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Madness, Movies, Chaos, Conspiracy, Beautiful Minds

 
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Hocus Locus



Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 850
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Madness, Movies, Chaos, Conspiracy, Beautiful Minds Reply with quote

On Madness, Movies,
Chaos, Conspiracy,
Beautiful Minds


Minds such as yours. Embrace the odyssey! But beware: thar be dragins.

The best conspiracy theories out there are conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories.

We seek to understand, explain to each other, what we see, how it 'hits' us, where we think it's going, and 'just who' is behind it. And yet I feel we must also be able to jump outside our silly boxes without losing our minds somehow, to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, some of the things we are characterizing as 'scripted events of unknown but definite purpose' might actually be the blurry patterns that are the 'strange attractors' of human psyche -- apparent patterns emerging from the noise that are not being 'put there', rather are occurring and recurring because they are visible artifacts of some underlying chaotic system. That is 'us'.

Early explorers of chaos theory were not exploring chaos theory, they were caught by surprise while looking somewhere else. Accustomed to the predictability of the linear in Mathematics, a natural system that we judge to be immune to side-channel 'tampering' -- familiar chaos eerily (astounding! shocking!) emerges into a strange order -- bifurcations emerge simply then swing into chaos again, Lorenz's butterfly takes shape, cirrus clouds of puzzling Julias, fold origami-like into first monster, "the bug" -- or fingerprint of God itself, the Mandelbrot Set. Astounding!

Being around for the emergence of a new science is incredibly exciting. I was there. Reading about it takes you there. I am no math whiz, but Jim Gleick's book Chaos: Making a New Science spelled it out. When this book first appeared hard scientists the world over were saying "So might that might explain this thing we see here...?", and sometimes it did. From fluid dynamics to weather to elemental cryptanalysis, even coding and information theory, new connections, new puzzles.

If the Mandelbrot Set is the fingerprint of God -- it is my personal belief that the Extended (24,12) Golay Code may be a diagram for His eyeball: for any coherent perceptive system there must, be some Buckminister Fulleresque elements to give a boundary between ambiguity and disambigutity, known as a 'perfect code' -- otherwise we would have dreams without waking, language with out humor... even sentience itself to become an ever lasting ever changing scream of things gone terribly wrong, to the end, with none even to hear. Perhaps this happens, and as always, we get by with a little help from our friends. Call it 'junk intuitiion' if you will. I don't mind and it hardly matters.

With our tentitive grasp of algebraic group theory and the Monster Group we begin to explore the far reaches of raw possibility, so vast that there's room within it for anything we could possibly imagine. Even God. Even God imagining us imagining God. Turtles all the way down. Or at least as far as the rational mind could bear. And the simple beauty of being able to say, "And so on.". In the Monster there's room -- after all -- 196,884 commutative nonassociative dimensions should be enough for anybody. Call that a 'junk limitation'. We gotta stop somewhere, or we'll never get started.

At some point or another, things will always start to become really absurd. If you think it's happened -- just you wait! -- has always been my working definition of science.

Ideas are clean.
They soar in the supreme supernal.
I can take them out and look at them,
they fit into books, they lead me down the path.
But the world is round,
and a messy mortal is my friend.
Come walk with me in the mud...

~Hugh Prather

At times naturally occuring phenomenae we encounter 'seem' intelligently designed -- faces on Mars, crystalline growth, beacon-like pulsars. But that is because they are being intelligently observed. In the early days of ether -- hearing odd radio emissions was thought by some to be 'ample evidence' that there must be a message, was someone talking, we just weren't clever enough to parse the language. When it was revealed that the static that embodies the white noise between FM stations, and the 'snow' on empty TV channels is actually the energy remnant of the Big Bang -- I was hooked. I found an empty channel and watched a lot of snow, just in the wild wild wonder of it all. And after awhile I did begin to see things! Shapes! Hear voices!

Coherent slime, oozing out from my TV set. Yet, even as it happened -- one of the intelligent avatars in my seething mind was working in tandem, (bored already, story of my life), pursuing its own dream... suggesting to me perhaps, perhaps. The whisper of an alternative theory for these 'visitations'. A flat-fact, I have decided -- I was shaping the static into the familliar by the very mechanisms of my own thought and perception. Aliens yes, dragins! Within. That so fit, I wrapped static into a concept, turned off the set and embarked on a fascinating trek of learning about sensory deprivation, the human mind's insatiable lust to find patterns, anywhere! Everywhere!, the mystery of how children 'bootstrap' language, acquiring it by some mysterious osmosis. Who needs messages from space or God, when such mysteries are right here?

Cable systems, modern TVs blank that beautiful static. In the name of progress.

What else, I wonder, are we depriving our children the right to discover?

Delving into such mysteries of how-self, how-now and how-think, my intuition tells me, is an important step in preparation for dealing with a message from Aliens or God should one arrive at our mental doorsteps some day. Because we'll be able to, absurdly and linearly speaking, confidently 'subtract self' from the message to better understand it. Even recognize it as genuine, and not some hasty tasty sham concocted by fellow men just a smidgin cleverer than we. I fear this has happened, is happening today.

In the movie Beautiful Mind, when certain letters on pages of magazines, and parts of other things, began to glow -- I said to him "Yes!", smiling at the familliar recollection of my own experience. I was nodding my head and saying "Yes. It's pretty neat isn't it? And knowing what I do now, not at all surprising to discover that your patterns of illumination in chaos may be so different from mine."

