Monday, April 22, 2013

Today's Internets - " we know what happens when police cordon off a neighborhood, declare it a Fourth-Amendment-free zone, send SWAT teams house-to-house, and hover helicopters overhead. People cheer and applaud."

The joy of global warming | Ioannes's Blog: "As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be ask­ing where global warm­ing has gone as you shiver in the cold­est March for 50 years and won­der what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the cli­mate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our think­ing on global warming.

Yes, global warm­ing is real and mostly man-made, but our poli­cies have failed pre­dictably and spectacularly. I was one of the strongest crit­ics of the Kyoto cli­mate change treaty, back when it was con­sid­ered gospel. Peo­ple were aghast when you crit­i­cised it then. Now Kyoto has no friends, and every­one remem­bers how they really did not believe in it. If we want to avoid our cur­rent ambi­tions fail­ing in the same way, if we want to get past Britain’s unwork­able and inef­fi­cient Cli­mate Change Act and the EU’s cli­mate poli­cies, we need to face up to some hard truths...

We need to stop claim­ing that it will be the end of the world. Just as it is silly to deny man-made global warm­ing, it is inde­fen­si­ble to describe it as the biggest calamity of the 21st century..."


 "We place no reliance On Virgin or Pigeon; Our method is Science, Our aim is Religion." - Crowley

Robert Anton Wilson - A Lesson in Karma - Robert Anton Wilson Online Library: "...returning from school one afternoon, Luna was beaten and robbed by a gang of black kids. She was weeping and badly frightened when she arrived home, and her Father was shaken by the unfairness of it happening to her, such a gentle, ethereal child. In the midst of consoling her, the Father wandered emotionally and began denouncing the idea of Karma. Luna was beaten, he said, not for her sins, but for the sins of several centuries of slavers and racists, most of whom had never themselves suffered for those sins. "Karma is a blind machine," he said. "The effects of evil go on and on but they don't necessarily come back on those who start the evil." Then Father got back on the track and said some more relevant and consoling things. The next day Luna was her usual sunny and cheerful self, just like the Light in her paintings. "I'm glad you're feeling better," the Father said finally. "I stopped the wheel of Karma," she said. "All the bad energy is with the kids who beat me up. I'm not holding any of it."

Karma, in the original Buddhist scriptures, is a blind machine; in fact, it is functionally identical with the scientific concept of natural law. Sentimental ethical ideas about justice being built into the machine, so that those who do evil in one life are punished for it in another life, were added later by theologians reasoning from their own moralistic prejudices. Buddha simply indicated that all the cruelties and injustices of the past are still active: their effects are always being felt.

Similarly, he explained, all the good of the past, all the kindness and patience and love of decent people is also still being felt. Since most humans are still controlled by fairly robotic reflexes, the bad energy of the past far outweighs the good, and the tendency of the wheel is to keep moving in the same terrible direction, violence breeding more violence, hatred breeding more hatred, war breeding more war. The only way to "stop the wheel" is to stop it inside yourself, by giving up bad energy and concentrating on the positive. This is by no means easy, but once you understand what Gurdjieff called "the horror of our situation," you have no choice but to try, and to keep on trying.

And Luna, at 13, understood this far better than I did, at 43, with all my erudition and philosophy.... I still regarded her absolute vegetarianism and pacifism as sentimentality."

"An introvert is someone who loses energy when interacting with people. (I am one of these.) A quiet person is someone who just doesn’t feel the need to verbally dominate a group or to be heard constantly. (I am NOT one of these, I am a chatterbox around people I’m comfortable with and don’t lose my energy as long as we’re talking about something interesting.) A shy person has, in my opinion, a psychological pathology around interacting with people, be it fear of rejection, low self-esteem, conditioned expectation of criticism or punishment for speaking up, or excessive pride that can’t bear the judgments of others."

"You know, this explains a lot. Because all my life, I've had this unaccountable feeling in my bones that something sinister was happening in the universe and that no one would tell me what it was." Arthur Dent

Paper: Are You the Toxic One?: "Are you being honest or are you just being a DICK? I am a big believer in honesty. Some people in my life may use the term “brutal” when describing my honesty. However, I want to be clear: there is a difference between being truly honest and being a nasty scumbag. People who are being truly honest are doing it to help you see what is going on and to make a positive difference in your life. With true honesty, the one who receives it is the only one who truly gains anything. This is the purest form of giving. With the other type of “honesty,” only the scumbag will gain anything from it. Oftentimes, it is nothing positive; therefore, nothing good comes from it."

