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Monday, 17 February 2020

Murphy's Law

You always assume that things cannot get worse. Wrong. On some days, things can and will get worse. This phenomenon is called Murphy's Law. Since last Saturday, I can only think about the day before Saturday - Valentine's Day. The events are still occupying my mind and are "blocking" my other thoughts. My solution is writing about it.

I had told some people about the events as described in my recent blog My not so funny Valentine. One friend pitied me and offered to visit me last Friday. I accepted her offer as I liked her and still do, despite last Friday's events. She planned to take a bus to a nearby city, where I would pick her up with my car.

Latter did not work out well. My hybrid car has two batteries and the 12V battery to start the car was - once again - near empty. I had not anticipated that although the "little voice" in my head had already been worried. The previous time, I had not used my car for 7 weeks. This time less than 4 weeks. I called the alarm service and started waiting.

After waiting for almost 2 hours, I decided to call the alarm service again. Obviously, they were very surprised to hear my complaint. After making a phone call to their car breakdown & recovery company, it appeared that my ticket had not been processed. I was promised help within 30 minutes. After 45 minutes, they arrived during my 3rd call to the alarm service.

Three hours later than scheduled, I arrived at the location of my friend. She tried cheering me up, given the looks on my face. Cheering me up works the opposite way - in my case. It keeps reminding me of (my) failures. I just need time and silence for processing my acceptance of such setbacks. That car ride was a peculiar one.

That evening, we had a nice dinner in a local pub. She complained about the fact that part of my main course had been burned. I just put those small parts aside and enjoyed my meal. I had no appetite for returning my meal to the kitchen as she would have done and had asked me to do.

The next morning, I found her sitting in my living room at 8 AM. She had been up since 4:30 AM as she had been unable to sleep. She said she was cold because my living room had been at 17+ degrees Celsius. Indeed, the heating is programmed to start at 8 AM.

I proposed to bring her back home, after showering first. She accepted - to my relief. We have talked a bit since. She has accepted and moved on while I’m still processing my feelings of disappointment. I still like her as a friend, although I dislike her appetite for complaining, cursing and smoking. Fate couldn't have put two more different persons together.

Disappointment (1994) by The Cranberries


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Rechters moeten niet zo zeuren over de bijl en de wortels van de rechtsstaat (Volkskrant)

Volkskrant titel: Rechters moeten niet zo zeuren over de bijl en de wortels van de rechtsstaat

Auteur: Max Pam (Wikipedia)

Datum: 4 februari 2020


"Regelmatig lees je dat door iets of iemand de bijl is gezet aan de wortels van de rechtsstaat. Niet alleen Geert Wilders en Thierry Baudet worden ervan beschuldigd, maar ook stakende boeren die hun tractoren lieten stoppen op de snelweg. Zelfs tegen het ministerie van Financiën loopt momenteel een rechtszaak over ‘tipgeversprocedures’, waarin het verwijt klinkt van de bijl en de wortels. En dan heb ik het nog niet over de Nederlandse regering die in het Urgenda-proces te horen heeft gekregen dat ook zij, nota bene als hoedster van die rechtsstaat, de bijl aan haar eigen wortels zet wanneer zij de klimaatdoelen niet haalt die zij zichzelf heeft opgedragen te halen.

De kritiek op al die bijldragers komt vooral van de kant van juristen, rechtsgeleerden en rechters. Eerlijk gezegd heb ik het gevoel dat deze groep nogal overdrijft en zich soms regelrecht te buiten gaat aan aanstellerij. Ik heb de laatste tijd nogal wat interviews met rechters gelezen (en op televisie gezien), die onmiddellijk in de slachtofferstand sprongen en handenwringend vertelden hoe moeilijk zij het vaak hebben met hun beslissingen. Op mij maakte dat de indruk van een totaal gebrek aan zelfvertrouwen. Als je serieus denkt dat Wilders en Baudet de rechtsstaat onderuit kunnen halen, dan ben je een watje, rijp voor de psychiater.

