C'mon America...let's keep the lights on

It’s time for America to leave the 19th century behind, and keep the lights on. Last night, the U.S. Capitol building and other Washington, D.C. landmarks went dark, as powerful wind gusts of up to 55 MPH knocked out power for thousands of people in the D.C. area. In fact, as of 10 PM last night, around 5,000 people were in the dark in the D.C. metropolitan area, for what was a very, very cold night.

While mass power outages in and around our nation’s capital are unusual, they’re becoming more frequent, and they’re a sign of this nation’s aging electrical infrastructure, which is stuck in the 19th century. We're still using the model of giant, centralized power stations that then distribute electricity over long distances to areas as large as states and blocks of states. This is bad for a number of reasons.

First, it makes us very vulnerable to the sort of cyberattack that we perpetrated on Iran when malware we developed with Israel took down their nuclear centrifuges. Second, it's incredibly inefficient.

Nearly two-thirds of the fuel burned to generate electricity is lost in the generation and delivery process. Or, in other words, our electric power system operates at only 33 percent efficiency. And we lose 5% of all the electricity generated through what are called "line losses" - electricity that gets burned up through radiative and resistive losses from long-distance high-tension wires.

Third, this system centralizes both political power and wealth in the hands of a very few companies and individuals, who then use that power and wealth to lobby for laws that help them keep their monopoly or near-monopoly status. According to a previously unreported federal analysis, the U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout for weeks - and even months - if terrorists took down just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a hot summer day.

The study, conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, was released last summer, and distributed to The White House, Congress, and various federal agencies. It said that if just nine substations were knocked out by a coordinated attack, the nation’s entire electrical grid could be down for 18 months or more, because it’s very hard to replace large electrical equipment.

And this is all because today we're still operating with an electrical system that's been in place since the late 19th century, when just a few electrical companies provided electricity for large portions of the United States. It's a model that leads to fragility. It’s a model that leads to more blackouts, brownouts and nights in the dark. It leads to inefficiency, and it concentrates political power and wealth in the hands of a few, while making everybody else vulnerable to power loss and monopoly-driven high prices.

We need to go from that model of fragility, to a model that's resilient, and that limits blackouts and cold nights spent in the dark. So how do we get there?

Resilience requires diversity. It requires a wide variety of energy providers across. America, on the local and community levels, and a variety of different forms of energy. It requires that every home and building become a power generating station itself.

Think about it like this. A forest is an incredibly diverse environment. In a forest, there are hundreds of species of plants and animals. If that forest were to suddenly face some type of severe weather event, like monsoons or drought, it would definitely take a hit. But, because of the diversity of the forest, a diversity that creates resilience, it would make it through.

Now, compare the forest to a 5000-acre wheat field. A 5000-acre wheat field isn’t diverse at all. It’s basically just wheat. If that wheat field were to face a devastating flood or drought, everything would be wiped out, and recovery would be nearly impossible, because there’s not enough diversity of plants or animals in the wheat field to bring it back to life.

Right now, America is the wheat field. We need to be the forest. We need to get more diverse in the forms of energy that we use, and in the number of providers that we have. In fact, we all need to become providers ourselves.

Some countries, like Germany, have already figured that out. In Germany, solar panels dot the roofs of houses and building all across that nation. Germany is the cloudiest country in Europe, but still, on one day in May of 2012, solar power provided 40% of total electricity consumption in that country. Cities, towns, and even homes across Germany are able to rely more on local energy generation, and less on a national grid. And the German government has set a goal for solar power and other renewable energy sources, to make up 80% of total electricity production by 2050.

We're as smart and innovative as Germany. We invented most of the technologies involved in solar power systems! And that’s just solar power. Wind power, geothermal and other renewable forms of energy are on the rise, too. The bottom-line is that we have to break away from our addiction to 19th century Big Energy, and break up the $220 billion electric industry, so that a few monopolistic companies are no longer controlling large chunks of the electricity produced in our country.

