Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Complicated Exchange Systems subsequent to 3D Printing/Energy

In 3D Printing, Jenome, and Our Bright Future, we discussed the ways that humans will use synthetic restrictions on the exercise of power--such as intellectual property regimes--to prevent Terran technology bringing peace and plenty to Terra. We did so by considering a thought experiment, which posed and then answered the question, "If someone lived on a planet where the reorganization of matter was everyday technology, how could the planet's societies be regulated so as to perpetuate want and conflict?"

Drawing upon that hypothetical--the hypothetical of "fooders" being legally prevented from generating their own power, or from producing food without the payment of rents to a parasite/creditor class--we can make some predictions about Earth 2015, which faces a situation where technological development (still going, despite a massive worldwide campaign of organizing marketplaces designed to cripple it) will eventually require parasites to reorganize the details of society in order to perpetuate pain, caste, and credit.

The fooder example noted how widespread food security was cleverly prevented by using fearmongering tactics--specifically, safety issues pertaining to the unlicensed generation of power, which ensured the stability of a finance system bolstering the perpetual rents of a parasite class. In short, the ability to produce endless bounty can be made worthless by making up legal and financial systems that disallow the production of endless bounty. We've seen this on Earth since stories about the planet's "Chosen owners" were made up in order to justify the entitlement of perpetual rents to perpetual owners. The philosophy has proven quite resilient, resulting a few thousand years later in every single atom of the planet being deemed under the imaginary jurisdiction of one or more Rentier collectives, e.g., subject to dark enchantments known as "ownership." Concepts of Chosen ownership have morphed extensively since their exception, embracing first merely the right to control land, mating, and animals, and now extending to the right to determine which pieces of electronic data may be transmitted in which ways across which microscopic subdivisions of space. Ludicrous, yes, but no more ludicrous than the lack of a requirement to pay global per capita dividends to Terran citizens for the extraction of the planet's combustible oozings.

How will these techniques be further developed to control the use of power, in order to prevent people from independently generating power with which they can adjust particles so as to produce ("3D print" or whatever dumbass term they come up with at the time) the stuff they need? Well, let's make a few predictions:

Crisis. Rentiers are always warning about some new horror; some new falling of the sky. Oh no, the darkies have taken the holy lands; oh no, the Normans want your women; oh no, Saddam is planning to kamikaze-nuke the Topeka Public library. So whatever method the Rentiers use to control independent worldwide power generation, it'll be predicated on some kind of crisis. The world is going to end, they'll say, unless we give the Rentiers the power to stop us from generating power.

Management. The Rentiers can always save us from whatever the crisis is--we just need to give them more power, and believe in their legitimacy as they prevent us from doing whatever it is will bring about the end of the world. The Rentiers should advertise a giant crisis of some kind--building it up over decades, or centuries, if necessary--and take a lot of money to study the crisis before discovering how to fix it by restricting our ability to use power.

Sacrifice. Resolving the crisis will involve a lot of sacrifice on our part, as it always must. The Rentiers will sacrifice too--as I like to say, "one fewer BMW in the 12 car garage." Although realistically, they won't even have to cut back on the BMW. What is important about this sacrifice, though, is that it will involve permitting the Rentiers to intrude into our private lives in some way that will prevent us generating our own power freely, with which we might, in theory, 3D print stuff that could make us less dependent on the Rentiers' network of power and/or stuff.

Power specifically. Rentiers manage by, at some point in the crisis resolution, going directly after what they were only playing about to begin with. Like witch trials or patriot acts, eventually the game really gets going. At some point, Rentiers will announce that they know the specifics of how to save us from Crisis, and that these specifics will involve controlling the use of power. Power is always important, but previously, it required large-scale, highly-visible infrastructure to generate and store. That kind of thing could be easily controlled by the nations that Rentiers had already developed to control other things. When power generation becomes smaller and more independent, it will suddenly become absolutely imperative for Rentiers to regulate it in order to Save The World.

At that point, everything will change. The specter of people generating and using power without large-scale, highly-visible infrastructure is as mortally threatening to Rentiers as un-trackable barter economies or independent currencies. Power generation--which would have been previously championed by every aspect of Rentier society--will be increasingly presented as a frightening, dangerous thing, from which we must be protected.

Exchange systems. A complicated exchange system will be necessary to administer the sacrifices everyone will need to make in order to Save The World from Crisis. Rentiers enjoy weighing, measuring, and calculating, because they can't produce anything of value by themselves--they can only dissect, and occasionally modify, what others have created. Independent of that enjoyment, they know that highly elaborate exchange systems are their salvation. By developing an arcane morass of regulations governing how their controls over power can be measured, tabulated, traded, graded, etc., they will build so much uncertainty into the system that they can produce millions of salary-drawing jobs necessary to understand and safeguard the system. They can create enough interpretive confusion and plausible disagreement to allow themselves to not be impaired by the rules that restrict others. This will give them effective control over the markets created by their exchange system.

So, if this theory holds, we should notice the following correlations:

As "3D printing"-type technology, and power generation technology, become more viable and more independent of large-scale industry, governments should become increasingly alarmed about some longstanding crisis. Because the crisis will be make-believe, whatever it is, its history will be littered with dire predictions that never came true. But Rentier governments will disregard this and make up even more dire warnings, insisting that the sky will fall unless they are given power to control licensing standards and power generation.

Controlling only one population is not enough, because people can (still) occasionally move to new places. So governments will need to come together in a global sense in order to ensure that independent power-generators cannot leave their territory, set up shop somewhere else, and produce enough milk and honey to feed the world. Governments will need some kind of gigantic power-specific exchange system--an incredibly complicated one that generates millions of make-work jobs paid for at public expense--which will regulate power generation and power transfer, and which will establish a trend of preventing the free exchange of information, so that people can't just produce their own cars, houses, heaters, food, etc., without paying constant rents to the magical owner/regulators of architectural coding, recipe coding, etc.

And throughout it all, any arguments in favor of "freedom" or whatnot will be met with the Crisis, namely, this is necessary to Save The World from Crisis, therefore you must use Our Brand of Certified Safe Power or you are the enemy of humanity and will be destroyed if you resist.

Monday, June 29, 2015

6 Reasons Not to Live in a Van



By: V. Eyre White.

Today marks my 572nd day living in a van with my partner and our forcibly sterilized child substitute. In January 2013, we left a nameless uber zip code in New England to run our website development company out of our 1987 VW Vanagon. Our life over the past year and a half has consisted of 80 square feet of living space, 30,000+ miles, 32 states, and 1,433 hours of logged website development work. You may ask, why would anyone choose to trade the comfort of a house for the unknown of the open road? Here are what I believe to be the top 6 reasons to live in a van.

1. Affordability

The cost of living in a van is dependent on variables such as having a comfortable house to "trade" for the open road, having wealthy relatives to come back to when you've decided you want to live in a comfortable house again, and sufficient liquid assets and lines of credit to drive across the country without worrying at all about food, clothing, or medical needs. However, living in a van means you first have to buy a van. To prove your poor-cred, it's best to buy an older one.

2. Feasibility

According to lots of really important studies, the number of wealthy people with an established network of deep-pocketed clients who telecommute to "work" has increased 80% since 2005. That number looks even more impressive if you include people who have been taken in by "work from home" and "generate income through click leads" pyramid scheme posters, found stapled to telephone poles in the bad part of town, permitting statisticians to include 3.1 million dirt poor independent contractors--who perform, for $1/hour without employee status or benefits, work like stuffing envelopes, answering telephones, or operating several "chat help" windows at once--in the same group as 0.2 million nice, hip, upper middle class white people who sweetly sell one another marketing ideas at a premium price. This means that the technology of today has made it possible, for 3.3 million people, to work from anywhere, conjuring up images of 3.3 million entrepreneurs with great jobs, long term financial security, and lots of quality of life.

3. Personal growth



Living in a van cultivates new perspectives, such as how to more effectively produce sentences that not only evidence zero cognitive thought, but ones that actually produce a net loss in cognitive ability when read, literally making you dumber as soon as you've been so unfortunate as to see them. For example, "Throughout history, mankind has wondered about the ages." Or, "Doing something makes you think." It takes people who live in a van by choice, rather than by necessity, to appreciate such penultimate banalities for the gems they truly are. While sleeping in the woods and Walmart parking lots, to not sleeping, unexpected breakdowns, and severe weather, knowing that I was being celebrated as a pioneer and could go home at any time and live off my inheritance, I was gifted a greater sense of inner peace. Sadly, the families living in their cars near me did not always seem to appreciate this peace. They probably missed their playstations too much, the shallow bastards.

4. Freedom



Van life affords the freedom of location and time, when you don't have to worry about having a mailing address to get a job or cash checks or not be thrown in jail. Essentially, a van is a big toy apartment on wheels and can be parked almost anywhere. Wherever your heart desires, you can most likely be. Given that van life is relatively inexpensive, we can work even less than we were before, and thus have more time to do activities that we find intrinsically rewarding, unlike those baboonish masses who are always struggling to recover from the stress of potential eviction or imprisonment by staring at the TV. This is freedom, or at least it feels like it. I'm not really sure what could be more free.

5. Inspiration

People and nature inspire us beyond imagination on the road with compassion, ideas, innovation and natural beauty. For some reason, all this inspiration doesn't seem to reach the mindless drones around us, who so often seem to be in a hurry to get to work or get to the store or get home. If they just gave it all up to live in a van, and stopped in every mid-sized town to withdraw enough cash for the next few weeks, they'd learn to see just how beautiful this world really can be.

