'sup, my privileged, cishet shitlords?  I'm back from oppressing womyn and PoC.

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Topics - Dildo Argentino

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / I'm back
September 15, 2022, 06:55:36 AM
Hey, hello, I'd like to give getting along with some of the people here another go, because (how boring) once again I done been changed.
I realize that none of you may be interested in that, but just in case.

Ask me anything. Or tell me anything.

– Merry Christmas, and make sure you get some rest, will you!

– We'll be resting all right, for a bit, maybe, but life is calling!

– Well, if life is calling, you must go. And then there are those times when it doesn't call. It's the worst thing in the world perhaps.

– Yes. I think that is depression, when life is not calling. But I trust that I have gone beyond that now, that I will not be in that predicament again.

– There is that level. You learn to notice when life isn't calling you, and you get a move on yourself. You learn that when you find yourself in a place where life is not calling you, it's high time to move along. Don't stay therem not even a minute, get marching right away.

– I guess you're right.


Of course later on, professional that I am, I polished it up a little more. Aiming for exactitude, I would say that depression is when one does not hear the call of life (it has become my conviction somehow that life is always calling), and despairs. And getting over depression is when one learns that, instead of despairing, it is better to clean the ears, move the head about, and to move away from that place with poor acoustics.


But what, then, is mania?

In the human individual, when it is created, the instinct to engage with the world is overwhelmingly strong. The call of life rings out in the voice of angelic trumpets and there is no question about it, I am already following the call.

Often it happens that at that precise point,
I get punched in the nose.
Stabbed in the stomach.
Considered less than nothing.
Subjected to indignation,
decried a sinner,
placed in a salt well,
shoved bit by bit
in the direction of death.

If that becomes chronic, and there isn't anybody there who understands what is happening, if there is nobody available to show this, to plead for and receive solace from, the ability to answer the call of life is compromised. Eventually, the call itself grows quiet, recedes to the depths, becomes unnoticed, as if it weren't there at all (of course it is there until the very moment of death, although it may wither away to a tiny, thin, fragile little red thread).

But then on the other hand...

life is the strongest thing there is.

And when that baneful, curled up, inward-turning, self-reproaching, cold and necrotic and silent and constricted way of being finally brings me to the very edge of what I can take, the call of life breaks through the long-built prison walls, and I respond with extasy and exhilaration, vibrating with joy as I notice that I can still hear that horn, that I am still able to cry out my answer and to follow.

That's the beginning of mania.

Only turning away from life for an extended period weakens and sickens the musculature of life.

Joy slowly turns into compulsion,
a drivenness,
and the wounds from whose pain
I turned away in the first place
begin to hurt,
with all the pain
I had chosen
not to feel

This is like twisting a knife
that a wound has healed around,
twisting it hard,
maybe many years later.

The personality creaks and buckles under the stress,
and the human begins to want to fall apart.

And the manic person needs

and more
and more.

Because after a period of disengagement,
if I wish to re-engage with the world,
I need to orient myself:

I need to know
what the world
is like.

People get a little reckless in this vortex.

With the exception of very rare lucky instances, this is the time of sedation. Of narcosis, of forgetting, of the drop of saliva stretching from the edge of the lower lip, the repetitive movement, the soft, sickly warmth of the asylum. Faintly, it smells of urine.

Like it happened to my dad, many times over. He'll be 80 in April, and he has given up entirely, long ago. There isn't much I wouldn't give to see him shine just once more, no matter how crazy, how sickly his light would be, but there is very little chance of that.

That's not something he has done to himself.

Others did this to him. The mania is his, but the sedation is ours.

To be honest, I would not protest if we were to do this somehow differently from now on.


An old man fond of tall tales once related that in India there is a social class, a part of the middle class, who can presently avail themselves of the services of the both old-style witch-doctors and modern medicine, as they see fit. If, in one of those families, a young person in their early twenties goes mental, not sleeping, talking strange all the time, throwing out truly bizarre ideas to improve the world, a great deal depends on where the family seek help.

If they turn to the village witchdoctor, this is the advice they get:

Call the entire family, all the relatives, all the friends, and hold a week-long festival in honour of this young person.

Celebrate them:
there should always be someone to listen to them with rapt attention,
praise them,
bask in their beauty,
be merry.

Within 3 or 4 days, the patient will calm down, have a good, long, healthy sleep, and return to their normal life. Although it is quite possible that they will make some major adjustments to it, the excessive spinning will abate, and it will not return. If it should, after a number of years, the treatment is to be repeated. There's never need for a third occasion.

And then that happens.

But if they go see a psychiatrist, they will receive this advice: sadly, the child suffers from bipolar disorder.

We will now sedate him,
put him to sleep for a few days,
and that will relax him.

Sadly, it is an incurable disease,
its symptoms can be kept in check.

They will have to take medication for the rest of their lives,
and they should be kept under vigilant observation,
because, unfortunately, it may often happen that
they will forget that they are ill,
stop taking the medicine
and become
dangerous to self
and society

And then that happens.
We seem to be having a bit of a revolution over here. Spirits are high, people are cavorting in the streets, policemen are having shit thrown at them, politicians are being told in no uncertain terms where they can stick it. The final straw was the "slave law", which allows employers to force workers to do overtime while also allowing them to pay for that overtime up to three years after it is actually worked. But the bastards also plan to pass another law on Wednesday which will kinda put an end to Hungary having anything remotely like an independent judiciary. The dance continues.

The other day I was in conversation with some fellow dissenters and I said:

There's this guy in America, he used to hate my guts, I think now he just thinks I'm an assburgered silly cunt, in fact, there's an entire bunch of people over there who think I'm an annoying, narcissistic, attention-whoring simpleton, but I've learnt a great deal from them. His most important teaching, and I'm afraid I may not be quoting verbatim, was something like "if we agree on 30 percent of important things, we may not be able to work together. If we agree on 60-70 percent of important things, we're made for each other, let's stand up to power together. If you think we agree on 100% of important things, go see a psychiatrist!".