It'll make us safer, more resilient, and more efficient. It'll save us money. And it'll radically reduce greenhouse emissions, protecting our future. Come on America, let’s keep the lights on!


douglas m 10 years 15 weeks ago

I seen a house off the grid that worked off of 15 amps instead of 60/100/200 amps. He had an invertor coming from 40 car batteries linked together in 24 volt series coming from 4-60watt solar panels and a wind turbine in the mid-west. He only had to take the autodefrost off the fridge and the auto heat off the dishwasher and had 3-12 volt pumps to run his well all linked together in a small work shed with extra lights to burn off extra electricity because the electric company wouldnt buy his excess power like they were supposed to. He could run four tvs with two computers with no problems. Its easy and pays for itself if you have the upfront money. Maybe subsidies or extensions on home loans to keep the house safe during weather extremes are good ideas.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 15 weeks ago

I heard, on good authority, that the only reason for the grid is to give somebody complete control of everybody's power and that there's no reason why every house and building shouldn't have its own hydro or wind generator or solar panel just like it has it's own furnace , fireplace or garage.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 15 weeks ago

Mark: Another option besides ones own wind and solar generator is the home fuel cell. It can generate power for the household without using any electric power from the big utility companies. I consider it a transition solution though because it uses natural gas. It can however cut your utility bill by as much as 50% and reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 40%.

I agree with Thom, I think anything we can do to move away from monopoly capitalism, especially in the energy sector is wise. I cringe everytime I purchase gasoline. I'm all too aware that I'm feeding the Koch machine and thus subsidizing their Fascist overthrow of our representative government. I'm fortunate to be healthy and own woodland though.....I cut and heat with wood, have for many many years, so it's one area I do have control over. I'd go off the "grid," but I'm only 50% of the vote on that one......"gridlock" LOL

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 15 weeks ago

How ironic! The last couple of nights the Bay Area on the West Coast has been subjected to high winds as well.

Mark Saulys ~ Very well said!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 15 weeks ago

Though Mr. Hartmann's statement is indisputably true -- "we have to break away from our addiction to 19th century Big Energy, and break up the $220 billion electric industry, so that a few monopolistic companies are no longer controlling large chunks of the electricity produced in our country" -- it is also indisputably impossible.

The need for such a break-up has been obvious since the 1960s, but the One Percent will not allow it -- now or ever.

Only two forces can make it happen. These are revolution (impossible) and apocalypse (unavoidable). The former will inevitably be suppressed by the technological superiority and sadistic mercilessness of the Ruling Class, while the latter -- Gaea's cancellation of humanity's ruinously overdrawn karmic and environmental accounts -- will in all probability de-electrify the planet forever.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 15 weeks ago

I think the key issue here, again, is monopoly capitalism; not technology. I suspect that viable alternatives have existed for decades, that the only reason they aren't mainstream by now is because they've been thwarted by the monopolists. I've been harping on this for decades already, and both Thom and "10K" do a good job of pointing this out. I probably won't live long enough to see it, but I hope monopoly capitalism's days are numbered. Until then, freedom and autonomy are nothing but abstractions.

P.S. Loren, you posted your entry while I was still writing this. There you go, popping my bubble again! Of course I say this without malice. Nice to have you back, by the way; I've missed you. - Aliceinwonderland

dave wdowiak 10 years 15 weeks ago

as a lineman for a major electric producer DTE I have spent way to many years trying to get your point across to the people in my industry. They as blind as no one would ever emagin to what is happening to the industry. Major companies shed away from training people to do a linemans job. They claim it is way to expensive and takes to many years to train and then maintain those trained as a work force. When these disastors hit nearly 90% of all available lineman in the nation are sent to restore power. Nearly two fifths of this force is not actual lineman and nearly one half the total work force are actually qualified linemen. Disastors are increasing in intensity and are striking a broader range of the US and Cananda. Just twenty years ago Canada with all its hugh production of the Niagra river was just one line from total shut down and help took six weeks to remedy that storm. We had twice as many linemen at that time. Why am i still doing this job at 67 years of age - because I get called from 10 or more companies and make enough money to take a nice vacation and get to work with alot of my old retired friends who also get called. We all see and say the same thing - all we ever do is repair the same lines nothing new is ever built if and when that day ever comes America will be so far behind that the start up will take 10 or more years.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 15 weeks ago

I salute you, Dave Wdowaik, for the vital job you do and the profound truths you dare speak. Like me, you are a relic of another time -- the last years when this nation was yet New Deal capable and union-solidarity proud, the final decades before the bottomless greed of the capitalists prompted them to abandon us as if our homeland were just another of their exhausted mines or hopelessly poisoned farms and we its people were just another batch of worn out machines.

