111 Comments
Dec 19, 2022Liked by Jessica Wildfire

About to get on a transatlantic flight today with an elastomeric mask and goggles. I REALLY needed to hear this today. We have been cautious from day one because 1) we have the societal privilege to do so (older, retired) and because we have a heightened risk profile (older, retired). I no longer care at all what people think. Your article just lays out how we've come to this point. Thank you.

Expand full comment
founding
Dec 19, 2022Liked by Jessica Wildfire

Thank you for this powerful and validating piece as we walk these halls of insanity. Recently, I have found myself yearning for an apology for everything that has happened that I have tried to warn loved ones about before it affected them. For many of us, this has been rinse and repeat for 2+ years. I know this apology will never come, but there is a place in my heart that needs it to ever have intimacy of relationship with so many ever again. That said, I know I will be waiting forever.

Those with Sentinel Intelligence would LOVE to be wrong about everything that we have said would happen, and continually has happened during this pandemic. We journal about that wish, we talk to our therapists about it, we wake up with the fantasy of having to apologize to everyone we know as a way of finally being about to move on from this nightmare. Egg on our face, all of it, gladly to erase what we know humanity is capable of, and provide an answer to how we’ll be able to trust our community again, our family, and what’s left of our friends.

As stated, this intense caring we carry is a curse. It is also, as stated, our superpower. Where we go from this point, I find to be the next biggest challenge in a sea of big challenges.

Ceasing to continue warnings about the perils ahead and currently with us seems unkind, but at what point is that constant outpouring effort being unreceived become not being kind to ourselves?  I’m not sure, but I also know that many of us would drop everything to help someone who really needs help navigating the current moment, however much they’ve been denying it along the way and have hurt us in their efforts. It’s what we do. Bravo, Cassandras.

Expand full comment

I never knew that there was a term for this, sentinel intelligence. I have a lot of that because I spend my time at work putting out fires before they ever start. Thanks!

Expand full comment

Remarkable. Thank you. I've always chafed at the idea that my anxiety prone mind is *hyper-vigilant*. After decades of experience I can see that a *sentinel mind* is a much more accurate description of my ability to see what's coming before others. I'm currently reading Octavia Butler's 1993 novel The Parable of the Sower. In Butler's dystopian future the lead character, Lauren Olamina, fits your description of a sentinel mind perfectly.

Expand full comment
Dec 19, 2022Liked by Jessica Wildfire

Oh god I had no idea how much I needed to read this today, thank you 🙏❤️

Expand full comment
Dec 19, 2022Liked by Jessica Wildfire

The reality are the signs are all around us. E.g. One "great" financial analyst contacted FedEx for their shipping numbers to help predict what would happen. He was wickedly accurate, now he has lost his luster some probably not realizing he needs to pull together multiple data points now (UPS + Fex + Amazon).

As a person who has a partner who has a horse business (woman-led of course!), are raw input over the past 7 years have doubled. So look at food prices, from 2018, and realize that until 2025 expect those numbers to match what we have observed.

I know this will drive Jessica nuts (not trying to be mean or a divisive trigger) but on our horse farm we consume 10-25K gallons of water a month. The Volume of grain we go through is in the order of up to 2 tons a month, so volumes allow me to see patterns. This is how I made my predictions that food prices were going to spike in 2021-2023 massively. I stated this in 2018, when there were talks about ethical farming California.

I was a male Cassandra, or better yet, the feminine spirit within my CIS-male body was very strong :) in it's prediction.

What is next? More food inflation, and what I also told people to be prepared for .... the fact that interest will exceed our military expenditures. We will continue to print away (money) so folks will be the walking poor and our business folks are going to bitch up a storm.

Huh, they are going to complain about dropped productivity. Why? Because folks have been strapped financially so long no matter how good they make the work place it will come down to what every extra money they can get (job be damned) "and" there are not enough Gen X and mature Gen Y to drive the economy as the other large hunk of boomers retire.

So lack of labor will drive up the cost of goods and services since it is 30% of the cost on average. That will need to probably double too.

