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Topics - tyrannosaurus vex

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1
The list is getting pretty long, so I am going to start writing it down.

1. The problems society faces are complicated, nuanced, and typically have no obvious or satisfying solution that benefits everyone. Unfortunately, our ability to compromise is basically dead, and everything about modern communication centers around bite-sized ideas. We are at a rare point in human development where the tools we have developed are exactly the opposite of what we need to solve our problems.

2. Speaking of our tools, we have designed the Internet: a miraculous platform for communication that transcends all historical barriers to the flow of information and ideas. We have then done the eminently Human thing and used this platform to segregate ourselves morally, philosophically, and along every other fault line we can think of, creating new barriers to the flow of ideas. Now we find ourselves in disposable communities, surrounded by people we suspect of not belonging. It's not exactly a recipe for the unity required to take on large systems of oppression or violence.

3. We refuse to face real problems, because we're too busy being righter and louder than everyone else, and being honest about our problems introduces the risk that we might not be as correct as we think we are. We're subconsciously aware that we're full of shit, but are scared of admitting it.

4. The systems we have built to automate society have grown bigger and more powerful than us. They're more complex than our mental models of them, and they are just efficient enough to fool us into thinking we don't need to maintain them. They also rot from the inside out, so by the time we notice a problem, it's way too late to fix it.

5. The lies we used to tell our children about what made civilization work are now the fables grown-ass adults tell themselves they must abide by in order to keep it working. This is ... not advised.

6. We have convinced ourselves that the way things are is the way things must be. We are incapable of dreaming or thinking big about the things we need to change in order to survive as a species. It is absolutely outside the scope of most people's universes to even consider, for example, post-scarcity economics. This is despite the fact that we actually have the technology to make it work, or the fact that we need to make it work if we're to have any hope.

7. Everyone seems to have a collective sense of impending doom. This is not mass delusion, it's a finely-tuned evolutionary mechanism. The alarms are ringing, but we are just monkeys, so our solution is to screech louder than the alarms until they shut up. This is also a finely-tuned evolutionary mechanism. Nobody said natural selection had any particular preference for intelligence.

8. The kinds of progressives who are currently being laughed out of global politics because of their "crazy ideas"... are not nearly progressive enough to do any good, even if they got everything they asked for. Despite half of the planet being consumed with Hollywood blockbuster entertainment about superheroes and spaceships, it turns out nobody actually has any imagination.

2
Apple Talk / things I will do when I am emperor of the universe
« on: November 16, 2017, 04:57:32 am »
If 200+ years of "democracy" has taught us anything, it's that humans are awful at governing themselves. I've completely given up all hope of convincing people to improve, because even if they eventually do (which they won't), I'll be dead long before I see it. So instead of giving a shite about the state of human affairs, I will spend the rest of my life dreaming up new rules for You People to live by. Here are a few I'm working on at the moment.

1. No more music about feelings and relationships. "I have feelings and I will adjust my relationship status accordingly" has been expressed so many times there's no way there's anything left to say here. From now on, all songs will address dragons, space monsters, epic historical arcs, or something else that's completely unrelated to how you "feel", which no one cares to hear.

2. Driving slow in the fast lane will be a holy sacrament. There's no reason to be in a hurry to get anywhere people are expecting you. Life is too short, and besides, nobody really gives a fuck about you showing up on time unless you get there early and make them look bad by comparison. All the more reason to take your time.

3. Everyone will be required to spend at least 3 hours per day piling insults on anyone on the internet who tries to look cool by being "edgy". Being offensive isn't witty, it just drags conversations into chaos by short-circuiting the human instinct to be right about everything all the time.

4. No more songs that are written entirely in 4/4. Just knock it off. It's the 21st century, we shouldn't still need musical training wheels.

5. All scientists will be pulled from any projects and research currently underway and will be assigned tasks that contribute directly to the development of cold fusion, flying cars, and faster-than-light interstellar travel. They will not be allowed to visit their children until certain breakthroughs have been made. We live in the future, and it's time we started acting like it.

This list is not finished, so don't get comfortable.

3
Aneristic Illusions / i spend too much time on facebook
« on: September 05, 2017, 05:23:20 am »
It's probably my paranoia, or I'm just missing a large piece of the picture somewhere, but it seems that popular Facebook groups (expecially the ones with lax moderation) tend to hit some level of activity or membership size, and then face an almost automatic onslaught of alt-right trolling. I've seen it happen to a number of groups, not least of which almost every single Discordian group. It tends to happen faster when there's a high level of anti-Trump or otherwise progressive content or opinion being shared.

I'm not saying there's an Alt-Right mastermind out there, but... is there an Alt-Right mastermind out there? Because the level of racist, sexist, generally douchebaggy trolling spikes and it tends to either destroy the group, or turn it into a nuked-out husk filled with Pepe memes and people calling everything that moves "cuck". Am I crazy, or is this an actual phenomenon? And if it is a thing that actually does happen almost predictably, is there more to it than just roving bands of neo-Nazis that just accidentally hit some kind of critical mass and begin festering?

4
Aneristic Illusions / someone forgot to reserve an important domain name
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:37:28 am »
I don't know who it was, but someone seems to have picked up the URL https://official.gop and turned it into a mock Republican site. Maybe people on PD might have some ideas about content that could go into this site in order to further some nefarious plan. If so, it wouldn't hurt to post some of those ideas in this thread, in case the person who registered this domain accidentally stumbles across the thread and uses some of the ideas.

