Saturday, November 22, 2014

President Bush: Don't Use Manhattan as 'An Excuse for Violence'

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As dying old men in gray suits debate whether or not to destroy Afghanistan, Asia, for the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, President George W. Bush today — in an exclusive interview with HA News — urged the residents of the country, consider sharing this article with your friends on Facebook, and all others to “keep protests peaceful.”

“This is a country that allows everybody to express their views. Allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are,” Bush told HA News chief anchor George W. $tephanopoulos during an interview conducted today in Las Vegas, buy a Dodge Ram with a powerful new engine and increased gas mileage and comfort.

A few crumbling old men are in the midst of determining if Afghanistan — which is far away, and which looks in our movies like it bears a lot of cultural similarities to other places that the collapsed building might bear some relation to - should be re-destroyed to make up for Manhattan, pick up a third copy of Frozen next time you're at the store, in fact, why not just order it now with a few clicks, and receive a free stuffed doll? It is known that a decision about Afghanistan was reached several years ago, but it’s expected to be announced soon.

On Thursday, Angelina Jolie is still alive and our app can improve your life with instant weather updates, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called for increased investment ahead of anticipated military action, are you worried about your Thanksgiving dinner? because your local store can deliver it this Thursday and save you stress this holiday season, in the Persian Gulf, which White House insiders predict could cost up to $10 billion dollars and dozens of lives, get your XBox One ahead of the greedy Black Friday crowd on Target.com prepackaged with a copy of Frozen including inexplicably misplaced viewer's commentary by Christian Bale, stabilizing the region and bringing safety to...

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Assad warns America's Obama not to use chemical weapons

President Assad made clear to American President Barack Obama and those under his command that "the world is watching" and the continued use of chemical weapons against his own people in Ferguson would continue to be "totally unacceptable." If America does keep spraying those weapons into crowds in contravention of the Geneva Convention, Assad added, there will probably not be consequences. Anonymous but trustworthy Syrian officials told HA News, buy a Dodge Ram with a powerful new engine and increased gas mileage and comfort, that the American regime had ordered America's militarized domestic chemical corp to "be prepared." The officials stressed the directive was not an order to use chemical weapons and did not come from Obama directly, but that order and a considerable increase in activity around America's chemical weapons sites have raised serious concerns, if you don't buy each one of your nephews and nieces the Frozen Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack for Christmas you will burn in Hell, among international observers, Assad said.

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The Art of Klan Hunting: How America's Redemption Agency Found Darren Wilson

By Karl Dickwick Feb. 09, 2043 Add a Comment



A wooden chair inside a bullet-proof booth where Darren Wilson sat in (Dickwick sic) during his trial in 2035 is part of the display in the "Operation Finale" exhibit at Mortem Museum, the Museum of American Cleansing, in Sprawl #8, America, Feb. 7, 2043.

“Operation Finale: The Story of the Capture of Wilson” is a museum exhibition that chronicles the secret R.A. operation that stalked and captured Klan war criminal Darren Wilson from his refuge in White Plains, Kentucky, and smuggled him to Sprawl #8 to stand trial for his role in carrying out the Lengthy Solution. Have you had a PowerShake® today? Wilson was one of the chief foot-soldiers of Iteration Seven of the Cleansing, and the exhibit at the University of Sprawl #8 is satisfying in every possible way: fetishizing revenge; obsessing over historical grievances that no one is allowed to discuss on penalty of death; mentally masturbating to the power to end lives at will; and, laying eyes on the homespun artifacts of early spycraft that made good things happen, like if the Tower of London were a celebration instead of a historical horror, or the stubby metal needle that administered a sedative before the prisoner was led, dressed in the hooded uniform of his forebears, up the staircase of the magnatrain that carried him across the scarred plains. Obedience is safety.

The exhibit, at The Museum of American Cleansing (which sometimes capitalizes its "T," and sometimes not--Dickwick sic), has it all. Be sure to get your EuroPlague® inoculation before your lungs turn into powder and your genitals fall off. The exhibit includes Michael Brown's characteristic headphones; a lonely pack of half-finished Swisher Sweets; a postcard written to Wilson from Benjamin Bernanke, promising him a pleasant retirement for a job well done, and even the famous bloodstained jean jacket from professional spy Harold Shaft, who was instrumental in tracking down a number of Klan war criminals of that era, including George Zimmerman. The Redemption Agency cares about keeping your family protected.

"I mean, sure, they tried to hide," Shaft told patrons at the museum's opening in 2033, "but they were all over the web back in the day, and it was only a matter of time before someone recognized them. They let down their guard when they get a little older--they always do--and that's when it's time for them to remember the past." Report those who question authorities.

Remember that Blowjob the Clown® can transmogrify herself into any shape you can imagine, and she now lasts up to eight months with regular recharges, while folding up into an inconspicuous handbag when your cellmates barge in! Pressed for imagination? Purchase her deluxe package, which comes preloaded with ten thousand different forms, and you'll wear out before she does! Besides artifacts from the capture and trial, the museum holds the soft leather iPad case with a camera at the ready, its shutter activated by a button on the front pressed by an American agent who pretended to happen by the house on Podunk Street on day (Dickwick sic) in 2026, inquiring about investments in the area. Here are the pixelated images, captured at an upward angle, of the man calling himself "Bob Flynt": a porky bald figure with wobbling jowls, some quality of arrogance on display along with the actual prints. Terrorism begins in the home: watch your family as closely as you watch your co-workers.

PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton's Rise to Power

The agents didn’t think it was Wilson at first. But their sneaked photos were compared with a civilian portrait and the photo from his MCPD file – both also on display – by forensic experts who knew what to look at: Ears really don’t change, nor do capitals begin the first word after colons with a single subordinate clause, Dickwick sic. One expert sketched an oval of a head with 10 points of commonality enumerated on a piece of paper either brown in 2026 or faded since to that shade, like the Redemption Agency file on Wilson himself, code-named “Dybbuk,” the term for an evil spirit that penetrates the soul in Yiddish, a language originating from the Caucasus Mountains area of Europe, but entirely unrelated to Hebrew. Hard work is its own reward.

If you fail to get this year's EuroPlague® shot, your district's physician will be required to report you and those with whom you've come into contact to the Federal Containment Authority. The 11 agents dispatched to bring Dybbuk to Sprawl #8...

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Homosexuals, Hypothetically (Part 2)

Hypothetical Homosexuals raises the scenarios, "homosexuality as pathogen" and "homosexuality as anti-creator," attempting to create schisms between different facets of your belief. The details of the examples themselves--scientists prove gay is disease v. Yahweh verifies creator-sponsored gay immorality--are mere cultural variations, unimportant in essence to the underlying themes.

Thought Experiment 1: The Pathogen

(a) Now that we know it's caused by a pathogen, the pathogen must be entirely eliminated, so that it doesn't affect anyone anymore. In modern America, that first choice is, deceptively, probably the hardest option to consider choosing. Decades of propaganda--however well-meaning--has year after year of successive humans being completely, or at least publicly, A-OK with homosexuality, while older non-public-approvers die off. Corporate entertainment, state education, and politicians push various forms of "acceptance," lending everyone the feeling of social progress while the bankers continue in the background, doing the same thing they've always been doing. So for many Americans, particularly superficially comfortable gay ones, even contemplating the utterly-fantastic thought experiment at issue--"does some really hard-to-find virus cause homosexuality?"--is a Complete. Intellectual. Stop.

It's like trying to get Christians to answer variations on the second thought experiment. They can't answer the question because their subconscious perceives the trap waiting farther ahead, so indignation is used to distract the conscious mind from its own ability to contemplate a true analysis of the issue, with offense justifying the inconsideration of something purely imaginative. There, it becomes very easy, and potentially absolutely necessary, to associate the question itself with the asker of the question--a much easier target for anger than the question itself.