No one will talk about it, but the signs are in the air ... and everywhere .

If we go back to infectious disease when we stop giving $0 vaccines, people will work sick and spread even more deadily stuff which will make people sicker and less productive.

Don't believe me? Look at what may finally stop China's growth. We have our mad disgusting sick bugs floating in America and what gets incubated in China I am sure will be special ... mix the two "hello" mad max.

How did I get my sanity back? I stepped away from social media. Read my news and stear clear of dumb people and only embrace the smart. Care to guess which bucket Jessica is in :)

Expand full comment

Yes, that's the way it feels to have a conversation with someone who has plans for 2 or 5 or 10 years out and who has no absolutely no idea (or no interest) in what's coming. It IS a curse to have to smile and say "that sounds nice" because otherwise I'm called Debby Downer or worse. It's a kind of like cognitive dissonance but trying to convince people otherwise doesn't work either because of normalcy bias and so I just give up and try to live in the moment. Initially I looked at seeing the future as a gift and an opportunity to share my wisdom. But I recently realized that people are how they are and all I can do is to make sure me and my family are prepared for the future that no one else is able to see.

Expand full comment

This is all very interesting (and I’m saving the linked articles to read in full later) but man, I really hope the Sentinel Intelligence concept doesn’t leak into the mainstream. I can already picture the YouTube thumbnails of some “guru” identifying themselves as a Sentinel. The TikTok influencers convincing a bunch of 15-year-olds that they, too, can level up their Sentinel Intelligence for a monthly payment of $19.99. And if the evangelists get a word of this... *shudders*.

Conspiracy theorists already present themselves as having this thought process, anyway (and thank you for clearing up that distinction, by the way). I’m just tired of people using new terms to distinguish them and their followers as the Chosen Ones, who are so much smarter and more special than those evil normies. Which I don’t think you’re doing with this newsletter, at all. But 99% of the time someone’s gonna bastardize this knowledge to make a buck, and that means encouraging the delusions of grandeur that got us into these messes in the first place.

I’m not claiming to have sentinel intelligence because that’s something I’d need a legit researcher to confirm. But I’m a fairly cautious and risk-averse person. Something the pandemic ruined for me is that all of the things I thought I’d actually get to enjoy - all of the things that meant my caution paid off - didn’t exist. I didn’t get rewarded for my long-term thinking. The things I’d been working toward because I kept my eyes on the future? The things I’d given up short-term pleasure for because I could see, so clearly, it was better to wait? Gone! Actively thwarted!

And it’s hard to explain how devastating that was. Emotionally, spiritually, psychologically - all of it, my entire mind was bruised. I felt stupid for being cautious. I felt like all those years of patience and paranoia were for nothing. Because they were. And now, I look to the future and see nothing but dread and disaster on the horizon. And it *does* make it harder to keep doing the right thing in the here and now. Everyone else gets to throw caution to the wind and have their lives go back to normal. Everyone else gets to be optimistic. Why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I do whatever I want before life gets worse again?

There are rational answers to that, of course: I can’t live the life I want if I catch Long COVID, I can’t actually turn off my pessimism and mild health anxiety, can’t party if I’m dead blah blah. But those rational answers aren’t very satisfying and idk if they’re enough to keep me going in the long run.

Expand full comment

I would never claim to be one of those extraordinary beings. But I do believe we all have some sentient intelligence i n us. When I was a young lawyer in a big Los Angeles firm, I and the partner above me were sent to San Diego for a huge bankruptcy hearing involving 25 or 30 of LA's biggest firms. When I met the partner before leaving for the airport, a really strange but undeniable feeling came over me, and I told the partner I was not getting on the plane. He first mocked me and then scolded me, but I told him he could fire me, but I was not getting on that plane. For whatever reason, he decided to not get on the plane also. I'm sure you've anticipated what happened. The plane crashed while attempting to land in San Diego, and everyone on the plane was killed, including 20 or so of LA's most distinguished lawyers. I will always trust that strange feeling.

