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Messages - Cramulus

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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, 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.

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".

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

« on: August 17, 2017, 04:48:24 pm »
what dark times these are

Cousin against cousin
juggalo against juggalo


let me put it this way - evo psych is the domain of "just so" stories... It's not evidence based. You don't collect data and then come up with a theory to organize it. A lot of evo psych starts with a premise, like, men are naturally promiscuous and women are naturally monogamous, and then tries to concoct a reductive explanation for why this behavior is informed by natural selection. A lot of evo psych isn't falsifiable. And it's one of these things that typically gets thrown around in defense of some repugnant ideas.

I might have to watch the Joe Rogan podcast... idk, I try to limit my intake of talks about "The SJWs" these days, as a bloodpressure precaution.

It really throws me when somebody can speak so eloquently and deeply about one topic and then be a shithead in other dimensions.

I saw that Elvis had posted in the thread, and before I clicked on it, I said to myself "I bet it's a condescending rant about how everybody is stupid except him."

ugh, evo psych gives me hives, & I just discovered his clashes with "the SJWs"....  ughhhh I think I'll stick to his religious studies stuff.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Biblical Series with Jordan B Peterson
« on: August 15, 2017, 07:55:19 pm »
Biblical Series I: Introduction to the Idea of God

This a lecture series we've been batting around in #discord over the last day or two. It's not a straight info-dump so much as Peterson trying to work through some of his ideas in a public forum. So it rambles and digresses and circles around what he's aiming to say.

I'm not familiar with J. Peterson at all - I understand that he's a controversial figure in some circles, and there are a couple of places in this lecture where I want to throw fruit at him. But for the most part, I really enjoyed this lecture. Anybody who can quote the bible and homer simpson and give both some weight is a good orator.

Here are a few of the topics from this lecture:
  • Why Nietzsche was right about Christianity destroying itself
  • The unconscious (in the Freudian sense - the stuff we carry inside of us which has a big impact on our behavior despite us not being aware of it) and how it's the space where myths take place
  • the origin of philosophical or moral ideals and how they move from concrete behaviors to symbolic abstractions
  • The underlying psychological forces which inform biblical mythology, law, and concepts like sovereignty..
  • and how those forces may also be what the ancient Greeks and Israelites meant by "God"

I thought you cats might dig some of this stuff - at the very least, it's thought provoking

Apple Talk / Re: WOMP-ertainment
« on: August 15, 2017, 06:03:26 pm »
this thread makes me so sad right now

« on: August 15, 2017, 06:02:31 pm »

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 15, 2017, 06:00:10 pm »
Some of Gurdjieff's work seems to me to be an influence on Crowley, or perhaps they were both influenced by the same person(s)/thing. It reminds me of Crowley's description of one's True Will, in that it seems to be entirely intrinsic, and unaffected by the environment.

There are probably some ancient sources they both read.

There's an essay about the single meeting between Gurdjieff and Crowley: Why Remarkable Men Rarely Meet.

From what I can tell, Crowley had a lot of respect and admiration for Gurdjieff -- Crowley even sought out G. to be healed of his heroin addiction.

Gurdjieff, however, did not like Crowley:

Crowley arrived for a whole weekend and spent the time like any other visitor to the Prieure; being shown the grounds and the activities in progress, listening to Gurdjieff’s music and his oracular conversation. Apart from some circumspection, Gurdjieff treated him like any other guest until the evening of his departure. After dinner on Sunday night, Gurdjieff led the way out of the dining room with Crowley, followed by the body of the pupils who had also been at the meal. Crowley made his way toward the door and turned to take his leave of Gurdjieff, who by this time was some way up the stairs to the second floor.

“Mister, you go?” Gurdjieff inquired. Crowley assented. “You have been guest?”—a fact which the visitor could hardly deny. “Now you go, you are no longer guest?” Crowley—no doubt wondering whether his host had lost his grip on reality and was wandering in a semantic wilderness – humored his mood by indicating that he was on his way back to Paris. But Gurdjieff, having made the point that he was not violating the canons of hospitality, changed on the instant into the embodiment of righteous anger.

“You filthy,” he stormed, “you dirty inside! Never again you set foot in my house!” From his vantage point on the stairs, he worked himself into a rage which quite transfixed his watching pupils. Crowley was stigmatized as the sewer of creation was taken apart and trodden into the mire. Finally, he was banished in the style of East Lynne by a Gurdjieff in fine histrionic form. White faced and shaking, the Great Beast crept back to Paris with his tail between his legs. (9)   

this was recorded by one of Gurdjieff's disciples, so it should be taken with a grain of salt

As I said upthread, I evaluate these 1920s-guru figures along two axis - (1) how much genuine wisdom were they capable of transmitting, and (2) how much of a profit-oriented ego-driven charlatan were they?

