Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Indiana

This whole Indiana thing pisses me off.  We have literally reached Orwell's "2 minutes of hate".  This is what propaganda does: through long term organizing and brainwashing, people become more or less like machines, or better yet, trained animals with conditioned reflexes, who can be turned on or off at any time with the right set of code words and images.

Apple owners seemingly had no issue with the fact that the people making their phones in China were killing themselves so often that protective nets had to be built to keep them from hitting the ground when they jumped off the roof.  I doubt they have any issue with what I suspect are many toxins these people are exposed to.

They have no issue selling to Saudi Arabia, which KILLS homosexuals--typically by public decapitation (you can see a picture on that link of a man who was apparently beheaded and THEN crucified)--or to any number of other Muslim nations which are PROFOUNDLY violent towards gays. They have no issue with the fact that men are allowed to marry 10 year olds.  They will never issue a public statement on this.  To hell with little girls: they are not a powerful political constituency, and the whole thing is theater anyway.  There is no principled moral reasoning going on.

To this I would contrast the DEMAND--not the request--that little Quaker and Amish couples be forced by law to sell penis cakes with white frosting at the end of them, or cakes depicting men having anal intercourse.  Ridiculous, you say.  I ask: why?  Once we have established that the State can tell people what to do, where and how do we draw lines?  They can't refuse service to anyone.  That is the message I am hearing.

And logically the demand for what amounts to free speech should go both ways.  Gay bakers should be forced to bake cakes with anti-gay slogans, and black bakers should be forced to bake KKK cakes.  But of course no one is clamoring for these rights, and if the shoe were on the  other foot this would be called HATE speech, which of course is defined as awful.

But this whole notion of hate speech creates a distinction between acceptable and unacceptable, and the STATE decides which is which, and what it decides depends on the political winds of the moment.  Leftists assume they will always be in charge because their skill in--and moral willingness to stoop to the expedience of using--propaganda is vastly bigger than conservatives.  All we have is logic and facts.  We have not spent decades learning to tell colorful and emotionally powerful lies. We want dialogue, but no propagandist does.

They want to breed into their subjects a conditioned response of visceral hatred, one which does not even attempt to see the enemy as human, but solely as pure evil.  They want to create, in their subjects, exactly what Hitler created in his SS, and Lenin in his Cheka.  They want to create, ultimately, the capacity for murder and the tolerance of murder.  That is the logical emotional end of all this. I cannot begin to tally the vast oceans of the most ugly, nasty hate that have been directed at me merely for asking inconvenient question.  I have seen this a thousand times if I've seen it once.

When we see people being bullied, we must always ask: who is next?  If it is illegal for little Amish couples to refuse to bake a penis cake for a gay wedding, might it at some point be illegal to use the word Jesus in public?  We seemingly are coming to that, and it is an absolute certainty that the people creating the propaganda have something like that as a goal.  Guns and God get in the way of their narcissistic fantasies of unlimited power.

Here is my advice to Mike Pence: attack, attack, attack.  You cannot counter propaganda negatively.  There is no value to answering the question "have you stopped beating your wife yet?"  The answer to this question is "Why did you beat your wife last week?  I hear you beat her every night.  I also heard you have a girlfriend you beat.  How do you sleep at night?"  With propaganda, of course, truth is utterly irrelevant.  It merely needs to be plausible enough, and repeated enough.

Practically, Christians need to organize counter-boycotts. They need to make a list and post them publicly of all the companies that are embracing illiberalism, and refuse to buy from them.  When my Apple comes up, I'm going to get a Samsung or something. I was uncomfortable buying it in the first place, since I knew about the factories in China.

And I don't think this should originate with Pence, but another list of Indiana companies who are not boycotting anyone should be made, and people encouraged to buy from them.

If you get substantially every church in the country lined up, that will make a difference.  As we are seeing, there is power in numbers.  People just need to grasp they are dealing with really, really nasty people who do not see them as human.

We all need to be clear: there are powerful interests who hate Christians and Christianity.  Obama is one of them--Jerry Wright's church was a beard, and on his own account he only started going there because someone told him it would help his organizing--but he of course is backed by people whose names we don't know, or have to guess.

And I want to say this, too: I believe in common decency.  I believe in the right of decent people to be treated decently.  Homosexuality is not a crime, and if it were the 1960's and gays were being arrested, I would be absolutely on their side, 100%.  But this thing has gone too far.  A little Amish couple not wanting to sell a cake they find offensive should not result in them losing their business or even going to jail.  That is not what America was built on.  That is not freedom.

There are no moral principles involved here for the  Left.  If there were, Apple would not have opened in Saudi Arabia (and I think Pakistan is even worse, certainly in terms of their treatment of women: do they give a shit?  I very much doubt it.  Again: no moral reasoning, no principles, no CARING.

That, in the end, is what we need more of: caring.  Seeing the world, seeing the pain in the world, and feeling compassion, not hate.  There is no compassion in this hate campaign against Indiana.  There are creatures, and there are those who fear them.

Love is a verb which begins with understanding.  Where there is no attempt at understanding, there is no love.

One last thing.  Yes, I'm on my damn soapbox.  The Civil Rights Movement was a failure. It cannot be viewed in any other way.  EVERY concession that was won was a MEANS to the end of making blacks equal in every respect to whites, and that end has not only not been achieved, it has been made less likely.

True liberals negotiate difference.  Interacting openly with people different than you breeds warmth and compassion.  Truly liberal gays would reach out to Christians, and try to win them over through the power of love.  They would win over one bakery at a time.  They would get what they want, without all the vitriol, hurt feelings, and yet more increases in the power and intrusiveness of the State.

We all need to be concerned about the size and power of our government.  Feeding it to serve some short term end is very much like Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of porridge.  There may come a day when that story can't be told in public.

The "gut"

I watch myself sometimes.  You can slow down a psychological process and watch it, more or less frame by frame, and see what happens.  In my case, I have profound conflicts with food.  I'm not addicted to it or anything like that, but I have the devil's own time exactly following the diet that makes the most sense to me, a roughly Paleo Zone.

And I have a thought, then a reaction.  I think something I want, then something blocks me from completing that thought.  Then I will my way through it, then get tired.  That is perhaps the source of the cycling: fatigue.  That makes sense.

But if I follow this thought process of an inability to form new learned instincts--if I am unable to undertake voluntary "imprinting" (can we call it that?)--then what has happened is that different layers of my nervous system are in some respect in conflict with one another.

Obviously, this is historically termed "psychological conflict", but I wonder if we can do better, if we can be more precise.

I have no resolution, but have come to the conclusion that I am a dumbass. I was reading back through Steven Levine's book and realized I had forgotten half of what he wrote.  Specifically, that the theory upon which he based his ideas is the Polyvagal Theory, so called because it incorporates different forms of the Vagus Nerve.  When I say "gut"--and this is why I looked it up, since it seemed to me it might not hurt to occasionally try to speak with precision--I mean the Unmyelinated Vagus Nerve.

Here is what looks like an interesting paper I don't have time to read at the moment, from the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, Stephen Porges: http://www.stephenporges.com/images/stephen%20porges%20interview%20nicabm.pdf

And I will add, as I do from time to time, a caution that I am not always diligent.  I try to be, but this is a personal project, and there is no quality control other than my own attentiveness, and I get lazy, busy and sloppy.  Sometimes I think I'm pretty smart, but sometimes I'm saying things that make no sense.  It continues to be my belief that the path to wisdom is often through idiocy, but that middle part can get pretty ugly.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spirituality

Whenever I did one of my camps, the instructor talked about how humankind exists in a middle place between the animal and the spiritual.  We have wolves in us, and angels in us.  This is of course a cliche, but I did want to point out that much of my recent work has been to try and push that logically in both directions.

If we are animals, then we need to know this.  If I accept--as indeed I must--all the breakthroughs in neuroscience, and all the odd behavioral and cognitive defects that invariably or nearly invariably attend certain brain lesions, this does not also compel me to assume that is the WHOLE story.