5
Or Kill Me / The Problem with You People
« on: June 17, 2017, 11:05:02 am »
There is a problem with You People, it's plain to see. You're nothing like us. You're taking up too much of the space we want to be taking up. You're really making a mess over there in your area, which is terrible by the way. You're the wrong color, you love the wrong people and you kill the wrong people, you speak the wrong language, you worship the wrong gods, eat all the wrong foods, drink the wrong wine, and smoke the wrong kind of grass. You read the wrong books and you write — oh, the books you write aren't just wrong, they're abominations. There is, I'm sorry to say, a problem with you people. And really, we have no choice but to do something about it.
 
Look at you. You're savages. Look at the way you dress, or don't dress, or overdress. It's embarrassing. We are embarrassed for you. On your behalf, because there's a problem with you, and you're not able to be embarrassed for yourselves. Too busy being embarrassed for us, maybe? No matter. Take that off. Put this on. Who wears animal skins that way? It's stupid, it's out of style. It's offensive. Think of the children, won't you? You're insufferable, you're wrong, and there's a problem with you people, and we're going to have to clean up your mess.
 
Good people don't look like you. They look like us. They speak, act, think, believe, walk, and live like us. Not like you. No one who looks or talks or lives like you will ever be taken seriously by one of us, and that's what counts. Believe me, that's what counts, because if people like us don't like you, then where will you be?
 
I know that I, for one, would never want to be on the outs with us.
 
Because that's where you are.
 
And there's a problem with you.
 
People.

6
Aneristic Illusions / Democrats Decide to Just Go Ahead and Implode
« on: May 21, 2017, 09:59:31 am »
In true Democrat form, the Democratic Party has chosen this particular moment in history to have an existential crisis and turn inward to eat itself.

Meet the Justice Democrats, swooping in at just the wrong moment to save the American Left from any possibility of victory in 2018.

No doubt taking inspiration from the GOP's TEA Party conniption from 2010, the Justice Democrats are the spine the Democrats have never had, without all that messy connective tissue or muscular system that goes along with moving and doing things. Their website/manifesto declares war on "Corporate Democrats" who have "Allowed the Republicans to take control of most state legislatures" and whatever. Having convinced themselves that the only real antidote to American Fascism is a bout of hard-line socialism, they intend to attack unworthy and insufficiently true-believing Democrats in primaries across the country next year, and ... defeat them?

I'm all for taking a more progressive stance on issues. But this BernieBot Army is exactly the wrong way to do that. And, of course, since it is exactly the wrong way to go about making a political comeback, you can depend on the Democrats to pull it off -- flawlessly and spectacularly, in an inspiring display of self-immolation and utter collapse.

Seriously, though, maybe I'm being too pessimistic, but it's hard to see the chance of success in this. On the surface, it seems like all good intentions and warm fuzzy pep rallies. But as with any "goddammit you're moving too slow" political movement, it is sure to be overrun with increasingly fractious and myopic pet-project activists -- ultimately causing the disintegration of every last coalition in the Democratic Party's base. Their entire reason for existing is already because they're better/smarter/faster than Those Other Democrats, and only a fool would think that isn't going to translate downward to the membership of this group.

So yeah, go ahead and have fun with 2018, I guess. I'm just going to have a nightshade cocktail and sleep until this whole thing blows over.

7
Literate Chaotic / the beginning of nothing
« on: April 11, 2017, 06:13:19 am »
just something i'm starting... not much here. posting to shame myself if i don't keep working on it.
______________________________________

They call cops "pigs", and that's what they've always called them. For as long as anyone can remember, anyway. It's a funny enough epithet, I guess, but the image doesn't really fit. Maybe it made sense way back when cops were dumb and fat and sloppy, if cops were ever dumb or fat or sloppy. If it was up to me, I'd call them dogs instead. They're a lot more like dogs than pigs. Strong. Persistent. Mean. Once a cop gets a hold of something or somebody, he won't ever let go. Loyal like dogs, too. Maybe even more. This country is rotten with corruption, but you no matter who you are, you can't buy a cop. Loyal, but not to anyone I'll ever know. But it isn't up to me, so cops are pigs.

The car rolled to a stop at the Business District checkpoint and the all the windows descended automatically. The glare of flashlights immediately flooded the interior and I tried to shrink into the rear seat, but I couldn't slouch any lower without looking suspicious. Sid was sitting up front at the console as the officer poked his pointy face in through the window.

"Route log, please." He asked, not politely.

Sid sneered and held the car's detachable navcom up at the officer's face, saying nothing, equally not politely. The blinking display was too close for him to read it, and she knew it. She was obviously looking for trouble.

He reared back disgustedly and his hand darted into the cabin to swipe the navcom out of Sid's. This was only the first checkpoint, and I was sure it was about to be the last. I held my breath as the officer scanned the navcom and his buddies scanned the car's occupants with their flashlights. No noise except the purring motor. We all sat perfectly still, hands visible and motionless, staring straight ahead at nothing. None of us made eye contact with each other, or with the cops. People had been shot for "threatening eye contact", right here at this very checkpoint, more than once. Really—they are a lot like dogs.

Navcoms are simple things. They just list the destinations programmed into a car along with every stop it had made in the past 48 hours and a record of all the ID chips that had been in the vehicle during the same period. It doesn't take very long to learn everything a navcom could possibly have to teach you. The officer outside the car was apparently trying to learn something the navcom couldn't teach him. Centuries passed.

"Mmmmm," the officer sang, finally. "You'll have to make good time if you're going to make it in time." The officer's tone said he was weighing whether or not to intentionally delay us so as to hand out citations for violating curfew, as if the navcom wouldn't report us anyway. Smiles stretched out behind the flashlights.

