OK, this is a major shakeup of all my web space. I’ve been breaking up erictb.info, realizing that the clusters of articles on the main pages there is basically too cluttered, so I had begin by making separate pages for major essays, and now, I decided to drop a bunch of them here, and list everything to date, by category.
Entertainment and media
- Division between man’s soul and spirit
- Definitions of “Fortune/Luck” and “Money”, and the New Century
- Alternate Hex Codes
- Forgotten 4D object: The duo-cone
- Illustrating Little Girl Lost and the Langoliers
- NON-COMMUTATIVE SPACE
- Why is the “powers of ten” line asymmetrical? and the grownup name of “googol”
- How many sides does a circle have?
- “Great Zero” and the alternative negative number system
- Monochrome yellow vs. filtered or red+green mixing on
- Metric Time
Travel and Transit
RELIGION AND POLITICS
“Gaslighting” is a term I’ve recently started seeing, and it is another one of those single word terms that would have been good to describe things I’ve seen over the years.
The definition is: “a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted/spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception and sanity.”
Trying to think of instances where I’ve seen this, what came to mind first was (unfortunately, or shamefully, even) the realm of Christian debate.
Gaslighting in Christian debate includes such common tactics as:
“your heart is wicked” (so never mind what you feel)
“God’s ways are higher than yours” (so never mind what you think)
“Men suppress the truth” (so never mind what you see, hear, etc).
Manipulating conscience (so never mind what you intuitively sense)
All four of the cognitive functions have been invalidated (and then, some out there will even criticize such “psychological concepts” as this, further shutting down any analysis of their behavior).
What we’re left with is to follow whatever they say.
What’s worse, is that all of these arguments have legitimate scripture references. But what the person is omitting, is that he is a human as well, who also has a wicked heart, cannot comprehend God’s ways, suppresses truth he doesn’t like, and can be judged by the notion of conscience.
The way around this generally is the whole “regeneration” concept; that they were like that, as born, but at some point were “enlightened” by God (and it can be either by their own free will choice, or by an “effectual calling”, depending on whether the person is an Arminian or Calvinist).
This also crosses over into the realm of politics, where many of the same people, as well as their secular counterparts, speak of what they call “exceptionalism”, which is just a new, ‘nicer’ word for “superior”.
They then become defensive about subjects like racism, or even comparing the atrocities of Islam with the ones in Christian history, and seek to use the “facts” of their “exceptionalism”, in addition to others’ “problems” or “evils” in comparison, as the gaslighting weapon.
So a lot hinges on this all too common “changed life” concept”.
What scripture really teaches, is that ALL have sinned. “none do good; no, NOT ONE!” It’s not “none except the chosen nation” (for it was precisely that “chosen nation” Paul and the Psalmist he was citing were addressing). It’s not “none except for the regenerate”, or “it was none; but now through faith Christ and the regeneration of Spirit, a new nation (or “culture”) will arise that will do good”.
They can try to cite 1 Cor.6:11 on this last one, but Christ and the Spirit “regenerate” or “wash” us through declaring us righteous apart from our works (both evil and the imperfect “good”).
From a collection of comments last week; this basically deserved its own article.
What they quote him as saying:
“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama told those in attendance. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
The first article says “He also blamed Jim Crow segregation and American slavery on people acting in the name of Jesus Christ” as if that really wasn’t so, while “He also said the Islamic State was actually betraying Islam by committing atrocities.” (the actual quote this is attributed to says: “We see ISIL, a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism”. Unless he actually said more thatn that, that’s not saying it betrayed Islam.
“For starters, the Crusades, slavery and Jim Crow aren’t currently a problem for the civilized world. So his attempt to draw a moral equivalency — aside from being intellectually dishonest — is likely to do more harm by emboldening Islamic terrorists.”
The point is, what the second article further quotes him:
“So it’s not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us — a sinful tendency — that can pervert and distort our faith.”
It’s that people are using ISIS (And Al Qaeda and others) to paint the entire religion of Islam, everywhere and for all time. If that can be done to them, it can also be done to Christianity, and if we acknowledge it’s inaccurate for us, then it’s inaccurate for others as well. (Again, we see the “we’re all good, they’re ALL bad” mindset used on every other political movement they are opposed to).
But conservatives, including the Christian ones who should know better than all, are in total ignorance of the universality of this “sinful tendency” even though it’s the entire basis of the Gospel plan; why Christ came in the first place. They think because they were born in this country, usually under the banner of “Christianity”; that automatically eliminates their sinful tendencies. They tie it to concepts such as “regeneration” or “the changed life” (which are totally misconstrued into a near behavioral perfection).
So it’s only others (such as Muslims) plagued with sin and evil.
But it should be mentioned, regarding comparing the religions of Christianity and Islam, that a “religion” called “Christianity” is not even a biblical term. It’s what grew out of the postapostolic period, and did become wrapped up in worldly power and conquest, often using the sword, just like people are condemning Islam for.
Getting hung up more and more on the Crusades example in particular, people are objecting basically, “the Muslims started it all” (with their conquests; so the Crusades were “defensive“), but even if so, the institutional Church by that time was already wrapped up in a mindset of power anyway, and had been so, ever since Constantine [at least]; way before Islam arose. Plus, great evidence it wasn’t always purely defensive is that in the fourth Crusade, the Western crusaders ended up conquering Eastern Christian lands; (furthering the split with the Eastern Church, and a key turning point in the decline of the empire and of Christianity in the Near East).
So you simply had two corrupt religions vying for control over as much as they could conquer, and using each other’s evil as the justification for their own.
This was yet again the main point of Obama’s comparison.
Here’s something showing just how much like ISIS we have been in the past:
Now, they seem to be protesting that all of this was only centuries ago, but all they did was change the means of control, largely by force of others or other factors (like the North forcing slavery to end, or the Holy Roman Empire falling, and the Church losing power along with it).
So you once killed, and now stopped; you still have those same “sinful tendencies”. Do you really think you can hold up your supposed “good works” an that cancels out everything else? (And what about those, especially favoring stockpiling guns and looking to fight the government and “take back the country” someday?)
As far as Obama, critics seems to be alluding to the belief that Obama especially sympathizes with Islam (and perhaps is a Muslim). That is people’s conjecture, based on their dislike of the man. It’s this resentment of him as “not us”, so they hear everything he says as anti-Christian (and anti-white) and pro-everything we dislike. People claim they “know” about Obama about, but this is filtered through these ridiculous presuppositions about him favoring Islam over Christianity; with these sites’ interpretations of his latest statements being a prime example. So they interpret earlier stuff he said and did this same way, and then use that to “prove” that’s what he means now; that’s a cyclical line of reasoning.
In reality, it seems that way because the nation is primarily Christian (in name and “culture” at least, with a lot of true Christians here as well), and we are at war with people who identify as Muslims, and people are condemning all Muslims for it. So a restoration of balance (since people are all essentially the same, as scripture even teaches), will look like it favors Muslims at the expense of Christians.
