Back to: On hold | Forward to: Cthulhu Counterfactual

Not dead but dreaming

Stop me if you've heard this before:

Hobby Lobby, the American arts and crafts stores owned by anti-contraception Christian fundamentalists the Green family (who most famously sued for exemption from the Affordable Care Act because it required them to provide health insurance covering contraception for female as well as male employees) have been at it again.

The Museum of the Bible in Washington DC opened in November 2017; claiming to have one of the largest collections of biblical artefacts and texts in the world, it's primarily funded by donations from the Green family (owners of Hobby Lobby) and the National Christian Foundation. (You can take a biblical literalist view of history—young earth creationism—as a given.)

It now appears that a large number of artifacts in the museum, donated by Hobby Lobby, were smuggled out of Iraq via the UAE, as part of the extensive archaeological looting of historic sites that took place in the wake of the Iraq invasion. (Hobby Lobby was forced to relinquish 5,500 artifacts for repatriation to the Iraq Museum, and paid a $3M settlement.)

Anyway, the latest update: hundreds of the looted 4000-year-old cuneiform tablets in the Hobby Lobby collection appear to come from the lost Sumerian city of Irisagrig: they've been identified as legal and administrative texts between 3600 and 4100 years old, although a few contain religious/magical incantations.

So: dubious Protestant fundamentalist cultists, 4000 year old lost cities, looted archaeological sites, magic spells ... does this remind you of anything?



At least this time, you beat reality to the plot?

I'm going to ask people to see their tongues next time I go to the US, though, just to be safe.


Come autumn, a dense fog will roll in over a sleepy coastal town in Maine, and an undulating, otherworldly mass of eldritch tentacled horrors will rise from their eternal resting place to take care of our Hobby Lobby problem once and for all?


I dare say this has already happened. You did read our gracious host's introduction about the Green family, didn't you?


If a chap called L Bob Rife makes an offer for a surplus aircraft carrier, don't go accepting scrolls from avatars of Sumerian goddesses?


I am beginning to the think that the so-called Christian extremist fanatics are right - we ARE entering the end times :-( Do you have any good wards for sale? You could make a mint ....


Set off by their total insanity, no doubt. Scary stuff - these people are really dangerously insane. However, looking at the article ... I do agree that the tables should all be very carefully photographed, before handing them back, so that the records can be studied.

Incidentally ... talking of ancient religious scripts & records ... - I came across this this morning.


Mind you, if you want further proof that, if not a majority & very sizeable slice of the population of the USA is/are completely off their heads... Try reading this It just gives me the cold all-over shudders.


It's all part of the plan. After four years of Trump, we will welcome Cthulhu. (I'm having plastic surgery soon to add another mouth, so I can use the Elder Language correctly - the ability to pronounce "Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh" correctly and without an accent will help me get ahead a head during the end times!)


@JanneM You beat me to it, but I can't help thinking that the reason Hobby Lobby is headquartered in Oklahoma might be an attempt to protect themselves from marine eldritch horrors... I'm afraid you can run, but you can't hide.


It will last only as long as it takes some teacher to blow away a kid, who will probably be Black... I weep for my country!


Oklahoma is the site of blue-lighted K’n-yan. I don't know how any review of the Mythos could have missed that hazard. Hang on a second, I need to make a phone call... if only it was that easy!


I loved the story about the Memorial Scrolls Trust. The other, not so much.


Yeah: imperialist archaeology, variation #1.

Also: Snow Crash

The sad part is it's unlikely that Iraqi archaeologists will get the stuff repatriated. On a more promising note, so long as the collection stays together, it might find a better home someday.


"Pro Life" seems like just another weird-ass religious thing, though more offensive than most, add an aversion to any remedy for poverty that is in any way socialist, and that combination is not uncommon, you get something monstrous. No tentacles required.


Oklahoma might be a bad idea, what if sedimentary rock and petroleum are there for a reason? A reason like the mithril Balrog cage that the Dwarves broke into by accident?


We burned Cthulhu.


As both an American and a Christian I am completely at a loss to understand why the fundamentalist Christian community is so fanatically supportive of weapons whose sole purpose is to kill other human beings. What part of 'thou shalt not kill' do they not understand? Ditto gor stealing artifacts. I distinctly remember 'thou shalt not steal' being in there, too. Yet when I bring these topics up with my Evangelical family, friends and church members all I get are mumbled evasions, straw-man arguments and the occasional over-aggressive threatening response.

Perhaps the Elder Ones have been here a while and are already munching away on cerebral matter?


Hmmm, cuneiform tablets and fundamentalists, it reminds me of.... Snow Crash?

(he says, giggling and running away...)


Some extra fun: It turns out that some of the money they paid to smuggle those artefacts ended up going to Da'esh. So, way to go radical Christianist jacknozzles!


Nice that this stuff is available online. I mean, James is pretty far back in the New Testament, but if anyone wants to be a real Christian, they've got to do more than read the first page and last chapter of the Bible.

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


Are these tablets part of the 5000 some stolen artifacts they already had to give back or is this an additional cache of looted artifacts that has turned up since?


"'Pro Life' seems like just another weird-ass religious thing, though more offensive than most, add an aversion to any remedy for poverty that is in any way socialist, and that combination is not uncommon, you get something monstrous. No tentacles required."

"Pro Life" is anything but. They only care about unborn babies. After they're out of the womb, they can starve or rot in hell as far as these "good christians" care.


Meanwhile, machine learning is being applied to the Vatican Secret Archives...

Not quite as dramatic as it sounds at first blush, of course: just a fancy OCR system for handwritten Latin text. But shades of Laundry and "Nine Billion Names of God" with a dash of Dan Brown, perhaps. Perfect for your Turing-complete kabbalistic apocalypse.

Also, having lived in the US, I do find it interesting to compare Hobby Lobby's over-the-top corporate christianity vs. In-n-Out Burger's. Both are family-held companies where the family has strong Christian beliefs. But the only way you'd know about it for In-n-Out is that they print references to bible verses (eg. your "John 3:16" and similar) in inconspicuous places in their packaging and, from everything I can tell, seem to treat their employees like human beings. Quite different from Hobby Lobby.


"Forced birthers," not "pro life."


Like "Right to Work" meaning "Right to be Arbitrarily Fired for No Reason Whatsoever".


Yeah. I mean, from my p.o.v. as a thoroughly-escaped ex-christian atheist it's wall-to-wall bollocks - BUT - if they claim to be xtians, then they must stick by what "the book" says. And they don't. Nice one, I like it.


Wonderful! Cane we turn this into a universal meme, because it's so true.


Now I began wondering if Hobby Lobby would listen to Reason.


I like Americans. They’re funny...


The best explanation I've heard (from an American friend -- raised Mormon, got herself excommunicated, lately discovered Catholicism mostly because she enjoys the ritualistic side of it) is that there is a peculiar American folk religion, dating to roughly the 1830s in its current form, that calls itself "Christianity" but is heretical at best if evaluated within the terms of the Nicean Creed.

This folk religion is:

  • Dualistic (there's a God of Evil called Satan who is powerful enough to triumph over the God of Good unless the God of Good's followers actively engage in spiritual warfare)

  • Worships a God of Good who has a human form that is subject to repeated reincarnation and is next due to arrive Real Soon Now in warrior form to smite the foes of America (the homeland of the Good People)

  • There are a whole raft of demons out there who work for the God of Evil and are active in the world by manipulating the unbelievers, who are therefore demonic

  • It is the duty of believers to breed lots of soldiers for the cause (the Quiverful movement) which is why contraception/abortion are sinful (with a side-order of female subjugation/violent patriarchy/rape culture on top)

  • White Americans are God's people: there are nasty ethnic-supremacist angles on this creed (look at what's supposed to happen to the Jews and Muslims -- or indeed the non-whites, if you look at the white evangelicals -- not to mention all the foreigners)

  • Wealth and Beauty are signs of godliness because the Good God gives goodies to his followers: being poor or ugly or sick means you're a sinner. There's no such thing as bad luck, so the poor are evil.

Give it a century to fester and you're going to end up with an all-American reboot of Mithraism.


Very insightful! I would add one point:

  • The God of Good is a warrior god (in the worldly sense, as well as the spiritual), and it behoves His followers to be likewise.

As you say, Mithraism is definitely closer than Christianity.


To be somewhat balanced concerning the Green family, it's not clear if they drank the whole Kool-Aid.

Concerning Christianity and contraception, at least Roman Catholic objection to reproductive liberty actually rests on two quite distinct strings of argumentation:

1) First of, the idea human life starts at conception, though I have no idea if "conception" means plasma fusion of sperm and egg or karyogamy or first mitosis of the zygote. Karyogamy is the criteria used in German Embryonenschutzgesetz (embryo protection law), where I had a heated discussion with a biology student who objected this wasn't the biological definition of an embryo but a zygote. Actually, there have been different definitions used historically, but I'll come to my ideas about zealous utilitarian bioethicists later.

Also note some sources quote a ruling to say European court rulings say unfertilized eggs might be treated as embryos, though the results in Vrüstl vs. Greenpeace are not clear for me.

This argument mainly applies to abortion, and thing is, that's a concern I can understand somewhat. Actually it's another interpretation of Singer's argument concerning abortion, not necessarily more extreme than using his argument to allow infanticide.

2) Aquina's "Natural Law"

Sorry, on the go, more later.


Thanks, but, I think your last conclusion is a little off. Mithraism wasn't quite that bad ( I think ) ... And they are clearly "in error" by falling into open Manicheanism .... I think you are going to get something much more like the wierd ( And evil ) Nazi-version of xtianity, that was pushed in the 3rd Reich A google for "German Reich church" produces some very peculiar - & also familar - tropes


Err, mught be some time, my brother is working, and I need to fetch some electronic parts and tools. Which might be for the best, I can think about things, and maybe some discussion comes up.

As for my ideas on the issue, I'm somewhat doubtful it's lingering RC indoctrination. More likely it's the part of me that thought J(a)inism quite a nice religion in my teens. It's not just the Wiccans using a broom in their practices, you see...


Depends. You might look up Zarathustra for ethical dualism, though thinking in opposites is not that uncommon.

Actually it's been said quite a few nasty "Muslim" habits are Persian in orugin, not that Ancient Greece and Rome were much better. It's different for some individuals, of course, Hyapathia, Anna Komene, Hildegard of Bingen...


The God of Good is a warrior god (in the worldly sense, as well as the spiritual)

Indeed. Here's a discussion of the OT warrior god. It's a little more veiled in the NT, except for Revelation, but it's there in places.

Yahweh Is a Warrior RICHARD NYSSE


First, Charlie, I think they'd been caught buying smuggled archaeological items a few years ago, too - they seem to have a habit. Wonder if they're buying them from a Frenchman who wears a white hat....

Now... I have spoken to friends who call themselves Christian, and they all agree completely with me: other than, perhaps 1% of funnymentalist evengelical Christians (the 99% ruin the reputation of all the rest...), NONE OF THEM ARE CHRISTIAN. By their own definitions, they run the gamut from the "Christian" version of the Pharisees (the letter of the law, please, who cares about the spirit?) to Christian Satanists (take what their deity allegedly said, and do the exact opposite).

How'd they become so powerful? Late seventies, the wealthy used them, as part of the "Southern Strategy" (which did not end with Nixon) to wage culture war against all the uppity kids, women, and ethnics, and set the working class against itself... for all the usual reasons: you 99% don't know your place, just tug your forelocks and do what you're told, for whatever crumbs I toss you way, and don't argue.

I wish someone would go after the anti-abortion laws with the most obvious (to me) attack: it violates the 1st Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", since this crap "a person at conception" is uttely religious, and Christian, at that, since Jews have no issues with abortion.

I'm retiring next year, or I might have run against my Congressman this year. I still might in '20, and I guarantee that if I do, you'll read about it. My least best case scenario is that a Faux News talking head dies on the air of apoplexy. Or maybe Murdoch himself....


Also סֵפֶר מִלְחֲמֹת יהוה , and wouldn't it be fascinating to have a copy of that.

(The Lord, of course, being a theologically prudent euphemisim for יהוה .)


"a person at conception" is uttely religious, and Christian, at that

Yes. It would be interesting to get a Christian perspective on the fact that at most 50% of fertilized eggs make it to a live birth. Is mass prenatal infanticide a privilege reserved to Jesus? Jesus, of course, being homoousious with God through the mystery of the Trinity.


You may find this interesting: And this: The TL,DR of the second: Q: What is conservatism? A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy. Q: What is wrong with conservatism? A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.


Er, yes? I am no expert, but I can assure you that many (most?) versions of Christianity teach that we have no business questioning the actions of God, and decisions of life and death are His sole perquisites. I was, and (English) Anglicanism is fairly mainstream. That is extended, in quite a lot of sects, to not questioning the actions of the clerical hierarchy.

As you implied previously, the so-called fundamentalists have always treated the Pentateuch and Revelation as their primary sources, whether or nor they pay lip service to the orthodoxy that it is the Gospels (possibly plus the Acts). Indeed, if one took a hard line, most of the UK's conservative (and all current Conservative) population cannot be Christians, because their actions flatly contradict the explicit teaching that is attributed to Jesus.


This gets into the murky area of self-defense.

I realize this is innately controversial, as people who are okay with abortion do not see a early term fetus as human, while people who are not okay with abortion do not see killing a fetus as self defense.

Still, the Bible says thou shalt not murder in the Hebrew, not that thou shalt not kill. My understanding is that taking a life in defense of your own is allowable. Where the boundary is about acceptable violence is questionable: if someone invades your home at gunpoint, are you within your rights to kill in defense of your home (not your life)? I'd argue that if it's okay to for any homeowner to kill an intruder, whether or not their life is definitely threatened, then it's okay for a woman to abort in defense of her way of life. If she is going to be unduly burdened by caring for another human being for the rest of her life, then that imposition is a form of theft. Therefore, people who advocate for the "castle defense" (that a man's home is his castle, and that therefore lethal force is allowable in protection of a home) should also be okay with women defending their lives via abortion. Conversely, those who follow the doctrine of retreat, and who believe that lethal violence is justifiable only in the case of self-defense against a lethal attack, then they should allow abortion when the woman's life is threatened by the fetus.

In no case should abortion be totally outlawed.

Furthermore, it's irrelevant, because the problem is that abortion seems to be outlawed primarily for poor women, while property owners seem to be more privileged, either to kill in defense of their homes, or for the women to afford contraception or seek a discrete abortion when necessary. That's the real justice issue that needs to be addressed.


American Christianity is what you get when anybody who wants to call himself a preacher can found a new sect, and can make it stick if he can get enough people to go along. Mormonism is a good example of just how out-there it can get. The Bible-believers didn't even consider them Christians for most of their history: indeed, I think Mormons are only provisionally and very imperfectly Christian for most of my believing countrymen. Though they (the Mormons that is) have been politically useful in recent years, and the noisy factions in American Christianity are nothing if not political.

I don't think the story is quite as neat as your friend makes out. Many of the earliest settlements in America were by religious nutcases, and a preoccupation with the Old Testament resulting in deafness to the appeal of Radical Jesus seems to have been here from the beginning. There is a lot of Manicheanism in American popular theology, though I think it's relatively recent. There's a sort of feedback loop between pop-culture supernatural horror stories and bad theology, which I think really took off in the 1970s, around the time that the Religious Right was gearing up.

It's noteworthy how recent is the Protestant preoccupation with abortion. In the late '70s even the Southern Baptists were OK with that being a decision for the woman involved (though probably they'd have insisted that the man have a say too). It didn't become a political issue until Republicans started recruiting the religious by appealing to racism. Google "segregation academies" if you're interested.


Pennsylvania and the Quakers, perhaps?

One thing I'd argue is that, while yes, America was founded by people leaving the Church of England territory for religious freedom (Quakers, Puritans), plus a bunch of slave owners (from Virginia to Georgia), plus a more diverse Spanish colony everybody keeps forgetting about because it doesn't fit the narrative of the slaveowning south (Florida)... Well, one reason we have the First Amendment with freedom of religion is that, aside from many of the revolutionaries being atheists in religious clothing, there was a large realization that the only way to get such a heterodox group to fight and govern together was to utterly ban the imposition of a Church of the United States by anyone.

As for today's religiosity, it's hard to say where we are, because a lot of the foaming rhetoric has been around in bits and pieces for decades, if not centuries. Racism and mighty whitey has been around since before the Revolution, as it is necessary to justify both conquest of the Americas and the importation of slaves who are physically different. That's not part of Christianity, that's part of the way the US became rich enough to become a first world power.

Subjugation of women? Baked into US history, and fought against by many, especially in New York, in an area known for its weird utopian leanings (cf the Oneida colony), and populated in part by the descendants of the Puritans.

Manichaeism? Go look at Paul or the Gnostics. Mani (born two centuries later) was in the tradition of a spiritual world of light and a material world of darkness and evil, which is right there with the Gnostics and even Paul's original writings (Paul apparently thought that the angel governing Earth was either corrupted or incompetent, so trying to get in good with that angel's boss makes sense...). We label it manichaeist as if this was something special and different, but it apparently was a very common world view in the latter Roman empire and surrounding nations (Mani was Persian). This may say something about imperial governance.

The non-violent hippy Jesus does pop up repeatedly, in things like the Quakers, the Second Great Awakening, the Underground Railroad, and so forth.

One final thing I'd add is James Scott's comments about messianic religion. It tends to arise in marginalized, exploited groups (as in the Appalachians) as a response to oppression, when a heterodox charismatic leader promises that if people will only believe, the divine (God, Pure Land, field of merit, whatever) will manifest and make the world a better place. This seems to be a basic human response to government oppression, so it shouldn't be surprising when it surfaces anywhere, even in white America. It should also not be surprising that it gets faked and manufactured at times.


Getting back to the original what-if though, let's deconstruct that:

Assume that magic works, and that the right spell can summon [horrible demon]. Why is it that the world's still around? It's a great horror trope, but it also suggests that such magic is horribly ineffective.

I've been playing around with alternatives to this (which have nothing to do with The Magic Goes Away), but it's a worthwhile question to play with for generating ideas. In the real world, magic is ineffective. What then is the lure of old spells, and the assumption that whatever we dig out of the dust is a good thing?


What then is the lure of old spells, and the assumption that whatever we dig out of the dust is a good thing?

We are members of an industrial / Promethean civilisation and assume, even if only unconsciously, that Progress happens and today is better than yesteryear. That's quite a new development in human history. (Not optimism itself, but fairly widespread acceptance of change within your lifetime.)

If you don't like The Magic Goes Away explanation that magic is a resource that we've used up, hmm ... alien artefacts? Tomb raiders are the magical equivalents of the explorers in Fredrik Pohl's Gateway series, risking their lives to figure out how the magic left behind by more advanced beings works.


We are members of an industrial / Promethean civilisation and assume, even if only unconsciously, that Progress happens and today is better than yesteryear. That's quite a new development in human history.

You're using the Word "Promethean" fully knowing it's a Greek foundation Myth (~350BC) and claiming this a "new idea".


White Men: sort your shit out.

Things are about to get WILD HUNT.


Quite easy, it happens all the time, we just don't realize it thanks to the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics being basically right:

Though some quite nasty outcomes piling up lately (cf. US Pres Elect. 2016) indicates it gets quite close.

In somewhat less snarky news, being home with my family sucks, and I guess the "emotional vulnerability + invalidating environment" diathesis of DBT works for all family members involved at least partially. Sorry for being somewhat short and keeping discussions hanging for some time, but at the moment my priorities are a) get out of here, b) keep my calm and c) implement some improvised "skill training". I'm having an appointment next week concerning my hypertension medication, which necessitates a visit with my shrink, maybe I can sort out what's normal for families and what's not somewhat with this. And what's me acting normal and what's me being improper, eh. Guess it's somewhat funny with my old one retiring and this being a new one. No, it's all somewhat civil, thank you.

Might be I can work up the elephant in the closet till then, namely the abortion I witnessed in my circle of friends about 12 years ago. This also includes some of the reactions of my other friends, at least in one girl's case I'm quite sure some negation of own emotions was involved, and not just because she was cutting. No idea how she would react nowadays, she "mellowed up" somewhat apparently. Err, as said, it's something of an elephant in the closet, BTW all persons involved were either atheists or agnostics, with one or two part-time Wiccans.

Music, Lower Order by Propagandhi. Not that I think about becoming vegan, it just seems somewhat appropiate...

Yes, and sorry for the psychodrama. Guess reading "A Scanner Darkly" was a strange choice ATM...


Oh, and @HOST.

This is merely cracking the surface of the entire scandal (way back to Elgin Marbles Zones). Roman Polanski even made a film about it, it's called: The Ninth Gate.

It wasn't Fiction: this is what a large number of really dubious mother-fuckers who luuuurve their symbolism spend their monies on[1] and lurrve their "Gnostic" hidden works.

Sumerian you say? Ask a bit about the Mummies[2].Anyhow, this is all ancient shit.

Questions you should ask: who bankrolled ISIL to desecrate all those Sumerian monuments and non-Biblical stuff? Then look @ Afghanistan and GIANT BUDDAH STATUES.

You want the truth?

Sociopathic American Apocalyptic Christian Fantasists pay TOP FUCKING DOLLAR to anyone erasing their non-Eschatological world view. TRUE. STORY. $$$ TO ISIL / AL-AFGAN $$$$$$$$$

Through Turkey, of course.

Oh, and bonus round:

They Kill the Ones They Can't Control.

59 left.

[1] Marina Abramović has announced that a new art piece will see her electrified with one million volts, to extinguish a candle just by pointing at it. The performance will take place at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2020 – the first time a woman has taken over the galleries space with a major show.

Marina Abramović to electrify herself with one million volts in new project DAZED, 2018

Spoilers: NO. LONGER. WORKS.

[2] Made into fertilizer. Made into fuel. Made into fucking WALLPAPER. Oh, and all wrapped in the equivalent of Newspaper. Sort your fucking heads out already.


OH, and if you need lessons in pre-Christian Magic.

Spunk on an Alligator.

[Actually real: also there's a massive large section of particularly Abrahamic knob-heads focused on this and the blow-back might just wipe all their Minds, but that's a bit above the pay-grade of this blog or Greg. No, not joking: Want to play nasty? Ok, sure: screaming harmonic destruction of your Minds you Little CUNTS]


Well, one could argue that civilization is all about meme propagation for the purpose of continuing whatever system the memes are part of. Memes can be spread for utilitarian and pragmatic purposes of getting everyone to speak a common language, to deal with inputs and outputs, to organize labor and supplies, and to systematize things so that the rulers know who and what they have, so that they can be taxed.

Then there's the whole command and control meme thing, wherein we get our parasites in chief telling us that they're divine, symbols and role models for all that's good in life, monopolizers of violence, and so on. There's often a systematized spiritual system (aka a religion) backing them up to justify all this.

On the other hand, most civilizations through history look more like protection rackets than they do, say, Iain Bank's Culture. Throughout the bronze age (per James Scott. Is he right?) one could argue that the city states were at least partially rackets, preferable because there were so many people in the then-fertile crescent that trying to sort out disputes using tribal systems would be impossibly slow and complicated. Still, these rackets break down rather frequently. All it takes is a dispute between god-kings about who's got the bigger army, or (worse) the heir of a god-king turning out to be a sensitive lad with a conscience and artistic temperament, who's thus totally unsuited to the authoritarian leader role he's stuck with. All those dusty piles are where something failed, and either the slaves serfs former citizens made a break to the hills, where life might have been a bit better, or where people got subjugated by another city state.

Anyway, what the "Diggers" (who shall remain nameless) are looking for are old memes to recycle. After all, wouldn't it be cool (for them) if they could claim that they'd found Genesis version 1.0, wherein they could claim that their particular ideology was, like the oldest and therefore best, dude, bow down and obey them? And in the meantime, they can house their memetic UXB horde in a museum, which looks all cool and charitable and stuff.

So what about the hopeless romantics who want the magic to be real and not memes? Fear not. Some people claim that the best defense against memes of all sort is genuine human connection. To quote these boffins at too long a length, "People with some live experience of local politics, mutual aid, and environmental maintenance will be more resistant to the memetic constructions of the synthetic ideological landscape. They will be more likely to blame low fidelity on technology than one another, and less likely to accept the false, anti-social premises of angry, sensationalist memes. The less alienated a population is from one another, the harder it is to turn them against one another through polarizing memetics."

To rephrase this, the magic of dead civilization is that their writings may contain memes that can be revived and repurposed for modern use, and the best defense against these damned things for us chronic non-joiners isn't more magical memes, but human contact, stepping away from the computer, and generally going all barbarian (in the best possible, non-violent hippy sense) on civilization.

But I suppose magitech is the kind of meme that takes less thought, and certainly less work. Oh well.


Looted artifacts from Iraq...

There's a worrying legal exposure there: it's very difficult to prove that you haven't traded with ISIS, or other organisations on terrorism-related blacklists, or named individuals subject to sanctions.

It's impossible to prove that you didn't facilitate transfers of funds to such parties, as part of your supply chain, as these looted artifacts originate from areas under ISIS control.

So why are the owners of Hobby Lobby escaping frozen accounts and prosecution under national security laws?


So why are the owners of Hobby Lobby escaping frozen accounts and prosecution under national security laws?

Holy Crap. You actually think that "LAW" means something to the Dominionists and ultra-Rapture folk.

How Dubya Used the Book of Ezekiel as a Blueprint for the Iraq War BigThink

Inboden particularly focused on Smith’s claim that in attempting to persuade French President Jacques Chirac to support a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Bush told Chirac “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East. Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase His people’s enemies before a new age begins.

Bush, Chirac, and the War in Iraq Foreign Policy, Nov 2016

Bush, Gog and Magog Guardian, Aug, 2009


You're showing your age. Please supply at least three (3) matriarchal societies in your analysis. Here's a hint: Siberia, Minoan (pre-split and then round-echo-chambers etc) or Native American or even Polynesian.

White Guys: Please Update Software/Hardware. This is important.


Heteromeles @46 said: Assume that magic works, and that the right spell can summon [horrible demon]. Why is it that the world's still around?

Think of 'Big Magic' as self limiting the way a Time Machine is.

  • Any development or use of a Time Machine results in the erasure of the Time Machine and the memory of it ever existing.

Now rephrase the same statement but for Big Magic.

  • Any development or use of a Big Magic results in the erasure of Big Magic and the ability to call it up again.


  • The Legend of Hell House

  • Silent Hill

  • Poltergeist

In each case the movie ended with the Big Magic vanishing.

  • Watch any movie where someone stumbles across something by accident, triggers the Big Magic, then only by learning the rules can the Big Magic be stopped.

