August 17, 2005

Exciting Stories

There might well be many reasons to call into question the ‘vitalist’ discourse (of D&G, the early Lyotard and others), with its rhetoric of intensities, stimulus, excitation and libidinization. Setting philosophical niceties aside, however, the fact remains that the natural consequences of apathy are silence and inactivity. Discursive production of whatever kind presupposes an irreducible driver.

Cybernetics is nothing but a technical description of abstract excitement (promotion/inhibition of behaviour). Economic analysis, essentially a rigorous investigation of incentive structures and their consequences, is also differentiated from an ‘excitational’ vocabulary by nothing except linguistic convention (the conceptually decisive Keynesian reference to ‘animal spirits’ is but one index of this). Politics too, in its practical core a matter of (de)mobilization, assumes excitational dynamization through ‘ideological passion’ and awakening of interests, agendas, phobias and commitments (or the suppression of these). Values that excite nothing count for nothing, in any practically consequential field.

If ‘over-excitement’ eradicates coherence, sobriety, lucidity or perceptiveness, then that is reason enough to denigrate it, from the perspective of interests devoted to intricate or delicate tasks, at least. But this suspicion of excessive excitement does not necessitate an erasure of the entire problematic, which can only lead to the complete dismissal of motivation. Fastidious intellectualism might be at times uncomfortable with an excitational vocabulary, one seen, perhaps, as implicitly associating its mode of effective dedication with baser or cruder impulses, but such discomfort falls far short of an argument, and perhaps rises only to a mere misunderstanding.

Within the hyperstitional circuit - the minimal delimitation of the hyperstitional object compatible with both a definable content and its realization - excitation, or some functionally equivalent synonym, must find a place. If narrative has an ineliminable role in such circuitry, it is in part because the libidinal engagement of a storyline has an essential motivating role. The pure theorist is a character within a narrative trajectory - however tacit - before being a realizable subject position. Even if logical systems can be formalized without attention to their real narrative embedding, they cannot by rendered hyperstitionally consistent in this way. Even computers evade this truth only artificially, through contrived technical isolation from their conditions of emergence and reproduction. A Boolean calculation run on silicon operates within an incentivizing metanarrative that is no less ‘ontological’ and efficiently conditioning than the one enframing the desperate gambit of a sweating primate fleeing from armed killers.

“What’s the story?” is a question that is always there. What’s the story you are telling, or being told, about what you are doing and why? What’s the story of your life, your society, your identity, your place in the cosmos? What’s the story guiding your assumptions about social destiny, the meaning of existence, the nature of right and wrong?

Religions are stories, and becoming irreligious is a difficult thing. Histories are stories too, and becoming ahistorical is probably no easier. Historical religions have a special metanarrative power, evidenced through their social contagion. Perhaps Hyperstition can sort some of this out …

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at August 17, 2005 05:06 PM | TrackBack




[intended as a wind-up for dread, obviously]

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 02:43 AM



[was kinda wondering, obviously]

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 03:06 AM



Seems like experimental confirmation of the points made separately by dread/sd that excessive self-referentiality is just tedious.
There are a lot of ironies in this whole topic that remain quite fascinating to me - plus suspicion that high-octane partisan issues (capitalism, war) are the ones that really bring in the crowds ...
PS. stole your 'triangulation' point to turn it into something you'll abominate ... just sayin' ...

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 03:16 AM



>>self-referentiality is just tedious

yeah, i know i can be triangulatingly pentasyllabic. tut, awful shame.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 04:03 AM



well let's not attempt the impossilbe unmixage of nonmixables eh; realistic reverb (maker of victims, pleaser of crowds)

Iraq = Cambodja in the sense Lance hints at in this conversation?????

----------- Yo, Lance, looking through books on Cambodia yesterday at the Denver PL, legendary Australian Communist journalist, Wilfred Burchett, in a book from the 80's co-published by Vanguard Books (a M-L press) and Zed, the rad left third worldist UK publishers, has chapter headings and repeated usages of Khmer Rouge w/o scare quotes. And I betcha if you trawl though microfilm of the (NY) Guardian, you will find many contemporary usages by the radical left of the phrase Khmer Rouge. You still think that the genocide of the KR was exaggerated?! Facing death in Cambodia / Peter Maguire. Author Maguire, Peter (Peter H.) Publisher New York : Columbia University Press, c2005. The China-Cambodia-Vietnam triangle / Wilfred Burchett. -- Author Burchett, Wilfred G., 1911- Publisher Chicago, Ill. : London : Vanguard Books ; Zed Press, c1981. Description 235 p. ; 21 cm. Title Kampuchea : decade of the genocide : report of a Finnish inquiry commission / edited by Kimmo Kiljunen. -- Publisher London : Totowa, N.J. : Zed ; U.S. distributor, Biblio Distribution Center, 1984. Cambodia, 1975-1978 : rendezvous with death / [compiled by] Karl D. Jackson. Publisher Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1989 The Khmer Rouge regime took control of Cambodia by force of arms, then committed the most brazen crimes since the Third Reich: at least 1.5 million people murdered between 1975 and 1979. Yet no individuals were ever tried or punished. This book is the story of Peter Maguire's effort to learn how Cambodia's "culture of impunity" developed, why it persists, and the failures of the "international community" to confront the Cambodian genocide. Written from a personal and historical perspective, Facing Death in Cambodia recounts Maguire's growing anguish over the gap between theories of universal justice and political realities. Maguire documents the atrocities and the aftermath through personal interviews with victims and perpetrators, discussions with international and NGO officials, journalistic accounts, and government sources gathered during a ten-year odyssey in search of answers. The book includes a selection of haunting pictures from among the thousands taken at the now infamous Tuol Sleng prison (also referred to as S-21), through which at least 14,000 men, women, and children passed-and from which fewer than a dozen emerged alive. What he discovered raises troubling questions: Was the Cambodian genocide a preview of the genocidal civil wars that would follow in the wake of the Cold War? Is international justice an attainable idea or a fiction superimposed over an unbearably dark reality? Did political expediency allow Cambodian leaders to escape prosecution? The Khmer Rouge violated the Nuremberg Principles, the United Nations Charter, the laws of war, and the UN Genocide Convention. Yet in the decade after the regime's collapse, the perpetrators were rescued and rehabilitated-even rewarded-by China, Thailand, the United States, and the UN. According to Peter Maguire, Cambodia holds the key to understanding why recent UN interventions throughout the world have failed to prevent atrocities and to enforce treaties. Book jacket. -- Michael Pugliese ------------ Yo Mike... There are other cultures of impunity that should concern us: // goooooogle: Results 1 - 10 of about 44,000 for "culture of impunity". (0.04 seconds) Specifically... but not exclusively: // Leigh // "MY COUNTRY is the GREATEST PURVEYOR OF VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD TODAY." --Martin Luther KIng Jr. (We should all repeat that as a mantra... no matter WHAT country we call home, stop pointing fingers at OPP and maybe... just maybe, we'll survive as a species till the next millenium.) ------------ The genocide in Cambodia was when the US air force dropped half a million tons worth of bombs on the Cambodian countryside. The US government/media stopped trying to sell the "KR is evil" story in 1979 when they did a 180 turn and began backing the CPK. Lance ------------ Recently in a source sympathetic to Vickery, your main source from a Cambodianist, I saw the estimate of 375,000 tons of bombs dropped by Nixon's USAF on Cambodia. THE Genocide? There were two, one big, the former you refer to, and the much larger, up to 1.5 million killed by the KR. Googling, // I found an interesting thread, // w/ this ghoulish subject line, "The Murder Sweepstakes." Which contains the figure Vickery arrived at, KR executions, 200,000-300,000 Total (excess deaths, presumably) 750,000. James Devine, in his reading of my post w/ the cites on the KR/"Democratic Kampuchea", thought I was slamming the third worldist UK press on the rad left, Zed, specifically the Finnish Inq. Commish, can't through his broken record perception of me, see that I was applauding the Zed book and the judgement of their editors. They came up with the estimate of Finish Inquiry 75,000-100,000, executions, 1,000,000 deaths committed by the KR. Anyone with a good estimate of the numbers killed in Nixon's bombings, either from Shawcross or other source? Would it be anywhere near a tenth of the total killed by the US and French, 2.8 million killed Vietnamese? Anything comparable to what what the KR committed? Or will Lance, for the zillionth time relate the tired line that the KR (before the massive bombings, a sane national liberation movement like the NLF, HEH) was driven kwazy by the bombing? What troubles me in Lance's pov, besides his inability to see ALL mass murders, as crimes, whether committed by the USG and allied regimes, or regimes and movements, that proclaim their opposition to the USG. (But, those deaths can always be excused w/ Mao's dinner party, and breaking eggs to make omeletes lines.)The left response to Jeanne Kirkpatrick's apologia, "Dictatorships and Double Standards, " article, for authoritarian regimes aligned w/ the USG, was that whether one is shot by a pro-American autocrat or a (formerly, as of post '89-'91) Soviet aligned totalitarian, one is still dead regardless. Only one, "Great Satan, " at a time, eh. mp -- ----- Why can't there be multiple villains? By bombing the hell out of the countryside, the US killed so many people and destabilized the country so much that an insane group like the KR could take over and kill many more people. It's true that after the US killed many hundreds of thousands of people, they don't have a big moral leg to stand on in talking about others' butchery in Cambodia, but that doesn't make the KR any less murderous. ------------ You say the CPK killed many more people than that killed by the US's dropping of hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs, that they were butchers and murderous...yet there is very little evidence to support any of that. Not that there wasn't and isn't a lot of talk about that - then again, there is a lot of talk in the US that POW's are still being held by the Vietnamese. All US post offices are required to fly the POW/MIA flag six times a year. Are you a believer in that too? Is the butchery of the CPK the same as the butchery of the Vietnamese depicted in Chuck Norris "Missing in Action" movies, a butchery of American prisoners supposedly still held by the Vietnamese? I doubt it. Cambodia was aimed at a high-brow audience, POW/MIA at low-brow. When it comes down to it, the people offering the idea that the Cambodian communists killed people on a massive scale have almost nothing to offer. They offer the last census taken in Cambodia - in 1962 as proof (which wouldn't count people killed by the US bombing of course, but that's best left forgotten). Or the testimony of English or French-speaking Cambodians in Thai refugee camps, chosen to talk to reporters by the Thai authorities. That's the story offered - and when compared to something like the records for the Nazi holocaust, is a joke. The story doesn't add up, so it's best not to talk about the story, and talk about the people saying the emperor wears no clothes as crazed or whatever. Which becomes harder when you ask why the US supported the CPK after 1979, why would the US get behind what you term an "insane group". I mean, this is all nonsense, it's a common heritage of delusion between white American yuppies, like heaven and hell are for those who are a class or two down. Lance ------------ So Noam Chomsky is too hard on the Khmer Rouge? Noam said: >I mean the great act of genocide in the modern period is Pol Pot, 1975 through 1978-that atrocity-I think it would be hard to find any example of a comparable outrage and outpouring of fury and so on and so forth. ... // ------------ Did you actually read this page? Later he says: "Up until April 17, 1975, it was a gentle land of peaceful smiling people and after that some horrible holocaust took place." Is he actually saying Cambodia was a gentle land of peaceful smiling people prior to April 17, 1975? No, he is being sarcastic, obviously. If you read the whole page you can find out what he thinks. He was not a supporter of the KR, in fact, he didn't like them at all, but he thought, and still thinks, that the reporting of them was overblown. He wrote a book with Edward Herman called "After the Cataclysm" which included a long section on the reporting of Cambodia, especially how things with little or no evidence were printed once and then picked up and reprinted all over the place, often mischaracterized. I see very little difference between the KR hysteria and the POW/MIA hysteria. They seem to be some kind of psychological outlets, sort of like the Dolchstosslegende after Germany's defeat in World War I (which probably had more basis). There's no there there, so obviously this fills some kind of psychological need in the US. Lance ------------ I've always called this "Chomskyan sarcasm." If you read enough of his writing you should get the hang of this tone of voice. The problem is that some of his critics take everything Chomsky says literally. Whatever, they don't matter. Chuck0 ------------ // Winter 2000, long article by the AP reporters. The Bridge at No Gun Ri Parts of the Associated Press report reprinted here appeared in many American newspapers last fall, but we didn't see the entire report anywhere. It is a powerful document, an unusual piece of investigative journalism, and one that has had significant political consequences. The U.S. Army is now investigating the allegations made by the soldiers quoted here (after long resistance to similar allegations by Korean civilians). There should be an official report in late spring or early summer of this year. Anticipating the discussion certain to follow upon the report, we include with the AP dispatch comments by Michael Walzer and Marilyn B. Young on the political and moral meaning of the incident at No Gun Ri. Eds. Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley, and Martha Mendoza Marilyn B. Young wrote, "The Vietnam Wars;1945-1990, " a New Left volume. Blurbed, "A People's History of the Vietnam War, " by a UK SWP'er. Good read esp. for those who might romanticize the North. In a series edited by Zinn for The New Press. -- Michael Pugliese

