Author Topic: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?  (Read 69010 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #210 on: October 24, 2008, 07:16:53 pm »
It's also my opinion that Mal and Omar wrote during a period of Confusion. Since then, we've entered the season of Bureaucracy. If you buy the bit where Discordians want to create "balance" between order and disorder, between Apollo and Dionysus, Discordians are more needed in times of Bureaucracy.

Cain

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #211 on: October 24, 2008, 07:34:20 pm »
I'll give you the International Relations style answer to this question.

Discordianism is important because the underlying power structure of the last 200 years is crumbling before our eyes.  States, in particular liberal-democratic states, were once considered the pinnacle of political evolution.  However, it is looking increasingly like the status quo of the past 200 years was a fluke, instead of a steady progression to a better political norm.

And that has had several important impacts.  The creation of a global economy has rendered the role of most states as obsolete.  Defence of the sovereign nation is increasingly immaterial - what counts now is the defence of the economic suprastructure, hardening vulnerable point in the international trade network and promoting further integration - by gold or guns.  The role of the state, if anything, is to maximise economic opportunity.

But not everyone in this world is a cosmopolitan, a homo economicus, interested in expanding the bottom line and getting that new vanity "must-have" item.  People are losing nationalism, but in return they get religion, or tribalism.  Moreover, the trend has become towards individualism.  The state has cast us out, therefore we no longer feel the loyalty we once had.  On paper, they are still as strong as ever, but state forces are increasingly seen as paper tigers.  More order, more discipline, more policing is the order of the day, but that just underlies the original problem - these methods are not working, the political order is no longer wed to ideology, there is no policeman in the head of every citizen.

Disorder is on the rise.  Traditional authority has been junked.  De facto, we are moving towards a world comprised of billions of states - that of the sovereign individual.  Technology is out of control, in both directions.  A capable individual has the power to bring a state to its knees (if not right now, then within a few years), yet centralized authorities are increasingly reliant on overlapping networks of technology that they cannot protect, let alone control.  In short, you can only rely on yourself, technology only works when it augments your native abilities, because there are enough maniacs in the world prepared to bring everything down with them, even if they benefit from it.

The feedback loops are increasing.  The extension of "punditry" to the white collar workers has meant that information is less "pure" than ever, passing through more and more distorting filters.  Perception will trump objectivism, the use of grand narratives to manufacture consent will likely result in ideological conflict - and political communities which exist in totally seperate perceptive realities from each other.

Things fall apart.  The technological and social future meet the political past.  Post-modern feudalism.  The state smashed upon the shores of history, with all the chances for change and conflict and difference that this allows.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #212 on: October 24, 2008, 07:35:26 pm »
I'm 26, so I can't comment on what really went down decades ago. But here's my two or three cents--

The Discordians of 50 years ago questioned ideas similar to those we now do; their world was every bit as confusing as ours. Just as we have to try to deal with the dissolution of structures and the advent of new ones, so too did they.

I would argue that our world is more confusing than it was 50 years ago. simply because the modern world is larger and more saturated with information.

Back then you had four TV stations, now you have hundreds.
Back then the news was presented by newspapers, now there are a zillion places to get it.
Back then there was only one style of jeans, now there are 50.
The past was analog. The present is digital. The future is exponential.

In this part of the Information Age, you can get any information you want in a few quick keystrokes. We're overloaded with information. Learning to distinguish signal from noise is now an important survival skill for the modern jungle.



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The difference comes in how we are able to look at the structures and say "no." They had Project Eagle; we have the OMGASM Wiki. The tools are different, but the fact of people confronting coercion and mental/physical/emotional enslavement and saying "no" is not.

True, we can still learn something from Wilson, Hill, Thornley's attitudes, but their methodology is stale. The tools we have available today (namely the Internet) give us loads more power than we used to have. We can Find The Others, (dis)organize people, and disseminate our ideas at zero cost and barely any effort.

I think it makes us more relevant because we have greater ability to participate in all those feedback loops - between the individual and the media, between the government and the people, etc etc. (I guess by that measure it makes anyone more relevant if they choose to be)

Quote
So, short story long, I don't think that Discordia today is any more "relevant" than being a good fellow to your neighbors is "relevant," because Discordia is (to me, at least) not about confronting any particular issue or type of issue, but is instead about confronting those issues with more inner freedom and less fear.

