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Topics - Cramulus

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Literate Chaotic / Our Discordia
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:08:37 pm »
In many ways, Religion is kinda stupid, right?

but instead of leaning away from it

letís dive in

head first

Letís exercise our right to be wrong

Letís juice the religious experience for everything itís got.

Because IF beliefs are sacred, even the stupid ones,

BOOM, a bunch of really stupid shit is now sacred.

A lot of atheists come into Discordianism because itís this great joke on religion.

And then

when you feel where this headspace is,

you can see thereís something else


and you donít need to go to church for it,

you donít even need to really believe in a god to tap into it,

 itís this chaos inside

which can become anything

and listenĖif there are things in this universe

that are irrational

then our rational minds deceive us

into thinking that whole Enlightenment routine

can bust down any wall

but hey, you try reasoning with the clouds

Iím sure theyíll come around.


some stuff in this world is sacred

and I donít know what sacred means except

    a connection between

     heaven and earth,

       the conceptual and the material,

          the body and the spirit

and some stupid shit is sacred now


finally the bibles are molding on the shelves

finally the traditions have worn out

finally the parade is over

finally god is off the pedestal

finally we are in the driverís seat

finally a roach will save me

finally, flying baby shit

Aneristic Illusions / The #AltWoke Manifesto
« on: April 13, 2017, 06:30:09 pm »
Chewing on this today. This was introduced to me as:

"#altwoke is to eris as redpill is to kek."

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: April 11, 2017, 02:25:05 pm »

As some of you know, I've been on an academic binge through 1900-1920s esotericism. There were a lot of these weird guru figures that emerged during this period. Crowley, Gardner, Meher Baba, Mme Blavatski, G.I.Gurdjieff, many others. Most of them attracted - let's face it - wealthy socialites from London, Paris, and New York. Their students would come study in some remote location (Russia, India, etc), then return home to show off these weird oriental ideas to their wealthy socialite friends.

If there are two scales, "wiseman" and "charlatan", most of these gurus registered somewhere on both scales. Crowley, for example, was high on both. Meher Baba, in contrast - probably not a charlatan. Blavatsky? 100% charlatan. (and by the time people discovered that her 'letters from the other side' were a hoax, she had already collected a bunch of "true believers" -- so, inexplicably, there are still theosophists today.)

This "spiritual awakening" from 1900-1920 planted the seeds that would later become the new age movement. So maybe what I'm doing is just the turbo-hipster version of alt-spirituality.

I'll state my goal in sincere terms: I have an aesthetic attraction to 1920s esotericism. I am also interested in exploring this stuff from the inside. I don't just want to read about it, I want to read the texts, discover the secrets, test things for myself. And I don't want to get into occult stuff, let's see what else is out there.

Last Podcast on the Left is a show where a bunch of comedy peoples explores weird topics like serial killers, cults, and the occult. After doing an episode on the left hand path, and the right hand path, they wanted to do an episode on chaos magic. So they did like a year of research on it and its associated ideas. This is the first of two podcasts they did on it.

I enjoyed this one, haven't listened to the second one yet. They are usually pretty removed from the weird shit they are discussing, but here they clearly got into it a bit. In another podcasts, a few of them mention how most of the other NYC stand up comics they know are into some kind of occult practice. Is that weird or what? It's amazing, anyway

About 11 minutes into this podcast, they talk about Discordians. It lasts about 3 minutes, and it's funny - you guys should check it out

Apple Talk / Medieval Americans at War
« on: March 22, 2017, 02:27:29 pm »
If there was an American army during the middle ages, how would they be equipped?

Literate Chaotic / A Koan about Primal Chaos
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:48:14 pm »
Golden Rod approached the monk Nopants.

ďMaster Nopants, what can I learn by observing Primal Chaos?Ē

The master held up a pen. ďDo you know what this is?Ē

ďYes, itís a pen.Ē

The master said, ďI use it to scratch my balls.Ē

Literate Chaotic / The Monkey Experiment
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:45:16 pm »
(originally posted on this forum here, but it's buried on page 4)

The Monkey Experiment
   Thereís a famous experiment where they keep a bunch of monkeys in a room for an indefinite amount of time. Thereís a big white staircase leading up out of the room. Every time a monkey climbs to the top of the staircase, he gets blasted back down the stairs with a hose. When this happens, every monkey in the room also gets blasted with water. This makes them very angry.

    Soon, the monkeys have figured it out: beat the shit out of any monkey that starts to climb the stairs. Thatís the new rule.

    At some point, they remove a monkey and send in a new one. He learns the rule quickly: donít climb the stairs. And if weíre beating somebody up, join in. One by one, they replace each monkey with a new one who has to learn the rule.

    At some point they can turn off the hose. The monkeys will reliably prevent escape. Policing the stairs has become a cultural norm. Eventually, they have this population of monkeys who are trained to beat up any monkey that tries to escape, but donít even understand why.

