Thursday, December 31, 2009

An offense to one is almost never an offense to all.  Most people simply do not care.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Any Societal analysis that fails to consider cultural impacts is inherently flawed.  Reference frames always matter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Celebrating consumption is akin to cheering while suffocating.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Total hatred makes satire difficult.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Institutional Corruption

1. Institutional corruption negates it own supposed ethics by defining its own failings as acceptable business practices.
2. Despite the accolades, which is the equivalent of celebrating arson, the end result is illegitimate governance and a broken economic system.
3. Only an idiot, a brainless whore (i.e. a member of congress), or a corporate journalist would believe otherwise.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ignorance and naivete offer very little choice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lies are a form of acceptance.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you never think for yourself, then you are probably a fanatic.

Friday, December 11, 2009

If you always truly think for yourself, then you are probably a sociopath.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Murder is a statistic.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Slopes and Poisons

From Wanted: Iconoclasts:
Historically, iconoclasm was an 8th-century Byzantine movement in opposition to the religious icons central to Orthodox worship. By smashing icons, the iconoclasts hoped to restore the purity of the church and focus religious belief on the spiritual - they appear to have had similar impulses to those that later inspired Martin Luther to revolt against the decadent Medici papacy. Their opponents, the "iconodules", did not just love images, they were regarded as enslaved to them.
(It's a concise definition.  Nice job.)

Unfortunately, in a mass society driven by its systemic necessities, iconoclasts will be media products.  They will therefore become formulaic and therefore only capable of appealing to the faithful.  Thus divisions are enforced and ghettos are created where none need exist.  Some slopes are steeper than others.

The article continues:
The US mortgage market is even more hopelessly compromised than it was a year ago, with the combination of the home-buyer tax credit and the Federal Housing Administration's lax requirements for only a 3% down-payment producing a new US$1 trillion pile of mortgages that appear to be toxic.
Other damaging policies that were improvised during the crisis are also still in place and show no signs of being reversed. Interest rates are still close to zero; indeed bank "window dressing" was reported on Friday to have driven interest rates on short-term Treasury bills to below zero. The monetary base was doubled in late 2008, a sharper increase than ever before in the history of the Federal Reserve, yet there is no sign of its decline, while the banking system's excess reserves pile up at over $1.2 trillion.
The above illustrates the danger inherent of stressing short term gain over long term considerations.  Resources are limited.  Pretend money only goes so far.  Eventually, after throwing one too many life lines, one runs out of rope.  Maximum Advantage would have it no other way.  And that is its poison.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Those claiming to think for themselves are usually the least likely to do so.  If true, they would not need to verbalize their supposed virtue.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 4 (Friday, D3)

On Friday, I did not have to teach class, so I went down town.  I don't recall much noteworthy, just walking and marching around, until later that evening during the last confrontation with the police.  A number of people started marching down Pine Street to confront the police.  When it became apparent that the locals, who outnumbered the tourists, had no interest in the WTO.  We were instead very pissed off at the conduct of the police and, near the Paramount Theater, we let them know it.

I was the most vocal.  I started egging the crowd to hurl all sorts of verbal abuse at the pigs.  One dumb bitch, in a Sea Shepard crew jacket (too bad a Macah was present to kick her fat ass), started whining that we were going to ruin Ralph Nader's agreement with city.  I told her that I didn't give a fuck about Ralph Nader.*  "He doesn't even live hear," I said.  Some little prick actually had the balls to start arguing with me, but he scurried off after I told him that I would throw him off the overpass onto I-5 if he didn't shut the fuck up.  The residents laughed and told the "tourists" to piss off and go home.  Many left at that point.  The residents cheered.  Now we only had one group of assholes left to deal with.

We amused ourselves at the expense of the police.  How often can you get away with spewing vile excrement at a cop?  It was a chance to vent.

In response to the taunts, which I mostly led, the police line started to advance slightly before stopping.  I figured that it was time to split, as there was no way I as going to go to jail, but a couple of kids from Bellevue, who had parked the Z28 about 50 feet away offered me a seat in the back of the hatchback if I was willing to stay and finish my tirade.  They were amused by it.  I agreed.  When it became obvious that I had provoked them to far, I threw myself into the trunk and we drove off.  I remember giving the police the finger as the receded into the distance.  Fuck them.

(I will note that I did not take part in any class action lawsuit against the city.  I gave as good as I got.  Consequently, I became too recognizable to the police so I had to stop wearing my favorite hat.  Oh well... it smelled like tear gas anyway.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 4 (Thursday, D2)

Once again, after teaching my early afternoon math courses, I made by way back to the C.D. about 3 PM.  As on the previous day, I immediately set off downtown.  Things were quieter this day.  This was probably because, as mention in the last installment, the police had actually used so much tear gas that the whole state had none left.

After stopping by the King County Jail, I made my way toward a planned union event north of downtown.  I therefore attached myself to a demonstration that began in the vicinity of the Labor Temple in Belltown which eventually stopped at the police line at 5th and Pine.  I spoke at length with a few union carpenters who came down off their scaffolding, still wearing their hardhats and tool belts, to join the march.  They were none too happy about being it with teargas while up on those same scaffolding the day before.  Their safety was certainly jeopardized by the actions of the police and they were going to let them know about it.  I had certainly pleased to find others who were of the same mind I was.  Who cares about the WTO when your own police force is rioting in the street?

At 5th and Pine, we let the police know what we felt about their collective conduct in no uncertain terms.  I inquired, "Why was it that I was tear gassed when I was 5 blocks away from a broken window, but when someone is shot dead in the C.D. in front of my house, by the time the police bother to show up, the body has been carted away?"  I told them that in a few days the tourists would be gone, but they would still have to deal with the residents that had been wronged.  As such, I informed them, "If I saw you lying bleeding in the street I would rather piss down your throat than call 911."  The carpenters mainly glared and  fingered their rigging hammers.  Judging my the uncomfortable looks on the faces of the police, I think we made our point.

I don't recall much else noteworthy from that day.   I do remember a discussion among locals concerning whether we should start packing our guns (we all have concealed pistol licenses).  It was agreed that unless the cops escalated then neither would we.  (However, as we were to learn later, some people had been harmed by the chemical warfare.)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 3 (Wednesday, D1)

After teaching my early afternoon math courses, I made by way back to the C.D. about 3 PM.  I immediately set off downtown, and eventually made my way to the Pike Place Market on 1st Ave.  It was dry.  I ate a Chinese pastry then noticed a group of Union people, mostly Sheet Metal Workers, emerging from the stairs to the lower levels.  I figured I would attach myself to this group.  Blocking traffic, we Marched up Pike Street in the Direction of the "No Protest Zone."  Very quickly, we were confronted by police who ordered us off the streets for illegally blocking the streets.  Before anyone had a chance to respond (even if they had been so inclined), we were met by few rubber bullets, "flash bang" grenades, and massive amounts of tear gas.  It drove us back.  Worst of all, the tear gas was driving people from cars and buses.  People were gasping, chocking and rubbing their eyes.  I ran/retreated toward the market.