6. Environmental



Let’s be real, there’s not a lot of living space in a van. 80 square feet to be exact. Between us and our surgically sterilized, rightless-child Penny, we each get 26.7 square feet to claim our own. We consume less, simply because of limited storage space, but we talk about it more, simply because of unlimited opportunities for self exploitation and web access. Purchases such as clothing, accessories, and home furnishings are rare to nonexistent until we give this up and nest in for our 50s and beyond. Less consumption means less wasted resources (sic!) and ultimately less pollution ending up on the land we walk on, ocean that provides for us, and air we breathe. Although van life isn’t perfect (fuel consumption!), it is a step in the right direction. So long as, while we're living in our van, the rest of the world keeps chugging right along to provide us with the massive infrastructure needed to make food and fuel and medical care available wherever we choose to drive, and to keep us online and on the phone as we go, we're just about the greenest motorists you can imagine.

About V. Eyre White.

It gets dark outside at night. Life is a journey. Touching a hot stove will burn your hand. One thing leads to another, ups & downs abound, & defining moments shape the trip. Sentences are made of words, people need air & water to survive, & observations can be made whenever. My journey was defined after college, and after my 3 year marketing career. I told my mom that was long enough to have a career, my uncle made some calls, and I was suddenly getting paid to act in film, commercials and theater. Then I stopped even that "job" and took another long vacation to Central America, where I discovered simplicity, adventure and my desire to live outside of my comfort zone. So here I am... traveling America living and working out of my 1987 VW Vanagon, and sharing my journey with you for clicks and for profit. Learn more about life on the road at Expanded Consciousness.

Friday, June 26, 2015

3D Printing, Jenome, and Our Bright Future

(Another great post © the Full Information Security Project!)

"3D printing" is a terrible name, but it markets well. Putting it that way helps emotionally stunted Scientists take a painfully-slow step toward something approximating innovation, by adapting prior technology they understand--"printing"--rather than forcing them to think independently about matter reorganization applications.

With regards 3D printing, how will things stay the same even as they change? Presume that, in a hundred years, people have the ability to "print" (build/create) a turkey sandwich out of "nothing" (spacetime), or to do the same with a house, a car, a month's supply of antibiotics, et cetera. Doesn't that sound like paradise? Doesn't that sound like Our Problems, Finally Solved®? Finally, independent individuals (sic) can print the things they need to live using remarkably cheap printing technology. And even better--once Terran scientists bypass certain hurdles, 3D "printers" will be able to print other 3D printers, including fully charged ones, meaning that one handheld "printer" (matter reorganizer, whatever it later gets properly called) could print the self-fitting components necessary to construct a printer that could print spaceships. Or, more practically, a stock of one hundred backup printers and one thousand backup batteries, to ensure an endless supply of clean food, water, medicine, cloned body transplants, hourly memory backups, air purifiers, et cetera. Eternal life/salvation in a box, as the case may be. Everything is covered, there are no more zero sum games, no more work, no more pressure, no more resource shortages, and absolutely none of the things that the symptom "economics" typically fosters.

In theory, this would allow someone to go live in a tiny cave (or an open field, whatever), by her/himself, and be actually independent. Everyone's needs would be met, excepting perhaps weird social ones that the more emotionally sturdy of us could, in theory, avoid if we wanted to avoid the pain of having to deal with They Who Must Not Be Named and their minions.

How will things stay the same even as they change, though? Well, let me tell you two stories. The first story is about a place you may have been once, and the second story is about a place I may have been once.

Terra and Jenome

Imagine a place even more wonderful and fantastical than one where everyone had their own 3D printer able to print both its own batteries and other battery-printing-capable 3D printers. Imagine a lush planet covered in abundant resources, whose warm core and magnetic field constantly processed and regenerated massive quantities of energy, with an expected lifetime of at least millions of years. Imagine that self-aware humans came to exist on this planet.

Now, imagine that you're an evil bastard who wants to prevent all these resources from being used. You hate Terra because you hated someone like her once, and you lost. How might you go about stopping this blatant infinity of happy possibilities from being enjoyed? Easy. You come up with two things, both variants on the same theme:

1) Castes.

2) Property.

When Jenome hits a planet, one of the first thing it does is dazzle the locals with verifiable tricks, then uses those tricks to rationalize an "elite," thereby segregating any given chunk of life from itself. The goal is to make life suck; to bolster the argument, "Existence is pain." Isolation is achieved progressively, and the first step is to establish any kind of differentiated group. So there are almost always "Chosen" beings at this stage--instantly sacred, yet carrying a terrible burden along with their furtive, worried pride.

Notions of "property" (above and beyond property being what someone is using at that very moment, or using habitually) come into play at about the same time. The strategy here is to ensure that, like people-level resources, all types of resources are no longer available. Instead, they're artificially restricted, through a make-believe scheme of power differentials that decrees when, where, who, how, and why different sub-groups may or may not exploit the resources of the home that grew them.

The results, as far as Terra goes, are relatively obvious: however many thousands of years of caste and property divisions have rather successfully kept the planet in a state where it's considered rational to have both feasting and famine, empty houses and homeless, and inheritance paying more than innovation or labor. Great Terran philosophers have written extensively, over thousands of years, about how the hyperabundance of available resources is, in fact, a crushing constraint which proves the vile nature of the planet (and sometimes, by default, of existence itself), and requires therefore the brutal domination of a chosen few to better perpetuate the crushing constraint. If it's not something you've lived inside at least once, it seems too absurd to believe, whereas, while inside it, it often seems obviously true.

Fooder Upgrades

Now imagine a different place, where particle adjustment technology is commonplace, and has been commonplace for a while. So long that it's boring; it's taken for granted; it's less stunning than electricity, and no one except boring historians really knows or cares who "invented" any given part of it. Anyway, I'm there, right? And everyone in theory has access to this technology that can make anything ("anything" in the sense of consumer product, food, drugs, air, water, clothing, etc.).

Given these constraints, how do elites keep control of the society that results? Rather easily, actually. It wasn't all that different from here. Notions of intellectual property were used to limit the ways in which a person or group could use technology.

Example: just about everyone had a "fooder," which was a particle adjustment device (a "household" product, you might say now) that was set to make only food. So you would think that no one would ever starve or go hungry. Not so. Each fooder needed power, and it was illegal to have a fooder (or other particle adjustment device) that produced power (e.g., charged batteries, fuel cells, whatever). Why was it illegal? Well, because at various points throughout this planet's history, people were alleged to have used particle adjusters to construct weapons--generally, bomb components. Also, people who had bought low quality design stats, or incorrectly programmed their PAs, or had a corrupted device, could cause an explosion if they tried to produce power.

So the government (which in this case was more of an openly acknowledged union of for-profit firms, without any non-firm concepts of "nationality" or the like) did its public duty by regulating what one could make with one's PA. It was illegal to buy or sell a PA that had the capability of producing power, and it was illegal to modify a PA so that it could produce power (kind of like how you can buy an AR-15 on Terra, but not modify it to work fully-automatic, or you can buy a pistol but not a silencer, etc.).

Unless, of course, you had a license. Certain organizations, sanctioned by the ICL (Intercorporate League), were allowed to produce and/or generate power, therefore everyone had to pay them to access the power necessary to run a fooder. The results were tragically predictable: lots and lots of people starved, even if they were living in an apartment that held, like, four or five working fooders, just because they couldn't pay their power bills. And as a result of this wonderful ICL caution, maybe eighty explosion casualties were (statistically) prevented--and that's even assuming that 100% of the licensing agencies' statistics about unskilled PA-power production were correct.

The fooders themselves were a joke, too. They could produce food, but almost all recipes were licensed. You would buy a fooder, and it would come stock with somewhere around thirty or forty "basic" recipes (kind of like "public domain" works of art, but much reduced). This is a Terran approximation, but here's about what a standard fooder would produce, right out of the box:

Bowl of water, bowl of juice, bowl of milk, turkey sandwich with mayo, turkey sandwich with mustard, oatmeal, mixed green salad, gray meat patty, red meat patty, white meat patty, PBJ, bowl of corn, bowl of peas...

Basic stuff. Which was just fine, as long as you had the power. But of course, anyone who could afford the power bills wanted more. Say you wanted to turn on your fooder (which was about the size of a microwave), put in your plate, press the button, and have a turkey sandwich with bacon. You could buy a license for one such sandwich, pay the 25 cents extra (or whatever), press the button, and there would be your sandwich, just like the standard kind, without bacon. Or you could buy, say, five licenses for a dollar, enjoy one turkey sandwich with bacon, and then have four charges left.

What if you wanted to have a turkey sandwich with bacon as many times as you liked, without having to worry about the licensing costs each time (and just have to pay as much as it would cost anyway to produce a normal turkey sandwich from then on, since the matter reorganization quantities involved were so similar)? Well, that's where it got a little more complicated. In order to buy a lifetime license to use any particular protected recipe, costs got way higher, because, in theory, you could then become a neighborhood restaurateur, and sell people hundreds of turkey sandwiches with bacon from your personal fooder, thereby bypassing the need for them to buy their own "with bacon" licenses. So the costs were really big. If you wanted to permanently own the recipe "turkey sandwich with bacon," you could pay anywhere between $500-1,000 for the lifetime license. And that was only on basic recipes. Say you wanted to order a fancy plate with something like a nice duck with cherries, puff pastry with a fermented fruit glaze, etc., you'd pay twenty bucks. If you wanted the license for it, though, so that you could eat it every day for only the cost of the power, then that might set you back fifteen grand. The quality of one's fooder was a big component of one's social standing, because if you could casually order up something fancy without confirming a license charge, it looked as comparatively "cool" as, say, accepting your Bentley keys from an Earth valet.

