Change feed
According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016, Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people and people of color: in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan. Every Tuesday – reported the _New York Times_ – he personally selected those who would be murdered by hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, and shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the ‘terrorist target.’
John Pilger: From Yellow Journalism to China Bashing, the Media’s Enduring Role in Promoting War
But here is what I feel confident in saying: If someone spent any amount of time with Jeffrey Epstein, at a minimum they saw him physically touching girls in provocative ways and rather gleefully showing off his ability to do so. More than likely, they were offered sex with whatever their preference was (Epstein did employ, abuse, and traffic women who weren't underage). And many did have sex with girls or women. So, ALL the people who spent real time with Epstein were--at best!--witnesses to the almost certain rape of children. And had a high likelihood that they engaged in illegal sex acts. Courts can presume innocence. We all should presume guilt. Donald Trump, Bills Clinton, [Bill] Gates, and Richardson. Ehud Barak. George Mitchell. George Church, Ito--and a lot of others at MIT and Harvard. There is an enormous likelihood that -- at the very best -- they spent a lot of time with a man they knew to be raping children. They saw him with those children. They saw naked photos on his walls and many saw naked children around his pool. They knew. Yes, of course, many participated. But ALL knew.
# Jesse Drew's Communist Manifestoon
# Computers and the Apartheid Regime in South Africa
The Justice Department and FBI de-prioritize the investigation and prosecution of far-right violence as a matter of policy, not a lack of authority.

Michael German. https://www.propublica.org/article/he-spent-years-infiltrating-white-supremacist-groups-heres-what-he-has-to-say-about-whats-going-on-now

# 14th Annual Gandhi Lecture on Nonviolence with Chris Hedges: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
# List of Atrocities committed by US authorities
We are encouraged to imagine the end of life more easily than the end of capitalism, and I think that is a mistake.

Jason W. Moore. Climate, Class, and Civilizational Crisis


Good decisions do not always have good outcomes, just as bad decisions do not always have bad outcomes.

It is perfectly obvious that Christianity has produced a nightmare of repression, of anti-human intolerance. It is perfectly obvious that the nuclear family is a cauldron for the production of neurosis and the employment of psychotherapists. It is perfectly obvious that the most destructive drugs we have discovered are peddled freely in every shopping center. It is perfectly obvious that the drugs of transcendence that connect us to the Earth are the drugs that those who govern us are most interested in repressing. We are living inside an impossible set of contradictions, no less impossible than the set of contradictions the people of the Soviet Union were asked to live under.

Terence McKenna. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaB5gg9t1xQ

Once finance capital has brought the most important branches of production under its control, it is enough for society, through its conscious executive organ – the state conquered by the working class – to seize finance capital in order to gain immediate control of these branches of production. [This would make it unnecessary to expropriate peasant farms and small businesses because they would be indirectly socialized, through the socialization of institutions upon which finance capital had already made them dependent.]

Rudolf Hilferding. Finance Capital.

# Jaron Lanier explains why you should quit social media.

If you are a blue-collar worker in the United States:

  1. People have made their entire careers and fortunes out of firing you, to transfer your job overseas/automate it.
  2. Then those same people tell you that you are a lazy welfare moocher and do not deserve decent schools, public parks, or clean drinking water. They tell you this because they do not want to pay taxes on the fortunes they made by firing you.
  3. Then they tell you that they can solve your problems, if you elect them to public office, by lowering their own taxes.
  4. You believe them.

[Prayer] is a way to avoid admitting powerlessness over something, since it feels like you are doing something.

Gavin de Becker. The Gift of Fear.


Sunday School

Childhood religious indoctrination is ritual emotional abuse. Religion is a mental illness similar to personality disorders - it is a complex of delusions brought about as a result of pathological socialization.


Prediction Markets

Prediction markets are either a very roundabout way of paying people to tell your their secrets (the goal of prediction markets is to reward what would otherwise be insider trading), or a very roundabout way of rolling dice.

# NSA Special Source Operations Top Secret FAA702 Operations PRISM Two Types of Collection Upstream: Collection of communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past. PRISM: Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. You Should Use Both.
# People were afraid of 'knock down the door style mass deportations.' Apparently all [the DHS] have to do is ask Facebook for help.
# The DHS is torturing people in concentration camps in the United States.

Opium and Caffeine: the British Empire was the original drug cartel.


Global warming is making you fat


In 2010, David Allison's lab published a meta analysis of increased obesity in animals over the past several decades. The conclusion of the meta analysis was that increased animal obesity is due to hormone mimicking pollutants and viruses. The inference was that this applied to humans as well. David Allison is a shill for the fast-food industry, and the our bad food doesn't cause obesity, viruses and pollutants do spin was strongly promoted by fast food and beef/dairy PR.

The hypothesis put forward by Loladze has a much more straightforward mechanism of action and fits the observed pattern of nutrient-poor processed foods causing obesity in humans. The data correlates much better too - rural rats have gotten about 5% heavier from 1948 to 1986. An 8% decrease in nutrient density from 1980 to 2010 is about a 1% decrease for every 6.25ppm increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 went up about 35ppm between 1945 and 1985 which gives a 5% decrease in nutrient density. Rural rats had to eat 5% more calories to satiate their appetite and this would explain their weight gain. Urban rats got 6.5% heavier from 1948 to 2006, which follows the same trend.


Regulatory capture is a dominant force in western capitalism. To the extent that is “planning” the economy, the article could be talking about the US. We certainly have a more extensive surveillance apparatus.

From what I can tell China keeps most of its oppression inside its borders, at least compared to the US.

Look up forced labor in immigrant prisons, or the 1,000,000 current cholera cases in Yemen / estimated 7,000,000 victims of famine coming soon — the US is actively working to expand that humanitarian disaster as you read this.

Also there are 100,000’s of legal immigrants we’re planning to send back to failed economies and war zones. All of that is happening today. If you go back a decade for more context, you can add torturing civilians to death, establishing narco states, etc, etc.

I was going to add “funding terrorism” to my list of past events, but I just remembered we’re actually in the middle of active military strikes that are meant to help Al Qaeda ground forces.

All of these violations of basic human rights were very profitable to campaign donors.

To make it worse, from what I can tell, some members of our congress think it is appropriate to let the president replace the head of the FBI with a yes-man specifically to block an investigation into the president’s ties with organized crime and foreign powers. That will give him some degree of legal impunity, and also control of a massive domestic surveillance apparatus (much of which consists of commercial entities).

How did this happen? Trump hired a foreign-owned company (Cambridge Analytica) to use the tools of surveillance capitalism to squeak through the electoral college with a record-low percentage of the popular vote.

Sorry for the long-winded answer, but that roughly summarizes the state of survelliance capitalism in 2018, and what it has to do with the article.

Often his rationalization mechanisms are so perfectly developed that he never admits, even to himself, that he is fundamentally dishonest.

David Maurer. The Big Con


Religion is a cancer of the mind.


Christianity, Islam, and New Age religions normalize and encourage mental illness by denying that reality is whole and coherent.

The idea of an afterlife outside of the world, of an ethereal omnipotent being who is concerned with your every thought and action, of spontaneous divine messages and voices, of inexplicable miracles and baseless prophecies are all types of psychosis.


Christian morality is wrong. It is a list of rules without an explanation.

Those who follow Christian morality have no real idea of why the decisions they make, make sense, and even less motivation to follow those rules.

Without an understanding of where morality comes from, the Christian is incapable of making anything but destructive choices when presented with novel situations.

