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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / How academics say "Law of Fives"
« on: April 10, 2007, 05:06:28 pm »

Social constructionism or social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge based on Hegel's ideas, and developed by Durkheim at the turn of the century. It became prominent in the U.S. with Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann's 1966 book, The Social Construction of Reality. The focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. Socially constructed reality is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process; reality is re-produced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it. Berger and Luckmann argue that all knowledge, including the most basic, taken-for-granted common sense knowledge of everyday reality, is derived from and maintained by social interactions. When people interact, they do so with the understanding that their respective perceptions of reality are related, and as they act upon this understanding their common knowledge of reality becomes reinforced. Since this common sense knowledge is negotiated by people, human typifications, significations and institutions come to be presented as part of an objective reality. It is in this sense that it can be said that reality is socially constructed.

Within social constructionist thought, a social construction (social construct) is an idea which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society. The implication is that social constructs are in some sense human choices rather than laws resulting from divine will or nature. This is not usually taken to imply a radical anti-determinism, however.[citation needed]

Social constructionism is dialectically opposed to essentialism, the belief that there are defining transhistorical essences independent of conscious beings that determine the categorical structure of reality. The specific mechanisms underlying Berger and Luckmann's notion of social construction are discussed further in social construction.

Propaganda Depository / Discordian Music
« on: April 09, 2007, 09:39:20 pm »

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Unfinished notes
« on: April 09, 2007, 07:52:51 pm »
The correspondence theory of truth (access to knowledge through senses or reason is flawed) is denied.  No reason to suppose mental concepts tally with reality except through direct interaction.  Cannot be universalized. 

Discordian view: the universe is in a state of é─˙becomingé─¨ (Heraclitus) chaotic movement and change and coherence is a mental construct.  é─˙To knowé─¨ means to have imposed categories on chaotic processes which are useful to us and/or based on incomplete data (Law of Fives).

Broad to universal consensus must be reached for a society to exist.  This is naturally an enforced decision (alliance between military and priesthood), however it is incomplete in its understanding and so cannot succeed (Law of Imposition).  Collective life is made possible, however it begins to break down and takes increasing amounts of force to be held together, which only destabilizes the system further.  Illusionary hunt for proof of metaphysical musings.

Linguistics as a BIP.

People think with words.  Higher concepts can only be thought of through verbal means in particular.  However, language simplifies the world, removes the chaos.  Controls how thinking happens as well as what can be thought (subject-object framework).

Science a BIP?

World can be observed and learnt from to our benefit.  However, science cannot discover absolute or transcendental proofs.  Science vs worship of science.  However, global scepticism an unsolvable paradox.  Absolute rejection is another blind alley and not a very fruitful or accurate one at that.  Contingent knowledge?  Acceptance of knowledge, that has been tested, working for the now, but without blind worship as to its eternal value?  Possible.

don't represent any cohesive ideology or material solution, but rather a plethora of different solutions that appeal (by providing meaning and/or security and/or economic advancement) to specific target groups,

are typically networks rather than hierarchies (they are not replacements for the state)

aren't tied to territory (and hence aren't required to provide services to anyone other than their members)

often find extremely profitable ways to finance their own growth

have developed a new method of warfare to protect themselves and extend their power (open source warfare)

Now consider that context when reading this:

Or Kill Me / An analysis of 2006: Discordianism and the Pagans
« on: March 31, 2007, 04:06:58 pm »
In many ways, the best way to understand something is by watching and noting the effect it has on other agents and institutions.  The best and most obvious example of this in modern history is Discordian interaction with contemporary Paganism.  Whatever our reasons at the time for seeking the contact with a large and apparently disparate community, it can serve as a useful lesson for future encounters é─ý as well as prepare new Discordians for the harsh and often inflammatory reactions to their presence.

Obviously, there were some positive gains from the encounter.  However the negative ones are of more interest, because there is so much more to be learned.  Often from those who opposed us, we were the victim of slander campaigns and relegated to a lesser status in religious standing (and while avoiding contamination from the majority of Grey and Cabbage religions is hardly a bad thing, there was a notable lack of logic to their reasoning as to why this was done), not to mention falsely ascribed certain motives and opinions which were taken from a purposefully incorrect understanding of Discordianism.  These reactions and other related observations will be noted below.