Some jurisdictions got around the restaurateur problem by putting limiters on the fooders, limiting how many uses of one recipe it could make in a day, or how many calories it could output in a day, and so forth. And then, of course, because of the way licenses worked, it got to be like rent-controlled apartments in New York City--whenever some food aficionado died, there was a big rush to see what licenses were on that person's fooder, and to hide the death from the ICL for as long as possible, so that everyone could get as many special licensed meals out of that fooder before it got reverted back to the standard menu. Some people would spend their entire lives building up "libraries" of hundreds of non-standard recipes, and then when they'd have you over, it would be a pain in the ass trying to talk to them, because they'd be encouraging you to try some exotic thing, and telling you about how they'd looked it up and sampled it--kind of like people with vinyl collections.

What if you were really clever--a skilled programmer, say--and you wanted to program your own fooder to make recipes of your own choosing? Say, you knew how to program the particle organization sequence for "bacon" and you wanted to program your own PA script for a turkey sandwich with bacon so that you could generate that meal for the power cost alone, without having to license the company's version of the recipe? There was a lot of gamesmanship there. Power providers would modulate their power specifically to work with only licensed recipes, so "hackers" would have to play this little game of making their independent recipes match the way the licensed ones were. Which was, of course, even more illegal than just trying to subvert the power modulation regime.

(Actual "cooks" or "chefs" could buy licenses for raw ingredients from their fooders, then cook recipes by hand outside of their fooders, and there was this really funny and cute friction between "hands on chefs" and "programmer chefs" about which kinds of food/recipes were real, who was outdated, who was traditional and genuine, etc.)

Back to the Power

Anyway, back to the power. IP restrictions controlled a lot more than food. Everyone had the right to own a fooder, and fooders were so cheap and commonplace that you could find them in an alley, and they'd often work (and might even have one or two non-standard recipes stored on them). But it wasn't a big deal, because you needed power to actually get food out of it. As to other PAs, those required licenses. A licensed carpenter, say, could own a certain kind, and a licensed construction expert could own a bigger one. Because government was openly corporate rather than openly nationalist, obtaining a license usually meant holding a certain level of employment. To a Terran, that will sound like some kind of big business hell, but there were so many "rights" inherent in being a born shareholder ("citizen") that it wasn't much different from here. Anyway, jobs came with responsibilities and oversight, so no one was any more able to "go off the grid" with "stolen" technology than they were on Earth 2015.

So there we all were: on a planet covered by abundant resources, with the capability of making anything and everything, including perpetual cycles of stored power and replacement parts, all based on technology developed by the conscious inhabitants of that planet hundreds of years ago. And still, it was just like here. Some people went hungry, and some people threw out a lot of food (or reorganized it into something else). Some people were fabulously rich, and some people were staggeringly poor (or just dead). Some people lived a really long time by using large PAs programmed with organic coding that could generate new bodies (and that could backup memories by the second to safeguard against accidental death) for them, while other people died over a couple dollars' difference in the licensing fees for a new pill, artery, or organ.

It really wasn't that different. I'd like to be able to say something like, "The toys were more glittery," but actually, the whole thing was probably dirtier in appearance overall. Would you believe that, part of the legal rationale for protecting IP interests in fooder recipes based on traditional local meals (developed centuries ago by no one knows who) was similar to the Terran pharmaceutical argument, that those recipes had to be protected by license in order to profit-motivate innovative programmer-chefs to further develop the available cultural cuisine?

The point is, it's possible to mess up anything, no matter how seemingly easy or abundant. The idea that someone could hold the equivalent of ownership on the design information for a sandwich or a replacement heart is, at its essence, no different than the idea that someone can own land.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Quirking Evolution: Dead People & Prostate Massage


Dead Love and Interstellar Spoilers

In Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey's character confronts the question of why he would still love someone who is now dead. "Where's the evolutionary utility in that?"

Easy. You can still love people who have died because it lends reassurance to the fragile illusionary self's image of non-conclusion, which is to say it helps you fantasize that, because you love someone in spite of their expiration, you yourself might not have to expire (despite your having actually expired).

There are a lot of reasons Christopher Nolan probably dredged that one up. After enabling the recent Batman remake trio, Nolan found himself to be an utterly unoriginal parasite-being, praised and rewarded solely for polishing someone else's building. This caused some tension with his avowedly Objectivist operating system, particularly as he watched various other comic book remakes, which weren't even as good as his, make comparable money and earn comparable, then superior, praise. This was quite unfair, because Nolan did a really good job with his franchise, avoiding the tragic neo-neoteny of all the other American-comic-book movies yet known to human history. The confusedly adolescent franchise results for X-Men and Spiderman; the shamefully juvenile Avengers and Daredevil; the timid, bloodless Spawn; and the endlessly vomitous, sexless-marriage-regression of Superman: none of this was Nolan's bat-related legacy, for he did a really good job conveying his message.

The legacy his (derivative) work left behind, though, was not to prove ultimately satisfying. His Batman reboot offered an excellent presentation, but its heart--its theme--was just more banal trickle-down. Across three movies, all he ended up saying was, "The rich are really great," which he believes in, but which isn't really very satisfying to his emotions as he draws nearer to the grave. Certainly, molders of public opinion have a job to do, and that remains their prime imperative. And yet, to feel good about themselves and their lives' work--to suggest that their chosen version of the Golden Rule is leading to a better world for all--they feel the need to display some sense of warm-heartedness here and there, sort of like how Monsanto executives are motivated to end world hunger, stem-cell researchers to save lives, and Chevron to improve the environment, quarterly reports be damned.

Ergo Interstellar--a hundred-million-dollar combination of Voices of a Distant Star and Atlas Shrugged. In its philosophical scope, Interstellar was ironically less original than Nolan's Batman reboot, and like all Hollywood's five-finger-discounts of Japanese work, from Matrix to Hunger Games, it was an empty plastic bottle compared to a living person in terms of the enduring meaning and human quality it retained during the transcription process. Still, massive graphics budgets, green-screening, heavy doses of Ayn Rand, and the obligatory Last Samurai/Avatar/Dancing With Wolves-style white cowboy fantasies differentiate it visually enough that most people don't know or care about essence-sourcing.

(All that said, Nolan was probably trying his genuine best to do something meaningful with his career as an intelligence agent selling repackaged Rand to yet another generation of western corporate-entertainment-guzzlers. And in that, he came up with his line about loving someone dead. Sadly, he so inverted his time-traveling nonsense that any hopeful message potentially delivered by his dead-love suggestion ended up being solved by the end, in the form of a, "Time is a closed system" argument. Which, if you've knowingly been on a Jenomic planet before, you already recognize, and which, if you haven't, represents a finite/hopeless argument. But even so, I think Nolan was trying, in his way, to express something kind, inasmuch as he could force out of the bars of his hyper-materialist prison.)

Questioning The Old Ways: Pre-emptive, Ongoing Conflict Resolution

Savvy cultural narrators ensure that eventual challenges to their narratives occur in predictable ways. Just as Labour was a safe, predictable channel through which to divert slowly-dawning resentment toward Tories--and just as genetic denialism was a safe, predictable channel through which to divert slowly-dawning resentment toward genetic predeterminism--skilled narrators will script social revolts tens or even hundreds of years in advance, where necessary to ensure smoother continuity of rule. Social resentment is thus managed like a dam manages a river, whereby individuals or groups seeking a "way around" can be expertly guided into the obviously-available, obviously-contradictory path. It's not quite "reverse psychology," but when desperate people are looking for a way out of a situation they view as hopeless, and they see a movement already in place expressly denouncing the situation that troubles them, they're easily gathered into the new narrative.

Cleverly, the resistance of the obviously-wrong can pay dividends years later, when, dejected by the failure of their new path, the audience can be led to see the old obviously-wrong as the voice of truth, its former obviously-wrongness not a fundamental flaw, but rather an error caused by concession to the new narrative, which--it now turns out--was flawed after all. So perhaps the old way was better, considering it worked for so very long, until it got corrupted by the new way near the end of its lifetime.

More specifically, consider the U.K.'s Labour and Tory parties. Later in the twentieth century, Tory is confrontational with the Irish, openly racist in attacking various NATO targets, and abjectly cruel to its domestic hosts. The people, desiring some kind of decency, look for a way out in Labour. Labour makes a corporate reconciliation with the Irish, attacks NATO targets in humanitarian ways, and is patronizingly cruel to its domestic hosts, but--and this is a very important but--it apologizes while doing so, wringing its hands and blaming Tory and wishing it could do more.

A few decades forward, Labour's humanitarian interventions have driven Africans and Muslims to desperation to escape war-zones, concurrently placing a heavier tax burden on Labour's existing hosts for the creation of those war-zones. The Africans and Muslims flee the war-zones, and in their desperation, are channeled into the U.K. itself, where they are used as scabs to drive down wages and drive up costs of living for Labour's earlier hosts. Labour makes it a crime to criticize the scabs, encourages the scabs to rape and kill the strikers through lack of prosecution, and after several years, people start thinking, "Golly, maybe Tory was right after all."

And so they do just what they're supposed to do--they start turning to more idiot nationalist parties, who are the same people who created (or who are inheriting) the original scheme of constant problems that caused them to think Labour was a good idea. This is happening now (Earth 2015) all across Europe, mirroring the party games elites play in the United States: faux differences and necessary compromises ensure the ongoing administration of the same people who've been in power since before the Gilded Age, as hosts sway back and forth between non-self-respecting concepts of fairness, and non-other-respecting concepts of toughness. The middle class grows too threatening, so elites, masquerading as Republicans, turn foreign nations into war-zones over "drugs" or ephemeral political concepts; then, masquerading as Democrats, they establish "free trade" to give the refugees a way out, and scabs are brought in to crush the middle class. Before long, upset at all the un-reimbursed money and murders and rapes, stupid nationalisms build back up, and people look to differently-labeled elite products for crass posturing and the creation of more war-zones.