Trivial though it may be -- for which I apologize in advance -- I offer you this as a relic of the era in which you and your comrades were honored and appreciated.


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

I'll say it again... Mark Saulys hit the ball out of the park on this one. If we all put solar panels on our roofs this would be a problem of the past very quickly. A lesson for us all to learn.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

PD, I couldn't agree with you more. Goes back to my main point about monopoly capitalism. And as you point out, even so-called "green" technology might not be as green as it appears. Gets kinda discouraging, doesn't it!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

The same people who monopolize energy and water now will be the same people who will monopolize Solar Cells, Wind Turbines, batteries and all the other things that comprise of "off the grid" or "green" living. They are so expensive now that, for many people, requires taking out a loan or buying on credit. And what about the eventual breakdown of the equipment? You'll have to buy new batteries when they wear out, new Solar panels when they break (after the "lifetime warranty" expires). The people who manufacture and sell these things know just how much they can milk us for over time. Don't be fooled by the so-called "lifetime" warranty...if you even get that. It's unrealistic to expect these thing not to wear out or malfunction. Read the fine print...and even then it may not be there but implied that it really means until the life of the equipment...or something other than "our lifetimes". So, we can expect to keep paying big bucks for our energy whether it comes from gas and oil or whether it comes from the sun or wind. And just because it may now look like there are a number of companies that make the hardware that comprises of our "green" energy, there is a very likely probability that they will be monopolized some day. The monopolists will eventually take them over. We'll still be under their thumbs. Now, if we can somehow get control of the monopolists then we might have a chance. And then, has anyone thought about the carbon footprint it leaves in just manufacturing these alternative devices? Batteries? Solar Cells? I don't think that just moving over to "green" energy will fix the problem...we have to fix the problem of greedy, monopolistic capitalists.

But, of course, when the main grid goes down...you will still have power...unless all that smog blots out the sun. But then, those wind storms could knock down your solar panels of baseball-sized hail could completely destroy all of the solar panels on your house. I know, I'm such a pessimist!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

As Mark Russinovich said in one of his Microsoft Tech Ed lectures about the joint US-Israel Stuxnet virus that caused Iran's Scada controlled nuclear centrifuges to self distruct...he said that he got a copy of Stuxnet and played around with it to analyze it. Funny thing...it only worked as it was meant to if the computer running it was set to Iranian time-zone. Stuxnet and Flame (another piece of malware aimed at Iran) started infecting many other Scada systems in that time-zone. I wonder if the Iranians caught on and reconfigured their Scada systems for some other time zone? All the Iranians would have to do is modify that software slightly to get it to work in US timezones and if it ever got into the US networks of Scada systems... controlling Power Plants and Dams and all kinds of things we would be getting a taste of our own medicine...they could shut us down and self destruct.

You don't have to worry about getting these particular malware on your home computers, so I've heard anyway, they only target Scada systems. But if they take out the power grids and even maybe get nuclear plants to self destruct we won't have any need of a home computer anyway...no power, they won't work...nucleated, radiated bodies and WE won't work!

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Built in obsolescenc keeps you changing the lines.Dave .No doubt you've herd of the the hundred year old light bulb? a diverse combination of industrial commercial and residential Forest in mind Geo Thermal for the res. is also good.SupercunductiveSuperconductors: Cure for grid transmission woes? | Green Tech ...

