Saturday, November 03, 2007

Driving Blind

We were talking about the news last night, and about Dr. James Watson and how his recent statements were ill-received by the press. I don't want to comment on the content of his statements, as I'm sure others are busy making that utterly boring and fallacious by creative redefinition of the terms involved, but I want to comment on the phenomenon:

Respected scientist offers theory, and theory is rejected on the grounds that it cannot even be considered because it's offensive.

This is a variation on marketing: we cannot offer X product, because Y people will be upset and won't buy our other products (this is about the only thing that keeps industry from offering anal dildos to four-year-olds, really). We cannot mention X social event, because Y person will have a panic attack and ruin the social engagement. That's all well and good for social engagements and grocery stores, but what about science?

Science is the basis of how we make our future decisions; while we all know how arrogant and linear (materialist categorical) science now is, we know that rationality needs to guide us in some form. We need science. We need to be able to consider every option, even if it offends people, whoever those people are. We should not stop for elites or masses if either group or both are offended.

But instead we're driving blind, because before we can consider an option we prejudice our minds against it. Consider how many screwups you've made when driving and trying to find a new location. "Well, it said it would be a left, so I didn't consider any right turns" you say, and then the directions turn out to be wrong, and there -- how could you have missed it the first time? -- plain as day is the street down which you wanted to turn. But it was a right, so you ignored it.

We drive blind because in this universe there is a mathematical bias toward the destructive, parasitic, pointless, immaculately useless and parasitic. Why is this, you might ask? Early mathematical developments in the universe revealed that if you don't exert an equal and opposite reaction, if not more, against any rising force, you allow it to too quickly take over, which leads to a form of entropy known as heat death.

What this means is that 99% of your species exist to hold you back. Their function is to destroy anything good they are given and then to demand more; to sodomize children and hide their bodies in ditches; to steal, like, cheat, loaf, vandalize, ruin and molest. They are mud, they are feces, they are the eternal moron. But they serve a mathematical function in ensuring that few powerful forces rise, which exerts stability which for the long-term growth of a species is more important than greatness.

However, with humans, we're in control of our destiny, and we need greatness or we're basically glorified apes. As glorified apes, we lose everything that made us capable of self-direction, and there's no chance of us growing to do more interesting things. We need more than stability a sense of purpose, beauty and meaning. 99% of all people will say they are doing the opposite, but in their deeds will do everything they can to destroy purpose, beauty and meaning.

We call these people punjis, after punji stakes or punji sticks, which means a shit-covered shard of bamboo designed to infect and slow down others. Most people act like punji stakes, don't they? Most human insults involve feces, because it's what you step in when you were trying to do something inspired instead. Punjis are human feces, but they have brains and hands, and they'll destroy whatever they can.

When we look at what happened to Dr. Watson, a respected scientist rising above the idiots around him, we can see that he is being dragged down by the punjis for their own gratification. Those of us who are from the 1% who can think and do owe it to our own survival to beat back these punjis, even if we don't agree with the issue in question, because otherwise, the punjis are coming for us -- next.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

In simple terms, what is nihilism

Nihilism can be expressed by a simple formula: considering the whole of the visible and invisible world, It is what it is. This tautology reflects the nature of life itself. As something interconnected from the farthest reaches of the universe to the simplest details of mundane life, it is mathematically linked by causal relationships that are not immediately visible, as in the butterfly effect.

Humans try to make "visible-style" causal relationships, such as materialistic science or dualistic religion, to eliminate this uncertainty. Nihilism is a removal of these illogical influences. You cannot stave off death; it is real. You cannot deny aging; it is real. You cannot deny the failure of badly-designed civilizations; that, too, is real.

Why nihilism? When you strip away all the human fears and pretensions, reality is often much easier to handle because it is entirely a causal relationship cascade, and it makes sense in a way that human interjections do not. These human interjections are like oversimplifications, or witty statements, standing in for detailed explanations of how a nuclear submarine works.