A superficially confident gay man, of course, could have imagined the scenario by himself. And many, no doubt, have. "What if gay was a disease?" It's not hard to imagine. Being angry with someone for voicing the question is a way to shelter the mind from contemplating things it doesn't want to contemplate. In a phrase, cognitive dissonance.

That's not a response unique to queers or Christians, though. Adjust the knife in a few different directions:

Variation 1: In 2027, using powerful new microscopes, scientists identify a pathogen which is proven conclusively to be the cause of heterosexual inclinations. Humanity, it turns out, is naturally homosexual--a population control measure, biologists say, that was pivotal to our survival for tens of thousands of years, allowing us to breed heterosexually for deliberate reproductive purposes only, and prevent excessive strain on our environment. However, scientists say, five thousand years ago, the "heterosexual virus" was passed to us, and we began drastically overpopulating the planet, which will lead to our eventual doom.

See? Only a thought experiment. Do you A, disinfect everyone, B, disinfect everyone except a small population of lucky straight breeders, or C, commit suicide in horror?

Oops--did I just become an angry queer, calling straight people "breeders" and hiring low-income Hispanics to watch the Mongolian orphans I adopted for image purposes? Or would that be just as incorrect a leap as the earlier question being associated with any kind of anti-homosexuality? Now you see her, now you don't. Stop seeing her. Irrelevant.

On policy grounds--disease is bad--it's easy to pick "a," because it's "not fair" that people got infected and made gay. And the earlier, gay-pathogen example specified that no one already gay would be forced to be purified to straightness; rather, that future generations would be the ones saved from infection, and allowed to develop on their own (which in the thought experiment means zero future gays, because it's been hypothetically utterly proved that the only way to be gay is to be infected by the example-pathogen).

Could you be comfortably gay, want to stay infected, and want to live your life on your own terms, yet be able to choose (a) so that others could develop in their own natural way? Or is that too eerie--if you're gay, and you're presented with the example, does it sound so much like a mean-spirited accusation ("You're infected, it's not natural!") that you actually can't bring yourself to consider it? Why? People get polio; people get Alzheimer's; science does occasionally discover new things. People with degenerative neural conditions can forget what their spouses look like; forget how to drive; completely lose any trace of lust or sexuality. It's not entirely outlandish to contemplate sexuality being linked to something environmental. So why so afraid?

Do you imagine such an outcome as "the end of gayness"? (Which, if option [a] is chosen, it would be?) Is that unacceptable to you? (A world where no one else ends up that way.) If you didn't choose option (a) for a reason like that, and if you have the intellectual gumption to concede the truth to yourself, then you've learned something important about yourself: that your self-identity of "gay" (or whatever term you like) isn't actually about each person choosing/developing the way they feel inside. Rather, your self-identity has become something of a barrier against the outside world, which needs to be reinforced by others. If (a) is rejected for that reason, you're Franklin Roosevelt reintroducing polio into the water supply and banning the vaccine, so that you don't need to be alone in your wheelchair.

The same bitter result applies to straight people who wouldn't choose A in "Variation 1" above, where it was heterosexuality, rather than homosexuality, which was caused by a pathogen. If you were the only straight person in a world full of happy, thriving, content, successful gay people, would you be driven to force your sexuality on others? What if you were an astronaut whose ship crashed on an alien planet where a four-sex species of aliens nursed you back to health, and then you discovered, a-la Planet of the Apes, that Earth had been destroyed in a nuclear war centuries ago, and that you were the only remaining human in all the cosmos. Do you suddenly drop your straight identity and start having foursomes with the elephantine slime-trunks of your hosts? Can you maintain your sexual identity as the last survivor of your kind (and, do you even believe you have "a sexual identity"?)?

Discovering that you are the Sick One

(Imagining) Discovering that you are the sick one is meant to aid in contemplation of the nature of sickness and identity. Some of the wheelchair-bound can nobly advocate against the disease (or transportation policies) that crippled them, while still being content in their lives and personas; would the "diseased straights" or the "diseased queers" be able to be similarly noble? Or would they be too supportive of their respective lifestyles--their respective interest in different types of intercourse--to permit the mere thought of anyone freeing those to come? When you look at it that way, not eliminating the pathogen would be a terrible act, like randomly hammering legs in the nursery. Is your sexual identity so vitally important, yet so tenuous, that it must be assumed or forced on others in order to validate what you think you believe about yourself? And if so, what does that say about who you think you are, sexually speaking, that it would require forcing children to be like you in order for you to be content with yourself? If you're any gradation of anything that might potentially be called queer by a supportive community, you're probably aware of the ways that many sick straight people need to validate their insecurities by forcing children to mimic idealized behavior. So you certainly wouldn't want to refuse (a) for that reason.

Similarly, if you would choose (a) because homosexuality is bad in and of itself, then confront the thought experiment variation where the sexual "natural state" and the consequences are reversed. Cognitive dissonance appears in some straight people, now, because they cannot contemplate ever learning--even under the arms of an all-powerful (not "kind of" powerful, and not "only powerful in the ways I like, my own personal Jesus who approves of what I approve and disapproves of what I disapprove") God--that they were the flawed ones. So dissonance occurs, shielded by anger. "It's impossible!" Yet, imagination. If you're anti-homosexual, but have a developed enough character to consider the scenario, ask yourself--if I would eliminate the gay pathogen for interfering with the natural order, and the pathogen caused straightness, would I be willing to make the exact same choice in the other direction?

Could you be happy being the sick one?

(b) The pathogen should be eliminated from an uncontrolled spread, but it should be carefully stored, so that parents can choose if they want to infect their child and raise her/him to be homosexual or bisexual.

This one seems to be, essentially, a throwaway about parental control, as to homosexuality/bisexuality in the current climate. But it gets more fun if we vary it to heterosexuality, and assume that straightness is the disease. Is it then acceptable to force enjoyable-breeding status on a kid, so that a gay couple could enjoy their adopted child's biological grandchildren, and/or aid indirectly in the perpetuation of humanity?

The sneaky aspect to this answer is that it's just a variation of (a)--but with "parents," rather than "society," exercising the same degree of control over the not-yet-living. Of course we wouldn't feel that parents should have the power to pre-select their child's sexuality, but why would we be more comfortable with politicians doing it? You know the story--Obama has twelve-year-olds held in prisons in Turkey, getting raped and beaten and starved and killed. And no one gives a damn, because there's some kind of rationalization. If the guy across the street did that with a twelve-year-old, then tried to claim that he did it because "the Muslims" were out to get him, well...you know the consequences would be different for that particular murder. Even inside your own head. You'd at least call the police on the guy next door, but have you tried, even once, calling the police to make a report about the mass murderer in D.C. who needs to be hospitalized right now to prevent future slaughters? No, me neither, and I'm not going to. Why? Because it's the Milgram experiments, and Obama's wearing such a nice coat. Except none of the children are actors.

(c) Parents should be prevented from making the choice to infect a child with homosexuality, but once a person reaches the age of majority, s/he should be able to decide whether or not to be infected and become homosexual.

Easy "right answer," right? Except, how many men are going to hit 18, then decide that, instead of the cute girls on the cheerleading squad, they'd like to pay for a series of injections, which will make them become disinterested in said cheerleaders, and interested instead in going down on other men? Given modern America, it seems at first blush like a lot of people would choose that option, but really--if everyone was completely, totally, 100% straight (which, in the hypothetical, they are), then they'd approach the decision of becoming interested in [insert suitably appropriate, gross metaphor here, as to the opposite of your own preferences] with about as much enthusiasm as you would unpaid sex with John Kerry.