So there goes (and I think it's quite funny): I am grateful to you, guys, and I am particularly and personally grateful to you, Roger. And there's very little you can do about it!

Thank you.

This terribly irritating, constantly nose, ear and hairpicking Slovenian yodel with his speech impediment and his atrocious accent (sort of like mine, TBH) has pretty much sold me on this. Which leads me to wonder whether there are non-political alternatives to unbridled capitalism.
Principia Discussion / Chaos is Energy
November 13, 2018, 07:49:17 AM
Hello again, Dears,

I've been looking at Holy Nonsense. It is a most substanceful tome and pleasing to the eye, and I am duly grateful for it, but here

I think it copeth out a bit.

Creation and destruction are also a very important pair of apparent opposites. To choose the creative in the hope of an all-creative trip is, I have found, a sure way to invite a shitload of destruction into my life. Ask any manic-depressive (when depressed, preferably).
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / AMA, holist
January 17, 2018, 12:16:55 PM
Let me start one of these as well, because I have been away for a while and changed somewhat in the meantime. So, ask me anything, I will attempt to answer genuine questions to the best of my ability, as my time permits. I will be heartbroken if I don't get any questions, but don't let that stop you! It's my problem and I will deal with it. ( :
Hello, I'm back. I bear no ill will. :)

So what's your optimistic but realistic scenario for 2028?

If you believe you can actually predict that scene (I think it's up in the air, even though the climate is highly likely to get much shittier), I'm all ears for that, too.

As for me, I would like to see nation states weaken and voluntary, organic, small-group-based networks rise further.

I would like to see widespread fullerene printing available to the masses, with a flourishing, if still fringe maker culture to go with it.

I would like to see the foodprinterTM, a portable device which, if pointed at a heap of general purpose organic waste and given sufficient energy, will produce slop that will sustain the human body.

I would like to see immune, neural, cognitive and digestive enhancements inching towards the mainstream.

I would like to see a planet teeming with humans who begin to move around freely as is their birthright, and a healthy and strong opposition to the ubiquitous surveillance panopticum that will surely still be on offer from the 1-percenters and possibly their machine buddies.

I would like to see the dragon irritated and scared, if not yet slain.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Paul Feyerabend
February 03, 2017, 08:23:26 PM
I know you'all is men and women of science, we've been over this, but still... guess you could say I'm sort of out looking for trouble here, but...

Today as I was looking for quotes about the purpose of philosophy (as a sideline to the main direction of this thread, please share any good quotes on that subject if you have some) and thought back to my favourite philosophers, and I remembered Paul Feyerabend. Back when I was actually studying the philosophy of science, I found him extremely interesting and very engaging. In the university library, I listened to casette recordings of a series of lectures he gave there 20 years earlier. So now I looked up some quotes by him:

"Taking experimental results and observations for granted and putting the burden of proof on the theory means taking the observational ideology for granted without having ever examined it."

"My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits."

"Knowledge is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges toward an ideal view; it is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible (and perhaps even incommensurable) alternatives, each single theory, each fairy tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness."

"There is no "scientific worldview" just as there is no uniform enterprise "science"- except in the minds of metaphysicians, school masters, and scientists blinded by the achievements of their own particular niche... There is no objective principle that could direct us away from the supermarket "religion" or the supermarket "art" toward the more modern, and much more expensive supermarket "science." Besides, the search for such guidance would be in conflict with the idea of individual responsibility which allegedly is an important ingredient of a "rational" or scientific age."

"Rationalism... is a secularized form of the belief in the power of the word of God."

"The idea of a method that contains firm, unchanging, and absolutely binding principles for conducting the business of science meets considerable difficulty when confronted with the results of historical research. We find, then, that there is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or another."

"It is clear, then, that the idea of a fixed method, or of a fixed theory of rationality, rests on too naive a view of man and his social surroundings. To those who look at the rich material provided by history, and who are not intent on impoverishing it in order to please their lower instincts, their craving for intellectual security in the form of clarity, precision, 'objectivity', 'truth', it will become clear that there is only one principle that can be defended under all circumstances and in all stages of human development. It is the principle: anything goes."

"Every profession has an ideology and a drive for power that goes far beyond its achievements and it is the task of democracy to keep this ideology and this drive under control. Science is here no different from other institutions."

"The best education consists in immunizing people against systematic attempts at education."

I still think his criticism of the naive-realist view of science is valid. I have also decided to make him a Discordian saint.

I find this very reasonable, so I am looking for strong objections. I think the points about why anticapitalist revolutions failed could be a great deal more nuanced, but the general gist of it seems right to me. "Tame and erode" isn't much of a catchphrase, but it seems workable and indeed seems to be happening already, in many ways.
The TED talk

Masochistic, I know, but I am curious to read what you people think of this talk. If it is preposterous of me to ask, just ignore or berate as seems fit. I promise I will not volunteer an opinion.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Aya
November 26, 2014, 11:33:24 AM
Have any of you had any experience with ayahuasca? Care to share? :)
Full disclosure: I've had 4 or 5 sessions with a qualified and certified practitioner. I would not describe it as massage, and it was not limited to the head. The sessions were very soothing, my posture improved and my breath became freer, and I even felt (as I tend to do after a good simple sports massage, or did after Alexander technique and Rolfing) that my eyes grew sharper. After a couple of days, the effects faded. One particularly weird thing: at the last session, she reached into my mouth (with sterile rubber gloves on) and gently manipulated my vomer. A bone I hadn't even known I had. It was an amazingly weird feeling. I'm going again at some point.

I realise that it could all be placebo effect, although I am quite critical, really, and while I have found these three techniques helpful, I have found others to be sometimes honest, sometimes malicious scams.

I have looked at two metastudies, one from 1999, and one from 1012. Both seem to suggest that there is no evidence that this form of treatment works rather than there is evidence that it doesn't work.

The theory behind craniosacral therapy is not particularly wooey. Given that a rhythmic (though daily, rather than more frequent) process of cranial fluid managed to be missed until 2012 (see Nigel's Neuroscience Nook), I think it is possible that the autonomous rhythm, pulsation of the craniospinal fluid that Osborne described is not mythical. I don't know if anyone has conducted studies on the degree of immobility of cranial sutures in living individuals, but I would be very interested to see any such research. If there is one thing I am sure about in this respect, it is that human beings are chaotic systems, i.e. some very tiny changes have massive consequences.

Another thing I am pretty sure about is that the effects of bad posture on the nerves passing through the neck can be massive. So if it improves posture, it could contribute to an increased sense of well-being simply by relieving chronic muscle tension in the neck, even if the autonomous craniosacral pulse turns out to be a myth.

I feel that Muscle Effect Therapy is somewhat similar. Neither of these are that much of a great deal... but sometimes a precise and light touch is necessary and sufficient.

These things resonate with my feeling that health and healing are concepts and activities not entirely within the remit of science, and perhaps they ought not to be, either. Responding to the hidden, unspoken, unspeakable needs of another asking for help has, I feel, an irreducable element of art to it.
Estonia invites people from around the world to become its e-citizens.

Paranoid psychosis is the technical term most often applied to the condition, but you know the type: a person with a complex and intimately interconnected set of beliefs about the world which, to him, look like TroofTM, as in God's honest, the real deal, everything worth knowing about the world, including what to do about it, while to you, they look like a convoluted, jumbled bag of phantasmagoria with an at bets tenuous, but often totally non-existent connection to the world as it really is.

My dad, for instance. Long story follows.

TLDR: holist's dad is a mad old git. He's been experimenting with being with him in a way that's helpful when he is preoccupied by his paranoid ideation and pretty hyper (i.e. manic episodes) for 30 years or so, with some success, but he would appreciate input.

Dad first went bonkers in 1969, at the age of 30, on the 3rd anniversary of his mother's death. By all accounts she was a truly loving mum and both her sons were deeply shaken by her untimely death. It also happened to be the first anniversary of his firstborn son's birth (that's me!) and his hasty and unpremeditated assumption of the responsibilities of marriage and a child. It was also one year after he, outraged by the events in Czech, publicly renounced his party membership and thereby, in an act of foolish and kitschy, and childish defiance, destroyed the only career he had before him, a promising if unpalatable one at that. His experiences in the holocaust (inclusive of being lost at age 5 in the Budapest ghetto for 5 days in the winter of 1944 and being pulled off a train of displaced children bound for Auswitz at the last minute by an aunt who happened to pass by) also came into it in a big way. I have spent some time and effort reconstructing the events of that fateful night and day. Short version: he ended up nacked, battling demons and attempting to derail a tram by hand in a public square, paranoid to the eyeballs, out of touch with reality. He was sedated and hospitalised for a couple of weeks, and this was repeated every few years while he was still in Hungary, pursuing a line as a member of the "democratic opposition" - a bunch of (old-sense) liberal individuals who got together to scheme a lot and did rather little, but made a big deal out of it, while doing little marginalised intellectual odd-jobs (translation, editing, etc.) to eke out a rather impoverished living.

He left Hungary in 1980. He had had a "western passport" for only a few years then: his making a public fuss about the invasion of Czechoslovakia had cost him that back in '69 - and when the Poles introduced a state of military emergency due to the Solidarity Riots, he got scared that he would be locked inside Hungary again, and, on a whim, bolted to Vienna. His family followed him in a few months, but I did not, though I had been living with him and new wife and kids for 6 years, because at that time I considered him so unreliable I had no doubts about going to live with my mum rather than going with dad along the path of uncertainty that is being a dissident and starting all over in a new place, with an intermittently raving lunatic parent). After a spell in a Vienna refugee camp where he waited for his family to catch up, and a couple of years in Germany, he ended up in Reading, UK, as well-regarded political dissidents were always welcome at the BBC's listening service in Caversham. The Monitoring Service in Caversham was one weird place during the 80's, very Orwellian, Brasilesque: hundreds of people sitting in tiny open-plan cubicles with headphones on, listening to state radio piped in from everywhere around the world, using antiquated recording devices that actually recorded audio magnetically on metal wire and were foot-switch operated (!!), and then using typewriters to type out summaries or, in the case of more important broadcasts, verbatim English translations for British intelligence.

He was in pretty good nick when he arrived. The reason he flipped his lid again was that he had expected a bit of a hero's welcome, and got a truly shoddy deal instead. The job was terrible. 12-hour and 16-hour shifts, ugly, uncomfy headphones on all the time, irregular sleeping hours and hard, hard work for not very much: I think his fate was sealed when he unadvisedly let on that he was good at Russian, too. He was, but not quite native-language good: he could do the same work in the Russian section, where he was frequently placed to fill in, but it was four times more arduous and didn't pay more. He started missing shifts, then acting strange, sleeping on the job, summarising an important speech by Kádár when he should have translated it verbatim: the British bureucracy swung into action (it's funny that the Monitoring Service was actually a part of the BBC), and they fired him in a cold and cruel fashion, I have the correspondence to prove it.

Thus began a career as the scary foreign lunatic in a parochial county town not, at the time, known for its understanding of outsiders, especially mad ones that struggled to keep their clothes on when things went wrong and who could escalate with the best of them.
Through an amazing plethora of any-and-all jobs, he struggled to keep providing for his family for years as barman, night petrol station attendant, hotel cleaner, deafness-awareness raiser, delivery man, milkman, advertising leaflet distributor, paperboy, car-park attendant, cook... and every now and then, when he couldn't handle the stress, he threw a wobbly, ended up sedated and in a warm place with soup. Kinda worked for him. The first few times, he fought like mad for his rights, even acquired a loyal solicitor who believed in him to an extent of taking him on pro bono for years, later on he just accepted that this happened occasionally and learnt to be let out as soon as possible through docility and eager rule-following.

I arrived in Reading six years after him, in 1986, and for years I tried to do the right thing and failed in several ways. My initial fear (he was right scary when he was up to his antics when I was a kid) flipped to anger and the realisation that I am now stronger than he is in every way, and eventually I found that if I have the time and the inclination to be with him 24/7 when he is raving, I can largely steer him out of trouble gently. But he's old and broken now, and doesn't seem to do it anymore... which, in a horrormirthy way, is kinda sad. I'd like to have a go at it with him one last time, to see if I could last the course through a fully fledged psychotic episode. In a childhood totally devoid of role models (and filled with various flavors of broken alcoholics and emotional cul-de-sacs), he was the closest thing. He was mad, at times disgusting, at times truly scary (as manic people skirting the border of psychosis can be), at times unbelievably sad, but he never sold out. Taking on 6 police in riot gear and giving them a run for their money... way to go, dad. Now he's mellowed into an incontinent and fadey old dwarf who spends his time in the valley of the darkness of death, with regular sparkles of surprising wisdom. Took me a long time, but I do appreciate him now. My holocaust syndrome could have been a lot worse, had he acted some other, more conformist way.

At his most sane, holist Snr could present a better-than-passable impression of being a terribly urbane man with both a twinkle and a good humoured insight of what it was to be human. Today, he is certainly not urbane (a fucked up old weirdo is more like it), but the twinkle and the insight has matured and can be elicited on good days. However, at his least, he was everything you don't want from the mad foreigner down the road who will not go away and has seen right through the worst that can be done to him to try to make him different.

The institution that played a sizeable part in destroying his life (for it is largely a train-wreck with a few silver linings, mostly in the shape of offspring who are all faring reasonably) was not a mental one: it was just the system of Communism-Socialism that operated in Eastern Europe from 1946 until the "Change of Regime" in the 1990's. He could have been smarter, a select few have, but I can't really bring myself to blame him for failing... he gave it all he had, which was not all that much, and came out less than a winner. Bless him.


Of course, with dad being the way he is, the maniacs and the delusionals have found me regularly ever since. I think I tolerate that flavour of madness much better than most anyone I know (and the exceptions are nutters themselves! and so am I), but the best approach is to treat them as an unreliable, fucked-up child: hang around, show some interest gently, be available, prevent minor and major disasters as they turn up. What do you think?

That's like a fully formed soundbite! Can I use it? :)

It's still interesting to watch how it plays out in the street. Also, the eagle has some pretty precise notions about what it does not want to happen here, but I don't think they care very much as long as those things don't happen. Which means there will be a power vacuum and an opportunity for some devoted and truly patriotic band of unfortunates to step up. Doubt that it will happen, though. A pity. For a long time I've been saying that everyone with the sense to fix this little clusterfuck of a country has far better things to do.
A pretty different take on Bitcoin. Perhaps the connotations of "crypto" in the direction of clandestine and secretive are misleading? What do you think?
Disclaimer: I don't know much about this, but I'm pretty sure the picture is not as rosy as it is painted in this video... and I wonder why.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Geoffrey D. Falk
October 12, 2014, 07:26:48 AM
I just stumbled upon the books by this guy. He has a website.

His books have interesting titles:

Stripping The Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment


"Norman Einstein": The Dis-Integration of Ken Wilber

He makes both of them available for free.

Has anyone read those? Opinions? Worth reading?
Discordian Recipes / Hearty breakfast
October 01, 2014, 09:24:27 AM
Dice one unit of onion, one of pumpkin and one of parsnips into half-inch cubes. Fry those in goose fat (or fat of your choice) on medium heat. In between frequent stirs, chop lots of garlic, some ginger and half a unit of salty smoked ham. When the onions begin to brown, stick all of those in and stir it up. After a little bit more frying, apply curcuma (it's good for ya!) and toss in some brown rice. For extra protein, stick a couplefew eggs on top, then eat. Sometimes I also put chopped chillies or Thai 7-spice seasoning on it. And yummy.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Holist crap
January 06, 2014, 05:39:48 AM
Quote from: Nigel's Red Velveteen Skinmeat Snacks on January 04, 2014, 09:15:23 PM
Quote from: Pixie on January 04, 2014, 09:12:21 PM
does this mean evo psych can suck my strap on now?

Evolutionary psychology is an interesting budding field of investigation that is closely related to medical anthropology. However, it is, as an infant science, highly speculative and subject to loosely formed standards of rigor, as well as widely, WIDELY misunderstood/misappropriated/misrepresented by popular media.

Those two sentences. The very soul of pith, I say.

(edited to change title)
Part 1, Part 2

They are quite long, but interesting. As a person with a procrastination (acrasia, as discussed in philosophy) problem, I think that these articles are great as far as they go, that the author seems to have invented something quite close to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and NLP, and that there's important ground he leaves untouched. I'd be very interested to hear other people's opinion about this. I will be on my best behaviour, I promise. Yes, I lied. I thought I could stay away, but I couldn't. I apologize.
After a major screeching-match, what does "let's make up" mean in your relationship?

A) Let's forget the whole thing quickly, let's make like it never happened, let's turn a new leaf, well, let's turn several new leaves actually... cuz we lurvz each otherz, really, don't we now?

B) Let's try to figure out what the fuck happened there, exactly why and how we ended up cursing each other's mothers. Let's see if we can spend quite a long time to work out a story we can both agree on that explains why that doesn't threaten our relationship: it is okay to make 1stupid mistakes, etc...


A): Headed for disaster.

B): There's hope for you yet.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / RAUS
December 02, 2013, 06:14:53 PM
Did they leave their napkins at the bottom?

Must have been an unsettling experience, even for a psychopath. :)

Lucky for him he had already stopped being an all-out genetic determinist when this happened.

Why Love Matters, indeed!
Quote from: Dirty Old Uncle Roger on November 20, 2013, 08:31:46 PM
If I'm not allowed in, I'll burn the building down.