Here’s a great response to this:
Also, of interest:
Here’s some other good responses to this
Mike Huckabee Distorts Obama’s Comments On Religion
Christian Soldiers: The Lynching of Blacks in the Jim Crow South Were Considered Acts of Christian Duty
The lynching and torture of blacks in the Jim Crow South weren’t just acts of racism. They were religious rituals.
“Religion permeated communal lynching because the act occurred within the context of a sacred order designed to sustain holiness.”
“No person who is familiar with the Bible-beating, acrobatic, fanatical preachers of hell-fire in the South, and who has seen the orgies of emotion created by them, can doubt for a moment that dangerous passions are released which contribute to emotional instability and play a part in lynching.”
“The only Southern Christianity united in its opposition to lynching was that of black Americans, who tried to recontextualize the onslaught as a kind of crucifixion and its victims as martyrs, flipping the script and making blacks the true inheritors of Christian salvation and redemption. It’s that last point which should highlight how none of this was intrinsic to Christianity: It was a question of power, and of the need of the powerful to sanctify their actions.
People today again, protest that that was centuries ago, while the Islamists are still doing it today. But:
“Which is all to say that President Obama was right. The vastly different environments of pre–civil rights America and the modern-day Middle East belies the substantive similarities between the fairly recent religious violence of our white supremacist forebears and that of our contemporary enemies.”
In a discussion in response to:
where people expressed bewilderment at this sentiment, I added:
What I realized over the past few years of seeing these people’s hatred of Obama and simultaneous defensiveness against “the race card”, is that their whole hangup is this notion of “exceptionalism” (both Christian and American), so while they can clearly and loudly point at others’ evil, they cannot admit ANY evil of anything they identify with (and a psychological definition of “identity”, is “that which you think you are nothing without”. That perfectly sums up how they are about America, “the West”, and Christianity, even though many are more culturally Christian than actually practicing, and those who are more theologically committed should know better than to “identify” [so strongly] with something other than Christ).
So they turn the tables, and put themselves out as “victims” (even while loudly mocking others for “victimhood”) and endlessly accuse Obama or whoever of “attacking” time, trying to “destroy” the country, and being on the side of their “enemies”.
So this whole issue is like a double strike. Pointing out the evil of their forbears, and telling them to stop hating people they see as part of the “enemy”. Hence, they react this way.
The Slate article concludes:
“This isn’t relativism as much as it’s a clear-eyed view of our common vulnerability, of the truth that the seeds of violence and autocracy can sprout anywhere, and of the fact that our present position on the moral high ground isn’t evidence of some intrinsic superiority.”
Another interesting article on this:
Does Obama’s ‘God Talk’ Stand A Chance In A Polarized America?
Spinning off of https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/why-im-critical-of-christian-self-help-teaching-part-2 where in some of the comments, I went into a tangent about secular self-help teachings; and https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/backlash-against-the-nice-guy-in-light-of-virgin-rampage which also touches upon this.
It’s like a total “objectivism” (Rand’s well known philosophy named this is the political version) I’ve been seeing a lot, that makes a point to totally disregard people’s feelings and tear into them with the “truth” of what they must be doing wrong if they are in a place where they’re not satisfied in life.
It’s obviously the same philosophy used by conservatives who try to blame the poor and other struggling classes for their own financial problems, and insist the rich are all where they are because they did everything right. They were even “smarter”, or “better than you” at “providing value”.
It’s also the secular counterpart to the “Christian victory” teaching, and basically, health & wealth as well, where there are “laws” established which if one follows, almost guarantees success, and if one is not successful, it is all their own fault, and not only that, but they need to be curtly motivated with cutting rhetoric, whether (from the Christians) “you’re sinning by holding on to your fear and anger and not ‘trusting God'”, and from the secularists” “you need to get off your a___ and do something”, or “stop whining”, “you did it to yourself”, “you think the world owes you something”, “your disappointment is that you’re mad at yourself for not doing better”, etc. and always the comparison about how miserable they’re making themselves, while the speaker while perhaps once being that way, now has it all together, and is above these people wallowing in their misery.
So to start, here is the world’s counterpart to the “divine laws” regarding our “attitude” that Christians appeal to:
You’re going to get the EXACT energy back from the universe that your put out in it.
Have you ever noticed that the same people who constantly stay mired up in negativity, hate, anger, fear, despair, and doubt a lot of the times tend to be the same EXACT people who spend most of their lives being sick, miserable, depressed, or are always complaining about one thing or another not being right in their lives?
I honestly think most people who make those actions a habit are addicted to those negative feelings and secretly love being the victim, and wouldn’t know what to do with true inner peace if it came up and kissed them on the cheek.
Nowadays, I avoid that kind of energy in people when i see it coming. I used to try to take it on as some kind of ‘ people fixing project’ but not anymore. i have learned to silently pray for folks from a distance, help wherever i possibly can- but son, i gotta keep it movin’ or else that type of energy will attempt to attach itself to the next available empty vessel. if you don’t believe me, just try being in a good mood and have an uplifted spirit and go visit someone who is negative, they will drain every last bit of your energy- and you’ll leave feeling exactly the way they feel.
For years I thought this world owed me something and was going to lay it at my feet because i was deserving of it, boy was i ever wrong.
I’m glad i finally figured that out otherwise I might be sitting around crying victim, making a ton of excuses, and blaming the world for my shortcoming.
Remember, start changing your energy from negative to a positive and watch your life change for the better.
It’s a law of the universe.
(And I had just been given that “universal law” line by someone else in person, a week before seeing this. [original comment last July] The same people who have trashed theism’s “absolute truth” now give this other philosophy that title, and just as dogmatically as the most fiery preacher of old).
Several people in the comments agreed, as they always do with these types of statements posted on social media; which are numerous, and from almost every “friend” at one time or another.
But I can’t help thinking “where is all of this positive energy” in the world, then? Where is all of this “peace”? Only inside of people, but then the only thing that comes outside is all the stuff you see in the world of people? All the backbiting, fighting, robbing and cheating, etc.
I grew up hearing this stuff preached, in the very act of spewing a lot of negativity and not even being able to practice it onesself (which I was told was “no excuse” for my own response to the mixed message; the very failure to “practice what one preaches” the Church is universally decried for by these “secular” adherents).
The whole “I once was that way, now I’ve pulled myself out of it, compared to all these losers out there who still think that way”. The whole argument would be nothing without all these “others” (whether directly even mentioned or not) to compare to. Getting that kind of “counsel” always felt to me like rubbing in how far I fell short, and need to go to get to that person’s position. And they would keep gloating of how “hard” and slow it is; all the “steps”, and trial and error, etc. (And then in cases like my father, he really did not have it all together at all, but ended his life in almost the sad state he kept warning me about!)
