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"At the teaparties they only dunked bags into cups of water...because they didn't want to break the law. And that just about sums up America's revolutionary spirit."

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Messages - Q. G. Pennyworth

#31
Or Kill Me / Breaking Point
July 06, 2023, 02:30:10 PM
There are few things that loom larger in our cultural consciousness than the idea of a breaking point: that someday it will all just be Too Much and something will SNAP and suddenly it will be RADICALLY DIFFERENT than the day before. There will be riots, there will be fires, there will be government officials dragged out of their offices, there will be something Shiny and New and we will celebrate and topple statues and cheer. America, especially, dreams of breaking points.

When I was a kid the term we used was "going postal," as the most well known office shooting at the time was located in a post office. This was before Columbine, before schools were *the* destination for seemingly spontaneous mass murders. At the security company where I work now, there are calls every few months from companies that have let someone go and want someone to keep an eye out for them coming back armed.

You don't often find people connecting these threads.

Accelerationism is a political philosophy that espouses the idea that things are bad, but not yet bad enough for people to act towards necessary change. The idea that society is hesitating at the cliff's edge and just needs a little push before it tries to flap its little wings. Maybe, if we just make conditions intolerable *enough* it will be enough for change.

There's math people don't know that they're doing in their head all the time. It's economic theory kind of math, but it doesn't have much to do with money. The question being posed is always the same: is Doing Something worse than Doing Nothing?

There are, as you might expect, lots of moving parts here. What is the benefit of doing the thing? Is there a future on the other end that seems possible, and better than current conditions? How much does it cost? In lives, in money, in time and effort? What are the chances we will succeed? What are the costs of failure? And how bad, really, how bad is it now?

Accellerationists try to move the needle by making "how bad is it now" even worse. If you're just doing math, it makes a kind of sense. If you don't like the idea of people dying because of something you did, it's kinda less appealing.

There are trolley car arguments, of course. There are always trolley car arguments. The real villains are the ones who tied all these people up on the tracks in the first place, the ones who deregulated the trolley construction which led to the failing breaks. We've all heard it. I'm not going to try to convince you one way or the other on this.

What I do want you to chew on is the idea of that breaking point. That moment where conditions are so intolerable that literally any action is better than doing nothing and continuing as you are. That's the core conceit, isn't it? If we just get enough people there, revolution will spontaneously arise.

Now, back to the second point. Do you see where we're going here? We have an abundance of people who are already at the point where conditions are so personally intolerable that they are willing to end their lives ending the lives of others for no more reward than simply not dragging themselves through another day like this. Add to that number the "deaths of despair," the people who are numbing themselves by any means necessary to get away from the conditions they cannot tolerate. How big of an army do you really think you need to run the guillotines?

And there's the thing: they're not an army. Even the ones who think that their death is going to be The Spark that convinces everyone to finally get off the couch and start organizing, they're just dead bodies.

We consume a lot of revolutionary media. In that media there are really only two common paths from Intolerable Conditions to Outright Revolution: a charismatic lone individual inspires others to spontaneously rise up with no prior organization or coordination, and a charismatic lone individual is exploited by an existing organization to swell their ranks to a functional number. When that's all people see, it's no wonder that they think of revolution as something they can do on their own, or at least start doing on their own, but the evidence is right in front of our faces: if you act alone, you will not have any meaningful impact. The Machine is designed to absorb aberrant individuals.

Acquiring accomplices is hard. It's probably the hardest part of getting anything done. Building trust is not easy in a society that raised us on Stranger Danger, building community is hard in tract housing and car-centered design, every ounce of effort put into organizing is effort not being spent on the tasks of keeping yourself alive in a world that is ever more expensive just to breathe in.

But if you are pushing people, or yourself, to the breaking point, without laying down the groundwork? That's not the Revolution. That's just getting people miserable and dead. Stop doing The Machine's work for it.
#32
Quote from: Scribbly on July 05, 2023, 11:03:15 AM
Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on July 05, 2023, 10:58:19 AM
I got a job offer that is absolutely covered in red flags but has enough potential to be legitimate that I can't ignore it, the pay is ridiculous and it's completely remote, and I won't be talking to cops or fielding phone calls WHILE listening to the radio WHILE monitoring text messages WHILE checking for camera alerts WHILE... which means I will be less goddamn tired all the time and might actually have the energy to exist again. It's scary though. I've never had to give notice before. And not knowing 100% that this isn't a scam and I'm not being spearphished is... well it's sure as fuck not helping.