That's a style that I don't think will ever change with us.

It's the "inner freedom and less fear" part that I'm addressing. Because I think we're living in an era of less inner freedom and more fear. I guess I can't speak with authority there, having never lived through McCarthyism or disco or whatever. And certainly every generation has called their times 'hard'. But I feel like the accelerating world of consumer culture is creating cultural cabbage patch at an alarming rate. People are making their entire identities up of the shit on TV. We're living in a dynamic world populated by static people. If this is not the ideal theater for Discordia to thrive, I don't know what is.



Every theater is an ideal theater for a bit of Chaos, Discord and Confusion. ;-)

I grok what you're saying, but I think you might be missing the forest for the trees. Sure these trees are genus MySpace, rather than genus Book Club, and instead of little Beavers and Wards running around we have Lord SlithyTove the vampire... but that makes Discordia JUST as relevant, not more. Many people I know who were young in the 60s/70s talk a lot about how they compared TV families to theirs and felt like their life was wrong... Nowadays, I think people in general have less faith in what they see and hear... or maybe not ( )

I guess my point is that our brains are the same, our way of thinking as humans are the same. The Law of Fives is equally true in some sense, false in some sense and meaningless in some sense in every season.

Perhaps, Discordian Activism is more relevant now, or Discordian Philosophy, or O:MF...

Maybe this is a time when the "Legion of Dynamic Discord" is ascendant, while the "Paratheo-Anametamystikhood Of Eris Esoteric" is declining. Perhaps the 60's were a time to focus on Eris through naval gazing, sweet mother mary jane and the occasional crazy prank, now, maybe is the time to focus on Discordia through active jaking, O:MF, GASMS, crazy pranks, sweet mother mary jane... and occasional naval gazing. ;-)

Maybe its the implementation, rather than the philosophy that's changing with the times?
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Manta Obscura

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #213 on: October 24, 2008, 07:43:00 pm »
It's also my opinion that Mal and Omar wrote during a period of Confusion. Since then, we've entered the season of Bureaucracy. If you buy the bit where Discordians want to create "balance" between order and disorder, between Apollo and Dionysus, Discordians are more needed in times of Bureaucracy.

I'm really digging this analogy. I'll have to chew on it for a while longer before I can say anything intelligent about it, though.

I think I see one of the main differences in our opinion, Cram: our definition of "relevancy" (all word games return to definition, dont they?  :D ). I had been thinking of your question about Discordia's "relevancy" in terms of "Is Discordia still APPLICABLE" to today's world. Instead, based on what you're saying, it seems that you're asking whether Discordia is more suited to the stylistic and cultural trends of the world. The decentralized "philosophy" of Discordia fits with the decentralized setup of modern communication and life structure. In effect, the medium is fitting the message, as the good Marshall McLuhan might say.

Is that right?

You make some good points about the acceleration of overloading stimulus and other problems that are uniquely part of our historical culture. I can get down with that, and I admit that Discordia does fit very well with the communicative style and the trend of enhanced mental feedback that we're getting nowadays. However, going along with what Rat said, I'd like to re-emphasize the importance of the "core" Discordian value (if there could be such a thing), "Think for yerself, schmuck!", which has not changed and remains as ever-enduring since Mal and Omar first sat in that bowling alley.

It's cool that Discordia operates on two different levels, though; it shows the versatility of being one's self. The sweet, nougat-y center stays the same, but how the nougat is covered and packaged - its caramel, nuts, and oh-so-delicious chocolate coating and the wrapper, so to speak - can be adapted along with the times to fit the changing practices of communication throughout history.

Damn . . . I'm wanting a Snickers bar, now.
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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #214 on: October 24, 2008, 07:45:31 pm »
Cain, I love you.

Manta Obscura

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #215 on: October 24, 2008, 07:49:46 pm »
Cain, remind me never to challenge you to a duel of wits. That was pretty epic, my good sir.
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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #216 on: October 24, 2008, 07:53:58 pm »
Cain, remind me never to challenge you to a duel of wits. That was pretty epic, my good sir.

The thing is, he does this all the time.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

Cain

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #217 on: October 24, 2008, 07:54:49 pm »
You guys are giving me too much credit.  Thats starter class spew mixed in with some law of fives and technology/media studies.