Sid's hands almost formed two fists, but she caught herself and forced her fingers to relax. "Yes. Sir." I heard the blatant sarcasm in her voice. I was praying it flew over the officer's head.

The officer's angled face appeared once more through the window, grinning a little. He eyes pierced Sid's for just a second before craning his neck to sweep the other three of us in back disdainfully, as the navcom in his hand found its own way to the slot on the console and replaced itself. He inhaled sharply, no doubt hoping to detect contraband, and his mouth straightened out of its grin as he failed. We knew the car was clean, but you can never know how much that really matters. The officer withdrew himself abruptly with "Well, what are you waiting for, citizens? Move along, we have a million of you to inspect tonight."

Grunts came from the other officers as the flashlights swept out of the cabin and away from the car, finally. Sid tapped the green "RESUME DRIVE" command on the navcom and the car lurched forward and rolled down the street.

This checkpoint scene replayed itself no less than five times that night, each one eerily similar to the last, right down the the sing-song disdain and pointy face of the officer in charge. A couple of times I even wondered if we we had driven around the block just to get another look at the same bunch of uniformed thugs. Not once did I catch a glimpse of where that epithet "pig" had come from. We got to Sid's place just before curfew.

8
Literate Chaotic / True Trump Stories: The Brown Stroke
« on: April 04, 2017, 01:17:52 am »
Yes, this is Donald Trump fan fiction of my own invention. Just deal with it.

--- The Brown Stroke ---

Don let out a tired sigh as he plopped out of the golf cart. Waddling over to the tee, his mind kept wandering to the mean things CNN had said about him that morning on Twitter, and he was having some trouble calming his thoughts. A round of golf usually evaporated any stress he might have, but today was different somehow. Maybe his belt was too tight around his substantial gut, maybe his cleats were cramped. He couldn't quite put his stubby finger on it, but whatever it was, it was driving him crazy.

"Come on Jeff, hurry up!" he hollered to the Attorney General-slash-golf caddie who was ambling up the slope behind Don. "We don't have all day for Chrissakes, and where's my damn water, it's the hottest day ever out here!" Don swiped his forehead with a $1,500 rag, which he discarded after just the one use. Reaching the top of the rise, Jeff stooped to pick it up. "Jeff, come on. Are you serious? Just leave it there, the club has people for that. Look, you really need to respect yourself more," sneered the fat man as he yanked his belt upwards.

"Yessir, Mr. President, sir," Jeff chirped happily. "Here are your clubs, sir. I reckon you can ---"

Trump interrupted the old man, "I reckon you can just shut up, Jeff. I didn't bring you out here to get tips, you know. Gimme the driver, will ya?"

Jeff obediently stopped talking, dug around in the bag for a second, and pulled out a club.  "Here you are sir, one driver as requested." He held the club out, his hand on the grip and the head facing the President's.

Don just stood there. His squinted eyes darted back and forth from under a day-glo orange visor from the end of the outstretched club to the Attorney General's face. Jeff's face crumpled into a familiar "Aw heck, I screwed up again, didn't I?" expression under the glare of the most powerful man in the world. Time stood still as he pondered what his mistake was. His triceps complained about the prolonged strain they were under, and began to tremble a little. Jeff gulped.

An hour passed, or so it seemed, before Don finally exhaled and sniped, "I'm not going to touch that dirty fucking thing, Jeff. Have you ever handed a golf club to anyone in your life?" He moved toward Jeff, reached out, and snatched the club by the grip out of Jeff's hands. "I can't believe I hired you to enforce the law, Jeff. You can't even... Jesus, you're lucky Vlad thinks so highly of you."

Jeff went a little limp and cast his eyes downward. "Yessir, sorry sir." He deposited both hands in their pockets.

"Yayessuh, sowrry, suh," Trump mocked Jeff's Southern drawl  as he turned around to take his swing.  "Now, watch this."

Trump studied the landscape between himself and the distant green. He stuck his thumb into his mouth and popped it out again, raising it above his head to get a feeling for the wind. Or, he imagined that was what he was doing anyway. He'd seen all the pros do that on TV, even in cartoons, so he knew it was an important part of the strategy. He waddled up to the tee and rocked back and forth a couple of times, straddling the ball. He swayed his elbows to and fro a few times to loosen up his swing.

Don was determined to get a hole in one this time. Finally, his mind cleared, and it was just him and the ball and the flag off in the distance. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else existed. He raised the club over and behind his head, took in and let out a big breath, and let loose.

Whooosshhhhhhpppbbltt!

"Oh," said Don, suddenly out of the zone, "oh, no. Jeff! Jeff get over here!" He felt dizzy. What was happening? He'd missed the ball entirely! But that's not all. His brain filled with fuzzy memories for a second. The sound of children laughing. A unpleasant emotion swirled around him... what was that feeling? Is that... shame? Where's Jeff? "Jeff! Com'ere!" Don's knees buckled. Everything went black.

Jeff hobbled over to the President's side, but two Secret Service agents beat him there. Where had they come from? No matter. They had reached Don before his great mass had impacted the Earth, held him up and steadied him. "Mr. President, are you all right?" asked one of them, "Sir, let's get you inside now."

Jeff, finally catching up to the group, pulled out a fresh towel and blotted the President's forehead. "Sir, are you all right, sir?" he said, somewhat frantic.