You'll burn it down anyway.
1980: Joni Mitchell, Shadows and Light. Pastorius, Metheny, Michael Brecker... I still know that double album practically by heart.
1981: It is indeed very hard to beat My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, but Joe Jackson's Jumping Jive was released that year. Classic.
1982: The Simon and Garfunkel Central Park Concert. Stevie Gadd on drums, Anthony Jackson on bass. There was an incident on stage that didn't make it onto the album, though it is in the film:
The other day, I was wondering whether fetuses cry, and whether they vomit. I asked google and it turns out they do cry, this has been ascertained by 3d scanning, but the vomiting thing was more difficult, and then I stumbled into this:

This guy is just amazingly bizarre. And it seems pretty plain to me that he is wrong. But he could be onto something.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Mommy Shaming
November 13, 2013, 04:20:53 PM
Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 01:52:28 PM
Quote from: holist on November 13, 2013, 01:45:16 PM
Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 01:39:44 PM
Quote from: holist on November 13, 2013, 01:25:45 PM
Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 12:02:44 PM
you are conflating Freedom with Wisdom. Children are generally Free as a default state.

Funny you say that, I was tempted to say you were conflating freedom with heroism/naivety. :)

In my pretty extensive experience of children (who are, indeed, paragons of freedom until the age of about 3-4), I found that while they are hard little bastards who stick up for themselves like there's no tomorrow, they know full well when to shut up and put up. And are largely not suicidal.

Your experiences have been wildly different from mine.

In what way?

The shutting up and not suicidal.

wow, but what age?
'Butthurt' is kind of a central concept to PD, isn't it? So what I'd like to know is:

Is there a difference? If yes, what is it?
Well this, I think, is depressingly scary:
This is the guy: (not a very good Wikipedia page, but still).

This is what first caught my eye (it was put up on the tube by the Hungarian Pirate Party):

As it is in German with Hungarian subtitles, I've translated it into English. I caught one serious mistranslation in the Hungarian (I don't speak German), I'd be grateful if any German speakers pointed out any others, if there are any:

"So let's say that first of all the continuous hindering of the organisation of human networks must be given up.

The problem of the hierarchy is that it wants to constrain people and make them predictable. Networks, on the other hand, are, by their very nature, structurally unpredictable. So halting the hindering of the organisation of networks means nothing less than giving up a certain amount of power. That's the problem of hierarchy. 

In actual fact, we have been living in a tradition of preventing the organisation of networks for centuries. That's our problem. Supporting the organisation of networks simply requires stopping preventing it. It requires nothing more, because people naturally organise themselves in networks. Except that it's not all that simple, because it requires the relinquishing of power, and who on earth gives up power willingly? Who is happy to face a situation that they are unable to keep in hand? After all, "we are managers", right? "We keep things under control!"

Yet no man alive can control networks. And that is a good thing. Networks are solution-oriented systems, which have their own, individual dynamics. That's the reason we are forced to organise networks, because the dynamic and the complexity of the external world requires us to do so. We can simply follow Ashby's law: he already stated in the 50's that any highly complex and dynamic system of problems will need a solution that is at least as complex and dynamic,  otherwise it will not work.

So if, in an extremely complex world that is organising itself into networks, we are unable to preserve the freedom to organise networks, we will also, unfortunately, lose the solution. I realise that this sounds very simple, but it is an open intervention in the horizon of power, which makes it very difficult."

(The Ashby he refers to is this guy: - I see he was mentioned once before on PD,,17548.0.html, but that was 5 years ago.)

Then I found a seven-part interview with this guy Kruse in English.

Quite apart from the amusing Dr Feelgood Strangelove (my brain ain't what it used to be) accent, I think his spiel is interesting. And inspires hope.
Here's Louis CK with a very funny and at least halfway cogent argument saying they shouldn't.

That puts me in a difficult position: as the most important principle of parenting in my life is that people should never coerce others, not even kids, just because they feel they know what's best for them better than they themselves do (they may or may not be right, but it's still not justified grounds for coercion), the (many) kids around this household quite freely help themselves to computing equipment. The 10, the 11, the 13, the 16 and of course the 18-year-old all have their own (shoddy but workable) computers (though the 11-year-old girl's one has been broken for a while and she doesn't seem fussed) - and yet they make eye-contact and are interested in a number of things other than computers (admittedly, at times the number is somewhat smaller thant I'd be really happy with).

I am also failing to find a piece by Charlie Stross about a new kind of person: one who never has to be lost or alone against their will. But he did make that point: what happens when most people are like that? Charlie thinks, and I think I'm with him, that it's not the end of the world, may even be the beginning of tomorrow. What do you think?

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / GAPS
January 05, 2013, 10:32:26 AM
I'm not sure which subforum to put this one in, so I put it here. But feel free to move it if it would sit better somewhere else.

Has anyone had any (preferably extended) experience with the GAPS diet/theory? What are your views?
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Demanding parents
December 03, 2012, 06:12:29 PM
Those who lack self-esteem and the capacity to regulate themselves well may become very self-centred adults. Without effective and well-resourced emotional systems, they cannot behave flexibly or respond to others' needs. They tend to be rather rigid, either attempting not to need others at all, or needing them too much. Because they have not had enough experience of being well cared for and well regulated, their original baby needs remain active within. In adulthood, this can in some cases be experienced as a kind of compulsion to get others to meet those needs. People who constantly fall in and out of love, who are addicted to foods or drugs of various kinds, who are workaholics, wo are endlessly demanding medical or social services, are seeking something or someone who will regulate their feelings at all times. In effect, they are searching for the good babyhood that they have not yet had. From promiscuous celebrities to welfare shirkers, such people often provoke exasperation in others who wish they would 'grow up'.

The paradox is that people need to have a satisfying experience of dependency before they can become truly independent and largely self-regulating. Yet this feels counter-intuitive to many adults, who respond to the insecure with a punitive attitude, as if becoming more mature and self-regulating were a matter of will-power. It can be hard to tolerate dependent and self-centred behaviour in adults who should be able to recognise the inappropriateness of their behaviour.