(Vis-à-vis America's latest show, the above doesn't mean Hillary won't win; this is a game of decades and centuries. Reagan started destroying Central America in earnest in the 1980s, Bush went heavier into drugs, Clinton followed up with NAFTA, and now more than thirty years after Reagan, the nationalist backlash is still gathering strength. They could easily have another several Democratic terms planned before they adjust their tactics. Then again, they could also be moving somewhere neutral to weather a hegemon switch.)

This rediscovered nationalism can then look back to its earlier opposition to Tories, Republicans, or whatever the bogeyman of the day was, and conclude, "They had it right all along. Look at all these problems we're facing; the Tories would've saved us." Of course the Tories wouldn't have, because the Tories are also Labour, and Labour, when the need arises, can easily become Golden Dawn, as Americans will rediscover whenever their elites finally front a "third party" meant to win an election and prove for the first time ever that the system has definitely changed this time (like electing someone whose family purchased some African genes to send to Columbia and Harvard, which definitely proves that things have changed).

Evolutionary Values

We looked over the political examples above because of their simplicity. Presented with the succession of cash-bloated vampires filling western political offices, it's relatively easy to discern that they're all really the same. This very pattern occurs in larger, less-personified ways, though. Elites use people (warriors, nobles, politicians), organizations (companies, parties, nations, coalitions), and documents (constitutions, manifestos, treaties) as ways of proving that things are always changing for the better; that control over the world's resources is constantly shifting in response to natural forces based on the inherent reasoning power and preferences of the Earth's people. More subtly, they design ontological structures, spread across centuries, meant to converge, collect, and guide underlying philosophical understandings--both individual and group--in the same way.

(Observation of elite strategies in this regard is one of the embarrassing counters to the critical theory that elites are merely stupid, greedy, or short-sighted. The plans that they lay out--not only for the succession of thrones and the careful recurrence of managed revolutions, but for the metastasis of philosophies across centuries--show that they are aware of the value of inter-lifetime planning. Since they're neither selfless nor kind, they're clearly not operating under the assumptions of "one life, one chance" to which they wish most others to adhere. Remember: Dick Cheney could've retired in 2000, and spent the next nine years massively wealthy and getting oil massages from 18-year-old Swedish girls, instead of becoming generally loathed by the majority of the world's population while being formally subordinate to George W. Bush. Instead, he chose public service. Is he: A. a good person at heart, just misguided? or B. seeing things from a different perspective than the TV wants you to believe? It's B: he's willing to spend his remaining years receiving less pleasure in order to serve some grand trend of wrongness that will persist beyond the limits of his own mortality)

Building up the theory of mercantilist evolution was an effective way to rejustify elite control. Longstanding arguments over the divine order of the world--God chooses rulers and ruled, therefore things are essentially okay--were facing another set of predictable challenges, so encouragement was given for the drawing of new conclusions. Darwin's arguments were neither new nor striking in a civilization which had engaged in purposeful stock breeding and cash-crop agriculture for hundreds of years. Indeed, the idea that Origin of Species was a breathtaking and completely new discovery challenges the intellect in ways comparable to the idea that medieval travelers--who saw caravans and ships disappear slowly and gradually over the curved horizon--actually thought the world was flat. Darwin observed a nice data set, but it was his elite promoters, and the social order they were trying to rationalize, who turned a little Christian scientist into someone who has his very own bumper stickers.

In Earth 2015, the "meritocratic world" theory continues to lose luster. The exceedingly slow human consciousness grows more and more aware of the rigged nature of the game (whether rigged by paleoconservatives or bleeding hearts, depending on your preference in bogeymen), and eventually, the elites' pet theory of randomized mutations and an Objectivist universe will need to be cleverly adapted, so as to channel popular resentment into an equally trite narrative that can maintain elites for another few centuries. (Ashke-) Nazi intellectual stormtrooper Mencius Moldbug has accomplished a lot in this regard, by galvanizing early internet blog culture into a support network of millions who prepare for brutal nationalism, ethnic cleansing, female propertization, and the restoration of monarchy. In the middle of the cycle, it seems insane to find yet another Nazi slave-ship financier trying to bring back the triangle trade, chattel marriage, and unabashed colonialism, but from a larger perspective, that's exactly what you'd expect, isn't it? That the Nazis would, of course, act like Nazis again. What's a few centuries between friends?

Confronted with a sufficient number of years of political-correctness, enough justified anger can build up among the various northern European populations to trick them right back into (open) submission to the Crown, without it seeming insane to them. From inside PC culture, the hypocritical wrongs build up powerfully enough to make a new generation think that, perhaps, kings weren't so very bad after all. Fire to frying pan to fire, to frying pan: never restful, but always grateful to be moved.

The Divine Right of Kings--which was always, really, the Divine Right of Genomes--transitioned to mercantilist evolution, which was a more honest expression of the Divine Right of Genomes. Instead of the God of Abram choosing the King, the God of Natural Selection chooses the CEO; instead of the God of Abram choosing between slaves and owners, the God of Natural Selection chooses between creditors and debtors. And that worked out great for a long time, and still is. Eventually, we'll be shifted to a different form of the Divine Right of Genomes, and it is during the early parts of that transition that we'll see bad arguments against mercantilist evolution floated.

"Random evolution" will not be wholly eliminated from the elite arsenal once the narrative changes, any more than "property rights" was after the beheading of the king. The former phrase will, instead, form a component part of an even more complex faith meant to justify the same essential power relations. During the transitionary period, though, we'll see poorly-scripted challenges--purposefully so--used against the old narrative as a form of controlled pressure release.

And that's where Christopher Nolan went, probably inadvertently, with his movie. He only meant to have a better-sounding theme; he ended up anticipating the overlords' challenges. We'll use his losing argument as a jumping-off point for a description of other losing arguments that will be purposefully levied at mercantilist evolution to lend an appearance of blowback, release some pressure, and ultimately affirm the underlying nature of material predeterminism advanced by Aristocrats and Scientists for the past few thousand years.

More simply put: elites throw bad arguments at their ideas, in order to make their ideas appear stronger when the bad arguments are defeated. E.g., Americans grow concerned about police state methodology, so elites suddenly inspire (more) riots and (more) black-on-black murder waves based on Mike Brown and Freddie Gray, which makes American police departments look good by comparison.

Having the Arguments Ahead of Time

What we'll do here is consider some of these suppositions, then counter them with survivalist arguments that explain why the seemingly "non-helpful" mutations could, actually, jive with randomized mutations and natural selection. The importance of the exercise will remind us not to rely wholly (or even at all) on thought experiments in challenging the narcissistic, king of the jungle origin-narrative of modern Scientists, but to focus on mathematics.

(Fossil evidence is also highly important right now, but if Terra's current worship of capitalistic evolution continues for another century or two, various Higgs-boson-style missing-link fossils (fossils whose existence will be proven by discovery of their lack of existence) will be "discovered" by Scientists, and real-world fabrications will then be developed and verified to establish the needed records. If capitalistic evolution loses favor, and neo-monarchists begin promoting a new style of elite creationism like that fostered by early Judeo-Christianity, then it will be the record of human history, rather than geological, which will be retconned. If you're born in a place where either has already happened, remember: mathematics, and the nature of beings just becoming aware of their conscious existence, are versally reliable. You can personally study the fractals pertaining to either situation, and surmise what's going on and what's been going on and will later go on, no matter how many museums they take you to.)

The Challenges

The challenges may be variously disgusting or sinful or otherwise wrong; they're not listed here out of advocacy, but to present necessary (and weak) challenges to mercantilist evolution which will be made in order to make random materialism seem functional.

Challenge 1 (Nolan's emotional supposition from Interstellar): It is possible for people to love dead people. This provides no evolutionary utility, because the dead can neither reproduce nor survive, nor assist you in your reproduction or survival.

Scientistic Response 1: Incorrect. Fantasizing about the dead reassures the living organism that death might not be absolute, and therefore serves as a counterbalance against stress chemicals which motivate the organism to survive. Fantasies about a connection to a fictional "afterlife" help stabilize the organism in the proper balance between an aversion to death--healthy--and too much aversion to death--unhealthy. Accordingly, organisms which so fantasize will be less likely to become nihilistic and more likely to survive and reproduce. Ergo loving the deceased--which is privately verifiable--does not disprove evolution by random mutation and natural selection.

Challenge 2: It is possible to love imaginary people (characters in a book, someone you met online who unfortunately turns out to be a fat dude, someone you dreamed about, etc.). This provides no evolutionary utility, because imaginary people can neither reproduce nor survive, nor assist you in your reproduction or survival.

Scientistic Response 2: Incorrect. Fantasizing about imaginary people prepares your mind for dealing with real ones, making you more likely to succeed with them, just like any other form of practice.

Challenge 3: Some people are attracted to prepubescent females. This provides no evolutionary utility, because prepubescent females cannot reproduce.

Scientistic Response 3: Laying claim to prepubescent females potentially increases genetic transmission via telegony, as well as strengthening the likelihood of "first shot" mating upon pubescence.

Challenge 4: Some people are attracted to prepubescent males. This provides no evolutionary utility, because prepubescent males cannot reproduce.

Scientistic Response 4: Sexualizing prepubescent males delays the onset of their puberty. Boys in Ancient Greece, for example, were written of as developing facial hair and deep voices in their early twenties, as contrasted to boys in Europe today, who more often achieve puberty in their early teens. It is, therefore, a viable competitive mating strategy, making it less likely that said abused males will be able to mate competitively in the near future (either with one's sons, if a female molester, or oneself, if a male molester).