In Nederland wordt kritiek op rechters vaak als ‘not done’ voorgesteld en mij lijkt dat om verschillende redenen volkomen onterecht. Ten eerste zijn rechters een belangrijk onderdeel van democratie. De kern van de democratie is juist dat je op alles en iedereen kritiek kunt uitoefenen, ook al is die ongefundeerd en onjuist. Niet iedereen is jurist, maar iedereen krijgt vroeg of laat wel eens met het recht te maken en mag daarover zijn zegje doen. Als rechters van buiten kritiek krijgen, moeten ze maar tegen een stootje kunnen. Zij nemen voor mensen verstrekkende beslissingen en het past hun niet daarover te gaan huilen in het openbaar.

Een tweede reden ligt in het feit dat de bevolking – in elk geval bijna iedere Nederlander – een notie heeft van recht en rechtvaardigheid, maar dat haar stem in de rechtspraak nauwelijks wordt gehoord. Probeer eens in het gezelschap van Nederlandse juristen te beginnen over juryrechtspraak en men begint te gruwen over zoveel platvloersheid. Amerikaanse toestanden! Nee, de Nederlandse rechtspraak houdt de burger liever zoveel mogelijk op afstand. In de rechtszaal mag de burger als slachtoffer of nabestaande komen klagen, maar vooral niet te lang, want wij komen toch al tijd tekort.

In dit opzicht zou de rechtspraak een voorbeeld kunnen nemen aan de VAR, een van de meest briljante uitvindingen van de laatste jaren. Miljoenen mensen kunnen meekijken hoe voetbalscheidsrechters met elkaar minutieus een beslissing nemen. Miljoenen mensen discussiëren op die manier ook mee over bewijs en bewijslast, over overtreding en straf. Dat is ongekend in de geschiedenis van het recht. En nu het allergekste: meer dan voorheen worden arbitrale uitspraken door het legioen geaccepteerd en gerespecteerd.

Misschien vergis ik me, maar de status van de voetbalscheidsrechter is na invoering van de VAR niet gedaald, zoals werd gevreesd, maar juist gestegen. Het toegeven van een fout doet daar niets aan af, integendeel. Nederlandse rechters zouden daarom moeten worden verplicht een VAR-cursus te volgen.

Er is nog een derde reden waarom rechters niet zo moeten zeuren over de bijl en de wortels van de rechtsstaat. Rechters zijn – uiteraard – ook maar mensen en daarom maken ook zij fouten. Maar niets in Nederland duurt zo lang als het herstellen van een rechterlijke dwaling, de teruggave van de kinderopvangtoeslag misschien uitgezonderd.

Neem de zaak van de Arnhemse villamoord, die onlangs weer uitgebreid in het nieuws kwam. Hoe is het mogelijk dat rechters negen onschuldige mensen hebben veroordeeld tot lange gevangenisstraffen? Van de kant van de rechtspraak hoor je dat de rechters opzettelijk verkeerd zijn voorgelicht door de politierechercheurs, en ongetwijfeld is dat ook zo, maar als je meer over de zaak leest, kun je je niet aan de indruk onttrekken dat de rechters lui waren en dat het ze geheel ontbrak aan het intuïtieve gevoel dat er misschien iets helemaal mis zat.

Terwijl blunderende rechters soms gewoon doorstromen naar de Hoge Raad, staan in Nederland verschillende rechterlijke dwalingen nog in de wacht. Het is alweer elf jaar geleden dat het boek De slapende rechter is verschenen van W.A. Wagenaar, H. Israëls en P.J. van Koppen, drie hooggeleerde rechtsfilosofen. De eerste is inmiddels overleden, de laatste twee zijn ook weer betrokken bij het onderzoek naar de dwalingen inzake de Arnhemse villamoord. Kennelijk is er sinds het verschijnen van hun boek in 2009 niet zo heel veel veranderd."

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Bronnen: 

Brexit is a crisis, not an opportunity. But we’ll see that too late (Guardian)

The Guardian title: Brexit is a crisis, not an opportunity. But we’ll see that too late

Guardian subtitle: The language of Leave is already shifting from optimism to realism, but awareness of what awaits us is dawning too slowly

Author: William Keegan, the Observer's senior economics commentator

Date: 9 February 2020


"The prime minister tells us he wants to bring the country together. This is rich from the politician who made a major contribution to tearing it apart.

In theory, Johnson is monarch of all he surveys: the British political system resembles, in Lord Hailsham’s famous phrase, an elective dictatorship. And Johnson already manifests dictatorial tendencies.

