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Topics - NWC

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Hey everyone!

It's been a long time since I've posted here. I've been busy with school and work - doing both at the same time leaves little time for fun stuff, and unfortunately Reddit sneakily took the place of my go-to site.

I'm stopping by to link you guys to something I just put up on my blog - an idea I've been tinkering with for awhile and finally decided to do something about. It's about agnosticism, atheism, and belief. I think it's pretty cool and the diagram I put with it has been pretty useful for me in discussions about these kind of subjects.

So, here is is:

I'd love to head what you guys think.

Or Kill Me / I hate Christmas
« on: December 16, 2010, 06:59:27 pm »
I used to not like Christmas. I've never like my dad, and I always had to go to his house on Christmas (parents divorced at 6), which I never liked because it meant spending time with people I didn't like.

Now it's a whole other ball game. I HATE Christmas.

Two years ago I worked 70+ hours a week at 3 shitty jobs to be able to move to Belgium, so that I could be with my girlfriend. Many of you know that story, she came to the states on exchange, we were apart for a year and 10 days, she came to visit, and then I moved there. I worked my ass off to come here. I worked my ass off to stay here, working 8 hours without a break at illegal jobs cos they said they would get me a work permit. I was, at the same time, working my ass off to learn French fast enough to stay here on a student visa.

So now I'm studying here, French is no problem, but money, of course, still is. My mom is a pastor who hates her job and wants nothing more than to retire, and my stepdad is on disability, because he has a neuro-degenerative disease that prevents him from walking/standing for long periods of time. In short, they're not rich. So while I'm here studying (in a foreign language none the less), I'm also working my ass off teaching English so that I can have enough money to eat.

My girlfriend does not have those problems. Her parents are rich and she has plenty of money without working at all.

So, as you can imagine, money can be an issue. At Christmas, it's hell. I have to get presents for everyone in her family, which stresses me like crazy. I would be so, so, SO much happier if none of them gave me gifts, and I gave none of them gifts. I don't need things to be happy. I need to not worry about if I'll be able to pay the rent to be happy. THEN, my girlfriend's friend invites us to spend a week in Switzerland with them. Which means, of course, spending a lot of money that I don't have. I told her that I absolutely couldn't afford to do the skiing and all that, which would have been hundreds of euros, but after her begging me I agreed to go without the skiing part. That still leaves me with about 80€ I'm going to have to spend, plus a week that I won't be able to work. She knows that it really stresses me, and at some point she offered to pay for my part, but it was hesitant and didn't sound sincere.

Then there's the shopping! She really wanted a new hat for Christmas, so we went to the mall in our town so I could get her one as her present. This mall is a terrible, terrible building. It's like they actually consciously tried to take every commercial aspect of American Christmas and concentrate it under one roof. So we spend an hour and a half there, at the end of which I was understandably in agony, though trying not to show it. She understood though and then got mad at me.

I know it sounds cliché, but I really just want a Christmas where I can spend time with people, no shopping, no stressing over money, just good food and people. But that's not how they do it in my girlfriend's family, and she already thinks I don't like her family enough.

I hate Christmas so fucking much.

I just need to get that out. Or kill me.

Principia Discussion / Ladder/Raft, or, Read The Book, Then Burn It
« on: December 13, 2010, 08:37:05 pm »

So, as we often see here on this board, many people find the Principia, read it, and then swear by it. While reading some stuff on Wittgenstein lately, I came across something he wrote at the end of this Tractacus that seemed quite relevant to this situation. It was his belief that his, and any other, philosophy, should be considered as a ladder. You climb the ladder to get a better view of your surroundings, but then you don't stay up there, you get down and get on with your life. My personal addition to this concept is that each philosophy is a ladder that will show you a different secion of the landscape, and so you can climd as many as you wish in order to get varied views, and then remember what you've seen, but move on.

Andre Compte-Sponville, in his books L'Amour, la Solitude, referenced a slightly different version of this, which apparently comes from the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha, arriving at a river, building himself a raft to cross it. Once built, the raft serves its purpose of bringing him to the other side. However, having crossed the river, the Buddha would not continue to carry the raft on his back, which would only weigh him down.

So yeah, once the Principia has served its purpose, the pineal crap should be left behind. Not saying I don't still get a laugh out of the pentabarf, but come on.

Discordian Recipes / playing with French toast
« on: December 11, 2010, 07:08:16 pm »
Lately I've been playing round with savory French toast, and I've got two recipes I'd like to share.

The first is ridiculously good, but takes a bit of time.