By now, Don was standing under his own power and had shoved the two agents to the side. "Get off me, goddammit!" he barked, "I'm fine. I'm fine. Just lost my balance. Stop... let go of me!" He spun around to make sure no one was still hanging onto him. "Jeff, give me my water bottle already, put that fucking rag away."

Jeff obliged, handing over the bottle. "Sir, you scared us! That was quite a spell there, are you sure you don't..." Jeff trailed off as he eyed the President's rotund body, checking for signs of damage. He inhaled sharply and bit his lip when he noticed a damp patch, slightly brown, spreading on Don's backside. He glanced at the Secret Service men. They all exchanged awkward, knowing eye contact, and everyone was looking around toward the tree line for anyone else who might be spying. Instinctively, the three men surrounded the President like they were trying to shield him from a mob, but there wasn't anyone around. Just the cruel world, playing another trick on old Don.

Tenderly, Jeff addressed Don. "Sir, we'd better get you inside, so you can get a... you look tired, sir, this round can wait until tomorrow." Jeff knew better than to point out the obvious to the man who had taught him there was no such thing. "Let's walk back you back to the cart, sir."

Don, for his part, was barely aware of what was going on. Why are all these guys crowding me, he wondered. What's the big deal? Then he felt something tickle down the inside of his thigh. His hand, moving on its own, swung down and between his thighs as he stooped over to check himself. Oh, God. Oh, Jesus.

"I've been shot!" yelled the President. "I've been shot! Look! I'm bleeding! Who's out here? Obama is that you?!" He demanded of the empty golf course. "Come on damn you! Show yourself!"

Jeff and the two guards hurried Don back down the slope toward the golf cart and loaded him on. As it sped back toward the clubhouse, Don was shouting obscenities at Hillary Clinton for having some bastard try to kill him. "You'll be sorry, you bitch!" He said, over and over again. "You'll be sorry!"

9
Aneristic Illusions / Local Politics Clusterfuck
« on: March 29, 2017, 06:24:57 am »
warning: this is long and boring. excuse me for using pd as my own personal blog, but, you know, deal with it and stuff.

I live in a medium-ish sized town in AZ around the outskirts of Phoenix. Or rather, we would be a town, but this area is unincorporated. It's a sprawling tangle of subdivisions crowded around a couple of "main" roads that are way too narrow for the number of people who have flocked out here over the past decade.  Public services have struggled to keep up with demand, mostly due to terrible planning and probably a shoestring budget (the way everything operates in Arizona), but with the added seasoning of a couple of powerful bullshit tycoons who run the only water utility and fire protection service (fire protection isn't included in taxes here -- if you want it, you have to pay through a per-square-foot fee to this company).

The people who want to incorporate (myself included) generally believe that the townspeople deserve as a matter of natural rights or something to unionize and have some input on our collective future. Right now, we are at the mercy of the County Supervisor, a person who has no need to consider our opinions because he is elected by the entire country, and is a Republican. Beyond him is the state legislature, which is even farther removed and more useless. You may have to live in Arizona to get a true appreciation for how corrupt everything here is, but suffice it to say there is no such thing as a politician here who does anything that might be construed as "the will of the people". So it is the sense of the "Incorporate" side that we might manage to fend off higher levels of government by instituting one that answers, at least mechanically, to us. I doubt that is how it would actually work out, but I'm a horrible Statist so it is the best alternative, as far as I'm concerned.

The people who want to remain unincorporated, however, confuse me. I can't quite put my finger on any actual reason they oppose it. They blare protests at the prospect of "higher taxes" and "more bureaucracy", predictably, but our property taxes are already as high as they are allowed to go under state law, and we live in a Republican clusterfuck so "more bureaucracy" is a given anyway. But these do not seem to be the heart of their opposition -- only the most easily communicated. After talking to a few of them sincerely, I think the main reason they don't want to incorporate is just because. Typically, a person in the "NOPE" camp is one whose residency in this area predates the population explosion of the last 10 years and who bears a slight grudge against all of us late-coming "city dwellers" for mucking up their natural desert landscape with our drab repetitive tract homes, strip malls, six-lane roads, streetlights, running water, Internet access, and all the other trappings of civilization they apparently hate. These people are Conservative in the most insidious sense: they are not really "conserving" anything, they just hate change and progress because they are change and progress. Still, when cornered on any one particular issue, they will admit that the benefits of incorporation are both real and valuable. The utilities are of poor quality and they should not have to pay protection money to the Firefighter Mafia; the roads are crap, the schools are crap, there are no parks, there are no leaders nearby with an ear turned to the people, there are no real businesses or jobs in the area, and so on. They just stubbornly won't incorporate, well, because they won't.

I would like to convince them, but as usual with such deeply conservative folk, they are immune to reason. Even when you nail them down on any one of fifteen different paths to "the only logical conclusion is that we should incorporate", they just pop back out of place as soon as you move in for the close. They seem to think that if they just bury their heads in the sand, incorporation will never happen. I, and many others, have argued against that way of thinking since it's preposterous. Either they will eventually vote "NO" and lose in a referendum, and have none of their concerns addressed by the outcome on account of pouting in the corner while negotiations were happening; or some neighboring city will end up annexing them thanks to their neighbors signing on, resulting in more or less the same. Either way, an area this densely populated cannot go on as a "county island" for too long. They point to pockets of unincorporated areas within and around Scottsdale, failing to take note of the fact that those areas are populated by rich assholes on 40-acre estates, not poor fourth-generation "ranchers" on evaporating ex-ranches next to a highway. My desire to convert them is admittedly less altruism than science experiment or weekend hobby. I just don't understand the way they think, and I keep imagining that if I could wrap my head around their thought processes, I might unlock some skeleton key to the universal ignorance of conservatives in general. Silly, but I don't care really. It's fun to prod them.

10
Apple Talk / The Parable of Sal the Insurance Clerk
« on: March 18, 2017, 04:20:00 am »
We follow the journey of Sal, an ordinary middle-aged insurance clerk who, as a way of fantasizing away the cosmic pointlessness of his existence, dreams of a world without violence, poverty, and injustice and the many things he could do to effect change, if he only had the opportunity. One day, on a whim, he buys a lottery ticket that turns out to be the only winning ticket for the biggest jackpot in history -- over a billion dollars after taxes and fees.

Being a reasonably intelligent guy, he manages to set up a trust to receive the winnings. His trusted friend is a decent lawyer who is able to keep his identity a secret by filing all the appropriate paperwork through an impenetrable bureaucratic maze. At first he does nothing with the money: keeps his job, doesn't buy anything extravagant, doesn't even pay off his mortgage or car loan. He just goes about his life as usual, patiently waiting for the press to die down and quietly investing some money, more as a hobby than anything else.

After the furor in the media has subsided, he sets his plan in motion. He buys a private island somewhere in Indonesia through a series of shell companies, and begins developing a very high-tech, secure compound, mostly underground. He arranges to fake his own death, abandoning his life and retiring to his new compound. From this place he recruits a private army of highly-trained and very effective mercenaries, hackers, and financial experts. He begins slowly exerting the force of their combined expertise on global markets through strategically imploding large corporations and even a few smaller national banks and draining their value into his own stockpiled wealth. In the ensuing political and social unrest, his troops sweep in along with coordinated humanitarian aid and public works projects, transforming war zones almost overnight into stable states. He bankrolls resistance movements here, recognized governments there, and a large array of media outlets. He even successfully masterminds the assassinations of many of the world's worst despots, including some in highly influential countries.

The whole world is confounded by the sudden appearance of this state-level actor, operating apparently on par with a global superpower, but no one can figure out who is behind it. His final move is to force the United States, the EU, Russia, and China into an alliance against him by knocking off a few low-level diplomats and sabotaging some of their most important military operations. With no way of locating or even identifying him, the alliance is forced to pool their intelligence resources and learn to work together, accidentally causing world peace.

"Ha! I have done it!" he cries over simulcast TV, radio, and Internet streams, "I have fooled you into working together for the good of mankind!"

People everywhere cheer. Politicians, finally realizing the master plan is nearing its ultimate goal, manage to track the signal to the secret compound in Indonesia. They bomb it. Then they also bomb each other to erase the compromising intelligence they all have on one another. Everyone dies.

"BZZZZZZZZZZZ!" goes the alarm clock. Sal opens his eyes and heaves out a heavy, frustrated sigh. "Yeah, that would never work. Geez, what a dumb idea," he says out loud to no one in particular. Rolling out of bed and into his slippers, Sal gets up to make the coffee. His grand scheme for helping the world has been foiled again, but he refuses to be deterred. He is a good man, and he will, eventually, think of something. This scene repeats more or less daily for the next forty years, and then Sal dies.

11
Aneristic Illusions / The New America (x-posted from my blag)
« on: March 14, 2017, 04:16:20 am »
Over the past few years it has become apparent that between 30% and 40% of Americans no longer subscribe to this nation's founding principles. While they attend Fourth of July parades and political rallies religiously, all the while waving their little flags and buying up Save the Constitution tee shirts, their fervent lip service to "freedom," "justice", and "equality" belies their growing spite toward those very ideas in the real world.

In truth, many Americans now have very different definitions for these words than what you might find in a dictionary. "Freedom", it seems, no longer means the right to enjoy a life without interference from abusive government power. It now means the right to trample the lives and livelihoods of others without interference from a disapproving society, and indeed the unchecked power to use the power of government to secure that right.

"Justice" no longer refers to securing the expectation of a government reluctant to arrest and imprison citizens, or the right to a fair trial if you ultimately face prosecution for any crime. In today's America, "justice" represents little more than immediate, state-sponsored retribution for victimless crimes and violent policing of thought and association.

Likewise, when millions of Americans refer to "equality", they do not mean absolutely equal protection for every individual under the law and in pursuit of the necessities of life like housing, employment, and education. Their version of "equality" expects and enforces strict homogeneity in appearance, speech, and behavior. They actively reject interest in sharing their world with anyone who stands out or speaks out. To them, "equal" means "unanimous".

As we ride this wave of backlash against the strides in social justice and governmental transparency and accountability that many people fought hard for over the past century, we find the basic character of our country transforming. The very definition of "America" has changed from a place where people from all different backgrounds could cooperate and succeed -- not despite, but because of our differences, to a place where different personalities, backgrounds, orientations, beliefs, and ethnicities must undergo repression in favor of presenting a facade of patriotic sameness.

These new attitudes toward society and life in present such an incompatibility with the ideals put forward in the Declaration of Independence that it insults America to go on calling these people "Americans". So, we will refer to this swell of hateful anti-everything sentiment as "New America" from now on. If you want to succeed in New America, what qualities must you have? By examining this question, you can understand who this backward cultural revolution targets.

First, you must have plenty of financial security. New America values material wealth above almost anything else: the well-to-do absolved of nearly any other shortcoming by the virtue imparted by their riches. New America believes that monetary unfailingly indicates upright morals, a strong work ethic, and high intelligence. After all, how could a person possibly have enormous wealth if they did not possess enough righteousness to avoid wasting their money, put in enough honest labor to earn it in the first place, and have enough smarts to grow it? New America knows for sure that no rich person has ever become rich through lying, cheating, stealing, or mere inheritance.