I like how the Bible puts it (which even Chrstians who get caught up in these teachings, or political rhetoric ignore): “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7)
People at work (a heavy STJ environment, and a lot of these sentiments reflect an STJ “SiTeFi” functional perspective: Si memorized “concrete” facts +Te external impersonal decisions based on fact + Fi internal sense of humane worth)* where things often go completely awry, affecting all of us who depend on schedules, often spout this “positive attitude”-“don’t let it sweat you” attitude; and I know good and well they are likely going home and taking it out on their families, because I’ve seen it myself.
*(Ni “internal sense of conceptual meanings” can be substituted for Si, giving us talk of “the universe” not based on more solid fact, which you’re likely to hear from the similar NTJ’s).
It’s all the same shadow projection for the sake of the almighty Persona, that the world has correctly pointed out in religion. They’ve only stripped it of “eternal Hell” (“Hell is what you do to yourself here on earth” is their mantra), and basically ended up taking the same stereotype of a “cruel God” they’ve condemned in religion, but stripped Him of any personal characteristics, calling it “the universe” (whose “laws” seem self-creating). The only difference to them, is that this “universe” doesn’t care who you sleep with, or if you get high, drink and curse.
But it’s the same grace-less “sink or swim” system of self-effort, disguised as a “simple choice”, but it’s really a hard, long daily “struggle” that nobody has really mastered, at least not behind closed doors. Yet they talk like they have mastered it, and most importantly, use this to judge others not seen as having this right “attitude”, or at least not trying hard enough to develop it. (And to coldly shun them. Can’t let them “defile” us. Just like Christians who cite Proverbs 22:24 and Hebrews 12:15).
All of this ties into what’s called “The Law of Attraction“. From this site:
The Law Of Attraction is the belief held by many theorists is that the universe is governed by a set of universal laws; these laws cannot be changed, cannot be broken and apply to every individual, regardless of age or nationality. These laws are the riverbanks which guide the flow of their lives on its journey to its ultimate end.
The law of attraction is one such law. The law of attraction is the belief that anyone can determine their destiny through the power of their minds.
There is no such thing as chance. Law maintains everywhere, and all that happens because of the operation of Law. You cannot name the simplest thing that ever occurred by chance – try it, and then run the thing down to a final analysis, and you will see it as the result of law.
It is as plain as mathematics. Plan and purpose; cause and effect. From the movements of worlds to the growth of the grain of mustard seed – all the result of Law. The fall of the stone down the mountainside is not chance – forces which had been in operation for centuries caused it.
And back of that cause were other causes, and so on until the Causeless Cause is reached.
And Life is not the result of chance – the Law is here, too. The Law is in full operation whether you know it or not – whether you believe in it or not.
You may be the ignorant object upon which the Law operates, and bring yourself all sorts of trouble because of your ignorance of or opposition to the Law. Or you may fall in with the operations to the Law – get into its current, as it were – and Life will seem a far different thing to you.
You cannot get outside of the Law, by refusing to have anything to do with it. You are at liberty to oppose it and produce all the friction you wish to – it doesn’t hurt the Law, and you may keep it up until you learn your lesson.
Fall in with the operations of the law. Make it a part of yourself. Get into its currents. Maintain your poise. Set your mind to the keynote of Courage, Confidence and Success. Get in touch with all the thoughts of that kind that are emanating every hour from hundreds of minds.
This sounds a lot like what you hear in religious preaching from movements of all stripes (sabbatarian “lawkeepers”, regular Sundaykeepers who also focus on “Law”, including fundamentalists and Reformed, and especially the health & wealth teachers). “Law, not chance” is the main point.
It is a total generalization of some observable principles in life. A blog called “Throne of Eden” points out one of the main reasons this is becoming so popular is due to the language that is used to describe it.
Right from the start, you get the word “law”. Thanks to our incredible advancements in the study of science and mathematics, we have been able to determine many forces in the universe which are described as acting within prescribed sets of ‘laws’. For instance, the law of gravitational force, the laws of thermodynamics, Newton’s three laws of motion, Einstein’s Laws of general and special relativity, the law of conservation of mass and so many more.
So these [“The Secret” DVD authors] write a book about energy. What do they do? They try and exploit people’s basic understanding of physics by using the word Law to describe their own personal theories of attraction.
The difference between the law of attraction and the laws of thermodynamics is that the laws of thermodynamics are not theories. In fact, the word “law” which is used to describe them pretty much implies they are physical facts of the universe which can be tested and applied to observable objects. The law of attraction, on the other hand, is not a fact. It’s not even a good theory, because there is no basis for testing it. If you can’t do experiments which can yield results for or against a theory, then you have no right calling it a law. Again, language being used to mislead people into believing that something is more important than it really is.
Of course, what I’ve found from both the secular and religious variants of this, is that they say it IS testable. The problem is, it’s not instantly testable. It’s a lifelong slow “process”. And if you don’t start now, and keep at it everyday, then you’ll never see the results.
It’s not like a car you can try out, and then return with no commitments if you don’t like it. You basically have to presuppose it’s true first, and then commit to it, in order for it to work. This is not how scientific testing works, but it is how scams work. (Recall, most people who teach stuff like this, both religious and secular, are often selling something in one way or another; or if not, they are trying to convince themselves that what they’ve trusted in and committed to is the right way).
If you try it and find it doesn’t work, then it must be you did something wrong, and in such a long hard “process” with multiple “steps” and “laws” to adhere to, there are so many places where you could have gone wrong, so you can’t argue against that; and by that time, it’s too late to undo whatever waste or other consequences from all the time and commitment you’ve put into it.
This lack of “testability” becomes the strength of such nebulous enterprises. Someone can tell you anything all authoritatively, and proclaim it absolute TRUTH, and you can’t refute him, just DO it, or prove yourself an ignorant skeptic.
East vs West?
While Christianity was co-opted by the West (which makes it suspicious to some), a lot of the secular version of this philosophy is influenced by the East (such as India). The overall “religion” Law of Attraction philosophy is basically apart of is something called “New Thought“, which while seems to be attributed to strictly Western sources, does resemble Eastern religion. (This is taken as evidence it is apart of “universal law”).
Many of the secular-minded people will condemn the Christian concepts as a control tool, in which case, Eastern and Eastern-like philosophy has been generally what became the attractive alternative, but fail to realize both East and West have histories of mind control using philosophy. So I can see where both can use this “positive attitude” concept, and harshly condemn “victims”, to pacify the masses and essentially justify the powerful.
(The philosophy says “Abundance will not come to you out of the sky, neither will it drop into your lap”, but conveniently ignores the role of things such as being born into the right circumstances, and being given the right “timing, talent and temperament”, along with downright cheating ⦅abuse of power, “pulling strings”, deceptions, etc.⦆ to aid in their success; and on the flipside, those with legitimate disabilities.
They make it entirely “choice”, including the right “thoughts”, so the “justice” of this “law” has already been enacted in people’s success or failure. When acknowledging this, they’ll then just say “well life isn’t fair; those with disadvantages just have to try harder to succeed”; but sometimes, the disparity is too great. But this can’t be allowed under this “law”, for it makes those on top look less than ‘good’ masters of their own destiny).