Challenge 5: Some people are attracted to dead bodies. This provides no evolutionary utility, because dead bodies cannot reproduce.

Scientistic Response 5: Sexualizing dead bodies can be a masturbatory equivalent, preparing the body for more effective performance later. It can also be a result of a desire to dominate and control a submissive sexual partner, which has separate evolutionary utility. Furthermore, it could merely be the body's attempt to lust after the powerless but still fertile--such as an unconscious partner--and the body has evolved to desire such a circumstance without realizing that its application to the dead, like its response to porn, is worthless (except as "training").

The March

Today's capitalist evolution retroactively justifies monarchy and the divine right of kings, even though it pretends otherwise. For, amid the struggle of the fittest, who would have eventually risen to the top of the European thrones, and then colonized the world? The fittest, of course. That is one of the greatest of the many great ironies inherent in the enlightenments and revolutions of the ages that replaced kings with parliaments, and priests with scientists--that, in truth, the new philosophy was not replacing the old, but more efficiently justifying it. No real surprise, then, when neo-reactionaries draw upon capitalistic evolution to support their dizzying mix of individualist racial solidarity and libertarian monarchy--it was meant to be.

One can hypothesize any number of ridiculous responses to challenges to free will. Take the prostate, for example. How would randomized evolution, eliminating the better part of everything in pursuit of efficiency, provide for a highly-sensitive, cancer-susceptible nerve locus inside the male body, directly accessible only by anal penetration? Was it necessary to add independent orgasmic function to this locus because male-on-male anal penetration increases a species' reproductive success? Clearly ridiculous--as well add yet another orgasm node inside the chest cavity, because it encourages a species' early development of heart surgery, which furthers its survivability. Independent of leaps of Scientistic faith, there are ample proofs that these germ-riddled husks are not streamlined reproduction pods.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Beyond the Law of Contrasts: An Idealized Reality

We move beyond the Law of Contrasts when we have gained the intelligence to process versal codes more idealistically. Once we no longer require actual or perceived contrasts to process reality--hunger to make food taste good; awareness of others in misery to make our own leisure enjoyable; pain to help us define our pleasure--we can contribute more to the construction of reality through idealism.

"Idealism" is a distorted term here, because the less developed have associated it with "impossibility." But that's not the connotation which we're using right now. We're using "idealism" to refer to a way of conceptualizing versal coding in which our standalone routines are able to experience and transmit ideas and sensations without the presence of contrasting sensations to define them.

This is a pretty difficult thing to learn. Give it a try, though. Imagine that it is possible for all of the following conditions to be simultaneously true:

Condition 1: The United States is a historically racist nation, in the pejorative, enduringly harmful and abjectly unfair sense of the term "racism," and both domestically and internationally it murders people for profit without compunction.

Condition 2: A set of sub-Saharan-derived African Americans commits an extremely disproportionate number of violent crimes compared to their share of the American population, including the specifically racist targeting of perceived southeast Asians and perceived whites as sets, respectively, in ways wholly unrelated to income, education, or who may or may not have been poor/enslaved/mistreated at any given point in time, by comparison to all other genetic groupings on the planet Earth.

Condition 3: A large set of European Americans gains ostracism by passionately espousing Condition 2 and defiantly ignoring mountains of evidence of Condition 1.

Condition 4: A large set of Americans gains massive quantities of money, popularity, and political power by passionately espousing Condition 1 and ignoring mountains of evidence of Condition 2.

We can see the utility of being part of either of the latter sets--it's reassuring, to people at certain stages of development, to have a "side," and to feel vindicated in that side--and to genuinely, if partly, be vindicated, each time some new atrocity comes to pass--and we can see how the relative comfort of each side can encourage a lack of further development. Which isn't to mention the money and popularity to be gained, during various historical periods, by disregarding any unpopular set of evidence. These kinds of condition sets can be found in lots of other places, too, e.g. the Terra 2015 false conflation (the fabrication of a contrast for the purposes of the simple-minded) of personal sexuality and mandatory sexuality.

It's becoming more and more easy to help people stop denying Condition 1, as elites manage a transition away from bandwagon disapproval of it (which condition used to be as unspeakable as anti-PC things now, and still is in some places). The result, though--just like the transition between different kinds of atrocious sexual repression--is horrid.

The really testy, distorted one right now for many westerners is going to be crime data derived from sub-Saharan African people. It can be highly difficult to compare that data to the matching data of ex-slave, ex-dungeon, ex-racism-suffering untouchable, ex-war, ex-crushing poverty, Irish populations--just as it can be very, very difficult for so many westerners to conceive of western blacks who hurt other people without any grand world-historical justification. It's a scary subject to address, because it suggests a swing back to denying Condition 1--but it doesn't have to. There are decent answers to all of these make-believe conflicts, and a large part of discovering them is learning to operate without using contrasts to help balance your perspective. Learn to walk/bicycle yourself, without someone's hand.

What does it mean if sub-Saharan Africa is in disarray because of Africomm and also because of its native inhabitants? Are we so selfish that we can't manage to conceive of there being some truth and goodness in genetic diversity, if that goodness is measured using metrics that we have not traditionally defined as successful?

What if the arrogant conquistadores who can't live without murdering and stealing, and the lackadaisical mud-hut dwellers who never invented the wheel, both really are what they think of the other? What if we're all exactly as bad as we're accusing each other of being? Every one of us?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

13 Steps to Freedom

Step 1: Turn on computer.

Step 2: Open internet browser.

Step 3: Google "Allison Griffor"

Step 4: Review results.

Step 5: Analyze terminology employed by corporate media. Parse the eerie lack of adjectives. Contrast associated nationwide cultural and political attention.

Step 6: Analyze the motives of the rational actors who present news for profit.

Step 7: Draw very unpleasant conclusions.

Step 8: Open new internet browser.

Step 9: Google "9 killed in drone strike."

Step 10: Repeat Steps 4-8.

Step 11: Google "Laylah Petersen"

Step 12: Repeat Steps 4-7.

Step 13: Think, "This is what it feels like to be manipulated. I will stop listening to them and I will stop believing them."

Not Nearly Progressive Enough

I'm thoroughly dissatisfied with the news. Sure, we're doing a good job, but we could be doing lots better.

Look at this remarkable feat of coordination they've had going here. There was George Zimmerman, which was huge, and then that white girl who got raped and murdered by that black dude, which was nothing, and then there was Mike Brown, which was also huge, and then that white guy who got shot and killed for pushing a cop, which was nothing at all. And then there was Freddie Gray, and Baltimore riots, and Caitlyn Jenner, and Rachel Dolezal...it's like a ninety minute movie, where the plot comes in so swiftly and so predictably that it's over before your Junior Mints are gone.

There's always something, but we could do better. I've heard it suggested that Rachel Dolezal marry Al Sharpton, which would have been progressive, like, a month ago. To hell with that. I want some real news. I want a thrill that lasts longer than a few days of blogs. I want something that provokes analysis so deep and so intellectual that I'm left in chills, rapt, reminded why I started to watch the news in the first place. I want drama; horror; intensity; I want to be filled with the urge to call relatives in other countries and tell them what they already know, and I want to run out into the street in black and white and see a newsboy shouting, "Extra! Extra!" and I want to give him a nickel and spread the newspaper out and gasp in amazement.

I don't want Rachel Dolezal to get married to Al Sharpton. Instead, I want Congress to pass Amendment 28 to the Constitution, defining marriage as "a union of any number and kind of things." I want Rachel Dolezal and Chelsea Manning and Al Sharpton to get trio-married at the base of the Washington monument. I want Justice Ginsburg to perform the ceremony, and shortly afterward I want her to have a little too much champagne and be filmed giggling and ignoring Scalia's protests as she drives his porcine bulk into a port-a-john with her hands up his robes.

But that's not enough. That would barely be getting started. That's almost predictable, frankly. I want more and I deserve more.

I want a joint Tea-Party/Greenpeace army of protesters to clash with Exxon paramilitary forces after oil is discovered in Mount Rushmore. I want senior citizens to be happy when Exxon wins because the Green Tea Party had no clear goals or demands anyway, and I want the very first drill to expose the secret passage leading to the sub-Rushmore chamber where Teddy Roosevelt hid all his garter belts. I want it to spur a national dialogue on sexual identity and I want a quota system implemented on Capitol Hill and I want to be part of paying $527 million to add transrestrooms alongside male and female to every federal government building in the nation, and I want to see vigorous debates in The Atlantic about whether it is or isn't a "State's right" to determine if State and local buildings should have the same restroom variety requirements, and I want Bill de Blasio to refuse to return to the City in a show of solidarity. I want Putin to annex Canada and I want Hollywood to be united in its opposition to his actions and I want Prince to rape Putin in effigy at a show in Seattle that turns violent leading to clashes between police and concertgoers and inspires a much-needed dialogue about Russo-Canadian immigration. I want a Muslim police officer to accidentally discharge his weapon at a Russo-American peace vigil and be hailed as a hero by true conservatives, and I want the U.N. to release a report condemning the Trump administration's disparate treatment of Russo-American men for its racist, vodka-based "stop and frisk" policy, and then I want to read six dozen blogs about how come the stupid worthless hypocritical U.N. condemns America for frisking a few Russian immigrants when Putin has been executing all those British boat-people.