Mr. Bliss a great amount of Global Karma is being triggered a new age of mass Inlightenment internet ect.Unity! shedding of the old.. The Utility of Truth in the hands of All

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

FractionallyUnnerved: Your link doesn't work...try this one:

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 14 weeks ago

Sorry to disillusion you, FractionallyUnnerved, but the Internet is no more enlightening than the Ruling Class allows it to be. In fact its primary purpose is that of an electronic Father Gapon -- encouraging us to show our true selves just so the modern-day equivalents of the guards at the Winter Palace can gun us down and the 21st Century version of the Okhrana then round up all the survivors. (Why else would the government be building dossiers on all of us?) As to the Internet itself, it's no more revolutionary than our supplies of water, food and electricity -- any one of which the Ruling Class can turn off with a flick of a switch.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

I often feel grateful not to be young anymore. I'd hate to have most of my life in front of me in the 21st Century. And I'm glad not to have had any children; when I was still of childbearing age, I determined that this country - and world - aren't good enough for my kids. I hated the thought of bringing an innocent new life into this shit hole. - AIW

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 14 weeks ago

Alice, I'm very much on the same page. My second wife and I had a son, but he was born dead though seemingly physically perfect -- as if, even in 1967, the prospect of life here in SlaveWorld was just too much. After that, I made no more procreative efforts. And, yes, I too am thankful I'm old. The future is literally too horrible to contemplate. I doubt our species -- even the One Percent with all their wealth and fortifications -- will survive. As it said on a bumper sticker that was popular around these parts (the Pacific Northwest) during the 1970s, "Goddess Is Coming and She Is Pissed." My only remaining hope is that I'm out of here before terminal climate change (which is what it should be called) becomes too routinely deadly to deny and the government starts filling the concentration camps with anyone who dares speak out against capitalism.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

There are some industries that are calle "natural monopolies" (gas, electricity, perhaps water,etc.) and it has traditionally been the position of not only socialists but Liberal Democrats like Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois - who was a mentor to Dick Durbin - that those industries, the natural monopolies should be operated by the state (or government) at cost.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Thanks just read the lark story. Dove at first then Hawkish .If the Elephant boils like a frog will the donkey's finally drink ?that's politics lol\

911 2 jets 3 buildings lest we forget

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

[quote=Mark Saulys]...those industries, the natural monopolies should be operated by the state (or government) at cost] Now you're talkin'!!! That's how it should be! And I think we should throw in the land line telecommunications including the internet and healthcare as well!

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Schism sir a schism they? we? turn their own LIGHT on themselves. Ruling Class will soon over turn the cartel.LOL

Grand Vizier know your time has Ended

Mr. Bliss delusions of grandeur Spark Revolt lol

ps. if Scotland Yard reads this..and they will .. I'm at the back of the Bus with Maud "dib Cheers

Down with the House of Rothschild ...Now hows the Old Boys been lol

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

FractionallyUnnerved: Well, I suppose the larks can just keep laying their eggs by the side of the road and I doubt the elephants will stop trampling on them no matter how loudly the lark mommies shriek in horror as their little baby birdies become collateral damage. Do larks actually build nests beside roads? ;-}

I saw a car today that had written in big bold letters something like: "We have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws". I think that may have come from MLK.

I like the idea of pecking out the eyes of the elephant who tramples on all of us little birdies. Eventually, they will steer clear and stop being so arrogant and selfish.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

"He who controls the spice controls the universe!"

And Muad'Dib stood before them, and he said: "Though we deem the captive dead, yet does she live. For her seed is my seed and her voice is my voice. And she sees unto the farthest reaches of possibility. Yea, unto the vale of the unknowable does she see because of me."
--from "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan


I never did much understand Dune! But I really dug those sand worms...thump, thump, thump! ;-}

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Wow Loren, what a crushingly poignant omen embodied in your stillborn son. Did those thoughts occur to you at the time, or shortly thereafter? Regardless, I send way-past-due but heartfelt condolences to you; not only for the loss but for the shock and trauma that experience must have entailed. Having never carried a pregnancy to term, I can only try to imagine what that must have been like for the two of you.

As for those One-Percenters, regarding any advantages they might "enjoy" when the shit hits the fan, me thinks the joke's on them. Their only "advantage" will be the "privilege" of outliving the rest of humanity… but only for a miserable, brief interlude before the jig's up for them. They'll have the "pleasure" of watching what they've got to look forward to themselves, witnessing everyone else's demise first. Being the last to perish… hardly an enviable fate!

I've seen that "goddess" bumper sticker many times, by the way. Always makes me smile.

