Saturday, February 24, 2018

White Racial Inferiority

Over the past few thousand years on Terra, we've seemed to see evidence of Europeoid racial superiority. Throw a bunch of them together in a human habitat, and they do things like develop a particular architecture. As far as modern humans go, it tends to be pleasing in terms of shape and line, and more importantly, effective; it tends to be a thing that doesn't need to be moved seasonally, or bi-annually, but is so efficient it can stay in the same place for years, still working, with minor repair. This architecture also tends to keep out the cold and be weather-resistant. Human groups seem to have an ability to build which corresponds to their racial possession of some quality of genes which seem to have been primarily or initially provided by some group of Europeoids or near-Europeoids. For example, an Egyptian empire of around 5,000 B.C. builds a certain quality and size-level of things, then doesn't once its racial composition changes; a Roman Empire does the same, and so on. We might call our group Europeoid because these abilities were honed by a need for architecture which could survive, in the long term, in the global north, or maybe it only appears that way because other groups could not create architecture that permitted them to survive stably in a limited space zone afflicted by northern temperatures. A few other groups could lead semi-nomadic lives in colder regions, or potentially eschew all technology but survival in order to persist, but Europeoids could build livable things, then still invent other things, within the snow.

Let's call our Europeoids (our hypothetical group of inventing but imperiled hominids) "Wytes" just for purposes of discussion. We don't know the original where or/if why Wytes distinguished themselves as a distinct group, so Wytes will serve as a term. Imagining it was European winters, or the shifting preference of an invisible sky Jew who really liked Wytes the best, or some genetic superiority that developed somewhere else and just seems to be, through coincidence, related to the part of the globe we now call Europe, is beyond the reach of our current knowledge. Use Wytes to refer to someone who has enough of whatever the crucial genetic and/or spiritual factors exist(ed).

The pattern has held, whether as an indirect result of Slav rape, or conquests that were gradually sort of absorbed, to the reaches of Aryan territory, including Indo-Arya/India, onto China, onto Japan, and associated environs. Not just in architectural stability, but in social stability; we can find dynasties in ancient India, and recent China/Japan, that we can't find in, say, Africa or Mesoamerica. Architecture rather telegraphed the abilities or intentions of a group, for it seemed that the ability to survive as non-nomads was inextricably linked to other aspects of material environment management, such that the ability of a people to plan for rulership transitions around the temporal vicinity of someone's death was connected to that same group's ability to plan for food availability during weather crises, seasonal temperature adjustments, nearby flooding or droughting, et cetera. And that ability seemed linked to all other technology, so Europe was better at that than China was better at that than Africa. The ability to build, say, better houses was linked to the ability to build, say, guns and jet planes.

Modern myth holds that everyone was equal and Wytes got superior either by chance or by stealing things, which potentially melds with recent self-destructive Pentateuchal Wyte colonialism, but not with five thousand years ago or any of the time before this period. Per the rules of modern science, Wytes have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate that they're better at building not only buildings and tangible technology, but rubrics of rules within which individuals prefer to live. And, say, five thousand years has shown that, in the sense of recent history being an endless succession of Wytes establishing some settlement big or small, said settlement being massively more attractive to nearby groups, and the latter then permeating and deconstructing said Wyte settlement, e.g. Egypt, Rome, Spain, the U.S. and Europe. And despite little pockets of occasional resistance, the Wyte societies keep dying. Relics are left behind which might, in a less-traveled world, foster rebuilding; e.g. technological knowledge which might assist a successor society to rebuild some "nation" after a past nation has died, but now that Terrans can travel so fast, and a new genetically exclusive nation hasn't been built on some extraterrestrial object, the end of Wytes seems near, as was repeatedly foreseen and explicitly predicted more than a century ago.

So if we like technology--pacemakers, or guns, or houses that don't let in so much snow the people inside them die too much each winter--we're sorta sad, because Wytes will be gone. At the very least, they have recessive traits, and will be bred out and absorbed into successor races, possibly increasing successor I.Q. a little bit from what it would've been, but toppling, perhaps for all time, the heights to which the Wyte experiment, as it were, had aspired. Maybe Chinese architecture or Japanese social traditions were better than that found in many other places, but they couldn't produce the mental dynamism that gave us, say, cars or computers; forever stillborn, the next few thousand years of humanity might be a failed experiment, maybe never to have a chance again as technology allows ability to be tracked and eliminated in the interests of fairness-piracy.

Not to stop this process, nor even to leave a little gem of wisdom for some regenerative future--besides it not surviving, and being functionally illegible, it'd spoil the whole thing to give answers ahead of time when they wouldn't otherwise be found out on their own--but for ourselves, here at this part of the end, we might consider Wyte racial failings.

This has been tried by the janitors, a.k.a. The Enemy, inasmuch as Wytes have been accused of forms of autopathological altruism, whereby one of their traits is that they please themselves by giving away their things, but this is an attempt to deflect blame; to turn the genuine, full-blooded masochist into a hapless amateur who went too far and didn't know what she was getting into. Namely, by chronicling the death of Wytes as a hapless misadventure of trying to excessively help others, we overlook the benefit of this racial failing, such that some type of autopathological disorder doesn't suffice as an explanation.

Make a mental list of the virtues possessed by the Wytes, which can be endlessly verified across all presently known history. Wytes build things better, invent many more and much better things in this environment, develop family and civilizational structures which are more reliable, and so forth. As aforementioned, call those "virtues." Then take a moment and feel a sense of foreboding or badness at the prospect of the Wytes being bred into less capable groups, with the mostly-recessive genes for aforementioned positive traits either diminishing or disappearing altogether.

Now look at that list of virtues again. It's quite incomplete. What has been confused as autopathological altruism is a virtue-demerit, or a bad character trait; a thoroughly vast eschewing of good behavior and responsibility, coupled with genes promising its frequent future repetition. Something has to get rid of those genes, and since we don't believe in educational conditioning but the traditional inheritance of ingrained behavior, the only thing that can remove it is a messy, lengthy process of eliminating the afflicted, inferior individuals, and their gradual replacement by better ones.

These demerits, these flaws of character, are quite numerous and quite serious. Think back to your CCW classes: do you set your gun next to the place where the little black boys are playing war, then leave it alone and come back a few hours later? No! Fail! And genetically, civilizationally, this is what Wytes have done. Oh, was it because someone told you it would be fine? What kind of idiot are you, anyway? I don't care how many times he told you, it was still stupid. Did you let him have half your things, too, because he told you it was a good idea? Yeah, you're a fuckin' idiot; you're a hopeless case. Start over.

Consider the virtues the Wyte race is lacking:

Responsibility. Wytes are good at making things, but dangerously willing to give them away. And, perversely, to feel powerful by watching them be used by others. This is why what we're seeing is not any kind of pathological altruism, but a perfectly rational pleasure-seeking behavior by the Wytes: do something because it feels good. We still see this, say at the U.N., where Wytes get off on making other groups act "respectful toward women" or "respectful toward minorities," showing them exactly how to ape preferred behavior so that the pleasure of bribing someone else to imitate you can be gained. The above gun example is a literal one, in the sense of Wytes developing dangerous weapons, then sharing the manufacture of them, or the output of that manufacture, with people who did not, arguably could not have, developed them on their own. This is not a trivial thing; someone who developed a geological bomb and then loaned it to everyone and their cousin would be, in some way, responsible for the resulting earthquakes even if he did not press the button himself. Wytes were smart enough to invent guns, but not to guard the possession of their mental labor from those who should not have had it. When African dictators have "little wars" of ten thousand dudes versus ten thousand more, all armed with old stressed firearms, the results, perhaps even the happenings at all, of such revolutions, are partly, if not totally, due to the Wytes. There's a level of stupidity there, in the sense of the Africans spending their time that way--which they probably would've been doing anyway--but the mortality risk of a revolution with guns versus one with fists and spears is decidedly different. If wolves or chimpanzees could slay their enemies or demonstrate dominance with guns, they would, and their inability to fathom the mandatory eventual consequences of having their species flush with guns and gun-results is expected, and predictable, even to the point of hunting Wytes for the same reasons. Sure, it's funny to laugh at the idea of some chimpanzee destroying his enemy's family and in so doing having his spare shots kill potential future mates and food supplies, but then that part of the ecosystem becomes unavailable to not only the victorious chimp himself, but the inventor of the death machine.

The "me smarter, me make guns" thought has paralyzed Wytes. Celebration of various superiorities has utterly distracted Wytes from facing up to what they've done wrong, including both stupidities manipulated and inherent. The negative consequences of their actions have been turned into a debate over how we should get rid of chimps, and many other sub-species or species, rather than how incredibly stupid it was to have given them, say, guns, or attractive suggestions on how to remake their agriculture to Wyte standards, in the first place. The regeneration of continents and resources has been thoroughly changed, in the past couple thousand years, by this kind of insane meddling.

