! YOU ARE NOT LEAVING THE CAMPER HERE >>PERIOD! You can’t afford the camper or the gas that he truck costs….THE CONTRACTOR offered to store it for you…you should go park it theer and MOVE ON ENTER_REALITY! YOU ARE NOT GETTING OVER OUR TIME! no matter what you think of me not cow towing to you…We are YOUR MOTHER and FATHER …show us some respect! And realize that our needs should be allowed to override yours sometimes. Good night. I love you… Mom" I love you, three simple empty words. I'm not sure if narcissists are truly capable of love. I'm sure they have their own version of it, but what I've been through, however privileged I may have been, has been empty, hate filled, rage fuelled disaster. And I'd trade the "privilege" the vacations, the nice house, the nice things etc. all of it, for a loving, "normal" upbringing. Instead narcissists have raised me. I managed to move out once I got another job, and things have been going well for me. However, I find myself yet again in a similar situation to what happened two years ago. My apartment flooded last month and is barely livable. Renovations start soon and I can’t afford more rent. I dread it, but I feel my only option is to move back with my parents. So reddit, what should I do? And more importantly what are some strategies that might work to improve my relationship with my Nmom? TL;DR My mom is abrasive at best. I’ve tried for years to find a way to communicate with her to no avail. At one point it sent me to a very dark place. I got out of there but I find myself in a situation where I might have to move back in with my parents for at least month and I’m dreading it! (eddit: Formatting)
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