The Ku Klux Klan is as much a religious Protestant sect as the Taliban or al-Qaeda are Muslim. The doctrine of the Christian Identity movement, with its spurious scholarship and militant apocalyptic urgency, forms the ideological backdrop of virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements.

Lucien Greaves. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/23/im-a-founder-of-the-satanic-temple-dont-blame-satan-for-white-supremacy/


People with conservative and racist/sexist/classist views often claim that they are more "objective" and "pragmatic" than people who have more empathy for the plight of others less well off than them. In fact the opposite is true - conservatives tend to be fear-driven people that experience very strong emotions and emotional reactions that they have trouble controlling or even being aware of. It is this lack of awareness that makes them think that they are less emotional and more rational.

The key to understanding conservatism is understanding the dynamics of personality disorders involving identity, such as Borderline Personality Disorder. The reason why conservatives are focused on the often inaccurate and retroactively invented stereotypes of "traditional" social roles and group belonging is that they have a weak sense of self and identity. The stereotyped roles lack any nuance or need to make situational decisions, which makes them easy to take on as part of personal views. It does not matter that traditionalism is an inaccurate historical fiction that is about as useful to your personal life as the Renaissance Faire - what matters is that you do not need to think very hard once you have adapted those views. Social situations are delineated by unequivocal right-or-wrong responses, which usually leads to ostracism and social exclusion of the conservative, further sparing them from facing any unfamiliar and uncomfortable social interactions where they would have to face their own lack of personality and ability to empathize with other people. Personal wants and needs are denied because the race/cause is more important, so the development of an understanding of self ("what-I-like," "what-I-need," "what-am-I-doing") is further delayed.

Identifying with an explicitly racist or sexist movement provides the members not only with an identity and mission to latch onto, but an enemy on which to vent the immense amounts of self-hate and self-anger that they carry. This is one reason why men are over-represented in these movements - women typically direct this rage at themselves in the form of self-harming/compulsive behavior.

You cannot have self-awareness when there is nothing there to be aware of. One of the key steps in normal childhood development is constructing an understanding of yourself as separate from other people. This involves developing a concept of yourself as a person with your own distinct thoughts, emotions, and preferences, which has a necessary dual in developing a concept of other people as distinct and coming to understand and predict their emotions, thoughts, and behavior (this is called "theory of mind").

When this normal process of childhood development is disturbed, people have a very hard time relating to others and understanding their own emotions and actions. Basically if you cannot understand what another person is thinking, you cannot have empathy for them.

This lack of understanding of their own preferences and the reactions of others causes conservatives trouble with decision making, particularly choices that involve emotions - that is, moral choices. That is why conservatives are drawn to rigid and punishing systems of social organization - evangelical religion and authoritarian government. They cannot make good decisions on their own and must rely on a structured environment and other people to tell them what to do.

This also explains why conservatives have such high rates of deviant behavior in private (spouse and child abuse, incest, affairs, political corruption and bribe-taking, pedophile priests, etc) - any lapses in outside control and the conservative does not have the necessary emotional skills to make moral decisions. Combined with a lack of self (when there is no self, what is there to be private about?) it makes sense that conservatives tend to be very strongly opposed to laws protecting personal privacy.

A lack of awareness that one has strong emotions and emotional reactions is not "objective" or "pragmatic" - it is a serious personality disorder that alienates others in your life with angry outbursts and inappropriate rants. At the extreme end of this disorder are people like Alex Jones: constant angry outbursts, extreme paranoia, and dogmatic alliance to fascist leaders and "traditional values."

Fortunately it is possible to get better. Seek out a therapist. Try empathogen and psychedelic drugs to help you understand your emotions. There are now many good self-help books available on Borderline Personality Disorder and other personality disorders. You can help yourself and you can get better.


This is what debate looks like:

"Hello, can we talk about this issue?"

Publishing a multi-page manifesto is not debate. Demanding that other people debate you and point out the mistakes in your manifesto shows no regard for other people's time or opinions. No one is obligated to respond to you, and you should not be surprised when people answer you with some variation of "this guy is a jerk."

Just because no one wants to waste their time debating you does not make you right. What it does mean is that you made the demand for debate in bad faith. You are not interested in approaching the issue with an open mind. What you really want is another platform on which to broadcast your views.


Meaning and purpose are mental illusions - stories that we come up with as shortcuts for thinking about causality. Knowing this, the question "what is the meaning of life?" then reveals itself to be a leading question - when you ask that question, you have already decided that life must have a corresponding meaning. Mental illusions exist only in relation to the self. The question that you are really asking is: "What is the meaning of my life?"


Fear of failure and fear of success are two sides of the same coin - they are both fear of change. You are afraid of change, so you are fearful of doing anything that can have a real consequence.


Image if these people ever faced actual oppression.
Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry.
Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for 'male health care.'
The law never enslaved their great-grandparents, robbed their grandparents, imprisoned their parents, shot them when unarmed.
There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote.
There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to 'proving' their intellectual inferiority.
There is no travel ban on them because of their religion.
There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weapons in public.
Their churches were never burned.
Their lawns never decorated with burning crosses.
Their ancestors never hung from trees.
Their mothers are not being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever.
They won't be forced to leave the only country they ever knew.
The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting 'we will not be replaced.' Replaced as... what?

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is 'white man' oppression.

I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you actually can't say 'Christmas.' A world where the name "Geoff" on a resume puts it in the trash. Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more. Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they get kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Julius Goat


Self-awareness is the dual to identity. If you lack a well-defined identity, what is there to be aware of?

# RU Sirius talks about today, 20 years ago.
The work on ending drug war and fighting drug user stigmatization starts with you!
The conception of duty has been a means used by the holders of power to induce others to live for the interests of their masters rather than for their own.

Bertrand Russell. In Praise Of Idleness.

The official unemployment rate in the United States is already below 6 per cent, which is pretty close to what economists used to call 'full employment', but income inequality hasn't changed a bit. Shitty jobs for everyone won't solve any social problems we now face.
Code what? To do what? And why?
Shut down our clinics and we will shut down your church.

David Wojnarowicz. Postcards from America: X-Rays from Hell

It's the money, stupid. After 33 years as a police officer in three of the country's largest cities, that is my message to the righteous politicians who obstinately proclaim that a war on drugs will lead to a drug-free America. About $500 of heroin or cocaine in a source country will bring in as much as $100,000 on the streets of an American city. All the cops, armies, prisons and executions in the world cannot impede a market with that kind of tax-free profit-margin. It is the illegality that permits the obscene mark-up, enriching drug-traffickers, distributors, dealers, crooked cops, lawyers, judges, politicians, bankers, businessmen...

Joseph D. McNamara, former chief of police in Kansas City, MO, and San Jose, CA. From the February 12, 1996, issue of the National Review

The basic fact that eluded these great geniuses was that it takes only ten square miles of poppy to feed the entire American heroin market, and they grow everywhere.

Myles Ambrose, adviser to Nixon cabinet. Quoted in Edward Jay Epstein's Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America


Shoot up for a long life

The present data, together with those of our earlier study in mice (Dubiley et al. Probl Aging Longvity 9:331?332, 2000) suggest that morphine supplementation can result in life extension in both vertebrate and invertebrate animal species.
In the "Inquisition against pleasure", victims of medically-sanctioned human-rights abuses - e.g. the hundreds of thousands of drug "offenders" incarcerated in the Amerikan gulag - are officially supposed to believe their malaise-ridden drug-naïve states were "normal", "natural" and mentally healthy.
We read that Irene Pepperberg's parrot, with whom we last shared a common ancestor several hundred million years ago, had the mental age of a three-year-old child. But it's still legal for so-called sportsmen to shoot birds for fun. If sportsmen shot babies and toddlers of our own species for fun, they'd be judged criminal sociopaths and locked up.