And if people keep complaining too loudly (to where the powerful feel threatened), how quickly do the powerful themselves adopt the “victim” complex, in different ways. Just the act of blaming any ‘negative energy’ that affects you on this other person is playing a victim! If you’re so affected, then it’s shown to still really be inside of you, only suppressed into the “shadow”.
(So overall, the message is just like the conservative politics —whose ultimate aim is to justify the colonialism and oppression of the past by casting current “victims” as bad and “detrimental” to society).
This “suppression” masqueraded as some sort of tapped “power” I realized, when hearing it from the secularists and Christians alike, and that’s precisely why I became so skeptical of this teaching; whichever overall belief system it’s extracted from. (The secular variant getting the same intellectual scrutiny religion has been given).
Introverted Thinking (Ti) looks for logical consistency, which is less important to the extraverted Thinking and introverted Feeling perspective these philosophies usually hail from. Like one of the “universal laws” the person mentioned earlier was telling me about is “forgiveness” (self, others, etc.) as the universal key, but then both Christianity and Jung alike, and even mainstream psychology were dismissed as “the white man’s philosophies”, because “the white man dismissed us, so why should we listen to him”.
Yeah, “forgiveness“, all right! An ideal that is far easier said than done. Didn’t think it would extend to an issue like that! (Let alone “universal truth”, which by its very nature can come from any source, and that these New Thought concepts are just such examples of concepts with some amount of observable truth filtered through Western sources! Why is Phineas Quimby, the originator of this school of thought, more trustworthy or less “white” than Jung or some preacher?)
This is the way it always is with effort-based philosophies. Just like the racially corrupted religion that focused a lot on “morality”, but condoned oppression (that people like this are still resenting in the first place). It’s what Jesus was talking about in the Sermon on the Mount, about what sins such as “murder” and “adultery” really entail! A lot more than even the most strictest adherents think!
At this point, people will then appeal to being “imperfect”, but then my whole point is more grace is needed, rather than speaking as if one has it all together.
Matters of different perspectives
Should also mention this site I saw the week before all this: 31 Days of Self-Love – Beliefnet.com. It reminded me a lot of the advice I used to get from my STJ (Sensing-Thinking Judging) immediate family. Now looking at it typologically, it’s clearly a heavy introverted Feeling (Fi) perspective in tandem with extraverted Thinking (Te).
People don’t realize how typological differences will affect the way we see or receive these things.
[Moved (Discussion of type functions involved): https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/ordering-vs-aligning-the-tefi-vs-tife-difference-in-my-experience-and-self-help-teaching ]
What most bothered me, is that such instructions essentially tell you how to feel. Like when they start talking about “attitude”, dealing with frustrations, difficulty is good, “take heart; God is in control”; all these memes you see daily on the social media wall. (Again, both secular and religious). One person talking to me goes as far as to even mimicking the “process” he was telling me to embark on (self-forgiveness), by sighing, breathing in, lightly beating the chest, and saying whatever you’re supposed to say to yourself.
All of this just drives me up the wall. It’s like, damn; you should just put a puppet or robot in my place, and pull the string or program it how to respond to life!
So when things don’t go right, to just tell me, basically, “if you love yourself it won’t matter”, “just forgive”, “don’t hold onto things”, “your reaction is only hurting yourself” (i.e. which feels like a cruel double-bind), etc., I feel like my whole humanity is being totally dismissed, and I’d become a walked-on nothing! (Inasmuch as they almost paradoxically claim this is the way to becoming a powerful “somebody”).
And this is from both secular self-help as well as religion (which often mixes this up with concepts such as “regeneration”, and usually substitute “God/Christ/Spirit” for “self”. But it’s really the same process everyone else is describing, even though they claim it is “supernatural” and exclusive to believers).
And those exercises! Ugh! Looking in a mirror and expressing love and other stuff to yourself, hugging yourself, writing stuff to yourself, and all the other “rules” and “steps”. Seems totally illogical and like almost crazy.
My family insisted this was “universal truth”. The ST perspective insists “this is the way it is” and allows no “excuses” or other reasoning. NTJ’s will focus on a more theoretical angle, such as a “[universal] Law of Attraction”.
They (especially the religious teachers) often present it as so “simple”, and always stress “choice”, but then it’s really a lifelong process.
Why Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green
I’ve always heard that switching to electric simply moves the problem elsewhere (hence, to the coal-using power plants), but that’s still an improvement in ways. You’re taking the fumes off of the roads where most of us directly are, and while the coal fumes may still be going into the air (and worse than gas fumes, as being argued), you’ve still centralized the pollution, and that makes it easier to try to remedy. You would then look into reducing waste in those plants (like switching to natural gas, as mentioned), instead of all the cars running across the land. (This other article http://www.twincities.com/technology/ci_27140844/u-study-finds-electric-cars-powered-by-renewables mentions “Electric cars that get their power from renewable energy sources — like wind or solar” I take could also be referring to new power plants).
Plus, how much more would electric powered vehicles really increase the pollution put out by these plants? It’s not like the plants are only being run for the EV’s; they are already there, powering everything else electric. So there would put an increased need for coal, but would that amount then add more pollution than all the fossil fuel vehicles combined?
My “Extension” of the Hudson River to the Hudson Bay got me thinking of that area (which we would think leads to the North Pole, as in fictional journeys to Santa’s village and workshop by carriage or train), especially now, in the “home stretch” to Christmas.
The portrayals of the North Pole on land is more accurate for the South Pole, which of course has its own continent, Antarctica. I wonder why they didn’t just place Santa there, but the folklore about him is northern-hemisphere centered. (In fact, “Year Without A Santa Claus” even suggests Santa is unknown in the southern US, let alone the southern hemisphere).
So when we think of this cold place that epitomizes winter, we think North. I guess, their premise is that the north pole is on a permanent ice cap that basically has become land. But still, you could never build a railroad or permanent towns and workshops on it.
So then, let’s imagine going as far north on earthen land as we can.
We would go west of the Hudson Bay, entering Manitoba, and eventually the territory of Nunavut. Much of the land begins breaking up into these islands, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Looking at it more closely, there aren’t as many gaps to the northernmost point as you would think, and only one of them is formidably wide.
You would head to the Boothia Peninsula, and its tip, called the Murchison Promontory, which is considered the northernmost point on the North American mainland. Then, you would cross the 1 mile wide Bellot Strait onto the huge Somerset Island.
Then, you reach the biggest barrier, the 44 mile wide Parry Channel, across which is the Queen Elizabeth Islands, and in this case, Devon Island. You swing west, to where Jones Sound breaks up into several narrow channels of Cardigan Strait (with the small North Kent Island in the middle), to enter the final land mass, Ellesmere Island. Keep in mind, these “islands” are hundreds of miles long. (Devon is the smallest of them, at only about 100 miles!)