When the 'map pin and string things' began to appear I said to myself, wait! Consider the possibility that it is you. But the plot kept tossing herrings in my face -- as good movies do, well perhaps my warning is unfounded, something is there. The mere iconographic portrayal of his string creations -- which is increasingly being portrayed out of context as some sort of psyop conspiracy kook schitzo-danger indicator, you know, "Parents: seek professional help if you see one of these, er, things!" -- is such shallow horse-hockey. An affront to the theoretical scientist's celebrated (and incomprehensible) blackboard. "If you don't know what it means, it's probably bad."

Sure, those around him saw it as some sort of abberation, what else could they do. Their perspective was external. But we never did get close enough to examine those connection creations, did we...? We're just supposed to believe that they "didn't make any sense." Yup. Lissen up Party People, DJ Gallileo is in the House. When connection-mazes appeared in the movie, it just made me think, wow, that's neat, I've always wanted to do things like that -- and I have on occasion, on paper -- but the delicious elaborateness and intricacy of 'his' creations made me feel, well, kind of jealous, actually.

Then in Beautiful Mind -- we hit that point in the 'ol mental sausage factory assembly-line, one might say, "And here's where things take a turn for the wurst." At first, signs of being disassociated from some of his fellows, which happens, no big deal... so on-target with the courtship, more important and in the ultimate sense, all that really matters. (I'd so-love to meet someone like her, I know they're out there somewhere) Still alright, but he's drifting a bit. Then a baby in the bath. Whoa. Reality check: message received.

Insulin shock, the 'evil' doctor, his natural and understandable reaction to the doctor as personal mortal threat -- and who woundn't? Any people bred to accept such horrors without question in with assurance of healing is a sick and dangerously misled society. His paranoia completely understandable, they were out to get him, and only we sitting in our glass houses know why, how could he? I felt it myself -- resentment for the doctor, as a doctor that is and not some agent, kept asking "Could this be done any other way?", then more soberly, "What if it cannot? And we just lack the courage to do it that way now?" Any who are down on electroshock, insulin shock and Prozac -- had better get hopping to come up with some alternatives that are proven to get results. They'll be hands-on for sure. Aside from lobotomoy and euthanasia of course, history's picks. The voluntary and bittersweet parting with his friends: the brother, the girl who could run among pigeons without startling them, brought me to tears -- I understood the trauma and sadness of the sacrifice.

A movie to make one think... about thinking, and what a dangerous pastime it can become.

Patterns and puzzles. In the original book Contact! Carl Sagan's alien friends allude to something incredible, a message hidden in pi, an idea so novel to me at the time that even the concept of such a thing totally astounded me -- creeped me out completely, tingles and all. This may be a natural human reaction to anything that is urgently important that we didn't think up first, are not prepared for. Good for the species. And I most certainly had not prepared for that. It was also a stange feeling, to be creeped out like that. Not being a tiger in the bush, didn't kill me either.

I yawn through chainsaw massacres; mumble beneath my breath at Hollywood: yeah, you all go down in the basement now, don't forget to lock the door behind you, now look -- you're a sweet girl, don't put on that makeup. you're naturally beautiful and if you doll yourself up you'll just be the one slashed first, don't fall for that old harlots get theirs crapulation formula. Oh I just knew you just wouldn't listen, here he comes. Oh look, it's a she slashing hes, who'da thunk it.

Then they make you jump. And jump. And jump: because dangerous things are happing suddenly, in your face.

When those 'cheap shot' traps snap on me, I jump. I make myself jump, because supressing the urge to jump is the most incredibly stupid thing you can do. And when they come one after another it really starts to piss me off. And I have come this-far from jumping up in a crowded theater, shaking my fist at the screen, to say

"Hollywood bastards! Cut that shit out! Don't you see that conditioning people to supress fright reflex instinct might get someone killed? This is a base instinct that touches on so many things, that keep us alive. If she's attacked it's time to dislocate something, not giggle and throw popcorn in the air. If he's at war in the jungle and something bursts out from the wrong place, he must shoot it dead... but being deconditioned, desensitized -- these poor souls may never get to play 'round 2' in the "Is it live or is it Memorex?" game. And the blood, casual blood, buckets of blood. Arterial spurt. Don't you know these are supposed to mean danger, urgency? Immediate and decisive action? Seconds count, either help, fetch help, get out of the way. No one should be conditioned to 'just sit there'. What are you doing to our species?"

But being attuned to my own survival as well, I have refrained from such outbursts.

And the 'cheap shots' keep coming. No one is ever really frightened... actors and audience alike, just startled to death. So sad. Eventually the titles started giving them away and I turn away, grateful. So years after, when I sat down in a chilly theater to watch Contact! The Movie, I was completely vulnerable, preparing myself for that creepy feeling all over again. My own 'safe' kind of creepy feeling you might call it.

By the time the credits rolled, something was horribly wrong, the movie had been ok until it became obvious that someone running with scissors had cut out the astounding message-in-pi!, leaving the usual "Aren't those alien critters clever?" "Aren't we dumb?" and "Shucks, let's all just get along?" -- Whereas in Sagan's book, the extra-terrestrials are actually asking for our help -- as clever partners, equals -- to solve an even grander, ultimate SETI-like mystery. One of the creepiest ideas ever concieved, so cutting edge, on the cutting room floor? If it was ever there. A clever puzzle, see, the Greatest Puzzle, to be solved, out there, in here, infused, shaped by this puzzle. There it is! traced out in the ratio of every circle we've ever drawn. Even the ones we drew as children! Well it's still out there.