The intersection of 1st and Pike was obscured by a thick cloud of tear gas.  I needed to wash out my eyes in the bathroom, which were stinging, but on the way I told the guys who throw fish by the pig, "See that cloud?  That's tear gas.  When it reaches here it's going to ruin your whole stock."  Those guys never threw fish faster.  (They probably owe me one.*)

After washing my eyes, I went to the top level of the market.  Some younger kids were seated for some reason.  As the gas cleared, I made my way back to the intersection of 1st and Pike.  A few demonstrators holding signs were advancing south toward Pine Street.  The police fired tear gas and threw a pair of flash bangs.  The first went off, and blew the sign out of one guy's hand.  The second failed to go off.  We later stuck it into a newspaper box for safe keeping.  (We told a market security officer that it was there.)  Car traffic was at a standstill, and their were a number of pissed off residents (who mainly had nothing to do with any sort of demonstration).  People, including myself, were berating the police for their action.  (I outdid myself in foulness.)  I also egged on people against the police.  I do not like being tear gassed, so I made them pay verbally.  Sensing the general mood, the police withdrew.

It was at this time, I had a conversation with a certain self-described "political activist."  He indicated that he respected my opinion, and was capable of making the pigs pay.  I told him that since they had not escalated to that level, then neither should we.  Psychological warfare and vandalism is one thing, but what he was suggesting was something else.  The shit would hit the fan, and the instigator would be blamed.  He agreed.  I never saw him again.  Looking back, I probably did more to diffuse tensions than a number of other people who would later claim to have done so.

I had wanted to attend a WTO show, featuring Jello Biafra among others, at the Showbox.  It appeared impossible to get in, so I headed east toward the "No Protest Zone."  As the police had the streets blocked past third and wandered over toward the Bon Marche (now Macy's).  The display windows were smashed.  I remember singing,"One day looting at the Bon Marche..."  (ala Harry Belafonte).

I recall berrating a cop for suggesting that "this wouldn't have happened if you people had not started breaking windows."  I told him he was a worthless pig (or some such).

Eventually, I attached myself to another group who ended up marching up to Broadway on Capital Hill.  I was tired and went home when a ride was offered.  As such, I missed the night's police riot on Capital Hill.  However, my two roommates, who worked on Broadway, were present and had kept wooden bullets as souvenirs to prove it.  I did hear about it on AM radio.

Basically, the Seattle Police Department and King County were stretched to the breaking point, so officers had been called in from all over the state.  This meant that small town cops were being asked to do riot duty in the big city.  This will inevitably result in tensions increasing.  In fact, so much tear gas was used on the first two days, the state of Washington actually ran out.

* In 2000, during Ed Bradly's primary campaign, during a stop at the Market, the idiot mayor at his time, Paul Shell was buying fish and said, "Put it on my tab."  He was told he had none.  He lost the 2001 primary.

Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 2 (Tuesday, N30)

I had to teach a couple of math classes in the early afternoon north of Seattle.  After returning to central Seattle about 3:00 PM (there was no disruption of traffic), I turned on the TV. Massive street protests were surrounding the Convention Center.  There were reports of a confrontation where police were actually thrown back at the intersection of 6th Avenue and Union Street.  I left the house and walked down Yesler Way to 6th avenue near I-5.

If I recall correctly, there was no vehicular traffic past the Seneca ramp, but it might have been Madison.  There were a large number of State Troopers present, but their mission seemed limited to keeping I-5 open.  Of all the police (not counting the National Guard who saw the whole thing as a joke), WSP maintained the highest level of professionalism I witnessed by far.  If only the others had followed their lead...

Anyway, as expected, I encountered my first group of protesters blocking the intersection of 6th and Union.  They did not really impress me.  They were a bunch of sad, stupid looking old hippies who seemed to think it was O.K. to scream at everyone who wasn't white to "Go home!" and anyone wearing office attire a "whore."  A couple of tiny Asian women actually hid behind me.  Some action appeared to be taking place at Pike Street, but there was no way to get there.  After I'd had enough of their bullshit, I decided to walk a few blocks to the Rainer Square building at 4th Avenue, where I had arranged to meet friends.

The demonstrators blocking the intersection of 4th and Union were pacifist college kids having some sort of teach-in.  Judging by the relaxed manner of the police present, there had not been the same sort of confrontation that had occurred elsewhere.  However, at this location is where I recall smelling the tear gas for the first time.

Eventually, Travis B. (who sometimes writes for this blog), my former brother-in-law and his friend arrived and we went to eat dinner as the sun began to set (which is around 5:00 PM this time of year).  For some reason, Travis B. and I, split from the other two, and went to eat at the Olympic Broiler at 2nd and Pike.  Before it closed several years later, it was always my favorite diner in the area because the food was good and cheap.  It had had some colorful clientele.  I recall offering to kick someone's ass if he did not shut the fuck up and quit calling me a tourist.  He politely declined and apologized.  It was here, over the T.V., that I first heard the Mayor's declaration of that part of the City as a "No-Protest Zone."  They may have said something about outlawing gas masks, but that might have been later.  In any event, as soon as I stepped out the door, the need for a gas mask was plainly evident.

The police, according to a few people I spoke with, were driving everyone up the hill (towards Capital Hill) and out of downtown with tear gas.  The justification was the disorder and looting that had occurred.  Basically, regardless of whether people were actually involved, they declared war on the populace with chemical warfare.

We made our way up Pike Street where a number of demonstrators were beginning to make a stand.  Knowing from personal experience that police are less likely to mess with big people, I scoped a group of large men, mostly Teamsters Local 7 members, and attached myself to their group.  However, the police used so much tear gas that we were all driven up the hill with everyone else.  I remember someone in one of the big condo towers had dragged their stereo onto their deck and was blasting "The Star Spangled Banner" by Jimi Hendrix.  After crossing Boren, the police seemed satisfied to hold the line, and I went home.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

10 Years Ago: A WTO Memoir Part 1 (Monday N29)

Ten years ago tonight, living in Seattle, I was curious about the WTO Ministerial Meeting.  I can't say I new much about it at the time.  I had read in some anarchist rag about plans to disrupt the ministerial, and wanted to check out the security.  My sister's ex- was staying with me.  He had plans to attend the Tibet rally.  Two others came along.  We walked down the hill and headed over to the Convention Center vicinity.  As we strode through the streets there was an obvious covert police presence, but little else.  We walked back up the hill.  I had to teach class in the early afternoon, so I went to bed at my usual late time.
Experiences may be both relative and irrelevant.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ideal outcomes only exist in stories.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On Singularities #5

Technology is an application of technique.  As such, it is subject to the constraints of the science upon which it is based.  By its nature, the most efficient techniques are incorporated into its design.  Technology is therefore limited by physical constraints.  Energy must therefore be expended to maintain a steadily increasing state.  Absent this impetus, environmental forces ensure that things will fall downward.  In addition, spending resources in limited directions will enable decay and disorder in those systems thus neglected.  Civilization is many intertwining systems.  Who knows which threads will cause everything to unravel or constrict?