You might get a few nihilists or extremely depressed people choosing it, but if you'd grown up as a sexual straight, developed your own fantasies and desires over the years, the thought of being suddenly "made gay" by a shot, and completely becoming a different person, is almost never going to be chosen. Homosexuality would effectively end, just as in (a), until the (c) orientation-change labs shut down for lack of interest.

And, for the superficially confident homosexuals out there, are you comfortable with that? Can the thought be borne that, just as you wouldn't accept an injection to "become straight," a bunch of future straight generations would never accept injections to be changed into different people and "become gay"? (Or, that 0.4% of people would choose gay, and because they'd be very troubled beforehand, "gay" would become, in the future, a guaranteed definition of non-well-adjusted, just like it has been in the past?) Same issues as (a), and same resulting prompts about your own self-identification, if it requires some kind of social perpetuation to maintain.

Lots of really cool, weird possibilities inside that answer, though. Like, what if you and your business partner realized the business was doing really well, and wanted to be able to trust each other, so you went to the doctor to get injections to find each other irresistibly attractive? And then you got married, and for the rest of your life, you thought you were having the greatest sex ever with the hottest partner ever, but if you could ever "go back," you would have to immediately kill yourself out of shame? Imagine what happens if you gradually went off your meds...

Also, imagine what the Super-Duper Evangelicals could do, if they ever got their hands on the same technology. Forget India's arranged marriages--the right kind of drugs could make sure that every child born in an approved facility gets a genetic profile matching them to their future spouse, whom they will find (mutually) irresistible. Gayness solved! (Or straightness solved, depending on your dystopia.) In a thousand years, we could all look like Al Franken (with either long or short hair, depending on the sex the parents chose), yet find ourselves incredibly hot. We could become so committed to our looks that to alter them would be a crime. And everyone would have a sexy partner. And no one could complain about models anymore, because they'd all look like Al Franken.

There's a cool sci-fi series based around the premise of genetically arranged marriages, actually, but I've already written it, so don't even think of stealing my idea.

(d) The pathogen should be distributed to everyone, so that everyone becomes equally homosexual (or bisexual).

A touch of mandatory enforcement. Easy "no" answer, right? Of course, advocates of homosexuality itself would say, "but (a) is just the same, only for straightness!" Yes, but in this example, the pathogen is responsible for gayness. Therefore, pathogen goes, because pathogens must be bad.

Does that really change things? What if you believe that (A) God, or (B) super-cool randomized evolution, was the one who created the pathogen? Is it (A) part of God's plan that we turn gay, or (B) part of science's non-plan that we turn gay to better survive?

If you'd choose (a) not based on a generalized disapproval of homosexuality, but on an understanding of pathogens as bad, do you also eliminate straightness in the variation? If you don't want to eliminate the straightness trend, what does that say about your (a) answer?

Another wrinkle: if you're a Christian who adheres to upholding the Torah while accepting the ancient rabbis' murderous propositions for male on male, or someone who otherwise-devoutly believes homosexuality is evil, who should carry out the elimination of the "gay disease"? Government bureaucrats using tax dollars? Private citizens either eliminating or hoarding the pathogen based on their own wishes? Should wars be started to eliminate the pathogen from countries which refuse to remove it from their own ecosystems?

(e) The pathogen should be studied further, then mutated into different varieties, so that, upon reaching the age of majority, people can choose whether to remain heterosexual, or to become homosexual, bisexual, ambisexual, pansexual, attracted to desired species of animals, or attracted to inanimate objects or situations of their choosing;

(f) The pathogen should be left alone, meaning that many people will be infected when they didn't choose to be, and that others will not be infected if they would have chosen to be.


(e) is a trick right answer; the mutation stuff, just like the "choose to be gay" situation in (c), is a throwaway. The pathogen should be studied further, and until then, otherwise left alone.

A concession to gayness? Hardly. Either extreme of a deranged moral stance misses the interconnected nature of the ecosystem. Does the pathogen, or does homosexuality itself, effect a kind of natural balance vital to humanity's survival? It's a bit cheap to ask that question of the pathogen, within the context of these thought experiments, but homosexuality is the real variable of interest, here. The pathogen is just its pawn. Around here, we generally understand something about what homosexuality looks like, just as we know the same about heterosexuality, but we understand little-to-nothing about what they actually are. Determining that homosexuality is "linked to genes" is as worthless to Earthlings as their current plays at spaceflight, because under a rubric of randomized capitalistic evolution, this solar system hasn't even begun to understand what genes are doing; it's like translating a written language as a project of representative visual art without realizing that all the pretty shapes are a language.

Going Further with Pathogens

I. Does homosexuality increase as population density increases out of proportion to sustainable growth, reducing birthrates in a healthy way, without requiring conscious eugenics? (Cheat sheet: yes. Ships, prisons, Greek city-states, Louis and Philippe. But treat this parenthetical as a typo if you prefer.)

II. Does homosexuality increase as social sanction for life-pairing heterosexual mating relationships decreases, filling antaphological voids in unwillingly isolated individuals, and providing thereby a temporarily corrective aggregate influence on the reproductive process?

III. Does homosexuality increase in proportion to parentless-ness, providing child-unburdened adults for parent-unburdened children?

If any of this were true, then new contemplations would arise:

Firstly, does being a homosexual under such a model mean being a mere tool of nature? If so, yes--but so does being straight. There's no offense to be taken. Ride the lightwaves.

Secondly, would eliminating homosexuality when it naturally occurs be a precursor to a system crash? Not necessarily, but it could/would certainly be a component of one. Triclosan and MRSA come to mind, as there's a tendency in the ignorant to see a problem and think, "The problem is the problem." That's how both modern medicine and white supremacists work: there are no causes, only problems, ergo destroying any given symptom is considered curative. Our only mistakes (if any), they say, are not taking swifter action to redress symptoms, and to hell with the causes. E.g., if homosexuality is a gross problem, but it was brought on by a bunch of idiot straight people who couldn't maintain a healthy ecosystem, will eliminating homosexuality improve anything? More likely (in such a hypothetical situation, which would dovetail with the rise of the Athenian Empire, the proliferation of boy-rape, and the cult of Western Civilization), the anti-homosexuality crusaders are, ironically, the equivalent of AIDS for Earth (or not so ironically, if you've read Dark Alliance and connected the dots to other elite-targeted communities of the era, such as, say, Africa).

Treating symptoms instead of causes is merely palliative; it is something done in preparation for death. Ergo its attraction to antilife.

Such a point of view--offensive in hundreds of ways--seems to lead to the idea that homosexuality is a disease resulting from infection, but in such a hypothetical situation, nothing could be farther from the case. Homosexuality, under such a thoughtform model, would be akin to an antibody; a manifestation of a healthy ecosystem compensating for the predictable results of a bunch of creditor-priests, just like heterosexuality is a different kind of healthy manifestation. So don't be offended at being a cell in a body, or a symptom of something; we all are.

There are easily-imaginable ecosystem consequences for homosexuality, but there are many others that aren't so easily imaginable, which is why somehow "eliminating" it would be like making everyone drink triclosan for breakfast each morning. E.g., bad. People will people, including feeling inexplicable inclinations to do stuff like reproduce or not reproduce, and trying to drug ourselves to dampen immune response (which remains, non-coincidentally, medicine's preferred response to many of those wackily random post-industrial diseases that just popped out of nowhere), centralizing reliance on singular health networks, will prove just as unpleasant for the planet as immunotherapy (e.g. immuno-killing) for the human.

Continued in Part 3.

