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Messages - Cramulus

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16
Apple Talk / Re: Introductions, Part VI: Welcome to Our PD Party
« on: August 29, 2017, 01:54:37 pm »
Hey, I'm Qlip, I don't consider myself a Discordian, but I thought I'd hang out here for a bit. What lead me to this particular forum was that I made a friend through another friend, she was pretty cute and into Chaos Magick. I don't really truck with that, I myself am a lifelong Qabbalist, kind of on par with how I'm a guitarist, I can play Blackbird and the intro to Stairway to Heaven and that's all. So I stalked her for a bit on the social media, reading her reposted magick memes, all the while I got on with my life. I went on a half-year LSD trip, went clear, turned on to prog-folk, fell in love, and moved to the forest in Northern California.

Then she reposted a little excerpt called A ZEN STORY by somebody who billed himself The Count of Five Headmaster, Camp Meeker Cabal. I had just checked out a rental in Camp Meeker a few months ago. Looking more into the author of that piece, Camden Benares, it turns out he was the Postmaster of the little town I did end up in. Unfortunately he wasn't there when I signed up for my P.O. Box.  But, I did find a hobo mark on the post office fence post indicating this forum gave free handouts if you told a story.  Hi.

Hey new guy!
Woah! I had no idea what the Camp Meeker Cabal referred to - he was the postmaster for your town? that's crazy. I'm a big fan of Camden's book, Zen Without Zen Masters. If you dig up any other local Count of Fives stories, I would be dying to hear them.


There used to be a little qaballah contingent on this board - that cabal was nicknamed SSOOKN, but I can't recall what that stood for. LMNO, you must remember. This guy Mangrove (where IS mangrove, anyway??) actually taught me a bunch about Qaballah, and pointed me at the book Chicken Soup Qaballah, which seemed like a good introduction. ("It's all in your head, you just have no idea how big your head is." -- that line really sticks with me)


The board is a bit slow these days, but if you be pro-active and post some topics you want to discuss, people are sure to jump in. Anyway, welcome!

17
Bring and Brag / Re: A thing called "I"
« on: August 27, 2017, 10:32:31 pm »
beautifully written

I like how it suggests that the soul / conscious self is not something we're born with, it's something we can build in ourselves - and it takes continuous self-observation and struggle.

18
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Vote! Trial and Error Party
« on: August 27, 2017, 02:32:34 pm »
Hegel knew there'd be days like this, there'd be days like this Hegel said (hegel said, hegel said)


see also --
 Bokonon's theory of dynamic tensions, "the equilibrium between good and evil" (47.3). (from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle) The idea being that every movement requires two sets of muscles. One to move, the other to stop the movement. Movement is impossible without the opposition between these two forces.

Quote
"Papa" Monzano, he's so very bad
But without bad "Papa" I would be so sad;
Because without "Papa's" badness,
Tell me, if you would,
How could wicked old Bokonon
Ever, ever look good?

19
Apple Talk / Re: Spagbook
« on: August 26, 2017, 02:37:32 am »


Cramulus and Hoopla hang out in NYC

20
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:37:15 pm »
In zen-buddhist texts, sometimes you hear these descriptions of the masters, how they have this way about them... you can recognize that they really know something. You can see it in their movements, in everything they say. (As an aside, I think Bob Ross is like that. In his motions and gestures, his words and tone of voice, you can see his self-mastery)

I want to mention my impression of one of the group leaders, an older woman. She had this presence .. it's hard to describe.  She heard everyone's questions, could sense the root curiosity or confusion that informed that question.. and was able to speak to what you were really asking. When she talked, she really connected with you. Her voice was clear. Her ideas were focused. When she moved her hands, it emphasized exactly the right things. She grabbed your attention and held it tight. I connected with everything she said.


This woman -- there was just something about the way she talked, the way she moved her hands... I could tell she was conscious, she was on, she was here right now. Completely focused, completely awake. Every time she spoke, she spoke perfectly.


They are careful, in these groups, not to present the Work as a path to a bunch of super powers and enlightenment. They emphasize that doing all these exercises won't make you permanently awake, but it might give you the possibility of awakening. It's about climbing the tree, not eating the fruit.

But seeing this woman talk -- it showed me that for some people, there is a remarkable payoff. When somebody has a higher level of "being" like that, you can feel it. It made me realize how distracted I am all the time, how sometimes when you're talking to me, my mind is elsewhere. I'm running a million programs at once. They're all taking a little bit of energy, and so in any given moment, each of my processes is in a low energy state. It's hard to describe.. but just interacting with this woman made me understand Being a little bit better. She's here and now. I could be too.