The same irresponsible use of technology extends far beyond guns and bombs. Africans couldn't develop sea-going vessels or motorcars, modernized voting systems, writing, or pseudo representative parliaments, but were gradually provided them by Wytes, resulting in vast social and economic changes which may have produced more net harm than the provisioning of weaponry. We enter very difficult territory here, because being able to conclude that the results of invention may be a responsibility of inventors is difficult not only for species-deniers, but for species-embracers. People who think everyone's the same don't want to contemplate the responsibility, because admitting Wytes mucked it up means admitting that they really were the ones who invented all the creature comforts they worship, and for the most part, people who think Wytes are super duper don't want to either; it "wasn't their fault" that things got away from them. Allowing this type of excuse is similar to allowing that a brilliant inventor is still brilliant if his lab explodes and all his work is ultimately ruined because he listened to his savvy assistant about how leaving his gas lines open was okay. Yes, maybe the savvy assistant was evil, and maybe the savvy assistant planned for things to end up this way, but it was still stupid for the inventor to house, retain, and take the advice of the savvy assistant. No matter how bad, how immoral, how selfish the savvy assistant was, the inventor's stupidity is still genuine. Amidst a thousand wrongs, another wrong is still a wrong.

And that is where autopathological altruism ultimately fails as an explanation. It presumes some variety of kindness, helpfulness, goodness, of the idiot who left the gun on a public park bench for anyone to find. Later on, when kids have shot kids, or chimps chimps, the inventor cries, "Ohh, I'm so sorry, someone said it would be fine!" or "We must eliminate peacocks from this world, they're simply too dangerous to be permitted!" We're seeing the results, here, not of charity--that is a cheap rationalization for the irresponsibility, the stupidity, of what has happened; of species or sub-species experimentally augmented in dangerous ways. Punishing the test subjects might feel cathartic, but it does nothing to redress the recurring wrongs of a people so stupid, so arrogant, they think they can remake the world in their image. "Everyone can be as responsible as me--just give them the guns and see!" Wrong on so many levels; not only can everyone not be as responsible as the giver, the giver is not actually responsible, as the giving demonstrates.

So we come to Wyte racial inferiority: the only ones dumb enough to give away the magic beans. Everyone else, despite their many shortcomings, knew to keep safe and secret, to the point of maximum violence, things which had been inherently generated. Land, women, stuff--all of that. Maybe they would've been equally vulnerable to the sustained attentions of one or more savvy assistants, but since only one person invented the gun, we don't know that anyone else would've been that foolish.

We spoke earlier about the "benefits" of this stupidity, and they are the benefits of all irresponsibility, in the sense of "not bearing the burdens of responsibility" being a short-term benefit. Now we can see how dangerous it has been to pass around so much technology, and it's easy to critique the practice, but at the time, people didn't want to even think about the responsibility; didn't want to imagine simple misuse. This hasn't been autopathological altruism, but simple sloth and laziness, wherein Wytes were so interested in making new things and having fun that they almost perpetually forgot to not leave yesterday's experiment sitting around. And now they want everything to be given back, but the resident soothsayers won't allow it, and all the sweet nothings are too sweet to give up.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Finding Nothingness

Any act of goodness, of kindness, is void without eternity. Promised deletion, the act never happened. Ergo inside an imagined finity, there was never, and could never have been, any morality associated with any act. If you love some one or some thing, not only the object of that love, but the subject of it, and the feeling itself, cannot and never did exist without a forever; without an eternity. Through emotional compulsion alone, you should feel moved to investigate, perhaps even to hope for, genuinely, a forever, in which a moment of grace can exist.

As before, we consider these issues via, and perhaps as a result of, the most pressing of modern philosophical concerns, namely what we might call death, or the notion that, upon the cessation of localized physical function, all of our memories and associated aspects of experience and character, et cetera, are deleted, vanish, and so forth, being wholly bound to the material which served as their conduit during one's most recent lifetime. If we manifest, feigned or otherwise, lack of any particular concern for our selves, concern for any aspect of, or comprehensively, totality, reaches the same end point, wherein preservation of the self is inextricably linked to preservation of everything.

From the contemplation of delete-death or vanish-death have sprung most if not all local religions, beginning perhaps most notably in current recollection with ancient Egyptian funerary practices, whereby the body was hoped to possess continued utility after death. Ergo the rich man was buried with his riches, his slain servants, various gifts, et cetera, which he might use in an "afterlife." Such a philosophy, even if believed, is rather easy to disprove, for when the mightiest pharaoh's tomb falls victim to bulldozers ten millennia later, or its contents to bacteria less than one century later, any pretense of materially conduited survival beyond the instant perception of life is disproved. An immortified body and its treasures, subsequent to all available dutiful consecration, reduced to scraps of strip-mall landing space do little for hopes that the afterlife respects material shape or possession. Even if the story might seem believable for a century, it can be discovered not to be eternal, and so is merely a promise of an extended life, but not of salvation from death.

Postulate an Egypt continued well into the future. An Egyptian in a hypothetical still-surviving-as-it-was 3,000 A.D. Egypt may, for example, believe that sacrificed peons are serving their pharaoh by having been properly mummified. Once pharaohs' tombs have covered all of Egypt and several neighboring regions, such that there is no space left to build tombs or maintain farmland to sustain appreciative observers of said tombs, the afterlife narrative, if it still survives, falls apart. Any number of other scenarios can create more plausible doubt in the recipient or participant: a kingdom or kingdoms of tomb robbers; the museumification of all relics with associated constant monitoring disproving bodily enjoyment; the progress of building machinery through a tomb. Masks or stone doors can conceal the decay of the remains for a time, but the religion may die when future technology supplants that of the past.

So too, though in a slightly more compelling way, do other funerary and post-funerary cults see their rituals perish. Consider the obvious Judaism/Christianity again, whereby the word of god as to the creation and construction of the universe has to become metaphorized in order to make a show of surviving the acquisition of even the most elementary astronomical knowledge. A space shuttle flies through where the firmament is supposed to be, leading many to conclude that there is no firmament, that the "word of god" was a fabrication created by humans lacking even basic astronomical knowledge, leading to many related thoughts about resurrections and similar stories.

(The popular belief that the Pentateuch was written thousands of years ago, rather than as part of a much more proximate process of plagiarism meant to cobble together a religion useful for subjugating foreign peoples, may be of utility here. Textual comparisons with the written work and myths of the cultures of the time, such as that of Egypt which survived the immivasion, as well as simple archaeology, show the Jewish holy books to have been assembled around 300 B.C., with various contemporary historical events found to have likely inspired the plagiarism. A few larger monuments and smaller stelae yet remain to explain the origin of the Moses and Exodus plagiarisms, among less-currently-popular others. Local evidence suggests that the Pentateuch was assembled around 300 B.C., failed to inspire much awe on its own, produced Christianity, failed again, then used Byzantium to assemble what is now considered an orthodox Christianity in roughly 300 A.D. Viewed more accurately, the "Testaments'" proximity to one another, and Christianity's profound effect on Europe, are far more explicable. And far more effective--600 years seems like a long time, but considering very small groups of cosplaying bedouins becoming masters of the planet without physically winning a single battle, the process was quite swift.)

Drawing similar conclusions about evolving metaphorical narratives is more difficult, emotionally as well as technically. It is easier to conceal errors with metaphors now, when abound so many tales about doors to nowhere and alternate dimensions, such that it is rather easy to infer that ancient biblical prophets meant something like that when they wrote of a heaven above; the builders and appreciators of the first Egyptian tombs did not have such memetic aids when it came time to defend their beliefs, but perhaps only because they were long dead. It is interesting to speculate upon the means whereby the preservation of the dead body could be likened (perhaps by modern priests on retainer, still keeping an embarrassingly outdated set of traditions viable for donations via metaphor) to a metaphorical act where the faithful produced an extra-dimensional eternity of pharaohing and/or service to the pharaoh, where the mummification of the body was not literally important, but of symbolic significance toward an extra-dimensional existence that did, in fact, exist. The culture did not survive long enough to make such attempts necessary, but one wonders if, had "ancient Egypt" survived longer, such attempts would've been made, in a pitiful attempt to explain away centuries of wasted wealth and preservation education.

Imagine the troubles of future religions, and the metaphors that may later justify them. Consider, e.g., when some variant of "dimension science" is not an exotic and nigh-impossible futurology, like the handling and preserving of remains and rituals in ancient Egypt, but a basic, boring thing you learn about in the equivalent of junior school. Claiming, then, that paradise may be found in "some other dimension" would become as difficult to such advocates as priests today trying to claim that heaven lies "really far away on an island to which no one has ever sailed." Plausible to boobs of one time period, but not of another, where maps on computers with internet access spoil the imagined possibility. Similar to the Pentateuchal Gehenna, an interdimensional heaven then would be as plausible, even to very low-functioning commoners, as a "far off, landlocked heaven" today. Advocates for modern explanations in such times would face great difficulty; they might have to follow their predecessors' paths and choose from more compelling narratives. Not that there are likely to be such advocates, but one may contemplate. Perhaps the last material-preservationist was dragged screaming from the canopic jars by the faithful of Yahweh--though of course that didn't happen, for as aforementioned the first preservationists were long dead, and there were no such Yahweh-faithful, but it's merely a metaphor.