Definitely do as much research as you can (obvs) but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Sometimes good things do happen.

The odds of this being legit are shrinking rapidly. I have already mobilized the resources needed to absolutely end these people if it does turn out to be a wire fraud scam, which will be a nice consolation prize if it goes the way it's looking.
#33
I got a job offer that is absolutely covered in red flags but has enough potential to be legitimate that I can't ignore it, the pay is ridiculous and it's completely remote, and I won't be talking to cops or fielding phone calls WHILE listening to the radio WHILE monitoring text messages WHILE checking for camera alerts WHILE... which means I will be less goddamn tired all the time and might actually have the energy to exist again. It's scary though. I've never had to give notice before. And not knowing 100% that this isn't a scam and I'm not being spearphished is... well it's sure as fuck not helping.
#34
Just came back from my audiology appointment.  Mild mid-range hearing loss sloping into profound on the high ranges, and my word recognition is complete soup in the left ear (along with that slope being much steeper on that side). Nothing I didn't *know*, but it's on paper now and really-real. They also said I'd be a good candidate for hearing aids, but since I can function day to day I don't need to rush in.
#35
does that apple have a butthole?
#36
Quote from: altered on June 28, 2023, 06:22:33 PM
Quote from: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 28, 2023, 02:18:42 AM
Quote from: altered on June 27, 2023, 05:23:31 PM
I've been pushing through a very upsetting (but not bad) breakup by, uh, working on a remix and some trance synth leads for the Memorrhage guy. And crowdfunding my home-recording setup so I can contribute vocals. (Isolation shields worth a goddamn are PRICY.)

I think this is the most involved I've ever been in music. Almost daily I'm discussing with actual successful underground musicians my opinions on production and songwriting, and they're taken seriously. I can commiserate over EQing synth organs to sit nicely in dense mixes* and the other person will nod sadly and say "the decay..." because we've both been there.

It's really nice to be taken seriously by musicians who are legendary among "Thinking Man's avant-death metal" elitists and have done everything from chiptune grindcore to Bay Area screamo to nu metal. It's times like this I know my faith in my musical abilities is not Dunning-Kruger shit.



* Seriously, have you tried to do this without having to automate every band of an EQ to shift note-by-note? it's a fucking NIGHTMARE, and if you're gonna tell me to break out the comb filters I'm going to tell you to put that shit on some Scriabin-ass synthetic chords so you can hear the pan-pipers of Azathoth for yourself. It is an Incontrovertible Fact that organs, even basic ass synth organs with 3-oscillator formants, are made for filling every frequency above the fundamental with pure clean tonal bands and you had just better hope your tits that you have the headroom in your fucking mix to pull that off.

Do you take very dumb music requests? Because there is a very dumb thing I want

Depends. I can't record vocals yet (the crowdfunding was just finished thanks to one of you wonderful fuckers, but it needs to be ordered and arrive) and I can't do physical instruments, but I have production expertise and am pretty good at electronic music -- especially simpler stuff like trance, DnB, goth-industrial.

When I do have my bedroom studio setup done, I specialize in harsh vocals, but I can sing okay. Nothing special, poor range, lacking power, but it's something.

I'm looking for a "dramatic movie trailer" downbeat cover or remix of Billy Joel's My Life that fits the overall vibe of the Andor soundtrack. I'm very normal.
#37
Bring and Brag / Re: I am Falling
June 28, 2023, 09:24:07 PM
:mittens:
#38
Quote from: altered on June 27, 2023, 05:23:31 PM
I've been pushing through a very upsetting (but not bad) breakup by, uh, working on a remix and some trance synth leads for the Memorrhage guy. And crowdfunding my home-recording setup so I can contribute vocals. (Isolation shields worth a goddamn are PRICY.)

I think this is the most involved I've ever been in music. Almost daily I'm discussing with actual successful underground musicians my opinions on production and songwriting, and they're taken seriously. I can commiserate over EQing synth organs to sit nicely in dense mixes* and the other person will nod sadly and say "the decay..." because we've both been there.

It's really nice to be taken seriously by musicians who are legendary among "Thinking Man's avant-death metal" elitists and have done everything from chiptune grindcore to Bay Area screamo to nu metal. It's times like this I know my faith in my musical abilities is not Dunning-Kruger shit.