21
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:21:18 pm »
Reading and Exchange

Last night I went to a "Reading and Exchange" - it was a room of ~25 people. Two of them were from the group I had attended earlier this summer. The group leaders were three people I'd never met before.

The readings were about "coming into being". One of them discussed the relationship between the "physical body" and the "psychic body". The physical body basically only knows a few things - hunger, fatigue, sex...  That's all it can 'think' of, it has nothing else. When our psychic bodies desire something, we have to harness our force of will to find it. The physical body steals some of this energy. We get distracted--our bodies want to know what's for dinner. Part of the Work is to tame the body, make it obey the mind.

That's why Gurdjieff recommends picking a habit or behavioral pattern - something small - and working against it. Deny yourself your daily fudge sundae. Observe how the body responds, how it pulls harder on your energy, how it becomes more distracting. How easy it is to fall back into this habit!

The body can even outsource its desires to your intellectual and emotional centers. There is an emotional need to smoke that cigarette. Your mind will rationalize why it's okay this one time.

Also notice---these impulses and decisions aren't actually choices you're making, they're just happening. Your intellect and emotions have the same kind of autopilot as the body.

As you struggle against physical habits and temptations, you will slowly develop (like a weak muscle growing in strength through exercise) a watcher, a third force which observes the desire, and the will, and is capable of moderating both.

This "third force" is conscious energy. It only appears for a flicker of a moment. It's like a gift.

I'm reminded of having arguments with a loved one, and then going for a long walk to cool down... I'm repeating my arguments in my head, I'm fantasizing about how I'll come back and win the fight, I'm dwelling on how wrong the other person is. Eventually, this antagonistic energy gets exhausted. And in this moment of quiet, maybe I'm able to recognize how I was wrong, and how we can compromise. That's the third force.

Part of the Work is teaching yourself to be prepared for this moment. It's hard to force it, it seems like it just falls into your lap when you're ready. And if you're not sensitive to it, you can miss it entirely. You have to be ready to receive that gift.

On fighting against habits -- they emphasized that it's important to actually do these exercises - it's not enough to read about it. Reading a million books about this stuff doesn't make you an expert. Talking about it a lot doesn't make you any more conscious. Only continuous effort, over a long period of time, gives you the possibility of developing this conscious body.



Reconciling the Incongruities-- or not

Someone at the group asked -- "Here, you talked about a physical body and a psychic body -- how do we reconcile that with the other models of the self you've given us? three centers, five centers, seven centers... today you only talk about two parts. How does it fit together?"  -- that's one of the things I keep noticing about the Gurdjieff work. It's full of contradictions. Sometimes he talks about three centers, sometimes five. Sometimes he talks about sexual energy as a part of the body, sometimes he puts it somewhere else...

One of the group leaders responded -- "I wonder what part of you wants to make it all fit together?"

Throughout In Search of the Miraculous, Gurdjieff's disciple Ouspensky tries to pin down the "science" of awakening, he wants to reconcile the contradictions and draw up a complete model. What I learned last night at the meeting was that this isn't important. It might be that the incongruity is actually built into it to keep it from becoming a "known quantity". Once you "understand" it, you don't give it any more thought. ("a conclusion is just where you stopped thinking")

But it's the seeking part of us, the part that wants to understand things, that needs to be recognized and nourished. That part of us can help us create the "third force" in ourselves. The incongruity keeps the mind working. (I'm reminded of the Crowley essay, "The Soldier and the Hunchback")




I had a really tough day yesterday, my mind was a firestorm. But I calmed down and made myself sensitive to the third force. And eventually, it came, and showed me the path between scylla and charibdis.

22
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: The Spirit World of Ideas
« on: August 24, 2017, 04:49:41 pm »
BUMP

For years, I've been trying to find the most most parsimonious way of expressing the idea at the top of this thread.


something that comes to mind



think about the life cycle of a joke, in terms of natural selection

---it starts as an amusing thought
---somebody shares it verbally and people laugh. The laughter is a reward to the person who spake it, it makes it more likely for the joke to be shared
---maybe one of the people who hears the joke has a better way to phrase it - this version of the joke has a reproductive advantage over the base form

---jokes get better at reproducing (read: funner) using the same iterative process as Darwin described.
---Like a species of animal, jokes adapt to changes in their environment (for example, anti-Trump jokes have certain reproductive advantages right now)
---The dynamic human mind is the space in which the "genetic code" of a joke mutates, gaining different properties and likelihood of reproduction
---Notice that when we talk about the "reproductive cycle of a joke", the human is the environment that the joke lives in. Like a tree whose fruits fall to the ground, fruits/jokes with certain properties are more likely to be eaten by animals and pooped out somewhere else.