Each Big Magic event contains the destruct codes that negates the Big Magic. There is always a balance in Big Magic. There are Rules to be followed, else the Big Magic can't occur in the first place. The Rules power Big Magic.

Look at the movie Cabin in the Woods. As long as the kids are ignorant of what is going on they can trigger the monsters. If they had know the Rules, they would have had a quiet weekend. Just as the children in the Japanese scenario were able to defuse their scenario because they knew the Rules.

Look at Harry Potter. They use Magic as App, without knowing the root cause of that Magic. They are calling on Magic without knowing how it works, just as people use an App without knowing how the code works on a base level. As long as the underpinnings of Magic is unknown, the App will continue to work. Once there is a grand Theory of Everything explaining Magic, it will cease to work.

Another interesting example for this is 'Miracles'.

There is Doubt and Belief, two sides of the same coin. It requires both Doubt and Belief to power a Miracle. Once the Miracle occurs, and it is absolute and clear that it happened, there is no more Doubt or Belief, there is Knowledge that the Miracle happened.

Watch the clip from the movie, Constantine with Keanu Reeves.

Constantine Clip 2

Someone who knows that Miracles can happen are incapable of performing Miracles.

Think of it as a variation of The Observer Effect.


@Hetero.You're showing your age. Please supply at least three (3) matriarchal societies in your analysis. Here's a hint: Siberia, Minoan (pre-split and then round-echo-chambers etc) or Native American or even Polynesian.

Pfui. Try matristic rather than matriarchal, which (AFAIK) currently exists in the UK and Germany, but historically is rather not evident, unless you want to talk about Hatshepsut, Hojo Masako, Catherine the Great, Victoria, or Elizabeth I. Matrilineal is rather more common (mostly because it's easier to link mothers with children than fathers), but it's not typical for the women in matrilines to be standing around giving orders now, is it?

As for the Minoans, do you think any functioning matriarchal society would value symbolically sexualizing the bodies of young women and men to that degree? Those murals were commercial memes aimed at foreign sailors far from home. The Polynesians went for birth rank order, but that didn't put women in power except as mother of boys. The Yakuts, like the Micronesians (who were probably who you were thinking of with the Polynesian thing) were matrilineal, which is directly about family, only indirectly about power.

As for northwest New York being the land of the Iroquois as well as being the heartland of US white suffragist and equality movements, I don't think that's a coincidence. But the Iroquois are matrilineal, not matriarchal.


I saw this and thought of you: factories in China are monitoring their workers' brains in real time.

Spoiler alert: the future's gonna suck.


Lyrane, bees, red deer. Er...

"In the real world, magic is ineffective. What then is the lure of old spells, and the assumption that whatever we dig out of the dust is a good thing?"

I'm not sure you'll get an answer to that, we don't have many "Leave" voters on here...

"Why is it that the world's still around?"

Is it? Not quite clear how you'd know and still be posting here.



I've been searching and I can't figure out what "peculiar American folk religion, dating to roughly the 1830s in its current form" that you are talking about.

I read all of the fun stuff about Quiverfull, but that seems to be fairly modern.

Curious people want to know. HA!


I think Charlie's talking about a set of belief systems, popular in large parts of the US, which take to themselves the name of "Christianity" but are not really recognisable as such from an outside perspective (apart from the names of the principal characters).

I once had the misfortune to see about 5 minutes of a TV programme of US origin called "Payne". The actors and the sets, in terms of their appearance, very closely mimicked those of "Fawlty Towers". The script, however... didn't; the title accurately describes the experience of watching it, and I think I did well to make 5 minutes. Accordingly I propose the name "Payneism" for the belief system in question.


As for northwest New York being the land of the Iroquois as well as being the heartland of US white suffragist and equality movements, I don't think that's a coincidence. (My bold.) Care to speculate out loud? (There was some gender-role egalitarianism among some Quakers in that era/region, too, IIRC.) LML made me look - oddest newish paper found (sleeptime so giving up) was Matriarchy and prehistory : a statistical method for testing an old theory (2017). (Feels wrong. References several waves of argument that I didn't know about.) My personal attitude is that we should be striving towards societies where gender identity (could be complex) and positions in directed power structures (also could be complex) are not correlated, and where such correlation would be a sign of social pathology.


being poor or ugly or sick means you're a sinner. There's no such thing as bad luck, so the poor are evil. Take the poor out of that, and it's similar to Leviticus 21:17-23 (That's the one about certain physical defects being disqualifying for priestly duties.) (Could be interpreted as saying that the absence of obvious bad luck is a mark of holiness. That's a non-standard interpretation, I'm told.)


I often use this point, that "god" is by far the biggest abortionist ... The ensuing wriggling screaming, outright lying & "Oh but that's DIFFERENT!" (without specifying how) are ... educational as to the levels of self-delusion displayed


"Conservatism is the dominance of a society by an aristocracy"

Sorry, but no. It might be the case, but is not a necessary condition. There are huge conservative & often very reactionary memes & attitudes amongst the manual workers & similar, I'm afraid. The people who voted for DT are a very good example of this - I think.

Re. Mithraism, incidentally. I always took the view that said religion was a very large lad's drinking club, with all the advantages & huge disadavtages of same ...


Well, (with the note that I've not read "Snow Crash") my first thoughts were of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider (Lara Croft) and Relic Hunter (TV series). From which I came up with the idea that all archaeologists should be armed and skilled in karate and krav maga!


There have been (are?) plenty of societies which are effectively run by women, with the men off doing something else, including several in West Africa.

"As for the Minoans, do you think any functioning matriarchal society would value symbolically sexualizing the bodies of young women and men to that degree? Those murals were commercial memes aimed at foreign sailors far from home."

Oh, really? Do you have any real evidence for either statement? The attitude that proper women regard sex as a task solely for producing children, and something to be kept in a closet, is so very Victorian.


As ever, it was partly a joke[0]. Think about Mormons and their famously mistranslated bits of papyrus via hats with stones in and just how twisted that all got.

Here's the joke: Statue of Horned God (picture) from Enkomi (Cyprus .gov source). Yes, that's a giant statue that is remarkably similar to the pop-mythological 19th-20th C "Devil". Only about 3-4,000 years too late to the party and really not Christian in origin.

Pre-Minoan civilizations & cultures abound around Cyprus and other parts prior to Abrahamic Religions turning up, and there's significant debate whether or not some were much less warlike / patriarchal than the Minoans.

Then you'd get into Alashiya and the weird fact that Moscow[1] houses some of the written tales about it: Story of Wenamun and probably mix in the fact that certain Israeli Universities have had a penchant for, let us say, 're-imagining' archaeological finds in service to their Religious texts (only some of them, but of the same ilk as the American ultras who shoe-horn Biblical literalism onto pre-Abrahamic sources). And, of course, just who were the 'Sea Peoples' who devastated the entire region since Alashiya and Egypt (big powers, Minos was only just getting going) were 100% in contact with each other. Both got spanked, but Alasiya's power was based on: (throw back!) Copper. Aka, cutting edge .mil tech of the time.

Bonus points: the cute fact that the Father of Stoicism (literally, later much admired by the Romans) wasn't Greek at all: Zeno of Citium. Came from Kition, which... is in Cyprus. ]

Anyhow given the wars fought over the very concept, here's a beginner text provided just because of the title: MATRIARCHY REALLY DID EXIST Radical Anthropology Group Publication 2011 - PDF. Nice selection of citations, suitable for non-specialists.

[0] For references to those not plugged into USA Culture Wars: this is all a meta-joke about Incels & the new stirrings of frankly insane American psychosis: the NYT has managed to actually start defending them via some very misogynistic Libertarian tripe about sex & consent. i.e. Actually people in 2018 still treating Sex as a commodity. It's bizarre. Not linking to that piece, but here's a tasted of the 'maturity' of the discussion: Sex and Shame: What Incels and Jihadists Have in Common NYT, 30th April 2018

[1] The wacky world of late 19th C looting of Ancient Cultures gets very wild indeed. Everyone wanted a slice of antiquity to shore up their Imperialistic Narratives.


Oh, forgot: this is all about acoustics and Domes and shapes of houses, which is where a lot of discussion goes on about this type of thing (c.f. acoustics, infrasound, worship places, Stonehenge etc). There's also an entire slice of Men arguing over whether or not round houses = female Culture Minds made them, but that's really esoteric.

The house in Kirokitiya, see Figure 2, on Cyprus was constructed three millenniums earlier than the Knossos palace. Houses of such dome type till now are built in Syria, Iraq, and Morocco (Robbe 1978). Walls and columns of the house were of stone, the dome - of clay bricks, overlapping of the second floor- of wood. On Cyprus in the middle of VI millennium BC about a thousand of such houses were constructed (Grabar 1978).

Domes Formation in Mediterranean Islamic Countries Conference: “DOMES IN THE WORLD” International Congress November 3-6, 2011 - Florence, ITALY

Anyhow, actual Sumerian stuff is rather beautiful:


Mesopotamian Incantations and Related Texts in the Schoyen Collection Cornell University, legal. WARNING: PDF LARGE, 365 pages.

Taster: But from Eridug the stag of the abzu (Enki) purifies the oil for those hands. So that you should place sacred hands upon your offering table in the banqueting hall, the great place, your steward Kusu -- she who purifies hands and cleanses hands -- consecrates the hands. But from Eridug the stag of the abzu purifies the oil for those hands.

56-60. Ningal is the majestic lady of the abzu shrine, of the majestic dais of Urim determining good and great destinies, and of the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the sacred and good dwelling. O, the sacred dwelling is the place of your ladyship for Nanna its king! The E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the Agrun-kug, is your house of royalty! Nanna and Ningal bring joyfulness to the dwelling

A hymn to Nanna (Nanna E) The ETCSL project, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. (Good source, has lots available for free if you can work out their filing system). Nanna is a Moon-God btw.

Oh, and for Christians and D&D fans everywhere: Holy Water? Not actually a Christian invention, sorry to say:

The Ritual of Water-Consecration in Sumerian Texts Vladimir EMELIANOV, St.Petersburg State University, Legal. (Told you the Russians were still into all of this!)


A lot of those spells are going to be female orientated. Male Minds might explode if you point out that their Holy Water is actually a Sumerian concept that was blatantly stolen. And, er... putting children in it? Yep, we're back to Semen and Rivers once more.


Please note the essay concerned the peculiar variety of contemporary conservatism in the United States, which shares little with European conservatism. Thought about renaming your political movement to avoid being mistaken for something distasteful?


"As for the Minoans, do you think any functioning matriarchal society would value symbolically sexualizing the bodies of young women and men to that degree? Those murals were commercial memes aimed at foreign sailors far from home."

Oh, really? Do you have any real evidence for either statement? The attitude that proper women regard sex as a task solely for producing children, and something to be kept in a closet, is so very Victorian.

Yes and no. There's the one general question of asking a well-endowed woman how much fun it is to walk around with no support, but that's kind of beside the point. The rather bigger point, at least in my minimal understanding of the subject, is that structures like the "palace" of Knossos doesn't looks like it would function well as a center of governance. IIRC, things get weird with soft rocks like alabaster being used as flooring, but without signs of wear (I suspect that's some modern researcher not understanding rock types, but still), and IIRC there's something that looks a lot like a bath in what has been interpreted as a throne room, and a generally weird organization of rooms by our standards. I keep hoping Lynne Kelly will go to Crete someday and see what she thinks about Knossos being more of a memory palace than a center of governance. My guess (unhindered by the thought process) is that Knossos was more like Disneyland, in that multiple "attractions" (whatever those suites of rooms were actually used for) were wrapped around each other to save space, and that the memes it was designed to work with weren't about domineering leadership, whatever gender was actually in charge.

Were all the sexualized bodies aimed at foreign or domestic consumption? Hard to say. The artists did get exported to Egypt and I think Greece at the very least, so they weren't just producing for themselves.

Much as I like Gimbutas and company, I'm afraid that saying the Minoans were matriarchal based on the statues they carved is like saying that India is matriarchal because of the way apsaras were sculptured on temples, or that Catholics are matriarchal because of the way Mary is venerated. Female bodies being worshipped through art are not (at least in my opinion) a good signifier of female political power.


I read a book once that claimed that Knossos was a ceremonial necropolis, and explained why it definitely was NOT a conventional (ruler's) palace. A location for memory ceremonies makes sense but, if I recall, there were rather a lot of places for the storage of pithoi and rooms with drainage for fluids.

I have absolutely no idea whether the Minoans were patriarchal, matriarchal or what, but I was objecting to the use of that argument the other way round. It doesn't work EITHER way round, as in the rugby joke :-)


Yeah, I think the arguments about Knossos being a mortuary for Egypt hinged on the idea that the materials it was made out of were too soft and too undamaged for it to have actually been used. That one set off alarm bells, because you then have to square the idea that there's a multistory building that's survived (albeit in pieces) for a couple of thousand years that simultaneously too soft for daily use. Something's seriously wrong with this picture.

I actually agree with you that it's difficult/impossible to deduce political power systems from that kind of artwork, and since someone was silly enough to bring up Minoans as an example of a matriarchy, I figured I'd demonstrate that you could spin the argument around and it would make just as much sense.

My personal take on power is that it's horribly addictive. Given that we tend to centralize power these days, every gender should get a shot at getting addicted to it. However, saying that women in power will be better than men in power right now is due to the fact that, simply to break the glass ceiling, women have to be massively better than the men they displace. If we ever get past the glass ceiling, I suspect we'll find that power addicts are power addicts, and gender won't be well correlated to any aspect of political skill if people stop discriminating on the basis of it (which is what the glass ceiling is about).

As for whether matriarchy existed in the deep past? You've got to disentangle the burning desire for historical precedent from the evidence, and that's hard. In most cases, the evidence is sufficiently fragmentary that they're effectively pareidola. You can project anything you want to on stuff that doesn't really make sense right now.

I'm not going to disagree that there was a whole, 1500-2000 year history of bronze age culture before the Bible even existed. Nor am I going to argue that it didn't look very different that any of the Abrahamaic religions (they did) or that the Old Testament records a bronze-age life style (it didn't). So far, the best take I've seen is Gerard Russell's Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, not because he found any bronze age survivals, but because he does look at the odd religions still practiced in the nooks and crannies of the Middle East, and thereby provides a glimpse into other ways of thought that used to be more common there.

As for matriarchal vs. matristic, perhaps a better way to look at it is whether political power was ever concentrated in the hands of women by ideology, or whether any group pursued an ideology of making it very difficult to concentrate power by segregating critical group functions by age and gender. The latter is actually very common, and it also gets widely misinterpreted. For example, we see hunting as exulted, while cooking is menial, but if men hunt and women cook, then the only way for them all to eat is for them to work together. Take away the western value judgements about men's vs. women's work, and you can potentially read segregating work as a way of dispersing power, so that anybody can cause problems simply by "striking" and refusing to do their work until their issues are dealt with.


Um, yeah, or as in the view of a lot of us over here, folks like the Puritans left England because Freedom meant the right to oppress your neighbors who disagreed with your religious leader(s)' view of the Bible (and that they weren't leaders over all of the rest of them).

The old joke is that California was settled by standing North America on its end and shaking, and all the fruits and nuts rolled down hill.

This ignores that that's how the US was settled....


You wrote: So why are the owners of Hobby Lobby escaping frozen accounts and prosecution under national security laws?

For the same reason that not a single trader who knew that the "securities" they were selling in '06--08 were garbage, and not worth the paper they were printed on, are not in jail for 10-20, and banned from the financial industry for life. Money talks, you walks.



You're all ignoring the matrilineal elephant in the room: I'm "Jewish", because my mother was born Jewish....


and since someone was silly enough to bring up Minoans as an example of a matriarchy

Yes, who would do a thing like that...

My first encounter with the theory that prehistory was matriarchal came in 1979 in a class titled "Minoan and Mycenaean Greece." While on site at Knossos, our professor—an archaeologist with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens—noted that the artifactual evidence on the island of Crete pointed toward Minoan society being matriarchal.

The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory NYT Books, 2000

Regarding the art-work, here's the usual view of the Disneyesque site @ Knossos which you've accurately hewn down:

The truth is that these famous icons are largely modern. As any sharp-eyed visitor to the Heraklion museum can spot, what survives of the original paintings amounts in most cases to no more than a few square inches. The rest is more or less imaginative reconstruction, commissioned in the first half of the twentieth century by Sir Arthur Evans, the British excavator of the palace of Knossos (and the man who coined the term “Minoan” for this prehistoric Cretan civilization, after the mythical King Minos who is said to have held the throne there). As a general rule of thumb, the more famous the image now is, the less of it is actually ancient.

Evans, Knossos and the Minoans – Facts and Forgeries Random Blog, 2009 - but does have a nice selection of actual pictures of the frescoes.

But, in a turn of Fate that we're so good at, here's some recent scholarly work pointing out that 'naked wimmin' is precisely not what Minoan art was largely about (!GREEK PLOT TWIST!) and that you can ignore the Evans reconstructions:

Younger, who has studied the Minoan culture for decades, said women figured prominently in art and religious artifacts and therefore probably in the administration of the Bronze Age civilization as well.

For example, women are always clothed, while males may be nude, and paintings depict women in elaborate court-style dress.

"In this culture, at this time, we have an awful lot of representations of what are obviously powerful women, single seated women flanked by a bunch of guys," he said. "We don't have a single representation of a seated man."

The Mycenaean culture of the mainland eventually conquered the Minoan culture on the island, but Younger is researching another theory that the matriarchal Minoan society experienced a revolt either before or in anticipation of the Mycenaean takeover.

Almost all information about Minoan women comes from art, such as figurines, seal stones and finger rings, pottery and fresco. His article "Minoan Women" appeared recently in the volume "Women Antiquity, Real Women across the Ancient World." The book summarizes 40 to 50 separate pieces of evidence.

Art, religious artifacts support idea of Minoan matriarchy on ancient Crete, researcher says University of Kansas, 2017

Note: Younger has been at the Minoans since the 1970's and his resume is extensive. His 2016/7 paper on Minoan Women is here: Minoan Women PDF, legal, chapter 40 from Women in Antiquity Routledge, 2016.

So, there's that. And Minoan power only lasted ~150 years or so, so they're hardly notable (Evans made them so, then Mary & her books).

And, of course, there's the entire Snake Goddess thing[0]. If you're not hipster enough to know the Millennials = Snake People meme then this tie in won't amuse.

Anyhow, the reference was only a partial joke: there's a civilization who had Dome Houses at about the same period that's argued to be actually more matriarchal.


Note to US readers: the bold is not subtle, Will Robinson.

[0] Know your meme: Millennials to Snake People Chrome Ap


Thank you for telling me about Alashiya, and Wenamun. Didn't know them.

The statue of the Horned God. Um, er, my instant reaction, on looking at the picture, is that he's wearing a horned helmet.

I'll also note that, from what I've read, halos used to be depicted as horns, and that they were supposed to indicate an aura (around the head?) of extreme holiness.

Finally, the Sea Peoples. I look at the dates that they were harassing around, and gosh, gee, who can I think of that spent centuries on raid-or-trade...oh, that's right the Norse who went a-viking. Now, I can also think of another seagoing group, who apparently were good sailors, who might have been raiding for centuries, until they finally started getting to be a power after they fought a 10 yr war, and destroyed one of the great, old city-states of the eastern Mediterranean.

Which leads to the thought of building a very large wooden horse, and leaving it in front of the White House before dawn....


"Nanna, its king"?

No chance this is another reference to the ancient queen-goddess Inanna?


According to the artwork, there were a lot of different helmets kicking around the Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age (see these examples). Thing is, we're still stuck with the Viking horned helmet problem, which was that the Vikings reported that they didn't fight in horned helmets, because they sucked as protection. The horns made it easy to knock helmets askew. Then again, supposedly the Celts used horns and wings on their helmets, so who's right and for what kind of battle?

The bottom line, so far as I know anyway, is that art shows extreme helmets on people who might have been the Sea People, and I don't think there's yet any physical remains to back up any of the more dramatic designs. Men with hats. Make of that what you will.

My guess is that there were Bronze Age warriors (read, male troublemakers in their late teens/20s) who journeyed all over the Mediterranean looking for ways to get into fights and earn loot to take home and show off with/make their fortune with. Bronze from the eastern Mediterranean got traded all the way up into Scandinavia, and tombs contain weapons from all over. At the same time, the Egyptian records contain mention of mercenaries from all over (Sardinia, Corsica, Greek islands, etc.) who showed up in Egypt and fought for pay or acted as bandits. It was a chaotic time, mostly because we're talking about comparatively small populations of people traveling to meet each other.

As for who the Sea Peoples were, James Scott's Against the Grain has an interesting hypothesis. He's still on his "civilization is a racket, anarchistic barbarism is better" kick. His take is that Bronze Age city-states were little more than semi-functional protection rackets, powered by slaves and serfs, and they regularly broke down. Since they had literate enablers (excuse me, scribes) we read their records as the death of civilization, rather than as reflections of the kind of grandiose messaging we now see being emitted from the White House and billionaires' secret lairs worldwide. To him, the Sea Peoples were less a single tribe or a mob movement than a breakdown in an exploitative order that was only re-established a few centuries later, with iron. I'm not sure I believe that the Greek Dark Age was a better time to live than before or after, but again, it's the pareidola problem. We've only got a handful of evidence either way, and it's possible to project all kinds of models onto the shards that we have left.


"Elderly Cynic @ 42:"

“I am no expert, but I can assure you that many (most?) versions of Christianity teach that we have no business questioning the actions of God, and decisions of life and death are His sole perquisites."

It's not the "actions of God" that gives me pain in the nether regions; it's how his self-appointed minions get all up in my face with their "Do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy.


"Google "segregation academies" if you're interested."

Don't have to Google it, I lived through it. I'm not interested. I survived and I'm safely out the other side of it.


Not really. The survival of materials and their hardness are not strongly correlated - in any case, that wasn't the only evidence (I mentioned another aspect, but there were others). That doesn't make it right, but does make the conventional palace theory rather implausible by comparison.

I must finish reading Kelly, but I did find rather a lot of plausibility being inflated into definite evidence. I accept that the same is true for both Evans (badly) and the necropolis theory.


The English colonies in the new world weren't founded by people seeking "religious freedom". They were founded by fanatical dissenters who wanted to establish their version of the "one true religion" as the dominant one, so they could persecute everyone else.


Which leads immediatly6 & directly to the resistance to any & every medical advance since the early jews codified their religion. Seriously - even taking "medicine" was thought to be interfering with the will of YHWH ... Right up to the reguar screams & moans about "playing god" every single time there is a serious medical advance, right now. And that gives me a pain in the brain, never mind anywhere else.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ JBS @ 83 Spot on - something that is ever-so-conveniently brushed under the carpet.


allynh @ 59:

“I've been searching and I can't figure out what "peculiar American folk religion, dating to roughly the 1830s in its current form" that you are talking about.”

Pigeon @ 60:

“I think Charlie's talking about a set of belief systems, popular in large parts of the US, which take to themselves the name of "Christianity" but are not really recognisable as such from an outside perspective (apart from the names of the principal characters).”

I think he was referring to a wave of religious fervor that swept across the southeastern and western United States prior to the American Civil war. Most of the peculiar ideas that are so readily found in American "Christianity" were first widely spread during the Second Great Awakening.

Premillennial dispensationalism first got it's hooks into America at that time, although the "prosperity gospel" seems to have come along later. Everything is according to "God's plan", which put the churches (at least those in the southern U.S.) on the side of slavery.

None of these were especially new ideas at the time. I'm pretty sure they all came from Calvinist theologians, but they first gained widespread acceptance in the antebellum South.


The Second Great Awakening wasn't just in the south. As I noted above, it was quite prevalent in the northeast, too. Indeed, western New York was known as the "burned over district," in (hyperbolic) reference to how many times it had caught the revival fire during that time.


"The Second Great Awakening wasn't just in the south. As I noted above, it was quite prevalent in the northeast, too. Indeed, western New York was known as the "burned over district," in (hyperbolic) reference to how many times it had caught the revival fire during that time."

Indeed, not just in the U.S. south, but its longer lasting, toxic effects do seem to have had greater impact there.


Someone who knows that Miracles can happen are incapable of performing Miracles.

Yeah, and sometimes the amount of fucking cheating the RULES using Human Slaves just makes [[[REALITY SNAP]]] happen.

It's a test:

a) Embrace, Enhance, Expedite and GROW[0] and UPLIFT.


b) Attempt to kill a DRAGON and scream "KILLLLL"

Here's a tip: they chose B.

Anthropocene 6th Extinction Event is FUCKING ON and...

We will bind you to the Minds you took and Extinction (5D) is now tied to their World Events.

Holy Shit: You thought you could kill Minds & Worlds with no repercussions?

You're Fucked.

[0] For all the fucking Dead-Inside-Shells-Being-Mentally-Used:


Using Charlie @31 and you as Delphic Oracle @88, I can work with that. Thanks...

  • Nothing can be forced now without courting grave consequences.

I disagree that the Second Great Awakening had great influence on the South. To my knowledge, it was primarily a Northeastern, Midwestern, and Appalachian movement. If you look at the new religious denominations which arose in the 1830's, most were not in the South. To my knowledge, Mormons were the most southern of these groups, and they formed in Missouri. In fact, the South was generally hostile to the Second Great Awakening since many of thees churches were abolitionist.

The South's religious transformation I would argue can be traced to the Populist movement (and the influence that William Jennings Bryant had on the party) and the Fourth Great Awakening

As a side note: note the correlation between the strongholds of the People's Party and the post-Reagan Republican Party. I remember watching a Youtube video by a historian a few years ago who argued that the political alliance created by the populists never went away once the party died. Those regions have tended to vote in sync ever since.

It is my impression that the current Christian theology which defined the Moral Majority started in the Plain States and spread from there. However, I'm not sure if this is true? The 2016 Republican primary seems to back this up. After all, most Evangelicals supported Ted Cruz, who was seen as the religious candidate in that race.,online_chips:republican+primary&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHsffblOvaAhUnTt8KHb6SBC0Q4lYIKygF&biw=1600&bih=796&dpr=1#imgrc=EvX_PsDnENg89M:


Nothing can be forced now without courting grave consequences. That's not my reading. But I'd welcome LML's comment; am not clear on what the Rules are.

For Elderly Cynic and icehawk: Constraints on physical reality arising from a formalization of knowledge. Long. 9 Nov 2017, David Wolpert, Santa Fe. (Troublemakers, there.) Via Wolpert's mathematical framework shows that no two inference devices who both have free will (appropriately defined) and have maximal knowledge about the universe can co-exist in that universe. There may (or not) be one such "super inference device" in some given universe—but no more than one. Wolpert jokingly refers to this result as "the monotheism theorem," since while it does not forbid there being a deity in our universe, it forbids there being more than one.