    The experiment is run by interns who are paid in course credit. Occasionally, an intern finishes the semester and leaves. New interns join the team and everybody explains how to feed the monkeys and how to record the data. But at this point, none of the interns are from the original group, none of them have met the scientists leading this project. Most of the interns donít fully understand the point of the experiment.

    The scientist who began the experiment left long ago. Other researchers were assigned to the project by an administrator in order to keep this valuable experiment running. None of the remaining scientists are actually authors of the paper, or even understand what itís about. 

    The administrator supervising the project isnít terribly involved with it. He just prolongs the experiment because itís his departmentís main source of funding. But he didnít begin this project, he just inherited it from his predecessor, who is on a leave of absence and hasnít been seen in some time.

    The company funding the experiment has a sum of money they spend annually on scientific research, mainly for tax reasons. But the person who reads and approves grants left last year. The last time anybody saw the man, he handed a huge folder to some new kid and said ďmake sure these stay funded.Ē Then he disappeared up a long staircase leading into the sky.


Or Kill Me / You're not conscious
« on: March 17, 2017, 06:13:37 pm »
I hate to break it to you, but you're not conscious. You're just running a program. Your habitual mind is driving your meat machine. Your reactions are mechanical. You are running on autopilot. You are a script in human form.

There's a part of your mind which can become conscious, but it's too much work for you. It might open an eye for a moment, learn something, make a decision, but then it goes back to sleep. The autopilot is in charge.

Your mind is a mansion. But you? You spend 95% of your life jerking off in the basement. You didn't even know there was an attic. Can you even find the way there?

Your mind is a crowd. The party is buzzing and everybody's doing their own thing. But you? You're in the corner on your phone.

Your mind is a like a menu with 300 possible things to order, but you? You order the same meal every night.

Your mind is an anarchist commune. It has no leader. It resists leadership and coordination. But you? You couldn't lead them if you tried. If you were a real self, you could coordinate the collective and accomplish something. But you can't do it, so you let them lay around and talk shit all day.

And every time you start to wake up, when you begin to move from that comfortable spot you've been resting in for so long, you get distracted. Something else pops up, and you forget. Your habitual mind is overbearing, every moment of the day it's bullying the lazy conscious mind into the background. Your habitual mind doesn't want to be examined. It doesn't want to be resisted. And it's stronger than your conscious mind, so it wins every time.

And even now, as you read these words, your habitual mind is revving the robot's engine. Don't you have an update to check? Isn't there something else you're supposed to be doing? These words are boring, and there are too many of them. And it doesn't even apply to you, because you're conscious. Other people walk around on autopilot, but not you. Right?

RPG Ghetto / HONEY HEIST: a free 1-page RPG
« on: March 15, 2017, 12:58:52 pm »
In HONEY HEIST, you play a CRIMINAL BEAR. You have two stats: CRIMINAL and BEAR

Link to full size image

the guy's website

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
« on: March 08, 2017, 03:44:29 pm »

I really enjoyed this youtube vid discussing "The Problem with Irony"

The video follows a train of thought from David Foster Wallace. It is critical of how irony has infused itself so deeply into pop culture and everyday human relations. The video talks about how "Irony has no redemptive qualities in and of itself. It can point out problems and deconstruct things, but it has no solution." We've begun to treat irony as a statement in of itself.

This resonates with me through my experience spending years and years trolling the Internets with you cats. I found that there long-term consequences of wearing an ironic mask for so long, playing a character until it blends into your real personality. It made me argumentative and contentious in my day to day life. People told me that when they were talking, they felt like I was just searching for a weak point to pounce on it.  I was full of criticisms, and I defended myself against criticisms by not believing anything, by not presenting a solid base that could be attacked. Sometimes it felt like all I had was a critical posture... I had built walls and a moat ... with no castle to defend.

David Foster Wallace didn't like how irony (which, like Satire, is often employed to intensify the The Thing you're criticizing) had become The Thing itself. It has no values, no statement, no castle to defend.

Wallace's counter-movement is called the New Sincerity.

Apple Talk / The Pipe Strip
« on: March 08, 2017, 02:57:57 pm »

I think a bunch of yous guys have seen this already, but it deserves its own thread.

I am in awe of how far they go with this joke. How does he keep going? This looks like a single take. This guy is tapping into something deep and personal and awe inspiringly sarcastic.

Is this man gifted or cursed? The ability to do what he's doing is a rare talent. The level of sarcasm he wields actually transcends sarcasm. What is the tradeoff for this power? Is he like a savant, who can just do this one thing perfectly? Or is everything he does just as beautiful and perfect?

One of the things that's so brilliant about this is how straight he's doing it. It's a comedy video but he's carefully avoided making any ancillary jokes or absurdities. He's so intense, unwavering. Laser focused on exploring this joke out past the fringes of all meaning.