Self evidently, the fossil record is one of steadily increasing complexity.  Self evidently change happens over time.  What is at issue is what the WHOLE story is.  I do not think Darwinian accounts have everything they need.  I think that natural selection plainly happens, but that systemic adaptation does as well, and there is no room in materialistic accounts for intelligence of any sort.  Self organizing systems do not spontaneously organize in PRECISELY the way needed, repeatedly, over millions of years.  No, there is something spooky, something immanent, something whose effects I think we can measure, but which we cannot see.

So I take on the one side clearly "true" findings, and simply confine them to their domain.  Then I look at the SCIENTIFIC evidence that we are spirits occupying what in some respects ARE machines.  But we are not the machines.  We operate them, sometimes skillfully, sometimes not.  And sometimes they malfunction.  This, too, is scientific.

Our task in bridging the two domains is to enter into, understand, and accept fully both.

Cyclothymia

This word popped in my head, so I looked it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclothymia

At one time I was very conversant with all the terms, but that was some time ago.

Still, what I have begun to notice in myself, I think, are cycles.  I push for a while, then I KNOW a push back is coming, so I back off, then I push again, then I back off.  It is precisely finding a line, linear progression, that I have so much difficulty.

Indeed, much of my life has been devoted, I now realize, to figuring out ways to make these circles productive, to get as much when I can as I can, and to lose as little as possible when the tide recedes.

I don't think I am cyclothymic, although that is a possibility to consider.  I think it's quite possible my mother was.  As a child, I would have become used to the cycles, without even realizing it.

Through force of will I can make myself do nearly anything for about three weeks.  But it never gets easier, and my will gets tired.  We now, know, that will is a muscle of sorts like any other, which can be both trained and fatigued.

In psychologically normal people, you can pass the task off to your habitual self after a period of time.  This is where that 21 day thing comes from..  I was thinking this morning that that is really what what we call discipline is: the habit of doing certain things a certain way.  In many respects, for many people, I think it can even be comforting, calming.  Certainly that seems to be the case for monks and career soldiers.

Then I got to wondering if habit might be termed, in ethological terms, a learned instinctual behavior.  Squirrels don't have to THINK about gathering nuts.  They just do.  And people who are in the habit of getting up at 5am don't have to THINK about it.  It just happens, and the farther they can get on autopilot, the more will they will have for the random tasks that demand them.  They can get more done, by acting often like animals.

And is depression in part a disconnection from the Instinct-Forming-Self?  Does it force ALL behavior on the social brain, and on will power, such that everything becomes vastly harder, and more tiring, and more psychologically draining?

It is an interesting thesis, and one I think close to the truth.  So what do we know about the biology of habit formation?  I don't know. It's in part an academic point, but I suspect it may prove an important one.

Minimum Wage

Did you know only 2% of hourly workers work at Minimum Wage, most of them teenagers?  http://www.tpnn.com/2014/02/07/38-unemployment-black-teens-continue-to-suffer-under-obama/

I started out at a minimum wage of $2.85, worked up to $3.35, and then something like $4.00 within a year.  If you stay at Minimum Wage, you are an idiot.

When you look at left wing propaganda campaigns, you need to understand they are PLANNED.  They are planned with roughly the same diligence Proctor and Gamble uses to roll out new products.  They focus group everything, work out the specific words and images that best create EMOTIONAL reactions, and then simply repeat them with the discipline of Madison Avenue.

People get impassioned, infuriated, about how conservatives are just big meany heads who want people to starve.  If this were true, I would understand the anger.  And it is true, in some cases.  I have met Republicans like that.  But in the worst case a Republican is heartless and solely concerned with his advancement and caring for his "tribe".  Such a person not only is not a drag on society, but is likely to be someone who pays a disproportionate amount in taxes.  Such a person may be a sociopath, but they are socially useful sociopaths.

I would contrast this with a sociopath of the Democrat variety who, while calling for and implementing policies which decrease national wealth and security, claims to be advancing humankind, and does all of this, also, for purely personal interest.  The callousness and cynicism is not a jot different, but it works to make the world worse.  Joe Biden is an excellent example of that.  So is Hillary.  In my view both are conniving sociopaths.  In Joe's case, the reason he keeps up with the malapropisms is HE DOESN'T CARE.  He is incapable of shame or embarrassment.

To return to my point, the reality is that most Republicans have very active moral senses, and are at least as likely to help anyone who needs their help.  They take care of themselves, those around them, and those in need in the community.  They are much more likely to be generous in their personal charity donations.

The key difference is that most of us simply understand economics and political science.  It takes more courage and brainpower to think things through than to join the parades of goose-steppers, who are everywhere, carrying their torches and singing anti-patriotic songs.

We value dignity, and understand that there is a profound difference between having a job and being on the dole.  The psychological costs of socialism can readily be measured, once one takes up the simple expedient of connecting structural unemployment with excessive regulation and taxation.  The connection could not be more historically clear or obvious.

Telling the truth is simply difficult for a great many people, particularly intelligent people, who have ingested particularly complex untruths, and grown what they think are wings, but which are really intellectual cancers.

Making a difference

I do wonder what sort of past lives I've had.  My feeling is that I have at times acted as a bridge.  I would not have been someone you've ever heard of, but what have made some small difference.

One vision I had the other day was imagining I was at the Constitutional Convention, and literally the only thing I ever did of any note in my entire lifetime was preventing an argument from escalating, say between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, in some moment unknown to history. Maybe all I did was bring in some food at some key moment when both were tired and testy, and if I had not, they would have blown up at each other, factions would have taken up each side, and the whole thing exploded, resulting in a failure of America to be birthed.

Now, as it exists today, America is an extraordinarily powerful force both for good and evil.  What the eventual meaning will prove to be of America having been created remains to be seen.  But I think much of history is like this, of the "for want of a nail" variety.

In my own way--which is the only way I have--all my blogging and other "informational" activities are oriented around not being found deficient when some such moment comes along.  I will have done what I could.

If everyone does this, things work.  If no one does this, things fall apart.  The essence of the authoritarian impulse is suppressing such initiative, of moving from self organizing, organic systems to what we may as well call machines, which are indifferent, lacking in true complexity and deep order, and which work to grind people to mush.

Google: all you have done, in hiring Ray Kurzweil and adopting far-left politics, is literalize this truth.

As I have pointed out before, in hypnotic language, don't be evil is heard as Do Be Evil.  Palling around with someone who wants to destroy everything good our nation has created certainly qualifies.

Or do you count it a victory that unemployment in the black communities has escalated enormously under the Administration of someone who was hired to help blacks?  38% black teen unemployment overall, 92% in Chicago?  Do you count it a victory that this truth has been suppressed?  You cannot both believe what you do, and demand from yourself intellectual coherence.  The two are incompatible.

If you are a decent human being, you want good things for everyone.  Only sick people are more preoccupied with punishment that lifting people up.

But how does the lyric go?  "Tax the rich, feed the poor, until there are no RICH no more."

It always has been and always will be much easier to destroy things than to create them, at least superficially.  But to commit oneself to destruction one must first anesthetize some part of ones self that is needed, and which will sooner or later have to be revived.

One can only find horror in horror.  Redemption is walking out of that room, through an open door.

Henofavoritism

I have often described my favorite album as Lyle Lovett's "Joshua, Judges and Ruth."  But Mozart's music for two pianos is also my favorite.

And this of course got me to thinking about the relationship between our "favorites" (people, places, things, etc.) and our identities.

Wellington has a dish named after him, since he was so fond of it.  What happens if you one day discover a new favorite, then another?

It seems to me that what matters in every interaction is the extent of our open engagement with it, our openness to experience, and that we enjoy everything NOW, and then move on to what is next.  Clearly, we will have recurring patterns.  Life is large and chaotic.

But I think it might be useful to regularly change favorites, or at least to explore.  The goal is not to destroy enjoyment, but to weaken the clinging part of us which imprisons us in places where happiness and enjoyment are not possible.

And I would add to this some thoughts on Exploring versus Exploiting I learned about in my lecture series on Complexity.  To some extent, they are mutually exclusive.  In the first case, you are looking for something--say in this case the best Beef Wellington on the planet--and in the second case you are eating it.