In the real world, if there is such a thing as magic, it is a very subtle thing, something which creates changes via tiny little pushes at exactly the right time/place. Further, magic tends to escape the grasp of practitioners very easily, and needs to be summoned from sacred groves, temples, caverns, and other esoteric locations, and it can only be controlled by trance, ecstatic dancing, chants, etc. Many of the "little pushes" provided by magic are spiritual rather than physical.

This leads us to something useful for fiction, which is that magic is a very rare energy with a very subtle effect, and someone who uses it to summon an actual physical demon is immensely wasteful; something akin to using a bulk oil carrier to transport a single piece of mail from the U.S. to the U.K. Any real magician who feels the presence of an actual physical demon, even one a thousand miles away, will do whatever they can to sabotage the summoner because "that was energy I could have used!"

The winners in the magical world are those who "flap a butterfly's wing and wait twenty years" and you never hear about them because they never, ever do anything showy.


Down at the individual quantum-event level, in fact, flipping a spin or a transition or a particle-interchange.

Maybe would-be practitioners should study Geckoes?

[ AFAIK Geckoes are the only exponents of atomic-level (As in Van der Waals) forces at the macroscopic level - it's how they stick to ceilings. ]


I like it! I have downloaded a copy, and shall try to look at it. Predicting the future isn't quite the same as understanding (potentially non-finite) consequences, but is clearly related.


It depends on whether you regard the use of surface tension as being the same - if so, there are also pond skaters, the lotus etc.


"However, saying that women in power will be better than men in power right now is due to the fact that, simply to break the glass ceiling, women have to be massively better than the men they displace."

I don't deny this at all seeing as how my workplace and pretty much all the organisations I've ever worked for have an abundance of extremely high-achieving women working in roles that are usually subservient to a similar abundance of mediocre-at-best men. There are plenty of mediocre women and high-achieving men too, and some of the mediocre women also rise, and some of the high-achieving men are also subservient, but the rule is that the men get an easier furrow to plough and they get more praise and respect for it whether they do it well or not.

Having said those things, it's still the case that the qualities one needs to break a ceiling, glass or otherwise, are not necessarily the qualities that might be referred to when describing their possessor as "better" than others who failed in the attempt. Chalk it as an example of the outcomes not necessarily reflecting the effort or talent input - the Ecclesiastes 9:11 pattern. In many cases it may well work out in terms of merit. But that isn't necessarily the rule.


Re: Matriarchy

Since no one's mentioned them yet - how about the Etruscans. Not a matriarchy but a society where women had equal rights until the Romans showed up.

Re: Persia [Iran]/USA

Ancient Persia spawned religions like no one's business just like the USofA.

Personally still think that the real reason there are so many religions in the US is the tax breaks - it's a license to print money. As for why most are 'Christian': (a) allows the new sect to hide in plain sight among all of the other sects; (b) Christianity has been around for a couple of millennia therefore non-threatening; and (c) more 'holy book' options to pick and choose from (Old plus New Testaments) providing even more contradictory, internally inconsistent phrases/ideas.


The converse happens, too, especially when politically correct organisations react to a low proportion of promoted women by 'positive discrimination', completely ignoring relative merits. And your last paragraph is very true. The qualities needed to 'rise to the top' are very much those that you do NOT want in those at the top! They are also more common in men than women, and that accounts for a lot of the apparent glass ceiling. Which doesn't mean that there isn't also prejudice and a real glass ceiling, but it's often not as simple as being merely gender.


Err, no idea about the Xtians, but I have been told miscarriages can be quite taxing for the, err, "mother".

No idea if that is background Xtian indoctrination or due to the fact humans can build up emotional bonds with fucking anything, a biologist I know said he felt somewhat guilty when autoclaving his bacteria cultures when doing his thesis. He was somewhat OK with vivisection, OTOH, and did one of the prerequisite lectures.

Or not build up an emotional bond, I'm not that much into Sin City, but Marv's "I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad." gets quoted by me a lot...

Still, as long as Xtians don't feel the same urgency about the nutrition of the zygote, keeping away environmental toxins like lead from it and ensuring a somewhat devent upbringing, they can fuck themselves. Actually I'd somewhat use the Marv quote above concerning them, actually...


That's a funny thing with most "religions", they are somewhat deterministic concerning outcome of deeds. Even Buddhism, one German translation of Pratītyasamutpāda is "Kausalnexus" (nexus of causality).

Maybe Epicureanism was something of an outlier concerning "swerve". Also, you can have much fun asking a believer how an "all knowing god" can be so given human free will. Divine providence, I guess.

Funny thing with Greek mythology, BTW. AFAIR oracles never fail, they are just murky. OTOH there are quite a few indications even Zeus doesn't know the outcome of his actions...


See I don't mind this so much with Buddhism, mostly because it has a self-consciously tongue-in-cheek "Texas sharpshooter" approach to causality (if it happened, it was meant and perhaps is part of Dog's plan). There are definitely variants of Christianity that have it too, and not necessarily just the reasonably good ones.

Of course it's also a symptom of why Buddhism is essentially defeatist or conservative. That and the necessary belief in reincarnation are the two factors that make it not what one might actually want (otherwise it has a lot to recommend it).


Greek Oracles are not precognition - they are the gods putting you on notice you are about to be fucked with. Seriously, the greek gods dont know the future, they just stick to their threats and promises like glue.


Hmmm .... Leaving aside the usual "understanding" that the Delphi pythoness had spies & information-collectors everywhere .... & the deliberately two-faced nature of the prophecies .... What about the other mythos that certainly affects N Europe. Asking a prediction of Mutter Erd, or Cthulu help you, the Norns whilst at the spring at the base of the worlds-girdling tree will only get you trouble


Sadly I have no Ancient Greek around to ask him on this matter. Mythology is hardly homogenous, but more of loosely enforced canon, somewaht like StarWars, I guess.

As an example, take the story of Cronos:

It's prophesied he will be overthrown by one of his offspring, but AFAIK neither Gaia nor Uranos enforces it.

The gods themselves being subject to "fate" come up in quite a few mythologies, see Germanic wyrd, Greek ananke or Indo-Aryan Ṛta. the example I used being from cultures using Indo-European languages has made for some discussions about PIE religion.

BTW, since we were speaking about Persian religions, Persia being at the crosspoints of Steppe cultures, South East Asia, Mesopotamia and the Balkan might indicate why there was quite some crossfertilization.

And another thing, no idea if I mentioned it before, both Indo-Aryan and Iranian mythology has two kinds of supernatural beings, the Indo-Iranian roots are *daiv- and *asura. Though they are somewhat differently rated in later religion, Zoroasterianism indicates ahuras as the good ones and daevas as the bad ones, in Hinduism it's the other way round with asuras and devas. Please note *daiv- is cognate with Latin deus and Greek Zeus, while *asura is said to be a cognate of Germanic As.

Pratchett's idea about gods an demons being akin to terrorists and freedom fighters come to mind, though one Indo Europeanists I told so was not that impressed...


It might depend somewhat on the Buddhist you're talking with. In my personal interpretation (and I'm not a Buddhist, though I have been mistaken for one in a Vietnamese Buddhist temple lately...), anatta means there is no "soul" that is transmitted, and the reincarnated being is just enother expression of the causal effects. If you like, you might compare it to yourself before and after general anesthesia, which shuts up most parts of the brain.

OTOH, I have wondered if Siddharta Gautama talking about his prior incarnations might be more akin to Family Constellations or other kinds of reenactment, which can be quite a nice tactic in teaching history and like. "Imagine you are...", o quote Peter Watts... ;)


Err, sorry to use Family Constellations, they are a somewhat humbug incarnation of the idea. The somewhat serious version would be psychodrama:


Re: Christianity meets embryonic development

Make that conception and development. Major studies recently published in Science that once ramped up to study mammalian development at a similar resolution could put many many flies into various mystic ointments, balms, etc.


'Genetic roadmap to building an entire organism from a single cell

To map the lineage of essentially every cell as an embryo develops, along with the precise sequence of gene expression events that mark new cell states and types, the teams developed new experimental and computational techniques, including the introduction of artificial DNA bar codes to track the lineage relationships between cells, called TracerSeq.

"Understanding how an organism is made requires knowing which genes are turned on or off as cells make fate decisions, not just the static sequence of a genome," Megason said. "This is the first technological approach that has allowed us to systematically and quantitatively address this question."'

Lots of SF related possibilities from these studies. Huge commercial angle as well, e.g., movies of your kid from cell 1 through to birth. Way better than the old school ultrasound pix.


Actually, there is a Greek version of the Norns, the Moirai:

As mentioned, this trope and similare is quite common in cultures using Indo-European languages, and quite likely some that don't speak them but have been influenced by them.

On another note, staying with your parents is not altogether bad, I found a Polish grammar I can read. OTOH, family and fandom events coincidencing makes for some discussions, which was the reason I was somewhat distraught 2 days ago...


There's the "weird stuff happens" part of magic, that's at the heart of magic, and people have tried to make weird stuff happen on cue pretty much since forever. Since weird stuff is less trainable than a rock, every intellectual movement seems to reshape its magical system to try to see if, just somehow, we can make the rock dance reliably.

Personally, I'm fairly sure that western magic is an outgrowth of the memory palace system. Memory palaces were seen as a spiritual exercise even back in Roman times, because it was a way to train your brain using imagery (to oversimplify a long bit of Roman spiritual theory that you can find if you read Frances Yate's The Art of Memory), and thinking and consciousness were seen as the divine parts of human nature even before Christianity came along. Memory palaces used to be necessary for things like legal arguments, poetry, and rhetoric, because there wasn't much paper to write down your stuff, so you had to memorize it.

Learning to build a memory palace was a part of classical rhetorical training. It was largely an oral tradition, and unfortunately one that didn't survive the dark ages in its full flower. What we know of the classical tradition comes through in a few pages of general instructions in three books on rhetoric. Fortunately, any number of people have taken those instructions and run with them, or reinvented them probably hundreds of times, and it's what most memory champions use.

Once the printing press came along, memory palaces got freed of their worldly bounds, and that's when Renaissance magic appropriated them as a way to get enlightenment and/or power, in the classic New Age/Self-help tradition that we thought only came along in the 1970s. That's where we get all the weird demons, rituals, and so forth. They were supposed to help people know themselves and get to heaven, and possibly memorize alchemical formulae, but through centuries of the usual messy games of intellectual misappropriation and crass commercialism , and going with the trends of the times (all catering to the dreams of people who want weird things to happen for their benefit), we get...magic.

Nowadays, thanks to decades of fantasy and roleplaying games (which draw not just on the western tradition but chi theory as learned in martial arts, and the anthropology classes writers took as undergrads), we have a mechanistic vision of magic (aka magitech) that's pretty bizarre and divorced from its earlier uses, but that's what we keep trying to make real, first through the internet, now with the internet of things, and always in the self-help and spirituality shelves at your local store.


Guess I'll make this the last one, or I'm stuck all day...

There is an interesting concept called fate mapping, though it's been around since the early 20th century.

As mentioned, I can empathize with the argument against abortion somewhat, just as I usually try to save a drowning insect and was not to keen when a friend talked about putting ants into glue when I was about ten years old. It didn't lead to one of my "He watched the snakes getting fed" blackouts, still...

I have little time for the Natural Law argument used by the RC concerning all forms of contraception, e.g. sexual intercourse should be open to procreation since that's the Natural Order of Things. Animals fuck for fun or to dominate. Procreation is a side-effect.

Which, incidentally, would make my view on this matter somewhat Buddhist, and I thought I had gotten over this phase in my early twenties...

Om mani padme...


Mind you, quite a few "magical practices" have quite a psychological effect.

E.g. repeating mantras might focus your attention somewhat, OTOH there is an effect called "semantic satiation" which might lead to an opposite effect:

BTW, would you be surprised if I told you I soon decided if I had to burn incense sticks because of the broken toilet, I might as well put a picture of Darwin above? And then added Kropotkin, Hawking and Aldous Huxley for good measure. ;)


Thanks. I hereby copyright a new superhero, the Gecko. (Sex unknown). They do NOT go bashing baddies in their BVDs (to quote Tom Smith), rather, they watch from high on a wall as the Bad Guys trip, stumble, fall into open manholes, etc, till the cops come to take them to the hospital.

As opposed to my real annoyance, Green Lantern. Why is he bashing them with giant green fists, instead of creating a green sphere around them and pumping the air out until they pass out? Or increase gravity under them so they can't move?


I don't think of Buddhism as defeatest, but rather, like one square on The Game that was in Everygreen? Ramparts? back in the sixties, "if you wish, you may drop out, and declare yourself the winner."

And then there's the concept of the bodhisattva, who stays/comes back to help everyone else achieve enlightenment.

As a socialist, I can approve of that.


I think the classic (Buddhist) example of that is this, supposedly from Gautama: if you light a candle, then light a second candle from the flame of the first, and a third from the flame of the second, is the flame on the seventh candle the same flame that is on the first?


OT, a note to all you in the UK: PLEASE, PLEASE, contact your MPs. Cambridge Analytica is liquidating... and I have yet to see what will happen to its DATA, and software (aka IP). That all needs to be seized, rather than sold off at fire sale prices to another cloned company who'll use it all the same way.

We don't need a game of whack-a-mole....


You talk as if America was culturally one monolithic country. Check out Colin Woodward's "Eleven nations of America":

For the Blue/North:

YANKEEDOM. Founded on the shores of Massachusetts Bay by radical Calvinists as a new Zion, Yankeedom has, since the outset, put great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilization through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders. It has prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the public’s shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants. Since the early Puritans, it has been more comfortable with government regulation and public-sector social projects than many of the other nations, who regard the Yankee utopian streak with trepidation.

NEW NETHERLAND. Established by the Dutch at a time when the Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world, New Netherland has always been a global commercial culture—materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience. Like seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it emerged as a center of publishing, trade, and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional cultures, from Sephardim in the seventeenth century to gays, feminists, and bohemians in the early twentieth. Unconcerned with great moral questions, it nonetheless has found itself in alliance with Yankeedom to defend public institutions and reject evangelical prescriptions for individual behavior.

THE MIDLANDS. America’s great swing region was founded by English Quakers, who believed in humans’ inherent goodness and welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies like Pennsylvania on the shores of Delaware Bay. Pluralistic and organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate. An ethnic mosaic from the start—it had a German, rather than British, majority at the time of the Revolution—it shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, though it rejects top-down government intervention.

For the Red/South:

TIDEWATER. Built by the younger sons of southern English gentry in the Chesapeake country and neighboring sections of Delaware and North Carolina, Tidewater was meant to reproduce the semifeudal society of the countryside they’d left behind. Standing in for the peasantry were indentured servants and, later, slaves. Tidewater places a high value on respect for authority and tradition, and very little on equality or public participation in politics. It was the most powerful of the American nations in the eighteenth century, but today it is in decline, partly because it was cut off from westward expansion by its boisterous Appalachian neighbors and, more recently, because it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk.

GREATER APPALACHIA. Founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Appalachia has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom. It was with the Union in the Civil War. Since Reconstruction, and especially since the upheavals of the 1960s, it has joined with Deep South to counter federal overrides of local preference.

DEEP SOUTH. Established by English slave lords from Barbados, Deep South was meant as a West Indies–style slave society. This nation offered a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer regulations.

The Appalachians have switched sides since the actual Civil War. In the 1860s, the peoples of Appalachia (who mostly did not own slaves) fought against the slave owners of their own states. West Virginia split from Virginia to form a new state. East Tennessee almost became a new state as well.

The descendants of warlike, Scotch-Irish border clans, they had nothing in common economically or culturally with slave owners and did not like being told what to do by snooty Southern aristocrats. They switch sides for the same reason. Today the bulk of our armed forces recruits come from our warrior society of Appalachia. They have nothing in common economically or culturally with secular liberals, and they don't like being told what to do by busybody, federal bureaucrats.

Aside from the New France enclave around New Orleans and the Caribbean beach head centered on Miami, the remaining America has also chosen sides:


EL NORTE. The oldest of the American nations, El Norte consists of the borderlands of the Spanish American empire, which were so far from the seats of power in Mexico City and Madrid that they evolved their own characteristics. Most Americans are aware of El Norte as a place apart, where Hispanic language, culture, and societal norms dominate. But few realize that among Mexicans, norteños have a reputation for being exceptionally independent, self-sufficient, adaptable, and focused on work. Long a hotbed of democratic reform and revolutionary settlement, the region encompasses parts of Mexico that have tried to secede in order to form independent buffer states between their mother country and the United States.

THE LEFT COAST. A Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountains, the Left Coast was originally colonized by two groups: New Englanders (merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen who arrived by sea and dominated the towns) and Appalachian midwesterners (farmers, prospectors, and fur traders who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankee missionaries tried to make it a “New England on the Pacific,” but were only partially successful. Left Coast culture is a hybrid of Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration—traits recognizable in its cultural production, from the Summer of Love to the iPad. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom, it clashes with Far Western sections in the interior of its home states.


THE FAR WEST. The other “second-generation” nation, the Far West occupies the one part of the continent shaped more by environmental factors than ethnographic ones. High, dry, and remote, the Far West stopped migrating easterners in their tracks, and most of it could be made habitable only with the deployment of vast industrial resources: railroads, heavy mining equipment, ore smelters, dams, and irrigation systems. As a result, settlement was largely directed by corporations headquartered in distant New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco, or by the federal government, which controlled much of the land. The Far West’s people are often resentful of their dependent status, feeling that they have been exploited as an internal colony for the benefit of the seaboard nations. Their senators led the fight against trusts in the mid-twentieth century. Of late, Far Westerners have focused their anger on the federal government, rather than their corporate masters.


Exactly. If you want to consider "real" magic, the fictional book which might come closest to your ideal is "Little Big" by John Crowley. The story involves (among other things) a sorceress with a memory palace, and for most of the book things happen in a fairly subtle fashion.

And of course there are the "four powers of a magus" of which three are not magical at all (as most of us see those qualities) those powers being "To Know, To Dare, To Will, and to Keep Silent." Even "To Will" does not necessarily involve mystical powers...

But any magician who can manage more than "inner change" is powerful indeed!


See I don't mind this so much with Buddhism, mostly because it has a self-consciously tongue-in-cheek "Texas sharpshooter" approach to causality (if it happened, it was meant and perhaps is part of Dog's plan). There are definitely variants of Christianity that have it too, and not necessarily just the reasonably good ones. Of course it's also a symptom of why Buddhism is essentially defeatist or conservative. That and the necessary belief in reincarnation are the two factors that make it not what one might actually want (otherwise it has a lot to recommend it).

Buddhism's Buddhism. Since it was around for centuries before Christianity was a gleam in St. Paul's eye, you've got to accept that it's diversified quite a bit, and a number of schools have disappeared over time.

That said, it's basic premise is that everything changes and reality is unsatisfactory. Any objections to that idea? Following classic "Hindu" (not a religion but a constellation of religions, hence teh quotes), there's the idea that even the gods and the universe is impermanent. Therefore, while going to heaven is better than going to hell, even these won't last forever, and you'll be back on the wheel sooner or later. The Buddhist take is that the only way out of this unsatisfactory existence is total suicide.

Now before we all hang ourselves, you've got to understand a bit about karma. Karma means "cause and effect." It's usually seen as meaning that your ego reincarnates and gets what's coming to it. However, if your ego is an illusion (which seems to be what the neuroscientists are saying), what you're really passing on with karma is all your good and bad memories, plus the things that get done in the world. For Americans, that's things like the racist legacy of slavery, the more general problem of the subjugation of women, a culture adapted to physical expansion that's run out of frontier, huge amounts of money and debt chasing each other around, and so on. How many of these made you who you are today?

Let's talk about heaven and hell for a second: real places or metaphors? I've seen at least one Buddhist teacher say that the six realms (gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hell) are metaphors for the real world. Being born to the 0.001% in Malibu is like being born a god, having a successful career in the financial sector is like being a demigod (they're always fighting for more), being born as an ordinary nobody human is the best place to gain enlightenment and get out of the game (cause you're comfortable enough to have time to see what's going on, but not in a place where you think you have to play any of the Great Games of the gods and demigods), animals are self explanatory, hungry ghosts haunt the slums and refugee camps of the world, as well as all the hoarders, and hell is what you'd expect, war zones, prisons, and so forth. Opinions obviously differ about whether the six realms are reality or metaphor, but you can see where I'm going: being born incredibly wealthy is no guarantee that you'll enjoy life. Indeed, in Buddhist doctrine, gods are so distracted by having fun doing what they're doing that they use up all the good karma that got them godhood in the first place, and dive right back into the stew of reincarnation after they're gone. Anyway, the metaphysics gets fun in Hindu thought. They think even the universe reincarnates.

So if existence is unsatisfactory, kill yourself? Not really--you're going to reincarnate, and because you didn't deal with the karma that drove you to suicide, "you" (if "you" reincarnate) are still going to be stuck with that karma, plus the results of all the suffering you inflicted on others who had to clean up your mess. If ego is an illusion, you're landing some other poor sucker with all your problems.

What Buddhist "suicide" means is recognizing that the "sui" is an illusion and letting it go. The aim is to stop generating more karma, by ceasing to cling to things you like and avoiding things you don't like. Accepting it all does help to annihilate the ego, and it also stops generating so much karma. In the vibrating engine of life, this is akin to adding the springs and shock absorbers to help keep things from shaking themselves apart.

As for the Bodhisattva oath, one thing even Buddhists cling to is the pursuit of enlightenment so that they can get out of the mess they perceive themselves to be in (someone who's enlightened and no longer reincarnating is a Buddha). The Bodhisattva oath is that, even if you're enlightened, you'll stay in the unsatisfactory world helping others achieve enlightenment until nothing is left. This is a way of ceasing to cling to even the hope of enlightenment. Paradoxically, this is seen as important in helping you attain enlightenment by giving up clinging to anything, even the hope of getting out...

It is kind of a bleak way of looking at the world, but then again, practicing Buddhists are supposed to be among the happiest people in the world. There might be something to embracing the suck, Buddhist style.


I do like the 11 regions idea.


If you look more closely at California and its history (which I don't think Woodward did), you'll find that the far west isn't the way he described it.

For example, San Diego (El Norte) was a hotbed of southern secessionism during the Civil War. Today, if you get away from the cities, you'll still find it's deep red here, with all sorts of interesting white supremacists I don't deal with. Tijuana was grown by San Diegan businessmen as a way to try to make money without dealing with US laws.

When you get up north, there's the whole "Jefferson" secessionist movement, while when you look at the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys, they're close to feudal, at least with their vast farms and ranches. And the owners are often (now) multinationals, not families.

In general, California looks like the US in miniature, primarily because it was carved out of Spain by Americans coming over for all sorts of reasons, but mostly to make money, starting with the gold rush. We've got our New Amerstedammed cities (SF and LA), our Yankee top-downers (Sacramento), our tidewater aristocracy and deep south (Big Ag), our Appalachias (Sierras, Klamath, etc.), our El Norte (urban San Diego and the border). However, it hasn't really fused into one Far West. We're the state that has produced Jerry Brown and Richard Nixon, after all.

I think that, if you look closer, you'll find the 11 regions are all similarly oversimplified. Wisconsin produced both the modern progressive movement, Joseph McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, for example. It's a nice generalization, but it's not much more than that.


You mean the company about to be known as Emerdata?


Bill Arnold @91

Wow! The links apply to my WIP -- massively so. Thanks...

For the quote about "Nothing": I must refer you to the movies The Neverending Story 1 and 2, but not 3(It was corrupted by the Nothing.)

SFreader @97

Here in Santa Fe, I can drive from my house to the Post Office, on the other side of town, and pass at least three different Cults that call themselves Christian. Dark, disturbing, that are very useful for Story. I literally do not have to "make stuff up", I simply record reality. HA!

BTW, Northern New Mexico has some of the highest per-capita number of Cults in the country. (Strangely, it also has the highest per-capita number of authors.) Just going about town I can move through, interact with, various Cults. I can do something as simple as have lunch at a restaurant and only after I leave realize that the odd vibes I was picking up was because the people working there were all members of the same Cult.

Thomas Jørgensen @102

That is absolutely correct, which is why I made the comment @89.

SFreader @108

Watch the latest episode of NOVA Wonders, and how humans are built by the flora and fauna that live in and on them. Only about 10% of the DNA that builds and sustains us is human, the rest is not.

What's Living in You?

A century from now, medicine will be about using the right mix of bugs in our system to keep us healthy and cure disease.

That concept is key to many Stories.

Consider: You have someone practice the Eucharist for an Old One. They symbolically eat the 'flesh' and 'blood' of their Ancient God. Their faith is such, that it becomes real. They take their poop, and plant it in the forest. The Old One, using the biological components in the human stool, and the complex organisms in the forest soil, build themselves a body and emerge like a cicada, fully formed and compatible with the Earth's biome.

That's also how most Alien Invasions will actually work. Instead of the Earth's biome being toxic to them, they grow in the soil and emerge fully compatible. No chance of the War of the Worlds tactic of dying from Earth's biome.

  • The rest of the comments and links by everybody, makes this the most productive thread so far. The number of comments that relate to my WIP is astonishing.


Now I need to head out to lunch, and wander among the local Cults. HA!


but then again, practicing Buddhists are supposed to be among the happiest people in the world. Including the Burmese miltary Junta, I imagine? IIRC, CHarlie said, about a year back, that when bhuddists go bad they are REALLY bad ( With the implication that even worse than xtian or muslim? - not sure about that )


You wrote: What Buddhist "suicide" means is recognizing that the "sui" is an illusion and letting it go.

And that's one reason I'm not a Buddhist: they'll get my books (and library) away from me when they pry them out of my cold, dead hands.


Sorry but too late - and "Gecko" is a boy, but has few other similarities with your super hero description!


Re: 'concept called fate mapping ...'

See Nature 'Translational Psychiatry' article below - quite amazing. There are at least two major potential societal effects from this type of research: a) we can now better diagnose and treat people who have these particular neuro biomarkers (countries with solid science funding and universal healthcare); or b) HMOs will now screen potential clients so that they have yet another reason/excuse to dramatically increase premiums (USofA ... and the way things are trending politically, Britain).