* Seriously, have you tried to do this without having to automate every band of an EQ to shift note-by-note? it's a fucking NIGHTMARE, and if you're gonna tell me to break out the comb filters I'm going to tell you to put that shit on some Scriabin-ass synthetic chords so you can hear the pan-pipers of Azathoth for yourself. It is an Incontrovertible Fact that organs, even basic ass synth organs with 3-oscillator formants, are made for filling every frequency above the fundamental with pure clean tonal bands and you had just better hope your tits that you have the headroom in your fucking mix to pull that off.

Do you take very dumb music requests? Because there is a very dumb thing I want
#39
Or Kill Me / Re: There's No Such Thing As Too Late
June 26, 2023, 10:49:31 PM
Quote from: altered on June 26, 2023, 07:17:08 PM
The key of the fictional work I've been doing is that the protagonists CANNOT win. They will always fail, no matter what they do. But they fight anyway, and yeah, they didn't win. Most of the time it wasn't even a Pyrrhic victory for the antagonists. But they made the antagonists have to pay /something/ for it, rather then getting it for free, and the cost is never trivial.

You never lay down and give up. You can do it for short times, to recover, but when you CAN stand up, you DO stand up.

I think there's something to chew on for the difference between resting and giving up
#40
Or Kill Me / There's No Such Thing As Too Late
June 26, 2023, 02:24:07 AM
There is no such thing as too late

Look around you. Things are fucked. You know there're fucked, your friends know they're fucked, you talk about it often enough, but it's hard getting past knowing and into doing. Global climate catastrophe is coming, and it seems like there's nothing useful to be done for it. Fascists are on our doorstep. War never seems to end. So fuckit, if there's nothing we can do, why worry about it?

Find that voice inside your head. Kill it. It is one of many jailkeepers you are going to have to strangle before you can get out of here.

People were enslaved in America for four hundred years, the Roman Empire lasted a thousand, Hitler took over half of Europe before the tide turned, monarchies and tzarist rule and every other form of oppression you can imagine was so thoroughly entrenched it seemed impossible to resist until it wasn't. You know this is true, you hear it all the time, but somewhere in the convoluted recesses of your consciousness this fact keeps getting unplugged from your planning processes. This isn't accidental, the status quo is self-reinforcing, and discouraging dissent is part of that. Fight it.

That desire to give up, to let go, to disconnect your mind from your meat and just let whatever is going to happen happen is one of the oldest evolutionary responses to stress. You see it in dying animals. But you are not a dying animal, and you do not need this respite from suffering as you are being gnawed alive. You need to fucking fight.

It's true that recycling plastic ain't doing shit and carbon credits are not making enough of a dent, it's true that the YouTube alt-Right pipeline is working faster and better than anything put up against it. It's true you may not win, but that doesn't absolve you from anything.

When my mom died I was at home. She was supposed to go the night before, we all felt it, and that's why my dad and I sat that night with her, her body yellowed and bloating, her breathing weak, nothing moving, nothing changing, no responses. And morning came and the nurses came for rounds and told us to go home, that it could be days, that we needed to sleep. The call came maybe six hours later. And I... I don't know if I lied. Shock is a strange thing. But I told him I wasn't sure if she was gone, and we drove fast, and we ran. And of course, it was too late to be there when she left, it was too late to witness a last breath. But it mattered that we rushed, it mattered that we tried. Just like it mattered that we got a sneaky second opinion on her dire diagnosis, just like it mattered that we got her body donated where she wanted.

When things are terrible you will have so many choices to make. There will be battles you cannot win, there will be fronts that you simply are not cut out for fighting on. And the part of you that wants to spare you suffering will tell you there's no hope, that change is impossible, that you are too weak or too old or too unqualified. That part of you is trying to do you a kindness, to spare you from the pain of defeat. Snap its fucking neck. Because there are worse things than losing and they are knowing that you did nothing while Rome burned, they are knowing you did not rush to the hospital, they are knowing you SHUT UP when someone else needed you to SCREAM. And if you already know that pain please know this: it's not too late to try again. It's never too late.
#41
Or Kill Me / Put Down The Work
June 23, 2023, 07:10:25 PM
Your whole life you have been guided towards choosing a career, any career, in service to the norms of your culture and your personal survival.