"And after the reactor, the power just goes through the puckered anus and suddenly the ship is a goatse!" -- you wouldn't put up with that kind of stupidity on a tour, but if someone tells you that because most people who eat peanuts also like lemon pie, eating peanuts makes you like lemon pie, you wolf down the explanation. You can screw up on either side of the scale, with science-materialism which is linear explanations for complex situations that inevitably confuse correlation with causation and do not understand complex (contributive) causation, or on the religious side, where some weird symbol like a dead dusky carpenter on a cross makes you think that all reality is crap compared to the purity of the new, visible symbol you've discovered.

Nihilism, like Zen, starts with a slap in the face and progresses to moments of satori, at which point the way you've lived life up until then seems like the stumblings of a drunken low-caste midget. You will need to work for it, and do it yourself, by thinking on these concepts as you walk through life and gradually focusing more exactly on what they mean. Awakened people tend to be thoughtful, but not limited to human-centric thoughts, and they are aware of larger chains of causal consequence than those around them. If a society ever learns to master nihilism in even 1% of its population it will produce Nietzschean overmen.

This mess of a post is in shorthand, is hard to comprehend, and is about as graceful as a turd on a rail gun. However, it's enough of a slap in the face that maybe your Romantic soul will see the beauty of the other side it's offering to you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Your Internet Ego

This is just a reminder from the department of reality: your internet ego and your opinions don't mean a damn thing until you apply them. Our editor, Alex, and I were conversing today and he mentioned that very few people have taken advantage of the simple tasks we've set out to help make a change.

Yet they're on our forums and emailing in to us, each with his or her own suggestions about how we can improve, or they want to talk about how screwed up the world is.

Reality flash: we know. And you're doing nothing. And your opinions are not unique, nor are they important if you're not going to act on them. You might be feeling like you sound cooler than your buddies back home, or at the local practice space, but without you acting to make something change, you're just hot air.

We have since the inception of this site worked hard to find ways we can change the current situation. Why? Because we're not a commiseration group, and we're not here to whine and then do nothing. That's wholly impotent, pretentious and annoying. Most of what we do is write, but that's what our goal is: to unite others around some ideas, and to make the experience involved in understanding those ideas into a real emotion for people, a part of life. We want them to be there and see why we do what we do.

You have literally two options:

1. Contribute and work for something that might help.
2. Or, you can do something ineffective. We don't need another blog that fifty people a month visit to spread the word -- your blog is garbage. We don't need another coffeehouse superstar who reaches fifteen people a month. We don't need another person rambling on forums about how they've figured out the answer and everyone else is a shithead.

You ain't shit until you do something. Your little bullshit activities that amount to nothing are just personal pretense, you pretending to be important when you're not. You might want to come onboard our site, and read, and learn, and we have no objection to that. But when you do nothing when you know what the truth is, well, that's cowardice and laziness, and you deserve whatever fate this world throws out you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Engagement

Ordinary people. I hate them. An ordinary person spends his life
avoiding tense situations. A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations. Let's go get a drink. - Bud


When you get rich without thinking, and powerful without trying, the tendency is to pull back from the things you once fought against. You're sick of doing the laundry; pay someone. You're bored of cleaning house; pay someone. You don't want to make up your own mind, or even question others, so you delegate that, too.

Our time is one of riches we didn't directly earn, and a lack of combat for anything of meaning. A war in the modern context wouldn't even give us the challenge we need. We can have hobbies, and try to climb mountains others have long ago conquered, or invent new sports like snowboarding to try ourselves against nature, but... is that really a challenge, or an endurance and skills test? We need something to challenge our souls.

Lack of engagement with reality is what keeps us puny. Like all modern popular music, which seems to cloak the same chord progressions and scales and structures in a new image, and new type of sound with the same values as older sounds. Like modern art, which makes freakish combinations of the same six subjects (death, inequality, sexuality, unequal death, sexual inequality, being an artist) but has no new content. It's like we connected all of humanity with telephones and computers, and found out we had nothing to say.

All I've got are things to say. I am not good at dressing them up in slick new forms that people think are "creative genius" for the two weeks before they forget and go on to the next new incomparable creation hashing out the same old refrains. These refrains aren't even unique to our time. They're the neurotic expression of people in any time who have lost the thread of pursuing meaning, the intangible, in their lives and so they focus on the tangible.