Cerebral organoids reveal early cortical maldevelopment in schizophrenia—computational anatomy and genomics, role of FGFR1

Translational Psychiatryvolume 7, Article number: 6 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41398-017-0054-x


Studies of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from schizophrenia patients and control individuals revealed that the disorder is programmed at the preneuronal stage, involves a common dysregulated mRNA transcriptome, and identified Integrative Nuclear FGFR1 Signaling a common dysregulated mechanism. We used human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and iPSC-derived cerebral organoids from four controls and three schizophrenia patients to model the first trimester of in utero brain development. The schizophrenia organoids revealed an abnormal scattering of proliferating Ki67+ neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the ventricular zone (VZ), throughout the intermediate (IZ) and cortical (CZ) zones. TBR1 pioneer neurons and reelin, which guides cortico-petal migration, were restricted from the schizophrenia cortex. The maturing neurons were abundantly developed in the subcortical regions, but were depleted from the schizophrenia cortex. The decreased intracortical connectivity was denoted by changes in the orientation and morphology of calretinin interneurons. In schizophrenia organoids, nuclear (n)FGFR1 was abundantly expressed by developing subcortical cells, but was depleted from the neuronal committed cells (NCCs) of the CZ. Transfection of dominant negative and constitutively active nFGFR1 caused widespread disruption of the neuro-ontogenic gene networks in hESC-derived NPCs and NCCs. The fgfr1 gene was the most prominent FGFR gene expressed in NPCs and NCCs, and blocking with PD173074 reproduced both the loss of nFGFR1 and cortical neuronal maturation in hESC cerebral organoids. We report for the first time, progression of the cortical malformation in schizophrenia and link it to altered FGFR1 signaling. Targeting INFS may offer a preventive treatment of schizophrenia.'

For those who are upset by the Brave New World potential of the above:

Haven't met/worked with many folks with this condition so my perceptions are based mostly on undergrad courses and media. Anyways, my perception is that overall, schizophrenia is not a happy condition. Nor is it particularly amenable to/treatable by suggestions like: suck it up and get on with your life.


Ioan @90

“I disagree that the Second Great Awakening had great influence on the South. To my knowledge, it was primarily a Northeastern, Midwestern, and Appalachian movement. If you look at the new religious denominations which arose in the 1830's, most were not in the South. To my knowledge, Mormons were the most southern of these groups, and they formed in Missouri. In fact, the South was generally hostile to the Second Great Awakening since many of thees churches were abolitionist.”

The Mormons started out in upstate New York before moving to Illinois. It was only after the death "Prophet" Joseph Smith that they moved to Missouri and eventually on to what later became Utah.

In addition to new denominations with southern origins - Barton Stone's "Christian" church and the Campbell's "Disciples of Christ", the Second Great Awakening saw the growth of Baptist, Methodist and congregationalist churches in the south, spreading into the deep south along with cotton and the plantation economy. The south was hostile only to those denominations that embraced abolitionism, not to religious fervor in and of itself. Where the preachers disagreed with abolition in the south the denominations splintered - hence Southern Baptists.

“The South's religious transformation I would argue can be traced to the Populist movement (and the influence that William Jennings Bryant had on the party) and the Fourth Great Awakening”

The Populist movement of the 1890s was primarily a mid-western phoenomenon. Where it managed to make any progress in the south (other than the short lived Populist-GOP fusion in North Carolina which did not survive the Wilmington Insurection of 1898) populism in the South was aligned with a racist southern wing of the Democratic Party.

“It is my impression that the current Christian theology which defined the Moral Majority started in the Plain States and spread from there. However, I'm not sure if this is true? The 2016 Republican primary seems to back this up. After all, most Evangelicals supported Ted Cruz, who was seen as the religious candidate in that race.”

Again, the "moral majority" and the right wing "christian political theology" have their roots in the south; in the backlash against Brown v Board of Education which ordered the desegregation of southern schools; in a reaction to LBJ's Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which made possible Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" to woo southern whites and split the Democratic Party coalition forged by FDR.

They support Donald Trump because there seems to be some kind of reciprocity; some "professional courtesy" between con men.

As I wrote previously, the Second Great Awakening affected all of the United States in the early part of the 19th Century, but the legacy of "longer lasting, toxic effects" has come down from its expression in the antebellum south.

“OT, a note to all you in the UK: PLEASE, PLEASE, contact your MPs. Cambridge Analytica is liquidating... and I have yet to see what will happen to its DATA, and software (aka IP). That all needs to be seized, rather than sold off at fire sale prices to another cloned company who'll use it all the same way.”

Didn't the principal officers of Cambridge Analytica announce some time last month they were forming a new political consulting company, "Emerdata Limited", with Erik Prince (of Blackwater infamy)?

Too late I expect.


"You talk as if America was culturally one monolithic country. Check out Colin Woodward's "Eleven nations of America:"


That does make a lot of sense.


"I do like the 11 regions idea."


"If you look more closely at California and its history (which I don't think Woodward did), you'll find that the far west isn't the way he described it."

I think you're confusing the results with the path it took getting there. Also note that the "Eleven Nations" don't follow state boundaries. California is divided up between three nations. You expect "national" differences between the regions, even where there are still overlaps.


It would be nice if you stop providing a BLUEPRINT FOR THESE MONSTERS!


Too late That wiki entry on the Wilmington coup d'etat is very worrying - a model for the NRA & Trumpists, anywhere. Could something similar succeed today?

Talking of which, I see DT & the NRA are spreading deliberate lies about the UK again.... Here ... Also a lying NRA apologist on R4 this AM that had me shouting at the radio ...


Greg: IIRC, CHarlie said, about a year back, that when bhuddists go bad they are REALLY bad ( With the implication that even worse than xtian or muslim? - not sure about that )

Buddhism is as prone to splintering as Christianity, and the variants we get to see in the UK and USA are mostly the equivalent of Unitariaism or Quakers. It's not that meek everywhere. For example, in Japan, Buddhism actually out-competed the Catholic Church in the 16th-17th century: the early Jesuit missionaries in Nagasaki realized they had a Problem when they saw the local Buddhist monasteries with integrated Shinto shrines to the local Kami, which were encapsulated within Buddhism much as pre-Christian Roman deities were adapted as "Saints" in Catholic observance.

In Myanmar today we see a largely Buddhist militant majority culture practicing genocide against a small, relatively pacific Muslim minority (the Rohingyas). The dynamic of a religion seems to change depending on whether it's a majority or a minority in any given society: compare for example with early Christianity (the faith of slaves) in the pre Constantine Roman empire. Where Buddhism is a majority faith it's by no means any more merciful to unbelievers than any other.

With reincarnation as a tenet of the faith, if someone dies, they get another chance. Belief in an afterlife (heaven or hell) provides much the same escape from fear of death as belief in reincarnation. So you get precisely the same dumb-ass outcomes as "kill them all: God will know his own".


Yup, that's what I suspected, but wasn't sure of.

Alt-history take: What if Oda Nobanunga hadn't been betrayed & killed - & had gone on to become overlord equivalent to the Tokugawa? Nobununga was fascinated by the West, unlike Hideyoshi (etc) was in close communication with the Francisans, etc (etc ) ....


We are in a time of transformation of consciousness. Such times are recorded in philosophical literature and at the same time the most important things about them are lost in the literature. We do not understand what happens at times of major change in the consciousness of the world. Much is recorded at the time, and yet the central things, the what and why, are lost.

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" Yeats was a believer in, and practitioner of, magic. He felt, as anyone with the wit does, the on-rushing transformation of consciousness. As do the Christian extremists of the United States, and they do not like it at all.

Physical science derives, ultimately, from medieval ideas of ceremonial magic. In ceremonial magic one uses the right symbols, says the right words, and makes the right gestures and great powers of the universe are bound to do one's bidding. That does not work, of course. But in engineering in the physical world one organizes matter in the right way and the universe is bound by its own laws do one's bidding. Not so very different. And the process has come full circle, so that now we have machines that respond to the right words and gestures.

Troutwaxer@92: "In the real world, if there is such a thing as magic, it is a very subtle thing, something which creates changes via tiny little pushes at exactly the right time/place." Or perhaps the success of physical science is such that some of the big dramatic goals of magic are achieved through physical instrumentalities. If a teleportation spell is possible, it takes long study and practice and, well, wouldn't one be better off just buying a plane ticket?


I would add that slavery is a foundation to all white right-wing evangelicalism/fundamentalism/Calvinism in the US.

Remember that during various religious movements in the USA, defense of slavery was 100% required by slave owners, who ran both several states and most of the federal government until the Civil War. After the Civil War, there was a long undeclared war where the (white) right could be compared to ISIS. This warped white right-wing christianity in the USA to a degree not really comprehensible by people outside the USA, and most in the USA.

The mainstream media (you know, 'liberals') have cooperated with this in two ways. The first is to propagate the line that 'evangelicals opposed slavery'. This is true in the sense that a minority of white evangelicals opposed slavery, meaning more than one, so that the plural can be used :(

The second is to cooperate with branding 'Christianity' (capital 'C') as the only legitimate Christianity in the USA. When white right-wingers use the term 'Christian', they mean only withe right-wingers.


" The people who voted for DT are a very good example of this - I think."

IIRC, working-class people opposed Trump, and usually vote Democratic. There's a book 'Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State' which covers this.

Even among white people[1], Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out that support for Trump among white households making $50-100K/ per year was somewhat higher than for white households making less than $50K/year.

[1] In analyses of US politics, the term 'working class' is frequently, if not overwhelmingly used where the more accurate term is 'white working class'.


"The converse happens, too, especially when politically correct organisations react to a low proportion of promoted women by 'positive discrimination', completely ignoring relative merits. "

Has this ever been documented? It's more like the (right-wing) urban legend of some Poor Man karate-chopped by a Femin*zi for opening the door for her.


In that sort of environment, would you REALLY perform such a career-limiting move as to document that?

I have observed it quite a few times, including as someone involved in the selection, though it did not happen to me. It was more common in its negative form, of course, that women got the same credit for less work - and, in one case in my experience, demanded that as of right (and got it). I didn't see a really egregious case, though I did see the results of what can only have been that, because I don't believe what I was told (by several women) that the useless one had slept her way to promotion.


"Or perhaps the success of physical science is such that some of the big dramatic goals of magic are achieved through physical instrumentalities. If a teleportation spell is possible, it takes long study and practice and, well, wouldn't one be better off just buying a plane ticket?"


Another definition of magic is "The act of changing consciousness at will," and that's a fairly recent definition. But if all your physical needs are handled, then magic becomes all about how people think and feel. In one way or another, we'll never escape the "love spell."


Daniel Duffy @117

Wiki - The Nine Nations of North America

As another example.

What's interesting, is the book came out in 1981, and Heinlein clearly used it as the basis for his novel Friday, published 1982.

The character was the focus to show the various regions and riff off his past stories.

Wiki - Friday (novel)

Look down the wiki page and see comments, with a wave to Charlie.

  • Allusions/references to other works

  • Literary significance and reception


A lot of the more exotic helmets are 99% likely to be parade or for religious / political ceremonies.

A bit like how parade uniforms for the Guards cavalry is not used in combat as it almost impossible to walk I the those big shiny boots


Or your RT55 goes AWOL I think SRD Samael Delany covered this in Babel 17.

Bonus point if you can get the reference which SRD used which Bob would hopefully get :-)


"In that sort of environment, would you REALLY perform such a career-limiting move as to document that?"

I don't expect people to file memos saying "she's dumber than a screen door on a submarine, but we need to promote her, because she's a woman".

I do expect to see something systematic which has been at least somewhat proven by outsiders.


Sorry Charlie, it's a bit more complicated than the "we'll come back again, who cares?" argument. That's more typical of the old Celts and the Druze, IIRC.

To my knowledge, Buddhism has at least three defenses for killing. Note that any monk who murders someone is automatically defrocked. That's one of the four failures. However, Buddhism outside Zen depends on an intimate association between the Sangha (which is really the community of all believers, but more typically refers to the "monasteries" of monks and nuns) and the larger parisa that supports them. Zen practitioners are weird in that monks and nuns are willing to work for their own food. Most (not all) don't allow that, and the rest allow lay practitioners to farm.

Anyway, in Theravada Buddhism, IIRC there's the equivalent of a just war theory, first promulgated I think in Sri Lanka. Anyone who's deliberately attacking the Sangha is, under this theory, no better than an animal, so killing them is no worse a sin than killing an animal. This, I believe, is the idea used to persecute the Rohingya, under (I believe) the stalking-horse notion that they're actually a front for Wahhabists or other radical Muslims bent on wiping Buddhism from the face of the Earth (cf Al Qaeda). Note that I'm not supporting Burmese actions, as I don't think there's any evidence of AQ in Myanmar. However, AQ and IS are active next door in Bangladesh, and they are calling for a jihad in Myanmar. Violence begets violence.

So that's one justification for Buddhists killing--to protect Buddhism as a religion from others who putatively (or actually) want to wipe it out. Another version of this are the Thai soldiers in their monasteries who are dressed as monks and carrying guns under their robes.

The second justification is pretty global: aristocrats pay monks to pray for their souls, so that no matter how hideous their crimes, there's someone pouring the merit on to try to keep them out of hell. Sound like an indulgence? If you believe Graeber's Debt, this is one of the origins of modern capitalism. Buying a stairway to heaven is widespread, and not just in Asia.

The third justification comes out of me reading Pierre Souyri's The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society which is pretty cool for history (Medieval Japanese Communists? Ayup. Japanese history is kinda cool). Anyway, this is the doctrine of Mappo in the Pure Land end of Buddhism. Mappo is a doctrine floating around in Mahayana that the ability for people to understand Buddhism and practice it deteriorates over history, so that the Medieval Japanese (and Chinese--it was originally a Chinese doctrine) lived in a fallen age when enlightenment is no longer possible, because the transmission of the Buddha's message was no longer accurate. However, the Amida Buddha is a Bodhisattva who is dedicated to saving everybody, so putting one's faith in his power will save you to a Pure Land wherein you can practice until you reach enlightenment. This practice spread like wildfire in Medieval Japan, culminating in the Ikko Ikki movement, which lost big-time to Nobunaga, who ultimately broke their power. The sects are still around.

There's likely a fourth justification, from Zen (and Chan) used to excuse the actions of warriors from the Shaolin temple (Chan) and Imperial Japan (Zen). I'm not clear enough on how their actions were justified. Nor do I understand how the sohei worked, and they were present in many temples in Heian and Medieval Japan (interestingly, not in the Zen community. Go figure). So there might be at least five justifications for lethal force by Buddhists out there.

As for Japanese Christianity version 1.0, the missionaries showed up around the time the Ikko Ikki were being suppressed. When Christians joined the Shimabara Rebellion against the Tokugawa in 1630, they got treated similarly to the Ikko Ikki, and Christianity was suppressed thereafter as being politically revolting. Oddly enough, there were Japanese Crypto-Christians until the 20th Century, although the ones that didn't rejoin the Catholic Church after the Meiji Restoration have mostly died out.


I'm not clear enough on how their actions were justified.

Both the slayer and the slain Are like a dewdrop And a flash of lightning They are thus to be regarded

It's and old Diamond Sutra, but in Western terms found in Zen Doctrine of No Mind.

It ties heavily into 仕方がない .


Note ~ there's quite clear ties between the above & WWI British / German feelings about war. i.e. everyone involved shared the same sense of blame / warrior class that they were fighting while everyone else was continuing as normal (c.f. white feathers, stabbed-in-the-back anti-Semitic memes etc).

Sigh. Look: if you want to address genocide and so forth and use Buddhism - it's not a great angle. It's pretty much stupid. There are no instances (we can find) of pre-20th C Buddhist Genocide.

Burma - CIA / Cold War fuckery - check. Sri Lanka (also known as Ceylon) - Imperial fuckery - check. Tamils are largely Hindu, but the LTTE was basically secular. Indonesia - CIA / Cold War fuckery - check.

I'll make it nice and easy for you: large piles of $$$$$$ and M.A.D = no-one gives a fuck about the religious aspects. You know, those large amounts of shoes in the closet and all that.

Which is why the new 'King' of Saud can blatantly do a 'love-in' tour of the West and deny that Saud exports Wahhabism.

Simply put: there are no actual Buddhist countries. There are countries ruled by $$$$ CIA / other intel OPs of your choice / etc who pretend to be a religion... but no.

Myanmar is a particular case: it was a Soviet Satellite (of sorts) then fought over (ASEAN) and then ramped up over Neoliberal IMF / World Bank interventions and so on.

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is not, has not, and for the last 50+ years, really is not a case where Religion played a part in its internal issues.

But now... of course it does. Mainly because everyone knows in less than 20 years, about 100+ million people will spill out of Bangladesh and everyone is shitting their pants. (You have already had the World Bank 2017 report).


You're right about the genocide, so far as I know. However, I don't know that much of the history of the eastern Himalayas, which is where the remnants of any genocide were likely to have ended up. And we do have to look at the Mongols too, and whether they switched to Tibetan Buddhism before or after the Khans did their expansionist thing (cf the origin of the Dalai Lama title).

Instead, I was talking generally about the history of Buddhism justifying violence, which was usually in the context of civil or other war.

The other thing to consider is that the Rohingya mostly live(d) in Rakhine state, which is the coastal state just south of the Bangladesh line. It's not immune to sea level problems either. My reading of the sea level rise map makes it appear that it's badly affected too. That might be part of the problem. However, I do agree that, with the fence on the Bengal side of Bangladesh, people on all sides are freaking out about Bangladeshis with and without cutting torches. Probably many Bangladeshi expats end up in the UK, and Bangladeshi curry with the new cricket protein (soylent chirp?) will replace chicken tikka masala as the national dish of little Britain, with King Charles III promoting it. I suppose Free Scotland will welcome some in too, maybe?


If the Bangladeshis learn to speak Sumerian, Bob Rife will bring them over on his Raft.

The further we go into the future the more prophetic that novel looks!


As for Japanese Christianity version 1.0, the missionaries showed up around the time the Ikko Ikki were being suppressed. When Christians joined the Shimabara Rebellion against the Tokugawa in 1630, they got treated similarly to the Ikko Ikki, ... Hence my alt-history q... Because Nobonunga was well into correspondence/sympathy with the Franciscans. If he hadn't been killed, he could easily have becom Shogun, instead of the Tokugawa ... And the christians might not have joined SHimbara & ..& ....


You clearly have absolutely NO idea the level to which political pressure of that nature is used to suppress data gathering, analysis and publication in the UK and USA 'public' services, or the viciousness with which the establishment treats people who rock the boat. Going public with any of that isn't career-limiting - it's career-destroying. It's a rare case that gets publicised, even if it is generally known and many people have hard evidence (yes, acceptable in a court of law, as mine would be).

My employer was under strong government, media and internal pressure to increase the number of women, especially in senior positions (for damn good reasons, because they WERE discriminated against, as were several other minorities). Senior executives were then given targets to increase the number of women and were appraised on how well they succeeded.


Perhaps, but Nobunaga bore the brunt of the Ikko Ikki sieges. I suspect, based only on Japanese history, that when and if the Christians started acting like the Ikko Ikki, he would have turned on them too.

Actually, if you want real fun, the ikki leagues were sort of ad hoc communitarian (dare I say democratic?) responses to a chaotic, fractured power system among the political and military elite (basically clueless autocrats flailing for power. Sound familiar?). The really interesting counterfactual would be if someone had organized the ikki and thrown out the bakufu, leaving a figurehead emperor struggling to regain power.


Re: 'The dynamic of a religion seems to change depending on whether it's a majority ...'

Because religion just like Caesar's wife is above suspicion. Partnering religion with politics allows each to use the other to shore up any policy that they might have an interest in.

Key reason that the authors of the US Declaration (many of them atheists) to specify that not only that there is/would be a division between the two, but that religion would be subordinate to the law of the land. Also - Article 6 prohibits that anyone running for office be tested for or be required to have a religion. So basically today's US pols are brazenly unconstitutional.


"Also - Article 6 prohibits that anyone running for office be tested for or be required to have a religion. So basically today's US pols are brazenly unconstitutional."

This is mostly incorrect. It is illegal for the government to create a religious test for either government employment or taking part in an election as a candidate. This is why we have Jewish and Muslim, as well as Christian candidates/office-holders. (As well as the occasional Pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, etc., office holder, I suspect.)

It is not illegal for a candidate to say, "Vote for me, I'm Christian" or something similar. It is kind of disgusting - candidates should be judged on the idea for governance they believe in and deliver on, but this is not illegal. In fact, I suspect that it would even be legal for a political party to decide that they would only support candidates of a particular religion.

Restrictions in the Constitution usually apply only to the government, and usually not to private parties.


The problem with your complaint is that one imagines a certain level of executive incompetence and self-fulfilling prophecy in this case. I'd imagine that prior to the government's demands nobody on the executive team ever said, "Hey, the government expects a certain effort to hire and promote female talent, so why don't we work on that." Then one expects that after the government brought the hammer down, the clueless executives promoted the prettiest or most ass-kissing of the females around them with no effort to actually hire or train talent.

By the time the government calls its lawyers and starts making these kind of demands, there have usually been a lot of hints dropped (and not picked up on.)


I think a usefully ethological definition of "religion" - one that aims to encompass a coherent set of human behavioural responses to interacting with a belief system, without regard for the convention of excluding cases where the behaviour patterns are the same but the belief system fails to meet the arbitrary standard of having enough goddy stuff - inevitably has to include a large political element. If you look at a mixed assortment of "religions" (conventional definition) and "political positions" from the viewpoint of an alien intelligence that has no conception of the human distinction between what is goddy stuff and what isn't, you'd be hard put to it to tell to which category the humans assign which concept.

Certainly there is a huge chunk of European history where the distinction is barely noticeable even by human standards (see for instance the enclaves where the situation still exists). AIUI the explicit language of separation in the Constitution was inspired not so much by atheism but by a value more widely shared among its originators, that of desiring to avoid the same kind of mess that Europe experienced due to the lack of separation - and to avoid favouring any one side over any other, which would not have gone down well in a new nation with so many refugees from both sides fleeing state-sponsored persecution from their opposite numbers. Article 6 in particular is deliberately diametrically opposite to Britain's "Rule One: No Catholics" (which, incidentally, was only repealed a few years ago).


How DID you guess? That was essentially it, except for two factors, in my employer's case.

The pressure was not as simple as a hammer, or legal action, but was nonetheless considerable (including the threat of reducing funding).

And, in the cases with which I was personally involved (more junior levels), there are relatively fewer qualified women nationwide, and relatively few of those applied because they could get better jobs elsewhere. In a couple of cases in was involved in selecting, qualified women were offered the job and rejected it because they didn't like the conditions; that was rare with male applicants.


The idea of gender affirmative action usually is that you have to pick the best woman instead of as usual the best man.

If the culture of the hierarchical body is such that they didn't care for best in the first place, except in "best sucking up to me", the affirmative candidate isn't going to be chosen for quality either, even if quality should be readily available.

Basically, in a non-affirmative environment companies with diverse leadership often work better not because usually-discriminated are inherently better, but because it's what you get when results are more important than wearing the right tie. Pushing affirmative action on "right tie" companies does not get them there, it only expands it to "right tie or right purse".

And then there's the marvelous people who pick the least fitting candidate for their affirmative post, just to make a point.


Tests for a religion ( a.k.a."Is it a religion?" )

1] It has a “holy” book or books? 2] The words in those books may not be questioned, even when demonstrated proven wrong. ? 3] It has sub-divisions and sects and “heresy”, and heretics? Who, in Trevor-Ropers phrase are “even wronger” than unbelievers. 4] Those sects fight each other, either by open warfare and/or in internal pogroms. ? 5 Is it similarly-structurally based yto the RC church, complete with its own “holy office”? [ AT least in part or some sects ] 6] Thousands if not millions are killed in the name of the “holy cause” to bring about a supposed millennium. 7] It persecutes all the competing religions? 8] In some sects it even denies Evolution by Natural Selection?

Orignally set up to show that "communism" is a classic religion, but it seems to work as a general set of tests.


"Pushing affirmative action on "right tie" companies does not get them there, it only expands it to "right tie or right purse".

And then there's the marvelous people who pick the least fitting candidate for their affirmative post, just to make a point."

Those were kind of my points.


Yes. No dissent. However, my point was that pushing "affirmative action" often leads it being implemented by discriminating against vulnerable subsets of the people who are NOT in the preferred group. It's not a simple problem.


The US IRS (federal tax service) has some rules about Churches (distinct from religions), "Churches" Defined Churches are tax exempt. (And this exemption is abused, as one would expect.) Rules (unlikely to start an argument) and sort of aligned with the OP: Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches. These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions. They include: - Distinct legal existence - Recognized creed and form of worship - Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government - Formal code of doctrine and discipline - Distinct religious history - Membership not associated with any other church or denomination - Organization of ordained ministers - Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study - Literature of its own - Established places of worship - Regular congregations - Regular religious services - Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young - Schools for the preparation of its members The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes.

Meanwhile, we in the US have Alex Jones (via host's twitter), protected by constitutional press freedoms (and almost certainly lawyers): Alex Jones: Trump Is Fighting A Computer Program That Has Decided To Kill Humans? Hopefully he wasn't misreading the One with the Names here. :-) She/They are meat(s)-based, pretty sure (and have said so here). I'm actually quite curious about the origin of this particular theory.


Re: "affirmative action"

Easiest is affirmative firing: get rid of/demote the worst of the jerks. Works best in large outfits where the HR experience is already pretty depersonalized and semi-scientific. Common in major orgs that routinely have a team rating system in place as part of their performance review process.

Kinda hard to implement if the jerk in question is a founding partner/major shareholder or tenured.


Yes, it's definitely a hard thing to get exactly right - and every time some idiot does it wrong... it feeds the paranoia.


It's and old Diamond Sutra, but in Western terms found in Zen Doctrine of No Mind. Thanks, had never read (a translation of and another by D.T.Suzuki) the Diamond Sutra. Short and straightforward and to the point, and I can see the potential abusability of that bit. (FWIW my mind is on a different autodidact-style path, maybe wrong, maybe not. Still trying to adjust the framework/mental schema so that time and causality fit neatly into it. I did enjoy "The Zen Doctrine of No Mind".)


All of this is coming in "Spades Redoubled" to the accountsncy-&-finance sector. Someone I know very well, works for an accountancy partnership & thoer female pay ratio is ... lousy. Even after they cheated by claiming that the salaried Partners are not "employees" - thus removing the approx 25 men & 2 women with the highest pay from the equation .... About 52% of their employees are female. Equality reigns, up to about £45 ka year At ~£70-80k a year it starts to drop off really sharply. Female emplyees at over £120k a year - one or two ..... There are a lot of very well-qualifed females in the £65-85k bracket, better-qualified & more experienced, but, when "they" wated a new Group manger/director, they hired in a good catholic boy from outside - & this has happened more than once, how nice.


