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Topics - Faust

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1
Back in my college years, I used to use RSS, getting my most recent new items pulled from the sites that I wanted. It's a simple system, and still works nicely for blog posts, web comics or any content that can go with long gaps between something new coming out. I started with google reader, then when they ditched that moved to digg reader, which too has fallen at the wayside and I've resorted to using feedly. It's neither the nicest interface, but it still gets me what I need in a focused space that I can look at and then move on.
I fear though that the days are numbered for RSS. If google and Digg both failed to make any money on it then its going to be hard for others to do the same right?

The alternatives are the user curated feeds of the social media sites. These were exciting technologies for a while with a lot of variety in the mix; LiveJournal and MySpace gave way to Bebo and  Facebook, twitter, snapchat etc. Facebook has for whatever reason held on to its staying power and has worn out its welcome.

What started out as addictive and an exciting technology with each of these was the ability to interact with your friends, and to tailor the content the site gave you to see. Stupid conversations, arguments and discussion of social events, the evidence in photo the morning after the night before and all that. It was fun, and fresh.
But it doesn't make the money these companies want. Sure it gave them page clicks, and a platform to advertise on, but adblock has always had a limiting effect on that, and these companies don't just want good revenue, they want every possible cent they can get out of you.
So we hear a lot about how facebook shares our details with advertisers, building elaborate profiles on you, what you like, where you have been, what items you have in your home, who you talk to, what your political leaning is, enough to make your average intelligence agency salivate at the thought (if you don't believe they have direct access on tap).

But that is only half of the problem. You see, sure the advertisers pay for ads on the page, and pay for your profile data, but what they really want, what they probably always wanted, was a direct channel to feed you their product. If they had attempted that in the early days people would have left in droves, so it has been a slow process of normalization.

The trick is to take away the users ability to curate their feed. In its simplest form I want to see the most recent, from all people and websites I have decided to follow.
So this was the first target. On facebook the default view is a hybridization of most popular and most active, to the people you interact with the most. There is an option to click most recent, but the site defaults back without telling you regularly, as well as hiding certain content entirely as a penalty for going on most recent.

As soon as you trust that the site knows better then you, as to what you should be seeing, they can start getting more adventurous.
They started simply: push news stories and "shared content" over text only status messages to normalise that what you will see will likely be from some other site.
The next step was pushing peoples interactions with specific companies "X likes this" for promoted venues, websites products etc. The person in question might have liked that a long time ago but as soon as those affiliates start paying for promotion, that stuff will start rising to the top like turds in the swimming pool.
The end goal is to be able to embed the advertisers content seamlessly in our feed so that we wont even be aware that there is content in there coming from no source you have decided to follow, at this point your curated feed is no longer your own, it belongs to someone else, the highest bidder

So apart from the sleazy commercialization of these system, the dangers of doing this should be obvious in recent years. We hear about the Fake news. The media manipulation through social media, the targeted adverts to bias elections based on your psychological profile from these sites. Russian troll farms could not have achieved what they did without the elaborate systems that have been built to facilitate them being able to show you, what they want you to see.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal and the tampering in the election were only the first steps of a newborn system of control. It was clunky, obvious, and attempted in a short period of time.

Imagine what can be accomplished over a longer period, with more subtle steering of social groups through a prolonged and simple system, The Conspiracy put a fat stack of cash on the table and say "we want good consumers who are apathetic to social change, who'll bicker among  themselves,  fracture and divide their energy and divert their attention away from where they need to look." These people do not have our best interests or the best interests of society at heart.

We have been sold to the greatest system of social control that has ever existed, it's been attempted in every communication medium that has ever existed, but it has never been as effective and dangerous as it is now.

So we come back to the user feed. Your agency to choose what you read, to choose what you see. The trend is spreading. YouTube recently changed the way their subscriptions work, and you can bet their end goal is to treat us like battery chickens eating whatever they put in front of us. I don't know what the answer is, we've probably already lost. People throw back the argument if you don't want it tochappen dont use their product, and maybe they are right, but what are the alternatives, paid subscriptions with a promise of protection?

We need the freedom to choose what we consume, to look at what is at the end of our fork, and if it is good for us to swallow.