A notable and common reaction is that many will seek to downplay or ignore your contributions.  To accept the opinion or help or argument of a known Discordian is to acknowledge validity to the irreligion and its beliefs.  Since your very values are set up to mock their own systems of implausible and unsustainable belief, it implicitly implies their own incorrectness (ignoring for now the admirable é─˙quantum agnosticismé─¨ of many Discordians, such as RAW, in this regard) and questioning their faith.  Obviously this only applies to those who have a superficial understanding and reading of Discordianism.  As your status becomes better known, this reaction will become more common.

However, the most common reaction was to simply treat Discordianism as a parody religion that only a fool would believe in.  If it was treated as a purely artistic project that only a simpleton could mistake for a real religion, its proponents are at once are sidelined.  Of course, this is to totally ignore several points for similar reasons to above, but it also fails to draw a distinction between religion, spirituality and irreligion.  The foremost is what the vast majority of Pagans take part in, the second some Pagans and Discordians both take from the form of their belief system and the final is a purposeful creation of a spiritual system that undermines religion instead of meekly being alternative to it.  The Church of the Subgenius would probably be the only other example of this and it is rooted in Discordianism anyway.  Because of its hostility to mainstream religion, irreligions must be denied validity.

Of course, the next major avenue of attack is to seize upon the word é─˙chaosé─¨ while gripped with a primordial fear of anarchy, the collapse of civilization, the permission of everything and all the other desperate fantasies of intellectually stunted and repressed demagogues.  Of course, because reading a book is too much hassle when deciding to condemn something, the clarified Discordian definition of the word is overlooked, as well as the dialectic between Disorder and Order that is expressed.  To accept that chaos is the synthesis of these two notions, that allows evolution, creation, possibility and chance, as well as understand the Discordian position of supporting one extreme to aim for the synthesis, well would require a knowledge of Western philosophy beyond that of most Pagans (while that the last statement was meant to be purposefully insulting, it is true that many are very unaware of developments outside mainstream Christianity and their own faith é─ý over the last 2,400 years in some cases).  Among the more intelligent and intellectual, the tendency is therefore to think of Discordians as abstract theorists, whose support for their position is intellectually based, either in a Hegelian system or philosophical anarchism.  In short, because we apparently exist in a world of abstraction and theory, our activities and forms of dissent and attack against regimented society, authoritarian institutions and individuals are denied coverage.

This is of course to set up the next denial, which is also another form of attack.  A contradiction in the reasoning is obvious.  This claim is fairly familiar, that Discordians are active, but only within the student movement and among certain ageing Yippies and other counter-culture movements of the 60s and 70s who é─˙ought to know betteré─¨.  In short, we are a contemporary form of Dadaists, who run amok performing street theatre, practical jokes and constitute a lunatic fringe of activists who oppose current society and certain individuals.  Here of course, we are given more credit, but who has heard of Yippies being despised by a broad section of the Pagan movement?  Much less while being philosophical anarchists?  This criticism often comes from the politically left inclining Pagans, for a very simple reason.  In effect we are their bad conscience, who unlike them, are able and willing to act on the physical level to achieve our goals.  In short, we do not make recourse to é─˙magicé─¨ to disappear our problems, nor do we hide our timidity under a religious cloak of universal law.

While on the general subject of politics, it was important to note the many criticisms and confusion that occurred in this area.  Discordianism is of course not a political philosophy, though many of its followers take an interest in it and apply certain Discordian ideas to the practice and proper conduct of government.  Pagans surprisingly have some very broad and often contradictory political positions in relation to their religious beliefs.  Most interesting was the emergence of é─˙Conservo-Paganismé─¨ which is neither conservative as Burke or Oakshotte would understand the term, nor particularly Pagan.  Instead, it seems to be an attempt by conservative and free market ideologues to create a new market while splitting the usual left-environmental concerns of most Pagan groups.  In addition, it is only comprehensible through the distortions of the US political system, where the meanings of political science terms have been so corrupted by populist discourse they barely resemble reality.  In this case, to be a Conservative is to support the Republican party, despite its hijacking by Dominionist and Evangelical groups who would gladly see most Pagans denied constitutional rights and freedoms.  Naturally, the centrist and neo-liberal Democratic Party is considered é─˙left wingé─¨, a vague and some would say meaningless term in a country with no history of a popular socialist party.