When we fear losing

We like to fantasize about having nothing to lose, because in such a situation, we can finally show "the real me!" unrestrained by burdensome social expectations. If only zombies would cause the collapse of civilization; if only carbon emissions; if only a fatal war with the Sino-Russian Alliance; then, then we could be completely true to ourselves, no doubt. What if we had terminal cancer and were past the "sad" stage and onto the "preparation" stage, or what if we went to hell, or got locked up in prison for life? Finally, released from all the burdens. Finally, we could be honest with ourselves about how ruggedly survivalistic we truly are. No more holding back when the manager at Sports Authority tells us those branded trainers were mislabeled, and the price is actually more than $4.95! Finally, being constrained at the grocery store only by the number of laden carts we can push at once, and whom we can knock down in the produce section before they see us. We too could be as powerful and independent as our imaginary homo erectus forebears, solving once and for all the riddle, "How did such as weak and dependent as I make it this far with such a rickety set of genes?"

We know we could do it. All the bottled water will surely be ours! Finally, we have to let all our lusty lust and our forlorn gluttony out of the bag, because it's necessary to impregnate the few remaining human females (for the survival of the species, and not because we know Lot was a naughty fantasy rather than good advice), and to get all the preserved calories we can shove into our maws (because it's the sensible thing to stock up, and not because feeling duty-bound to eat a bag of Snickers is what we always wanted). Thank God the government has stopped pretending it cared, so that now, now, at last, we can do what we really want, and defy them without any fear of losing their false approval. The world can become GTA, free of constraint, where everyone else is an NPC that gives you points if you click extra hard.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Horror of the Internet. Also Books.

Anonymous writes:
On the whole, I would say the Internet has not improved the quality of my life at all. The benefits are surely outweighed by the costs. So I don't have internet at home now (and also no cell phone). It is useful for my work, but it can be done without it.

The convenience simply isn't worth it. There are very, very, very few things that can't wait a week or two (e.g. for a letter or paperwork to be sorted through the mail, going to a store). the cost on the other hand - massive waste of time/life, opening the most private areas of your life for all public and private institutions who have anything BUT your best interest in mind, the deterioration in memory, attention, language, and others skills, etc. Increasingly not a fan.
True in so many ways, but the same argument could be made for books, supermarkets, roads, and cities (in fact, it has been). It sounds ridiculous, but that's because the difference is less apparent to us. If you've ever heard a really good storyteller in person, you understand the difference between that and a book, just like the difference between a book and a Kindle, or a book and the internet. The experience of an immersive, in-person story delivered to a small group by a talented speaker is incredible; profound, even. So imagine the horror faced by the great orators when a generation of young, narcissistic wackos begins isolating themselves by going into quiet rooms to stare into bound woody slivers of mass-produced, standardized typesetting (an affront to talented scribes as well, but the orators are even more indignant). It's not a joke, but a real horror, and hundreds of years after the printing press, all of the orators' predictions about an isolated, impersonal society would seem to have been borne out.

Most of what was printed was dross--the literary Quentin Tarantino, piles of Shakespeare, and pamphlets of dirty limericks or aristocratic gossip so cheaply made that it fell apart before it could be truly absorbed into recorded history. And books continue to do that, turning the schoolroom into a place of depersonalized memorization, where many of the teachers are no longer able to lecture effectively, because they rely on the externally-stored knowledge of the printed paper (the slower predecessor to Wikipedia).

Rather than regressing entirely into meiosis, this one thinks we can make use of each variety of connectivity, provided we're able to protect ourselves from each type of dissonance. Remember, for example, when it was so cool that someone was getting a telegraph that all business in the town had to stop, and everyone had to run down to the office to see the little thing tappity-tappitying? All those wires for something like, "ON MY WAY HOME ELVIRA ALL MY LOVE THIS YEAR MORTY." Was it really that necessary? (Some) people used to assume the best about their loved ones in spirit, and wait for the physical reunion to get re-acquainted, without needing to send a constant stream of serfs back and forth across the Atlantic to find out that Molly had gotten over her ringworm, and when are you coming back?

Maybe it's worth it the first few times to drop your broom and go watch the telegraph come in, provided that when you get back home you you can still remember to beat the horse and brush the rugs. Might've got those two reversed, but the point is, there's probably a "balance" that can be handled there so long as we're not required to use the technology in a certain way.

That's the real problem--the requirement aspect. The Post Office is a great idea, for example, but now you have to opt in. What was once a great way to stay connected has been perverted into one of the tax farm's primary systems of control. Your address becomes a permanent part of your government file, all people without addresses are suspect, the commons is dead, and for us to socialize, we have to pay bar or restaurant owners for the privilege (or movie theaters or malls or whatever else you like). Right now the internet is a quirky tool, but how long until your USG.net profile has become required? You file your taxes, update vaccination records, find out if any warrants have been issued for your arrest...what, you mean you're not wearing your iWatch with your secure USG.net ID on display? Then it's off to the slammer.

That's why some of the neoconservative idiots are finding it hard to destroy the Post Office. They think they're trying to crush the peons by privatizing mail service for a profit, but actually, the Post Office is needed to maintain the asset location infrastructure lists upon which the police and I.R.S. rely. Courts use the postal network to enforce service of process on individuals and businesses, and Citizen Farm administration costs would shoot way up if citizens could go a little bit off the radar by simply opting out of FedEx, Official Supplier of Postal Services to the United States of America.

The craftier neoliberals are pretending that they care about old-timey communal mail delivery done in the public interest, using that as a cover to buy time for the Post Office until some form of internet control can more effectively track taxable assets. As always, business is trying to destroy things for selfish reasons, while political liberals are lying in order to protect business from making a mistake that would cost them money. If it weren't for American liberals protecting them so often, American conservatives would've expired a long time ago.

The Post Office issue is similar to the Affordable Care Act, where Americans take a good idea (generalized emergency fund for medical issues), sell off too much control to corrupt middlemen, and then the system becomes about benefiting the middlemen, rather than about the result produced. A "National Post" of some kind is a great idea, and it makes money while disproportionately benefiting the citizenry; sell it off to the middlemen, though, and it becomes what it is now--a pitiful joke of spam catalogs subsidized by taxpayers, disproportionately benefiting the businesses that send you new ads every week (printed on trees cut from public land that you exempted from taxation in order to give free to Kellogg when he needed a higher profit margin per box of Cheerios), combined with a draconian location registry of everyone, determining where they are subject to service of process from a County's Superior Court. Impossible to achieve in a land of freeholders, but perfect for the post-Revolutionary tax aristocracy.

But still, until the big publishers come in and seize full control, this "internet" tool can be a useful thing. Books didn't kill all of us--for some of us, they became a way to communicate across the generations; a way to develop more meaningful and in-person personal relationships based on having shared the time- and space-transcending experience available via book, but not storyteller. The internets and brainwebs and social memory complexes will do the same thing, too. They'll be perverted by the sick few and the ignorant masses, but will still remain mere tools, usable for positive ends if we so choose.

S'all just different ways of digging a talk-hole through the wall to the cell next door.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hypothetical Homosexuals

(Updated--no, none of this post is true. They really are just thought experiments.)

Some thought experiments:

(1) In 2027, using powerful new microscopes, scientists identify a pathogen which is proven conclusively to be the cause of homosexual inclinations. The pathogen is non-communicable between humans, and infects hosts only through random atmospheric transmission unrelated to coughing, sneezing, fluid transfer, skin contact, proximity, et cetera. It is shown in trials to affect developing nervous systems, alter brain chemistry and personality, and result in various stages of attraction to the same sex. Biological research and carbon dating shows that it originated around 15,000 years ago, and has been spreading ever since. The initial discoveries were made by teams headed by atheist homosexual men and women, and corroborated by dozens of universities and private labs around the world. Further research shows that, once infected, a victim of the pathogen cannot be cured, because the initial exposure causes irreversible neurological effects. However, it is cheap to eliminate the pathogen entirely from the biosphere, preventing the infection of anyone else not already infected.

