Friday, September 18, 2009

Notice to websurfers

Five minutes of petting a cat is more relaxing, spiritually nourishing and reverent than anything you can do on the internet.

Not only do you gain a sense of peace from another organism, but you contribute to its welfare through affection and grooming. That's a truly reverent/sacral attitude toward life.

You may doubt this message... but until you've tried it, in your heart you won't know for sure.

Goat's Law

Goat's Law of social averages:

If you have more of anything than other people, they want some of it and will use equality/friendship/politeness as a means of demanding it.


Faustian Nihilism

Someone brought to mind a recent thread about Nihilism and "fascism," by which modern people mean any system of government that motivates people to act in some way other than for their personal pleasure and wealth:

Faustian Nihilism is the optimal nihilism Nietzsche aspired to conquer its peak. And according to him, he accomplished that task - for has overcame nihilism to become the first actual nihilist. It is a life endorsing Nihilism, that accepts life as a whole, life as comedy, unholiness, and tragedy - in Goethe's spirit. It calls for action, overcoming logical and meditative complexities and for actual completeness (compilation of mind and matter of ideal and reality, of logic and pathos). This Nihilism is not that of individualism, but of certain individuals / groups who are capable of changing their surroundings by attaining power, by their realistic and visionary approach. Faustian Nihilism, more then the two previous form seeks the reevaluation of all values Nietzsche speaks of. The same way Goethe's protagonist, the old scientist / philosopher tried to get a full taste of life.

Nihilism and fascism?

Nihilism is to my mind reducing life into cause and effect, removing the mediating effect of human "knowing" as described by Nietzsche in On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense.

Long before I read Nietzsche or Plato, I knew that most people separate life into mind and body, but what really makes sense is to look for structure beneath appearance -- not a separation, because the two create other, but an understanding of the chains of causes that produce that final appearance, instead of taking appearance at face value.

This is Faustian Nihilism. We do not embrace comforting solutions, but strive to be ultra-realists who recognize that, as conscious actors, we also have the ability to aesthetically choose to pick the best of life. We love life; we confront its emptiness head-on, and in the warrior spirit, make beauty from it. We are not afraid of nothingness and in fact we worship it. Without nothingness, somethingness would be impossible.

Faustian Nihilism negates all of which is not connected to this vision of life as an interconnected whole produced by causal chains. If there is a God, in our view, he, she or it is not separate from the world but a manifestation or patterning to the world. Faustian Nihilism is inherently idealistic (meaning: reality is thought-correlative, or formed of the same patterns and structure as thoughts) because we recognize that organization and structure are more important than the material in which they manifest. This in turn lets us know that the ends "justify" the means, or rather, that goals are more important than whatever stands in the way of us accomplishing them.

Including our fear of nothingness, death, horror and sadness.

Faustian Nihilism transcends the "opportunity cost" of life, which is that for every great thing, there must be an equal and opposite reaction, or great sadness. Life demands death. But then again, without that death, life would not be so sweet.

It is an ultimate form of maturity that allows us to retain our inner childlike wonder at the universe and its mechanisms, and as such, is more reverent than most interpretations of religion. If God is the cosmos and reality, Faustian Nihilism is the most advanced form of the worship of God.

Where most will use judgments in their minds to seal reality into little categories, and hide behind manipulating appearance to make life less scary, we say: only forward, only onward, only upward. Take the pain in hand and charge forward to make something so great it balances the pain.

Infinity awaits.

Allahu ackbar!
Elohim Gadol!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

The emptiness is our ally and the source of our transcendence. Evil and Good, Positive and Negative, Life and Death are all part of God, of whom the world is the visible manifestation.

All things are connected and all that matters is the pattern language which enables us to design goals that match emptiness with greatness.

We love life.

We have choice but not free will: we are created in its image by the universe, not the other way around. We are part of the world, and it is not contained within us. Only the structure and clarity of thought matters, and from this we formulate our goals, and with our goals, we create a balance and surpassing of Death.

Nihil Omnis Est

(From Elohim Gadol!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Universal Tolerance

Many of these so-called religious experts tell me I need to love every other individual as myself in order to achieve divinity.

I think they have it exactly backwards. Love life, not individuals. To prune the tree of life is to understand the sacred duty of the Knight, the Zen master, and the leader.

If you love life, you want the failures to go away. Otherwise, they cannot help do what they do, which is fail including: crime, poverty, opportunism and passive aggression.

We have seven billion people and many of them are idiots. Let's keep the best and clear out the rest, leaving more space for nature and future, smarter, better humans!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Suspicious activity has been detected on your account.