And when it's time for bed, I want to read about the Dolezal/Manning/Sharpton divorce, and I want to see pictures of Sharpton in the Caribbean with a mysteriously curvy boyfriend whose face is always blurred out or hidden behind a tropical hat. I want Sharpton to sit down with Diane Sawyer and come clean with the nation about his unfortunate mistakes, and just before the commercial break, I want him to surprise the studio audience by introducing us to his new sweetheart Marcelo Lewinsky, who wants to be called Marcelo, and I want the camera to focus on Marcelo, to focus on his smiling, pudgy little intern face, waiting for us to demand to hear about what's changed since '98. I want clever people on twitter to point out that, now that "Monica" is "Marcelo," Bill Clinton must therefore be gay, and I want other clever people to point out that retroactive identity doesn't work that way, and I want Diane Sawyer to address that issue to the camera, and then I want it to cut to commercial for some new dentifrice, and then I want it to turn off.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Calling the Grand Social Bluff

(Continuing about the not-actually-black girl thing...)

I hope more people manage to call this grand social bluff. Just think--if this woman had been an orphan, or if she'd paid off her parents...or constructed a fake childhood-in-the-cloud, replete with creative commons or photoshopped pictures...none of this would have happened.

At some point, wishfully political people of all races are going to have to confront the reality of their fantasy, and ask:

1) Which genes are required to qualify for special treatment as an "historical victim"?

2) Which genes are required to qualify for extractive treatment as an "historical oppressor"?

3) Can an individual be forced to take genetic tests in order to position itself in any given role?

4) Who gets to define the said genetic boundaries? Who gets to define the appearance-based boundaries (if any)?

5) If one meets the requisite genes/appearance standards, is one then immunized from accusations of "ism" should one engage in actions which adversely affect other qualifying members of that gene/appearance set?

Caitlyn Jenner can use the women's restroom (we know that already), but can she stay at the domestic violence shelter? Does she get alimony and reduced sentences and presumption of child custody? Can she hit a girl first, then call the counterstrike aggression and get the other combatant instantly arrested with a presumption of guilt and the lack of right to challenge Caitlyn in court?

A hundred years from now, will everyone who complained about this black professor be obviously "on the wrong side of history," presumed to be roughly the same as the Ku Klux Klan?

The surgical singularity cometh. What sorts of rules will we establish for identity?

California Revised Statutes §§ 14011-12. Before qualifying for any benefits awarded under this section, a citizen must have been living as a member of the beneficiary class for no less than one week's time. "One week" herein shall be a period of 7 days, holidays inclusive.

§ 14019. A citizen shall be deemed to have been living as a member of the beneficiary class during any time period in which the § 14018 Affidavit has been filed indicating, via affirmation of retroactive mental status, that the citizen affirmatively believed said citizen was living as a member of the beneficiary class during such time period.

§ 14175. During any term set hereunder, a citizen shall not qualify as a member of more than three (3) beneficiary classes unless that citizen has also filed a § 14106 Affidavit claiming multiple-identity status at any actual or theoretical point in time.

§§ 14908-09. The penalties for verbally or in writing or otherwise denying a citizen's status so claimed under this Act shall be no less than six (6) months in a correctional facility. The punitive sections of this Act shall not apply to licensed comedians as defined in §§ 14554-58.


...

If her parents had lied, or had already expatriated, or died of cancer, or refused to talk to the press...if she'd produced pictures of a black childhood...everything would be the way it had been before you knew she existed. What inconvenient little facts.

Put the shoe on the other foot. How do you know she's not lying now, rather than lying earlier? How bad would you feel if this turned out to be an NAACP ruse to see if they could get millions of people to crucify a black woman by producing a pair of actors who claimed they were her parents, and that she was "white" as a child?

Maybe the real photoshopped pictures are the ones of the freckled white girl. Who do you believe--the two white "parents" who claim Rachel Dolezal was a white girl? Or Rachel Dolezal, the black woman? Well, it's not that simple. Do you believe the people who say that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States? How trustworthy are the birth certificates that have or haven't been produced? Do they matter? Why do you get to decide that they matter? Do you trust the corporate media to accurately communicate to you the significance and genuineness of whatever documents have or haven't been produced?

Then why do the pictures and the stories matter? How bad would you feel if she really was black?

Skinny Wombs

Among the many minor, secret tragedies for Terrans will be the development of aesthetic technologies that make people skinny, fit, beautiful, et cetera, without need for any thoughtful care of the body. Once people can eat a cheesecake and a half every evening and still look sexy without a visit to the vomitorium, the learning opportunities resulting from the feedback between material-body/material-desire will be lost. Among the many results will be stunting of development similar to that experienced by people whose cultures have passed through forms of non-active ownership, like feudalism, where the landlord no longer really understands, appreciates, or knows his own land. The landlord sorta knows, but it's no longer really his. Without being the one who trims the hedges, walks every grain of every acre, scrubs hoarfrost off the back servants' stair early every spring--without that, the landlord loses the connection. He's been robbed; disempowered; neutered. And he starts acting like it, and the effects upon the things he "owns," and upon his own detached mental state, are predictable.

More advanced minds can handle this, but that's because they've already learned those lessons--already been their own gardener for long enough.

Sex, too, while we're at it. Any form of establishing a disconnect between sex and its results breaks weaker minds, causing them to lose the benefits gained by associating sowing with reaping, gardening and silver-polishing with the pleasures of being the lord of the manor, sipping brandy at the east sitting room fireplace. A mind at a certain stage of development who suddenly "owns" that forty thousand acres can only imitate, but never learn, the real meaning of kinship, no matter how many nature walks or token acts of landscaping she engages in. So too the lord of condoms and hormone pills, facing the consequence-free facsimile of lessons stolen. Those are all wonderful things most deserved by those who've already had the opportunity to learn the lessons, but when that opportunity is burgled out of the curricula of those who need it, they lose something. If you haven't mastered the Law of Contrasts, you need those contrasts; those consequences--not as punishments, but because they're not bad things so much as good things, teaching you to develop a greater independent understanding of versal relationships. On the world where you're born able to eat a cheesecake every day, you're never able to learn the appreciation of that cheesecake which may be enjoyed by those who have already had to face, and duly conquered, the temptation of eating just one more piece balanced against adding 0.3 lbs the next week.

Stealing this opportunity from the developing is pretty mean, as well as occasionally dangerous. The farther along people go without understanding what they've skipped over, the less they appreciate each new thing. They don't really understand the meaning, the implications, of cheesecake, floating chaise lounges, anal sex, et cetera.

Artificial Wombs

So, artificial wombs. There's a whole lot of annoying stuff involved in reproducing successfully, like having to put up with someone else for a while, and then having to have the thing attached for a while, and getting it out, and then it cries and poops, and then it has to learn to emit the right guttural sounds, and then grammar, and so forth. Artificial wombs (here's the same link to the demented engineers we looked at before) bypass all of the necessities of human interaction, just like owning a mutual fund that holds shares in another fund that owns part of a different fund that owns a company that holds factories bypasses the need to understand how to build the product produced by one of said factories. In the latter situation, the dividends come in, and all the owner cares about is the size of the dividends, not the brutalization of the laborers or the proper way to oil the partitioning machines or the gunk that runs into the groundwater of the locality far away.

People handed these tools, without having learned how and why they were built through hands-on living, miss the chance to learn all that stuff. Many of the heirs of internal plumbing treat water differently than they would if it had been carried by bucket, purified by boil. Many of the heirs of antibiotics treat cleanliness differently than they would if those weren't available. The congenitally well-connected tend to treat their own characters, and other people, the same way.

It isn't the end of the world; it's just a new form of the same challenge. Presented with so many grand inheritances, we face a more refined opportunity: the opportunity to intellectually, imaginatively confront the horrid effects--internal, this time, taking on subtle forms of character rather than external, taking on, say, muffin tops--of those who wallow unappreciatively in easy excess. Watching, e.g., Prince Harry or Lady Chelsea confront the world there for their taking, we see far deeper, darker consequences than the mere obesity or exile that might have served as instructors in other times. Generationally-latent clone problems, detectable only long after the tubes reach replacement levels, will not be citeable evidence for many of us for a long stretch of time, but that doesn't mean we can't still learn everything we need to learn. We just need to think a little harder about it; to understand that absence of fat rolls in times of plenty doesn't any longer mean that someone possesses certain levels of foresight or discipline.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Random Logic and Planned Obsolescence

The 2015 Model T is so innovative and so new and so cool that it is obvious it will last forever. It is the best in-category, the best in-class, and after we get one, we'll never need another upgrade.

* * *

What is it all, anyway, but another shopping channel? It slices, it dices, it peels, it grinds, it's fair-trade certified and it saves the rainforest. But what if the shopping channel had the power to destroy your career and imprison you if you questioned its values?

/ / /

>.>

<.<

\ \ \

Have you ever had to sit down with a pair of angry, defensive ninety-year-olds, and explain to them that the shopping channel is ruining their life? "Yes, I know the crystal dragon sculpture set and and authentic Confucian gameboard in genuine cultured marble is the coolest thing ever, but it obliged you to make seven payments of $499, and quite frankly, you're going to lose the trailer next month unless you get this under control now." Talk about angry. It's easier to tell someone they're carrying an unwanted infant, than to tell them they have to stop nodding along with the saleslady on the television.

You'd think that those commercials would be obviously, well, commercial--too obvious for anyone to actually fall for. But you begin to realize that it's not that anyone's actually falling for it, but that it's fulfilling a need: a need to feel in control. Knowing sex with a sexbot because you don't want to face the reality that there's no one real.

* * *

For just five minutes, for just one lifetime, make me feel like I'm part of something that means something. I don't have to believe it. You don't have to believe it. No one has to. But please, for God's sake, please, just tell the story so well it makes me think you do believe, so I can fall into it for a little while, and save myself.

