Author Topic: Some thoughts from #Discord  (Read 6280 times)

Cramulus

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Some thoughts from #Discord
« on: February 25, 2008, 08:12:26 pm »
So this was actually two different discussions which sort of drifted into one another. It was suggested that someone should go post it. I've made a gap where one ends and the other starts.


Cain   [[Regarding posting over at Colbert Nation…]] but I intend to make friends, not start fights
Cramulus   sometimes it's so hard not to start a fight
Cramulus   I'm finding that at MLA. I'm just itching to disagree with these people.
Cramulus   Especially with their whole notion of a prank as a method of social change. Like it's a "Good Cause" to be a trickster. Meh.
Cain   lol
Cain   I know what you mean
Cramulus   It's the exact same sort of bullshit people talk about "white magic"
Cain   sometimes, I do a prank because it amuses me
Cain   horribly egotistical, but very true
Cain Alignment Shifts to: Chaotic Neutral
Cramulus   and the MLA main forums... the more I read them (which has been very little) the more I dislike them
Cramulus   it's like everyone there only wants harmony and intellectual masturbation
Cramulus   It's such a Leary / RAW Circle Jerk
Cain   sounds like the conformity of the nonconformists
Cain   but sometimes, I really wonder if these guys are stuck in the 70s
Cain   where are the modern day "Leary's and RAW"
Cain   for example, I think Joesph Matheny and James Curcio are far more interesting and equally as smart as anything those two did
Cramulus   Well they have their own icons now. Nowhere as provocative as Leary and RAW... RU Sirius is one of them. David Rushkoff. Grant Morrison to some extent. Phil Hine, Peter Caroll...
Cain   thats true....still, from much of what I see on, for example, Disinformation, suggests they are pretty stuck in a rut when it comes to people with cool ideas
Cain   thats why I like the Grey Lodge/Alterati crowd
Cain   less circle jerking and reminiscing about drug overdoses, moar cool content
Cramulus   I have a friend who hangs out at Disinfo -- says they're undergoing this ironic period right now... that they want to be "counter culture" and throw down the existing icons. But meanwhile they're becoming VERY attached to their OWN culture
Cain   they've been like that since I've been going there, I've felt
Cain   so 2004 or so
Cramulus   I listened to Rushkoff give a talk about the future of Counterculture... and he was talking about how "our culture embraces pills as medicine. WE embrace pills because they're FUN! woo!"
Cain   jeezus christ
Cramulus   and I sort of groaned there... because he's using that We very broadly. Creating that sense of, "we're part of the counterculture movement, so we dress like THIS and do THESE things and take THESE drugs."
Cramulus   it's lame
Cain   Curcio once wrote an article called "wake up neo, the counterculture is dead"
Cain   I'm starting to agree with him
Cain   if you uploaded my Rogue Discordian collection, its in the culturehacking notes
Cain   "I was flooded with harassing emails from irate hipsters. In one way or another they were criticizing me for pissing in their counter cultural swimming pool with my MTV flavored urine."
Cain   "The ideals the counter culture were based on, once upon a time, are close to my heart: self-expression, freedom, an element of egalitarianism, and most importantly, compassion. When did it become about toothless political movements, cool-points, and self-defeatism? Where does this negative reaction to anything popular come from?"
Cramulus   what's that from?
Cain   culturehacking
Cain   I'll find a DL link
Cain   http://greylodge.org/gpc/?p=529
Cramulus   Isn't it kind of weird this nested and subnested iconoclasm we seem to be in?
Cramulus   Discordia is in part a rebellion against [something]. But we don't get along real well with other Discordians, and we sort of have our own little subsect of PD-Objectivists who are a rebellion against Orthodox Discordia. And then within the group which we should really jive well with (disinfo, MLA, etc), we never reach harmony - we just continue to poke and twist and rebel against whatever it is they're doing.
Cramulus   deeper into the rabbit hole
Triple Zero   well
Triple Zero   we ARE a religion based on the fucking goddess of STRIFE, aren't we?
Triple Zero   i mean if there's any proof that you can actually invoke the spirit of some goddess or other via just talking about it and mental masturbation (aka magick), please come have a look at our lovely PD forums.
Triple Zero   i came to that conclusion already in my (fairly short) lurking period
Cramulus   well the dominant tastes on the board lead to another weird sort of groupthink
Cain   our kool-aid is qualitatively better, however
Triple Zero   nearly everything semi-serious we discuss on the forum is related to aspects of Eris and related topics. also, if we start get too much "fluff" or whatever, somebody who's still got Eris' Fire burning in them will pull the group back to these topics. it's no wonder the forum works the way it does.
Cain   also, James Curcio has a fucking cool band called subQtaneous, which is another reason to like his shit






