Author Topic: An article I found + resulting ideas  (Read 5262 times)

The Littlest Ubermensch

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An article I found + resulting ideas
« on: May 03, 2008, 05:35:40 am »
I just read this article on Rick Warren's church though the magic of Stumbleupon, and it got me thinking: how could we adopt the "small, personal group" model that has worked so well for evangelical Christians, Communists, and AA? One problem I'm seeing with the methods we're proposing is that they tend to focus on either mass action, or one on one mindfuckery, without much of the tight knit cells that seem to work so well.

With most decentralized movements/organizations, it seems like the small communal element is key to their success with spreading. The problem with that though, is adapting that model to antiauthoritarian, dogma-free ideology, seeing as most successful decentralized movements have a core set of dogma. The most obvious solution would be to keep the basic "think for yourself, schmuck" catma, but try to encourage small group action more, in whatever way we can. Another possible route is through shared experience, rather than shared dogma, but then the question is what experience could bring together similarly minded people? Past attempts (i.e. hippies in the 60's) used the psychedelic experience, but when smoking weed or dropping acid spread to where it was commonplace, the novelty wore off and it stopped bringing people together nearly as much.

It's also possible to strip Discordianism down to the barest of bare bones (much like how Warren stripped Christianity down to a simply interpreted, theologically light "Purpose Driven" format), and get Discordian franchises going. Rather than trying to sell it from business to consumer, go business to business, again, the way Warren has. But then there's the emphasis on "everybody's a pope" and "start your own damn religion" that's messed that approach up in the past. The very nature of the idea makes it impossible to get us to act on anything but an individual scale.

Yeah, so I read this over, and I figured it's probably a repost, and doesn't come up with any concrete ideas, but I figure this might start some discussion.
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Gundam Agriculture

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008, 11:35:46 am »
IMHO, whatever's working for evangelical Christians, Communists, and AA... isn't something we want.  :eek:
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Verbal Mike

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008, 10:04:55 pm »
This is an interesting thought.
Essentially, this is what Cabals are supposed to be about. They just aren't a very prominent part of our irreligion in any flavor of Discordianism I've ever met. They're like a thing people do but nobody takes as a real core ideology. I think I've seen several Caballed comrades here mention getting people in their cabal at first for the fun of O:MF, only to devilishly lure them into Discordia as a result. Maybe that's the way to go?
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Nigel

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 03:02:01 pm »
I am so completely anti-proselytization that the very idea of adopting Christian methodology for Discordia makes me want to burn everything.

To me, it sounds like "Here, let's gut everything you love about Discordianism and turn it into something that appeals to a wider audience".

I'll lend the PD to people I think might enjoy it. I might even give a brief shot at explaining *my* Discordia to people who ask. Otherwise, I think the fuckers should figure it out for themselves.
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“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

Verbal Mike

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008, 08:26:18 pm »
Nigel, I think you miss the point.
This has nothing to do with Christianity. This is about basic human dynamics - about a social fact that Christianity has capitalized on.
I just read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, where he expounds at length about how powerful small local groups (up to 150 people) are incredibly strong building blocks in any movement.
If we want to capitalize on the Rule of 150 (Gladwell's name for this phenomena) we obviously wouldn't make it about uniform belief like the evangelists do... That would be self-defeating. But focussing on the creation of active local cabals could be a winning strategy.
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Triple Zero

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2008, 08:34:03 pm »
i have to disagree with Gundam and Nigel, in the sense that, just because Christianity does it, doesn't mean it's inherently a bad idea.

there can be other reasons why it's a bad idea though :)

anyway, first think i thought goes along with Verb, this is what Cabals (and other such loosely semi-organized groups) are supposed to be about.

only problem is, the only (two or three) people around here i got interested in discordia, won't really read/post on the board (too much, not enough time, etc -- they're right, actually)

and they're not really that interested in doing RL projects either. or they are considered too "risky", or it's "what's the point" (lulz+chaos should be enough for a start, right? get some practice first) or they come up with a way too elaborate plan that requires 10-20 people to do stuff which is never going to happen.

i wonder if they're actually interested per se, or whether it's because they're my good friends and therefore are interested in things i am enthousiastic about.. :)
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Verbal Mike

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2008, 08:38:46 pm »
Well, trying to get people to read literature and think differently is both futile and evangelical... But assembling a small fellowship of troublemakers should be possible for most of us, if we try hard enough. Philosophy isn't that important to everyone anyway, and spreading strife together will probably lead to an exchange of ideas anyhow.
But I see how no matter what, this could become yucky proselytizing.
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Nigel

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 05:42:48 am »
I think you are missing my actual point, which is that I dislike proselytizing. This is a non-negotiable point; you cannot, in fact, disagree with me about whether I dislike proselytizing. it has nothing to do with Christianity itself and everything to do with my dislike of the dynamics described in the "small, personal group model that has worked so well for evangelical Christians, Communists, and AA?" concept.