On the other hand, absent nuclear apocalypse, no Fall need be complete.  Some strands may even be strengthened.  Some may inevitably realize what is important and what is not.  Little is total.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On Singularities #4

Commonly, there are two broad categories of scenarios that will result in singularities.  The first, which can be represented by the science fiction of Vernor Vinge, is the result of a hyper-technological society.  Basically some revolutionary technological advance will result in spontaneous evolution of humanity to the next level (whatever that might be).  The second category of scenarios ranges from the extreme of nuclear holocausts to economically and/or environmentally caused crashes of civilization.  In other words, depending on the writer, humanity will either become something more or less.

But what of neither?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On Singularities #3

Singularities may not be singular.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For a believer, facts are not always truth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"I returned to the Holiday Inn — where they have a swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms — to consider the paradox of a nation that has given so much to those who preach the glories of rugged individualism from the security of countless corporate sinecures, and so little to that diminishing band of yesterday's refugees who still practice it, day by day, in a tough, rootless and sometimes witless style that most of us have long since been weaned away from."

- Hunter S. Thompson (1937 – 2005).  Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Singularities #2

i. Society and culture are discarded as impediments for the furtherance of a technological society.  Who needs them?

ii. No one would actually sacrifice their lives for a technological society.  Who cares that much?

iii. A singularity may approach when one has no choice other than drowning amongst the wreckage.  Who made that choice?

iv. We did it to ourselves.  Who you calling "we?"

Friday, November 13, 2009

A technological society can only be destroyed from without, whereas it may only be undermined from within.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Truth, told through lies, undermines itself.

Propaganda Technique: Example

See Here for my discussion of the a propaganda technique that attempts to equate two unlike thing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

On Singularities #1

A singularity, to use a physics metaphor, is basically a future event or existence that is impossible to predict as this time.  The best one can hope for is to identify trends which point toward its potential existence.  As any web search will confirm, there many different ideas as to what is to be found beyond the "event horizon."  There are two main schools of thought. The first is that this singularity represents some momentous scientific and/or technical breakthrough (creation), or that is basically the decline and fall of civilization (destruction) as we currently know it.  There is also the possibility that the singularity will contain elements of both creation and destruction.  I would tend to see the latter as more likely.  It is almost always easier to destroy than to build.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

When it comes to living standards, absolute comparisons carry little weight.  Who cares if one lives better than one's ancestors?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Islamic Fundamentalist Propaganda

I had actually forgotten that I had collected the links on the Chumpfish Islamic Fundamentalist Propaganda.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just because one does not like the message, does not mean one should ignore the messenger.

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 Parts

1. Those shouting do not necessarily have anything to say.
2. The overwhelmed become apathetic; the informed only wish it were so.
3. One need not know the words to understand frustration.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Greasing the rails through a difficult path will not always make the journey easier. In such cases, find another way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chumpfish Home Has Moved

Due to Yahoo Geocities imminent closure, Chumpfish Home has moved. Although I have not done so during (not to before) the move, I'm going to be updating and adding a few links in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I'll link to something that does not need to be updated (even if part have), here's the The Maximum Advantage Collection.

I don't aim to inspire...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Masters of Propaganda

As the Chumpfish Main site is being moved, I'll send a few links to various pages that have been transferred (although until the 26th you may still find working links to the Geocities site). So for starters, check out the links on the Masters of Propaganda page.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Propaganda Studies Link

Here is a post (from my other blog) to an interesting link concerning propaganda.
Patience is the most annoying of virtues.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Working a plan does not dictate it be done with haste.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Too many believe static realities are eternal.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fantasy is a narcotic masquerading as a hallucinogen.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

"If your brain falls out of your head, you can always use it as a door stop."

-Sun-Tzu, "The Art of Door"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sooner or later you'll be an anarchist whether you like it or not.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Review of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein (Part 3)

In closing, a bit of a stream...

There are certain passages in this book that were odd. For instance, the author castigates the results of a poll in 2005 where young respondents stated that they believed the political system was broken and corrupt. He seems to think that they are not informed enough to make this determination. Does he really think cynicism is only a pose? I would argue that it really isn't that tough. In 2005, Bush was still president because his opponent was an even bigger loser, and Iraq was descending into absolute chaos. It looked apparent that the political system is hollow. (It still does.) It isn't just the youth.

He also seems to be fixated upon the classics as a guide for everyday life. Although I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment regarding culture and humanity, I does very little for coping with the technological society as a whole. He does not seem to see that if it were not electronic diversions it would be something else--like hard drug abuse. At least, in general, the youth are not out on the streets victimizing each other. On the other hand, it does not prepare the young for hard cold reality when and if it occurs. Even if relatively sheltered, the classics will convey lessons that can be invaluable far beyond the intellectual plane. Culture is shaped and reflected by these works, but it has been eclipsed for decades to diversion and decadence. The next stage is cultural nihilism. Why the author would think technological and internet use along would be anything other than the symptom of a disease appears to be his fixation with youth even as older people do the same thing and now have passed it down.

I do agree that today's youth do have a tendency to exist in a bubble. Although anecdotal, I will illustrate my point with an example. One night, a friend once witnessed a 20 year old "kid" pull out a brand new IPod, which was predictably taken out of his hands by thugs. His response, "Hey, that's not funny." He seemed to believe it was a joke. Being knocked to the ground probably made him change his mind, but it need not have come to that. It isn't just intellectual development that is consumed by the machine. Maximum Advantage is not conducive to individual survival. It only cares about the heard. Paradoxically, it can make one feel more connected if only to keep out the cold. (And so, you pull out your toys at night at a downtown bus stop...)

The author does not obviously relate to the human need to feel connected. To him it's just texting and social networking. He does not seem to see is as just a narcotic for the physically unconnected even as he describes the disease. Why study the classics, when humanity seems a distant thing?