You could in theory stop at the first restaurant you find which serves it, and consume theirs forever.  This would be a case of more or less pure exploiting.

You could continue to try new versions for the rest of your life and never go to the same place twice.  This would be pure exploring.

Very smart people feel--and I must say that the end of all our explorings is still a feeling, that of confidence--that the best solution in at least rugged landscapes is what the call Simulated Annealing, which in my understanding more or less works out to lots of exploring giving way gradually to lots of exploiting.  They of course use symbols and shit.

But in a dancing landscape, you can never stop exploring, and life is a dancing landscape.  This is something like, say, Hogwarts, which changes over time.

Ponder this: there is a favorite something that will one day be in your life that you have not yet imagined.

My life sometimes feels to me like crawling through a pile of razor blades, being cut at every moment, bleeding and regenerating, and it is very unpleasant.  But ideas of some sorts bring me solace and comfort.  They reconnect me with beauty.  And sometimes, very rarely, I feel light.

There is no doubt in my mind that I am willing to give my life to learn.  And it does seem to me that over the long term, perhaps things are a bit like my Assassin's Creed game: if you keep going, and keep the faith, you never have to traverse exactly the same landscape twice.  You cannot lose.  You merely encounter delays, perhaps lifelong ones.

And I get this sense I have been on this Earth many times, and I have failed many times.  You take your place in the line, and you try to hold it, and you are overwhelmed.  You did what you could, but it wasn't enough.  The opposing force was too strong.

But I do believe in reincarnation.  I do believe in second and hundredth chances.  The evidence for what they used to call metempsychosis is overwhelming.  You can't beat me.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

My favorite album

I think this is my all time favorite piece of music: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mozart-music-for-two-pianos-piano-duets-ludwig-hoffmann/11217?ean=28945402628

I've been listening to it for 20 years.  I used to play it for my children when they were little as they fell asleep.  Not infrequently, they would want me to lay on the ground next to them until they were asleep, and we would lay there and listen to this, some other Mozart (I love all his piano concertos), and a Baroque compilation I had.

Of course, I wanted little geniuses, because at that time I vastly overvalued intelligence.  My views evolved quickly.  Today, they ARE quite smart, but I am much prouder that they are well rounded, responsible, genuinely decent human beings.

I've put myself on a Facebook fast, so I may post a tad more personal stuff here.

William Boetcker

http://www.appleseeds.org/10_Cannots.htm

This creed is the essence both of common sense and common decency, and in my view displays very conspicuously the MORAL and practical superiority, in all respects, of political conservatism, when practiced honestly (something which has not happened in a very long time).

And I would ask Google (read this: http://nypost.com/2015/03/28/google-controls-what-we-buy-the-news-we-read-and-obamas-policies/ ) what I would ask leftists the world over: what concrete goods do you do people?

The Civil Rights movement: oh so many goods were presumed to flow from that.  Those were noble days, no?  Blacks got the right to sit at all lunch counters. They got the right to vote.  They got integrated schools.

And they are so much better off now, than they were then, right?  Because to believe otherwise would be to question both the methods and the people involved in "battling racism".

I do so question.  I drive through ghettos and I see sad stories that would not have happened if people had been allowed to grow past bigotry gradually, organically, peacefully, one on one, and without a gun to their head on either side.  But no, very rich, very entitled white people could not wait, the situation was too urgent.
Now, 50 years later, we are 50 years behind.  We have not only not fixed anything, we have made things much, much worse, and the same tactics that got us here continue to dig the hole deeper.  I wonder how many Google employees live in East Palo Alto or Hunter's Point.  I suspect the blacks of 1915 had more self respect than those of today, despite the on-going nastiness of Democrat racism (which, I will grant, has "evolved").  They at least had families, jobs, and the drive to make their own way, even if Wilson shut them out of his government, and refused to do anything about lynching.  They understood the value of dignity, I suspect.

As I have said before, there is a reason Frederick Douglas--perhaps the greatest black civil rights author ever--has been largely ignored in the Leftist Canon.


The Ten Cannots
Rev. William J. H. Boetcker

download as PDF



  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
  10.  And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Robin Williams

I was wondering where his spirit is, now. I feel he must feel a great deal of regret and sorrow. It is an odd fact of life that permanent decisions can be made in temporary conditions. In a moment of anger, you can say things that cannot be unsaid or forgotten.

In his particular case, I don't think he knew how to reinvent himself. He was trapped by being "Robin Williams" who everybody thought they knew.  He needed to not be Robin Williams, and he didn't know how. It likely seemed to him there was no way out, that lies and misery were the entirety of his remaining days. I'm sure his wife thought she knew him, but he must have felt otherwise.  He was, obviously, a talented actor, which is to say deceiver.

The thing about depression is it can seem permanent.  The defining factor is an inability to imagine a better future, even though--and this is an operation I've performed many times--one must logically posit one, given the data points of current location and direction of movement.  If you are trying, and keep trying, and keep learning (repeating a bad strategy can lead to repeating a bad strategy), logically you will eventually succeed.

I have been getting moments, flashes, where my sadness drops away momentarily.  And I can see that I will eventually reach a condition in which I can't remember why I ever felt like that.  This is the thing: if you have not had these feelings, they seem absurd, and looked at logically, they are.  Looked at with emotional logic, though, with the very real and very profound sensitivity that is at the center of all of our hearts, it makes perfect sense.

One day it will all be gone, because I am doing the work I need to do.  This is rational framing.

I will add for any depressives reading this some things I've added to my inventory.  I've been getting really deep with my EmWave2.  It has been provoking some powerful emotions. The thing is to stay with them, and maintain a calm focus on staying on track.  Some very nice music to listen to is Vangelis' L'Apocalypse des Animaux and Opera Sauvage.  I'm also quite fond of Edwina Francesca's little known "Breath of Heaven", with Pacificas a particular favorite.  I need to get Ishmael, since I suspect it also is very, very good.

I've been taking 5-HTP at night, along with a ZMA supplement with melatonin.  I'm not a big melatonin fan, but they changed the blend I like at GNC, and I haven't resourced it.  I do my Alpha-Stim for 20 minutes every day, Kum Nye for an hour, and plan to take up yoga.  I take fish oil and Vitamin D,  this Mental Clarity supplement, and just started taking Ashwagandha .

I do not and never will believe in the things that psychiatrists prescribe.  My strategy is multi-pronged, and based on a philosophy that if it is unlikely to hurt and may help, I include it.

For anyone who may have similar issues, I would simply say Carry On.  It is a good motto.  It is not the same thing as saying everything is alright or will be alright.  Most depressives can't imagine everything being alright, so saying they will be feels close to a lie.  Carry On, though, says nothing but "don't kill yourself.  Keep trying."  And those ready for it will also hear "Maybe, just MAYBE something good will happen someday."

9/11 Truth

I thought I might pass along the link to the steadily improving and already quite professional website for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth: http://www.ae911truth.org/

I donate to them on a monthly basis.  This is a hugely important topic.  Almost all the wars of the past 10 years--and much more importantly--the pervasive NSA surveillance and other curtailments of the civil liberties assumed by and protected by our Constitution are enabled in large measure by the climate of fear enabled by 9/11.

It may be, of course, that there are people out there working to set off nuclear or biological weapons (chemical I fear much less, because their path of destruction would never be more than a few thousand), but even NSA experts say that if we watch suspects, the people they talk to, and the people they talk to, that will be quite sufficient.  Going beyond that creates the potential for a gulag state, for a police state of a scale and scope no fascist regime ever even dreamed possible.  Big Brother is already here.  If you have a Kinect or Wii plugged into the internet, they can literally watch you in your living room now.  If you keep your cell phone in your bedroom, they can listen to your pillow talk and snoring.

This is not the direction of a hopeful future.

And even though we can't know for sure who was behind 9/11, SOMEONE obviously had extensive access to, in all likelihood, all three towers, and for a long enough period to place enough explosives to rig the buildings like professionals.  The Towers had already been attacked, and I don't think it too unreasonable to suppose there was SOME level of security, even if tens of thousands of people were coming and going every day.  The people who did this would have needed to get behind locked doors, and been able to transport explosive material behind these doors.