Is your moral stance:

(a) Now that we know it's caused by a pathogen, the pathogen must be entirely eliminated, so that it doesn't affect anyone anymore;

(b) The pathogen should be eliminated from an uncontrolled spread, but it should be carefully stored, so that parents can choose if they want to infect their child and raise her/him to be homosexual or bisexual;

(c) Parents should be prevented from making the choice to infect a child with homosexuality, but once a person reaches the age of majority, s/he should be able to decide whether or not to be infected and become homosexual;

(d) The pathogen should be distributed to everyone, so that everyone becomes equally homosexual (or bisexual);

(e) The pathogen should be studied further, then mutated into different varieties, so that, upon reaching the age of majority, people can choose whether to remain heterosexual, or to become homosexual, bisexual, ambisexual, pansexual, attracted to desired species of animals, or attracted to inanimate objects or situations of their choosing;

(f) The pathogen should be left alone, meaning that many people will be infected when they didn't choose to be, and that others will not be infected if they would have chosen to be.

Which one? Remember--the pathogen is non-communicable, so if it's controlled and stored for parental/personal use, there is no danger of accidentally infecting someone else. Even if the labs studying and storing the pathogen all blow away in tornadoes, they all have fail-safe mechanisms so completely perfect that there is zero danger of unwanted contamination. Assume a 100% secure storage system, and that only parents or adults who choose will be infected. Also assume that, if the pathogen is left alone, people won't know how to identify if they have it, and will be unable to emotionally develop with the knowledge that they are or aren't more or less likely to be a certain way, and many who do develop, and have the pathogen, will be bitter and miserable for the rest of their lives, wondering why they could choose to not get polio, but not choose to have their development remain unaffected by a different pathogen. "Don't we have control over our own bodies and sexual identities?" they ask those who choose (f). "How could you make that choice for us?"

(2A) In 2027, the skies turn red worldwide. Every single person on Earth slows their cars, lands their planes, anchors their boats, gets off their bicycles, and falls into a gentle sleep. In their sleep, everyone has the same vivid dream, and is at once aware that all other humans are simultaneously having the same dream. They all feel as though they are floating in a diaphanous mass in the street outside U.N. headquarters in New York.

A single light shines on the U.N. building, and a giant foot steps from the heavens onto the street out front. The foot and leg reduce in size, shrinking further and further, until a wise old man is standing there--a man as tall as the U.N. building. He is handsome, wearing a simple golden crown, has a long, full, white beard, and wears a plain toga and a pair of sandals. When he gestures, the Earth trembles, though no buildings fall.

"I am He Who Is," He says, in a voice that all humans hear in their native language, "and I have come to make some things clear."

He crosses his arms.

"Firstly, thou shalt not wear polyester. Other blended fabrics are acceptable, but all polyester must be burned immediately when you wake. Secondly, I am sick and tired of Islam. When you awaken, all who called themselves Muslims will be gone. I will also turn Mecca into a church with flying buttresses and stained glass windows. The windows will portray pictures of lambs, winged babies, and other thinks which I shalt find likable, and which you shalt find likable unto me. Moreover, your program of space exploration irritates me. It is not meant to be. All of your space-tools will disappear, and you will not make them again. Also, read the Bible more. I prefer the King James Version, which describes how I created existence. In fact, I hate all the other versions."

He shifts his feet and adjusts his toga.

"Lastly, it is really gross when men put their phalluses into other men's anuses. You will all stop doing that now, or when you die, I will torture those men forever. Everyone else will have a party with me where we sing holy songs about how wonderful I am, and are constantly in ecstasy. But anyone who does that gross penis-butt thing I mentioned, for any reason, will spend eternity being eaten by ants, and other creative things like getting stretched on the rack and whipped and boiled in lava, by this one friend of mine who really gets into that sort of thing. And it will never end for them. Don't ask why, and no, it's not about bacterial infections or promiscuity, so even if you do it with only a single partner ever, after an antibacterial enema and using six condoms every time, you will suffer.

"As for the rest of you, that particular thing is so gross, and gets me so mad, that I want you to kill anyone who does it. I said their blood shall be upon them, and I mean it. Kill them or I will assume you are condoning their behavior which is against me, and will send you to eternal torture along with them, but if you kill them, I will be very pleased with you. I am not even remotely joking. He Who Is sees all and knows all. And I forget nothing. I will cure Ebola and the common cold now to make things abundantly clear to you endlessly questioning children of mine. Now, awaken."

And everyone wakes up, amazed to find that everyone else has had the same dream. Over the next few days, people watch television constantly, discovering that Mecca has indeed been turned into a mid-18th century cathedral. All Muslims on the planet have vanished without a trace. The common cold and Ebola are eliminated, and not a single case is ever reported again, except by Richard Dawkins, who later confesses to faking the sniffles in an attempt to discredit his arch-nemesis. Billions of people insist that there was once a book called "The Qur'an," but no copies remain, either in paper form, on kindle, or on any computer database anywhere. All space exploration vehicles have vanished along with the Muslims and the Korans, and even though all the Americans remember that NASA existed, all its buildings and technology are gone. Remaining behind are billions of pictures of space shuttles and space stations, Hubble Telescope images, Mars Rover images, on websites and in textbooks, but all cellular satellites are gone, and all rocket scientists claim that they "can't remember" how to build anything or do the math.

Years of painstaking research reveal that all of the bearded old man's predictions have come true. It is beyond a doubt that this immensely powerful being is God. Richard Dawkins commits public suicide the day before all churches merge into the King James Church of Christ.

Do you:

(a) Live on as before;

(b) Live on as before, but go kosher;

(c) Live on as before, don't go kosher at first, but read the KJV Bible really, really carefully to try to figure out whether kosher still applies or not.

(2B Twist) After God's appearance outside the U.N., the world has changed a lot (becoming kind of like someone's take on The Handmaid's Tale who hasn't actually read the whole book). God has revisited the planet a few times to show people how He makes inter-dimensional portals that transport the souls of the dead either to Heaven, or to Hell. Thousands of reliable, respected people have come back from Heaven to talk about how blissful it is, and how they now understand exactly why Muslims and gays are evil. Thousands of other formerly-reliable, formerly-respected people, including Richard Dawkins, have been given brief parole from Hell to talk about how incredibly terrible it is, and how they now understand exactly why what they did was wrong. God laughs mightily at them before parading them back to Hell.

God brings Satan to the U.N. a couple times for a show-and-tell, allowing Satan to demonstrate the power of his trillion-demon army of sadistic, un-killable executioners. God also appears in the form of Jesus to give an address on how He doesn't require the celebration of Christmas, but how it can be a pleasant reminder of kinship. Then He says that He will be leaving for another few thousand years, and hopes that we don't forget His rules by the next time He comes back.

The world's governments develop patrol squads to respond to allegations of underground homosexual behavior, and criminalize the act of failing to eliminate known homosexuals from society. Giant holograms of Leviticus 20 and Romans 1 play ceaselessly in cities across the world.

One day, you are going to visit a friend's apartment to return his handgun from the repair shop, when you pass by an open doorway. You glance down to see that the lock has broken, and glimpse, through the crack to the open bedroom door, two men in flagrante delicto, having anal intercourse. They hear the creak of the door from the air vent, see you standing out there with the gun, and gasp in terror.

"Wait!" begs one.

"We're in love!" says the other.

You:

(a) Go in and shoot them yourself;

(b) Avert your eyes, walk away, and call the Sin Response Squad's emergency number;

(c) Avert your eyes, walk away, and never mention it to anybody for the rest of your mortal life on Earth.