Finally, you reach Cape Columbus, the northernmost point in Canada and North America (not counting Greenland, whose nearby Cape Morris Jesup sticks out a few miles into the Arctic Ocean. On the other end of the world, Cape Horn is the southern tip of South America, but it too is on an island ⦅Tierra del Fuego⦆, while the southernmost mainland point is Cape Froward, 78 miles past southernmost city, Punta Arenas, Chile).
20 or so miles east of Cape Columbia is the Canadian military station town Alert, “the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, at latitude 82°30’05” north”, but is really often uninhabited, with rotating military and scientific personnel occupying the camp.
Then, it’s about 500 miles over the ocean to the actual Pole!
Before really looking into this, I always imagined one of those little old villages or “hamlets”, like the ones the toy train sets are based on, with the gingerbread-style houses and Tudor inns; at least as far as you could go on land, which in this case would be Cape Columbia, or if it’s really connected by road or railroad, then at Murchison, or perhaps Somerset Island by bridge. I don’t think a bridge could be built over the Parry Channel. Perhaps you would have to build a series of manmade islands.
So this northern village would look out over the sea, where you would see ice covered islands and icebergs (and perhaps an abominable snowman jumping across them). Inland, it would be surrounded by the vast snow covered pine forests. All the stuff you see on any animated feature showing a trip to or from the North Pole.
The first problem, is that the pine forests do not go that far north! When you’re halfway through the Nunavut mainland, the forests thin out into low grasslands, and you cross the “tree line” (beyond which, trees cannot tolerate the environmental conditions, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_line), and you soon enter the tundra. I remembered that term from the climate maps I used to read in world atlases I grew up with. I knew it was colder, and less vegetated, but never really thought much of this, and the portrayals of the endless pine forests continued to color my view of the far north.
Google of course, can have no “street view” up there, since there are no streets/roads.
But they do have the Panoramio photos, which reveal a totally barren, rocky, mountain region. It really looks, basically like another planet! Just take any Mars picture, and revert back to a brown earth and blue sky, and add bodies of water, and this is what the Arctic Archipelago looks like. It’s for all purposes a cold desert, and I wonder why they don’t just call it that. It also resembles the Mojave Desert around Victorville, but without even that much shrubbery or the Joshua trees.
Even the islands themselves are actually high plateaus (mesas). Pictures of the waters separating them reveal tall, almost vertical rocky cliffs, so I don’t know if any bridges could ever be built at all. And then the top surface is rolling mountains. You probably can’t have roads or railroads (or if you did, they would be incredibly winding, at the valley bottoms, and unprotected from rock-slides, and often filled with glaciation). This would make it probably impossible to have the high speed “bullet” service needed to cover the hundreds of miles of this terrain you have to traverse, in any decent amount of time.
Any sort of path would basically be mountain hiking trails. (I saw one person asking if it was possible to motorcycle from Alaska to Murchison, and even that I think was discouraged).
There are almost no towns on this path. The last towns you would pass in most direct path would b Taloyoak, on the start of the Boothia peninsula, and then finally, Grise Fiord, on Ellsmere’s southern bank. (There’s also a Thom Bay near Taloyoak, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything there). All of these “towns” up there basically consist of trailer, aluminum warehouse or barrack-like structures on a few blocks, with maybe a few old wooden gable tin roof houses here and there. These are “hamlets” alright, but not like the ones you associate with journeys to Santa.
There are also some bigger ones off to the east or west on other islands. On the Hudson Bay you have Chesterfield Inlet, 500 miles from Murchison; or if you care to veer a bit out of the way, east, where the bay ends, there’s Repulse Bay (one photo wrongly shows a tropical-looking resort with highrise dwellings), still 330 miles from the start of the archipelago. More inland, up the Thelon river from Chesterfield is Baker Lake.
It is in this area that you cross the Arctic Circle.
Murchison, mind you, is 800 miles from Cape Columbia. So it’s nearly 2000 miles of barren, mountainous tundra! (No wonder it’s so uninhabited! I always thought it was just the weather).
I would say that in Rudolf, the archipelago would be best represented by the island mountains where the “bumble” lives, between the north Pole and the mainland. But again, they are hundreds of miles wide (though there are smaller ones in the waters too).
Even more likely, would be the Island of Misfit Toys. Looking at a picture of that scene, I guess I assumed or mis-remembered that the conic shaped snow covered objects as pines, but they’re more likely supposed to be mountains (like what the bumble climbs on). Otherwise, the land was pretty desolate. So that would be perfect. The whole point was that these toys were banished to a barren wasteland.
Come to think of it, Rudolf’s journey did include him crossing bodies of water (and that’s when the bumble comes after him; forget why he didn’t just fly), so that portrayal is accurate after all.
Powerpuff Girls do a lot of flying, and Princess I think also flew with her villain equipment jet packs. (I remember the four colors of the girl’s “streaks”: the PPG’s RGB plus Princess’ yellow). It’s Frosty and Polar Express that suggest you can take a train to the North Pole. (And even PPG and Polar Express IIRC portray the landscapes becoming more and more barren as you go further north).
One notable absence, at least from most of the Google images, is a lot of snow! (Which is what all of those animated portrayals show plenty of). Again, most of it is really totally dry ground and rock. There are some snow on mountains, and glacier flows, and icebergs in some water pictures, but it is not the perpetual “marshmallow world” you would expect. (Perhaps some of these pictures were from summer, when it was a bit warmer?)
In any case, it looks like global warming might be more real than conspiracy theorists would have us believe. The Arctic tundra is said to have been effected by this phenomenon. So (as thankfully, some memes are starting to portray) to say “It’s so cold this winter, therefore global warming is a myth”; you are not seeing the whole picture.
Functions all deal in “positive/negative”
IS or ISN’T YES or NO
(no course of action if negative; it’s just data gathering)
S experiencing with what exists, or is observable (tangible [edit: is/isn’t; physical items])
N filling in according to what’s possible (inferred/implied; imagined; intangible contexts [edit: could/couldn’t; mental constructs])
judgment: RIGHT or WRONG
(if negative, we are prompted to action, including mental; i.e. the “judgment”)
T dealing with its impersonal qualities (true/false, in/correct)
F considering its personal affect (good/bad, dis/like)
This ties into my last attempt to clarify the definitions: (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/another-crack-at-function-definitions-relationships-of-objects)
T’s “true/false” is basically a judgment of the “correct [impersonal] relationship between objects”
F’s “good/bad” is a judgment of the “correct interpersonal relationships between subjects”.
The perception functions (S/N) are still basically “tangible/intangible”, and what exists [“is”] is basically experienced as tangible (even if it’s something like light rays, which “touch” the neurotransmitters in your eye); and anything else that we surmise exists [i.e. “could” be], therefore needs to be “filled in” from a larger context like a “pattern” (even a visible one, like in comparing to something unrelated, but has some sort of inferred similarity), and is thus, intangible. [Edit: What you’re actually perceiving is either things itemized from the physical world, or things constructed mentally].