Savory French toast squares with spinach-curry creme sauce
-old (or fresh) bread, cut into small squares [the French word for French toast is pain perdu, 'lost bread', because it was a way to use bred that had turned]. Personally, I keep the heels of all the bread I eat for things like this.

Egg mixture:
-mustard (dark, with seeds in it)
-garlic (powdered or paste)

mix all that shit together, let the bread soak for awhile if it's old, cook the pieces as you would a regular sweet French toast

So yeah at the same time, start working on a sauce that you'll pour over the pieces. You need:
-frozen chopped spinache
-garlic (if you're as addicted to garlic as I am)
-fresh ground black pepper

First melt the spinach, then do with the butter and flour as you would for a regular white sauce. The advantage of putting in the chopped spinach first is that you really don't need to worry about clumps forming, it's the easier white sauce you'll ever make. It's best to whisk it while adding in milk/cream, but really you could just mix it well with a spatula spreader and you'd get by. I like this sauce to be pretty thick, but that's up to you. Throw in the curry and salt.

Place the squares on a plate, smother in the spinach garlic curry sauce, throw a sprig of cilantro on top to make it look nice, et voilà.

French toast cheese:
This one is super simple. I just made it up 40 minutes ago, it took 10 minutes, and it's all sorts of wonderful. You make pretty much the same egg mixture as with the first recipe, but I always threw in some curry for this one. This time you need fresh bread, 2 slices per sandwich (seriously goddamn revolutionary, I know). Dip one side of a slice of bread in the mixture for 3-5 seconds, then throw it in the pan, no oil, no butter, no nothing. Put some cheese on top (I used double crème, which is kinda like camembert), then cover the pan with a lid so that the cheese melts a little better. Dip one side of the second slice, throw it on top, flip it over, you know the drill.

It's basically a grilled cheese, but with so many added benefits. The bread now has a ton of flavor, and a slightly different texture. Also, you don't use any oil/butter, which makes the whole thing less greasy, while not taking away from the deliciousness of the toast.

[yeah, today I went out and bought a whole bunch of those Paix-Dieu that I'd had last night]

Apple Talk / Pope encourages fucking
« on: November 20, 2010, 06:43:33 pm »

[...] may be [...] a male prostitute uses a condom [...] to redevelop the understanding that [...] everything is permitted

Catholicism takes back the easiest thing to point at when discussing the problems of organized religion.

Not sure how I feel about this. I don't really know how much influence the pope has when he says "don't use a condom", so I feel like this switch won't change much. This does make the Church look slightly less douchy though, which [very] slightly lessens the justification of my contempt for it. I don't feel any differently, but that was always a great line to throw out when discussing/arguing about organized vs disorganized religion with my girlfriend, which happens often enough.


Apple Talk / Red Cross/similar organizations in the street
« on: July 07, 2010, 03:42:48 pm »
You know those people who ask for donations in the street for Red Cross, Oxfam, or other things like that? Well, I respect them, kindof. Enough to not walk by without brushing them off. I always stop(unless I'm in a real hurry, and then I apologize), and at least hear them out before telling them I have no money to give. They're out there doing something they believe in (I guess) in the hot sun, and I like strangers, so I'll always have the decency to stop.

But today I finally gave in, I agreed to give 5 euros from my bank account, because it shows that they have support and helps them with subsidies and whatnot. Anyway I finally caved. I can't afford to do that!

I think it's worth brainstorming on funny/interesting things to say to them. Like that, you don't just brush them off, and you make the encounter a nice experience for both of you.

Today, the Red Cross girl started towards me from 5 meters, and right when she got next to me I jumped back and said "Ah! I don't like needles!" as if she were about to stab me with one. I continued to make jokes throughout the conversation, which made the whole thing very fun. Yeah I gave 5 euros I can barely afford to give, but it was worth the nice encounter with a stranger. Things like:

her: and we try to get child soldiers out of armies, which as you can imagine isn't easy
me: yeah I know! I tried once, I got three kids but then I had to run away, they kept shooting at me

SO. Ideas for ways to make these street encounters fun? I guess there'd be some approaches that work specifically for certain types of organisations(like the needle thing), and some that work for all sorts. I know a bunch of things to do for telemarketers(sooo much fun), which is similar but still a very different approach. People on the street are often there because they really support the cause, and the face-to-face  interaction provides new limitations and opportunities.