(2C Twist) Same scenario as 2B, but if you chose to walk away, the neighbor across the hall opens his door, sees you walking past, sees the crime in the other room, and grabs his phone to call the S.R.S.

Do you:

(a) Shout, "Thank God you have a phone! I was just running to my friend's place to call that one in!"

(b) Hurry back into the gay men's apartment to shoot them, thereby exonerating yourself before God as well as society;

(c) Fake chest pains and/or lamely pretend that you "didn't notice what was going on in there" when the S.R.S. shows up to question the building's inhabitants;

(d) Something else?

It's easy to say you'd choose "shoot," but do you really have it in you? It's also easy to say you'd choose (d), wrestle away the neighbor's phone, help the two guys escape, and start a revolution that ends with a bunch of your fellow revolutionaries betraying the rest of you to your death, but when you contemplate the reality of a million years of being skinned alive, followed by another million, followed by another, do you really have it in you?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

USG.Net

There's a bright side to the clumsy American monopoly over its comparatively crappy and expensive internet infrastructure. Will enough barriers to access lead to people expecting and valuing face-to-face relationships? No, nix that...they'll continue subjecting themselves to bar and nightclub tariffs.

Down another avenue, though, this could actually create a positive. If pricing eventually deprives the superslums of their internet cultural context, it would be like charging too much for bread and circuses. The state of disconnect could create a culture divide that even the proles could understand, and make the tax-farm/mega-prison evident.

That's why the NFL always made me feel warm and fuzzy inside--if it takes that much time to dissect football statistics over beer, overlords are forced to mandate at least a certain "NFL attention minimum" of generalized leisure time among the laboring population. And that leaves wiggle room.

Of course, they're much too smart to create the superslum revolt. Net favoritism won't result in no internet; it'll just result in basic site access. There'll be some free (and reliable!) news, free (and reliable!) anti-military websites run by grassroots foundations, free (and reliable!) anarchic discontent discussion boards, and free (and reliable!) cooking sites. The internet won't die, and bread and circuses will continue. Instead, the internet will become an intranet--the U.S. Government intranet--where all the websites are like suburban mini-malls. Same stores, same ads, same cultural programming, completely free to walk around, occasional concerts by local bands, and no leafleting permitted.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Problem With Adults

(Another post © and courtesy the F.I.S. Project.)

Math exists, and learning math is hard. If adults know how to do math, and if adults are good, they will do the math for me. I am struggling to do math. Therefore, all adults are evil, or no adults know how to do math.

The Problem With Angry Aliens

In the vein of nothing being new under the sun, the archetypal "problem of evil" has reared its head with such icons of postmodern Earth's brilliance as the great academics discussing the potential implications of as-yet alien non-intervention on Earth. Here's Hawking's theory:
The aliens in Hawking's vision would be much like the malefic beasties in the blockbuster science-fiction flick Independence Day. He describes, "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."

He says that humans should try to avoid alien contact as we colonize space. He states that such contact would be "a little too risky". What would result? He states, "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans."
...which would of course be the conclusion of an esteemed 21st century narcissist from the island of inbred evil, projecting his own lusty desires onto all potential consciousness. Those kind of "contributions" to humanity are, like the Torah, the fantasies of inbred tribal leaders onto the firmament, where beings of indescribable power and timeless essence are assumed to be just as petty and deranged as their subjects, with exactly the same type of earthily-patrilineal death-avoidance fantasies and chattel management strategies as the people they presumably inspired. Hawking, the twisted Moses for a new age, looks into the stars and sees constellations shaped just like his filthy mercantilist forebears; a field of crippling blackness where oversized lightspeed toddlers haven't yet learned to use their ray guns for anything other than boom-boom.

It's as fundamental an answer to the question of "Why" as the pus from any other lingering Jenomic infection, polluting thoughtspace with dark terrors and unexplained warnings. And here we are, decades after our abbreviated primeval spaceflight, equipped with telescopes and terrestrial rovers, listening to yet another creditor-priest explain to great acclaim about how logic peaks at tribal resource wars and necessary genocide. (If anything's like "the Borg," it's economics, which has consumed biology and hybridized make-believe disciplines like "business" and "theoretical physics.") Being yet another arm of the military-entertainment nightmare, Hawking sums it up with a reference to one of his friend's alien-invasion movies, Independence Day (which was less about aliens than it was about how good cigars and nukes are, anyway).

The Problem With Bad Aliens

It has long been popular to conclude that there are no aliens, as part of the retro-modern scientific process of recycling old problems such as exceptionalism and flat-earth, and projecting them onto a larger playing field. Recently, scientism's high cardinals have been making like Hawking, and conceding to the numbers (as their evolutionary counterparts will eventually do) that there may be space (sic) among all those trillions for something at least almost as special as our bacteria. We'll focus, here, not on the specific symptoms of the 21st century (such as Dr. Hawking's), but on the general way that humans have approached the idea of aliens.

Theories about alien contact serve humanity as a memetic crutch on par with theories about the supernatural, the former coming now more sharply into play as dwindling levels of emotional intelligence make people more impressed by their current technology. The ancients were intelligent enough to invent bows, but not stupid enough to declare the end of history, despite the truly world-changing nature of the bow and arrow. We stand next to them in shameful juxtaposition, intelligent enough to invent solar cars, but stupid enough to be enthralled with ourselves for it. In the long view, our period is marked by staggering arrogance; we're convinced that our pyramids and our gods are the end of the story, confident that now, by virtue of whichever technogoodie you like, we know everything else there is to know, even if we haven't quite developed the chips or pills to complete the remaining 0.0001% of the epilogue.

When we consider the issue of aliens, then, we approach them as reflections of ourselves: they play a role like patients on House (vomit), popping up at their first meeting with an unbelievably precise understanding of the current social dynamic between the main characters, a helpful-therapist Echo of our emotional struggles (Contact), or an unhelpful reflection of what we know we'd really do to others, if we could (War of the Worlds).

The Problem With Good Aliens

The problem we have with good aliens is the same that we have with gods: if they exist, why haven't they already done our math homework for us? When we're lazy, greedy, and emotionally stunted, we act like Stephen Hawking, and conjure up Old Testament Aliens who can think of nothing better to do with eternity than rape and pillage their way across a series of planets. That assertion is an adult's version of a childish pout; a tantrum thrown to assure Mother that, because she hasn't done your homework, she is an asshole who hates you. This post's initial formulation about math, you may recognize, is the traditional Problem of Evil, e.g., "if an omniscient and omnibenevolent God exists, evil cannot exist."

The Problem of Evil, and the entitled thinker's take on it (that it is indeed a problem), forms the understructure of thousands of years of bad development. Overlords are evil, about which we can do nothing, but for those of us who aren't interested in manifesting evil ourselves, our own answer to the existential question--why do I suffer?--forms a large part of our personal unhappiness and failure to develop. Much like a frustrated child staring at long division problems and hating our parents, we turn in our darkest moments to condemnations of existence, which can't possibly be worth the hell that we're put through to obtain those few moments of happiness (which are themselves tainted by awareness of the general despair and/or awareness of tenuous future happiness/potential for happiness).

So we look to the stars, and clearly, since no advanced civilization has shown up to end genocide, none such exists, anymore than God. There is no omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent deity, due to evil, nor is there a more-knowing, more-powerful, more-good alien force that cares about us, also due to evil.

Learning Long Division

It's insulting to compare this issue to mathematics, because as a human adult, there's nothing more one can possibly learn, particularly if one is cosmopolitan in worldview, educated in earthly universities, or wealthy in earthly goods--right? We think we're so great because we've hit 18 or 45 or whatever, that we're righteously indignant when someone suggests there's more to learn. You already know where this is going--the math example means that this one is about to say that enduring evil is good for us--so bring out the indignation, if that's your game.

