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16 January 2021

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Mark K Logan

On the subject of space exploration, the advances in robot technology continue at a scary pace. Boston Dynamics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn3KWM1kuAw

Manned missions to Mars are a long way off, but for these guys? Maybe not so much.

mcohen

road to jericho


you might find me one day
on the road to jericho
looking for the hope of ray
the sound of thunder a distant echo

passed barbed wire now abandoned
without reason and purpose
to the hills armies disbanded
in a time of peace one can suppose

where walls and towers once stood
in this city of palms
in a house of stone and wood
the singing of psalms

ancient songs of hope and prayer
carried by the wind
for all to share
a joyous gift to mankind.


different clue

In mid-April I had a medical situation ( not covid-related) which put me in hospital for a short while, and then home from work. Right around then, the lockdowns were beginning, so I spent April 12th-July 13th without any computer access ( except one time using one of the medical computers till a doctor made me stop).

So I began reading or re-reading some of my books. I found two separate little chunks of material that I hope may be considered interesting enough so as to be permitted to appear, even though it is generally against policy. But as I offer " other peoples' writing" only once every couple of years or so, and as I am at least retyping the paragraphs myself rather than merely copying and pasting the lazy way, I hope that might mitigate in favor of permitting them to appear if the material is considered publish-worthy in itself.

The first book ( Bio Dynamic Agriculture Introductory Lectures --volume 2) by Alex Podolinsky, is mainly about agriculture but contained a very interesting short history-of-Russia digression.
Podolinsky begins by talking about the difference between and the historical emergence of serfs, peasants, farmers, and then says this:

" One total exception early this century was the agrarian reform caused in Russia's ex-serf environment by my father's cousin Stolypin. In 1905 eighty-three percent of the Russian population were ex-serfs. There was no middle class and the country was ripe for communism. At the other end was the aristocracy and some rich merchants. Stolypin, who had visited U.S. farms, resettled former serfs onto large tracts of land, like migration from Britain to Australia. He chose good land behind the Urals, or took some from aristocratic estates, for such resettlement. These new farmers soon became landholders in the sense of modern Australian farmers, however with the difference that it was not as natural and free a development, but was implemented by a farsighted politician.

This development ended when Stolypin was assassinated in 1911, according to my father (who worked with his cousin), not by a 'communist Jew' but by an assailant organized by an aristocracy unwilling to yield land. My father said, 'the aristocrats therewith cut off the limb they were sitting on'. "

I am thinking that extract might be especially interesting to Patrick Armstrong, David Habakkuk, and Smoothie X-12.

The other extract comes from Foundations Of Natural Farming by Harold Willis. It mostly is about the practice of farming, but it did have a chapter on the wider economic and social force-fields surrounding the farmer and in which the farmer has to operate. That chapter is titled "Why Problems?" and is about the interactions between farming, broader natural surroundings, economics, politics. And Willis's understanding of economics somewhat parallels the " Raw Materials- Matter and Energy" based theories of economics which Charles Walters and the Acres USA community studied, applied and pursued.

I will type out the smallest feasible sample of the more-that-is-there in case it may lead people to want to find that book. He first discusses a study by Dr. John Forbes in 1966 called The National Economy Is Out Of Balance. And after describing in briefest what the imbalances that Dr. Forbes found were, he writes . . .

Dr. Forbes, a college history professor, was stimulated to make his study after hearing Carl H. Wilken speak out on the injustices to farmers. Wilken was an economic research analyst and auditor in the National Foundation For Economic Stability, Washington, D.C., as well as a farmer for twenty years. His story is told in the book Unforgiven, by Charles Walters, Jr. Wilken's research into government economic statistics revealed what appears to be a constant relationship: that the nation's annual earned income is always about in the same ratio as the raw materials income ( from agriculture ((70%)), petroleum and mining, fisheries, and lumbering). Thus, underpaying especially the farmer decreases the whole nation's income."

The current pressures of week-to-week and day-to-day events command our primary time and attention, but these longer range subjects and information are worth at least remembering the existence of, so that if the pressure comes off we can then begin rethinking and restoring and redoing over the longer term for the longer future.

Artemesia

America's multi-billionaires are buying thousands of acres of land in USA

A recent report stated that:

"Gates . . .the biggest owner of farmland in America, according to a Forbes report. . . . now owns 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. . . ."

and that

"Gates is still far behind media mogul John C. Malone, who is in top spot with 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests and CNN founder Ted Turner, who owns 2 million acres of ranch land."

"Bezos is also exploring investment in land."

https://summit.news/2021/01/15/bill-gates-buying-up-huge-amount-of-farmland-while-great-reset-tells-americans-future-is-no-private-property/

Of these four named landholders, which display the greatest tendency toward feudalism and which might follow Stolypin's (sadly) aborted experiment?

What impact will their example have on the stock market?

On the micro-scale, densely-built housing close-in to city life, a trend especially among younger adults for many years, is losing out to more suburban life on a bit of land capable of sustaining a garden, perhaps a chicken or two and maybe even a goat.

different clue

Artemisia,

My vague feeling is that if any of these individual land-accumulators would do his own Stolypin-style " land to farmer-owners" initiative, it would be Ted Turner. None of the others are nearly eccentric enough.

Jeff Bezos is the most purely evil and monomaniacal of any. His goal is to exterminate all free standing businesses not yet owned by Amazon. I should think that any land Bezos buys is for eventually becoming industrial megafarms to supply his Whole Foods aquisition, which he hopes will someday be the only food store left in America. His! All his. I think Bezos' vision is
more in line with the Slave States of ancient antiquity . . . Babylon, Assyria, etc., than with feudalism as we understand it from Europe.

I don't know what Malone's motivation and drives might be. Gates might be satisfied with some plantationary feudalism. Perhaps Gates would want to turn some of his land into agricultural genetic engineering research institutes, so he can ride his own little GMO hobbyhorse around and around and around.

I can imagine an emerging privatarian dystopia in which Google, Facebook, WalMart and Amazon all merge together under Doctor Evil Jeff's Overlordship. Maybe he will call it GoogleFace WalMazon.

About semiburbia and suburbia . . . I have read that some of the young and younger people are regaining interest in denser-packed urban living. Will they be a force for designing that living space to include any gardenable land at all?

I grew up in a suburb. I remember it as a nice place. We could have done more gardening than we did, if we had wanted. Maybe a chicken garden, though I don't think a goat.

And maybe all these urban and suburban inhabitants will become committed to buying food from independent farm-dwelling owner-operators so as to preserve them in the teeth of megamonopoly from the likes of GoogleFace WalMazon.

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