I rank Gurdjieff high on 1 and medium on 2
I rank Crowley medium on 1 and high on 2

and I think Gurdjieff could smell that - he could plainly see the parts of Crowley's shtick that were just an act.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 15, 2017, 03:42:35 pm »
On the Melioration Principle and being able to 'escape' it: I get that a lot of decisions aren't necessarily made 'consciously' and maybe through conscious labour etc. one can learn to make better/more informed decisions but ultimately your actions are always going to be dictated by external circumstances right? I can't even comprehend what internal freedom means in this context. Maybe this is my limitation. Maybe the limitation of literary communication.

Re: tribal warfare, I don't think it has ever ceased. Just the tribes we identify with have changed. I don't know if it can cease.

The Black Iron Prison is a discordian concept which describes the little cell we build for ourselves. The walls and bars of this cell are made of our tastes and preferences, our desire to approach things we like and avoid things we don't like. By respecting these walls, we find ourselves boxed in and limited by our own comforts and fears.

There is a Discordian Pilgrimage called the Jailbreak. In order to escape your cell, you have to stand up to the voice in your head which keeps you anchored oYn your tastes and preferences. You have to explore the unknown. You have to kill your idols. You have to taste new experiences, even uncomfortable ones. You have to sympathize with your enemy. You have to stop letting the small ego call all the shots.

And the jailbreak can only be temporary. We can escape from our cell, but we quickly find ourselves in a new cell. We can never attain absolute freedom (and you probably wouldn't want that anyway), but we can experience periods of it. This is very similar to Gurdjieff's thinking about consciousness - consciousness of the self - what he calls self remembering - allows us to recognize the petty little laws we've made for ourselves and make decisions about them. We can't stay in that space forever, we will always get distracted and let ourselves fall back into the micro-world of tastes and human drama.

If you want a quick tip on Self Remembering---

the trick is not just to observe the thoughts and experiences you're having, the internal world
but also to observe the self which is having those thoughts and experiences, the box which contains those boxes.

For example, if I try to self remember right now---first, I try to become aware of what's going on with my three brains - my body, my emotions, my intellect... I direct my awareness through those centers, acknowledging that I'm a little bit hungry, my wrist hurts a little. I'm and a little bit frustrated trying to express myself verbally, and also intellectually engaged with doing so.

And then I zoom out and try to see myself objectively. It's not "me". There's this guy who uses the handle Cramulus, he's sitting at his computer typing. He's at work, killing time while waiting for some e-mail to arrive. When the e-mail arrives he's going to forget what he's typing and focus on that for a few minutes, and then probably wander back here. He works for a publishing company for some reason. All his clothes are dirty and he needs to do laundry, but he's putting that off right now. He's trying to explain himself to some strangers on the Internet, and explain what's so fascinating about the Gurdjieff work, but not come off as preachy or shitty. Et cetera.

As I think about myself in this way, I keep getting reminded of things that I wasn't aware of when I was "inside" one of my three brains (the gurdjieff word for this is 'identification'). This experience doesn't feel like a discovery, but a remembering of stuff I always knew but had temporarily forgotten because I am always identified with the foreground.

This remembering, this impression of the self, is a kind of food. It feeds an internal process. It's fuel that propels some processes which are otherwise stalled. As we make that self-remembering broader and larger, the food becomes more rich and nourishing.

To put it in more simple terms - you stand before a scary cave. Your body trembles, you are filled with fear, your mind invents reasons not to step into the darkness. But if you take a moment and acknowledge your fear and resistance, you gain a sort of power over it. You can choose to make the scary step. While you're identified with your fear, it's all you have, you cannot move forward. If you self-remember, you can gain a perspective where you tell yourself "I'm afraid but I'm going to do it anyway."

That's how the self remembering can beat the melioration principle and escape the cell of tastes and preferences.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek
               - Joseph Campbell

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 15, 2017, 03:22:04 pm »
I really appreciate the thoughtful reply, PoFP.

This fact made me look at something you'd said earlier about the Master-Apprentice communicative relationship, and the limitation of literary communication, a bit differently. I think it's impossible to transfer the Secret, "Spiritual" information without that intrinsic connection to other people. A common theme among these ideas you and Gurdjieff present involve deep connections with other people; a sense of community.

I noticed throughout my life that the most dangerous I ever was, to myself and others, was when I was isolated. I made decisions that were borderline sociopathic, and I would say this time was when I was the least myself. All of my decisions were based on extrinsic reward, and disregarded any sense of community or personal connection. I was unwilling to sacrifice anythinAbg for anyone. I would argue that it's this isolation, or romanticization of this isolation in today's society that keeps us from seeing our Selves as often as we should. I think it's what keeps us from realizing the strength and potential in the unexplained power of connection.

Yes, absolutely - this is why it's said that Gurdjieff work can only be done in groups. Group work creates empathetic bonds between people, and these bonds are channels through which we can actually communicate. When I read your post, I am trying to hear it in your voice, to resonate with the place you're coming from. I'm trying to get a little of your essence into mine. This empathy helps both of us - it helps me understand you, and through it, it gives me another channel to understand myself and how I'm coming off. Consciousness can be increased through group work. (and conversely - a bad group can decrease it - like a predatory cult or religion)

Through this web of relationships, you can start to feel another aspect of the self emerge, the self that is shared between you and me. That's part of what the Sacred Movements are for - by doing these elaborate movements in a group, it develops a sensitivity to each other at a very fine physical and emotional and intellectual and temporal level. If you develop this webwork while in a psychological space where all three 'brains' (body, emotions, intellect) are processing the self and the other at the same time--you start to experience a group spirit.