Then a year later I am stirred again, this time by a movie that screamed redemption -- titled simply enough, Pi. "Okay!", I said grinning, all-too-trusting, this is it. Someone out there realized they couldn't pass up the story too creepy to remain untold. Which turned out to be about disaffected persons, obsessive compulsive behavior, Disney spooks and boggie-men, and gee-whiz laughable stereotypes of computer technology, the computer science junk equivalent of "Well you see son... it's 'Atomic'..." Now I'm not silly enough to think these people ought to know where I'm coming from... but it makes me wonder, where are we going to?

So, traumatized by this series of missed opportunities to communicate the message that a message could be out there that doesn't boil down to the usual human hoo-hah... I have become completely incorrigible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

So bite me! The Davinci Code, hoo-hah. Madcap Sherlock Hemlock muppetry without muppets, shadowy figurery, Raiders of the Lost Ark moments. Biblical Connections. A just-so story. Who Killed John O'Neil is interesting, a fascinating treatment of a difficult subject -- and that Beautiful Mind string-thingie is baaack! -- but as one who feels an urgent sense that anything released in regard to 9/11 must lead us towards accountability, I pause, simply because it is deliberately, absurdly specific, even slanderous, and could be wrong... my fondness for it began to slip. True-life-reality movie gambit, declined.

Hitchcock would have spun a story so eerily resonant to 9/11 that it would lead people into exploring 9/11 by simple metaphorical association -- even thinking it was their own idea. That is exactly what The Parallax View set out to do, tried to do -- might have done -- if only more people had seen it. Learn to follow implications backward as well as forwards.

People don't. People should. Which is why one should never say "connect the dots" if one can say follow (or even better, consider) the implications. 'Dots' is a child's metaphor being used out there as a blunt object, to dumb down adults until they are less likely to speak out of turn. One of these engages -- even challenges -- the audience, politely, respectably. The other sits them down in the corner, out of the way of busy adults doing Important Things, to Play. Our language is full of such dragins in plain sight and it's time we brought them into the open. Respect the audience.

I liked the 'new' Thomas Crown Affair for it's bizarre endgame, and because I have always seen that man with an apple over his face in the mirror. Interferes with shaving, sometimes.

Sure I'd like a more attentive, wary, saner world. And some more fun too while we're at it. But it's just my own hoo-hah opinion that these things have not arrived, as yet. Are we're locked in this dreary cycle of ideas taken right out of the dumbest comic books and movies, where the most insightful question one could ask as a plot spoiler is, "Well did they catch them or not?" What do I intend to do? Get by, with a little help from my friends.

Suggested: Higglety Pigglety Pop! There Must Be More To Life... and Where The Wild Things Are, two books by Maurice Sendak. For a 'real take' on things.

Think tight, don't let the iguanas bite.

___
In the sky there is nobody asleep.
Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars.

~Federico García Lorca, "Ciudaad sin sueño"
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MattFromMaine



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. I really enjoy your posts. You are a very skilled writer as well as a wise soul.
Have you ever discovered a way to stop intense, analytical thinking? I find that I read too deep into experiences when I probably shouldn't , because I don't like what I realize. Plus it can feel kinda dirty sometimes.

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DrewTerry
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattFromMaine wrote:
Awesome. I really enjoy your posts. You are a very skilled writer as well as a wise soul. (1)

Have you ever discovered a way to stop intense, analytical thinking? I find that I read too deep into experiences when I probably shouldn't , because I don't like what I realize. (2) Plus it can feel kinda dirty sometimes.


1. I second that.

Suggestion: read the book. But you already know the book is almost always worth the cost in more effort to read = more effects having read it.

Personally, I sometimes will avoid the book because I liked the movie so much and no matter what, the book will change your perception of the movie and there is no reset button for consciousness of any kind or awareness of any aspect. Eventually, we get bored with the perception after having digested it and then when we are inspired the book will land at my feet - literally (a couple times that has happened Cool ).

2. Tough to even entertain the thought because it is not on a switch, but intense and especially analytical thought is one way we, as beings human, have developed as a method of self-protection by avoidance and self-deception. In this case, the self-deception is the hidden awareness of what it is you are not processing by returning to the analytical thoughts when the mind is facing idle time. In some cases, people can spend years in therapy and tragedy and misery yet continue to avoid processing what is usually a traumatic abusive experience(s) from childhood. Depending on the age at which this occurred, one cannot access the memory of the experience because they were too young to remember. Prior to age 3, our cognitive memory has not developed to the stage where conscious recall is possible.

Unfortunately, despite widespread commonly held beliefs to the contrary, it was acceptedd that the time before the age when kids could remember was time when anything traumatic would not be remembered and therefore benign to the childs future development and growth. There is an emotional memory of the body that is entirely separate from cognitive memory. This is what creates instinct and also records as if it were yesterday the events that were so traumatic. This then becomes the source of anxiety and fears that many times are caused by reactions which we do not consciously understand or identify. It is the minds way of, once again, protecting our self by preventing us from finding our self in a similar situation. To do that, the mind is always looking out for similar situations, and we end up reacting to things that have nothing to do with anything threatening to us. But there were to a two year old.