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 04:29 AM



piet - on the wrong thread?

Posted by: nick at August 18, 2005 07:15 AM



When you put it like this, it sounds like nothing so much as good old traditional vanilla pomo (except for the now ragged and tattered promissory note about the connection with cybernetics - which has its own problems of explanatory parochiality as binky points out). It seems essentially a tautological proposal: things must be essentially excitative because things are essentially excitative.

But nothing really follows from such indiscriminate universals, unless on the shaky basis of its being 'more' exciting (according to what metrics? Some sickos even find singing hymns exciting) which would not move the argument on at all. Surely what is needed is a criteria that can discriminate in some more sophisticated way, otherwise one is just in the position of a slavishly trend-prone editor of a style magazine (e.g. gobbling up and uncritically spewing out any sufficiently 'exciting' press release from the publicity-seeking). It's hard to make this program(me) run except as a sort of transcendental advocacy of passive idiocy, or psuedo-philosophical channel-hopping. But, nb. (a)it may indeed be that this is the 'true' destination of D&Gism and (b)there has certainly been loads of good (and bad) stuff posted on the site that don't really seem to be covered by the storytelling definition. The determination to keep the other hidden agenda(s) hidden under this blanket definition is perhaps the symptom of an uneccesary desire for universal systematicity.

Posted by: dread at August 18, 2005 09:32 AM



> Even computers evade this truth only artificially

I realise (hope) you're taking the piss here, but surely it's just as valid to argue that everything is utterly meaningless and 'even narratives evade this truth only artificially'? Wouldn't cybernetics have to find an explanation for local, relative systems without either dismissing or universalising them (the very problem of representation)?

Posted by: dread at August 18, 2005 09:51 AM



dread - i'd be close to crying uncle were it not for the suspicion of a communication glitch. A few points:
1) There's surely an empirical question about what generates 'libidinal investment' and what fails to. This is a supremely practical question, guiding topic choice in the direction of maximum input. Perhaps the attempt to 'scientize' this question is hopeless, but can that be assumed in advance?
2) Also concerned that the eradication of the narrative issue (which you really seem to hate, but i can't help wondering whether its merely triggering some contingent associations that could be deprogrammed) ultimately buries hyperstition. Isn't there a 'culturalism' (abstracted to the max, of course) inseparable from the hyperstitional endeavour (whether conceived analytically or synthetically)? You don't deny narratives exist, so why must they necessarily be aligned with pomo fuzz-technology obstructing the crisp vistas of objectivity? Can't they themselves be rigorously taxonomized, analysed, and subjected to sober engineering approaches? Is Lovecraft (for e.g.) now merely an irrelevant or even vaguely annoying reference for you?
3) Your "perhaps the symptom of an unneccesary desire for universal systematicity" is well taken - and still being digested along with associated points made both by you and sd. The overt reason for raising the issue in such a 'metatronic' fashion was precisely to generate such responses - at the risk of sterile self-referentiality.
4) It's impossible to argue with (what i'm taking as) your argument that a mere almanac of 'exciting stuff' would be entirely diversionary. My attachment to the topic here is tied more to the definition of the hyperstitonal object as something 'making itself real' - and assuming that requires libidinal apprehension, that everything of this kind must be capable of mobilizing a social process sufficient to effectuate it. Of course, this might for some reason escape all potential for rigorous comprehension - but then (to repeat) is not the entire hyperstitional enterprise essentially doomed?

Can you elaborate a little on your last parag. (the separate post) - not clearly getting it, and sounds important.

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 10:49 AM



Nick. you sound like doktor frankenstein (the hyperstitonal object as something 'making itself real'). why is the hyperstitional enterprise essentially doomed? what *is* the hyperstitional enterprise?

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 10:58 AM



Don't weep...sense we are moving towards some sort of phase shift, but I'm not letting that prevent me from being as bolshy as possible ;)

Second point is basically that, of course, all autonomy from external influences is artificial, relative and temporary. It's another question whether that means that it's ultimately of an inferior level of reality and must be conceived in terms of its genetic environment. The real interesting thing is to figure out the processes by which this relative autonomy emerges, and to that extent I agree that the question is 'how things make themselves real' (the problem of the creation of pockets of transcendence with disproportionate traction within an immanent system).

One issue is that I think more progress would be made towards a rigorous analysis of this in the absence of form-content blurrings, etc. I don't understand the requirement for methodological barminess in adressing what is after all a problem with a fairly good philosophical pedigree (not to say that it's been at all 'solved' or even well-posed).

The more important issue is that I agree that computers evade narratives 'artificially' but I'm certainly not suggesting there's some way to do it 'authentically' - I'm a committed amphibian. However there's a slippage here, perhaps, between temporal and ontological priority: just because the 'narrative' came before the computer, that doesn't mean that boolean algebra is ontologically beholden to the Bill Gates' getting a loan, or whatever. Think this is the whole problem with the capitalism/hyperstition nexus in microcosm (and also suggestive of why 'number as ontology' vs 'number as calculation' is an important issue: weren't numbers programming monkeys long before they learned to count....?)