Also, there was a passage that made me fall off may chair will laughter, (P. 234):
The ramifications for the United States are grave. We need a steadt stream of rising men and women to replenish the institutions, to become strong military leaders and wise politicians,...
Wow. What's he smoking? "Replenish?" If this is what passes for deep thought among public intellectual these days (and it is), then no wonder there isn't much excitement about reading. True intellectual leaders need to be organic. Technology does not promote that sort of growth. The mentors have failed because they helped create this system.

In closing, I recommend this book for its well researched case concerning the rising dumbitude. I just don't agree that it applied only to the youth of America. At least this book is well written. Who cares about the author's reasons for writing it?

End.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein (Part 2)

Continuing with my review...

Although well researched, the author's motivations appears to be based on errors and misconceptions. He frequently confuses causes with effects, and appears to live in a bubble (which is ironic as he often accuses his professorial colleagues of the same deficiency.) For instance, his laments the disinterest shown in the liberal arts and the career oriented focus of his students, but seems to make no connection between this attitude and the high cost of a college education (or even mentions the issue). If someone is going to go into $100K+ in debt (which cannot even be bankrupted), there had better be some payout at the end. It is simply bizarre that he would believe that someone would mortgage their future to simply become more well rounded. The liberal arts, for their own sake are fine, are simply too high a price. (I suspect many of his English majors are actually pre-law or the like.) In addition, as evidenced by the lack of apprentices in the construction trades, more people are choosing white collar careers over blue collar work, and therefore some students who would have previously taken different paths are now enrolling in college.

More later...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein (Part 1)

Review of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein

This books subtitle looked interesting: "How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)." So I went to the library and checked out a copy. The author, an English Professor who is about 50 years old, believes the U.S. has a problem as it's young people are so absorbed in electronic diversions that it atrophies the intellect and character of many. This book is well researched and does include citations and an index. (I have a distrust for books of this sort lacking in such.) The studies and other data provided lends credence to most of his arguments. As a former physics/math instructor before becoming an (un-)civil engineer, I noted many of the educational defiencies of which he writes. He is also right on the mark in his criticism of corporate, media and educational boosters of the wonders of technology. Those with a stake in promoting technology in class rooms and extol the virtues of the internet age, give examples of highly motivated and gifted children, but for the majority focus is on its base mediocrity. True, it's all there on the internet, but as with most things, the lowest common denominator mentality applies. Hence, the most popular sites on the internet are commercial ventures and therefore have a stake in keeping language and concepts to a low level of literacy and sophistication. The result is poor language and other cognitive/intellectual skills. Indeed, studies have shown that there is no real improvement in reading and math skills have occurred as the result of "wired" class rooms. As with many other consumerist concerns, don't believe the hype.

As criticism of the wholesale adoption of technology and its impacts on scoiety, this book is worth reading, but it certainly has flaws.

My main objections, which I will relate in future posts, concern the author's focus and perspective. Yes, it's true that people younger than 30 have these deficiencies, but plenty of older people do the same thing and share the same deficiencies. I have other issues as well.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To grow old is to grow old.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Clifford D. Simak

This is the first installment of a series concerning authors and/or published works that I highly recommend. I will also include downloads of representative works.

The first effort will concern my favorite classic science fiction writer, Clifford D. Simak (1904 - 1988), a Midwestern newspaper man. Although lesser known than other authors his science fiction was a favorite of many of those authors, especially Isaac Asimov. His books are generally more "humanistic" most other science fiction of his time. His robots have feelings. He is one of the few authors whose works I collect as a matter of course.

Representative (PDF) Download: Shakespeare's Planet.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Many movements never move.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Ideologies are for those seeking domination by being dominated.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Don't believe your own hype.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Check the depth before you dive.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Immediate Concerns

Global and national concerns are easily eclipsed by immediate matters. Expecting otherwise is the product of idleness. Busy people do not have the time for such viewpoints. Politics are crippled by quick time constraints. Those with nothing better to do will focus their attention upward. Meanwhile, the hurried need to focus downward to avoid tripping and falling.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Subjectivity is unbreakable until it is.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Objectivity is a rock.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Progress is hitting a brick wall.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The automobile represents empowerment to those who have none and pay for the privilege.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The highway is a daily reminder of stupidity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"I look at the world and see a rainbow of people who all suck in different ways." --Jim Goad.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." --Benjamin Franklin

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there, Eighty are just targets, Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, One is a warrior, And he will bring the others back." -- Heraclitus

Saturday, August 08, 2009

For too many, change is like an exercise bicycle. No matter how hard they work, they just don't seem to get anywhere.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Normality is defined by the mundane.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

On Work

Why make a virtue of something unnecessary? Why Dignify Drudgery? Why care about that which must be done to survive? Why care about the product? Why do no more than you have to? Why bury oneself? Why seek satisfaction from something inherently unsatisfying? If one is trapped, why move to a bigger trap? Why pretend one is free? Why is motion necessary? Why is stagnation seen as progress? Why bring it home? Why see a beggar's bowl as anything but? Why seek blood from a stone?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The incorrigible may not be firmly fixed, but it can be broken.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Does an error in language make one mistaken about the facts?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"I think, therefore I am," means that one is capable of making the statement. Why is that such a big deal?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Something valuable is not always precious.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Financial independence? Is working your life away really freedom?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Crook or incompetent, which one is it?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Winning Hearts and Minds?

The video came to my attention a few years back. It is a US gunship attack video from Afghanistan in 2002 or so. In this type of war, where non-state forces fight state forces, sometimes referred to as 4th Generation Warfare (4GW), it's been said that the moral component of war is the most vital to win. Is so, then this is not the way to do so.

Download Video. (Includes an extra minute at the beginning that was cut to keep the blogger upload below 100 Mb.)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Confusion may be temptingly exploitable, but it must be worth the cost. One will be labeled an opportunist afterward.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Green shoots are sometimes weeds.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Over extension is akin to addiction: it's hard to quit.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Far too many are driven by inflated egos which, not unlike an old tire, tend to blow out in the face of reality.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving on is often superior to moving up.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Freedom does not always make one free.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Falling does not always follow the straightest past.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hatreds are cultivated by those with nothing better to do.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Writing off is sometimes better than writing on.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

In a media-driven society, image is taken as a substance. Nobody wants to admit how much time they waste.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One should be concerned when enemies understand details.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Notes

i. Frontiers mold individuality. No matter how we prefer it, there is no one else.
ii. An individualistic culture facilitates individualism by exploiting societal ideals. There is someone else, but we prefer not to see it.
iii. Adaptation is resisted. Rigidity is stagnation.
iv. Social cohesion is undermined by excess.
v. Eventually, even though there are others, there is no one else.
vi. Absent expansion, Things Fall Apart on their own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gentrification leaves nothing but nothing yuppies and gangsters.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Virtue is tiring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A bird in hand can be kinda messy...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

("They ain't seen nutin' yet!")

