Why the killer ape is running the show

“History professor Yuval Noah Harari — author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind — explains why humans have dominated Earth. The reason is not what you might expect.”

A thought-provoking and convincing argument. Why humans are running the planet, albeit with questionable success.

…But the fact is that one-on-one, humans are embarrassingly similar to chimpanzees. If you place me and a chimpanzee together on a lone island, to see who survives better, I would definitely place my bets on the chimp…

…Put 100,000 chimps in Wall Street or Yankee Stadium, and you’ll get chaos. Put 100,000 humans there, and you’ll get trade networks and sports contests…

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One Wild Kiwi’s Bircher Muesli

If you haven’t tried an overnight bircher muesli you’re missing a seriously healthy and delicious treat. This makes 4 – 6 servings, depending upon how greedy you are.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 generous tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups (500ml) rolled oats
  • 1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple
  • Optional: a handful of nuts finely sliced. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts… what have you.

Method

  • Peel the oranges and, if necessary, cut them into pieces to remove pips. Use a stick mixer or blender to liquefy them.
  • Add the honey and mix in.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except the apple and nuts – mix thoroughly.
  • Leave in a cool place overnight to soak. An hour will do if you’re pushed for time.

Before serving

  • Grate the apple and mix in thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle the sliced nuts on top and serve with fresh or canned fruit. Blueberries, apricots, bananas, rasberries and/or loganberries go well.

Notes

It’s usually served cold, but you may prefer it hot. I prefer it zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove the chill.

If you wish, serve with added milk, yoghurt or soya milk. Most recipes use fruit juice where I’ve used whole oranges peeled. Any dietician worth their salt will tell you that drinking fruit juice is bad nutritional policy. The extra fibre in the whole fruit helps your metabolism to deal with sugar and cholesterol.

You can use any sort of milk, but soya milk provides creaminess without the fat overload of whole milk. Buy organic if you can. I particularly like cranberries but obviously you can use raisins, blueberries, or any other dried fruit. In some places, you’ll find Light or Lite yoghurt, give it a miss; it’s full of disgusting chemicals. Stick with low-fat Greek yoghurt or, if you don’t give a stuff about fat, regular Greek yoghurt.

Keeps refrigerated for at least 3 days.

Inside job

You need to see this

This documentary film narrated by Matt Damon is important. I didn’t understand the full extent of the 2008 financial crisis and the cynical liars who created it until I saw this film. The perpetrators have escaped all consequences and continue to plunder your assets with ever increasing avarice and to set up the next crash.

This is the best online version I can find.  I have a better version in my Dropbox right here. You should be able to get it from a video shop or you can buy it here.

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‘Inside Job’ provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

Inside Job posterMy wife isn’t easily moved by my continual stream of information about the awful state of the world. Unlike me, she’s a Christian and she believes that man is incapable or ruling himself and that God will sort it all out fairly soon. However, this academy award winning film stopped her in her tracks. She was so outraged that she cried.

Maybe the deity should pull his finger out.

How the Masters of the Universe betrayed us, how we paid, and how we’re still paying

Why are you and I are allowing this outrageous situation to continue? The perpetrators of the behaviour that brought the world’s economy to its knees have got away scot-free. You paid the price, they’re still doing it: stealing ever more of your money, your jobs and your homes. They’re wiping out your wealth by deliberately destroying your savings and our leaders are aiding and abetting them. in the USA, Mr “Yes we can” Obama appointed the Princes of the Thieves as his top economic advisers. They’re still there, they’re creaming ever more off the top, and you’re still paying. They’re liars and thieves and if they don’t agree with that assessment they’re welcome to test it in court.

This movie is mostly about the USA and Wall Street, but when Wall Street sneezes we all catch cold so it’s relevant to you wherever you live. Similar behaviour is going on in your country too, it just isn’t as obvious in most places because the numbers aren’t as astronomical. If you doubt the ubiquity of their larceny, ponder the later manifestation, the staggering monstosity of the LIBOR scandal.

Have you eaten enough cake?

The actions of our leaders and the 0.01% are no different to the actions of the French aristocracy which led them to the guillotine–it could be argued that they’re worse. No different to the blind stupidity of the Russian aristocracy which led to them being lined up and shot.

It’s time you made your voice heard

You have the power.

Rex Tillerson is wrong – again

A couple of days ago Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson told his shareholders that Exxon Mobil hadn’t invested in renewable energy because:

“we choose not to lose money on purpose.”

“Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” he told the meeting, pointing to technologies that can combat inclement weather “that may or may not be induced by climate change.”


In the week he spoke hundreds of people died because of record heat in India, Californians pray for el Nino to break their devastating drought, Texans die in floods, and in Canada’s Yukon temperature records are  shattered by up to 7.5ºC. For American eyes according to my arithmetic that’s 13.5ºF. That is frightening.

Nothing new here, file it under “No Shit”

Mr Tillerson is one of the 0.01 % following in the long and poisonous tradition of the Seven Sisters. In 2012 he said that we’re all too ignorant to understand climate science.