The suppression of psychiatric research on psychedelics is one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century




Republicans have always been Internet trolls

If you're a reader of alt.tasteless, as I am, you've probably heard of Trashcan Man. His real name is Constantino Tobio Jr., and he's a 21-year-old history major at Columbia University, in Manhattan. Everyone, though, calls him by his self-annointed nickname.


Whenever life began to return to normal at rec.pets.cats, someone from alt.tasteless would post an article there looking for, say, a good recipe for Polynesian cat. Occasionally, someone from rec.pets.cats would try to fight back by posting an article about his or her cute kitty on alt.tasteless. But that only led people like Trashcan Man to respond with their own articles about topics such as vivisecting the cat and having sex with its innards.


In the long run, though, "I have political aspirations," Trashcan Man said. "I'm a member of the Republican Party on campus. I have often proclaimed that I am the future of the Republican Party."


If you could go back in time, would you kill Hitler? pt. 2

I would kill Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch and everyone involved in their research. If the discovery of the Haber process had been delayed by even a few decades, there would be a lot less of us around parasitizing the planet today.

# The Vanishing Book of Life on Earth
# Capitalist economics is a Utopian delusion

UFOs and vegetarianism

Meat is unhealthy, cruel, environmentally destructive. To an alien observer, someone who continues to eat meat despite knowing these things can only appear to be either an addict helpless to break his addiction, or else a cruel, self-hating idiot.


How conservatives understand economists

Conservatives and capitalists have very selective eyes and ears when it comes to Milton Friedman's ideas. They love deregulation and removing citizen and consumer protection laws. They hate wealth transfer to the poor and the idea of minimum wage. Of course they conveniently ignore Friedman's advocacy of a negative income tax, and his arguments that consumer prices do not increase with increased wages.


Lies and recovery

The worst kinds of addicts are the ones who have stopped and are now parading up and down the streets yelling about how horrible drugs are and how ruined their lives have become. The kinds of people that go off on drug binges do so because they are trying to escape from being responsible and accountable for their own lives, their actions, and their relationships. This is very convenient, because when someone finally takes them to task for it, they can just blame the drugs instead of their own choices and actions, once again escaping accountability. Only the drugs stopped - the lying and the rationalization continues. Don't be gullible enough to fall for this lie, even if it is coming from a friend or especially from a relative.


The myth that liberals believe in equality

It is true that people are not all equal. That is why it is so profoundly unfair that a white person of inferior abilities should be shown preference over a black person of superior abilities. The racists' appeal to difference in fact shows why racism is wrong.


Parents, think about your expectations of your children

God is my witness, that as a mother, I certainly have offered you the best of my understanding, and I am sure that some day soon you will never be happy until you will for fill [sic] my sincere wishes, and that comes from the bottom of my heart.

Excerpt from a letter written by mother of Irving Rosenthal to Irving, in Irving Rosenthal's Sheeper


de Landa on socialism

But if I am right, that every national and international institutions are mini Soviet Unions, mini Socialisims minus the idealism, and that they replace prices with commands only on a smaller scale, then obviously Socialism is not the solution. Socialism is indeed an intensification of the trend that is enslaving us.

Manuel de Landa http://www.t0.or.at/delanda/intdelanda.htm


Labor unions and economic competition

Competition is supposed to be one of the key drivers of efficiency in an economic system.

Labor unions compete with management for a share of the company's profits.

This is why so many in the capitalist class are against labor unions. For the capitalists, competition is only good when it benefits them.


Viewing libertarianism as a Republican scam

Libertarianism is used by Republicans as a way to reach out to lower economic class people who think of themselves as intelligent. Stupid people get the "immigration, muslims" message. Smart get the "disruption, progress" message. The end result is the same - privatization scams, tax-abatement welfare for the rich, and the repeal of corporate oversight and safety laws. Note that Republicans do not bother with these tricks for people who support them - the upper economic class.


Performativity and labels

The philosopher Ian Hacking has written about the problem of "dynamic nominalism": once you invent a category, people will sort themselves into it, behave according to the description, and thus contrive new ways of being.


Choose to choose

The choice is ours, if only we choose it.

Samuel Alexander http://simplicitycollective.com/alternative-hedonism-and-the-pleasures-of-simplicity

Choice is only there if you are aware of it and consider it as something that is possible for you. Many times in our lives we dismiss choices as being "out there," for others. Something "we would never do." The real paradox of choice is choosing choice.

Say no to decision trees, say yes to decision rhizomes.


Piracy is resistance to neoliberal capitalism pt. 2


Human exploitation starts with animal domestication

As in modern Sardinia, 60% of the soil was suitable only for breeding cattle and sheep. Probably, as in other human communities that have the cattle as traditional economic base, the property of this established social hierarchies.

Branding as ideology

Of course, it's not the beer or the cigarettes or the mineral water the Soviets revere: it's the power of icons that represent the West. Capitalist symbols promise status, power, wealth, and beauty. The Western product is a package, the package is a logo, and the logos stand for everything they don't have: democracy, prosperity, up-to-dateness, and heroic individualism.

Jeremy Wolff http://already.com/ussr/


Torture idolatry

People worship at the cross - an execution apparatus. Worshiping the Christian cross is the same as worshiping the electric chair, the gallows, the gas chamber.


When is the right time to have a baby?

When you have made another life, in a certain sense you have obsoleted yourself. It is a good time to start work on the process of dying.


Two kinds of ignorance

Not knowing something is different from knowing the wrong thing.


Housing price appreciation is a retirement pension privatization scam

Depending on growing housing prices to provide retirement funds is just another Reagan-era privatization scam, intended to replace pensions. The younger generation is still expected to provide the retirement payments for the older, now with 100% of the cost (when compounded) skimmed off the top into the pockets of private investors in the form of mortgage interest.


Accepting capitalism is giving up on the future

Because you are anti-capitalist does not mean you are a communist. I was born and spent my childhood in the Soviet Union, and in many ways it sucked. I now live in the United States, and in many ways it is better. But this does not mean that I want my life and the lives of those around me to stop improving.

There is no "end of history" and this is not "the best possible world."


On creativity

Being creative is doing something that seems obvious to you but not to others.

The Cold War was when America wrote many of its myths about itself, myths that last to the present day. The international sport of indoor track cycling might have been left out of the collective consciousness simply because it didn't fit the narrative of American exceptionalism.

We didn't think this through very well

A particularly strange thing about [Silicon Valley] ageism is that some of the same people who think a 40-year-old is useless also hope to live forever. (Singularity, longevity breakthroughs, whatever.)

What do they expect to be doing at 1000 years old?



The competition is irrelevant. In life, everyone loses.


The only thing I want from life is death.


Piracy is resistance to neoliberal capitalism


Copyright and IP (and probably real estate) are pretty much the only way for capitalists to make money the more things like internet, 3D printing, AI, robotics and so on are available to the masses. To me it's the only way to keep the current power structures intact so for a lot of powerful people copyright laws are probably the most important laws. They don't need the state for personal protection (they can pay for security guards instead of police) but they need the state for protecting their livelihood.

Employment is the financial derivative of slavery, pt. 4

When all of your earnings are exhausted on food and shelter, your labor and time is no longer a path towards economic and social advancement, but an act of self-preservation. You are literally being forced to work only just to survive. That you have some limited choice of who you can work for and what kind of food and shelter you can consume does not change what in effect is slavery. Except that the slave-master was obligated to feed his (and it is almost always a him) slave until a time of sale, but an employer has no obligation to keep employing you.