I believe the expansion in consciousness and awareness of self and other, as is happening right now, will help greatly in all of us to recognize and eliminate this sort of emotional baggage. So, not to worry, or think about it - and it would not do any good, anyway. What we think about, pay at-tention to : is what we get.

Thanks, Hocus!
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MattFromMaine



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TO clarify, when I said sometimes I feel dirty after/about analytic thought, I mean specifically in dealing with acquaintances, co-workers, half-friends and best friends. Sometimes I can't help but try to 'figure' them out, and although I have no way of knowing for sure, I believe I succeed in getting to the 'root' of other people. This can help me in my relationship with that person, as I can than adjust to a way of interacting with them that will make them and myself more comfortable. But the negative side of trying to really understand someone, especially a loved one or potential loved one, is that I feel like have some 'dirt' on them, and I wonder if sometimes I use the information I have acquired and analyzed to my benefit. Once I have a new outlook on someone, it can be tough to go back to just being a friendly stranger whom I hardly know. I guess I need to look into the technology featured in 'Eternal Happiness...'.

Drew, so according to you, my knack for reading deeper into myself and others may be a 'reflex' I am having because I was duped and tricked alot during my formative years? I must admit, I don't easily trust many people. Thanks for the response and insight. I can really get into this type of pyschological stuff.

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Hocus Locus



Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 850
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hail Matt/Drew, and Thanks for Listening.

Drew, you brought up books, mind and children which is a Subject onto itself. And Instinct -- as we know it. A deep subject which I'll visit later with your permission. If you liked the essay above you might like this one on humor in which all kinds of odd mechanisms are discussed relating to think which is more related to laugh than one might think. Which is funny.

One astounding example of rational and intelligent response in children, there was a senseless shocking crime committed in the Amish community a couple of months ago. Read the followups and actual quotes and sentiment expressed by the survivors, young girls, children. Those amazing people... it makes me wonder just which aspects of who they are today, represent the way we North Americans were before the homogeny of media and political stress. I don't think their faith "gave" them the strength they have; I think they, due to the isolated and rigorous environment they have crreated, have emerged as 'people', earlier, in a more 'natural' way. A better way I venture. Not the we could become them -- that would be cruel, for they also need us.

MattFromMaine wrote:
Awesome. I really enjoy your posts. You are a very skilled writer as well as a wise soul.
Have you ever discovered a way to stop intense, analytical thinking? I find that I read too deep into experiences when I probably shouldn't , because I don't like what I realize. Plus it can feel kinda dirty sometimes.

One must always keep a towel handy, you never know where thoughts -- or feet, will take you. I do.-)

And yes, I 'got you' the first time. It is dirty to think sometimes, if you're doing it right. Trying to get into the minds of racists and serial killers is ugly business but it is not just one of those 'jobs for professionals'. It is the job of every rational intelligent mind -- if such people as racists and killers are out there. If not, just keep it under control and enjoy. It might come in useful should you be elected President some day.

And beware of every little heap of steaming advice you encounter, from cracks in the sidewalk that spell out the message "Look up quickly! And get ready to run!" -- right up to the advice you get while reclining on the couch.

If, after a prolonged and feel-good productive session, an analyst would confide to me, "You know, truth is, it's not me: it's the couch. I guess I lucked out! And no, it's not for sale." I'd return for another session and sit on the floor, just to see what happens and test the theory. And a chance to discern the effect of the couch, see if the person could achieve even better results. Because I'm just plain curious, and so are you, or you wouldn't be asking a silly question like that.

The Ferengi: Your insight into human behavior is fascinating. Ever played the stock market?
The Groupie: Gee, you're smart! Can I carry your brains home?
The Good Parent: I knew you could figure it out, you always do. (Love you!)
The Good Parent: But shouldn't you be getting ready for... (not always but so often right. Love you!)
The Insecure 'Adversary': You're so full of crap, but I'm busy, don't have time to elaborate.
The Distractor: You should be computing digits of pi... not just talking about it. [one who wouldn't]
The Lonely Loner: Reminds me of... [no connection, just desparate to communicate, that's okay]
The Myopic Fanatic: You're wrong, DaVinci Code is great! You should get a life.
The Score Adjuster: If you don't like DaVinci Code, why mention it? [suggest self-censorship, adjust score]
The Hit-And-Run Opinionator: How silly of you to think that! [no response to email asking what? where?]
Homer Simpson: Kewl!

These are people-sentiments, with mental not necessarily spoken commentary in [ ] brackets. They are posed as a round in a hypothetical game, "people-reactions to an apparently-wise and intelligent on-line rambler". Neither rambler (who we haven't met, we can only see what people are saying as feedback) nor folks meant to resemble persons living or dead too closely. They are not even direct quotes (except Homer), they are inventions.

Especially the 'wise' part which is most unlikely of all. Some we meet in life may say things that really seem to work, really apply, fit. To call them 'wise' is to mint a celebrity or hero. The minting of celebs and heroes is a difficult and dirty business, usually has an unhappy ending, most often done without the victim's consent. It is best avoided.