I'll start:

-ask them how they are, pretending they're a long lost friend, and that's they reason why they walked up to you
-ask questions as if you thought they were a sort of cult(are there any initiation rites? do I have to pledge my allegiance to the Kool-Aid Man?)
-just start telling an unrelated story(this could be a little rude, depending on where you go with it).

your turn!

Edit: maybe this goes in OM? I never really think about where I post things..

Ok I'm going to write this up quick because I should be studying, but I keep forgetting to make this topic.

I study philosophy, and occasionally I come across something that shares some ideas found in the Principia. Last year I gave a speech about the part in the Principia about "psycho-metaphysics", but I didn't have any other established arguments to lean on, and they're certainly not explicated in the Principia, so I got torn up when I had to defend my presentation. It wasn't for a class, thankfully, just a philosophy student group, but now when I see links to that section in the works of philosophers such as Kant or Nietzsche, I take care to note them.

Nietzsche is easy. He's even quoted in the principia, his think about needing chaos to be a dancing star. But even further than that, his anthropology deals with chaos pretty often. When he talks about human perception and life, he often links it back to chaos. He criticized metaphysicians and hailed artists, saying that they both took the chaos that is existence, and while the metaphysicians tried to make it fit neat and orderly into boxes, the artist simply interpreted it. He went as far as to say that to live is to interpret.

Kant deserves mention just because he's so goddamn famous(albeit annoying as hell). His 12 categories correspond slightly to the section on psycho-metaphysics and grids and windows. But not as much as this guy:

Richard Rorty - I wonder if the section on psycho-metaphysics was not completely based on his work. His concepts on the "linguistic community"'s affect on the individual's perception of reality corresponds directly to this section of the principia. However, in the principia, the 'material' of the grids is not specified, whereas Rorty clearly defines it as the language, in the broadest sense of the term, and he bases this work on the "language game" work of Wittgenstein. I haven't had the chance to read Wittgenstein yet, I've only read about him, but I imagine his work could be related to Discordian ideals in some ways as well.

Rorty is still very controversial, so it's not as "established" as the others, but he is super famous, before he died in 2007 he was probably 1 or the 2 most influential living philosophers(with Habermas). But his relative epistemology is pretty much the exact same thing as this part of the principia, explained differently.

There is also of course the eastern aspects of Zen, especially with the koans found in the Principia, but in the western world, those hold less weight.

Are there any other links, direct or otherwise, that you guys see between Discordian works and "established" philosophers?

Apple Talk / My new favorite thing!
« on: May 17, 2010, 07:59:43 pm »
This is so cool! Fake English!

If you're a native English speaker it gives you a weird feeling that you should understand but you don't. Depending on your level of Enlgish if you're not a native speaker, it either gives you the same unsettling feeling or makes you feel bad for not understanding!

So much fun!

Bring and Brag / Mustaches and Insanity: a photo essay
« on: May 03, 2010, 12:57:02 am »
Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844, presumably with no mustache. As he grew older, he developed his thoughts, and as his philosophy grew, so did his mustache. And, as we all know, his insanity. By the time he died in 1900, his mustache was as great as the pain in his eyes.

Nietzsche at age 16

Age 20, a strapping young man

He had just started to study theology, but quit after a semester, denouncing his Christian faith.

An undated photo that I would place around age 25, he's fairly handsome with that controlled mustache.

Nietzsche, a 31 year old philology professor

His mustache is at this point considerable, but not necessarily excessive. His stare is fixed but we don't yet see the pain.

Friedrich Nietzsche went insane in 1989, at the young age of 45. He is said to have collapsed on the street after throwing his arms around a horse to protect it from being whipped. This undated portrait shows a man with an enormous mustache and a stare that is haunting if you've seen a similar stare in the mirror.

Nietzsche at 54, a year before his death

He would suffer a stroke that year and another the next, leaving him unable to speak or walk.

I present you this short piece with a mixture of humoristic appreciation and melancholy. I have a deep respect for the work of Nietzsche, and I have an insatiable interest in the role that insanity plays in the world of philosophy.

This also is slightly personal, as there was a short, painful, yet positively transformative period of my life where my mustache was touching my bottom lip.

RIP Nietzsche, je vous remercie pour tout ce que vous nous avez donné.

Edit: shit, I meant to put this in Bring and Brag, can someone move it for me? thanks

Apple Talk / Ubuntu 10.04
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:46:14 pm »
Anyone else here use Ubuntu? I just downloaded the new version which came out today, and I'm about to install it. I'm pretty excited, I've heard this version is the one that's going to make it more mainstream, laptop companies are supposed to start selling laptops with it pre-installed this summer. It'll have a 5 year support plan and it's free(as always), and from what I've heard it just functions wonderfully. And apparently they got the boot time down even lower, though it's already super fast with 9.10.