And, importantly, they would have needed access to nanothermite, whose residue was found throughout the wreckage.  This implies a very developed nation state.  I have proposed the Russians (I nearly called them the Soviets, since I find it impossible to separate Putin from that species of fascistic control called Communism) as suspects.  Putin no doubt had reasons to hate America, and the operation happened roughly 18 months after he took power.

Others have proposed the Israelis, who no doubt had the technical sophistication to do this.

But we have to ask the question: why did NIST intentionally falsify data and overlook basic elements of physics to reach a wrong conclusion they have stood by ever since?  I have proposed cowardice.  That still seems possible.  But as an agency of the American government, they also reported to the governmental command structure, and it may be that they were ORDERED to reach the wrong conclusion.  That would not look good, would it?

Here is a lengthy treatment of this topic, which appears careful and meticulous: http://www.911review.com/articles/ryan/demolition_access_DonPaul.html

Increasingly, my gut tells me it was a nexus of Americans and Arabs.  That is more or less his claim, and it appears plausible.

Whatever the truth is, it is CLEARLY not in the public domain.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

'71

I thought this a decent film.  My only thought I'm likely to share is that that Star Trek episode kept going through my mind in which one group with--humor me if I'm backwards--black on the right of their face and white on the left were persecuting those with black on the LEFT of their face and white on the right.

Can anyone who is being serious, contemplative, argue that Christ died for the right of people to hate and kill in His name, over exactly how his brilliant creed of love should be ceremonially expressed?  How is it that people who grow up ONE BLOCK from one another feel the need to torture and kill one another in the name of their version of Jesus?

This sort of thing causes me to understand the emotional background which seemingly informs the world view of many atheists.

Yes, I get history, and that identities beyond the religious play an important role.  I know the British treated the Irish worse, arguably, than we treated the American Indians.  As I have recently posted, they enslaved a very large number of them, and killed  great many outright.  They banned their languages, and put huge barriers on things like land ownership and other rights.

Still, both sides go to church at least weekly and read a document which talks about little but love and forgiveness.

All the leaves are brown

This is worth the periodic repost and reread.

Google seemingly removed this from their search engine.  I wonder why that would be?  Or why they thought that would slow me down.

You people are smart.  Why are you being so fucking stupid?  Will life be better as robots?  Do you believe this?  Do you think meaning and purpose and human connection are unimportant, or that crass left-wing politics are the method to anything but emotional alienation, grotesque economic distortions and eventual collapse, and the loss of the capacities both for reason and honesty?

http://www.claremont.org/article/all-the-leaves-are-brown/#.VRbZa_zF-So

Global Warming "Consensus"

Trotting out this 97-98% number is a bit like asking people "is your current work useful or useless, and if useless, why are you doing it?"

The number of people researching the tooth fairy is likely quite small, but I think we can assume a high percentage--something close to 100%--think she is real.  Otherwise, why do the work?  Why go on snark hunts if you don't believe in snarks?

If you want to work in "climate science" there is one Big Boy in town, and you either agree with him, or you don't work.  Very simple.

And moving farther upstream, everyone knows this.  You don't go into "climate science" in the first place if you don't already think it is actually science, and not an abusive farce, which is what I think it is.

So we can assume with considerable confidence that 98%+ of the people ENTERING the field of "climate science" START as true believers.

And actually, researching this, the story is even worse: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/

Since 1998, more than 31,000 American scientists from diverse climate-related disciplines, including more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have signed a public petition announcing their belief that “…there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” Included are atmospheric physicists, botanists, geologists, oceanographers, and meteorologists.

So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3.000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with.

Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.

But the fact remains that we just had a record cold winter, that the maximum ice extent on both poles has grown over the past few years, and that cold and hot are two different things.

The most pernicious element of modern education is teaching obedience to authority.  Even people who think they are anti-authoritarian will abandon all reason if the right person is speaking.

The locus of perception is the individual.  It cannot be otherwise.  Some individuals have more "knowledge" than others, but if they are unable to treat it dispassionately and with the skillful application of critical reason, they can be taught to "know" countless things that just aren't so, to paraphrase Reagan.

And to buy into any cult is to abdicate the personal responsibility we all have, in my view, to engage with the world as sovereign and interesting individuals.  Sovereign::interesting as conformist:: dull.

And counter-cultural cults are still cults. This should be obvious, but it seemingly isn't.

Intelligence

I've said this, roughly, many times, but am feeling a bit sorry for myself and want to reject it by praising myself publicly.

My IQ is roughly 150.  This is decent, and I think I could probably get a 160 if I studied the test.  There are methods for raising measured IQ.

But I have started my email campaign again to reform our financial system, and am likely dealing with economists with 170 and even 180 IQ's.  That field attracts really, really smart people.

My proposal is simple: we can eliminate unemployment and poverty, achieve a uniformly high standard of living, and do it working LESS than we are today.  All this, and we make our system more just and equitable.  The only people who lose are the predators, and no one, on the Right or the Left, favors the actual predators, at least rhetorically.  In practice, of course, they take large sums of money from them in every election cycle.

All I do is apply dispassionate logic to commonly available facts.  Money creation has no inherent economic use.  It creates a claim on actual economic wealth.  Ergo it is theft.

It can be reversed through the simple expedient of recognizing that money is not real, and that what has once been granted to the banks can be taken from them.

These are exquisitely simple ideas.  I think one could and should argue that the entire profession of economics consists mainly in trying to iron out the troubles created by banks and government interference in the private sector.  Businesspeople don't need economists--or wouldn't--in an actually intelligent, actually just financial order.

This is the problem I run into, though: most people fear being alone.  They fear social isolation.  They fear mockery and public shaming.

And this is how stupid shit happens over long periods of time.  Nobody wants to be the first adopter.  Nobody wants to go first.  And ESPECIALLY no one wants to admit that they have missed fundamental and vastly important truths across the course of their lifetimes, despite huge educational achievements, very high measured intelligence, and prodigious work output.

My goal is to send out 500 emails this year.  If I can get one person to rethink things, I will count myself very lucky.  Vanity has few limits.

And here is the core point I wanted to make: what makes me different is not a uniquely high IQ or capacity for information processing.  What makes me different is a willingness to tell the truth FIRST, and only secondarily figure out the social consequences of that belief.  I am able and willing to tolerate solitude, vast solitude.  I don't like it, but it is essential to me being me, and I have no desire to be anyone else.  I like who I am, even if it is often difficult.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

H.S. Thompson

I'll angle my way into this.

Two points I wanted to make immediately:

1) All I felt in Fear and Loathing was rage, rage they suppressed by using every drug they knew of, rage which they likely claimed was in response to something or other--Nixon of course being a prime candidate--but which was much deeper than that.

His attorney was almost certainly a rapist, and I wonder what stories he left out of his account. Moralizing seems not to have been something he did much of.  His problems were always practical, viz how to get away with it.  I counted three women they seriously abused: Lucy, Alice, and the waitress, who had a knife pulled on her.  All three started with his attorney, but they all included him, and he never seemed to care.

Remind me: what do you call someone with superficial charm, an innate and prodigious capacity for self and other deception, an inordinate appetite for thrills, and a seeming lack of conscience?  That's more or less a textbook definition, isn't it?

2) "Gonzo" journalism isn't journalism at all.

What he craved, but which had not yet been created, was a reality show, of which he was the star.  He would have enjoyed watching himself on TV.  He would have worked hard to out-Ozzy Ozzy.

The deeper point, of course, is his relationship with "the Sixties".  I will get to that eventually, but will note simply in passing that just about every treatment of him calls him either a counter-cultural icon or hero.

Self Sabotage

Here is what I think is the root of self sabotage, at least for me: it is a clinging to the past, in a childish hope that all the needs that were not met then will somehow, miraculously, magically, be met now, if only one does not transition fully from that emotional state one was in then.  It is a sort of unconsciously chosen anti-adulthood which, within its own logic, is very rational.  You did not get what you needed.  Those needs were quite real, and quite appropriate.  Therefore the world owes us this, and the way to get it is to wait.  Just wait.  It will come.  It's always coming. Perhaps Samuel Beckett felt something like this.