If you know where the quote I paraphrased for the first sentence of the above paragraph comes from, I would like to know. As far as I can tell it appeared on the Internet in 2013, without attribution.

We need another Black Plague

The environmental catastrophe is not going to be a single disaster that will happen suddenly one morning. It is a century of overcrowding, slums, trash, and disease. Every forest turned into a desert, every rock covered in graffiti, every river a sewer of human garbage. The Black Plague killed off half of the Old World population. What followed were centuries of ecological renewal, an unprecedented transfer of wealth to the working classes, and the European Renaissance that transfer enabled. It is time for another Black Plague.


Robot overlords

The Terminator and The Matrix portray an AI-controlled world as an ecologically devastated wasteland. But what motivation can robots have to trash the planet? It is us humans who are destroying the natural environment. The world without us would be a wild natural paradise. I cannot wait for the Skynet robot overlords to put all of us in death camps to save the plants and the animals.


School vs prison

The reason why kids are mean and violent towards each other in school is the same reason why people are mean and violent towards each other in prison - they are there against their will and are being subjected to a lot of stress.

Capitalism depends on growth, but growth does not depend on capitalism.

Leigh Phillips https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2015/nov/04/why-eco-austerity-wont-save-us-from-climate-change

Universal is to particular as question is to answer.

Slavoj Žižek https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq1rjAq3xCk#t=6m50s


Poor but cool

After the fall of the Wall we all ended up in the east.

Anastasiia Fedorova http://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/4134/eastern-bloc-style-poor-but-cool-the-cold-war-a-defining-symbol-for-modern-


9/11 was about architecture

These forces are evident in the story of New York Liberty Bonds, which have sparked the current boom in construction of rental housing in Lower Manhattan. These hastily devised economic development instruments were designed to deal with an immediate and unprecedented calamity – the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which were led by architect and graduate student in urban design Mohammed Atta (his thesis for a German university was about Islamic tradition versus modernity in the urban development of Aleppo, Syria).


a conjurer explaining one trick by performing another

Vladimir Nabokov

Such people, because they cannot make art out of life, make their lives into art.

Martin Amis

# Markov Chain psychiatry

Annoying neighbors

The country is surprisingly politically free for a tiny nation facing an existential threat from a hostile super power that has invaded, attempted to assassinate it's leader, and funded militants dead set on violent revolution for decades.
# Race war was invented to distract you from class war
# Libertarian policing in early 18th century Britain
We are each entitled to go to hell in the handbasket of our own choosing.

Roger Lovin. The Complete Motorcycle Nomad


Political insights from Silicon Valley

Pleading to Google is probably more successful than pleading to your congressman.

Subsidizing the destruction of the environment

Without federal intervention in the housing market, massive suburbanization would have been impossible

Thomas J. Sugrue. Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North


Slave to property, slave to the mortgage

No man who owns his own house and lot can be a Communist… He has too much to do.

William Levitt


Cosmic consciousness

The ultimate mind projection fallacy - thinking the entire universe is a reflection of your own confused feelings.

That which diminishes the belief of educated men often increases that of the uneducated.

Pierre-Simon Laplace. Essai Philosophique sur les Probabilités.


Save the trees, kill the children

If the world is ending tonight, why worry about saving the trees and the birds and the bees. Just be sure to destroy as much as possible of all life on earth (except the children, of course) before God gets a chance to do so.
All the guys I've dated had daddy issues. [John] doesn't. He's an orphan.


Где начинается любовь, там кончается свобода.

To make progress in a new area, it is necessary to develop a healthy disrespect for tradition and authority, which have retarded progress throughout the 20th century.

E. T. Jaynes, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science

You learn a lot about a woman by not sleeping with her.

Ernest Hemingway

the prison of language and routine, this artificial world we live in.

Robert Greene, The 50th Law

All this freedom and individuality looks the same after a while.



Temporary Love in the Occupied Third Reich

И произошло это всего через две недели. Шли ожесточенные бои на подступах к Ландсбергу и Бартенштайну. Расположение дивизий и полков медленно, но менялось. Как я уже писал, второй месяц я был командиром взвода управления своей отдельной армейской роты и отдавал распоряжения командирам трех взводов роты о передислокациях и прокладывании новых линий связи между аэродромами, зенитными бригадами и дивизионами, штабами корпусов и дивизий, а также по армейской рации передавал данные о передислокациях в штаб фронта и таким образом находился в состоянии крайнего перенапряжения. И вдруг заходит ко мне мой друг радист младший лейтенант Саша Котлов и говорит:

— Найди себе на два часа замену, на фольварке, всего туда минут двадцать, собралось около ста немок. Моя команда только что вернулась оттуда. Они испуганы, но, если попросишь, дают, лишь бы живыми оставили. Там и совсем молодые есть, а ты дурак, сам себя обрек на воздержание, я же знаю, что у тебя полгода уже не было подруги, мужик ты в конце концов или нет? Возьми ординарца и кого-нибудь из твоих солдат и иди. И я сдался.

“Нихт цвай!”

Мы шли по стерне, и сердце у меня билось, и ничего уже я не понимал. Зашли в дом. Много комнат, но женщины сгрудились в одной огромной гостиной. На диванах, на креслах и на ковре на полу сидят, прижавшись друг к другу, закутанные в платки. А нас было шестеро, и Осипов — боец из моего взвода — спрашивает: “Какую тебе?”

Смотрю, из одежды торчат одни носы, из-под платков глаза, а одна, сидящая на полу, платком глаза закрыла. А мне стыдно вдвойне. Стыдно за то, что делать собираюсь, и перед своими солдатами стыдно, то ли трус, скажут, то ли импотент, и я как в омут бросился и показываю Осипову на ту, что лицо платком закрыла.

— Ты что, лейтенант, совсем с ума, б…., сошел, может, она старуха?” Но я не меняю своего решения, и Осипов подходит к моей избраннице. Она встает, и направляется ко мне, и говорит: “Гер лейтенант — айн! Нихт цвай! Айн!” И берет меня за руку, и ведет в пустую соседнюю комнату, и говорит тоскливо и требовательно: “Айн, айн”. А в дверях стоит мой новый ординарец Урмин и говорит: “Давай быстрей, лейтенант, я после тебя”, и она каким-то образом понимает то, что он говорит, и делает резкий шаг вперед, прижимается ко мне, и взволнованно: “Нихт цвай”, и сбрасывает с головы платок.

Боже мой, Господи, — юная, как облако света, чистая, благородная, и такой жест — “Благовещение” Лоринцетти — Мадонна!

Закрой дверь и выйди,— приказываю я Урмину. Он выходит, и лицо ее преображается, она улыбается и быстро сбрасывает с себя пальто, костюм, под костюмом несколько пар невероятных каких-то бус и золотых цепочек, а на руках золотые браслеты, сбрасывает в одну кучу еще шесть одежд, и вот она уже раздета, и зовет меня, и вся охвачена страстью. Ее внезапное потрясение передается мне. Я бросаю в сторону портупею, наган, пояс, гимнастерку — все, все! И вот уже мы оба задыхаемся. А я оглушен.

Откуда мне счастье такое привалило, чистая, нежная, безумная, дорогая! Самая дорогая на свете! Я это произношу вслух. Наверно, она меня понимает. Какие-то необыкновенно ласковые слова. Я в ней, это бесконечно, мы уже одни на всем свете, медленно нарастают волны блаженства. Она целует мои руки, плечи, перехватывает дыхание. Боже! Какие у нее руки, какие груди, какой живот. Что это? Мы лежим, прижавшись друг к другу. Она смеется, я целую ее всю от ноготков до ноготков. Нет, она не девочка, вероятно, на фронте погиб ее жених, друг, и все, что предназначала ему и берегла три долгих года войны, обрушивается на меня.