Cramulus   I wonder what's going to take place with this somewhat large influx of newbies we've been experiencing lately
Cramulus   I'd guess it probably has to do with the large amount of OMGASM advertising we've been doing
Cain   THEY SHALL LAUGH AT OUR FIVE JOKES, OR THEY WILL DIE
Cramulus   Right off the bat, before they even post, we know that a large handful of them are not going to "fit in" - which leads to our rather colorful Sink or Swim game
Cramulus   I think the "interesting" part is that we're going to reach a sort of split... that there are people that want the n00bs as a part of our Discordian army. *cough OMGASM cough* And there are also standards we impose on who we want to hang out with. I'm interested to see how many of the new kids come through this socializing process.
Triple Zero   hm, that's an interesting prediction for the future
Triple Zero   on the other hand
Triple Zero   if things get too n00bish fluffy on the PD boards, i suppose HQ will get to see some more action
Triple Zero   or the WOMP people might retreat back to p3nt4's place
Cain   that would be a cowardly way out.  I'd much prefer an open and frank discussion with the people involved
Triple Zero   i mean not for definite, but more as a place to make plans without getting threads jacked with inane banter
Cramulus   I mean, look at this: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=15198.msg486121#msg486121
Cain   maybe, but even so...
Cramulus   If the newb influx continues, this is just the tip of the iceberg
Triple Zero   Cain, i can see your point, but in cram's scenario, that would probably end up with n00bs chased off the board
Cain   we should adopt a process of socialization
Triple Zero   and a smaller personal army
Cain   small personal army = fail
Cain   its mass or break the law
Eve   woooo
Triple Zero   yea
Cramulus   Yeah-- well the 50 post guideline is the alpha and omega of our socialization process - which isn't bad
Cramulus   I think the trick is to engage people in critical debate rather than flaming them -- at first. Like the guy who said "Well RAW is the beloved genius behind Discordia, and Thornely... well he FOUNDED it!"
Cramulus   and he got some "O RLY" rather than a "GTFO", which I think is really positive



anyway

I just want to clarify that all this n00b talk is NOT intended to be a way of making newcomers to our community think like the established users do. We certainly don't want any codified "standards" that everyone has to adhere to, nor do we want an "in-group / out-group" mentality... We're just saying this whole socialization process is interesting.

As for the culture / counter culture / counter counter counter culture discussion...
Do you guys feel this way too? That "we" seem to be on the fringe of the lunatic fringe? (On the slightly more coherent side, as it were?) Aren't there some inherent ironies in identifying as a member of a "counter-culture"?

and where do we go now?

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 08:22:31 pm »
Yes to the first question.  I spent some time on the MySpace Discordian boards and it was quite apparent, very quickly. 

We seem to take our taking humor seriously more serious than many others of Discordian ilk.  And I think, in a certain sense Discordianism will always be prone to it.  When there is such a small smatterings of people who would even call themselves Discordian, there will be the immediate want to "fit in" with them.  So, the instinct is to use the same old jokes and cliches and to prove how wacky one is. 

So, I sorta see that the n00bs that end up sticking around are the ones who get that our of their system while they are here.  Then, they realize there is much more to actually discuss and consider beyond the flax and fnords. 

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 08:27:41 pm »
Where do these long rambling conversations take place?  I feel so left out.  :x


And, I do happen to believe pranks can be used to cause social change.  Perhaps not on a grand scale, but on a somewhat more personal basis.  See: ImprovEverywhere
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Cramulus

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 08:40:53 pm »
Where do these long rambling conversations take place?  I feel so left out.  :x

irc.maddshark.com
#discord

Quote
And, I do happen to believe pranks can be used to cause social change.  Perhaps not on a grand scale, but on a somewhat more personal basis.  See: ImprovEverywhere

No no, I agree. But I don't think "social change" is the "real point" of pranking in general.

