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Daily review 21/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, December 21st, 2021 - 47 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

47 comments on “Daily review 21/12/2021 ”

  1. weka 1

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      It was finally getting around to reading Supernature 20 years after it got trendy that alerted me to how magic works in nature. Lyall Watson followed that up with Beyond Supernature & various other books. Some scientists are capable of thinking outside the square but as far as I'm aware, reductionism still captivates academia.

      Holism has only captured part of it, via subversion. The trick is to call it systems theory or the science of complexity. Anything to avoid telling the truth works as well in the academic world as in politics!

      Coincidentally, one of the books I brought home from the library this afternoon is this: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7455612/listening-to-the-endless-cacophony-of-nature/

      Due to my focus in recent years: "What is communication? How does data differ from information?" Plus the relation between form in nature, and informing…

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        From p10: "one of the largest known living organisms is the underground-growing mushroom Armillaria ostoyae. One specimen covers an area of around 2,385 hectares in an American nature reserve in Oregon… Experts estimate that this fungus is an impressive 2,400 years old."

        • Gezza

          It’s been known for some time now that trees actually communicate with each other, pass on information, & some even help each other – particularly saplings – to survive.


          • Dennis Frank

            Cool, thanks.

            In one study, Simard watched as a Douglas fir that had been injured by insects appeared to send chemical warning signals to a ponderosa pine growing nearby. The pine tree then produced defense enzymes to protect against the insect. "This was a breakthrough," Simard says. The trees were sharing "information that actually is important to the health of the whole forest."

            Yeah, so that's an excellent example of interspecies signalling of a threat. An ecologist would probably cite it as emergence of a commons economy. Sort of like folks in a neighbourhood will disregard their differences to collaborate in response to a natural disaster.

        • weka

          Seems like fungi are colonising the internets. (Star Trek Disco rocks for bringing Paul Stamets name further into human civ). Been seeing a noticeable upswing in sharing about how soil based life forms communicate.

          • Robert Guyton

            Curiously enough, our filming was interrupted, in a nice way, by a friend arriving with Winecap mycelium, for me to trial in my forest 🙂

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, you may also recall a conversation we had onsite here around a year ago with We The Bleeple on root fungi ecosystems.

            From Gezza's link:

            It can take decades for a tree to die. In the process of dying, there's a lot of things that go on. And one of the things that I studied was where does their energy — where does the carbon that is stored in their tissues — where does it go? And so we label some trees with carbon dioxide — with C13, which is a stable isotope — and we watched as we actually cause these trees to die. We stress them out by pulling their needles off and attacking them with budworms and so on. And then we watched what happened to their carbon.

            And we found that about 40% of the carbon was transmitted through networks into their neighboring trees. The rest of the carbon would have just dispersed through natural decomposition processes … but some of it is directed right into the neighbors. And in this way, these old trees are actually having a very direct effect on the regenerative capacity of the new forest going forward.

            This is a completely different way of understanding how old trees contribute to the next generations — that they have agency in the next generations.

            Putting aside how scientists tend to learn by killing other life-forms (I still find that distasteful), what we have in this quote is proof of provision of intergenerational equity – inasmuch as the process of dying initiates a process of sharing natural resources with the young. Humans aren't as good at it.

    • Robert Guyton 1.2

      Just finished a day-long interview/forest-garden film-session with Happen Films on this very topic, weka. I'll send the link when they go to "air". It was an "in-depth" exploration of these issues you've raised here, plus more 🙂

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    The work and words of Monica Gagliano are very, very useful for understanding this field of endeavour.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Those who wish to see how a shamanic approach can help advance the scientific understanding of plants need to read this wonderful book. Monica Gagliano opens up new frontiers and her methods deserve broad attention.” – Jeremy Narby, PhD, author of The Cosmic Serpent