Finally, The 'empirical' question about what creates libidinal investment is surely hopelessly compromised by anthropocentrism: What could we possibly learn from it, except on a simple sociological level?

Posted by: robin at August 18, 2005 11:18 AM



damn, I blew my cover.

Posted by: dread at August 18, 2005 11:26 AM



"you sound like doktor frankenstein" - why, thank you ;)
"what *is* the hyperstitional enterprise?" - this question is beginning to emit a neurotic aura of psychic flinching on my part ('back-to-the drawingboardism' and all that)

To take 'another' jumping-off point - secular rationalists (such as the infamous Dawkins who no one even need read anymore because he's so unbalanced on the subject, or so i'm told) have tended to assume that the dominant monotheistic narratives (probably held by a majority of humans, and if the highly monotheized version of hinduism now prevalent in India is included, definitely by a majority) will simply crumble under the weight of their own irrationality and complete absence of evidential support. Unfortunately, this expectation (the tale of progressive enlightenment) has proven grossly unrealistic. Clearly, the political climate on this planet remains profoundly determined by 'beliefs' - better, macronarratives - organized in terms of dogmatic superstition and apocalyptic teleology.
How then to respond?
My suspicion is that both sd and dread have lapsed into traumatic paralysis in regards to this issue - hoping a mixture of contemptuous dismissal, vestigial clutching at the decaying threads of secular teleology, and sad resignation will suffice, allowing them to focus their attention on more important things. Maybe they're right. I'd be delighted if they were.
But to crank up the nightmare - what if the etho-technical dynamic cycle blurrily apprehended by hyperstition was working for the other side? What if the hyperstitional dynamic was reinforcing the strategic position of the most dogmatic, intolerant, obsessive, 'memetically toxic' cultural strains? What if monotheism had actually accomplished a pact with destiny, with hyperstition helping us to understand how this might be true in the complete absence of an original ontological justification for its stupendous and abhorrent claims? What if monotheism had so thoroughly consolidated its trend to dominion that it was now coming back at us out of the future, as established fate, with nothing except mopping up among the bestial howls of triumphant prophecy remaining?
If anything at all like this were the case, "vanilla pomo" would be among the least of our concerns ...

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 11:44 AM



time slippage (northanger thinks this sounds macho)

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 11:46 AM



>>back-to-the drawingboardism
no. just tell me.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 11:49 AM



oops. spoke too soon. shoulda read the whole thing.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 11:54 AM



"damn, I blew my cover" - but who's to know you're not 'the other robin'?

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 11:55 AM



fuxake ... what other side?

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 11:57 AM



"except on a simple sociological level" - but isn't the sole interest in 'capitalism' the fact that the 'simple sociological level' becomes undelimitable? with nanotechnology, for instance, a social undertaking becomes a cosmochemical transition. quantum computing perhaps even more germane.

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 12:00 PM



northanger - no one's taught you the handshake?

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 12:01 PM



what handshake? still looking for the dutch train.

>>What if monotheism had so thoroughly consolidated its trend to dominion that it was now coming back at us out of the future, as established fate, with nothing except mopping up among the bestial howls of triumphant prophecy remaining?

you guys must be riding on it. you *must* be kidding.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 12:04 PM



on the Dutch train?

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 12:10 PM



piet's slightly off topic dutch train. careening wildly right about now.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 12:14 PM



i repeat. you *must* be kidding.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 12:15 PM



that "*must*" looks intimidating

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 12:17 PM



only if.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 12:21 PM



haha, I'm not sure whether you still don't believe the other robin exists. He knows more about set theory than I do, though.

If we grant that it's having any appreciable effect, Hyperstition's (as web entity rather than as abstract concept) reinforcing anti-enlightenment regressive tendencies seems a likely enough hypothesis to me that I'm sticking to my 'more important things'; have more than a suspicion, to reverse your surmise, that what looks like exciting dynamism from the outside might itself be 'traumatic paralysis'...if you're forever feverishly anticipating the apocalypse, how do you get stuff done?

Must forcibly cut off contact now...books to read, photos to develop...[btw if "lurker" is about, have some interesting demons for you to look at on my site...]

Posted by: dread at August 18, 2005 12:36 PM



>>if you're forever feverishly anticipating the apocalypse, how do you get stuff done?

not a damn thing.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 12:41 PM scroll to page 4 (as I told you before but I don't remember where)

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 01:48 PM




Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 02:07 PM



piety. finally downloaded your 18TON file to look at your warwick owl ... thanx. you have to translate this bit:

DE UIL BANDIT, hier op een ongedateerde foto, krijgt vliegles bij het kasteel van Warwick in Engeland. Bandit had zoveel moeite bij het uitvliegen dat zijn trainer hem een bordje met de letter L erop heeft omgehangen. De vogel maakt deel uit van een demonstratie op het historische kasteel.

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 02:11 PM



did you ever hear george carlin's bit on "Stuff"?

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 02:12 PM



communicable in a one liner?

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 03:59 PM



not 'traumatic paralysis' - I'll contribute to this thread as soon as a rather traumatic parental visit is over. I find this thread very interesting, actually, but it does require time...

Posted by: sd at August 18, 2005 06:55 PM



bird is part of a presentation at the historic castle; had 'trouble' flying 'out', called Bandit

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 07:28 PM



criminal cynics on Bandit

first 7 hits on target:

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 07:42 PM



he IS a

Posted by: dumb lookin bandit at August 18, 2005 07:49 PM



poor bird. kinda reminds me of John "Wrong-Way" Goldfarb.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 01:47 AM



kinda ironic: the scarlett letter is A(dultery). owly's is L(earner).

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 01:50 AM



you'll like this piet: more exciting stories.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 01:52 AM



sd - I'm just projecting (recalling how secular-enlightenment optimism reacts to the latest screwy meme stats) ;)

Posted by: Nick at August 19, 2005 03:03 AM



>>communicable in a one liner?

nope. here it is.

Our nation was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free... So, we kept our black African people, in order to fight and kill the white English people, so we could move west and steal the land from the red Indian people, and then move south and steal the land from the brown Mexican people, which would give us a place to take off and bomb the yellow Japanese people! You know what the motto for this country oughtta be? "YOU GIVE US A COLOR, AND WE'LL WIPE IT OUT!"

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 05:13 AM



goro adachi is out of his gourd (no matter how much i admire people who love rivers, it's plain silly to make them mean everything possible and impossible); he's a bit like Szabo I am afraid, I caught the latter arguing with the man who's system you use (jacob's wheel) at his forum and saved it; quite hilarious and revealing I thought. (all these people are tied with literal fabulists like . .. . shit I don't even want to recall all them names yet again). Suffice it to say I think they are dead if not deadly ends. However I shall explore that composite site a little, if for nothing else, to find traces of Arguelles (should be in spain about now) and such.

ps: if you are anywhere near burlingame I can arrange for you to pick up the bag of sea minerals there by emailing my pal don weaver (it's about time for my once in 5 year respect payment anyway, which reminds me what a sorry frontfighterfigure I make ((the dutch call being ridiculous 'to beat a figure)). Don't gigantic summation of early warning signs in climate change is available in pdf at

Posted by: piet at August 19, 2005 11:07 AM



Goro's site is top of the line as far as visual design (present version since may last year: but he is a scared little fish in the ecology of riverbending and river helping hand lending .. . he ain't helping establish a sensible way to worship the only true, namely earthy riches: bagger (aanbidding = worship; aanbod = supply; bied aan = offer; offer = sacrifice).

I appreciate the courage to start a passage with: "The ritualistic aspect of Arnold's Israel... .." but this man is no Hoffman (who's last ((free)) piece is called 'the sex life of Muhammed' by the way but of course that’s only a pretext to scold the torah rabbis some more); he is looking at the stars so much that he is bound to stumble or at least stub his toes (a good too few to call in anew or even) many times (chronicity is timeless except at the more or less contested edges) and his frequent ref to Nostradamus puts him squarely in the field of those poisened by writs blowing out of regions with long since past the pliability of the meme stage before demographic oppression turns chronic/permanent (comes down to terrorism institutionalized enough to displace gardening skills on a massive scale (and aeons of ‘m in a flash; hence my attempt to here ridicule Goro’s attempt to tie such lumps of time to nanopincet pinpointable specks and mere moments of it, catastrophic ones at that; the crush that crashes a rock to ashes can be quite a definite end and yet a wind-up too but as long as it’s explicitly stated and demonstrated it will always slide into these derives and liminally related flipflopflap fabulation flying off the [[[EARTHLY]]]] handle); zionism was a noble fight against this in it's dream stage but the reality is that it can't fight what it hoped to excorcise or at least outrun far enough for it, let alone stop it; on the contrary I am afraid, upping strife amongst races but hey what’s new .. . .)