That's why I love the forum bbs format, its transparent where everything comes from. It's not just good for discussion, or dissection of ideas, it's built for it. If someone comes in trying to spout propaganda or bad signal, that shit gets the bar stool. Take these forums for example, as long as this site exists, I will never share anyone's data. I will never try to push what you see here. If I think something is cool and Discordian related I'll put a link on the bog or front page because its something I think is worth sharing. We're not an active forum any more, but we're not a desert like some of the others have become, it's important for people to have a place where they can discuss the crazy shit going on in the world in a medium that isn't directly tied to the madness itself.

I'm afraid we are losing agency in the digital landscape, that the freedom to think for ourselves is under threat, and it all starts with them taking away your ability to decide what you see.
This ended up being more of a rant then I wanted to and probably needs a clean up, but I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way.

2
Principia Discussion / KLF 2023: A Trilogy novel extract in The guardian
« on: August 30, 2017, 04:48:59 pm »
Has this been posted yet?

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/aug/23/klf-2023-novel-extract-justified-ancients-of-mu-mu-illuminati

I've wondered what Illuminatus! would look like if it were written today with today's more blatant conspiracies, and Oligarchy by corporation. Think I'm going to pick this up.

3
Principia Discussion / Principia gets a passing metion in the BBC
« on: August 13, 2017, 10:39:02 pm »
Not sure if this is worth its own thread but the PD was discussed breifly on the BBC in an article on the Illuminati.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170809-the-accidental-invention-of-the-illuminati-conspiracy

Clearly the Illuminati have finally given into our demands and we are being recruited.

4
Apple Talk / Open Bar: Fake News, Fake Bar
« on: December 26, 2016, 10:27:24 am »
Welcome to the Dick waving thead

5
Principia Discussion / Black Iron Prison epub & mobi Format
« on: October 12, 2016, 08:55:33 pm »
St. Tiwesdaeg Two Hands contacted me offering to convert the BIP into ebook format, I said go for it and he has done a really nice job on the layout for them (not just a straight pdf to epub conversion).

Either way I still read the BIP from time to time and thought this was a really nice thing to do.
Anyone interested they are available from the reading list or here:
epub | mobi

6
Aneristic Illusions / Apple and Haugheys legacy
« on: September 01, 2016, 02:57:43 pm »
30 years ago Ireland was led by a man named Charles Haughey, he was a husband, a politician and before anything else, a criminal; willing to do things that would make Berlesconi blush. He was for all intents and purposes a mobster, with a finger in every pie; gun running, extortion, property scams, if there was money to be made by bending or outright breaking some rule, he was for it.
Roll on 30 Years and we are seeing his legacy in the news, even if he is not explicitly named, over a deal he made with Apple.

When you hear about Ireland being a tax haven, you think of systemic corruption, to allow such a thing, in our case, it can all be pretty much put back on this one man.
He was mercurial and beyond morality, to the point that the troubles of the North actually were calmed by his presence, after all, political ideologies driving violence was bad for business. You can see from that cold knowing crooked smile that he knew what he was doing, he knew what the future would be and at the heart of it he knew he would be a rich man for it, if anything he had a consistent approach to policy: shake hands with anyone who will and keep the money flowing.
For better or worse he has shaped Ireland for what it is today responsible for Ireland's most prosperous and most corrupt period.

You probably didn't come in here to read about some dead Paddy from three decades ago, even if he was good at pulling an ol' scam or two. The reason you are hearing about him now is because he was the MASTER of pulling a scam or two, and its his legacy that has shaped the stage of international business and politics.
Its because of him that Microsoft, Apple, General Electric, Facebook, IBM, Starbucks and Google have their headquarters here, and declare 99% of their worldwide profits through here.

Lets talk a little about these businesses... The large internationals are incorporated, so lets think of them as people, because as people they are developing some serious issues.
The role of government and business isn't a new problem, nor is the notion of a company moving elsewhere when the profits are to their advantage, what seems to be new though is the implicit resentment of a corporation for its national ties.
The tax avoidance issue is just a small symptom of a mentality that is arising. It became clear with the other battle Apple were fighting this year, fighting for the civil liberties of its phone users and their right to privacy from the state. The encryption lawsuit that apple won publicly humiliated the FBI should paint a clearer picture of the companies self image.