I sense, by the writing on the wall, that it's time to leave Yahoo mail. When a force bigger than yourself is unreasonable, you can either fight it or go with the flow, and when your agenda in life includes a lot more than, say, Yahoo mail, you're going to quietly flake out.

Quietly flaking out is important because the company is blind to it. You're not write that customer support letter you know they won't read or won't get to in time to change strategy. You won't provide feedback of any kind. You'll just walk away, leaving them with another spamtrap email address until they're able to time out the account nine months later.

Why would I flake out on Yahoo mail?

Typical Yahoo mail experience:

1. Write email reply to mailing list.
2. Get shifted to CAPTCHA screen
3. Enter CAPTCHA correctly
4. Receive this:

Your message was not sent

Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.

If this error continues, please contact Yahoo! Customer Care for further help.

We apologize for the inconvenience.


The Yahoo! Mail Team

Free Yahoo Error Generation Software

...and then, your back button is useless; your message is gone; a draft is not kept. If the system guessed correctly, great. Otherwise, they just raped you of your time because your message is permanently lost.

Add this to a list of other problems:

* Slow loading times
* Constant script screwups
* Incomplete and often simply broken software

It's brain-dead at its worst, which is what we all dislike about bureaucracies and large corporations and/or large social groups: they get so caught up in being themselves that they're oblivious to us as individuals, forcing us to either suck it up and humble ourselves excessively to be part of the cool, or retreat.

I had liked the idea of Yahoo and Yahoo mail, but now I'm just tired of this. The worst part is that the basic problem is Yahoo trying to imitate Gmail, and because of this their strategy varies from cloning Gmail features to implementing absolutely screwball ones of their own (replacing the "Compose Mail" button with a drop down menu). Like others, I will go on to gmail, or another service that's less disorganized.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Repeat again: science is not superstition

Superstition can be safely confined to categories like religion and luck, right?

I mean... it couldn't be a pervasive thought process that can infect any area of our thinking! Especially not, dear gods, our sainted Science.

The dig at Kents Cavern, Torquay, also unearthed a 15,000-year-old spearpoint, known as a "sagaie", which is made from reindeer antler from the same era.

The site has already played a key role in helping to unlock the secrets of the past - previous excavations there have revealed that humans have been on earth longer than the previously estimated time of 6,000 years.


But I thought it was our superstitious Bibles that told us the earth was 6,000 years old. We can't have science insisting that humans are only 6,000 years old. Especially when, as the article reveals, we don't really know much about what happened during that time.

The informed voter

Eisenhower also recommended a short book — “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer, a self-educated itinerant longshoreman who earned the nickname “the stevedore philosopher.” “Faith in a holy cause,” Hoffer wrote, “is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.”

Though Eisenhower was criticized for lacking an intellectual framework or even an interest in ideas, he was drawn to Hoffer’s insights. He explained to Biggs that Hoffer “points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems — freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.” The authoritarian follower, Eisenhower suggested, desired nothing more than insulation from the pressures of a free society.


Only in a dying culture could such retarded sentiments be praised!

Faith in a holy idea -- like that faith in a holy idea is compensation for a lack of faith in ourselves -- is compensation for a lack of faith in ourselves.

They hate it when you turn their arguments around on them, but I doubt "the stevedore philosopher" had much to say about that.

In truth, lack of faith in the order of the world causes us to have only ourselves, which turns us selfish.

Tell me, Ike, how many people are informed voters? 1%? 5%?

Most read the newspaper and watch the TV, and make up the best opinion they can -- and how much of the necessary data have they considered? 1%? 5%?

Spare me from these false heroes, most of all "the informed voter"!

We are all media consumers. Five things you must know about the product you consume daily.

Not all happenings in the world can fit between the covers of the New York Times. Herman and Chomsky outline five filters, interrelated to some extent, through which these events must pass in order to become newsworthy.

Media is a business

  • Huge transnational businesses own much of the media - a fact probably more true now than in 1988 when the book was written with Disney, Westinghouse, and Microsoft bullying in on the news markets.

  • The corporate interests of these companies need not, and probably do not, coincide with the public's interests, and, consequently, some news and some interpretations of news stories critical of business interests will probably not make it to press.

  • The product is advertising

  • Since advertising is crucial to keeping subscription costs low, media will shape their news away from serious investigative documentaries to more entertaining revues in order to keep viewer or reader interest and will cater to the audience to which the advertising is directed;

  • Before advertising became central to keeping a paper competitive, working class papers, for example, were much more prevalent, leading to a much broader range of interpretations of events (and thus more room for a reader to make up his own mind) than can be found by perusing the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.