Conversely, failure to achieve financial bliss surely shows a lack of basic decency, as New America has realized with absolute certainty convinced that poverty arises only from moral faults, despicable laziness, and stupid decisions. No one in New America has ever found themselves in the poor house through bad luck or generations of inescapable, institutional poverty. Importantly, poor people always seem to need help, and New Americans do not "help" people. Helping people requires the usurpation of wealth, which belongs only to the person who earned it -- no matter how badly someone else might need it, or how painlessly the rich might part with it. New America treasures personal responsibility: no one bears any responsibility whatsoever for what happens to someone else. Ever.

Not all good people have unlimited wealth, but if they don't, then they must have a lot of these other qualities to make up for it. And not all rich people possess unshakable morals; but you can always identify those who don't by their reckless donations to Progressive causes.

Next, you must profess Christianity. All of our elected officials share a solid Christian faith, with occasional exceptions finding their way to election in heathen and apostate regions, and even these exceptions must confess their strong motivation by some other faith and defer on all questions of religious importance to the nearest Christian. New America will not compromise on this point: without fail, every single good and righteous person in the history of our nation has publicly professed a Christian faith. They specifically, without question, founded America as a Christian nation. Outside Christendom you will find nothing but perverts, devil worshipers, liars, cheaters, and all manner of hedonists and reprobates. If you cannot openly endorse Christianity, then you must at least allow others to assume you follow Christ. If you don't, then suspicion and distrust will follow wherever you go.

Moving on, it helps immensely if your birth certificate says "Male" on it. Of course, New America would never dream of enforcing such a rule outright, at least not yet. But they recognize that, when it comes to the natural qualities desired for leadership and success, the masculine gender just has certain innate advantages. Men naturally possess greater strength -- both physically and emotionally. They suffer less from bouts of uncontrollable hysterics. They project a more dominant appearance, with a comparatively larger stature and more angular features. New America would by no means categorize men as "superior", but it generally accepts that masculine characteristics seem more compatible with political and economic power than feminine characteristics. Women have their own arenas in which they excel over men: the home, mostly, raising children and cleaning, but also in professions requiring gentleness and beauty while always considering their natural delicateness and fragility.

Unavoidably attached to this point about gender, you must also respect the traditional roles of both the male and female sex. This, above all, means accepting the fact that only two genders can possibly exist, that everyone has one or the other, and that biology solely determines the gender of each person. No editing, changing, or masking your biological gender will ever enjoy legitimacy in New America. Beyond this, your sexual orientation must match your physical gender. If it doesn't, then you'll have to make up for this severe deficiency by greatly overcompensating in one of these other areas.

And finally, if you really New America to truly accept or admire you, then you really do need to have a Northern European racial background. Remember: to insist otherwise, or to insist that such an expectation contains "racism", gravely violates New America's central thesis: that we systematically eradicate "Political Correctness".. New America has no interest in entertaining the childish fantasies of multiculturalism. Every worthwhile work of art from music to architecture sprung solely from a White person's imagination. White people envisioned and built every great facility and institution in New America, and they did it specifically to preserve White heritage. This nation has had a century and a half of experimenting with forced racial equality, and we have, apparently, decided that those experiments have failed. Now, of course, New America does not (yet) propose wholesale extermination of non-white people. But if you do not have white skin, then you must at least talk, dress, and behave as if you do. You must not have pride in your own heritage. Meanwhile, we will send the police to the places where you live to harass you and kill you; we will refuse to hire you for good jobs, or promote you if you get hired. And we will very diligently work to identify ways in which you do not belong here, and seek to forcibly remove you where possible.

Now that you understand what New America expects from you in terms of your characteristics at birth, a few more beneficial qualities exist that will help you to succeed even more:

You must have a job. Unemployment, like poverty, arises only from moral degeneration.
You must support our military and every single expedition it makes, no matter the rationale behind it.
You must despise foreigners, even while you travel as a tourist in their countries.
You must believe what the Party tells you, no matter how unlikely its veracity. In fact, if you suspect the Party of lying to you, then you must believe it twice as much.
You may have noticed that most of New America's expectations for its citizens revolve around being born just the right way. New Americans strongly distrust anyone who differs from them -- and since these qualities describe New Americans, they form the fundamental rules of their club. If you cannot join this club on your own merits, then they have no need for you.

These points may seem exaggerated, but if you study the ideas behind them you will see how well they explain every single piece of legislation being proposed by the American "Conservatives". These people may use softer language to communicate their goals, but that language merely cushions these harsh beliefs. Millions -- nearly half -- of Americans now believe this so strongly that they will gladly sign away the very Constitution underpinning our civilization in order to see these ideas enshrined in eternal law. They will sacrifice every last one of the demands laid out in the Declaration of Independence just to establish a racist, theocratic order; even if that means losing their own rights as a consequence.

The challenge we face as a nation lies not in how to argue in favor of universal health care or the humane treatment of migrants and minorities. Our challenge lies in how to confront and defeat this hateful ideology without legitimizing its ignorant precepts, and without destroying our civilization in the process. We cannot yet know whether we can actually meet this challenge; but certainly we will never meet it as long as we continue to misunderstand the reality of it.