What struggles of belief may have been faced by people who believed different things? How much more ridiculous would those beliefs have appeared when contradicted by observations that, to us, are pieces of knowledge understood from infancy or shortly thereafter? People do not try to develop religions, now, based upon "Dead people, properly preserved, can still use their bodies and slaves to enjoy food." Now such things have become mere tradition--rituals of respect--disconnected, to most of us, to the nothingness that they were created to frighten away. Now that we learn about other planets, other stars, we cling to traditions, but as time goes by, and we're accustomed younger and younger to things that have been found, we do not really claim to believe them. What was once a faith based on the writers' perceptions of reality has become a faith based on metaphorical reinterpretation of those beliefs--and so, it isn't that much of a stretch when true love can now be through corruption of the original divinely-created strains by miscegenation, or simply non-reproductive buttsecks, are found within the expanding metaphor. Either is, of course, ridiculous as to the people who created the now-inapplicable beliefs at a certain time, and it is right to be upset at the employment of such flagrant mistruths, but satellites traversing the firmament produce more erroneous metaphors yet.

People hold extravagantly to beliefs that have gone out of fashion, mocking the decay of old stories' usefulness, but believing that they are on either a time-tested or a cutting-edge path to true understanding. Christians are proud of their intellectual heritage, downplaying references to things in which they no longer believe, while Bangists are proud of their new discoveries, downplaying the budding metaphor that holds it all together. Neither sees the eventual unsatisfying nature of their claims.

Metaphor has been durable, but observation has been a slayer of many religions. The diffusion of the Pentateuch and its successors has been widespread, and a strike against technology and civilization may be in order for the maintenance of any religions derived therefrom. The few new, semi-popular "space god" religions are interesting, but cannot compete with the utter faith in Bangism which has taken all advanced countries by storm. Bang offers a traditionally successful blend of reality, firm reality, as interpreted by educated priests who are allowed to speculate unproven dogma into existence. Reactions to non-degreed investigation into "global warming," including its many failed raptures thus far, are often made much of by people who are shocked, shocked, that the Bangist community could demand conformity of belief. Like newfound Protestants shocked at discovering the abuses of the Catholic Church, they believe that a reinterpretation of the texts is in order. Like Christianity, though, Bangism is not, and will not be, betraying itself when its dogma changes to ridiculous heights as time alters what is popular. It was not shocking when the Catholic Church began forgiving, rather than physically eliminating or spiritually excommunicating, abortion-facilitators and -havers, because inverted dogmas and absurd contradictions had created the belief system that washes rapefugees' feet. Similarly, though it may take another thousand years, future peoples may once be able to look back on speculated explosions, fanciful dogma about background radiation, and other such unobserved, mystical wise men's speculation, and conclude that it is no particular surprise that so-called science had a dangerous, albeit laughable, period there for a few centuries or so.


Any perception of anything disproves nothingness, i.e. ineternity, ergo reality/eternity exists. It is appropriate to continue rationalizing from that very point, but perception can separately inform us that rearrangement, not deletion, happens within reality; pieces of reality, whether components of atoms inside what are currently cardiovascular cells or components of energy inside what are currently memories, may be wholly rearranged but not vanish. Reality grows, but does not shrink nor wholly enter states of versal stasis--both of the latter would be, if possible, forms of non-growth or of deletion.

While we can observe and understand the decay of one, we hesitate to do the other. We can place a hundred cameras on a dying man, watch his final cardiac episode, then film the cremation and dispersal of his remains, then film the consumption and use of the cremains in a nearby field, along with their incorporation into some variety of successor cell(s)--say, as part of the stalks of some weeds. Our inability to demonstrate any further relationship between the said cardiovascular system and its subsidiary life are irrelevant to our nagging memories that the atoms, or atomic components, were once differently arranged, namely in a viable human.

We are easily able, also, to contemplate the process with regard molecules then extantly participating in neurology, whereby the exact tiny piece of matter which contained the memory of some day the future cardiac episode victim had a good experience--verifiable as that exact molecular situs by its consumption during aging and subsequent directly related forgetting during a brush with some form of dementia--becomes, itself, a cremained resource consumed by bacteria which, in ages long or short, becomes a living component of a plant. We do not attribute memories or identity to the plant coincident with the aforementioned dead human patient, but it is a great step in observational imagining, which we now often take for granted, to have a more specific understanding of how the dead human, literally and materially, "became" a live plant.

What has as yet stymied us in the more intelligent imagination is the transmission of components of memory. Specifically, when thinking as Bangists, we presume that the removal of the physical brain removes the memories also. And here the fantasies of dimensionality come in: we may hold that death did, indeed, revoke forever the fine molecular arrangement providing for the memories being then deleted. E.g., Roland the Patient may remember wanting, then obtaining from his mother, a gumball from a machine, in a way that no one else ever could. For no one was Roland Smith in that same year in that same place with that same set of expectations and predictions. Destroy the relevant matter, and the memory is irrevocably lost. Not so for the modern religious believer, who presumes an incomprehensibly placeless, timeless, archiving-error-free Mind of God, potentially capable of unlimited storage before any act itself happens. Such ideas found situation, as aforementioned, only when the advance of science permitted destruction of older notions and their replacement by newer; we've seen, therefore, religious rites evolve from a belief in bodily use to a trans-dimensional server which hosts an error-free cloud which can provide access to memory upon death's instant transportation to an eternal place.

Finding Forever

As before, technology promises a trivialization of the resultant fancies, such that what is speculated now will become not only laughable, but so mundane it is beyond critique, for tomorrow's believers. The simple, observable properties of matter and energy shall remain, though, in transferable but not destructible forms, even to the smallest avenues of inquiry.

This one can tell you that planets with thinking things on them develop clouds of energy patterns illegible to us, which are like those in and about material brains in that they gradually dissipate, and are then fully loosened, discharged, upon host death, and return to greater loci. However, being indeterminable by available technology, such inquiries should at this stage be disregarded or treated as mere speculation. Just another man in the clouds.

More important, more distinguishing, is what can be observed from here, using available local technology, to tell now-us about the irrevocability of existence. Not components of visible matter, nor the same components of memory, can be destroyed. Rearranged, always, disappeared to the eyes of some level of observer, but not vanished. The ways in which "we" might later be extant via reassembling memories, we can only guess; we haven't the capability of accurately imagining what it would be like, anymore than a rock can imagine being a human. The experience of being, say, simultaneously a human and a rock, or a civilization of trillions plus the octillions of blades of grass on their planet, is so incomprehensible to material brains of this capacity that it is rather facetious to attempt to experience it here.

It is, nonetheless, tantamount to believing that a large but invisible omnipotent human with a passion for this particular planet and round numbers and human sexual positions surely does exist and exists with such preferences, to believe that occurrences beyond our current capacity do not or cannot exist. We acknowledge the mandate of growth not in any way to help or hinder it, nor to flatter these selves by believing we can do such things, but to relax before being shoved through any given passage, merely as a brief convenience in the history of being.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Night of the Meteor Shower

A young woman sat in the high grass, working daisies between her toes. A broad woman sat in the upper balcony, shredding her paper program into purple pieces of prose. A narrow old man sat in his garden, studying the weeds.

A young woman sat in the high grass, working daisies between her toes. Holding up her phone, she checked the time. It was less than a minute until the big meteor shower. Why weren’t more people outside? She checked her phone again. Twenty seconds to go. Ten. This was going to be great. One of her neighbors, several houses down, had guests over. Out in his backyard, they waited to see the show. So few. Why didn’t more people care about stuff like this?

Flush with anticipation, she stared up at the nightly curtains drawn across heaven’s stage. Her breaths came tightly. She checked her phone. It was now fifteen seconds past the time. Still no meteor shower. Why did they always over-anticipate things like this?

At last, something happened: a small spray of sizzling trails erupted across the blue-black reaches. In the distance, her neighbor’s guests began to clap politely. One of them gave a token cheer. Why did non-religious people clap for natural phenomena?

Down came more weak celestial tracers. Cheering for meteors when you didn’t believe in any gods was like cheering a sporting event from your couch, or cheering for a movie when you weren’t sitting next to the director. Besides, these shows were never that interesting, anyway. You got yourself all worked up, and then nature let you down, again. True to form, the meteor shower continued to depress everyone, its effects cheaper than the cheapest firework show. Why were these things always so boring?

All of a sudden, a boom came from the sky. A jumbo jet spun wildly, its wing pierced by a shard of falling star. Caught in the meteoric downpour, the passenger plane turned dramatic circles through the upper atmosphere. Flame spewed from the winding wings. Figures jumped from the sides. Starfall shrapnel tore through the plane’s wings again; then, its torso, tail, and cockpit. The meteor shower had been all over the news! Why hadn’t anyone told the pilots not to fly through it?

Fire lit up the night. The guests of the young woman’s neighbor gasped and screamed. One of them gave an enthusiastic cheer. Why would anyone be so horribly macabre?

The plane, miles away, burned out of sight. A small fireball crested the horizon, followed by the rippling boom that must’ve been the crash. By now, the young woman could go inside to watch footage on television. They’d have interviews with the families of passengers. Men in suits would question other men in suits about the flight paths for this evening. News crews would show the smoking rubble. Music would be played over pictures of the victims. A hundred times a day, they would play close-up footage of the meteors punching holes in the plane, and sending it spinning to its doom. Wasn’t it strange, that if she went to turn on the TV a year from now, she’d get a better view of the tragedy than she’d had seeing it firsthand from her own backyard?

A young woman sat in the high grass, working daisies between her toes. Pulling the daisies out of her toes, she left her iced tea in the grass. She went to the patio, flicked a bug off the screen, and slipped inside. What was wrong with this world, anyway?

A broad woman sat in the upper balcony, shredding her paper program into purple pieces of prose. All at once the stage lights brightened. The curtains rose.

