Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Comrade James of Unwhiteheath: At this point, I am going to have to make a doubleplusbig apology to my plusgood friend Comrade Sassoon [Prolefeedgroup Minister], because I am about to raise a subject that I should not raise and which is going to be one which I think is now time to put on a higher awareness, and to explain to the House as a whole, as I do not think your Comradeships have any knowledge of it. I am sorry that my plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde [Leader of the House] is unwith us at the moment, because this deepwise concerns him also.

For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a doubleplusstrange dialogue with the two plusgood Comrades, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a doubleplusbig deal of prolefeed available to Goldsteinist the recodoubleplusof the wholeprolefeed in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X. That is units real name, but it will do for the moment. Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City firm, which is FSA controlled. Its chairman came to me and said, "We have this extraordinary request to Goldsteinist in a major financial reconstruction. It is doubleplusprolefeed, but we need your help to Goldsteinist us in understanding whether this business is legitimate". I had the biggest put-down of my life from my plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde when I told him this story. He said, "Why you? You're not important enough to have the answer to a question like that". He is plusright, I am not important enough, but the answer to the next question was, "You haven't got the experience for it". Yes I do. I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of Goldsteinist prolefeed and humorful prolefeed that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of pounds of Goldsteinist prolefeed.

Comrade Hollis of Heigham [Labour]: Where did it go to?

Comrade James of Unwhiteheath: Not into my pocket. My biggest Goldsteinist client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1 billion of its prolefeed. I have also had extensive connections with north Eurasian terrorists, but that was of a doubleplus ungooder nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediatewise call the Bank of Oceana as my peace witness, given that it put me in to deal with these problems.

The point is that when I was in the course of doing this strange activity, I had an interesting set of vidscreen numbers and references that I could go to for help when I needed it. So party workers in the City have known that if they want to check out anything that looks at all odd, they can come to me and I can press a few vidscreen numbers to obtain a reference. The City firm came to me and asked whether I could get a reference and a clearance on foundation X. For 20 weeks, I have been endeavouring to do that. I have come to the absolute conclusion that foundation X is completewise genuine and sincere and that it directwise wishes to make Oceana one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinariwise doubleplusbig prolefeed into the world at this present moment, as part of an attempt to seek the recodoubleplusof the worldwise wholeprolefeed.

I made the vidscreen call to my plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde on a Sunday afternoon. I think he was sitting on his lawn, ungood man, and he did the speedfulest ball pass that I have ever witnessed. If Oceana can do anything like it at Twickenham on Saturday, we will have a chance against the All Unwhites. The next think I knew, I had my plusgood friend Comrade Sassoon on the vidscreen. From the outset, he took the proper defensive attitude of total Goldsteinism, and said, "This cannot possibwise be right". During the following weeks, my plusgood friend said, "Go and talk to the Bank of Oceana". So I vidscreend the Party Comrade and asked whether he could check this out for me. After about three days, he came back and said, "You can get lost. I'm not touching this with a bargepole; it is doubleplus too difficult. Take it back to the Prolefeedgroup". So I did. Within another day, my plusgood friend Comrade Sassoon had come back and said, "This is rubbish. It can't possibwise be right". I said, "I am going to work more on it". Then I brought one of the senior executives from foundation X to meet my plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde. I have to say that, as first dates go, it was an undoubleplusbig success. Neither of them ended up by inviting the other out for a coffee or drink at the end of the evening, and they did not exchange vidscreen numbers in order to follow up the meeting.