The Philip Glass score is p e r f e c t

This video is like when you repeat a word so many times that it loses all meaning. And he's elevating that confusion into a holy moment.

I have watched the whole thing about 1.5 times now and it keeps getting better.

Techmology and Scientism / Plant Watering Reminder Gadget
« on: June 07, 2016, 04:39:01 pm »

The plants in my apartment kept dying, mainly because my girlfriend and I kept assuming the other one had watered them. So I invented a little gadget that tells us when the plants need to be watered. Itís super simple.

The gadget has 3 buttons and 3 LEDs. Each pair is linked to one of the plants in my apartment.

Itís only a timer, it doesnít detect soil moisture or anything crazy like that. When a light turns on, it signifies that one of the plants needs to be watered. When somebody waters it, weíll press the button, and itíll reset the counter.

This fun little gadget only cost about $20 to make. It was a lot of fun to build!

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Laws, Social Media, and the Panopticon
« on: June 07, 2016, 04:04:33 pm »
One of the interesting things Junkenstein touched on in the Laws thread is the the intersection of law enforcement and surveillance.

The current incarnation of the justice system is based on some ideas that were kicking around the post-monarchial world and went through the wash a few times until they came out clean enough to sell. Namely the Panopticon.

The idea is that bad people will keep doing bad things when the authority isn't looking- so you should put prisoners in a place where they can be observed. Maybe it's that their prison cell faces a 1-way mirror and there might be a guard on the other side who gives them a demerit if they don't act right. Or maybe it's because they're picking up trash by the side of the road and they are constantly feeling the judgment of the public.

But the effect of observation is that it forces the person - the target of the discipline - to internalize a set of rules. They have to behave in a certain way to avoid reprimand, and eventually they internalize these rules. That's how you affect somebody's spirit, you make them build the laws inside of them, going through the motions with their body. Even if they're faking it, still thinking criminal thoughts, eventually this will be eroded by routine and discipline.

And that's how we built schools, prisons, the military...

And now we're in the social media era, everything can be uploaded, commented on, upvoted and downvoted.

There was a twitter account that this guy started on a subway in NYC, it was just supposed to document people who were taking up too much space, or doing asshole things that aren't appropriate for the subway. He wanted to shame people. And it turned into this really acrid account where he was just picking on people for the way they were dressed, etc. And eventually, the backlash came to him - somebody figured out who he was, and got his pictures up on Twitter. Then, anybody who saw him in public would take a pic and tweet it at that account. He used his phone camera as a weapon, and discovered it was a double-edged sword.

What rules are being enforced by the social media panopticon?

The terms of the transaction are: you trade some your privacy for access and community.

Years ago, I thought the way to deal with this was twofold:

1. Maintain the ability to disappear completely. At any time you should be able to kill your account and escape from whatever storm is chasing you. To do this successfully, you should avoid using your real name on the net. You should keep personal details obscured, and don't leave any channels open that you can't later close.

2. Chaff. Cover your social media with false cues and information. This way, anybody datamining you will get confused and the value of any given data will come under question.

Are those still good strategies?

My real name is on FB, it's easy to track me down... it's a bit harder to figure out my real name from here, so maybe the ability to disappear completely is more contingent on (a) how well you've compartmentalized, and (b) how motivated people are to connect the dots.

If I publish Chaff, it kind of gets in the way of the point of using social media to begin with.

and as I think about the steps you have to take to escape an angry wasps nest, I think to myself... what rules do I have to follow to avoid provoking the wasps to begin with? what rules has this panopticon made me internalize?  What rough edges have I actually sanded off, not just concealed? Has the presence of this social power refined me like a crucible, or restricted me like a warden supervising a chain gang?

Literate Chaotic / Danse Russe
« on: May 09, 2016, 08:46:25 pm »
William Carlos Williams, "Danse Russe"

If I when my wife is sleeping
 and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,--
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
again the yellow drawn shades,--

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / The Case Against Reality
« on: April 27, 2016, 06:53:38 pm »

This article manages hit some of our favorite check marks:

  [ x ] Inviting a barstool
  [ x ] Because Quantum

but it's still a good read.

Hoffman, a professor of Cognitive Science, asserts that we are not evolved to see "reality" - natural selection has developed sensory and cognitive apparatus suited for fitness and reproduction, not truth.


Gefter: People often use Darwinian evolution as an argument that our perceptions accurately reflect reality. They say, ďObviously we must be latching onto reality in some way because otherwise we would have been wiped out a long time ago. If I think Iím seeing a palm tree but itís really a tiger, Iím in trouble.Ē

Hoffman: Right. The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that weíre the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that itís about fitness functionsómathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.

Talking about what reality "really is" turns out to be a bit of a loop.  He says that according to physics, there is no "public physical objects". Ultimately the article posits that reality is subjective - I think he's claiming that our conscious experience is a type of reality, not merely an interpretation of it.

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