The way out is through death.  One must accept the death of that self, the death of those dreams, the death of those hopes.  The world is not on its way.  Those needs cannot be met, now, in the way you needed them to be, then.  Something new can be invented; there are pathways forward.  But only after a bonfire--a cremation--of a past life that needs to die.

I saw a flag--a pennant really--for myself in one of my visualizations.  It consists in a green background, covered with skulls, and the number 9 on it.  9, in many Asian cultures, is considered sacred.  This pennant represents, roughly, "Life and perfection through death."

I am literally going to make it--I have the materials and simply have not made the time--and literally going to put it on a flagpole in my room.  I am going to bring death into my room, and to the extent of my courage and capacity, embrace it.

Daily Cause

"International Coalition of Emotionally Disaffected and Alienated Individuals finding solace and comfort in shared daily anger, directed at whatever target presents itself."

I think we could also shorten this to "Wolf Pack".  Those who hunt together, stay together.  And why hunt?  The pack is formed in the chase, and of course one must eat.   The sense of gnawing on tasty bones and emotional satiety is something we all crave, no?  It is simply the case that better and worse solutions exist.

Given the primitive emotional need upon which such politics rest, it is small wonder they break everything they touch, and consistently empower precisely those they claim to hate.  No intellectual candor or rigor can survive such grotesque emotional need.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I like

I was talking with a friend I met at one of my inner work sessions, who related that "I don't like things".  I don't have "I like".  This person had previously confided to me that when they were young they also had colic, and their mother chose to hold them underwater to make them shut up.  Trauma.

I will wonder again how much undiagnosed trauma is floating around out there from before age 2.  Nobody can remember it, except in their bodies.   Somebody has to tell you, or you have to do primitive archeological work on yourself, never knowing for sure exactly what you are getting and where it actually came from.

But here is where I wound up: enthusiasm is something animals also have.  My dogs get very enthusiastic every time I crinkle plastic poop bags or put my shoes on in the morning.  This means it exists at a lower level than the social level, than the frontal cortex, than language.

Why not place it, too, in the gut?  If curiosity is the opposite of trauma, then I would suggest enthusiasm is the opposite of depression.  We need positive poles.  It is not enough to say "I don't want to be depressed."  What is needed is what EXCITES you, what gets you going, what . . .gets your juices flowing. . .your blood pumping. . . what makes you salivate at the thought of it.

And why not place the conditioned response in the gut as well?  All this neuroanatomy is in its infancy.  They just discovered the "gut brain" within the last 20 years or so, or at least its significance.

Could we not speak of trauma as a conditioned response?  Isn't it?  It is with me.  Certain thoughts, certain actions, and it is like a cloud descends and I get this feeling of impending doom.  I can and of course have walked right through the cloud and the fear countless times--pretty much every day of my life.  This is why I don't fear the same way many people do. If you have to deal with fear all day every day, things that would normally frighten most people aren't any harder for me at all.  Public speaking, risk of death, failure: I fear all of these.  I also fear shopping malls, cars, people, dogs, cats, birds, the sky, and grass.  It's part of being me.  Nonetheless, I function normally to all outward appearances.  It just takes a lot more work for me to do apparently simple things.

But I really think there is some very interesting work that could be done on this topic.  I doubt I will ever wind up in an academic setting again (I'll paraphrase Greg Glassman: the magic is in the discovery; only the explanation is in the science), but if I did, I think it would be a Ph.D in neuroscience/neuroanatomy.

I know seratonin is something many drugs target.  No doubt there are other neurotransmitters that get targeted too.  But what if you surgically altered the pathways from the gut to the brain?  I think what you would get would be people without instincts, and without enthusiasm.  What if you could find a way to alternately turn them on and off, so people could feel the difference, and learn to detect and process the input of the gut?  What if you could figure out a way to sedate only the gut, or to slow the quantity and speed of the transmissions?

Finally: I wonder if fasting is an ancestral way of dealing with the "gut problem".  

Self Benediction

May I find peace, that I may share it.

I cannot resist adding that so many people share invisible clothes.

Assassin's Creed

I have finally learned how to be an adequate pirate captain.  I got the Elite Ram, after some difficulty, and have taken on some ships even the game told me not to. I'm pretty much a big deal.

And I had to laugh today when it hit me that I can't self sabotage myself now.  Unlike life, The game only goes forward.  I would have to start a new game, and the whole deal with self sabotage is it has to be plausibly deniable.  No one says "OK, now I'm going to fuck things up royally."  No, they just DO it, then either wonder what the fuck just happened, or KNOW what the fuck just happened, depending on their self awareness.

Then I got to thinking about Complexity Theory and Dancing landscapes.  Here is the thing with life: you have never "made it".  You could be the blanking-est, blanking-est, and blanking-est (pick what you want: richest, most powerful, sexiest, most handsome, coolest) person in the world, and you will still die.  You will still lose, or at least undergo, to my understanding, a phase transition.

And of course most of us are never blanking-est anything.  And I look and see that the only way I can plan to avoid self sabotage is to develop the contrary habit of daily growth. It is not enough to try and avoid it.  I have to get at the roots of it, and the way to do that is to GO THROUGH all the things that stand in the way of planned growth; to learn to walk steadily and confidently in a direction I have actually consciously chosen.

More generally, it seems to me if you are not growing, you are being left behind.  That is the lesson of the Dancing Landscape.  And I don't mean economically, or at least not only.  I simply mean that you are falling behind the learning that COULD have happened if you had chosen it as a daily activity.

If you are not growing, you are shrinking.  I think that is a useful principle.

The other deep lesson of Assassin's Creed is this: as a pirate in the Caribbean in the early 18th century I deal with a lot of British and Spanish.  The game is quite violent, and most ships I take wind up being sunk, and all aboard, with few exceptions, implicitly killed.  Believe it or not, it sometimes makes me sad, watching all the carnage, because I know these things really happened.

But more generally it got me to thinking that there really was no moral difference between the pirates and the conquistadors and imperialists.  What does a pirate do?  He shows up, shoots everyone who resists, and steals your stuff.  What did the British do in their colonies?  They showed up with guns, shot everyone who resisted, and said they were in charge and you now owe us taxes.  They took slaves for a long time.  In 1710 or so (I think that's where we are in the story) they were still shipping Irish slaves to the Caribbean and "breeding" them with African slaves to make the children more valuable.  I'm sure you can imagine what those scenes might have been like.  These were the British, the ones we like to think of as the good guys, who all have charming accents and a marvelous and droll sense of humor.

And I think that none of these people were innocent.  Very few, at any rate.  Pirates were perhaps the most honest ones.

I do feel as well, though, that one must be very careful with this whole hypocrisy argument.  I recently listened to Hunter Stockton Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", and felt strongly that what I was listening to was Cultural Sadeism, and it caused me to make some alterations to my theories.  I'm still processing and will post on that later.

For now, I wanted to point out that Thompson no doubt rationalized his sundry crimes as "at least not hypocritical".  They were honest crimes, and he admits to them.  Sade, too, found the only crime to be hypocrisy.  What is the moral value of the charge of hypocrisy for such people?

It is this: they can distract others from their crimes by accusing everyone else of them, without ever articulating a morality.  Saul Alinsky, of course, was a Cultural Sadeist and palled around with literal gangsters (remember Mackie Messer/Mack the Knife winds up allying with the protagonists in the Three Penny Opera).  Everyone else was awful, he said.  Why?  They were HYPOCRITES.

Bait and switch, that is all.  Look over there, he says, while he picks your pocket.  Nothing meaningful has been said, and awful things left unjustified because unjustifiable.

One more thing: I think the phrase "psychologically harmful" could be substituted usefully for "immoral".  This is the crux of my argument.  And there is no need to add "socially harmful".  If an individual knows something is socially harmful and does it anyway, this is psychologically harmful, even if that person is so far gone the added injury is invisible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gynophobia

Someone has no doubt come up with this term, but it's new to me.

I was reading about efforts to implement Sharia courts in, of all places, Irving, Texas.