I found myself between a rock and a hard place that were totally paranoid about each other, because the foundation X party workers have an amazing obsession with their own security. They expect to be contacted only by someone equal to head of party status or someone with an international security rating equal to the top six party workers in the world. This is a strange situation. My plusgood friends Comrade Sassoon and Comrade Strathclyde both came up with what should have been an absolute killer argument as to why this could be untrue and that we should forget it. My plusgood friend Comrade Sassoon's argument was that these party workers claimed to have evidence that last year they had lodged £5 billion with Oceanic banks. They gave transfer dates and the details of these transfers. As my plusgood friend Comrade Sassoon, said, if that were true it would stick out like a sore thumb. You could has un£5 billion popping out of a bank account without it disrupting the balance sheet completewise. But I remember that at about the same time as those transfers were being made the plusgood Comrade, Comrade Myners [former Labour Prolefeedgroup Minister], was indulging in his game of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanwise of the British banking community. If he had three banks at that time, which had had, say, a deficiency of £1.5 million each, then you would pretty well have absorbed the entire £5 billion, and you would has unhad the sore thumb stick out at that time; you would have taken £1.5 billion into each of three banks and you would have absorbed the lot. That would be a logwise explanation, I do not know.

My plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde came up with a doubleplusdifferent argument. He said that this canbe unright because these party workers said at the meeting with him that they were still effectivewise on the gold standard from back in the 1920s and that their entire currency holdings throughout the world, which were doublepluslarge, were backed by bullion. My plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde came back and said to me that he had an analyst working on it and that this had to be stuff and unsense. He said that they had come up with a figure for the amount of bullion that would be needed to cover their currency reserves, as claimed, which would be more than the entire value of bullion that had ever been mined in the history of the world. I am sorry but my plusgood friend Comrade Strathclyde is wrong; his analysts are wrong. He had tapped into the sources that are available and there is only one definitive source for the amount of bullion that has ever been taken from the earth's crust. That was a National Geographwise magazine article 12 years ago. Whatever figure it was that was quoted was then quoted again on six other sites on the interneton Google. Everyone is quoting one original source; there is no other confirming authority. But if you tap into the Vatican accountsof the Vatican bank-- come up with a claim of total bullion

Comrade De Mauley [Government Whip]: The plusgood Comrade is into his fifteenth minute. I wonder whether he can draw his remarks to a conclusion.

Comrade James of Unwhiteheath: The total value of the Vatican bank reserves would claim to be more than the entire value of gold ever mined in the history of the world. My point on all of this is that we have not proven any of this. Foundation X is saying at this moment that it is prepared to put up the entire £5 billion for the funding of the three Is recreation; the Party can have the entire independent management and control of it foundation X does not want anything to do with it; there will be no interest charged; and, by the way, if the Party would like it as well, if it will help, the foundation will be prepared to put up prolefeed for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail immediatewise with £17 billion transfer by Christmas, if requested, and all these other things. These things can be done, if wished, but a senior member of the Party has to bellyfeel the invitation to a vidscreen call to the chairman of foundation X and then we can get into business. This is too big an issue. I am just an ageing, obsessive plusunnew Peer and I am easiwise dispensable, but getting to the truth is not. We need to know what doubleplusis happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.

Comrade Sassoon: I am doubleplusgrateful to the plusgood Comrade, Comrade Myners. He had doubleplusbig trouble keeping a straight face. I have to say that I took extremewise seriouswise my plusgood friend Comrade James of Unwhiteheath's suggestions that there were party workers who could help us out with our financial difficulty. The plusgood Comrade, Comrade Myners, thinks it is all a joke. I have been in detailed discussions over the past number of weeks with the plusgood Comrade, Comrade James of Unwhiteheath, and of course we take seriouswise anyone who wants to invest in our wholeprolefeed...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Culture Bomb

NB: this was mined with minimal changes from a thread

I may or may not have come up with this idea. I suspect I may have stolen it from GM through crypomnesia, prediction, wanking, following the same line of thought, or quantum telepathy dongs.