In other words, debate was framed under the US model, with all its misunderstandings and rhetoric.  Naturally, there was disagreement with virtually every established position.  We were considered anarchists because we criticized Marxism, right wingers for criticizing liberals, liberal radicals for criticizing Marx and conservatism (of the new and old varieties), socialists by the libertarians, technocrats by the primitivists and vice versa.  In short, no one person could actually define our political thinking and so create false theories with which to contrast with their own beliefs.  We would then be berated for not acting as a é─˙liberalé─¨ or é─˙socialisté─¨ or whichever chosen theory should, in the mind of the attacker, be our system.  Naturally, we were more liked by certain liberal sections, but mainly because we concentrated on NeoConservatvism for our attacks.  Our reasons for this should be obvious, namely at the time this was the dominant force among both Congress and the Executive and allied states often fell into line regardless of their own political ideology (the UK, Israel, Australia).  Attacking a group that essentially had no current power is pretty worthless, hence our sidelining of Democratic policy up until the point of our departure before the 2006 elections.

As I'm sure none of you need telling, the idea of a unified Discordian viewpoint on virtually anything is nonsense in itself, but it did not stop certain factions from seeking one, in some cases explicitly.  Naturally, the complaint from this that arose was that Discordian thought was é─˙too complexé─¨ or é─˙contradictoryé─¨ for people to understand and thus should either be abandoned or simplified.  What was actually meant was that the person in question did not like Discordianism because it did not place demands on them like other religions, did not require slavish devotion to a single or two mythical characters and in short did not give them a step by step guide in how to deal with life without recourse to their own brains.  Rather than admit this, they transfer their confusion and dislike onto the masses.

Finally, the reaction of authority figures to the presence of Discordians is fascinating.  Putting aside concerns previous to our arrival involving favourites of the leaders and economic concerns that directed interest in certain ways, it was a most enlightening experience.  Quite obvious attempts were made to intimidate and reduce the influence of the Discordians through various tactics of removing writings from their proper place and sidelining our theories to only those who sought them out knowingly.  In addition, we were placed under additional scrutiny and surveillance.  More often than not an authority figure would deal with a Discordian in a far stricter manner than other members, simply because of their recognition that we were their natural enemies.  Reasons beyond this were not needed, since we were able to accurately critique their systems of control and coercion while at the same time making fun of them and refusing to be intimidated.  In addition, several Discordians had a sizeable if superficial following among the forum members (a common reaction of Pinks when confronted with more Subgenius like Discordians with some charisma) and there was a very real threat of the place of the leaders as the centre for authority being undermined.  Of course, this reached a breaking point where we were expelled or otherwise coerced into passiveness so that we could no longer counteract their leadership.  What was most interesting was this was framed as a Discordian problem and they and their allies were the only targets, yet it was denied because of the retaining of a couple of token dissenters, normally the more mystically inclined or those who had not yet given sufficient grounds, in terms of threat to authority, for their removal.  In short, an attempt at a moral split between Discordian factions.

I know this has been longwinded and verbose to say the least, but I felt some sort of analysis of the events of MysticWicks, taken from a less personal and more abstract perspective would be of use.  Not least for understanding how Cabbages will react in other settings, although it is in itself a damning indictment of the current state of the Pagan community (although not all Pagans).  I hope this can be of considerable use for those considering future actions along similar lines.

Literate Chaotic / More tin foil hat material
« on: March 29, 2007, 09:36:36 am »

You see the lengths I go to in order to find high quality lulz?

Literate Chaotic / The Grey Lodge Occult Review
« on: March 22, 2007, 09:32:30 am »

Back Issues of the "Grey Lodge", who seem to be into their counterculture/Robert Anton Wilson style freakery.  Each issue has downloads for you to steal, sometimes as text files, pdfs, videos or mp3s.  Topics range from Alien abduction, the OTO, A;.A;., Men In Black and basically covering the range when it comes to wierd occult shit.