  • It reports on what others say, not reality

  • Media depend crucially on sources and these sources will inescapably have their own agendas. Reliability of information should be important (although it may not be as shown by the tabloidization of the mass media in Monica Lewinsky affair), but the press also needs a steady stream of events to make into news.

  • This leads to a reliance on the public relations bureaucracies of government and corporate agencies for whom some measure of accepted credibility exists and who will also probably have a statement about major happenings.

  • However, by relying substantially on the statements these parties, the media becomes less an investigative body and more a megaphone for propaganda; independent confirmation of facts as well as interpretation eludes it.

  • Stories must either create successful drama, or downplay all drama

  • There are costs to producing an incendiary news item -- one which attacks powerful interests whether they be advertisers, government agencies, corporate bodies, or public interest groups. According to the previous three filters, the media relies on these interests for its survival and cannot afford their sustained censure.

  • While none of these filters guarantee that a news item attacking one of these interested parties will not appear, the story is likely to be spun in a way to minimize fallout or flak which may compromise its integrity.

  • It does not question our implicit assumptions about what is right

  • Since they wrote at the end of the Reagan years, Herman and Chomsky's final filter is anti-communism, but it may be any prevailing ideology. The assumptions behind ideologies, almost by definition, are rarely challenged; ideologies organize the world, constructing frames into which news events can be placed for easy interpretation: Communism is evil; the domino effect is an actual phenomenon; America is right.

  • This past February there was no hint in the domestic press that there could be any response to Iraq's intransigence other than bombing, making the contrary opinions of the vast majority of the world unintelligible.

  • In domestic affairs, article after article praises various organizations on increasing the diversity of their membership -- diversity being always ethnic and racial diversity without ever asking why racial and ethnic diversity is necessarily relevant in the first place (as opposed to diversity of political opinion, for example).

  • (This was Lard_Baron's summary of the documentary "Manufacturing Consent," but it's a faster and more concise read than watching the film can provide. I made minor edits for readability and reposted it here.)

    All good points; there is one addition from the Vijay Prozak canon: Crowdism:

    Think for a moment: what sort of problem is it that one cannot identify and root out? The simple answer: one you cannot tell to another person, and therefore, even if you know it, no one else can work on the problem - and in modern society, every problem is too big for one man. Imagine working with another police inspector on this case. You can tell the guy everything except that which might potentially hurt his feelings. So the investigation goes on, and despite your partner being slower than you are, he puts his heart into it. At the end you have no answers, because both of you don't know the answer, even though it's in your knowledge.

    The dirty little secret of the West's collapse is that it has come from within. The extent of our modern disease is revealed by the fact that when we think this, we immediately try to blame either everyone, or no one. We are afraid to blame a process and implicate certain people as its methods. And why not? We're not passing moral judgment, claiming them to be the spawn of Satan, as our leaders do to enemies during wartime. All we are saying is that they, by what they do, have caused a massive problem. The real social taboo broken here is the unstated obvious: in order to fix the problem, we have to limit their sainted "freedom." Nevermind that few people actually need freedom. What they want are normal, comfortable lives, without other people intruding in upon them and telling them what to think. That's not freedom; it's common sense and common decency. People like to conceive of "freedom," however, as a limitless absolute. "I can do anything I want," they say, forgetting that most of what they actually want falls within the narrow sphere of what benefits them in a practical sense.


    [I]magine that something needs to be done for the good an entire community. Healthy people are willing to make sacrifices for this. But some would prefer to rigidly negate that proposal because it interferes with their personal fortunes or convenience. By doing this, they are dooming the community in the long run, even if it means they get to keep whatever it was they desired in the short term. These people need some kind of protection that, no matter what the overall goal is, justifies their selfishness. Even better, it should eliminate the concept of overall goal, and focus only on the individual. To do that, a morality was created which banned actions and not goals, effectively hobbling any goal-setting because any real change will always infringe upon someone's little world. Morality is the assertion of personal reality as a higher value that physical, this-is-the-real-world-pay-attention reality.

    Crowdism by Vijay Prozak

    Media is not the cause; it is the (pardon the static pun) medium through which the virus of Crowdism moves. We are right because we celebrate the individual; we must draw attention to ourselves or fit in to gain social status; those who oppose us are wrong because they are not moral.

    When you learn to recognize the virus of Crowdism, which is individuals arguing for absolute autonomy for others so they can have it for themselves while being oblivious to the consequences of others having it, namely a pervasive social decay through fragmentation of consensus about values and goals, you can see that media, like other products, is a manifestation of our own desire to recede within ourselves and not face the conflict and reward structure that life offers.