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Messages - Cramulus

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Principia Discussion / New RAW book is out
« on: Today at 03:02:36 pm »


For over a decade (1987-1997), Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of the Illuminatus! trilogy and author of The Cosmic Trigger, published a quarterly newsletter, Trajectories: The Journal of Futurism and Heresy, full of original articles, unpublished fiction and outrageous opinion. The 1994 book Chaos and Beyond collected the best essays from the first ten issues of the newsletter; this sequel, Beyond Chaos and Beyond, preserves the best of the final issues, including an excerpt from RAW’s unfinished sequel to Illuminatus!, transcripts of audio and video issues, and transcripts of the several videos featuring RAW produced specifically for his globe-girdling fan base.

Additional material includes a rare 1977 interview with RAW; a major essay on Philip K. Dick, as well as RAW’s comments from a PKD documentary; transcripts of RAW’s 1978 PBS appearances discussing The Prisoner; and a 30,000-word essay by the editor detailing his 30-plus-year association with Wilson.

Beyond Chaos and Beyond is essential reading for hardcore fans of Robert Anton Wilson’s extraordinary work and life.

High Weirdness / Re: Frida Kahlo and Cthulhu walk into a bar...
« on: Yesterday at 03:32:20 pm »
Couldn't find a copy that included Frida, and I did a pretty deep scrape...

Apple Talk / Re: Consumer Identity
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:05:05 pm »
One thing I am considering...

There's research that shows people operate as if they have a moral "balance sheet" -- which works kinda like a diet - you exercise, so then you feel okay about eating a cupcake. If you do something good, it makes up for something bad.

One experiment gave participants a sum of money, and then asked them if they'd like to donate any of that money to a charity. Then, they gave people a test, with a visible opportunity to cheat on that test. They found that people who gave $$ to charity had a higher level of cheating.

It's like they thought "I did something good! So I can get away with something bad right now..."

Over Christmas, we were talking about charity, and a friend of the family mentioned that she only buys Toms shoes. (because for each pair of shoes purchased, Toms 'donates a pair to a third world country') It's a curious thing to bring up in the context of charity, it makes me think that she views her shoe purchase as charitable. And I wonder--if she didn't have Toms to make her feel good, would she be more likely to actually donate to a real charity?

(hate to link to zizek, but he has some interesting thoughts here:
First as Tragedy, Then as Farce)

I guess I'm wondering if people who go buy Gilette razors this week feel like they did something positive for the world. If so, there's a good chance that there isn't a net positive.

Apple Talk / Re: Consumer Identity
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:49:31 pm »
Oh, I wanted to drop this mini-documentary in here, courtesy of Cainad: Cultivated Identity, with Peter Coffin

Discusses the modern intersection between commerce and identity
and why people think that buying a plastic razor is a form of activism

Propaganda Depository / Re: Good Ol' Bamboozlement
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:12:13 pm »
Relevant Article:

Quote from: Marshal McLuhan
“World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.”

Apple Talk / Re: Consumer Identity
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:50:26 pm »
Like, Nike taking Colin Kaepernick's side was good.

But in the next few days, I saw so many posts where people were praising Nike, or talking about buying new shoes in support of it

Isn't that kinda weird??

It's hard to talk about this without coming off like a big d-bag who is shitting on social progress.

Apple Talk / Consumer Identity
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:33:35 pm »
Right now, the socialwebz is chattering about the Gilette commercial where they talk about toxic masculinity.

It's a great message. It's a well produced commercial. This is not about that.

I just feel like I'm taking crazy pills sometimes. Remember the Pepsi commercial where Kylie Jenner suddenly gets WOKE and ends racism by giving a cop a pepsi?

The whole thing was so cheap and awkward. I actually had a little faith in humanity restored because people rejected the crass attempt to cash in on a social movement. "Why can't we all just get along and enjoy a Pepsi together"

But we forgot about that -- now brands are our moral guardians again.

Just so we're on the same page here:

Bigass companies like Proctor & Gamble have legions of marketers who spend all day dreaming up ways to get regular people to talk about their brand. The easiest way to do it is to associate the brand with a topic people are talking about already. If they pick a controversial topic, they do a fuckload of research to make sure they're on the right side of the wave. At least, with their target audience. Brands aren't going to move the needle, they usually choose the safe side, to minimize blowback. (although the blowback can serve them -- when Chick-Fil-A took a stand against The Gays, people boycotted them, but then there was Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.. The company grew by 12% as a result of the controversy)

So, I am not generous with credit when ads sell us feel-good pro-social moral messages. They're not Martin Luther King, they're more like the guy who shows up at the million man march selling T-Shirts.

But all that being said, it's complicated... Because toxic masculinity is an important topic, #MeToo is an important topic, and getting some fresh air around masculinity is a net benefit. We need to be having these talks in cyberspace. We need shitheads to accidentally see a mirror and go "oh fffffuck".

