Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Human and Nature DYnamical (HANDY) Model Predicts the fall of Modern Society

For 30 years, I dealt with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on almost a daily basis.  I know their rules.  One of their most hallowed rules was that you had to be able to document where the money came from for any activity you did on their behalf.  Also, if you use their money, you tell your audience that you used their money (kinda like “your tax dollars at work”).  This was a result of several contractors raking in large funds for private use by charging it to activity in support of whatever vehicle they were flying.  If you were caught disobeying this rule, you were sure to lose your job, if not face legal action.  I’ve told you this so that I can set the stage for the topic of this U-Predict broadcast. 

Mathematician Safa Motesharrei is a Research Assistant at SESYNC and a PhD candidate in Applied Mathematics/Public Policy at the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park.  He devised a study on the collapse of civilization.  This paper has the following statement within its opening pages:

"This work was partially funded through NASA/GSFC [Goddard Space Flight Center] grant NNX12AD03A."  

This study used a NASA toolset, the Human and Nature DYnamical (HANDY) model to determine an obvious by very disturbing fact:

"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."
By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilizational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.

These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity"; and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses [poor]." These social phenomena have played "a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse," in all such cases over "the last five thousand years."

In other words, our society is participating in the kinds of actives that lead to collapse in the annals of history.  When the research was first released, NASA said nothing; however within a few days NASA was totally denying that it had anything at all to do with the study.  Of course, it is easy to see why they would run from such data.  Once again, we are back to the “maker/taker” argument; however, Motesharrei’s study clearly states that the “takers” and their endless need for wealth and status are the cause of the downfall.    With the Supreme Court ruling to give the wealthy more opportunity to buy legislators and legislations within a few days of the release of this paper, it is easy to see why a government agency that is dependent on these bought-and-paid for legislators for their funds (which are meager), the would not support the research.  So the purpose of this show was to (a) verify that NASA ran from the results (not very scientific) and (b) see if Tarot would agree with the results of the study.   

We had a fabulous reading room for this show:  Ivy Lieberman, Anita Perez, Becky Greywolf, Patti Phare-Camp, Jean Maurie Puhlman, Camille Kea, and ReeNee Cummins.  

The questions ask of Tarot basically boiled down to two major concepts:  (a) why did NASA claim no responsibility at all (including monetary) for the study, and (b) was the study accurate?

The cards wasted no time in telling the Reading Room exactly what we wanted to know.  The card that was pulled in synchronicity the most was The Devil.  Why?  Here we have what is supposed to be a very scientific agency.  That has been the sacred trust that they have held with the citizens of the world; do good, do good science, share the results.  But the answer from both the cards and the interpretation from the reading room was that the decision was made to turn their back on the research because it showed exactly what advanced, collapsing societies are ADDICTED to – power and money.  When those most addicted to power and money are the ones holding the purse strings, it is easy to see why an agency would break their trust with the general public.  Ivy Lieberman’s interpretation pretty much nailed it –“we have a history of ignoring those things that stare us in the face....  We also pulled the Judgment Card as another Major Arcana.  This card tells us that we need to pay attention, to “wake up” to what is going on. 

The Swords spoke out very plainly.  The study was defined by 3 cards – we had the 3 (heartache), the 5 (vanquishing or being vanquished by an enemy) and the 10 (the final end).   It is easy to see that these three cards sum up the results of the study.  The need to vanquish or be vanquished and the heartache this would cause.  The cost of the battle could easily be the 10 of swords – just as the study predicts; another civilization lost to antiquity.   Jean Maurie Puhlman pulled Angel Tarot while we were reading.  At this point, she pulled Angel Justice, Archangel Raguel – and the advice was to fight for justice and equality.  Rulings will be made in your favor - Don't give up!

We pulled the 6 of Cups in synchronicity as well.  This is the card of nostalgia - want to go back to the “good old days”.  What is truly sad is that this is not the answer.  We have to all agree to move in a new direction.  This is not going to be easy.  Many people do not want to have to involve themselves in any kind of political or social process.  The study says that if people come to understand that we are all responsible for the society and our future, we see the pattern, we can (and should) do something about it).

The final two synchronistic cards were the Two of Pentacles and the Queen of Wands.  These cards talk about sharing the study.  The NASA behavior should be ignored in light of the importance of the study.  What the study says, and what we can do about it is the most important thing.  The Queen of Wands is the pragmatic, back to basics queen.   The study encourages living that way.  However, we can talk about the study in a back-to-basics way.  It doesn’t matter who is president; it doesn’t matter who controls Congress; society’s move to the wealthy with all the power and the average person having none has been going on for over 50 years.  In fact, it happened in the 20’s in the last century which triggered the great depression.  It was “out of the box thinking” that started to turn the country around. 

Tarot tells us that we are on a slippery slope.  Tarot also tells us that we have been given an opportunity to fix it.  To take action to repair our society so that we can survive, will be up to us.  Are you willing to get involved, U-Predict…