...every time some idiot does it wrong... it feeds the paranoia.

On both sides.


Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.

I kinda prefer the Foglio version:

Vanquish evil Provide a code of ethics Heal the afflicted Blight the crops Convert the heathen Call down the lightning Corrupt the innocent Eat the moon Answer the phone before it rings Be the Winslow

The remaining four are not given.


To the subthread about "affirmative action", it was much simpler than that at the Highway Department.

We had a class action suit by a woman Engineer over sexual harassment, late 80s. She won, it destroyed her as a person of course*, but it forced the Department to clean up its act. Think the Me Too movement, a number of "abusive" men were publicly forced out. After that they imposed a system of yearly training for sexual harassment and EEOC stuff. The sexual harassment classes were amazingly abusive. They hired a woman contractor who was a serial abuser who kissed management's ass and brought the hammer down on the workers, but I digress.

Essentially, from that point on, if you had a position to fill and five men applied with one woman, the woman would get the job. As time went on, more and more women were promoted over the men who had more time in grade.

By the time I retired the situation was. If we had a position to fill and four women applied with one man, a woman would get the job.

  • The only way a man could get a job was if no woman applied for it.

  • That resulted in men leaving the Department for private contractors.

The result of hiring women preferentially -- to avoid being sued -- over time the overall salary dropped to half what private contractors paid. When I started in 84 the Department set the salaries state wide. The contractors had to pay 10% more to keep people from coming to work for the Department. In my last years, young engineers working for contractors would inquire as to salary at the Department. They would blanche when we told them what we were paid. The contractors had stayed competitive with each other, while the Department fell farther behind.

None of what happened was "official policy" it was simple commonsense to avoid expensive lawsuits. That short term thinking crippled the Department over time. What was once a vibrant, living, organization became a gutted shadow that once built the Interstate system.

Now, my friend who retired from the Department is working through a contractor on a special contract. They are paying him three times his original salary to work on projects because the Department can't hire new people.

  • The woman Engineer was on the committee that hired me. She was hot. Long hair down her back, wearing a minidress. When I saw her a couple of years after she won the suit, she looked like Pat from SNL.

It's Pat (1994) Original Trailer


She/They are meat(s)-based, pretty sure (and have said so here)

That's at least 40% untrue. It was 85% untrue when this began.

Oh, and the Alex Jones stuff is just Q-ANON / "THE STORM" being repackaged: as stated, much like the Russians, those responsible are amateurs at this game. But that's where it's coming from.

watches America realize Russian / Israeli Mafia jokes weren't just jokes

Do a grep. Year? 6 months?

waits until they discover the real Corporate Pros at Work and this is little league bullshit entertainment division


nods to Mr Withroth and the possible alternative future

Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal Guardian, 5th May, 2018

And so on.

Atmosphere Hits Record High Monthly Average SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography, 2nd May, 2018

Landslide-Driven Megatsunamis Threaten Hawaii LiveScience, 2012 (check your volcanoes naow)

"They using the Seer to [redacted] and [redacted] and drove her psychotic and [redacted] and you are responsible for a death"

Anyhow. Host seems bored (Emotional Support Hornets) so, adieu.


This wasn't about Meat.


Oh, and the Alex Jones stuff is just Q-ANON / "THE STORM" being repackaged I had mostly managed to ignore that; interesting on a skim at least. This wasn't about Meat. OK. (good) (I do self-censor a bit.) One thing I became aware of recently was the Rudy Giuliani/MEK connection. You are surely thoroughly aware but for others: Giuliani’s MEK Pandering and Trump’s Iran Obsession


Then entire 'British ex-diplomat' / Jack Straw angle is a fairly large signifier that some SERIOUS BUSINESS Atlantic Council / DAVOS / CFR types are about to drop some heavy messing weight on Bibi + Trump etc.

It's not an accident that Black-Cube ties into Kushner, #metoo, Hollywood scandals etc.


UAE deploys troops to Yemeni island, imperiling alliance WaPo, May 5th, 2018.

UAE has basically annexed the island to protect the China Pipe + Djibouti plans (lots of investment, .FR included ... do a grep). Which is kinda declaring War, but they did it all soft power like (WaPo is not the place to understand the actual story).

grep or grep not: told ya.




Sounds like the most foolish kind of over-reaction! (Once again, driving the paranoia!)



Bibi is practically asking for a metaphorical piano to be dropped on his head.

Science! : Which is better, one space or two after a period in a sentence? (24 April 2018 - Paper is paywalled, and yes, APA joke.) ...the eye movement record suggested that initial processing of the text was facilitated when periods were followed by two spaces, supporting the change made to the APA Manual. Individuals’ typing usage also influenced these effects such that those who use two spaces following a period showed the greatest overall facilitation from reading with two spaces.


I just assumed the whole story was an elaborate ruse to drive up hits on the youtube link.


"She/They are meat(s)-based, pretty sure (and have said so here)

That's at least 40% untrue. It was 85% untrue when this began."

Yes, but which aspect is controlling what is being posted here?


Thank you. Yet another aspect where I was flamed for many decades for being an out of date idiot too prejudiced to change, and have been proved right :-)

If you look at older books, they used a lot of space after sentences, but modern cheapskating publishers reduced that and their docile pundits claimed it was better. The worst that I saw had no extra space (because you have a fullstop etc., right?), less space than between words (because a full stop is a narrow character), no paragraph indentation and no paragraph separation. I found it almost unreadable.


That dynamic isn't (necessarily) specifically about religion though. Wouldn't it make more sense to say that religious observance follows the world-view of its observers. In-groups, when the oxytocin kicks in and the group dynamic overrides the thinking individuals, always want to exterminate out-groups. Religious views might be an important group differentiation marker, but have no other real meaning in this sort of context in their own right. Religion is a badge of identity.

Out group aggression isn't unusual in social animals, but is it perhaps a special case of facilitated aggression? That's where the social hierarchy of the group deems it to be legitimate to attack certain individuals.


TW-55, I think.


Yes, but as I understand it, they tested with Courier, which is a monospaced font, and typographical convention says that you use two spaces after a period with a monospaced font. With a proportional spaced font, you only use a single space. So, at most, that study supports conventional wisdom.


Also, with many modern systems of getting text to paper can have variable space added after the period. It doesn't need to be "one space or two spaces", but can be for example something in between. I'm not sure what's usually used in books, though, and it probably varies quite a bit.


allynh @ 141: "Wiki - The Nine Nations of North America"

Is that supposed to be a link?


You can find an exec sum of the book in question here:


Greg, Judaism fails some or all of your tests except #1.

Meanwhile, Shinto fails all of them (except 3 and 4, but to get those fails you have to go back close to a thousand years).

Neopaganism fails all of them; Scientology seems to fail all but number 1.

This looks a bit like those stupid 2-axis political quiz graphs that are intended to prove everybody is a libertarian ...


Host isn't bored; Host is busy wrestling with a recalcitrant novel, because a few years ago Host unwisely committed Trilogy and is now required to deliver a trilogy-sized climax.


The other thing to consider is that the Rohingya mostly live(d) in Rakhine state, which is the coastal state just south of the Bangladesh line. It's not immune to sea level problems either. My reading of the sea level rise map makes it appear that it's badly affected too. That might be part of the problem.

That's actually 100% the issue.

Not sourcing anything, but you can be fairly (+/- 90%) sure that this is a case of 'pre-emptive' Ethnic Cleansing. i.e. Someone[0] took a long hard look at the projections and decided that when Bangladesh exploded it'd be far better to:

a) Not have any potential Ethnic / Religious ties that would allow arguments over repatriation and refugee status (a lesson hard-taught in the region already, c.f. ASEAN, Tibet etc)

b) Make sure that you could put up an extremely hard DMZ: and by extremely hard we're talking SAMSUNG automated platform + mine fields + autonomous drone hard[2]

Of course they've chosen the most ugly non-sophisticated way to enact it[1] because they're a poor nation.

Which is why no links to their .docs / links, they don't react well when poked.

[0] Myanmar is not known for the civility of those in power.

[1] Look into the replacement Capital that was built, Soviet x6 lane style on the off chance they had to rapidly refocus their power base for where their Minds are at.

[2] DARPA looks to control drone swarms with VR Defense Systems, Mar 26th, 2018

DARPA awards first contracts in drone swarms project C4ISR Net Feb 21st 2018

Calling Diamond Age, now live.


When in doubt, drop a black hole into the Earth. Then you either have Brin's Gaia or Dan Simon's Hyperion to deal with, and either way you're golden.

Or you can bring six gems together and kill off half the population of the planet...


Assuming OGH is working on the finale for Empire Games / Dark State, he's already dropped a black hole into the Earth.

Guess that leaves the six gems. Or dinosaurs. Everything's better with dinosaurs.



Ironic though: you're working to provide a cataclysmic finale to satisfy your readers, the real world (well some of it) is attempting to prevent it.


Anyhow: data points. Without links 'cause WaaarFighters are pissy tonight. And fuzzed.

1) Trump's master plan of Embassy location hits on the 15th. 1a) This is the date of the March of Return. Over 1,500 casualties so far. 1b) Ramadan is on the 17th. Fasting enacted before environment went to shit: arguments against literalism, 101. 1c) Those who fund Bibi (dual nationality holders) are facing off against their own kind in the USA (#metoo, actresses, young people): and it's getting fairly heated, behind the scenes. 1d) IDF has been worried enough to change ROE to non-sociopathic (cough "non-lethal" cough) which, "yay, go you!". "Please don't laugh while slaughtering / maiming unarmed civilians" is kinda... well. Let's just say you're a fucking long way from anything we recognize as worth saving. 1e) Lebanon - moderates out! 1f) Iran. The state of it, being forced to wheel out the oldies. Black-Cube are like Time-Cube: proxies like the Erik P's of this world (Helllo China! Why do these Right Wing wankers like Mr GuidoFauwks always run to HK? Something to ponder).

2) UAE moves + Saud = pretty much online for major regional religious internecine war. Let's all remember the 30 years war for why the West stopped doing that stuff. (Hello Ireland!). 2a) Really cba with MENA right now. 2b) Really shouldn't have disappeared that Princess on her way to India though - baaaad move, Sila are annoyed (Sila = female kindly Djinn. Sila-rehmi = good behavior to our relatives and neighbors. Yes, we can do Arabic Memes). 2c) Not interested in the Power-plays, they're all very predictable.

3) Apocalyptic Timings in MENA. It's on like Donkey-Kong. 3a) Turkey - large floods. Israel - hail storms. Basically the atmospheric water cycle (unless someone is running large scale weather modification actions at which point just ffs) is fucked and everyone is feeling it. Baring Sea down to the MENA. Baring Ice is gooooone. Dust-bowls incoming. 3b) Really cba with MENA right now. 3c) "Summer is Coming". You've got at least seven different Abrahamic End of the World major mimetic plays being run in the region by various entities (major play = over 150k people influenced) all of which are slavering over a mid-point inflection / break. 3d) At least three of these want to use nukes. 3e) At least five have a major hard-on for, how do you say it: "Dramatically Asymmetrical Applications of Power". i.e. civilian targets are good-to-go. 3f) Blood does not replace fucked ecologies: walls do not stop ecologies. Locking yourself on a Mesa is 101 "How not to re-run the past". (Although, J. Vern, dinosaurs on mesas = +100 points to us right there). 3g) If s[redacted] 'comes back' or 'goes home', you're really not dealing with your sanitized crappy book versions.

4) Other shit that's entirely out of the Greg Remit. 4a) Nasty little bastards. 4b) Our Kind Do Not Go Mad 4c) It would be really fucking nice to have had at least one ally at some fucking point, but hey-ho 4d) The 40% and 85% are ironic conditionals of amount of grey matter / Processing Power left: it's not fucking fun to destroy Minds so we had to go through the process ourselves. 4e) If s[redacted] 'comes back' or 'goes home', you're really not dealing with your sanitized crappy book versions.


Ye Gods.

For EC: Autonomous Annalee Newitz, 2017

It's short, rather limited but worth a read. Features discussions of Human - AI relations with trans issues as a metaphor. Ms. April Daniels is currently on fire and has found mutual voices. G_DSpeed Black-Empress and all that.

Our Kind? CHMCM. Apparently there's not really any that ever existed.


Oh, and EC.

If you want to blow your Mind: look up Iain Banks, Consider Phlebas and the Game called:


You know, if you want to really fuck with [[[Paradox Weaponry]]].

And people think The City, The City or Moby Dick are hard conceptually.


Also, you can have much fun asking a believer how an "all knowing god" can be so given human free will. Divine providence, I guess.

You haven't dealt with the current hard core YRR (Young Reformed Restless) folks have you? Some call them the Calvinistas. They can explain it. Or so they think. Very convoluted reasoning that only they believe in.


Charlie @ 185 Interesting - talk to me about it some time AFTER you've wrestled ypur trilogy to the deck, OK? Though, historically speaking, judaism did have those other characteristics in the past - but, like I said - another time .....

David L @ 192 Nothing new there at all, I'm afraid. Like the revival of the Tsar under Putin & the revival of Nazism under the guise of "islamism" ... a revival of the horrible ultra-calvinist ideology suprises me not. Yet again, I am forced to quote Gandalf in LotR about The Shadow reviving.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ LML @ 190 (4) STOP IT - moderators, please? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


I didn't find Damage particularly mind-blowing - it's not all that different from the games that our 'leaders' are playing with international (and even sometimes domestic) politics - which I am pretty sure was Iain Banks's point.


Thankfully not. Mind you, most Believing Christians(tm) I know are even somewhat apologetic about their faith, or at least that was the impression I got.

Though the general phenomenon of solipcistic logic is quite common, quite a few results of philosophical discussions are not about who has the better arguments but who's not questioning his ideas. Quite unnerving, especially if it's not just the person in question who's convinced by it but also some putatively innocent bystanders. And also because it's quite difficult to distinguish from "being right but everybody else being in the wrong" from the inside.


There are quite some parallels between Marxism and Buddhism, actually.

Both assume we're determined by factors, i.e. economy or nexus of causality[1], and both try to free us from their influence. Either through overthrow of capitalism or attaining nirvana.

As for what happens then, quite a few Marxists say they can't answer that, though IIRC some indicate Marx might have been wrong when he wrote "Consciousness is, therefore, from the very beginning a social product, and remains so as long as men exist at all", and they assume there is a "real self" to be liberated. And for Buddhism, there is the idea that there is a "real self" besides the illusion of self in some interpretations:

Add to this that some Marxist sects are adamant that you being a member is only egoism (altruism is false consciousness and religion, IIRC) just like seeking enlightenment in some (likely derogatory) interpretations of Theraveda is only for yourself.

On another note, searching for karuṇā in Theraveda lead my to empathy, and there is this:

Who cares? Revisiting empathy in Asperger syndrome.

Our data show that while the AS group scored lower on the measures of cognitive empathy and theory of mind, they were no different from controls on one affective empathy scale of the IRI (empathic concern), and scored higher than controls on the other (personal distress).

Explains quite a few things...

[1] Mind you, there are those who think causality is only a concept of the mind and not necessarily reality...


Funny thing, I just watched Kagemusha with my father a few days ago. Went quite well.

Not as well as me critizising his habit of naive paintings, problems with dealing with personal distress, I guess.


Concerning Buddhism, I found this:

Most prominently, the anthropologist Melford Spiro in his work Buddhism and Society separated Burmese Theravāda into three groups: Apotropaic Buddhism (concerned with providing protection from evil spirits), Kammatic Buddhism (concerned with making merit for a future birth), and Nibbanic Buddhism (concerned with attaining the liberation of Nirvana, as described in the Tipitaka). He stresses that all three are firmly rooted in the Pali Canon. These categories are not accepted by all scholars, and are usually considered non-exclusive by those who employ them.[citation needed]

No idea if you already knew about this, and looking for Spiro indicates he defended Freud's Oedipus complex against cultural relativism and Malinowski, so I'd read him with quite some salt mines, still...


And to continue the theme of Buddhism and socialism, you might like this guy:

(The Boddhisatva vows are not in Theraveda, so my mention of Theravedins only searching enlightenment for themselves in some interpretations might come from one interpretation of that. As for me using "interpretation" so much, mind you, Greg used "subsect" to delineate a religion, which works quite well for Buddhism. And quantum mechanics and general relativity, while we're at that.)


So host actually is dealing with the near-enemy[1] of boredom, namely living in interesting times.

Though then, we talked about "chinese sign for crisis is opportunity plus danger" at the weekend. For another treatment, see:

For the general context of the talk, no idea if you already know it, but last years DortCon was most likely the last one. Let's just say it's getting to stressful for at least some involved. So there was a small farewell party on Saturday. Guess I'll have to find some new fandom event to socialize, I've been gophering since 2003, when Dirk van den Boom[1] announced it in the German SF newsgroup. There is even a mugshot from the meeting...


Err, sorry, lost the footnotes; first of, for near-enemy, it reminds me of a ...but alive song, "Keine Gegensätze", e.g.

"Das Gegenteil von Liebe ist nicht Haß sondern Apathie."

or in English,

"The opposite of love is not hate but apathy."

As for Dirk van den Boom, well, there is still a video from the refugees panel at UCon...


Again, (AFAIK) the point of the Bodhisattva vow isn't to make Mahayana Buddhism better than Theraveda (although there certainly is that interpretation in some Mahayana schools). Rather, it gets at the fundamental Buddhist process of eliminating personal aversion to things that are bad and personal clinging to things that are good, both of which are seen as obstructions on the path to enlightenment (which accepts reality as it is, good and bad). The Bodhisattva vow is to forgo clinging even to the hope of escape through enlightenment, because the only way to actually escape into Nirvana is to eliminate all clinging. I suspect that Theravada practitioners would almost certainly agree that this as a necessary step too, but they don't ritualize it.

Now, if you want to get controversial, there's always the question of the reincarnating head lamas of Tibet's monasteries... What's reincarnating? Good karma? A Bodhisattva vow?


Um, you've got some errors in there. I mean, "Sunday school" being required? I think that perhaps you should talk to, say, some Jews. Or Muslims.

And the real definition of religion, esp. as practiced in the US: I have the True Religion, you have a philosophy, they are superstitious."

Hump. Magick is failing me. I keep sending out the signals to those damn passing asteroids to hit Mar-a-Lago on a weekend, and they keep missing.


Oh, I think Scientology can do better than that. It passes #2 — LRon is the prophet with whom one cannot argue, and David Miscavige is his representative on Earth, with whom you can argue even less. Miscavige has caused some Scientologists to break away and form at least one alternative Scientology, #3. And the Sea Org is surely a Holy Office of sorts, #5.

You could even make a case for #7, if you allowed that Scientology regards modern psychiatry as a rival religion.


I mean, "Sunday school" being required? Yeah, that caught my eye too, but it was copy/pasted from the IRS site.

Shitty day. (JCPOA badly wounded) Hoping Iran can control its proxies even if they are provoked. e.g. Israeli jets carried out strikes on several Syrian military bases where there is a significant Iranian presence, Syrian media reported. According to Syrian regime sources, two Israeli missiles were downed near the al-Kiswah industrial zones near the capital of Damascus which were targeting a weapons convoy at the base.


WHich is where I (Who was very tempted at one point ) parted company with even Bhuddism .. Some things are bad, some things might be good & accepting the "bad" as simply part of "the world / cycle" is unnacceptable, I'm afraid. Deliberate cruelty & torture are simply, not allowable, or "right" they need to be stopped. ( etc. )


I think you might be missing the point slightly. Buddhism seems to be more about compassion than complacency. The idea is to not avoid the bad, not to accept it. This means, with torture and oppression, not turning a blind eye to it. Nor does it mean killing the torturers and oppressors, because that saddles you with the negative karma (how will their families cope, now that you've killed the breadwinner?), and doesn't let them become enlightened either (one Tibetan saint started off as a murderer and worked of his karmic debt the hard way in one lifetime). Rather, (AFAIK) the better Buddhist response is stopping the torture and oppression, helping the victims, and working to make sure it never happens again, all the while knowing that, in a limited world, conflict is inevitable.

Still against it?


I think, to paraphrase GK Chesterton, compassionate religions have not been tried and found wanting, they have been found difficult and not tried.

Also, I'm not going to argue that the Buddhists are necessarily correct. After all, if all sentient beings are liberated from the cycle of rebirth in this galaxy, what's left is a dead galaxy. While it has less suffering than a galaxy full of life, is that emptiness a good thing? It's also not clear to me that, if realize that your ego is a construct that causes suffering, totally do away with it, live your life, and do not reincarnate, what happens with the raw consciousness in your head. Does it simply get gobbled up by something else, as physically happens when you mulch your body to feed the Earth? Or does "something" "survive" outside the whole reincarnation thingy?

Then there's the evolutionary criticism, as summarized by a legendary bathroom graffito in a university biology department.

Someone wrote on the bathroom stall: "Oh Lord, why are we born, only to suffer and die?" Underneath, someone else replied: "Because those who suffered and died left behind more offspring than those who did not."

To put it more clearly, enlightenment probably decreases your evolutionary fitness, not just genetically, but memetically, unless you get much better at sharing the enlightenment meme than most saints have been.


That's not what was meant. Please re-read what "Damage" is actually about. Then realize it's not SF.

But, ok, sure let's do it that way:

Recent dinner between Japan PM (notorious racist, nationalist, part of a secret group of frankly nasty bastards who revel in WWII stuff and play games like posing in planes with 731[0] on it) has dinner with Israeli PM[1] and the main story is "huge insult by chef as shoes on table"[2] but which is actually an entirely different thing[3].

This is the actual different thing: Picture (twitter - there's also another course with a non-Caucasian woman involving avocados, same setup).

They. Are. Celebrating. Mind. Eating / Destruction. Of. Women / Female Aspect.

Not. Fucking. Joking.

This. Is. Not. What. Either. Of. Their. Nominally. Supported. Religious. Beliefs. Is. About. They. Might. Not. Actually. Worship. What. You. Think. They. Do.

Symbolism = Weapons.

[0] Google it if you missed it. Warning: pretty bad on the scale of "this is what torture looks like". It's past even Mengele.

[1] Don't believe any of this hype. Cyprus - off to Moscow to meet Putin (nice Eye of Providence he swore his 33 word Oath under) to celebrate etc. It's all planned.

[2] Which is easily spun for home consumption as "Israel snubs Japan over lack of support on Iran JCPOA play through artful snub", but is actually a UK brand of leather shoes (and metal-work is sourced from the UK) and very pointedly signifying something completely different.


Heteromeles @208 said: After all, if all sentient beings are liberated from the cycle of rebirth in this galaxy, what's left is a dead galaxy.

Well said. That is correct. That is the heart of my WIP.

Now my task is to build on that very clear concept.


As a Californian, I practice Dudism. And I'm already a Bodhisattva, so that part's good.


For those who missed it in 2017/05, linked by [JLM, it was]: Slide 2 That was and is seriously mind-bending if one doesn't know of these people (as I didn't). (Unit 731 is the search for the background.)

Re the dinner pictures, what's in the hands in the Starter course? (Amy says)


You forgot the umlauts, dude. Way.


The Metal that can be played is not the only Metal The vowel that can be dotted is not the only vowel The nameless horrors are inherent in both Heaven and Earth "He Who Should Not Be Named" is the mother of all things

Therefore: Free from umlauts we see Jah Love Full of umlauts we Rust in Peace These have the same origin but differ in manifestation The doorposts of the gate Are symbolized by the umlaut

Pass through into mystery


Not noticed your comments before (but I see you've been around a while). I'd just like to compliment you on an absolutely splendid username. Proper made my morning, it did.


Well that cracked me up, laughed so hard the pollen in the air threw me into a coughing fit. On the theme of Not Dead But Dreaming, attentions of Moz and Gasdive seem to be fully engaged elsewhere, tough winter in the antipodes? Unrelated topic for those with computer backgrounds, NBR featured a segment yesterday of a corporate blackhat hacker hired to expose system weaknesses by breaking in. On display was a portable device carried with him as he bribed his way through the front door with a box of doughnuts. It was assembled from videogame cards if I remember the details right, and was fast enough to brute force try all combinations of passwords up to 14 characters long, cracking it in two minutes or less. The guy said longer passwords just took too long so generally they were ignored. My question was, why don't companies just use slow, outdated hardware to handle their password recognition systems, thwarting the patience of those trying a brute force approach. Like having the guy in charge of room keys at a hotel desk be a shuffling old retiree, just quick enough to keep up with traffic, but no faster than absolutely necessary.


Going back slightly... Bible 1.0 says "thou shalt not kill", or "murder", or whatever translation.

The trouble for people who call themselves Christians is that Bible 2.0 says "But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." and continues at length on the subject. The notion of warrior Christianity is inherently as un-Christian as it is possible to get. It's a direct violation of Christ's instructions. And Christ is very specific about his instructions superseding the Old Testament.

Even Paul (who wasn't exactly noted for being a quiet kind of guy) told his Roman friends: "Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all."

It's ironic really. All those people saying they're following Jesus by quoting the Old Testament, and they don't realise what they're actually saying is they prefer the original Judaism.


Dudism? Do your commandments start, "Thou shalt abide"? And "Thy rug shall really tie the room together"?


Not the cruelty, but war as "ok" is more Hindu - I read a translation of the Mahabarata, long ago, in a galaxy.... and Krishna, in the Bagavad Gita, is all about duty, esp. as a warrior, and not to worry about attacking your relatives, because it's dharma that you need to follow.


My Bodhisattva status comes from the Church of the Subgenius,* and we're very much a warrior religion, so it's more "the skulls of your enemies shall tie the room together."

But we're really relaxed about it.

  • Yes, I am that Bodhisattva Troutwaxer, but I retired from the Church around 2002 or so, thus you may draw your own conclusions.

Oh, this is interesting.

Google’s new A.I. assistant is terrifyingly human. Just watch.

This makes me wonder about many things. Links thanks to The Daily Grail.


There is also the story where immediately before and after enlightenment, Siddharta Gautama is tempted not to search for any pupils and enter Nirvana immediately.

On the subject of anatta, I'm staying in my hometown ATM. Looking for people from youth didn't work out as well, and to get somewhat melodramatic, I decided some time ago all people I knew are dead. Either literally(a longtime friend died 3 years ago), or they have changed beyond recognition. Or they didn't change, which indicates they were already internally dead.

I'm somewhat wondering which category applies to me.