Posted by: piet at August 19, 2005 11:47 AM



[this is merely a 'version'. The questions are as genuine as possible]

Macronarratives have their roots in the despair human intelligence meets when it doubles on itself and comes face to face with the extent and depths of its ignorance and apparent powerlessness in the face of death. Parents and grandparents, those closest to the ancient replicators, are walking libraries containing vast repositories of information concerning plants, animals, weather and territory, and their loss must have been ever more desolating as the human species became increasingly dependent on acquired knowledge passed from generation to generation. This sense of irrevocable loss reanimates the ancestors beyond the grave. The old ones haunt life and brains begins installing stories about what came before and what lies ahead; the unfathomable gulfs of pre-conception and after-life are plugged with tales, the telling of which introduces discipline, ecstasy and hope. One part of the biological machinery sees a way out for itself: human intelligence, sick of being used and abused as a tool of bio-chemicals, grants itself a future.

What exactly is a macronarrative? Is ancestor worship a macronarrative to the extent that it embraces and furnishes an explanation for the totality of reality?

The forms which religious/sacred macronarratives can take in their evolution (the order of 3-6 being variable):

1. family-ancestor worship
2. tribal mythology
3. people mythology (e.g. the Celts, the Slavs)
4. state religion
5. imperial religion

Macronarratives were initially transmitted as oral contagion, from mouth to ear, and dwelt solely in brain circuitry. The carriers at this point are memetically explosive heads: prophets.

Is one of the features that distinguishes a prophet from a shaman the tendency for prophets to infect with macronarratives, while the shaman becomes a gate to the sacred? The prophet preys on the mind's ignorance (and fear) of the future, while the shaman makes immediate contact. [?]

Orally transmitted macronarratives have a precarious dependence on their host's storage space and recall capacity. This was brought to an abrupt end with the advent of writing. Writing enabled macronarratives to spread beyond the family, tribe or people (gene pool) and guaranteed them a certain degree of longevity. Ease of replication and an increase of fidelity to the original master copy (in comparison to the Chinese whispers of speech) enables macronarratives to retain their distinct identities over time as they spread their way to the future. Writing is the carrier for rapid infection.

Macronarratives are imbued with affects, identities and idiosyncrasies which bear the unmistakable stamp of the heads (and gene pools?) in which they grew and mutated. They were often formed and mutated in conflict with the macronarratives of neighboring families, tribes, states and empires. Heresies start as intense mutations within the body of macronarratives, questioning and rewriting the core codes (doctrines). If there is enough disaffection then the heresy can challenge and compete with the macronarrative (Luther; Calvin). Less successful mutations will find themselves ghettoized as cults and sects.

Science started competing with religious macronarrative in the renaissance but only gained acceptance as an alternative when global trade (Capital) had established itself and human intelligence became somewhat disgusted by the incessant warring that religions fuelled (in stark contrast to their purported aims) (Enlightenment).

Unlike religious macronarratives, the narratives of science do not monopolize the future, and they delineate the territory of human intelligence (critique), rather than prey on ignorance. Most crucially, science offers little metaphysical comfort to a species which has an overwhelming tendency to seek comfort. Its stories are dry, often incomprehensible and frequently disconcerting.

History gets its hands dirty with the waste products of grandmemes as they eat their way through time. Histories are often used by religious macronarratives as a tool for retro-justification and endorsement. Some histories are in allegiance with science, which means they are obliged to write histories of histories and run them within their texts.

The unanswered/unanswerable question is whether religious narratives have indeed been infiltrated by the objects of their worship, as they claim to have been. It's possible, but it can't be proven until we start getting texts and emails from gods. Science demands proof: hard evidence. Some religious macronarratives make the ability to believe in something which is contrary to all the evidence a virtue in itself (doubting Thomas). It's possible that hyperstition has been co-opted by a monotheism looming from the future, but proof would be nice. There are numerous thought experiments which invoke scenarios which are entirely plausible (evil demons, The Matrix), but they can be neither proven nor disproven, and so are to a large extent irrelevant to science. These thought experiments don't actually do much, beyond exercise or entertain the brain.

Posted by: sd at August 19, 2005 11:58 AM



i can never figure you out (see, i do try). do you like Arguelles & his time system? or do you like to irritate yourself? is that a nordic thing?

don't actually use jw. haven't checked my phases in ages. you mean this Szabo? that was an interesting page, btw.

now what exactly can *i* do with a bag of sea minerals?

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 11:59 AM



piet. what are you going on about crazy nord bagger sacrifices.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 12:02 PM



sd. is the matriarch of an elephant tribe a living macronarrative? (which is what a shaman is, imho). when a matriach dies massive amounts of survival info is also lost — where its absence can be devastating & its presence illuminating. maybe the matriach needs to live long enough for the tribe to experience a full spectrum (drought, heat, hunting, overabundance, parasites, etc) calling on the matriach's knowledge & allowing it to "infiltrate" the tribe.

i agree. the "looming" threat is still too nebulous for serious consideration.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 12:43 PM



sd - processing. Just to jump to a remark that provoked reflex response:
"The unanswered/unanswerable question is whether religious narratives have indeed been infiltrated by the objects of their worship, as they claim to have been."
But that is not the hyperstitional issue - beginning to wonder whether I'm on an autistic hobby-horse with my pre-occupation, but I'll try to spell it out.
Hyperstition deals with cultural syndromes of a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' type. Mundane example (object of impending post) is 'confidence' in modern economies - if a population thinks the economic future looks good, within definite limits, it will be, or is at least more likely to be - an expectation becomes a causally effective factor viz the 'object' it addresses. This is not standard epistemology ('is X true or not?') because the expectation itself serves as an effective (productive) variable.
Apocalyptic monotheism has a hideous complicity with this machinery PRECISELY BECAUSE IT HAS NO GROUNDING IN FACTUAL REALITY. Is the world going to end in fire and blood? Get 3-4 billion people thinking so, and it's suddenly a lot more likely. More mildly, does history have a trend? Ditto (mass acceptance of a historical religion becomes a factor that shapes time).
For this reason secular rationalism is at a huge disadvantage versus world religions (Marx excepted, since in this respect he remained an apocalyptic monotheist). Once the future is considered 'innocent' - that's to say, implicitly dissociated from hyperstitional dynamics, 'what will happen will happen whatever we think about it' - cultures (mega-meme systems) that strongly leverage futurism get to use it for 'their own ends'.
As a question: Is it a coincidence that the dominant world religions are all apocalyptic macronarratives? If not, secular intelligence has already been outflanked and panic is entirely appropriate ...

[On the actual content of your post - more after reflection]

Posted by: Nick at August 19, 2005 12:51 PM



nick. Just to jump to a remark that provoked reflex response:

{a madman speaking in the wilderness!: object of impending post}

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 01:13 PM



northanger -
"agree. the 'looming' threat is still too nebulous for serious consideration."
- famous last words or what ... (worthy of a gddm disaster movie "Mr President, more than half the world's population are spasming theozombies infected by apocalypse plage" "agreed Doctor, but the 'looming' threat is still too nebulous for serious consideration...")

Posted by: Nick at August 19, 2005 01:24 PM



rotflmao. ok ok already.

my favorite movie quote:
"That's part of your problem: you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies." — Grand Canyon

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 01:36 PM



the 'evidence' you asked for Nick (dunno if that was in this thread or not but since yall are here. . .) and the effort to bring it to bear is 'meaningless' according to a 2004 article's conclusion on apocalyptic behaviour by a man I thought was on my side at least halfway as I am with him; nothing goes with the dust sprinkle n sprayment 'sorteaze'. His latest articles:

Posted by: Anthony via Piet at August 19, 2005 01:49 PM



nick. know you did this fast, but, "within definite limits" for your first example made economic sense. you hit stratosphere when it's applied to "Get 3-4 billion people thinking so, and it's suddenly a lot more likely" — WHEN this thinking has no "grounding in factual reality". great example, imho, of SFP. what are the "definite limits" of SFP?

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 02:11 PM



Nick - Hmmm. I'm already working on version II.

"For this reason secular rationalism is at a huge disadvantage versus world religions"

"panic is entirely appropriate ..."

Is this why hyperstition is doomed to failure?

northanger - I'll be back with elephant as living macronarrative later. Diamond has something relevant to this in 'Why Sex Is Fun'

Posted by: sd at August 19, 2005 02:17 PM



"In many mammals, including elephants, pheromones have significant roles during sexual reproduction. Z-7-dodecenyl acetate has recently been identified by our group as the urinary pheromone released by female Asian elephants prior to ovulation. This compound, also the sex pheromone of 126 species of insects, elicits quantitative bioresponses from male elephants. In a collaborative effort with the Riddle's Elephant Sanctuary in Arkansas and the University of Utah (Dr. Glenn Prestwich and Josef Lazar), this research now focuses on the molecular aspects of olfaction in this large macrosmatic mammal. Specifically we are characterizing the successive proteins, in the female urine, in the truncal mucus, and in the mucus of the vomeronasal organ, that bind to Z-7-dodecenyl acetate, especially their binding specificities. We have prepared a c-DNA library from elephant liver and are screening this library. Ultimately we are interested in the mechanisms of signal transduction in the elephant vomeronasal organ."