* * *

And then, to an extent, it makes them happy. They buy the "Tale of Monopoly" DVD set from the "Famous Game Documentaries" library for only $59.99, and they re-watch it forty times. Maybe that's the meaning of life--watching old DVDs that make you feel a little bit better about yourself, or at least to forget it for a while. But don't they feel condescended to? Don't they realize that, sometimes, people actually do lose their trailers? Isn't it unhealthy for them to live like that, and shouldn't you point out that you can learn about the guy who created Monopoly on the internet without paying sixty bucks plus shipping?

& & &

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"Aunt Florence? Flo? You in there?"

Blue radiation flickered across the coffee-stained fold-out table, where the mismatched decks from last night's Gin Rummy marathon had formed a landslide across what remained of the Great Value cheese puffs. A plastic yellow starfish plugged into the overhead outlet. Way down on the left, Sam had fallen asleep on the floor between the john and the bed, tangled up in equal parts bath towels and bedsheets. Over on the right, the TV screamed at the fake wood paneling. White, then blue, then briefly red; a lightning storm of variegated blues, and then a sudden, serene green, interrupted all too swiftly by blaring white. Distant trumpets whispered of a reassuring insanity.

I only had to search around a little bit before finding their laptop. They'd left it on, of course, and in between the monitor and the keyboard was a tablet, also on. After turning both of them off, I hid them in the cupboard above the microwave. "Flo?"

She was dozing in the swivel chair, her bunions tucked into a pair of threadbare pink slippers and propped up onto the TV. Crumpled cigarettes choked the built-in ashtray on the right armrest. Even though none of the stubs were lit, her dress itself--an aching old pastel green nightdress that looked like it had been repurposed from a former life as a shower curtain--seemed to give off a smoke of its own. Air hung heavily in the cigarette smoke.

"Flo." I put my hand on her shoulder. "Flo."

Her veiny eyes shot wide. "Where's...?" Feet slamming off the television, she nearly leapt into my arms. "You...? Hey. Hey, you. Hey, sweetie."

With a frank expression, I pointed to the mountain of colorful magazines in the other swivel chair.

Eyes darting guiltily, Flo fumbled for her cigarettes. Stubs cascaded from armrest to floor. "Whatssat? The, the...the thing of it all is, you just, you think..."

Pointing behind me, I reminded, "Sam's down in the walkway again."

She adopted a defensive, almost viperish look. Hot blue radiation glowed across her dyed red wisps, making her appear nearly bald. Her skin was white as chalk, but lined, so very deeply lined, that you could almost see ash forming in the nadirs of each flickering blue wrinkle. "Your uncle? Awwww-hurrem, aw-hurem!" She coughed mightily, weakly, and wiped her knuckles on the hip of her shower-curtain dress. "He's all right. Don't you concern yourself about him none." At last she found a stub with a few inches left. Sticking it in her rosy little mouth, she collapsed back in her chair. A wave of blue broke upon her pitiful old profile, turning her into a pallid, smoking specter.

Sternly, I swept my hand around the place. "We need to talk."

"Aww-hrr-em! Don't concern yourself..." Coughing sent her over her lap. "Just...just you..."

I replaced my hand on her shoulder. "I think it's time we talked about this whole 'Hillary' thing..."

* * *

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Not-Black Black Thing

Blah blah blah, minstrel shows, jazz, the Kansas City Chiefs, and wiggers...

It's long been popular for the white upper classes to transform themselves into any mutilated subgroup with desirable categories. White people managed to implant themselves into all the Abramic religions, and now Saudi Arabia, Rome/UK/US, and of course Israel, are all run by different groups of white people pretending to be, respectively, Muslims/Christians/Jews.

Why shouldn't white people also get to become sub-Saharan blacks? For over two thousand years, they've been able to be everything else.

How long before the surgical singularity arrives? Rich white guys can become minorities now by boffing a few twinks or claiming "Jewish" heritage, which makes them immediately (1) oppressed, (2) hip, and (3) politically astute, even if they're just yet another asshole grad student with a trust fund and a job with daddy's friends at the foundation.

We could base reality on historical records, so that if I transform myself into a gay black wheelchair user, anyone could google me and find out that I was really nothing of the kind. But if we combine the corporate media with the surgical singularity, any transition we make will include a retroactive adjustment of our records. One day I'm a Pacific Islander, the next I'm a Sephardic Jew. A few insurgents might be puzzled when they see me the next day and remember I used to be someone else, but when our memories have all been stored in the cloud, we'll be able to revise those before they can be reaccessed. Before long, we won't even know that there was a time before the cloud; a time when something other than the present meant anything. We will live in the eternal now, constantly redefining the now to suit ourselves, becoming alternately victims and oppressors, tops and bottoms, whenever it suits us.

There'll be no place for The Net anymore. If you ever do become an Enemy of the State, you'll simply cease being an enemy of the state instantly, and never remember that you were one or could later be one. The cloud can be constantly revised for maximum safety. No regrets; no fears. Vanity Fair won't just be a magazine any longer; it'll be your very own memories. Why bother arguing about whether or not 2 + 2 = 5 when 2 + 2 has always equaled 5? The futurologists of the past have clearly over dramatized the conflict between truth and madness. Truth will be madness, and madness will be truth. There will be no grand arena, no skillful duel, and no decisive battle between the forces of good and evil. There will be no quiet despair and no legion of rebelling brothers. No boot on a face. The future will instead be a milquetoast sadness of no real character one way or the other, fairly indistinguishable from the past or present except by the design of the technology which establishes the cloud of agreed-upon memories. Only an uncertain feeling of an unsettled something will whisper at what lies beyond.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gallery Guide, Part IV: How to Make Your Own Lifelike Magazine Cover

Equipment & Materials: One (1) high-end laptop; one (1) graphics editing program; one (1) magazine cover template, preferably preset with transparent background; three (3) pictures of O.J. Simpson; three (3) pictures of a woman with long, lustrous dark hair.

Preparation Time: 40-60 min.

Result: Priceless.

Instructions: First, assess your materials. Open your graphics editing program and access the image file with your magazine cover template.



Next, study your available pictures of O.J. Simpson. Does he look too old? Too young? It doesn't matter--choose from your heart.



Pro tip: try to avoid a courtroom shot. Look for something more elegant.



No, not that. Besides being inappropriate, aim for the "mature O.J." look.



There--that's a little friendlier! Next, prepare O.J.'s hair. Look for something long, youthful, and beautiful.



That might be a bit too much. How about--



There! The Juice is gonna be lookin' good, soon!

Next, use your graphics editing program to add a liberal dose of lipstick to O.J.'s lips. Aim for a warm red-based shade, without too much from the blue end of the spectrum, to compliment his tonal position on the L'Oréal complexion chart (in this case, mature O.J. is #14C, Autumn Espresso). Make sure not to overdo the makeup.

Carefully trim the hair picture to remove the model's face. Arrange the resulting hair over O.J.'s head and shoulders, and adjust shading correspondingly, to create a seamless, lifelike image. If you wish to add a bustline, do a Google™ search for "plastic surgery before after breasts," select the most desirable pair, then use your graphics editing program's layering setting to paste the desired breasts under O.J.'s shirt, creating the impression of his sumptuous new form.

OPTIONAL: using a soft brush tip setting, smooth the Juice's jawline to create a more feminine appearance. If your program possesses advanced arcing calculation capability, plump his nares so that they correspond to the curve of his cheekbones at a 0.87 angle--the ratio suggested by the University of New Mexico's recent facial compatibility component of modern bodily symmetry research.

At this point, O.J. will resemble a very attractive woman. Be sure to save your work before moving to the next step.

Now it's time to think of a tagline for your magazine cover. If you've been properly applying layers since Step 1, you should be able to experiment with a number of options. Brainstorm. Take advantage of your friends and colleagues. If other artists in your area have been developing their own O.J. covers, set up a networking event at a local guava bar where everyone can bring copies of their own work to discuss presentation methodology. Consider contacting local schools and offering them the opportunity to host tagline competitions to raise awareness.

If you prefer to work alone, or if local media are already covering too many other hypothetical transitions, don't get worried--just start simple. Designing your own tagline can be both fun and easy. Prepare a foreground text layer and ask yourself what would best express the message of your new O.J.

It's not as hard as it sounds! For example, "Call me Angela." would strike an obvious chord. However, the obvious chord isn't always the right one. For a more subtle effect hearkening the end of days, consider employing the tagline, "Yes, me too." The juxtaposition of a familiar celebrity visage, the magazine cover, the transition, and the implication that this is all only the beginning of a trend that could go as far as Barbara Obama or Henry Clinton, might prove more amusing, in the long run, than merely renaming O.J. "Angela."

When your cover has found its proper tagline, it's time to share it with the world. It wouldn't be appropriate to interfere with the self-styled magazine covers of transpeople who have placed themselves on covers in courageous and selfless public statements. Your cover should be something more--it should be a show of support for not only O.J., but for any other neglected person wishing to share him, her, or tranself. Consider approaching your local anthromorph community and making your work the starting point for a portfolio of acceptance. Angela Simpson could be just the beginning: use your well-tested graphics-editing skills to assist the anthromorphs in developing their own successively more supportive transition covers.



"Call Me Octopus." Suggest that the second cover portray a post-op cephalopod, and the third show a hybridized version. Later individuals might incorporate cybernetic elements, while more striking covers might appear to be empty, and speak to the need of air itself to be respected and heard. It's these kinds of theoretical transmeta studies that keep us one step ahead of ISIS and Jeb.

