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Messages - Cramulus

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Literate Chaotic / Re: Heartwarming poem - "On Bullshit"
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:03:58 pm »
they have a fight
bullshit man wins
bullshit man versus everything man

and that's beautiful












oooh stoics, oooh, haaha hi cum boys

oooooh  haha <3 your emotional control gets me so hard <3 <3 hehe wink emoji



Aneristic Illusions / Re: E-Democracy
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:55:46 pm »
WOW, as soon as I saw this thread....  :horrormirth:

But related to the topic --- did you guys see that Maine adopted Instant Runoff Voting? Can't believe it's actually a Thing now.

Apple Talk / Re: Ancapistan, take 6
« on: May 20, 2018, 01:38:15 pm »
Isn't there a plotline in The Filth about this?

Oh yeah, terrorists kidnap the president of floating libertarian paradise, give him lots of LSD, breast implants, and brainwash him into doing a "happy birthday mister president" dance on TV

the way 2018 is going, that will seem tame compared to reality

« on: May 17, 2018, 06:29:28 pm »

what about his weird old balls

I've been thinking about that too -- they don't have to knowledgably collude with anybody, they just have to drop some ammo crates for opposition to load into the accusation gun.

I don't know how we recover from this, that kind of trust/faith in the electoral institution (or the parties) is easy to destroy but hard to rebuild.

Personally, I'm feeling a bit warmer towards Comey's opinion - that maybe Trump shouldn't be impeached, because it lets Americans off the hook too easy. Trump is like an overdue wildfire. In his wake, new things will grow, things which have been in the shade for a long time. Maybe we've gotta let the fire burn?

I'm of the Discordian opinion that Aftermath only comes after Bureaucracy breaks itself. Let acceleration play itself out. The shitty parts of the system have to come to the surface and express themselves there, so they can be understood and confronted in honest terms. Trump is the walking personification of what's wrong with the current system. We could walk away from the Trump years with a strengthened immune system.  Maybe...

Horrorology / Re: Listen until you cannot talk
« on: May 17, 2018, 04:44:52 pm »
old "wisdom" needs to be checked and re-tested

people change, contexts change, what worked last year might not work this year

The part where Frontside Back mentions that it's like there's an Old Boys Cult which wants to see the replication of the Cult - that speaks to me. Old veteran larpers tend to shoot down any ideas that don't aim at recreating the thing they already know they love.

Larps are generated in splinters - big larps break off into smaller larps, and so the new england cluster of games is like a family tree... you can trace each game's lineage to the larps that came before it. So the larps running in 2018 have a lot of build up institutional knowledge - and plaque.

When you leave the region, you see that a lot of the "accepted wisdom" falls apart when you begin with different premises or assumptions.

To give an example - in new england in the 80s-90s, larps were very competitive. There would be monsters to kill, but the real fun and profit was in mercing other players. "The most dangerous game."

Over 15 years of drama, the community gradually moved away from PvP. You used to write plotlines in a way that generated drama within the playerbase. But now, all plot is now designed to encourage cooperation, the unification of community. Player vs Player murder doesn't happen much anymore, certainly not on the scale or intensity that it did when I started larping.

And so all the local game-runner wisdom discourages PvP. If you start a game that includes PvP, most new england larpers peer into the future and go "oh this is gonna be a toxic mess, will definitely fail. Just like when I was a newbie and somebody axe-murdered me for my starting gear." Consequently, the dominant game model is that players get their "content" and "plot" from interactions with NPCs--interacting with other players is not seen as the core part of the game, it's incidental to the "scripted" plot.

But then I take a road trip to Jersey or Pennsylvania, where they don't have that history... and find myself in a world where there is PvP, but it's not toxic. And it's like this whole new atmosphere! Everybody in new england insists it could never work. But they think that because of some anecdotes and subjective experiences that people have passed on as general truths.

I can think of a million places where this happens.

I went to a larp in NJ once... at the beginning of the game, there's a Weapon Safety Check. You hand your weapon to a "safety marshal" and they inspect it to make sure it's safe to whack people with. The safety criteria appear to be based on some empirical data, but in reality, it's just anecdotes shared by community leaders.