      I have two books entitled The Cosmic Serpent, and one of them is his. Shamanic investigations of nature are an alt arena that I've not specialised in but do have books by others that have & his was worth reading. My niche in kiwi culture has long been alt Aotearoa but not many even in that niche are adventurous or diligent enough to do practical shamanic research. I dabbled somewhat but never met anyone here who were as enterprising as Narby or John Perkins, McKenna…

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        I think that "window" has shifted, Dennis, and the interest/expertise in that field has grown remarkably. The title "shaman" is not attractive to everyone, and instead we now see a plethora of authors/scientists/etc. offering materials on the topic, but not claiming esoteric status. Merlin Sheldrake is a good example of someone wishing to be widely accepted, whilst working in a previously peripheral area of investigation.

        • Dennis Frank

          Young Merlin is less adventurous mentally than his dad. Well, that's the impression I formed but I haven't really investigated him enough perhaps.

          It was the generation born in the early 1940s who were the psychedelic pioneers & I'm on the trailing edge of that. Confidence in using one's mind to explore nature via altered states of consciousness is probably inversely proportional to mental health. Well, has often seemed that way to me, at least. The point being that only those sure of their situation & having a naturally resilient psyche ought to do it!

          • Robert Guyton

            Young Merlin's playing it safe, for the moment, in my view. I suspect he's plenty smart and saw his dad get pummelled by the fraternity in his early years. In any case, the atmosphere for passionate wonderings has passed along with the hippy movement that gave wind to its wings; it’s all a lot more serious now, but more likely to bring profound change, for all that. We're still morphically-resonating, habitually realising and looking toward the teleological attractor at the end of time 🙂

            • Dennis Frank

              Hmm. Well, your reference to imagination got me pondering, aware that other mental faculties come into play with psychedelic adventuring.

              Cultural framing is a determinant. Hippie was a cultural framing. Science, both practice & theory, is culturally framed. Discovery need not be.

              So it's all down to how we interpret discoveries. I still use scientific framing in suitable contexts, whilst being aware that my own preference is for metaphysical framing (more basic, more integrative, more transcendent).

              The natural human tendency is to interpret discoveries in terms we already know (self-reinforcing, in-crowd elitism, etc) with the typical consequence that we end up missing the point. The point is meant to pull us out of ourselves. That's according to the original meaning of educate.

              What if the human psyche has atrophied as a result of civilisation? In respect of attunement to nature, I mean. What if we a inherently capable of reconnecting to nature at that deeper original level, provided we transcend social conditioning? That was the whole point of why the hippie thing shifted out of city & suburbs in 1968 & became `back to the land'. Well, the experiential challenge of Green authenticity persists, and each younger generation sorts into those who engage the challenge & succeed, those who fail, and the bulk who never try…

              • Blazer

                As the Maharishi said….'that's ..real ..groovy..man'!wink

              • Robert Guyton

                "What if we a inherently capable of reconnecting to nature at that deeper original level, provided we transcend social conditioning?"

                Quite so, Dennis. Of course, we are and we must. It's a fairly straight-forward process, as described best by Goethe; sit quietly amongst plants, observe closely and at length, draw what you see; the results will speak for themselves. The next stage, achievable after much practice, is to imagine the plant to such intensity that it "is" the plant you practiced on. This not easy 🙂

              • Robert Guyton

                "…provided we transcend social conditioning…" and our own personal conditioning…
                Darwin wrote,

                "I strolled a little beyond the glade for an hour and a half… the fresh yet dark green of the grand old Scotch firs, the brown of the catkins of the old birches, with their white stems, and a fringe of distant green from the larches, made an excessively pretty view… a chorus of birds singing around me, and squirrels running up the trees, and some woodpeckers laughing… it was as pleasant and rural a scene as ever I saw and did not care one penny how the beasts or birds had been formed."