Bring and Brag / ATTN Artists and creative types
« on: March 18, 2007, 04:51:49 am »
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Discordia wishes to commission a logo for our esteemed organization.  The payment will be free membership in Scotland's premier quasi-terroristic organization as our Artistic Director, knowing we are likely to use your logo forever and, most valuably, my eternal gratitude.  Me and the 6 or so asshats I've duped into being my minions basically need something for the local flyers and rants sent to the newspapers.  I'm thinking maybe one seal based design and another as a page header of some description.

I'd do it myself, but my computer design skills are teh crap.

Propaganda Depository / What others say about the Discordian Society
« on: March 18, 2007, 03:17:47 am »
Found lingering on my laptop hard drive from where I had left it since Xmas...despite making several dozen flyers and spreading them in London, Bristol and Edinburgh


Their principal activity is an extreme mental derangement. . . . In the maximum number of languages the Discordian Society sends letters from foreign countries filled with the most filthy expressions. In our opinion the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave them too much credit in investigating them.
- Unnamed US Justice Department Official

The concerns of this movement, currently supported by é─˙The Good Reverend Rogeré─¨ and é─˙East Coast Hustleé─¨ among others, are in some sense comparable, a hundred years later, to those of the Young Hegelians and especially to the Marx of the 1844 Manuscripts . . . . That is to say, they imagine that a revolution is possible and their program is aimed at making one.
- New Absurdist Magazine #23

These é─˙activistsé─¨ have insulted the society in which they live and all its values. They should be dealt with by psychiatrists. I doné─˘t want to take any legal measures against them é─ţ they should be in a lunatic asylum. . . . As for their incitement to illegal acts, the Minister of the Interior is looking into that.
- Dominique de Villepin, 2006

The Discordians . . . are more anarchist than the anarchists, whom they find too bureaucratic.
- Robert Anton Wilson

Their doctrine, if such a term can be used in describing their delirious ravings, . . . is a sort of radical revolutionism with an underpinning of nihilism. . . . A monument of imbecilic fanaticism, written in a pretentious jargon, spiced with a barrage of gratuitous insults both of their professors and of their fellow students. It constantly refers to a mysterious é─˙Discordian Societyé─¨
- Militant Tendency, 1981

Then appeared for the first time the disquieting figures of the é─˙Discordian Societyé─¨ How many are there? Where do they come from? No one knows.
- Daily Mail, December 1994

Discordianism is, of course, no more the specter that haunts industrial society than was communism the specter that haunted Europe in 1848.
- Gregory Hill, Usenet Post, 1996

WARNING: Leaflets have been distributed in the Brixton area calling for an insurrectionary general strike. It goes without saying that such appeals have not been issued by our democratic trade-union organizations. They are the work of provocateurs seeking to provide the government with a pretext for intervention. . . . The workers must be vigilant to defeat all such maneuvers.
- Socialist Workers Party Directive, 1981

. . . the Discordian Society, which has its base in San Francisco and which is controlled by the security and espionage police of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...
- John Birch Society

Their general headquarters is secret but I think it is somewhere in London. They are not students, but are what are known as Discordians; they travel everywhere and exploit the discontent of students.
- Anonymous interview published in the News of the World, 1987

We are here concerned with only one small group who alone set the scene for the May events and provided the insurrection with a dialectical backbone. These few outlaws, these Discordians, universally despised by political organizations and student bodies, have their base on the surrealistic fringes of the Left Wing. From there they have nurtured one of the most advanced, coherent revolutionary theories (though often plagued by academic arrogance and é─˙iné─¨ references), which provoked a near-liquidation of the State.
- Taken from the suppressed Colombia University Report into the April 23rd take over of the University in 1968

Miss Martin said the é─˙Discordiansé─¨ were a religious movement active in Greece in the 10th century BC, and that there had been é─˙talké─¨ on the campus of a revival under that name in Berkeley.
- San Francisco Examiner (18 May 1972)

