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Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Last post by Cain on Today at 04:19:22 am »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Well that was fucking prophetic.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Prelate Diogenes Shandor on Today at 04:15:15 am »
Ebeneezer Scrooge dates Miss Havisham
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Prelate Diogenes Shandor on Today at 03:42:09 am »
On Christmas Eve President Trump is visited by the eternally damned spirit of Ronald Reagan who sends three ghosts to teach him to stop being  a crazy avaricious assclown
Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by Cain on Today at 03:33:20 am »
So, I haven't made a post on actual in the office work stupidity in a while.

Here you go:

Today, our front door broke (our day shift colleague, upon hearing the engineer wouldn't be back for a couple of hours, allowed a student to try and fix it, breaking it further, but that's another story).

So, anyone could stroll in the front door.

Our reception Xmas tree requires an extension cord to power the lights. The socket for said cord is behind the office main door, while the tree is outside. So, the cord prevents the door from locking.

We have a safe in which all the master keys for the building are kept, inside the main office. No-one ever actually locks the safe.

The door broke at some point while my colleague was on a 2 hour break, meaning in that 2 hour window literally anyone could have strolled in and taken a key giving them full access to the building without even breaking a sweat.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Last post by Cramulus on Yesterday at 02:50:52 pm »
We now have a core group of 5 students.

Some of the exercises.... each of these was done for 1-2 weeks

  • When you touch a doorknob, pause for a second and try to be awake
  • Pick one of the following - posture, facial expression, tone of voice. Several times each day, take note of what you're doing with it. Notice how it's connected to your intentions, how it expresses something internal, but also how it influences your experiences and impressions.
  • Every day, when talking to someone, try to really connect to them. Pay attention to how they're feeling, understand why they're saying what they're saying.
  • Take 100 steps intentionally. Count each step. While counting, focus on the sensation of your foot touching the ground. Don't let your awareness drift with your thoughts, remain aware of everything happening around you.
  • Late in the day, recall all the moments of consciousness you had that day. (it's okay if you didn't have any)
  • In the morning, meditate on your body sensations. Focus on each part of your body in sequence, just bringing your awareness to it, making it more alive

Some of these have to do with self awareness, being conscious of what's going on in your three processing centers and re-connecting them

Some of them have to do with giving you "shocks", little moments during the day that unexpectedly jar you awake

Some of them have to do with split attention -- running an internal process, while running an external process... maybe you remember to observe the third camera too.

My favorite one was a variation on the 100 steps exercise. The idea is that you take 100 steps, maintaining your internal focus, maintaining your external focus... So with one foot, you're counting to 50 -- 1, 2, 3, 4... but with the other foot, you're counting down - 99, 98, 97, 96....   so as you're walking, you're counting 1, 99, 2, 98, 3, 97, 4, 96...

And while doing this, maintain awareness of your foot hitting the ground!

This was challenging - actually learned a lot from this. For one, I couldn't do it while stoned. Secondly, it took a lot of attention to do it the first time. I had to focus really hard on the numbers to get them right, and the physical world sorta vanished while that was happening. But I found counting upwards could be done more or less automatically, and then counting down took some attention. And the more practice I got, I could feel the automatic mind taking over the counting down process. Eventually, I could do all 100 steps while maintaining presence in the physical world.

and then you turn up the difficulty! Count by 2s!  :p

Kinda like Robert Anton Wilson's Quarter Experiment in Prometheus Rising, it's one thing to read about these, it's another thing to actually do it. You may have read the words, but you don't know anything until you've done it yourself. Everything has to be verified personally, you can't just take other people's words about consciousness as real.
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Last post by Vanadium Gryllz on Yesterday at 12:33:01 pm »
Has the number of people attending each week dwindled? It sounds like hard work.

Could you give some examples of the exercises?

Thanks for the detailed updates, very interesting stuff.  :)
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Universal Basic Income
« Last post by Pergamos on Yesterday at 03:07:49 am »
Widespread automation isn't going to happen until it is more expensive to employ people than to use machines, it's already technically possible for pretty much every low skill job
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Universal Basic Income
« Last post by tyrannosaurus vex on Yesterday at 01:50:04 am »
I'm definitely a supporter of UBI, but there's no limit to the number of reasons it will probably never be adopted. It's true that it's basically an expansion of basic welfare (SSI, unemployment, etc), but it also transforms not only welfare but the entire social concept of work. Most American "progressives", not to mention conservatives, are completely flabbergasted by the idea. It completely disassembles the idea that a person's social value is equivalent to the work they do. It isn't even about economics, it's about the notion that I am more important than you because I don't have to worry about where the money for rent is coming from. UBI requires that everyone, or at least most people, admit that human life is worth supporting simply because it exists. And while that sounds like an easy thing to get agreement on, it really isn't.