In my darkest and most cynical moments, I question whether social progress is possible without involving Consumer Identity. Maybe progress is only possible when it can be sold -- and integrated into your wardrobe.

(the research shows, btw, that gender-role based advertising is super effective)

Because ultimatley, what moves the needle is "influencers" (like Kylie Jenner for some fucking reason) or Taylor Swift (whose brief dip into political awareness spiked voter registration). And if we're all just plugged into the knee-jerk machine anyway, then we might as well get something good out of it... so Thanks, Gilette, for getting people talking about your brand (in the context of toxic masculinity). Because it IS time to have a conversation about toxic masculinity (brought to you by Gilette).

Let's look back at the early Women's Lib movement... The FIRST American PR campaign was about getting more women to smoke--this was accomplished by targeting activist feminists. They tried to get women to call cigarettes "Torches of Freedom", and create a symbolic link between smoking and independence. They paid women to smoke cigarettes while marching in parades. 

In my darkest and most cynical moments, I thank the cigarette industry for women's lib.

Propaganda Depository / Re: Good Ol' Bamboozlement
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:02:13 pm »

The title of this story is "All Discordians join the Illuminatti"

I called it the Adam Weishaupt Society.

We made this big alternate reality game around creating and propagating fake news stories. We had a secret website and a secret forum.

We taught ourselves to talk in the authority-voice, the man-on-the-scene voice.

We learned what kinds of stories would make people tweak out and rage, or beat their friends over the head, going "See?? I told yoU!!"

We even had a scoring system -- when you found a forum or blog that mentioned your story, you earned points. When non-players commented, it earned points. The bigger the reaction, the bigger the score.

We were organized into cells - all the players were spread out over 4 teams. Each team had an photoshop-wizard, a text-wrangler, and a web monkey. We used code names, and had cool avatars. It felt like this secret operation  :lol:

The game was divided into 2-week rounds, and every team was trying to get the biggest score during that time. Of course, the misinformation game didn't stop at the public, it was also not-unheard-of to fake screenshots and stage outrage as a launching platform for an even louder screech.

Honestly, it was super fun, while it lasted.

Before the wave, it felt like we were actually doing this public service. Like, maybe this would teach some people to read more critically. Kinda like the Discordian vibe - that we are a religion that's so absurd it couldn't be a religion, it begs to be rejected -- but to reject us, you need rigor. You need a system for sorting out "true" from "false", and that lens is very difficult to hold up against Religion and Spirituality. You cannot toss out Discordians without tossing out some of the authentic, so it feels like our absurdity is also a service to the greater lunatic fringe... and back in the late 2000s, our little fake news games felt the same way--like we are trying to break the machine in a way that would (in some small way) ultimately contribute to our health.

Then Facebook happened. 2014, 2015, 2016 happened. Fake news changed. We all became more tightly plugged into the infosphere, and it started to make us all a little stupid. It became impossible for me to see it as this fun game, this playful joke that the knowing are playing on the ignorant. Now it's about hacking the human biocomputer, positioning fnords for dopamine hits, affecting political outcomes through misinformation and disenfranchisement. It's a part of warfare. And it's making us fucking stupid.

I quit the fake news game. I quit trolling, too. Now I play Sincerity (or fake it  :p).

It's hard for me to process disinformation as humor these days. What's the point, when there are flat earthers? Creating more flat earthers is not a victory condition, the whole thing is a disease and if you cultivate it, you're doing harm.

Goddess save us all from Adam Weishaupt.

Apple Talk / Re: ATTN: The Criminal Scum None As Doctor Cramulus
« on: January 10, 2019, 01:57:37 pm »

Full painting:

The best thing about that pillow is that I physically own it, I'm actually leaning against it right now. I saw that pic on tumblr one day, while fuckin loaded on bourbon. I laughed so hard that I had to find out more. I found a website which sold it printed on a pillow, and purchased it immediately. The next morning, when I sobered up, I forgot all about it.

A week or two later, the pillow arrived in the mail and it totally blindsided me. Laughed by BALLS off. I think that if the apartment was on fire, it's one of the things I'd grab.


The painting is called "Batman Charity" and it's a take-off of this renaissance painting called Roman Charity. There are dozens of versions of it.

Here's Rubens version:

According to the roman legend, this dude was sentenced to death by starvation, just chained up in a room and left to die. His daughter was allowed to visit him, but she couldn't bring him food, so she breastfed him. This is seen as an act of super heroism. I mean, she could have been sentenced to the same thing, but also, it's gross as fuck. She really took one for the team there. But the (Super)hero connotation is probably why this painter did a Batman version of it.

This is Fine Ass Art.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: January 10, 2019, 01:48:28 pm »
Glad to hear <3

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: January 10, 2019, 01:26:53 pm »

January 13th is Gurdjieff's "Life Day" -- his birthday, but it's the day we celebrate his life. There's going to be a big ceremony at St. Martin's church, in Manhattan. This is a time of year when the Gurdjieff foundation changes gears and all its normal functions are put on hold while we prep for the big day.

I have been swamped, and haven't attended any "work days", but I did manage to squeeze in a few hours of festival prep work. The Gurdjieff foundation is crazy right now. All its normal spaces are full of projects--Murals, decorations, and other preparation for the event.

I was told that I could basically just pick a space, pick an activity, and jump in. But was steered a bit towards making the "cards". There will be a big meal, and at the end, guests will be given a little dessert box, with a card on the top - one that could later be used as a bookmark. The cards are all hand decorated. I sat at a table with a few other people, decorating cards in whatever way I wanted. But it had to be mindful, focused, intentional.

I was able to really lose myself (or find myself?) in this work. It was beautiful to me, that we would put so much effort into a tiny little detail that people might not even notice. I spent maybe 10-15 minutes per card, and it was definitely on the "quick" side. Many cards took 20+ minutes, and the goal was to make 300 of them.

Some of the other people making cards were artists and designers, and put mine to SHAME. Here are mine, which I must emphasize, look like garbage compared to some of the intricate and beautifully colored cards that were made by others:

This was my first time doing "work" side by side with other Gurdjieff people. I gotta say, it was actually really fun. It was like 2 hours of coloring while listening to piano music.

In Other News,
Next week, when they re-start, I'm going to try the Movement classes again. The long commute to get there was making it very difficult to be in the right mental space for them and I wasn't able to get anything out of them. So this time, I'm going to try driving into Manhattan, which fucking terrifies me. But it'll be 8 PM, so maybe it won't be a high stress clusterfuck of crisis-merging and bumper to mosh pit. If I can handle it, I'll be able to get to/from the class in 40 minutes, which cuts the commute time in half or less. We'll see. I'm open to it. But if this isn't the year to do the movements, that's okay too... I have a LOT on my plate this year, and if I get Wednesday night off, I would make good use of it.

This is the New Years Resolution time of year. During the holidays, our habits and patterns are suspended and it gives us a moment to reflect on the big picture. At our meeting, we were asked to take some time to reflect on our original reasons for approaching the Gurdjieff work. This is dangerous, because we may realize that "as the octave progressed, it turned from its original course". But it can also be a time of renewal and rededication.

I am very thankful for finding the work. Before, I understood my own automatism intellectually, but I don't think I had really felt it. The Gurdjieff work is helping me become more emotionally sensitive, and more in touch with my self. The practice of Self Remembering is so grounding, makes it easier to keep in touch with Who I Am and What I Should Be Doing.

It's also incredibly daunting and frustrating sometimes - not the work itself, but the recognition of how small the conscious part of me actually is. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I was asleep, no doubt about it--just grinding away and leaping from one problem to the next and never really arriving anywhere. During the holidays, I had a few precious minutes of awakened self. I used this gift to bond with my family, my beautiful girlfriend, and talk about the future.

When I do the nameless sensing exercise in the morning--properly, not rushing through it--it changes my whole day. It gives the day the potential to be something else. I can feel my body differently, having "rebooted" those connections, and that makes me process all information differently. I've been doing zen meditation very intermittently since I was a teenager, but only rarely approached meditation in a truly disciplined way. I would use it as a de-stress technique, or just to ground myself, and sometimes I'd have a nice quiet internal experience that left me feeling refreshed. But this stuff is different. It's like warming up the car for a drive. It's like turning on a light, to read better. This is concrete, the benefits I've experienced are tangible.

Here's to the New Year, the New Me, and the New You. I am wishing everybody a year of self discovery and consciousness. This year, I hope you're able to see yourself, see the big picture, and find the avenue which connects the two.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: January 07, 2019, 08:29:54 pm »
"we need to find the right balance" is the styrofoam packing peanuts of things to say in a meeting.

In every planning meeting I've ever attended, some manager or exec lists two possible failure scenarios (usually things that other people just brought up) and concudes "we just need to find a path between these two"

ohhhh shit we got a real brain-genius over here. GOD DAMN, look at those leadership skills.

Apple Talk / Re: I don't know where the random links thread is
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:47:47 pm »
NOICE, so you remember that hilarious twitter account, TNG Season 8? apparently the writer is working on this star trek animated series

link to the "best of" TNG season 8:

Star Trek: Lower Deck

“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.’ His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed."

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:44:35 pm »
I went to to see how they're covering the gov't shutdown. They aren't (right now, at least). But I did find THIS:

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: December 21, 2018, 09:05:24 pm »
I met a lot of Israelis in Germany this year who were very pro-trump, which I still find bizarre even given the embassy thing.

Will be curious to see if they change their tune this summer.

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