We Remainers have lost. Great Britain has officially left the European Union (it is not at all clear that Northern Ireland has). But, in fact, Brexit has only just begun.

In his acceptance speech when recently being awarded the Olof Palme prize in Stockholm, my good friend John le Carré noted that the shabbiest trick in the Brexiters’ box was to make an enemy of Europe.

He added: “Don’t blame the Tories for their great victory. It was Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, with its unpolicy on Brexit, its antisemitism and student-level Marxism-Leninism, that alienated traditional Labour voters and left them nowhere to go.”

There is much discussion in innumerable postmortems about what went wrong: Labour’s loss of touch with its heartlands and so on. But Le Carré has captured it in that one sentence. Labour lost because it had disastrous leadership; and, alas, from what the people in control of the party machine still seem to believe, there is a danger that, like the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Both our main political parties have let the country down: Labour because of its disastrous mismanagement of a once great movement; the Tories because the 2010 policy of austerity was unnecessary, misconceived and terribly damaging.

Labour should have been there to repair the damage. But, like Captain Oates, they have gone outside and may be some time.

We are therefore landed with a Conservative party led by an opportunist I distrust so much that I should not want to go anywhere near the jungle with him. At his birth, Johnson was blessed by a mischievous fairy with such a Teflon carapace that, although a longtime resident of the metropolitan Islington so despised by voters in the Midlands and the north, he – and for that matter his fellow Islingtonian Dominic Cummings – escape the cheap criticism levelled at Corbyn and co. They were on the ropes before the opposition parties agreed to that one-issue election; but the opposition was fatally divided, so the Conservative and Brexit party, representing a minority of the nation, won with the help of our first-past-the-post system.

It is likely to be a slow-burning crisis, and the real culprits will continue to blame the EU

However: we are where we are, and people keep telling me I should try to be constructive – make the best of it even though, in common with most economists, I think Brexit is the biggest economic crisis of my professional career. Frankly, it is difficult to be optimistic.

To put it bluntly: what government in its right mind would say goodbye to more than 70 advantageous trade agreements and start all over again? Answer, this government. Again: what government would wish to disrupt the smooth non-tariff barriers afforded by the single market, painstakingly negotiated by Margaret Thatcher, in order to risk queues at the ports and needless disruption to our way of life? Answer: the very same.

So what hope is there? As Anand Menon, director of the thinktank The UK in a Changing Europe, recently pointed out, the tone of this Brexiter government has changed from proclaiming that Brexit is “full of opportunities” to acknowledging that it is “a problem to be managed”.

The problems are so overwhelming that most trade experts conclude Brexit cannot be negotiated within the agreed timeframe of one year; the odds are that we shall crash out of the customs union and single market without anything resembling a sensible deal.

Michael Gove, who has a central role in handling negotiations with our former partners, tells us that if anything goes wrong people can no longer blame the EU. From now on we are on our sovereign own!

Oh yes? I wonder. It is likely to be a slow-burning crisis, and the real culprits will continue to blame the EU. We shall remain in the customs union and single market for the rest of this year. Uncertainty will persist on many fronts, and almost certainly continue to delay private investment. But the EU will, rightly, not relent in its insistence on regulatory alignment, while Johnson and co refuse to abandon their obsession with seizing control. An irresistible force meets an immovable object.

I suspect that people will gradually wake up to the absurdity of Brexit as it begins to affect them in different ways. But by then it will be too late."

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/09/brexit-crisis-not-opportunity-see-that-too-late

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Ancient Antarctic ice melt increased sea levels by 3+ meters—and it could happen again (Phys)

Phys title: Ancient Antarctic ice melt increased sea levels by 3+ meters—and it could happen again

Author: University of New South Wales

Date: 12 February 2020


"Rising ocean temperatures drove the melting of Antarctic ice sheets and caused extreme sea level rise more than 100,000 years ago, a new international study led by UNSW Sydney shows.

Mass melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was a major cause of high sea levels during a period known as the Last Interglacial (129,000-116,000 years ago), an international team of scientists led by UNSW's Chris Turney has found. The research was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The extreme ice loss caused a multi-metre rise in global mean sea levels—and it took less than 2°C of ocean warming for it to occur.

