Bernardo Kastrup

Bernardo Kastrup is a physicist who has broken from materialism as the basis for understanding the nature of the universe. Materialism is the doctrine that there is nothing in the universe except matter and its motions. Hence explaining how something so immediate, mental, weird, and undivided as consciousness arises from a material process becomes the “hard problem” of consciousness.

By contrast, Kastrup has become a thorough-going radical “idealist”. Not as in someone who is driven by ideals, but someone who considers that mind is the fundamental constituent of the universe.

An introduction to where his views have led him is found in this Scientific American article:


The obvious way around the combination problem is to posit that, although consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

I have been reading Kastrup’s Why Materialism is Baloney to my considerable satisfaction. His writing is clear as water, but what he is asking you to imagine is that how you have been educated causes you to misperceive the world. It is not his language that is difficult. It is in seeing the world through fresh eyes.

He is the author of seven books.

Kastrup is the antidote to the Harris/Dennett/Hitchens school of radical materialist atheism.

Watch out for Kastrup; the man is taking the battle to the reigning gods of drivel.

John Perry Barlow

Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times by [Barlow, John Perry, Greenfield, Robert]

The Insanely Eventful Life of Grateful Dead Lyricist John Perry Barlow

A posthumous memoir from a mutant genius

Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times, by John Perry Barlow with Robert Greenfield, Crown Archetype, 288 pages, $27

John Perry Barlow, who died this year at age 70, was a Grateful Dead lyricist, a pioneer in the fight for online civil liberties, and possibly a mutant. As Barlow recounts in his posthumously published memoir, Mother American Night, his mother as a girl was treated for tuberculosis by a quack who administered a prolonged beam of X-rays right into her hip. Forty-five minutes of this treatment gave her radiation sickness. Her hair fell out, she suffered severe burns, and she was informed that, oops, she’d been sterilized.

The sterilization didn’t take. Two decades later, in 1947, she gave birth to John Perry Barlow. One of his X-Men superpowers seems to have been to unerringly locate centers of the American zeitgeist and discover some pivotal role he could play in them.

When everything is policed except crime


Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire had the lowest rate of solved crime in 2017, while the most crimes were solved in Uttlesford in Essex


The news today from the country formerly known as England is that less than one in twenty street crimes are being solved.

Less than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved in the UK, shocking new figures have revealed.

Official police data shows that just four per cent of robberies and three per cent of burglaries were solved in England and Wales in 2017.

The figures will fuel concerns that there is a crisis in the nation’s policing, with one MP describing London as ‘the Wild West.

  1. The “Wild West” was policed by private vengeance rather than by the forces law and was by comparison exceedingly safe. Killing someone would result in a gang of the friends of the victim hunting you down.
  2. The news reminds me of Mark Steyn’s bon mot, “Britain, where everything is policed except crime”.

The Master’s views on the matter can be found here.

London’s murder rate is now higher than New York’s.


The number of police officers in England and Wales is at its lowest level since the late 1980s, with a significant drop between 2010 and 2017


Not clear on the concept

From the left hand end of the bell curve comes news that a man (guess what colour he is) sought to extort a domain name through a shooting and home invasion.

During the invasion, his wounded victim shot back and hit him four times. The assailant got 20 years for this and other crimes.

After being clubbed with the pistol and repeatedly targeted with a Taser, Deyo [the victim] gained control of the handgun, despite being shot in the leg. He then shot Hopkins [the assailant] several times in the chest and called police. Hopkins, who survived the incident in June last year, pleaded guilty to one count of “interference and attempted interference with commerce by threats and violence”.

You can’t make this up.

Hopkins is pictured below.


we are living in a liberal Oceania

Fred Reed writes:

“Affirmative action” means hiring people because they can’t do the job well. Near-synonyms are “diversity,” meaning groups that cannot do the job well, and “inclusiveness,” which means seeking people who you know cannot do the job well. These underpin American society, and have ruined education.

More here.

“Mac Donald goes on to tell of school after school accepting diversity with credentials well below those of real students, of schools dropping the GRE requirement because it makes obvious that in STEM fields women and minorities are not performing as desired. (“Minorities” always means “poorly performing minorities.” Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and so on don’t count.)”

Heather MacDonald on “How Identity Politics is Harming the Sciences”

The situation is dire because the lies are so deeply believed, the conformity required is so effectively enforced, and the penalty for thinking differently is exclusion and oblivion.

Hence we are living in a liberal Oceania

  • inclusion is exclusion

  • diversity is uniformity

  • tolerance is intolerance

He speaks for me and for many

And the time is coming when someone in Canada will say the same. I am the majority, and we are tired of being told bullshit by people who think they are better than us.