Living Freedom » Blog Archive » Boston: Aftermath: "Well, now we know what happens when police cordon off a neighborhood, declare it a Fourth-Amendment-free zone, send SWAT teams house-to-house, and hover helicopters overhead. People cheer and applaud. They turn out in the streets to wave little American flags. And next we can watch as they condone demand and slaver over illegal treatment of Suspect #2 (an American citizen). We can “enjoy” a new round of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam hatred. We can observe bobbleheads nodding from Los Angeles to Hartford as Good Citizens agree with all the new promises politicians and the state-security apparatus make as they concoct onerous new ways to “protect” us all. Did you feel that coming right from the beginning? Right from the moment the sound of the explosions boomed across the media?"

Living Freedom » Blog Archive » Boston: Aftermath: "We’re all supposed to pretend that violence against masses of people is something new — that somehow the U.S. is under unprecedented attack that requires unprecedented (and certainly Draconian) central government crackdowns and surveillance...

But we can only believe that if we’re a) big babies, b) hysterical drama queens, or c) completely ignorant of history. We’re supposed to forget that, clear back in 1955, some creepazoid some creepazoid blew up an airliner with 39 people on board. We’re supposed to pretend the Bath school disaster was perpetrated all the way back in 1927. And those weren’t even the first highly public bombings committed in this country.

Did the federal government concoct a security state over either of those horrors? No, because back then a few things still held government back. No, because back then the 24/7 propaganda-and-hysteria machine hadn’t been completely built yet. No, because back then, Americans didn’t wet their pants and quiver in the closet every time some moron with an agenda perpetrated evil somewhere in the country."

How Boston exposes America’s dark post-9/11 bargain - "Why did this story drive the whole country nuts? Because we traded rights for "security," and didn't get either..."

security theater, martial law, and a tale that trumps every cop-and-donut joke you've ever heard | Popehat: "First, just in case it's not utterly obvious, I'm glad that the two murderous cowards who attacked civilians in Boston recently are off the streets. One dead and one in custody is a great outcome.  That said, a large percent of the reaction in Boston has been security theater. "Four victims brutally killed" goes by other names in other cities. In Detroit, for example, they call it "Tuesday". …and Detroit does not shut down every time there are a few murders...

"But Clark," I hear you say, "this is different. This was a terrorist attack." Washington DC, during ongoing sniper terrorist attacks in 2002 that killed twice as many people, was not shut down. Kileen Texas, after the Fort Hood terrorist attack in 2009 that killed three times as many people, was not shut down. London, after the bombing terrorist attack in 2005 that killed more than ten times as many people, was not shut down...

...the cost isn't just measured in dollars – it's measured in the degree to which it trains a population to freak out over minor risk and to trust blindly in authorities. wasn't until the stupid lock-down was ended that a citizen found the second murderer: The boat’s owners, a couple, spent Friday hunkered down under the stay-at-home order. When it was lifted early in the evening, they ventured outside for some fresh air and the man noticed the tarp on his boat blowing in the wind, according to their his son, Robert Duffy. The cords securing it had been cut and there was blood near the straps. We had thousands of police going door-to-door, searching houses…and yet not one of them saw the evidence that a citizen did just minutes after the lock-down ended."

This is awesome.

A New Masculinity: "Then in late 2009, I began to travel all over the world. And within a few months it became impossible to ignore: masculinity and dominance are culturally relative. In America, most women consider me to be cocky and aggressive. In some Asian cultures, women even found me to be brutish and intimidating. Yet in many countries such as Argentina or Ukraine, I came across to women as sensitive and respectful. Hell, many of the women in Brazil are more sexually assertive than I am. And in Russia, when I told a girl I was seeing that most women in America find me to be too aggressive, she began to laugh in my face. “You? Are you serious? The reason I like you is because you’re so sensitive and attentive compared to Russian men.” Well shit. Not only was my conception of masculinity not even that masculine in many parts of the world, but I was attracting women because they perceived me to NOT be masculine. In Latin America, a girl I dated said she loved my lack of machismo and how well I listened. Great… Yet, back home women wanted to date me because they perceived me to be so crass and aggressive. What’s going on here?"