The safety marshal failed my polearm because I didn't have tape on the grip. He was like "the fiberglass core could splinter and a fragment could enter your bloodstream and you'd die, immediately." I looked around, like, am I surrounded by crazy people here? At my home game, exposed weapon cores are NORMAL, and nobody has ever died, or even been injured by splintering fiberglass.

"Damn, do people really die from that?" I asked, feigning being a newbie.

"Yeah, it almost happened last month," said some guy.

this is horseshit  :lol:
I was like, "Damn, I had no idea larping was so dangerous!" (it isn't) But anything I said to suggest that this issue isn't a problem.. only contributed to the impression that I was some naieve newbie. After all, they know. I don't.

In order to become a 'safety marshal' you have to internalize all the community-wisdom that's floating around. Including the plaque. So the people who are the most informed are also the people with the most misinformation.

Horrorology / Re: Listen until you cannot talk
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:31:09 pm »
I feel this in the realm of larp game design

In New England, we have all reached these conclusions about how to run a game. These conclusions were developed through 15-20 years of mistakes. There is this shared model of "how larps work" and people get real defensive about it.

Every so often a newcomer steps onto the stage and has some crazy new idea.

The veterans go "No, that will never work, we tried it, it sucked"

but you know...

sometimes it actually does work

There's something about the newcomer mindset, the person who lifts up a rock with no expectation of what they'll see.

There's something about "Outsider Art" - art not inspired by the artistic tradition, but coming from some novice whose never taken Art History. It's often clumsy and naieve and makes predictable mistakes, but also, it seems like the only way to escape the paradigm.

You can never enter the same river twice, and hail eris for that.

Horrorology / Re: Listen until you cannot talk
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:24:18 pm »

Hey cousin LHX!  Long time no see.  You should know that even all this time later, your piece Toxicity still rings some bells with me--anything could be toxic in the right amount! Story of my life :P

Anyway -- yeah, it's funny to see some of our old ideas unfolding apart from us. I was reflecting on the Adam Weishaupt Society the other day.. we were playing at making fake news for the sake of fake news. We saw how easy it was, you just have to base articles on the principle of attention instead of information. Years later, that seems not so much like just a fun game, but something fundamentally wrong with the media engine, and it would be uncouth to accelerate it further.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:23:57 pm »
Yeah, I think that's the gist of it - they were trying to examine the mind. The intellect often thinks it's the whole of the mind. The body, the emotions - they're part of it too, and the mind often forgets this.

Just looked up body-scan meditation -- yes, seems very similar! Except that in this Gurdjieff exercise, you aren't just relaxing the body in sequence, but also taking note of the ways you get pulled off course. There are two things I've noticed in my own work:

-When I'm focusing on inhabiting a body part, sometimes the mind wanders, gets distracted. In zen meditation, when you notice this, you're supposed to let go of it, put it to rest. In this Gurdjieff exercise, before you do that, you should take note of what it is. Like maybe I remembered something, and it touched off a series of emotions and mental rehearsals... when you notice this is happening, take note of what it is and why you started thinking about it.

-The imagination is dangerous. It has the potential to hijack the work and make us think we're doing the work.  Like, when I inhabit my left thigh, I can feel a certain sensation, a certain presence... but sometimes, I'm just imagining this sensation.

for the people following the more esoteric line - this is an example of the law of octaves, the law of seven -- how something can get pulled off course and turned against itself. At the "interval" moment, the course will veer naturally, the line departs into a side branch. You have to use a "shock" to pull the octave back into a straight line. The mind's awareness of itself (called 'self remembering') can act like a shock, filling the gap with awareness and keeping it on target.

The way that the imagination disguises itself as the work and hijacks it -- more broadly, the way that the wrong work disguises itself as the correct work -- was a topic at the meeting this week. We read a section from Views from the Real World ("Liberation leads to liberation" is the title of the talk) which spoke about Mr. Self-Love and Mrs. Vanity - two guardians of the self which must be mastered (not defeated).