Hey, I grew up in AA. My mom's an alcoholic It's  great example of a group dynamic that I think is fucking sickening. Effective, yes... but sickening. It's herd mentality. I repels me.

YOU want to recruit people? Go ahead. If that's what Discordianism turns into, I'll move on... because IMO, that's what it's about anyway.
Tiny and Terrible Strap-On Fuckhorde of Tonight's Wrong Turn.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

Cain

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 11:56:11 am »
You're making no distinction between prosleytising and informing people of their options.

Oh, and thanks for the vote of confidence.

Discordians
no better than the AA, because they don't want to keep their cliquish in-joke to themselves?

Go fuck yourself.

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2008, 12:38:15 pm »
Just thinking out loud here.

Cabals are a great idea as long as the core of them is to be individuals, not sheep.

Right now Discordianism is under the radar and frankly I like it that way. Too much open success means too much attention and this movement is in no way ready for that. We would be crushed and packed off to the camps so fast we wouldn't even realize it until after the fact.
The US would never allow it, especially now with the Patriot Act and other "laws" passed. We would be branded terrorists and treated accordingly. Martyrs seem to have doomed existences.

As I am sure Cain can attest to the more people who know the greater the chance of information leaks. Rather that follow the model in the OP I think the terrarist model of 'cells' would be more effective.

Or I'm just being paranoid and should STFU.

Cramulus

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 01:15:09 pm »
You're right about cabals - they're potentially the "small group that does it".

I think the trick is to encourage people to form cabals, and then DO stuff with them.

Once you've gone pranking with a group of people, you've forged a bond. If the group has enough energy, it will carry itself forward on its own motion, and everyone involved will get a hell of a ride.


A cabal is anything you want it to be, but it'd be cool to write up some texts which expand on this idea, of cabals formed from IRL friends, or internet friends, or one-time cabals that assemble for one purpose and then disperse...


Verbal Mike

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 02:48:12 pm »
Nigel, at no point did I call into question the fact that you hate proselytization, nor did I at any point suggest we should proselytize. I'm talking about the same thing Cram is talking about. Also the same thing that is meant by "nodes" in the netwar model of warfare. It's not about people's beliefs. I don't give a fuck what people believe. It's about action. And action seems to work much better with groups of 2 to 150 operating locally.
So calm the fuck down or GTFO.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 02:54:06 pm »
The Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal has been around for about 6 years. It has about 25 members and we have engaged in lots of activities, from the SPIRCHUAL (Erisian Masses, Various rituals) to the FIZACAL (Bubble Pranking, Public Performances, Jaking, etc) and lots of other stuff that just randomly comes up.

Sometimes, I think it would be awesome if the dynamic that exists in our Cabal existed in the Discordian multiverse as well... but I don't think that's likely. A small Cabal of like minded individuals seems much less contentious than a wide array of various tribes of people that all happen to share some jokes and (perhaps for the best) thats what Discordianism seems to have become. There are tribes of Discordians that are Dada, there are tribes of Discordians that wear funny clothes and say silly things, there are Discordians that want to overthrow the *insert authority here*, there are Discordians that want to Wake Up The World with slogans and posters, there are SRSLY SRS Discordians that want to start churches and SRSLY UNSIRIUS Discordians that seek only the LULZ, wherever they come from.

The GGMC, for what its worth has a variety of views, but they are similar in their most simple form... this does not seem to be the case on a wider scale. Could you imagine the sort of proselytizing some of this forum would do? The jackbooted thugs of the Nazis would look like Mother Theresa! (LOL).

If Discordianism had some Universal Message that could change the world, then perhaps a mass preaching would be useful... but from my perspective, the best thing I've learned through the PD is that Salvation may come through Nonsense... but if so, it seems a very personal/individual sort of thing, and not necessarily for mass consumption.

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 04:26:48 pm »
Martyrs seem to have doomed existences.

That's kind of the point of martyrs, really.

Nigel

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Re: An article I found + resulting ideas
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2008, 05:11:17 pm »
You're making no distinction between prosleytising and informing people of their options.

Oh, and thanks for the vote of confidence.

Discordians
no better than the AA, because they don't want to keep their cliquish in-joke to themselves?

Go fuck yourself.

If someone I know seems interested, I'll loan them a copy of the PD, give them the URL here, or answer questions if they have any.

I have no objections to the spread of information.

What I, personally, object to is the idea of organizing Discordians in a way that is designed to further the spread of Discordianism; in my opinion, as soon as Discordianism adopts the viral spreading mechanism of other religions, it becomes just like them, in the ways that we can already see when we get pinealfnord23 newbies who never STARTED thinking for themselves but just parrot whatever the book says.

And that's my objection.

If what you want to do is recruit more Discordians, I consider that different from converting people to Discordianism. I am 100% opposed to actively seeking converts. I won't try to stop anyone from doing it, but I will state that I'm against it, and why I'm against it, and I won't participate in it.
Tiny and Terrible Strap-On Fuckhorde of Tonight's Wrong Turn.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku