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Topics - LMNO

Bring and Brag / Another way to pass the time
January 08, 2021, 08:18:03 PM
I spent the winter holiday break staying the fuck inside, and finally got bored enough to re-explore some of my music school lessons.

I ended up writing some neo-modern chamber music.  Enjoy.
Aneristic Illusions / Bad Apples
June 16, 2020, 04:54:52 PM
Before I go through the grueling, depressing, and somewhat Quixote-ian leg work, maybe I should ask.

Does anyone know of a database that tallies all of the awful stuff the cops do, and has a running list of "Bad Apples"?

I'm just thinking it would be handy when someone uses that useless phrase, you can turn around and say, "we're up to 10,000 bad apples, Karen.  You think we should start shopping at a different grocery store?"

Obviously, some rounding will need to be done, like "all the cops allowing the use of tear gas in Seattle after being prohibited from doing so" will need more of an estimate.
Bring and Brag / "Exquisite Corpse" music project
May 18, 2020, 07:25:55 PM
Hey all,

I was involved in an online music project where one person posts a basic track online,  then musicians add a track without listening to anything the others are doing, and finally several different people try their hand at mixing the tracks together.  Here's the Round One results.  It's fun, because the first two are reasonably representative of each person's contributions, but the third one "(Eno Lawsuit Mix)" really manipulates the source tracks.  I'll let you guess who did that one ;)
Welcome to the World Cup discussion thread!

(for those of you who care)

First up, Saudi Arabia vs Russia.  What a conundrum of who to root for!  The election meddlers and Crimean annexer vs the oil barons and supporter of Wahhabism.
Propaganda Depository / NSA Propaganda Art
June 06, 2018, 02:58:30 PM
Check out these recently declassified propaganda posters from the NSA.

I see no reason they couldn't be remixed/repurposed.

Quote from: Faust on April 06, 2018, 07:15:52 AM
Transhumanism is the only way to resolve the abortion debate. When gestation can be separated and a pregnancy occur separate to the body there can be an anti abortion pro-choice movement. Granted the child would not have parents, but it can pull itself up by the bootstraps or whatever.
Quote from: Faust on April 06, 2018, 08:49:47 AM
That's me trying to create things for the people of tomorrow to be outraged over.

You get the picture. 

"It doesn't matter what they're doing, calling it 'grey goo' is nano-shaming.  Don't be an AIdoomsdayphobe."
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Opinion time!
February 27, 2017, 08:21:36 PM
I got a bunch of these BLM patches made, and I'm not sure if "Black" being presented in white letters is a faux pas. Thoughts?

-most likely overthinking this one.
Aneristic Illusions / Political lyrics
January 26, 2017, 12:42:52 AM
Ok, maybe wrong subforum.

But, I'm in a political punk band. We're against Trump. Duh.

I want to make a song that is about gerrymandering. But I don't want to be preachy, and I don't want to be sardonic.

I want it to be catchy, and informative, and pissed off.  Not sure where to start.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Turning Purple
November 10, 2016, 08:36:04 PM
If someone says something offensive about an idea you have; and you tell them they're offended; and they respond by being offended that they're being called offensive; then what?

Added degree of difficulty: What if you want to convince them to help you with your idea?

Big Boss: What if it's half the voting public you're trying to convince?
So, the first temple to Odin since Christianity rolled in was consecrated in Denmark.

I have a couple of pagan friends who are really excited and want to go.  However, they're most likely completely oblivious to the whole White Power/Odinism connection.  I can't find out much else about the temple, so I don't want to bum them out just yet; however, if it is a WP front, I feel I should really let them know.

Anyone hear anything about this?
So, after much hemming and hawing, I've registered over at and signed up to take a course in Dynamical Systems.  Supposedly, it only requires high school algebra.  We'll see.

Looking to get the feel of this under my belt, then taking more advanced courses.  Not sure what it will lead to, but it'll look pretty bitchin' on my resume/CV.
Aneristic Illusions / Guns and Guns and Guns
June 16, 2016, 02:29:36 PM
So, I know that PD has a minor split over gun control.  I'm conflicted about it myself.

Anyway, I kind of loved the Democratic filibuster.  Only took 8 years to find their balls.

But the bills the GOP agreed to hear sort of underscore my conflict.

I think closing the gun show loophole is a good idea.  But the one about barring people on the terrorist watch list from having guns bothers me, for the main reason that the watch list is horribly maintained.  Cain would probably have the most relevant links on that one.

What also bothers me is that a lot of people on my FB feed are like, "we won!"  No you didn't.  The Dems forced congress to hear and debate and vote on the bills.  Which means a party-line vote, which means the bills will most likely not pass.

But still.... progress?
Like so:

via Imgflip Meme Generator

(h/t QG)

So the idea is to start with a complex, nuanced truth, and then work it so none of the complexity is lost, but it still works as a meme.

Please note that no single person needs to have the idea, the complexity, and the reduction.  Any one of the three will work.

Aaaaaand, go!
Bring and Brag / A syncronistic Brag
April 28, 2016, 07:21:56 PM
For the Chao te Ching FB page*, I've been posting a chapter every few weeks -- there's 81, so I'm not gonna run out, and even when I do, I'll just start over.  The first post was Feb 2012; it'll be fresh again.

Anyway, the brag is that the chapters on Authority (roughly the 50s) are coming up now, and seem to reflect the current state of events pretty accurately.  It always feels good to stay relevant.

Discordian Recipes / Thought experiment
April 28, 2016, 01:57:54 PM
OK, so this is just a hypothetical.

What if I lived, or paid a visit to Colorado, and decided to make baked goods using some of the local produce now available to adult consumers?

What would be the best recipes to make?

Asking for a friend.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Life Changes
March 11, 2016, 06:40:21 PM


I've been drinking for a very long time, starting about 26 years ago, and really getting into it for about 20.  Over the years I've dabbled in other stuff, but have been primarily a drinker.  Wine with dinner, beer at shows/band practice, cocktails at clubs and bars, nightcaps, etc etc.  No worries.  It was legal (fine, I had a fake ID for a few years), it was mostly socially acceptable, it was convenient and available, and I liked both the taste and the buzz.

Then, my latest physical happened, and I got the news I'd been anticipating for a while.  "Elevated liver function".  Not full blown damage, nothing permanent, but it had finally become an issue.  OK, fine.  I knew it was coming.  It's not a full-blown "quit or die" scenario, but more of a "cut in half" sort of thing.

So:  Science time!  I began charting my consumption.  I looked at what I was drinking, when, and how.  And I came across some interesting results.  Essentially, during the week I would come home from work, have a cocktail, and wine with dinner.  Fine, I can make a half-sized cocktail, or eliminate it altogether on some days.  Wine with dinner really isn't going to change, believe me.  But then, after dinner.... More wine.  Sometimes, a lot of wine.  Like, bottles worth.  And while I really do like the taste, it seemed the goal was different than it is when having it with dinner.  I was looking for the buzz.  Accusations of escapism aside, this was a functionally different use for alcohol than the other ways I was using it.  That got me thinking, if that's the main goal, what can I do that achieves similar results without stressing the liver?

So I got a weed dealer a month or so ago.  And thanks to neighboring states with more relaxed laws, getting edibles is easy.  My routine now is a half-cocktail, a glass or two of wine with dinner, and then a bit of edible THC.  The release for me is slower than smoking it, and the high is, well... I get high.  Then I go to bed.  Of course, I kept with my observations, to see if it was a temporary thing, or if I would slip back into old habits.  And you know what?  It hasn't, so far.  On top of that, I'm going to bed earlier, and as one would expect, I wake up without feeling like I drank a gallon of wine the night before. 

In fact, last Wednesday a friend of mine flew in from Croatia, and we went out for tacos and drinks.  I had a few of each, and then some more drinks on top of that.  And I felt terrible the next day.  It was quite striking.  So, my subjective/objective observations seem to come to a tentative conclusion: My life is better when I'm not drinking so much, and so far my THC consumption has harmed my life less than my drinking. 

I'm not going to be one of those "alcohol sucks, weed forever" types of people, as I really do enjoy cocktails and wine, but so far this approach is working for me.

What a fucking hippie.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / What's it all for?
March 04, 2016, 08:26:34 PM
Quote from: The Good Reverend Roger on March 01, 2016, 03:02:34 AM
It occurs to me that the final failure of Discordianism is that we pretend we're not baboons until something like the election comes along.  Then we jump right in with the humans and button our uniforms up until we can't breathe, pointing and gasping about everyone else's uniforms, while at the same time waving our inflamed baboon asses all over the place.  It is nothing more than assisted self-abuse, though at one time it was that AND some interesting stuff.  Like 7 years ago.  Sort of like the Church of the Subgenius, only 5 years later.

Discordianism is a pathetic joke, an excuse for assholes, and a means by which to pretend that we're not as dumb as THEM.

Thinking about this.  Not gonna bother with thought process.  Conclusion:

Discordia allows a person to behave they way they personally feel is proper. 

Do people have "Inner Natures"?  Is it a product of their nurturing?  Do people become self aware of their behavior?  Is it gifted by the stars?  Is it Thetans?

Discordia doesn't care, and Discordia doesn't give an answer.  Discordia tells you you're free to do what you want to do, and to use Eris as your Appeal to Authority, as it were.

Do you self-analyze constantly?  Discordia gives you OmniPerspectiveTM so you can see yourself from any angle you like.
Do you enjoy stupid jokes?  Discordia give you Nonsense as Salvation, so you can be as silly as you like.
Are you a dick that likes schadenfreude?  Discordia has Strife and Destruction.
Are you cynical and jaded? Discordia gives you Nothing is True.
Do you just get high all the time and not care?  Discordia tells you to Plant Your Seeds and Bliss Out.
Are you generally a nice person?  Discordia gives you Oh, Then Stop, allowing you to unsubscribe from destructive habits.

This explains not only FB Disco, but also this page, the Krewe of Eris, and all the other factions that exist in Discordia and don't get along.  Because what Discordia "IS" is what people are when they think they're given an excuse to be themselves.

I'm going back to bed.

Alan Rickman dies aged 69
Aneristic Illusions / Quadrennial Bias Check
November 06, 2015, 01:22:56 PM
So, I do this every four years or so.  I find myself appalled by one team's candidates, and the other side is bad, but has some redeeming qualities.  It occurs to be that this is too easy, too simple.  So I play a game.

Is there a Republican candidate for president that has at least one good idea that might be a benefit for the country?

And.... Go.
I mean, it ain't a mistake. It took intricate and complex coding to pull it off, and an engineer wouldn't have done it proactively, because it's obviously and objectively designed to break the law.

So, you'd have to have a LOT of people involved, with fairly extensive knowledge of what was going on. But this wasn't exposed because someone talked; it was discovered by an independent investigation. Which means everyone had to keep their fucking mouths shut, which approaches the inconceivable, if the old adage that anything involving more than five people becomes unstable is true.

I dunno, the fact they almost got away with it fascinates me.

Bring and Brag / The Whirlpools EP
July 13, 2015, 04:27:40 PM
My other band, Whirlpools, simultaneously released an EP and broke up (one of the singers is moving to Chicago).

I recorded and mixed the entire thing in our rehearsal space.

Free to download.
Some of you might know that back when such things were popular, I was a regular at ManRay, a goth/gay/fetish/"eighties night" club, depending on the day of the week (I typically went every night).  Eventually, I got drawn in to a group of people who would do performances, usually incorporating bizarre, creepy, sexual and violent imagery and subject matter.  It was great fun, and the whole club had a pretty fanatical and devoted fanbase.  How devoted?  Well, it closed 10 years ago, and people are still setting up reunion nights and Halloween events using the ManRay name. 

So, for the 10-year anniversary, some of the old crew were asked to put on another performance, and though we're past our prime, we figured we'd give it one last go.  After a bit of brainstorming, we came up with something simple, short, and gruesome:  A woman lures a man to her room, gets him drunk, and then she and her friend eviscerate him and play with his internal organs.  No problem, that scenario was old hat for us.  So long as there were enough rehearsals, it would go smoothly -- what?  No time to rehearse because we're not in our twenties with tons of free time on our hands?  Well, that's ok, we've done this hundreds of times.  We'll just block it out on stage before the doors open -- we can't do that?  Well, I guess we'll just talk it through in the dressing room.

OK, so the main effect for this is to fill a gallon ziplock bag with some hemp rope, crumpled tissue paper, and a couple of organ-shaped sponges, along with as much fake blood (a subtle mixture of strawberry and chocolate syrup) as possible.  Then we duct tape that to my stomach, put a white undershirt over that, and a white dress shirt over that.  Then, when the time comes, they'll lay me out, tear the shirts, and slice the bag open with a razor to pull out the guts...  That doesn't sound too dangerous, right?

I should mention at this point that I understood "slice it open with a razor" to mean "pretend to slice it open, we'll just open the ziplock bag the normal way".

We were set to go on last.  That meant four hours of waiting, which meant, as usually happens, four hours of drinking, dancing, and having more fun than is usually allowed.  Then, showtime.  The lights go down, the music comes up, and I stumble on stage, led by a suspicious looking lady.  She ushers me into her room, and another woman appears, offering a drink.  I go woozy, collapse on the bed on my back.  The first woman straddles me, I half open my eyes, and is see her holding a razor blade above her head, ready to strike.


It crosses my mind that when we used to do things like this, such as when I was a giant Voodoo doll getting knitting needles jammed into me, we would construct a sort of foamcore and cardboard armor so the performers could go nuts and not worry too much.  It appears I was woefully unprepared for this evening.

Her hand comes down, and I feel a pinch just below my sternum.  In the next moment, the bag is open, and the women start ripping out my intestines, liver and heart.  I scream, convulsing, falling half off the bed as blood streams and pools around me.  The women laugh, smearing blood on themselves, and each other.  The blood dampens their clothes, making them cling to their bodies.  I go limp.  The lights go down.

We gather up the detritus, and rush offstage.  I joke to the woman, "I think you actually got me a little bit there," and look down at my chest.


I guess I didn't realize you can actually see the subcutaneous fat layer of your skin if cut cleanly and deeply enough.  Interesting.  I should probably clean this out.  I casually ask  one of the stagehands if they have a medical kit.  I rinse off the fake blood, and, huh.  Not too much real blood.  Interesting.  The medical kit shows up, and it's a couple of band aids, a gauze pad, and some rubbing alcohol.  I pour the alcohol into the wound.  Oh, sure now it hurts.  I put the gauze over it, and just duct tape it on.

I think to myself, "I probably need stitches.  Should I go to the hospital?"  I think about it.  Hospitals don't just fix you up, they ask questions.  Often, if there's evidence of violence, a police officer asks them.  And then I remembered what a DA friend of mine said once, "The citizen or victim doesn't choose whether to press charges.  I choose whether to press charges."

And then I remember back when a band I was in, The Women Of Sodom, opened up for Gwar.  I was dressed as a leather bondage freak, and using the bars of a cage I was locked in as a drum, when I sliced open my elbow and bled all over the stage*.  I had to go on tour the next day, so I wrapped up my elbow in paper towels and duct tape (ah, duct tape.  You hold the universe together), and it eventually healed up.

So maybe I don't go to the hospital.  Maybe I spend the next few weeks cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide, and slathering antibiotic ointment on it.  Maybe it won't get infected.  Maybe I now have a 1" x 0.25" vertical scar slightly below and to the right of my sternum.

Maybe I'll ask for more rehearsals next time.

*As a side note, Gwar refused to go on until it was cleaned up.  Yes, I freaked out Gwar.
Bo Diddley just died.

Another giant has left the earth.
Compare results!

"The eyes are the most superficial organ."

They only see the surface, don't capture the entire truth, and are manipulated by whatever psychology is lurking in the brain.
Aneristic Illusions / Indiana Facepalm
April 02, 2015, 01:46:44 PM
So, this doesn't really qualify as major news (as it is a symptom rather than a cause of fuckery), but it is relevant to my interests, so.

There's that law in Indiana that is supposedly a "Freedom of Religion" law, but many say it's a "down with gays" law.  I decided to find the bill itself and see what it says.  It's amusing, in it's way.

Sections 1-4: Blah blah blah, definitions, not intended to violate constitution, boilerplate.

Section 5: As used in this chapter, "exercise of religion" includes any exercise of religion,whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.
Interesting.  To me, this seems to be saying that it's not just core or common beliefs that are in scope, but any side beliefs a religious person might have.  So potentially, a Christian sect that believes redheads have no souls should be covered.

Section 6: More definitions.

Section 7: As used in this chapter, "person" includes the following: (1) An individual. (2) An organization, a religious society, a church, a body of communicants, or a group organized and operated primarily for religious purposes. (3) A partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association, or another entity that: (A) may sue and be sued; and (B) exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by: (i) an individual; or (ii) the individuals; who have control and substantial ownership of the entity, regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes.
That's pretty much everyone and everything.  However, (3)(B) could be a sticking point.  Take, for example, that pizza place that stepped up and said they won't serve gays.  Wouldn't they have to show that their establishment "exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief"?  Their refusal to serve gays has nothing to do with the act of making pizza, nor is making pizza a part of their religious practices.  I know the argument can be made that their beliefs are what precludes them from serving gays, but in that case, don't they have to prove that their system of religion prohibits them from feeding gays?

Section 8: (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. (b) A governmental entity may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
The "compelling governmental interest" bit could be fun, if you can finds something in the state constitution that has wording containing "all citizens" in it.

Section 9: If the law is violated, you can sue the government.

Section 10: If you win, you might get a government payout for compensatory damages, and court costs! Maybe.

Section 11: This chapter is not intended to, and shall not be construed or interpreted to, create a claim or private cause of action against any private employer by any applicant, employee, or former employee.
Cute.  The owners can sue the government, but an employee who's discriminated against can't sue the employer.  So a bakery can sue for having to serve a gay couple, but a christian couple can't sue if denied service and a gay bakery.
Literate Chaotic / Shameless plug for Dad's new book
March 31, 2015, 01:22:33 PM
Posthumously, of course. Before he died, he wrote a couple of chapters for a new book about science policy, or more to the point, about the failures of science policy he witnessed, and some thoughts on how to improve it so that science could be properly funded and sustained through multiple administrations.  After he died, one of his friends complied a handful of lectures he gave while director of Brookhaven National Labs and as Director of OSTP (the Office of Science Technology and Policy) at the White House* which shaped the science budget (and therefore, was functinally also science policy).  The first two written chapters focus on controversies at BNL and the SSC (a failed superconducting collider project), and are a fairly interesting account of the miscommunications and assumptions that fucked things up.  The middle chapters are essentially policy speeches, and were designed for other scientists, rather than a wider audience.  The final chapter are two essays taken from an anthology called The Science of Science Policy, and discuss the need to have a clear scientific approach to devloping and understanding science policy.  It's much more interesting than the speeches, as well.

It's not a book for everyone, but it gives a very rational, non-political look into how science and government interact.

*and Science Advisor to GW Bush.
Bring and Brag / Music challenge
January 29, 2015, 07:51:54 PM
So, I'm doing the RPM Challenge, which is sort of like NaNoWriMo, but for music.

10 Songs, or 35 minutes of music created in February.

Yes, I know I can loop one pattern for 35 minutes.  It may come to that.  I could also record myself snoring and send it through a delay and distortion pedal.  I may do that.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated.
I'd like to thank PD for pointing out the hot new trend in youth culture: Being a Genuinely Nice Person.

I played a show on Saturday, and it was pretty great.  Everyone was being really cool to each other.  Instead of the historic Boston dance, the "Stand In The Back With Arms Crossed, Judging", people were having a good time, applauding, dancing, and helping each other out.  It came through in the bands, too.  There was one band from NY called "Common Folk", and it was two guys who looked like ratty gutter punks, playing acoustic guitars and belting out songs without a mic or amplification, sounding like a cross between a punk anthem and a sea shanty, singing about how people should be nicer to each other.  The night ended with the closing band inviting all their friends on stage to sing along, and everyone was simply enjoying themselves.

Coming from an earlier era of ironic detachment, where taking an interest in something was considered uncool, this is a welcome breath of fresh air.  Out of self defense, I've built up a cynical shell of dismissive condescension over the years, but I've always felt like simply being a nice guy who engages with the world to be so much more FUN.  Hopefully, the kids will let an old fart have a go at this.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / My Day with a SJW
January 09, 2015, 08:13:31 PM
So, yesterday on FB I ran across a self-proclaimed "fat activist", and I had a chance to speak with her in chat about her beliefs.  I came away with mixed feelings.

It all happened when Roger wrote (cross posted, I think?) a rant about how people in a Cause heel-dig and screech if their buzz words are challenged, or if additional information or First Thoughts were questioned.

As it turns out, she was a near-perfect Object Lesson.  Roger basically wrote a rant predicting a specific set of behaviors of a person with a Cause, and she pretty much acted exactly that way, right down the list. 

I was curious to see what would happen if I didn't rise to the bait and removed as much buzzy language as possible, and crafted questions designed for yes/no/maybe answers.  So I sent her a PM, and asked a question that I thought would clearly establish a common reality, i.e. a biological base.

She couldn't do it.  Every response veered off into "shaming" or "stigma" or "morality" or "discrimination" or "I think that question is used to torment humiliate and terrorize people" (real quote).  It then became obvious she was flat our rejecting certain nouns all together, as if when something is "named",  it becomes an evil social tool solely designed to hurt a minority group of some sort.  I didn't mock her or belittle her or try to condescend to her, I simply and politely tried to get an answer.

She then asked why I was so interested, and I told her that I had no bias about size (I don't consciously, and if I do subconsciously, it's down so deep I can't hear it/can't bother to care about it), and I was just curious to talk with an activist outside my social circle.  We chatted a bit more, and it became clear she was getting genuinely confused about a man and a woman having a non-screeching, non-flaming, polite conversation about fat activism on the internet.  The conversation ended naturally, and then she thanked me "for listening and not making fun of me".  End scene.

So, as I said, my feelings changed as we talked.  I started out hilariously frustrated trying to get a straight answer out of her.  I mean, we're talking total nutbag Social Justice Warrior here, oblivious to reality and shifting her fallacious appeals with every sentence, sending up flares and barbs designed to distract and derail.  It's one of the few times I've seen this first hand, as I mainly use Tumblr for gay (and not-as-gay) porn. 

And then, as she started becoming bewildered, I realized that most likely was how the majority of her online experience goes, as arguments and invectives and threats and shrieks and triggers and mockery.  And that it was honestly unusual for someone to be polite and respectful, even while disagreeing.  And it made me sad, and sad for her that this was how she experienced life, at least online.

So yeah, this was going to start as "LOL SJW", but it ended up... Melancholic? Would that be the right word?  Or Pity, as Aristotle used it, "a kind of pain in the case of an apparent destructive or painful harm of one not deserving to encounter it". 

So.  Yeah.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Speak No More
January 06, 2015, 04:27:28 PM
So, I went to Sleep No More in NYC this New Year's Eve.  Here's kind of what happened.

First, they take your coat, and give you a red velvet cloak, and a mask:

You're then led up a dark flight of stairs to a dark antechamber with a dark wood-paneled bar.

You know what?  Let's just assume the working adjective for this whole thing is "dark".  As both a descriptor of the light level, as well as the presented subject matter.  It's easier that way.  Anyway, onward.

The group is given a shot of some kind of absinthe cocktail, and are led into another room.  Or to properly say, only some of you are let in.  This is the first in several ways they try to separate groups, as the night is best experienced alone.

A woman with a vaguely Scottish brogue welcomes you, and gives a brief instruction: You're to remain silent for the next three hours.  She then gives a toast, you drink your shot, don your mask, and are led down a pitch-black hallway.  Some groups are ushered into an elevator (Mrs LMNO was in one of these groups.  They went up a floor, pushed one person out, closed the doors, and took the rest of the group to another floor).  Others were led out into a decrepit graveyard.

If the mentions of the 'Eyes Wide Shut' outfit, absinthe, and enforced spookiness are making your eyes roll, stop reading.  You'll pull an ocular muscle.

The entire performance takes place in an old hotel, four or five stories high.  Each floor has been totally gutted, and sets have been built that change context and narrative as easily as walking through a door: a mental hospital turns into a woodland maze made out of dead branches; a room full of suspended doll parts abuts an accountant's office; a bedroom becomes a ballroom.  Smoke machines are utilized often, and overall is an ominous ambient soundtrack that sounds like the Kronos Quartet fighting with the soundtrack to Eraserhead.  The guests are free to wander about the floors any way they'd like.  There is no set route, and there is no one to tell you what to do.  You are in unknown territory; you have no idea what's going on.