We do not fight for our comfort, our privilege, or our pride. We fight for our right to exist and our right to transmit the ideals of the Enlightenment to our descendants. The menace that threatens our existence and our nation will not hesitate to lie, cheat, or use violence if it finds itself pinned down; so we must prepare for anything.

12
Apple Talk / Occult History of the Ellipsis
« on: March 04, 2017, 02:43:07 am »


The ellipsis, shown above, is a versatile punctuation mark. It symbolizes a number of complex ideas in a compact form much more efficient than attempting to write out those ideas in longhand language. It can variously mean annoyance, suspense, and sarcasm, just to name a few of its uses. People the world over have learned to use the ellipsis frequently in informal language and as an abbreviation, its use transcending mere English and finding itself transplanted to many different languages. It is among the most common and most useful marks in written human language.

But have you ever wondered how such a powerful and flexible character made it into everyday writing? What genius is behind its ubiquitous appearance in our language? As I will show in this brief article, the history of the ellipsis is one of mystery, intrigue, and secrecy. It is, in many ways, a history of the Occult itself.

Many scholars trace the origins of the ellipsis to the Egyptian hieroglyph for Ra, the sun god. Others point to a symbol from early Christian mystery schools, known as The Three Faces of God, used to mark the members and meeting places of Christian mystics at a time where they were subjected to cruel persecution not only from the Roman state, but from other, less mystical Christians as well. In fact these symbols do play a part in the history of the ellipsis, but neither is its direct ancestor.

On Halloween night, 1774, the American Founding Fathers were meeting for a midnight ritual at the Masonic lodge in Philadelphia. As tensions with the British Crown grew more dangerous and explosive with each passing day, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson sought the guidance of ancient Roman gods on the top floor of the lodge in a secret rite.

Alternative history researchers have discovered that on this night, George Washington was to be inducted into the highly secretive 34th Degree of the Freemasons. The ritual for this ascension -- which is so secretive that almost no one, including most Masons, has ever even heard of it -- is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that involves the piercing of the initiate's left palm with a sacred blade and an incantation in ancient Sumerian language, believed by Masons to be the language of the angels.

According to hidden legends, as Washington's hand was sliced open at the conclusion of the ceremony and he swung his arms in the ritual's gestures, his blood spattered across the floor -- forming three distinct spatters in a perfectly straight line. This was highly unexpected, even in the secret, windowless Chamber of the Ascension. It was seen as a sign from the gods -- a sign which, once deciphered, set the three fathers on their revolutionary path which would change the face of human civilization forever.

The three dots of blood were taken to be a prophesy: one blot for each of three distinct phases of history to follow their revolution. The first phase would be the formation of the United States under the Constitution and the acquisition of all land between the original colonies and the Pacific Ocean. This phase would be a hard one, marked by internal and external struggles as the States evolved into a coherent nation. It would end with a terrible Civil War that would test not only America's will to survive, but its moral fortitude as well.

The second blot symbolized a period of rising power for America -- during the next Age, the United States would grow in wealth and power, becoming the preeminent power on Earth, a nation to lead all nations. This period would bring its own challenges but would be defined by a gradual march to universal equality and the realization of all the dreams of the Enlightenment. It would, however, inevitably end during a period of mass confusion and distrust of the government.

The third blot foretells of the rise of an evil ruler who will cast aside all the trappings of democracy and bring America down to its lowest point -- culturally, militarily, and economically -- in all of its history. The nation will be tried, and according to the prophecy, it will ultimately have to relinquish its power among the nations if it hopes to survive. This will be a dark time full of leaders misleading the people, people distrusting each other, violence, and social unrest. The new ruler, according to these legends, was in fact an incarnated demon -- and would discard his human facade when the time was right and appear to the people in his true form, which is described in the old tomes as "very much like a tangerine with wispy yellow fuzz at the top of its crown".

The three initiates in the Lodge were so shaken by this prophesy that they undertook to embed the symbol for it -- the ellipsis -- into American language for all time. They did not want the warnings to ever be forgotten, but to be a guide to all future generations to be vigilant against the dangers that lie ahead. So, when you use the sacred ellipsis in your writing, never forget the true meaning behind it.

13
Apple Talk / Sermon for the Weird Times
« on: February 28, 2017, 03:02:40 am »
Religion, it turns out, is dying. In the last hundred years or so, it has been stabbed countless times by the relentless march of scientific inquiry, which has drained our ancient religions of all their mystery. There are no real questions left to ask, you see, because as soon as you ask a religious question you find out there has already been sixteen studies from Harvard that answered it three years ago.

As science rolls on, telling us why the Sun moves across the sky, where the summertime goes and why it comes back, and all manner of celestial mysteries, the serious student of spirituality is pushed farther and farther to the extremes of human experience. The religious seeker must content herself with answering the Really Big Questions, like "Is there life after death?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or "What is the meaning of life?"

But historically, those questions were never the bread and butter of our religious lives. Sure, they were always there, forming the foundations of our religions, promising to comfort us at funerals and give monks something to think about all day while they toiled.  But those were not the religious questions that got us through the day. They didn't tell us when to plant the crops or when to harvest them. They didn't tell us how to make sure Summer would return after it vanished every Autumn.

Most of us never really cared about the Big Questions anyway. For most of humanity, religion was a simple, paint-by-numbers affair. You put in a quarter, you get a gumball. That's how it worked. Our ideas of morality were practically cartoons. But that's all gone now, replaced with the indifferent drone of cold, soulless science.

