Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Robert Anton Wilson Lives on!

Robert Anton Wilson LIVES ON

RAW talks about chaos in general and the hilarious joke 'religion' of Discordianism, based on Eris - the goddess of chaos and discord - and its catmas, the opposite of dogmas.

My favorites from this vid: "All there is, is metaphor" & "the guy who thinks he's the only pope."

Thanks Nearing2012

"Meh E-book readers, cause ppl don't read anymore" says Jobs

Steve Jobs from Apple said this about the Kindle ebook reader:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

This kinda sucks, I'd really love a good ebook reader, a shame that Apple won't be doing much about it. The new Iwhatevers may be the closest current thing to 'tricorders', but it's not like TEXT is such a hard challenge to support decently in your freaking device. What an argument too, hey lets give up on reading... :p totally ignoring the blogosphere and internet in general. With a keyboard option you have a great easy mobile computer, the future!

And what, doesn't Steve Jobs read beside his bank account?

The Spirit of the Buffalo

Battle at Kruger

You may have been one of the apparently 36+ million people who have viewed this video :p but I wasn't so I share.

Shrooms harnessing Radiactive Energy

What's blooming inside the perilous depths of the Chernobyl reactor?

Sitting at the centre of the exclusion zone, the damaged reactor unit is encased in a steel and cement sarcophagus. It's a deathly tomb that plays host to about 200 tonnes of melted radioactive fuel, and is swarming with radioactive dust.

But it's also the abode of some very hardy fungi which researchers believe aren't just tolerating the severe radiation, but actually harnessing its energy to thrive.

Radiation-loving fungi may also prove useful, according to Dadachova. Their melanin gene, she said, might eventually be popped into food crops and used to help growth in difficult regions. And astronauts on long spaceflights might one day find a useful, self-replenishing diet in black, melanin-rich fungi.

And because the fungi don't actually 'eat' radioactive material, but simply use the energy it radiates, Dadachova said, they're in no danger of becoming radioactive themselves. Read on here.

The questions on everybody's minds are obviously:
1. Are they edible? ("1. All fungi are edible. 2. Some fungi are not edible more than once." Terry Pratchett)
2. Are they Hallucinogenic? (And if they are, what are the chances of me ever coming back?!)
3. WHERE CAN I GET SOME? (I'm not going into that reactor, and I'm just kidding too ;p)

More seriously though (not much), check out McKenna's views on a possible space travelling mushroom.

Society of the Spectacle

"We must discover new frontiers... People have been standing for centuries before a worm-eaten door, making pinholes in it with increasing ease. The time has come to kick it down, for it is only on the other side that everything begins."
Raoul Vaneigem

Raoul Vaneigem and Guy Debord are/were two Belgian Situationists (a small group of international political and artistic agitators with roots in Anarchism, Lettrism and the early 20th century European artistic and political avant-gardes.)

Guy Debord wrote The Society of the Spectacle, a work of philosophy and critical theory about society. Let's explore some of the ideas therein:

Degradation of human life
Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: "All that was once directly lived has become mere representation." Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as "the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing." This condition, according to Debord, is the "historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life."

With the term spectacle, Debord defines the system that is a confluence of advanced capitalism, the mass media, and the types of governments who favor those phenomena. "... the spectacle, taken in the limited sense of "mass media" which are its most glaring superficial manifestation...". The spectacle is the inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people, in which passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity. "The spectacle is not a collection of images," Debord writes. "rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images."

Mass media and commodity fetishism
The Society of the Spectacle is a critique of contemporary consumer culture and commodity fetishism. Before the term ‘globalization’ was popularized, Debord was arguing about issues such as class alienation, cultural homogenization, and the mass media.

When Debord says that, “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation,” he is referring to central importance of the image in contemporary society. Images, Debord says, have supplanted genuine human interaction.

Thus, Debord’s fourth thesis is "The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images."

In a consumer society, social life is not about living but about having; the spectacle uses the image to convey what people need and must have. Consequently, social life moves further, leaving a state of 'having' and proceeding into a state of 'appearing;' namely the appearance of the image.

Comparison between religion and marketing
Debord also draws an equivalence between the role of mass media marketing in the present and the role of religions in the past. The spread of Commodity-images by the mass media, produces "waves of enthusiasm for a given product" resulting in "moments of fervent exaltation similar to the ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism".

Other observations Debord makes on religion: "The remains of religion and of the family (the principal relic of the heritage of class power) and the moral repression they assure, merge whenever the enjoyment of this world is affirmed–this world being nothing other than repressive pseudo-enjoyment." "The monotheistic religions were a compromise between myth and history, ... These religions arose on the soil of history, and established themselves there. But there they still preserve themselves in radical opposition to history." Debord defines them as Semi-historical religion. "The growth of knowledge about society, which includes the understanding of history as the heart of culture, derives from itself an irreversible knowledge, which is expressed by the destruction of God."

Daily Conspiracy: Group Think

"The conscious and intelligent maniplulation of organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of... We are dominated by a relatively small number of persons... It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind and who harness social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world." Edward Bernays

"The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. the whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated int he insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic." Erich Fromm

"When in group narcissism, the object is not the individual but he group to which he belongs... The assertion that "my country" (or nation, or religion) is the most wonderful, the most cultural, the most powerful, the most peace-loving, etc. does not sound crazy at all; on the contrary, it sounds like an experssion of patriotism, faith and loyalty." Erich Fromm

"The larger a society or confederacy, the greater the amalgamation of collective factors - which is typical of every large organization - the more aggraveted the moral and spiritual degeneration of the individual" Carl Gustav Jung

Subcultures are just another manner of manufactured division.


I noticed last week set a new visitor record of 5320, which is 760 unique visitors a day (including a lot of random google hits though) after this blog is up for little over half a year and still growing! I just wanna say thanks for the support everybody. It's very fun and I keep enjoying the input and output (your daily dose of 'wtf', lol) both, and the great synchromystic people with all those wonderful idea(toy)s.
I have some more symbolist movie type ups in the works to post soon, always fun to use an accessible opener to many different esoteric subjects, though those posts do take up an amazing amount of time!
Please keep spreading the word too. I'm throwing this dedroidify banner out there, I'll cook up some more in the future, have been thinking about a few new header possibilities as well. Oh for the myspacers, I noticed a while ago my myspace its privacy was automatically enhanced by an upgrade they did, so I set it again so that everyone can make a friend request. Also the RSS page and file has been updated, if you don't know what RSS means check the link it's explained and you get an import RSS file with the updates of dozens of great websites. Thanks again everybody, if you have any suggestions or requests I look forward to them, and keep dedroidifying!