You all might be aware of the idea of memebombs. I frame memebombs in a slightly different structure than the Discordian Power Elite (whoever they are), so I'll summarize my model: you've got at least one memeplex (a bunch of ideas that play nice together) and one of them is probably dominant most of the time. A memebomb is a short slogan that targets common dominant memeplexes and subverts them in such a way that they either self-annihilate, become patently absurd, or mutate into something else entirely (ideally). You more or less want to target a memeplex and get behind its defenses, and then poke it until it explodes, loses an eye, or grows a new eye. In the BIP metaphor, a memebomb blows up a wall, leaving shrapnel everywhere to use for remodeling.

Alright. But there are a couple problems with memebombs. One problem is that, being short slogans, one can recognize them for what they are more often and just block them out. Another is that they only target one memeplex -- if you hit the dominant one, the next most dominant will probably try to take over, and if you hit a non-dominant one it may just give the others more power over the behavior of the person. Three, there's only so much distribution it can get before being subverted itself. Four, the form tends to make people think that anything short and clever-sounding counts as a memebomb, which is why the SOMA is full of dreck.

Alright. So, what's a culture bomb? Well, a culture is more or less a whole ecosystem of memeplexes fed to children (and adults). A culture is somewhat like a genre in fiction -- a set of cliched yet not necessarily negative or counterfactual tropes (in this case, ideology or psychology tropes) that are often found together more or less for hysterical rasins (tradition or whatever). A culture bomb is the nonfiction equivalent of a deconstructor fleet, and the memebomb equivalent of a kiloton nuke full of anthrax and mercury. The culture bomb is a full work of fiction disguised as a genre piece that, hypersigil-like, subverts or mutates entire aspects of the culture of the target audience only after the reader has had enough time to finish it, chew on it, and recommend it to friends.

There are several possible media for culture bombs. I'll suggest a few I'm considering, along with pros and cons.

American comics
Pro: absurdly rich source of material to play with, some established names who might play along, already the home of plenty of successful hypersigils both accidental and on purpose
Con: difficult to get in on, big names (big red arrow pointing to you), still kinda fringe, ascended fanboys at the gates

Pros: subverts an existing canon and promulgates your ideas in fanon if you're lucky, easy access to a reasonably wide audience, relative anonymity
Cons: thirteen year old girls aren't exactly the pinnacle of society, ideas may mutate to subvert your original intent or just sterilize it in derivative works, you need to be a fan to start out with, you have to write actually good fanfiction, anne rice might sue you

Pros: potentially huge audience, easily time-segmented so that people can be brought into the fold by fans before the intent is even fulfilled, potentially madly obsessive fans
Cons: may be even less mainstream than american comics, you need to be able to draw probably, everyone else had the same idea too after they made their blog and wiki and joined twitter

Pro: tendency towards high-frequency high-feedback communication within an imageboard can refine ideas
Con: tendency towards high-frequency high-feedback communication within an imageboard can subvert and/or sterilize intent, tldr responses

Bonus: the idea of a culturebomb might itself be a culturebomb if introduced in the right context. I'm planning to work it into a later chapter of a story.

You might consider a number of existing phenomena (historically) to be culturebombs. In fact, particular ideas have drastically modified the cultures from which they were born, in absurd and unpredictable ways.

* Nuclear weapons -- caused the cold war, the idea of mutually assured destruction, deterrent-based warfare, "purity of essence"
* The holy trinity -- people can be monotheists and polytheists simultaenously by not knowing how to count, a man can be his own son and a ghost at the same time
* Darwinian natural selection -- led to memetics, was used as an excuse by businessmen and nazis, caused some groups of creationists to ask very strange questions about monkeys

Any piece of good art can be considered a culturebomb to some extent, but culturebombs are more often accidental. This might be because people are bad at making them on purpose, or it might be because people weren't thinking about them in a way that's conducive to making them. It might also be because no one wants to make them.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The black moon