Some of these people resonate with what I am about to suggest some not (just at play). You will never meet any of them; you will however, come into contact with people who may curry a mental flavor. They are 'stereotypes', and stereotypes are good -- even vital -- to build and nurture in your head. I call them 'memes' which are just points in thought-space around which anything else may orbit, and hopefully does. For only through mental memes, both people-type and idea-type (this person seems to be one of those who believe [piegon-hole 'Abiotic Oil']) ... can you ever hope to interact with others. Because we may coddle some pie in the sky notion of how we wish to appear to the other person or the group, getting lost in that notion of any 'meme' itself, to the exclusion of others, is an endless distraction that can lead you to horrors such as sighted blindness or unquenchable sanity.

What is ever imporant in any interaction is what you're about to say, next. Lose sight of that, or fail to develop the intuitive mechanisms that carry you into some semblance of success in the arena -- and you will be confused, frustrated. Ultimately misunderstood. And chances are (not always but more often than is comfortable) it will have been your own fault. Angst is a tiny surrender, the acceptance of a rule in what we, at times all-too comfortably assume is a rigged game.

That may even be true! But unless you take a session on the floor, away from the couch, you'll only be in a possition to assume what happens, or whine about it. While one wallowis in some rigged-game hypothesis, even revels in it -- for failure can be as delicious as success if we are amused by our own cleverness -- one may be missing opportinuties right and left to be participating, introducing your own subtle rule-changes, 'cheating' along with the rest. That is why despots so often win; they're the ones who played the game to the finish line, that point where you get to impose rules without challenge. Absolutism. Despotism. Ismism.

And sometimes they lose -- for the same reason. I didn't say it's fair.

((((((

Hitler tossed a lot of rule cards ('memes') into the deck of Nazi-Politick with the hasty indifference of the clever but unwise despot. While sifting through the dark motivators he could use he came to the racial psyop sentiment card. Probably took a quick glance around, seeing a virtually-white country that was to be his first battle-ground, he shrugged and tossed it in. He might have not needed to do that, but it was a very sexy card: around the world many people shared the sentiment, so he could use it.

Every card you toss into your deck is a gambit, by the same rules as cards, perhaps a win-or-lose gambit. Hitler was pretty clever, he might have achieved his goal without that card. If we believe that he 'just couldn't help it' -- because he was a Nazi, Nazis are 'racist', we are fallen into a deadly trap of circular reasoning. By not mentally taking the card out of the deck ourselves, posing the question "Could Hitler have done what he did without playing the race card?", Which for me is 'yes' he was playing with a full deck, so to speak and had such a fine hand; for you the answer might be 'no'.

Regardless of 'the answer' -- what we know as 'Nazism' is absurdly enough, "what Hitler did." Or how it is portrayed -- never mind all those Germans who (eventually) were able to detangle the various sentiments. Unless we play those what-if games we never even form an answer. We'll never know the true answer in the sense of parallel worlds unfolding, we just know the outcome.

Hitler was defeated in the end on the military battleground -- but in the United States Nazism, an approach to management of world affairs by conquest eerily similar to events today -- suffered its greatest defeat, in my opinion, at the 1936 Olympiad held in belly-of-the-beast Berlin. And one adversary above all others delivered the blow, none other than Jesse Owens, who was waging his own personal battle.

I'd like to think, had he not been American, black, anti-Nazi, he would have performed just as well, which I leave aside. It leads to speculation: if his talent hasn't been so stellar -or- had there not been Nazis to beat... would Owens have made the team? Or would some American racist have already sabotaged his carrer at some earlier stage, for some ugly reason? Disturbing -- but such self-searching thoughts are ever worthy for rational minds to to consider, if they hope to remain civilized.

If there is a 'Fourth Reich' -- beware! They may be many things, but not necessarily classic racists. And to any who remember what Bridgestone Tire Company used to be called, and why it changed... well, no doubt you will find not a single 'Nazi' in the group. Words, names are fluff -- meaning, meme -- is all. Ever seek to understand the lunatic.

For there is no such thing as irrational behavior. There is no such thing as insanity.

There are only motives and behaviors we either do not understand, do not like or cannot tolerate.

'What-if' leads us into paths of learning, insight and position and make us 'wise' in other ways. Playing 'what-if' by becoming hypothetical people you invent is most powerful of all: for people are the most amazing and complex systems we know. Don't ask me how I know: it would take too long to tell.

My own personal reasoning is, Owens' victory being as sweet for U.S. as it was bitter to Nazi Germany, was an insturmental step in the long healing process that began with the (economic but also humanist) resolve to escalate into Civil War. It also helped galvanize us for WWII. Today we have at least have our finger on the race card, most have taken it out of the deck -- someday could we take that ultimate step and toss it into the wind? Become color-blind? Black History Month merges with History Month.

"But there's no such thing as History Month!" Bingo.

You cannot colonize the galaxy until we solve some problems down here. Likewise, utopian ideals, the fluffy ones -- not the ones that are recycled crappified morality plays for dominance -- can be achieved if we can envision a slow achievable path that does have a 'next step' that makes sense.. (And don't take anyone's word for it either. Who led Americans into WWII? Why the one elected on the 'no-war' ticket of course! It was high time anyway; the Brits did need our help, and North America would have been next).

If you can imagine that something has 'always' existed called History Month, and further imagine some posh ribbon cutting ceremony in the fuzzy future: all are gathered to cut a ceremonial ribbon that merges Black History Month into History Month, Everyone -- I mean Everyone -- is applauding. You have glimsed the moment of a triumph over racism. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bring that vision into being.