"Not only did we lose a lot of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but this happened very early during the Last Interglacial," says Chris Turney, Professor in Earth and Climate Science at UNSW Sydney and lead author of the study.

Fine layers of ancient volcanic ash in the ice helped the team pinpoint when the mass melting took place. Alarmingly, the results indicated that most ice loss occurred within the first millennia, showing how sensitive the Antarctic is to higher temperatures.

"The melting was likely caused by less than 2°C ocean warming—and that's something that has major implications for the future, given the ocean temperature increase and West Antarctic melting that's happening today," Professor Turney says.

During the Last Interglacial, polar ocean temperatures were likely less than 2°C warmer than today, making it a useful period to study how future global warming might affect ice dynamics and sea levels.

"This study shows that we would lose most of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in a warmer world," says Professor Turney.

In contrast to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet—which mostly sits on high ground—the West Antarctic sheet rests on the seabed. It's fringed by large areas of floating ice, called ice shelves, that protect the central part of the sheet.

As warmer ocean water travels into cavities beneath the ice shelves, ice melts from below, thinning the shelves and making the central ice sheet highly vulnerable to warming ocean temperatures.

Going back in time

To undertake their research, Professor Turney and his team travelled to the Patriot Hills Blue Ice Area, a site located at the periphery of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with support from Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (or ALE).

Blue ice areas are the perfect laboratory for scientists due to their unique topography—they are created by fierce, high-density katabatic winds. When these winds blow over mountains, they remove the top layer of snow and erode the exposed ice. As the ice is removed, ancient ice flows up to the surface, offering an insight into the ice sheet's history.

While most Antarctic researchers drill down into the ice core to extract their samples, this team used a different method—horizontal ice core analysis.

"Instead of drilling kilometres into the ice, we can simply walk across a blue ice area and travel back through millennia. By taking samples of ice from the surface we are able to reconstruct what happened to this precious environment in the past," Professor Turney says.

Through isotope measurements, the team discovered a gap in the ice sheet record immediately prior to the Last Interglacial. This period of missing ice coincides with the extreme sea level increase, suggesting rapid ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The volcanic ash, trace gas samples and ancient DNA from bacteria trapped in the ice all support this finding.

Learning from the Last Interglacial

Ice age cycles occur approximately every 100,000 years due to subtle changes in Earth's orbit around the Sun. These ice ages are separated by warm interglacial periods. The Last Interglacial is the most recent warm period to our current interglacial period, the Holocene.

While human contribution to global warming makes the Holocene unique, the Last Interglacial remains a useful research point to understand how the planet responds to extreme change.

"The future is heading far beyond the range of anything we've seen observed in the scientific instrumental record of the last 150 years," says Professor Turney. "We have to look further into the past if we're going to manage future changes."

During the Last Interglacial, global mean sea levels were between 6m and 9m higher than present day, although some scientists suspect this could have reached 11m.

The sea level rise in the Last Interglacial can't be fully explained by the Greenland Ice Sheet melt, which accounted for a 2m increase, or ocean expansion from warmer temperatures and melting mountain glaciers, which are thought to have caused less than a 1m increase.

"We now have some of the first major evidence that West Antarctica melted and drove a large part of this sea level rise," says Professor Turney.

An urgent need to minimise future warming

The severity of the ice loss suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is highly sensitive to future ocean warming.

"The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is sitting in water, and today this water is getting warmer and warmer," says Professor Turney, who is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH).

Using data gained from their fieldwork, the team ran model simulations to investigate how warming might affect the floating ice shelves. These shelves currently buttress the ice sheets and help slow the flow of ice off the continent.

The results suggest a 3.8m sea level rise during the first thousand years of a 2°C warmer ocean. Most of the modelled sea level rise occurred after the loss of the ice shelves, which collapsed within the first two hundred years of higher temperatures.

The researchers are concerned that persistent high sea surface temperatures would prompt the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to melt, driving global sea levels even higher.

"The positive feedbacks between a warming ocean, ice shelf collapse, and ice sheet melt suggests that the West Antarctic may be vulnerable to passing a tipping point," stressed Dr. Zoë Thomas, co-author and ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow at UNSW.