A New Masculinity: "Assortment theory can be subtle and hard to notice. But when you travel it’s impossible to ignore. If you walk into a room and only 10% of the women there speak English, then you’re immediately going to be at a major disadvantage with the 90% who don’t, and a major advantage with the 10% who do (they’ll find you exotic, interesting, etc.) Back home this plays out in less obvious ways: behave like a crazy party guy and you’ll attract crazy party girls; behave like an intellectual snob and you’ll attract hipster intellectually snobby girls; dress like crap and stop showering and the only women willing to overlook it will be women who dress like crap and don’t shower...

The point of assortment theory is that there are no (or very few) absolutes: no matter how you alter your behavior, that behavior is always going to naturally attract one subset of people and repel or simply not interest the majority.

...cultural relativism can’t completely explain it. If it did, men would simply adapt with new norms and move on. To a degree we are. But developmentally, we’re not. We can’t ignore that we ARE biologically different. Men have ten times the amount of testosterone pumping through us, which makes up bigger, stronger, urges us to take more risks, be more violent, less empathetic, want more sex, and achieve greater feats. This all on average of course, and there are exceptions. But the point remains. Everyone seems to agree with the sentiment that western men have lost something in the past few generations.

The point is, as a culture, there’s a void where our masculinity used to be. Created by the absence of our fathers, the futility of conventional career paths, the inundation of a feminized pop culture, this generation of men is floundering and has been for a while. It’s no wonder we’re staying unemployed, single, having more casual sex and playing more video games than any generation of men before us..."

As Americans, we have this naïve assumption that people all over the world are struggling and way behind us. They’re not. Sweden and South Korea have more advanced high speed internet networks. Japan has the most advanced trains and transportation systems. Norwegians make more money. The biggest and most advanced plane in the world is flown out of Singapore. The tallest buildings in the world are now in Dubai and Shanghai. Meanwhile, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

What’s so surprising about the world is how unsurprising most of it is. I spent a week with some local guys in Cambodia. You know what their biggest concerns were? Paying for school, getting to work on time, and what their friends were saying about them. In Brazil, people have debt problems, hate getting stuck in traffic and complain about their overbearing mothers. Every country thinks they have the worst drivers. Every country thinks their weather is unpredictable. The world becomes, err… predictable.

Not only are we emotionally insecure as a culture, but I’ve come to realize how paranoid we are about our physical security. You don’t have to watch Fox News or CNN for more than 10 minutes to hear about how our drinking water is going to kill us, our neighbor is going to rape our children, some terrorist in Yemen is going to kill us because we didn’t torture him, Mexicans are going to kill us, or some virus from a bird is going to kill us. There’s a reason we have more guns than people. In the US, security trumps everything, even liberty. We’re paranoid."

I’ve probably been to 10 countries now that friends and family back home told me explicitly not to go because someone was going to kill me, kidnap me, stab me, rob me, rape me, sell me into sex trade, give me HIV, or whatever else. None of that has happened. I’ve never been robbed and I’ve walked through some of the shittiest parts of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In fact, the experience has been the opposite. In countries like Russia, Colombia or Guatemala, people were so friendly it actually scared me. Some stranger in a bar would invite me to his house for a bar-b-que with his family, a random person on the street would offer to show me around and give me directions to a store I was trying to find. My American instincts were always that, “Wait, this guy is going to try to rob me or kill me,” but they never did. They were just insanely friendly."

Shut Up and Be Grateful: "The fact that you’re reading this sentence means that you are richer and more educated than 99.5% of people in human history. It means you have almost immediate access to over half of all of the information and data ever created by the human race."

The Prime Belief: "There is a belief from which all other positive beliefs flow. This is the prime belief. This is the belief that you are responsible for what happens to you in your own life, no matter the external circumstances. The belief that regardless of the situation, our decisions are our responsibility. Until a person has adopted this belief, change is impossible, and all negative beliefs will remain cemented in place.

Without the prime belief, people will feel powerless to their own lives. As a result, they will rely on excuses, pity, victimization and whining. They will overload you with statements about trying and follow-up with very little doing. They will talk of why things can’t happen instead of why they can. They will often be emotional vampires and strive to always make themselves out to be a victim. Until they adopt the prime belief, they will not change. Ever. They are slaves to their life circumstances, strident warriors for their own victimization, stewards of self-pity. They are a passenger in a car without a driver, blaming the collisions on the objects which they crash into. They cannot be helped. At least not until they choose to be. You can’t help someone who will not help themselves.