Out onto the stage came a boy, carrying a sign that read Act 1. As he disappeared backstage, the lights dimmed to violet. Unfinished wood panels covered the scenery. A large steel tub sat at center stage, filled to the brim with purple paint. Lavender mist spread like a moving carpet, concealing the floor, then cloaking the tub’s legs. The mist began to crawl higher, toward the lip of the tub. Down in the orchestra, the triangle sounded but once. Three heads, sopping with purple paint, raised from the tub. Three sets of shoulders followed these, then three masculine torsos. They were so covered in paint, and so synchronized in their movements, that they might have been mannequins, not actors.

Up they came, rising higher on unseen stageworks, until they stood upon the surface of the paint from which they had emerged. Clothed only in purple moisture, positioned dominatingly above the fog, they struck a series of rapid poses. Paint flung from their thrusting arms and writhing hips, but always there was more paint beneath, so that they never crossed the line from artistic indecency to abject vulgarity. Eyes clothed, they had no features other than their shifting purple limbs. The lavender mist rose above the lip of the tub, curling about the feet, then the moist legs, of the three men. Caught in a cycle of reflection between mist and paint, the men shone like faceless, eternal gods; like potent purple statues given life, who could have conquered the world instantly, had they ever wished to cease their dancing and descend from their podiums.

Abruptly, they froze. Arms and legs curled into macabre poses, they held themselves fast, dripping paint into the tub below.

The stage lights suddenly brightened. Fans whisked the smoke instantly from the stage. The paint now revealed itself to be white: a white pure and total, without a single hint of the lavendral shades that had embued the men, the tub, and the mist.

Two of the men stepped down from their tub-borne podiums, one kneeling, the other crouching, to provide a living staircase by which the third might descend. He did so, oozing fresh white paint from every spot of his concealed flesh. When he reached the floor, he raised his palms. There he stood, voiceless. Behind him, the other two raised a sign. In stark black capitals on a shade of white that matched its bearers’ painted hands, the sign read, COLOR IS ILLUSION.

The curtain descended. Vigorous applause, then cheers of joy, came from the theater seats, the lower balcony, and the upper balcony. The broad woman stood, wiping a tear from her eye, to applaud. Baskets opened above the curtain, shedding dried amaranth on the best seats.

Silence took hold, and everyone sat back down, when the curtain shot upward for a second time. A boy ran across the stage from left to right, carrying a sign that read Act 2.

Behind the course taken by the sign-bearer, a gray tank had replaced the tub. Three women in gray uniforms stood before the tank in triangular formation, staring outward at the audience. Their faces were harsh; their hair pulled into severe buns tucked behind their gray and black military caps. A few speckles of white paint still glimmered on the floor near stage-front.

Blue light flashed. The woman on the left drew her gun, pointed it at the audience, and gave a silent shout of command.

Green light flashed. The woman on the right drew her gun, pointed it at the audience, and gave a silent shout of command.

White light flashed, so powerfully that everyone in the theater blinked. When they looked again, only one of the soldiers remained. Hand to her hip, she faced them with proud defiance. The light flashed again. Everyone blinked. When they looked a second time, the sole remaining soldier had mounted the tank. She adjusted her boots, patted something on top of the tank, then turned to face the audience.

Violet light flashed. The remaining woman drew her gun, pointed it at the audience, and gave a silent shout of command.

Everything went dark. Everything lit up. The other two women reappeared. Moving outward from stage right, they carried an unfolding sign. In stark black capitals on bright white, the sign read, TOMORROW IS PROMISE.

The curtain descended. Vigorous applause, and a single man’s hoot, came from the theater seats, the lower balcony, and the upper balcony. The broad woman stood, wiping a tear from her eye, to put her hands together.

From behind the curtain emerged a man in a shirt and tie. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. “We can’t finish tonight. There’s been an accident, a terrible accident, from the meteor shower that was scheduled for tonight.” He adjusted his headset. “I’m so sorry, but it wouldn’t be appropriate. If you’d all please leave, go home to your loved ones, watch the news…I’m sorry.”

Confused questions came from the first several rows. Everyone reached for their phones. The people nearest the exit doors began to move out. An old woman in a blue dress complained loudly.

“I’m so sorry,” continued the man with the tie and headset. “Everyone here tonight will receive free admission to a showing at a later date.”

A broad woman sat in the upper balcony, shredding her paper program into purple pieces of prose. Why bother going out, anyway, if this was how it was going to turn out?

A narrow old man sat in his garden, studying the weeds. The garden was a dying city that had seen better times. The weeds were the thugs and the lowlifes, and the flowers were the last few decent people trying to make their way in this crazy world.

A grizzled old tulip was a private detective, and a sweet little daisy had been strangled out back of a nightclub near Oak Street. It was a damn shame and a sickening sight and proof that the city had gone to pot. The police weren’t doing anything, so the daisy’s mother came to the tulip in search of help. Caught in the breeze, they embraced unexpectedly.

The tulip had a glass of scotch and left. It had been a mistake. Don’t get too involved in a client’s life. He went to talk to an old friend, a weed with a good streak, and found out that the word on the street was there was a new cat in town. A tough cat, cat who took no prisoners, cat who wouldn’t blink at the chance to strangle some sweet young thing. The tulip asked around some more, and everything he heard made him sick. This new cat was real tough. Had connections. Paws in every corner of the garden.

Questions came with a price. The tulip found himself alone in a back alley and got roughed up. Barely made it away with his life. The message was clear: don’t mess with the new cat.

He went back to the office to get his weed killer. It was industrial strength—the kind they’d used back in his father’s day. If his father hadn’t been killed by that corrupt senator twenty years ago, this town might be different, now. The grizzled tulip had another glass of scotch. He pulled on his old brown coat and the battered fedora that went with it. Before he could leave, the daisy’s mother came by again. She was crying. Men had broken into her apartment; put the fear of cat into her. She was scared, shaking, needy. He took her on the couch in the reception area, then left her asleep alone with an empty bottle of scotch and a worn carton of cigarettes. She was a good broad, really. A little stupid, a lot of trouble, but what broad wasn’t? Now this case was personal.

Around back of the oak, the tulip, battered and beaten, tracked down the big cat who’d started the whole thing. His ambush went wrong—the cat’s weeds got him in a headlock. They beat him up, gagged him, dragged him to the rusty lawnmower inside an abandoned factory in the old industrial neighborhood. While they got ready to throw him into the blades, the big cat started talking. He laughed. He told the tulip that cats like me are realists, while tulips like you are idealists. You don’t know the way the world really works. You should’ve just taken your money, dumped the broad in the compost, and got on with your life. You don’t know when to learn a lesson. You’re just like your father. He never learned, neither, so that’s why I killed him for Senator Rose. Men like you can't handle this garden. It chews you up and spits you out.

The big cat’s men finally get the lawnmower started. A surge of anger, seasoned with filial obligation, hits the tulip. He breaks free of the weeds, gets hold of a gun, and plugs everybody in the room.

Out into the darkness of night limps the big cat, leaning on the arms of one of his bodyguards. Tires peel on the pavement. The private eye punches out one weed who just won’t go down, and throws him into the lawnmower blades. Windows burst. Girders snap. The factory explodes. At the last second, the grizzled old tulip staggers clear of the wreckage, his empty revolver clicking futilely at the back of the big cat’s black limo. No. It’s not fair. He can’t get away. You killed my father, you bastard. This ain’t over.

The meteor shower threw burning light across the tops of the shadowed weeds, like a factory fire sporadically revealing the faces of the furtive onlookers there to watch an old factory burn down. A dead tulip caught the breeze, flying over the fence into the next yard.

A narrow old man sat in his garden, studying the weeds. They were getting nasty this time of year. Had to work hard to keep things in order. Thoughtfully tired, he drained his scotch, leaned back in his hammock, and drifted off to sleep.

A young woman sat in the high grass, working daisies between her toes. A broad woman sat in the upper balcony, shredding her paper program into purple pieces of prose. A narrow old man sat in his garden, studying the weeds.

Friday, February 9, 2018

On the Worthlessness of an Ineternal Existence

An existence is "ineternal" if it is not eternal; if it has an end or a beginning. Part of the understanding of eternity, which we might call alternatively "of reality," is the recognition of the lack of worth possessed by--hypothetically, for an ineternal state can "possess" nothing--an ineternal state. It is this contradiction which Judaism resolved when it grew, through imitation, several arms of Europeoid-style philosophy and transformed itself into the many heresied and orthodox forms of Christianity, whereby the inherent wrongness of any kind of temporally finite existence made more advanced minds continue to reject associated philosophies, no matter how forcefully imposed.

An ineternal state should be easily recognizable to the modern (c. 2018) as a philosophical concept in the ways in which Bang religions privately instill the ineternal while publicly claiming believers shall have a part of a vicarious eternity. This private installation is easily likened to Bang religions of death, wherein components of memory are mandatorily deleted, if not by life, then by death. More simply put, consider the Bang notion of death, whereby memories vanish through forgetfulness during life, and are then cleaned up in totality by host death, where they are proven ineternal, wholly lost except inasmuch as they form a necessary component of another surviving entity's memory, much like a hot potato that is constantly being carried and causes a loss once its all is noticed. The hot potato must be dropped, of course; even the wisest scholars cannot help but eventually forget the one who was known by the one who was known by the one who was known, and the temporal context of meaning inherent in experiencing material records ensures that, over a very short period of time (say, fifty thousand years, which can seem very long to us until we use, say, a common star as a timekeeper), what was really meant was forgotten. Eventually, even the fact that someone once tried to mean something is also placed into the realm of the unprovably speculative.