              • Robert Guyton

                Walt Witman suffered a debilitating stroke, but strove on to learn…

                "Above all, however, Whitman found vitality in the natural world — in what he so poetically called “the bracing and buoyant equilibrium of concrete outdoor Nature, the only permanent reliance for sanity of book or human life.” Looking back on what most helped him return to life after the stroke, Whitman echoes Seneca’s wisdom on calibrating our expectations for contentment and writes:

                The trick is, I find, to tone your wants and tastes low down enough, and make much of negatives, and of mere daylight and the skies.


                After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons — the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night."

                • Blazer

                  For Robert and Dennis..wink

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Go and sit in a grove or woods, with one or more of those voiceless companions, and read the foregoing, and think.

                  One lesson from affiliating a tree — perhaps the greatest moral lesson anyhow from earth, rocks, animals, is that same lesson of inherency, of what is, without the least regard to what the looker on (the critic) supposes or says, or whether he likes or dislikes. What worse — what more general malady pervades each and all of us, our literature, education, attitude toward each other, (even toward ourselves,) than a morbid trouble about seems, (generally temporarily seems too,) and no trouble at all, or hardly any, about the sane, slow-growing, perennial, real parts of character, books, friendship, marriage — humanity’s invisible foundations and hold-together? (As the all-basis, the nerve, the great-sympathetic, the plenum within humanity, giving stamp to everything, is necessarily invisible.)"

    • Blazer 2.2

      fungimentally mushrooms have been kept in the dark …far too long.indecision

      Mushrooms are the temporary reproductive structures of massive, seldom seen, subterranean creatures more closely related to you than to plants. Fungi. Some are miles wide. Some live thousands of years. Some help trees speak to one another. There’s magic beneath the forests.'

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        And yet we kill them willy-nilly – almost every 'cide known to and made by man, destroys those treasures (and that doesn't even begin to cover concreted cityscapes, asphalted road networks and broad scale industrial pastural farmland that starves and isolates fungi communities into non-existence).

        That said (breathlessly), we can put it all back.

        And we must.

  3. Blazer 3

    while the world is spinning,spinning,spinning…Boris and co…will carry on…wining,winning…

    Lockdown party inquiry could expand to cover No 10 garden event | Coronavirus | The Guardian

  4. Anne 4

    A former national party cabinet minister taking on an important public post:


    This time I applaud the decision.

    He's his own man – very smart and a man of integrity. They've made a good choice.

    With a bit of luck we won't have to watch anymore tacky game shows like the one I watched the other night – the Xmas episode of Give Us A Clue. Having never watched it before I took a punt it might be okay. Charades after all can be fun.

    OMG the Xmas bling. The players were lost amongst a gigantic display of baubles, bangles, beads, Santa Claus', reindeers, holly, ivy, silly hats, fairies, elves, and masses of glitter everywhere. In the middle were a bunch of celebrities trying to outdo one another on what was left of the set.

    S'pose its some peoples idea of entertainment but sadly not mine. Entertainment with class I say.frown

    • Blazer 4.1

      Do me a favour Anne!

      How more elitist could you get ..and Westpac exec on his C.V!devil

      • Anne 4.1.1

        The description of the show is largely tongue in cheek Blazer. But I don't resile from my critique. Apart from a few humorous moments (the best one lost among the melee) it was pretty awful.

        And I don't hold his former banking position against him.

        • Blazer

          Forget the…show…

          'He's his own man – very smart and a man of integrity. They've made a good choice.'

          Where's a..bucket.

          You have obviously met him somewhere along the line…and he was a 'lovely person'!

          • Anne

            You have obviously met him somewhere along the line…

            Nope. I watched him perform in the House at Question Time and thought his answers were always rational. Didn't necessarily agree with him though and he had his moments debating with the then Labour opposition. But I never saw him resort to rudeness or malice as some in National have been wont to do.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.2

        He does wear a suit, however, so folks will be reassured TVNZ remains Dorksville Central. Cultural continuity is critical. The world keeps changing, so the only way mainstreamers can cling onto a semblance of sanity is for such islands of sameness to provide a refuge for them.

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