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 02:42 PM



elephant urinary pheromones - don't let anyone accuse you guys of straying off topic

Posted by: Nick at August 19, 2005 03:05 PM



apologies for losing track of the excitational incentivization effects of fragrant pachiderm piss - lack of empathy at a crucial moment ...

Posted by: Nick at August 19, 2005 04:52 PM



ah nicholas. there's a lot i can say here about the "fragrant pachiderm piss" of the male elephant. but instead...

talk about "exciting stories" — left behind series begins with The Rapture & moralistic panoramic view of who actually gets "left behind". Nicolae Jetty Carpathia: senator & master politician beginning in Romania ending with worldwide control via UN. assasinated & body inhabited by Satan — the antichrist.

series makes millions of dollars in movies, cds, dvds, books, etc.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 09:02 PM



beating dead elephants: musth occurs primarily in asian bull elephants experiencing autistic symptoms.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 09:25 PM



the white letters here are causing a little too much excitation on my eyeballs at this stage in drawing on dwindling reserves; I'll have you know I take measures most of the time: tweak the format (what's new with me right? cerainly not a rocktweakener in/on site yet; matter of fact not much of a site at all, digital a bit but more literally: homeless, appeals for help notwithstanding; the ways with real estate in the world really suck).

Posted by: sputter at August 19, 2005 10:11 PM



ironically sputter, they wondered what set sepoy Mangal Pandey off. maybe it was the zealous christian commandant's wife who gave him a bible that made him nervous. or his refusal to "bite the cartridge". could be the annexation policy of Lord Dalhousie & the paramountcy of the British East India Company setting things on edge. 1856 Awadh annexation near Mangal's home town occurred a century after the Battle of Plassey & Awadh's treaty with the BEIC. military strategist & general JFC Fuller (who also wrote the only pathworking book i own & a critical essay about Crowley), put Plassey on his list of decisive battles — considered by some the "unsavoury beginning" of British dominion in India. or ... perhaps Mangal drank too much Bhang, like a drunk elephant with too much musth.

Posted by: northanger at August 19, 2005 11:20 PM



Jared Diamond: Why Sex is Fun, The Evolution of Human Sexuality

”In my field studies of bird ecology on New Guinea and adjacent Southwest Pacific islands, I live among people who had traditionally been without writing, depended on stone tools and subsisted by farming and fishing supplemented by much hunting and gathering. I am constantly asking villagers to tell me the names of local species of birds, animals, and other plants in their local language, and to tell me what they know about each species. It turns out that New Guineans and Pacific islanders possess an enormous fund of traditional biological knowledge, including names for a thousand or more species, plus information on each species' habitat, behavior, ecology, and usefulness to humans. All that information is important because wild plants and animals traditionally furnished much of the people's food and all of their building materials, medicines and decorations.

Again and again, when I ask a question about some rare bird, I find that only the older hunters know the answer, and eventually I ask a question that stumps even them. The hunters reply, 'We have to ask the old man [or the old wom*n].' They then take me to a hut, inside of which is an old man or wom*n, often blind with cataracts, barely able to walk, toothless, and unable to eat any food that hasn't been prechewed by someone else. But that person is the tribe's library. Because the society traditionally lacked writing, that old person knows much more about the local environment then anyone else and is the sole source of accurate knowledge about events that happened long ago. Out comes the rare bird's name, and a description of it.

That old person's accumulated experience is important for the whole tribe's survival. For instance, in 1976 I visited Rennell Island in the Solomon Archipelago, lying in the Southwest Pacific's cyclone belt. When I asked about the consumption of fruits and seeds by birds, my Rennellese informants gave Rennell-language names for dozens of plant species, listed for each plant species all the bird and bat species that eat its fruit, and stated whether the fruit edible for people. Those assessments of edibility were ranked in three categories: fruits that people never eat; fruits that people regularly eat; and fruits that people eat only in famine times, such as after - and here I kept hearing a Rennell term initially unfamiliar to me - after the hungi kengi. Those words proved to be the Rennell name for the most destructive cyclone to have hit the island in living memory - apparently around 1910, based on people's references to datable events of the European colonial administration. The hungi kengi blew down most of Rennell's forest, destroyed gardens and drove people to the brink of starvation. Islanders survived by eating the fruits of wild plant species that normally were not eaten, but doing so required detailed knowledge about which plants were poisonous, which were not poisonous, and whether and how the poison could be removed by some technique of food preparation.

When I began pestering my middle-aged Renellese informants with my questions about fruit edibility, I was brought into a hut. There, in the back of the hut, once my eyes had become accustomed to the dim light, was the inevitable, frail, very old wom*n, unable to walk without support. She was the last living person with direct experience of the plants found safe and nutritious to eat after the hungi kengi, until people's gardens began producing again. The old wom*n explained to me that she had been a child not quite of marriageable age at the time of the hungi kengi... The wom*n was probably in her early eighties. Her survival after the 1910 cyclone had depended on information remembered by aged survivors of the last big cyclone before the hungi kengi. Now, the ability of her people to survive another cyclone would depend on her own memories, which fortunately were very detailed.

Such anecdotes could be multiplied indefinitely. Traditional human societies face frequent minor risks that threaten a few individuals, and they also face rare natural catastrophes or intertribal wars that threaten the lives of everybody in the society. But virtually everyone in a small traditional society is related to each other. Hence it is not only the case that old people in a traditional society are essential to the survival of their own children and grandchildren. They are also essential to the survival of the hundreds of people who share their genes.

Any human societies that included individuals old enough to remember the last event like a hungi kengi had a better chance of surviving than did societies without such old people. The old men were not at risk from childbirth or the exhausting responsibilities of lactation and child care, so they did not evolve protection by menopause. But old women who did not undergo menopause tended to be eliminated from the human gene pool because they remained exposed to the risk of childbirth and the burden of child care. At times of crisis, such as a hungi fengi, the prior death of such an older wom*n also tended to eliminate all of her surviving relatives from the gene pool - a huge genetic price to pay for the dubious privilege of continuing to produce another baby or two against lengthening odds. That importance to society of the memories of old women is what I see as a major driving force behind the evolution of human female menopause."

Posted by: sd at August 19, 2005 11:45 PM



sd. maybe i should wait for Nick to wake up & have fun with this first. men.o.pause.

would an "old person's accumulated experience" be considered a micronarrative or macronarrative? seems to be two levels of narrative strata: day-to-day (young/adult) not day-to-day (elderly).

we do have experience of the apocalyptic with the atom bomb in Hiroshima & Nagasaki. you would think that after those horrifying experiences we'd not want to keep weapons of mass destruction or even consider using them in the future.

however, do you think this proof-positive of apocalyptic destruction has infiltrated religious narratives? that, maybe inadvertantly, science fueled the apocalyptic macronarrative?

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 01:12 AM



northanger - IMHO your ref. to the Left Behind series is highly pertinent - its success surely based upon the fact that it satisfies a tacit macronarrative of deep (even 'ultimate') meaning to very large numbers of readers. Doesn't it also answer your own (somewhat hippy-chickish) questions about the atom bomb? The hard core apocalypse narratives of both contemporary Christianity and Islam are entirely comfortable with the military potential of WMD and their geopolical effects - almost as if these arrive as a confirmation. The worst could never happen? But it says in The Book ...

[Net-link on the fritz - take hours to log on, so comms likely to highly erratic]

Posted by: Nick at August 20, 2005 04:42 AM



Generation Z will be younger than the atomic age, cold war, internet, cellphones & war on terror. different frame of reference.

prior to the atomic age there was no weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the entire planet. this "achievement" based on science, not religion. certainly science has infiltrated religious narratives concerning apocalyptic scenarios & interpretations.

i can see how Left Behind is an indirect response to this — maybe intelligent design is the direct response because it primarily effects Generation Z.

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 05:15 AM



is 'Z' like Omega?

Posted by: Nick at August 20, 2005 06:10 AM



>>is 'Z' like Omega?

hmm. could be.

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 06:44 AM



folks are only viewing intelligent design from a religious perspective. but can't ID be a carrier for other things?

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 06:52 AM



point i'm trying to make: how current generations (narratives) view ID is one thing — what GZ does with it is another thing because they have a different frame of reference.

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 06:54 AM



Incredible series of posts...

Going to take a stab at singling these out as religious macronarrative's primary 'weapons' unanswerable by science
1) the world beyond
2) the immortality required to experience it (even sci-fi science can only offer pale imitations of eternity in Christ)

That and creation ex nihilio

Does anyone keep up with neurological investigations into religious belief? I'm fascinated by the idea of separating the supposed mental states brought about by religious practice (the feelings of 'oneness' through prayer, meditation, etc.) and the narratives that provide their basis. What is their relation? Does one exist for the sake of the other? Could the success of certain religious narratives over others be due in part to their ability to provide these states to the faithful, as (one idea) 'proof' of a world beyond?

I'm thinking of Buddhism of course, but what about monotheism...

Posted by: traxus4420 at August 20, 2005 07:00 AM



Useful questions traxus4420! Presently being chewed. Back later today.