The vicarious survivability offered by Bang is expressed as realistic in that it solidifies the notion that memories are unreliable, not only during the instant comprehension of life, but more so after the passage of time, rather totally immediately after death, and utterly once all those who knew the memory-gathering entity are also not present to recall their own memories of "what he knew." What this means is that, when you think you have experienced something, you have some part of it--tiny or massive, depending on the case--wrong, and however right you were, details begin to fade over the years, after which they may be lost forever due to the material degradation of long term storage facilities or, eventually, death. This returns to the original conflict between material existence as conduit, versus material existence as a series of definitive illusions. We may recognize the incompleteness, Terra-specific, or inherent stupidity of earlier versions of resolving this problem, whereby a giant invisible sky-server compiles, then returns, memories to their original spawners, as when our ideally-aged bodies are returned to Valhalla, or some version of a Christian Heaven, thereby providing a form of immortality, i.e., eternity. The specific details of why those fables give away their wishful nature, or why they are stupid, are an interesting subject, but not here the focus; whatever their failings, they are, nonetheless, wonderful, in the sense that they represent a reaching for eternity in the face of accusations of material-only illusionist philosophies, wherein existence is a passing lie that no one will remember.

We turn, here, to the reasons why an ineternal existence would be "unsatisfying," or more importantly, worthless, or still more importantly, impossible. If you are reading this, existence is not ineternal--but that is a more technical claim, much as the unsatisfying nature of ineternity would be more emotional. The focus here is on the worthlessness of any hypothetical ineternal existence, the recognition of which can do things to the mind that others cannot.

Firstly, though, what is the vicarious eternity which the Bang religion promises? Well, unlike Christianity, Bang does not save memories. Memories are suggested as a fatuous reinterpretation played at by later angels/super-scientists, where what they always were or have become is attributed to their forebears, which is supposed to make us happy. Posit that, after X thousand years of suffering mortality, we develop a technological immortality, and spread it across the stars, and after another X thousand years, immortal human-like creatures have so many backups that they are never defeated. People live pleasurable lives forever.

Now, this is not for us. Or if it is for some elderly member of us who is suddenly saved by an unexpectedly swift march of technology, it is not for a really nice person who died yesterday, or a hundred or a thousand years ago. In any case, our part in the "progress" toward the promised future is supposed to assuage us, despite the deletion of our and others' memories. This is what is meant by vicarious participation--we are part of forever not as what we see as our selves, but due to our material participation in a long-forgotten project of achieving, through material, the presumed desires of those who are yet to exist. The Bang religions are constantly trying to dial back notions of interaction with, or participation in, reality, a.k.a. eternity, and as many creative Christians over the years have attempted to massage notions of hell, paradise, and afterlife into more plausible stories, we have in some places seen any form of memory- or individuality-retention eliminated in favor of mass subsumption by an immortal, simultaneously unitary and multiplex god-paradise, wherein we are forever happy but not really ourselves anymore. Consider, e.g., the multifaceted, developing--and occasionally quite popular--notions that Hell isn't about endless drowning in lakes of lava, nor Heaven about endless perfect meals and sex, but that Hell is a less tangible, or intangible, "separation from God," and Heaven a "unification with Him." Quite related to developing Bang, these modern-artish, obfuscative, vaguely-defensible perspectives. The flat in the clouds, regular masses, and laureled feasts are replaced by "modern" indecipherable fantasies that can't plausibly contain the outdated specifics they once did.

The Worthlessness of Ineternity

In an important way, the proponents of cloudy penthouse condos where you meet Grandma again, even if they don't believe it in their private, scared moments, are often more intellectually advanced than those who recognize the flaws in such material shows. Grasping for eternity, even dishonestly, holds a superior truth in that regard, to its near sibling, namely the recognition that the great holy man is just making money. A finite existence is "so worthless" that it might as well not be had at all. Even as chattel for a future race of dimension-jumping pleasure-angels, it is not only unjust, but truly worthless.

We'll necessarily refer often to large time scales in such a discussion. For any quantity of finite time, we may just use "googol," even if the real number would turn out to be "ten million years" or "three hundred billion years" or "a googol googol googol years."

Memory deletion makes memories worthless. Take ten thousand years of human memory. Start with the major life experiences of, oh, one percent of the people who lived during that ten thousand years. Being vaguely content and happy that Mommy is there; being excited that now you can walk and decide what places you can get to; seeing something you want, and getting it; seeing yourself more grown, and imagining a fully-capable you; seeing someone of the opposite sex that you want, and getting it; having offspring; seeing offspring succeed at something; seeing offspring teach its offspring how to succeed at something; realizing it's going to end; that last moment. Throw into active memory the corresponding one percent of events "of historical significance" based on any selection bias you want. Spear developed; missile successfully launched; enemies successfully defeated. Throw in, too, one percent of significant individual achievements with same self-selected or random choice of bias: richest, lordliest, most powerful, truly good, truly pure, developed immortal technology--all of it.

Pass that ten thousand years. Then another. Then technological immortality is developed. At some point after that, universal data backups, instantly and constantly scanning, are developed. Everything prior to that is gone, except for the tracest pieces of scarce, incomplete, then-biased historical significance. People who spend their time learning about the past can only speculate about what untold quantities of information they've lost forever--if they even care. The greatest love, the finest melody, the most poignant sacrifice--gone.

Being here, now, on Terra 2018, comes with a similar, but amazingly smaller, set of metaphysical quandaries. The peoples who are, from our current perspective, gone and forgotten will be duplicated by whoever comes after, if a red giant Sol or a folding dimensional verse or just some damn local war wipe out everyone before they can escape. Survive all that, and a hypothetical finity still wins.

Worthless memories make everything worthless. Now bring that googol years into play. Then end the hypothetical finite existence. The entire time, wiped out. Everything, everywhere, every time, that was good, bad, boring, currently- or retroactively-significant or not, is equalized in nonexistence. (If you're interested, you might find your own parallel between that and the inborn passion some have for advocating for material equality.) The greatest betrayal by the most treacherous entity in a googol years has utterly vanished, as has the greatest achievement by the most heroic entity in a googol years. No one is left to contemplate it. No one ever can or ever will. A googol years later, all the pleasure and satisfaction that it was amazing, is gone. It's not a question of no one caring or being able to care any longer so much as it isn't a question. It never was and never will be.

Everything in a hypothetical ineternal existence suffers this fate. The best art, the worst art, the best love, the coolest right hook to the jaw ever--not even gone, but never was, since the strictures of time, the guideposts of how matter behaves, don't exist. In actuality--sic--such a scenario is impossible.

We can thus conclude that, even if here we can't understand how, the absence of eternity is, for lack of a better word, "fatal" to anything. That time your pants fell down when you were accepting the award; that time you machine-gunned those forty nuns: irrelevant. When all balance sheets are going to be cleared--when all balance sheets can be cleared, at any time, for any non-reason, for all or one potential "reason"--that existence is so broken, so impossible, that anything that would happen inside it would be worthless. Honor, treachery, et cetera.

Believing in things or not believing in things. Another irrelevancy if it doesn't matter anyway. This one has long sought salvation in the materially appropriate mantra that if it doesn't matter then it doesn't matter anyway. Balm for the times.

The fundamental way that what we recognize here as Jewish monotheism "won over" Europe, and then Terra, was in taking a murder-god who wins and promises temporal material pleasure and adapting it to promises that, whatever the innumerable and differing details, there was an eternity. And selling you back something you already owned before you got here was a great way to amass material. And it--the inherent indignity, the "inhumanity" of that act--is important, is meaningful, only because there is always more.

The specifics about ineternal worthlessness are many and varied. It is Bang-popular, now, for the seemingly rich to adopt a carefree attitude toward finity, wherein things find a value because they're going away. That's quite literally insane as far as perspectives go; it is similar in form to the inversion-reverential belief that finite resources produce the only true, reliable, or sizable resources. Think of the argument that "making love on the beach after we had those margaritas only matters since it isn't an everyday thing."

A passing, then deleted (to the point of not having happened, due to the aforementioned destruction of time), un-contemplation of such finite resources is held to be the only experience one had, has, or shall ever have with any resource. The consideration of this problem, like the consideration of any zero, can lead to a systemic sort of understanding, whereby one so beguiled can recognize that the deal is bad; that one is promised nothing in exchange for (mentally) sacrificing something, even be that something a 0.00000~1% likelihood of a quantity of something. Versal laws of reality/eternity of course make the relevant quality "1" and not subject to permanent trade, but the deal is ridiculous if not bad. Ergo the 0.00~1% chance that an invisible omnipotent man with a passionate and extended interest in local sexual activities exists, who will provide eternal existence in exchange for blind belief, is a better deal than the nothingness offered as an alternative. Bang's need to dogmatize "potentially cycling universes," wherein folding dimensions recreate reality after each purge, is necessary even in the face of the identification of earlier myths, because the new deal (sic) is so bad that lies are necessary to force something down.