Many people from this group at Maybe Logic Academy are hung up on saving the world through pranks. Well saving the world would be a nice side effect, but I'm in it for the lulz.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 08:43:21 pm by Professor Cramulus »

Hoopla

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 08:47:54 pm »
No no, I agree. But I don't think "social change" is the "real point" of pranking in general.

Many people from this group at Maybe Logic Academy are hung up on saving the world through pranks. Well saving the world would be a nice side effect, but I'm in it for the lulz.

I do it for both reasons - I'm so CONTRARY like that!!

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"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." -Bob Dylan?

"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2008, 09:27:48 pm »
I feel you on the assessment of the MLA crowd. A little too stuffy on the good old days and "white magick" pranks.

That said, they have a lot of inspiring resources and ideas. Not all my style, but food for thought.

I was thinking that maybe I've been doing too many pranks only for the lulz. It could be more satisfying to pull something more "activist" than "mischief."
“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.” - M I C H E L   D E   M O N T A I G N E

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2008, 09:50:18 pm »
I can't get in IRC anymore for some reason.

I'm so so glad you guys discussed some of the things that have crossed my mind about MLA, especially the "prank for social change". I prank for hilarity, and in some basic sense I guess my religion (as I have evolved it in my head) holds hilarity sacred so by doing something funny I'm doing something holy and consciousness-expanding, but still, when it comes down to it, it's for the lulz. When I prank, what's going through my mind is not "what social message is this prank conveying?" but "what can I add to this to make it even more bizarre and hilarious?"

I am kind of disappointed with Joey Skaggs, and his refusal to discuss the practical aspects of paying for a major prank. I mentioned money because it's a limiting reality for almost all of us, and (unless he's replied since then... haven't been on for a couple of days) that got SHUT DOWN lightning-fast with some trite truism about "suffering for your art". I smell a trust fund.

I like RU quite a bit, he seems fairly down to earth and enthusiastic. There is, to my tastes, a bit much emphasis on the pranksterism of the sixties, but I suspect that's because that's what's documented... and that was his heyday, so of course it's very vivid to him. His overall air of enthusiasm, though, and dedication to funniness, are what makes the course fun. I mostly stay away from the rest of the MLA forms because they're hella boring.

As for all the newbs here... seems like for every ten that show up, one sticks. I don't think the nature of the forum is going to shift a lot, though I do notice it seeming less cynical. For the most part, I bet what'll happen is we'll end up with a few more regular posters who mesh well with the existing personalities on the board. It's definitely more welcoming/tolerant than it was even when I joined, but if someone is really a bad fit they'll either get bored and go away, or our collective patience will wear thin and we'll tell them off. Look at what happened with Bharlion; I feel kind of bad about it, but he ignored/didn't recognize the escalating impatience/mockery and eventually it seems like we reached the end of our collective rope and told him to fuck off. And he did. It's unfortunate on one level because if he could have cut the stupid look-at-me, I'm-so-wacky shit he had potential to be a solid contributor, unlike me who mostly posts attention-whoring drivel about food and sex.
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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 10:36:47 pm »
Apparently Mac users can't get on IRC.  So much for the Apple of Discord! :argh!:
"Soon, all of us will have special names." -Professor Brian O'Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." -Bob Dylan?

"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

Triple Zero

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2008, 11:05:17 pm »
hoopla, did you try http://mibbit.com/?server=irc.maddshark.com&channel=%23discord ?
it should work regardless of operating system or blocked ports (only thing that can happen is they block mibbit.com, but you're talking about internet at home, i presume?)

I'm so so glad you guys discussed some of the things that have crossed my mind about MLA, especially the "prank for social change". I prank for hilarity, and in some basic sense I guess my religion (as I have evolved it in my head) holds hilarity sacred so by doing something funny I'm doing something holy and consciousness-expanding, but still, when it comes down to it, it's for the lulz. When I prank, what's going through my mind is not "what social message is this prank conveying?" but "what can I add to this to make it even more bizarre and hilarious?"

yes, the social message starts at "is this funny or am i just being an asshole for asshole's sake?", anything else that comes after that is nice to have, but not mandatory. i agree that the bit that receives most optimization is lulz and hilarity.