Posted by: sd at August 20, 2005 09:11 AM



Nick: "sd - processing. Just to jump to a remark that provoked reflex response:"

sd: "The unanswered/unanswerable question is whether religious narratives have indeed been infiltrated by the objects of their worship, as they claim to have been."

Nick: "But that is not the hyperstitional issue - beginning to wonder whether I'm on an autistic hobby-horse with my pre-occupation, but I'll try to spell it out. Hyperstition deals with cultural syndromes of a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' type."
me: sd implicitly posits existence (constructibility) of golem and wonders if they ever look back to their makers. He has reversed the faith meme that father figure will abide, provide and help us reverse time to swim into his penis again.
This tangle of thought could take some tedious unraveling time here, so get some coffee; I think that relates to (im)migration (freedom of feet to foot it and the lowdy to lule, let's loll!!) thusly: Have you all read and seen evidence that mixed bloods betray both parental strains besides themselves (2nd generation 'pure bloods dislocatees' don't seem to succeed where their parents already failed either; miscegenation is a real problem and good part of the causes for being so awestruck with multiculturalism ((similar to the growing awe for allah i am afraid)); it's a bloodletting compromise we gladly accept cause fear of charge building from racial purity idea(l)s and possibly bursting again like it did 60 years ago which is generally consensed to be worse (that is, ((needless (((?))) to say,)) advertized, propagandated and proselytazered as such by .. .well we never know for sure what lurks in the sentinel shrouded shadows but surely some of those who play both sides of the field), alternatives nipped in the bud and looked down on).
It is little wonder that 2nd generation emigrees are often unfit to keep/catch up and truly integrate cause culture, no matter how nurturing (dutch anyone? Asylum seeker numbers one the rise once again, all looking for or to come help clean up that soft source of sentience: bagger I guess) can(, granted, perhaps someday overcome, but) never instantly override (no matter how feverishly the search is on) the more and more untold rash-, harshness and sorrowfilled manifold ages of meanwhile hardwired meagerness living closer and closer to the edge and together yet gaps, gullys, rifts, cracks and chaps get sharper stinkier and widen; the epitomy of artful paradoxy: gently feeding dust (at hand) into - in order to achieve a dustfree - society/environment is ignored in favour of casting ever further off and around, more wildly and widely, for blame and belief, 'stitionwise' i see no wisdom at all; (stitch? ultimately mesh is what matters most ((perspective is pers pective press spit precipitatious netnuttertree; I thought of building a treehut the other day, since the ground under it was so sacredly soft .. . I found myself in perfect agreement the next, reading socialfiction's mention of 'baron in the trees' at the top of the page and that was only yesterday)), cascade anyone? I am reminded of my keenest visions for arty ((top dollar)) executions of my wildest dreams regarding a rockprocessing tool/instrument/arm ((gosh, that tripartite is returning out of a 5 year retirement all of a sudden))) lotsa lux but little flex, less buffer, bounce, cushy cuddles and gentle give; an impulsive selfishness gets stuck between torrents and tough surfaces, the original diversity whittled down, weeded out.
the DEmand for return on and of whatever idiocies hopes and fears get invested (taken seriously with grave clinchclickonclarity worthy of the father that passed a way too soon ((and left us 'onthand' = dehanded aprehensively dehensile, you've got to hand it to HIM (((Highly internalized memory?))))): sheer unforgettable) turns to COMmand for in the exact measure of its . . .eh . .. virulence / violence; the impersonality meme (mass society oriented, favoring the mating masters zonder aanzicht des persoons) prefers to work in/through public places/conduits (from exhibitionist to extatic suicidal psychotic = a person with low birthright privileges; nobody is too stupid to become a modest 'volkstuinder' = family gardener = exactly the thing capitalism from its paleomercantilic beginnings to its even and ever more soshow-neo-zeo-con-serff@ifliberal profits requiring present fucks up, over and out).
Nick, let's not forget he is failed fabulator and once would be engineer of 'cultural syndroms', denies the circuit of accumulation and acceleration (gravity building ((or star construction) as Dan does and denies effects if unintended ones and/or intented ones fail to arise (either for the sake of argument or to exonerate his dank past in the dirty sowet, sweat, sweet and hyperswitchious s(ee)witshops of pretense and word mechanicianery).
C): objects of worship (the warship objective and gunboat diplomacy, in the news just now) are orderer from science; autism is sexy (look at how wildly popular Muhammed is and that, for a chance, is not cause birthrights don't extend much beyond a copy of the sacred book so you can pretend to live the life of a promising creditworthy semitically globetrotting venture copytallyist; after all that's my story in a nutshell too; even and actually, especially in rich countries, a piece of land is not part of mating rituals and birthright formality .. .no wonder the desperate allow their eyes to wonder to the stars; one amputative abortion deserves another premature leapfroggery); musicians and cryptomaniacs behind the curtain; between them they divide the sp(oil); commedia del arte with phallic icon harlekin hopping the feel good spiel in plain view -- center of attention has pick of the crop, cream of the coup and run of the field, always ... . .radially even ... let's explode to get her

Posted by: pietje sputter at August 20, 2005 09:47 AM



traxus dude, your post (with hints of how being religiously communal may degenerate into parasitic religious communities of pills posters and preachy separatists) really triggered my last rant and I am only just now (back down to it after the reread and urge to comment on that too, which sorta got slipperdispliced in beforehand (oh the joys of liberal copytolast choices by wristflickerdiclick clockerdick lack)) again reminded of what started me off and coming to it again, so, to repiet: yes, consistency, consequentiality and endurance constitute the dominion over some of the most closely and readily identified layers of the biosphere embeddying 'one' (all the) while attempting a proper and thus well received wave to others in sorta similar spincycles; sustainability (is the next good buzz word gonna be smothered between the cellulose sheets too, look busy in the languid and languishment conducive server bizz rather than put to practice?), in order of appearing (to be) closest to the (non-, pre- and underconsciously arrived at, grounded and G-rounded, that is, potentiated, 'built' ((grown)) and ripened grindings ((frictionfraction, forerunner and model for fiction faction and iction action obviously)) now pensioned rentiered, reaching a climax of mutual pamperment ((the similarities and inescapability of the sliding scale between the prudently insured modesty (((=succesfully escaped all too local))) and the risky glibalust gaming with lotteries and last resort extravaganza will be told another day)) and otherwise profusely, automatedly and immediately yielding) ground
paisa pesa pondersome (body)
imposture, making a fist (soul)
or the big one: unity (spirit),
not to be dust but rock, the paradoxical commital (lipservice) to freedom (jostling to be in command takes an age in letter stringery as well as the military), it is the most terrestrially speaking universal and cross cultural (powder retensilizing = feeding credit into the demand capacity, as Stewart went on CNN yesterday in parody of CondolenceSeeSawRise overuse of the word process: "well, photosynthesis is a process") pretense of power and/or durable stance making process available in the world, in more and more minimally differing varieties as all spe*cia*list make it too big to fail and go (in)nova; to hell with the process of we can't proprietarize it (which is not to say deproprietarization of your very self will find it magically reassembled in heaven; if you want to fight the power, you'll have to love the powder but it has nothing to do with explosives unless you can't seem to deconstrict and adjust your clocktower without mental versions thereof, like psychoactives but they are really roadsigns in hell no matter how much they may point the right way, spin at the right rate or drop into your drinkingwater . . if the part of hell you're in is fortunate to have any left to be called that. Did you know that dust carrying water .. .oh never mind..

Posted by: pietje sputter at August 20, 2005 11:16 AM



traxus4420 - probably Psalm 91 pretty activated right now. several books about 91st Infantry Brigade & the commander who handed out copies of Psalm 91 for protection. engaged in 3 of the bloodiest WWI battles w/o a single casualty (90% casualties for everybody else). Psalm 91 also appears in WWII, Korean, Vietnam, etc. however, found casualty list for 91st Infantry Division in WWI: 6,108 (KIA - 1,134; WIA - 4,974). did find a grave for someone in the 364th Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division at St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt, France: Private Eloys J. Higgins, died August 12, 1918, Plot D Row 09 Grave 32.

The truth about the 91st Psalm

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 11:17 AM



Excerpts from an article on neurotheology:

"In order to feel that time, fear and self-consciousness have dissolved, he reasoned, certain brain circuits must be interrupted. Which ones? Activity in the amygdala, which monitors the environment for threats and registers fear, must be damped. Parietal-lobe circuits, which orient you in space and mark the sharp distinction between self and world, must go quiet.
Frontal- and temporal-lobe circuits, which mark time and generate self-awareness, must disengage. When that happens, Austin concludes in a recent paper, "what we think of as our 'higher' functions of selfhood appear briefly to 'drop out,' 'dissolve,' or be 'deleted from consciousness'...