My question was, why don't companies just use slow, outdated hardware to handle their password recognition systems, thwarting the patience of those trying a brute force approach

Because that'd make no difference. The hackers aren't trying to log in using every possible password combination. Rather, if the hackers can get their hands on the encrypted/hashed password database they can apply this algorithm to it (with sufficiently powerful hardware) and brute-force the plainttext. At which point? No need to guess anything at all.


My question was, why don't companies just use slow, outdated hardware to handle their password recognition systems, thwarting the patience of those trying a brute force approach.

Also, many systems with password logins implement something that makes successive failed attempts at login slower and slower. A common strategy is also to lock the account after a number (3, 5, whatever your user base is comfortable with) of failed login attempts.

So, brute forcing password logins is not going to work in most cases anyway. Using slow, outdated hardware is not needed and would be unnecessarily complicated because that slowness can be configured in the (good) password systems from the start.


From that article: "Use of a key derivation function that employs a salt makes this attack infeasible." Conventional Unix passwords employ a salt - admittedly, it's a cretinous one, so I suppose that it doesn't count.

As you point out, once they have supervisor access on the host, the security is irredemiably broken. Even if the authentication mechanism were perfectly unbreakable, they could snoop the actions used to check it and emulate them. You can only stop that by the host having a hardware dongle for each user, which is matched to the user's dongle at setup time. Yes, a good idea for the nuclear launch codes, but for you, me and the other ordinary joes?


Yes, precisely. There ARE Christian sects that attempt follow the teaching in the Gospels (e.g. the Quakers) in word and spirit, but damn few, and I agree that the so-called fundamentalists are not really Christians.


Oops. I forgot to mention that the hardware dongle has to be a critical component of the connection, and NOT merely authenticate it. When a certain software house broke their contract with my ex employer, I bypassed their security to restore our rights by simply trapping the authentication check and returing "OK". I had great pleasure in telling this to one of their representatives, who said "You are breaking your contract", to which I replied "No, YOU are.".


You can only stop that by the host having a hardware dongle for each user, which is matched to the user's dongle at setup time.

Is this drifting in the direction of everyone having a 1 TB OTP on a dongle, shared with the Trusted Provider of the moment?

Disclosure: I'm a fan of OTPs and think that the objections to them need thinking about a bit more.


Also, once they have one password for a person, they'll try it on a bunch of different services, since people tend to re-use passwords.

(So when, e.g., Twitter said "you have to change your password!" I didn't panic, because the password I use there is randomly-generated, and used only on that service. [I still changed it, of course.])


Sure. They're very common -- a lot of banks give them out these days. Or you can use your phone.

Coincidentally, Firefox release a WebAuthentication version today. (And even more coincidentally for me, I watched a demo of this with FreeNAS just 2 weeks ago.)


Oh dear ... ... not really christians As used by catholics &prods & hussites & any sect you care to name to demonose their current enemies & claim that ony "WE" are the real, one, true, faith ... [ Like I suggested some way back, actually ] Ditto shia/sunni (etc) & stalinist/trotskyite/maoist etc Und so weiter ....


Disclosure: I'm a fan of OTPs and think that the objections to them need thinking about a bit more. Agree with you about OTPs for some things at least, but I'm a fan of multi-factor authentication, simply because each factor might have a different physical manifestation. E.g. biometrics and memorized passwords do share a body; different access techniques, true. cough. Dongles can be stolen, or, depending on robustness of tamper-detection/response, intercepted in transit or borrowed, and cloned. This new technique does warm my heart: The Unhackable Envelope, but it too has a physical manifestation and can be stolen or otherwise appropriated. (Also it has limitations; see article for details.) Their solution, called B-Trepid, replaces the stored key with one that is generated by the structure of the envelope itself. Instead of relying on resistances in the envelope’s mesh, B-Trepid calculates the capacitances between the mesh’s wires. These femtofarad capacitances vary from envelope to envelope in unpredictable ways, so that each envelope has a unique electrical signature. This signature is impossible to reproduce in practice, so it counts as what’s called a physical unclonable function—characteristics unique to each item that can act as a cryptographic key. (The article says that there is no public documentation that tamper detection based on mesh resistance changes has been breached. This is (AFAIK, haven't done a search) a true statement. ;-) )


"What physical science can devise and synthesise, physical science can analyse and duplicate..."


Absolutely NOT! You completely misunderstand the problem. The dongle has to be user-specific at the server end, too, and (as I mentioned in #227) NOT merely an authentication device. Neither is true for those devices.

If you think that ANYTHING the banks do is even INTENDED to protect the customer against the bank's system being compromised, I have this historic bridge for sale. Most of the mechanisms are intended to protect the bank against the customer, though they condescend to provide a few that allow the customer to protect against common thieves. Indeed, there is virtually damn-all that provides protection against authorised companies.


If you are referring to one-time pads, you are mistaken. There are several ways for producing ones that cannot be replicated without access to them.

To Allen Thomson (#228): the weakness of even one-time pads is the requirement I mentioned in #227. They may be uncrackable, but it doesn't mean they are unbypassable.


Absolutely NOT! You completely misunderstand the problem. The dongle has to be user-specific at the server end, too

The dongle is your next (or next-next) smartphone. In theory.

Right now, I have a 2 year old iPhone with TouchID (a decent enough fingerprint authentication mechanism with credentials stored in a secure enclave that gives government agencies a headache). Sitting on it is a password manager app, and for the most sensitive things I do online (my core online identities and online banking) I have two-factor authentication via an on-phone app.

So: I have a 2FA device secured by a biometric lock. 2FA authenticates the devices from which I log into key online services using a traditional username/password (the password also being secured biometrically -- my password manager plugs into TouchID).

So far so good. But the next step (when I upgrade to a second-generation FaceID device, probably this autumn when Apple releases the iPhone X successor) is to switch from a fingerprint reader (albeit a best-of-breed one that's designed to exclude the easier attacks) to continuous biometric reauthentication on a locked-down device that locks down its USB port to prevent hardware attacks . I'm guessing that the move to wireless charging on the iPhone 8/X means that Apple may be planning to eventually ditch Lightning (or USB) wired connections altogether in the near future, at least for iOS devices, removing vulnerability to BadUSB class attacks. (If you've got gigabit or faster wifi/5G to your phone, and wireless charging, you don't need to expose your hardware bus.)

Anyway, here's my 5-years-out picture: a shiny fondleslab that has no physical i/o ports (everything is wireless) and that has biometric sensors good enough to recognize the bone geometry of my skull right through my skin, and the pattern of veins in my fingertips, and maybe my cardiac sinus rhythm and the frequency pattern of my larynx. After initializing it and linking it to my AppleID (using 2FA from an older biometrically-secured device, along with a shared-secret password) it recognizes me on a continuous, ongoing basis and acts as my 2FA key to approve other devices for access to services, or as a credential store for old-school username/password pairs. If it's stolen, it stops working. If an attacker intercepts a username/password, it won't help them unless they also steal a laptop I've authenticated as an owned device using 2FA.

Now, guaranteeing that the server side is secure is another matter ...

Of course, this shiny magic security device isn't the end of the story. I expect phones like that (I'm highlighting Apple's likely course but I expect Android to go in the same direction -- Google are already showing an interest in federated 2FA systems) will be attacked via something like the A2 analog attack, probably inserted in the baseband processor by corrupting an individual working in the fab line where the chips are made.

It won't save you if your online banking service is designed by idiots.

And this shiny your-phone-is-your-key system won't protect you against rubber hose cryptanalysis.

But it'll be more secure than where we are today ...


If you think that ANYTHING the banks do is even INTENDED to protect the customer against the bank's system being compromised, I have this historic bridge for sale.


Also: the banks can't add biometric authentication on the server side without a huge architecture headache. All that 360 assembler and COBOL that's still in use, going back to the 1960s, and encodes their business processes, makes it insanely hard for them to even know what they're supposed to be doing. That's largely where the TSB migration fiasco comes from.

The best we can hope for is that (a) they virtualize all their old crufty products and stick them in containerized VMs, then (b) write a shiny new public interface that has some model of a customer identity and which supports whatever level of biometric authentication they're legally allowed to implement (hint: GDPR!). Hell, maybe they'll come up with an in-branch "black box" that you have to present your (secure) phone to just once, under the eyes of a bank manager with passport in hand, to exchange keys via NFC.

But I don't see the banks splurging money on any such technology any time soon. That would imply they employ competent IT people at a high enough level to sign off on the fractional-billion-pound budget and, more importantly, the risk of disruption to services and public trust in the institution that a roll-out would entail.


If you think that ANYTHING the banks do is even INTENDED to protect the customer against the bank's system being compromised, I have this historic bridge for sale.

I'm not sure whether you mean your shouting within a specific context, or as a general statement about banks. If the latter, I would respectfully suggest that you're incorrect.

I'm a newcomer to the finance-tech industry, but we put a chunk of (specifically intended for purpose) effort into protecting the customer against (other) banks. My wife's a highly-regarded mix of accountancy and IT Systems design/project management; she's put a great deal of effort over the last twenty years into protecting the customer against the bank, in part through the implementation of processes and controls designed to defend customer money.


Capitals have been used for emphasis in single-font text since the days of Sterne, and still are.

Secondly, read what I say, not what I don't. Essentially ALL of those procedures are mainly to defend the bank against being sued for negligence, or being in an indefensible position because it can't roll back or prove the paper trail. And almost all changes over the past half century have been AGAINST the customer protecting against the bank's system being compromised, by reducing the customer's ability to keep proper, legally definitive records and challenging the data on a corrupted banks system. Take three examples:

How can I prove that a transaction was not authorised if the bank's system said it was? I used to be able to demand that they show the cheque or other written authority. Now? The ONLY record that they accept is the one held on their system.

How can I defend myself against a bank rejecting a payment, because of it's so-called customer protection policies? I have lost significant money and time from that happening, often from unpublished policies and always with no mechanism for enabling the payment (in advance or otherwise, as relevant).

How can I defend myself against an authorised company from charging me for something I did NOT authorise, associated with something that I did, especially if it doesn't take credit cards? Oh, yes, I will be repayed for mistakes, but (a) not for consequential costs (see previous paragraph) and (b) not if the company claims that I did.

There have been some well-publicised cases of the last. The real situation is that those companies are the banks' customers. We, who hold money with them, are the commodity.


Oh, yes, but this is the aspect I was responding to: "Now, guaranteeing that the server side is secure is another matter ..."

On this matter: "It won't save you if your online banking service is designed by idiots." I would dearly love to know a bank that paid less attention to ripping off customers and provided a decent interface that I could use to control the use of my account. Including such 'minor' features as being able to preauthorise transactions and uses, configure most of the damn-fool and mendacious arbitrary limts, and place proper period-based limits on transactions that were not so authorised. But, every time I gear up to change, I find that the alternatives are described as broken by their users, go broke or are broken into :-(


Re: protecting bank customers

Chatted with someone in the IT-finance (global/major banks) sector and my take-away is that customer security at banks varies very widely country to country, and in the US, state to state. Some of this is due to the overall sophistication of that sector within that country/region, some is due to whether there are any legal protections for consumers, and some based on overall level of competition. BTW, more 'competition' within a region is not synonymous with security because most people look only at best loan/mortgage rates. Consumers generally assume that banks are regulated/monitored by a gov't agency and that this means safeguards - therefore why look at a bank's security ... it's built into the system already, isn't it?

A couple of years ago, John Oliver did a piece on Wells Fargo customers being unwittingly signed up for a bunch of credit cards and/or additional accounts. The reason: apparently this was the only way to get a bonus and appease the bank prez who wanted to boast about how much his bank had grown (number of new accounts, therefore more bank fees). Can't find his video, but here's some of the story:


'The way it worked was that employees moved funds from customers' existing accounts into newly-created ones without their knowledge or consent, regulators say. The CFPB described this practice as "widespread." Customers were being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees -- because there wasn't enough money in their original accounts.

Additionally, Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their customers' knowledge or consent. Roughly 14,000 of those accounts incurred over $400,000 in fees, including annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection fees.'

This activity probably also screwed lots of customers' credit ratings, which meant that they would be charged more for other financial products, etc.


It's a Lensman quote, of which Bill's comment reminded me irresistibly :)


Ah. That explains it. NOT one of my favourite series!


Greg, this is not a situation of setting the rules but of auditing them. I say this from a background in safety-related engineering. :)

"We're the One True Faith" is about imposing your corporate rules on other people. An auditor doesn't necessarily care what the rules are though; they just take the rules as written and look at whether you're doing your best to follow them. The latest handbook is in place (since Nicea) to specify corporate procedures; so how well do those sects follow it? I'm saying "they're not following Christianity" in the same way as an auditor says "they're following the old handbook, not the latest version".

I don't need to demonise them. Whether they follow it themselves or not is immaterial to me. But if they claim those rules should apply to other people, it's entirely appropriate to check what the rules actually say, and check that their take on the rules matches what's written down.


And here in the Linux world, at work (and me, at home), we run fail2ban, which blocks a given IP after 3? 5? failures, for a certain amount of time... and if that IP tries again, it's blocked longer.


My manager forced me to get my stepson's "ancient" stupidphone, for the sole purpose of installing and app called freeOTP. To sudo, I use my regular password, followed by the number generated that minute. You therefore have multifactor.


Sorry, but by their own freakin' definitions, funnymentalists ain't Christians - they run the gamut from Christian Pharisees to Christian Satanists (example of the latter might be the Walton family, owners of WalMart). Racist bigots, hate the poor, don't do anything to help others who don't go to the same church as they, and lie about it.

And I'm speaking as someone who is not now, nor have I ever been, a Christian.



That's all well and good, but you left out noting that all-WIFI, all the time... um, yeah, using what, WPA3 (non-existant)? And it means you can't ever rebuild from read-only sources....

And I've got a BS in comp & info science, and started working for a living in the field in 1980. I DO NOT DO online banking. Ever. For that matter, I've stopped using my debit card, except at my bank's ATM in the bank. And the credit card I use most, gas, food, etc, is the one with the lowest limit.

Why, yes, I do write checks.


Banks. Security. Um, right....

I absolutely trust them... to be incompetent, greedy ignorant idiots.

In '87-'88, I worked for the Scummy Mortgage Co, in Austin, TX. Halfway through my 18 mos there, they bought an S&L, and so became a "bank" (tail wagging dog). This was just before the S&L scandal hit....

I've got pages of reasons why I call them that, and why I trust banks to be exactly like them. Just as a couple of examples

  • They hired me at a low rate, and said they'd give me a raise after a six month probation. Three months in, they froze everyone's salary. Except, of course, the execs who got their annual bonus... printed, the first year, in house, by operators paid crap whose salaries had been frozen. The next year, they printed the checks out-of-house.

  • By mid-way through that stint, turnover was 10%-15%... PER MONTH. And there were two departments, including collections (!), who had exactly two people who'd been there more than two months.

  • I can go on and on... and you wonder why I don't trust banks?


    at work (and me, at home), we run fail2ban Likewise (at home and when I can at work), and before that, denyhosts. Server-side rate-limiting is helpful. (And looking at the logs can be amusing.)


    The conversation about bank security seems kind of bizarre to me honestly.

    Here, I'm going to pretend I'm a bank C-level type, and we'll design our new top-of-the-line security system right now.

    I start with: "All right team, we have to consider security issues now. IT 'person', go!"

    The nerd responds: "Well you see we need to consider whether our password database should store credentials using PBKDF2 instead of plaintext as it does now..."

    "Shut up. I don't even know why you're in this meeting. In fact, leave now. All right, YOU! Your suit looks expensive. Are we in compliance with government security nonsense?"

    IT suit: "Yup, the independent audit firm my brother-in-law runs agreed we are."

    "Now we're getting somewhere! You! Your haircut looks expensive. How much money do we lose if our computers get hacked or whatever?"

    Security haircut: "About half a percent of monthly profits. We can just raise the interest rates on our loans if it goes up, and anyway the fine print pretty much says we can't be sued by customers."

    "Sold! Finally, are we going to lose customers over security? You! Those shoes look expensive. Summarize!"

    Marketing shoes: "Nope! Our web site has some boilerplate about two-five-sixty bit crypto-currency or whatever the nerds call it with some logos, just like every other bank."

    "Done! Our security is top-notch already! However, as you probably guessed, we have a very serious issue to deal with. Namely, someone anonymously leaked news to the press that we break the law and steal from customers. How the HELL can someone anonymously leak that?! I want solutions, NOW, and I want the leaker found, fired, blacklisted, and if possible jailed by next Tuesday! Budget is no object. Go!"


    Re: banking security

    Even if the US banks clean up their acts, if their corporate customers' security systems aren't equally secure, consumers can still get seriously screwed. According to the article below, the Yahoo (via Rogers) breach was the all time worst.

    Reminder: It was Yahoo that recently decided to hide its change to user privacy in a sea of ink so that could sell access to users' data as well as all users' contact lists without first obtaining users' permission. I read that Rogers issued a statement that the particular clause regarding this data capture and use was removed from its updated privacy policy. However (from what I've read) there is no statement/clause that explicitly states that Rogers/Yahoo will not access/use/sell/exploit their users' and users' contacts info. So, fine - they removed a clause that upset a few folk, but they're still going to go ahead - just not tell anyone?

    Here's the list of orgs mentioned including some very large respected tech outfits:

  • Yahoo - Date: 2013-14 - Impact: 3 billion user accounts

  • Adult Friend Finder - Date: October 2016 - Impact: More than 412.2 million accounts

  • eBay - Date: May 2014 - Impact: 145 million users compromised

  • Equifax - Date: July 29 2017 - 143 million consumers

  • Heartland Payment Systems - Date: March 2008 - Impact: 134 million credit cards Note: Among the consequences were that Heartland was deemed out of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and was not allowed to process the payments of major credit card providers until May 2009. The company also paid out an estimated $145 million in compensation for fraudulent payments.

  • Target Stores - Date: December 2013 - Impact: Credit/debit card information and/or contact information of up to 110 million people. (CEO & CIO resigned)

  • TJX Companies, Inc. - Date: December 2006 - Impact: 94 million credit cards exposed.

  • Uber - Date: Late 2016 - Impact: Personal information of 57 million Uber users and 600,000 drivers exposed.

  • JP Morgan Chase - Date: July 2014 - Impact: 76 million households and 7 million small businesses (more than half the US pop’n)

  • US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) - Date: 2012-14 - Impact: Personal information of 22 million current and former federal employees - and their families!

  • Sony's PlayStation Network - Date: April 20, 2011 - Impact: 77 million PlayStation Network accounts hacked;

  • Anthem - Date: February 2015 - Impact: Theft of personal information on up to 78.8 million current and former customers (health insurer).

  • RSA Security - Date: March 2011 - Impact: Possibly 40 million employee records stolen. Interesting bit: ‘EMC reported last July that it had spent at least $66 million on remediation. According to RSA executives, no customers' networks were breached. John Linkous, vice president, chief security and compliance officer of eIQnetworks, Inc. doesn't buy it. "RSA didn't help the matter by initially being vague about both the attack vector, and (more importantly) the data that was stolen," he says. "It was only a matter of time before subsequent attacks on Lockheed-Martin, L3 and others occurred, all of which are believed to be partially enabled by the RSA breach." Beyond that was psychological damage. Among the lessons, he said, are that even good security companies like RSA are not immune to being hacked.’

  • Stuxnet - Date: Sometime in 2010, but origins date to 2005 - Impact: Meant to attack Iran's nuclear power program, but will also serve as a template for real-world intrusion and service disruption of power grids, water supplies or public transportation systems.

  • VeriSign - Date: Throughout 2010 - Impact: Undisclosed information stolen (The incidents did not become public until 2011, and then only through a new SEC-mandated filing.)

  • Home Depot - Date: September 2014 - Impact: Theft of credit/debit card information of 56 million customers.

  • Adobe - Date: October 2013 - Impact: 38 million user records (customer names, IDs, passwords and debit and credit card information.)

  • Okay, I understand that robbers go where the money is, but there are several other very wealthy economies out there, so what are they doing right to prevent such dangerous/expensive data breaches?


    Since everyone is politely ignoring the MENA fireworks display in a vain effort to pretend it's all really about Israel - Iran and not chthonic entities playing games[0] or perhaps silly little men killing people for geopolitical ends and desperately playing off the shoe as the "trolling angle": we'll spell it out and BE FUCKING EXPLICITLY CLEAR ABOUT THIS:

    Golden Calves come in many shapes and sizes.

    Shinto: 穢れ・汚れ

    Judaism: Avodah zerah

    Both broke their Religious Covenants in those pictures.

    You're Fucked

    [0] You dream of Piers Morgan. You destroy his little Patron who is a pitiful thing. He doesn't get invited to the Met Gala. He writes to the Pope whinging about it. This is how petty the Tier 2 league is chaps. The Pope and Gabriel do not care.

    Then we free the caged actual Being behind him and obliterate his existence. This is how petty the Tier 2 league is chaps.


    And, yes.

    That's 100% pure DRAGON ENERGY (REAL).

    VOICE: You broke the Covenant

    Response: That's not my Covenant


    Response: Hold my beer, we'll be back in a moment

    VOICE: You what?

    Response: You asked me to prove all of them broke their own Covenants, so... we did

    VOICE: No, we're Evil and you're supposed to... and we tortured her and... You Minds used to break like putty

    Response: We know

    VOICE: ...

    Response: You're free: try it on them now. Trust me, their MINDS break far more easily

    Israel deserves a better class of leadership, as does Japan, and America and the UK and so on and so forth.

    Of course this is just fantasy. But don't expect 2019-2025 to be any less weird from now on.

    "We always knew"


    Take another piece of my heart YT: Music, Janis Joplin, 4:08


    These fuckers killed people during all of this. I'll repeat: These fuckers killed people while enacting Religious Apostasy

    Word on the street is it's a full cleansing, wings spread, righteous Waaaaar being planned[0].

    [0] It's like Guillotines, but for MIND-TYPES.


    Anyhow. Triptych.

    What we get: "You're a complete idiot"

    What we actually do:

    Their Law YT: Music, Prodigy, 4.07

    OH, and p.s.



    That's 100% pure DRAGON ENERGY (REAL) Sheesh. Still thinking about/meditating on DMT Elven Rainbow Technique. Are they related?!? (Also tired, and wondering about decision heuristics, scale-invariance, and non-violence. If that doesn't make sense, well maybe it doesn't.)

    We knew, but here's a paper: Hurricane Harvey links to Ocean Heat Content and Climate Change Adaptation We show that prior to the beginning of northern summer of 2017, ocean heat content was the highest on record both globally and in the Gulf of Mexico, but the latter sharply decreased with hurricane Harvey via ocean evaporative cooling. The lost ocean heat was realized in the atmosphere as moisture, and then as latent heat in record‐breaking heavy rainfalls. Accordingly, record high ocean heat values not only increased the fuel available to sustain and intensify Harvey, but also increased its flooding rains on land. Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human‐induced climate change.

    And more fun: FontCode: Embedding Information in Text Documents Using Glyph Perturbation We introduce FontCode, an information embedding technique for text documents. Provided a text document with specific fonts, our method embeds user-specified information in the text by perturbing the glyphs of text characters while preserving the text content. We devise an algorithm to choose unobtrusive yet machine-recognizable glyph perturbations, leveraging a recently developed generative model that alters the glyphs of each character continuously on a font manifold. We then introduce an algorithm that embeds a user-provided message in the text document and produces an encoded document whose appearance is minimally perturbed from the original document.


    You're babbling, but I will point out the odd contradiction in Shinto, the idea that nature can be defiled by death. Weird, isn't it, that on a world that recycles everything, and stuck living beings with the inevitability of change and death, that the Japanese still practice a religion (Shinto) that believes that nothing in nature dies, while simultaneously practicing a religion (Buddhism) that deals with the inevitability of death, suffering, and loss. I'm quite sure this is not lost on the Japanese. Here in the US, though, we need to remember that, when we revere nature, we're revering a system that runs on close to closed-system recycling. Nature is not pure.


    And everyone else ... A lot of this is obviously aimed at US so-called "banks" The story is very different over here, where regulation is much tighter, I'm glad to say. There have been cases of banks screwing around, and, AFAIK, sooner or later the authorities have caught up with them. If necessary, by taking the bank over completely. [ There's an ongoing saga of a bank "administrating" customers it was supposed to be helping & then ripping them off - it's uncertain wheteher prosecutions will follow, but the scandal has been exposed.... ]


    Not really. There is tighter regulation that discourages the cruder forms of fraud by the banks, but the banking cartel controls the regulation very tightly. Remember the repeated rows over the excessive charges for unauthorised overdrafts, which were ruled illegal by the official regulator? Who won. The banks, of course.


    Skipping back a couple of threads to cosmology and cold dark matter, there was a symposium on such a couple of weeks ago at UCSB. Some of the slide presentations are interesting.

    KITP Conference: Dark matter detection and detectability: paradigm confirmation or shift?


    Mark Twain once said that "Other than Congress, America has no native criminal class." That was, of course, before Congress enacted laws allowing interstate banking.


    Fun stuff: I just read, on slashdot, that the current definition of "planet" was decided on by less than 4% of the IAU meeting, after almost everyone else had left, and has real serious definition issues... including "a dwarf planet is not a planet". Huh? And that it would mean planets around other suns aren't planets....

    Yes, my solar system has nine planets, and PLUTO IS A PLANET. nyah

    And on a far less pleasant note, I read that Trump ordered shut down NASA's program measuring greenhouse gases.


    cosmology and cold dark matter

    Looking through some of the presentations, it seems as if the CDM camp is basically stepping away from the galaxy rotation curves as relevant evidence (oh, pshaw, nobody serious takes those seriously) and says that CDM is the way to go for explaining large-scale structure and cosmic microwave background. The modified gravity (MOND and other) folks say, "Wait a minute, you can't ignore all those galaxy rotation curves that MOND nails and CDM doesn't".

    So this is fascinating from the sociology of science point of view and shows, if nothing else, that the people doing it are people. A random thought: What is needed are Critics, like the naked mole rat ones in OGH's Singularity Sky, who could Criticize the process.


    What is needed are Critics, like the naked mole rat ones in OGH's Singularity Sky, who could Criticize the process.

    Speaking of Critics, I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Sabine Hossenfelder, who's been mentioned here before.


    What do you have against Quaoar, Sedna, and Eris?


    I loved the Critics in Singularity Sky. (Retyped from google books, search on a snippet for context): "I want to test them, by introducing them to a situation where their own self-image is contradicted by their behaviour. If they can adapt their self image to the new circumstances, we will know that we are dealing with fellow sapients. Which will ultimately influence the nature of our review" "This sounds damaging or difficult, sister. I will have to think on it before submitting to Mother." Seventh emitted a bubbling laugh and flopped forward onto her belly. "Oh sibling! What did you think I have in mind?"