"As it reaches the tipping point, only a small increase in temperature could trigger abrupt ice sheet melt and a multi-metre rise in global sea level."

At present, the consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 report suggests that global sea level will rise between 40cm and 80cm over the next century, with Antarctica only contributing around 5cm of this.

The researchers are concerned that Antarctica's contribution could be much greater than this.

"Recent projections suggest that the Antarctic contribution may be up to ten times higher than the IPCC forecast, which is deeply worrying," says Professor Christopher Fogwill, co-author and Director of The Institute for Sustainable Futures at the UK University of Keele.

"Our study highlights that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may lie close to a tipping point, which once passed may commit us to rapid sea level rise for millennia to come. This underlines the urgent need to reduce and control greenhouse gas emissions that are driving warming today."

Notably, the researchers warn that this tipping point may be closer than we think.

"The Paris Climate Agreement commits to restricting global warming to 2°C, ideally 1.5°C, this century," says Professor Turney.

"Our findings show that we don't want to get close to 2°C warming."

Professor Turney and his team hope to expand the research to confirm just how quickly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet responded to warming and which areas were first affected.

"We only tested one location, so we don't know whether it was the first sector of Antarctica that melted, or whether it melted relatively late. How these changes in Antarctica impacted the rest of the world remains a huge unknown as the planet warms into the future" he says.

"Testing other locations will give us a better idea for the areas we really need to monitor as the planet continues to warm." "

More information: Chris S. M. Turney et al, Early Last Interglacial ocean warming drove substantial ice mass loss from Antarctica, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1902469117

Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Provided by University of New South Wales

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Sources: 

Friday, 14 February 2020

My not so funny Valentine

Wednesday morning, I received a good morning message from a new friend, asking me whether I had slept well. I had not as she had been on my mind. Her message also cancelled our pre-Valentine lunch on Thursday. She concluded that we are not a match after all. Tuesday evening, I had come to that same conclusion but she had convinced me of giving her a second chance.

Some 30+ years ago, I met a new friend during dinner in an expensive restaurant. It was my longest dinner ever because she and I had nothing in common. Moreover, she wasn't very talkative and our silences became more frequent and longer. I promised myself never to do that again. Nevertheless, I had accepted her invitation for lunch on Thursday.

Last week, a close friend had to remind me that it was Valentine this week. She urged me to pay for lunch and also bring a small present for my lunch date. Fine with me. My only thought was that a pre-Valentine lunch was too much pressure for a first date. I put that thought to rest as she had contacted me first, by an out of the blue email.

Following her email of last Sunday afternoon, we had our first call on Sunday evening in which she invited me for lunch on Thursday. I liked her voice and was looking forward to our lunch date. Our communication slowed down the next few days. Each time, I was the one to make the first move. Tuesday evening she finally called. That call did not go well.

Later that evening, I sent her a text message asking her whether she was sure about inviting me for lunch on Thursday. I explained to her that I had felt no connection whatsoever in our second call. In a follow-up telephone call that evening, she explained things to me and she reiterated that she was still (very) interested in meeting me. I accepted her explanations.

Wednesday morning, I received her following text message: "Good morning Leon. Did you sleep well? Last night, I have thought about it again and want to cancel after all. I feel that we are not a match. []". I just replied by stating: "Wow". She sent me a question mark back. Subsequently, I have unfriended her and deleted her contact details.

Perhaps, my recent What's next blog should have stated: Who's next. Still, what felt more appropriate (in my situation) than who, although I cannot explain why. It was a gut feeling. Another friend told me that my blogs are more about situations than people. Her explanation felt valid.

"People who have been single for too long are the hardest to love. They have become so used to being single, independent, self-sufficient that it takes something extraordinary to convince them that they need you in their life." A quote by Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, better known as Miss Universe 2015.

My Funny Valentine (1937) by Frank Sinatra


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Coupling-decoupling: China (7)

There have been various articles claiming a decoupling between China and USA. Some articles dispute that decoupling. Late 2019, the former head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce claimed that such a decoupling is "unthinkable" (SCMP). Remarkably, the Chinese Belt and Silk Road initiative is rarely seen as an example of coupling.

