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Messages - Cramulus

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Principia Discussion / Re: What the shit is all of this?
« on: April 01, 2014, 01:25:39 pm »
As far as "truly random" goes, that depends on your definition.  If I predict a 60% chance of something being in a certain place at a certain time, can I say it's behavior is random?  It has a greater chance of being there than not, so maybe you could call that predictable, but since there's no way of saying for sure, wouldn't that be pretty random?

Ok, I'll grant that maybe, someday, someone might come up with a way of removing the probability fields from quantum physics.

But if that ever happens, it will pretty much tip over the apple cart, and undo the past century or so of physics as we know it.

That is to say, the probabilty of it happening is quite low.

isn't the fact that we represent it via a probability indicative that we're glossing over what's really happening?

I mean, a die rolls a given number 16.6% of the time - but it's not truly a random event, it's completely predictable if you know enough about the roll, physics, etc.

it sounds like you're saying that the perceived randomness at the center of quantum events is (probably) how it really is - that a certain degree of magnification, the universe is fundamentally random, unknowable?

Principia Discussion / Re: What the shit is all of this?
« on: April 01, 2014, 12:50:09 pm »
wait wait, I thought the point of the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment was to show that quantum particles don't behave like, eh, bigger particles? The Copenhagen interpretation says matter can be in two eigenstates at once, but that only makes sense when we're talking about itty bitty little things, not big things like cats. I thought that was what the experiment showed?

I'm no expert - please correct me if I'm wrong so I stop saying the wrong thing

Also, I've never heard people agree that quantum behavior is "truly random". Is that really accepted? Don't people believe there is some knowable mechanism, some hidden variable, underlying these hard to predict events?

Principia Discussion / Re: What the shit is all of this?
« on: March 31, 2014, 04:48:15 pm »
We are simply parts of the Universe, and we are trying to discover the origins of the Universe, so therefore, one could say, that the Universe is trying to discover itself.  Thus, it may not be entirely absurd to say, that if you focus on discovering your true heart, rather than listening to everybody else as far as the "Correct" way to be, then maybe you're doing the Universe a favor.

I dig that

I like how it also that sleeping till noon and spending Sunday drinking beer and watching reruns IS THE UNIVERSE'S WILL.

There are things beyond our comprehension, and when you're okay with that, it's a good start.

Name one.

you will never really be able to comprehend the experience of death, not until its too late

We can know what the universe is like, what it consists of, how it works, but I'm not sure we'll ever know why. Even from a strictly materialist point of view, it still boggles my mind that if you put matter into a jar and shake for long enough, it eventually thinks it's a Self and begins comprehending things. Why is that? Even if we can understand evolution, the mechanisms of consciousness, the steps it took to arrive at sentience -- I can't shake that there's still something metaphysical and mysterious underpinning it.

And then there's subjectivity -- we can never really know what another human is thinking, what their experience is like, we are all (as True Detective put it) the sole residents of a locked room that nobody else will ever enter.

This is part of what the Principia points to as "Chaos" - the raw universe exists outside of our understanding. Knowledge is a map we draw of it so we can get a grip on it, but it's only a model. There is no universe source code where F=ma was declared.

Keeping this knowledge of my own ignorance tucked away in my front pocket is what keeps me fresh and able to reach towards things with the beginner's mind.

Don't get me wrong - I do think the universe operates on rational principals and a lot of its mechanisms can be observed empirically - but that's really only the beginning of knowledge. The particular model of truth we're using is bound to our subjectivity and our technology and processes and our little moment in history. The 'knowable universe' is an ideal, I don't think we'll ever actually solve the riddle and have it all figured out -- there will always be old knowledge which must be upset and a new frontier to research.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: I Write Like....
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:18:45 pm »
David Foster Wallace


Literate Chaotic / Re: Insightful Post Dump
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:17:31 pm »

Aneristic Illusions / Re: MOAR freedom in Tennessee in 3... 2... 1...
« on: March 28, 2014, 02:33:52 pm »
When I was in high school the religion-in-schools debate du jour was about whether or not its legal to hang the 10 commandments on the wall. I was in favor of it. Because as soon as that's legal and protected by law, they have to protect the Pentabarf and the Satanic Commandments.

Except that you and I know it doesn't actually work that way.

true. I went searching for any drama about this topic, and check out what I found - chase already in progress

"The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. "The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation."

The Satanic Temple maintains that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol opened the door for its statue. The Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed.

Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

In response, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission recently placed a moratorium on considering any new requests.

"I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland," said Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon. "I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here."

 :lulz: :lulz:

Aneristic Illusions / Re: MOAR freedom in Tennessee in 3... 2... 1...
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:08:07 pm »
When I was in high school the religion-in-schools debate du jour was about whether or not its legal to hang the 10 commandments on the wall. I was in favor of it. Because as soon as that's legal and protected by law, they have to protect the Pentabarf and the Satanic Commandments.

I would have LOVED an opportunity to give speeches about my religious beliefs. I would have LOVED to form a Discordian prayer group.

As you said--these systems are so ripe for abuse. Just wait until kids are giving speeches about the Koran. Then watch these fundamental christian leaders defend it.

Wait a minute, this must have happened already, no? Somebody tell me that there is a youtube video where some preacher is telling the school board there is too much religious freedom.

RPG Ghetto / Re: Rant at the game you're playing
« on: March 27, 2014, 04:18:31 pm »


RPG Ghetto / Re: Rant at the game you're playing
« on: March 27, 2014, 04:11:47 pm »


RPG Ghetto / Re: Rant at the game you're playing
« on: March 27, 2014, 04:09:54 pm »


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Discipline
« on: March 27, 2014, 03:23:35 pm »
Self discipline is the only form of discipline I personally am able to comply with. Any external order will be processed as a suggestion. My complicity will be depend upon my immediate strategy and goals.

the trap is that your goals are (probably) already aligned with the top of the pyramid. Is "don't get thrown in jail" part of your immediate strategy?

Foucalt talks about how discipline isn't just punishment, it's rewards too. The things you want (internet connection, new kayak, retirement fund, family, being seen as cool, etc) make you beholden to the power structure and normalize your behaviors.

A lot of the things which grant us status (money, academic degrees, expensive hobbies) are privileges granted to those that Play the Game well.

Maybe I obey. Maybe I fool the authority into thinking I've obeyed. Maybe I raise a middle finger or a fist.

I think this is the right direction. The Keep Your Fucking Mouth Shut principle. Give the appearance of compliance while doing your own thing.

Don't resist power. Create subnetworks of power - communities and communication networks. Subvert it in a way that is invisible to the pyramid's eye.

Or Kill Me / Re: Why Paganism is Crap, parts I-V
« on: March 27, 2014, 01:21:06 pm »
and if you really want to fry their pagan noodles,

in the discussion later, you can tell people you chose to center the ritual on death and rebirth because of Christ Almighty.

Or Kill Me / Re: Why Paganism is Crap, parts I-V
« on: March 27, 2014, 01:19:58 pm »
Actually, something happened a couple weeks back that i wanted to share. Like i said, there's a small group of pagans at my UU church; they often meet in a room to perform pagan sermons in one of the rooms on the church grounds(also, if you want a surreal experience, try watching someone wave around daggers and cups and pentagrams in the middle of an empty daycare room). I've been to a couple of their events, and their generally nice folks. A couple weeks back, they asked me if i wouldn't mind performing an Erisian ritual for Eostre, since the lady they usually ask to do this is kinda unreliable, and i was honestly considering  doing it, not because i've ever done a ritual, but because this just seems like too good a mindfuck to pass up. Given what i said earlier, is this more hypocritical than it is potentially hilarious?

I just want to remind you we've got a perfectly good Erisian Easter tradition - the Erister Egg Hunt. Hide a bunch of crazy crap in plastic eggs - the kind of stuff which you would not expect to find in a plastic egg (whatever that is)- and then let people discover them.

I think a good erisian ritual does the opposite of what these pagans might want. It unravels the tapestry. It intensifies the hollowness and meaninglessness of ritual.  A good discordian ritual holds up a mirror, makes people question whether they ever want to do this stuff again.

I'd be tempted to just do something silly which only technically fits the ritual form. These pagans, they've got this fairly rigid sense of what a ritual is, what it's for, and some of them probably consider themselves "experts". Your job is to show them how meaningless it is, how they are playing childish games in the lap of Death. And that's why I wouldn't just do a ha ha silly ritual.

If I were you, I'd want to really shake these people up. Establish control of their bodies using call & response and Simon Says techniques. Then lead the group out into traffic and have everybody lay down in the road (you first!). The cars will be honking and it will feel dangerous. If possible, get a friend to SPEED up to the group and then slam on the breaks, screeeech.