23
Bring and Brag / Re: WEIRDOVERSE
« on: August 24, 2017, 04:16:47 pm »


Much of this thread is gonna get stapled to telephone poles in my neighborhood next week.

24
Bring and Brag / Re: WEIRDOVERSE
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:24:25 pm »
I gotta start printing these out, they really are incredible.

There are so many good ones!

25
Bring and Brag / Re: WEIRDOVERSE
« on: August 20, 2017, 03:00:50 pm »
This thread is SOOO GOOD


I love the Mike Tyson and Macho Man posts aahahha

26
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Is anyone here an advocate for non-violence?
« on: August 20, 2017, 02:48:22 pm »
When I first signed up, you all clocked me for what I was: a troll. But a few of you actually understood the joke: that my intention was to hold to you a mirror-image caricature of the seemingly addicted-to-violence mentality that pervades this board.

oh yeah, I said this:

Alright let me put on my goggles. The "IPunchNazis" character is playing on the recent liberal uptick in antifascist violence. Essentially, satirizing the enthusiastic liberal nazi puncher who is swept up by the chest pumping tribal machismo which antifascism lets him express  dot dot dot, implying antifascist violence is more or less equivalent to fascism, dot dot dot, liberals are cuck hypocrites who only take a moral high ground against certain kinds of violence, etc etc. Okay that's basically the end point, right?

I merit there might be bait here for that argument. I would be curious to hear what the person playing this character thinks the proper use of violence is, like, how do you distinguish between "good" and "bad" violence? I would love to have that talk but I think they need the mask, so all we get is this kinda uninspired caricature troll.

eh what can you do

so I guess you're here for the latter part now? that's cool, I can roll with that.


Quote
Bottom line? Well, I sure like the idea of nonviolence, but I'm also not convinced that it can always solve things on its own. Nonviolent appeasement of Hitler sure didn't work.

So I now must admit that I have to consider that the aggressive and confrontational element is a necessary evil, so to speak, and that the problem cannot be resolved (I.E. the alt-right's agenda defeated) without it. Perhaps the far-right has indeed become a very real threat with another civil war on the horizon.

I am still, however, surprised to see so many Discordians hungry to participate in the violence. Are there any of you, like me, who aren't? Who would, if anything, attempt subvert it instead of willfully helping to immanentize it?

I appreciate the straightforward chat. I hadn't really thought much about antifa in the context of how Malcolm X slid the Overton Window left.

My perspective is - I don't think that violence is an effective long run strategy. What I've observed is that violent action is super effective as a recruitment tool for "the other side". It doesn't change minds. If I got punched in the face for my political beliefs, I wouldn't stop believing those things. In fact, I would probably justify them harder. If I continually feared bodily harm, I'd just go underground and get louder.

Punching nazis is forgivable when they are advocating violence & actively recruiting. Punching the peaceful but angry guy standing near the nazi--mainly counterproductive.

On a more emotional level - One of my pet research hobbies is the history of torture. I keep this close to my heart: For thousands of years, we lined up in public squares to cheer as the "bad guys" were subject to horrific ordeals. That was "justice". That desire - to see the bad guy bloodied and dragged through the streets - is one of the scariest things about humanity. Especially when its expressed by a crowd. We all have these brutal impulses, and live in a society that conditions us not to act on them. But when somebody "deserves it", we are chomping at the bit for the opportunity to unleash hell on them. I try to guard myself against this kind of 'pleasurable' violence, and warn others not to feed it.

((The Crowd at the Ball Game))



That being said

Violence was already playing a role in the larger conversation. Not to focus too hard on the rallies, specifically - but there are a lot of people out there who are in fear of bodily harm on the daily. For example, I have trans friends who live in Texas, and they are regularly subjected to hostile harassment on the street and other public places. Using a public rest room is a scary moment for them right now. They have a public facing job and consequently receive lots of transphobic threats.  Knowing that if a public incident happened, there would be people willing to fight for them - that's a good thing.




On the side - I'm not a fighter, myself. I haven't thrown a real punch since college. I imagine I would get laid out in any fight I was in. This probably plays a role in how much violence I advocate  :p

27
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: ITT: Confess your WOO!
« on: August 18, 2017, 01:53:15 pm »
I believe that a cat's penis has incredible magical powers and that, like the holy grail, is a divine channel between heaven and earth that has been presented throughout the history of the arts and sciences as an object of transcendent value which we should only dismiss at our own mortal peril.