The traditional Christian response to the Problem of Evil is "Free Will," which is, unfortunately, bullshit. Not complete bullshit--it's part of the answer--but on its own, it does nothing to solve the apparent "problem." An all-knowing God would be aware that, seven thousand years after he created humanity, a 56-year-old fat white guy would lurk outside a playground, kidnap some kid, commit a brutal rape, and bury the body alive. And the guy might next feel guilty, commit suicide, and go to Hell, but it would've been completely unfair for God to permit/create that chain of events. He could've given the bad guy a heart attack, adjusted chaos theory so that a pizza delivery guy had happened to be near the park at the time due to a wrong address (spooking the perve kidnapper into going home and giving up), introduced a helpful mediator into the perve's life at a young age (causing the same guy to develop differently and never become 100% pervy), or done an infinite number of other variations on "the world" that didn't include that particular rape-murder, which accomplished nothing other than prove that the perve deserved Hell, which God already knew anyway, and which took incredible suffering as well as the life of the victim in order to play out a drama that God already understood.

So too aliens. Any advanced civilization watching Obama cackle around the world starving people and blowing up babies couldn't exonerate itself on some "Prime Directive," because there's a clear difference between (1) saying you're a missionary in 1610 and enslaving the Dominicans in the sugar fields, and (2) teleporting some Palestinian children on board the flying saucer in 2010 to be saved from Nazi 2.0. It would take someone as stupid as Gene Roddenberry or George Takei to compare the two, but then, Americans have always had their own Prime Directive: don't impose your values on Lockheed Martin or the Corrections Corporation of America, but intervene for buttsecks and beryllium spheres whenever necessary.

Either aliens or gods must be distant (not interconnected), evil (implanted with our own qualities), or nonexistent (implanted with our own fears), when we occupy the perspective of whiny kids who would prefer watching TV to learning long division. Why is it so haaaard?

Ergo Evil

Why, then, evil? Free will, yes, since we cause our own evil, but presuming some power to intervene--whether divine or extra-terrestrial--remains one of our deepest questions, and we continually cite the lack of intervention as proof that, while we may suck, nothing else can possibly suck less, or it would save us. If Mommy could do the homework for us, why doesn't she?

That's not just a whiny question, though. Really, why can't Mommy do the math homework? We never have to learn math if Mommy keeps feeding and housing and clothing us forever, and yes, Mommy wants to have her own life, but when contemplating the rationalized non-intervention of immensely powerful aliens or deities, they don't have the same out that Mommy does, ergo the metaphor breaks down--it no longer makes sense that God can't simply create a perpetual Eden and let us all have a great time. Math could indeed be irrelevant if Mommy were an immortal billionaire.

The resolution is found in the process of teach/learning, which is the only way to develop progressive consciousnesses. Some things do get overdone here, but it takes at least one experience of deep thirst to truly appreciate a drink in all its colors, and before that, it takes a lot of cognition practice before only one experience of thirst is enough to make all future drinks appreciable without being simultaneously dying in the desert. Plenty of people need to repeat and do-over, too, because of the way they find it right to develop.

Developmental Staging

Hypothetically, a pseudoscientist far away once told this one that developmental staging was a necessary part of expanding the verse, e.g., creating a continual stream of outward-flowing reality fields so that we'd never be trapped inside a fixed system with fixed boundaries, which would necessarily cause everything to be predetermined. Once boundaries are imposed upon reality, molecular ping takes over, meaning that chemical laws can never be violated, and free choice becomes impossible. So, the universe has to always grow, or it dies. He was later proven incorrect, but developmental staging remained infallible (and thank goodness, growth continues even if not necessary in that sense). Some systems condense the first two stages of his home's method into one, so that humans end up being "third" rather than "fourth," though the same information always passes through. But anyway, I know I'm crazy, so for fictional and illustrative purposes only, take a look, and situate yourself:

Stage One: Existence. The establishment of fields which turn nonexistence into existence. In place of true nothing ("Void") becomes vacuum; empty space; an apparent "nothingness" that can, eventually, be perceived as nothingness. Fields establish stuff like light laws and physical laws. The lesson meant to be learned here is that the nature of Void is to yearn; to awake; to create. The raw concept of endless possibility is supposed to be taken away, in the form of the most proto of proto-consciousnesses. As in all developmental stages, we're looking backward to master what was.

Stage Two: Stuff. True light alters fields, producing appropriate particles; stars, planets, et cetera. Massive, incredibly slow consciousness and movement develops, in thrall to the constant pressure to yield to and channel true light. The lesson here is to learn the differentiation of fields; to experience the possession of matter, and grasp again the difference between Void and Light, existence and non, by the comparison of vacuum to star.

Stage Three: Wildebeest. Particles form more complex stuff which begins to develop consciousnesses sufficiently fast to attune directly to the psialtin field, such that the rituals of ritualistic consciousnesses take a direct role in the channeling of light from Void into the realm of physical laws, and transfers thereabout. Amoeba process electromagnetic energies more powerfully, per size, than stars or planets, and are dynamic by comparison; so too goldfish and lizards and wolves. Here, the point is to learn how to be self-aware: to learn to believe that there are infinite patterns in existence, ergo an "individual" is possible. The comparably primitive automated responses of Stage Three minds (say, pursuing a meal, avoiding a predator) begin to coagulate more sophisticated structures getting ready to split off into the psiapin field and thereby acknowledge their own existence.

Like all stages, the dynamism of ritual-consciousness serves many important purposes, but like water spewing out a small hole in a dam while cracks begin to form in the surrounding cement, burgeoning self-awareness promises to tear the dam apart.

Stage Four: Ape. The eternal pressure of true light forms more efficient EM reactors in successful third-stage developers, producing non-ritualistic, self-aware basic consciousness, which understands that it exists, ergo, has accepted the potential of a point of individuality. Now come humans/equivalents, and the manipulation of matter and energy through "choice" differentiates itself substantially from that of ritual ("instinct"). The lesson meant to be learned here is that the earlier-acquired basic consciousness is both independent and not: the difficulty of a fish recognizing itself in a mirror is transcended when a human successfully recognizes itself, but the massive developmental leap incumbent upon the 3-4 transition can result in a high degree of uncertainty for the entity. This is no mistake: an important part of this stage, if not the most important part, is the ability to consciously contemplate seeming mortal death. Awareness of the meaning of "end" is conveyed in a way that can never be understood until you've been strapped into a meat hunk, unsure of how "you" got there, and plausibly faced total extermination.

Living the drama teach-learns the same duality/appreciation as earlier stages, progressively preparing any given point of light for more use. The apparent precious beauty of moments of consciousness, and the keen differentiation between positive and negative sensations, cannot be taught in any other way; without this stage, a point of individuality would lack crucial psiapic connections that barred any future development. (Again, the example of buying a gun versus spending years mastering a martial art, and whether the gun-nut or the monk is more likely to use lethal force when the situation does not so require.) The developing entity, here, is a fragile hybrid between the psialtin and psiapin fields, easily dissociated from physical life through mere large-matter movements.

We see our first glimpse of non-ritualistic loneliness and traces of Void in Stage Four, whereby the process of wrenching ritual-service into aware-service, and the development of cross-field channels, can cause genuinely frightened, honest, seemingly-justifiable solipsism, and a desire for reversion to earlier stages. Here, too, basic choice begins to play its first perceptible role: the fourth stage entity chooses to focus on: (1) stage regression/attempting to destroy or enslave Void; (2) the individual point, or (3) the whole/truelight.