But when you speak of “judgment”, it’s good to clarify what “judgment” actually is. We often say “how we make decisions”, but that’s so vague.
So what it is, is ultimately an assessment of what’s “right” (good as it is, and should be striven for), or “wrong” (and likely needs to be changed to what’s right).
S: What exists (tangible “at hand” reality [edit: physical items]) can be:
•immediate (current), external, emergent
•stored in a mental canister to integrate new experiences with
N: intangible connections ([edit: mental constructs]) can be inferred (filled in) from:
•the objects themselves (including ones stored in memory, to unify with larger contexts)
•the subjective unconscious (impressions that have no tangible basis; often symbols)
T/F: both true/false and good/bad assessments can be:
•set by the objects themselves and/or what’s learned from the culture (taking on a “localized” nature)
•set by subjective models of the nature of things generally learned individually, and from nature (thus, universalistic)
Introverted functions end up dealing in “universals” because they are readily available to us, rather than the [“artificial”] judgments of a “manmade” group. We develop them by interacting naturally with our environment. So they’re unadapted to a specific cultural design and more individual than social. Anyone (in any culture) who is attuned to the environment in this way will reach similar conclusions. (So it’s not really about the universe; it’s about human embodiment). Introverted functions are about mapping our environment in our heads, where we then recognize landmarks and adjust ourselves to changes.
Examples of learned from culture are alphabetic order, math formulas and social etiquette. These rational standards are local, linking us to a specific place and time, where relationships (whether personal or impersonal, like math) requires a social contract held in common.
What can be learned naturally, individually (from our own experience, in contrast with cultural norms) can be the principles behind those things: how numbers work, or even technical details of [manmade] languages (the glyphs used in both fields are just abstract representations agreed on by a culture), or universal principles of what people like. That certain things you like or dislike you can assume (i.e. infer from within*) will be liked or disliked by others, since we’re all alike on a fundamental level. Like we all like to be comfortable, and don’t like to be attacked by others.
All of this data is implicit in all experience.
*(Now, I’m saying inferring is iNtuition, and here, we see how the functional perspectives all overlap. [edit the products of “inference” are “constructs”; so this is the more elemental term].
In fact, “abstract”, which has come to be used for iNtuition, really means “separated out”, where “concrete, used for Sensing, means “mixed together”. All differentiated functions “abstract” their respective data from the concrete reality, and the introverted functions in particular, further separate out of external reality the internal “blueprint” of things the we’ve retained for reference).
We have often said “we all use ‘all eight functions’, but…”‘; but what exactly does that mean? It’s almost a cliché sometimes: “We all use all functions, but only ‘prefer‘ some…” This still isn’t really telling us much, thus it has not really been grasped, and we still end up thinking if someone “values” something, it has a necessarily bearing on his T/F preference.
But in everything we process, there is some sort of tangible object or energy (light, sound, etc.), that can be taken in immediately or stored in memory. It can be intangibly connected to other objects, contexts, ideas or impressions, either directly or through less conscious means. We will think something about it is true or false, and this based either on external means we’ve learned from the environment or are dictated by the local situation, or internal principles we’ve learned individually, often through nature; and we may like or dislike it or something about it, again, based either on an external values we’ve learned from the environment, or internal values we’ve learned individually through nature.
Yes, we all do all of these things constantly. So what do we mean when we declare some of these processes as “preferred” in making up a “type”?
It’s when an ego selects one of them, in addition to the internal or external orientation as its primary way of approaching life.
The other functions are initially, in a state called “undifferentiated”, which means they remain pretty much in the “GDE” (“Generic Data Elements”) form, which is connected with the limbic brain of emotional motivation (to responses to immediate experience).
What exists, it’s larger context such as a pattern, whether it works or is understood correctly or not, or is “good” or “bad” for people all figures in this process (and even animals are affected by this, but they are not considered to use the “functions” as we describe them, as “cognitive”). But when a function “differentiates”, we then begin cognitively interpreting the data, where the raw motivation turns into investment in activities that have meaning for us.
Since this is all about how the ego artificially divides an undivided reality, then for the sake of balance: they will need to both perceive and judge, and have access to both the inner and outer worlds; another function fitting those two opposite criteria will end up in a “supporting” role.
This then sets the type. All of the remaining possible function/attitude combinations, which will basically mirror these first two in being the opposite function and/or attitude and level of suppression in favor of the preferred ones, will become associated with complexes which similarly mirror the ego and its “supporting caretaker” complex.
Thus we have the complete type and function+archetype(complex) model.
So the ego divides reality into these different perspectives. What’s preferred will be the driving force between the polarity.
S: what’s existent * is used to assume implications (n) [Edit: comment below]
N: what’s inferred/imagined * is based on, and elevated to a kind of existence (s) [Edit: comments below]
T: what’s true/false * is liked/disliked or good/bad (f)
F: what’s good/bad * determines true/false (t)
e: what’s _____ *according to an external reality* is…
i: what’s _____ *according to an internal blueprint* is…
These complexes in the psyche are organized around emotions, which again, are what the functions interpret. Complexes are what we project onto others, so the GDEs that can’t be fit into the dominant framework get projected outward on to others as well, making them conscious to us, as they help us justify or deny the reactions with which they’re allied.
(Thus, attitude is connected to the differentiated dominant, and so below not noted in the other [undifferentiated] functions, whose attitudes are set more by the complexes they associate with. The undifferentiated functions by themselves don’t split the world into subject and object; it’s the complexes, starting with the ego (the main sense of “I”), and then the others ⦅which are lesser senses of “I”⦆ that do that. Here we see all functions entering awareness, when linked to the dominant standpoint).
i-Tf/Ns perspective: what’s true (T) according to my internal blueprints (i) I like (feel is good: f); my dominant standpoint is informed by what’s inferred (N) from what exists (s). [Edit: or mental constructs connecting physical items; or what “could” exist]
[edit: full type breakdown in comment]
Here are how common descriptions or even ‘names’ of the functions fit:
Berens function names:
Experiencing (i.e. …what exists, currently, tangibly)
Recalling (i.e. internal storehouse of what exists tangibly)
Inferring (i.e. …from other [external] objects, contexts, patterns)
Envisioning (i.e. inferring from internal unconscious impressions)
Organizing (i.e. external environment sets correct impersonal order)
Analyzing (…according to sense of what’s [impersonally]correct, learned individually/naturally)
Considering (i.e. the environment sets the standard of what’s good [for people]).
Evaluating (…according to sense of what’s good [for people], learned individually, from nature)
Hartzler & Hartzler function names:
The Scout (e.g. the part of us that seeks current tangible experience)
The Conservator (e.g. the part of us that measures tangible experience according to what’s known [to the subject])
The Brainstormer (e.g. the part of us that infers possibilities by comparing objects and contexts)
The Seer (e.g. the part of us that infers from unconscious impressions)
The Administrator (e.g. the part of us that orders impersonally according to the environment)
The Analyzer (e.g. the part of us that assesses impersonally, based on what’s known internally)
The Guide (the part of us that determines what’s “good” [for self and others] from the environment
The Conscience (e.g. the part of us that decides what’s “good” [for self and others] from within
[Edit: “what exists” and “tangible experience” can be interchanged with “physical items”, and “mental constructs” or “what could be” can be added to what’s “inferred”].