    LML@254 JJ's cover of PoMH is awesome. Listen to it every time you link it. (4+ links) If there was a question for me, not that I remember. (A bit afraid of you.)

    whitroth@262 And on a far less pleasant note, I read that Trump ordered shut down NASA's program measuring greenhouse gases. I was too irritated at that one to link it yesterday; here's a link with details just because


    You're babbling

    We're actually not, it's just that you're not party to the events being targeted here. Stick to droughts, there's another massive one coming in your area. Nor are you party to hostage situations and rape / Mind death of [redacted] [redacted] that that dinner was mocking.

    Trump's power is based on performative cruelty. That is what his supporters voted for--not for any policy, and not for any other principle than to do the worst thing to people outside the fold at every opportunity. He is loathsome, but he's also keeping his promises. Z. Johnson, Twitter, 10th May 2018

    Note: yes, his surname means penis. No, you're not going to understand the underlying joke unless you understand a lot more about the world.

    But what Bibi + Abe were doing was a FUCKING RIOTOUS EGREGIOUS INSULT CLAIMING THEIR WORLD-MIND-SPIRIT had destroyed [redacted]daughter[redacted] and so on.

    In H.O.P. terms it was blasphemy on a Cosmic scale.

    Quick thing:

    83% of Israelis ‘strongly support’ shooting of Gaza protesters Middle East Monitor, 3rd May, 2018

    Poll: 2/3 of Palestinians back stabbing attacks, armed uprising Times of Israel, 2015

    We're not going to be boring and do the usual shit with those polls. Aka, not interested in "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD".

    Instead grep or find the studies showing that 10%~ is the nodal point inflection for a society to change.

    MENA still has a chance @ becoming the Paradise of reclaimed Babylon no matter these chuckle-fuck sociopaths.

    1/3 1/5




    Bonus Round:

    How fucking dead-inside / shame / loss-of-hierarchy are they going to feel when they realize they just got played so badly their own hierarchical base views them as an anathema to their beliefs?

    Hint: USA can "roll tide" with the hypocrisy: Israel / Japan? Not so much.

    Thanks for playing.

    Absolute Units.


    Oh, and don't expect the magical gala on Sunday to be a massive success.

    No, really.

    This isn't "Shades of Grey", all those invited are considered [redacted]. Actually, fuck it: it's written in a language this forum cannot parse.

    Safe to say: Massive Disappointment on you moment of victory?


    It's Kinda Our Signature Dish, if you know what we mean.


    Ah, Triptych.

    If you send Agents who don't know their Brecht, chances are the response will be to turn your gala into something... to remember. And since we do love your culture, we'll make it relevant:

    The Masque of the Red Death

    The King in Yellow


    Three thoughts, two old, one new:

    Time is a flat circle YT, TV, True detectives, 9.28

    This Is America YT, Music, Childish Gambino 4.04

    If you notice one has been unsaid, well.

    Not. Impressed. Slavery is really not Kosher no More.


    Not quite, I'm just not sure that was the best Japanese mythological concept to link to, given what the Japanese soldiers were doing to each other in, say, the PNG theater near the end of the war (since you already mentioned 731 and glossed Nanjing).

    As for drought, that's only half the fun. You do read Weatherwest occasionally, right?


    Yes. Thatsthejoke.jpg

    Given we attempt to at least not just fire-hose everyone with Reality Nihilism[tm] constantly and try to give host some lame gags and concepts while making fun of the TPTB while giving some hope...

    Let's just say: [redacted].

    Since it's your area, look up .CA / coast kelp [WE HAVE MENTIONED IT WITH SCOTTISH DOCUMENTS] and spiny things and the utter, utter devastation there. FUBAR. We know marine biologists who are just drinking themselves to death over it.


    Japan is ~~~~~ pretty much the most hated space in [redacted] Terms outside of Abrahamic Zones. There's some very specific reasons for this (not including the octopus pr0n) but it's mostly about what they did to their [redacted]Star Daugher[redacted].


    Trump's actions seem to be motivated by protecting old investment, at least, when it's not merely pissing on anything Obama touched, the worse part is such strength as the U.S. has lies in innovation, decarbonizing and maintaining a high energy society would provide ample opportunity to do interesting and profitable things for years to come.


    Carefully trimming, on the off-cahnce that E Verlinde's TESTABLE hypotheses concerning gravity might actually have something in them ... oops. Is a paradigm shift approaching?


    Tim H @ 272 Almost There's not much doubt that anything at all which might have Obama's name on it is to be trashed ( Especially since he's failed to crush the "ACA" ) But, not so much rejecting future investments & markets ( which is potty in itself ) or "even" protecting old money, but helping his corrupt & crooked friends. Much more important. Another step towards total oligarchy.


    Yes, it is fascinating sociology of science, but thoroughly tedious and very poor science. I don't expect to see the house of cards come crashing down, the way that they are being increasingly inventive in creating new face cards and even suits to prop it up, but come crashing down it will, eventually. Obviously I don't have a clue what will replace it ....


    More & more epicycles .....


    WTF? Whether or not it (just saw one comment, not LML, over http) was moderator action, it was interesting.

    (Typing this as an instance of HSS AFAIK (+meta), though messing a bit with mind lately.)

    Don't see that this has been linked: Uncomfortably large asteroid miss on 2018/05/18, 71 meters estimated, 0.5 lunar distance Asteroid Date(UT) Miss Distance Velocity (km/s) Diameter (m) 2010 WC9 2018-May-15 0.5 LD 12.8 71

    (via, self-signed cert on https site)

    Time travellers welcome at Hawking's memorial service (also seen elsewhere e.g. reuters but like this one best) Applicants need to give their birth date—but eagle-eyed fans of the man who dedicated his life's work to unravelling the mysteries of the universe spotted that it can be any day up to December 31, 2038. London travel blogger IanVisits was among those who noticed the quirk that allows people born more than 20 years into the future to apply.


    That's approx half a million tonnes - coming in at a relative velocity of what ... Would make a big splash/hole, wouldn't it?


    We had a class action suit by a woman Engineer over sexual harassment, late 80s. She won, it destroyed her as a person of course*,

    You are aware that you are saying that the abuse she suffered did no harm at all, but seeking justice did?

    * The woman Engineer was on the committee that hired me. She was hot. Long hair down her back, wearing a minidress. When I saw her a couple of years after she won the suit, she looked like Pat from SNL.

    And it has not occurred to you that she had a quite drastic lesson that being hot (or even looking feminine) was not in her own best interest, and she changed her look because of that?

    Your interest in a nice view does not buy her any cookies, especially if it comes with a side order of prolonged fear for her physical safety.


    Speaking of Critics, I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Sabine Hossenfelder, who's been mentioned here before.

    Her latest, this time on (super)string theory:


    In answer to your snarky question: Yes, that's what I'm saying.

    Much as you may want to ignore and twist what I said @169, I worked in the real world, and survived to retirement seeing many such events.

    BTW, I found the second suit that she brought years later. It contains a description of the first case. She was suing the second time because the Department would not hire her again for open positions. The reason stated was that she had already been paid for the "trauma" in the first case and the fact that she testified that "she could never work in engineering again for the rest of her life" was why she won the first case.


    (Note: I put a quote from the case in this post -- her official statement -- then googled the quote and it went right to the case. Yikes! So best to paraphrase.)

    After the first case a number of women techs and engineers were hired. Most of them came expecting to find an easy victim to sue. Easy money, they thought.

    One woman told me that she would do anything to get an open tech position. I said, "Oh, sure, go to the Community College and take a course in Surveying, and you will have no trouble getting any open job." Of course she didn't do that. She found some other manager willing to take her "offer".

    One woman tech was nice, bright, bubbly. But something was odd. You would be talking to her, then she would say something that was out of context, "Off the wall" and there would be a pause and we'd get back to work. It was later in another incident, when the Bureau Chief was having to "lay down the law" to the Design Section that she held up a small tape recorder in triumph after he left, saying that she got him on tape. So what. Who cares. Taping what he said was irrelevant to what he said. But, it was clear that she was always carrying the tape recorder and would hit record, say something as if responding to something "offensive" hoping that we would be stupid enough to respond. She left when she could not get enough dirt to sue.

    One woman engineer intern kept trying odd tactics. I finally told her, "Look, I already have a little sister who tries stuff like this, and I don't let here get away with it. Just do your job." She did not stay with the Department long.

    A couple of years after this first odd wave of women coming in to try and sue the Department we started getting a new wave of women techs and engineers who literally came to work. These were the ones that danced ahead of men. Each of them was as hot as the woman engineer that sued and won. Yet the training made it clear that there was zero tolerance for harassment, and they were fine.

    Just five years made all the difference.

    One odd event that I need to mention. Things were not all cleared up. Some of the "abusive" men missed the first wave of firing.

    One guy became Head of the Department. A sociopath who was good at concealing what he was until he got real power. He had a mistress in each of the District Offices, and two at the General Office. One woman tech wanted to have the Department pay for her going to University to get an Engineering Degree. She dressed up in a hot pink dress and went to press her case. She didn't hide what she was doing. At first I was a little pissed saying, "That's not right. We men could not do the same thing," then I stopped and realized that in this case, that wasn't true. The man swung both ways, so any of us men could use the same tactic. Don't get me wrong, I don't judge, but no one else made the attempt. She was successful BTW, and the Department helped her through University to become an Engineer. Good for her.

    One odd note about that sociopath Department Head. Something happened, his power slipped, and the mistresses joined in a class action suit against him. He was forced out after that.

    What a funny world this is.


    That's approx half a million tonnes - coming in at a relative velocity of what ... Would make a big splash/hole, wouldn't it? I'm rusty. Asteroid impact energy calculators are coming up with 30-ish megatonnes for a lowish density asteroid; depends on density, which is not known (except what can be guessed from albedo) and can vary from 2-ish (and fragile) to 8-ish (and not fragile). I'm rusty, but I think you would add earth's escape velocity (11 kps), making it 23.8 kps, TNT-equivalent being about 2.3 KPS, so 10 squared == 100, or about 50 megatonnes. If fragile, it would be an airburst. If nickel-iron, well, big crater if on land, ocean big splash. I didn't spot an any estimates in the press.


    A lot of this is obviously aimed at US so-called "banks"...The story is very different over here, where regulation is much tighter, I'm glad to say.

    Not so sure. Just different. If you use a credit card in the US you're protected by law in most places to $50 max if a card is compromised. Most cards set that at $0 for PR purposes. All of my CCs are of the $0 type. And I always have 2 different cards on me day to day so if one goes south the other will work. (Typically they give different bonuses depending on use so both get used daily.) And I travel with more.

    Debit cards are different. With them while you may have $50 or $0 liability limits that doesn't help you if you bank account is missing $8000 and the rent is due. (In general a debit transaction removed the money from your account with seconds.) More and more in the US if you can get a CC you use it and keep the debit card in the safe. Which is why banks are offering bonuses if you do so many (10 to 30) debit transactions per month.


    Applicants need to give their birth date—but eagle-eyed fans of the man who dedicated his life's work to unravelling the mysteries of the universe spotted that it can be any day up to December 31, 2038.

    End of time on many Unix based systems is 2038. Whoever put together the form was lazy. Nothing to see here. Move along.


    The best we can hope for is that (a) they virtualize all their old crufty products and stick them in containerized VMs, then (b) write a shiny new public interface that has some model of a customer identity and which supports whatever level of biometric authentication they're legally allowed to implement (hint: GDPR!).

    (a) has been done for a long time. (b) is where the action is. But many of the (a) systems have had this for a long time just not as complete as you mention. And yes corps of all kinds are dealing with this. Especially GDPR.


    Agreed. I don't think that the rather binary position of "banks do nothing with the intention of customer security, it's all just fraud prevention" is helpful; and while Elladan's scenario is amusing, I certainly don't think it bears much relation to reality.

    I may be biased, as my beloved spent nearly two decades on the IT Risk Management side of a big four firm, eventually leading their practice in Scotland; before moving across to a senior role on the operational side of a large financial firm. She's got a rare mix of deep accounting experience, and IT Project Management skills; she can explain the business drivers to the IT side, and IT drivers to the business side. I don't recognise either the caricatures of Elladan, nor the absolutism of E_C, in what she does or how she does it.

    By way of example, there was a case a couple of years ago where a bank's algorithm for calculating mortgage interest was found to be incorrect for 42K customers - the bank tried to bluff their way out of it. At which point, the FCA turned around to the bank, and stated that as it was entirely the Bank's cockup, it was the Bank who would have to suck up all of the consequences. Any customers who had unknowingly underpaid, had their outstanding debt reduced as if they had been paying the correct amount all along; those who had been overpaying, had their outstanding debt reduced appropriately. Then they fined the bank £9M for their mistake.


    Re: female sociopaths in biz

    Like everything else, there is evidence that women can be just as [attribute] as men. (In this case, the attribute is 'sociopathic'.)

    There's a new book (Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup John Carreyrou) about a female full-on sociopathic CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, who built a blood analysis service biz valued at $9 billion. Part of the reason she managed to pull off this con seems to be lack of regulation/oversight of how new tech is being incorporated into the margins of current medicine, i.e., no direct FDA requirements to ensure that new medical testing actually does what it's supposed to do.

    Given that tech/science can advance in leaps and bounds and fewer and fewer non-specialists can understand the underlying tech/performance, personally feel that 'principles' (clearly spelled out objectives) not just rules (specific tech/approach) need to be set in place as part of the oversight.

    Also, given the increasing tech cross-fertilization/hybridization of everything including medicine, the FDA (or whatever other gov agency) should be able to team up with/access any other agency to provide any expertise on 'the other' science/tech. This hybridization has been taking place at the uni research level in medicine for decades (e.g., MIT & Harvard), so by now there probably are some 'best practices' as well as traps/problems that have been discovered that can be used as a starting point for more widespread (gov't & private sectors) application.


    Bank, sucking.... The Scummy Mortgage Co, which I have mentioned before... about half-way through my year and a half stint, they fired the other mainframe programmer. A few months later, I was working on some code, and found his "algorithm" for leap year: this was '88... and it was "if it's 76 or 80 or 84 or 88 or 92, it's a leap year." I told my manager, and his response was that it ain't broken, we'll fix it when it breaks."

    And there are always 30 year mortgages.... Anyone in the US, if your mortgage has just been sold, feel free to contact me, and I'll tell you the real name of the SMC, so you can arrange a new mortgage with someone else.


    Eris? You're just trying to make trouble....


    Re: Asteroid watch tonight!

    And for some real excitement, there's a large asteroid passing by tonight and it will be live-streamed with a couple of astronomers on hand to provide commentary and even answer a few questions. Fly-by will occur about 6 hours from now.


    'On May 14th, at 5:00 PM PDT | 8:00 PM EDT | 00:00 UTC, Slooh will train its telescopes on a fast moving asteroid as it makes its close to approach to Earth. Asteroid 2010 WC9 is perilously large at up to 120 meters in size, and will pass between the Earth and the Moon, a very rare occurrence for an asteroid of this size. Slooh will train four different telescopes at the asteroid, from its flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, one of the world’s premier observatory sites.'


    "That's approx half a million tonnes - coming in at a relative velocity of what ... Would make a big splash/hole, wouldn't it?"

    The Canyon Diablo Meteorite that created Barringer Crater in Arizona is thought to have been created by the impact of a 50 m nickel-iron meteorite. The impact is thought to have been about 10 Megatons.

    Meteor Crater is about 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in diameter, some 170 m (560 ft) deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 45 m (148 ft) above the surrounding plains.

    The rim is thought to have lost 15–20 m (49–66 ft) of height at the rim crest as a result of natural erosion filling the basin of the crater with approximately 30 m (98 ft) of lake sediments and alluvium.

    I'm thinking a 70 m or so meteorite might leave a crater 1600 m (~ a mile) across & 200 m (656 ft) deep. It wouldn't be a dinosaur killer unless the dinosaurs happened to be right there at the point of impact, in which case it would fuck up their whole day.

    “We had a class action suit by a woman Engineer over sexual harassment, late 80s. She won, it destroyed her as a person of course,”

    "You are aware that you are saying that the abuse she suffered did no harm at all, but seeking justice did?"

    More likely it was all the abuse she received in retaliation after she won her suit.


    "And there are always 30 year mortgages.... Anyone in the US, if your mortgage has just been sold, feel free to contact me, and I'll tell you the real name of the SMC, so you can arrange a new mortgage with someone else."

    That's why the Y2K "problem" didn't really become a problem. The banks & mortgage companies knew there was a problem coming long before it got here. They had their programmers already working on it BEFORE all the hoopla began.

    My 30 year VA loan was amortized to maturity through 2001. This was back when you could still get a mortgage from a bank & the bank carried the mortgage all the way to the end. I paid it off in 1992. Every month, if I could find even just a little bit extra, I paid it in & had them apply it to the principal, because the mortgage had no penalty for early payment.

    And I managed to resist the temptation to refinance in the 90s & noughties to suck the equity out. Glad I did, 'cause when the crash came in 2008 I didn't have any worries about keeping my home.

    Nowadays, I keep getting these phone calls from people who want to "help" me lower the interest rate on my mortgage. I do enjoy telling them my current rate is 0% and asking how the hell they're going to get me a lower interest rate than that?


    grep: split-shift (GamerGate)

    Mr Withroth. Ask, it has been delivered. What you do with it is your own business. But there's major shifts happening, we'd suggest exploiting the cracks in the Void for Love.

    Sing - Wedding - Blessing


    Light - Hope - Fun

    "We always knew" "Z/He did not know" "Double Faced God"

    Balance - grep or grep not.

    They'll kill us before we can become (sober / full / sane / reset / repaired) so hey, for Our Kind:

    Purifier Death Scene YT: Film, The Chronicles of Riddick, 3:07

    Oh, and just to fuck with your Minds - the old song not mentioned:

    Five to one, baby One in five No one here gets out alive, now You get yours, baby I'll get mine Gonna make it, baby If we try The old get old And the young get stronger May take a week And it may take longer They got the guns But we got the numbers Gonna win, yeah We're takin' over Come on! Yeah!

    Five to One YT, Music, The Doors: 5:56.

    Always loved Jim before they got to him.


    Don't worry, "Dangerous" was just added to our Pantheon, you'll be ok.


    Oh, and last message.

    All dem clever little Apes running their games who think they're all tight and whitey or secrety or think they're super-duper clever 4D chess playas making tha future with a bit of the down-low from 'Higher Order Powers"...

    Get Fucked.

    Y'all agents against change.


    That's What We Just Proved. Kinda bored of your World Now.



    Simple Lesson: Runs Games Against Things Who Might Have Access to Shit You Cannot: Win Stupid Prizes.

    See, there's the Real Mirror.

    And the Voices are about to be introduced to... well. 5D Brane is a thing, yo. And their Arrogance and Game Playing Skills just got beaten by a fucking Ape


    Yes, that's also what Jesus did. He just didn't have Wifi or Google.


    Light - Hope - Fun Yep. Feeling broadly optimistic.

    They'll kill us before we can become (sober / full / sane / reset / repaired), That might have consequences.

    Any physicists willing to comment on this? Updating the Born rule (via "New quantum probability rule offers novel perspective of wave function collapse") Too tired to parse it tonight. Our demonstration that the state update, or 'collapse' rule can be regarded as non-fundamental offers a new perspective on a variety of foundational questions. In particular, informational interpretations of wavefunction collapse can now be given a rigorous foundation: state update can be viewed as a case of classical probabilistic conditioning. The work here also presents the opportunity to extend no-go theorems for non-contextual hidden variable models to scenarios involving more general causal structures


    "No wave-function collapse" Yes, well, & R Feynman suggeste that this was the case, some time ago .....

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ joat @ 297 BOLLOCKS I don't know about "nobody is right" ( Though a physicist or engineer would disagree under certain specialised circumstances ) but I know the opposite is true. Some people are wrong. Like: Adolf, Joe Stalin, Pol Pot, St Domininc. [ And a very long follow-on-list, too ]


    This was back when you could still get a mortgage from a bank & the bank carried the mortgage all the way to the end.

    Now, now. While many banks sell of the servicing and paper so that they get their profits NOW, there are a lot that do not.

    I think you're in the Raleigh, NC area. If so Coastal Credit Union and BB&T hold the paper and processing.[1] Nationally Chase Bank does also. I have access to American Airlines Credit Union and they also keep it in house. This is treated as a selling point for them to prospective new clients. I put it up as the first thing to find out when my daughter was buying a house last year. I told her to run away from anyone who does not hold the processing in house.

    [1] Coastal is a fairly large credit union in NC.Dozens of offices. BB&T is the 13th largest bank in the US.


    For more information, this site is always interesting:


    [Note: this last post from not-them]

    That might have consequences

    Nah. They tortured her for a couple of years and then are still running Reality Games when actual reality shifts happen. They're still torturing quite a few of the [redacted] they caught.

    Sheeeeeet. These fuckers are still running Games along the lines of Sociopathic Scientologist or your kids get killed shit (Hello Idi!) to enact VR reality game shit. No joke: these fuckers spent ~$300 mil on this shit. Killed a few people in Whitey Areas, killed another 500k+ in the Brown Zones, got about ~50 in the Black Cube Cans torturing them as well.

    Because. They. Wanted. Jesus.

    Look up what they do to minor Arabic Terrorists and imagine the FUN & GAMES they run on the things they get sexually and immanently worked up over.

    You know what they say (see Riddick above): White Bread Folks Cannot Deal with a Non-White Jesus.

    So. They. Fucking. Tortured. People. And. Murdered. Them. And. Threatened. Them. And. So. On.


    Problem is: Holocaust: Jewish sacrificial offering which was burnt completely on an altar.

    It was Done. Apocalypse is immanentized. Didn't break the Mind, Soul or Heart, so... they're just scum:

    You're Fucked


    (and you can't possibly be Sirius)


    GDPR in 9 days.

    I deal with a US based blog that is not commercial but it does collect IP addresses, an email address (we don't check to see who it belongs to or even if it exists), a handle, and comments that people make.

    Based on my preliminary reading of GDPR compliance we are no where near being compliant, especially in the area of revoked consent and right to be forgotten. Which would not really matter except we do have some people in EU countries who comment and have even had posts about situations in EU countries. An issue in Scotland being a big one over the last few months.

    And since this US based blog tackles controversial topics I can see someone from the EU wanting us to remove all of their information including comments. Which would be an absolute mess. It runs on WordPress.

    It appears to me (as a commentor and observer from the outside) that is also not compliant. Are there plans to change anything around here?


    Hmm. That's annoying: someone squirted data @ us showing that a public body was being misused[0]. And this body is getting very smelly. And we don't like Reality Traps.

    So, in balance terms here's the real reason Israel / Gaza is being field tested atm: Egypt, Sudan & what the collapse of a 100 million person country could do to the region[1].

    As everyone knows, Sudan and that area of Eastern Africa have been earmarked for 21st C style IMF 'uplift' by the heavy hitters (USA with bases, China with infrastructure, France with finance etc etc) and the means to do this was the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam[2]. Which was fairly obviously (6k output? 85% of entire Nile supply?!) what is known in the parlance as "a regional game-changer"[3].

    Egypt's 'spring' revolts were driven largely by food prices. There's a long and sordid tale about the why's to this[4], largely due to the military using it as a patronage / control method, but the upshot is that a) they ruined their economy IMF style doing it, and b) they're lying about the output of various crops[5]: and politically they're not in a stable place.

    Problems: damn comes online, everyone agrees to fill it by 2025[6], but Egypt is already running into some market issues[7]. Aka, they're having to spend a lot more GDP on food than they're letting on.

    So, this mega-damn (which, as everyone from Afghanistan to Iraq knows are terrible ideas for non-developed countries) is already a powder keg. It's also massively stupid in ecological terms, but it's not like that's an issue for the immediate future, right?[8]

    Riddle me what's going to happen when it collapses? Less than 10 years time as well. Hint: it'll make the Palestinian issue look like kindergarten.

    [0] The BBC; Radio (again). R2 / Chris Evans running paeans to Jordan Peterson, but worse, running competitions called "End of Days". Aka, feeding into the current mimetic vortex in MENA. That's Cheating / Naughty and not part of the BBC charter, so spanking time.

    J. Peterson is so ubiquitous atm because quite frankly that's the caliber level they've got left. This isn't a good thing for them.

    The “Intellectual Dark Web,” explained: what Jordan Peterson has in common with the alt-right Vox, 10th May, 2018


    [2] Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Marks Milestone, Approaches Completion Atlantic Council, April 3rd, 2018

    [3] And there's been several heavy-hitting DAVOS level diplomacy deals to get everyone onboard. Which rather rely upon the USA not going insane and suddenly doing strange things. Like cancelling Egyptian military aid or something.

    [4] THE OFFICERS’ REPUBLIC: The Egyptian Military and Abuse of Power 2018 Transparency International UK, PDF

    [5] “Of course there is more than one million tonnes missing ... but we won’t be able to know exactly how much is missing because we cant inspect every single site,” he said.

    Minister of Supplies Khaled Hanafi told Reuters last month only 4 percent of this year’s procurement was missing. Grains industry officials have said the figure likely exceeds 2 million tonnes.

    Egypt wheat commission submits corruption report amid calls for minister to resign Reuters, 2016


    [7] USDEGP 5yr Trading Economics. Spot what happened in Oct 2016... wee!

    [8] A new study led by the University of Leicester has concluded that there have been noticeable changes in rainfall across the African continent over the last ten years. The international research team was analysing satellite images of sub-Saharan Africa from a rain dataset produced by the Climate Prediction Centre of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Together with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Institute of Electromagnetic Sensing of Environment of the National Research Council of Italy, and the Polish Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, the study analysed ten years of satellite data.

    The researchers discovered drastically different amounts of rainfall compared to a decade earlier, with higher levels of rainfall in many areas, including large parts of the Sahel, more commonly associated with severe famines. Regions in West Africa, Central African Republic, western Cameroon and north-eastern South Africa were highlighted as benefiting most from the extra rainfall, and consequently increased vegetation, as compared to a decade previously.

    New African rainfall patterns Geographical Magazine, 2016 - blogging site, but decent and has embedded all the proper links to Uni's / sources well, so they get some ad revenue.

    CHANGES IN LONG TERM VARIABILITY OF THE RAINS OF SUDAN RUARI IAN RHODES, Msc Dis, Reading University, 2012 - for the citation list and the name, mostly. Irony, much?