Capitalism is the nail in humanity's coffin. Perhaps a small group of billionaires will manage to escape to another planet where they can continue plundering and trashing everything in their path. Frankly, I'd rather stay with Planet Earth, for better or worse.

What's a billionaire to do when there's no one left to scrub their toilets and cook their food? I imagine that could make one mighty cranky. (Now THAT's one drama I wouldn't mind witnessing, just for laughs!)

But seriously, I don't reckon we'll attract any fans with such a prediction, being the old cynics that we are. Oh well. We just call it as we see it, eh Loren? Even if it's "very, very ugly" (to quote Thom Hartmann). - Aliceinwonderland

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 10 years 14 weeks ago

Palin just picked up a relivant quote from your link

"To attempt an understanding of Muad'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens,[BANKSTER] is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.
--from "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan "

Understanding both sides of the path though eternity ..Pesimist /Optimist Left Right Helps us to make the informed choice

Trigger a Ripple for ALL

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

FractionallyUnnerved: That's certainly a very good analogy of the Banksters...[harkonnens]. The personification of disgust! Baron Vladimir Harkonnen!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

I'm afraid we all come back to do more time on the rock. Reincarnation is, I believe, a fact.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

It is?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

PD, I'd just like to say that while I hesitate at giving it "fact" status, I can't completely dismiss reincarnation. Just speaking for myself... Guess I fall somewhere between you and Mark on this one.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

Mark Saulys, Palindromedary, and Aliceinwonderland ~ I don't doubt Reincarnation at all. I'm in complete agreement with Mark Saulys on this one. No leap of faith here--just known scientific and mathematical fact. Let us set aside the concept of the spirit entirely on this perception. Let us say that the same genetic DNA sequence that makes our bodies what they are also dictate the composition of our brain, therefore mind, and therefore conscious. Let us also assume that the possible combinations of DNA in our cells is finite. With those two facts we must conclude mathematically that given a finite number of combinations of any sequence together with an infinite random regeneration of combinations that the identical reoccurrences of the same combination is inevitable. Henceforth, Reincarnation is a fact of nature.

You will be born again. Your conscious will exist again. As long as humanity persists so will you. It is a mathematical certainty and only the extinction of our species can stop it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

If I'm born again, I hope it's in Norway.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:If I'm born again, I hope it's in Norway.

Aliceinwonderland ~ That is my whole point. The saying, "As you sow, so you shall reap," is perfectly true. Our level of science today has proven that. It was best expressed in The Grateful Dead song, "We can run but we can't hide."

We Can Run But We Can't Hide

Quote Barlow and Mydland of The Grateful Dead:

We don't own this place, though we act as if we did,
It's a loan from the children of our children's kids.
The actual owners haven't even been born yet.

But we never tend the garden and rarely we pay the rent,
Some of it is broken and the rest of it is bent
Put it all on plastic and I wonder where we'll be when the bills hit.

We can run,
But we can't hide from it.

Of all possible worlds,
We only got one:
We gotta to ride on it.
Whatever we've done,
We'll never get far from what we leave behind,
Baby, we can run, run, run, but we can't hide.
Oh no, we can't hide.

I'm dumpin' my trash in your back yard
Makin' certain you don't notice really isn't so hard
You're so busy with your guns and all of your excuses to use them.

Well, it's oil for the rich and babies for the poor,
We got everyone believin' that more is more,
If a reckoning comes, maybe we will know what to do then.

All these complications seem to leave no choice,
I heard the tongues of billions speak with just one voice,
Saying, "Just leave all the rest to me,
I need it worse than you, you see."
And then I heard...
The sound of one child crying.

Today I went walking in the amber wind,
There's a hole in the sky where the light pours in
I remembered the days when I wasn't afraid of the sunshine.

But now it beats down on the asphalt land
Like a hammering blow from God's left hand
What little still grows cringes in the shade like a bad vine.



We will have to come back and deal with our own mess. The idea that we are simply passing the buck to generations that haven't been born yet is BS. As we sow, so we shall reap. That should be the mantra of our generation.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 14 weeks ago

I might as well share another Grateful Dead song about Reincarnation. Same album. This one, also by Brent Mydland--the Grateful Dead keyboardist--was released in video the day after he was found dead. Coincidence? Watch the video and you tell me...