I would say that some of these terms might hold, IF they are understood as at best fitting GDE’s, and not differentiated functions (since any type can do these things).
I would distinguish the GDE’s from regular “functions” as such:
Natural: Sg, Ng, Tg, Fg
With attitudes: Sge, Sgi, Nge, Ngi, Tge, Tgi, Fge, Fgi
Dominant perspective (experiencing/filling in perception, or true/good judgments)
Since the ego is most concerned with the dominant function (Jung originally had only eight types, based on the dominant function and attitude and the auxiliary simply distinguished two different variations of each type), then the way to help determine the dominant is by which perspective is really central to your view of the world. It can still be difficult, since the functions are not “gears” that are used one after the other, but simultaneously, and each element, again, being present in all data.
Like I knew that both Ti and Ne figured in my perspective, but found it hard to tell what was really the driving force. Especially since it’s easy to confuse Thinking with iNtuition, since both are more “in the head”.
But the terms “true/false” and “good/bad” have finally made it clear that judgments, of “true/false” are what everything is all about for me.
When I discover and put together facts of the past, like what was where in the Five Points, this is a succession of “true!” judgments. This may seem like S, but the gratification I get in finding out stuff is really in terms of a declaration of “true”! (i.e. this was here, that was there, and that is a fact, just for it’s own sake).
It was for me the same sort of “sleuthing” that I grew up fascinated by watching Batman do (on his own shows or the Superfriends), in finding clues, and then putting them together and making a determination (judgment) of what was true; (the correct sequence of events; who did it, why, what things meant, etc. Scooby was that way as well, and the best were the pairups of Batman and Scooby!)
S by contrast would be a fact for the purpose of either exploiting in the moment, or referencing later to inform judgments.
(You could say S and T both deal in “fact”, but S is about experiencing “fact” while T is about judging “fact”.
And for Fi the judgment would be “good!” instead of “true”. Te and Fe would be “true” or “good” determined by its external impersonal or interpersonal efficiency.
Now, it’s funny, as at one point, Ne seemed strongest for me, but I actually find it hard to imagine what an Ne dominant standpoint is like. I imagine, NeTi is like TiNe, but not as grounded upon technical [judged] “fact”, but more into the experiential aspect of it).
As far as S is concerned, ego does have further investment in the data through the Puer (“eternal child”) complex processing the Si elements (data that is being added to the internal storehouse, and comparing what was there then, with what’s there now, and some things even surviving), and then Ne is looking at what could have been, etc. (intangible interconnections or the larger contexts, including the overall “story”, and alternate “stories”. Like if other neighborhoods and buildings survived to the present, and are familiar, then this one would have been another one like them if it survived, but with its own particular layout and landmarks).
How to tell the dominant from the auxiliary, cont’d. Other confused terms
As I’m trying to come up with simpler expressions of the functions now, and emphasizing somewhat that the the ego is framed around the dominant, I used to wonder how to tell the difference in all of that, between iNtuition and Thinking. But clearly, the focus is more on the “true/false” (or “correct/incorrect”) judgment than on filling in simply experienced data with inferences. That’s why the data may even seem more ‘sensory’ at times. (There’s even a debate as to whether Jung held the aux. and tertiary to be really “two auxiliaries”).
It may be easier to “see” the Ne, because it’s extraverted, while introverted functions (especially Ti, Fi and Ni) are harder to “see” because of the fact that they are so “deep”, and then when preferred, and especially when dominant, they become so “second-nature”.
This is actually another form of “unconsciousness”, according to Jung —which makes it hard to know what he’s talking about when he uses terms like that in so many different contexts. (“Concrete/abstract” and “subjective/objective” being the two other key examples of this). “Unconscious” we normally think of as the opposite of our conscious preferred functions; like the “shadows”. Then, he also uses it for introverted functions as it is; and for iNtuition of both stripes as well.
(“Conscious” is basically presumed to be whatever is external and sensory. Notice how all three ambiguous term pairs deal in external reality vs the subjective experience. That’s because we automatically divide reality into “outer” [objective, concrete, conscious, sensory] and “inner” [subjective, abstracted, unconscious, interpreted] just by being sentient egos, yet our ego’s perspective can still be either internal or external in one of those ways or another).
So we can see right there why Ni, which for me fits all three “unconscious” definitions (introverted, iNtuitive, and a shadow function), is so hard to understand.
But it also became hard to really sort out Ti vs Fi, especially when popular teaching associated emotion with Feeling, and that only F’s (and particularly Fi) ever decided things by “personal values”.
But Ne is about matching things to larger contexts, and while this figures heavily in my interests, the “true” judgment made from the data has more of an emotional investment than the collecting of the data itself. The data gathering was only to feed the judgment process.
Thus, Ne dominants (even with Ti as auxiliary) are more able to jump from topic to topic, where I want to stay fixed on a subject. One time, I tried to jump to a tangent in a conversation, and then apologized, but the ENTP said it was OK, and wanted to go with the new direction. (In this case, the data collection has more of an emotional investment, and true/false judgments are what they lean towards in rationally processing the data).
Hence, ENP’s (of either T or F variety) end up both “Sanguine” (on the surface, or “Get Things Going” Interaction Style). The purest Sanguine is the ESFP (Se+Fi, and both GtG and the Keirseyan SP group), and the Sanguine temperament is heavily described as very “sensory” (especially in APS material, which described it as such mainly in the surface, social “Inclusion” area), while Se is the ENP’s least conscious (8th place or “daimonic”) function, and even Si is inferior.
But the common thread between Se and Ne is the “go with the flow” openness (which is one of the main Sanguine drives), and while Se is sense impressions as they occur, Ne is simply comparing them to larger contexts (which also maintains “openness”; hence the common “P” designation).
So that way, ENP’s can still be just as “sensory”-focused as other Sanguines, but what they’re doing with the data is different, shaped by the blended temperament (Choleric or Supine, in the leadership of conative” area denoted by the Keirsey group), connected with the N preference.
The importance of the dominant is one reason Socionics reverts back to “j/p” as dominant function rather than preferred extraverted function (though this won’t work with Interaction Styles or Cognitive Styles, as ENp and INp end up on opposite sides of the “directing/informing” scale as well as preferred function-attitudes. And even Personality Junkie tries to put more emphasis on dominant j/p).
So this is a good way to know what your dominant is.