As everybody flinches, as the discomfort and fear rises to the point that they physically resist your 'ritual' and walk away from it, you can tell them they have come through the eye of the needle. They have died and been reborn. They have taken control back from you. The Self which was willing to lay down in traffic because an "expert" or "priest" commanded it is dead now. The robot is slain and the new self is risen.

THAT'S a fucking Easter ritual.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Discipline
« on: March 27, 2014, 01:06:23 pm »
Foucault's Discipline & Punish may be the most important book I've read in years.

In it, Foucault discusses the transition between the sovereign mode of power and what replaced it. He takes us from the public torture and execution to the modern prison. He documents in meticulous detail how the new "modality of power" manifested itself through several institutions: the prison, the military, the hospital, the asylum, and the school. Foucault documents how new methods of control quickly spread from one institution to the others, in the ultimate service of creating a "disciplined society".

The thesis of Discipline & Punish, put briefly, is something like this: We did not abandon the old ways because they were cruel. We abandoned them because they were ineffective. The new modality of power which followed the French Revolution is much more subtle and pervasive. We help operate it. Power is no longer held by a singular sovereign who can be overthrown, it's been distributed in a way to disguise its locus. Modern power does not manifest itself in a way that can be resisted. It's pervasive in that it fills every interaction we have, it expresses itself through what Foucault calls a "microphysics of power". We're the ones observing each other and applying the pressure of normalization.

Just to illustrate the above (dense) paragraph -- let's look at the Jury. It used to be that "justice" flowed from some noble, then it was handed to judges because nobles kept getting decapitated by the families of the "guilty". Then it was handed to a "jury of peers", so that people would feel like they were responsible for a lawful society. It's not that a "jury of peers" is inherently good at ruling on matters of justice - it's there so that you believe the verdict came from your peers and not the state.  You can't lynch a jury. And if you did, it wouldn't change anything.

And that is a microcosm of how power is distributed and maintained. Nobody really holds any power, but what little they have is a tool to reenforce a greater structure of power. Look at Occupy Wall st - there was a public acknowledgment that the bankers are cutthroat bastards who have been systemically screwing us. So what now? Do we lynch the bankers? It would make no difference. The bankers hold no power. They would just be replaced by more bankers who are beholden to the same power structure and would therefore pull the exact same shit. If you talk about changing the banks, the people you're talking to will tell you all the reasons we need banks and the current institutions and hierarchies need to be maintained.

The executioner's face is no longer hidden - Vader's mask came off and Luke's face is staring back at him.

One of the main concepts in Foucault's description of power is discipline. There is this idea of the "disciplined society".

Code: [Select]
noun \ˈdi-sə-plən\

: control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior

: a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders

: behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders

The goal of disciplining a soldier is to turn him into an extension of the officer's will. Just as a soldier's gun should be a part of him, something he can control as effortlessly as his own limbs, a soldier is a similar instrument to his leader. And that leader is an instrument to another leader, and so forth up the hierarchy.

The goal of a disciplined society is that the lowest tiers are in harmony with the values of the upper tiers. Prison, mental health, education -- the goals of these institutions are to produce docile subjects who are extensions of the current power structures.

At some level, that's all that "homework" is, right? A way of getting the child to internalize the values of the institution while he's not actually there? It takes discipline to do your homework. And we tell students---this is preparation for the workplace. We are turning you into parts of a machine which produces ... itself.

I'm really just scratching the surface here, there's a lot in this book worth discussing. But what's been on my mind recently is this idea of Discipline, and how we individuals should relate to it. (individuation in the context of power, btw, also worth talking about, but let's save that for another time)

On one level, being disciplined is worthwhile. There are a lot of rewards for being able to focus and get shit done, being respectful of the hierarchy, being able to internalize a set of rules, etc. I don't think you can really get anywhere in western civilization without discipline.

But on another level, being disciplined is dangerous. It means you're under control, an object of power. If you're not disciplined, you're more skeptical and critical about the Mission Statement, the War, the Hegemony.

Sometimes I'm sitting in some corporate training and I just want to excuse myself and never come back. I can't help but think about the power and personal control I give up for that paycheck and 401K. We've all gotta do it. Which makes me wonder, was I doing myself a disservice by reading all this Foucault? Is being undisciplined something I should actually strive for? Am I just confusing myself and making myself less effective at my job by brewing up all this cynicism and criticism? To what degree am I served by being an iconoclast? Isn't it better to be focused on acquiring more power?

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