And that group spirit is an aspect of an even larger human spirit.
And that human spirit is an aspect of an even larger absolute cosmic spirit.

as individuals, we are zoomed in
as a group, we have the capacity to zoom out into the larger scales of Being.

A Hierarchy of Laws
As a tangent (sorry), Gurdjieff posits that all the different levels of magnification of the universe (from the absolute down to the microscopic) have their own laws, and these laws are imposed on the smaller forms of the universe. The more we zoom in, the more laws are in play.

I'm at work, following the rules and regulations of everyday life, but I'm also subject to the laws of the earth itself--weather, tectonics, etc.

There are collective human laws, like the ecosystem of organizations - the life cycle of religions, corporations, etc. (the Art of Memetics talks about this at length)

Zoom out further, there are laws of the solar system - solar flares, the orbits of planets, that sort of thing - we are subject to all of these, though their influence is more indirect

Zoom into the microcosmos, into me, treat the self as a cosmos... there are laws inside of it, like the laws of individual psychology. Zoom in, we're talking about biochemistry, neurology, etc.

Zoom in further, we're talking about the laws governing molecules, atoms, and even smaller things....

Gurdjieff says that there is a way to escape (maybe only briefly) from some of these laws -- I am getting ahead of myself, but I think that as you start to experience the higher levels of the spirit, as your growing experience of consciousness breaks down the distinction between the ego and the self---you can find yourself in a place where the melioration principle and the immediate external circumstances are no longer dictating your behavior. You're not the little you sitting in your chair reading this. You're the human. You're the cosmic self. It's not about what's for dinner. It's about how we're all being nourished.

William James writes about the varieties of mystical experience - in his broad work on spirituality, he identifies this 'unity' experience as the essential feature of all mystical experiences. When you read about the devout christian ecstatic experience and the apogee of zen-meditation, there is something shared - the micro-ego perceives the macro-ego and is shattered by awe.

I guess the question is, how has tribal warfare ceased, and tribal peace taken over in the past?

Gurdjieff is a little pessimistic here -- he thinks that warfare and destruction are part of a natural cycle. War just happens. He thinks it has to do with this build-up of collective energy which demands to be released. He describes it - I think metaphorically - almost like a tidal force. There are forces acting through our collective psychology. He describes them as 'planetary forces', though I'm not sure I like that, I think it's more of a 'cultural alchemy'... culture as a 'chemistry lab' where different chemicals meet and react to each other, some of it is going to be destructive.

So Gurdjieff sees war as a natural and unconscious process. If people were conscious, they could do something else - but we can't. We get threatened, we rally, we organize to hit back. It happens automatically, it's determined by a set of laws not unlike an ecosystem.

Bring and Brag / Re: Stang did another of my rants at Starwood.
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:33:56 pm »
ahhh this is great! Congrats roger! I love hearing your writing read out loud, with passion like this.


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Subjectivism and the chair
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:23:37 pm »
There are so many bullshit questions without actual answers about concepts and the nature of things that we can't be certain about chair-ness. How can we possibly consistently evaluate anything's A-ness?

Hi new guy!

So, for the most part, I'm with you - I operate with the premise that meaning and identity is something generated by us meat people in order to make sense of the chaos, not an inherent property of stuff in the universe. So meaning is best understood as a social construct. The best meaning is the one with the most operational utility - that is, the one that "best fits" our internal models of how the world works. A chair is a chair because we agree that it's a chair, despite that our definition of a chair is going to be fuzzy and have edge cases. There is no essential chairness somewhere in conceptual space. The physical chair is not an expression of some quintessential chair.

And if we connect the dots from that logic, we arrive in a (perhaps) terrifying universe with no inherent meaning. My man Camus says that this is okay, because our generated meaning is enough. Things can be meaningful for personal reasons, even if those reasons aren't some fundamental truth. Meaning is absurd, but let's dance with it anyway.

All that being said, I'm at a phase in my life where I am trying to find my way through the postmodern tunnel. I am exploring a reality tunnel in which there are capital-T Truths out there, however they probably don't have anything to do with the essential nature of chairs. I think there is a form of Meaning and Purpose which does exist, and it has to do with our relationship with the chaos/cosmos, and the edges of it can be discovered through self discovery.

It's a little tangential to your post, but I get the sense you may dig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which unpacks Aristotle's analytical knife, the way he splits up the universe into distinct parts, and the deep rifts this has caused today (namely by cleaving apart the arts and sciences, rational and aesthetic, into different metaphysical categories)

Principia Discussion / Re: Return
« on: August 08, 2017, 09:20:40 pm »
Hey there planeswalker!

thanks for the shoutoutz  :banana:

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