Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.11

6k. As the old saying goes, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyes man is king.” If one possesses sufficient insight to see within oneself, then and only then, one may see outside oneself. In fact, although extremely helpful, self-examination need never be shared, only actualized. Cleansing, from time to time, is necessary for the sake of good hygiene. One will then understand manipulations. One may still choose to go along–with open eyes (or at least not glued shut).

Monday, August 28, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.10

6j. This Modern Warrior Archetype will necessarily deal with the affects of mass media. This realization implies that one must master certain aspects and devices concerning the employment of propaganda. In so doing, lest one becomes that which one fights against, its use for Maximum Advantage in all Things must be avoided. The machine exists; one cannot deny it. Our technological society is meshed within its gears. The machine may only be avoided by its destruction. Such a course would unleash such misery and death that most would prefer totality. Hence, freedom may only be maintained through maintenance beyond Maximum Advantage. The ability to recognize that point is a skill of the highest order of rank.

Friday, August 25, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.9

6i. Mass media is a macroscopic tool than can be manipulated at the immediate level. Like any lever, the media may be misused to Maximum Advantage. The results depend upon where one stands, but self-destruction is another matter. Whether rhetoric has appeal or not, one must acknowledge pressure. The unaware are an empty vessel. The mass mind is subject to falling under shadow. One needs to be positioned aware from the darkness. The falling weight is better avoided when seen.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.8

6h. Mass media is a primary disseminator of stupidity. As such, it may be exploited to manipulate and deceive for Maximum Advantage in all Things. Cattle want to believe they are something else, and mass media fills the order. All aspects of human life may be distorted through the mechanisms of the media. In the case of fighting, the means are primarily through vicarious illusion. Predictably, the result is an instilled belief that one and one’s heard is greater and more powerful than reality. Desire becomes confused with skill and talent. Seeing is confused with being. If nothing else, This Modern Warrior Archetype will know the difference.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Interlude: The Twilight of American Culture

As I am currently between L. E. Modesitt books,* I read Interlude: The Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman. Published in 2000, it took me back only a few years that seem much farther away in time. This book is somewhat optimistic than his more recent works. (I'll likely write a review of Dark Ages America in the next few weeks.) He believes that America is an empire in decline, and will fall like Rome. The culture has become decadent (and depraved). Its content is effectively empty; society has come to reflect the shortcomings of its culture. Whatever the details, these empires share a common history: being eaten away from within their core. Consumerism has drowned most everything. This book is somewhat optimistic than his more recent works. He believed the time frame is long term decline, but could be avoided. After reading a chapter of the latter work, he would appear to now agree that these trends identified in his first book have accelerated the pace, and that of the corresponding decline. I would tend to agree. In other words (being mine), the technological system has produced a rotten culture that will take down its society by the means of its own anti-natural requirements. The incessant demands requiring Maximum Advantage in All Things has degraded human interaction and connectivity. People have stopped civic interaction. Local democracy (the only kind) is dying. The Technical Morality has imposed its efficiency on everything. Propaganda has reached its saturation point. Human beings are not machines. Things Fall Apart on Their Own.

Anyway, now that we've discussed the context, his major theme is preserving knowledge and culture through a true Dark Ages. Cultural Preservation can and should be carried out by individual means and methods. Anything worth doing is not worth doing in the public eye. He compares these efforts to those of (mostly Irish) Monks during the European Dark Ages. The book tends to be heavily Eurocentric. He does not really consider that other cultures exist that are not decadent. The American consumer life may have appeal, but the affects are not universal. His most recent book (after reading one chapter) would indicate that he does not feel such to be the case now. (How times change.) The geographic regions that have the strongest culture are simply not as weakened by stupidity. (Fanatics are another archetype altogether.) Enlightenment values have been contaminated by a decadent culture spawned as a reaction to Maximum Advantage in All Things.

One of the most interesting points of this book regards cognition. Perhaps, human general thought patterns actually retrograde and become atavistic during certain eras. Human beings are products of their environment. Although strangely, the author does not always seem to understand that ignorance is a constant presence in all places and all times. When one's sense of value is degraded, human animals react accordingly. It's not that the atavistic and anti-intellectual are not always present; they don't always predominate (which says nothing about suppression of one form of intellectualism over another.) Perhaps, these inclinations are channeled elsewhere.

The author does rely on personal anecdotes. An author's life is relevant (at least regarding honest authors.)

*I like his fantasy better than his science fiction novels. Some like the Corean Chronicles are a mix of both sub-genres. The Recluse series is based on a type of magic that is based on the manipulation of entropy. His heroes are pure. Why not read fantasy that is all fantasy?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.7

6g. Mass media is an efficient vector for disseminating influence. Appeal may be easily projected through such means. At the same time, simplicity does not imply that one should become lazy with respect to the message. The world changes. Repetition causes communications to lose their charm. In addition, the audience changes. One group may be attracted to that which another finds repulsive. Maximum Advantage demands that everyone be treated the same. Unfortunately, this demand often leads to backlash against the source of propaganda. Hence, in the scheme of the Technical Morality, a lowest common denominator is sought. This ground state is stable, but cannot changed without a great deal of effort. In fact, in light of the potential for upset, it is probably better never to try. Despite popular dullness, other means exist. One need only be personal about it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.6

6f. Mass media exposure affects are not equal nor universal. Those individuals credentialed by events are less likely (but certainly not immune) to its pervasive message. Metaphorically, affect is proportionate to the inverse squared of the distance from its sources unto backlash. Hence, point sources are inherently flawed. Yet, non-point sources are weakened through diffusion. Reality, whatever it might be, just simply can’t allow stupidity its desires.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.5

6e. In a society conditioned by common mass media experiences, theater may substitute for substance. one may walk unchallenged by appearing relaxed and in no hurry. On the other hand, this observation does not apply to those societies less affected by mass media exposure. Rather, theater is perceived as posturing and therefore something to be challenged. As such, one can appear to belong, until one finally does so. One state should not be perceived as another. Failure to make such distinctions will make life much more difficult than necessary. Thinking to Maximum Advantage in all Things is prone to a fatal error of seeking unity where it does not exist. Tolerance does not mean acceptance. Projections quickly become negatives.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.4

6d. A society conditioned by common mass media experience is subject to manipulation by both opportunist and opponents. One can also choose to walk through walls. An ignored niche does not cease. Direct presence is far more immediately affective when few understand or even comprehend its existence. Fear ensures order. It need not come from above. The personal touch is certainly more respected.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.3

6c. Art is a primary tool of the propagandist. One can learn much by observing propaganda of the deed. However, a fundamental error is made by those thinking that such actions need be spectacular and earth shaking. Rather than demonstrating, an individual is better off projecting power. One can only do so much.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Six.6.2

6b. Propaganda is the language of Maximum Advantage. It’s expression can be an art or the product of a machine. Those possessing the art rarely enjoy the ability or insight to resist being engulfed and smothered by their own inflexibility. Those not bending break–too often by the rationale and justifications of The Technical Morality. This Modern Warrior Archetype will necessarily employ this important tool, but should know it for what it is. History’s losers are those lands, leaders and peoples who believe their own bullshit, and expect the eventual victors to believe it as well. The unconvinced and disbelieving have power; it can be used for something beyond Maximum Advantage in All Things.