Урмин открывает дверь: “Ты сошел с ума, лейтенант! Почему ты голый? Темнеет, оставаться опасно, одевайся”.

Но я не могу оторваться от нее. Завтра напишу Степанцову рапорт, я не имею права не жениться на ней, такое не повторяется.

Я одеваюсь, а она все еще не может прийти в себя, смотрит призывно и чего-то не понимает.

Я резко захлопываю дверь.

— Лейтенант, — тоскливо говорит Урмин, — ну что тебе эта немка. Разреши, я за пять минут кончу.

— Родной мой, я не могу, я дал ей слово, завтра я напишу Степанцову рапорт и женюсь на ней!

— И прямо в СМЕРШ?

— Да куда угодно, три дня, день, а потом хоть под расстрел. Она моя. Я жизнь за нее отдам.

Урмин молчит, смотрит на меня, как на дурака: “Ты б…., мудак, ты не от мира сего”. В темноте возвращаемся.

В шесть утра я просыпаюсь, никому ничего не говорю, найду ее и приведу, нахожу дом. Двери настежь. Никого нет. Все ушли, и не известно куда.

Когда я демобилизовался и первые месяцы метался по Москве, я искал девушку, похожую на нее, и мне повезло. Я нашел Леночку Кривицкую, что-то во взгляде ее было. И, когда мы в подъезде напротив старого МХАТа целовались, казалось мне, что я целую ее. А когда я потерял ее, все-таки у меня навсегда осталась та восточнопрусская, имени которой я не узнал.

Леонид Рабичев, «Война все спишет»

В темноте низкий домик, окна у земли. Здесь посплю. Стучу, молчат. Через окно вхожу в дом. Комната, на постели лежит женщина, молчит. Я молча ложусь рядом. Она говорит по-немецки: “Ты бы хотел, чтобы твоя жена была с другим? ” Отвечаю по-немецки: “Не бойся. Если ты не хочешь, то я не хочу тоже”. И проваливаюсь в сон.

Просыпаюсь. У постели стоит столик. На нем приготовлено кофе с печеньем. И, положив локти на стол, подбородком на тыльную сторону сложенных ладоней, на меня смотрит неподвижно сидящая женщина. Ее глаза как бы спрашивают: “Кто ты?”

Узел связи остановился в доме, где живут две сестры- немки. Они пекут нам на 1 мая пирог. Алевтина злится, что я танцую с немкой. А немка эта ночью приходит ко мне на чердак. Высокая, в белом свитере работница с окраины Грейфсвальда. Оставил ей на память велосипед, взятый в магазине Анклама. Когда уезжал, она махала издали. Как бы она вела себя, если бы мы были пленные?

Потом пошел в этот же дом. “Вы можете сварить мне еду? У меня с собой курица”. - “Подымитесь наверх”. На втором этаже в мансарде живет симпатичная молодая женщина с 3-4 месячным ребенком. Беженка из Берлина. “Как вас зовут?” - “Лени”. Она взялась сварить обед.

Ее полное имя Елена-Тамара Барлебен. Отец немец, мать армянка. Она года на три старше меня. Родилась на Кавказе, где отец работал по контракту. Из Берлина попала в Бреслау, потом - на Рюген. Муж был владельцем магазина, сына зовут Иоахим.

Принесенная мною кура подана в фарфоровой вазе. Обедаем вдвоем. Пришел я сюда есть и назавтра и остался ночевать. Мне 25 лет, и мне впервые так хорошо с женщиной.


Лени, толкая коляску, пришла в Путбус, чтобы меня найти, и со смехом сказала: “Если у тебя будет другая, я тебе глаза выцарапаю”.

Ночью еду на велосипеде к ней в Берген.


Пришел приказ немецким беженцам возвращаться по домам. Лени выкопала в саду свой узелок и на прощанье одела мне золотое кольцо и подарила фотоаппарат Цейс-Икон. Им я снял фронтовых друзей. Кадрики 4,5х6.

Я дал Лени на дорогу манной крупы для ее ребенка и свиной окорок, который она тут же с немецкой аккуратностью превратила в консервы.

Есть и другие проблемы. В чистеньком, с кафельным полом, дворе почты стоит служебный автобус почты. В нем повадилась ночевать какая-то немка и просит солдат, если хотят, приходить к ней. Видимо, нимфоманка. Пресек я это, боюсь заразы.

Виктор Залгаллер. «Быт Войны»

One interesting thing is that Zalgaller is a Jew with strong Jewish features. Great mathematician, too.


The end of society

Q: Would a purely atheistic society collapse? Would values such as loyalty, fidelity, allegiance, love, and respect be lost?

A: My dogs have all of those qualities but I've never seen them pray once.

# Maybe having all the answers is like wishing for the end of all meaning.

A superior mode of travel

For the majority of travelers, the sections between the tourist sights and cities seemed to be nothing more than one or two days of inconvenience on buses, trains, or planes. Cyclists get a very special view of a country, in many ways more intimate because they are forced to take the rough with the smooth and see both the basic life of the locals and the luxury of the visitors.


The Gutenberg Metaphor

Today the popular metaphor for explaining things is computers and computation.

The 16th century equivalent of the computer was the book, and reading served as the popular scientific metaphor:

Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed.



Rocks without organs

Gregory Chaitin makes an interesting aside on von Neumann and the theory of life in this lecture:


Rock vs. deer: which one is alive and which one is not?

That question recalls Manuel de Landa's essay The Geology of Morals:

From the point of view of the nonlinear dynamics of our planet, the thin rocky crust on which we live and which we call our land and home is perhaps its least important component. Indeed, if we waited long enough, if we could observe planetary dynamics at geological time scales, the rocks and mountains which define the most stable and durable traits of our reality would dissolve into the great underground lava flows of which they are but temporary hardenings. Indeed, given that it is just a matter of time for any one rock or mountain to be reabsorbed into the self-organized flows of lava driving the dynamics of the lithosphere, these geological structures represent a local slowing-down in this flowing reality. It is almost as if every part of the mineral world could be defined by specifying its chemical composition and its speed of flow : very slow for rocks, faster for lava.

The same thing can be said about the deer versus the rock. They both react to stimuli - mechanic, chemical, electromagnetic (the latter two being the same, by quantum field theory), but at vastly different levels of complexity when looked at in the same timescale. On a longer timescale, the interaction of the rock with its environment looks more similar. In the same line of thought, there is a fractal similarity of the reaction of the constituent cells as part of the deer and of the whole rock as part of a geological formation, found in what de Landa calls the machinic phylum.


Cargo Cult Life

It is a truism to say that many of our behaviors are not instinctual but are acquired through socialization (although the list of the former is larger than many people care to admit). Some of them are useful, others are not, while many are actively harmful. Many people lack a combination of self-awareness, time, or intelligence to figure out which is which.

Richard Feynman wrote about cargo cult science.

What we do not realize is that our traditions and upbringing lead us to live a cargo cult life.

What are some of these behaviors today?


Marriage ritualizes the treatment of women as property, but the economics of making women property no longer work. In terms of income, in the United States women now out-earn men (this trend should continue as women also outnumber men in attaining higher education). In terms of expenses, birth control and paternity testing make limited and trustworthy reproduction possible. In terms of assets, the outcomes of divorce are not always fair. Marriage combines ritual with moral obligations regarding child-bearing and rearing and legal encumbrance of assets and income, using assumptions (women cannot do useful work, and if you let them out of the house to try, they will get pregnant by someone else) that no longer hold true.