Sharia is misogynistic.  Women are not treated equally, or even, to a great extent, decently.  Men can legally beat their wives.  They can marry and rape 9 year old girls.  They can rape any woman who is not a Muslim.  This is legal.  Not considered wrong.  Neither is slavery.

And I got to thinking about the psychodynamic roots of all this.  What is the psychological condition of Muslim women?  They are kept apart from men, not allowed (in most traditional societies) to be educated, not allowed to live independently, not allowed opinions, by and large, although I assume Muslim women, like all women, find ways to have their say.

There is something traumatizing about all this.  One can assume, I think, that most Muslim women know someone who has been beaten, and know it can happen to them too, and there will be nothing they can do about it.  Even in America we have had quite a few honor killings.

How do such women deal with the latent anger and rage, and fear, and humiliation?  Well, in part they likely internalize it, the same way that battered women refuse to put their batterers in jail, and stay with them, knowing it will happen again.  They rationalize the Hijab and restrictions on their movement and education as someone appropriate.

But they have access to little boys, and little boys can be punished.  They can be made to feel fear.  They can be humiliated.  They can be hurt.  Yes, these are their own children, but surely most of these mothers must feel some ambivalence, looking in the eyes of their men in their children?

Obviously, there are many happy homes, and many good mothers.  But I would argue that this outcome is made much, much less likely the more seriously the men take the fundamental contempt for women which pervades their holy text, and accounts of the deeds of its author.

Separate but equal, I think we can all agree, is not equal at all; and most Islamic apologists are being excessively generous even in granting equality in principle.  Women are a step below, maybe two.

Rosebud

I used the term Rosebud, or Rosebud moments from time to time.  The meaning should be clear enough to all who have seen Citizen Kane, but I thought I might clarify a tad.

All of us carry within us "moments" which are primitive, childish, and of vast, existential importance. I  was reading the other day that Sartre's parents divorced, and if memory serves (the details don't matter) his mother remarried when he was 12.  Somewhere in there was a childish need that was not met.  He was crying with every ounce of his being for something--for maternal love, for his father, for a return to how things used to be.  But his cries went unheard.  His needs went unmet.

And what do you do with such things?  What did our portrait of William Randolph Hearst do?  He carried on.  He put it behind him, so he thought.  He suppressed it.  What good does keeping fucking hurts in your fucking memory fucking do?  Fuck it.

But here is the thing: they don't go away until we own them, not really.

Christ taught both that we should be as children, and as wise as serpents.  Both.

Here is my emerging view: anyone unable to access the spirit of a child likely has major unresolved Rosebud moments.  Anyone STUCK in childishness, likewise.  You have to be able to move back and forth.  You have to be capable of what I will call "appropriateness".  This is a very Taoist term in the sense I am using it. It is mutable, and its exact meaning will vary constantly.

Dictum

All stupidity, repeated long enough, must be regarded as intentional.

Those who want to learn, do.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ISIS

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/knights-templar-maps-plan-fight-130000317.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=fb&fb_ref=Default

I read this article, and was reminded of an idea I had I will propose again: someone involved needs to create an organization funded by public donations--and governmental money too--to fund a mercenary/volunteer army to fight ISIS.  Hell, Blackwater could float a trial balloon by announcing a money-gathering venture to fund the fight.  They could put a Donate button on their website.  People could sponsor soldiers, like people used to sponsor kids in Africa.

Churches could get involved.  This is in no small measure an anti-anti-Christian campaign.  Christians are being slaughtered: crucified, raped, buried, beheaded.

And I think he's right, too, that it might take a Non-Governmental Entity to fight one.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Crazy

Some days I get to admit I'm crazy.

Some days I can only attest to the craziness of others.

I prefer the first.

Few thoughts

I have many dreams.  It is my belief that I often touch the energies of systems and people, but it is also my belief that I can only see what I can identify and manifest in myself.  I never see any evil or good that is not in me, too.

I was watching the British last night.  It has devolved into something like a feudal system which lacks the dignity of work.  Many, many lower class Brits sit around all day, waiting, helpless.  The initiative is gone, the gladness in work is gone.

And guns are fundamentally empowering.  I wonder if some do not seek out ISIS just to put a gun in their hands, to feel that power, that authority.  Access to them is hugely psychologically important.  They are agents of goodness and responsibility in the hands of decent people, and a CRITICAL element in a healthy democracy.

Finally: in hard times, commandments are much more useful than suggestions.  Keep the Ten Commandments is much easier than "love thy neighbor".  True Christianity is much more advanced in some ways than the Mitzvot diet of the Jews, but it also requires a much more refined sensibility, which is why most Christians are not particularly loving, and in the case for example of the religious wars and witchcraft trials, have committed quite grievous sins in the name of "love".

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mastery

I think the height of mastery is giving nothing, but asking that people steal everything they can.

EMP Attack

I read here http://www.truthandaction.org/iranian-military-calls-emp-attack-america-killing-90-population/
(by the way, I know how to connect the link to the word; I just want people to know what they are clicking on) that it would only take $2 billion to harden our energy grid against EMP's.  If true, it is beyond stupid--I would argue it ranges into the criminal--that this has not been done.  We have probably spent more money videotaping koalas fucking than this, and almost certainly more on Obama's vacations.

Why does everybody have to be so fucking stupid? 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poem

It's in the air,
          this feeling:

the dragons have fled from
    my plastic sword
and my tiny arms

the lizards have fled, with
  their flickering menacing tongues

and a rainbow. . .


Seasons

Walking my dogs this morning, it occurred to me that we follow nearly the same route twice a day, year in, year out.  But every day is different.  Something has changed.  The grass is greener or browner.  There are a lot of clouds or no clouds.  Sometimes the neighbors dogs are out, sometimes they are inside.

Every day is a season.  This  hit me.  Every day is a flavor, a color, an opportunity, a chance, a soon-to-be-gone.

This is a healthy thought.  Mental health is in part looking forward to each and every day as an opportunity to experience, to grow, to learn, to enjoy.  You know that challenges are a part of it, but you also know even the very worst ones can't last past this lifetime, and very few last even a fraction that long.  Most are forgotten in a week or two.

I have been living in hell.  As best I can determine, I have been in a more or less clinical state of depression since before I could speak, but it is healing.  I am getting flashes of hope and engagement, and cessation of those relentless attacks of self disgust, pessimism, and sense of impending doom and helplessness.

Doom may be impending--there are lunatics in this world even now trying to bring it about--but I think learning to face that possibility with the best attitude possible is the way to roll.

And I will be far more effective in creating and propagating creative alternatives as someone who is engaged with the world on all levels.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Growth

I was talking with a psychiatrist at the Hoffman Process, who referenced how "geniuses" access the world differently.  I wouldn't know about that, but I did comment that in my view emotional factors are hugely important.  If you find something which is unimagined in your field, and then rejected, soundly, by the powers that be, do you persist?  Who would Freud have been if he had stuck to his guns with his trauma theory?  We can't know.  He didn't, and this has hurt a lot of people.

As for myself, I am an UeberPisces.  I go all in, knowing I will be destroyed.  We are enthusiasts.  We can't help it.  I am a moth driven to a flame which transforms me.

Death is a certainty, and should be welcomed.  Whoever you were, you cannot forever be.  Whatever you did, is undone.  So why not jump in with both feet, and say Fuck It?


Testing my idea

My hypothesis is that certain reactions to certain stimuli are innate, and that lack of these reactions constitutes prima facie evidence of a disconnection between gut brain and frontal cortex brain.  This disconnection can be brought about abruptly through trauma, or slowly through conditioning.

You see where I am going, if you read this blog often.  I circle.

Again: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26481-left-or-rightwing-brains-disgust-response-tells-all.html

Dis-gust=inedible=unclean=dirty=wrong. What they have measured is the extent to which conservatives and leftists differ in their gut level responses to various stimuli.

If I find the spectacle of two men kissing disgusting, is that wrong?  Well, we are told it is.  We are told we have to learn to suppress that natural response--I would argue it is a natural response, as it is hard to see how evolution could have selected for at least exclusive homosexuality, although I suppose I could see some adaptive advantages to bisexuality--and instead express acceptance.  What do we do?  We SUPPRESS.