Whatever you do, have fun out there. If the only thing you can manage is to print up a few dozen versions of your O.J. cover on fine glossy stock, and sneak them onto the magazine rack at the local drugstore, the world can only be the better for it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

50 Shades of Skywalker: Black Rape Culture & Keep off the Grass


I recently encountered some human biodiversity people whining about different "generations." Here's one whining about the Boomers in Did Baby Boomers Wreck Western Civilization, and here's a more upscale British agent whining about the Millennials in Generational splits.

Hypocrisy is no stranger to various theories of materialistic predestination like the modern racial realists espouse; for example, their oft-cited impossibility of civilizing the negro in 150 years should make it similarly impossible for them to grant society the power to acculturate "the Boomers" or "Generation X" inside much-shorter period. And yet, they cling to that stuff so desperately, revealing themselves to be merely a different sort of slave to the subtle corporate message than the Cathedral-bound hordes they think they're rejecting.

Therein lies a lesson to us all: when you feed off of the corporate news, even by diametrically opposing it, you're being guided by people much smarter than you into thinking you've discovered the "omissions" they've left there to pique your interest. You're no different than a child who thinks he's clever for finding a plastic Easter egg in an overlooked corner. Somebody put that there for you to find just so you'd think you were clever.

The arbitrary subsets of people considered "generations" by corporate media are interesting generalizations. It raises the question: if you call a certain time period a generation, and decide what songs and movies and clothing and cars and viewpoints to popularize for purchase during that period, is that generation inherently different than other generations for liking those things? And, if later generations' primary perceptions of the earlier generations are based on product choices, including movies and television shows that portray a correlation between speech patterns and perspectives, is the later generation more intelligent for choosing the "right" answer and diagnosing, in the earlier generation, certain internal mental states? Short answer, no.

But anyway, in response to their complaints about whichever make-believe "generation," I posted something I've often been able to use in such situations:
God knows you're correct. Millenials love luxury. They've always had bad manners, contempt for authority; and they show disrespect for their elders. Instead of doing real exercise and real work, they chatter away, and they don't show respect to people the way earlier generations did--they no longer even do basic things, like getting to their feet when an older person enters the room.

And of course they contradict their parents, babble mindlessly whenever they host company for their parties, eat too much, and don't pay attention to people in positions of authority.
That's an example of Socrates being a myopic fool, but you can find similar arguments throughout human history, as people think, over and over again, that they're discovering something uniquely good and/or horrible about any particular make-believe "generation" of people ("generation" in the modern consumer-product sense, not in the organic, cyclical sense). The quotes work for any illusory subset of people termed a "generation." Whether you're complaining about the bad music your parents liked or the bad music your children like, you're missing the point about the bad music you like, and how you were entitled at both ends, which made entitled judges from previous or later generations seem justified when they criticized you in turn.

Could Disney 2015 possibly be worse than George Lucas 1999? Could George Lucas 1999 possibly be worse than George Lucas 1977? And perhaps most importantly of all, could George Lucas 1977 possibly be worse than Nowlan 1928?

I've used the paraphrased Socrates quote above across several blogs offering similar complaints about this or that generation. Usually the quote seems to be going along with the general mood of things, so it just fades in with the normal comments of people complaining about old people/young people. We've looked at Akino Kure's blog before in On the Necessity of Trails. You can tell he's good at what he does, because he quietly deleted my Socrates reference rather than allow any of his target audience to accidentally read it and accidentally draw a connection, and he didn't vocalize his reason for doing so because the Socrates comparison is easy enough for even his readers to grasp. In that way, the disappearance was like an unfortunate drug interaction along with revelations of recent depression, or a terrible automobile/small plane crash due to inclement weather.

The Ex-Army guy linked above, by contrast, left it there because he didn't understand it. As Alfred E. Neuman said: what, me Socrates?

Intervention

One of those grandly-obvious-yet-somehow-not-obvious ideological collisions is still being postponed in the lala-land of corporate media, namely, African-derived rape of European-derived women. The stereotypical sign-carrying yahoo--the chubby white college girl--cries for justice in all things, rallying no small number of genuine citizen supporters as she rails against rape culture and police mistreatment of the African-blooded, and yet she's willfully blind to actual rape culture, which shows the vast majority of rapes being committed by black men against white women. The silence on the issue is one of those deafening ones, given the large black elephant in the room, and it almost seems like deliberate malfeasance when the chubby white college girl complains about the middle class white college men who almost never statistically rape her, as compared to the lower class black men who statistically rape and/or kill her in hyperwhelming proportions (like, 800% higher or whatever).

Like all statistics, this poses an obvious problem for people who live solely in order to employ statistics (albeit poorly gathered, fabricated, or wholly out-of-context ones) to justify special treatment. The entire miasmatic narrative of the post-Great-War period (in which government intelligence agencies began fabricating modern "social movements") would be shattered by the attempt to reconcile various pay-gap fancies with rape-gap ones.

For feminists, the response has been--after decades and decades of violent rape and rape/murder being so heavily black-predominated--to just pretend there is no correlation. At the level of the university or the think tank, that's easily done as part of the job; for the simpleton news-absorber hitting retweet, though, it takes a little bit of internal gymnastics to retain cognitive balance. And that's simple enough to understand--we do that about pretty much everything around here.

What's so troubling about it? Well, could white feminists survive in black society without the protection of white men? Will encouraging white college men not to rape cause black dropouts not to rape? It's the normal ISIS v. WASP dilemma, where it's impossible for many people to contemplate the question of whether they're biting the hand that feeds them because it's the hand that feeds them--because they're afraid of encountering that other hand; the one that isn't so gentle. And to add to the irony, the "anti rape" set tends to also be the "anti gun" set, which theoretically makes them even less likely to be able to defend themselves from actual rape and murder, given a non-WASP/patriarchal society.

Absent a lotta lotta educational conditioning, you can't develop that kind of perspective. And western governments have been pretty fabulous at doing that. The result has been a massive, marvelous work of social engineering.

Blowback

Like the proverbial toddlers happily discovering the Easter egg and declaring themselves inventors, the next phase of dunces has spent many a year analyzing the "illogical disparity" between anti-rape and anti-race proponents. They've been delighted with what they've found: the aforementioned years of social engineering left large trails across the government landfill, showing quite clearly where the entire elite culture--corporations, universities, government agencies, children's education, employer policy, law enforcement emphasis--has worked together to highlight, and downplay, various bogeymen. As a result, the reactionaries can easily prove that the meddling occurred, and that it occurred with deliberate purpose and produced deliberate profits (and concomitant unfairness).

The resulting calls for racial segregation, vigilante justice, chattel female citizenship, and other blowback aimed at the delusional cultural-promoters, are sadly predictable. Confronted with such ridiculous illogic and hypocrisy, it can almost seem reasonable to counterstrike. And yet--what if the social engineers who created that movement were intelligent enough to have predicted the very counterreaction we've been seeing? E.g., what if the intelligence agencies who promoted bourgeois feminism in the first place wanted to achieve exactly this result?

Said intelligence agencies certainly have that capability. After all, they did get millions of people to like Rothko's work even when those people were not being paid to do so. If they can do that, they can certainly drum up a bunch of white academics to crusade against "rape culture" while simultaneously ignoring black-on-white rape, in order to infuriate white non-rapists into responding with an anti-white-girl, anti-black-guy message. The profits are as predictable as those of bourgeois feminism: another century lost to the battle between passionately fact-averse subgroups.

Over a century and a half ago, Mrs. Jellyby satirized the connection between suffragettes and colonialism, showing us how the world's great bankers would be continuing to use intra-hegemonic domestic spats to smooth over another few hundred years of warfare. The challenge to would-be feminists and vampiric carpetbaggers, then, was to make the just choice, rather than the selfish or compromising one. And the resulting combination of selfish compromises has been about as pleasant--in terms of raped pussies and bombed cities--as were the years between Antietam and Normandy.

Easy fodder, this, for the human biodiversity people--as they handily forget that, the last time they were in charge, things went just about as well. Were those stupid, selfish, short-sighted, revolutionary Baby Boomer hippies responsible for the 1965 Immigration Act, and other associated legal detritus, that ruined Our Cities? Perhaps so, but their sin was only collectively punishing the entrenched white populations who really truly deserved it because said populations had only been justifiably punishing the previously-entrenched white populations who really truly deserved it, and so forth. Maybe it was all the fault of Napoleon, and/or various French revolutionaries, who can be considered flaming liberals depending on how you twist the knife--but what about the friggin' Crusades? The whitest, male-est, most staunchly Christian-est and most nationalist period of European history was characterized by various Popes using make-believe domestic spats to trick western Europe out of colossal blood and wealth, in order to settle banking rivalries with various Middle Eastern factions. And throughout it all was white-on-white genocide and slavery, including intra-Anglo.

We must remember that The Dark Ages™ wasn't as bad as we now imagine it, and we've done so before. Even the peasants had strong kinship networks, relatively autonomous households, merry jigs, organic feasts, and all that good stuff. But the average medieval peasant hut that we study is the equivalent of the employee cafeteria and lounge at Google headquarters--very nice, but it's not comparable to different corners of the kingdom.

Around and around it goes, giving us endless choices. Will we bathe in selfish, incompletely-justified wrath? Are we able to admit that we were wrong last time around? This time around? Are we ready to move on, and to forgive others their need to feel justified and wrathful?

Did we like the big movie when we were younger, before we realized it was a plagiarized mess no better or worse than the big movie now? And can we recognize that without embarrassment? Have we learned to stop attending ourselves, or do we still try to squeeze some regressive "innocence" out of the barest connection we can find? And if we've learned not to go, can we so avoid the experience without condemning a new "generation" for thinking it's all so very cool?