28
Or Kill Me / Re: It's all the same fuking shite
« on: August 18, 2017, 01:48:50 pm »

29
I haven't really thought this out completely, but could the same pattern be applied in IRL communities absent of any visible minorities?

I'm thinking small towns that have been exclusively/massively majority white/cis/het.  It's not anonymity per se, but it does allow for space to say taboo/shitty things about Others, which can start as 'off color' jokes and then becomes a reality tunnel.


Both of these are situations where the individual is protected from blowback. But the shit-talk comes from a different place in each case.



In a homogeneous face-to-face community, people have a safe space to express things that they're really thinking, but might not vocalize in mixed company.

with the anonymous imageboard shitposter, I think most of them don't start off expressing anything that's real to them, it's more about trying to out-edge each other.  And you remain in that space, doing an impression of a racist, and eventually you have built walls around those behaviors, you start to feel it sincerely.



I had a chantard explain some of the culture to me - a lot of people are attracted to the anon imageboard format because it's very hard for people to engage in linguistic turf wars there. You can't really police other people. Your judgments roll right off them. Because a lot of people are just doing a shtick, so all statements could be ironic. And if you read the irony too sincerely, you're the moron that doesn't get the joke. When they enter an IRC channel, they will often just try to say the shittiest thing possible right off the bat, as a litmus test - is this the kind of room where people get easily offended? If someone flips out, that's an easy target for trolling. If everybody is cool, and not easily upset by words, we can have a real conversation. That's the idea, at least.


For those of us that have been on the oldschool PD forum-boardings, you kinda know what I'm talking about. We would approach a forum with the intent of provoking the moderators' territorial impulses, to draw the controlling behavior out of them and then rally the locals against them. Like at wicca.com, we would shitpost in their wand threads - people would be posting pictures of their wands, we would be posting pix of bongs. And then we'd get to have an argument about the definition of a wand. The intent was to jar some of these people out of their uptight patterns, or to bring the anal-retentive behaviors to the surface, where they could be confronted. It's actually an altruistic, playful impulse, albeit a contentious one. But on a long enough timeline, a lot of us started to feel a real annoyance towards these people. You start to lose track of where the act is vs where your real feelings are. (This is why I quit trollin' and got on board with the New Sincerity)

Cause when you're playing the shitbag character (like the Pterodactyl Handler), your brain is coming up with what defenses you'll use, how you'll dismiss the criticism of what you're doing - I mean, it's only a game! But those rationalizations are real.

30
History of Shitposting

A topic close to my heart


A good place to start is the usenet rec.pets.cats invasion. This is one of the first instances of organized internet trolling. The short version:

alt.tasteless mass-invaded this newsgroup specifically for cat lovers. They started slowly, by posting bad cat advice. Then they slowly turned up the temperature, getting more extreme ("when my cat misbehaves I pick him up by the tail and swing him around 3-4 times"), and participating in the hostile reaction to those posts ("people like you should be beaten to death with hammers"). This was before the September that Never Ended, so there wasn't a lot of irony on the net yet, people didn't have good tools for recognizing it and routing around it. It became a huge, hilarious spectacle.

I actually first heard about this in a sociology of the internet class - good times.




To speak a little bit more about the modern day form of shitposting....

Last weekend, a kid showed up at the Charlottesville rally, marched with the white nationalists, got separated from them and was surrounded by counter-protesters.... took off his shirt and said "I'm not a real white supremacist, I'm just here for the fun". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacist-march-for-fun_us_5994647de4b009141641d8f4

I think that if you can understand what happened here, you can understand a lot about right-wing youth radicalization via 4chan and similar places.

The anonymous internet forum gives people license to say what they want without any blowback. There is no identity at play there, all content is evaluated by itself, with no context of who said it.

The veil of anonymity gives you a safe space to say shitty taboo things without really meaning them. A lot of people experiment with racist ideas there, not motivated by hatred or fear, but mainly thrillseeking--the rush of violating a taboo. They know they're not supposed to say the n-word, and that's why it's fun to say it.

But the thing about irony is, if you gaze too deeply into the ironic abyss, it gradually becomes sincere. Our minds have a way of rationalizing the things we're thinking.

and it doesn't help that stormfront and other genuinely racist groups like to get into the mix -- so the ironic racism gets mixed with genuine racism, creating a fuzzy border between the two, a gradient across which osmosis takes place.

Pop it in the oven for 45 minutes and you've got kids shouting WHITE POWER for fun, the living shitposter.



I call this phenomenon THE MAN IN THE IRONIC MASK


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