Quote
I am kind of disappointed with Joey Skaggs, and his refusal to discuss the practical aspects of paying for a major prank. I mentioned money because it's a limiting reality for almost all of us, and (unless he's replied since then... haven't been on for a couple of days) that got SHUT DOWN lightning-fast with some trite truism about "suffering for your art". I smell a trust fund.

ha cool you asked about that? was it because of the questions i posted in cram's thread about the interview?

because that really stood out for me, the way he, also in the interview itself, completely sidestepped the money issues, and travelling all over the world.

i sort of got the idea that possibly he inherited or somehow gained such a large amount of money that he simply doesn't need to work anymore, and does the journalist/media researcher bit to keep himself busy. still, i'd rather have somebody with that kind of money to spend his time and resources on pranks than what the average jet-set does with it, of course.

but right, what a cop-out.

Quote
I like RU quite a bit, he seems fairly down to earth and enthusiastic. There is, to my tastes, a bit much emphasis on the pranksterism of the sixties, but I suspect that's because that's what's documented... and that was his heyday, so of course it's very vivid to him.


is he saying that the sixties had more pranks than today?
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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 02:30:06 am »
Apparently Mac users can't get on IRC.  So much for the Apple of Discord! :argh!:

LOLWUT


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Hoopla

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 03:03:05 am »
Y'all got too technicals for me.
"Soon, all of us will have special names." -Professor Brian O'Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." -Bob Dylan?

"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 11:51:30 am »
On the pranks issue.

Sometime I do it because I want to draw attention to a good cause (I once did something for a local environmental campaign group along these lines, for example).

Sometimes, mostly, I do something because it will be amusing or I want to see what the result will be.

Sometimes I do it because the jerk in question deserves to have their long cherished certainties about how the world works yanked from under them as hard as possible, and then be laughed at by every single bystander when they finally fall over.  Usually, thats a variation on the first anyway, since the person probably deserves it.


As for the countercounterculture issue, my problem is and always has been a sort of goose-stepping conformity buried deep within it.  I dont care about Burroughs or Leary, for example. The latter's prison break was rather hilarious, and his LSD research quite interesting, but that aside, I'm not interested in him.  I dont like my interests being directed by groupthink.  There always seems to be a canon of "acceptable" people who I should listen to or read, regardless of how much bullshit some of their stuff is.  I also don't like looking at thirty year old ideas when there are people there today, pushing the boundaries of thought in new and innovative ways.  Ideas are not based on their merit, but along a narrow philosophical band and on how "underground" they are. 

I think RU Sirius bought up something too....the hatred of anything popular, along with a sort of unwarranted importance based on their own definition of superiority ie; not buying into anything popular.  At least when I'm an egotistical jackass, I try to be amusing about it.  And some popular things ARE good. I like to watch House, listen to Modest Mouse and eat at the Subway (when I can afford it :( )  OMFG I'M A CORPORATE SHILL! 

And I think when you combine those two, you get a very real disconnect with society.  Many of the MLA crowd, for example, do not seem at all in touch with the emerging internet culture (Anonymous/Goons/Patriotic Nigras/ED etc), let alone the wider culture, because they are still stuck in the 70s, sneering at anything popular or too out of sync with their own preconcieved ideas of what a good concept or theory might be.  Of course, that may not affect them, because they seem content to sit in their circle-jerk tower, but I like to have an affect on the world.  It might be good, it might be bad, or it could be neutral.  I value experience over intellectualism because, although intellect is important, building castles in the sky is a bad idea unless you have your feet on the ground.

I shall cover more ground later.

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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 12:04:47 pm »
good point on them being out of touch with the "emerging internet culture". it would be awesome, if they would stop and take a look around them. because, damnit, anon/etc are doing what they are only dreaming of.

you know, the only thing i wonder about is, why is the "emerging internet culture" not yet hijacked by commercial/corporate viral marketers like MTV and whatever else is currently targeting the "cool" and the "youth"?

because, you can say a whole lot about that it doesn't matter if a certain "counterculture" is not cool anymore if it gets popular, but i don't care for the numbers, we've seen with anon-vs-CoS what numbers can do. what i do mind is when such a counterculture gets eaten by corporate machines, because that just sucks the "soul" right out, for the simple reason that corporations have different goals (corporate survival) than individuals (freedom + happiness) or groups of people (belonging, being part of "something larger")

is there some kind of built-in protection mechanism in Anon/Internet Culture that prevents the large corporations to get a good grip on it? (also see the memetic terminology thread)
or are the corporations (like MTV) slowly losing grip of the youth anyway (i wouldn't know, haven't watched MTV for a while)
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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 12:31:10 pm »
It sometimes bothers me though that people seem to think it is necessary for me to 'keep up' with whatever is new, when a lot of shit falls by the wayside within a year or so.  I tend to ignore things for a while, probably a bit out of neophobia, and probably a bit out of laziness . . . but mostly because I know if something is truly worthwhile it will force its way into my life eventually.  I only got a cellphone for the first time this past August.