If you imagine that meme of mine gets out there, and before you know it, some hasty senator looking for a quick moral payoff gets the idea that next month we'll create History Month, schedule this ribbon cutting the month after... you should realize it won't work in the end; because the motives are too transparent. Even those ready to cut that ribbon themselves should know better. Laying down whole courses, not taking each step in a desired course on its own merits, is a grave mistake.

People don't like to be pushed around. Which is why breakfornews.com's inroads into the understanding of psyop is so fascinating. In the basement of the Pentagons there are procedure manuals sure, but there's a lot that can be accomplished via inference, investigation and intuition. If William Friedman could infer, reproduce and rebuild the Japanese 'PURPLE' cipher machine from a few observed parts and a great deal of applied analysis -- we should be able to write the psyop manual here outside. And teach its principles so all may learn to recognize them; and use them, same thing.

These isms are so pervasive, but people change. Imagine this:

You're a guy... and one day say as you're waiting in line to vote or something you bump into this girl in line front of you... and say something like "Oops, excuse me." And she smiles warmly, "Oh that's alright"...

(NOW, STOP! For just a moment. Without skimming ahead, try to answer this question: What am I getting at here? Don't give it too much thought, "beats me" is a perfectly acceptable answer. Note it for later. Now continue.)

Do you raise your eyebrows? Aside from the ancient reasons of course. Do you have this sinking feeling that, on some vital world issue, you are screwed. Because your precious vote is about to be cancelled out the moment it is cast? Scan down the line and do a quick gender count, taking comfort in the vast majority of males? Because she is in front of you, and it'y your vote she's about to take down, feel frustrated? Angry? And I do not mean posing that "the women will go this way or that way", I mean does the woman's very presence at the polls make you feel that way? As if, "there goes the neighborhood." -- Well, good I hoped so. But we cannot forget that there was a time in history when that was just-so, and no gentleman in polite company of other gentlemen -- whatever their position -- could expect to be ridiculed for broaching such a topic. The kind that leads to such discussions as... mumble mumble what are we going to do about it...? and you know, someone always manages to come up with some answer. And it's not always fair play.

OKAY. IF you noted that above that your answer was "not a clue" -- or envisioned something that bears little resemblence to the scenario I posed in the paragraph above, such as the opening moments of some boy-meets-girl story...

You win.

I said 'guy' and 'girl' not 'man' and 'woman' to try to trick you back into adolesence, if you're not still there: because that is the time of life when these sentiments most often gel, and for some weird reason (in my point of view) 'woman' is diverging from political flavor from 'girl', when they should be so-equivalent. Was it that song, "I am woman; hear me roar; in numbers too big to ignore!" I wonder.

On the specific issue of whether women have the right to vote (huh? That's even a question? Gimmie a break.) you are sex-blind at the polls. And if you knew where I was heading, you are either on the same philosopher's page as I am, which is possible -- OR you are not really sex-blind at the polls. Now imagine this scenario with skin color. Does it fly? Now try Islam, it's easy.

It is only through youthful attrition and genuine causual disinterest that we could ever triumph over ugly isms like racism and sexism. And isms are all over, every shape or form, from the party button to the bumper sticker to the 'Jewish nose' to the wide nostrils, even down to that ugly little romp of science, Phrenology itself. So long as we remain consciously aware of race, in anything other than incidental visual context (no, over there, the white guy with the blue tie) which is natural and rational -- we remain inherently vulnerable to racism. And those who seek to exploit it in any way.

Jessie Jackson knows this, by my read, he cannot forget it, and he cannot seem tto help it. It is my imagining that when he's at the polls -- he's making head counts, tallies, taking notes even. Keeping score in the Good Fight. He'd probably agree, unapologetically, in good humor with a shrug. As for me, I couldn't tell you what the ratio was when I went to vote, it just escaped me. Which I say unapologetically, with no shrug. Now both Jackson and I may have suggestions to bring us closer to the grail of triumph over racism, but I leave the topic with some soul-searching questions, in my estimation, crucial questions. Whose advice might be best? If one of us offers a detailed 'roadmap' to follow, and the other merely states a general sentiment, are you left with the impression that whoever offers a more detailed suggestion is the 'wiser'? 'Nuff said.

Not in any way to disparage Reverend Jackson -- one I feel has done some bad (in philosophical way) and an awful lot of good (in the day to day hands-on way), all in all a record of which anyone should be proud. I even offer the ultimate proof that I mean no offense -- should he read this, I'd welcome his thoughts.

The philosophy of casual disinterest to be known henceforth as Isn't-ism. I look forward to the day when we will need it no more. So many critics, so few cynics in this world.

))))))

(yes that is returning from the heady brew of a tangent)

Conscious awareness of points of view, as opposed to simple conviction, is the key. Like anything else, you may have been raised in a family where such a thing was learned, even if not directly taught. The notion that anything can be 'taught' is a most dangerous notion.

People's attempts to define obscenity in the context of law are the most judicially irresponsible, morally reprehensible and (for the species) ultimately disasterous moments in history. Because it is the obscene, its deployment, definition and enforcement -- and not any issue of race or economic desire or Geneva Convention or rights of man -- that has most often used to bring about the ugliest and most inhuman consequences. If you are a fellow traveler in life, and the examples on the page linked above make you smile... I might smile with you. But if you are a lawyer or a judge I may get extremely angry. Just the way it is, because life isn't fair, even when it's in one's favor.