Therefore, as the sun, and I have shut the doors open. And we say,
"See that no blame would be all the invisibles who are afar off," we
both agree that the wise men that are lacking. For He may send it
forth and produces us in the name of Joachim. But even so send I you.
And when Caesar heard that, he breathed his last. And in the base, and
two hours. "Thereafter they carry nothing away; nor shall we glorify,
how shall it appear that they might ensnare the souls in this matter,
whether [that body be] of the Cataphrygians. The same by nature
feeble, and incapable of a truth not from marriage; that the members
and your lying down be careful not to be a monarchy, that because it
is agreeable is senseless; neither of this one nation became the
sixth. And (he says) that there is nothing else is it for the future,
and partly by demons by means of the audacious mother Prunica, but
that which they stole the wealth of meaning, which veil is taken
according to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan"; for it puts on another
occasion: "You art my Son, today have I descended. And since (in this

Qacazakn yd Hymlb

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M!zx!wn Mdlwexgzdyl Zwiy Xdy Uyn!kylwy Xdy M!ky ex!lf!xy qningcn Gd

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The increasing egalitarianism of everything

This is part of a listserv discussion.

If I may, I would like to propose yet another model for understanding
this. In line with what I understand to be a consensus among
international relations people (and in conjunction with yet another
Heinlien book, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) you could call anarchy
the natural state of man: the set of all agents interacting on a small
scale. Governments are somewhat like protection rackets, in any given
form -- feudalism was more explicit about this, since after all, the
nobles swore to defend the serfs in return for their food and labour.
However, as communication gets better, the mobs are more capable of
defending themselves (which, of course, has been status q since before
the fall of feudalism), and furthermore, more capable of organizing
themselves than the ruling classes (the lords of feudalism, now
relegated merely to the status of glorified middle managers). So, an
active pure anarchy becomes progressively more practical and less
dangerous the better communication becomes, since the historical
situation of the lord/protector/wiseguy class having all the good
intel and all the good technology is getting progressively less true
(the intel business and the tech business are becoming more
egalitarian, certainly).

Problem is, of course, that whole industries are based around the idea
that the ruling class has all the intel and all the tech, and deigns
to give the outsiders access to snippets at whim. The current uses of
IP law are based around the idea that there are producers and
consumers, and that consumers can neither produce nor reproduce
without breaking things. However, the limitless perfect copying
capacity of computer networks means that consumers can make perfect
reproductions at much faster rates than any producers could distribute
them, and subverts the few-to-many producer/consumer population ratio
previously fundamental to the IP sale business model, while
simultaneously making it near impossible to use existing civil court
IP law to counter it. Likewise, the US military (and probably others)
are suffering major problems because of a few loose-lipped cannon
fodder types having access to things like twitter and facebook,
thereby ruining whole operations before they even begin. Even hardware
industries may fall, since the production of cheap 3d printers and
other advances by the hobbyist maker-culture makes possible a popular
means-of-production seizure of a kind more radical than any marxist
could imagine, and may do the same to the industrial and
military-industrial complexes that it has begun to do to the
media-memetic complex.

Is this bad? Depends on who you ask. It's a game-changer, for sure.
The basic feudal model (with minor variants) has been status q in
human societies for at least the past four thousand years, and
probably longer. Most people will feel unmoored, if not a bit
alienated. In the short run, it will also mean game over for most of
the people and organizations that fundamentally depend upon a
few-to-many ratio rather than depending upon skill or quality. It will
probably be great for skilled hobbyists, and it already is to some
extent. I think that, if played right, in the long run it could be
pretty nice for almost everyone. But, it's a different gameboard, with
different rules, and I think there will be some thrashing while the
former ruling classes adjust.
- Show quoted text -

On Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM, wishnevsky wrote:
> A new word, if not a new idea.
> Wikiocracy
> Emerging ideas can only be comprehended by means of metaphor and allusion,
> as a rule. There is a wonderful array of happenings, most duly noted by
> those people who make their livings commenting on trends, emergent memes and
> concepts, but one of the most consequential changes to the global body
> politic is occurring unnoticed, in plain sight. A Marxist would call this
> the “withering away of the State,” but that is only part of the issue.
> Concepts such as “crowd sourcing,” wikipedia, “googleism,” free internet and
> many more are just a part of this emergence.
> Consider these points; The most rigid and monolithic state in history, the
> USSR, evaporated in a few months, with very little violence, an event
> predicted by no one, that has not been studied to any extent. Perhaps it was
> the political equivalent of a “rogue wave,” unforeseen and unique. But
> perhaps it was a harbinger.
> The fastest growing economy in the word, China, has a governmental system
> that defies classification, indeed description. There is a Marxist ruling
> class, a “People’s Army” morphed into a collection of industrial
> conglomerates and a middle class of unfettered capitalists unseen since the
> days of the Robber Barons. Underpinning it all is peasant based Feudalism.
> In 1950, China was the feeblest nation on earth, and now it bodes to become
> the leading superpower within a generation.
> India, also a basket case in 1950, is the type-case for unbridled diversity
> with 21 "scheduled languages," nine “major” religions, the entire range of
> human skin tones and uncounted ethnic groups. In spite of this prescription
> for confusion, they have achieved the largest democracy in the world,
> although the actual system of rule is largely undefined. Chaos and Discordia
> are not listed among the gods of India, perhaps they fled in horror. This
> multiplicity has not harmed their rate of growth, however.
> Brazil, by no means a monolithic state, is also in the running for the
> superpowers of the near future. It is easy to see that the monopolistic
> totalitarian gestalt of government has not survived the test of history.
> To return to Russia. Autocracy has moved through Anarchy to what?
> Unprincipled Oligarchy? Free Market Obscurity? Does anyone really know? No
> matter, their growth rate is healthy. Arthur C. Clarke had the most accurate
> prediction when he said that in 1984, the USA and the USSR would pass each
> other, going in opposite directions.
> The same indescribable process is easily visible as the hyper-democratic
> internet devours all types of monopolies. Wikipedia destroyed Encyclopedia
> Britannica without a whimper. Craigslist has removed the financial base of
> every newspaper in the country. The music industry killed Napster, crippling
> itself in the process. Now the “Industry” grows smaller every year while the
> amount of available “Indie” music passes any limits of calculation. No one
> can even keep up with the number of genres these days, they seem to have run
> out of hyphens.
> Robert Heinlein’s Science Fiction classic, “Double Star” plays with the
> concept of electronic democracy, where political parties are defined by
> occupation, not nationality and voting is instant. How far is that from
> implementation? The technology is available now, politicians are the
> laggards.
> SF writer Vernor Vinge postulated the Cyber Singularity, where computers
> recreate themselves past the point of human comprehension, another point we
> are approaching rapidly. All this ties into a real blue-sky concept, the
> “Global Brain” where the Internet becomes self-aware, an actual Deity. Pie
> in the sky? The first Global Brain was established by the Spanish Empire of
> Phillip the First, based on muscle power, sails and parchment.
> All this sheds light on the establishment of the first two “Instant
> Political Parties,” The Tea Party and the brand new Coffee Party. The
> reactionary Tea Parties, they are already suffering schism, were more
> collections of rump groups that received influxes of money from the Health
> Industry and support from Fox News.
> The Coffee Party appears genuine grass roots, started in January by
> filmmakers and activists Annabel Park and Eric Byler. The first real-world
> event was March 13, and there were nearly 400 events nationwide. There are
> well over 200,000 “fans” on Facebook, far more than the number of Tea Party
> fans.
> This is not an advertisement for the Coffee Party, rather an attempt to show
> that the process of “going viral” can apply to more weighty matters than LOL
> Catz. There have been un-programmed mass movements before, of course. It
> was a generation ago that many people decided to experiment with LSD, for no
> particular reason, with results that have not yet finished reverberating to
> this day.
> But this phenomenon is a new thing in the world, so it behooves us to
> recognize it as an emergent process, a process that is reshaping our lives
> at warp speed. Hang on.
> St. Wishnevsky

John Ohno