Well I’m not ignorant, I understand the science, and I’m telling you that Tillerson’s wrong. He’s either economical with the truth, ignorant, ill-informed, taken over by aliens, or all of the above, He is incorrect, and he’s an engineering graduate. Draw your own conclusions.

There’s an element of truth in much of what he says, but the conclusions he jumps to are totally and deliberately divorced from reality.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. Upton Sinclair

He’s at it again

I found a transcript here of that rambling 2012 speech. Read it and weep. Surprise, surprise, the presider was Alan S. Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, Wall Street Journal. An outstanding bastion of denialism and cognitive dissonance.

A couple of extracts:

Rex’s wisdom on climate change

“Clearly there is going to be an impact,” he said, “but society will adapt to changes.”

“We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution … there are always technological solutions to these challenges and the risk associated with resource development. Some of them take a long time. And we’ve been working on the oil sands for more than 30 years to get to this point. So we’re never standing still.”…

We’ll adapt to that

…”and as human beings as a — as a — as a species, that’s why we’re all still here. We have spent our entire existence adapting, OK? So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around — we’ll adapt to that. It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions. And so I don’t — the fear factor that people want to throw out there to say we just have to stop this, I do not accept.”

The consequences of growth

Professor Albert BartlettMillions of people have watched an old guy talking about arithmetic on Youtube. What’s the big deal?

If you believe that science and technology will fix the ills of the world, that we can burn oil and coal to our hearts’ content, and that California’s water is inexhaustible, you need to watch this. It’s not speculation, it’s hard facts based upon fundamental arithmetic.

If everyone understood the easily grasped principles of exponential growth and its consequences we’d have a world in which politicians and corporations would be held to account. Particularly disturbing in Professor Bartlett’s talk are the asinine views of influential people who believe that the laws of physics aren’t applicable on their patch.

Professor Albert Bartlett:

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

It will help you to understand compound interest too. :)

Farewell

Sadly, Dr Albert Bartlett died on September 7, 2013

Professor Bartlett on Wikipedia

Professor Bartlett’s website

Inequality hurts the rich too

How economic inequality harms societies

This remarkable TED talk by Richard Wilkinson should be required watching for every person on the planet, it needs to be shown in schools, it should be understood by every voter and particularly by every politician and economist.

Inequality is one of the most important causes of the woes of the 21st century. Henry Ford understood that in order for his business to flourish he had to pay his workers at a level that allowed them to buy the goods they produced. The capitalists of the 21st Century have forgotten that and at some point it will cost them dearly. Capitalism cannot work if it has no customers and over the last 30 years or so, the 0.1% have been destroying the purchasing power of the middle class.

In the developed world, the most unequal societies are English-speaking countries and the most equal and contented are in Scandinavia.

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One Wild Kiwi

One Wild Kiwi is being rebooted. I will post information relevant to the future of my grandchildren and yours. The main topics will be climate change, inequality, economic illiteracy, and political bankruptcy.

Last rites for democracy

Last rites for democracy

The media accused British pollsters of getting their election predictions spectacularly wrong. Pre-election polling suggested a photo finish between Conservatives and Labour, but in the poll that mattered the Tories won by a country mile.

Pollsters didn’t it wrong. The difference between the predictions and the actuality is a difference in motivation. Conservative supporters went to the polling booths.  Labour supporters pledged support to the pollsters but stayed at home and watched football.

It didn’t matter anyway

No one got what they wanted. Astonishingly, most people didn’t even vote for what they wanted.

The website Vote for Policies survey hundreds of thousands of potential voters. The punters are asked to select their preferred policies on a wide range of issues. The catch is, the poll is blind and those surveyed aren’t told which party promotes which policy.

Here’s the result. Potential voters preferred Green Party policies by a convincing margin. The election winning Conservatives were fourth.

It gets worse

On individual policies, the Greens were first choice in 5 out of 9, and second choice in another 4. Only in policy on Europe did they drop to 4th. On the three ‘E’s; Education, Economy, and Environment, arguably the most important issues we all face, they wiped the board.
policy preferences. Greens win again.And how did they vote on election day I hear you cry?

Here it is:

2015 UK election results. Not what the voters wanted!

Go figure

Think about this. It’s a stunning revelation. How do voters make their choices? How can we make meaningful change when the majority of people have no idea what they’re voting for?

My father was a Labour man. Even when the New Zealand Labour Party lurched slightly to the Right of Atilla the Hun in the 1980s he kept on voting for them.

Unless we figure out ways to get people to understand the issues, then act on that understanding, basically we’re buggered.

Caveat

I’ve seen later results which showed the Labour Party leading Vote for Policy’s poll, but at no point did the Conservatives gain majority support in any area.

You can help

You can find the Vote for Policies people at this link. They’re volunteers. If you’re a British voter please consider supporting them.

Outstanding journalist George Monbiot has a relevant article called The Lamps Are Coming On All Over Europe.