Just A Little Light

Quote Barlow & Mydland:

"Just a Little Light"
Words by John Perry Barlow and Brent Mydland; music by Brent Mydland

Well, there ain't nobody safer than someone who doesn't care
And it isn't even lonely when no one's ever there
I had a lot of dreams once, but some of them came true...
The honey's sometimes bitter when fortune falls on you

So you know I've been a soldier in the armies of the night
And I'll find the fatal error in what's otherwise alright
But here you're trembling like a sparrow, I will try with all my might
To give you just a little sweetness...
Just a little sweetness...
Just a little light

I have always heard that virtue oughta be its own reward,
But it never comes so easy when you're living by the sword
It's even harder to be heartless when you look at me that way
You're as mighty as the flower that will grow the stones away

Even though I been a stranger, full of irony and spite
Holding little but contempt for all things beautiful and bright,
Something shines around you and it seems, to my delight
To give me just a little sweetness...
Just a little sweetness...
Just a little sweetness...
Just a little light.

This could be just another highway, coiled up in the night
You could be just another white-tail, baby, stranded on my brights,
There's a tingling recognition
Like the sound of distant thunder
And I begin to wonder
If the love I've driven under
Won't ignite.

So you know I've been a soldier in the armies of the night
And I'll find the fatal error in what's otherwise alright
Something shines around you that seems, to my delight
To give me just a little sweetness...
Just a little sweetness...
Just a little sweetness...
Just a little light.



Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago
Quote DAnnemarc:Reincarnation is a fact of nature.

No, it's not! But if you want to keep on believing that then that's your decision. It's funny though how people who believe in these mystical or superstitious things try so hard to convince other people that their beliefs are valid...as if by convincing others...it helps to make more valid one's own beliefs.

The Intelligent Design and Creationist crowds have felt the need to resort to latching on to scientific terms, misusing them, making untrue "ergos" (this therefore that) in the hope of suckering in the scientifically challenged.

Yes, you can find a few specious articles that tend to be hinting that "reincarnation" may have something going for it when looking at DNA. But the traits that offspring inherit are physical characteristics like hair color, facial similarities, familial (genetically inherited) diseases, etc. Even certain rudimentary defense mechanisms may be passed. But most things have to be learned. How many children or even young animals are aware of the danger of a cobra or any other dangerous situations? They have to learn about the danger either through direct experience or through parental guidance.

The more complex things like memories, psychological identities, etc are not passed on. At least there are no supporting scientific studies that prove that the more complex things get passed on in any meaningful way that would indicate anything like the "reincarnation" idea that some people believe in..ie: past lives..past memories of past individuals. And it is even more unproven that distantly related or totally unrelated people of the past have been "reincarnated". There is a lot of hocus-pocus, mystical, flim-flam about the idea of "reincarnation".

The genetic coding directs the body's manufacture of various proteins that affects cell replication and determines the function of the body. Certain genetic traits, the coding of protein creation that determines all manner of physical and even brain functions (no evidence of past life memories) are passed to one's offspring. But there is just no scientific evidence that indicates that the complex thoughts and beliefs and memories of past lives are passed on to offspring.

Many of the sensationalized stories of people who have claimed to have been "reincarnated" have not been proven to be true. And they have managed to fool a lot of people. It sure doesn't stop a lot of people from buying into those ideas. It's just another way, aside from believing in a religious myth of an afterlife in heaven or hell, of pretending they will continue to exist after death. People are just too afraid to believe in the finality of death.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 14 weeks ago

Reincarnation is a supernatural fact. I don't want to start a whole 'nother thing here but I just wanna say one denies the supernatural at the peril of their factual rectitude.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 14 weeks ago

Supernatural? fact? together? lol! That's a good one! ;-} Are ghosts, demons, magic, ...etc....facts? It is a fact that people believe in them but not that they exist... except in the minds of people who believe in them.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Well guys, there's only one way to settle this issue, and I don't think any of us is ready for that just yet. To quote that ole "Depends" commercial: "Ya got a lotta livin' to do!"

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

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From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy