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Messages - tyrannosaurus vex

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The Secrets Forum / Sermon for the Weird Times
« on: Today at 03:02:40 am »
Religion, it turns out, is dying. In the last hundred years or so, it has been stabbed countless times by the relentless march of scientific inquiry, which has drained our ancient religions of all their mystery. There are no real questions left to ask, you see, because as soon as you ask a religious question you find out there has already been sixteen studies from Harvard that answered it three years ago.

As science rolls on, telling us why the Sun moves across the sky, where the summertime goes and why it comes back, and all manner of celestial mysteries, the serious student of spirituality is pushed farther and farther to the extremes of human experience. The religious seeker must content herself with answering the Really Big Questions, like "Is there life after death?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or "What is the meaning of life?"

But historically, those questions were never the bread and butter of our religious lives. Sure, they were always there, forming the foundations of our religions, promising to comfort us at funerals and give monks something to think about all day while they toiled.  But those were not the religious questions that got us through the day. They didn't tell us when to plant the crops or when to harvest them. They didn't tell us how to make sure Summer would return after it vanished every Autumn.

Most of us never really cared about the Big Questions anyway. For most of humanity, religion was a simple, paint-by-numbers affair. You put in a quarter, you get a gumball. That's how it worked. Our ideas of morality were practically cartoons. But that's all gone now, replaced with the indifferent drone of cold, soulless science.

Could it be that millions of people who had been content to live their lives with the shallow and cartoonish ideas about the universe, robbed of the safe spaces of their mindless faith by a scientific age that only undermines the need and moral justification for religion, find themselves completely disconnected and confused, unable to function in a world where they can no longer just get away with painting by numbers? Are these Weird Times the result, at least in part, of a backlash by people who no longer have any identity, whose entire world is being continually invalidated by empirical evidence and real science? Of course, this is a truism. Our technological and social progress have so disrupted the ideological status quo of human civilization that half of us no longer feel tethered to anything. Not to common decency, not to charity, not to compassion, not to equality, not to anything. They have been set adrift, and are doing everything they can do to rebuild the world they feel they have lost.

This, I believe, is why they are immune to logic and impervious to facts. The act of following facts and logic is what got them to where they are to begin with, and they have resolved to undo that damage precisely by abandoning facts and logic. The world is too complex. There are too many variables. There are too many unseen forces outside of their control. There is too much to understand, too much history, too many words, too many different ideas, too many different people. It drives them mad. They can't think with all this progress going on. What happened to Sunday afternoons goddammit, what happened to drive in theaters, what happened to everything? It's all because of the facts and the logic and the respect, they figure. It all started with all those people who weren't satisfied like they were. The troublemakers. And now they've got to fix it, by God. They've got to Make America Great Again.

So it seems to me that trying to convince them out of that mindset can only make the problem worse. What they need is not a better understanding. They've already shown that any such understanding cannot help but to elude them. Whether they're too angry to understand, or too set in their ways, or just too dumb, it doesn't matter. They won't get it. So what will they get? What can they understand? What they need is something simple and straightforward. Something old-fashioned, familiar, and definite. A New Religion.

And what might this religion look like? It's got to be easy to recognize. It's got to draw a crowd. It has to have God in it, somewhere. It has to have a simple story that can repeat itself in the life of every believer. It has to be something they can share at the dinner table. There needs to be a struggle in it, a winner and a loser.

And I think... I think I have just the answer. It's not new -- not really -- it's based on an ancient tradition. It isn't a revolution (that's a good thing, remember). It's quick to pick up. Like all great arts, it's simple to learn but it takes a lifetime to master. It can be expressed in simple pictures and paragraphs much, much shorter than these. It's a revealed wisdom, handed down from ancient and learned generations of old. There is prayer. There is a sacrament. And it will definitely piss off the Devil. And you don't have to pay tithes!

So what is it? It's easy.

I call it the Holy Ancient Order of Punching a Goddamn Nazi in the Face.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Anyone help me fix my bash script?
« on: Yesterday at 09:57:40 pm »
it's sort of black magic to me too, it's just bit me a few times before so i remember it. I'm pretty sure it's because when you pipe a stream to a loop like that, the loop can't know ahead of time how much data there is so it has to set up a subshell to process the lines as they come in. but when you do the whole 'cat' operation in its own subshell and then redirect it into the loop, there's a known quantity that can be iterated over. i'm probably wrong about that but whatevs.

The Secrets Forum / Re: Opinion time!
« on: Yesterday at 08:28:55 pm »
Looks like it's supposed to look like the parental advisory stickers they put on CDs.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Anyone help me fix my bash script?
« on: Yesterday at 03:41:37 pm »
Code: [Select]
sanitizeHTML() {
while read LINE; do
  IFS=';' read FROM TO <<< "$LINE"
  while [[ $OUTSTRING =~ (.*)$MATCH(.*) ]]; do
done < <(cat html_entities.csv)

sanitizeHTML "Fremdsprachige B&uuml;cher"

explanation: just put "cat html_entitiies" in its own process substitution subshell and redirect it into the while loop, rather than piping it in at the beginning. This gives the loop all the data it needs at the beginning without having to re-execute for every line in the stream (and thus creating a subshell to deal with the input of unknown length).

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Anyone help me fix my bash script?
« on: Yesterday at 03:23:12 pm »
In Bash, while loops are executed in a subshell which has a different variable scope than the main script. So any variables you set (or "change") inside the while loop will be lost when the loop exits. To avoid that you need to use command substitution to change the input to the while loop

Code: [Select]
i put code here but it was wrong

I love the moon one! Are these stealable?
Sure you can steal them. Attribution pls (for mine. you can also attribute others' submissions to me if you want, because I'm not super picky, but that's up to you).

- THE MOON. So let's review the facts. The Moon is larger than most of JUPITER'S moons, in fact it is the largest satellite in proportion to its host planet BY FAR in the entire solar system. Physically, there's no way it should have formed in Earth orbit. Also, it's EXACTLY 400 times smaller than the Sun AND EXACTLY 400 times closer to the Earth than the Sun, making it appear EXACTLY the same size to us. Somehow. And we're supposed to believe that humans did something this precise? Not no way, not no how. You just get your cockamamie "mainstream science" and take it on up outta here. There's no way humans are smart enough to do this. This is clearly evidence that the Moon is in fact a holographic projection created by HAARP, which, incidentally, predates human civilization by AT LEAST 10,000 years. Suck on that for a while, nerds.

- MOUNT RUSHMORE. Have you seen this? It's fucking huge. It's bigger than my house! It's also way up at the top of a ridge on a mountain made out of SOLID ROCK. According to the so-called "experts", it was carved out of that rock in the 1920s. And millions of people just eat that story up like manna from Heaven, the stupid morons. Have you seen technology from the 1920s? They didn't even have the Internet. So, my first question is, without Internet access, how did they even know what those presidents looked like? Huh? And how did a bunch of primitive Model-T-driving Neanderthals even get up to the top of that hill in the first place? Model-T's don't even have four wheel drive! checkmate, Academia!

- THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. Look, I know this is probably a sensitive subject since the copper Lady is a nationalist symbol and all, but I have to go where the evidence leads me. The OFFICIAL STORY is that this statue was shipped all the way from FRANCE over 100 years ago. But it doesn't add up, people! It just doesn't add up. Look. Do you know the specific density of copper? I do, and let me tell you, it's a lot higher than water. And what's between FRANCE and AMERICA? Water. Lots of it. I mean there's practically a whole ocean! There are no bridges! How did the French get that big huge statue across all that water without it sinking? Can you answer that? No. Because it's impossible. And here's another thing: researchers at the Statue of Liberty, upon inspecting the copper plates she is made, have found thousands of rivets. But Lady Liberty is like... over fifty feet tall! How many of you have seen a rivet gun with a FIFTY FOOT extension on it? They don't exist!

I mean, I don't enjoy tearing down your precious beliefs about what is and isn't possible, but sometimes you have to break some eggs, you know? If we ever expect to get out of our current paradigm of focusing on WAR and MONEY and RELIGION, we're gonna have to break some of these sacred cows.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: February 26, 2017, 09:02:08 pm »
vex, you seem to be forgetting that this is the tRump century. Your ideas about legitimate power lying with government sound so quaintly old-fashioned, like that Victorians covering up piano legs in the interests of modesty; which is another fake fact. Government power, in what for the moment are still nominally free democracies, will only obtain until someone comes along with the will, guile and cash to stage a buy out. Read some Hobbes, try the Leviathan, you can see the thought processes behind the development of our modern beliefs about power. Power in its essence is neither legitimate nor illegitimate it is merely wielded.
Just in case you didn't want to sleep comfortably yu might try this piece too,

also Nigel is right re. the order/disorder thingy. Discordians have spent years mulling over this shit. Who knew we would end up on the white hot edge of political thinking?

I meant "legitimate" facetiously and in the general consensus that if power is going to be wielded, it must be done so through the government. "Legitimacy" isn't a real thing, it's just a stamp on the exercise of power. You're right that who controls the stamp at any time isn't controlled by the government itself, especially not since the government's own mass of power has been under sustained attacked for half a century. But we're not yet at the point where power can be directly exercised without that stamp of legitimacy with complete impunity for very long.

I'm not talking so much about how the system was designed, but about how it functionally works. The government does have the advantage of perceived legitimacy which acts as a force multiplier for hard power, whereas a throng of brownshirts don't. So it's the brownshirts' objective to usurp the "legitimacy" of government power in order to curbstomp their way to actual power. Just like it's every competing political or economic group's objective to ensnare the government's "legitimate" power and influence into orbit around their own. Sure, someday we might get to a point where corporate armies enact company policy despite the legality of doing so, but more likely is that they will just make it legal in the first place by influencing "legitimate" policy and removing the bureaucratic obstacles.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: February 26, 2017, 06:44:27 pm »
The government certainly doesn't have a monopoly on power, but legitimate power's center of gravity is in government. The reservoirs of power outside the government are fractious and competitive. They seldom manage to consolidate into an effective counterweight to government power that can bark orders without going through official channels, at least not on a massive or widespread scale. They compete to capture that center of gravity into their own orbits. Bureaucracy in this metaphor would, I guess, be the stiff medium through which that mass must be pulled, and it acts sort of like a non-Newtonian fluid  in that it strongly resists abrupt movements, and attempts to break that barrier are either stopped more or less cold, or if they can act with sufficient force, cause the fabric of that bureaucracy to shear or shatter.

So I guess the question is whether Trump's admittedly intense efforts carry enough mass with them to do lasting damage to the bureaucratic order. So far, the resistance seems to be holding as various forces align in direct opposition to his efforts and a lot of the energy Trump is putting into the system is lost to friction and apparently aimless indecision, and much of his original "mass" of support evaporates. But Trump's administration and a large part of his support in the public form a core of fundamentally hostile actors who are very openly trying to undermine and destroy the bureaucratic order. So... we'll see.

« on: February 26, 2017, 05:33:02 pm »
I made this in response to some Libertarian bullshit on my FB feed.

Yes but in a true Libertarian society, someone will learn how to make a profit by reforesting those areas.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: February 26, 2017, 05:04:30 am »
That's what prompted me to post that dead-end idea somewhere in Aneristic Illusions about purposely working toward the obsolescence of the current political paradigm. People do see the government as essentially foreign to their lives -- and that goes for the entire left/right spectrum. It's either a malicious occupying power or a benevolent quasi-deity handing down commandments of good intentions, in the minds of most people. When people talk about "disenfranchisement" they usually mean people who don't vote. But most voters -- even most activists -- are still fundamentally disconnected the whole philosophy of self-government and their place in it. And we tend to ignore local politics way too much on top of that. I am hoping there might be a few rays of sunlight that break through this permanent thunderstorm in DC, in the form of pockets of regional or at least local/municipal engagement since it's evident that the "benevolent quai-deity" is really nothing of the sort.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: February 26, 2017, 04:03:12 am »
Yeah, I don't dispute that there's not even enough funding to go around for the scientists who are out there, let alone a whole new generation of them. I think where I was going with that was more than just "scientist shortage". I think if there were more people with access to such education, it might nudge the cultural pendulum a little closer toward making it more popular to fund the sciences (and the arts, for that matter) more adequately.

You're right about the average smarts of the human race. I am lucky to work in a field where you have to have more than the average amount of brains to get by for any length of time, and I don't deal with the general public like I used to do in retail or services. Still it's evident that a lot of people, including more than a few who seem fairly bipedal at first impression, who just can't make some of the leaps that I didn't even realize were leaps until I saw them struggling. I don't mean to be all "look at me and how smart I am" about it, because in a lot of ways i'm not. But I'm amazed at least a few times a week at people who say something or do something that makes me absolutely sure aliens are real because there's no way a planet full of THAT invented the atom bomb.

As for scientists in office, I don't think there are words in the English language that capture how ready I am for that. The real tragedy is being unable to make headway with a lot of people not because they are evil, but because they are just incapable of getting it.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Talking to Nigel
« on: February 25, 2017, 05:54:16 pm »
STEM should be so much higher on our cultural priority list it isn't even funny. But in our intensely materialistic, instant gratification-based society where nothing is worth doing unless it's for money, it's hard to find any inspiration for STEM. That we've made the advances we have is amazing, given the conditions under which most of it is made. And everyone superficially "understands" how important it is, but our medical and technological accomplishments might as well be black magic to most people. They're so uninvolved in the process that real science and medicine actually feels to an alarming number of people like just an alternative to hocus-pocus quackery like prayer and homeopathy, as if it's functionally on the same level as those. Even well-educated, "sophisticated" people are easily fooled. I include myself in that statement, too.

What makes matters worse is that even if there were billions of dollars on the table for serious and long-term investments in STEM fields, we have priced education out of the reach of millions of would-be scientists. It seems to me that if we made education itself more accessible, there would be a lot of people who put the energy they put into healing crystals into STEM instead.

The Secrets Forum / Re: Magic Game Cards, PD edition.
« on: February 25, 2017, 02:34:45 am »
In case anyone cares, that last card was made as an idea for a card that could stop DAMN NEAR ANY crazy shit an opponent may be whipping out.  Meant mainly as an infinite combo buster.  Oh you want to play Final Fortune with Hive Mind out and force us all to lose the game?  STOP THAT BULLSHIT

You know how if you have to explain a joke it's not funny and the more you explain a joke the less funny it is?

That's this post.

One of my favorite things to do is to make a joke that's just a little funny, and then spend twice as long explaining it to ruin it on purpose.

The Secrets Forum / Re: Maybe you can help
« on: February 24, 2017, 11:27:53 pm »
wow i had no idea there were places you could go specifically for sensory deprivation. this seems like something i might like. thanks!

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