The other thing about the rooms is the attention to detail.  The guests are allowed to go everywhere, touch everything.  If you go into that accountant's office, you can look through the ledgers, open the drawers, examine the paperwork, notice that there's a hidden doorway that leads to a small darkroom with pictures of vivisected human bodies hanging about....

If you're getting the impression that the entire place feels like an uncomfortable dream with no linearity or familiarity, you're getting the hang of it.  Because neither the floors or the rooms have any causal relationship to each other, you quickly become disoriented and lost, trying to find that room that was like the hold of a ship with a scratchy radio playing Kurt Weil songs, only to find yourself in a saloon with a baby doll lying in a font filled with congealing blood.

Then, movement.  A man is charging forward, unmasked, with a torn shirt and suspenders, being followed by a blonde woman in a blue dress.  He stops; she attacks him.  They struggle.  They start shouting at each other, but you can't make out the words.  Are they even words?  She turns away, sobbing.  He storms out.  Still weeping, she stands and heads in the other direction.  What do you do?  Do you follow the man, the woman, or keep exploring your space?

This is where the "performance" part of Sleep No More happens.  Characters move throughout the sets and between floors, interacting with each other, and sometimes alone.  Often, there are great stretches where nothing happens on a particular floor, or room, and then a quick three minutes of furious flurries of action occur.  But no one is around to tell you where anyone is, who they are, or what the hell is going on.  You just have to come across them, and choose for yourself who to follow, or where to go next.  They move as if they are dancing (modern dance, of course), sometimes as if in slow motion, sometimes with violence and rage.  Not to get too repetitive, but "dreamlike" can be used as many times as "dark" can.  There's also plenty of nudity (full frontal, both sexes (yum)).

Not to say that the characters are made up from blank cloth.  It's not required to know the play, but the characters and themes are (VERY) loosely based upon Macbeth.  If one had no more knowledge than a quick scan of Wikipedia on the cab ride over, it is very easily to identify Macbeth, his Lady, Banquo, Duncan, and Macduff.  The themes of treachery, infanticide, and the supernatural all make an appearance. 

Maybe there's even a coherent storyline.  The way everything is set up, it seems impossible to follow each performer around the building, while keeping tabs on the other.  I would guess it would take a dedicated effort and several visits to see everything that happens in those three hours (which, come to think of it, is kind of a brilliant way to sell more tickets).  The performance ends by the sets  getting shut down from the top floor down, which drives the audience into the ballroom, where a final scene takes place.  It's pretty powerful, if you're into that sort of thing.  You're then led back out to the antechamber, which has been transformed into a speakeasy-type bar serving drinks and playing music, bringing everything back into the waking world.  You now can remove your mask, find your group, and talk about what the fuck you just saw, comparing notes.

7/10, would go again.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Whirlpool Memes
December 06, 2014, 08:20:23 PM
Literate Chaotic / On The Road to Nowhere
December 02, 2014, 03:12:24 PM
Slate Star Codex does a takedown of On The Road:

QuoteOn The Road is a terrible book about terrible people. Kerouac and his terrible friends drive across the US about seven zillion times for no particular reason, getting in car accidents and stealing stuff and screwing women whom they promise to marry and then don't.

Dean has stolen about a dozen cars. He has married one woman, had an affair with another, played the two of them off against each other, divorced the first, married the second, deserted the second with a young child whom she has no money to support, gone back to the first, dumped the first again so suddenly she has to become a prostitute to make ends meet. Later he will go back to the second, beat the first so hard that he injures his thumb and has to get it amputed, break into the second's house with a gun to kill her but change his mind, desert the second again also with a child whom she has no money to support, start dating a third, desert the third also with a child whom she has no money to support, and go back to the second, all while having like twenty or thirty lesser affairs on the side.

(much, much more at the link)
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Peeving
December 01, 2014, 01:33:06 PM
I'd like to suggest a new word, or at least a standing definition of a word, to be used (if so desired) at PD.

"Peeving" v. A post where the author is frustrated, annoyed, and generally aggravated about a minor behavior or situation of a personal nature.  The post is most often hyperbolic in nature, and likely polemical.  The author is fully aware that the post is riddled with bias, may be petty, and is more of a gripe or complaint rather than an observation or constructive thought.