Killing babies.  Well, I think we are wired to protect our own kind, at least our close kin, and to protect the most helpless in our group.  Babies are nearly completely helpless, and embryos ARE completely helpless.  It is small wonder that many would find the idea of reaching in, pulling out, and killing--if the shock of removal was not enough--that little proto-baby.  What do we have to do to toe the orthodox leftist line that it is not a baby but a de facto removable organ of a woman's body she can choose to want or not want?  We have to SUPPRESS that natural protective instinct.

This is how you get things like this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/05/08/emily_letts_filmed_her_abortion_to_inspire_women_but_can_the_procedure_really.html

Letts tells us, “I talk to women all the time, and they’re like, ‘Of course everyone feels bad about this. Of course everyone’s going to feel guilty,’ as if it’s a given.” She says, “I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a life.”
And, of course, facilitate and film the TAKING of a life.

Personally, I am not a hard core anti-abortionist.  I support education and access to birth control.  Above all, though, I support children growing into responsible adults who are both capable of preventing pregnancy, and retaining a sense of horror at the idea of killing a baby.  Our current President supported an Illinois bill in which full term babies could be born, and then simply left in the cold to die, and then be discarded as medical waste.  There is something fundamentally disconnected about that.

This is my point.  I think one possible measurement would be something adumbrated in the movie "The Parallax View", and attempted in a preliminary fashion by those measuring political brains, which would be to measure reactions to images which we could reasonably assume would be dis-gusting for most people.  Dead bodies, feces, etc.

And of course this sort of thing was PRECISELY what Sade was interested in.  120 Days of Sodom is filled with little sketches, little ideas, static images (partially forced by the fact that Sade was in prison and forced to hide his manuscript).  One of them was taking a bath in blood, feces, semen, urine and menstrual blood (I think that is the right inventory), and calling it good.

The leaves on trees turn color in the fall because they are dying.  Can we not imagine that the fascination with the dis-gusting arises precisely when access to that sense is gone or dying?  That a fascination with death is tied precisely to a sense one is dying or dead?  Could we not find brain-eating zombies in here somewhere?

Life is complex.  I mean this in both senses of the term, which is to say "hard to understand", and formally "complex".  You cannot necessarily build stronger bonds of human understanding by prohibiting judgement and that expressed sense of pre-rational revulsion we call bigotry.  As I say to the point of being monomaniacal and profoundly dull, leftism does not renounce judgement or violence.  It does not renounce hate or bigotry.  It simply reserves it for those ACCUSED of those crimes, who in most cases are completely innocent.  Does any sane human being really think opposition to Obama is race-based, or that racism is a major problem for more than a very small fraction of our populace?  Of course not: lunacy is common on the left.  It is the only thing which propagates it.

I was reading the other day both about how the Irish competed with blacks in the numbers in which they were brought to the Americas as slaves, and in the discrimination they faced. Most Irish slaves seem to have wound up in the Caribbean, but they were slaves, no question.  They were "bred"--and I think this is the term that was used--to create higher value slaves.  They were esteemed lower than blacks, who were considered hardier.

Then after the potato famine, they came to America voluntarily, but were faced with pervasive discrimination, as in the short, because common and commonly understood, acronym NINA: No Irish Need Apply.

No civil rights activists intervened.  No pro-Irish campaigns were ever waged by the government.  But they integrated.  Most major cities now have Saint Patrick's Day parades.

The same thing would have happened with African-Americans, if they had been left alone, left to negotiate their own way as countless individuals.  But they had the profound misfortune to have Jesse Jackson and Al sharpton and Jeremiah Wright, and Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama inflicted on them.  And that's before I get to the vastly larger number of whites who USED them both to advance their careers, and to create a sufficient illusion of a conscience for themselves that they could sleep at night in their large mansions, "knowing" they were the good guys and gals.

Enough for now. 







Existence as Transgression

Welcome to my mornings.  This is the sort of thing I wake up with.  It's good.  I feel some mild guilt getting up at 9am, but then I look at how hellish my sleep was, and pronounce it good, and look forward to my coffee--Peet's Major Dickason's Blend.  I'm glad to see they are expanding, although I assume they are damn hippies too (I'm a damn hippy, but one who considers Reagan a centrist and Fox center-Left).

Here is what I think is an important hypothesis: Evil is mainly constituted by learned helplessness with respect to full nervous system integration, aka the sense of emotional individuation.  For those who exhibit what we call sociopathy or psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder, existence is a transgression.

Think of the experiments that could not be done today, in which dogs were put in one cage, and allowed into another, which had an electrical plate that shocked them.  After a time, they would not venture out, even if the floor was not electrified, because the pain of even anticipating the shock was too much.

Children who are beaten cannot feel anger.  You are not allowed to yell back at the parent.  You are not allowed to express justified rage.  You are not allowed access, in other words, to normal systemic responses, to instinctual responses, to natural reactions to troubling times.

This creates dissociation, which is a textbook clinical response to trauma.  Dissociation is a disconnection between the sense of self and emotions most would consider appropriate at some given time.  Traumatized men, for example, in my view make excellent soldiers, because they lack the sense of fear that would paralyze others.  They simply shut it off.

And think about this: conscience consists mainly in ANXIETY, in the sense that doing x, y, or z makes you uncomfortable.  You imagine cheating on your spouse, or robbing or killing someone, and some part of you becomes profoundly discomfited.  It doesn't like it.  It says "I don't WANT to be the sort of person who does that".

It may be that you don't want to be SEEN to be that sort of person, that you value your honor, which is to say your social standing.

It may be that your conversation is solely internal, such that your "social standing" is related to your internal sense of worth, your internal and fully honest sense that if you commit this transgression, you will no longer DESERVE to be integrated into a social space.  You should be homeless.  You should be exiled.  You would feel guilt, which is to say anxiety and emotional pain tied to your sense of self.

This is what the voice in your head tells you.  But here is my thesis: that "voice" is an emergent property of a gut sense, of signalling originating in the gut, which perhaps at a very primitive level is concerned with clean/unclean, itself a distinction related to edible/inedible, which at one time had enormous survival implications.

The A-10 is a plane built around a gun; the human being, in some sense, is a machine built around the gut, serving it.  Figuring out what it tells us constantly is thus a matter of considerable importance.

Sociopaths, in this rendering, have lost--through socializing, in all likelihood, with infant trauma largely being absent from the psychotherapeutic arsenal of diagnoses, but certainly possibly having been born this way, or a predisposition to it--the connection between their rational, social brain and their gut brain.  The gut sense that something is inedible/unclean/wrong is simply not there.  The gut either is not telling them, or they do not have the capacity to process it.  Either way, the conscience is absent.  Lying, cheating, stealing: these evoke no emotional response other than a concern with getting caught and punished.

And such people typically have an exaggerated need for thrills, for living on the edge.  Some, with some other factors in place, become serial killers or rapists; others ride their motorcycles much too fast, and tell so many lies and cheat so much it's almost like they want to get caught, when in reality it's the thrill of the possibility-and the sense of victory when they get away with it--that makes their engines run.

On this rendering the distinction of sacred and profane, seen nearly everywhere in religions around the world, would be one arising in the gut.

And the preponderance of fascination with horror movies, particularly among young people, could be seen as arising from the felt gut sense that the distinction between sacred and profane has been eradicated.  Leveling is the fundamental notion of Socialism--moral leveling, to be clear, since politically an oligarchy always emerges on top--and that eradicates primitive emotion-based distinctions.

As rational beings, of course, we can say that such distinctions should be erased.  Homosexuals should not be beaten and killed.  We can allow Irish to apply.  Women are pretty damn smart.  All of this makes sense.

But some part of us still needs these distinctions.  The Hindus built peace (for most) and stability for thousands of years based upon pervasive and permanent and complex graded systems of difference, of sacred and profane.  To this very day, tens or hundreds of millions exist outside the social system, and are routinely abused in horrible ways.

To abuse is to exist.  This is the logic of some part of our evolutionary wiring.  It is countered, of course, by more recent developments, by our social brains.  But when the two exist in conflict, the sense of home is prevented.  Rest is disrupted.