Paul Craig Roberts:
Historically, the definition of a free person is a person who owns his own labor. Serfs were not free, because they owed their feudal lords, the government of that time, a maximum of one-third of their labor. Nineteenth century slaves were not free, because their owners could expropriate 50 per cent of their labor.

Today, no American is a free person. The lowest tax rate, not counting state income, property tax and sales tax, is 15 per cent Social Security tax and 15 per cent federal income tax. The “free American” starts off with a 30 per cent tax rate, the position of a medieval serf.

In medieval Europe, when tax rates reached beyond 30 per cent, serfs rebelled and killed their masters.
And it's even worse when they are unemployed. The proverbial line has been crossed. Obviously, the idiots in power don't get when they've gone too far. Obama has shown himself no different than Bush. Both want to sell out the future so bankers can enjoy another multimillion dollar bonus while running the financial system into the ground. What I find truly amazing is, when called on it, they whine about persecution. ("They ain't seen nutin' yet!")

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saying Nothing

At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.” - Link
Talk about saying nothing! Who is going to come out and say publicly that they favor homelessness? This is a familiar political ploy when what politicians really mean is that they are not going to do anything about the problem, because they can't.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Don't Let The Door Hit You...

If that's the best they can do for a threat...
Banker fury over tax ‘witch-hunt’:

Bankers on Wall Street and in Europe have struck back against moves by US lawmakers to slap punitive taxes on bonuses paid to high earners at bailed-out institutions.

Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.

There were fears that the backlash triggered by AIG’s payment of $165m in bonuses to executives responsible for losses that forced a $170bn taxpayer-funded rescue would have devastating consequences for the largest banks.

“Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they’re destroying it,” said one banker at a firm that has accepted public money. “This happened out of haste and anger over AIG, but we’re not like AIG.”

The banker added: “It’s like a McCarthy witch-hunt...This is the most profoundly anti- American thing I’ve ever seen.”
5 thoughts:

1. Revenge is a very "American thing."

2. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out! If that's talent I would hate to witness incompetence.

3. It's amazing to hear someone whine, "I can't believe you hate me," after running everything into the ground.

4. They should do the right thing and jump out a window. The world would be a far better place without them in it.

5. Another example of intellectual inbreeding...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Propaganda: On Decadence

On Decadence

i. Decadence is the exhibition of cultural and social decline. It may be considered a manifestation of disorder turned inward. As progress destroys the ordered life, decline is inevitable. The past is idealized and romanticized. Essentially, a symptom of increased isolation from the base physical world, decadence has many shapes and faces sometimes mistaken for something else. Rather than as an expression of apathy, a skilled propagandist may portray decadence as a sign of increased freedom and tolerance. The present social order is maintained at the expense of it culture. Once the decay sets, legitimacy is the next casualty. The idle need something to occupy their time. Mental pursuits simply fall short in a materialistic culture. The isolated feel a need to be part of something. Oppositional solidarity may be divided and conquered through enabling decadent pursuits. The spectacle becomes a need. Some would rather participate than spectate, but all are products.

ii. As long as vested interests profit, cultural decadence represents a safety valve. What happens when the party is over? No matter the effort, the organized opposition will never satisfactorily channel decadent energy. The walking dead do not answer serious questions. The decadent are mostly lost. Some are awaiting something new. One needs to pass the time. Opportunists note failure. Associations are easily exploited.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Breaking requires devolution for a time.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

No Ethics in a Moral Society

Why Does the World Feel Wrong? describes the reasons behind the complete lack of ethics in a so-called "moral society." There are simply too many psychopaths controlling things and, since these sort are most motivated to claw their way to the top, always have. Only a decentralized society has any chance of escaping their grasp. Unfortunately, "ours" will tear itself apart before becoming so.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #8

Any assertion contrary to the myth of progress will be met with circular arguments or proof by example. However, any system has components neither provable nor disprovable within itself. The whole is different than the sum of its parts. These theorems are true; it requires one sufficiently alienated to document this system created by the technical morality. The only self-awareness required is the extent of that disenfranchisement, and the ruthlessness to pull the wings off a fly... However, most believe such freedom from fear requires strength beyond them. Their perceptions have been lead like cattle. Under Maximum Advantage, "Nothing is forbidden; everything is permitted," may be allowed but will never occur in the resultant mediocre compromise. In truth, rather the opposite, but sweet lies are better. Some errors are necessary as a step forward.

[End]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Intellectual Inbreeding: Corporate Free Traders

Here's an example of intellectual inbreeding. Although not the point, Wall Street and Bernanke by Dave Lindorff illustrates the flawed thinking of the corporate free trader crowd. Just like Marxists, this bunch began believing its own B.S. Its feedback did nothing but reinforce a flawed ideology of economic internationalism. It's interesting to note that both Marxist and "free trade" reacted similar: both grasped the remedies of its flawed rival.

Excerpt:
The same kind of analytical brilliance has been routinely ascribed by economic pundits to investors when it comes to business decisions--particularly mergers and acquisitions, or divestments and breakups. If Bank of America announces that it is going to buy the foundering Merrill Lynch and shares of B of A fall, then the merger is a bad idea. If the shares rise, it's a good idea. And so it goes.

The whole idea that a bunch of people who sit around at computer screens betting on stocks and eating cheese doodles all day really know much of anything, or that taking their herd responses collectively as some kind of delphic oracle has always seemed the height of folly to me. But if you really wanted proof that investors taken collectively are idiots, you could simply look at today's stock market. Yesterday, every index plunged by about 4%, pulling the overall market to lows not seen in 12 years, because of concerns that the recession was deepening, that the big banks were toast, and that the government's economic stimulus plan was not going to help much.

There was every reason to expect the downward trend to continue, but up stepped Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, and, in a statement presented in Congress, said that in his considered view, the current recession could be over by the end of this year.

Relieved investors jumped back into the market and bought stocks, pushing the Dow and the S&P indexes back up by almost as much as they'd lost the day before.

But wait a minute! Isn't Ben Bernanke the same guy who was chair of the Fed last year and the year before? The same chair who completely failed to see the coming credit crisis and global financial collapse? And if that's the case, why on earth would investors take seriously anything he says about the future direction of the economy?
Why indeed? Maybe they're smoking a little too much hope?

The herd mentality can never be more than mediocre, and probably less. Anyone believing in its wisdom is a tool.

