Friday, January 29, 2021

Sychronicity and triggering events


"Narrative" is a word that I hate.

In simple terms, when somebody uses the word "narrative" it is a signal that they believe that their lies are every bit as valid as your understanding of the truth.

The word "narrative" sounds educated and "hip".

The word "narrative" is all promise and no delivery.

"Narrative" has no predictive capability.


David Pfaff claims that any phenomena can be explained by any one of four, universal causes:

  1. Mass hysteria
  2. Hallucinogenic drugs
  3. Space aliens
  4. Doesn't really matter what the fourth cause is because none of them offer predictive capability

Pfaff's universal causes gives comfort to the stupid because it gives them a false sense of "knowing" the causal chain-of-events.

For science to have any value it must offer predictive capability BEFORE an event has completely unfolded. Too much of what passes for science is really "narrative". It is the sports color-caster 'splaining the completely obvious after the play is over.


Interesting article here on deer populations in widespread areas cycling together.

The thumbnail for the article is that underlying weather patterns bring populations into synchronicity.

Fruit trees

Many kinds of fruit trees develop a pattern of biennial bearing over time.

One year your orchard will have a huge crop of fruit that struggles to ripen. The next year virtually no fruit at all.

Trees in the wild, oak trees for instance, will often demonstrate two, three, four or even five year patterns of mast production.

Obviously, as a person caring for an orchard I want a reasonable crop of high quality fruit EVERY YEAR. Consequently I studied the mechanics of biennial production.

Triggering event

It is my opinion that biennial bearing is usually triggered by a severe weather event like a late, killing frost.

The frost kills most of the blossoms on the trees and the trees bear a very light crop.

In July and August (in the northern hemisphere) the buds on the growing twigs make a decision based on the ratio of carbohydrates-to-nitrogen. If the ratio is high then the developing buds  form flower-buds internally. If the ratio is low then they don't form flower-buds.

Fruit have a high priority on sucking in carbohydrates. With no fruit on the tree, the buds are swimming in carbohydrates and too many of them form flower-buds, including buds deep inside the canopy where there is little sunlight.

The next summer the situation is reversed. With all that fruit sucking up every molecule of sugar in sight there are no carbohydrates to trigger the buds to form flower-buds internally so the next year is a bust.


As fruit growers we have a lot of tricks in our bag. There are chemicals we can spray to thin flower buds (including weak salt-water, 2oz/gallon). We can beat the trees with a stick when they are in flower. We can severely prune out the number of branches. We can attempt to fertilize our way out of the problem.

This discussion is different from a "narrative" because I had two late, killing frosts last spring. I had a crop that was about 30% of normal. I am using that information to guide my management practices...fertilizer, pruning, weed control....

Societal chaos and political repression

I look at the heavy-handed, unilateral actions of the Biden regime and the impeachment theater in Congress and I wonder: Is this a killing frost that will synchronize opposition?

One of the commonalities of biennial bearing apple trees is that they are typically mature-to-overmature in age. Their is an inherent propensity to over-bear due to too much canopy overhead and competition between trees for limited sunlight. The propensity is there, the frost is simply the trigger.

Economically, all of the Executive Orders and Progressive initiatives seem to be increasing overhead by an order of magnitude and choking the energy (sunlight is energy) that drives our economy. As the propensity increases the size of the trigger decreases.

Like the wide-flung deer populations that move in unison, will the Progressive "mandate" cause We the People to move in unison? If so, then the backlash will not coordinated through Social Media and censoring non-Progressives with have no effect.


  1. Thanks for the carbohydrate versus nitrogen aspect on the forming of flower buds. That will help with my supervising my neighbour's two pear trees. She definitely needs more green in summer and a wee bit of chicken should help. Our trigger out here on the wet coast is 2 weeks of steady rain during bloom, keeping the bees away. Thanks.

    1. European pears are exceptionally responsive to branch spreading.

      An untrained European pear tends to be fastigate like a Lombardy Poplar with too many branches that are too vertical.

      Standard advice is to thin to three branches per meter of trunk and spread those branches to 45 degrees from horizontal.

      The branches get significantly better sun, dry more quickly after rain-and-fog. The additional sun tips the C/N ratio.

      Best regards,


    2. Lombardy -- yes. The pollinator is a sad tree with nothing but flower buds. I was quite stunned by its appearance when I went for a look two days ago. I had nothing to prune other than dehorning. Not even any watersprouts. Neglected with no watering in July and August (when we get almost no rain). So I'll water that one too and do 45's. Thanks.

  2. An interesting post.

    One other thing to consider is whether a group is led top down, or is self organizing (or partly, resulting in a cellular structure).

    It appears to be that Democrats have a top down structure; they don't have much in the way of true "grassroots". They err in assuming that Republicans are the same. The Tea Party movement and Trump's presidency confound Democrats because they don't understand that Conservatives can self organize and don't need direction from existing leadership (and in some cases would fight it is given). This is also why the Democrats think censoring Conservatives will work, because it would work with Democrats - it won't, and will in fact turn people against them.
    But when your only tool is a hammer, every thing looks like a nail...


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