It is a declaration by these companies, not that they are stateless, amoral entities, but that they are a nation of their own, with a sense of entitlement to set their own rules, and the rights of its citizens be they employees or consumers of their products.
It's a worrying trend because the combined lobbying power, and pervasive presence in day to day life means that they are more in touch with their users/citizens than the slow moving wheels of government ever could be. Facebook is far more likely to be able to tell you what it's preferred colour of the truth is then any public body because Facebook knows, they see how hard it is, it listens to your needs, give you what you want, and they do all this without asking for much, nothing more then to keep them close.

We're now in a time when these companies can petulantly and wilfully ignore the desires of their parent nations, and the recent explorations of Tesco, facebook and even your Mobile phone providers experimenting with the idea of their own currencies, sooner rather then later you'll be able to get a passport from one of these guys.

I suppose the real question is, Will that be worse then what we have?
I suspect that this coinciding with the time where wealth inequality is wider then it has ever been before, when the average couple needs to be a middle earner with both working full time to be able to afford a home, that it is unlikely this is going to lead better lives for any of us. The new boss will be worse then the old,and accountable to no one.

So here we are, when a corporation can drain its host state before discarding them. Where government is approaching obsolescence. The next time you hear about a company pissing in the states eye, think of old Charles Haughey, because this is his dream not just for Ireland, but the world, fulfilled.

7
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/30/briton-ben-innes-posed-selfie-egyptair-hijacker-praised-by-relatives

At first this had me rolling my eyes but the more I think about it, the more this makes me laugh.

Its a small stupid little action but it has done more to undermine the fear narrative of the media of the last year. If anything its a huge knock to Isis who want to push themselves as a serious and credible threat, effectively deflating their currency of fear bought with the Paris and Brussels attacks.

I nominate this lunkhead for Discordian sainthood, for unintentionally or intentionally clawing back some of the sanity in this shitty world.



This whole story made my day better, the Terrorist is someone who hijacked the plane to go see his Ex-Wife who had just left him. His bomb belt turned out to be pencil cases, ethernet cable, an toothbrush charger etc. Hopefully he's not being water-boarded too much wherever he is.

8
Principia Discussion / Removed Codex seraphinianus from the reading list
« on: August 08, 2015, 06:20:38 pm »
I've removed this from the reading list because as far as I can tell it was published in 1981 by Luigi Seraphini and is in copyright and in print on Amazon.

It got recommended as a discordian resource but from what I can see, and weird as it is I cant see any references to it being public domain so I am going to err on the side of caution and remove it.

It's still hosted elsewhere as a pdf, but I'm not sure if that's ok, it appears to be for sale here on Amazon so thats the link I'm going to post:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Luigi-Serafini/e/B001JY33W8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439053551&sr=8-1-spell

9
Apple Talk / Bartkira
« on: July 07, 2015, 10:39:11 pm »
For the last couple of years I've been following this weird fan community composed of a load of different artists who have taken it upon themselves to remake the Manga/Anime of Akira using the Simpsons characters.

For the most part they have stuck to pretty beautiful recreations of entire pages from the manga but now that they have built up enough submissions someone has remade the old trailer from back in the day

I haven't been a fan of the Simpsons in a very long time, but something about this project just seems so strange and beautiful to me.

I've been following the tag over on Tumblr, there are years worth of submissions, some amazingly detailed so check it out if you are that way inclined.

https://www.tumblr.com/search/bartkira

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Apple Talk / Hey Nigel
« on: June 05, 2015, 05:35:28 pm »
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/05/newly-discovered-vessels-beneath-skull-could-link-brain-and-immune-system

Is this Bunk?

It seems really weird, if there was a direct link between the brain and the immune system, wouldn't that imply the placebo effect wasn't an indirect side effect (indirectly lowering stress, heart rate etc) but a direct physiological effect (and all the woo healers of mysticwicks will explode out into the internet with this).

11
Apple Talk / Folk with Steam
« on: March 01, 2015, 08:28:18 pm »
My friend is approaching the launch of his second game, a platformer called Systematic Immunity

It's a fun, hard and well made (I've gotten to play test it).

He's currently in the green light queue, if the game gets enough votes it will get into green light (I think).
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=392461479

His previous game Plasma Being got accepted to steam recently:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/346630

I know this is pimping but I believe in the project and would appreciate it if anyone who is interested clicks the "Interested" button on steam.