I don't put stock in everyone "they" say I should like, but I do like some of them.  RAW got me into Joyce, for example . . . I don't know if I would have really bothered otherwise, but he made it seem like a riddle, rather than 'my duty'.  I like Leary's 8-Circuit model, and some of his research, but otherwise, no I'm not that interested wither.

To be quite honest, I get very bored with the 'is this being done right?' mindset.  I do what I do, and don't really give a shit what any of the rest of you are doing.
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Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 01:42:03 pm »
It sometimes bothers me though that people seem to think it is necessary for me to 'keep up' with whatever is new, when a lot of shit falls by the wayside within a year or so.  I tend to ignore things for a while, probably a bit out of neophobia, and probably a bit out of laziness . . . but mostly because I know if something is truly worthwhile it will force its way into my life eventually.  I only got a cellphone for the first time this past August.

I don't put stock in everyone "they" say I should like, but I do like some of them.  RAW got me into Joyce, for example . . . I don't know if I would have really bothered otherwise, but he made it seem like a riddle, rather than 'my duty'.  I like Leary's 8-Circuit model, and some of his research, but otherwise, no I'm not that interested wither.

To be quite honest, I get very bored with the 'is this being done right?' mindset.  I do what I do, and don't really give a shit what any of the rest of you are doing.

um i think you misunderstand what i mean.

i don't like to forcibly keep up with "what's new" either, but i think it's good to have some idea of "what's going on", especially if you want to change things.

this is why i quit TV a couple of years ago (i didnt keep count, i think it's about 6 or 7 years now, must have been 6, cause i remember watching the 9/11 show)

>  I tend to ignore things for a while, probably a bit out of neophobia, and probably a bit out of
> laziness . . . but mostly because I know if something is truly worthwhile it will force its way into my life
> eventually.

that's pretty much the way i do it, except for that i keep myself "open" to these new things on purpose. i don't make an effort on keeping track of it, but when something "new" happens to come my way i don't ignore it on purpose, and do actively take an interest if it's interesting to me. i learned that much from getting my mobile phone, which i was putting off for a long time as well (but not as long as you, i have the thing for over 7 years now), thinking i didn't need it, which is just not true. you can do without it, but you can do without a lot of things, it's just a tremendously useful device. just like a computer and the internet.

> To be quite honest, I get very bored with the 'is this being done right?' mindset. 

are you saying my post was displaying this mindset? if so, how? and why are you bored with that?

> I do what I do, and don't really give a shit what any of the rest of you are doing.

that's so counterculture of you ..  :roll: why are you posting and reading a forum if you don't give a shit about what we're doing?

i realized a long time ago that i can't do a lot of things just on my own. no matter the perfectionist i am deep inside, i dont know what i'd do without a littlebit of help from my friends. also, in return, latching on to whatever they're doing and helping out where i can, lets me be part of Big Things and accomplish Cool Stuff. "giving a shit what people are doing" sort of facilitates this process.
and in the case of discordianism/O:MF, this is why i googled "discordian forum" a couple of years ago in the first place. because i was very curious about what the "other" discordians were doing.

now i can understand if you don't want to play that same game, it's your choice afterall. but saying "i dont care and i do my own thing" like that is a bit negative towards the groups here that do want to accomplish something together. you don't need to be part of that, but you don't need to go around stating that it bothers you, bores you and that you don't give a shit. especially not if you truly don't give a shit.

i just meant to say, that the people at MLA certainly got some merit and that if they would take a serious look at what the big internet culture is doing, something very beautiful might emerge from that. perhaps comparable to how you are wary of the mobile phone at first, but will grow to see it's usefulness more and more as time progresses.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.