These things have a dual nature, it's not so simple to say that they're good or bad. If you say that I'm a shithead, the words pass through my vanity and self-love before they enter my inner world and affect my "common presence". Maybe you're just an idiot -- in which case my self-love will block the words from affecting me. After all, if an idiot calls me an idiot, does it matter? But maybe I am a shithead - in which case, my self-love may resist anyway, preventing me from understanding you. The proper self-love accepts the criticism in the interest of becoming a better self.

In the zen tradition, they point you at egolessness - try to avoid vanity and self-love alltogether. That's why the first "three ways" are difficult - they work in the monastery, they work on the meditation mat, but it's very difficult to live like that all the time. The Fourth Way is about liberation, but during everyday life.

“LIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION. These are the first words of truth — not truth in quotation marks but truth in the real meaning of the word; truth which is not merely theoretical, not simply a word, but truth that can be realized in practice. The meaning behind these words may be explained as follows: By liberation is meant the liberation which is the aim of all schools, all religions, at all times. This liberation can indeed be very great. All men desire it and strive after it. But it cannot be attained without the first liberation, a lesser liberation. The great liberation is liberation from influences outside us. The lesser liberation is liberation from influences within us.”

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: May 03, 2018, 02:28:10 pm »
Been a while since I posted an update. I'm still doing the work.

They've been having us do this daily exercise. I mentioned it a few posts ago, but I'll talk about it again.

A form of meditation. In it, you direct your awareness into each part of your body, in sequence. Inhabit the left shoulder. Then the left upper-arm. Then the elbow. Then the forewarm. Then the wrist, top of hand, palm, fingers... then you spread your awareness out to inhabit your entire arm. You move through each limb this way in sequence. When you've done all four limbs--waking them up and making them more alive--you focus your awareness into your head, then your shoulders, down your torso through your core... and finally, a global awareness of your entire body. You go through this process twice per "exercise".

Gurdjieff once reprimanded the American contingent: "You don't do self-observation. You just do mind-observation." During this exercise, you're getting distracted constantly, by thoughts, by emotions. Instead of going with them, you try to see what they are. Observe the parts of you that steal your focus, that initiate a chain of habit.

I find that the first time I run through this cycle, it's like rebooting my body. There are signals that are coming into my consciousness all the time but I'm not listening to them. This exercise feels like I'm making sure all these wires are plugged in firmly, there's no noise on the line, the whole organism is, briefly, united.

I found this exercise very difficult at first. Your intellect is bored already, it wants to be doing something else. It wants to be processing something, revisiting something, doing something. And usually, my intellect grabs the reins and yells GIDDYUP to the horse. But it doesn't know where it's going! There is a type of awareness that emerges when the intellect sits down alongside the body and emotions.

Even the process leading up to this exercise is part of the exercise. Your intellect thinks it already has what it's going to get out of it. You make excuses for why you don't want to do it. You busy yourself, put it off... but the ability to come in, to overcome these interal obstacles, to not get sucked into a process-driven train of thought ... I feel like that's part of it too.

a haiku I wrote a few years ago...

The steel train leaves the station

the floor is sticky

the daytime mind

There's a part of Beezlebub's Tales to his Grandson where he introduces something like this. In this section, the grandfather is talking to his adolescent grandson.

"At your age, you are not yet obliged to pay for your existence.

"This present period of your life is not given you for paying your existence, but for preparing yourself for the future--for the obligations becoming to a responsible three-brained being.

"So in the meantime, exist as you exist. Only do not forget one thing: at your age, it is indepensable that every day, when the sun rises, while watching the reflection of its splendor, you bring about a contact between your consciousnessa nd the various unconscious parts of your common presence. Trying to make this state last, think and convince the unconscious parts--as if they were conscious--that if they hinder your general functioning in the process of ordinary existence, then in the period of your responsible age they will not only be unable to enjoy the good tha tis proper to them, but also your whole presence, of which they are a part, will not be capable of becoming a good servant of our Common Endless Creator, and will thus be unable to pay honorably for your arising and existence."

Recently, I've been finding this exercise very valuable.

Office life is not good for the body. Over the years I've learned to ignore all these signals from my body, like an ascetic. And there is some value to that - it's one of the "three ways". But to take the fourth way, I've gotta unlearn it now. Gotta stop being sedentary and passive, I've gotta flex my volition and remember - the self that chooses which steel train I'll take today.

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