From a timing perspective, western decoupling may well be the result of this Chinese coupling. Also see my blogs on cause and effect. The former Chinese One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative was already announced in 2013 (Wiki). The 2019 decoupling phrase has been used since the US-China trade war, which started in 2018.

It has been suggested that western factory relocations from China to other parts of Asia, are due to decoupling. In my view, this process was already ongoing due to ever-increasing Chinese labour cost. If anything, the pace of factory relocations has been accelerated due to the 2018-2019 US-China trade war and the subsequent 2020 Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

The American trade war against China can - most likely - not be separated from the following (alleged) Chinese hacks on American data: 2014: breaches of the Marriott hotel chain and Anthem health insurance, the 2015 hack of the Office of Personnel Management, and the 2017 Equifax hack. Economic decoupling might be Trump's payback, next to US fear over Chinese coupling.

Ironically, Trump's 2020 re-election might well be favoured (and hacked?) by the Russians, and might well be opposed (and hacked?) by the Chinese. The chaos of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses may dwarf the 2020 US presidential election.

China used to be a "closed" country, similar to Japan. There are also other parallels between China and Japan. Isolationism appears to be an Asian habit (pdf). Hence, China is likely to pursue isolationism again, once its domestic nationalistic interests have been served.

The current Chinese leader has opted for an unlikely hybrid of foreign globalism and domestic nationalism, which is the source of US irritation. In American eyes, Chinese foreign globalism only serves its domestic nationalistic interests. There is no level playing field.

Japan's earlier hybrid version of foreign globalism and domestic nationalism did not end well. The period 1991-2000, as well as 2001-2010, are known as its Lost Decades.

The longer the 2020 Chinese coronavirus outbreak will last, the more likely the current Chinese leader will be replaced and that isolationism will return (eg, GPF-2019: The pressure on China, GPF-2020: The Geopolitics of the Novel Coronavirus). After having finished my draft blog, I received a similar conclusion by George FriedmanChina, Ultra-Competence and Coronavirus.

Working with Fire and Steel (1983) by China Crisis


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The decline in Common Knowledge (7) - Astrology (3)

A recent article in science magazine Nautilus has a promising (sub) title: Why Astrology Matters. Seeing meaning in the stars is a vital part of the scientific story. The author was unable to answer my simple question: Why are we interested in astrology? After sending my 2018 blog to a friend, I realised that astrology is another example of the decline in our Common Knowledge (my blogs).

For thousands of years, humans "have been making astrological connections—mapping the heavens and trying to discern their influence on the Earth—for much longer than we have been doing science." (Nautilus) Hence, those efforts must have been very important.

Several ancient archaeological sites around the world are geometrically linked to stars in our Universe. BBC-2000: "Ancient Egyptian astronomers aligned the pyramids due north by using two stars that circle the celestial polar point." Harvard: "Stonehenge continues to be the quintessential symbol of ancient astronomy."

Perhaps even more fascinating is Göbekli Tepe, "an archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey [] dating back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE. [] Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistical analysis indicate that it is the oldest known temple yet discovered anywhere." (Wiki). Also see Andrew Collins on this site.

In the words of Ian Hodder of Stanford University: "Göbekli Tepe changes everything". "If indeed the site was built by hunter-gatherers as some researchers believe then it would mean that the ability to erect monumental complexes was within the capacities of these sorts of groups, which would overturn previous assumptions." (Wiki)

Göbekli Tepe gives rise to wild interpretations: "Was Göbekli Tepe built as a sacred interstellar portal connecting the people of Earth with extraterrestrial civilizations? [] As the world’s oldest monument, built in the cradle of civilization, this discovery may be our strongest evidence connecting the establishment of human civilization under the rule of the Annunaki." (Gaia-2017)

Clearly, astrology and astronomy have been extremely important in our ancient human past. Still, we do not know why. The Great Flood of 11,000 BC - 4,000 BC - following the Last Ice Age - is probably the main reason for this decline in our Common Knowledge.

Nevertheless, the American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) predicted that we would once discover the Three Halls of Records, which were hid in Bimini, in Egypt and in the Yucatan (Edgar Cayce).

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.” The opening line from J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Lord of the Rings.

Seasons (1969) by Earth & Fire

There were times before 
The skies were blue 
Before the sun could burn the dew 
Times without years and seasons


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.