Put that shit down.

That isn't to say "quit your job immediately," I'm not advocating for a crustpunk utopia or the NEET lifestyle. I'm not demeaning labor, either. There are essential tasks that save lives and keep people fed, these are good and honorable things that we do not cherish enough, didn't even cherish enough when we were in a global crisis and it was put in stark relief.

What I am saying is that you are probably holding onto some ideas about your life and your purpose on this planet that are forwarding agendas you don't like, and you've gotta let that shit go.

Even if you don't think of yourself as a "keeping up with the Joneses" type, you may find yourself engaged in that cycle: work hard, make more money, get nicer things, nicer things cost more, need to work harder to make more money. Stop that. You don't like waste and you don't like working so why are you working harder to fill your life with more shit you don't need?

Think about what it is that the company you're working for actually DOES in the world. Are they making medicine? Are they feeding people? Are they contributing to the prison industrial complex? The military industrial complex? Is the CEO a colossal dick getting rich and famous off the labor of decent people trying to do good work? Maybe you're one of the lucky ones doing meaningful labor under benign local leadership, but most folks aren't. Think about all the ways the hours of your life are contributing to the things you hate, the things that are killing you. Really think about it. Get uncomfortable instead of drunk. Start writing things down. Make your wall a post it note and red string nightmare if you have to.

This is the cliff's edge. This is where you might fall to your death, or freeze, or turn back. It's okay to be scared, rational, good even. You can't take the next step without accomplices and you can't take it without a plan. The tiger-fleeing part of your brain will tell you it's now or never and you have to make a decision right now but tell it to hold. Start making plans. Start building resources. Start recruiting.

You weren't born to be a cog in their machine.
#42
Quote from: The-Ephemeral-Man on June 23, 2023, 07:04:05 AM
Yes I am, thank you! You can contact me, Leigh, at @wyrd.daze@gmail.com. I have two more issues planned for the year. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Emailed you some bits and bobs
#43
Principia Discussion / Re: Local 73rd Hermits Cabal
June 09, 2023, 07:07:21 PM
Quote from: altered on January 26, 2023, 07:08:30 PM
Not to mention infrastructure.

Any city older than a century has infrastructural chaos on a scale you couldn't imagine if you were shown it. Everything looks nice and neat shown in isolation, but you add a single other datapoint and it's over for your conceived notions of shit making sense. The water mains were laid in before electrification, and in some cases before sewage. None of the three have anything to do with each other, except when they do, and system failures in those areas are spectacular. Transit infrastructure was built wherever the fuck it fit and/or they could buy out black people's property and flatten it. In cities like NYC, there's extra special infrastructure for things like heating skyscrapers without relying on resistive heat, and this was usually built after water, sewage and electrification, but before communications networks. Most cities have at least one area with a lot of maintenance tunnels and these map to almost nothing sensible either. They did when they were BUILT, mind you, but that was in the 1930s and things are different now.

The newer cities are worse, because everything is neat and orderly in one place and eroding into madness in another in a patchwork that maps to pretty much nothing, not even income level. The rich people want to move away from the poor people so they get new construction that isn't laid out in anything resembling a sensible fashion so as to eliminate walkability and thus poor people, the poor people want to live in the city center near their jobs but get priced out by gentrified tenements, you have just a seething fucking foam of alternating horror and sanity.

Infrastructure being considered orderly betrays a hilarious degree of optimism as regards the human species' ability to do a goddamn thing right.

#44
I would rather get blown up by terrorists than get cancer.

It is more ethical in any altercation between a cop and a non-cop for the cop to die than the other party, as the cop consented to a job with that risk and the other person did not.

I am allowed to be here.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the remedy to bad speech is not censorship but more speech, and therefore it is incumbent upon any citizen when they see bad or dangerous speech to speak louder than the bad speech, not quietly in the corner.

Sometimes a riot is the right answer.
#45
Quote from: Thumper Forge on June 03, 2023, 07:34:34 PM
Quote from: Thumper Forge on August 19, 2020, 05:45:38 PM
Currently writing a book that combines Discordianism and Empedocledian doctrine with witchcraft and Chaos magic, because I never, ever want to be published, apparently.

A bit of a belated update, but I ended up getting a book deal and submitted the first draft to a publisher this past Wednesday.  :horrormirth:

Congrats!