See also How the Economy was Lost by Paul Craig Roberts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Intellectual Inbreeding: Achievetrons

The latest issue of Harper's has an article called Achievetrons by Lewis H. Lapham, which describes the consequences of intellectual inbreeding when influenced by Maximum Advantage. The resultant products all thing the same: Me First.

Excerpt:
It also illustrates The recommendation deserves to be ranked with the ones until recently in vogue at the Palm Beach Country Club among the members acquainted with the achievetron Bernie Madoff. For the past sixty years the deputies assigned to engineer the domestic and foreign policies of governments newly arriving in Washington have come outfitted with similar qualifications—firstclass schools, state-of-the-art networking, apprenticeship in a legislative body or a think tank—and for sixty years they have managed to weaken rather than strengthen the American democracy, ending their terms of office as objects of ridicule if not under threat of criminal arrest. The Harvard wunderkinds (a.k.a. “the best and the brightest”) who followed President John F. Kennedy into the White House in 1961 hung around the map tables long enough to point the country in the direction of the Vietnam War. Henry Kissinger, another Harvard prodigy, imparted to American statecraft the modus operandi of a Mafia cartel. The Reagan Administration imported its book of revelation from the University of Chicago’s School of Economics (“privatization” the watchword, “unfettered free market” the Christian name for Zeus) and by so doing set in motion what lately has come to be seen as a longrunning Ponzi scheme. Take into account the Ivy League’s contributions to the Bush Administration—Attorney General John Ashcroft (Yale), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Princeton), director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff (Harvard)—and I can imagine a doctoral thesis commissioned by the Kennedy School of Government and meant to determine which of the country’s leading institutions of higher
learning over the past fifty years has done the most damage to the health and happiness of the American people.
The higher educational system has sold itself to capitalist ideology (as opposed to ideas) and the military-industrial complex. Although the people and examples cited above hail from different academic backgrounds, the most corrupted reside in the intellectually bankrupt economics departments whose theories and models where large contributors to the looming financial disaster. As was the case with Marxists, these sort too readily believed their own B.S.* Science is not about building a model and calling it reality. Ideology has been mistaken for fact. A real science would recognize the inherent limitations in its models. Assumptions are not laws; their economics has none. Complexity has more potential for instability. Constraints almost always exist. Standing on the Earth's surface, one does not float up. Perhaps they forgot where they were? Achievetrons indeed.

As such, the "best and brightest" can be described thus:
  1. In advertising law, best means as good as any other.
  2. The brightest create by burning.
When these sort promise to "fix" something, expecting the worst is completely justified.

* (The initials are not coincidence.)

Addendum
From Hope latest victim of economy (Seattle PI):
"Right now, more than a crisis in mortgages or in housing, we have a crisis in confidence. That is the biggest problem in trying to analyze the current market," said James Stack, president of market research firm InvesTech Research in Whitefish, Mont. "You cannot analyze psychology."
The lights are on, but nobody's home...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #7

Occasionally, the technical morality will miscalculate actions and reactions. The difficulties must be handled effectively for Maximum Advantage. For example, an incompetent national foreign policy may lead to reprisal terrorist attacks, but these events allow and provide justification for retaliatory attacks, increasing intrusive regional influence, enriching the arms industry, and even facilitating the establishment of increased domestic restrictions on suspected internal threats, thus enriching the prison industry, etc. The chains that bind have many parallel links. All approaches must be extremely malleable and reducible. Goals are accomplished by overcoming societal inertial forces, or merely providing the perception of change.[14] Obscured by the spectacle of instantaneous gratification, this system may expand or contract relatively slowly in actuality. A perceptual shift is far more efficient than even the small level of actual change demanded by technical requirements. This state is not an automatic consequence of adaption of technique, rather a result of anti-natural and unbalanced development. Efficiency encompasses everything. A mixture of belief systems must be accommodated or manipulated for Maximum Advantages. Those beyond a certain mean (in the base sense of the word) are easy prey for exploitation as well. A common enemy is a most efficient means for instilling unity in a suitably divided and pacified population. A jester is even better. For instance, UFO believers are ridiculed, perhaps rightly so, but every unidentified flying object is not an alien from outer-space. An aborted military test flight might unfortunately stray into civilian territory, but most potential witnesses would likely avoid talking much, beyond the anecdotal, concerning a "far off streak in the sky." (Let alone file an official report.) Lest reputations suffer, only the attention starved would bother. The government need not even bother with a cover story. Technique does not just apply to machines. The path of least resistance is identified then utilized for Maximum Advantage. Any potential difficulties will also receive a refined, most efficient, non-invasive response as possible, which further pacifies the populace. Sensationalism swells and overloads the senses, and earns a tidy profit to boot. "Infotainment" is not real news, but amuses and pacifies. The constant stimulation makes nothing very noticeable, even the corrupt and absurd. The technical morality does not care about cynicism, merely coopting expression for Maximum Advantage. The technical morality does not recognize any emotions, rather utilizes their effectiveness for Maximum Advantage. The unknown is exploited for Maximum Advantage. Any resistance is a measure of societal and cultural inertia, which may in turn be exploited for Maximum Advantage. Economic bad times create higher crime which may be utilized to saturate the media, which encourages fear and citizens stay indoors. Why bother with brute force methods like general curfews, when the population will do so by its own accord and pay money for it? Passive entertainment is the strongest American industry. Any unrest is vilified and demonized for Maximum Advantage. The meek stay meek. Maximum efficiency is constrained by thermodynamics, but may always be presented otherwise. Surpassing the natural, the technical morality will move into the realm of the anti-natural. No distinction is possible in the mythical realm of progress. The improvement can never end, although it must and will.

[14.] Hope is easily exploited as well (because it wants to be).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #6

Often society and culture become are erroneously perceived as synonymous. A blurring effect is maintained for Maximum Advantage in all Things, thus eliminating any possibility of distinction. History is erased, not by decree, but by context. Everything hitherto has lead to this height of attainment. The shining examples of strip malls and lame entertainment, are rationalized and excused by real accomplishments such as sanitation and infrastructure. Successive generations score higher on cognitive intelligence test, but becomes more stupid. The current crop will be eaten alive when the global economy depresses. The social dynamic has been supplanted by allowing malleable popular culture free reign across the consumer landscape. Decadent instincts become ascendant in any anti-natural environment. Nihilism eventually decays unto death, but may be mitigated for Maximum Advantage. Prime time snuff films bring high television ratings. Discontent is disbursed, then exploited for profit. The proper response is directed by consumer culture, which demands cash for overpriced goods and services even at the consequence of massive debt. Bankruptcy rates soar, but no matter. Credit may cold always be easily re-established (until 2008 anyway). Lifestyles must be maintained as required by progress, which means meeting or exceeding preceding (de-)generations (one way or another). Hence while the technical world spirals upward, the natural slowly declines. Even the decadent becomes less creative. A short attention span would not even note any passing of stronger instincts, merely run with the herd mentality. Even the propagandist is affected by the induced perceptions. The eternal present becomes manifest. Our memories become surreal. The question is permitted, yet still forbidden, and non-existent besides. The critical becomes blunted by contact vectors, which slowly drain vitality by overwhelming with constant over-stimulation. Befitting a spent technological dream, in the end, only rusting hollow shells will remain.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #5