Most people assume marriage is a good thing because most people do it and pairing up feels good, but do not take any time to think about why the details of marriage are what they are, and how they were arrived at.


Business clothes. Signal of what? Distinction. Economic signals. There were no such things as ready-to-wear suits. With cheap suits, the economic signals are not there.


Why study philosophy

People ask: why study philosophy? One reason to study philosophy is to understand questions like that. What people really mean when they ask "why study philosophy?" is "how can philosophy be useful to me?" - any other interpretation is akin to asking "why play games?" - the thought to ask such a question would never occur.

Implicit in the asking of the question "how can philosophy be useful?" is the suggestion that as a thing in itself, philosophy is useless - a waste of time. This is indeed true for the vast majority of philosophical works out there. To find the important ones (and be able to understand them), you need a process of "philosophical bootstrapping."

So how can philosophy be useful? Manuel de Landa answers the question:

The goal of philosophy is not to find out "the truth," but to distinguish the important from the unimportant.

The one absolute thing that cannot in any way be bought or obtained and which we are constantly running out of is time. Clearly, it's a good idea to learn philosophy in order to stop wasting time.


Female Viagra has been around since the 1980s. It is called Ecstasy.


Baudrillard on Animals

Our sentimentality toward animals is a sure sign of the disdain in which we hold them… It is in proportion to being relegated to irresponsibility, to the inhuman, that the animal becomes worthy of the human ritual of affection and protection, just as the child does in direct proportion to being relegated to a status of innocence and childishness. Sentimentality is nothing but the infinitely degraded form of bestiality, the racist commiseration, in which we ridiculously cloak animals.

Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and Simulation.


Book review: Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon

It is easy and tempting to dismiss Neal Stephenson's 1999 techno-thriller Cryptonomicon as 900+ pages of a tedious, boring nerd writing about tedious, boring nerds. But underneath the convoluted Indiana Jones plot of stolen Nazi gold, the bloated prose loaded with unneeded adjectives and distracted by unwanted details, and the mini-lessons in mathematics, cryptography, computers, and Greek mythology (all passages where Stephenson is in his element, and the best parts of the book), there lies a surprisingly relevant and prescient observation about the modern condition that was a decade ahead of time.

Stephenson spends several sections of the book lampooning post-modernism and literary criticism, but the novel itself carries a powerful and intentional subtext message on the state of contemporary masculinity.

One of the chapters describes the rite of passage for boys in a tribe of islander head-hunters: they are made to spear a captive bound to a tree to signify their entry into manhood. This contrasts sharply with the descriptions of the life of Randall "Randy" Waterhouse, the novel's protagonist. Waterhouse's life is undirected and passive, free of threshold moments and clear stages. He graduates university but does not leave academia. He blunders into a relationship but it goes nowhere. He finds his career because he gets distracted from his job.

This is contrasted sharply with his grandfather, a WWII code-breaker, and the other WWII military characters the grandfather interacts with. The WWII men (and Stephenson takes pains to point out that they are Men) may not be completely in control of their destinies, being bound by society to obey military orders, but Stephenson makes clear that they have complete agency in how they carry out those orders. In stark contrast, Randy is a co-founder of his own company, but his actions are dictated by a series of mysterious and ill-posed questions, bullying by shareholders, and a constant fear of lawsuits.

Waterhouse's grandfather may have been an idiot savant, but is portrayed as being essentially macho: having dangerous and exciting war-time adventures, nonchalantly holding his own in meetings with top British war-time brass, frequenting whorehouses, having affairs with German she-spies, pursuing the woman he has chosen directly and unapologetically. Even in terms of his work, the grandfather demonstrates mastery and creativity - mastery of both applied and pure mathematics, creativity in proving new theorems and advancing the mathematical state of the art.

By contrast, the grandson does technical support of other people's computers, focuses his career on studying and administering (baby-sitting) other people's Unix systems, and doing some vaguely-defined configuration of Internet routers - the digital equivalent of the trades such as plumbing and masonry (even machining is more creative than being an MCSE). Sitting in business meetings related to his company, he is intimidated by what he perceives to be big bad Asian gangsters. By half-way through the book, the closest the grandson comes to adventure is a 3-day long jeep ride through the jungle, which he painfully documents in a 6-page long whiny diatribe on lack of air conditioning and comfortable bedding.

Given that the target audience of Stephenson's techno-thrillers is male techies much like the protagonist, it would be cliche to expect Randy to overcome his lack of agency and take control of his life. As the action progresses, the protagonist seems to get a bit less whiny (although this is never directly pointed out by the author). You are left expecting that Waterhouse will redeem himself and rise up to the WWII generation's legacy, but in the climactic action scene, the only people pointing guns at the bad guy are Randy's love interest and a priest, one of the original members of the WWII action-hero cast. Meanwhile, Randy's thinking:

…the ability to kill someone is basically a mental stance, and not a question of physical means… Randy feels certain, all of a sudden, that he's got the mental stance now. But he doesn't have the means.

In this one passage, Stephenson has managed to describe the passive, narcissist creed: what matters is not what you do, but that you think of yourself as someone who can do. It is precisely this rationalization that keeps the men represented by Randy from attaining manhood. For someone who has spent hundreds of pages drumming up nostalgia for the mythical real He-men of the WWII generation, Stephenson completely misses the point of what made them men. At least he avoids a plot cliche.

But Stephenson more than makes up for it by going overboard with another one: the geek male love interest.

Amy is a young, half-Asian, tomboyish, "bad-ass" babe with major daddy issues, and an even more "bad-ass" Navy SEAL for a daddy. Waterhouse himself flat-out states he thinks the girl is more courageous and physically fit than he is. We are then expected to believe that his year-long obtuse, chaste, and apology-filled courting changes her attitude towards him from a thinly-veiled contempt to him being (literally) pursued half-way around the world by her in a fit of jealousy. The ultimate passive American nerd fantasy!

The gender role reversal plays out most strikingly in a climactic sex scene between Amy and Randy - a scene that would be an unambiguous depiction of rape if the gender roles were reversed. The backdrop is the classic American mating grounds of the automobile, but the way events unfold is startling. Amy, without saying anything, forces herself into the car atop the just-woken Randy, then without conversation "moves suddenly and decisively," not even bothering to take off her panties, "she sits down on him, hard… Then she stops moving - daring him."

What is most bizarre is that prior to this scene Amy is a virgin.

Far from offering a sensible solution to his perceived problem with contemporary male masculinity, Stephenson seems to suggest that what modern herbivores need to become men is to be sexually humiliated by aggressive, dominant virgins.


Foucault on Facebook

For a long time ordinary individuality - the everyday individuality of everybody - remained below the threshold of description. To be looked at, observed, described in detail, followed from day to day by an uninterrupted writing was a privilege. The chronicle of a man, the account of his life, his historiography, written as he lived out his life formed part of the rituals of his power. The disciplinary methods reversed this relation… [Writing] is no longer a monument for future memory, but a document for possible use… In certain societies, of which the feudal regime is only one example, it may be said that individualization is greatest where sovereignty is exercised and in the higher echelons of power. The more one possesses power or privilege, the more one is marked as an individual, by rituals, written accounts or visual reproductions… In a system of discipline [on the other hand], the child is more individualized than the adult, the patient more than the healthy man, the madman and the delinquent more than the normal and the non-delinquent… The moment that saw the transition from historico-ritual mechanisms for the formation of individuality to the scientifico-disciplinary mechanisms, when the normal took over from the ancestral, and measurement from status… [substituted] for the individuality of the memorable man that of the calculable man…

Foucault, Discipline and Punish, pp.191-193

Quoted in Manuel de Landa, War in the age of intelligent machines, p. 261


Perspectives on architecture

A house is a machine to live in. –Le Corbusier
A house is a mineralized human exoskeleton. –De Landa

# Animal torture was once aristocratic entertainment

Language and class

The right of the master to give names extends so far that we could permit ourselves to grasp the origin of language itself as an expression of the power of the rulers: they say "that is such and such"; they seal every object and event with a sound, and in the process, as it were, take possession of it.