But it is not simply a matter of will-power. Even if will-power is invoked to bring about better behaviour, often this comes in the form of a 'false self' who tries to live up to others' requirements to act maturely. Unfortunately you cannot will genuine empathy for others, or a caring attitude to your own feelings, into existence. Imitating these postures is not the same as drawing on an inner experience of them. These are capacities that are internalised through experiencing them first-hand, from having had relationships with people who respond to your needs, help to regulate your feelings, and don't make premature demands on you to manage more than you can manage.

Good timing is a critical aspect of parenting, as well as in comedy. The ability to judge when a baby or child has the capacity to manage a little more self-control, thoughtfulness or independence is not something that books on child development can provide: the timing of moves in living relationships is an art, not a science. Parents' sensitivity to the child's unfolding capacities can often be hampered by an intolerance of dependency. This is partly cultural and partly the result of one's own early experience. Dependency can evoke powerful reactions. It is often regarded with disgust and repulsion, not as a delightful but fleeting part of experience. It may even be that dependence has a magnetic pull and adults themselves fear getting seduced by it: or that it is simply intolerable to give to someone else what you are furious you didn't get yourself. Often, parents are in such a hurry to make their child independent that they expose their babies to long perios of waiting for food or comfort, or long absences from the mother, in order to achieve this aim. Grandparents only too often reinforce the message that you mustn't 'spoil' the baby by giving in to him.

Unfortunately, leaving a baby to cry or to cope by himself for more than a very short period usually has the reverse effect: it undermines the baby's confidence in the parent and in the world, leaving him more dependent, not less. In the absence of the regulatory partner, a baby can do very little to regulate himself of herself other than to cry louder or to withdraw mentally. But the pain of being dependent like this and being powerless to help yourself leads to primitive psychological defences based on these two options.

Most adult pathways are more elaborate versions of these primitive responses. The dual nature of the defensive system seems to be built into our genetic programme: it's either fight or flight. Cry loudly or withdraw. Exaggerate feelings or minimise feelings. Be hyper-aroused or suppress arousal. These two basic strategies also underpin the insecure styles of attachment - the avoidant and the resistant. Whichever way the individual turns to find a solution (and these strategies may be used consistently or inconsistently), he or she will not have mastered the basic process of self-regulation and will remain prone to being overdemanding or underdemanding of others. (Sue Gerhardt)
Bring and Brag / Mah furst evur webkomik
November 28, 2012, 10:33:23 PM
This morning, as I was trying to chop up a strip of pork ribs for soup, I put the meat cleaver into my finger a bit.

In your expert opinion, does this wound need stitches, or would it be okay just bandaged up?

(Sorry to be making this all about myself, by the way  :lulz:)
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / content
November 08, 2012, 05:56:38 AM

there ya go

the pictures are all there in big on clickthrough
Great letter, great tone. I suggest two minor corrections for the sake of clarity. I also spotted two typos:

Quote from: Reverend Roadkill on October 23, 2012, 05:29:52 PM
Also, while I understand your religious views on Ggay marriage, I ask you to understand that our system of government and our rights as citizens do not spring from your church.  In fact, the very reason you remain untaxed as an example of how is that you are supposed to be apolitical, just as while, in contrast, the government is not a religious function.  Given that you do not feel constrained to prerserve this separation, I feel I have no choice but to ask my congressional representative to have your tax exempt status removed, with back taxes accruing from 1955 to the present.
Bring and Brag / holist's tunes
October 24, 2012, 09:21:58 AM
From the first time I had a chance to play with a computer music production system:

A bit later, still a computer and me:

UK band, poor quality (4-track tape-deck), folk song, arrangement mostly mine, whiny top harmony line and bass also mine:

Hungarian band, result of an afternoon's stoned improv, single mike onto a reel-to-reel, I'm on bass:

Advertising jingle for a bunch of vitamins. First I sold, recently. I play and sing everything except the fingerpicked guitar:

Bring and Brag / holist's pictures
October 22, 2012, 02:19:27 AM
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Minor Miracle
October 16, 2012, 10:19:08 AM

keeping the pollution to a minimum
Literate Chaotic / I didn't write this
October 03, 2012, 02:50:08 PM
First of all: I realise that I have some unfulfilled obligations, but right now I am too tired, having worked another 16-hour stint with 3 hours of sleep in the middle, so I'm postponing those. In the meantime: today I found a book I've been trying to find for a long time. This is how it begins:

HAVING placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. I reflected on the subject of my spare-time literary activities. One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with. A good book may have three openings entirely dissimilar and inter-related only in the prescience of the author, or for that matter one hundred times as many endings.

Examples of three separate openings - the first: The Pooka MacPhellimey, a member of the devil class, sat in his hut in the middle of a firwood meditating on the nature of the numerals and segregating in his mind the odd ones from the even. He was seated at his diptych or ancient two-leaved hinged writing-table with inner sides waxed. His rough long-nailed fingers toyed with a snuff-box of perfect rotundity and through a gap in his teeth he whistled a civil cavatina. He was a courtly man and received honour by reason of the generous treatment he gave his wife, one of the Corrigans of Carlow.

The second opening: There was nothing unusual in the appearance of Mr. John Furriskey but actually he had one distinction that is rarely encountered - he was born at the age of twenty-five and entered the world with a memory but without a personal experience to account for it. His teeth were well-formed but stained by tobacco, with two molars filled and a cavity threatened in the left canine. His knowledge of physics was moderate and extended to Boyle's Law and the Parallelogram of Forces.

The third opening: Finn MacCool was a legendary hero of old Ireland. Though not mentally robust, he was a man of superb physique and development. Each of his thighs was as thick as a horse's belly, narrowing to a calf as thick as the belly of a foal. Three fifties of fosterlings could engage with handball against the wideness of his backside, which was large enough to halt the march of men through a mountain-pass.