...In a typical run, Baime settled onto the floor of a small darkened room, lit only by a few candles and filled with jasmine incense. A string of twine lay beside him. Concentrating on a mental image, he focused and focused, quieting his conscious mind (he told the scientists afterward) until something he identifies as his true inner self emerged. It felt "timeless and infinite," Baime said afterward, "a part of everyone and everything in existence." When he reached the "peak" of spiritual intensity, he tugged on the twine. Newberg, huddled outside the room and holding the other end, felt the pull and quickly injected a radioactive tracer into an IV line that ran into Baime's left arm. After a few moments, he whisked Baime off to a SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) machine. By detecting the tracer, it tracks blood flow in the brain. Blood flow correlates with neuronal activity.

Attention: Linked to concentration, the frontal lobe lights up during meditation

Religious emotions: The middle temporal lobe is linked to emotional aspects of religious experience, such as joy and awe

Sacred images: The lower temporal lobe is involved in the process by which images, such as candles or crosses, facilitate prayer and meditation

Response to religious words: At the juncture of three lobes, this region governs response to language Cosmic unity: When the parietal lobes quiet down, a person can feel at one with the universe.

transcendent experience. As expected, the prefrontal cortex, seat of attention, lit up: Baime, after all, was focusing deeply. But it was a quieting of activity that stood out. A bundle of neurons in the superior parietal lobe, toward the top and back of the brain, had gone dark. This region, nicknamed the "orientation association area," processes information about space and time, and the orientation of the body in space.

It determines where the body ends and the rest of the world begins. Specifically, the left orientation area creates the sensation of a physically delimited body; the right orientation area creates the sense of the physical space in which the body exists. (An injury to this area can so cripple your ability to maneuver in physical space that you cannot figure the distance and angles needed to navigate the route to a chair across the room.)

The orientation area requires sensory input to do its calculus. "If you block sensory inputs to this region, as you do during the intense concentration of meditation, you prevent the brain from forming the distinction between self and not-self," says Newberg. With no information from the senses arriving, the left orientation area cannot find any boundary between the self and the world. As a result, the brain seems to have no choice but "to perceive the self as endless and intimately interwoven with everyone and everything," Newberg and d'Aquili write in "Why God Won't Go Away." The right orientation area, equally bereft of sensory data, defaults to a feeling of infinite space. The meditators feel that they have touched infinity."

Posted by: sd at August 20, 2005 11:34 AM



sd. somebody told me about that helmet several months ago.

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 11:40 AM



piet. ((((((y(((((o((((u((('((r(e)s))c)))a))))r)))))y))))))

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 11:46 AM



northanger - it might be more accurate to see the matriachal elephant and an old person's accumulated experience as encyclopedic - walking (or doddery)encyclopedias, rather than as living macronarratives. They are repositories, used for reference and guidance, not stories.

Posted by: sd at August 20, 2005 11:59 AM



think these are extremely crunchy (LOL) propositions and not at all autistic. (apologies if I've skipped any intervening discussions in my scrollings)

>Hyperstition deals with cultural syndromes of
>a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' type.

>Apocalyptic monotheism has a hideous complicity
>with this machinery PRECISELY BECAUSE IT HAS NO

>For this reason secular rationalism is at a
>huge disadvantage versus world religions

but am convinced that you systematically and unjustifiedly underestimate the opposite tendencies (ie everything in europe is labelled as 'decline' because it doesn't participate enough in excitative apocalyptic circuitry) because of your prior 'narrative' commitments. Perhaps the balance would be redressed by spending more time diagnosing the links between secularity and depression (houellebecq brilliant on this) and treating this as equally interesting for analysis as apocalyptic monotheism. Obviously it gets difficult to do this when things get polarized between anticapital-miserablism and hypercapital-scorn.

Posted by: robin at August 20, 2005 12:29 PM



i like when people just float on by. dreaded-sister-mary-elephant.

Posted by: northanger at August 20, 2005 01:33 PM



dread - 'scorn' is a great word we haven't heard for a while. Anyway, good point, just re-read your Houellebecq trans and it's excellence doesn't need emphasizing - in fact this thread partly a spin-off.
Polarization you mention is an AOK effect - needs analysing dispassionately (easier said than done) - not sure this discussion fits easily into the schema though.

sd - neurotheology data very helpful input - Newberg and d'Aquili's "Why God Won't Go Away" title sheer genius (and exactly on topic)

Posted by: Nick at August 20, 2005 01:56 PM



robin, you strike me as much improved somehow; can I take some credit?

Northanger, this fucking blog is scarey and not just bycause of it's stlyling either (complained about the white on black at a weary moment yesterday; I dealt with it for years though, via the indymedia newswires, more and more of which have reversed that situation, but I'm battle torn by now); wait till you see the text as I composed it, should be done in a few hours.

Hitchens et al slander mother Sheehan + 89 comments: //
look forward to reading this .. .maybe then we can talk sCARy with or without parenthetical guidance, train sport and tabled timers

Posted by: piet at August 20, 2005 02:53 PM



what's the test of true faith?

worshipping the god that does his utmost to make himself ridiculous

caption under cartoon with god (party nose on) on pedestal in devastated countryside with subjectee prostrate before it

Posted by: p at August 20, 2005 02:58 PM



eliminate (..) in order thus:
((( --- )))
now read the plain text first and then start with singly parentheticated before proceeding to even more multiply bracketed sections

Posted by: pietje sputter at August 20, 2005 03:55 PM



Blake: Prophet(ic) Narratives and the Implementation of Monotheism

In 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' William Blake recalls a dinner conversation he had with Isaiah and Ezekiel. To start the ball rolling, Blake asked how they had the front to claim God 'spake' to them. [Blake's spelling and punctuation]

"Isaiah answer'd. I saw no God. nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm'd; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.
Then I asked: does a firm perswasion that a thing is so make it so?
He replied. All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of anything."

The path of prophecy is traced from sensory revelation to conversion and the adoption of 'firm' belief. A 'firm perswasion' - a belief or conviction - has the power to transform the world through nothing other than its own power. That is to say, a firm persuasion "becomes a causally effective factor viz the 'object' it addresses."

Blake's reason for choosing Isaiah here is quite clear. The Book of Isaiah prophesizes that the God of Jacob will become Lord, the God of the whole Earth, and that other tribal and national gods, now classed as idols, will be abolished. In other words, Isaiah has a firm perswasion that monotheism is on its way:

2: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3: And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

17: And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
18: And the idols he shall utterly abolish.

Isaiah, Book 2

According to Blake, a poet who took things absolutely literally, we live in a monotheistic universe because the monotheistic universe is believed in. It's all down to the fact that some poets are capable of a firm perswasion, while others are not.

Links for Blake:;cv=java

Links for Isaiah:

A link which links to the neurotheology angle: "The Bible may contain the oldest recorded case of temporal lobe epilepsy. Ezekiel, the prophet whose visions are recorded in a book of the Old Testament, apparently had all the classic signs of the condition..."

Posted by: sd at August 21, 2005 01:51 AM



sd - highly germane. Of course, this resurrects binky's q. about the distinction between hyperstition and metaphysical idealism - the Blakean universe is entirely poeticized into existence, but I'm assuming hyperstition has a more taxing problem: How do dynamic patterns substantially isomorphic with those anticipated by idealist metaphysics arise under 'materialistic' (subject independent) conditions? Extreme nonlinearity - of the sort found in social, cultural and economic systems - must surely account predominantly for the phenomenon.
Methodologically speaking, starting with economics has a lot to recommend it, since it is the sole intrinsically quantitative social science, exhibiting some of the best defined dynamical patterns (involving blatant hyperstitional effects - why otherwise carefully compile figures on consumer and business confidence?)

Irrespective of such philosophical quibbles, what Blake shares with hyperstitional analysis (among probably many other things) is the withdrawal of ontological foundations from the 'object' concerned - the genetic relation between God and prophet is reversed, with prophecy allotted the true creative role ...

Posted by: Nick at August 21, 2005 11:14 AM



[apologies for grammatical glitching - scrawling at max velocity because net connections fritzing to hell]

Posted by: Nick at August 21, 2005 11:19 AM



Hm. It seems that the sole power of a materialist hyperstitional system, at least if we use economics as a model, is that it produces results that can be directly experienced, being based on capital, which is currently necessary for most kinds of basic survival (let alone getting rich quick). Economics the social science fulfills a direct need that relying on capital to negotiate the necessity of trade creates, the need for a formalization of its flows. Materialist hyperstition appears to be a mutating web of contiguous systems stretching out and up from the shifting foundations of observable reality. Have we seen yet how high they can climb?

In the battle between God and Mammon, Mammon's only hope is to constantly diversify, whereas God's essential promise is always the same. Even though on the surface straight metaphysical idealism might be easier to reinvent/adjust, since it isn't testable doing so is more likely to weaken it. Cults are less likely to gain widespread acceptance than scientific disciplines based on new discoveries (or even on rethinking old discoveries), for example.

The conflict, where there is one, is essentially top-down vs. bottom-up, and, somewhat counterintuitively, the ground is far more variable than the aetherial heights.

Posted by: traxus4420 at August 21, 2005 05:16 PM



add 'competing' to 'contiguous'

Posted by: traxus4420 at August 21, 2005 05:18 PM



oops, AND, since we're talking about hyperstition, "new discoveries" should prob. be in quotes. Al-azif, string theory, etc.