Nietzsche, On the origin of morals


The price of sex is death

Death was never the natural partner of life, but of sex. Once we were able to create truly novel life, through genetically distinct children, we sacrificed our own.

On the origin of hipsters, pt. 2: post-WWII West Germany

Ее навещали люди, которых она никогда не знала и с которыми не хотела бы знакомиться: юнцы, одетые с нарочитой небрежностью и упивавшиеся своей небрежностью, как коньяком; воодушевление у них было тщательно отмеренное и никогда не выходило из определенных рамок. И когда такие люди появлялись у нее, она уже знала, что где-то готовится очередное исследование о современной лирике.

Heinrich Böll. Haus ohne Hüter. Авт.сб. “Самовольная отлучка”. Минск, “Мастацкая литаратура”, 1989.


Employment is the financial derivative of slavery, pt. 3

There is no Indo-European word for freedom. Freedom was first reified in language as the state of being released from debt slavery.


Justifying torture, now and then

Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.

George Bush

It appears to us that under the current circumstances the necessity defense could be successfully maintained in response to an allegation of a Section 2340A violation. On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda launched a surprise covert attack on civilian targets in the United States that led to the deaths of thousands and losses in the billions of dollars. According to public and governmental reports, al Qaeda has other sleeper cells within the [Continued on Page 41] United States that may be planning similar attacks. Indeed, al Qaeda plans apparently include efforts to develop and deploy chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Under these circumstances, a detainee may possess information that could enable the United States to prevent attacks that potentially could equal or surpass the September 11 attacks in their magnitude. Clearly, any harm that might occur during an interrogation would pale to insignificance compared to the harm avoided by preventing such an attack, which could take hundreds or thousands of lives.

Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales Counsel to the President

ЦК ВКП стало известно, что секретари обкомов - крайкомов, проверяя работников УНКВД, ставят им в вину применение физического воздействия к арестованным как нечто преступное. ЦК ВКП разъясняет, что применение физического воздействия в практике НКВД было допущено с 1937 года с разрешения ЦК ВКП. При этом было указано, что физическое воздействие допускается как исключение, притом в отношении лишь таких явных врагов народа, которые, используя гуманный метод допроса, нагло отказываются выдать заговорщиков, месяцами не дают показаний, стараются затормозить разоблачение оставшихся на воле заговорщиков, - следовательно, продолжают борьбу с Советской властью также и в тюрьме. Опыт показал, что такая установка дала свои результаты, намного ускорив дело разоблачения врагов народа. Правда, впоследствии на практике метод физического воздействия был загажен мерзавцами Заковским, Литвиным, Успенским и другими, ибо они превратили его из исключения в правило и стали применять его к случайно арестованным честным людям, за что и понесли должную кару. Но этим нисколько не опорочивается сам метод, поскольку он правильно применяется на практике. Известно, что все буржуазные разведки применяют физическое воздействие в отношении представителей социалистического пролетариата, и притом применяют его в самых безобразных формах. Спрашивается, почему социалистическая разведка должна быть более гуманной в отношении заядлых врагов рабочего класса и колхозников. ЦК ВКП считает, что метод физического воздействия должен обязательно применяться и впредь, в виде исключения, в отношении явных и неразоружающихся врагов народа, как совершенно правильный и целесообразный метод. ЦК ВКП требует от секретарей обкомов, крайкомов, ЦК нацкомпартий, чтобы они при проверке работников НКВД руководствовались настоящим разъяснением.

Секретарь ЦК ВКП(б) И. Сталин


The original building was two stories and had courtyards. It was designed by a mathematician, John Williams, who figured out the greatest chance of taking different paths to get from point A to point B, so you had more random encounters with other people.

It worked. It's very difficult to get people with such different skills - physics, social sciences - to connect. But Rand was the most productive damned place I've ever seen.


American cities, then and now




One step at a time

Taking a cue from http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/democracy.html (rolling back democracy section), let's start by barring people who have made political contributions from voting.

# Better living through genetic engineering
If animals had a conception of the Devil, he would surely have human form.

# More on psychiatry of religion

Everyone wants the freedom to be their own boss, but expects subordination and obedience from their employees.


Как только мы ставим желание на сторону приобретения, мы создаем идеалистическую (диалектическую, нигилистическую) концепцию желания, которая определяет его прежде всего в качестве нехватки, нехватки объекта, нехватки реального объекта.

…реальный объект, которого не хватает желанию, в свою очередь отсылает к внешнему натуральному или социальному производству, тогда как желание внутренне производит некое воображаемое подобие, которое дублирует реальность, как если бы «за каждым реальным объектом имелся предмет мечтаний»

Анти-Эдип, ст. 47-48



Conscious chemical reaction



When familiarity feels oppressive.


Meat futurism

Ethics of treating congenital diseases and reproductive fitness - how is correcting severe congenital defects with surgery and medication different from a push-up bra or a comb-over? What constitutes a "genetic lemon" in the meat dating market?

How do cyborgs and cyberspace influence this? The "final amputation" might not be metaphorical. It's a move beyond reproduction. Not asexuality, but a hyper-sexuality, without any end goals.

The rich require an abundant supply of the poor



"Definition" means whatever you want it to be

The definition of "free market" went from freedom from rent overhead, to commerce free from any limits to rent overhead.


What do you really want?

Wealth, fame, and power have no intrinsic worth. The things they enable - leisure, respect, the ability to satisfy the needs of Maslow's hierarchy - are what is worthwhile.


Morality and intention

Other people judge you on your actions. You must judge yourself on your thoughts.


What is the Christian-Judeo-Muslim religion?

An apocalyptic death cult.

      Я правду об тебе порасскажу такую,
      Что хуже всякой лжи.

Горе от ума, А. С. Грибоедов



The intersection of self, other, and desire.


The irony of age-defying treatments

We are trying to look like virgins so that we can be better whores.

The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.

Arthur Schopenhauer


Schizophrenia and the Turing test

Can a schizophrenic person pass the Turing test?

Auto-generated spam blogs and twitter accounts are starting to be difficult to distinguish from schizophrenia. It's not even word salad cognitive slippage anymore. More like really interesting thought disorders.

Spam-bots are probably going to be the first widely deployed AIs to pass the Turing test.


Law is code for the property machine

The rule of law emerged around property rights and property owners. As such, it is an algorithm for how people interact with a machine that exists outside of people.


Go to the mall, walk through the doors, and open your mind

Lifestyles at the expense of life. Let's buy more shit we expect other people to care about.


Раб и работа

"You've earned this" or "you deserve this" is patronizing slave mentality because it assumes that judgment by others is the sole criterion for obtaining things from those that have them. You only get what you can take, and you will not get much when you are selling yourself.



love the fetus, but the kid's on its own

Как известно, в любой стране наиболее не склонный к переменам и вообще к каким-либо самостоятельным действиям слой составляют государственные чиновники… с него снята всякая общественная ответственность: он выполняет приказы, поскольку это его работа. Таким образом, у него всегда может быть чувство выполненного долга, хотя бы он и делал вещи, которые, будь его воля, делать бы не стал… Психология чиновника поэтому самая удобная как для власти, так и для него самого. В нашей стране, поскольку мы все работаем на государство, у всех психология чиновников — у писателей, состоящих членами Союза писателей, ученых, работающих в государственном институте, рабочих или колхозников в такой же степени, как и у чиновников КГБ или МВД.