The Discordian Society was created by the CIA from scratch in 1957 in New Orleans under the slogans é─˙Nothing is True, Everything is Permissible,é─¨ é─˙A Discordian is prohibited in believing what he reads,é─¨ and é─˙Creative Disorder!,é─¨ and is the paradigm example of a CIA synthetic all-purpose formation. The loose and programless anarchist é─˙left coveré─¨ countergang on the Discordian model is ideal for the CIA for the recruitment of new agents, the launching of psywar operations, the detonation of riots, syndicalist workersé─˘ actions (e.g., LIP strike), student power revolts, etc., the continual generation of new countergang formations, and infiltration, penetration and dissolution of socialist and other workersé─˘organizations. . . . During the 1968 problems, the Discordians were assigned to stop the Labor Committees from developing into a mass-based working-class party.
- New Solidarity, 28 August and 6 September 1977

Discordianism seems to have é─˙caught oné─¨ in the U.S.A., particularly in California, that playground of the ideologies. . . . The American Discordians seem to be repeating the pattern of mutual exclusion and criticism as occurred in Europe, and to be employing a fairly impenetrable Hegelian vocabulary. . . . Wilson and Hill are worth reading for their critique of modern consumer-culture (if you can arrange a few weeks free of work and booze).
- Time Magazine, 1976

Behind the angry young men of Amsterdam we find a secret Society. . . . The Provos provide the previously isolated theorists of the Discordian Society with troops, é─˙intelligent surrogatesé─¨ capable of constituting the secular arm of an organization which itself prefers to remain more or less behind the scenes.
- Figaro Litt?ęraire (4 August 1982)

Bring and Brag / Latteart
« on: March 14, 2007, 05:33:22 pm »

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Wheeeeeeeeeeee!
« on: March 14, 2007, 01:30:49 pm »

Modern Discordians have finally almost created a new idea on their own . . . they only had to rip it off from an imfamous CIA investigated sci-fi hack named Dick. How appropriate.

This idea is known as the Black Iron Prison, and the basic concept is that your own perceptions are a prison from which you can never break free from. Once you realize you are trapped in a prison you can try to break out, but once you are outside you realize you are trapped within a larger, more impenetrable, prison. No matter what you do, or what you try, you are trapped.

What a cheery concept.

They offer no ways to get out, or think around this concept, its just laid out there and you had better digest it, accept it, and like it or you are a shallow fool who doesn't get the 'harsh reality' of the situation.

The idea comes from Dick's book Valis, which nobody I know has read or even heard of. The more obscure, the better, I guess.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Absurdism
« on: March 07, 2007, 09:00:16 pm »

Salient parts c+p'd

Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail (and, hence, are absurd) because no such meaning exists (at least in relation to humanity).

What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act... The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith ... I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection.

é─ý Kierkegaard, S??ren

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict, or a "divorce" between two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human condition as absurd, as the confrontation between man's desire for significance/meaning/clarity and the silent, cold universe (or for theists: God). He continues that there are specific human experiences that evoke notions of absurdity. Such a realization or encounter with the absurd leaves the individual with a choice: suicide, a leap of faith, or acceptance.

man can choose to embrace his own absurd condition. According to Camus, man's freedom, and the opportunity to give life meaning, lies in the acknowledgment and acceptance of absurdity. If the absurd experience is truly the realization that the universe is fundamentally devoid of absolutes, then we as individuals are truly free. é─˙To live without appeal,é─¨ as he puts it, is a philosophical move that begins to define absolutes and universals subjectively, rather than objectively. The freedom of man is, thus, established in man's natural ability and opportunity to create his own meaning and purpose, to decide himself. The individual becomes the most precious unit of the existence, as he represents a set of unique ideals that can be characterized as an entire universe by itself.

I believe our current project to be the metaphysics of the Absurd.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Plan of action
« on: March 07, 2007, 04:48:01 pm »
1. Come up with a better name (BIP is too philosophically constrictive and attracts emo/goth types.  Sorry, but it is).

2. Decide where we want to go from there.  Is this meant to be a blueprint for action or trying to figure stuff out?  Throw in a target audience here.

3. Get writing.

4. Position the project as something associated with the Discordian movement but not part of it.  Thats important, because sooner or later everything fizzles out and I'd rather the place where the ideas come from didn't go with it.

5.  More suggestions?

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