I am everybody! This guy is my hero!

Posted by Ron Fournier on Thursday, May 10, 2018


Image result for doug ford


Mrs. Dalwhinnie voted separately from me yesterday. Later, she shook her finger at me and swore me to absolute secrecy. Then she allowed as how she had voted Conservative in the Ontario elections.

Given the results of the election, I suspect there have been many many such conversations across Ontario yesterday, as long time Liberals, the indifferent, and the usually non-voting joined the committed Conservatives to crush the Ontario Liberals.

There are several reasons for this defeat. The most significant is the most obvious: after 15 years in power, every party needs to be purged. But in addition the Ontario Liberals were moving  the province in the direction of Venezuela. Oh I grant you it would have taken another fifty years to ruin the place, but intentions count.

Green energy, spending lavishly, ramping up the  debt to absurd levels, green energy, hugely expensive electrical power as a result of subsidizing green energy: you know the drill by now.

It all starts in the excesses of compassion and caring. Let these two forces run without any countering forces for 15 years and you have Ontario. People are being ‘left behind’, and government exists to do something about the left-behinds. So we raise the minimum wage because it is the “right thing to do”. Consequently people whose productivity does not reach $14 an hour are let go, or cannot find work. Compassion, doing the right thing, without any reckoning of practical consequences: that is the Ontario Liberal way.

Also, the planet is being ravaged by the menace of global warming. So green clean energy policies drive us off steady reliable low cost fossil fuels to  forms of energy that blight the countryside and provide rents to friends of the regime  who put up the windmills and charge the taxpayer/ratepayer for grossly inefficiently produced electricity. Double bonus for the Ontario Liberals: you get to posture as greenies and yet provide high-priced contracts to friends of the regime. That you impoverish your province is beyond the point. 75,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost as industry migrates out of the province to Great Lakes states and even [gasp!] Quebec.

When the basic facts of the situation are examined, it is surprising that the Liberals lasted as long as they did. The explanation lies in the long time it takes  for the electorate to draw the right inferences from political crap they don’t read in the papers to their electricity bills to the appropriate conclusions that their government is not working for their interests. In Ontario it took at last a decade.

When I hear a politician talking of compassion and caring, I look for my wallet. I know my money is about to be taken and misspent.

At last! All is revealed!

This is from Mother Jones today:

The other side—the accurate perspective—isn’t that complicated. In 2016, Vladimir Putin’s regime mounted information warfare against the United States, in part to help Trump become president. While this attack was underway, the Trump crew tried to collude covertly with Moscow, sought to set up a secret communications channel with Putin’s office, and repeatedly denied in public that this assault was happening, providing cover to the Russian operation. Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary, as it was attacking the United States. The evidence is rock-solid: They committed a profound act of betrayal. That is the scandal.


It reads well until you parse it:

  • Vladimir Putin’s regime mounted information warfare against the United States, in part to help Trump become president

I assume this is true; Putin is a troublemaker. So far he has made huge gains in distrust among US political actors for a trivial investment of resources.

  • While this attack was underway, the Trump crew tried to collude covertly with Moscow,

As if the Trump team knew in relevant time about some Russian hackers buying ads on Facebook, and as if it mattered in the billion dollar ad campaign that Hillary and her allies waged.

  • sought to set up a secret communications channel with Putin’s office

All diplomatic communications are meant to be secret, especially when one is in power. Setting up communications channels with important foreign powers is standard operating procedure in a US presidential campaign. A giant “so what?”.

  • repeatedly denied in public that this assault was happening, providing cover to the Russian operation

What assault? Money spent by Russian hackers on advertizing on Facebook?  Or the theft of the Democratic emails? How was Trump’s team supposed to know specifics, let alone generalities? Assumes facts not in evidence.

  • Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary, as it was attacking the United States.

Seeking to establish more normal relations with Putin is no more “aligning” than Obama’s coming to a deal with Iran on nukes was an alignment with radical Shia Islam. Agreements and attempts to reach them might be mistaken, but it is not treasonous in any  sense of the word to seek channels of communications with allies and enemies. It is the business of international relations.

The author of the piece, David Corn,  bemoans the lack of senior Democratic representatives engaging with the Republicans on this issue in its full seriousness. It is likely that senior Democratic politicians understand that the whole issue is piffle but are willing to use it to spread uncertainty and doubt, but even they are coming to see it is futile

Corn is the Mother Jones  Washington Bureau Chief and a correspondent for MSNBC.