I hurt a tooth in the corner of my jaw with a lump of the crust I was eating. This recalled me to the perception of my surroundings.

It is a great pity, observed my uncle, that you don't apply yourself more to your studies. The dear knows your father worked hard enough for
the money he is laying out on your education. Tell me this, do you ever open a book at all?

I surveyed my uncle in a sullen manner. He speared a portion of cooked rasher against a crust on the prongs of his fork and poised the whole at the opening of his mouth in a token of continued interrogation.

Description of my uncle: Red-faced, bead-eyed, ball-bellied. Fleshy about the shoulders with long swinging arms giving ape-like effect to gait. Large moustache. Holder of Guinness clerkship the third class.

I do, I replied.

He put the point of his fork into the interior of his mouth and withdrew it again, chewing in a coarse manner.

Quality of rasher in use in household: Inferior, one and two the pound.

Well faith, he said, I never see you at it. I never see you at your studies at all.

I work in my bedroom, I answered.

Whether in or out, I always kept the door of my bedroom locked. This made my movements a matter of some secrecy and enabled me to spend an inclement day in bed without disturbing my uncle's assumption that I had gone to the College to attend to my studies. A contemplative life has always been suitable to my disposition. I was accustomed to stretch myself for many hours upon my bed, thinking and smoking there. I rarely undressed and my inexpensive suit was not the better for the use I gave it, but I found that a brisk application with a coarse brush before going out would redeem it somewhat without quite dispelling the curious bedroom smell which clung to my person and which was frequently the subject of humorous or other comment on the part of my friends and acquaintances.

Aren't you very fond of your bedroom now, my uncle continued. Why don't you study in the dining-room here where the ink is and where there is a good book-case for your books? Boys but you make a great secret about your studies.

My bedroom is quiet, convenient and I have my books there. I prefer to work in my bedroom, I answered.

My bedroom was small and indifferently lighted but it contained most of the things I deemed essential for existence - my bed, a chair which was rarely used, a table and a washstand. The washstand had a ledge upon which I had arranged a number of books. Each of them was generally recognized as indispensable to all who aspire to an appreciation of the nature of contemporary literature and my small collection contained works ranging from those of Mr. Joyce to the widely-read books of Mr. A. Huxley, the eminent English writer. In my bedroom also were certain porcelain articles related more to utility than ornament. The mirror at which I shaved every second day was of the type supplied gratis by Messrs. Watkins, Jameson and Pim and bore brief letterpress in
reference to a proprietary brand of ale between the words of which I had acquired considerable skill in inserting the reflection of my countenance. The mantelpiece contained forty buckskin volumes comprising a Conspectus of the Arts and Natural Sciences. They were published in 1854 by a reputable Bath house for a guinea the volume. They bore their years bravely and retained in their interior the kindly seed of knowledge intact and without decay.

I know the studying you do in your bedroom, said my uncle. Damn the studying you do in your bedroom.

I denied this.

Nature of denial: Inarticulate, of gesture.

My uncle drained away the remainder of his tea and arranged his cup and saucer in the centre of his bacon plate in a token that his meal was at an end. He then blessed himself and sat for a time drawing air into his mouth with a hissing sound in an attempt to extract foodstuff from the crevices of his dentures. subsequently he pursed his mouth and swallowed something.

A boy of your age, he said at last, who gives himself up to the sin of sloth - what in God's name is doing to happen to him when he goes out to face the world? Boys but I often wonder what the world is coming to, I do indeed. Tell me this, do you ever open a book at all?

I open several books every day, I answered.

You open your granny, said my uncle. O I know the game you are at above in your bedroom. I am not as stupid as I look, I'll warrant you that.

He got up from the table and went out to the hall, sending back his voice to annoy me in his absence.

Tell me this, did you press my Sunday trousers?

I forgot, I said.


I forgot, I shouted.

Well that is very nice, he called, very nice indeed. Oh, trust you to forget. God look down on us and pity us this night and day. Will you forget again today?

No, I answered.

As he opened the hall-door, he was saying to himself in a low tone:

Lord save us!

The slam of the door released me from my anger. I finished my collation and retired to my bedroom, standing for a time at the window and observing the street-scene arranged below me that morning. Rain was coming softly from the low sky. I lit my cigarette and then took my letter from my pocket, opened it and read it.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Good Night
September 30, 2012, 08:59:23 AM
Well I guess you Americans are all gone to sleep or partying...

I'm off for a family walk by the lake. One of the lakes.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / A Song For Roger
September 26, 2012, 05:40:57 AM
I've googled PD for it, apparently it has not been mentioned. Enjoy.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Wage Slavery
September 25, 2012, 05:36:58 PM
Quote from: VERBL on September 25, 2012, 10:48:19 AM
Okay, I guess I just don't see the sense of redefining "prostitution" to cover essentially what is covered by "wage labor", since some highly impressive minds have already done a pretty good job of illustrating how awful the latter is (at least as far back as Marx), all while the former adds on a couple special layers of awful that should be differentiated from the normal kind of awful.

Okay, I can see how I was sliding towards that comparison (wage slavery in general versus wage slavery in the sex industry), and indeed, such a redefinition would be pointless, you are absolutely right.

However, firstly: I think most people don't work with a totally alienated attitude. They may think that they would stop doing what they do if they won the lottery (though not everyone does), but they do attach some importance to their work in addition to its financial reward. I'm sure many people are even right about this, while others are wrong about it, but refuse to face the cognitive dissonance.

And there is also something more interesting going on there, I think. First of all, let me state for the record that all in all I am happy with my situation, though I've been wishing to change it in the near to medium future for longer than I care to remember (I've painted myself into a difficult corner), and I am certainly not exploited. Not by others, and not (any longer) by me. Still, I believe transfer of the term 'prostitution' from doing sex for money to the kind of work I do has some justification over and above my opinions about the debiliating effects of wage slavery/alienated labour.