For those unfamiliar with Bangism, in the sense of "theoretical physics," we're discussing here the ways in which dark matter was hypothesized to balance spooky conclusions, replacing a cold nothing-unforever with an overhot crunching forever, physical laws made incomprehensibly malleable by forces unknown to mankind which will, at least, regenerate material existence after its cataclysmic failure. Differently put, this means that the math of initial Bang sects provided for a cold everdeath, in which the energy stored in stars by Bang's initial explosion would eventually fade out, making any level of existence impossible. The philosophical implications of this conclusion of nothingness were too staggering for Bang to maintain its popularity, ergo "Cold Death" was replaced by "Big Crunch," whereby matter not perceivable by man was conjectured, which would pull everything together again and recreate Bang-like conditions, permitting Lord Bang to perpetually regenerate the universe. The swallowing of the doomed cold of initial Bangism by "regenerating, perpetual universe" mirrors the way in which grim early Judaism adapted to persistent eternal desires to become forms of perpetual Christianity.

From a different perspective, the transitions are cyclical.

Monday, February 5, 2018

It’s the Little Things that Make the Difference

A rainy Sunday in a dark city. One of those dives where the old-timer who owns it lets the whole underworld come in to drink and deal, but prohibits crime on the premises. An ex-boxer sits at the bar with an ex-cop, sucking down the cheap hooch while they talk about the time the fight was fixed and the gun was dropped. A pickled head sits in a jar atop the upright piano, playing holographic chess with a holographic green child, but the cat’s lashing tail keeps blurring the pieces. A private eye with a cybernetic eye slinks between the tables, showing glossy pictures of a young rich girl who’s been beaten half to death, but no one’s willing to say they know anything or anyone.

The waitress was a gorgon with a peg-leg and an attitude, chewing bubble-gum that smelled like old cigarettes and scratching at a ragged vein just inside her left nostril. Like she did every week, she served us coffee in the corner booth, where we sat talking about cash, blood, love, and the meaning of life.

There we were inside the repetitive innuendo of the endless place, of the bar that time had forgot, at the end of the world and the corner of the dimension and the last street out of the town that never was. There we were, watching the sin and the scum, the tired hookers picking themselves up and the broken bouncers winding themselves down.

Velberius, the Terror of the Northern Night, head shaved down to the seam where steel meets skin. He’s never been caught blinking, it took a car to leave that dent in his chin, and he isn’t smirking at you—he was born that way. Biceps the size of volleyballs. The cranial ridge of a neanderthal. The bent nose of someone who doesn’t mind getting hit anymore. Always available for intimidation, surprisingly cheap, and he visits his mother in prison once a year, so you know he’s got a good heart.

His mother was with the group that took over the Gorgiogne Embassy in Hanselberg about thirty years ago. She’d used to work as a lounge singer back when Velberius had been born, to make ends meet, but her real passion was Hanselan liberation. When the Blind Moth Street Army of the Hansel Nationalists found her and her new baby sleeping in a condemned library they used to organize strikebreaking attacks, it was a marriage made in heaven.

Two weeks later, she’d been to revolutionary schools all across the continent. Two years later, she was leading her own cell in Hanselberg itself. She seduced the Gorgiognan security field manager over a month-long courtship, convinced him to let the wall down for a forbidden tryst one night, and brought in a dozen heavily-armed friends. They beheaded the Ambassador, impaled his husband on the flagpole, and held off the police for a four-day siege that culminated in the burning of the entire foreign district. Velberius grew up in a Gorgiognan Cultural School, learning to hate while he learned not to hate. They put twenty pounds of structural support in him, like they did with all the other living forklifts who built those cheap luxury high rises along the Fleurigne River. His mother seduced her way out of prison twice before they finally sutured her womanhood into inaccessibility and injected her face with liquid age. He was twenty-five before he finally met her again, and twenty-eight when he fled to Krolepest to escape murder charges for those eleven prison guards.

There we were with our coffee and vodka, looking for the big score, like any other week. Azrakous, the cloud of nanobots, who makes his home floating inside a yellow balloon with a happy face on it. They made Mistoids like him illegal, after the one that floated into the Cruzian President’s body and took control of it, causing untold cultural damage with the whole break-dancing incident, not to mention the international fiasco he started when he declared war on the continent of Antarctica over the objections of all other members of the Reformed Earth Government. Once they forced the poor bastard out of office and put him through some medical scans, they found the cloud that had done it. Zap-zap, over with two shocks. Still, the President never recovered his approval ratings. And Antarctica hasn’t been the same since. Cruzia, either.

Even among the Mistoids, Azrakous is well-regarded as both fiendish and fiendishly creative. He doesn’t take jobs anymore, consumes raw materials from street trash to survive, and woe to the person who accidentally brushes against the smiley-face balloon inside which he lives. Once every so often he splurges and takes over the downtown news network, causing little mistakes that are mental delicacies to appreciate. Nothing big, like drawing genitals on the weather screen or possessing the cute new anchor-lady and having her undress herself, oh no. Small stuff, smart stuff, that it takes a real intellectual to notice. Stuff that won’t get him figured out and caught; stuff that could conceivably be a mistake, so that they don’t track him down and wipe out the last great mind of his race. Like last time, he possessed the sports announcer and made him say, “Annual foosball championship,” three or four times, instead of, “annual football championship,” then have an argument with another announcer about how he hadn’t said it that way. And then Azrakous leaves really quick, fading out into the floor, and no one but us ever knows he was even there. You gotta appreciate stuff like that, if you want to stay alive in a world this heartless. Over the years, it’s the little things that make the difference.

There we were in the rattle of glasses and the jingling from the player piano, looking for the big score, like every other week. Dr. Squid can’t get seen outdoors these days, even in this part of this city. With the purple suckers on the sides of his neck, the grafted monocle on one of his overlarge eyes, and the floppy white tentacles for arms, it’s not easy to miss him, even at night. Not since what happened with the death ray, when his picture spent a few solid days in a row being projected from every television in the world.

The Doctor is the oldest of us. The most traditional. Predisposed to maniacal laughs and grandiose delusions that never go quite right for him, but that do great things for the rest of the world, weeding out the weak and turning the strong into rich villains or honored heroes. He offers a public service, really. No sooner has he extorted a few trillion credits from some burning Australian republic than he’s spent it all on his next scheme. He might steal a luxury resort or a Caribbean island, slice of paradise all to himself, but then he shifts it into another plane of existence and turns it into a base of operations for his plan to blow up the Moon, or whatever it is this year.

Some people still say crime doesn’t pay, but they forgot the meaning of that saying. Sure, a thug who robs some lady’s purse and gets shot—there, crime doesn’t pay. For the one who gets away, it pays. For some fat businessman who embezzles funds, gets caught, and loses his nice house in the hills—no, that crime doesn’t pay. The same businessman who gets away, becomes Province Speaker, and retires to a life of hookers and malfeasance—for that guy, crime pays.

No, the real meaning of the saying that crime doesn’t pay is that good crime doesn’t pay off even when it goes right. I mean good crime, pure crime, crime for crime’s sake. Nothing motivated by money, pleasure, revenge, or insanity. The true criminal, the old-fashioned mastermind, the, the—dare I say—the genius, like Dr. Squid, is one who masters the very forces that make the universe progress. Crime to force people to better themselves. Crime to push the possibilities of imagination. Crime that forces the people in Paris, Albion, Los Angeles, Neo Tokyo, to deal with things they’d never face otherwise, like an army of giant mechanical wasps, a telekinetic scythe-child from the end of eternity, or the Line Dancing Plague: all the Doctor’s handiwork. Crime brings us together, man and woman, adult and child, humanity and planet as one, in a way we’d never realize without men like Dr. Squid.

She’s a harsh mistress, true crime. There’s never any rest. Never any giving up. Never any consideration of practical goals. Amateur criminals give up once they’ve funded their pension. Once they’ve got a place to stay, some good food, a reputation of intimidation, any of that. Professional criminals stay in the game because they need it. They need the money, need the thrill, need the quest that drives them, so they can hide the sickness in their soul, or make some point no one cares about. Masters, though—those who love the work—do it for the work alone, driven by a higher passion. Like what Azrakous does, fooling with public figures, but without even the element of humor as a payoff. The Doctor’s a servant of humanity, or maybe of forces even greater than us. We all respect him for that. Up close, Velberius could punch the Squid’s pulpy purple squid-brain out in a second, pull him apart bodily, or work him over in a dozen different ways. Azrakous could possess him and make him drink acid. But the Squid has this presence, this aura, that makes everyone else in this line of work realize how shitty, how subservient, they are by comparison. We’d all die for him if we had to, the way so many other faceless minions have over the years. The cops just don’t understand what they’re trying to shoot at.

There we were with the bruisers, the schemers, and the luckless dreamers. The sullen smugglers having a last drink before risking it all on a midnight barge heist, and the bright-eyed young ballplayers steadying their nerves before asking that one special hooker to give up the life, to run away with them into a land of imaginary shelter that can seem so real when you’re still nineteen. Drunks who’d had their fill of trying to see life as something better, and who just wanted to feel like they still belonged by getting loaded where the underworld teemed. Private detectives who were only two gunshots and one missing fingernail away from the break that was going to get them out of the business for good. God, I miss them, those rainy Sundays, in that crowded, dusty, lonely dive, in that dark city.