The higher technical morality supersedes older traditional moralities by smothering. Good and Evil are re-defined, but not re-evaluated, according to the dictates of technical efficiency. The absolute adherence demanded has created a higher morality above all else. Propaganda is the language of the new mediocre religion of progress for purposes of a lowest-common mean unity. Stagnation, while scurrying about, supposedly promotes stability. The clergy are simply supplanted by technicians, which even a thinking atheist[13] might admit is alarming. In the modern incarnation, the priest has only verbal authority, rather than the full trappings of the ultra-rational and re-definable progress. One cannot see God. The protestant reformation is long over. The religious types have no power beyond annoying rhetoric. The possible social consequences inherent in cultural rejection of religion may pose serious difficulties. According to the 19th Century themes of Dostoevsky, the removal of God from peasant societies leaves a void. Mass murder is this enabled with a good conscience. Stalinist Russia certainly proved his predictions correct. The opportunistic will sight upon any available target. The population is a different matter. Its restraints must be removed. The priest would see slaves, but the technical would eliminate all humanity from consideration, ideally replacing it with a stagnant rationale. The result is lower than slavery. A slave can at least aspire for freedom. At least religion becomes decadent and decays into something tolerable, or at least easily ignored. Technical morality was born decadent. Development is hampered by religion, but denied by technique. Nothing is produced different only better. Absolutes are anti-natural. Faith in the anti-natural leads to ruin. However, the technical insulates through its inherent efficiency, effectively obscuring everything outside its spotlight. Hence, the individual becomes unable to discern differences, and therefore may be exploited to Maximum Advantage by the most efficient means. Socialization is blunted by unstable environments masked by the delusion of stability. The force required to maintain the facade must be legitimized by propaganda techniques. Intertwined among short and long term concerns, a double-spiral guides the ascension of technical reality. The most effective delivery vectors often act through the mechanisms of market bastard capitalism. The populace actually pays to be propagandized in the ideal docility required for the efficient operation of this technical society. Even elite classes become complacent by propagating the resultant system, because these groups benefit most rapidly and maintain their position. They believe their own bullshit. The most adaptable may become the new ruling class, but will see their heirs generally stagnate due to intellectual inbreeding and otherwise. Hence, dynasties are quickly toppled, although a parasitic leisure class by-product often emerges to be replaced by fresh meat. Hence, some artificial circulation occurs, thus enabling certain myths like the American Dream.

[13] As opposed to a rational or reactionary atheist. Progress and rebellion are both lies. Prayer is an order of rank higher than faith in progress. A mechanical contrivance is the worst god. The result is slaughter. Do you really want deities beneath humanity?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #4

Altruism is not conducive nor compatible with Maximum Advantage. Its appearance has ulterior motivation. A large corporation may donate large amounts to charities, but will milk it for Maximum Advantage.[12] Big Business supports cancer research, because its pollution is a cause and represents a potential profitable business venture. Issues become entangled and confused. Any debate regarding globalism grinds to a halt in a maze of pros and cons. The larger questions are not even considered. Progress is not viewed as a myth, but rather a definition drawn by little more than sentiment. Value judgements are supplied by propaganda, both pro and con. Most just ignore large-scale concerns and continue with their daily lives. Some things are simply never contemplated by those seeing potential for financial profit. The big picture is far away but the rent is due on the 5th of the month. Immediate concerns supersede all else. The periphery is less tangible and easier to manage. A landscape is constructed where before only a monolith existed to be venerated or assaulted. How could anyone, besides the “obviously” insane, completely question an all-encompassing vista?

[12] And receive a tax break (also to Maximum Advantage).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #3

Though not the cause, the strict positivist mentality pervading industrial societies, while infecting others, produced two World Wars and the Cold War. It then spread across the world, like a cancer, to those societies incompatible with its dictates. These Fall Apart and threaten the stability of the whole as primary loyalties take the place of the state.[9] The human factor has failed to develop at the same pace as its tools and toys. Human cultures appear incapable with ultimately dealing with these rapid pace stresses. The inertia is too great. Mental energy is directed toward progress. Rigid mechanistic doctrines fit the times but not the future. Victory was assured by the dialectic, which proved itself wrong. Nothing is inevitable except death and taxes. Nationalism proved stronger than international worker solidarity. Properly utilized, tribal rivalries are easier to promote and maintain. Xenophobic propaganda does not rely upon reason or rationale. Unrestrained, as in the case of the Cold War, an unstable condition was created thus leading to nuclear brinkmanship that culminated in the Cuban missile crisis. Excessive rhetoric can be exceedingly antagonistic, and required toning down. Propaganda became less inflammatory and over-stated. Employed too readily, blatant propaganda becomes extremely hollow. A softer touch used to Maximum Advantage in All Things was required and developed accordingly. Art was co-opted by both the propaganda and advertising industries.[10] The emerging technological society would not allow itself to be destroyed. Rather, quick destruction could be averted while still enriching the arms industry. The combination was simply the most efficient societal means. The technological system encroached upon all others. The approval of the positivist mind set was met, because its parts may be measured. One cannot quantify emotions. Hence, the qualified has no value except to be exploited for Maximum Advantage in All Things. Manipulation assures concern to be a liability. The mediocre becomes ascendant. Slave and master moralities were quickly absorbed into the technological framework, and synthesized into a common median. The resultant system, developed by exploiting and encouraging conflict, allows justification for increased efficiency essential for technical propagation. Unlike harsher systemic schemes, the minimum effort necessary for maximum gain is the approved standard applied. The resultant mythos created is a hollow mockery. Progress rolling over everything, defining all valuations by drenching the earth in blood if necessary, is perceived as good in a world long past such quaint notions. However, progress does provide some continuity for us drones chained to its capital-controlled economic system. Else all would perceive the drift. A supposed link with past traditions has been a common error during all ages. The current era is no different. The base means are dredged for Maximum Advantage, a value system which attaches parasitically to any available host as a means of least action. Rebellion is subdued by commodification of its products. The elite gain by the stability necessary for maximum technical efficiency. The resultant cultural inertia often produces weak worthless decedents, whom mean absolutely nothing, slowly withering away in stupid angst. Only their money saves their useless existence from being stomped into mulch. The slow mediocre spiral drags all down by subduing natural reactions in favor of anti-natural meaning. Inefficiency is evil, but the walking dead are an abomination. Maximum Advantage is not destined to be long lasting, but will permeate everything of value in a skewed technological society. The hyper-rational must allow outlets for expression, but never enough to upset the established order. Any popular appeal will be bought and sold to a hyper-stimulated populace craving new diversions. Existing pathways are exploited to natural advantage in all things by superceding nature itself. Corruption is a by-product which must be minimized by expending very little, thus little may be corrupted. Hence, decay is evidenced over collapse. While allowing less room for discontent, passivity is always encouraged and valued over submission. Populations do not rebel over boredom.[11]

[9] See the writings of William S. Lind, and John Robb.