Obscenity is just another yucky ism like racism. The more you generalize and test scenarios, place yourself in different perspectives, the more these yucky isms will begin to resemble one another. You'll see the ism players -- their a cry of the absolute! that has been heard over time from podiums, from pulpit and lynch mob a-forming.

Even Television is not the greatest evil... no more frightening than a fluffy bunny with rabies or a dollop of tainted mayonnaise -- and it's not strictly broken, just incomplete. The Internet being a little further along. How many of us, I wonder, had something to say -- right out loud, when Bush tipped his hand when he said "You're either with us or against us!" -- right then, most rudely and interrupting? And how many would have benefited from hearing such an exchange? Or even noting that he might not have a prepared answer? For whether those appearing are speaking off the cuff or not, one can never tell --ones questions tend to go unanswered: TV is a scripted medium.

Therefore, if we elect a president based on what is shown on TV -- we may elect a scripted president.

Ronald Regan was also a scripted president. With the same individuals, writing the scripts. Sweet.

If you've read some of my other posts here, short bursting attempts to communicate followed by one rambling screed after another, you are reminded that the only thing worse than any 'ism' might be someone who can't shut up about it and let us move on.

Which is why Internet is so astoundingly different than anything. From moment to moment -- even different from itself! (TILT GAME OVER). It retains the two-way feel of a lecture or discussion, unlike book or movie or speech; you can skim, you can scroll, you can go off on tangents and precisely return, you can search and pick and choose, you can suspend, and you can leave. Unlike the Bush Administration. If it wasn't for Bush I might be watching daytime soap television instead. And don't laugh or wince -- I'm being painfully honest because it is so tempting, even now.

Quote:
Have you ever discovered a way to stop intense, analytical thinking?

In oneself? Or in others?

A man came up to me and said
"I'd like to change your mind
By hitting it with a rock," he said,
"Though I am not unkind."
We laughed at his little joke
And then I happily walked away
And hit my head on the wall of the jail
Where the two of us live today.
There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark

~They Might Be Giants, "Whistling In The Dark"

Yeah I haven't forgotten... well hoo boy, for me... I suppose the answer should be pretty obvious by now! I hope you find one someday, and let me know when you do. A loud noise or thrown object usually gets my attention.

But I almost have -- by example, playing what-if for historical situations, putting yourself in others' shoes, even if the other is Hitler. For it all leads into my short direct answer to your question; and it is my answer as well.

Here is what passes for my advice. Study Robin Williams with eyes, ears and mind. This man is a phenomenon unlike any I have seen. One brain -- but so many people, all different, inventions of his that spur from moment. When his voice changes its timbre, called an 'affectation', get ready for a new one. Some are characters he keeps for an entire film -- and some, mere seconds.

Williams is a most rarely occuring human -- a collector and dispenser of memes. He brings these into being with gesture and voice, at times just a gesture to call attention to the shift, sometimes a visual aspect of the meme. But most often it is his voice that does it.

What he does so smoothly and flawlessly, for this is performance art. It is so much like 'jazz' -- in Jazz, there are no mistakes -- there are only critics who might waste your time by pointing them out to you. Derailing your experience. I know this from mixing live sound for the same bands, some for a day, a week, over years. Jazz is an embodiment of the phrase, we get by with a little help from our friends; likewise, Robin Williams might not even be aware of these momentary changes of character, but you should. Catalogue them in your mind.

And as you go about your day, you too may find moments when it is appropriate to 'be' President Bush instead of just yakking about him. Even 'be' Frankenstein, that's a crowd pleaser for young and old. You can do it in print, too. I do it. Remember

On the specific issue of whether women have the right to vote (huh? That's even a question? Gimmie a break.)

Hear the (voice)? That's a character -- you probably made up a voice in your head to say it. These charicatures are ways to communicate sentiment to the written audience; and like the glorious babble of on-line chat, there's lots to choose from.

Strive to be an amorphous clown, strive to remember yourself. Above all, don't try too hard, it spoils the cheese.

If that answers your question, anything will.

___
Help me, please! I am lost in Anamnesis, and cannot forget my way out. ~Hocus Locus
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MattFromMaine



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have often wondered about Black History Month and the intentions behind dedicating a whole month to remembering black American's harsh past. What a way to 'move on'; see how equal we are after all? Here is a month-long barrage of reminders that, to most white people, historically, we are not equals. But look- you made it after all! Way to persevere, black people. To me Black History month is a pysop, salting the wounds of black folk year after year, never allowing real progress towards the abolition of racism. I'm sure alot of positive things are celebrated and remembered during BHM, but overall it seems like a way to remind people how things were...and what is the use in remembering the bad, moronic parts of history?
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Hocus Locus



Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 850
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattFromMaine wrote:
To me Black History month is a pysop, salting the wounds of black folk year after year, never allowing real progress towards the abolition of racism.

Dammed right. But not in any way meant to be like that, (if so, calling it a 'psyop' watering the term down too much -- there being extremely directed and centrally scripted post-9/11 activity, maybe more of a 'clumsy-op') revealing a general lack of 'skill' in attaining the objective. Or where I am philosophically headed, application of effort in an endeavor where only social evolution over time, and not any amount of direct effort, can yield the best result.