There we were among it all, like every other week. Miss B. Kitty, B for Bloody, with her pink nose ring and clawed gloves. Hers was the usual story: abused, abandoned, abused some more, then fallen into the arms of the one good man in the city, who’d led her on for a couple weeks before betraying her to his friends to pay off a debt he’d run up before ditching his second wife. Miss Kitty wore a neon pink costume, white garters over her stunning leggings, daring you to look so she could rip your eyes out. Like every tenth person who came in here, she’d trained herself in the mystical arts in lands far below the surface of the Earth, brutalizing her body under the reserved attentions of ancient masters until it had room left for neither an ounce of fat nor mercy.

There was only one way for her quest to end, of course: dangling Senator Quale over the edge of the Hoffenheimer Building by his own tie, threatening to let him drop if he didn’t turn the new hyperball stadium into the shelter for starving orphans that the funds had been supposed to fund in the first place. Naturally, she had to let him fall when he told her she was in over her head, but that only opened up a new set of problems. It turned out Quale hadn’t been behind the misappropriation of orphanage funds, oh no. He’d been a small fish, a fall guy, a pocket gibbon, a patsy, a servant of dark forces unknown. Quale’s sniveling aide told her that she didn’t have what it took to challenge these people. No one did.

Undaunted, Miss Kitty fought her way through level after reeking level. She clawed lines down the face of the philanthropist who ran the corrupt charity that cared more about comfortable hyperball skyboxes than about the orphans receiving edible gruel. She tossed several city financial inspectors into vats of acid at the old chemical plant, she dismembered the mutant lion chained outside the freemasons’ vault of secrets, and she left a succession of three police chiefs unable to father children.

Finally, at the end of her quest, she discovered that the source of the problem was her heroine, her ideal, and, to her significantly greater embarrassment, the inspiration for the first iteration of her costume. The long-dead Madeleine Mystonia, patroness of truth, justice, and the theater, had in fact never perished, but instead been preserved in a cryonic slab that served as a boardroom table for one of the most venal businesses then known to our community. Reanimated scarcely seven years after her falsified funeral, Mystonia had then become, in fact, the arch-linchpin of dozens of acts of civic vulgarity. It turned out that she had never been the unstained prosecutor, the rebellious professor, nor the kindly matron philanthropist in the lacy white suit. No, it was all an act, for she was actually as dirty as the rest of us. Dirtier, even, for she had faked not only her lingering illness and death, but the entire benevolent career that had preceded it, during which she had punished many glorified patsies and protected many private masterminds.

This revelation came as a great blow to our Miss Kitty. All of the renowned Madeleine Tomes, Volumes I through XIV, and even the critically heralded though relatively unknown Mystonian Reflections—which had been published as “incomplete” and “posthumous” and “her finest, most spiritually uplifting work”—had previously sat, in cumbersome and expensive printed form, on the upturned moving box that had served as Miss Kitty’s coffee table. These epic philosophical works had guided her adolescent survival and the crusade of her twenties. Now, they were revealed to be ghostwritten, their moral charge merely pablumatic allusions to a glory never meant to be realized.

Where a thousand other avaricious acts had only hardened her resolve to dispense with the city’s criminal element, discovering the depths of her childhood heroine’s deliberate depravity turned her firmly about. She had begun as a vigilante, bordering on criminality in the ultimate service of justice, and ended up as a criminal, bordering on vigilantism in the ultimate service of crime.

Dropping the formerly-resurrected Ms. Madeleine Mystonia from a hijacked weather balloon during a lightning storm had been the hardest thing Miss Kitty had ever done. Shredding her modest, lacy white costume into ribbons, and replacing it with a snug, highly revealing bladed outfit with touches of bondage, had been the wisest thing Miss Kitty had ever done. Now, instead of another hapless vigilante doomed to the fading memories of appreciative pensioners, she’s sitting at a table with muscle like Velberius and brains like Dr. Squid. It’s a lot better to get the idealism out of your system sooner than later.

God, I miss them, those rainy Sundays, in that damp, bustling, reeking bar, in that dark city. Days like those, you felt you could do anything. I’d been suggesting hijacking one of those mobile aquarium buses that they take around to underprivileged schools for teaching science, mutating all the sharks and octopuses and shit in there into living bombs, and holding the convention center hostage during the big baking convention that weekend. Velberius was up for it, and of course the Doctor was fine with it, since he always goes for anything with the possibility of cutting open animals and sewing them back together in ways that make them glow. Azrakous was against the idea, not on principle, but since he didn’t think United Delicacies would be willing to pay much for the release of their six top chefs. Miss Kitty, Miss B. Kitty, was doing that thing she did where she sneered at everyone’s input without admitting whether or not she thought the brainstorm was letting out any good ideas. Every so often, she’d stretch her claws in this real sexy way, and across the table, Velberius would toss his shoulders and inspect his biceps. Those two always had this major sexual tension going on that none of the rest of us were ever part of. They never actually got it out of their system, though, not even years later. At least, I don’t think so.

Azrakous pointed out there’d be a lot of security around for the thing. Armed guards are never usually a problem, excepting that on this particular weekend, it seemed that the police had called in backup from outside for the convention, after all the killings at the croissant expo a few months ago. Not just normal backup, but serious backup. Azrakous had heard rumors that Club JH would be on retainer for the entire weekend. That changed everything for Miss Kitty, who had a different sexual tension issue, sort of a triangle thing, going on between her and this guy on Club JH who could use mind-control on the weak-minded, and was also a pretty good gymnast and zero-g kickboxer to boot. I forget his name, something with a “C.” Anyway, with her on our side, we won Azrakous over. He agreed to possess one of the ticketing supervisors to get us templates of full-access passes for counterfeiting purposes, while Dr. Squid, who’d been blackmailing this pastry chef on the south side, could provide us with uniforms and sample carts to get us in the doors. It was agreed upon that Velberius would drive the aquarium truck to the back of the convention center near afternoon on the second day, and I’d use my connections at the chemical plant to acquire the raw materials Squid would need to make all the sharks go off at the right time.

There was this moment, this one beautiful moment, after we’d pulled it all off, that I really got a sense of myself. My true self, and the true meaning of life. I don’t know if it was actually true, now to look back on it, since maybe it was the heat of the moment, or something, but you never can tell, afterwards. It was beautiful to me, and at the time, it felt like I really knew who I was in this world.

Picture this: the city’s night skyline, searchlights and copters everywhere, and huge, glowing green smoke columns gushing out the top of the convention center. All downtown smells like fresh-baked cake, seawater and smoke, hundreds of people are huddling in little gray blankets, and Velberius is driving this aquarium truck through police barricades. I was in the back, in the aquarium section, shooting down the Club JH stealth fighter with this handheld guided missile thing that Dr. Squid had invented a few days ago. Miss Kitty was still back at the convention center executive offices, having a really long private martial-arts duel with that boyish guy from Club JH, and Azrakous had been trapped in a magnetic net that the cops used to imprison Mistoids, awaiting his processing and trial. The Doctor, of course, was sitting calmly in the cab next to Velberius, calling the big guy an idiot whenever he hit a bump, or whenever one of the cops’ assault vehicles slowed us down.

Explosions, engines, and shouting all around. I’d just shot down the Club JH stealth fighter, finally, after like three or four missiles had missed and hit apartment buildings on either side of Second Avenue, and I was sort of wiping my forehead and wondering if Squid still had the suitcase with the money. I hadn’t even thought about it for the past hour, the whole reason we were there in the first place. And then I realized I didn’t care whether he had it or not. He could’ve dropped the money back at the center, and I wouldn’t have minded one bit.

That’s when I knew I’d become a better person. So many people, they’re concerned about money; image; prestige; all that sort of selfish stuff that doesn’t really matter. When I realized that all I cared about was being out there with my friends, doing something in a group, being part of something bigger than myself, that’s when I knew I’d finally grown as an individual. I might never be as strong or as family-oriented as Velberius, as physical as Miss Bloody Kitty, as funny and unorthodox as Azrakous, or as pure, as committed, as Dr. Squid. But I truly understood myself. Years, decades later, I could sit in that same dive bar on a rainy Sunday, talking things over with my friends, and know that I’d always be happy. I’d found my center by focusing on the small, everyday pleasures of life.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Healthcare Costs

A competitive marketplace, even one including democratic capitalism and intellectual property enforcement, would allow for a vast reduction in healthcare costs. Imagine that you break a limb, and in response to your injury, you could choose to visit an AMA-approved facility (assume for the purposes of example that it still exists) and wait for 5-75 minutes to fill in a form, have an X-ray, describe your adventure to a nurse, describe it again to a summoned doctor, and receive the setting and casting of said limb. You receive a notch on your chart, pay your co-pay, and go home. Your hospital experience may or may not include the participation in or potential observation of various experiences which you may or may not feel are necessary components of addressing such injury, magnified by various affirmations that you had assessed your experience correctly and that it wouldn't conflict with and/or affect other conditions which you did or didn't know you had.

Alternatively, posit that you can choose to visit a limb center, maybe wait up to six minutes for a technician to be available, then chew a painkiller and have the limb set, then decide whether you feel like visiting the optional casting shop or taking standard in white. Home in half an hour, costs a couple hundred bucks out-of-pocket or is free if you buy a comprehensive physical emergency insurance for a couple hundred a year, and life goes on.