Cramulus

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #218 on: October 24, 2008, 07:56:26 pm »
word, the recent appendix to this thread has been a really enjoyable discussion. And DAMN, Cain, good points.

I do admit that to some extent I am cherry picking examples to prove a point I've made up,
this whole thread is about spiking people's energy
showing that Discordia is for us NOW, and isn't just an amusing twist on issues present in the 1960s/70s.

Jasper

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #219 on: October 24, 2008, 08:03:15 pm »
Pretty much.

Half of my reason for being here is to bask in the warmth of high-calibre intellect.

Manta Obscura

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #220 on: October 24, 2008, 08:03:58 pm »
Thats starter class spew mixed in with some law of fives and technology/media studies.

Most of what I was impressed with was the future-oriented outlook. It's hard to find a coherent prediction of the future that both utilizes historical cues and doesn't rely on baseless optimistic/pessimistic speculations.

@Rabid: I think Cain's bowler hat shadow pic does a lot to enforce the mysterious intelligence mystique.

@Cram: This thread has definitely spiked my energy. I don't normally go in for all the Discordian symbolism and ritual, but I think I'm gonna go and joyfully partake of a hotdog today, just out of sheer Discordian exuberance.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #221 on: October 24, 2008, 08:28:02 pm »
this whole thread is about spiking people's energy
showing that Discordia is for us NOW, and isn't just an amusing twist on issues present in the 1960s/70s.

THIS IS 100% TROOF

The beauty of Discordia, besides her hot bod, awesome hair and that cute dagger in her tight tummy... is that she is ever changing chaos. If you're living with your Daddy's Discordia, you're doing it wrong. She's the hot old broad... spent and ready for a nap. Our Discordia is the hot young chick, ready to drain us of as much creative energy as she can suck out.

I think the most important aspect of NOW vs THEM is exactly this, international discussion and interaction of ideas on a daily basis. The tools at our disposal make it easy to consult an oracle like Google (or Cain) and learn more about Camus to compare to Eris.

We have tools for easy communication, easy tools for coordination, so it makes it easier for us to create moments of Erisian Delight (online or off). ColbertGASM could have happened in 1975, but it would have taken a lot more work, planning and coordination. So much, that maybe other GASM projects would have suffered.

Our Discordia can be More Active, she can break through the Glass Ceiling that she hit in the 70's. Our Discordia can confuse the neo-pagans and atheists and religious talk groups into legitimately accepting her and some load of BS from the 70's as a religion. Our Discordia can get her own cartoon and pop culture references... whereas in the 70's she was MAKING the pop culture references to fit in.

Best of all, Our Discordia is Alive NOW, The Discordia for them 70's is gone, we can't work with her. The Discordia of NOW is here NOW and not only can we work with her, but we, all of us, can help create and define her for this generation.

The ^current^ Discordia is always relevant to the ^current^ times. ;-)

- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Cramulus

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #222 on: October 24, 2008, 08:32:34 pm »
@Cram: This thread has definitely spiked my energy. I don't normally go in for all the Discordian symbolism and ritual, but I think I'm gonna go and joyfully partake of a hotdog today, just out of sheer Discordian exuberance.

don't waste your time with that dusty textbook faux-bible shit  :p

If you've got THE SPIRIT,
go start something --
something new

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #223 on: October 24, 2008, 08:33:39 pm »
@Cram: This thread has definitely spiked my energy. I don't normally go in for all the Discordian symbolism and ritual, but I think I'm gonna go and joyfully partake of a hotdog today, just out of sheer Discordian exuberance.

don't waste your time with that dusty textbook faux-bible shit  :p

If you've got THE SPIRIT,
go start something --
something new

I agree with Cram, Go start something NEW!

But, if you're hungry, eat a hot dog first ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: Why is Discordia more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
« Reply #224 on: October 24, 2008, 08:48:12 pm »
 :D

I fully intend to do something "new" (albeit not any PosterGASM or OMigami stuff, b/c the rain would just ruin it) but you must admit that hotdogs are yummy and full of greatness.

I'm feeling particularly couch-fort-ish today, so hopefully I can convince the Mrs. to play the part of the Trojans. I'll be the invading Odysseus. :wink:
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