This is the issue of our modern age.  One can easily see the totalitarianisms (Communism, primarily, with Nazism arising in reaction to it) as arising from this felt sense of displacedness, of disconnection, of homelessness.  Verworfenheit.  One can readily grasp Heidegger's initial embrace of Nazism simply by noting the importance he placed on Heimat: me and mine, if necessary against all others.

And I think it necessary and useful to derive a sort of Sociopathy Light (Lite?), which is to say the evisceration of the conscience brought on by disconnecting the gut from abstraction.  In order to socialize ourselves, we must employ abstract reasoning, rules.  Fairness, for example, is an abstraction.  It says "I must make sure (the gut adds--in order to prevent violence and to foster intra-group solidarity) to make sure all the children get equally large slices of chocolate cake."  As an abstraction, this works.

But our social mind can easily be disconnected from its concrete milieu, from the actual, real world.  It can perform the same symbolic operations, which make sense in the abstract, but which do not apply to anything in the real world.  "Social Justice", for example, is in almost all cases encouraging one group not to embrace the principles of hard work, self restraint, long term thinking, and patience; and of punishing another group for doing so.  It rewards those who should not be rewarded, and punishes those who have in fact been rewarded.

More importantly, it discourages morality.  Virtue remains a type of sacred; and its contrary a type of profane.  These are still usable categories, and will in my view still satisfy the gut.

But contemporary "virtue" consists precisely in undermining all other sorts of virtues, at least on the left.  They do not say "the rich are rich because they busted their asses over the long haul, took large risks, endured many sleepless nights and endless frustration, and in the process created many jobs and wealth for others."  No, they mimic a bygone era when aristocrats existed, and could be assumed to be the beneficiaries of an ancestors rapacity and capacity for successful theft in the near or distant past.

So what you get, practically, is a combination of inaccurate abstraction--really, I would call it in nearly all cases rationalization--and a very real felt sense of hatred and anger and violence which come from an otherwise disconnected gut.

And this basic phenomenon is common.  On the Religious Right you have people who spend all week reading about the importance of love and kindness, and who spit out hatred and anger at all who disagree with them.

And everywhere you will find self righteous people who claim to be for the "Good" who are angry, spiteful, and emotionally disconnected.

All abstract tribes are prone to this, although it is not a necessary element.

I think it is perhaps in the Dionysian that we reconcile these opposing tendencies.  Apollo has never fully run the show.  Wine has its place.  The gut must have its say and its day.

And I think this is also the role played by many authentic spiritual practices.  As I have mentioned, I do a Tibetan practice called Kum Nye, and they talk about the nastiness of gut energy, which they locate in an energy center below the navel, but also speak of how to release and integrate it.  (In my own case, I have what amount to attacks of shaking nearly every night, which originate in almost all cases in my solar plexus; my view is that both the orthodox physiologists and the "energy" interpretations are correct, on different levels).

And this is the point: existing methods can be researched and refined, and new methods can be developed and deployed to deal with this energy in socially useful ways, such that we can exist as being who FEEL whole without being subject to attacks of violence and a need for ritually defined social distinctions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Killing

The second to last Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz has a Satanic cult which gathers to witness the torture and murder of children. Pleasant theme.

I would connect this with a paper I proposed writing in graduate school, and which my professor refused to allow, which compared the stages of serial killers with those of ritual activity.  I forget the details, but serial killers go through a series of psychological stages in every killing.  They initially enter a slightly altered state, when they start looking.  Then they enter another, profoundly altered state when they interact with and eventually kill their victim.  Then they reintegrate, usually taking some memento of the victim with them.  This is usually very important. Here is one random link, which does not cover what I am talking about, but which is somewhat interesting: http://twistedminds.creativescapism.com/psychological-disorders/motives/

I was going to compare this with I think it was Turner's three stage ritual theory.  Yes, here is a brief description: 

Turner explored Arnold van Gennep's threefold structure of rites of passage and expanding theories on the liminal phase. Van Gennep's structure consisted of a pre-liminal phase (separation), a liminal phase (transition), and a post-liminal phase (reincorporation). Turner noted that in liminality, the transitional state between two phases, individuals were "betwixt and between": they did not belong to the society that they previously were a part of and they were not yet reincorporated into that society. Liminality is a limbo, an ambiguous period characterized by humility, seclusion, tests, sexual ambiguity, and communitas.
Here is the point I want to make here: I think it would be possible and likely useful to theorize that what is happening in both actual religious ritual and serial killing/ritual killing is that we are transitioning from our social brain--our frontal cortex--to our more primitive nervous systems, and specifically the gut brain.  The gut brain WANTS blood and guts and to tear things to shreds.  Do you think big cats, stalking their prey, do not go through something like what serial killers do, stalking THEIR prey?

And evil and traumatic disruption of normal gut function are integrally related.  I am convinced of this.

If this is true, then ritual and ritual killing are perhaps means of REMEMBERING a part of ourselves that has gone lost in civilized life.

I think there are some deep, dark, and potentially transformative ideas here.

And I will add the idea, too, that psychiatric drugs are targeted at our rational minds, with things that happen in the brain.  We do not yet have anything which can work to calm down, directly, grotesque alterations of nervous system function in the gut.  That would be an enormously productive field of research, in my considered view.  I have no clue how one would go about it, but I would start by trying to determine if I could find a way to tell the difference between the guts (and this is a large term covering a lot of neuroanatomy I don't know in detail) of healthy, relaxed people, and those with PTSD.

Perhaps there is a way of interrupting the signals they send to the brain?  

Home

Home is a category of living.  It is a quality of being.  When you feel at home, you are relaxed and comfortable.  The opposite is feeling away from home, which is to say somewhere where you need to be alert and guarded, unless you are trusting enough to make the Earth your home.

I think people who grow up in violent homes lack what I tend to call, for want of a better term, a place-holder for "home".  They never felt safe.  They never enjoyed a lasting peace.

Me, I've lived in the same place for quite some time, and have needed to do some painting and reorganizing, etc., to make it more into a home, into a place that is recognizably MINE.  Certainly, my decor is ideosyncratic and likely unique, but I have not gone all the way and made everything just so.  I am afraid to become attached to the place.  This is an irrational fear, since I cannot imagine a circumstance in which I would be FORCED to move again.

But it goes deeper: connecting to this place means connecting to the feeling of home, and home scares me.  My home was a place where I got hit, and my parents argued constantly.

So what I am feeling is that as I slowly become aware of all this, as I slowly build my emotional readiness to "nest", this signified, intrinsically, healing.

Masteries

John Wooden always said his games were won in practice.  He spent an enormous amount of time preparing them, such that everything was down to very small time intervals.  He would spend two hours planning a two hour practice.

I sometimes dream of being disciplined enough to plan my days like this.  Specifically, I have often thought that it would be enormously interesting and useful to allocate 20 minute blocks to various skill developments, and do so daily.  For example, 20 minutes juggling, 20 minutes studying Sanskrit, and 20 minutes listening to and reading along with Shakespeare's plays.  That would be one block.

3 days a week you add a second block, say a 30 minute lecture on something, and 30 minutes memorizing as many songs as you can.

Sundays you spend 3 hours on something, like cooking a gourmet meal, while cultivating a capacity for recognizing fine wines or whiskeys.  And you smoke a cigar, and make notes on it, to develop your capacity for recognizing and describing fine smells.

Do this over years.  How interesting that would be.  And you could build to 5, 10, or 15 skills, cultivated slowly, gradually, and over long time intervals.

Love making: get the books, and build the skills.  Consciously experiment, take notes.  There is no reason a competent lover can't give an average woman 2-3 orgasms every time he starts.  Most of us just don't recognize how fantastically equipped women are for sexual pleasure.  We men are pikers in comparison.

Bon Mot

Knowledge feeds curiosity.

Alternate rendering: Knowledge breeds curiosity.

I continue to find proclaiming my own words "bon mots" amusing.  As I tell my kids, even if I am laughing at my own jokes, at least someone is laughing.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Sequence

I must, I can, I like, I love.