There's also all the work that's done by people who take jobs just to survive. Walmart cashiers, hospitality workers, shelf-stockers, food service, and tens of other jobs just wouldn't get done, because nobody would need to do them. Employers would have to raise the wages for those jobs to something more appealing, and most of these industries run on low margins as it is, which means either a sharp spike in consumer prices all over the place or entire industries crashing. For this reason, UBI won't really be viable until almost all low-wage jobs are threatened by automation. The flipside of that is that when automation threatens those jobs, which is going to happen anyway, UBI will be one of the only reasonable solutions.

UBI does simplify just about every kind government assistance program. Right now there are hundreds of programs to help the unemployed and underemployed, displaced workers, people who can't afford housing, people who can't afford food, and so on. The underlying assumption in all of these programs is a recognition that our capitalist economy doesn't work out for everyone all the time, and people deserve some help righting themselves when they slip through the cracks. But modern political trends basically deny this idea. Even if it's never stated outright, the popular philosophy now says that if you need help in a capitalist economy, it's because you're stupid or lazy or irresponsible. Before UBI can even be considered, that idea has to go away and we have to return to a more realistic understanding of economics among the general population. It doesn't have a chance while people are still talking about "welfare queens" and "group x stealing jobs from Americans".

As for subsidizing consumption, that's a valid concern. I don't think it's a show-stopper, but it would certainly be a problem while renewable resources and other green technologies were still being artificially restrained by vested interests in old-fashioned energy and production. The fact is that the way we do things now is just good enough for just enough people to keep us from moving forward. While a large enough percentage of people can be fooled into thinking everything is fine, there won't be enough political will to change things. We're sort of at an impasse right now where there is no direct line from here to there. The system we have now has to fail before it can evolve. The problem, of course, is getting the system to fail without letting it fail catastrophically. Which seems unlikely, to say the least.

Overall, UBI is a superb solution to a lot of problems, but it is so incompatible with traditional thinking and existing economic patterns that it has zero chance of even being attempted on any scale, let alone succeeding. It is both necessary and impossible.
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Pergamos on December 09, 2017, 11:12:20 pm »
A story about some kind of dysfunctional wizard or cultist (or perhaos a dysfunctional superhero or supervillain) who has the ability to use their own body as a voodoo doll. This is to say that by mutilating their own body they can cause a chosen target's body to become similarly injured.

Another idea:
Comedy skit: Fake Pilsbury commercial where Poppin Fresh is Jesus at the last supper. "Eat of my flesh"

American Horror story used the voodoo doll idea.
Aneristic Illusions / Universal Basic Income
« Last post by Pergamos on December 09, 2017, 07:54:12 pm »
I mentioned this in the "we're all fucked" thread but I felt like it deserved one of it's own.  Just in case anyone is not familiar with the idea it is "give everyone money"  how much varies from being fixed by some revenue source, like the Alaska Dividend fund, to being enough to meet very basic needs to being enough for a person to have a reasonably decent life on.  The knee jerk reaction to it, from those opposed, is that it rewards laziness and discourages productivity.  This is not true, the current welfare system in most places that have one does actually do this, since you will be removed from benefit rolls if you get a job, basic income is for everyone, without any sort of qualifying criteria.  This means it ends up costing a fair amount less than welfare, per person helped, because there is not the added overhead expense of verifying eligibility and ensuring that eligibility has not evaporated.  Canada and the US have both done studies offering UBI in fairly small communities and the results have been quite positive but the programs were not adopted more widely.

It is definitely something I am sympathetic to, it seems, to me, to be a far better solution to the problems that welfare attempts to address than any current welfare system while still being basically the same concept.  I remain unsure whether or not I support it however for the reason I am about to get into.

A UBI requires a coordinating committee of some sort which disperses the payments.  If the program achieves it purpose of allowing everyone to survive without requiring verification of unemployment the need to have jobs which people can support themselves on goes away.  People will still work due to wanting additional income, or because they will be doing something that they want to do, but the current (inneficient and cruel, but still powerful) infrastructure that makes sure that pretty much anyone can at least have an awful job will wither as it will no longer be needed.  This puts a huge amount of power in the hands of the coordinating committee.  If requirements for eligibility are added later, after a UBI has become a part of the structure of society, they will strike those who are disqualified much harder than they would currently, where crappy jobs are at least an option.  If the number of people forced to find work in order to survive is reduced to a small enough number the jobs that took advantage of that desperate pool evaporate, and that small number are left, devoid of the assistance that everyone else can now assume, and without recourse.  The temptation to use a tool that powerful is not something I can see politicians resisting.  I don't know what criteria would first be accepted as a reason to cut someone off of UBI, but whatever it is, it would be essentially a sentence of exile from the economy. 

My other concern about a UBI is that it is a universal subsidization of consumption.  If everyone on the planet were to consume at the level of your average middle class American we would go extinct in fairly short order.  Unless this subsidization is either limited, in ways that can only be unfair, or is accompanied by serious changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns it could greatly accelerate the widespread environmental unpleasantry that is already occuring.
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