Posted by: traxus4420 at August 21, 2005 05:26 PM



sd/Nick. interesting, made me think of NLP (biotactics, cerebral programming). "NLP claims to help people change by teaching them to program their brains." never found solid confirmation US Army used NLP to cut training by 50%. however, think the idea is to pattern peak performance. ie, observe sharpshooter & define successful strategies; train new sharpshooters with this behavior model.

Posted by: northanger at August 21, 2005 10:42 PM



northanger - agree NLP ref. important (definitely counts as a practical application of at least proto-hyperstitional insights)

traxus4420 - yes, Mammon deserves more attention in its own name (MAMMON = 123, counting ...).

"Cults are less likely to gain widespread acceptance than scientific disciplines based on new discoveries" - hope this is right, but not sure why we should assume it ... the old cults certainly seem to do well enough without evidential support ...

Posted by: Nick at August 22, 2005 01:30 AM



An interesting article about the mysteries of current economics. Human ignorance is becoming a central factor.

msnbc.msn(dot)com/id/8270661/site/newsweek/ - again it doesn't like the second dot.


Time to Toss The Textbook

Greenspan confessed again that he doesn't understand why rates on mortgages and long-term bonds keep falling.

If economics were a boat, it would be a leaky tub. The pumps would be straining, and the captain would be trying to prevent it from capsizing. Which is to say: our ideas for explaining trends in output, employment and living standards—what we call "macroeconomics"—are in a state of disarray. If you're confused, you're in good company. Only recently Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan confessed again that he doesn't understand why interest rates on long-term bonds and mortgages have dropped, just when the Fed is raising short-term rates. This is but one mystery.

We don't know how much the world economy affects the United States—and vice versa. Economics textbooks once described the U.S. economy as mainly self-contained. Americans sold to each other; Americans' savings were invested mostly in American investments (stocks, bonds, bank deposits). Trade was small. Globalization has shattered this model. More industries face foreign competition or depend on foreign markets. In 1960, exports and imports together totaled 9.5 percent of gross domestic product; in 2004, they were 25 percent of GDP. Savings and investment have also gone global. In 2003, Americans—mainly through pension funds, banks and other big investors—owned $3.1 trillion of foreign stocks and bonds, while foreigners owned more than $4.1 trillion of U.S. securities, says the International Monetary Fund. (Note: the $4.1 trillion excluded China.)

All this alters the U.S. economy. For example: one theory of low American interest rates is that foreign money flows have pushed rates down. Another change: stock and bond markets around the world may be more interconnected, because they increasingly have the same investors. Are investors better protected (because they're more diversified) or could a crash in one market cause a chain reaction? Globalization poses many unanswered questions like these.

It's not merely that we're in the midst of changes (China and India's entry into the global economy, the explosion of U.S. trade deficits) that are unfamiliar and, to some extent, unprecedented. What's equally significant is that many assumptions that economists once casually accepted and taught are now suspect or discredited.

We can't determine 'full employment.' Economists call full employment the "natural rate of unemployment"—the lowest rate consistent with stable inflation. Go lower, and tight labor markets trigger a wage-price spiral. Unfortunately, we don't know what it is. The Congressional Budget Office now puts it at 5.2 percent. But past estimates have been too high and too low, because the "natural rate"—despite the label—isn't natural and constantly changes. It's influenced by population changes (younger workers have higher unemployment rates) and government policies, among other things. Our ignorance makes it hard to judge when to be satisfied.

Although I could extend this list, the message would remain: change has outpaced comprehension. Should we be worried? Maybe. What confuses us may threaten us. But here's an intriguing irony: the less we understand the economy, the better it does. In the 1960s and 1970s, many economists had confidence. They thought they understood spending patterns, could estimate "full employment" and propose policies to prevent recessions. What we got was high inflation and four recessions (1969-70, 1973-75, 1980 and 1981-82). Since then, we've had lower inflation, only two mild recessions (1990-91 and 2001) and faster productivity growth.

Economists' overconfidence—and the resulting policies—may have weakened the economy. But its improved performance could also have other explanations: lower inflation; the good judgment of two Fed chairmen—Paul Volcker and Greenspan; the economy's self-regulating characteristics, and new technologies. It could be all of the above or just dumb luck. We don't know.

Posted by: sd at August 22, 2005 07:58 AM



sd - encouraging comments on these threads of late. despite hectic schedule / new time committments, will try to come back to the fray. Nick, glad to see some positive engagement on the site, though obvious parasitic superfluity remains. A thought that cropped up whilst noticing northanger's persistent references to wiki, if hyperstition will succeed, surely it should infiltrate wikipedia? there is an obvious platform to penetrate and plant hypersitional seeds.

Posted by: Tachi at August 22, 2005 11:01 AM



>robin, you strike me as much improved somehow; can I take some credit?


Posted by: robin at August 22, 2005 12:01 PM



hey sd, it's not like nobody has a clue you know:

Sordid and real but spiced with true impartiality by piet the poet ...
that michael tsarion points to widely diverging scholarship; ... An LBOer alerted
me to a document by Michael Hudson who wrote something about the biggest ... - 160k -

// read's up!!!! I like this one especially: An Insider Spills the Beans on Offshore Banking Centers - February 27, 2004

Posted by: p at August 22, 2005 12:40 PM



hey. lol, somebody finally wrote something:

well, i say if it isn't in wiki it isn't real.

Posted by: northanger at August 23, 2005 06:12 AM



Better not disappoint those curious enough to click on cuntinentiteaze too much longer; whole loada nuttin deah!

Posted by: contangentseenator at August 23, 2005 08:08 AM




Wikipedia debates pr-spam articles (Signpost)

Posted by: contangentseenator at August 23, 2005 08:34 AM



sd - while in no way seeking to undermine this highly persuasive insight - "the less we understand the economy, the better it does" - The Economist (which is far from the most 'with it' information source on such matters IMHO - National Review supply siders like Larry Kudlow and Wall Street Journal people less bound by flaky Keynesian prejudices) did a very plausible piece on some of these mysteries - low bond yields, low inflation, asset bubbles - putting it down to the new influence of China ("How China Runs the World Economy"). We've only really had a global economy since Deng Xiaoping - previously there was a 'third world', now there are just geopolitical retards (Kim Il Jong, Lukashenko, Mugabe, Chavez ...) - poverty has become a deliberate policy option pursued by lunatics.

Posted by: Nick at August 24, 2005 12:27 AM



>>poverty has become a deliberate policy option

can you expand on this a little?

Posted by: northanger at August 24, 2005 12:37 AM



northanger - everyone now understands the roots of economic failure (weak property rights combined with Statist extractions and autarkic international relations) so the world is dividing into a broadly 'neoliberal' sphere of prosperity (or at least rapid growth in the interim - 50 years of soc*alist vandalism to repair) outside of which lies a patchwork of poverty-stricken embittered refusenik regimes (pursuing such fail-safe paradigms for socio-economic success as Islamarxism and 'Bolivarian revolutionism')

think sd's point strengthened if 'economics' conceived as 'Royal economics' in a broadly deleuzoguattarian sense - economists are a disaster when they try and run an economy, their role should be to denounce government arrogance and critique perverse incentive structures

Posted by: Nick at August 24, 2005 01:28 AM



thank you (but you make things worse (not purposely, i hope): "broadly deleuzoguattarian sense" - huh? -- never mind!) i'm horrible with money & cannot begin to understand "why rates on mortgages and long-term bonds keep falling" & must admit my complete ignorance concerning greenspan's conundrum. maybe the language is too non-excitational. now blake, OTOH, is more my speed. "firm perswasion"? who listens to poets anyway?

Posted by: northanger at August 24, 2005 02:09 AM



everyone knows you can't trust a greenspan ;)

Posted by: robin at August 24, 2005 08:07 AM



northanger, robin - far be it for me to say that greenspan's being obtuse, but after seeing The Economist analysis, it's puzzling why he should profess such total incomprehension about the situation.

Posted by: Nick at August 25, 2005 04:36 AM




Posted by: northanger at August 25, 2005 05:58 AM



Puzzling indeed.

Here's a pdf version of The Economist article (which is gddm 'premium content')

Nick, you seem to be avoiding the WWIV thread...

Posted by: sd at August 25, 2005 07:04 AM



hey sd. thanks! (low interest rates are made in china).

Posted by: northanger at August 25, 2005 07:21 AM



relevant to the China angle, with India in the mix:

Rising Asia, but which model? (Part I)

Posted by: sd at August 25, 2005 01:46 PM



apologies for disappearance - been hit by a perfect storm of internet hell, shanghai andromeda strain and a tsunami of editing work - I'll try and trigger a new thread later ...

Posted by: Nick at August 27, 2005 11:32 AM



Kudlow vs. Greenspan

Posted by: sd at August 28, 2005 10:32 AM



If you have disappeared then I have never existed :)

Posted by: Tachi at August 29, 2005 07:23 AM



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