12
Principia Discussion / P.O Addresses in the PD
« on: September 24, 2014, 08:00:57 am »
I've been contacted by someone wondering if the PO boxes listed in the Principia are still active.

Does anyone here know if anyone still maintains them? If not he's looking for someone to help him find out (Not sure if he's in America), if anyone would like to help him check this out I can put you in contact with him.

13
Apple Talk / Britspags
« on: July 13, 2014, 07:39:41 pm »
I'm now an essex boy, anyone care for a pint?

14
Apple Talk / Internet providers in the UK
« on: May 12, 2014, 08:07:21 pm »
Any suggestions on whom to go for? Any to avoid for blocking sites like the pirate bay or with three strike rules?

15
Literate Chaotic / Fausts Terrible NanoWriMo thing
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:31:01 pm »
Firstly, this is not official. Secondly there is no word goal. The goal is to get writing consistently for the month, and get it out into the public.

The idea, though probably going to be loosely applied is a Captain Nemo story faintly applied through a filter of Ayn Rand. I mean that in a comedic way as opposed to literally because if you did I'm fairly certain you just get bioshock.

Gentle criticism for a fragile heart is appreciated.

The courtroom twinkled with the with flashes smartphones, every face pale and aglow from screens, soft hands tapping out whispers that disappear into the world beyond. Every TV screen and stream was tuned to the court case of the unknown man who had robbed the nuclear plant, causing untold damages, and upheaval at the failure of security to prevent him.

He was the terrorist, the mad man by design, the most evil man of his generation though you wouldn't know it to look at him in is saggy woollen jumper and his bushy grey eyebrows protruding off his chubby smiling face.

He had been captured a million times, in grainy security camera footage at first, and then a million high resolution social media shots. He had been dissected, analysed by scholars, political theorists, psychologists and all experts in the field.
He had been pushed, shared, blogged and talked about on over six million feeds, he was trending all the news sites and his hash tag had not yet been toppled even to the pop finals of the Meat factor. But the Squall rang out in union in their message of him. He was a TERRORIST. He had WMDS. He was a THREAT.

The judge sized him up and down, barely masking contempt before he composed himself and addressed the defendant.

"Your lawyer has informed me that you are to plead guilty to the crimes presented. Is this correct?"

"No your honour"

"I have a confession before me, presented by your lawyer:

"On the night of August 23rd, I and four others attempted to breach the Brockway nuclear enrichment facility with the intention of taking materials that could be used in the manufacture of weapons that could cause damage on a colossal scale. Had there not been a malfunction at the plant at the time that drew the attention of security we would have succeeded in this attempt"

I notice it's not signed... are these not your words?"

He rises, and smiles a kindly face upon the judge.

They are mine... more or less. But I am not pleading guilty, for no crime was committed. The plant had an over abundance of enriched uranium and I required some. And though the statement is factually correct, I suppose this could be used to create weapons, that was not my intent.
The malfunction as you called it was a catastrophic meltdown which only coincidentally occurred during our visit. Had I not tarried a while to relieve the failing and poorly maintained system, no one would have been aware of my presence. I was in the process of leaving when you shot and killed my companions. Furthermore-"

He is cut off by the gas canister rolling beneath his feet out into the centre of the court room. It detonates, flooding the room in dark plumes of smoke that sear the eyes and send bodies writhing in the stalls, he does his best to cover his face but it is no good.

She steps up from her seat, Black and white high heels clicking on the stone floor. Her antiquated wide brim hat holds a platinum gas filter veil to her head,.
She gently walks up behind him, stepping over bodies as she goes. She pulls off a red leather glove with her teeth and fumbles in a large handbag. Pulling out a body harness, she snaps it into place around the old mans arms, stomach and legs with heavy metal clips. He is fighting to breath, she hands him a tissue. His feet are bound in chains which she uses to drag him to out into the open courtroom floor.
Metal spikes protrude through the wall, darting past her closer then she would have liked They clatter to the floor and split four ways to form anchors. There are drawn back, and there is an agonised grinding as the wall is ripped away. A black helicopter hovers some thirty feet outside the building. Police are arriving, there isn't much time. She slips a steel cord onto the old mans back and he hurtles out of the hole into the air.

By now the smoke has started to clear. A face in the crowd valiantly holds up his camera phone, She smiles for her press and places a foot onto a trailing anchor, ascending out of the court and out of sight.

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