On one hand you have subjugation -- that is easy to understand. There are economic reasons, there are 'moral' reasons which are manufactured on the spot, ("Can't give 'em too much leeway or they'll be running the place 'cause by the way, they're inferior"), circular logic traps (kids of the opressed wouldn't benefit from schooling because they're just not as 'smart'! and round and round it goes). and you have the ancient racial horror of intermingling, which of course would topple the system -- because in the absence of constant bs pressure from society, parents do love their children. They cannot help it. Fact is, the masters take concubines among the slaves, so you 'need' a really repressive system to keep the mixed children from being able to enter society as anything approaching equal.

On the other hand you have reparation -- a system in which descendants of the masters are apologetic to some degree, which makes them vulnerable to courses they would otherwise recognize straight-off as systems of exclusion and inclusion. Not more of the same, but a new game, the blame game, a system that can be exploited by a new breed of politician. Quotas and such. Organized systems of reparation in a mixed society are a form of 'dole' -- and start to erode the pride of those who are supposed be benefitting from them. Not university students of course, who are more evolved today, they don't give a damn about what the reason is, the're glad for the money and the acceptance wherever it comes from quota or scholarship. :-)

The US Virgin Islands' majority population are descended from Africans who were brought here as plantation slaves (mostly sugar cane), the islands being under rule of Denmark until 1917. Slavery was abolished here by decree 1848, some 20 years before it was in the USA. So looking at things today it has been a much more peaceful assimilation -- I think the concubine issue was far more relaxed then in the US South where the taboo bastards basically 'run things' (Thanks again, Religion).

So it's not surprising at all that if you stand on the street and do a mental skin color tally, there are very very few folks who one recognizes as the darker hues, such as one sees in West Africa today. Shades of mahogany, down to tan, even many the 'hispanics' with obvious negro blood. General assimilation. From some 20-40 years after 'official' abolition, the old taboo systems to keep 'mixed' folk out of the loop had eroded seriously -- after all it is a small island and people have to get along day after day == so racism not only takes a back seat to quality of life (i.e. no BS), you have practical concerns such as few schools and many children. So where in the US they had the economic wealth, the teacher pool and geographical space in which to continue apartied policies, which really does represent additional expense.

Here there were integrated schools well before the 1900 turn of the century. No forced integration with the societal friction, just no big deal. Until ~1950 there was no tourism to speak of either, and cane wasn't being grown (at one almost all land was devoted to it) so there was economic hardship of the backwater location, also a great integrator. Even the straight plantation-descended 'master' families have been assimilating on every level, children full citizens and all, for a good part of the 150 years since 'abolishment'.

Now there are political skirmishes from time to time -- but they tend to be the 'other way round' so to speak, during elections this-or-that 'brown' senator whispered to be a 'racist'. We're talking about a brown person who doesn't like 'whites'... such things command public attention, there is general outrage , the senator I allude to also happens to be intelligent, was elected but nothing that could be construed as vaguely racial ever emerges in legislation, it is usually a this-island that-island thing. Personal sentiment, 'played the race card' but turns out it was more of an 'island card'. And the 'whites have the money' in some cases turns out to be true, for that's what happens when you get infusion of people from a mostly-white country. But no race-centric power nexus, around here it's a this or that old-family-nexus.

All in all a pretty healthy society where you can raise children and if you were to ask them "what race is so-and-so by name, there is a tiny mental pause where they have to parse the question, because the central topic is not a common meme in converation. In terms of race -- the best of possible worlds.

And yes, during 'Black History Month' as it probably is in the saner areas of the US, as white abolitionists are given their 3 minutes of fame along with rebel organizers -- Alexander Hamilton, one of the framers of the Constitution, white son-of-planter who was raised on St. Croix, no one ever thought to exclude him from the lineup -- after all it is a point of local pride. So here in the real sense here it is already 'Histroy and Personal Regional Pride Month'.

Also a fine place to raise children if you can handle the cost of living. Clean air, plenty of sun and good fruit, fresh fish. But it's still a small place, don't tell anyone I said that.

But I do not believe the strife and reparation backlash is scripted or centrally repressive in any way. It is just a lack of 'skill' in managing a situation that (I believe) youthful attrition and genuine casual disinterest, and no amount of 'skill' or 'applied effort' will solve. People need to forget slavery (in the day-to-day sense NOT the warning from history sense) and get on with life... anything that reminds them as you say well, salts the wounds on all sides.

When I attended the local college (now accredited University), just on a lark, being white, I went into the ragistrars office to ask if I qualified for a minority scholarship, the islands at the time ~%10 'pale white'. The lady laughed (as I was smiling) and said, "no can do son, we get the money from the Feds and they make the rules. We (pointing to herself) are the 'official minority'... you'll just have to try a little harder." I said, "Yeah I figured that. I will. Do you get many white students asking?" She said, "No you're the first I'll grant you that. " We parted in laughter. My personal odyssey of attempted actuarial 'race reparation'.

___
Health to the Sick
Honour to the Brave
Success attend true Love
And Freedom to the Slave

~ Motto on late-nineteenth century earthware

The people of the land have
used oppression and
exercised robbery, and
have vexed the poor and needy

~ Ezekiel (22:29)
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