...if we all must believe something, then we may as well orient ourselves to believe what benefits ourselves and our happiness. The first and most important of these beliefs is the belief that we have control over what we choose to believe.

...beliefs require more than a simple choice to believe them. You don’t just wake up one day and decide, “I’m a happy successful person!” and suddenly become it. Beliefs must be cultivated, consciously tried and tested and steeled by reference experiences. Beliefs are worthless if they don’t contain some sort of real-world manifestation, some tangible benefit in the form of positive experience. The key to adopting the prime belief is the decision to go out and attempt to live the prime belief itself. It’s the decision to not only see the opportunity in every situation, but to actually attempt and live it."

"In one way, travelling has narrowed my mind. What I have discovered is something very ordinary and unexciting, which is that humans are the same everywhere and that the degree of variation between members of our species is very slight.

Most important of all, the instinct for justice and for liberty is just as much “innate” in us as are the promptings of tribalism and sexual xenophobia and superstition. People know when they are being lied to, they know when their rulers are absurd, they know they do not love their chains; every time a Bastille falls one is always pleasantly surprised by how many sane and decent people were there all along. I have a Somali friend who, during the Western intervention in her unhappy country in 1992, became a sort of clearinghouse for information on human rights. At one point, a group of Belgian soldiers lost their heads and fired into a Somali crowd, killing a number of civilians. At once, Rakiya’s switchboard lit up, with every Belgian news desk calling her at once. Alas, these correspondents and editors only wished to know one thing. Were the Belgian soldiers Flemish or Walloon? To this paltry inquiry she replied — I suspect not without relish — that her organisation took no position on the tribal rivalries in Belgium." 

- Christopher Hitchens

All This.  Every Bit.

"“The men who post here were systematically raised, educated, brought up and socialized in a feminine-centric worldview...
We watched our mothers run roughshod over, mistreat, abuse, bankrupt, and undermine our fathers. And those are the ones lucky enough (like me) to grow up with our fathers living with us. Those less fortunate were deprived of meaningful relationships with their fathers; or denied a relationship altogether.

We listened to a daily pounding and pummeling of messages from absolutely everyone around us telling us that:
1. Our sexual desires were ignoble, base, dirty, predatory, evil and bad.
2. We did not mature as quickly as girls and that girls are just better at nurturing and caring.
3. Without the civilizing influence of women, we are violent, predatory, shiftless, lazy, irresponsible, incompetent and unfaithful.
4. We are sexist male chauvinist pigs bent on violently beating women to within an inch of their lives, depriving them of basic life necessities, and demanding they be kept barefoot and pregnant, chained to a kitchen stove.
5. If we are married or are fathers, we are the stupid, unthinking parent and we need the wife to be smart and sensible. She will always save our bacon and clean up all our mistakes.
6. If we are single men, we must be beer swilling, porn addicted, video-game playing fatsos living in our mothers’ basements...

Then a dude linked a post about- “what boys hear growing up”. Deti commented-
“The laws and culture are hopelessly slanted against men and in favor of women. Divorce and family law are crushingly draconian. Men are routinely put under incredibly onerous financial obligations including alimony and child support. An unhappy wife can blow up a family and take a man’s children away from him for no cause at all, or simply because she no longer wants to be married, or no longer is “in love with” him. Stories abound of wives keeping the kids and the marital home, moving the new boyfriend in, while the ex husband moves into a studio apartment and must pay her mortgage, all while his ex wife shtups the new boyfriend in a house he pays for in a bed he bought. Child visitation orders are routinely not enforced. Men are incarcerated for failing to pay child support– even when they are unemployed or laid off. A woman can have her husband slapped with a preliminary injunction or no-contact order or have him arrested and removed from the home merely by calling police and telling them “I feel unsafe”.

There are stories of women cuckolding their husbands, i.e. having extramarital sexual affairs and getting pregnant by another man, then passing off the child as her husband’s to cover the affair. When the husband later discovers the truth in the divorce, the soon to be ex husband finds he must still pay child support for a child who is not his. His wife lied through her teeth to her own husband about the child’s parentage, yet walks away from the marriage with cash and prizes...

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