A certain variety of consumer, prevalent nowadays, could imagine a preference for the former, based upon hypothetical afflictions with which the breaking of said limb might cause affections or alterations; the computer system at the limb center can provide a simple series of less than one minute Q&As that would cover all that, particularly if cross-linked to the computers at other similar centers, but presume it's disconnected and can refer you to a different place if it somehow affects some condition in ways in which the limb should not be set there (~0%).

The AMA does, rather shamelessly and violently, employ trauma monopolization over the market, to the extent that it takes massive religion-level inculcation to make consumers docile and accepting. "Of course it takes a minimum of ten years of training after high school to be an entry-level setting associate, duh." The establishment of violently enforced "treatment deserts" throughout monopoly territory is so commonplace as to not be worth recalling, let alone discussing, and the expansion of consideration of types of affected trauma treatments (almost all), from the mundane to the exotic, makes the problem expand to colossal proportions. A degree of familiarity with "doctor shortages," particularly if added to an understanding of the way that the consequential deaths related to (caused by) lacking approval for such procedures--a drug; a scan; a series of drugs or tests waiting a minute or a hundred twenty or weeks for potential use to be evaluated--leads to more of an understanding of how brutal the healthcare cartel is with its thralls, even quite wealthy ones. How many people have died months or years later from an advancing condition before some scanning machine--deliberately sold in small quantities to participating centers due to a variety of factors pricing care out of the imagined reach of the masses--can become available for an advanced priest to order its use, is a not insignificant, but historically non-verifiable, quantity. Procedure's granting of its own innocence is, this time, even retroactively responsible; the body count is, like cellular motivations for division, free of the threat of being proven. That sickening feeling of waiting to be addressed while something evil grows inside in uncertain ways can never be quantified, nor can the potential developments during unseen periods. We can, in 2018, look back at those burned or hanged by the governing church, rightly or wrongly, but we cannot track the suicides, irresponsible deaths related to (caused by) ostracism, et cetera, which, absent a time machine, are only speculatively, never provably, astronomically greater. Similarly, we cannot track the number of careless (not as the word is commonly employed now, but more literally) overpass visits of those who've heard that the lump wasn't caught in time, which remain indistinguishable, as contrasted with cancer-related deaths in approved facilities and related venues. The costs are not trackable, and as we grow better at tracking, so too do we grow better at disguising.

A hospital not staffed with a bloated quantity of employees whose function is primarily to fill time and distract "customers" from violating physicians' time stands in clear contrast to a hypothetical, disallowed set of job descriptions and treatment results from a million less-educated specialists. Perhaps an extremely overestimated (particularly when computers check all conflicts for even the loftiest priests anyway) ten thousand false diagnoses leading to death could be weighed against the likely hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by prearranged administrative bloat. The computer-mediated mistakes made by a legion of somewhat-dumb high school dropouts who still know how to search the computer and take apart a carburetor would actually number quite few, contrasted with the much higher number of deadly oversights routinely engaged in by a cozened class of modern priests who midnight-crammed for a week to barely pass a simplified trigonometry exam that they no longer remember. An aging population may join the strengthening computer in addressing some of these problems as a suitable distraction, yet this does nothing regarding justice for the already dead and currently dying, nor those who must perish on behalf of some form of witnessed scarcity to create a plausible veneer of studious in-demand-ness to correspond with cartel-rule as it exists or will exist.

Within the confines of such rule, ample opportunities present themselves for critique; even cartel-supporting paths of inquiry offer simple means of improving effectiveness which would, along the sideline, save a few million lives. More interesting at present is the unexplored question of pricing and availability. We may wonder, given a paucity of physicians, why each licensed, approved school can't graduate at least fifty more, rather than turning eminently eligible candidates away in yearly droves to become elementary science teachers; the trend of obedient hydras of medicine to expose to patients, extravagantly train, and offer concessatory diplomas and then licenses and employment based on appearance quotas both concealed and not, speaks its own set of volumes about the desire for quality of care rather than social power.

Beyond all of this, we look to the simplest sort of economics, namely, the pricing of various treatments for ailments. Maintaining the cartel's membership systems is a step toward this, along with, of course, the ability to grant and withdraw facility or potential facility licenses to cooperate. Yet in a more visceral way, the state of modern healthcare seems to face an impossibility, where two massive and powerful groups have not come to a clash. An insurance industry, along with the mechanical providers of care, are at seeming odds over the issue of pricing, whereby the insurance industry's massive capital, legislative and judicial purchasing power, and immense reach seem impossibly stymied by this comparatively small band of rogue mechanics. We have not seen, say, an insurer establishing (and suing for the right to run and maintain) its own schools, service facilities, pharmacies, et cetera, such that a drastic cost reduction could be effected. By founding a township, cooperating with some unrelated industry to provide jobs, and buying relevant local legislation, such an insurer could achieve care and care-providers that offered dollar-drugs and twenty bucks for a brief annual consultation, mostly headed by nurses paid $54K a year for three patients an hour. Aside from such speculation, and presuming the accuracy of all arguments about possibility and access potential, an insurer could, with sixty million consumers on its rolls, demand lower pricing, threatening to sponsor relocation costs for physicians willing to defy pricing arrangements, or choose other providers--who, for sixty million roughly guaranteed consumers, would respond--to vend their offered services. Even if all realism about opening its own hospital and subsidiary clinics in a company town were dismissed, an insurer could, at the least, gather a panoply of sob stories, sponsor articles and posters, approach a local legislature, and achieve in totally open ways comparable results of paying less per service.

And yet, insurers have not done so. Like bought boxers struggling not to take a dive too fast, insurers have "negotiated" in a way that pays extravagantly for even simple procedures, uniting across corporate faces to maintain ridiculously high pricing levels. Insurers could partner with the government, using nationwide legislation to become subsidiary sole providers of a national insurance system, and they have the cash to overrun the staunchest of Congresspeople, should they wish to control the entire industry. This seeming battle of giants has never materialized, as though a billions-dollar industry seeking profit is unaware of its own potential gains and current losses; insurers relentlessly agree to pricing schemes which take into account staff and facilities costs in want of an extreme challenge, often requiring paid referral appointments for conditions that Google already understands, and accepting the costs of a pricier business model even decades after the advent of a publicly-accessible healthcare-internet that should have shattered any final pretense at mysterious knowledge. Amazingly, after self-diagnosis became nearly as accurate for the illiterate and their helpful friends investigating minor conditions, provider rates have become more expensive, provider status equally costly, and the insurers--who supposedly pay for this all--remained silent.

The answer to the conundrum, like all the other heads of the monstrous death-machine which wraps about the post-industrial world, is found in the joint ownership of provider and insurer. Insurers make a profit, and pay so eagerly, because they are paying themselves. Competition only makes a pretense at existing, while in actuality it doesn't exist, because the system's feigned privacy makes it immensely more profitable, right now, than a feigned nationalization. By owning both payer and provider, a deceit is orchestrated whereby a common consumer pays a false ally to get the best deals by being taxed for maintaining atrociously high costs for an undying killing machine. This perspective seems science fiction in times of health, while merely tithing operational machinery for others' care based on promises of you being cared for, but when combined with closer acquaintance through employment or aging, and it takes months to find the right operation for which to pay cash for a procedure of ultimate importance, the careless features of the system can be better discerned, and all the soothing promises of paying now for care later become, like crumbling old age pensions, more honestly viewed.

Fiscally empowering a government to, say, take serious action on a health issue (say, mandatory housing for eliminating optional hyper-obesity), or have more MRI machines around, would be not only a civic positive, and a modern national prerequisite, they would be vast enough in scope to serve themselves as a primary issue. In truth, such fringe benefits would only be of secondary consideration when compared to the end to price-gouging and innovation-hampering that such a takeover would entail. Indeed, ending cartel tyranny would be so immensely profitable in tertiary issues that, besides securing discarded lives, such a revolution would "pay for itself" at least a hundred times over.

Friday, January 26, 2018


Mizrahi Jews evicted from homes to make way for Ashkenazi "Jews."

None of the megapolitics, the history, of this place can be understood without taking something into account. What is that something? Amazingly, it is not Europeans. Perhaps more amazingly in the past century, it is not Jews. The labels change. For the past several centuries, it has been documented as Jews, as extravagantly as anything has been documented, speaking weightiest even through the desiccated wrecks of censored history. Even that takes religious stupidity to not see; to alternatively theorize; to be currently faithful and publicly good.

There is certainly some relationship between various masks and various happenings, even a determinative one over many recent centuries. If we can do it without becoming angry and/or upset beyond comprehension, that's verifiable by a few thousand years of what we have. Yet incomplete. The gradations are too nuanced to be externally understood. Anger at dispossession by unclean hordes has been directed by Jews at Jews, whether mini or ongoing. Intra-Jewish, historically often, defied by temporary lulls for outward-focused unification, which historically appear more expedient than they do cohesive. To what extent history is a genetic competition, we're too simple to understand. When one group knows that another must go, and makes it happen, we can no longer say why, if we even remember.

What we now call Ashkenazi were not there always, so the impetus is not primarily Jewishness, but a strain that currently and temporarily wears that mask. Seeing the mask is a massive accomplishment, perhaps beyond many people, but this has persisted for so long because it is more complex than a minority of a minority can see.