The kind of free-lance competence-rental business that I run and also serve as the sole asset of (okay, I also need computer and internet to work), which happens to be translating diverse shit I am not interested in at all (again, there is a marginal benefit of knowing quite a lot but really not that much about a very diverse set of fields, but I tend to acquire that when I'm not working, anyway, only the set of fields is much more to my liking), but which could also be free-lance copywriting, free-lance commercial graphic art, free-lance performing art etc., has a number of other qualities that make it similar to work in the sex industry:

1. Lack of a reliable time-table. I read on this board about enjoying Saturday nights: well I enjoy my Saturday nights as much as the next fool along, but more often then not I don't actually know when my next Saturday night is going to happen: it can be tomorrow, or it can be next Tuesday morning, depending on the calls I get and the jobs I accept from punters. On average, I get one or two Saturday nights per week, possibly even slightly more. But sometimes I don't get any for 3 or 4 weeks, and sometimes my life becomes devoid of paid work for similar periods, which begins to hurt after a week or two. The whole thing has far from trivial lifestyle effects, and I know people who have become quite dysfunctional over failing to handle that.

2. The temptation of self-exploitation. "If I can do 3 shoots a week, why can't I do 5 and treat myself to something really nice with all that cash" - this could be a mid-career thought in the head of our poor porn princess. "If I can translate a hundred thousand characters in the next 78 hours, then surely I can translate thirty thousand more, the guy's offering triple money, besides, if I do him now, he is likely to come back for more" - is the sort of idea I need to deal with on a regular basis. It is a hard decision to make when winter is coming, we have a gas boiler driving the central heating and the price of gas is up.

3. The danger of a pretence of delayed gratification masking serious (or not so serious, but still) damage to self, to health, to social relationships: "this guy is asking me to do something pretty gross, but if I can keep this up for another month, I'll have enough to take a six-month break somewhere really nice to invent the rest of my life..." - or: "my wife's stressed out, I've not had time to pick up a guitar for weeks, I don't remember the last time I had anything like a conversation with any of the kids, my friends don't call anymore, but I am on a roll, if I have the discipline to do consistent work 10 hours a day for the next three weeks, I'll get a packet that will buy me some leisure to catch up with all those things... now that I have some leisure, I'm so fucking tired I can only work off my sleep deficit and laze about for a week or two, by which time it transpires that more money is needed and there's a decent job being offered". Something like that was part of the reason the mother of my three boys left me. I'm sure I don't wish I could have been be a sex-slave instead, but it did traumatise lives and was horrifically painful. I've never been a self-harmer, but on two occasions I dug sizable chunks out of my knee with my nails. My fifteen-year-old son told me a few days ago that he is finally coming out of denial and is beginning to accept that he's been depressed for the last four years, since the divorce and has only been getting better over the last year. (Sorry to be such an attention whore, I must stop that.)

Quote from: VERBL on September 25, 2012, 10:48:19 AM
And I'd wager that in any culture on earth, there's a basic difference between sex and other stuff, which you can notice with the next thought experiment: would you feel very weird about doing X for a friend in need, assuming you have the time and energy to do it and neither dearly love nor strongly dislike said friend? Substitute X with sex to their liking on the one hand, or any other activity (translation, writing, lifting furniture, etc.)  on the other.
While cultural hang-ups regarding sex probably make the difference bigger than it has to be, I'm willing to bet there's a difference, universally, in every human culture that ever existed.

Okay, the thought-experiment is a nice touch and I fully agree. But I think the "special status of sex" is extremely varied across cultures and across individuals. And the hang-ups do cause most of the demand for the sex-industry, I think.

Also, I have known some people who, while proceeding more carefully than when helping someone to move house, would actually proceed with sex in place of 'X'. Are they Bad PeopleTM? I don't think so. What can we say about the privileged status of sex in the life of hairless apes? A great deal, I am sure. Other thread?

Quote from: Ayotollah of Assehollah on September 25, 2012, 11:17:23 AM
Yes, and the fact that people are choosing to explore, in-depth, whether there aren't relevant differences between translation services and porn (there are, obviously) rather than laying out a clear and concise argument about what qualities make porn exploitative to the point that there is moral obligation on the part of the consumer/viewer to not support it, speaks volumes.

That's like a Snide CommentTM, right? But actually, the compare-and-contrast job I am trying to do here is, in my irritatingly divergent and roundabout manner, an attempt at figuring out what gives the sex industry it's (you have to admit, I think, do you?) very particular flavour of nasty. I think some of the ingredients are sex-related, but others are not, and are shared by some (but not all) other types of work.

Quote from: Ayotollah of Assehollah on September 25, 2012, 11:17:23 AM brings up an important question about how porn stacks up, exploitation-wise, relative to other common options. Presumably, people working in porn know that there are dish-washing jobs, dependency situations where you can get taken out or help paying bills in exchange for sex, etc. and they chose porn. What do they do, if we imagine your porn is limited to X Discordian approved levels of exploitation, when these jobs don't exist? Dish-washing? If so, why don't they choose dish-washing now? Could it be they see porn as a better option? And when we think about that for a moment, doesn't a seem that a lot of this discussion is basically a soft form of paternalism. Hey kid, you're not smart enough to know what's best for you. Let *me* do your thinking for you. Are you folks comfortable with that?
Valid comment, I think. So far not addressed.

Quote from: P3nT4gR4m on September 25, 2012, 12:08:52 PM
It stands to reason that only fucked up, perverted, evil and badwrong people will seek work in this industry of vice and horror. People like that don't wash dishes for a living. People like that eat children and take drugs.
The satyrical sentiment brings tears of concord to mine eyes.

Quote from: Fidel Castro on September 25, 2012, 03:07:48 PM
Babboonery, ITT.

Yep!  :lulz:

LMNO, thank you for the advice. I don't see what not referencing this thread would achieve? Apart from that, if you still think this is no longer relevant enough to the OP (I think it kind of is, but not vitally), I'd be happy to move. Can I do that myself, and if yes, how?