Each pair of types (sharing the same “dominant” can be seen as the “servant” of that functional perspective (and the aspect of it they are most gratified by):
ESP: Servant of current tangible experience (“let’s jump on it for the experience!”“)
ISJ: Servant of experience by learned fact (“let’s learn from the experience“)
ENP: Servant of filling in interconnections between objects (“let’s add this idea to it“)
INJ: Servant of filling in patterns with unarticulated ideas (“this is left out of the idea“)
ETJ: Servant of local impersonal “correct”ness (“this is correct for the situation”)
ITP: Servant of universal impersonal “truth” (“it’s true!”)
EFJ: Servant of local interpersonal “likes” (“people will like this”)
IFP: Servant of universal personal “good” (“it’s good!”)
So the question to first ask, is whether your main outlook (and what you’re most energized by and take the most pleasure in) is taking in information, or making some sort of positive/negative judgment (particularly looking for the positive: the “correct” or the “good”).
E/I and J/P together are supposed to tell you that, but a more direct way to do that is to go back to Jung’s original use of j/p (i.e. rational/irrational), as referring to the dominant function.
The MBTI use, referring to the extraverted function came in handy for the more “interactive” (temperament and Interaction Style) side of type, but it was originally framed around the more internal dynamic of each ego’s dominant perspective.
Here in NY, the name “Hudson” is associated with the great River that anchors our harbor. There are of course streets, highways and towns that hold the name as well. I always wondered how far up it went.
Then, seeing a globe or world map, it was a bit strange seeing another body of water with the name, way in the distant dismal northern wilderness lands of Canada; the huge Hudson Bay, which empties out into the Atlantic near Greenland, and has a branch, called the “northwestern passages” that leads pretty much to the Arctic.
I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if that was the source of the Hudson River. But I quickly realized that the St. Laurence Seaway, which cuts across between the US and Canada, would cut that off, if nothing else.
The movie “The Polar Express” and other Christmas portrayals of continental travel to or from “the North Pole” (Rudolph, Frosty, Powerpuff Girls “Twas The Fight Before Christmas”, etc. piqued the interest along the way. It would be interesting if there was a railroad that went all the way up. Or, a river!
Finally tracing the Hudson at one point, made even more accurate with the NY Gazetteer atlas, which shows detailed land features, the river runs up near Glen Falls (near Lake George, where I once went with my parents to pick up my brother, at a camp, when he was staying with our mother in Albany). It then turns from its northerly alignment, and becomes a small winding stream that enters the Adirondacks and winds up at a lake near Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain in the state, and just 10 or so miles shy of ’80 Olympics area Lake Placid.
You would think it became Lake Champlain, which sort of “replaces” it as the separating the bulk of NY state from New England. But recently, I happen to look to see if there is a connection, and sure enough, a canal and river runs from where the Hudson turns west, to the tip of the lake. The lake enters Canada, becoming a regular river again, and then runs into the St. Lawrence.
Glancing at the landscape of Canada, it is very irregular, and full of little lakes and winding rivers, with hundreds of miles to go to get to the Hudson Bay. There did not seem to be anything flowing straight north.
What happens, is you run up against what’s called the “Laurentian Divide“; which seems to be a highland region, running east/west, that contains the headwaters for many of the rivers. But they will flow either one direction towards the St. Lawrence, OR the other direction toward the Hudson Bay.
So on some maps, I would see rivers connecting to either, that came close, but did not connect. Google maps, which is about as detailed as the old Gazetteer, it was impossible to make out what was what, because the landscape in northern Quebec and Ontario (and much of the rest of northern Canada) is a spongelike or “foamy” array of lakes, islands, rivers and peninsulas. To rivers in particular looked like they ended only a few miles from each other. I also looked at more western routes, to connect through the Great Lakes, but found pretty much the same thing.
Of particular interest was Gouin Reservoir, which is a massive maze of little lakes and landforms (lined with Native American villages!)
One river (St. Maurice) that comes up straight from the St. Lawrence (and not too far from the Richelieu, which becomes Lake Champlain; and so would be the perfect northern “extension” beyond the St. Lawrence) ran to the reservoir. It looked like several rivers connecting to the Bay ends near the reservoir’s other end, but again, it was impossible to make it out what was what on the map, and many times, whether what looks like a river or connecting body of water really connects to another.
The nearest big river that definitely connects (eventually) to the bay was the Bell River, and a bigger one a bit further west was the Harricana, but again, it was impossible to tell if they connected to the reservoir.
I had to search a bit, and found that the invading Iriquois, and various canoers in the 1800’s did in fact use to take the trip across the Gouin from the St. Lawrence and St. Maurice to the Nottaway “across the height of the land by various lakes and portages” (Canoeing North Into the Unknown: A Record of River Travel, 1874 to 1974 Bruce W. Hodgins, Gwyneth Hoyle p.65), which connects to the bay via the Bell and another lake (Mattagami).
(the whole area is a big canoeing destination. I take it those would be the biggest boats that could navigate much of the route. I also read that parts of it freezes, and it may be dangerous in bad weather).
The missing piece was a barely discernable river, called the Mégiscane, which runs east from Lac Parent (which the Bell River flows out of), then turns south near the Goiun. Apparently, a little stream runs from the southwestern corner of the reservoir, and then joins this southerly portion of the Mégiscane. (This doesn’t seem to be shown on most maps which again make it look like a series of little lakes that may or may not connect. The route through the Gouin can be seen here: route: http://quebecrider.com/forums/uploads/monthly_11_2013/post-464-0-71391900-1384180363.jpg The Mégiscane can be seen here: http://www.cartespleinair.org/Canot/08/MegiscaneAbitibiClermont2014.pdf).
So you basically head downstream from the reservoir, until you join up with this other river/lake series, which you turn upstream on, to head across. Once you reach the lakes to the west, it’s downstream to the bay. (Another possible route might be to head north from around the reservoir, to Lac Father, from where you can pick up a string of lakes west to the Matagami).
Hudson River to Hudson Bay
Hudson to Ft. Edward, NY 175 mi.
Champlain Canal/Mettawee River (Whitehall, NY) 23 mi.
Lake Champlain (100 mi. to border, then becomes smaller river, but name change not shown on map until further up)
Richelieu River (border to St. Lawrence) 72 mi.
St. Lawrence River [35 mi. Sorel – Trois Rivieres; E-NE]
St. Maurice River 160 radial mi average N/NW (N for 100mi, then begins veering W)
Gouin Reservoir (outfitters Barrage Gouin – Pourvoirie-Martin 1 61 radial miles through winding maze of lakes, W)
Lac de la Tete / Megiscane River 75 radial miles (N through lake, then W)
Lac Parent 17 mi. (N)
Bell River 80 mi. (N) – Lac Matagami (7 mi. E)
Nottaway River 120 mi. to mouth @ Rupert Bay (30 mi. – James Bay (279 mi.) – Hudson Bay
About 1000 miles (including winding paths calculated radially) to get to the final opening to the bay, and then another 280 miles of James Bay (the little piece of water that sticks down to the south) before it opens up into Hudson Bay proper.
The “Super Hudson” trail, from River to Bay, and beyond