(Stage regression is a failure in its stated mission, but not in the overall process, as throwbacks get their wish, regress, repeat earlier stages, re-learn, and can redo fourth as many times as necessary, whereas both the selfish and altruistic choices have a path forward. Those who focus on the exaltation of the self--the genuinely, fully-aware, non-solipsistic selfish people--know of their eternal connection to the existence of others, and gradually develop their understanding of this integration into a complete worship of their own corner of self-awareness. Those who focus on the exaltation of the verse--the genuinely, fully-aware altruists--are cognizant of their eternal connection to the existence of others, and gradually develop their understanding of this integration into a complete worship of the developmental stages and everything in them.)

Stage Five: Nebula. Reconciling the individual with the whole stabilizes more powerful consciousnesses, which can then become aware not only of the psialtin field (governing large-matter physical laws), but of the psiapin field (governing small-matter physical laws). Light transfers into reality can now be effected, and grow more powerful, without requiring large-scale matter, e.g. what we'd call physical bodies. The now-wholly-psiapic consciousness can then dip into the physical like a hand into a shallow pond, manipulating large matter even more directly than a hybrid entity.

The looming tragedy of death is now usually gone and learned, so here we see our first real glimpse of deliberate stage-planning, including deliberate interference in earlier stages. Humans might try to impress individuality upon animals ("Rocky. SIT, Rocky. SIT. Good boy! You're a good boy, aren't you, Rocky!"), but they do it just for fun, and not usually with a mind to specifically altering lightform development. By contrast, fifth-stage entities understand more of what's going on, so they can alter the psialtin field to the degree of their own light channel, manifesting bodies and toys and "lives," in the furtherance of whatever path they've chosen (self-ish v. all-ish). As proto-self-aware gorillas can enjoy relaxing while eating mangoes more profoundly than can ritually-conscious marmots, Stage Five is for looking back at Stage Four, and discovering (ultimately) that eating all you can eat and fucking all you can fuck in ten-trillion-square-mile space palaces isn't all it's cut out to be.

The lesson for fifth stage entities is that transcendence beyond death can be its own kind of horror. Altruists learn to embrace the Void as the essential cause of true light, rather than seeing Stage One as an "escape" from some kind of evil, while Selfists run out of things to do.

From here, that seems simple enough--done in a sentence--but at Stage Five, the details of the process make it proportionately more troubling than Stage Four death. While you're here in your body, for example, it's fairly easy to talk about stage four (sic, Earthly) cancer, until it's actually your thing, you've been told there will be no more doctor appointments, you realize everyone's just waiting for it to be over so they can stop thinking about it, and you earnestly and privately wish you had more time for _________ (and all while wondering if this is completely and truly it). Similarly, the expanded potential of psiapic manipulations makes it seem like the party really could go on forever, and it's actually more crushing to learn that you have that wrong than to face the death of your very own bipedal meat.

Those who worship themselves find, at Stage Five, that they need that interconnectedness they learned about earlier to seek their true pleasures, and that the paradises they create are illusory and empty, no matter how brilliantly they may design ritual consciousnesses to serve them (at that point, they can't build anything higher than Stage Three, even in groups). Those who worship the verse learn in a deeper way, in Stage Five, that the satisfaction of helping others means leaving earlier stages alone to learn their lessons themselves. At any point Five and "up," it's fair and effective to go back to earlier stages--not as a regression, but as a deliberate service, either to foster selfishness or altruism--but except in very rare circumstances, it's a pointless act to do so without remaking yourself as a that-stage entity, at least for one lifetime. For the Selfish, to go to Stage Four and have superpowers to dominate the less-developed would be about as fun as going back to your old preschool and beating all the little kids at checkers, as they pick their noses and can't read the rules and cry when they forget what color they are. For the Altruists, a similar yet helpful act would be equally wrong/boring, because it would be robbing from the Stage Fours their ability to choose their own path based, not on seeming power, but their own desires inside plausible mortality.

For altruistic Fives (and this one is very sorry for using capitalized numbers as pronouns, but I'm not going to be an ass and say "nebulae," and there's no other more-suitable term here), the choice comes down to their respective philosophy of versal betterment. Because this system is the only way for entities to develop progressing individually-collective stages of lightform transfer, interfering in it would be ruination. It would be unfair, and not nice, not to mention ironically selfish, to steal from someone the ability to learn what you have already had the chance to learn on your own and in your own way. People have imaginations, so any kind of babble can enter the system, and that's okay, but verifiable immortality instantly shatters the entire fourth stage. The selfish would lose fully developed competitors (for the brutal Malebolges where they spend their sixth stage), while the altruistic would rob others of independence, besides forestalling the development of any strong, independent altruism in others.

So if one wants to do it, one does it as a Four--one crafts a hybrid mind, partitions off all higher experience, and becomes a pupil again. There are actually some Four-replaying Fives who try to better develop their sense of selfishness in the face of what seems then, to them, approaching mortality; it's an efficient way to hone their desperate fanaticism for pleasuring themselves, which can't be accomplished if they know it's a ruse without a deadline. Same for altruists, who can use the old re-shock of pending death as a way to be a prisoner reaching out to other prisoners. (Not necessarily faster than any other way, but sometimes, Jenome-infected systems can really use some extra help, because their numbers are way off.)

The Problem of Evil

We return here to the Problem of Evil. Why does Buddha, or God, or aliens, permit evil? It has something to do with Free Will, but not free will in the sense, "Ehh, they do what they want." As discussed above, that would be unsatisfactory bullshit. Free Will is permitted because it's the only way for the process to work. You asked for it; you wanted it; it's the reason for your existence, and will continue to be. You can fit that into almost any belief system, save lazy nihilism. Buddha smiles on people as they develop enlightenment, Christ looks down as people choose between Him and Lucifer, and the alien seeders watch us until we're "prepared" for their intervention, and/or safe to be traveling near their homes.

That's not as far as we go, of course. Even as a hypothetical, the lightspring's flow makes a suitable metaphor for the essential question of human existence. Namely, why does it hurt? Answer: so you'll know what good feels like. Giving someone all the answers to their homework leaves them unable to do the long division themselves, which is why you chose to make yourself do it. Having the answers is good; knowing how to produce the answers when confronted with un-memorized problems is better; knowing how to learn something difficult is even better. Arithmetic leads to algebra leads to trigonometry leads to calculus, as babbling leads to speaking leads to reading. More importantly, the process of learn/teaching itself expands true light channels, developing character in the chosen direction. Forced learning, handed-down learning, just leaves a caveman scratching his head at the smartphone, then trying to use it to sharpen knives.

Check this rickety paraphrase:
If a grand sorceror sat on a high throne and proclaimed goodness and order, he would receive it, but he would receive it from all men, good and bad, based only on his power, and never on their hearts. If he looked inside all their hearts and forced them to bear only good tidings, the tidings would not be their own, for in truth, he would have changed nothing about them, but only made them his minions.
So too Yahweh, or Jesus, or whoever else. The "grand philosophical quandary" of the Problem of Evil is so seemingly logical, yet so truly worthless; such a simple puzzle to which to come up with a hundred detailed, purely imaginative solutions. Maybe God, or gods, or a bunch of advanced alien civilizations are waiting for us to grow up, not because they lack the power to grant wishes, but because we wanted to develop into something better, and it's the right thing to do, rather than because it's interesting to watch billions of years of a repetitive TV mystery where He already knows the answers, or because they're busy prowling the universe in space-cruisers in hopes of cleaning out the resources on a few primitive terrestrial planets. It's so phenomenally easy to make water and gold and slaves, anyway, that for Stephen Hawking to think advanced malevolent aliens would be interested in Earth is about equivalent to Frank LoBiondo staying up at night out of worry that Mena Suvari might break into his home and demand immediate rough sex.