[10] Is there a difference?

[11] Except, for a time, as a passage of youth. Church burnings in Scandinavia are an example.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #2

Maximum Advantage is the moral code for the successful wielding of power in the United States.[4] Maximum gain for minimum effort is desired in all things. The forward view is very myopic.[5] Mitigation is attempted through subtle mutation but cooptation is the result. Maximum Advantage in All Things is desired. The unity is all-encompassing. Nothing is perceived beyond its scope. Power must be unrestrained. Hence, economics becomes progressively more abstract. Reinstating the gold standard would be an economic disaster, but its abandonment spawned another. The old verbal worlds has been superseded by the more evolved. Hence, outright coercion has be replaced by less direct methods. Two-million plus fill our national prisons. Yet we are free. Drugs have been exploited to Maximum Advantage in All Things. One might wonder how many proverbial birds are being slain by the stone of the drug war. The technical morality learns from past mistakes. The American public only cares about body bags. Hence, we have bloodless wars where the only military footage allowed is at extreme heights. The Serbian and Iraqi Population bled, but their leaders remained in power.[6] Thus military expenditures and imperialism are justified by digging up not-quite-neutralized threats, or by simply allowing conflict to develop on their own. As long as nobody is drafted, and only elite pilots are put in the line of fire, the population is largely apathetic. In the event of ground actions, soldiers are not vilified, just neglected. Nobody is forced to join the military. In addition, legitimacy is conferred by international coalitions after being rubber stamped by the United Nations Security Council.[7] The population is united by abstractions and myths, like progress and freedom. Loyalty is maintained by statistical prosperity. If the statistics say the nation is prosperous, then it must be healthy. Data and definitions are skewed[8] for Maximum Advantage in maintaining the systemic status quo. Socialization is supplanted by a mass media verbal world. Consumerism is called truth. Rather than just another historical transition, the present is portrayed as eternal, but instead stagnates. However, even the failures may be exploited to Maximum Advantage in All Things. Criminals sell paper and boost ratings. The Judicial Branch is an industry. A niche exists for all. Radical change may be portrayed as inconsequential and nothing be labeled as something, but that does not make either case so. The world moves toward the anti-natural and will pay the price. Bankruptcy only works in court. Emotions may be manipulated. The opportunist is never immune. Dissident elements may be negated without crackdowns. Their message is inconsequential to the present technical moral scheme of Maximum Advantage in All Things. Even while promoting the opposite, the concrete is always valued over the abstract. The system creates itself. Individuals ride the wave. Some fall. Others prosper, including some dissenting voice. Ralph Nadir is a millionaire. All are products. The elite know it.

[4] Neo-conservative are and were too stupid to know otherwise.

[5] And becoming increasingly reactive toward crisis. One can expect nothing more than another mediocre solutions, as nothing else is inherently possible, by those whose power and position rest upon systemic continuity. They will run themselves and everyone else into the ground before any real changes occurs. In other words, the longer it last, the less salvageable.

[6] And in the case of Iraq, later used to justify invasion.

[7] Obviously, failure to do so has its perils.

[8] Or eliminated through finding cuts, such as was the case for the Federal Reserve M3 Statistic, discontinued in 2006, that could officially shown an alarming growth in the money supply. (This statistic is still independently tracked.) Hyperinflation and deflation are not mutually exclusive.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Maximum Advantage - The Technical Morality (2008 Revision) #1

I have been revising a few of my 1990s essays for publication... (This is a re-write of the link above.)

Maximum Advantage—The Higher Morality

Maximum Advantage is not everything; only those things which matter in a technological society. Wholly encompassing, Maximum Advantage may be applied in all situations. Quickly mutable, Maximum Advantage will co-opt or corrupt any rival moral philosophies, belief systems, religions and long lasting traditions. Maximum Advantage is not for cowards nor heroes. As minimum effort expended for maximum gain, Maximum Advantage is the embodiment of mediocrity. Maximum Advantage exploits the mean and mitigates circumstances: the course always follows the path of least resistance. Maximum Advantage is morality applied technically. As is appropriate for machines, the emphasis always concerns efficiency. Maximum Advantage facilitates propaganda through efficient application of advertising, promotion and applied psychology. Encompassing attention spans and finances, Maximum Advantage is brevity. Maximum Advantage is the real 1984. Maximum Advantage is the next highest branch on a genealogical tree[1] of Western morality. A technical morality for a technical age was inevitable. The dead could not walk without it. A product of reductionism, Maximum Advantage has arrived largely unacknowledged but hardly unnoticed. Maximum Advantage is speed. Degeneration is a by-product. Efficiency does not apply to everything. Nadir and zenith rapidly alternate and reverse in a slow downward spiral. Cultural declines occur over the span of a mere generation.[2] Past populations experienced either relatively stable transition, or forced conversion by the sword; Maximum Advantage is neither. A truly positivist morality would have likely produced a world nuclear funeral. The myth of progress was thankfully dulled and diluted just enough by the science it helped spawn. Although extremely destructive, sinister incarnations of deterministic thought produced blatant totalitarian machinations which were thankfully not viable. The liberal democracies prevailed, were contaminated by contact vectors, and became something different even while retaining old trappings and framework. Some continuity is necessary. The ruling elite must support the economic system,[3] a technical field, for it to be a viable concern. Politics became an illusion due to excessive squabbling over scraps as it is superseded by economic primacy. Only technical efficiency was deemed unquestionably good. All else must be justified. A mediocre bastard child was spawned by a union with global capital and approaches maturity. Adolescence ended with the cold war.

[1] Some would say uprooted.

[2] The generational concept is a relatively new concept. It requires rapid change, therefore different age ranges experience vastly different worlds. The resultant conflict inevitably occurs as a clash between Verbal Worlds (see appendix). History is witnessed.

[3] Economics is ideology masquerading as science. (As is if Greenspan, A.K.A. “Mr. Bubble,” and his ilk are scientists.)