What fascinates me are the design choices that can be outwardly similar but radically different. Beethoven, through the careful placement of a few notes outside of what a more mundane intelligence would do, created beauty, and then let his technical skill fulfill it. The right combination of words can make a poem and not a cliche. You can throw all the energy, money, and time in the world at a problem, but without this inner dimension of the intangible, the dimension of design, you do not accomplish what you could have.

In your lives, if you want to live well and rise out of the internal combustion quagmire of this time, you will challenge yourselves -- internally, in intangible ways. Do not accept easy answers or excuses from yourself. If you can dream it you can do it, with some work and some thought. There is no reason to step back from the world, say "well I coulda done that if The Man let me," and then sulk in failure. Life is joyful war. Go for it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nihilism and authority

It's a fact of life that much of the authority we face in our lives is bunk. People enforce little rules out of fear, or in some need to make themselves seem more important than they are. Even worse, the rules are usually designed to fit imaginary scenarios where all people are motivated by a few carrots and threatened by a few sticks.

What I like about nihilism is its reduction of authority. When you're in a situation, you know how the scenario needs to play out so that whatever function you're undertaking gets accomplished without causing undue havoc. This interpretation both frees you from inaccurate authority, and makes you more responsible without authority -- a form of growth.

For example, the laws of the land are unevenly enforced. A nihilist sees them as devices for two purposes: fleecing the population, and when one of them steps out of line, as a pretense for stopping that person. The cops don't actually care if you speed or take drugs, with the exception of well-intentioned individual officers unaware of the system in which they find themselves. The police department makes its money off of you.

Of course, if you move into a neighborhood and start causing stupid problems, they will find something you've done that's wrong. Um, sir, your garbage needs to be six inches closer to the curb... that's a fine. Your parties are too loud, spend the night in jail. Your house is ugly so we're going to send you angry notes. Their goal is to drive you out by enforcing hassle upon you. It usually works.

A nihilist on the other hand realizes that the law operates on the principle that what is unseen and causes no problems (and isn't a profit opportunity) causes no enforcement. You don't make the cops look bad, and don't cause other people to get all knotted up because you made their day worse, and you can do just about anything you want.

For example, if you move into a neighborhood and quietly grow dope for yourself and your friends, but you smoke it quietly with the stereo at a decent volume and you hide the stench, few people if any care. There may be a few fanatics who derive power from ruining other people's days, but these are actually in the minority, because you have to have nothing you need to do to be on such a vigilance crusade. This is why the elderly are the ones always yelling at you to get off their lawns and cut your hair and get a job.

Another example is the internet. You can go about your business, even if it's illegal and immoral and perverse, but as long as you don't intrude on others, they remain oblivious because they derive a greater sense of personal importance from ignoring most of what goes on in the world. They like being out of touch so they can focus on how great they are, what they can buy, and who they're going to vote for. It's all personal adornment, like what they're wearing that day. "I'm a good guy because I vote democratic, don't steal from the poor, and eat only fair trade nutritional yeast." It's a form of subdued, sublimated panic.

I frequently run into trouble with people on forums. The admins will freak out at something I've said, usually for content, and so they'll trot out some pretense of a rule and claim I violated it and I'm terrible. They can rarely just admit that my presence offends them (note: conservatives are actually better about this, since they are generally more vigorous about rigid beliefs of wrong and right, which comes in handy in some cases -- if there's a pedophile in your neighborhood, call the most Republican people you can find).

When I want to freak these people out, I say, "Oh, you didn't like that. Well, I don't want to cause problems with you, so I'll just do otherwise." This is a nihilist response. It shows I recognize their authority for what it is, which is a temporary factor of them having some perceived power, and it drives them nuts. If I said, "I hate your rules!" they'd find it easier to deal with, because then they could simply call me a troublemaker and feel good about doing whatever they want to to me.

But when I turn it into a nihilistic quasi-business transaction, they get uneasy. Power has been recognized and treated as a requirement, but without any particular importance given to its moral pretense. This is how a nihilist thwarts a society by slowly making it more neurotic and less able to explain to itself why its power is important.