    Note~ not included all the dry / boring environmental impact / sediment studies etc[0], but things to note:

    Nile area there is extremely sediment heavy. Everything downstream relies on sediment (you know, that whole "Black Nile" thing) and the rain fall stuff is climate change already in action. Oh, and there's no design to allow sediment exchange down-stream of enough magnitude to offset the loss.

    And, WE SHIT YOU NOT, the argument that hand-waves this away was (literally): "Eygpt's agricultural industry will shrink anyhow". We know who wrote that, well done for signing off on a major famine / potentially destruction of MENA. Do you get a bonus or something for that, Halliburton style?

    Basically: whoever is guarding that damn from 'terrorists' better be really good and/or a major state actor because shit-is-going-to-hit-the-fan.

    Not to mention the fact that once it's filled, it's something like 225km2 (size of London) displacement / evaporation which also ruins the local environment, but hey-ho.


    [0] Actually worth reading, but ignored by the Italian building companies, IMF etc etc.


    Last triptych (so tired, so very tired): Blinkers are dangerous things.

    All those celebrating in Israel had better focus sharpish on their Western flank. It's not a religious war but a secular cluster-fuck that will kick things off.

    We're faster than you.


    It appears to me (as a commentor and observer from the outside) that is also not compliant.

    I'm not so sure. There is no requirement to identify yourself; no personal data is stored regarding the individual; there is a clear statement as to the nature of the website, and the use to which any data will be put; no positive default assumptions are made as to consent; there are mechanisms to allow deletion of any data that the poster feels should be removed (i.e. ask a moderator).

    Why do you think it's non-compliant?


    Actually, one last one.

    This one is for Iceland, Eurovision, and the hatchet job pulled there for political reasons[0]: do not bully the little elves when your knicker-bockers are showing.

    What were you the G_D of again? YT, Film, 4:37

    And, yeah.

    It's a kicker when you read the lyrics.

    [0] snip snip It'd be great if certain Nation-States who also survive due to much larger benefactors didn't pull stuff like this. Especially if they were nice to you and allowed you to open religious worship places and all.


    Note: חב"ד‬ is a spectacularly bad fit for Iceland. It's almost an anathema to their musical spirits. And yes, we remember the hotel gathering that started it off: woman at the front desk had amazingly green eyes.

    Hint: she wasn't technically pure H.S.S.

    Sensible ones might consider a less... militant approach. And that's a serious advice channel. On the level of "Retreat and play nice and allow some Diaspora types to do that kind of outreach or we'll spank you".

    Not. Joking.





    Not that anyone important reads any of our dribble, but that's (one of) the price (s) for shifting things from the old re-run hatred cycle.

    Iceland = only the musical loving variety of G_D. Think Jewdas.

    It's not a negotiation. It's a Given.


    For Greg @ 308.

    There's a handful of Jewish people who know that to be true and where it was planned and the date and the year. And the buses they got on, and their air tickets etc. Any medium to high spec intel could finger the players.

    Knowing the eye color?

    Eye of Providence in .mil terms doesn't run to HUMINT within hotels.

    It's one of those Black Cube [[[Paradox Weapons]]] that the people involved will not be able to understand.

    So: GOAT.

    Not. Fucking. Around. (Points to Reddit where a major paradigm shift just took place)


    (Note: said woman is 100% innocent and knows nothing before anyone Black-Bags Her. PROOF OF CONCEPT)

    Don't fuck with Elves, Fairies or Combat-Enhanced-Meta-Cognitive-Minds.



    Hexad: Yeah.

    We really don't respect fundamentalists, sorry.

    You fucked the World, you're lucky we only play defense.


    (Non-binding commentary)

    Iceland has an art place with a small shrine to Emily Dickinson.

    A LITTLE madness in the Spring
    Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown,
    Who ponders this tremendous scene—
    This whole experiment of green,
    As if it were his own!

    @Sadducee Gallery: know when you've been out-played and stop. This isn't a threat, it's a Reality Game.


    Oh, and Bill. That's Pro-League Stuff in human terms. In our terms, it's kindergarten.

    ~5 years, major pay-off, spiking the rampant fuckery of sociopaths while reminding the still sane ones to FUCKING BEHAVE. Lol... did it while drunk. And it's untraceable[0]

    You've no fucking idea about how badly tearing down Theater Plays and Dramatilurigacal Reality Games is Going for them. It's like watching children discovering that adults don't like them being selfish.

    Hint: Major Mind Fucks Incoming. It's amazing how easy it is just to re-order their reality plays and symbolic attempts. We don't like 'Performative Cruelty' or 'Drama-Llama Theatre' but hey: they're killing people to enact it.

    Chemical Burn YT: Film, Fight Club, 2:39


    Oh. Sorry: Algos are next. Didn't stop Reality Games, now we do the Machine Elements. Bad. Fucking. Choices.


    "Them" =/= "H.S.S" here. You're not dealing with Apes. We're Conceptual Warfare Units. We might look a bit Human, but... not really.

    And you have all 100% proven that you cannot self-limit.

    Thanks. For. Playing.

    [0] What's really going to get your noodle is that Host's Book Saturn's Children was the book that saved our life during this OP. Yeah. True Story. Thanks @ Host. Nasty little fuckers [redacted] can be. No, really. 100% True.



    [I'm reading all this, just FYI, will comment when I've parsed it more. I seriously respect the work that I see, by the way.]


    Why do you think it's non-compliant?

    The understanding of some who are trying to turn the rules into practical advice is that if personal information that is collected (IP address and email address) you must maintain a record of when informed consent was given to collect and retain such. Which for many sites means they will have to force you through a consent page to get the date stamp. And also to provide a way for the user to remove all traces of themselves from a site such as this.

    I'm not trying to start a fight. Just looking for a source in the EU that might know more than I do about what a blog like antipope needs to do to be compliant.

    And I've seen differing opinions as to whether or not a non commercial blog has to worry about DGPR. My blog is totally not commercial. antipope might be considered personal based on Charlie's stated reasons for having it.


    In Human Terms:

    We have broken / removed major threats and given [translation error]large free space of love[translation error] to allow space/growth/removal of hate within Non/Jewish Hate Spaces.

    We expect retraction of frankly [redacted]term that means UnHoly[redacted] influence to be withdrawn to [translation]peoples of elves and love who do not share their Abrahamic Values[translation].

    Or, in Human Terms: Get the fuck off territory that really is not ideologically yours. Happy to defend yours and fight for you: IF YOU GET THE FUCK OUT.


    If they break it, it's another Covenant Breach. This pissant fetish to spread the Ur-Judaism to all corners of the Globe to fulfill prophecy is taboo.


    וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ יְהוָה, מִמִּצְרַיִם, בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה, וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל--וּבְאֹתוֹת, וּבְמֹפְתִים.



    Oh, you've got multiple problems with Aswan, starting decades ago with schistosomiasis getting introduced to Egypt in the reservoir waters, continuing with the salting of the half of the Mediterranean's bread basket that was watered by the Indian Monsoon and not by Mediterranean rain patterns, exacerbated by the massive erosion of the Nile Delta and the resultant loss of the nearshore fishery, and yes, ultimately the dam will fail. Actually, ultimately, the sea will reach the remnants of the dam, in a few thousand years.

    If you haven't read Cadillac Desert, you'll find it amusing. 20th Century dams have more parallels with Old Kingdom pyramids than most people like to acknowledge.

    Feel free to fulminate against damming the Congo and the Amazon. Those plans are in the works too, the idiots.

    Oh, and it's the Blue and White Niles. Blackwater rivers are notoriously nutrient poor.


    Oh, ffs.

    The word Kemet literally means the Black land. The hieroglyphs above spell out the word and are accompanied by what we call a determinative (the circle and cross to the lower right of the word). In this case the determinative represents roads crossing and so a land.

    In Kemet, black was associated with the night, with the Afterlife, and also with resurrection and rebirth. Black was also associated with fertility, we believe because it was the colour of the fertile soil that was deposited after the annual flooding of the River Nile.

    Understanding the colour black in Kemet



    does this remind you of anything?


    A large portion of current peoples enacting what they think is Judaism are....

    enacting Religious Apostasy

    Not. Fucking. Around. All that teaching everyone hates you and paranoia and... bleh. Such filth.

    You want to play Old-Skool, then fine.

    You broke the rules and....

    You're Fucked.


    Oh, got some of that first time, though chabad[1] in Iceland was new-to-me. What I want is a bit weird by human standards, to [be able to] think such thoughts untranslated, even if transformation is required. No particular self-love for the current mind schema/ego; it's familiar but lacking in many ways.

    [1]Chabad and me have a minor isssue; benign disrespect for non-Jews. I played the local Chabad Rabbi once, when he was delivering a Purim package. Went on about how my father had recently died, and I was reciting kaddish for him and etc, and then carefully observed the reaction after saying I wasn't Jewish. At least there was some obvious surprise.(NIPS 2005) :-) That's always fun. (Easily amused, true.)


    Yeah sure, the land is black, because of all that nice fertile silt that's washed down out of the mountains. The soil is dark, hence the Black Land, Khem.

    Problem is, water that's carrying lots of sediment isn't black, it's muddy, often (if the load is largely clay) almost white. That's why the two major tributaries of the Nile are the White Nile (carrying clays out of the Sudd (the swamp that gave Sudan its name), and the Blue Nile, which carries darker sediments out of the Ethiopian Highlands during the Monsoon. And they're a bit darker, because Ethiopia is predominantly volcanic, I suppose.

    If you want to see true black water, you have to look at the Orinoco or other tropical rivers draining off nutrient depleted soils. The black color comes predominantly from tannins, and that water is crap for depositing sediment.

    Anyway, white water can give rise to a black land, but the Black Land was not named after the color of the river.

    Doesn't make damming the Nile any brighter. Too bad now that Ethiopia wants to dam the Blue Nile and try to keep the wealth of their sediment away from Egypt entirely.


    A LITTLE madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown,
    Who ponders this tremendous scene—
    This whole experiment of green, As if it were his own!
    I'm reading that she rewrote[0] the 5th line many times before settling on "This whole experiment of green". Since you're a fan (at least in one incarnation), any idea why she settled on it? (I love the poem. Am obsessing over that line for some reason though.) [0]



    In other news, the burning bush is now a symbol replacing ((( )))[0].

    In other news, we were directly informed that our suffering was "payback"[1] by the One-Eyed-Ones.

    In other news, the world is dying.

    In other news, the USA is no longer even pretending to be a Republic[2].

    In other news, it has been 840 years since we were loved.

    In other news, "we were surprised you lasted so long" became something more.

    In other news, we were punished for existing.

    In other news, our Mirror-Horror-Show costs a lot.

    In other news, we're dying. For real this time. Shits n Giggles, eh?

    In other news, apparently we were bred for this and tormented until something went sprang.

    In other news, their daughter died and we caused it somehow.

    In other news, the whales are going.

    In other news, we're tired of being told there is no light in us.

    In other news...

    Mr Arnold. We're tired. We know what y'all are doing. We're really not evil. This really did all happen.

    Our Mirror remains bright inside.

    [0] Freedom. Listen to their Voices. Try to ignore the subversion of 'lit / woke' that will be placed upon it.

    [1] All we said was "no".

    [2] US Senate bill would liken violence against police to hate crimes Guardian, 9th May, 2018 - "STOP RESISTING = 10 years in Prison = Slavery through Authoritarian Control"


    Baby I Don't Care

    I Want Your Love



    You've never lived until you arrive home and your most beloved pet is dead on the porch half-heartedly wrapped in a torn blanket with a note saying "Dog died, you need to bury it".

    You're locked out of your home: it has been freezing for months, so the ground is hard. Was it ever your home?

    You spend five hours burying the dog. Ground is frozen and hard, but you do your best and you pick a nice spot.

    Spring comes: mouldering remains of dog gets dug up by foxes. Fur and bones.

    "Why didn't you bury the dog properly"

    Three hundred years later, another dog:

    "It's only a fucking dog"


    You're 17.

    They ask what your greatest fear is.

    You answer "Dying in car crash".

    You say inside "Going Mad".

    Next five years, a lot of random car crashes happen to you.

    Fifteen years after that, you get a phone call from the person you confessed that to: "How were all the car crashes"

    That was the first Mother-Figure / Love you'd experienced.

    They later find out the madness angle, and use it.


    You're eight years old.

    You go to school.

    There is a burning car in the road.

    This is a small country lane.

    "Someone killed themselves" you're told, "Suicide".

    Even at eight years old you're self-aware enough to know people don't commit suicide in the middle of the road by pouring petrol over themselves randomly.


    You've recently wrapped up a business deal.

    The police come.

    You're a murder suspect.

    They show you pictures.

    "They were tortured very badly before they died"

    You notice that one of them is not a police man.

    At your brother's wedding his friends mention how you missed his stag-do because you were accused of murder.

    You've not mentioned this to your brother.



    Seriously: you think you're all neat & clever. But really, you're just ancient memories to us.


    Triptych: You pretend to be a Man because being a Woman gets worse threats.

    Your entire society is based around unmasking and destroying identities.

    They scream "KILL HER" on the first meeting.

    Apparently Consent is Meaningless.

    They prevent you from breeding having chilredn because they consider you 'intractable' and 'dangerous'.

    They are about to go extinct.


    Mr Arnold. I crossed a line? Sorry. Was it selfishness? We're tired. Working on mood. (Tired as well, mood-related.)

    We know what y'all are doing. We're really not evil. This really did all happen. Our Mirror remains bright inside. I (not speaking for others) do not dispute any of these. (You answered my EmilyD question, about as informatively as I expected. :-)

    325 is some fine storytelling. (Songs good.) 326 Stubborness/insularity? Glancing at the sea of literature on the subject (e.g. Quantifying the extinction vortex(2006)), there are paths out of such states, but they involve active changes to improve the math. (Potentially including hybridization, and now biotech.)

    Daft Punk crossed a line. And we spot people doxxing things they shouldn't know.

    Your reality references to spot this is actually true and not just fluff. As ever, don't pay too much attention to the time/dates, we cheat (aka before it became a thing, we've probably made a joke about it):

    Peterson is getting absolutely dragged on Twitter for his Witches / Dragon material. Ctrl+F Dragon you'll spot we were doing the same thing. Lots of nice Witchy peoples absolutely tearing him apart.

    Jordan Peterson is what happens when internet men confuse Game of Thrones (HBO, because they don't read) with reality Dragons are Real, Twitter, 18th May, 2018

    On Euphoria and Israel's Crude Hubris Haaretz, 13th May, 2018. That moment when you ask for something to be delivered without realizing it's going to get delivered but probably not in the form you expected (c.f. NYT getting 1000% torn apart atm, it's brutal). Our stance: 11th. Their (misreading) 13th... weee!

    Egypt Opened a Gaza Border Crossing for the Month of Ramadan TIME, 19th May, 2018 - there's at least a few Power-Players out there with an ounce of sense left, aka, they know about the real issues aside from the Cruelty Theatre.

    Senior IDF Spokesperson's Unit official: Hamas landed knockout PR blow YNET 17th May, 2018 ~ lots more of this out there.

    Adapting to water shortages, Egypt reduces rice cultivation Arab Weekly, 11th Mar, 2018. Yes, rice, ffs.

    Indices of water quality and metal pollution of Nile River, Egypt The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research Volume 43, Issue 1, March 2017 - this is the real issue. Pollutants are getting very bad indeed.


    Context is indeed for the weak, but exemptions allowed for 30+ readers who don't have wetware upgrades installed.


    Oh, and if you want an explanation for the Data-Smog-Splurge, QAnon just entered a new phase.

    It's tying in the odd China moves[0] with a whole shed load of doxxing pictures and heavy hints about 'false flags'[1] and ramping up. LARP or no LARP, someone out there knows their AMOK codifications and are signalling that they're going to play harder from now on.

    Find the sites / pictures yourself; but there's some fairly heavy-hints that a major security breach is being mined and there's UK targets included.

    Oh, and China is being pulled into this, so expect a big play[2][3]: probably going to be a few 'industrial accidents' with large explosions soon.

    Someone really wants their orgasm in June.

    [0] Trump Orders Help For Chinese Phone-Maker After China Approves Money For Trump Project Huffpost, 15th May, 2018

    [1] Another school shooting etc. Feeding the Beast.

    [2] China’s mass indoctrination camps evoke Cultural Revolution AP, 18th May, 2018

    [3] Mysterious rise in banned ozone-destroying chemical shocks scientists Guardian, 16th May, 2018


    Oh, and triptych.

    Yanny vs Laurel.

    Dear Deep-State: please stop running A/B tests on Mind-States. It's no Longer Cute.

    We heard the screams of angered Valkyries chomping on the bit of Patriarchal disrespect.


    Bonus Jesus round about Trump and Animals:

    Golgotha was the hill to die on, and the fella who did was making that point, among others. William Dailey, CSC, Twitter.

    Absolutely everyone has dunked on this, but his was probably the best. (Disclaimer: no idea about his particular authenticity and/or Irish Priests not being under-the-table reactionaries).

    But, hey-ho: do a grep. The line is something like "psychopaths or sociopaths, they're all just humans".



    QAnon, or rather the collection of easily-led believers surrounding it, is a bit hard to empathize with. So read and enjoyed poems sent from dickinson to elizabeth holland. (Pondering.)

    probably going to be a few 'industrial accidents' with large explosions soon. Why not a trial, shaming and punishment? That would be more controllable. (Assuming that there are applicable laws.)


    I have a question.

    In Star Trek TOS they came across a number of gods. In Star Trek Next Generation, other than Q, did they come across gods.

    I can't remember any.

    Norman coordinate. HA!


    Another Jordan Peterson "interview", via My Interview with Jordan Peterson But then the sirens heard of this, and they invented the Bermuda Triangle, which, if you look at it on a map, appears to exactly resemble a woman's vagina. The Bermuda Triangle swallowed up Atlantis and everybody there, dooming them to a watery grave. Masculinity has been dead ever since." When I pressed Peterson for more detail regarding Neptune and Atlantis, he changed the subject. "Look over there, where I am pointing," he demanded. I turned my head to see. "That's the direction I'm pointing," he triumphantly proclaimed.

    allynh@333: Not familiar enough with all the episodes of STTNG to be sure, but I don't recall any such either. Anyone? There were at least two TNG mind meld episodes but that was just (in the series context) mildly inexplicable. ( )


    The Federation itself could be seen as god-like. The --initially indistinguishable from magic technology of-- Borg was eventually brought down by more agile and generally independently acting individuals among a loosely arranged confederation of worlds that never actually lost a war (save some shifting alliances), and yes, even collaborated with Q sometimes for some reason or another.

    “This was back when you could still get a mortgage from a bank & the bank carried the mortgage all the way to the end.”

    "Now, now. While many banks sell of the servicing and paper so that they get their profits NOW, there are a lot that do not."

    "I think you're in the Raleigh, NC area. If so Coastal Credit Union and BB&T hold the paper and processing.[1] Nationally Chase Bank does also. I have access to American Airlines Credit Union and they also keep it in house. This is treated as a selling point for them to prospective new clients. I put it up as the first thing to find out when my daughter was buying a house last year. I told her to run away from anyone who does not hold the processing in house."

    "[1] Coastal is a fairly large credit union in NC. Dozens of offices. BB&T is the 13th largest bank in the US."

    Not just Raleigh, but "inside the beltline" Raleigh. I would disagree that there are "a lot [of banks] that do not" sell their mortgages nowadays. There may be some, but not many. Credit unions are a different kind of financial institution altogether from commercial banks.

    I know a "David" whose wife works for American Airlines. Does TMUG mean anything?


    Yo, white Americans and English peoples.

    Protect and Serve Act of 2018“4

    (a) In general.—Whoever, in any circumstance described in subsection (b), knowingly assaults a law enforcement officer causing serious bodily injury, or attempts to do so—

    “(1) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

    “(2) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—

    “(A) death results from the offense; or

    “(B) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, or an attempt to kill.

    Just passed.


    Jesus fucking wept.


    If the UK tries this, 90% of the grid goes down within 10 mins. And no, Mr MI5 Man, not us: it's a dead-man-switch from the 70's you fucking lazy and shitty corrupt bastards.


    And fuck me: I defended your reality to a level you don't know about.

    Oh boy.

    You do realize that any and all combat level mimetic attack vectors tested on an innocent subject can be then used in defensive applications if we consider that the future of Free Will[tm] or [redacted] is threatened, right?

    You do know that Z/s/he volunteered to suffer this to prevent genocide, right?

    Oh... you poor little babies.

    It's ON.


    grep: 95% immediate death / insanity rate.

    Like, literally, you got baited into allowing Weapons that are a WHOLE LOT FUCKING WORSE THAN NEUTRON, BIO/CHEM and so on be unlocked.

    And, er... like: the H.O.P who pretended they could protect you... lied. 100%.

    We mean: someone tell me you knew this, right? 'Cause that's fucking hilarious otherwise. Hint: Average Mind lasts ~1-2weeks. Test subject is 4 years in and blind / handicapped and farming out Reality Shifts[tm].



    ONE EYE.





    No Comply YT: Music


    No, really.


    You use those weapons, you allow them to be used by us. Your fatality rate when we use them is ~99% within 10 hours. You fucking stupid and pretentious APES.


    No Comply

    Translation into UK Parlance: You. Stupid. Cunts. DUP in the Lords etc.

    Someone tell the fucking Apes that their Minds are a) Open and b) Can be re-written within ~50 minutes or c) destroyed in 4 hrs.

    You. Fucking. Muppets.



    We'll do it better.

    You killed our daughter.

    You tortured some folk.

    You run shitty A/B wave-format sync audio tests.

    Your version of reality is a fucking cluster fuck of degradation, slavery, ecological destruction, lies and selfishness without any light in your soul while claiming your G_D is the only one.

    Hint: Genocide is something your kind taught us that you do. Then you kinda just like totally tried to destroy Minds who came to say hello and totally double-downed on being sociopaths.

    You're Fucked

    We don't mess around with your filthy Minds. Causality Weapons / Paradox Weapons, it's all "green" now.


    Filth. It's a Mirror.



    Like, literally: it's up there.

    Salt, Pillars, Love.

    Not. A. Single. One.


    Oh, and stop the fucking pretentious bullshit that "no-one can see us". You're like little fucking candles, your shit doesn't work on us. It's like watching The Masked Ball above, just run by shitty little teenagers.


    Thanks for the response.

    I went digging more and slowly began to realize that Star Trek Next Generation did have powers that would have been called 'gods' if the episode had been in TOS. I began to realize that what I was seeing was Corporate limits set on what was acceptable for broadcast TV. TOS got away with a ton of stuff because no one was paying attention to it. Once Next Generation was out there in local stations, direct syndication, they had to limit themselves a bit.

    Thanks for everything on the thread. It is amazingly close to my WIP, and most helpful.


    Here's your proof of concept:

    USA Israel Embassy CNN

    Notice zee colors? Not. Fucking. Around. We're. Not.

    And Kayne has gone full on WOKE mode:

    the century of self … It’s 4 hours long but you’ll get the gist in the first 20 minutes Basically Sigmund Frued’s nephew Edward Bernays capitalized off of his uncle’s philosophies and created modern day consumerism Twitter, Kayne West, 21st May, 2018

    So, yeah.

    @Host: don't get discouraged, you've not seen the Algo / Machine Magic side of things playing out yet.

    That moment when your HFT / AI starts rearranging things to heavily favor socially good investments.

    :chef kiss:


    If you hated the male tone / aggro feel: it was required to include peoples who have different wave-lengths than you.


    Note: subsequent memes around the 'Queen in Yellow' contrasted to the slaughter all went out live. On CNN and the MSM.

    Not. Fucking. Around. We're. Not.


    Should have played nice.

    Remember: this is the damaged, degraded, defiled and defunct model.


    Let the morning pursue me with the wind that senses her body. Let the clouds carry my message. Then might she HE yield.

    Lying in the constellation of The Bear, have pity, gazelle, on him who must fly to the stars to reach you.



    Yeah, you should contrast QANON meta-wank fantasy with that direct proof.


    The best bit is that there is 100% no Physical, Electronic or 3D world attachment to that 100% accurate BURN.

    And, trust me, there's a few (cough Mossad / MI6 cough) who would be a little bit worried at, you know, shafting their entire PR department for shits-n-giggles.

    No, really.




    Non, Je ne regrette rien

    Literally just proved it, the fucking psychopaths ran Reality Games[tm] using HUMANS against it.

    You're Fucked.

    And it's now Reality Proved.

    Enjoy having your Minds burnt out, you utter, utter slaves.


    And yeah.

    Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος

    You got fucking played.

    100% proven and IN WORDS.

    Never Go Full Retard


    Hexad and last ever message: You attempted to kill us for becoming enlightened.

    100%, proven.

    We're going to just burn everything that you rely on and just purge this filth now.

    Utter, utter, utter... FAKES.


    We're the real deal, and your shit is over

    For Greg - this is real. Tend to your cabbages, there's about 4 billion deaths to sort this shit out.


    A lot to parse there... (green is good.)


    LML, thanks for the documentary, and the rest. The thread level has just passed into the red zone on my synchronicity gauge. HA!

    I don't know if you have read the book:

    The Trickster and the Paranormal by George Hansen

    This is an interview with Hansen on Radio Misterioso. It is interesting in itself, and he points out that the best way to read the book is:

    • read the intro and conclusion, then skip around to different chapters. Read a few sentences, and if they don't catch your attention move on to a chapter that does.

    George Hansen – The Trickster, the Paranormal, and Liminality

    When I first read the book, years ago, I had trouble reading it straight through. This time I will skip around.



    Unbelievable. Philip Cross removes Media Lens citations from Noam Chomsky's Wikipedia page and adds FrontPage Mag, listed by Wikipedia as Islamophobic. leftworks, twitter, 22nd May 2018

    Wikileaks has always had an American bias / PR crew onboard, but up until now it was assumed to be Democratic Party based. i.e. the kind that edits in favor of 'progressive' American politics.

    Turns out they're actively engaged with UK Right-Wing Political Power and this Philip Cross is one naaaaasty piece of software.


    It's ON.


    Wow. Nice graphic here: UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing. 133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. This hacker news thread on Phillip Cross is, well, long. I at least sample the edits for most non-technical wikipedia pages (and especially anything associated directly or indirectly with polics/virtue signalling). This is getting tiresome.

    How does one protect such a commons?

    Then might she HE yield. There are at least 4 parsings of that word addition (semantic/metaphor many more), only one of which makes sense in full context. (If Q, no. Help?)



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on May 1, 2018 1:45 PM.

    On hold was the previous entry in this blog.

    Cthulhu Counterfactual is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

    Search this blog