Expand full comment

Interesting article. There may be something even more basic here, though. Our society does not value wise people, especially WOMEN. Women over 40 become invisible to our society just when we've built life skills, and raised kids and our consciousness. I'm tired to trying to tell people things I know to be frankly ignored. Divorced the husband that did that. We call wise and gentle men "wimps" and worse. We listen to know-nothing bullies...sigh

Expand full comment

My question is; how do we get some "sentinal intelligences" into positions of power in order to change things in the right way. Some people will say I am talking about a dictatorship or oligarchy. Call it anything you want but we have to get things under the management of people who can think.

Right now we are under a tyranny of the most brainless people. This is leading us to destruction.

Expand full comment
Dec 19, 2022Liked by Jessica Wildfire

Validating read.

Expand full comment

I’ve wondered about the aversion to admitting being wrong, which is definitely real. I think that, in addition to all the other psychological and emotional reasons that people don’t want to admit they’re wrong, there is likely a perception that, if one is marked out as wrong, one’s social standing will diminish in ways that could be grievous, along a continuum of not being taken seriously to not being trusted at all, which leads logically to ostracism, disproportionate or unfair reprisals, or one’s decreased ability to survive from the subordinate position in which one can forecast being placed when one’s judgment is in doubt. The thing to be avoided, in other words, is getting one’s blood in the water. Even if the fear of that happening is irrational (I’m not sure it necessarily is), that adds to and complicates the motive to deny being wrong.

So, the problem of not admitting being wrong has a political component, which requires an enlightened response from those who are wrong and also those pointing out the being wrong. As I said, this response is not necessarily forthcoming, partly because the focus is generally on the person who is wrong and the responsibility to own that, rather than on the social consequences, which imply intellectual and moral responsibilities on the part of those to whom a wrong perception, assessment, etc. is directed.

Expand full comment

I'm not sure that at this point, the COVID thing is about "sentinel intelligence". It's not about predicting the future - it's about seeing the present.

I think it's more of a "substition" (as defined by Terry Pratchett). If a superstition is a belief in something that is not true that everyone accepts, a substition is a belief in something that is utterly true that nobody accepts. Apparently, I am highly substitious, and most of the folks around me are not. I intend to remain substitious.

Expand full comment

In spring of 2020 I lived in an inner urban center of a major CDN city. My home office window looked out on a busy intersection that one corner of housed a large middle school. I was still working thanks to being a productive bee with keys to the entire corporate vehicle. 14 other team members at that time are at home receiving government pay to hold down the collective SARs fort.

One morning in that May of 2020 I'm on the phone with a long time friend and business person. I'm looking out my window at what was always a busy corner. 9am no kids lined up at the crosswalk. Barely a car entering the intersection. I describe it. They know where I live.

I said it is "eerily apocolyptic"

They dodge the reality and right back to "well the Government is opening up the eligibility for loans and cash injections for small business"

Mixed bag of chit chat then in the middle of a financial rant I say it

"Capitalism will not survive after this"

- I dunno.

- Huh well it has to get back to normal

I uttered those words to several close friends. Nobody wanted to hear it.

Here I am now. FAR from the busy urban life. Relocated myself and family to a very rural setting on the other end of the country. Isolation and pulling back from the rat race. Cashing out on capitalism (sold my house to a greater fool so to speak)

Because. Inside the Covid Trojan horse was a massive change that is occurring.

People reading this blog have had glimpses of it in our dreams, in our reading and in our hearts.

Capitalism may not be dead. But I made the call. That is what is important.

Jessica please continue to write this amazing blog. Your message is out there and it is reflective of the change that is occurring.

(I sent you an email once about utilizing other media.... :) :) :) :)...just saying )

Be well.

Expand full comment
founding

I've been thinking a lot about how important it is for us to admit we were wrong in many ways and how hard it is for some people to do it. I just watched DamNation (2014) about taking out dams. We thought we knew better and we were wrong. Slowly, with much struggle, the dams are coming down. I also have been thinking of Otto Scharmer's statement, "We collectively create results that nobody wants." Yet so many don't see this. Sentinel intelligence is indeed a blessing and a curse. Thanks for another edifying piece.

Expand full comment