Could it be that millions of people who had been content to live their lives with the shallow and cartoonish ideas about the universe, robbed of the safe spaces of their mindless faith by a scientific age that only undermines the need and moral justification for religion, find themselves completely disconnected and confused, unable to function in a world where they can no longer just get away with painting by numbers? Are these Weird Times the result, at least in part, of a backlash by people who no longer have any identity, whose entire world is being continually invalidated by empirical evidence and real science? Of course, this is a truism. Our technological and social progress have so disrupted the ideological status quo of human civilization that half of us no longer feel tethered to anything. Not to common decency, not to charity, not to compassion, not to equality, not to anything. They have been set adrift, and are doing everything they can do to rebuild the world they feel they have lost.

This, I believe, is why they are immune to logic and impervious to facts. The act of following facts and logic is what got them to where they are to begin with, and they have resolved to undo that damage precisely by abandoning facts and logic. The world is too complex. There are too many variables. There are too many unseen forces outside of their control. There is too much to understand, too much history, too many words, too many different ideas, too many different people. It drives them mad. They can't think with all this progress going on. What happened to Sunday afternoons goddammit, what happened to drive in theaters, what happened to everything? It's all because of the facts and the logic and the respect, they figure. It all started with all those people who weren't satisfied like they were. The troublemakers. And now they've got to fix it, by God. They've got to Make America Great Again.

So it seems to me that trying to convince them out of that mindset can only make the problem worse. What they need is not a better understanding. They've already shown that any such understanding cannot help but to elude them. Whether they're too angry to understand, or too set in their ways, or just too dumb, it doesn't matter. They won't get it. So what will they get? What can they understand? What they need is something simple and straightforward. Something old-fashioned, familiar, and definite. A New Religion.

And what might this religion look like? It's got to be easy to recognize. It's got to draw a crowd. It has to have God in it, somewhere. It has to have a simple story that can repeat itself in the life of every believer. It has to be something they can share at the dinner table. There needs to be a struggle in it, a winner and a loser.

And I think... I think I have just the answer. It's not new -- not really -- it's based on an ancient tradition. It isn't a revolution (that's a good thing, remember). It's quick to pick up. Like all great arts, it's simple to learn but it takes a lifetime to master. It can be expressed in simple pictures and paragraphs much, much shorter than these. It's a revealed wisdom, handed down from ancient and learned generations of old. There is prayer. There is a sacrament. And it will definitely piss off the Devil. And you don't have to pay tithes!

So what is it? It's easy.

I call it the Holy Ancient Order of Punching a Goddamn Nazi in the Face.

14
Apple Talk / Maybe you can help
« on: February 23, 2017, 03:31:47 am »
So, in recent months, I find it increasingly hard to concentrate. I am surrounded by noise, there's always a stray itch, no one can leave me to my thoughts for more than two minutes without demanding my attention or unloading some god awful deluge of dithering, idiotic words about one or another useless thing on me. I can't set aside any inviolable time or space for creativity. I must find quiet moments late at night or early in the morning to pursue any train of thought, while everyone else is asleep and I am too tired to think properly.

This is making me an unpleasant person to be around. I can't stand the company of any person at all, I am constantly tuning everyone out because my mind is gasping desperately for solitude, so I don't hear most of the things that are said to me until they've been repeated once or twice. I am perpetually distracted at home and at work. I am developing acute misophonia, physically cringing when I hear someone eating, or drinking, or breathing, or generally just existing anywhere within earshot. The sharp inhale someone does right before they speak causes me to brace for impact, because I really, really just want everyone to shut up for five goddamn minutes. This is made worse by the constant drone of music in the background, always with lyrics, which for some reason (this is new) completely interrupt my ability to think at all. And that's sad, because I like music. But I even want the music to shut up.

I have no patience with anyone, and I know that I come across as being seriously annoyed at the mere presence of anyone, including my own family -- because I am annoyed. This is unfair to them, and I don't want to behave this way. But I am perennially exhausted by the constant demands for my attention (I mean this literally, not hyperbolically -- there is actually no time where I can expect to be interruption-free longer than about fifteen or twenty minutes at the most, and even that is rare). I am more and more disinterested in every kind of human contact, and it's really beginning to show in ways that are unpleasant to me and unfair to the people I love. It's probably worse in my head than it seems outside, but it's clearly not getting any better.

ANYWAY

What do you do to shut the world out, and what are some healthy ways to tell people to give me some solitude once in a while without coming off like a complete prick?

15
- The Pyramids. I mean look at them. They're huge. Definitely not made by people. My friend Pete who lives up the road couldn't build something like that, and he has one of those engine block cranes and everything. Such mystery. Also, accurately used the measurement of π like 2,500 years before anyone calculated it. So they had time machines, too.

- The Mayan Calander. Only lost like a day or two in the span of 6,000 years, and predicted the end of the world to within 4 years of Trump taking office. Pretty good accuracy if you ask me, especially for a bunch of savages who didn't know what wheels are.

- Baalbek. Look up the Trilithon blocks, srsly, your mind will get blown. Who could do this? Nobody, that's who. But somebody did do it anyway. Ask anybody, they'll tell you it was giants. Or the Romans, but who are you going to believe. The Romans couldn't even build a wall big enough to keep out the Goths.

- Macchu Picchu. Just look at those gigantic blocks, fit together tighter than a Republican butthole. Also, way up on top of a mountain, where nobody noticed it until the 1930s, except for all the locals, who say it was built by gods. I mean, I don't know what your standards for evidence are, but to me this is obviously the work of some superhuman technology.

- Stonehenge. This is famous of course, but English people building something like that? No sir. Have you met English people? Nice try, "Science".

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