A post which is peeving does not require the following responses:

-Unsolicited advice
-Arguments against the premise
-Semantic parsing

[Peeving] I'm ok with the fact that you have a self-imposed dietary restriction.  I'm even ok that it is ridiculous, and has no basis in medical fact other than it helps restrict caloric intake.  But for the HOLY LOVE OF GOD, that doesn't make it ok to come to my city on a holiday vacation where we go out to eat, and bring it up EVERY SINGLE TIME you look at the fucking menu, and then argue with the waiter that the chef can make a lamb stew without carrots, JUST FOR YOU.  You are THE FUCKING WORST.  Just look at the fucking menu, order what fits your needs, and maybe ask for a substitution, so long as you're POLITE about it.  THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT YOUR STUPID FUCKING DIET.  [/Peeving]
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 Nominees:

Green Day
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Nine Inch Nails
Lou Reed
The Smiths
The Spinners
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Bill Withers

Lou, Kraftwerk, and NWA, for sure deserve it. Chic and Withers? It would be nice, but not holding my breath. NIN, maybe.  Joan Jett should punch Sting and Green Day in their collective throats.
Libertarian 'Utopia' Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately

QuoteA community made up of American ex-pats deep in the South American hills of Chile...was supposed to be a libertarian paradise of rugged individualism. Instead it cost many of the people who bought into it almost everything, and now is buried under lawsuits...

EDIT: Upon a closer reading of the article, it fell apart because the whole thing was a scam and never really started in the first place.
Discordian Recipes / Suggestions welcome - cider
September 15, 2014, 03:28:50 AM
So: House party. Someone brings over cider, and leaves it here. But it's not really cider, it's Angry Orchard cider with Elderflower, or some shit. Really sweet. Five bottles.

OK, maybe I can braise something? But fuck, I don't use cider. So, how would you mitigate the floral, apple-y sweetness into something worth eating?  Otherwise, I'll just dump it.
Principia Discussion / That's odd...
August 15, 2014, 12:46:21 PM
I was sure the Law of Eristic Escalation ("Imposition of Order = Escalation of Disorder") was explicitly stated in the POEE Principia Discordia.  But I can't seem to find it.

Anyone have a decent reference?
Ok, Cain already referenced this, so I'm not trying to say this is the first time this has been mentioned on PD.  But I though the blog post was interesting and important enough to warrant its own thread, so here:

This is really long, but it's great. It's a variation on The Machineā„¢, on Monkey Mind, on Common Walls, and it's really, really wonderful.

And incredibly long.  Honestly, give yourself some time if you're planning on reading it all at once.

When you're done, I'd like to talk about it.
Well y'all, there have been some more reports of prairie sharks out west again, so I'll be heading out to Montana for a week to see what I can do about that. Posting will be sporadic, as those bastards tend o be like writhing Farrady cages.

QuoteTechnology for CF Life Transitions Challenge seeks a technology-based solution that will keep life organized and manageable.

CF adds layers of complexity in managing transitions throughout adulthood. Create an elegant and seamless solution that helps adults with CF manage the challenges they face when experiencing these transitions. Make it less about CF and more about life - this should not be another "adherence" app, and creativity is expected.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people worldwide.

People with CF are born with a defective gene that leads the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that affects multiple organs, including the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. There is no cure for CF. As patients grow-up, they are faced with increasingly complex care regimens that take several hours daily.

Today, for the first time in history the majority of people with CF are over the age of 18 and they are facing life transitions. These include transitions from pediatric to adult care, from high school to college and young adult life and from parental control to independence regarding self-care. Unfortunately, all of these transition points are further complicated by the unpredictability of CF, which may require multiple, unexpected, weeks-long hospitalizations. It is within this context that people with CF strive for a "normal" life.

First place is worth $50,000.  And the chance to make someone's life better.
So, the ACA was put in place to make sure that people could get affordable insurance, regardless.

Many employers offer insurance as a benefit that a worker's pay is taken off the top t

The ACA says that if an employer wants to do this, they must comply with a certain amount of rules.

If the employer doesn't want to offer this, then they can stop offering health insurance as a benefit. The employee will get the money taken off the top and get their own insurance.

If I have the above correct, then the "least obstructive option" to those who don't like the ACA mandate is to not offer the benefit.


Someone explain who knows more that me.  Without the conspiracy, please.