Андрей Амальрик

In our world, addiction to other people - especially addiction to a sex partner - is the only addiction that is applauded and embraced.

Susan Cheever


nothing is true, everything is permitted

No one thinks of themselves as evil. Everyone will rationalize their actions as being the right thing. When the rationalizations get elaborate enough, we label those people insane.

Цивилизация полностью уничтожена на гигантских территориях, а большевики ведут себя подобно кровожадным бабуинам среди руин городов и трупов своих жертв

Winston Churchill

# "Consider the seeming paradox of the First Cause. Science has traced events back to the Big Bang, but why did the Big Bang happen?.... Saying "God is uncaused" or "God created Himself" leaves us in exactly the same position as "Time began with the Big Bang.""
But are there not many fascists in your country?
There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.

# "how is it that you cannot identify someone you give money to, someone you introduce to highest officials but you ask us to believe that you know without any doubt that someone you kill without any formal charge, any trial is the right target?"
Более опытные и осторожные вредители проводили вредительство так тонко и осмотрительно, что не только не было заметно его следов, но, наоборот, [они] внешне производили весьма хорошее впечатление.

Минаев В. Подрывная работа иностранных разведок в СССР.

# wild beasts without nationality


Wikileaks is the next logical step after samizdat.


Where does it lead? It does not matter.

I like roads. They take you places. You can see what is ahead. You can go forward. Or you can choose to turn around and go back. They tame territory and map land. You do not have to think. The path has been laid out for you.


Racism is a lot like religion

Organized racism is a lot like organized religion. You are told to sacrifice your own self-interest for the purposes of "helping" an ill-defined and incoherent exclusionary concept. Why would I want to "help" the white race?

I'm neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice. I'm pro-Death.


# "neuroscience is starting to resemble astronomy"
Ценности, морали, отечества, религии и те частные достоверности, которые в преизбытке даруются нам нашим чванством и снисходительностью по отношению к самим себе, являются лишь множеством иллюзорных пристанищ, которые мир услужливо предлагает тем, кто думает, будто они твердо и крепко стоят на ногах в окружении не менее прочных вещей.

Maurice Blanchot, L'amitié


If you could go back in time

Would you kill baby Hitler? Would you kill baby Hitler if he was your own child?


Immortality and Eugenics pt. 2

Do you want to live forever? Like this?


Give an African an abortion

The developing world needs knowledge and education. To obtain those, you need time. Where do you get time if all you do is work to raise and support children? The developing world needs birth control pills, condoms, and abortions. It doesn't need white Anglo morons volunteering for the Peace Corps. The easiest way to solve food security and environmental issues is to have less people to house and feed.


Space and resources

The era of mass-produced food and objects has made the mass-production of humans unfeasible.


The Catholic drive against birth control is the drive to produce more slaves.


I do not want freedom of religion. I want freedom from religion.

# We have to stop drawing maps with borders on them

Piracy saves lives


Diogenes of Sinope was the original crust punk.

# The other "Into the Wild"
# Say guard! Am I right for being flayed and dismembered alive?

The easy life

Opportunities are choices are anxieties. Having them does not make life easier.


Do not listen to what they say, but observe what they do

People are action-reaction desire machines. The ego is a rationalization machine that serves to explain (and hence reify and hopefully obtain) desire flows to other people.


People are rationalization machines pt. 2

"We assume that more rational analysis leads to better choices but, in many instances, that assumption is exactly backwards."

People are rationalization machines

"[People] arrive at a judgment and seek a principle"

Something to try

Silver fox experiment for simian intelligence. I do not care if we get Planet of the Apes, as long as the apes wipe out the creationists.


Stoicism and Christianity

They are both death cults. One teaches acceptance, the other fear.


Immortality and eugenics

In a society where everyone is entitled to it, is withholding life-extension treatment from those with severe genetic defects wrong?


Traditional values

Why do conservative Americans hate the Taliban so much? They are hard-working, god-fearing patriots who uphold traditional family values.


Narcissism, chauvinism, and religion

Monotheism is narcissism - there is someone who cares about you and what you do all the time, 100% of the time.

The idea of souls is the chauvinism of the human race vis-a-vis the other animals.



Your country, or immigrants' playground?

# More on slavery and the origin of modern economy

Architectural speculation 2

Growing arcologies. Like coral in seawater? Piling up then hollowing out artificial mountains?


Architectural speculation 1

What would happen if the air became unbreathable? Can existing architecture be repurposed to help humans survive?


What makes us different?

People are always fascinated by what makes us different from other animals. Intelligence, self-awareness, tool use? None of those are unique to people.

But humans and ants are the only animals to practice slavery.


What the people want

Dumb people like attention and not being responsible for their own actions. This (coupled with a lot of money) is why the US is the land of reality television and lawsuits.


On farming

Breeding animals for slaughter is a form of symbiotic parasitism, the transition from altruism to parasitism condensed in the singular act of slaughter.


Employment is the financial derivative of slavery, pt. 2

We disapprove of slavery and the cost of the maintenance and upkeep of slaves. We prefer our English model in which we control the issuance of currency, and control of money, it allows us to control labor without the cost of maintaining it.

Attributed to one of the Rothschilds circa early/mid-19th century, most probably Nathan Mayer Rothschild


Whose future?

I think my world looks dystopian if you're a middle class white guy doing reasonably well in 1993.

William Gibson


Colonialism and the world wars

WWI was just the savagery of European colonialism directed at Europe itself.

This link is made explicit by WWII - the only reason the Third Reich is described as the embodiment of evil is because unlike the other empires, it attempted to colonize Europe. The atrocities of the British in Africa and Asia, of France in Indochina, and Japan in China and Korea are never acknowledged as being similar.


Words that should be removed from the English language, pt. 1

Furthermore. Further! More! Redundant!

# On the origin of hipsters
# Religion is paranoia
# Compulsory home remodeling: DWELL and architectural theory in the IDF

The meaning of life


I used to think it was all about making babies.

It turns out there is an alternative 3-step program:

  1. Augment human intelligence
  2. Become immortal
  3. Colonize space

I like this one more.


Body of Theseus

The cells in your body are almost completely replaced every seven years. Half of the friends you have now will not be there to see the new you. Experience is shaped by beliefs, memories are formed from experience. Beliefs change. Your memories aren't yours anymore.


What is holding you back?

Property? Assumptions? Habits?

# Where do pigs go after they die?

Privacy and morality

One way privacy can be viewed is as protection from an imposed, alien morality. This posits a fluid, duplicitous morality, one that is applied differently to one's own actions than to the actions of others. If you cannot even consistently exercise a moral system over yourself, what claim to moral universality can you possibly make?

# Trainspotting explained

Employment is the financial derivative of slavery

"Labor" as a type of economic input tradeable on a market only starts to make sense when you consider the underlying asset: people. Its development was primarily motivated by moral concerns, but I suspect was only possible because of its practical positive effect on productivity and return on investment.

# Lebbeus Woods writes a screenplay

Markets and health care

The effective floor for personal assets and income is zero (discounting debt, which is only available to those who have assets to secure and projected income to repay). The function of competitive markets is to determine the quantity of goods available according to a supply-demand equilibrium. Under an entirely market-driven system this means that a certain non-trivial percentage of the population will never receive any health care.