I'm not super linux nerdy or anything, but honestly Ubuntu runs so much better than windows or mac OS's. I keep vista on this laptop and dual boot(for those who don't know, that means I get to choose which operating system I want to run on startup), but it's really only for Age of Empires III, which I play maybe once a week, and itunes, even though there are linux replacements. Otherwise I only use Ubuntu, it's so much faster and nicer. for more info.

Apple Talk / ATTN: Nigel
« on: April 18, 2010, 08:41:13 pm »
There's a woman who works in my faculty who looks very much like you. I haven't seen a picture of you in while, admittedly, but from what I remember she's the spitting image minus 1 nose ring. Lately she's been looking pretty stressed, and I noticed just today that I've been unconsciously superimposing everything I've read on this site from you on to her. I don't read everything on here, but alot more than I respond to, and I've unconsciously(though now that I noticed it, it's conscious) attributed all of that to her. When I see her upset, I always read into it. Today I saw her at the lake, and she looked in bad shape, and I really wanted to talk to her to see what was wrong and see if there was anything I could do to help. I usually have this instinct around strangers but it was every more so here because I felt like I already knew what was wrong.

Then I remembered I was just crazy, so I just smiled at her as she passed. I don't know if she even knows I'm in her faculty, I've never spoken to her. I hope the smiled helped a little bit though.

Discordian Recipes / heat
« on: March 29, 2010, 07:58:16 pm »
I want your best spicy recipes. Preferably vegetarian, but I can modify things to make them as such. My nose has been clogged often lately, and today it's just horrible. I just ate half of a raw onion covered in tabasco sauce in an attempt to open up my nostrils. It helped a little, but I'd like a little variety.

Apple Talk / Thai blood protests
« on: March 17, 2010, 05:03:34 pm »
So a bunch(tens and tens of thousands) of Thai protesters are having their blood drawn and then put into little plastic bags so that they can throw blood at government buildings. Apparently they don't like the prime minister/dictator-as-they-call-him dude.

What do you guys think? I'm fascinated. And if so many people are doing this, there's probably something amiss. They say they're drawing around 1000 liters a day. That's enough to feed an average vampire family for a year!

Apple Talk / Does anyone here even HAVE a 'stache?
« on: March 03, 2010, 06:51:08 pm »



'bout my 'stache

beWARE my facial HAIR

also the bunny, he'll fuck you up

Literate Chaotic / State of the Union de l'âme et du corps
« on: February 21, 2010, 02:17:23 pm »

(I wrote this for myself, but now I think I want to share it. I'll add translations for the French words, though the original words are written in French for a reason, the words are better. Union de l'âme et du corps = the union of the body and the soul)

I'm 20, and though I enjoy going out and drinking and dancing sometimes, I feel a growing nausea rising when I see people my age. I find dégueulasse [disgusting] the type of girl who just goes out and fucks n'importe qui [anyone], but I don't think this is forcement [necessarily] uncommon. I find infantile the head-butting and absurd attempt at seriousness that goes on between guys. The insecurity hangs so thick in the air, and the farce of projecting it on everyone else begins. Chest-puffing thumb-suckers.

I like to consider myself as above them all, seeing as I see the farce that's being played and I laugh at it. But I don't say shit. And worse, I don't avoid these people at all costs. In fact ils me manquent [I miss them] sometimes. I've learned my lesson years ago, but sometimes need to be reminded of it. Once I'm reminded I get that bad taste in my mouth, and I recognize the taste from that one time I got food-for-thought poisoning. I distance myself, I said I distance myself and go back to my safe haven, my comfort which I had begun to take for granted.

This is a clear instability. My point of view follows the oval whip of a moon around my world. Is this a bad thing? Pas forcement [Not necessarily]. Shit, the Greeks thought the moon was perfect because it had "trouvé son lieu" [found it's place] and thus no longer had a reason to move. But they also never got around to inventing cool stuff like color photography and Dreamcast. Kahlil Gibran, on the other hand, had some decent shit going on between his ears. Like that without getting good then bad then good tastes shit would just be bland. I don't feel like bland is a great way to taste the rainbow, it feels like a waste of color vision. Of course who am I to say

words. Anyway I digress. I rest unrepentant in my oval orbit. Si je me trompe et c'est débile, tout ce que je raconte, bah alors tant pis. [If I'm wrong and everything I'm saying is stupid, well, oh well.]

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